"Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us…" -Ephesians 5:1-2
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. " - 1 Corinthians 1:18

Fiery Serpents and the New Birth

Next, Elder Cook presented a strong teaching sermon using Numbers 21:4-9 as a primary text, with additional support from 1st Corinthians 15:21, John 3:3-16, 1st John 3:1 and 14, 4:10-14 and 5:1, Galatians 5:22-23, and a few other texts. Elder Cook began by explaining that this was an Old Testament example showing the new birth. The people of God had spoken against both Moses and God such that God had sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people and many died. Elder Cook further taught that God also provided a remedy: this remedy was a fiery serpent made from brass by Moses and placed upon a pole and if anyone was bitten and looked upon it, they would live. Elder Cook emphasized that there were three groups of people; those whom were bitten and had already suffered and died, those whom were not bitten, and those whom were bitten and able to seek the remedy that God had provided. He further explained that those that had already been bitten and died could not seek the remedy offered since they were already dead, those whom were not bitten were content with their circumstance and saw no need to seek a remedy (i.e., to look upon the raised fiery serpent), and those whom had been bitten, were suffering, and recognized they were doomed, yet were still alive and able to look upon the raised fiery serpent. Elder Cook taught that just as only those whom are already bitten seek a remedy for their suffering, only those already born of the Spirit of God ever seek Jesus Christ, the remedy for their sin. One has to know that they are bitten before they will seek the remedy that God has provided, Christ Jesus. He further proclaimed that by means of the first serpent they were bitten and doomed to die, but by looking upon the second serpent lifted up, they would live. Elder Cook reflected on the fact that by the first man Adam, death came to all mankind, but by the second Adam, which is Jesus Christ, came life to the whole elect family of God. He also explained that the brass used by Moses was made of two different metals just as Jesus was both Son of Man and Son of God. Lastly, Elder Cook expounded upon how no one can see the Kingdom of God, enter into to it, or confess Him as Savior unless they are already born of the Spirit of God, and this is a sovereign act of God that is accomplished independent of any actions by, or will of, man.


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