"Now this took place that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, Say to the daughter of Zion, Behold your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden. And the disciples went and did just as Jesus had directed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid on them their garments, on which He sat. And most of the multitude spread their garments in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees, and spreading them in the road. And the multitudes going before Him, and those who followed after were crying out, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest! And when He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, Who is this? And the multitudes were saying, This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee. And Jesus entered the temple and cast out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And he said to them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you are making it a robbers' den. And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were crying out in the temple and saying, Hosanna to the Son of God, they became indignant" (Matthew 21:2-15 NAS).
I see the disciples bringing a donkey to Jesus, with its little colt following close behind. The disciples lay their garments on the donkey, then Jesus mounts the donkey and heads for Jerusalem. His eyes are set toward the temple. Look at the multitudes, casting down on the streets their garments and branches, making a makeshift royal carpet.
You can almost hear the shouting getting louder as the crowd grows: "Hosanna! Hosanna! To the King! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!"
He enters the city and the visitors fall in with the crowd, saying, "Who is this Man? Is He not the miracle worker? Is this not the One who raised Lazarus? Can He not open blind eyes and deaf ears; and can He not make cripples whole? By His mere touch, hemorrhages are healed!"
But look at His face! He does not even once stop to touch a blind eye or a deaf ear! He is performing no sign, no wonder; the sick reach out to touch Him, but it seems He doesn't see them! He does not even glance at the children He so loves! There is not a word of kindness to the passing widows so near to His heart!
Jesus is pre-occupied! He does not look to the right nor to the left. Why is He so serious? Why the angry look? Why the furrowed brow? He is on a mission, an appointment in His Father's house! The donkey stops at the temple stairs and Jesus dismounts. He walks through the crowd — silent and determined. Isaiah said of Him, "Behold your King is coming to you — gentle — and riding on a donkey" (Isaiah 62:11).
But today He is not gentle. A fire blazes in His eyes — the holy jealousy of a jealous God is upon Him! "For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God" (Deuteronomy 4:24 NAS).
Jesus strides into the temple, and something in Him erupts! To the undiscerning eye, it looked like a religious revival — the bustling crowds were there. It was a scene of feverish religious activity. The prosperous multitudes were flocking to the tables — they were buying and selling. The baskets were bulging with money; the ministers of the temple were exuberant; never had God been so popular — never had religion been more acceptable.
Look again at Jesus — the zeal of God's house literally consuming Him! He stands there, weaving loose cords into a whip. In his prophetic eye, the prophet Isaiah witnessed this scene years before. Isaiah said of this moment, "And He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; and He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle. According to their deeds, so He will repay...for He will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the Lord drives" (Isaiah 59:17-19 NAS).
The word zeal here in Hebrew means the jealousy of God! The jealousy of His Holy Father consumed Him. He wore that divine jealousy as a mantle; He was clothed with it.
Into that robbers' den Jesus comes — like a rushing stream, driven by the wind of God! What a commotion! The whip cracks — the tables are overturned — the doves are squawking — the lambs are loosed from their pens — the oxen trample over the money boxes — the merchants run in fear! All they see is what looks like a madman going berserk.
"Out! Out! Enough! This is My Father's house! This is a house of prayer! You robbers! Thieves! You are turning this house into a den of thieves! Get out! Don't come back!"
That whip does not stop cracking until the last sheep is gone, the last ox, the last dove, all the merchants, and all the religious thugs!
When Jesus cleansed the temple, He again reached out to the needy! "And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and he healed them" (Matthew 21:l4 NAS)
"While Israel remained at Shittim, the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab. For they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel joined themselves to Baal of Peor, and the Lord was angry against Israel. And the Lord said to Moses, Take all the leaders of the people and execute them in broad daylight before the Lord, so that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel. So Moses said to the judges of Israel, Each of you slay his men who have joined themselves to Baal of Peor. Then behold, one of the sons of Israel came and brought to his relatives a Midianite woman, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, while they were weeping at the doorway of the tent meeting. When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he arose from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand; and he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and pierced both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman, through the body. So the plague on the sons of Israel was checked. And those who died by the plague were 24,000.
"Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel, in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not destroy the sons of Israel in My jealousy. Therefore say, Behold, I give him My covenant of peace; and it shall be for him and his descendants after him a covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the sons of Israel.
Now the name of the slain man of Israel who was slain with the Midianite woman, was Zimri the son of Salu, a leader of a father's household among the Simeonites. And the name of the Midianite woman who was slain was Cozbi the daughter of Zur, who was head of the people of a father's household in Midian. Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Be hostile to the Midianites and strike them; for they have been hostile to you with their tricks, with which they have deceived you in the affair of Peor, and in the affair of Cozbi, the daughter of the leader of Midian, their sister who was slain on the day of the plague because of Peor" (Numbers 25 NAS).
"Israel is camped at Shittim in the plains of Moab, beyond the Jordan and just opposite Jericho. Balak is king of the Moabites. They were the descendants of Lot, the man of God who pitched his tent toward Sodom. The Moabites were frightened by Israel. They had seen and heard of all the miracles their God has performed for them. They hired the prophet Balaam to curse them. He said, "This horde of Israelites will lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field" (Numbers 22:4 NAS). "Curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me...drive them out...for we know that he whom you bless is blessed...he whom you curse is cursed" (Numbers 22:6 NAS).
Balaam instead blesses Israel, "A scepter shall rise from Israel, and shall crush through the forehead of Moab" (Numbers 24:17 NAS). "And Balaam arose and departed and returned to his place." But before he returned home, he gave to Balak and the Moabites THE SECRET to defeating Israel.
What the Moabites could not do with their armies, they did with their prostitutes and wicked women. John said to the church at Pergamum, "1 have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit acts of immorality" (Revelation 2:14 NAS).
Peter describes the spirit and ways of Balaam. He warned some will "...forsake the right way...going astray...having followed the way of Balaam...who loved the wages of sin" (2 Peter 2:15 NAS).
Israel began to follow the way of Balaam by indulging the flesh in corrupt desire. They were daring, self-willed, and without knowledge, reviling the holy! They reveled in the daylight with eyes full of adultery. They never ceased from sin and enticing unstable souls. Their hearts were trained in greed, speaking out arrogant words of vanity. They were sensuous; they promised others freedom, while they themselves were slaves of corruption. They come to your feasts, worshipping among you, but they are springs without water. They will end up destroyed.
Moab invited God's people to the sacrifice of their gods, and the backslidden seed of Lot infiltrated the church in the wilderness. "And the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel joined themselves to Baal of Peor, and the Lord was angry against Israel" (Numbers 25:2-3 NAS).
They are the same people of God who were living on miracle manna. They had just drunk water from the Rock! They had seen God's awesome judgment on the house of Korah; the ground literally opened and swallowed them up.
Now they are engulfed in a spirit of seduction. There was a time when Israel hated Moab and all it stood for. Parents once warned their children; teachers and leaders cried out against the immorality of the Moabites and the Midianites.
Now they are joined! The walls of separation are gone! Compromise spread like cancer through the camp. They mixed with the world — and God called it harlotry! They incorporated the wicked ways of Moab into their worship. They turned to adultery, to prostitution, divorce, and wickedness of all kinds.
Who is to blame for the ruin in God's house? Who does God hold accountable? Shepherds! Leaders! "And the Lord said to Moses, Take all the leaders of the people and execute them in broad daylight before the Lord, so that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel" (Numbers 25:4 NAS). "So Moses said to the judges of Israel, Each of you slay his men who have joined themselves to Baal of Peor" (verse 5).
Sin was raging in the camp; thousands were dying by the plague; and not a voice was raised! The shepherds had become cowards! Leaders were afraid to call sin by its name! No one appeared to be jealous for God's holiness. God's people were seduced; they were under Satanic dominion; and no one came against it "clothed with the zeal of God...like a holy stream, driven by the wind of God!"
God said, "Away with the coward shepherds! Away with those who wink at sin! Away with those watchmen who refuse to blow the trumpet in Zion. They anger Me!"
Thank God for the remnant, the few who wept over the ruin and corruption in the camp! "Then behold, one of the sons of Israel came and brought to his relatives a Midianite woman, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation" (verse 6). His name was Zimri — her name was Cozbi. What is the meaning of this? It is the world being brought right in the front door! It is brazen compromise! Anything goes now! No thunder from the pulpit; no cry; no trumpet call! Moral values are gone!
Thank God, out of the holy remnant came a man of God wrapped in God's mantle of jealousy! His name was Phinehas! "When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he arose from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand: and he went after the man of Israel in the tent, and pierced both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman, through the body. So the plague on the sons of Israel was checked" (verses 7, 8). Phinehas was consumed with the holy jealousy of God. "Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Phinehas...has turned away my wrath from the sons of Israel, in that HE WAS JEALOUS WITH MY JEALOUSY among them, so that I did not destroy the sons of Israel in My jealousy. Therefore say, Behold, I give him My covenant of peace; and it shall be for him and his descendants after him, a covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the sons of Israel" (verses 10-13).
All the congregation saw this wickedness — all the leaders saw it. Why did no one else move with God's jealousy? They were too busy analyzing the crime. "Let's not judge him! Judge not that ye be not judged!" "We don't know his heart; maybe he really loves God!" "Let every man look into his own heart. Don't judge another man's servant!" "Maybe Zimri is trying to win her to Judaism. Don't judge his motives." "Maybe he doesn't know any better. He's immature. Let the Holy Spirit deal with him."
Paul said to the Corinthians, "Behold what earnestness godly sorrow has produced in you; what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal [godly jealousy], what avenging of wrong" (2 Corinthians 7:11 NAS).
One man consumed with the holy jealousy of God steps out of the silent masses: "Enough! This has gone too far! I'm going to do something about it!" The majority of God's people want nothing to do with God's holy judgment against sin in their midst.
Just before Phinehas defended God's holiness, God's people had watched in horror as the earth opened up and swallowed Korah and his house. Then fire fell and consumed 250 Levites who had rebelled against Moses' authority "But on the next day all the congregation grumbled against Moses and Aaron, saying, You are the ones who have caused the death of the Lord's people" (Numbers 16:41 NAS). They were saying, "No more talk of judgment! You are bringing despair, turmoil, and sadness. You are too strict, too judgmental. Let up! You have hurt some of God's chosen people! Who are you to judge others?" They had no concern for God's holiness! They were more concerned about people than the honor of God! Their hearts did not burn with the jealousy of a holy God!
God wanted all Israel to know this: "Phinehas appeased My anger! His hatred of sin — his jealousy for My name — that is why I have not broken forth in judgment upon all of you!"
Scene three is the perpetual priesthood of Phinehas. God made an everlasting covenant with Phinehas, to all his descendants after him. It was a covenant of a perpetual priesthood! This meant that until Christ sets up His eternal kingdom, there will always be a remnant having the spirit and zeal of Phinehas upon them.
God's cry is this: "Who will stand up for Me against evil doers? Who will take his stand for Me against those who do wickedness?" (Psalm 94:16, NAS).
Let me tell you where God's people are today, the very same place Israel was — joined to idols, committing adultery with the world! God's people are being seduced, blinded, carried away by lust. Millions of Spirit-filled Christians bow down to the idol of TV. Some of you hoped I would not get on this subject, but God put His spear in my hand. I feel His holy jealousy, and I am coming like Phinehas into your tent; that idolatry needs to die!
You know what God said: "Set no wicked thing before your eyes!" "Thou shalt not bring an abomination into thy house...you shall hate it...it is cursed...lest you become a curse like it" (Deuteronomy 7:28 NAS). "Do not sit in the seat of the scoffer." "Shun the very appearance of evil." "Walk within your house with integrity...set no worthless thing before your eyes...let it not fasten its grip on you" (Psalm 101:2-4 NAS).
Listen to the excuses: "I don't see it that way." "Don't judge!" "There is a lot of good in it!" Where are the descendants of Phinehas, that perpetual priesthood? Since when is it honorable for God's people to sit and watch Satan's immorality being paraded — murder, adultery, rape, promiscuous sex, cheating, wife swapping? If it is not an idol — why is all the furniture facing it?
"Rolling Stone" magazine just published a dictionary on rock and roll; it is called the bible on the subject. Their definition: "Rock and roll is a blues euphemism meaning sexual intercourse — period!" Now the music of sexual intercourse is taking over our youth. It is invading our churches. Punk rock has come along and no one cares! Who cries out against it?
Preachers mock me; evangelists laugh at me — simply because God's holy jealousy burns in me and I am crying, blowing a trumpet, saying, "This is not God! This is stinking flesh! This is polluting the table of the Lord! Drinking from Satan's cup!"
David the psalmist wrote a psalm about backsliding Israel and about Phinehas. It is a powerful warning we need to hear. He said, "They joined themselves to Baal-Peor, and ate sacrifices offered to the dead. They provoked Him to anger with their deeds; and the plague broke out among them" (Psalm 106:28,29 NAS).
I say we have angered God by our idolatry, wasted time, and eating food offered to dead and wicked idols! I say that the plague has broken out among us! What is the horrible divorce rate — if not a plague? What is the backsliding of our children, the breaking up of homes, and adultery everywhere you turn — if not a plague?
We have choreographed dancing in churches now. We have a facade of prosperity — a facade of "all is well." We shut our ears to all that is negative; we just don't want to talk about sin! "Talk about miracles! Talk about God's blessings! Talk about the great restoration taking place!" And so on.
But God is still a jealous God! When sin is judged, when the Phinehases arise to defend God's holiness, when the compromise is exposed and put away — then God will come in His presence. The plague will be stayed — God's presence will come — then you dance! You won't have to choreograph your dancing. God's Spirit will break forth; it will be spontaneous — real! When the Spirit of Phinehas comes upon God's people, the church will discern between light and darkness, bitter and sweet, the holy and the unholy! There will be a difference!
What about it, friends? Where do you stand? God is raising up prophets and watchmen. The trumpet of God is sounding. Will you kill the prophets? With slander? By laughing at them? By ignoring them? Will you call on God and become consumed with His holy jealousy? Will you stand up against sin? In your own life? In your home? In your church?
David said, "Then Phinehas stood up and interposed; and so the plague was stayed. And it was reckoned to him for righteousness, to all generations forever" (Psalm 106:30-31 NAS).
What an incredible statement! We know Abraham's faith was counted to him as righteousness. But now so is the jealousy of God in the heart of Phinehas. "To all generations — forever!" That includes today!
Ezekiel saw a vision of a man clothed in linen with a marker in his hand. God commanded him, "Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all abominations which are being committed in its midst" (Ezekiel 9:4 NAS). "Utterly slay...but do not touch any man on whom is the mark;...start from My sanctuary...with the elders" (Ezekiel 9:6 NAS). God is right now marking those who are filled with His jealousy!
Who is the true man, the true woman of God? Who truly speaks for God? Who has the unshakeable truth? Who can be trusted? Jeremiah answers that: "Among the prophets...I have seen a horrible thing: the committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; and they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one has turned back from their wickedness.... In the last days you will clearly understand it. I did not send these prophets, but they ran. I did not speak to them, but they prophesied. But if they had stood in My council, then they would have announced My words to My people, and would have turned them back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds" (Jeremiah 23:14, 20-22 NAS).
God's Word cannot fail! The perpetual priesthood of Phinehas is arising. Right now, this message is touching a responsive chord in the hearts of all who have God's jealousy in them. Watchmen, do you tremble at God's Word?
"On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves.... until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth" (Isaiah 62:6-7 NAS).
"And the Lord has sent to you all His servants the prophets again and again, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear, saying, Turn now everyone from his evil way and from the evil of your deeds, and dwell on the land which the Lord has given to you and your forefathers forever and ever; and do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands, and I will do you no harm" (Jeremiah 25:4-6 NAS).
"His watchmen are blind, all of them know nothing. All of them are dumb dogs unable to bark, dreamers lying down, who love to slumber; and the dogs are greedy, they are not satisfied. And they are shepherds who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each one to his unjust gain, to the last one" (Isaiah 56:10-11 NAS).
"The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart; and devout men are taken away, while no one understands" (Isaiah 57:1 NAS).
"And the word of the Lord came to me saying, Son of man, speak to the sons of your people, and say to them, If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman; and he sees the sword coming upon the land, and he blows on the trumpet and warns the people, then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman's hand. Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth, and give them warning from Me" (Ezekiel 33:1-7 NAS).