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16/11/2009 / Test All Things

The Stench of Sin

The Stench of Sin


John 11:30-39

[30] Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.

[31] The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.

[32] Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

[33] When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,

[34] And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

[35] Jesus wept.

[36] Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!

[37] And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?

[38] Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it

39] Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.



Verse thirty-nine tells us that Lazarus had been dead for four days and he “stinketh,” or literally stunk. This story holds a great spiritual lesson for us. In order to approach the spiritual teaching, we must first have a starting point, and that starting point is often the historical setting. The fact that Lazarus was dead for four days and stunk doesn’t tell us much. However, we must remember that the Bible is its own dictionary. Biblical terms or words may not necessarily be defined precisely as our English or foreign languages define them. In other words, God defines His terms in His own way, which is usually a spiritual rendering that must be studied, compared, and confirmed with other biblical references with the same usage. One must study Scripture and seek to define, from Scripture, God’s language. When we study the word “stinketh” in the Old Testament, we discover that it has everything to do with one’s sins. For example, we read the following in Psalm 38:5:
My wounds stink and are corrupt of my foolishness.”
To “stink” in the spiritual sense is the aftermath or the result of one’s own sins. “My wounds stink,” Psalm thirty-eight, tells us. “Wounds” is but one of many descriptions God uses in describing our sins.
In speaking of unsaved man, Isaiah 1:6 states the following:
“From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.“
God clearly equates our sins to open wounds, sores, and bruises that have not been closed (meaning healed). God also says that these wounds have not been, mollified with ointment. Let us again look at Isaiah 1:6, “From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it …” This is the description of every man before he becomes saved … there is no soundness in us. There is a soundness that the Bible speaks of, and that is Jesus Christ, the Word of God – the believer’s soundness.
“There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.”  Psalm 38:3
In depicting the unsaved person, Isaiah 1:6 states that their wounds have not been bound up. We should plainly see Jesus Christ in this verse, since He came to earth to bind up our sins.
“I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment,”  (Ezekiel 34:16).
Again in Isaiah 61:1 we read:
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;”
What beautiful poetic language God uses here! This is a parable, an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. What do you think God is speaking of when He uses the term “brokenhearted”? Perhaps He is speaking of those who have had great disappointments in their lives? How about a modern phrase such as “Sally was sick and did not get to attend her Junior Prom. She was just brokenhearted.” Is this what God means? No, God’s Word (our Bible) is most serious business and does not waste time alluding to man’s silliness, other than to speak of it as being foolishness. When Christ spoke the word “brokenhearted,” He used it directly in the context of being unsaved. We see this in Luke 4:18
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”
Christ tells us in the above verse that the Spirit of the Lord (our Heavenly Father) has anointed Him (Christ) to preach the Gospel to the poor. Does this mean those who have money, perhaps the Middle and Upper Class citizens (as they are categorized in certain countries) may not receive this Gospel? No it does not. God’s Words are spiritual in nature. God likens all who have not heard the Gospel or who do not believe His Gospel as being spiritually poor and in need of a Savior. He goes on to say in Luke 4:18 that the Father has sent Him to heal the brokenhearted. Does this mean that Sally may just get another chance at attending that Junior Prom? No, in Isaiah 61:1 we read an almost identical reference, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me … he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…” To heal or “bind up” the brokenhearted is salvation language altogether and is in reference to healing our sin sick hearts. Ezekiel 36:26 speaks of the born again experience or miracle this way: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
The “brokenhearted” is in reference to those with the “stony heart,” those who have not been given, as yet, the spiritual heart of Christ. Luke 4:18 also speaks of Christ being sent to “preach deliverance to the captives.” That is precisely what the Gospel of Christ is and does. It is spiritual freedom or deliverance for mankind, who are captives since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. We are born into sin and will remain in spiritual bondage throughout our lives and eternity unless we are liberated or “delivered’ from this captivity. Only Christ and His Gospel of Salvation can accomplish this.
Continuing on in Luke 4:18 the next phrase of salvation language that we see – of Christ being sent to proclaim – is “ … recovering of sight to the blind.” During the time that Christ walked this earth, wasn’t it wonderful for the blind people? Those whom Christ healed of their physical ailment of blindness certainly were eternally blessed. Or were they?
Remember, God is using earthly language here in teaching spiritual truths.
Christ came to preach His Gospel (good news) to the poor, i.e. poor in spirit, the unsaved world. Christ also came to heal the brokenhearted, that is to say Christ came to give His elect a new heart, thus causing them to be eternally saved. Christ, again in the same verse of Luke 4:18, came to deliver the spiritual captives or to save those “lost sheep of the House of Israel,” who are held captive by Satan.
Christ also, according to Luke 4:18 came to “recover the sight of the blind.” Once more, we must look at the big picture here. Did Christ really come to earth in order to give literal sight back to many who were physically blind? How does this teach salvation in any way? Christ indeed healed people who were physically blind. Christ literally gave sight back to those who were once blind. These things were done in order for Christ to show that He truly was God in the flesh. It also uncovered a great spiritual picture and that is the fact that a physical healing of a blind person signified Christ healing one’s spiritual eyes. When one’s spiritual eyes are opened, it is proof that one has become eternally saved.
When Christ appeared to Saul (who was later converted to Christ and became known as the apostle Paul) on the road to Damascus, Saul was given information from God Himself and was told what God wanted him to do. Saul of Tarsus, being unsaved at the time and on a mission from Satan to persecute the believers in Christ, was suddenly stopped in his tracks by Christ Himself! Saul was given the Gospel, not by man but by the “revelation of Jesus Christ,” Galatians 1:12. As the vision of Christ appeared unto Saul, he heard these words of what God was calling him to do:
Acts 26:13-18
“At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
[14] And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
[15] And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
[16] But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee aminister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
[17] Delivering thee from the people, andfrom the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
[18] To open their eyes, andto turn themfromdarkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
In verse eighteen is Christ calling Saul to literally heal blind people? What about the many deaf people, don’t they receive a healing? Christ is not calling Saul to heal their eyes nor their ears. He is calling Saul to preach Christ and God’s Good News of eternal salvation to the Jews and also to the Gentiles. God is calling Saul to OPEN their spiritual eyes with the Gospel.
The New Testament tells of Christ healing many that were blind. This then was done as a spiritual portrait of how the truth of God, the Gospel of Christ, does open up the spiritual eyes. It does heal the unsaved, who are spiritually blind.
Going back to Isaiah 1:6, God says of the unsaved, “ … their wounds have not been mollified with ointment.” Christ came to heal our spiritual wounds (sins) with His ointment. This word “ointment” often represents anointing oil in Scripture. In Psalm 133:1-3 we read the following –
[1] “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
[2] It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
[3] As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
Christ came to heal our spiritual wounds (sins) with the anointing oil of His Holy Spirit. This anointing of the Holy Spirit, symbolized by the anointing oil poured upon the head of Aaron the High Priest, is portraying life forevermore. In the above passage of Psalm 133 we see that this precious ointment is equated to the “dew” of Hermon and again as the “dew” that descended upon the mountains of Zion. This dew must be the precious Gospel of Christ, that descended down from heaven upon all of God’s Elect – of which Mount Zion is but an earthly figure.
“For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world,”  John 6:33.
Two prime examples of “dew” signifying the Word of God are seen in the following verses:
“And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.”  Micah 5:7
In Hosea 14:5-9 God states that He will be “as the dew unto Israel.” God gives us spiritual “hints” as to the identity of this spiritual “Israel” in these verses.
[5] “I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon”.
[6] “His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.”
[7] “They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.”
[8] “Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.”
[9] Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.”
It is no secret to whom God is speaking of in these verses. Old Testament Israel was indeed a spiritual portrait of Christ’s eternal Church. In verse nine God concludes who and what He is speaking of – those who walk in the just ways of the LORD. These are all true believers, Old and New Testament eras. In Hosea 14:5 God tells us that He will be as dew unto Israel. Christ, God Almighty, is that dew as we read from Psalm 133:3
As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.”
“AS” the dew of Hermon and “as” the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion – LIKEWISE, God is showing us that HE is the spiritual dew that produces life for evermore.
Looking back to Hosea 14:5-9 God is telling us in verse six that His beauty shall be as the olive tree. We know that the “Olive Tree” is a figure in Scripture symbolizing the true Body of Christ worshippers; those who have become born again, Revelation 11:4; Zechariah 4:3; Romans 11:17,24. In verse seven of Hosea chapter fourteen we read of God sheltering His children under His wings, which is a phrase in Scripture signifying God’s Elect. Verse seven also tells us that God’s children (New and Old Testament believers in Messiah Christ) are the “vine.” Christ plainly shows us in John 15:5 that Christ is the true vine. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Hosea 14:7 continues in describing spiritual truth for us. “… the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.” The word “wine” throughout Scripture many times signifies or represents the blood of Christ. We see this in Christ’s first miracle of the Gospels by turning water into wine. In Revelation 6:6 at the on sought of Judgment Day, a voice out of heaven tells the four beasts not to hurt the oil or the wine. In other words, Christ’s elect are sealed for this time of judgment and cannot be spiritually harmed.
Continuing in Hosea 14:9, Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols?”The nameEphraim” means, “double fruitfulness” and he is a pertinent part of the Old Testament story. He is a part of Old Testament physical Israel. This phrase “what have I to do any more with idols?” is a prophecy alluding to the final “Israel” of today, those who are sealed into the blood of Christ Jesus. This is our testimony … what have we to do any more with idols?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people,” (2 Corinthians 6:16).
God continues in Hosea 14:8 by stating that Ephraim shall say … “I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.”
Any mention of “green” in Scripture usually (depending upon context) represents the Body of Christ. Psalm 52:8 states – “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.”
The color “green” can represent God’s Elect, which have received the “dew of heaven” in spiritual terms. They have been watered by God’s “fountain of living waters,” which He pours out by His grace.
“They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. [6] He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth,”  Psalm 72:5-6).
We are merely citing but a few of the seemingly endless verses that God has hidden in His Word. The Bible is the ultimate treasure chest that continues to wait century after century for more spiritual nuggets to be extracted from this ultimate cache. It is right here before your eyes.
Returning to the thrust of our study, we are learning just how God perceives man’s sin. The “Fountain of Living Waters” has indeed been opened for the purpose of Christ washing away our eternal sins.
“In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.”  (Zechariah 13:1).
The only way to be rid of this sin and uncleanness is to have it washed away by the Blood of Christ. It cannot be washed away literally, as some believe, by being baptized in water and thus instantaneously becoming eternally saved. No, it’s a spiritual regeneration of the heart that only Christ can perform.
Becoming eternally saved does not mean that one will be physically perfect and sinless. On the contrary, our sins will continue to be with us and this spiritual battle will not end until the Last Day when Christ will resurrect us, not only in spirit (the born-again experience), but Christ will literally resurrect our physical bodies as well. Until that time, the Christian will continue to fight the good fight of faith against that which wars against our flesh.
Romans 7:22-25
[22] For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
[23] But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. [24] O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
[25] I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
In our study of “stench” we saw in Isaiah 1:6 that God refers to unregenerate man (the unsaved) as those whose wounds have not been mollified with ointment. The term “ointment” absolutely must be symbolic in nature. One cannot purchase a tube of specific ointment at the corner drug store and spread it upon their body to become right with God. Isaiah 1:6 says of the unsaved: “ … their wounds have not been closed, bound up, neither mollified [relieved or alleviated] with ointment.” Is Scripture speaking of literal wounds? No, but our sins are portrayed by God as literal wounds that are in need of being treated with ointment, closed and bandaged. This is an earthly parable that Christ, as Scripture says, will speak.
Let us recall the story in Luke chapter ten of the man who fell among thieves while traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho.
Luke 10:30-37
[30] And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
[31] And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
[32] And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
[33] But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
[34] And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
[35] And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
[36] Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
[37] And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
This certain man was stripped of his raiment, (picturing our spiritual nakedness apart from Christ).
Thieves wounded this certain man. Who do the thieves represent in Scripture?
Christ is our spiritual door to heaven.
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture,” (John 10:9).
Who is the thief of Scripture?
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber,”  (John 10:1).
“Thieves” can represent false gospels throughout Scripture. This certain man, in our parable, was representative of the unsaved. He symbolized those of the unregenerate world who strive to enter into heaven through other doors other than through the sure door of Christ. We saw that these thieves wounded the certain man, leaving him half dead. He was an unbeliever and had spiritually been wounded by thieves, picturing mankind being dead in their sins while being alive in the flesh.
This certain man was left “half dead.” Unsaved man is indeed half dead, i.e. dead to God’s Word of life. The thieves left this stranger half dead. They did not preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to him, and yet it was their job. One was a priest and the other a Levite (whose tribe was given the task of performing the priestly functions). They simply left this certain man half dead, which, in the spiritual essence, points to the fact that many self-proclaimed priests, ministers, etc. are not called by God. This certain man in the parable was one step from hell, as are all who are without Christ and without eternal hope in this world.
1 Timothy 5:6 states:
But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.”
Half dead! Surely, a person who lives in pleasure is self-willed and enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season. But this person, without question, will have to face the judgment seat of God one day, yet while she lived she was dead while she lived, Timothy tells us. She was physically alive, but at the same time she was spiritually dead to God. Being dead to God in this life is tantamount to being “half dead,” as was the stranger who fell among thieves. He was left by the thieves in his dreadful condition of being on his way to eternal hell. This is the condition of all of mankind, who are without Christ, half deadalive in the flesh but dead in the spirit. For them, their second half will come when they receive of the Second Death.
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death,” (Revelation 2:11).
Concerning this parabolic man among thieves, we see from Luke chapter ten that he could neither obtain help from the passing priest nor from the Levite. Help finally came to him from a certain Samaritan (Luke. 10:33), who showed compassion for him and bound up his wounds by pouring in oil and wine (Luke. 10:34). But can oil and wine be any kind of a cure in today’s world for minding up physical wounds?
God is speaking spiritual language here. Our physical bodies are full of spiritual wounds. Christ, the Lamb of God, slain from before the foundations of the world, is ultimately that Good Samaritan who will pour His oil and His wine into our spiritual wounds and make us whole. Christ came to earth to heal His people from their sins. He anoints them with the oil of His Holy Spirit, and with His blood (the wine), which was His signature confirming the eternal covenant to be an everlasting God to His people.
“After the same manner also he took the cup, [wine] when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me,”  (1 Corinthians 11:25).
Going back to our study in John 11:39, Martha says “Lord, by this time he stinketh, for he hath been dead four days.” Before Lazarus was raised from the dead, he represented all of unsaved humanity being without Christ; being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel; being strangers from the covenants of promise, and being without God in a hopeless world. Lazarus was indeed a portrait of unsaved man, thus being dead four days might signify unregenerate man throughout the four corners of the earth. In other words, it might typify the universality of unsaved man upon the earth. Later, in the eleventh chapter of John, we see Christ calling Lazarus forth from the grave. Lazarus, in the heavenly picture, has been shown much favor and grace, depicting all of God’s elect coming into Christ’s fold.
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out,” (John 6:37)
The raising of Lazarus shows that God can save sinners. Before Christ raised Lazarus from the dead, Lazarus was spiritually dead in his trespasses, as is all of mankind. Before Lazarus was raised from the dead, God particularly calls to our attention the fact that he stank, a reference to the spiritual corruption of one’s sins. Before Christ resurrects the spirits of His elect, we are viewed by God as being filled with open and stinking wounds.
Let us confirm from, the Old Testament, that fact that “stink” can and does picture those without the Gospel of Christ.
Isaiah 50:1-2
[1] Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.
[2] Wherefore, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver? behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stinketh, because there is no water, and dieth for thirst.
The fish stink because there is no water, and they die for thirst. Didn’t Christ say, “if any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink?” Doesn’t Christ tell us in the Gospels that He is the living waters? Yet, we read that these fish stinketh because they die of thirst from lack of water. Again, didn’t Christ tell Peter and Andrew that He would make them fishers of men? God equates men to fish. Yet, (as in the Old Testament days), there was a scarcity or lack of God’s saving grace, causing men to stink, as Isaiah 50:2 declares. As we near closer to the Second Coming of Christ, the Gospel waters will be cut off and again a great scarcity or lack of water will engulf the entire globe.
We have other confirmations as well. The result of the first plague that God brought upon Egypt was its waters being turned to blood and thus causing the waters to stink.
“And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the river,”  (Exodus 7:18)
The water’, being turned to blood, was indeed an historical parable. It was a literal and historic occurrence in Egypt. In addition, this incident may well portray the spiritual plagues that God will bring upon the earth during the Great Tribulation, at the end of the age. The Gospel waters (Christ’s Gospel) will spiritually be turned to blood. In other words, the Gospel has been poisoned and polluted. Impossible, you may say? Not at all, according to Holy Scripture. Christ gives us the promise in Matthew 16:18 that the gates of hell shall not prevail again His true Church, i.e. His Elect. Christ’s corporate church, (the outer shell or outer court), will be attacked by Satan at the end of time. This is clearly taught in many Old and New Testament books. Satan will stomp the truth to the ground (Daniel 8:10, 12). This is not to say that the gates of hell shall prevail against Christ’s Church. It is certain from Scripture that it won’t.
Revelation chapter eight speaks of these living waters being poisoned. The congregations or living waters were turned to blood. When God turned the rivers of Egypt into blood, they are rendered useless or ineffective. The same holds true in the spiritual realm; the Gospel waters are turned to blood; they are polluted and rendered useless in most cases. The rivers, ponds, streams, and pools of Egypt were all said to stink, because they were turned into blood.
Egypt will often, throughout Scripture, represent the unsaved word, those who are still in bondage to sin and Satan. Thus, the reason Christ came to “liberate the captives,” Isaiah 6:1; to “proclaim liberty to the captives,” Isaiah 61:1; and “to set at liberty those that are BRUISED,” Luke 4:18.
Understand this: Christ did not come to this earth to offer physical band-aids, including healing of the physically blind.
Christ came to free (to “bind-up” or “heal”) our SPIRITUAL bruises, wounds, and our putrefying sores, Isaiah 1:6.
There is a great spiritual portrait associated with the plagues of Egypt during Israel’s exodus. Egypt might well be a spiritual picture of the unsaved earth, i.e. those who are still in bondage to sin and Satan. The ultimate and final portrait of these plagues probably points to the end of time when the Gospel waters will be turned to blood, or made bitter and poisoned. This is why Egypt was said to “stink” back during the exodus; it may have been a great picture of the spiritual condition of the unsaved world during the Great Tribulation. We again see in Exodus 8:14 that after the plague of frogs, the land of Egypt “stank.” The Greek definition of “stink” is similar to the Hebrew definition. The word “stinketh” is used only once in the New Testament, while “stink” and “stank” are used more frequently in the Old Testament.
When God sent manna down from heaven upon the children of Israel in the wilderness, ultimately this manna was a form of bread, which represented our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world,”  (John 6:51).
In Exodus chapter sixteen God records that the children of Israel were to gather manna every morning, with the exception of the Sabbath morning. On that day, they were not to gather, since it was their day of rest. God provided two days worth of manna on the sixth day (Exodus 16:29). In Exodus 16:20 God records that many of the Hebrews deliberately disobeyed Moses. God commanded them to eat the manna each day, and not to save any of it overnight for the next day, with the exception of the Sabbath day. However, many of them disobeyed and kept the manna for the following day. The next morning they found their manna (which pictured Christ) had bred worms and it stank, (Exodus 16:20). In other words, when they disobeyed Moses (who was a symbolical “type” of Christ), they were rejecting the Gospel of Christ. Thus God’s provision of manna for tem turned to their damnation; it bred worms and stank, Exodus 16:20.
Those who disobeyed Moses and followed their own will, with regard to the manna, are figures of religious man carving out his own gospel program. They name the name of Christ, but clearly are going their own way with the manna (Christ).
“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondered the hearts,”  (Proverbs 21:2).
The end result was that their manna bred worms and stank. That is to say that their religion (while naming the name of Christ) turned to their damnation. Outer darkness is often spoken of in Scripture as a place where the worm dieth not. For them, their gospel or “manna” turned to worms. Their religion damned them because it was not founded upon the true Christ, the sure rock of our salvation.
“For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges,”  (Deuteronomy 32:31).
“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation,” (Psalm 95:1).
“And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,”  (Isaiah 8:14).
“As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed,”  (Romans 9:33).
These Hebrews trusted in their own “works,” by keeping the manna until the next morning. Moses commanded the children of Israel NOT to leave any of the manna for the following morning, Exodus chapter sixteen. In doing so, they were disobeying God and making provisions for their flesh. They were showing a total lack of trust in God, thinking they had a need to preserve and ration this manna.
Today, masses of humanity are taking this manna (the Holy Bible – the Word of God) and are doing with it what seems right in their own eyes, thus creating many false gospels out of portions of the Word of God. By not receiving all of God’s instructions, but going about to make one’s own instructions, one will surely finish his life in a state of spiritual stinking wounds and putrefying sores, where the worm dieth not.

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