"And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses went into the tent of the testimony: and behold, the rod of Aaron from the house of Levi was budded, and pit forth buds, and produced blossoms, and bare ripe almonds. And Moses brought out all the rods from before Jehovah unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod. And Jehovah said unto Moses, Put back the rod of Aaron before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the children of rebellion; that thou mayest make and end of their murmuring against me, that they die not.
The reason for the insident in Numbers 1 7 was to deal with the rebellion of the people of Israel Jehovah wanted to deliver the people from their rebellion and the penalty that they would have to pay for their continued murmuring and jealousy toward Aharon's authority. The Lord wanted to prove to Israel that all authorities come from Him and are ordained of Him. this means that any of us whom God grants authority must have this basic experience, this come to Jesus moment; otherwise we cannot be appointed by God.
God commanded that the twelve tribal leaders get twelve rods, one for each father's house, and put them in the tent of meeting before the testimony, (The ARk). the rod of the man whom God chose would sprout. The rod was a peice of wood, a branch of tree, cut on both ends. it was cleared of any leaves on one end and of roots on the other end. Once it was alive but now it is dead. Before it drew sap up through its stem and was able to bloom and bear fruit, but now it is a dead rod, good for nothing. But God said the one whose rod should sprout, it would be the rod of the one whom He had chosen. this suggest that resurrection is the basis for election as well as for authority.
I love that statement because we in Christ know that He is the resurrection and the life. He makes dead things come back to life again. In the natural both AAron and the other Israelites came from Adam. Both were children of wrath according to the Word of God. There was no difference in their humanity. These twelve rods were all the same, all stripped of leaves and roots, dead and lifeless. But the basis of true ministry lies in beinb given resurrection life apart from the natural life. And acdording to Watchman Nee, that is what constitutes authority. He states that: " Authority depends not on the person but on resurrection. AAron was not different from the others except that God had chosen him and given him a resiurrection life.
We must be reminded that it is God who makes a rod sprout. It is God who makes a seed grow; It is God who calls your dead dying soul back form the pit of hell through the resurrected blood of Jesus. It is in Him we live, move and have our being! When God chooses to use us in ministry or in the earth realm, he puts the power of life into a dead and dried rod. the rod which sprouts causes both the owner of that rod to be humble and the murmuring of the owners of other rods to shut up. The rod that we originally take is as dreid and dead and hopeless as AAron's, bgut if it sprouts and blooms and bears fruit on the second day we ought to weep before God and say, "this is the Lord's doing and it's marvelous in His sight."
All of the gifts that God endows us with have nothing to do with us! it is about His glory and not our own. We should naturally be humbled to be used by God because the Word says, "We are earthen vessels that the excellency might be of Him and not of us." (Paraphrase). We can not boast if God has mercy upon us and the treasure that he gives us, the work, our mission, our ministry sprouts, blooms, and bears good fruit.
whenever we use our authority in ministering to God we should confess, "My rod is just as dead as yours."the only reason I/we can serve and others cannot is due to God's mercy and choice.," AAron did not serve in the power of the rod, but in the power of the sprouting of the rod. The rod signifies man's position, but the sprouting indicates resurredtion life according to Watchman Nee. Aaron could not serve God on the grounds of his position, because the other twelve held leadership positions as well. And they no douby would argue as to who would or should be "Top Dog." But God solved that problem with the rod demonstration. The rods had to stay in the ark all night, and the rod of the man whom He chose would sprout.
Before I conclude,This last point made me hold my breath and gasp. Nee makes the point that, "This is life out of death. I believe he is speaking about ministry and spiritual authority. He states: "Only those who have passed throug death and come out in resurrection are recognized by God as His servants. The touchstone of ministry is resurrection. No one may point to his position; it must be of God's choice. After God made AAron's rod sprout, bud, and bear fruit, and the other leaders had all seen it, they had nothing more to say.
authority then, does not come by striving, manipulating, practicing witchcraft and all of the above. it is set up by God. It depends not on a position of leadership bu on the experience of death and resurrection. Men are chosen to experience spiritual authority not because they are different from the rest, but on the basis of grace, election, and resurrection. it requrires gread darkness and blindness to be a proud person. As far as se are concerned, though we might deposit our rods for a lifetime, they would stil not sprout., The difficulty in this presnet day is that so few fall on their faces acknowledging that the are no different for the others,.
In my opinion and I agree with Watchman Nee, what makes us different is that we allow God to place us on the Potter's Wheel. We are always going moving marching towards death. Paul says, we are killed all the day long, but not destroyed. Even though life gives us a beat down, we go through trials tribulations, death, poverty, abuse, distress, sickness, abandonment, etc, yet through the mercy of God we are not consumed but have passed from death to life because of the resurrected Christ, and the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sin. The power of the Holy Spirit quickens our mortal dying bodies and breathes life back into our being. Thus God anoints, appoints, and chooses to use good as dead folk, to preach, teach, encourage, heal the sick, raise the daad and minister to those whom God sends.. When God uses us we must remember to give glory to God Today as we minister before God we too ought to know that ministry comes from resurrection and resurrection comes from God.