Chapter 4

Aaron’s Rod

From the booklet No Freedom Without Law

We hear about all kinds of abuse today. But abuse within the family is far more damaging than any other. It is harder for the victims to recover.

Such abuse has far-reaching consequences which most people do not understand. The physical family is a God-plane relationship. First, there was the God family plan. Then God created the physical family to help bring human beings into the God family.

Abuse within the physical family makes this transition far more difficult. Satan knows this, and that is why he works so hard to destroy marriages and families.

God gives us His government to protect and nourish His family.

That is why the god of this world, Satan, works so hard to cause people to hate God’s government. Without God’s loving government, marriages and families disintegrate.

All we have to do is look around in this world to see that tragedy.

The biggest controversy in God’s own Church today is over government. It has caused what is probably the worst division ever in God’s Church—in terms of the number of people affected.

One of the greatest sins a minister of God can commit is to abuse God’s family government. It does damage that even reaches into eternity!

This abuse can involve being too harsh or too permissive. The only way to reach the proper balance is to totally surrender to God’s loving government yourself. Jesus Christ must administer that government through each person (Philippians 2:5).

God’s work and family will never serve their purpose without God’s government. But it must always be a loving family government. “Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. Honour widows that are widows indeed” (1 Timothy 5:1-3). God says the ministers are to treat Church members as their own physical family members. That means we should treat younger people like brothers and sisters. Older people should be dealt with as mothers and fathers and grandparents. In other words, the physical family helps us to see how we are to love our fellow Church members. It aids us mightily in understanding God’s family.

However, it still goes much deeper than any human love in a physical family. God injects His own love into the Church, and we grow into the very unity of the God family. We build the same oneness that Christ and the Father have. “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me” (John 17:20-23).

After conversion, we must love each other the way Christ loved us. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34). That means we should be willing to die for each other as Christ died for us!

God’s government can be a dangerous tool if it is abused. We are cursed if we follow a man (Jeremiah 17:5). That is why we must let God teach us. Man’s government can never work. We have 6,000 years of bad fruits to prove that fact. It is time we learn the “new commandment” Christ taught us. If we learn it today, God will use us to teach the whole world very soon. Man’s government is about to end forever!

God has been trying to teach physical and spiritual Israel His government from the beginning of time. There are many examples of this in the Old Testament for our learning today. But men generally reason around these vital lessons, because they don’t want God to rule them!

Joshua and Judges

Joshua and Judges were one book originally. These books are a part of the former prophets, which also include i and 2 Samuel and i and 2 Kings. These books are called former prophets because they contain prophecy, especially for the end time. (Request our booklet The Former Prophets.)

Moses died just before Israel entered the Promised Land. Joshua led them to their final destination.

The Promised Land is a type of the Kingdom of God. But there is one big difference today. All of the adults in ancient Israel died in the wilderness because of their rebellion. They will be resurrected in the White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-12). They will, at that time, have their first opportunity for salvation.

God’s very elect today will soon enter the Kingdom of God. If we die in the spiritual wilderness, we shall lose our eternal lives. This is our only chance to be saved.

The books of Joshua and Judges contain prophecy of how we shall succeed or fail.

The example of Moses and Joshua is a striking parallel to what is happening in God’s Church today.

Joshua was one of the few Israelites who was converted. His book has some powerful lessons to teach us about getting into God’s Kingdom. That is how some of the prophecy comes into play.

Joshua learned the government God taught through Moses and never compromised with it. The very elect today follow his example and submit to the government God taught through His end-time Elijah—Herbert W. Armstrong.

This is the only way for us to get into the Promised Land, God’s Kingdom! Those who fail here will die forever in the spiritual wilderness or the lake of fire.

These prophetic books reveal how to be God’s greatest success story forever—or how to be an example of the most towering failures forever!

The stakes are forever today. We can’t escape that powerful truth. Our calling is about living forever—or dying forever.

The Ark of the Covenant

Why is the ark discussed so much in the Bible? “And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over. And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host; And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it” (Joshua 3:1-3). Gold covered the lid on the ark, which is a type of God’s throne (2 Samuel 6:2).

God ruled ancient Israel, and He rules His Church today, from that throne.

The contents of the ark were: 1) the Ten Commandments, 2) the rod of Aaron (which we shall show is a type of God’s government), and 3) manna (a type of our spiritual food today; John 6:49-51).

First, you have God’s law, His Ten Commandments. Then you must have a government (Aaron’s rod) to implement that law. There was one man, Moses, who governed Israel, under God, in the wilderness. When Moses died, he was replaced by Joshua—one man—who enforced the law for God. Always, God uses one-man rule.

When you have God’s law and government, then He will feed you manna, or spiritual food, today. Only the Church with God’s law and government is fed God’s revealed manna, or truth. God reveals it only to “babes,” those submissive to His government (Matthew 11:25).

God will not use anyone to do His work until they learn this lesson! Any other approach leads to spiritual starvation! God cuts off the spiritual manna.

There was a physical ark anciently and there is a spiritual ark today. The contents are the same. Ancient Israel obeyed the letter of God’s law. Spiritual Israel, the Church, keeps the spirit of the law today.

“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months” (Revelation 11:1-2). These verses discuss an inner court and an outer court. The inner court is where God dwells. That is where the physical ark was anciently. And that is where the spiritual ark is today.

Most of God’s people today have rejected God’s government. They are in the outer court, which is not where God dwells. That is why Revelation 3:20 says God is on the outside, knocking to get in.

During the Great Tribulation, the Gentiles will “tread under foot” the Laodiceans. That means the Laodiceans will be subject to the most grueling and cruel slavery. The Gentiles will treat them worse than animals. This is the only way God can teach His own people to submit to His government. May God help us to submit today.

The ark anciently was where God’s rule was—as it is today. That is why Joshua told Israel to “go after it”! He wasn’t trying to get the people to follow him. He intensely taught them to follow God.

We must “go after” God—never men! But you and I are responsible to prove which man is pointing us to God. Joshua had priests and Levites to direct people to God. Today we have ministers to perform the same function. The end-time Elijah, Herbert Armstrong, always had his ministers direct the people to God.

God unified Israel around Joshua and the priests. They were all one. “For the priests which bare the ark stood in the midst of Jordan, until every thing was finished that the Lord commanded Joshua to speak unto the people, according to all that Moses commanded Joshua: and the people hasted and passed over” (Joshua 4:10). God commanded Joshua to speak to the people according to all that Moses commanded him. Joshua obediently did so.

We are commanded today to teach according to all that God taught through Mr. Armstrong. We are the only Church that does so.

All of the Laodicean groups have rejected God’s government. That is why God only reveals His secrets to His Philadelphia Church today (Amos 3:7).

“There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them” (Joshua 8:35). Joshua didn’t reject even one word that God taught through Moses.

When God sends a man to deliver a message, it is extremely dangerous to reject even one word!

Joshua showed us how to follow the ark today. He also prophesied a great warning to anyone who would dare even reject one word of God’s message through His messenger.

There was an end-time Joshua who failed utterly in following the example of the Joshua under Moses (Zechariah 3:1). This is a great warning to all of God’s people in this end time.

One-Man Rule

Through Joshua and Moses, God taught Israel His government. “On that day the Lord magnified Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they feared him, as they feared Moses, all the days of his life” (Joshua 4:14). They went from one-man rule to one-man rule. God gave the leaders authority for one purpose.

“And the Lord spake unto Joshua, saying, Command the priests that bear the ark of the testimony, that they come up out of Jordan. Joshua therefore commanded the priests, saying, Come ye up out of Jordan. And it came to pass, when the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord were come up out of the midst of Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up unto the dry land, that the waters of Jordan returned unto their place, and flowed over all his banks, as they did before” (verses 15-18).

Joshua was told to command the priests what to do with the ark. That is government through one man to assure that the people focus on the ark, or God. The priests with the ark led the way. It was a physical reminder that God was leading them. Joshua and the ministers always made certain that God was the real leader of Israel.

The priests with the spiritual ark today also lead God’s people. These ministers are in the inner court. Though they may not have stature with men, God uses them to do His work.

God divided the Jordan River and provided dry land for Israel to cross. That was just one of the many miracles God performed. It was always that way when they were submissive to God’s government.

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). God performs great miracles for His people, if they submit to Him. Look at the power available to those who obey God. All we have to do is keep God’s law and government, then He feeds us spiritually and leads us into the Kingdom.

Still, men want to decide for themselves which government to obey. As long as they do that, they will receive none of God’s wonderful blessings. Instead, they will be cursed.

God had a family plan for Israel. “And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the Lord your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over” (Joshua 4:21-23). He wanted Israel to teach their children about their miraculous crossing of the Jordan River. They were instructed to build a monument to this mind-dazzling miracle. Then the parents would explain its meaning to their children and relate it to the Red Sea miracle.

The American and British peoples are greatly cursed today because they fail to teach their children about God’s many miracles. Our educational system and most religions today usually teach the opposite. Our children are taught to look upon these examples as Old Testament fantasy. That is why we don’t experience such miracles today! Even worse, God is cursing our peoples because of their rebellion.

It takes a strong government to assure that God and His awesome power are kept before the people. Throughout most of Israel’s history they have done just the opposite.

Was this lesson only to be taught to Israel? “That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever” (verse 24). Israel was to teach “all the people of the earth” how mighty God is so they would fear Him. Do they see how mighty and powerful He is? Do our peoples fear God today? Anybody can see they do not!

Joshua knew that God planned for Israel to lead the world to God. This has always been God’s goal. That is the Church’s job today.

However, most of God’s own people have rejected God’s government taught through Mr. Armstrong. They have rejected Aaron’s rod. Now they cause people to “stumble at the law” (Malachi 2:8). Therefore God does not feed them spiritual manna—His revelation, or secrets.

God’s government rules God’s true Church today. God is going to use these people to help Him enforce His law in the World Tomorrow (Revelation 2:26-27). The world will be led and fed spiritually by the omnipotent God.

That is what the ark of the covenant is all about. The book of Joshua contains prophecy of our wonderful future.

Ancient Democracy

After Joshua and his elders died, Israel moved into a period covered in the book of Judges. When Joshua was alive, people were directed by this one man under God. But after he died, things changed. They began to rebel against God’s government. So there was a change of government under the judges, which God allowed. People now had to voluntarily come to the judges for counsel and direction. There were not even enough judges to go around.

This new form of government proved to be a real catastrophe. Judges is the bloodiest book in the Bible. They no longer had a Moses or Joshua to point them to the ark. Israel no longer wanted God’s rule. Many judges went astray. It was just another human government that failed. Sooner or later they all do! Remember, Judges is a book of prophecy.

Today, God’s own Church became divided after Mr. Armstrong died. Most of God’s people have become lukewarm and have rejected God’s rule. That choice is leading them to the bloodiest events ever in God’s Church. This lukewarm Church is going to experience the bloodiest time ever on Earth—the Great Tribulation. That is because they reject Aaron’s rod! And for that reason, 50 percent of them will lose their eternal lives (Matthew 25:1-10).

These words ought to strike terror into all of God’s people! But lukewarm people are not listening to God’s Spirit.

The very elect always choose Aaron’s rod, or God’s government, because they cannot be deceived (Matthew 24:24).

Look again at the kind of government ancient Israel had after Joshua died: “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). For emphasis, God repeats this statement (see Judges 21:25). This is a book of prophecy. You can find Israel today by understanding this verse. What nations are passionately into democracy? America, Britain, Israel and most of the democracies in northwestern Europe.

The modern descendants of biblical Israel are about to become the bloodiest nations ever, if they don’t turn to God’s rule! Everybody today wants to do what is right in his own eyes. The book of Judges prophesies the terrifying outcome of such a system of rule!

This is always the fate of Israel without a strong Moses or Joshua to lead them to God. Satan knows how to exploit the many weaknesses of a democracy to bring it down.

Even though a democracy is probably the best government man has created, it is always destined to fail.

There is a telling story in Judges 19 and 20. A man and his concubine couldn’t find a place to stay. So an old man invited them into his home. Then a gang of homosexual thugs came and demanded to sexually abuse the male guest. They finally took his concubine. They abused her until she died.

Israel was so divided they could not even agree on how to deal with this vile atrocity! A bloody history indeed.

Judges 5 tells the story of Deborah. She had to lead Israel, especially into warfare. She did, but also told the men it would be to their shame!

She even sang of this national tragedy. Deborah had to “mother” Israel. There were no great men trained to be like Joshua.

We see horrifying tragedies today in America and Britain. Shouldn’t these tragedies cause strong men to rise up in wrath and strength? But there is usually silence.

The question is why?

Israel today is very much like it was in the history of Deborah. Families reject the rule of God. The Bible prophesied in Judges and Isaiah 3:12 that women would rule and children oppress the families today. We may call our marriages a 50-50 rule today, but God says the women rule!

What are the fruits of such a marriage? Very weak and effeminate boys!

Such a family also causes the girls to become overly aggressive, and the problem is perpetuated.

Some people will get angry at these words. They need to understand they are really angry at God! Our people have destroyed God’s family government, and when you destroy the family, you destroy the nation!

Looking at the physical family reveals where we are spiritually. If the man is not the head, God doesn’t rule the family (that is, in marriages that are still intact). It is true that the husband and wife are to submit to God and each other. Still, the man is to be the head. And if the woman cannot submit to him, she cannot submit to Christ (Ephesians 5:21-22). The flip side is that the man must love his wife so much that he would die for her—as Christ died for His wife, the Church (verse 25).

That is the kind of family government that builds great nations.

This is a lesson that God’s people must learn spiritually. Christ is the Church’s Husband. He must be ruling His Church by living in us. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:19-20). Those in God’s own Laodicean Church have refused to let Christ into their lives. They reject His rule or Aaron’s rod. The Laodiceans refuse to let their Husband be the Head of His family! God is knocking and rebuking today. If they don’t listen, He is going to scourge them in the Tribulation.

The Laodiceans don’t understand about the ark today. When Israel went to conquer Jericho, the priests led the way with the ark. After Israel’s army marched around Jericho seven times, the walls came tumbling down. Everybody knew it was caused by God’s power.

There are numerous examples like this in the Old Testament. The ark was always kept in God’s sanctuary, or holy of holies (1 Kings 8:6-7). Leaders lived and died. Kings and priests were ordained into office, ruled and died. But the ark always remained. It symbolized God’s presence, which should have been with them always. Israel was continually great when they looked to God. They were always conquered when they failed to do so.

And so it is today. The only way for us to overcome Satan is through God’s power. That power is given only to those who submit to God’s rule.

The Ark and the New Testament

We need to see that the ark is not just mentioned in the Old Testament. It is also emphasized in the New Testament. “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary” (Hebrews 9:1). The first covenant was the old covenant. Now we are into the new covenant. We must look at the ark from a spiritual perspective. “For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all” (verses 2-3). The “Holiest of all” is God’s sanctuary, where the ark—containing the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s rod and the manna—is located.

Why did Paul discuss the ark in the new covenant? Because we have the same contents today, but on a spiritual level. We are striving to gain eternal life today, not a physical Promised Land. Therefore we must get it right. Nothing is more important.

“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail” (Revelation 11:19). This is God’s temple in heaven. There is an ark of the testament, or covenant, in the midst of lightning and thunderings and earthquakes—a very impressive sight.

The ark in heaven came first. God had Israel build a physical ark patterned after the ark in heaven. It was a symbol of God’s rule on Earth as in heaven.

Solomon built the most beautiful temple ever on Earth. He had the ark brought to the holy of holies. There were two physical cherubs with outstretched wings over the ark. That is the way it literally is in heaven over God’s throne.

The ark will play a key role in Christ’s rule over the nations. This is a prophecy. God will administer His law and feed the world with great abundance, physically and spiritually.

Almost immediately after Christ returns, the world will be introduced to the ark. God is preparing us now to teach about the ark. We must understand this vital subject. The ark of the covenant is for the whole world.

Where Is God’s Government?

Anciently, on the Day of Atonement, only the high priest went into the holy of holies where the ark was. He put incense on live coals, producing a cloud of smoke over the mercy seat which covered the ark. The mercy seat was a symbol of God’s merciful throne.

It is called the mercy seat because God always rules with mercy. There is never an exception! This is such a hard lesson for man to learn. We must learn that lesson very deeply today. God will rule us forever! If not, we will die forever!

The high priest also sprinkled the blood of a bullock on the mercy seat. This was a type of Christ’s blood. It was an atonement for the priesthood. Then he sprinkled blood in front of the ark for the people.

Christ’s blood was shed for all of us. And if there was a type of His blood on the ark, we must not be casual toward it. We must understand! It is a red-light warning. Christ spilled His precious blood for us. If we are not serious about this, we deserve to die for eternity!

We must accept the blood of Christ for our sins and follow His sacrificing life. God wants us in His holy of holies. But we can never be there unless God totally rules us.

Anciently, Joshua led carnal-minded people without God’s Holy Spirit. Only a few, like Joshua and Caleb, had God’s Spirit. That is not so today. All of God’s people have His Holy Spirit.

God’s government is based on the law today, but it is elevated to a spiritual level.

We must take the lessons of the Old Testament and apply them spiritually today. Paul said their examples were for our learning (1 Corinthians 10:11).

Where Is God?

We need to understand the beginning history of Aaron’s rod. “Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown” (Numbers 16:1-2). These were famous men in the congregation—men of stature. They could be compared to evangelists in God’s Church today.

“And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?” (verse 3). They were against Moses and Aaron. That means they were also against God’s government. Their desire was not to serve God’s people. They said to Moses and Aaron, “Ye take too much upon you.” The truth is, Moses pleaded with God to get out of this job! But God insisted. So when Korah, Dathan and Abiram said you lift yourselves up above the congregation, that was a serious mistake. God lifted Moses and Aaron up and put them in charge. The truth was that these men were doing what they accused Moses and Aaron of doing.

“And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face: And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the Lord will show who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him. This do; Take you censers, Korah, and all his company; And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the Lord to morrow: and it shall be that the man whom the Lord doth choose, he shall be holy: ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi” (verses 4-7). Moses told these rebels that they were guilty of the very sin they accused him and Aaron of: You take too much upon you, you sons of Levi.

Here was a serious government problem in God’s congregation. This rebellion was confusing God’s people. So God devised a plan to show “who is holy.” Moses assured them “the Lord will show who are his.”

Today we see a deeply divided Church of God. They are separated by one issue onlyGod’s government.

Korah and his cohorts were talking about the evils of one-man government, which is always the kind God establishes. Today even many of God’s own people discuss the evils of one-man government!

That is the kind of government God always established under men like Moses, Joshua, David, Peter and Herbert W. Armstrong. Government is always the problem with those people who rebel against God!

God always shows who His true leader is—if people honestly want to know!

Korah and his followers already had exalted positions (verses 8-10). But they wanted more authority. Moses asked them, “For which cause both thou and all thy company are gathered together against the Lord: and what is Aaron, that ye murmur against him?” (verse 11). When we are against God’s true leaders, then we are against God!

“And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab: which said, We will not come up” (verse 12). God inspired Moses to call an assembly, and some of the rebels had such bad attitudes they wouldn’t even attend. They were not seeking the truth as they told the people.

God is inspiring assemblies today, but the Laodiceans refuse to attend. That is because they are against God’s government!

“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him. And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins. So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children. And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the Lord hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind” (verses 23-28). These men really didn’t know that God sent the great lawgiver Moses!

They sat at his feet for years and still didn’t know! They were some of the most exalted leaders in the congregation and they didn’t know!

Mr. Armstrong taught that he fulfilled the office of the end-time Elijah, spoken of in Malachi 4:5-6 and Matthew 17:10-11. Now, the leading men who worked with Mr. Armstrong for years say they don’t believe he was the end-time Elijah. When he was alive, they said they believed he filled that office, but not now.

However, that is not the end of the story. God is still going to show them the truth—just like He did Korah, Dathan and Abiram!

What a mind-paralyzing way to learn! These men were swallowed by an earthquake and died (verses 29-35). Others had a plague sent among them.

So then what? God still had to show them the man He was using. Here is where Aaron’s rod enters the picture. “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man’s name upon his rod. And thou shalt write Aaron’s name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers. And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you. And it shall come to pass, that the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you” (Numbers 17:1-5). This was to solve the murmuring problem about who was in charge.

“And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers’ houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods” (verse 6). The prince of each tribe had a rod. Aaron also had a rod. He was Moses’s spokesman.

“And Moses laid up the rods before the Lord in the tabernacle of witness. And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds” (verses 7-8). Aaron’s rod was the only rod that put forth buds, blossoms and almonds. An obvious miracle from God!

There is a giant spiritual lesson here! Where you find God’s government, you will find that it buds, blossoms and bears fruit!

Today many rebels refuse to see that miracle. Unless they repent, they will die eternally! The stakes are much higher today.

“And Moses brought out all the rods from before the Lord unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod. And the Lord said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not” (verses 9-10). All of the people saw that Aaron’s rod budded, blossomed and bore almonds.

Moses—one man—pointed Israel to the rod of Aaron. And then God supported Moses as their leader.

God commanded them to “take away their murmuring from me” or die! They were not rebelling against Moses and Aaron, but against God! There is no way to escape God’s rule through men today, if we want to live forever and rule with Christ. That is the lesson God’s own Laodicean Church has yet to learn.

Then God had them keep that rod as a token against the “rebels.” They were not honest scholars. They were not seekers after God’s truth. They were rebels!

That is exactly what the Laodiceans are today. Soon the whole world will know.

So God had Aaron’s rod put inside the ark to remind physical and spiritual Israel about these rebels. It was to teach a lesson to God’s people throughout their history, including today! That is why we are taught about the ark in the New Testament. Unless we can learn this lesson, we have no future.

Find God’s government and you will see a “marvelous work and a wonder” (Isaiah 29:14). There is obvious growth there that is miraculously produced by God, as it was on Aaron’s rod. However, we all must individually measure God’s Word correctly.

The beauty is, we can know where God’s work is. Only the rebels fail to know.

The Laodiceans cannot see it because they are blind (Revelation 3:17). But they are blind because they reject Aaron’s rod. That rod is discussed in the Old and New Testaments. Everybody is without excuse.

These examples are the very strongest warning for God’s Laodicean Church and the world today. Those who reject Aaron’s rod face physical and spiritual death! No warning could be stronger! We must “hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 3:22).

The former prophets contain prophecy of where God’s government is today! And remember, you’ll never be fed spiritually any other place in the whole world! We never have to fear government based on God’s law of love.

In ancient Israel, 50,000 people died because they looked into the ark (1 Samuel 6:18-19). They were doing something only the priests were permitted to do.

Uzzah was struck dead because he tried to catch the ark when it fell (2 Samuel 6:1-8). David was angry because he thought God was too harsh. But there were clear instructions inside the ark that only the Levites were to care for the ark.

That ark was a symbol of God’s presence and His rule. Aaron’s rod was inside the ark.

Many thousands of Laodiceans are going to die in the Tribulation because they will not heed God’s instructions. God is going to force the world to respect His government.

When will we ever learn that God is only trying to save lives—physically and spiritually. It is we who are so hard—not God!

Billions of people will die in the Tribulation and the Day of the Lord because they didn’t heed God’s message! Billions! And probably not one of them would die if they submitted to God’s Word.

God is teaching all of the firstfruits a precious lesson. We are going to rule the world and ultimately the universe. God must make certain that we don’t wreck His creation the way Satan and man have.

What a spectacular reward awaits those who submit to Aaron’s rod today! There could never be adequate words to describe the magnificent future we will have!

Continue Reading: Chapter 5: The 10,000 Saints and God’s Law