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"Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow
to anger, and abundant in loving-kindness."—Nehemiah 9:17 .
WHOEVER fails to see that Moses and Israel and the Law were types fails of getting the real lesson out of them. Moses was not merely a type of Jesus; but as St. Peter explains, he was a type of the entire Church of Christ, of which Jesus is the Head—the Church of Glory. St. Peter's words are, "Moses truly said unto the fathers, A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me."—Acts 3:22,23.
Jesus was raised up first, and since Pentecost the raising up from amongst the brethren has progressed. The work will be consummated when the full number of the elect Church shall have been found, tested, proven and accepted to glory. Then the antitypical Moses will begin His great work of delivering all of mankind who desire to come back into harmony with God—all of whom were represented in the twelve tribes of Israel.
The Church of this Gospel Age is, as St. James declares (1:18), "A kind of first-fruits [to God] of His creatures." Otherwise it is called the Church of the First-borns, and was typically represented in the tribe of Levi, all of whom represented the first-borns of Israel, saved in the Passover. These first-borns were divided into two classes—the priests and their servants. The priests represented The Christ—High Priest and under priests. The Levites represented the remaining number of the overcomers.
The antitypical Priests will be made a Royal Priesthood. Jesus, the great High Priest, invested with kingly honors, will have associated with Himself the faithful Little Flock, a Royal Priesthood, His joint-heirs. The remainder of the overcoming Church are colaborers on a less glorious plane, yet spiritual. The work of all will be primarily to bless the people of the earth desiring to come into harmony with God, and typically represented in the remaining tribes of Israel.
The first tables of the Law were prepared by the Lord Himself, as well as written by Him. This represents how man in his creation was a perfect image of his Creator, [R5299 : page 254] formed, created, in full accord with the Divine will and fully expressive of the Divine Law. Adam needed no further preparation, and he needed no other law than that which was in and of himself as a perfect being.
But by reason of sin this Law was broken. Poor humanity no longer has a proper judgment respecting sin and righteousness. The original tables are shattered and have grown illegible. Man needs the great Mediator, to make reconciliation for his iniquity and then to rewrite the Law of God in his flesh.
Moses was instructed to hew out the two tables of the Law. This would represent that The Christ of glory is fully commissioned to prepare the hearts of mankind for the rewriting of the Divine Law. To prepare man to obey God's Law will require that they shall experience Restitution—lifting up out of sin and degradation. This work, committed to Moses in the type, is in the antitype committed to Christ.
The second coming of Moses down from the mountain with the two tables of the Law was peculiarly different from the presentation of the first tables, which were broken. Coming with the second tables, Moses' face shone; and it was necessary for him to put on a veil, which thereafter he wore when in the presence of the Israelites, but removed when going into the presence of God.
This is understood to signify that Christ's work as the Mediator, at His Second Advent, will be accompanied by a veiling of His glory, so that the world will not see Jesus. This He declared, "Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye shall see Me." However, the Apostle explains that the Church will be prepared to see Christ in His glory by being changed from the earthly nature to the Heavenly nature. "We shall see Him as He is"; for "we shall be like Him"—"changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye"; for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God." (I John 3:2; I Cor. 15:50-52.) We remember that Saul of Tarsus saw Jesus thus in His glory "shining above the brightness of the sun" at noonday. Seeing him unveiled, Saul was smitten to the earth and seriously blinded.
The putting on of the veil (Exodus 34:1,4,28-35) represented that at the Second Advent of Christ, when He will accomplish His great work as Mediator for man and become their Leader into the Land of Promise—Paradise restored—He will veil His glory from mankind, and speak to them through the veil, and not directly from the spirit plane. While mankind will see Jesus no more, it will be to their advantage. Instead, they will see Him represented in the Ancient Worthies; as He declared, "Ye shall see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the Prophets."—Luke 13:28.
Nor will that mean that mankind will merely see the Ancient Worthies as they were. Rather, the world will see them resurrected in human perfection, and therefore perfect, in the image of God, samples of what all mankind may attain unto, if they will but give heed to the words of the great Prophet—the antitypical Moses.
St. Peter tells us of that time, saying, "It shall come to pass that the soul that will not hear [obey] that Prophet [The Glorious Messiah] shall be destroyed from amongst the people."—Acts 3:22,23.
The anointing of the priests of the Aaronic priesthood typified the anointing of Jesus and His Royal Priesthood. [R5299 : page 255] As in the type, sacrifices were necessary to be offered before the anointing and consecration to the offices were possible, so it must be in the antitype. Jesus needed to offer up Himself, and by that offer of Himself to show His devotion and loyalty to God by sacrificing even unto death.
Similarly, those called to be members of the Body of Christ, the under priesthood, of which He is the High Priest, could consecrate to their office only by sacrifice. In the case of the typical High Priest the sacrifice was a bullock. The antitype was the Lord's own body. In the case of the typical under priests the sacrifice was the goat. The antitype is the flesh, the human nature of the Church. Thus when St. Paul exhorts the Church in respect to their portion, he says, "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, and your reasonable service."—Rom. 12:1.
The same sacrifices which proved the loyalty of the typical high priest and the under priests became also sacrifices of atonement for the sins of the people—typical of the real sacrifices which are the basis for the forgiveness of the sins of the world and thus for the reconciliation of the world, in God's due time. These are the "better sacrifices," mentioned by St. Paul. (Heb. 9:23.) In other words, everything in the type was on a small scale, inferior to the antitype. The typical mediator offered typical sacrifices. The real Mediator offers "better sacrifices." The typical mediator led the typical tribes of Israel into the Land of Promise. The antitypical Mediator, during the thousand years of His Reign, will lead all who become people of God back to the blessings and privileges lost through Adam's disobedience, and redeemed by the Sacrifice at Calvary.
Our Golden Text describes the God who appeals to our hearts—the merciful One, gracious, ready to pardon, slow to anger, abundant in loving-kindness. It is difficult for us to imagine how much Christians and the world in general have lost through our miserable misconceptions of the character of God, handed down to us through the creeds of the Dark Ages.
The thought that God has been intent upon torturing His creatures at the hands of demons throughout eternity has doubtless been the cause of much of the infidelity now prevalent, as well as a great hindrance to the cause of Christ amongst the heathen. Mankind of today cannot worship and appreciate Brother Calvin's misconception of the Almighty's character. The whole world should breathe freer since our Presbyterian friends have repudiated that feature of Calvin's doctrine which declared all non-elect infants bound for eternal torture.
In the past, God manifested His mercy and kindness in a typical way to the typical people, merely chastening them for sins, but forgiving them, and permitting them to go on and try further. Yet God never fully manifested to the world His Love and Mercy until our Lord's First Advent. Of that great event we read, "Herein is manifested the Love of God toward us, in that He sent His Only Begotten Son into the world," that "whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Up to that time Sin and Death had reigned without cessation for 4,124 years. The sending of His Son was the first expression of God's purpose of forgiveness. But He has not yet forgiven the world's sins. He has only made the proper provision for them through the death of His Son, that the sins of the world may be cancelled in God's own due time. The whole world is still "lying in the Wicked One"—slaves of Sin and Death. The world's hope lies beyond, in the glorious Reign of Messiah's Kingdom. It centers in Him as the antitypical Prophet, Priest and King. Messiah, as the Seed of Abraham, according to the Promise, will bless, uplift and assist back into harmony with God all the willing and obedient of all the families of the earth.
The only work yet done is the calling of the Church to be Messiah's Bride, and joint-heir and co-worker with Him in that glorious Messianic Kingdom, for which we wait and pray, "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in Heaven." In that Kingdom God's Loving-kindness, as well as His Wisdom and Power, will be abundantly witnessed to angels and to men.