OceanSide church of Christ

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Wayne Rodgers


TEXT:  Num 21:4-9  And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.  (5)  And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.  (6)  And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.  (7)  Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.  (8)  And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.  (9)  And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.


THESIS: To show the type and anti-type of salvation from Jehovah.



1.     The Bible is filled with types and shadows.

2.     “For the law having a shadow of good things to come…” (Heb. 10:1)

3.     Many things, events and even people from the Old Testament are shadows or a type of something or someone in the new.

4.     In particular, many things are simply shadows of the Christ or the church.

5.     In this lesson, we will note that the brazen serpent is a type of Christ.




I. Israel complained

A. Israel complained at the physical food.

                                   1. God had provided “manna.”

                                   2. “And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread” (Num. 21:5).

B. Many today complain at the spiritual food.

                                   1. In answering the tempter in the wilderness, Jesus said, “…it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4).

                                   2. Many complain about the preaching of the word, about the worship, and about personal study of God’s Word.

                                   3. We need to make sure it is a priority in our lives (2 Tim. 2:15; Matt. 6:33).


II. D eadly serpents were sent into the camp.

A. These serpents had a deadly poison.

                                   1. “And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died” (Num. 21:6).

                                   2. The serpents infected Israel; many of them died as a result.

B. Today, there are dangers that come into our homes and even the church.

                                   1. These, too, are full of deadly poison.

                                   2. Our homes and the church must guard against the “Father of lies” (John 8:44).



A. The brazen serpent was put on a pole (Num. 21:8)

B. Christ was hung on a tree (John 3:14-15).



A. There was only one serpent of brass (Num. 21:8).

                                   1. Salvation was only in one serpent (Num. 21:9).

                                   2. There was not another choice available for salvation.

B. Today, there is only one Savior of the world (Heb. 2:9; John 3:16; Acts 4:12).

                                   1. There is only one body in which one can be saved (Eph. 4:4; 1:22-23; Acts 2:47).

                                   2. There is not another choice of saviors or churches (Eph. 5:23).



A. News had to spread throughout the camp of salvation from the deadly poison.

B. Today, the gospel (good news) must be preached and spread throughout the world (Mk 16:15-16; Mt. 28:19-20).



A. The Israelites responded in obedience.

                                   1. They had to look upon the brass serpent as it was on the pole.

                                   2. They were not healed just because they had faith that there was a pole with a serpent on it.

                                   3. They had to obey by looking upon it, with the expectation of God’s healing them.

B. Today, we must respond in obedience.

                                   1. One is not saved simply because he believes that Christ was lifted up on a cross for our sins

Joh 12:42-43  Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:  (43)  For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

James 2:14-26  What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?  (15)  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,  (16)  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?  (17)  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  (18)  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  (19)  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.  (20)  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  (21)  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  (22)  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  (23)  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.  (24)  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.  (25)  Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?  (26)  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

                                   2. One must obey Christ in order to be saved (Heb. 5:8-9; Mark 16:16).



1.     We have seen the Brazen Serpent as a type of Christ.

2.     While there are many lessons one may learn, we should focus on the fact that in order to be saved one must obey the Christ.

3.     For He is truly our Savior, lifted up on a tree, that we might have life eternal.