Phinehas’ in Today’s Church
Bible Study with Jairus – Numbers 25
While preparing for tonight’s bible study, the Holy Spirit suddenly highlighted Numbers 25:4 (ESV) to me. I was drawn to the part where the Lord asked Moses to kill all the chiefs, but Moses asked the judges to kill all the idolaters instead. The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the chiefs of the people and hang them in the sun before the Lord, that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.”
Phinehas Stops the Plague
Details about how Moses and the judges killed people were not recorded. Instead, the Bible records Moses and the people of Israel weeping at the entrance of the tent of meeting. We assume that the plague had already occurred by this time. Suddenly, Phinehas came and killed a Midianite woman and the leader of a Simeonite family. It’s only at this moment that the plague stopped. I mentioned that the current COVID-19 outbreak is also a plague. There have been many sins committed throughout American history. These include abortion, homosexuality, the African slave trade, the Indian massacre, people straying from God, and schools not allowing the Bible to be taught. These sins bring God’s judgment. The “Phinehas’” of the Church must stand up against these and say no to injustices and all kinds of wickedness. We must not allow authority to be given to evil spirits. When we strongly stand in opposition, God’s anger and the plague will stop and His blessing will come.
We know from previous verses that the anger of the Lord broke out against Israel when the Israelites indulged in sexual immorality with Moabite women and when they worshiped the idols of the Moabites. However, I never noticed that the Lord asked Moses to kill all the chiefs in daylight so that the anger of the Lord would be averted.
Since the Holy Spirit had highlighted this verse, I continued reading to find out more. I realized that Moses did not kill all the chiefs, or at least it was not recorded here. Rather, he asked the judges of Israel to kill all those who joined in on worshipping idols. Strangely, the verse also does not record that the judges of Israel publicly executed the people as the verse indicates. We only read that Moses and the whole congregation of the people of Israel wept at the entrance. My guess is that neither Moses nor the judges could kill their loved ones. Since the plague may have already broken out by this time, perhaps many Israelites had already died because of the plague.
Right about this time, unexpectedly, an Israelite man brought a Midianite woman to his family “right before them.” The Bible uses the words “and behold” in the sixth verse of this chapter to describe the man’s action. In modern spoken language, this means this man was asking for trouble—he was flaunting his sinful act with the Midianite woman openly. When Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation. He immediately took a spear and killed the Israelite and the Midianite woman. Then, the plague stopped. The Lord said that because Phinehas was jealous with God’s jealousy for the Israelites, the Lord would not consume the Israelites in His jealousy. That is, Phinehas’s zeal for God’s people to be holy was sufficient to halt God’s need to execute his jealousy. Therefore, the Lord blessed Phinehas and gave His covenant of peace to him and his descendants. The Lord stated, “It shall be to him and to his descendants after him the covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the people of Israel” (ESV, Numbers 25:13).
The Covid-19 Plague
I mentioned to our group that thousands of people have died from COVID-19 in the United States. Shouldn’t this already be considered a plague? On one hand, this plague is an attack from the enemy. I believe this is from the enemy as an attempt to limit church gatherings and hinder the coming of God’s revival. On the other hand, since God is allowing it to happen, it also shows that God’s judgment is somewhere in it. How can we stop this plague?
Many people’s attitude towards this plague is one of blame. They want to blame certain people for poor leadership, and/or blame other countries. While some people may be responsible, this perspective focuses on the problems pertaining to the physical realm and not the spiritual realm. The root cause of the plague, on a spiritual level, is that people in this era, both China and the United States, have committed spiritual fornication. Therefore, in the physical realm, we suffer for it. People must wear masks, maintain 6 feet of social distance, and be injected with the coronavirus vaccine. Meanwhile, they ignore the spiritual root of the plague. If the spiritual root is not removed, it will be difficult to eradicate COVID-19. The spiritual root of COVID-19 is the same as the story in this chapter of Numbers. The world and churches, including the American church, have fallen because they have committed the sin of spiritual fornication.
But you might say that this virus came from China, so China should be blamed. Again, this makes sense in the physical realm, but not in the spiritual realm. Why? Because it would not be right to say that one nation would suffer for the sins of another. We can say that because of China’s sins, idolatry, and its resistance to God, the plague came to China. However, if the United States was a country that lived in God’s perfect will, and Americans and churches lived free from spiritual fornication, then God would protect America from the plague because Psalm 91 tells us that those who take refuge in the Lord are people that have no fear of the terror of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday (ESV, Psalm 91:6). If we live according to God’s will, God will send His angels to protect us and He will not let us strike our feet against a stone.
America Has Sinned
We must admit that America has committed many sins. Some of these sins have penetrated society and become so-called “political correctness.” Christians do not dare to speak against them. They even say that tolerating and accepting all people, even homosexuals and transgenders, is part of American culture. We are told we should love everyone. While we should love homosexuals and transgender people, as Christians, we should not accept immoral behavior. Many Christians dare not to speak up, and they continue giving in to the status quo. When we continue to compromise with fornication, evil, rejecting God, not allowing prayer and study of the Bible in schools, and aborting babies, we gradually join these people in worshipping idols.
There is a spiritual battle behind abortion, just as it was described in the Old Testament when Pharaoh wanted to kill all the Israelite boys and Baal wanted to use children for sacrifices. Satan and evil spirits come to steal, kill, and destroy. Child sacrifice is often demanded by certain evil spirits. This is just an example, but many Christians do not dare to say “no” to secular culture and cultural things that are unbiblical like abortion. Jesus described what would happen. Over time, the salt loses its taste and usefulness. Salt is meant to disinfect and cleanse. Phinehas acted as salt and his action made atonement for the Israelites.
The fundamental problem in American society is that the Church has forfeited its authority and place of influence. Therefore, when God comes to deal with America, His first method will be to deal with His Church. As the current plague judges the United States, there is a need for the Church’s “Phinehas” to stand up and intercede by saying “no” to spiritual fornication and idolatry. This Phinehas must strongly stand for what is right and be jealous for God’s Church and His chosen people. Only by courageously challenging evil and sinful practices and structures, even challenging the churches and believers who have sinned, may we please God. If many Phinehas’ in the Church would stand up, we would be able to make atonement for the Church and American society. This would please God and stop the plague.
Many Christians who yearn for the return of the United States to its Christian foundations, support Donald Trump as a president because they see that Trump acknowledges God and supports and agrees with certain Christian values and principles. Many Christians were disheartened and disappointed when the election results surfaced, myself included. On January 5, 2021, I was very surprised seeing the election results. Yet, I had a dream that morning. I dreamt about a person fishing. This mysterious person held a fishing rod, but I couldn’t see who he was. A fish had already been hooked, but the person holding the fishing rod was sliding the fish. A child in front of him held the line to help slide the fish. Fish-sliding is a common method in fishing. After a fish is hooked, the fish is not taken out of the water immediately. One should first slide the fish so that the fish’s strength gradually diminishes. Only then does the fisher find a suitable opportunity to bring the fish up. If you bring the fish up immediately after the fish is hooked, it is easy for it to get off the hook and swim away. The revelation I received from the Holy Spirit regarding this dream was, “Do not be anxious, the fish has already been hooked, but you should slide it for a while before you can bring it up.”
I think this relates to the recent election. Many people were disappointed after Congress certified Biden’s electoral votes and inaugurated him on January 20th. Christians across the US prayed for Trump to be re-elected, but when he failed to win, they began to wonder whether it was really God’s will for him to be re-elected. They began to even criticize the prophets for making false prophecies. Many prophets even apologized afterward for making false prophecies. However, some other prophets and Christians did not. They still firmly believe this battle is not over. They look forward to the time when God miraculously intervenes and brings Trump back to the White House.
Recently, I was listening to a program on the Victory Channel called Flash Point. The host interviewed Pastor Bill Johnson and his wife Beni. Beni mentioned that when she prayed and sought God about the election, God told her to wait. Many prophets, including her and Kat Kerr, believe this battle is not over. Kat Kerr even said that God took her to the future where she saw that Trump had eventually won and God’s chosen people went out to the streets to cheer. She also said that God told her to eat cake and celebrate this victory.
When Trump was in the White House, many people were against him and betrayed him. Things didn’t go smoothly. Although God raised him up to help Christians and help America return to faith in God, Trump couldn’t then and cannot now solve all our problems. Let’s consider his re-election: if Trump is successfully re-elected, and if the leftists still make things difficult for him, how much will he be able to do in the next four years? Or, if Trump is successfully re-elected and the Church is not revived after four years, won’t those on the left side continue to oppose God? Won’t they get stronger? Unfortunately, Trump cannot be president another four years after that, so who can American Christians rely on? We have to turn to God. Trump was and is simply a judge for a time. Like in the Old Testament, he was raised up by God to free God’s chosen people from control and turn their face back to the Lord. We certainly have to thank God for raising up the judges because the judges were greatly used by God for saving the Israelites and for bringing justice. But let’s not forget the fundamental reason why the Israelites were handed over to the enemy. The fundamental reason is that they turned away from God and worshipped idols. That’s why God handed them over to the enemy.
Let’s review. When oppressed by the enemy, the Israelites called for God’s salvation. God helped them in the form of judges who were sent to bring justice and reverse the oppression. However, after they were saved, the Israelites returned to committing idolatry. Trump for a time served America and sought to put God back into the conversation of law and society. Now that he is no longer president, will American Christians continue to fight for what is right or will they surrender? It is not that God does not want to intervene, but God is using all these circumstances to cleanse the church and raise up Phinehas’ among the Church.
So, the Lord asked Moses to kill all the chiefs, but Moses did not take any action. Moses asked the judges to kill all idolaters, but the judges did not take action either. But Phinehas took action, and he killed the adulterous Midianite and the Israelite. His action greatly pleased God. Not only did it stop the plague, but it also moved God to promise him and his descendants a covenant of peace.
Where are the Phinehas’ Today?
What does the United States need today? You are making a mistake if you are putting all your hope in Trump. I still choose to believe that Trump will miraculously come back and fight on behalf of the Christians in the political realm, but if each believer in Christ does not learn to fight and become a Phinehas, Trump alone will not give us the results we want. However, Christians together can stop the plague and receive a covenant of peace from God. What action can we take for this to happen? We need to be the Phinehas of today’s Church. Every Christian should rise and be salt. We should not compromise our commitment to God’s Word by mingling with the world, fornicating, committing sin, and worshiping idols. We should dare to say “no” to things that are not in line with the Bible. My advice is that we should be zealous for the churches in the United States with God’s jealousy, presenting churches in the United States as a pure and innocent virgin to Christ. When each of us rises and does this, it will greatly please God. God will then remove this plague and make a covenant of peace with America.
Dear American Christians: do not keep your eyes fixed on Trump. Rather, keep your eyes fixed on God. Pray, repent, and reflect on these things before God: Is there sin in our churches and among ourselves? Are we compromising the teachings of Christ? Have we been submitting to darkness? Do we testify about Christ anytime and anywhere in our daily lives, or are we afraid about what others think of us? I don’t know when and how God will intervene on our behalf, but I know that we must be strong to be the Phinehas’ of today’s church. I will no longer compromise with the world, nor submit to darkness. I’m not encouraging everyone to use violent methods—I am talking about the prohibition of spiritual fornication. It’s not a battle in the flesh but a battle in the spirit.
I prophesied that many Phinehas’ would soon rise up from our churches to overturn the curses and make room for God’s blessings. Behold, the victory is coming soon. As God told Kat Kerr, “Celebrate and eat cake!” The great victory will soon appear, and on the horizon are countless Phinehas’ arising. You can be one of them!
Written by Jairus Bible World Ministries on January 31, 2021