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    Chapter 28—Aaron's Rod

    God mercifully condescended to give the host of Israel another evidence, one calculated to correct their perverted judgment. He therefore required that each tribe should take a rod, and write upon the rod the name of the house of their fathers. “And thou shalt write Aaron's name upon the rod of Levi; for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers. And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you. And it shall come to pass, that the man's rod whom I shall choose shall blossom. And I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you. And Moses laid up the rods before the Lord in the tabernacle of witness. And it came to pass that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds. And Moses brought out all the rods from before the Lord unto all the children of Israel, and they looked, and took every man his rod. And the Lord said unto Moses, Bring Aaron's rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels. And thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.” God here wrought a miracle which was sufficient to silence the complaints of the Israelites, and which was to be a standing testimony on whom God had settled the priesthood. All the remarkable changes in the rod occurred in one night, to convince them that God had positively distinguished between Aaron and the rest of the children of Israel. After this miracle of divine power, the authority of the priesthood was no longer called in question. This wonderful rod was preserved to be frequently shown to the people to remind them of the past, to prevent them from murmuring, and again calling in question to whom the priesthood rightfully belonged. After the children of Israel were fully convinced of their wrong, in unjustly accusing Moses and Aaron, as they had done, they saw their past rebellion in its true light, and they were terrified. They spake unto Moses, saying, “Behold we die, we perish; we all perish.” They are at length compelled to believe the unwelcome truth, that their fate is to die in the wilderness. After they believed that it was indeed the Lord who had said they should not enter the promised land, but should die, they then acknowledged that Moses and Aaron were right, and that they had sinned against the Lord, in rebelling against their authority. They also confessed that Korah, and those who perished with him, were sinners against the Lord, and that they had justly suffered his wrath.4aSG 35.1

    The facts relative to Korah and his company, who rebelled against Moses and Aaron, and against Jehovah, are recorded for a warning to God's people, especially those who live upon the earth near the close of time. Satan has led persons to imitate the example of Korah, Dathan and Abiram, in raising insurrection among the people of God. Those who permit themselves to rise in opposition to the plain testimony, become self-deceived, and have really thought that those upon whom God laid the burden of his work were exalted above the people of God, and that their counsels and reproofs were uncalled for. They have risen in opposition to the plain testimony which God would have them bear in rebuking the wrongs among God's people. The testimonies borne against hurtful indulgences, as tea, coffee, snuff and tobacco, have irritated a certain class, because it would destroy their idols. Many for a while were undecided whether to make an entire sacrifice of all these hurtful things, or reject the plain testimonies borne, and yield to the clamors of appetite. They occupied an unsettled position. There was a conflict between their convictions of truth and their self-indulgences. Their state of indecision made them weak, and with many, appetite prevailed. Their sense of sacred things was perverted by the use of these slow poisons; and they at length fully decided, let the consequence be what it might, they would not deny self. This fearful decision at once raised a wall of separation between them and those who were cleansing themselves, as God has commanded, from all filthiness of the flesh, and of the spirit, and were perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. The straight testimonies borne were in their way, and caused them great uneasiness, and they found relief in warring against them, and striving to make themselves and others believe that they were untrue. They said the people were all right, but it was the reproving testimonies which made the trouble. And when the rebellious unfurl their banner, all the disaffected rally around the standard, and all the spiritually defective, the lame, the halt, and the blind, unite their influence to scatter and sow discord.4aSG 36.1

    Every advance of God's servants at the head of the work has been watched with suspicion by those who have had a spirit of insurrection, and all their actions have been misrepresented by the fault-finding, until honest souls have been drawn into the snare for want of correct knowledge. Those who lead them astray are so affected themselves by blind prejudice, and by rejecting the testimonies God has sent them, that they cannot see or hear aright. It is as difficult to undeceive some of these, who have permitted themselves to be led into rebellion, as it was to convince the rebellious Israelites that they were wrong, and Moses and Aaron were right. Even after God, in a miraculous manner, caused the earth to swallow up Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, the leaders in the rebellion, the people still would have it that Moses and Aaron were wrong, and that they had killed the people of the Lord. The Hebrews were not cured of their rebellion until fourteen thousand and seven hundred of the people had been slain who had joined the rebellious. And then, after all this, God in mercy condescended to perform a remarkable miracle upon the rod of Aaron, to settle their minds forever in regard to the priesthood.4aSG 37.1

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