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THE record of the institution of the priesthood, the establishment of the tabernacle service, etc., comes after the account of Israel reaching Mt. Sinai—after the account of the mountain quaking and smoking and the terrible sights and sounds referred to by St. Paul (in Hebrews 12:26-28), which, we understand, prefigured the great time of trouble we are expecting, in which society will be shaken and mankind be prepared for the establishment of the Mediatorial Kingdom of Christ under the New Covenant. How shall we understand this fact? How can we harmonize it with the Scriptural thought that our Lord became High Priest more than eighteen centuries ago, when he offered up himself and later as Priest presented his blood on our behalf at the heavenly Mercy Seat; and that since then he has been gathering and sacrificing the body of under-priests, and that he, as the Head and they as the Body, will shortly be revealed as the antitypical Moses, the Mediator of the New Covenant?
We must remind our readers afresh that the various types of the Scriptures do not follow one another in sequential order. Moses assuredly was a type of Christ—Head and Body. (Acts 3:22.) Just as surely Aaron was a type of Christ Jesus, and his sons types of the Church, the Body of Christ, the Royal Priesthood. King Solomon in some respects was a type of Christ. As the rich, the wise, the famous king, his fame was world-wide. Similarly Melchizedek was a type of Christ, in him being blended the kingly and the priestly offices. These types could not all be worked out in one person and at one time; hence we do not so find them. When thinking of Moses as a type of the Mediator between God and men, we should consider him as St. Peter explains, as composed of Head and members, and that God has been raising [R4504 : page 326] him up during this Gospel Age. Our Lord, the Head, first was raised to the plane of glory, honor and immortality. Later all of his faithful ones, sharers in his sacrifice, will be sharers in his Divine nature and glory, and will be raised up with him by a share in his resurrection (Phil. 3:10), "the first resurrection," which includes only the blessed and holy. These, his members, shall live and reign with Christ a thousand years and be unto him and unto the Father kings and priests for the blessing of mankind.—Rev. 20:6.
In considering Moses, the mediator of the Law Covenant, as typical of The Christ, the Mediator of the New Covenant, we should view him from this standpoint—as one Head and many members, just as we would Melchizedek, who represents our Lord, the Head, and the Church, his Body, the Royal Priest of the future. On the contrary, Aaron represents the same great Priest from a different standpoint, because his typical work related to Christ and the Church in the present life only—as a sacrificing priesthood—up to the end of the sacrificial work, the sprinkling of the blood of atonement in the most holy on the Mercy Seat and the inauguration of the new dispensation of glory and blessing. His service, also, in some degree, shows the Millennial work of cleansing humanity from sin and that both the High Priest and the under-priests, his members, will be associated in that work.
Since the two types could not be expressed simultaneously it was every way better that the mediator type and the institution of the Law Covenant, typical of the New Covenant, should precede all sacrificing; yea, precede the appointing and setting apart of the priesthood, even though the active work of the Mediator of the New Covenant cannot begin until the close of this age, when the sacrificing of the "better sacrifices" shall have been completed. Coming first in the record no one who rightly understands the types could misunderstand this to teach that the antitypical Mediator must first come forth and institute the New Covenant, before the antitypical priesthood would come forward and make the sacrifices, the sin-offerings which would make possible the institution of that New Covenant. We have been surprised that anyone could be so blind as not to see that the sacrifice of Christ is the very basis of his work as the Mediator of the New Covenant. Hence he could not be in any sense either a part or all of the antitypical Moses, until after serving as the antitypical Aaron. The correctness of this thought is also borne out by the fact that Aaron was older than Moses.
It follows, then, that those who raised the objection that the Church could not be members of the Body of the Mediator, because the priesthood was not inaugurated until after Moses had mediated and sealed the Law Covenant, put themselves in a very foolish light and show the shallowness of their argument. For if this be an argument against the Church being members of the Mediator's Body, it would be an equally strong argument against our Lord Jesus, the antitypical High Priest, being the Head of that Mediator.
The harmony between the two types is shown in the fact that in the end of the Atonement Day, after Aaron had offered the sacrifice of "the bullock for (instead of) himself" as the sin-offering for his body and his house, the household of faith, and after he had subsequently offered "the Lord's goat" and applied its blood on behalf of all the people, then, as the antitypical Priest, Head and Body, completely clothed in the garments illustrative of his authority and power, he was accompanied by Moses, the mediator, to the altar.
"Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of Jehovah appeared unto all the people."—Lev. 9:23.