I N TYPE
ADAM TO DAVID
" Testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. "
ELDER DAVID BARTLEY,
"DEATH IN ADAM-LIFE IN CHRIST;"
"MAN REDEEMED FROM SIN AND DEATH."
" FAITH AGAINST INFIDELITY;" "EARLY RELIGIOUS LIFE;"
"THE PRIEST HOOD OF THE HOLY SON OF GOD. "
A. D. 1905.
TO the, children of Eve, whose Son should bruise the head of the serpent; to the children of Abraham, who said, "My son, God will provide himself a Lamb for a burnt offering;" to the children of Light, who "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world;" to "the children of God by Faith in Christ Jesus:" to the brethren of the Man who is the First-born Brother from the dead, this offering of Faith and Hope and Love in the Living and Loving Son of man, who is in the presence of God for us, is affectionately inscribed and commended with the fervent prayer that our Father will bless you and it.
WHEN the work on the Priesthood of God's Anointed was written, I believed it was the last book I should write. This belief abided with me until three days ago, when I was made willing to write the things, which the Lord had shown unto me.
It was in this way: At the home of brother G. M. Hite, in the city of Nashville, I retired Saturday night, October 14, 1905, and was given a refreshing sleep until midnight, when I awoke with a comforting realization that "The Lord is good," and for three hours my wakeful spirit was shown wonderful things in the holy Scriptures, and I was led out to behold divine visions or views of illustrious persons in the Bible, men whom God in his infinite wisdom and goodness was pleased to raise up and ordain as great leaders and examples in their lives and characters, to fulfill his holy purpose. The first and chiefest of these was the Man of God's right hand, whom he made strong for himself; the Child that was born unto us, the Son that was given unto us, whose very name is "Wonderful," the Man Christ Jesus, the one Mediator between God and men. In his names and Person, offices and work, life and death, he was at once spotless and perfect, wonderful and glorious. Not only was he the complete embodiment of sinless Manhood, but as well the brightness of God's glory and the express image of his Person in his own lovely Person. He was the least of all, yet the greatest of all. He came into the world and the kingdom of God as a little infant in the arms of his blessed mother, and at the same time lie was equal with God. In vision the holy child Jesus was shown to me in the manger, in the temple of God, in the Jordan, in the wilderness, on the holy mount of transfiguration with Moses and Elijah, on the cross, in the tomb, and upon his Father's throne of glory in holy Heaven.
After this inspiring view of the heavenly Man, then it was given me to see other very remarkable persons in the Bible record, whom God ordained to go before Christ, as types of him, to prefigure his coming to earth in the flesh in the fullness of God's time, and to represent or personate Christ in his wonderful official work, his humiliation, his atoning sufferings and death, his resurrection and ascension to glory, as the Redeemer and Savior of his people from their sins. But no man was sufficient to be a full type of the Man whom God made higher than the heavens, his Anointed and Holy One. Therefore God was pleased to raise up a number of notable men, before he sent forth his Son, and make them in their appointed sphere and way figures and sure pledges to his chosen people that the Redeemer should come to Zion, having salvation In his wisdom and love God did this for the comfort of his afflicted people.
In vision this was blessedly shown to me, and there passed in review before me typical persons of the Old Testament, one after another, all testifying of Christ, as all the Scriptures do: Adam, Melchisedec, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Aaron, Jonah Boaz and David. The view that was given of all these typical men was so wonderful that I longed to show it to the faithful in Christ, that they might also be glad arid rejoice in the wonderful revelation that God has mercifully givers us of his Son. My thought then was to speak upon this theme in our meeting that day, if it was the will of the Lord. But it was not, and my mind was turned to another subject. It was made evident tome that several discourses would not be enough to set: forth the meaning of those personal types of the holy Son of man. Then the impression came forcibly upon me to write the things which had been shown to me of the Lord, and I am made to feel that it is a labor of faith and love which the Lord has laid upon me, and trusting that he will so enable me to his declarative glory, I obey.
It is all a new and wonderful experience to me, as 1 am nearing four score years, my health very infirm, and I have felt that my gospel ministry of fifty-one years is near its close. I am in the hand of the Lord, to do with me as seemeth him good.
October 17th, 1905.
THE name Adam belongs to all the race of men, and its simple meaning is, of the ground. "The first man is of the earth, earthy," says the Scripture. Moses thus records the creation and dominion of Adam: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and overall the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. "In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; male and female created he them; and blessed them; and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created."
This inspired testimony reveals two very wonderful facts; that is, that both the Creator and creature are one and yet two; and that in the likeness of the LORD God made he man. This wonderful truth runs through all the Bible. Adam and Eve were two; yet in life and nature and name they two were one. God thus made them, joined them together and made them one. Of these two-one, the husband and the wife, Paul truly says: "This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church." Most truly, then, as Adam and Eve were one, so Christ and the church are one; for God himself joined them together. This mystery of God's hidden wisdom is hid from the world, but made known to his Saints.
Now, in this great mystery of godliness is revealed the meaning of the wonderful words of God: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." God thus spoke to the Word, who was in the beginning with God; and was God. "All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made." And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us; (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father;) full of grace and truth." This testimony of John is also given by Paul in Hebrews: "God hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the, express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." These Scriptures plainly show in what sense God made man in his own image and likeness, and that it was after the image of the Word, the Son of God, the Man Christ Jesus, who is the express image of God's person. God has no personality, only the person of his Son. God is a Spirit and is invisible, and so Adam was not made in the likeness of the eternal Godhead, but he was the image of the heavenly Man, Christ Jesus, the Son of man. Of him Paul said: "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. " Thus the Son of God was both in the likeness of God and in the likeness of Adam, and so he was equal with both God and man. "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." Yet he dwelt in the bosom of God the Father. "And the Word was God." For all his people, Jesus, our Advocate with the Father, prayed, saying: "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us." This oneness Paul thus affirms: "For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee." This oneness and equality of Christ with God and with the church truly qualified him to be the complete and only Mediator between them. Paul thus declares this truth: "For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time." Because Jesus mediates between God and men, he brings them together in oneness.
These wonderful testimonies of the Scriptures reveal to us the truth that God made Adam in the image and likeness of his beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul expressly declares this in Romans five, saying: "Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come." The figure or image of the Man Christ Jesus. This figure Adam is. No other man is called the figure of Christ, although others were also types of him, but not in the pre-eminent way that Adam is.
It will instruct and comfort us to trace in the Scriptures this likeness of Adam to Christ. The first is, God gave Adam dominion over all the earth, and put all things under his feet. In this Adam is a noble figure of the second Man, the Lord from heaven. To no other man has God ever given this dominion, authority and honor. This entire dominion, power and glory is perfectly fulfilled in the last Adam, to whom God said: "Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. "
When the risen Jesus had put death under his feet, he came to his disciples and said: "All power is given unto me 'in heaven and in earth." Paul speaks of the working of God's mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the Head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all." This is the glorious antitype of Adam.
Adam is the head of Eve and all her children. In this he is the figure of Christ. Paul says: "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the Head of the church: and he is the Savior of the body. " It is in this oneness of the head and the body, the husband and the wife, that Adam is specially the figure of him that was to come. "And Adam said: This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." In life and nature and name they two were truly one. Yea, also, in estate, whether of goodness or woe, life or death, they were one. Neither life nor death could separate Adam and Eve. When she sinned, and death passed upon her, it behooved him to partake with her and suffer and die with her and for her. Life and Love united them. God had made them one. How touchingly they are the figures of Christ and the church: "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." Paul. In this Christ is infinitely greater than Adam. For the first Adam could only die with Eve, and remain with her under sin and death, but the last Adam had power both to lay down his life, and had power to take it up again. He said: "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." This is most wonderful and glorious. To no other man or being did God give this power. Power here means, lawful and rightful authority. "There is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother." "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends," said our heavenly Friend to us. This wonderful Man is the Head and Husband of his Bride. "He that hath the bride is the Bridegroom, said John the Baptist, the friend of Jesus. It was only because of this union or oneness, a unity in life and substance, in name and interest, between the Bridegroom and his bride, that Jesus had the power to lay down his righteous life for the church. In all things Christ and the church and all her members or children are one; therefore he loved the church, which is his body and fullness, and gave himself for it.
In this oneness with his bride and love for her, which sin nor guilt nor death could sever, Adam is a beautiful and wonderful figure of our heavenly Bridegroom. Paul says that Adam was not deceived; but Eve had been deceived and had sinned unto death. In every dear and sacred way they were still one, and this bond of life and love behooved him to give himself and his life for her. So he willingly partook of her sin, and went down into death with her. Thus far Adam is a figure of Christ, and Eve is a figure of the church.
0 how pathetic is their betrothal and oneness under the law of sin and death! Let us go with them to lovely Eden, and view them in their innocence as God put them there, and said of all his work that he had created and made that "It was very good." In perfect wisdom and goodness God made all his work, and ordained it unto his own glory. In all his great and wonderful work which the LORD God created and made, there was not the least mistake or blunder. Wisdom and Knowledge, Counsel and Purpose were with him, and presided over all his manifold works. Not only do his perfect attributes establish the certainty of all this, but the Holy Scriptures fully testify that it is so. Believing this truth, we in spirit go back to Eden, from whence we were driven out. Here we look, behold with wonder and read: "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them." But, lo, the man is there alone in his beautiful paradise! How strange this is to us. As we gaze in wonder and surprise at this, our vision is raised to heaven, and with still greater wonder we behold in the paradise of God a glorious One, and he speaks and says: "The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth; while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there; when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment; when he appointed the foundations of the earth; then I was by him, as one brought up with him; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights, were with the sons of men." We look to behold the objects of his delights, but our vision sees only him with the omnipotent Maker. Seeking light, we read again: "My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them." So God clearly saw from the dateless beginning that which we could not see. Again we read: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. * * And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. " To the church in Christ Paul said: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. " In spirit we are now carried up to Christ in heaven; and, behold, the bride, the Lamb's wife, was there in him in her spiritual substance before the world was, before God made Adam, who is the figure of Christ. And certainly the figure could not exist before its substance. Just before he died, the Son of God asked his Father to glorify him with the glory, which he had with him before the world was.
Our vision now beholds wonderful Eden again; and, lo, the voice of God says: "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. " God had raised Adam up out of his deep sleep; and now, behold, Eve stood by his side! spotless and fair, and Adam was blessed and happy in her, and could well say, as the divine Bridegroom said, "Thou art all fair, my love:" "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh." 0 lovely bride and bridegroom! Blessed of God, your Maker. His hands made and fashioned you. And he made you lovely types of the wonderful Bridegroom of heaven, his beloved Son and his bride.
Oh! With amazement and sorrow, we see the scene all changed in Eden, and in vision we follow the man and his wife, as hand in hand, with bowed heads and tear stained faces, they slowly turn away from lost Eden, and go forth to till the ground and eat their bread in sorrow, until their mother Earth received them into her bosom. For they sadly know now that their darkened way surely leads them down, down to death. Oh! How dreadful the word DEATH ! Why must it be so? Did not God bless them? Did he not pronounce all that he had made "very good?' Has his beneficence and goodness failed? Does he hate this yet lovely pair that he had blessed? All is fearfully dark, and seems against them and lost. Looking back to Eden, with terror they see that the fiery cherubim and a flaming sword guard the tree of life, and the weeping man and woman flee away. Blind unbelief would say, that God himself was defeated and all his grand purpose was a woeful failure.
But 0, look and wonder again at penitent Adam and Eve! for they are clothed with the seamless skins of innocent animals, whose blood and life have been taken; and their Maker himself has wrought their robes and put them upon them. Yea, also, they hear him say to the beguiling serpent: "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
This decree of God is absolute, and it must be accomplished. God himself put this enmity between the woman and the serpent, the devil, and between her seed and his seed. Here in type is Christ and the church, the seed of the woman, for they are all born of woman, and are all partakers of flesh and blood, both the Son of God and all the children of God. The devil and his seed of evildoers all hate and persecute the woman, the church, and her Son and children. And so in their flesh they must all be bruised, suffer and die, even as Adam and Eve and all their children must die because of sin. So of Christ and the children God gave him it is written: "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."
Thus the purpose of God is unfolded by the solemn events in Eden, and his infinite goodness and the exceeding riches of his mercy are made known. All was as he purposed. God made the subtil serpent; he planted the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the garden, and gave the command to Adam not to eat of it, and made the penalty of disobedience death. He then caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, took a rib from his side, near his heart, made woman, the companion and help meet of man, and brought her to Adam. She was beguiled by the serpent to eat and sin. This brought Adam down under the law of God that he might die with her. All was thus fixed and sure, and resulted in the determined end. In this wonderful way God made Adam the figure of the Christ-Man, whom God had verily foreordained to come into the world and die for the church, his bride and body. Neither Adam nor Christ were deceived, but the bride of each were deceived, and were in the transgression. But the sin and death of these two brides brought the head and husband and life of each one down into death with them. God ordained that it should be so. In this way God and his Christ were to be glorified, and heaven was to be filled with the happy people saved by the Lord.
It was not possible for almighty Power, guided by infinite Wisdom and Love, to be at fault or err; therefore every thing that God created and made was according to his perfect counsel and eternal purpose, and was very good, and his purpose was fulfilled in all the deeply solemn events of Eden, and not the least thing in all the counsel of God failed. To say it did, and that God would have had it different, would be to charge him with both weakness and folly. None that fear God will do this, but all who thus do are themselves irreverent, ignorant and foolish. "The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom." They have not this wisdom.
In this fear and wisdom, let us now again look upon a profoundly wonderful event in Eden, in which Adam is the figure of him that was to come. With awe and deep amazement and sorrow we behold him prostrate as one dead, his eyes closed and the life-blood flowing from his wounded side. While we look and weep, that the life of this lovely man should end so early, our sorrow is turned into astonished joy; for the lonely Adam not only revives and lives again, but out of his wounded side, lo, there is with him a living and loving bride, most beautiful and lovely to behold! The bridegroom rejoices over his bride. They now both live a new life. To him Eden is all the more beautiful because she is there to enjoy it with him. 0 how blessed and good is the work of God! So far from complaining at his deep sleep and suffering, without which there had been no living and happy help meet with him, Adam the more adores and praises God for all his great and marvelous works, and Eve joins in the praise.
How touchingly wonderful is this type! Our faith beholds in it the beloved Son of God, the devoted Bridegroom of heaven, wounded and bleeding; then in a deep sleep, out of which God raises him up; and, 0 wonder of wonders! out of his wounded side there arises with him the happy queen of heaven, the living and glorious church of the First-born from the dead! The word is fulfilled that says, "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." The lovely Man of sorrow said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." He spoke this of himself and the church, for it should come forth with him out of death, a living, spotless church. "It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him," says Paul to us. Death is first, and out of the death of Christ, and our death unto sin with him, there arises a living Christ and living church, a glorious Bridegroom and his bride, and they two are one. This is God's own way. Out of it there arises an exceeding and eternal weight of glory. The infinite wisdom and love of God only ordained this way, and his almighty power fulfilled it. The unbelieving world fights against it; but saints and angels will love and praise him forever for it.
Adam and Eve shall be with the church in that new song of joyful praise; for God himself made the atoning sacrifice and clothed them with salvation. We shall never cease to behold and admire with joyful wonder this figure that God gave us, with its spiritual and heavenly antitype. Upon the first Adam, who was alone in Eden, he causes a deep sleep, symbol of death, to fall. Then God awakes Adam and raises him up, and wonderful to tell, his fair and lovely Eve is with him in beautiful Eden! From Eden we look away to the beautiful paradise of God to see the meaning of this picture, and with joyful praise to God we see the last Adam and his heavenly queen.
Now the vision changes, and, alas! The husband and the wife are going down from Eden to the dark tomb! For her sake he must die with her; for she is life of his life, bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh. Her sin and woe and death are his, because she is his and he is hers. In life they two are one, and .in death they are one. As yet all their countless children are unborn; so they, too, are one with them in sin and death. All is lost! not only Eden and its innocent joys, but themselves as well, their life, their all is lost! This is the dark picture or figure.
The vision changes now, and angels and men are filled with adoring wonder: A child is born in Bethlehem; and behold, he came down from heaven! And God was his Father! This is the last Adam. But Oh, he is under the law, and is bruised and persecuted, afflicted and sorrowful. He calls a little flock to follow him, but they, too, are under the law and its curse, are sorrowful and poor. He teaches them that the kingdom of heaven is near, when the Bridegroom shall enter into it with his bride; but it had not come yet. He says that he will build his church upon the living Rock, But he sorrowfully assures them again, and again, that he must first suffer and die, and thus do the will of his Father; that for this cause he came down from heaven, and came into the world; and that only in this ordained way could he enter into his glory, and redeem his bride, the church, and present her unto himself and to his Father in glory. His Father gave him the commandment to lay down his life that he might take it up again. The people that God had given Christ, who should be the members of his body and of his flesh and of his bones, as Eve was of Adam, were all sinful and guilty under the curse of the holy law of God, as was Eve and her children. Yet they were the people of his choice and the objects of his love. They were in the world, yet they were his own, and he loved them unto the end. He said to his sorrowing disciples, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." And all his beloved people were to be his bosom friends forever in the perfect love of his Father, who also loved them as he loved his Son.
The love of Adam for his sinful Eve was strong and beautiful, and so he gave his life for her; but the love of Christ for the church far surpassed all finite love. The bond that made him one with his people is infinitely near and dear, and it is divine and heavenly. God made them one. This Beloved says to his bride, "And. I will betroth thee unto me forever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord." In the deathless bonds of this holy betrothal, he says, "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: 0 death, I will be thy plagues: 0 grave, I will be thy destruction."
0 sorrowful hour! Satan bruises the heel of the Son of the woman, and in the body of his flesh the last Adam, the only hope of Eve and her sorrowing children, goes down into death and the grave closes over him. His sorrow had been exceeding great, but his love to his Father and his brethren was greater. "In his love and in his pity he redeemed them."
Through Satan beguiling Eve, the first Adam and all his race or people must follow them down into death. And now, because of sin, the last Man is dead. This is the end of the law. Satan sought to defeat the counsel and work of God. He spoiled the happiness of Eden and it was lost. This last deadly enmity is aimed to destroy heaven and shut all people out of it. Sin and death and the grave seem indeed to have the victory. All now turns upon whether the last Adam, the Man of the cross, shall awake and rise up again, to die no more. For unless he has bruised the serpent's head, destroyed the devil, that had the power of death, made an end of sin, abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the power of an endless life, then hopeless infidelity obtains, and there shall be no redeemed gospel church with him on earth, clothed with his salvation as his loving bride, to rejoice in his name, and no glorified church in heaven. If he rises not, then sin has dominion over all, heaven is void and all are perished. This is the claim and boast of black infidelity. So the resurrection of Christ in the power and glory of his new and holy life is the salvation of his people, the birth of the gospel church, the bride, the Lamb's wife, the ushering in of the new covenant and the new heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleth everlasting righteousness. All this is gloriously fulfilled in the Son of the woman. The death of the Bridegroom gives life to his bride, and she glorifies him.
"It is finished," cried the dying Man on the cross. "Finished," sin and death; "finished," justice and the law; "finished," redemption and righteousness; "finished," the devil and the power of darkness; "finished," the suffering and the warfare; "finished," the covenant with death and the league with hell; "finished," the debt and the bondage; "finished," the cup of woe and the baptism of death; "finished, "the sting of death and the victory of the grave; "finished, " the night and the darkness; yea, "finished," the way to the tree of life and into heaven! All hail to conquering Jesus! "Glory to God in the highest!" "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony." "Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me. Write, Blessed are they, which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God."
Of the risen Christ and his apostles Luke says, "And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy." In vision we now are with John on Patmos, who saw Jesus in heaven, and says, "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." "And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. * * * And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. "
The above is the beautiful mount Sion, the gospel church that Christ said he would build. It is not earthly, nor worldly, nor legal, for it is not under the law; but it comes down from God out of heaven, and is spiritual, holy and heavenly, and is the bride, the Lamb's wife. He, the Head and the Husband, came down from heaven; his doctrine is the doctrine of God; his ordinances and order are heavenly; his brethren are all born of God, and the heavenly Jerusalem is their mother, and his words are spirit and life. The church of Christ was not manifested under the law and the old covenant, but he built it under the gospel of salvation and the new covenant of life and peace. It was first organized and built and adorned as a bride for her husband on the day of Pentecost, when the apostles were endued with power from on high. "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." "The number of the names together were about an hundred and twenty." After the resurrection of Christ, and before he ascended up to heaven, being assembled together with his disciples, he "commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. * * Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
This baptism of the church of Christ by the Holy Spirit was divinely glorious and blessed. She was now anointed and illuminated, and was clothed with salvation and adorned with the robe of righteousness, her glorious wedding dress. This church was shown to John by an angel, who came and said to him, "Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain; and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God," &c. As shown to John it is a glorious and heavenly city, having no need of any wordly light. "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it. * * And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." And now, most wonderful and glorious, the angel showed John in this city of God, "a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life." 0 praise the Lord! the flaming sword was not there, to smite the one who would eat of the tree of life, as it was in lost Eden. For the Man who is the equal of the Lord of hosts had fought the fearful battle with death, and had been cut down by the sword that awoke against him; but 0, all glory to his precious name! he had taken the sword away from his church, and had planted the tree of life in the midst of the holy city. "And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: and they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads." And now, Jesus, who over came for us, says, "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."
Now, turning to Paul, who writes of Adam and of the Man of whom he is the figure, comparing them, we read: "But not as the offence so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation: even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one mm's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteousness."
How strong and unconditional and absolutely sure this doctrine is! It is the imputation of sin unto the condemnation of death by the first man, and the imputation of righteousness unto the justification of life by the last Man, by virtue of the close relationship of each one of these two public heads to their respective bodies or families or people, as has been shown in these pages. By the offence of Adam judgment came upon all men in him to Condemnation of death; and even so by the righteousness of Christ the free, gift of God's grace came upon all men in him unto justification of life. The disobedience of Adam brought all his people down into sin and death with him, and they could do nothing to bring them back into life. His death was theirs in him, and for all men in him there is no possible escape. Just so, the obedience of Christ for all his people shall bring all men in him up out of sin and death into holiness and life with him, and it is not possible for one of them to perish. Christ's righteous life is theirs in him, and to them he says, "Because I live, ye shall live also," The bodes either dies with its head, or lives with its head This shows that Adam is truly a great figure of Christ. And God has thus shown to his people in a clear strong light both his justice and his Grace. He has here shown them also that there is not the least condition on their part in their salvation, but that it is entirely "the gift by grace," and "the free gift." "For since by man came death, by Man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." The all in Adam die because they are in him. and their life is his dying life. On the other hand, all in Christ shall be made alive because they are in him, and his eternal life is theirs in him by gift of his Father.
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have born the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly."
Melchisedec in some very special things is the most peculiar of all the typical men who represented the Son of God, and in those respects he stands alone among the types of Christ. He was made like unto the Son of God as none of the others were; therefore the types would not be complete without Melchisedec. In this is shown the perfect wisdom of God.
Melchisedec is both peculiar and wonderful. He was verily a man, a Son of woman, but no other man ever bore his name, so sacred is it. By interpretation this name means, "King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is King of peace; without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually." Thus it was as a priest that Melchisedec was without descent, or father or mother in his priestly office, and had neither beginning of days, nor end of life; for he was a priest for ever and ever, And not only this wonderful priest was he, for he was likewise King of righteousness, and also King of Salem, that is, King of peace. Salem is Jerusalem, the holy Mount Zion, City of God. So this man was a twofold King: first, King of righteousness, then King of peace. In this kingly office and glory Melchisedec personated the Anointed Man Christ Jesus, God's righteous King, of whom he said, "Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion. "
It is very wonderful and blessed that a man should be made King of righteousness, and of peace, and also Priest of the most high God, and should reign in righteousness, and so make all his kingly and priestly people righteous and holy, and bless them with everlasting peace. This blessedly shows us that our King upon the holy hill of Zion shall subdue and destroy all the enemies of his kingdom and people, both their outward and inward foes and that they shall be with him an holy priesthood unto God, to praise him in glory for ever.
"And Melchisedec King of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he (Abram) "gave him tithes of all. " Gen. xiv. "And this stone which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee:"
This is the only time that Melchisedec appeared in the Bible, and his blessing Abram is his only recorded official act as the priest of the most high God. He appeared but once on earth, in Salem, and made but one offering, the offering of himself unto God as his priest, and the fulfillment of his priestly office was to bless Abraham in the name of God and for him. Abraham was the friend of God, the father of all the chosen and faithful people of God on earth, and in this blessing of God upon Abraham by this wonderful priest all the seed of Abraham, all that are Christ's, in all the families of the earth, were blessed. This is God's own blessing. It is special and sacred and for ever. For this he raised up, appointed and consecrated Melchisedec, king of righteousness, king of Salem or peace, priest of the most high God for ever, and made him like unto the Son of God, to abide a priest continually. Thus the priesthood of Melchisedec was unto God himself, for he acted Godward, for God, and brought down the blessing of God to his family in the person of Abraham. To no other man as priest did God give this divine honor and excellence. No other priest thus personated Christ, or was made like him. Aaron acted for and represented his brethren as their high priest; but Melchisedec represented God and acted for him and in God's stead. Aaron had authority and power with men; but Melchisedec had authority and power with God. Aaron was made priest without the oath of God, after the law of a carnal commandment, and was not suffered to continue as priest by reason of death; but Melchisedec as king and priest was made like unto the Son of God, who was made priest with the oath of God, after the power of an endless life, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
How wonderful was Melchisedec! Of him the Scripture says, "Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils." This man blessed Abraham, who had the promise of God. And the less is blessed of the greater and better. The blessing of this priest is, therefore, the blessing of God himself. He spoke the words of God in blessing Abraham; and to him the father of the faithful paid tithes as unto God. How sacredly and blessedly he personated God's own eternal High Priest! He also is alone in his holy priesthood, and is Priest unto God forever. Therefore his priesthood is unchangeable. And so, too, he was King of righteousness, and also King of peace; for he made peace by the blood of his cross, having slain the enmity thereby.
And, through his priesthood and righteous reign upon his throne, the people of God shall be all righteous, and shall worship him in true holiness, Yea, he will make a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Then, as it was at Salem, which is Jerusalem, that this wonderful priest of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth, the God of Abraham, met and blessed him; so also, it was there that the Son of God himself made his priestly offering unto God, and on God's behalf blessed all his people. And how true it is, that as all the house of Israel paid tithes to Melchisedec in Abraham, and thus honored him as greater than Abraham and as before him, so truly shall all the house of God bring praise and honor and glory to the divine Man, who was made God's High Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
As a type of the incarnate Son of God, who was verily a Man in the flesh, none but Melchisedec did God ever make both king and priest. No high priest of the order of Aaron could be a king upon the throne of David; and not David himself could officiate in the priest's office. Yet the Son of God, the Son of Mary, reigns in Zion upon the throne of David, and as High Priest he entered into the Holy of holies and appeared in the very presence of God.
From Abraham to David, and from David to Malichi, they would read in the Scriptures that Melchisedec, both a king and priest, once appeared at Salem, and so truly personated the most high God that he blessed the great patriarch Abraham, the father of the faithful, and they would by faith look and hope for the glorious realization of this blessing of God. Here was the promise that a wonderful Man should come to Zion, and should be both King and Priest of the most high God; that he should put away sin and establish righteousness, and that in him should God bless all the children of Abraham, all the nations and families of the earth. 0 how this would inspire the faithful among them, who feared God, with hope and patient endurance. For it assured them that as God had sent this king and priest and blessed Abraham, so he was their God, the possessor of heaven and earth, and that he would himself come down to them upon mount Zion in the person of a wonderful Man, like unto Melchisedec, and through this King and Priest they should be blessed.
Thus inspired and moved, "the sweet Psalmist of Israel" poured forth his soul in psalm and said: "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy `footstool, The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning" (morning of his resurrection) : "thou hast the dew of thy youth. The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." 'Prophets were raised up and sent to Israel, from time to time, who foretold that this King and Priest should come at the time appointed in the counsel of God, and that he should magnify his holy office and fulfill all the will of God. When Daniel the prophet had prayed to God for his people Israel, the angel Gabriel flew swiftly and touched him, and said, "I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint' the most Holy. " God had thus determined, and so it should be accomplished. It was very wonderful and solemn and blessed. Gabriel further said to Daniel, "And after three score and two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself."
Finally, the Lord sent Malachi, the last of the prophets, and proclaimed: "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LoRD of hosts." This truly came to pass, and John the Baptist was sent before the Messiah, who came to his temple in Jerusalem and was cut off, as Gabriel foretold, and as the four evangelists have recorded the wonderful fulfillment.
The churches of Judea were Hebrews, Jews, even the church in Jerusalem, who had been brought up under the ministry of the Levitical priesthood and the ceremoniel law of Moses, to which they were wedded and devoted. They were therefore far more familiar with the order of the priesthood of Aaron than they were with the priesthood of the Son of God, who was a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Indeed, they did not understand the ancient, and far away Melchisedec and the order of his mysterious priesthood. But with the priesthood of Aaron they were familiar, and it seemed to them suitable and was congenial to the legal bias of their minds and hearts, for it was their home-born religion and mode of worship. Why, then, should they entirely give it up and turn away from it ? Had not God himself given it to them upon Sinai by his servant Moses, and commanded them 'to walk in all his judgments and statutes and do them? And was not Aaron the brother of Moses and God's own ordained priest? Was not the law of Moses a good moral code and correct rule of conduct and of life? Did it not separate and distinguish them from the ungodly and profane? Yea, was not Christ himself, in whom they believed, a Jew, and did he not keep the law? Why, then, should they wholly give it up, and depend entirely upon the mercy and grace of God in the gospel of Christ? This was hard for them to do, and it seemed an uncalled for sacrifice. For they prided themselves that they were of the family of the great Abraham, the Hebrew, and the people of the covenant that God made with him, and established it with Moses. Their advantages in the law were many, and so they felt that they were more favored and really better than ungodly sinners, as the Gentiles were. It seemed to them, therefore, right to observe Moses and honor him, as well as Jesus. James and the other apostles in Jerusalem and the church, with the other Jewish churches, were of this sentiment, doubtless. It was a serious legal prejudice and a blinding error; for it led them to still cleave to the works of the law in part, while professing to believe in the grace of the gospel. So it was an effort to unite the law of Moses with the gospel of Jesus. This is the sentiment and position of most of the professed gospel churches in the world until this day. In all their houses of worship every Sabbath day or Sunday Moses is taught.
During the time of this prevailing legal sentiment of the Hebrew saints, it pleased the Lord to call Paul, the learned doctor of the law and zealous Pharisee in the Jew's religion, to be the last and least of the apostles, yet the greatest and chiefest, and to send him to Jerusalem, that he might see and know how legal leaven or doctrine prevailed among the Hebrew brethren.
"And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry. And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of the Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: and they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs." Paul did not deny this that they had heard of him, but it showed him how blinding and bitter was this legal doctrine among the brethren, for it incensed them against him, and he painfully saw how far short they had fallen from the true grace of Christ, and were not standing fast in the liberty where with Christ had made them free from the bondage of the law, no less than from the dominion of sin.
Paul knew the law in its letter and power better than any of the apostles, and he had been more exceedingly zealous for its strict observance; but he also knew the far more exceeding riches of the grace of God in Christ Jesus. All those things in the law of works were as dross to gold in comparison with Christ and the gospel of his grace. Paul said: "For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God." Thus the Lord had cut him off from the law for ever. God had called him by his grace, and revealed his Son in him. To Saul the Pharisee this was a wonderful revelation of the way of salvation. It gave him to see that the fullness of Moses and the prophets, of Aaron and the priesthood, the very perfection of the law, the fullness of righteousness and of grace and truth, even the fullness of God and the perfection of his children, all fullness is in Christ Jesus.
All this the exalted Head of the church fully prepared and qualified Paul to teach and preach, and made him preeminently the Apostle of his Grace, and the Minister of the new covenant and of the perfect priesthood. The Lord then inspired Paul to write The Epistle to the Hebrews, withholding his name, because they had a legal prejudice against him. In it the Holy Spirit has revealed to us more fully and gloriously the perfection and power of the everlasting Priesthood of the Man Christ Jesus, God's Anointed High Priest, than in any book of the Bible. It is the only one of the sacred books devoted entirely to the covenants and the priesthoods under them. No other inspired Scriptures so fully show in contrast the faultiness of the old covenant, and the perfection of the new covenant. No other so wondrously reveals the greater honor and glory of Christ, the Son of God, over Moses, the servant of God. No other so beautifully and blessedly makes known the infinite superiority of the priesthood after the order of Melchisedec over the order of Aaron's priesthood. A great need was upon the Hebrew believers in Christ, to turn them from the formal and showy priesthood that made nothing perfect, but was perishing with its own burdens and failures, to the perfect and abiding priesthood of the Son of God, the Christ, whom they had confessed as their Savior and Master. The Lord therefore gave them, and us, this great and wonderful epistle.
Paul believed they were brethren in Christ, and thus appealed to them: "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this Man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses." Moses was faithful in all his house, as a servant, but Christ was faithful, as a SON, over his own house. Yet Moses was greater than Aaron and the priesthood; for the law was given by Moses, and he was the mediator and leader of the priesthood and all the people. But Moses and Aaron, the priesthood and all the people under the law of Moses, were inferior to their great patriarch Abraham.
The faithful minister of Christ then leads the brethren far back to the time of Abraham, before Moses and the law, before Aaron and his priesthood, and says: "For this Melchisedec, King of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; to whom also Abraham gave a tenth of all. * Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils." He then shows them that Melchisedec was not descended from the family of Levi, who as priests received tithes of their brethren; yet Levi paid tithes in Abraham to Melchisedec, who blessed him that had the promises. "And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better." Thus clearly Paul shows that Melchisedec was greater than Abraham and all in him, and his priesthood was far better than the priesthood of Levi and Aaron.
"If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. * * * For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (for those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) by so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death. But this Man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens."
This is our exalted and glorious High Priest. His work is perfect, and his priesthood has no end, because he lives for ever. Like Melchisedec, he made but one offering as Priest of the most high God. And having offered himself up unto God, he then blessed all the family of God in Abraham, and passed from earth into heaven. Melchisedec brought forth bread and wine, and gave to Abraham, and blessed him. Likewise our holy Priest unto God took bread and wine, symbols of his body and blood, and blessed them, and gave them to his Father's children. Thus he gave himself to God for us, and so bestowed upon us the blessing of God. All glory to his name! God was well pleased for his righteousness' sake, and accepted him and his offering, and accepted and blessed us in our Priest, as he blessed Abraham in the priest Melchisedec.
How blessed it is for us, that God first gave us Melchisedec, both priest and king, before he gave to Israel the priesthood of Aaron and the law of that priesthood, How dreadful it would be for us, if God had not given us another High Priest, after the order of Melchisedec, and a better testament or covenant than that of Moses and Aaron. Then, what weakness and folly it is for us to seek to mix the conditions of the old covenant with the free gift and grace of the new covenant. It is the folly of trying to better that which is perfect in itself by adding to it that which God said was faulty and made nothing perfect. It was this legal blindness of the Jewish believers in Christ that moved Paul to write the blessed Hebrew epistle, and the one to the churches of Galatia. To them he said, "0 foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you?" He says the same things now. O let us, who are partakers of the heavenly calling, "consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus."
Let us consider why Melchisedec, a glorious type of the Son of God, was made like him in his twofold office of priest unto God and king of righteousness and peace. For in these respects he was the only man that personated the Christ-Man. As such Melchisedec stands out as a bright light in the spiritual heavens, a sure promise that the glorious Sun of Righteousness should arise unto all that feared God with healing and blessing in his wings of peace.
First. A successful priest must have power with God and be in God's stead, personating and acting for God, so that his offering is the perfect offering of God in the person of his priest. This only could magnify the holy law and fulfill all righteousness. Aaron, the high priest of Israel, nor all his sons, could do this, for they were sinful. But this virtue, excellence and perfection was in Melchisedec and his one offering as made like unto the Son of God.
Second. The priest and his offering being perfect and accepted with God, law and justice are satisfied, the curse is removed, the blessing of righteousness upon Abraham and all the family of God is bestowed once and forever. In Abraham stood Moses and Aaron, Levi and the priests, the house of Israel and all the household of God, the people of his covenant with Abraham. Therefore, Moses, the law giver, Aaron and all the people of that legal priesthood, must turn away from it, look through it and above it, and look to the one righteous and all-satisfying offering of Melchisedec, type of the Son of God, and its fulfillment in the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, for their righteousness and acceptance and the blessing of God. In this view, they were no better than Gentile sinners, as Paul proves in the third chapter of Romans. None knew this solemn truth better than Moses himself, that neither his law, nor Aaron's priestly offerings could take away their sins, nor make them righteous.
Third. The offering of God's Priest having fulfilled all righteousness, he now has the power to sit down upon the kingly throne, and reign over the kingdom in righteousness. No other man as king ever thus reigned. But our High Priest and King, having made an end of sin, and God having put all things under his feet, he now reigns gloriously in Zion, makes all her children righteous, gives them peace, and crowns her with the blessing of God, "even life for evermore." Melchisedec thus blessed Abraham with the blessing of God. The Lord by Isaiah said: "And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places."
Fourth. All this shows us how necessary it was that God's own High Priest must also be the King upon his glorious high throne upon the holy hill of Zion; for he must not only put down all the enemies of righteousness, but he must also make his people willing in the day of his power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning-the morning of his resurrection, when the night of death was ended, and he brought life and immortality to light. Thus he must reconcile all his people unto God and make them his friends, as Abraham was the friend of God. As King of righteousness and King of peace, he thus reigns in Zion. As king and priest on earth of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth, Melchisedec alone was made like unto the Son of God. We cannot too well remember this. It beautifully sets forth the perfection and power and glory of our Priest and King, in whom alone is righteousness and salvation, acceptance and peace with God.
We should not forget that Melchisedec wore a double crown, and was "first King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace." Thus he was in the likeness of the Son of God. It was on earth, in Salem, that this wonderful man was King of peace, and it was to God ward that he was King of righteousness. So it was on earth also that our spiritual Melchisedec was King of peace, and said to us, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." And as King of righteousness, he sits upon the throne of God, "A glorious high throne," and reigns in holy heaven.
"ALL HAIL the power of Jesus' name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown him LORD OF ALL."
Isaac was a person of upright, tranquil, peaceful life. Not one thing is said against him. He was not great, as men would speak of greatness, but was quiet, meek and lowly. To him belonged five peculiar and special things, in each of which he was a type and represented some peculiar truth or special person or persons. These things were, his birth, his name, his being offered to God as a sacrifice, his marriage, and his blessing his son Jacob, the younger. These will be considered.
Isaac was the only son of Abraham and Sarah, and at his birth his father was one hundred years old and his mother ninety. Therefore his birth was supernatural and according to the promise and power of God. Thus Isaac was the child of faith and the heir of promise. Moreover, he was born in the covenant that God made with Abraham. And as he was their first and only son in the covenant of God with them,-he was therefore the haad of the covenant. Now, that was an everlasting covenant, and in it and in Isaac God blessed all the nations, kindreds and families of the earth. In all this Isaac was, first, a blessed type of "the only begotten Son of God," who is the Head of all God's covenant people and children, all of whom God blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ. God established the covenant in Isaac, and fulfilled it in Jesus.
Then, second, Isaac was as well a type of every one of God's chosen and covenant people in Christ; for as both Isaac and Jesus were the promised sons of Abraham and of God, and were born by the supernatural power and of the infinite love of God, so also is every child of God thus born, and, like Isaac, they are children of God's promise to Abraham, and his heirs in the covenant.
"Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannuleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. * And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. "
"Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem, which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. * * * Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the Scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her Son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bond woman, but of the free." Paul to the Galatians.
How blessedly this shows us that the covenant and promise of God to Abraham embraced both Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah, and Christ, the Son of God and the holy Jerusalem, and with them all who are Christ's, all the children of the free woman, the new covenant, the children of the promise. All these are the children of Abraham, the children of God, and are one with Isaac and Jesus in the covenant of life. They are all born by promise, as Isaac was, born of God, and the heavenly Jerusalem is their mother. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of Goa: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." So the children of God are one with Christ in his sufferings, even as they shall be one with him in his life of glory.
The name Isaac means laughter. His name is typical. When he was born, there was joy and gladness in his father's house. For they knew that what God had promised, he was able also to perform, and their faith in God was confirmed; and they believed in him and were glad. They had experienced the power and the faithfulness of God. The realization of this always brings trust and hope in God, with peace and joy. So Isaac was the child of faith, as well as of promise. And faith brings hope and love, thanksgiving and joy in the Lord. "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." "The wilder ness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose."
"But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying." "And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." And so there is gladness in the house of God when the children of the promise are born in Zion, and therefore they are all given the name of Isaac.
"But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." In this anointing all the children of God were one with their Head, and his gladness is theirs in him, and he will show them his glory. "Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their Head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away."
And so the prophecy of Sarah at the birth of her promised son shall be fulfilled. "And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. "
But Oh! it seemed that God would turn their laughter into weeping. Isaac had grown up to promising manhood, a lovely youth of twenty-five summers, the glory of his father and the joy of his mother, when God said unto him, "Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of." There was no mistaking the fearful words of this command, and Abraham knew that it was God who spoke to him, who had also given a command to Adam. Should he disobey God, as Adam had done? He knew how ruinous that act was. No! he could not disobey the voice of God, in whom he believed and trusted. He knew that Isaac was the gift of God, and that he had the right to take him away. But 0 how great was the sacrifice! Why would not one of his faithful servants have sufficed for the sacrifice, instead of his only darling son? Then, God had never before required that the father should sacrifice the son. Oh! what could it mean? How fearfully mysterious and dark. Yet there was the command. He must go forward, and leave all with God, who had said to him, "For in Isaac shall thy seed be called." "And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. " 0, could any scene be more sorrowful and heartrending! The innocent son carrying up the mount the altar upon which he was to die, and his own father should deliver him up! Even so the Son of God bore his cross, near the same place, up mount Calvary. Weep, 0 heaven and earth, at the solemn scene!
"And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son." How endearing and tender the appeal, and the response!
"And he said, Behold the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together." This was a glorious triumph of faith, and the son believed it with the father. It was far out of sight of reason and above it, yet their faith in God accepted this most wonderful truth of all truth, that God would provide himself a Lamb for the sacrifice, the offering for sin. Isaac was unresisting and obedient, though he must have felt that he was the only lamb for the offering. This was a trial and sorrow to both the father and the son too deep for words, and more than flesh could meet, but faith in God sustained them. "He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter. "
Blessed be the holy name of God! Isaac, the beloved and only son of his father, was the lamb of God for an offering in type only, though at that moment neither his father nor himself understood this, but God was about to open their eyes and show it to them.
"And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son." Faith in God was full; the obedience was perfect; God was well pleased; the triumph was glorious! Isaac, type of Jesus, was released from death, and all the children of the promise’ were released in him.
"And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and, he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Je-ho-vah ji reh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen." (That is, The Lord will see, or, provide.)
And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."
In solemn grandeur and infinite mercy and blessing in its meaning, this offering up of Isaac was the most wonderful that God had ever commanded. He only could give Abraham the faithfulness and power to fulfill it. In this sacrifice of his only son, whom he loved, Abraham was like God himself, for God was with him. There should be but one other offering made on earth like it. This one should be the well beloved and only Son of God himself, in whom were all the promises of God, and in him God confirmed the covenant with an oath to Abraham, as we have just read.
Let us consider the type and its blessed fulfillment: When Isaac was bound, and laid upon the altar, the covenant of God and all his promises of a glorious inheritance and a family as countless as the stars were in him. The Son of God himself, according to the flesh, was in Isaac. Moses and the priests, the prophets and the kings of Israel, with all the covenant people, were in the life of Isaac. Therefore, should he be cut off and live no more, then all, all should perish in him. This Abraham knew. But his faith had the power of God in it, and there was nothing impossible with God. His God had promised him a son, in whom all nations should be blessed. "He staggered not at the pt rise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness."
When he firmly grasped the knife in his strong hand to slay that son of God's promise, his faith in God was steadfast and stronger than death. Of this perfect faith in God and its perfect obedience Paul says: "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure." "GOD was able to raise him up from the dead." This was the overcoming faith of Abraham. It is also the faith of all who truly believe in God.
Faith in God, therefore, embraces the resurrection of the dead. Unbelief staggers at this and rejects it. It denies the power of God to raise up the dead. If Abraham had not believed in the resurrection of the dead, and that God would raise up his beloved son into life
again, then he could not have obeyed God, nor offered up Isaac. But his obedience and the obedience of his son in yielding unto death, was the beautiful type and sure promise of the righteous obedience of the Son of God unto death, even the death of the cross, by which he should destroy both sin and death, and God, who is able, would raise him up, even from the dead, by the glory of his power. So the resurrection of the dead is the realization and crowning glory of faith. If the dead rise not, faith fails and is vain. If the dead rise not, then there is no righteous obedience unto God, no end to sin, and the perfect obedience of Abraham's faith counted no more than disobedience. How dark and fearful is unbelief!
In a figure Abraham received his son from death. That figure was the ram that died in Isaac's stead. God provided himself this lamb for an offering. It was a figure of the Lamb of God. "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, 0 God." He testified that it was the will of God that he should lay down his life, and take it up again. He did this in the perfect obedience of faith and love. He offered up himself without spot unto God. In his body that God provided him as the Lamb for an offering for sin, Christ was righteous and holy. His offering was infinite in virtue and merit, so that law and justice were honored fulfilled, and God was well pleased with the holy obedience of his Son.
The offering of Isaac was a wonderful figure of this glorious obedience of the holy Lamb and Son of God. Christ was both the Lamb for an offering, and the Son and High Priest to make one sacrifice for sins forever. As the Lamb of God he died, but as the Son of God, the Father nbound him, when he loosed the pains of death; for it was not possible that he should be holden of it. So Abraham, who offered up his son, had the unspeakable joy of faith and love to loose him at God's command, and, lo, Isaac lived! So in him as the type of the risen Son of God. all the elect family of God, all the chosen in Christ, were made free from death and shall enter into life everlasting. In his faith Abraham saw this when he raised up Isaac, and he rejoiced in the coming glory. This well beloved and obedient Son said to the Jews: "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad."
"And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go. And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his men. And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them. " This great blessing was of God, and it was fulfilled, both literally and spiritually, in the type and in the antitype.
Isaac was then forty years old, his mother was with God, and he was alone with his father. The Lord had said, "It is not good that the man should be alone." "And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house. that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: and I. will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: but thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac." Isaac should dwell in Canaan, the promised inheritance, and she should leave her own country and people, and should go and be the wife of Isaac. But if she was not willing to go, then the servant should be free from his oath to his master. There should be no urging, nor force, but all should be according to the choice of her heart. How suitable and good this is! It is the divine pattern, the example the Lord has given to his servants. The true and faithful will be faithful to their Master and true to their oath, as Abraham's servant was. Abraham knew the failure and folly of bringing in a stranger and bondwoman to try to build his household.
The servant had told the touching story of his master's greatness and excellence, and of his only son, the heir of all his father's glory.
The heart of the lovely Rebekah was won, and we have heard her simple answer: "I WILL Go!" A meaning was in, it too sublime for words to tell. It was full of love and faith, trust and hope. Isaac was more to her than all the world. God had greatly blessed him. He was her beloved kinsman. And now she should be one with him in his blessing and estate and honor. His joyous name and blessed life were hers with him. "And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah." These were the gifts of Isaac "Hinder me not, seeing the Lord bath prospered my way," said the servant. "I will go," said the sweet voice of Rebekah. "This is the Lord's doing; and it is marvelous in our eyes. "
"Draw me, we will run after thee: the king bath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we well remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee." "As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love."
"And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her." "Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. " Isaac and Rebekah were lovely and blessed, but Christ and the church are lovely, blessed and glorious. All this is in the love of God. "The King's daughter is all glorious: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the King's palace. "
"My Beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away." Thus drawn, the fair and lovely Rebekah, type of the church, went to the goodly land of Canaan and was married to Isaac, after he had been loosed from death, and God had confirmed the covenant and the blessing in him. Canaan and its wine and milk and honey, and many good things, was a type and a promise of the militant gospel kingdom; for Canaan was a goodly heritage, a pleasant land. God gave it to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob by promise. They were called out and separated from the nations to dwell there, in the home he gave them, to be married unto the Lord, as Rebekah to Isaac. That house or family should dwell alone, live unto the Lord and worship him, and not be reckoned among the nations. They were the favored children of Isaac and Rebekah.
Now, all this was typical. So it was after our spiritual Isaac was loosed from death by his Father, that his lovely bride came and entered with her adored Bridegroom into the gospel house. This is all by the power of living Faith, God given faith, the faith that worketh by love, purifieth the heart, and overcometh the world.
To Isaac and Rebekah God gave two children, twin brothers, Esau and Jacob. These two differed very widely in their lives, their features, tastes and pursuits. In all this they were typical or representative of things which are true in the people of God.
The time came when their father Isaac should bestow the patriarchal blessing, as he was old. By usage this blessing should descend upon the head of Esau, the first-born, and Isaac so intended it, but the Lord caused him to bless Jacob, the younger. Having blessed him, Isaac could not reverse the blessing, but he confirmed it and said, "yea, and he shall be blessed." Isaac said to Esau: "Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him: and what shall I do now unto thee, my son? And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, 0 my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; and by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck."
That we may see the meaning of all this, let us notice the early youth of Esau and Jacob. We read: "And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field: and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents." Even before their birth the children struggled. So Rebekah enquired of the Lord why it was thus. "And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger." Thus the Lord had blessed Jacob before the children were born. Rebekah knew this, and so it wa an act of faith in the word of the Lord, when she disguised Jacob as Esau, and sent him with the delicious food she had prepared to obtain his father's blessing. Faith only obtains the blessing. Esau was natural, and he was without faith. His name and nature prove him an earthy man, red and hairy. Therefore, he despised his birthright, and sold it to Jacob to satisfy his natural appetite. Jacob was not so, but he was smooth, fair and plain, dwelling in tents at home with his mother. It will help us, to stand with him in his father's tent, while he speaks the words of blessing. "And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son. And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed: therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee,"
We are now deeply interested in Jacob, and regard him with peculiar favor, while we pity Esau, but cannot really love him. Their parents were lovely, and the Lord had blessed them, and their twin sons were embraced in the covenant that God made with Abraham.
56 THE CHRIST-MAN IN TYPE
Yet the children were so radically different in their natures, even from their birth, that their desires and pursuits were unlike, and neither one was pleased with the other. What does all this mean, and whom do they represent? God had made them different, yet his purp:)se was in each of them. We have seen that Isaac blessed Esau with no mean blessing, but it was earthly.
The Lord said to Israel by Malachi: "I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid.his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. " This is the sense in which the Lord hated Esau; for he does not hate, only in the sense of his righteous dealings and judgments. Of Rebekah and her two sons Paul said: " (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. "
It is plain to us now, that the love and special blessing of God was upon Jacob, yet Esau was his brother. In this they were evidently typical, and represented that which is true in the kingdom of God, and true of the people of his covenant. It is true, we know, that every one of the people of God is dual or complex, as born of the flesh, and born of the Spirit. They are all as the Shulamite, in whom we see as it were the company of two armies, For in every child of God on earth is found the life and nature of the earthly man, and also the life and nature of the heavenly Man, and these are as twin-brothers; yet they are as Esau and Jacob. Esau represents every child of God in Adam, and Jacob represents every child of God in Christ. It is in Christ that God loved and blessed his people, and each one in whom Christ liveth is a Jacob. Yet in that child of God there is as well the twin brother, Esau. For sadly enough, we are earthborn, where the curse of God fell, and we are earthly, like our brother Esau; alas! too earthly. But we rejoice that God loved Jacob (Jesus), and said Esau should serve him. "The first shall be last." Esau was first, then Jacob. And so Paul said: "Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual." This he said of the two Adams. This is true also in the manifestation of every child of God. The child of earth (Esau) is first; and afterward the child of heaven (Jacob). "And these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." Paul found it so in himself.
Jacob loved the Lord and the house of the Lord; but Esau loved the field, and pursued the chase, the sports of earth. As Esau, we would run downward to the earth; but as Jacob, we are drawn upward to things heavenly. Being risen with Christ, Jacob's blessing is ours, and the word of the Lord is in our heart to seek his face, and so we seek those things which are above. In this experience the word of the Lord is true in us: "And the elder shall serve the younger." How blessed it is that the Lord has ordained that it SHALL be so. For now Christ has the dominion, and by him grace much more abounds than sin; for grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life.
We are taught by the example of Esau and Jacob this solemn truth: That God did not love and choose and bless his people in Adam, but in Christ; and that not in the flesh are they lovely in his sight, but in the Spirit. The one is Esau, the other is Jacob. "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." This is true in the experience of every one who is led by the Spirit of God; for each one loves what God loves, but hates what he-hates. You love the lovely Christ and his image, but you hate your own sinful nature,
But blessed be God! "We shall all be changed." We shall awake with the likeness of Christ, and be satisfied. "And there shad be no more curse."
JOSEPH, increaser, was the beloved son of his father Jacob, and the first son of his mother Rachel. He had ten older brothers, and Benjamin, his youngest brother. These were the twelve patriarchs, the heads of the twelve tribes of Jacob or Israel. Their history is very peculiar, interesting and wonderful. No other people or nation on earth was like them. God dealt with them as with no other people. They alone were his people, to the exclusion of all other people, until Christ came, then they ceased to be the covenant people of God, because his kingdom was taken from them, and they were driven out of Canaan, the land of promise, as Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden, and scattered to the four corners of the earth.
Jacob's sons, like himself, were husbandmen, as also were Abraham and Isaac, and they were the keepers of herds and flocks. They were a nation of shepherds. There is a special and far-reaching meaning in this. It was a good and peaceful calling. Now, however, there is scarcely a son of Israel who is a shepherd, for they are all money-changers. For this Christ, the Chief Shepherd, drove them out of the temple of God. So far from feeding the flock, they fleece it, but feed themselves. This is the effect of self-righteousness, and it is the same in all who trust in themselves that they are righteous.
Joseph was very lovely in his person and life. From his childhood to his death he was guileless and faithful, and there was no fault in him. God himself was pleased with Joseph, was with him and greatly blessed him. In all this Joseph was a lovely type of the child Jesus. Joseph was the one special son of his father's love and delight, the promise and joy of his life. He clothed his darling boy in a rich and beautiful coat. So it was with the child Jesus, the well beloved of his Father, who anointed him with the Holy Spirit of joy above all the children of God, and adorned him with the robe of righteousness and glory. On this account both Joseph and Jesus were hated, envied and persecuted by their fleshly, sinful brethren.
God gave Joseph a dream, which he innocently told to his brethren; that they were all binding sheaves in the field, when, lo, their sheaves all stood up, and theirs bowed to his. For this they hated him the more. The Lord gave him another dream, and he told it to his father and his brethren, saying, "behold the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. " His father said to him, "Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying." "And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words." The love of God to Joseph was in his dreams, in which was revealed to him his future dominion, honor and glory. The Lord thus sustained him through the time of his long separation from his father, and his servitude and imprisonment. How needful this divine assurance and comfort was to Joseph. Human policy would say that he should not have told the revelation to his brethren, to incite their envy and hatred. But his telling them his dreams was a link in the chain of providential events, which brought his dreams to pass, and all this was in the perfect counsel of God, whose purpose is in all things.
And as it was with the youthful Joseph, so it was, too, with the youthful Jesus in the days of his deep humiliation in the world. He must be put to grief, falsely accused, rejected and cast out by his own people. He was a tender, guileless, loving youth, an obedient Son, like Joseph, his lovely type; therefore the infinite love and wisdom of his Father gave him the wonderful dreams or revelations of the wonderful triumph and exaltation that should crown him at last. This divine support and sure promise of victory and coming glory sustained him, and gave him patient endurance and submission under all the heavy cross and deep suffering, as in the case of Joseph. This is applied with comfort and strength to us, and we read, "let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." The dear Son of God did this, and overcame all our enemies for us' and put away our sins. Then, let us look to him and consider how he suffered for us in our flesh. This will comfort us.
Like Joseph, Jesus told to his Jewish brethren the things concerning himself, and that he should have the dominion and glory. This called out their hatred against him the more, and they were ready to kill him. But they hated him without a cause, as the brethren of Joseph hated him. Yet the hand and the counsel of the Lord was in it all, although it was done by wicked hands.
The time came when Israel said to his youthful son, "Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again." Long years of deepest affliction, trial and sorrow, to both father and son, passed before they met again. When Joseph went to his brethren, in loving obedience to his father, they said to one another, "Behold, this dreamer cometh. Come now therefore, and let us slay bim, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him; and we shall see what will become of his dreams."
Thus the wicked blindly think they can disprove the counsel of the Lord, and defeat his purpose. "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD, and against his Anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his displeasure. Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion." God would surely exalt Joseph, and crown Jesus. Not all the cunning wickedness and deadly wrath of man could prevent this. Nay, the very wrath of man should be made subservient to the wise and merciful purpose of the Lord, and should praise him. How unreasoning and foolish it is for man to set himself against the Lord, or reply against him, by vainly saying that his counsel is not all-ordering and his power is not all-controlling, but wicked men and devils may prevent, hinder or defeat him in his desire, counsel and Purpose. If this were possible, then it might as well be said at once, "There is no God," as the fool hath said in his heart. For if there is any creature, being or power anywhere that might possibly change the least thing in all the universe from the counsel of the Lord, he would at once cease to be the Lord God Almighty, and could no longer reign sovereignly over all, as he does. For there would then be an opposing counsel, purpose and power greater and stronger than his own. Then there could not be the least certainty or safety for any one anywhere, but all should be exposed to the ever-present liability of woeful failure, defeat and destruction for ever and ever. Then Joseph might never have gone into Egypt, nor into the prison there, nor to the throne of Egypt, but his dreams might have failed to come to pass, and his brethren and all his father's house might have perished in the famine of seven years. For this great honor to Joseph and rich mercy and blessing to his father's household was brought to pass through the wicked hatred of his brethren, who thought to defeat his dreams, but only fulfilled them. Could they have had their own way, instead of God's way, it would have been to their own destruction. In it all, their hearts and desires were evil only, but the purpose or counsel of the Lord, which shall stand, was good and full of mercy, even to the cruel brethren of Joseph themselves.
Just so it is in all things, for "God worketh all things after the counsel of his own will," wrote inspired Paul. But carnal men, in their enmity against God and blind unbelief, fight against his counsel, reply against his wisdom and holiness, and deny his unlimited power and eternal Godhead. 0 that all who fear God with a child's loving heart may see the irreverence and sinful folly of presuming to be more wise and good and holy than he is, and believe in their hearts that God is as unlimited in his purpose and power as he is in his wisdom and knowledge, as holy men of old believed.
Joseph was carried down into Egypt, and sold as a slave to an officer of Pharaoh, Potiphar, captain of the guard. And thus he escaped death at the hands of his brethren. Jesus was also carried down into Egypt, that the monster Herod should not kill him with the harmless children of Bethlehem. The Lord restrains the remainder of wrath. As Joseph was a servant in the house of Potiphar under his authority, so was Jesus a servant in the house of Israel under the authority of Moses, for he was made under the law. And as Joseph was obedient, faithful and true to every obligation in all the time of his servitude, though falsely accused and imprisoned for it, so also was his perfect antitype, our gospel Joseph. In the house of Potiphar, and in the prison of Pharaoh, the God of Abraham was with Joseph, to sustain and honor him, and greatly blessed him to others. So it was in the lowly life of Jesus; God was with him, and his work was a sweet ministration of goodness and mercy so that his very presence was a benediction and brought the favor of God.
The time drew near when Joseph's dreams should be fulfilled, and he should be made glorious and should rule over Egypt and save his father's house. But he must first make himself of no reputation, and be shut up in the prison-house. In this he was submissive and obedient. The same guiding Providence that sent him to Egypt, sent him to prison. So, too, the same Father above that sent his Son down to the earth, sent him down into the last prison-house; and therefore Jesus was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. So must we be brought to follow him in his steps. This is the good way, which the Lord hath ordained. Jesus is the only way of salvation and life and glory, and we must be made like him. "I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction, " saith the Lord. First, the predestination, then the redemption or adoption; first, the sowing in tears, then the reaping in joy; first, the great tribulation, then the glory which shall be revealed in us; first, the baptism of death, then heaven shall be opened unto us; first, the heavy cross, then the crown of life that fadeth not away.
God gave dreams to two of Pharaoh's officers in the prison, and gave Joseph the wisdom to reveal them, and they so came to pass, and one was put to death, but the other was restored to his place. Then it came to pass that the king himself dreamed a most wonderful dream, which was doubled to him, or dreamed twice, in two forms, which troubled Pharaoh, but no one could reveal the dream to him. This was God's way and time to release and honor Joseph. The forty-first chapter of Genesis gives us a touchingly interesting history of this, and it will do you good to read it. The good hand of the Lord was in it all, bringing to pass his abounding goodness and compassion to the children of men, in the rich display of his infinite wisdom and the majesty of his power. The chief butler in the court of Pharaoh was made to remember Joseph, and told the king of him. He was at once brought from his deep humiliation in the dark prison to the glory of the throne. How wonderful!
Let us dwell on it a little: Joseph had been doomed to the prison by an officer of the king, but it was under a false and wicked accusation, and he suffered innocently. God had now made this known to Pharaoh, who was greater in power than Potiphar, and so the king both justified and glorified Joseph. 0 how sorrowfully and yet blessedly this was true in the person of our most lovely Antitype! when he was about the same age with Joseph.
Let us see how it might have been, if all things and each event is not fixed in the determinate counsel of God. If not, then Joseph's dreams, the dreams of his two fellow-prisoners, and the dream of Phararoh might have been something else, or not at all. If God had not predestinated those dreams, and so made their meaning certain, then they might have had an uncertain meaning, or rather no meaning at all, and Joseph could not possibly have foretold the dreams and their certain meaning and sure fulfillment. This is self-evident. The dreams included some of the most cruel and sinful things, the killing of one of the dreamers, a dreadful famine of seven years, the goodness and great honor of Joseph, the deep and long sorrow of his loving father, the bitter suffering and poverty wrought by the famine, and the extreme distress, remorse, abasement and most abject self-prostration of his brethren, which caused Joseph to weep over them in yearning, forgiving love.
Now, to suppose that the least link in this chain of calamitous dreams might have been lost or failed as a mere chance dream, then all must have failed, and Joseph and all his father's house, with all Egypt, must have perished in the famine. Such is the frightful consequence of denying God's wisdom, counsel and purpose in all things. If Potiphar's wife had been innocent, Joseph should not have been in the prison to interpret the dreams, or if the two officers had pleased the king they should not have been in the prison to dream, or if any of the wise men of Egypt could have interpreted the king's dream, then all must have been a failure, and Joseph might have remained in the prison.
So, if another Joseph had not dreamed, or if the wise men had not dreamed, then Herod might have killed the infant Jesus.
We know that it was through malice and wickedness that Joseph went to Egypt and to prison, yet it was God's way of salvation to all the house of Israel, and in this way, which God only could have brought to pass, he fulfilled his promise to Abraham, that in him and in his seed should all the families of the earth be blessed. In this line of sons was Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Jesus. Denying the purpose or determined counsel of God in all things, great or small, good or evil, as men call them, then all the promised seed of Abraham must have perished through Joseph's brethren having killed him when he was a tender youth of seventeen, as they purposed to do, because the famine must have left Jacob without a child. There could then have been no Moses, no David, no Mary, no Jesus, the Son of Abraham. For all this boundless mercy of God to the children of Eve has been accomplished through hatred and malice, persecution and death, and in the fulfillment of dreams.
"And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it; and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it. And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace." He told the dream to Joseph, who said, "What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh. Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout t, e land of Egypt: and there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; and the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous. And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass. Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt," &c. Joseph said to him to do this, "that the land perish not through the famine." "And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a man as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in ventures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; and he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. "
In all the Bible God has not given us a more blessedly beautiful and glorious type of his own deeply humbled and highly exalted Son than this. 0 how the believing heart glows with love and honor to both Joseph and Jesus! How deeply hated, wronged and afflicted both the son of Israel and the Son of God were! And yet they were the most innocent, lamb-like and lovely of all men. 0 why should they have been so wickedly persecuted? We can only say, "Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. "
Joseph was lifted up from the dungeon to the throne of Pharaoh; and Jesus was lifted up from the cross of death to the throne of God. The fulfillment of this to Joseph was the salvation from death of all his father's family; and so its fulfillment to Jesus was more blessedly the salvation of all his Father's family from sin and the last enemy, death.
0 how great was the honor to Joseph and the goodness and mercy to his people, when God gave him the wisdom and power to reveal to Pharaoh his dream, and tell him what God would do. Not all the wise men of Egypt could do this; neither can the wisdom of the world search out the deep things of God, but he must reveal them unto us in the person of his Son by the Spirit. The Spirit of God was in Joseph; and so God gave to Jesus the Spirit without measure. We read: "And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. * * * And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." "He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." And so, too, the excellent honor to which Joseph was raised, was to the rejoicing and glory of his dear father.
Humility was a lovely virtue in Joseph, and it was perfect in Jesus. "I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it." How this would exalt a vain man, who seeks his own honor, and not the honor that cometh from God only. How many now claim that they have ability to do great religious works. But the meek Joseph said in answer, "It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace." This is the spirit of the Christ, who is meek and lowly in heart. He said, `The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these that ye may marvel. "
To see how truly the dreams of Joseph and Pharaoh were fulfilled, and how deeply affecting and touching it all was, read Genesis, chapters forty-two to forty-seven. Only a few things can be written here: "And Joseph's brethren came; and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth." He knew them, but they knew not him; and he treated them as spies. So it is in the experience of the brethren of the Lord Jesus, when they are ready to perish and go to him. "And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us." At this sorrowful confession of their sin, Joseph turned away from them and wept.
They returned to their father at last, except Simeon, whom Joseph kept until they should bring Benjamin to him. "And it came to pass as they emptied their sacks, that, behold, every man's bundle of money -was in his sack: and when both they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid. And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me." These were only the beginning of their sorrows.. "And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds: and take double money in your hand; and the money that was brought again in the mouth of your sacks, carry it again in your hand; peradventure it was an oversight: take also your brother, and arise, go again unto the man: and God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved. " With the yearning father it was only sorrow for his children, but with the sons it was also guilt and shame, which now overwhelmed them in the deepest distress. They were made to feel utterly miserable, undone and hopeless of finding mercy and favor. They now felt as did their father, "All these things are against me." But with Joseph it was the time of yearning love, tender pity and free forgiveness. When he had deeply humbled them, and they were heart-broken for their hatred and sins, so that now they would be lowly and contrite in spirit, and love him as he loved them, and love one another as brethren, he blessedly made himself known to them, 0, it was the time of love!
"And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt."
It was God himself, who did all this, and not Pharaoh, nor Joseph's brethren. How wonderfully did God bless Joseph! and his brethren in him! In it all we see Jesus and his sorrowing brethren, as they are drawn to him in their sinful and humbled distress, necessities and helplessness. As the children of Israel must go to the great ruler over Egypt, who only could save them from perishing, yet crushed with guilty fear that he would punish them as they felt they deserved, so do the quickened and deeply troubled children of the covenant go to the exalted Ruler upon the throne of Grace for salvation. But in both cases they solemnly realize that their sins have found them out, and that they are brought into judgment before a righteous Judge, while they have neither claim nor merit. Justice would cut them off and send them away empty, they feel. All unclean, all undone, ruined and wretched. This is the solemn truth taught us in the type of Joseph and his brethren.
0, then, how merciful and blessed is the relief when the revelation is made, "I am Joseph your brother." The experience is too deep and full and tender for words "Your brother!" Wonderful! 0 it seems too good to be true! Joseph lives! This noble prince is indeed Joseph, our brother. 0 we shall not perish but live! And all our father's house shall be saved from death!
"Be of good cheer; it is I; be not. afraid," said Jesus. "Come near to me, " said Joseph to his brethren. "And they came near." Jesus says, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. " "Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. " "And him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. "
All the storehouses of Joseph, the corn and all that he so abundantly provided, were entirely free to his father's house. All their money he returned to his brethren. It was God's provision for his covenant people, his rich mercy, in the time of their great affliction and need. He had provided himself a Lamb for an offering; and he would as freely provide food for them, that they perish not. This they must experience and know, though it both troubled and humbled them, when their money was returned with the corn.; for they saw and felt that their money had not helped them, nor obtained for them the least favor. All seemed indeed against them. God would teach them in the person of their brother Joseph that their little could not merit or buy his abundance. The gift of God cannot be purchased. How little this made the sons of Israel feel! We must be treated as beggars! And truly it made them return and fall down before Joseph and beg his mercy and favor. 0, could all they could do, the best they had, gain them no honor, bring them no reward? No, not with Joseph-not with Jesus-not with God. "My glory I will not give to another." "According to his mercy he saved us." This is God's way--the only way. This was true under the reign of Joseph; and so it is forever true under the reign of Jesus.
"Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: the archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the Shepherd, the stone of Israel:) even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: the blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of bim that was separate from his brethren." 0 beloved and blessed Joseph!
There is another Beloved, and of him we read: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved." This is the blessing upon the crown of the Head of Joseph-upon JESUS.
GOD greatly multiplied the children of Israel in Egypt under Joseph, until, they grew exceeding mighty, and the land was filled with them. "Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. * * * But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor: and they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigor." It is so religiously in the world until this day. Christ said of them, "For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. "
"And the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. * * * And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive. " About this time a son was born of Levite parents, and his mother hid him three months. When she could no longer hide him, she placed him in a little ark, and laid it in the flags by the river's brink. "And his sister stood afar off to see what would become of him." Then the daughter of Pharaoh went down to the river, and saw the ark. "And when she had opened it, she saw the child; and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrew's children." The little sister drew near and asked, "Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother." The princess said to her, "Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it. And the child grew, and she bronght him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water." This is the meaning of Moses.
Truly the way of God is very wonderful, while the ignorance and stupidity of men, even the wise, fill us with shame. Pharaoh and his court were doing all they could to hold Israel in bondage, that they might profit by the toils and woes of this enslaved people. But now they had received into the king's palace as a son a little boy, to educate him as heir to the throne of Egypt, who should overthrow the power of Egypt, and triumphantly lead his long enslaved brethren out of their cruel oppression into liberty and honor. So Pharaoh in his greed and blindness, while desperately striving to make the profitable Hebrews his slaves for ever, was really preparing the way of their freedom, but forging the chains of death for his own people. This was in the counsel or predestination of God, as he had foretold to Abraham. How truly Paul exclaimed, "0 the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" Neither Satan nor his ministers and servants, ungodly and wicked men, can ever search or find them out. And so their very wrath shall praise the Lord, while they themselves deny his wisdom and defy his power.
The Lord had said unto Abraham, "Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. " The four hundred years had expired, and the time, was at hand when the Lord would fulfill this promise, and redeem the afflicted children of Abraham. In his goodness the God of the covenant had sent them down into Egypt, when they were but a few people, only three score and ten, and now in his mercy he would also lead them up out of the house of bondage, after he had greatly multiplied them into a strong nation.
Moses had grown up to manhood, and by faith in the God of Abraham he had refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, and had fled to the land of Midian to escape the wrath of the king. He had married the daughter of the priest of Midian, Jethro, whose flocks he was feeding, and had led them back to the foot of mount Horeb. There the Lord appeared to him in a burning bush, which was all on fire, yet was not burned. "In the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee, " said our Lord Jesus. "And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. * * * Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I wiil send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. ,r * Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain."
All this was faithfully" fulfilled, just as the Lord said to Moses, and had promised to Abraham. How truly all this applies to the bondage and affliction of the Lord's covenant people in spiritual Egypt, and his delivering them out from it, and bringing them into the good land of gospel Canaan!
All admit that the Lord came down to do this for his people, and to bring salvation to them. Well, then, Did he faithfully perform the glorious work of deliverance, according to his word to Moses, and to Jesus? To dispute this would make God a liar. But the Scripture says, "Let God be true, but every man a liar." "It is impossible for God to lie." Pharaoh and all the powers and hosts of Egypt were determined not to let Israel go up out of Egypt; but how vain it was for them to measure arms with the Almighty, or to fight against God, as we shall see. And as the salvation of the Lord's people from Egyptian bondage was complete under Moses, so likewise shall Jesus save his people from their sins, and deliver them from this present evil world.
The world, the flesh and the devil, death and the grave, cannot hinder nor prevent it, no more than they can hasten it or help in it. "Salvation is of the Lord." He said, "I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me." This is the salvation of his people.
"Then the Lord said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: and I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD. "
This is the word of God to his people Israel by Moses. Thus Moses was the mediator between God and his People in that first covenant. Moses was also the prophet of God unto them; for the Lord revealed his will and truth to Moses, and made him the divine teacher of his people and brethren. In all this the God of Abraham raised up the meek man Moses to be another remarkable representative of his Son under the law, the antitype of Moses, the Mediator of his people in the new covenant, and the Prophet to teach all his brethren, the children of God, the good pleasure of the will of God concerning them, and to give them the knowledge of their salvation, God thus honored Moses above all his brethren, and made him a faithful leader of his people, and a worthy and noble type of the Prophet liko unto Moses, whom God would raise up of their brethren, the Mediator of the better covenant. Moses testified of Jesus and said, "The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; according to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."
The rich mercy of God is expressed in his words, "They have well spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren." This was Jesus, "the Prophet of Nazareth. " For the law given upon Sinai by Moses filled them with terror and condemned them, because of their sins; therefore God in his mercy would raise them up that other Prophet, who should make them wise unto salvation, and as their Mediator he had the power to fulfill the covenant and the law for them and to, make them righteous unto God. Moses could not do this, though he was truly a mighty prophet of God unto Israel his people, and God wrought a great deliverance for them by his faithful servant Moses, in leading them up out of Egypt, and into the promised land. In this Moses testified of Christ, pointed to ham and personated him in type.
To see how blessedly God favored Moses as his special prophet to his people, read all the wonderful words of instruction and revelations of his will which God gave to him, from the time he spoke to him out of the burning bush, until he led him up to mount Nebo, to behold the beautiful land across the Jordan, and die. Moses faithfully recorded all those words which God spoke to him, as face to face, and made them known to his brethren. Verily they are wonderful words, full of divine majesty, wisdom and power, declaring the truth of God and his glorious work. No other sinful man did the holy God ever take into such near and sacred and full communion with himself, and talk with him as friend to friend, as he did Moses. To no other prophet, except the Teacher come from God, did he ever make so full and large a revelation of his wonderful purpose, will and power. Why, for twice forty days, at God's holy call, Moses stood in his very presence upon the top of Sinai, and heard all his solemn words concerning his worship, and the law, and the priesthood, and the people. Thus he was God's law-giver to his people, as well as their prophet and mediator; yea, and their leader, too.
Now in all this, God verily made Moses great and mighty. The mighty works and miracles and blessings which he wrought by the meek Moses were very many and wonderful. In all the way God was with him, and Moses manifested forth the justice and mercy, power and glory of God. Once only did Moses fail to ascribe the power to God, and spoke unadvisedly with his lips, being greatly provoked by the murmurings of the children of Israel. For this one weakness of the flesh and transgression, he could not enter into the promised inheritance, which he so much desired to do. But this also was in the wisdom of God, and it was part of his way.
Let us consider it: In all the wonderful things which God did by Moses for his people Israel, a few of which have been mentioned, he was a great type of the Son of God as a Man upon the earth, "who was made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.;' To finish this work, Jesus must be put to death in the flesh and die under the law, before he could rise up from under the law, and raise his people up with him, in the power of an endless life, and enter into his gospel kingdom, which is not legal, but spiritual. Now the inheritance of Canaan was a type of the militant gospel kingdom, which is under the new covenant of mercy and grace. But Moses was the mediator and leader of the people of God under the law, the old covenant, and its penalty was death. It was not possible, therefore, for Moses to cross Jordan and enter into Canaan, because they which are of the law cannot be heirs of the inheritance which God gave to Abraham by promise, and which is of grace, and not by the works of the law. Moses was the very embodiment of the law, even as Jesus was also its very fulfillment and end. And so, as Moses could not enter into Canaan because of his sin, but die upon the mount of vision, having been shown the good land by the Lord, neither could his glorious Antitype enter into his Father's promised inheritance in the kingdom of grace and glory in the days of his flesh. but must first die under the law, as did Moses. And, 0 sorrowful to tell! like Moses, Jesus died because sin was found upon him. "The wages of sin is death." The brethren of Moses provoked him to sin; and so God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, and he died for our sins, -not that he sinned, -for he was spotless and holy in his person and life. And so Moses was a true figure of Jesus.
The Lord said to Moses: "Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land. And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD. when I stretch forth my hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them." The Lord did according to all these words by Moses. He sent upon the whole land of Egypt, except the land of Goshen, wherein the children of Israel dwelt, ten plagues, the most fearful, in alarming succession, removing each at the entreaty of Pharaoh, to follow it with the next, his heart being hardened in each case, after the Lord had removed the judgment. First, all their rivers and waters in the land became blood, followed by frogs everywhere-lice-flies-murrainboils-hail with thunder and fire-locusts-darknessdeath. All these were the righteous judgments of God upon the Egyptians; for they had long and with wicked cruelty oppressed his people, who had so well served them. The first merited plague was blood, and the last was death. All were only enough to subdue, soften and abase the haughty monarch of dark Egypt and his people, who strove desperately to resist and defy all the power and judgments of JEHOVAH. So the Lord sent his plagues upon the waters, the cattle and other idols which they worshiped; for some of those ten plagues were gods of the Egyptians. So the Lord made their own idols a frightful curse to them and a loathing. He showed them that their gods were as powerless as themselves to save them, and that nothing could stand against his almighty power.
All those visitations of the righteous judgments of God against wickedness, idolatry and oppression were needed by the enslaved children of Israel themselves, both to cure them of idolatry and make them know the power of their God to deliver and save them. Yea, the Lord would make them willing and glad to go out of Egypt, where they had dwelt all their lives. When the Lord began this mighty work, and their taskmasters increased their heavy burdens, they were so hopeless and wretched that they plead with Moses and Aaron to let them alone, for their case was worse than before. So it is always with the Lord's enslaved people, when he comes to deliver them, that they may worship and serve him; for every step of the Lord's way seems against them, and in their extremity they complain, groan and cry at the dealings of the Lord with them. But the'Lord perfectly knew them and the depths of their degradation under the dark power of Egypt; and he as well knew how to lift them up, cure them and deliver them. Na arm but his could do this, and his wisdom, power and love would do all things well and bring them rest.
All this mercy was out of their sight, however, and the way had indeed become fearfully dark in Egypt. Thus it always is in the experience of the children of God, when he comes to save them. Joseph thus dealt severely with his brethren, not for their destruction, but for the destruction of their sins, and it was in wisdom and love. The Lord makes no mistakes, and never falters in his work, because it is a good work, and he performs it.
"And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. For I wilt at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. As yet thou exaltest thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go?" The Lord here tells why he raised up Pharaoh, and also why he would send all his plagues upon him, because he exalted himself against God, and would not let his people go, that they might serve him, but no longer serve this wicked monarch. Pharaoh and Egypt represented the rulers of the powers of darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places. Their whole combined effort is to exalt themselves against the power and reign of God, and tc bind burdens upon his people, that they should not go free and serve him. Therefore, God raised up Pharaoh sent upon him his great plagues because of his cruel opposition to God, made him an example in all the world of the majesty of God's irresistible power and eternal Godhead, that his name might be declared throughout all the earth. The Lord did all this for the good of his own people, that they might know his power and trust in him.
The Lord sent the last plague Ripon Egypt the night of death. That night all the children of Israel ate the first passover, the slain lamb, as the Lord appointed. This they were to keep when they came into the land of promise. And when their children should ask them, "What mean ye by this service? that ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD'S Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses."
"And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the first-born of cattle. * * * It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in all their generations. "
We have seen the first passover; let us go to the last one: Jesus the holy Son of God and his twelve apostles were gathered at night in an upper room in Jerusalem: "And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: for I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God." The next day he was crucified. To the church Paul says, "For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us." Therefore the passover, the sacrificial lamb, typified the Lamb of God, and when he was sacrificed, the Passover was fulfilled in the kingdom of God. The faith of Moses embraced this blessed meaning of the Passover; for the Scripture says of him, "Through faith he kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the first-born should touch them. " His faith was in the promised Messiah, the Christ, "who is the author and finisher of our faith. " When Abel offered the firstling of his flock in sacrifice to God, his faith likewise embraced the Lamb of God, and so we read, "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh." And he speaketh of the only sacrifice that could take away our sins and make us righteous unto God, even Christ our Passover. And in this faith John the Baptist pointed to Jesus and said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
How great was the deliverance the Lord wrought for his people in Egypt that night when they kept the Passover! And 0 how much more wonderful and glorious was the salvation of all his people in all ages that solemn night when Christ kept the last passover with his disciples, and then fulfilled it in the kingdom of God by offering up himself without spot unto God!! 0 bleeding Lamb of God! thou, thou alone, hast saved us from the destroying angel. Thy blood speaketh better things than the blood of innocent lambs. They could only point Moses and all the worshipers of God to thee. And by faith we look unto thee, our precious Redeemer.
0 how deeply touching and wonderful it is that Moses fulfilled the first Passover, and Jesus fulfilled the last one! How sacredly near to Jesus it brought Moses! Moses knew by faith that this great salvation of the children of Israel which God wrought by him was only the type and pledge, that God would fulfill his promise to Abraham, and send his Son to lead his enslaved children out of the worst affliction and bondage into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. That we may see how blessedly near Moses was to the Lord of glory, Luke says of his transfiguration, "And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem." For both Moses in the law and the prophets of God had testified and proved that the Redeemer, who should come to Zion and deliver his people, should die.
When Christ had accomplished the redemption of his people through suffering and death, and was risen from the dead, he came to his sorrowing disciples and said unto them, "These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them,
Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day."
That the children of Israel should not perish with the Egyptians, the Lord gave them Moses and the passover, a lamb with unleavened bread, of which they should all eat, and the blood of the lamb should be sprinkled upon the doors of all their houses, and they should all be shut in their houses that night of death. It was the blood of atonement, and the bread of life, the flesh and blood of the Son of man, to the people of the covenant. It was God's ordained way of deliverance for his people. God appointed Moses and Aaron, the passover and the offerings for sin under the law, as "shadows of good things to come; but the body is of Christ."
"And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he pursued after the chiidren of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand. But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea. * And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid; and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD: And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to-day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to-day, ye shall see them again no more forever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. "
This experience of the children of Israel, and their lamentations in their great fear and distress, is truly the personal experience of all the Lord's people, before he delivers them from the fear of death. They are made to stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, and that it is his holy arm alone that saves them. They then give him all the praise and glory.
"Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians. And the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses. Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he hath thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation; he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name. * * * Thy right hand, 0 LORD, is become glorious in power; thy right hand, 0 LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee. * * * Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed; thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation. * * * Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, 0 LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, 0 LORD, which thy hands have established. The LORD shall reign for ever and ever. "
This song of salvation is rich in gospel truth and comfort, and it blessedly sets forth the glorious reign of our Lord Jesus Christ in delivering his people from the power of all their enemies, who would destroy them. It was truly a great salvation to the people of Israel under Moses, and in it the Lord alone was glorified. In this great deliverance at the Red sea the truth of God is wondrously shown, that his omnipotent power alone saves his people. For they were shut in between the sea and the mighty army of Pharaoh, either of which .would swallow them up in destruction. The children of Israel were in themselves powerless, and painfully did they realize it. This was the Lord's way, both to teach them and to save them. This is equally true in our experience of salvation, and it is so fulfilled in all who shall be the heirs of salvation. For the Lord our God is one, and his people are one in him, and his salvation of them is one. The Lord of life and glory says, "I am the Way." There is no other way. His saved people must know this, so that they may give him the glory due to his holy name. They must, therefore, come to the end of their own strength or self-reliance, and know that their own arm cannot help them. This is a bitter experience, and it brings them to confront fearful destruction and death, so that they cry to the Lord in great alarm. Yet the Lord himself has brought them into this place, and he alone will lead them out and save them. They will then sing and shout praises to him, and say, "Sing ye to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider bath he thrown into the sea."
0 how merciful is this relief, and how happy this change in the experience of the saved! For it is in very deed the experience of salvation from the power of darkness, and from death. These destructive powers were represented by the wicked king of Egypt (king of darkness) and his hosts, and by the Red sea. The Lord brought up out of the sea all the people of his covenant, the children of his promise, but he caused the waters to go over all their pursuing enemies and swallow them up. To his people he is merciful; to his foes he is just. He freely forgives sin, and keeps mercy for thousands; yet he will by no means clear the guilty.
Paul speaks to us of this typical people and their salvation, thus: "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat: and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." It was Christ in type. Moses smote the rock with the rod, and the waters flowed out, that the people should drink and live. And so Christ was smitten by Moses or the law, the sword of Justice, and from his wounded side there flows out living waters to all who thirst for righteousness. And his blessed word of promise is, "I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall giye him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."
The baptism of all Israel unto Moses in the sea was deeply solemn in its meaning, for it represented deliverance from death. Thus it was a type or symbol of the baptism of all God's new covenant people unto Christ into and out of death. "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" But, blessed be God! as all Israel went up out of the Red sea with Moses, so truly shall all Israel go up out of death with Jesus. Those were the brethren of Moses, and these are the brethren of Jesus. Baptism is a divine earnest and assurance, that all who be dead with Christ, shall also live with him. The same God that brought up Moses and all his people out of Egypt and out of the sea, and who raised up Jesus our Lord from under the law and out of death, will just as surely raise up us also by Christ, with all his people, out of death, in the perfect likeness of his risen body. Moses, and the work of God by him, testify of Christ, and of this full salvation of all his people by him. All the dark powers of Pharaoh and Satan, of Egypt and the world, of sin and death, cannot hinder it. For the Lord hath triumphed gloriously. "The LORD shall reign for ever and ever." This is "the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb. "
We have now followed Moses, the great leader of God's people, unto Christ the Lamb of God. "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to 'bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. " So we must now look unto Jesus.
In taking our leave of Moses we should remember that, not only in Egypt, but all the way between the Red sea and the Jordan, he was with his people, both to teach them and lead them. He led them to mount Horeb, where the Lord first appeared to him in the bush that was all on fire, and there he worshiped God. And there the Lord gave him the law upon mount Sinai, written with the finger of God upon two tables of stone. It was this law that the Son of God was made under. He said, that he came, not to destroy the law or the prophets, but to fulfill them, and that not a jot or tittle of the law should pass away until all was fulfilled. In the person of Moses God gave to his people the righteous law, which is spiritual and just, holy and good; and in the person of Christ he fulfilled the law for his people, or filled it full of righteous obedience. Thus Moses and the law were magnified and made honorable, satisfied and finished in Christ. "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. " He is this to Moses and the people of the law covenant, as well as to Paul and the people of the gospel covenant.
In all this way of tribulation from Egypt to the border of the promised inheritance Moses was a wonderful type of the Man Christ Jesus, the one Mediator of the new covenant. To complete the type of the Son of man in the flesh, it remained only for the meek Moses to die. This was sorrowful to him and all his people; yet he was submissive and obedient to the will of God. The Lord commanded his servant Moses to go up into mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, over against Jericho, and behold all the land of Canaan, which the Lord showed to him. "And the LORD said unto him: This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. * * * And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old-when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated." This is true of the law of Moses.
"And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel. "
WITH warm interest and abiding faith and love we have seen that Moses, the mediator of the first covenant, and Christ, the Mediator of the last covenant, as type and Antitype, died in their flesh because of sin, and slept in the silent tomb. There we left Moses, who then ceased to be a type of Jesus. The only hope of the children of the promise and heirs of the covenant depends upon the resurrection of the buried Christ, as the Head and Life of the .people of the everlasting covenant. But we rejoice in faith that David said, that this covenant of God is ordered in all things and sure. And so the dear Son of man told his chosen disciples that he must die, and the third day rise again. The last was as sure as the first. For both the death and the resurrection of the dead were ordained of God. It was the disobedience of man that brought death upon him. This death includes the whole man, his body. God buried the body of Moses, and he gave the body of his beloved Son an honorable burial. -So likewise it was the obedience of Man that obtained the resurrection of the dead. Where no sin is, death cannot hold its prisoner. The law of justice will certainly bring the imprisoned debtor out of the prison house, when his debt is paid. Well, when the spotless Man on the cross-cried, "It is finished," his righteous obedience was full, the debt of all his brethren was paid, and sin was ended for ever.
The righteousness of God, and the justice of his holy law, demanded that Christ and all his people shall be raised up out of the graves in newness of life. The power of God, by which he is able even to subdue all things unto himself, will perform this glorious work, in which God and his Son will be glorified world without end. For as sin brings us in our own bodies down into the grave, our last prison house, so it is just as certain that, because Christ made an end of our sins, having put them away by the sacrifice of himself, he will raise up our sleeping bodies out of death, by the power of his resurrection. To deny this would be to make his righteous obedience less in its extent and power than our sin of disobedience, and would be equal to saying that his payment was less than our debt. With holy Paul we exclaim, "God forbid." For this would be a clear denial of the perfection and efficacy of our dear Lord's atonement. Paul assures us that we shall be raised up in the likeness of Christ's resurrection. And we know that it was his buried body that revived and arose, and was received up into glory.
Now this leads us to see if it is not true that the God of salvation has graciously given his people a man to succeed Moses, as a type of the risen and living Christ. Yes, this is true! and this one is Joshua. His name means, Jesus, Jehovah is salvation. "And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be discouraged."
"And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses. Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. * * * There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee."
The Lord thus raised up Joshua, and made him the successor of his servant Moses, to lead his people out of the wilderness, through Jordan, and give them their inheritance, according to the promise of God. In this office Joshua was faithful. In all the above words of Moses, and of the Lord to Joshua, we see in him a blessed type of the risen and living Christ. 0 how faithfully the victorious Jesus fulfilled all these words spoken to Joshua, his type!
It is remarkable, that in the life time of Moses Joshua was his minister, and often he only went with Moses into the presence of the Lord, to hear his words to Moses. And when the Lord called Moses up to him on Sinai the first time, he called Joshua his minister with him. And they were there in the holy presence of God forty days and nights. So when the Lord God wrote the ten commandments upon the two tables of stone with his own finger, and gave them to Moses, Joshua was there with him as his minister, and he heard all the laws and instructions of the Lord to Moses. How greatly Joshua was thus favored and honored of God, in being taken into this sacred communion with him as the faithful minister of Moses! Not Aaron himself, the brother of Moses and the high priest, was thus honored. And how sacredly the Lord thus qualified Joshua to lead his people over Jordan into Canaan, after the death of Moses. In all this ministry of Joshua we have a beautiful type of Jesus, and are shown that he was with Moses in the holy mount Sinai, and in all the way, to minister to him. And because the Lord, the minister of the true tabernacle, was with Moses, the leader of Israel, they were safe.
Then, after the death of Moses, the living Joshua, Jesus the Savior, triumphantly brought the people of God into his kingdom, to worship him.
"And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee." That day Joshua and all Israel passed over Jordan, its banks being overflowed; but the Lord divided the waters, and they went through it on dry land; then the waters returned, as before. This was another wonderful deliverance, as at the Red sea. Each of them shows us a great truth in type. The baptism unto Moses in the sea teaches the deliverance of the Lord's people from the bondage of Satan, sin and death through the blood of the atonement, as we have seen. Their baptism unto Joshua in Jordan. and going up out of it with him to serve the Lord in the promised inheritance, is the divine assurance that, as we passed from death unto life through the death of our spiritual Joshua, as shown at the Red sea, so now we shall be saved by his risen life; that, being dead with Christ unto sin, we shall live with him unto righteousness.
Therefore, the passing through Jordan of the Israelites under the authority of Joshua, their new and living leader, represented gospel baptism under the divine authority of the risen and reigning Christ. And gospel baptism is God's promise and assurance to every believer in Jesus that, having raised up Christ from the dead, and quickened us together with Christ, he will also quicken our mortal bodies by his Spirit of life that dwelleth in us. These are God's sure promises, and they are glorious truths and divine realities, which will not disappoint us.
Thus we see that, in the persons of Moses and Joshua, God has blessedly shown us the wonderful power, faithfulness and victory of his glorious Son in the salvation of his people.
Joshua organized and established the kingdom of God in Canaan, and under him the Lord put his redeemed people in the possession of their rich inheritance. In this he was a worthy type of the Head of the church, the Lord Jesus. But Canaan was a militant kingdom; for the Canaanites still dwelt in the land, and they fought against the Israelites; but Joshua was the captain of the Lord's hosts, and the God of Abraham gave him the victory, and their warring enemies were subdued. Those of them that were not slain, were subjected to the children of Israel, and made to pay them tribute. But it came to pass, that when Israel was weak, and the Canaanites were strong, they vexed Israel; but again, when the Israelites were strong, they then put the Canaanites under tribute, and made them hewers of wood and drawers of water; yet they could not utterly drive them out of the land.
Now these were our examples, for all this was typical, and it is fulfilled in the gospel Canaan. We have followed the children of Israel from their worst of slavery in Egypt to their happy inheritance in the liberty of Canaan. How great the change in their state! Dark Egypt, the fearful Red sea, the great and terrible wilderness, the fiery Sinai, the bitter lamentations, hunger and thirst, the alarming unbelief, the merited judgments and correcting chastisements of their faithful God, and the overflowing Jordan, were all behind them, while inviting and beautiful Canaan spread out before them, now their own home, and their beloved Joshua was with them. Thus viewing them, when he had led them to the border of the good land, Moses in his wonderful song said, "Happy art thou, 0 Israel: who is like unto thee, 0 people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thy enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places. "
How happily this is fulfilled to the Lord's saved people in the gospel kingdom of grace, where, not Joshua, but Jesus reigns. The beloved apostle John says, "And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer." This is the crowned Son of man.
"0 Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; 0 Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom." This is our gospel Joshua, and this is our Beloved.
So did Joshua, his type, rule in Israel by the mighty power of the Lord of hosts, and fed the flock of God in Canaan upon the fat of the land. And as the Lord was with Moses, to honor and bless him, so was he with Joshua, his successor, whom he exalted in Israel. and subdued their enemies by him.
"And it came to pass, that when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a Man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as Captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant? And the Captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so." This was the Messenger of the covenant, the Man whom God made strong for himself, the Captain of salvation. He appeared unto Moses in the burning bush, type of the church; he was with Moses and Joshua in the mount Sinai; he was with Joshua in the war in Canaan, and made him victorious over his adversaries; and he is in the midst of the church, and reigns in Zion.
The Lord gave his saved people rest in the promised land, a blessed rest from cruel bondage. And they were happily made to say, "The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad." But Canaan was not heaven, and their warfare was not ended, but they must war a good warfare under their conquering deliverer, their honored captain, Joshua, whom God had given them to save them.
Much more is this true in the gospel kingdom, under the righteous reign of Grace by our Lord Jesus Christ, who "must reign until he hath put all enemies under his feet"-under the church. When the children of Zion are baptized in the faith of their living Savior, the risen King in Zion, so great is the mercy and favor of God to them, that they are ready to think that their fightings and fears and troubles are past; that, being made free from the dominion of sin, their worst foe, and justified from all things, they shall be carried above all sin and temptation and pain. This is indeed a sweet foretaste of the joys that await us beyond the valley of the shadow of death, when that which is in part is done away, and that which is perfect is come.
But how sorrowful the realization that the Canaanites still dwell in the land, and that we are now soldiers of the Cross, and must endure hardness and fight the good fight of faith, before we enter into glory. It is in this militant state of the kingdom of God, and through this great fight of afflictions, that he teaches his children that where sin abounded, grace did much more abound, and that Christ is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Paul assures us that in all the warfare, perils and dangers, we are more than conquerors through Christ our Savior, who loved us. And so his strength is made perfect in the weakness of his people. He reigns victorious over heaven and earth.
So the Lord was with Joshua, and he gave Israel the victory over their enemies. The time having come when he should depart, he called for all Israel, and gave them his last words, among which we read: "Cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day. For the LORD hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but as for you, no man bath been able to stand before you unto this day. One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you. Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.* * * And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one good thing bath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof."
In all this is seen the power and faithfulness and loving kindness of the Lord unto his people, whom he hath redeemed. This was true under Joshua, and it is blessedly true under Jesus. His last words to his brethren are full of encouragement and comfort, as were the parting words of Joshua, and he said, in closing, "These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
PRIESTHOOD fills a very prominent place in the Bible, and it is shown to be essential in the worship of God. Indeed no son or daughter of Adam could approach unto God with acceptance only through a proper priestly offering for sin. The offering itself must be sinless and without blemish, a living sacrifice. It must be put to death, and its blood offered unto God as an atonement for the sins of the worshiper. In no other way could any sinful person obtain the forgiveness, mercy and favor of God. This was solemnly shown in the offering of Cain, the first-born of Adam and Eve. It was a bloodless offering, and it did not show either confession of sin or an atonement for sin, but rather it expressed meritorious works on his part. God therefore rejected Cain and his offering, because he had no faith in the atonement of another, but trusted in himself. For this he was angry with God, and slew his brother Abel. All he could have against Abel was, because he by faith in God offered in sacrifice for his sins the firstling of his flock, and God accepted him and his offering, because it represented in type his faith in the Lamb of God, which should take away sin. Doubtless Abel understood and believed the promise of God, that the Son of the woman, who should be bruised and put to death, should thus bruise the serpent's head, and put away sin. This is a wonderful faith in God. It was the faith of Enoch, of Noah, of Abraham, and of all the true worshipers of God. On the other hand, all who bring their own works as an offering to God, and claim his favor and blessing therefor, are trusting in themselves, but not by faith in the Lamb of God. Those are Cainites, and they hate God and persecute their brother Abel, for his faith and simple trust in God, and because his faith (not his works) is counted to him for righteousness.
Now this leads us to see the absolute necessity of a priesthood approved unto God, who shall make a spotless atonement for the sins of those who come unto God in his worship, a sacrifice acceptable unto him. For God is just and most holy; therefore none of his people, no, not Abraham nor Samuel, Isaiah nor Daniel, can come unto him in their sins, for the sword of justice would cut them down as cursed. Sin cannot dwell with holiness. So God will not receive nor bless any person, or, his service, in unrighteousness. It would outrage his nature and stain his holy law to do so. Perfection only can please God and receive his blessing. This is so evidently true that it seems all would see it, and seeing it, would cease from their own works, and in very truth say, "Nothing in my hand I bring; simply to thy cross I cling." So far from all thus coming, many talk of meritorious obedience of their own, and expect, like Cain, to receive in return the smiles and blessing of the most holy God. To all those the sentence of the holy Son of God is, "Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity. " The word of truth says, "There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not." Therefore, there is not a man upon earth whom God will receive or bless for what he is, or for what he does. If he thus comes to God, he is rejected and must depart.
We are thus made to feel in very soul that, unless God has given us a perfect High Priest to bring us unto God in true. holiness, we must forever perish. God himself has taught us this solemn truth, both in the Scriptures and by his Holy Spirit in our hearts. And so we found that, not in the letter only, but in awful reality, our sins separated between us and God.
Another truth is, that both the priest and the offering he makes must be ordained of God, and approved by him. For no man may thrust himself into this sacred office.
The sixteenth chapter of Numbers contains a fearful example of such an attempt, and a warning against it. Korah, Dathan and Abiram, with two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown, rose up before Moses in the camp of Israel, and gathered themselves against Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, "Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD? And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face: and he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even tomorrow the Lord will shew who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him; even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him. This do: Take your censers, Korah, and all his company; and put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD tomorrow; and it 'shall be that the man whom the LORD doth choose, he shall be holy; ye take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi. "
And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab; which said, We will not come up." Then Moses went to them, and the elders of Israel followed him, and to the congregation he said, "Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins. So they got up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children. * * And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them; and they perished from among the congregation. And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said: Lest the earth swallow us up also. And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense."
Thus the Lord shows us the wicked presumption of any who thrust themselves before him, whom he hath not chosen and consecrated. All should give earnest heed to it.
We come now to consider the priesthood of Aaron. His name signifies, enlightened, illumined. This he had from the Lord. Aaron was the brother of Moses, and three years older, and he was given to Moses to be his speaker, being eloquent. The Lord commanded Moses to ordain and consecrate Aaron to be the high priest unto the whole house of Israel; and to also thus set apart the four sons of Aaron as priests in the first sanctuary of the tabernacle, called the holy place. It was in this place that the two hundred and fifty Levites thrust themselves, and died.
"And the LORD said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father's house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood. * * * Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest's office for everything of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given your priest's office unto you as a service of gift; and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.
Nadab and Abihu, the first two sons of Aaron, had died before the Lord for their sin of offering strange fire in their censers, when they burned incense before him. Applying this to the gospel ministry, the strange fire, which the Lord had not commanded, fitly represents strange or false doctrine. Paul therefore wrote to the churches of Galatia, saying. "But there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. " This is the just sentence of the Lord. Purity and holiness becometh the house of God for ever, and nothing unclean can dwell in his presence.
Only through a priesthood, therefore, can even the people of God have access unto him; and the priesthood must be holy in his sight. The office of the priest is to make an acceptable atonement, satisfaction, or reconciliation, for the sins of the people for whom he makes the sin offering, and then to make intercession unto God for them. When the people of God are thus accepted with him in their priest, they then have access unto God in his worship as one with their priest, and are a family of priests.
This was true of the house of Israel. Aaron, their first high priest, made an atonement, first for his own sins, then for the sins of the priests, and also for the sins of all his people. The Lord their God had himself ordained the sin offerings or sacrifices for the atonement, even as he had ordained the priests. Their own acceptance with God, and the acceptance of their people, was through the spotless atoning sacrifice and in virtue of it; for it was sinless and well pleasing unto God. No other offering or sacrifice for sin would God accept. He himself must provide the lamb for an offering, because he only knew what was sufficient and had the power to provide himself with it.
The religious belief prevails that, just so the worshiper is sincere, and brings the best he has, and does the best he knows, that is sufficient, and God will accept him. This would admit all heathen superstition and false worship, and deny perfection and holiness in God. It would even count the blood of the covenant of God, wherewith we were sanctified unto him, a needless and unholy thing. A more fatal error and delusion could not exist among men. Yet this is the very soul and deadly essence of all legal religious worship in the world, which claims acceptance with God and his favor upon the ground of personal works of obedience. If such a doctrine could hold good with God, then there was no need of an high priest and a priesthood, and Christ need not have died. "For if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain," testifies inspired Paul. He again says, "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." This is the deadly mistake of expecting to come unto God in our own works of obedience to his commandments, and of thus obtaining his favor and blessing. Instead of this, the curse of his holy law will certainly drive us away from his great white throne, for we would stain it with our impure offerings. Yet this fatalistic error too lamentably obtains and prevails among the people who profess faith in Christ; for they teach that, though Christ died for us, and grace reigns in our salvation unto eternal life by him, yet we must now come unto God in our own personal conditional works of obedience (good works, they call them), or we cannot be saved now in time, This is a repudiation of the perfect and finished work of our High Priest, Christ Jesus, and of the fullness of salvation in him, and a denial that we are saved by grace.
So far from this worldly and false religion, that God accepts and blesses us with rewards of salvation for our voluntary conditional service, being in the least true, he has proven to all his people for all time by the great example of the priesthood of Aaron, and the people of that first covenant, which was legal and conditional on their part, that it is utterly impossible for his people to be saved in this way. It was necessary that the Lord teach his people this truth, that their righteousness and salvation is of him, and that their only acceptance with him is in his holy Son, in whom and for whose sake alone God loves them and has blessed them. Let it be repeated with strong assurance, that God ordained the law and the priesthood under Moses and Aaron, and oalled his people of that covenant down into Egypt, and up out of it into Canaan, unto this very end and purpose, to teach and convince his people forever, that there is only ONE HIGH PRIEST who can save them-the Man Christ Jesus. The examples of Adam, and Melchisedec, and Isaac, and Joseph, and Moses, and Joshua, and Aaron, all, all prove this one great object-lesson, this divine truth. They stand out as a grand picture in the spiritual heavens, saying to all who have eyes to read,
"WITHOUT HOLINESS NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD."
All those typical men bore witness that holiness was not in them, but they pointed to One who is holy, who should come to Zion, meek and having salvation, and should turn away ungodliness from his people. "The law made nothing perfect." There was no perfection in the priesthood of Aaron, but in it there was a continual remembrance of sins; for it and all that priestly people were under the law, and all died because they were sinners. So all that all those typical examples could do was to point "the prisoners of hope" onward and upward, to a glorious High Priest to come, whose holy sacrifice should take away our sins forever, and who should as a Man enter into the holy presence of God for us, set down at the right hand of God upon his throne, our Advocate with the Father, and make intercession for us,
To deny this divine meaning and purpose of the law and the priesthood, is to make them a total disappointment and failure; for they made nothing perfect, but proved only that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," as says Paul. But with God there are no mistakes, disappointments or failures; but all that he appoints fulfills his purpose. "The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand."
Having now seen all this design of the priesthood under the law, we are prepared to specially consider Aaron, whose priesthood was ceremonial, typical, and to pass away at the coming of the eternal High Priest.
The Lord himself called and sanctified Aaron as high priest over his people Israel. To all this people Aaron was their brother. Without this close relation, he could not have been their high priest. He and they must all be the children of Abraham, the people of God's covenant and promise. No stranger could thrust himself into the priest's office. And not Aaron himself could make an atonement for strangers, because he did not bear any sacred relation to them; but he represented and officiated before the Lord for his father's house only. All this was typical, and was fulfilled in Christ, as we shall see.
"For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee." "To day" refers to the resurrection day of Christ, who "was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." "And he is the Head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the First-born from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell. "
Of the priesthood of Aaron Paul most truly and forcibly says, "If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. " '' For there is verily a disannuling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God." Paul says, Christ is our hope. It is by him only that we draw nigh unto God.
"We have such an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this Man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things."
How solemn and blessed is the truth here revealed, that the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, the Man Christ Jesus, is passed into the heavens, and that in entering into his holy priesthood, he must first be sacrificed in his flesh for his people, and then rise up in immortality and pass away from earth, Our faith in him follows him there within the vail, our Forerunner into the glory of God.
"Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered-for himself, and for the errors of the people: the Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience. But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."
"And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but
into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." 0 how blessed this truth, "for us!" Since Christ is in the presence of God "for us," we shall also appear in the presence of God with him and like him.
"For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshipers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. * * * Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein: which are offered by the law; then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, 0 God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this Man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an High Priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. "
We have now been led through the law and its priesthood, and have been made to see that they were only examples, figures and shadows, pointing us onward, ever onward, saying, There is no perfection, no rest, here; look unto JESUS.
"Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator" (Moses). * * * "But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our school-master to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. " This is very clear and plain, as the Lord revealed it to Paul. The law and its priesthood were to give knowledge of sin to the people of God, and to keep them in remembrance of their sins continually, but could never take away their sins. In every atonement made by their high priest once a year, and in every bleeding sacrifice offered daily by their priests, the awful truth was shown to all that people that they were yet under the law of sin and death. And every yearly entrance of the high priest into the holy place within the veil with atoning blood, where no other Israelite could enter and live, was a solemn showing that their sins shut them out of heaven. But it was also the testimony of God to them, that as he had ordained Aaron their high priest to enter within the sacred veil, and make the typical atonement for them, and thus carry their sins forward from year to year, so he would in the end of all that typical service, send his sin-burdened people a glorious High Priest to succeed Aaron, who, like him, should be the Son of Abraham, the near kinsman and Brother of all the people of God, who should pass through this veil, rend it in two from top to bottom, make an end of both sin and death, and give all his dear people boldness to enter into the holy presence of God in heaven.
This was the spiritual meaning of the solemn priesthood of Aaron, type of Christ, God's ordained high priest under the first testament, even as Jesus is God's ordained High Priest for ever under the better testament. Aaron died, and his priesthood passed away; but our High Priest lives, to die no more, and his priesthood shall abide as endless as heaven. And, blessed be his name! he will present all unto people his eGod in holy ren, whom he loves, an holy priesthood priesthood , Father, here am I and and blissful heaven, and say, the children whom thou gayest me. "
JONAH was a type of God's Anointed in a very sorrowful and deeply solemn way, as no other typical person was, and so the types of the dear Redeemer of the children of men would not be full and complete without the prophet Jonah. For he was a prophet of the Lord, as his name itself signifies. But God said that he would not leave himself without witness. Therefore, our God raised up and sent a full number of typical men to be his perpetual witnesses to his people in all time, to represent their precious Redeemer in every part of his ordained work as their full Savior. In this Jonah was a heart-touching and peculiar type; for he showed that the Son of man, who should come into the world as an Hebrew Prophet of God, as Jonah was, should lay three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. This was the deep meaning of the fact that Jonah was three days and three nights in the bottom of the deep Mediterranean sea.
Certain of the scribes and Pharisees said to Christ, "Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas; for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise up in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here." Thus the dear Lord himself teaches us that Jonah, in the depths of the great sea, and Jonah as a preacher of Gad in the great city of Nineveh, was a sign of himself.
Let us notice the clear and strong meaning of our Lord's words: "So shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Thus God ordained both events; that Jonah should go down into the sea, and that Jesus should go down into the grave. There was no other way, no escape, for either Jonah or Jesus.
But it may be truly said, that it was for the disobedience of Jonah that the great fish swallowed him up in the deep sea, while Christ, of whom he was a type, was obedient. Yet it is also true of Jonah, that he learned obedience to God through suffering, and so he fulfilled the will of God in sending him to Nineveh, although he must first be three days and three nights in the great deep. So did the Son of man fulfill the w-ill of God in sending him into the world; but, 0 sorrowful to tell ! he, too, learned obedience to God through suffering, and such suffering as neither Jonah, nor any other prophet of God, could endure. We read: "Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, and said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about; and thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped round about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me forever; yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, 0 LORD My God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple."
We sorrowfully read again: "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him."
"And he came out and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. "
"Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, 0 my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. * * * He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, 0 my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. "
"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, * * * My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? * * * Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves, after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."
"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings."
0 how heart-rending is all this unutterable suffering of the obedient Son of man! and how divinely lovely is his unresisting and perfect submission to his holy Father's will, in patiently enduring all this infinite woe and agony of soul ! 0 how his beautiful example should reconcile us to our light afflictions, and hush and quiet us into unmurmuring patience! The loving Son of God has taught us by his own example that his and our Father knew best, and that his will is wise and good and best. He knew that his Father loved him perfectly, and that, if it were possible, he would therefore hear his most touching cry to him, and remove from his agonizing Son the cup of atoning suffering, even unto the death of the cross. That the holy Father did not remove it, is positive proof that it was not possible for him to do so, as his submissive Son knew. To say that God might have taken suffering and death away from the holy and harmless Man, and appointed some other way, would make void his word in Eden, that this Son should bruise the serpent's head, and should "swallow up death in victory," as he declared by the prophet Isaiah, Yea, it would say that there was no truth in the prophets of God, nor in the priesthood that he ordained, in which every bleeding sacrifice foreshadowed the suffering, bleeding, dying Lamb of God. It would also deny that any of those holy men of God, and the mighty things which he wrought by them, as Joseph and Moses and Joshua, represented Christ and his glorious work of salvation. To say that the cup the Father gave the Son to drink might have been dashed to the ground, and the smiting sword of Justice turned aside from him, would deny the truth of Christ's "sign" that he gave to the Jews, and would make the fact that Jonah went down to the bottom of the sea a mere accidental event, having no meaning or lesson in it. It would say, that the prophet Jonah might just as well, yea better, have gone to Nineveh at first, and so have avoided his foolish disobedience and worse than useless effort to go to Tarshish, and have escaped all the fearful suffering that came upon him thereby. To say this, would charge ignorance and folly to the all-wise God of the universe, and would deny both his foreknowledge of all things and his eternal purpose in all things, and his power over them.
Who, that reveres, loves and fears God, can fail to see the ruinous consequences of this position or assumption. But yet there is just as much reason, or rather unreason, in saying that the cup, the dreadful cup, might have passed away from Jesus, and from Jonah, as to say that the cup of suffering and of sowing in tears might pass away from any other child and servant of God. But it is not so; for the same Father's hand that filled the cup and gave it to his beloved Son to drink, with the same wisdom and love filled the deep cup of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, of Joseph, Moses and Jonah, and gave it to them. Only in drinking that cup could it pass away. "The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, " does not sport or trifle with any of his children, neither does he needlessly afflict them. 0 never! but every drop in their cup, be it joy or grief, life or death, the loving Father's hand gives in that cup. In wisdom and goodness and mercy he gives it, not only for his own glory, but as well for the good of his child. 0, we adore and bless, love and trust in this Father and God!
Yet the pleading cry to him of his suffering Son authorizes us to pour out our troubled soul into the pitying ear of our Father, and ask him to remove the cup, if it be possible, because we do not know his will and purpose in our afflictions and trials; for if we must drink the deep cup, which is beyond our strength, he will send his angel of mercy to minister to and strengthen us. 0 how infinitely better this is, than to be adrift upon the black sea of stormy and chaotic Chancel to either swim or sink, reach the desired haven or perish, as our little knowledge and less strength may decide.
Having seen all this solemn truth, and received instruction and comfort from it, let us now notice again "the sign of the prophet Jonas," and we shall see that he also, like "the Prophet of Nazareth," was made submissive and obedient to the will of God, even though it were for him to go down into death. "But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was amighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried 'every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, 0 sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; what is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them."
We read of the greater than Jonas: "And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold. there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, 0 ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him."
"Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, 0 LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, 0 LORD, hast done as it pleased thee. So they took up Jonah, aid cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD and made vows."
All this is very wonderful, for it is the Lord's doing. How true were the words of Jonah! and how unresisting was he! yea, how ready to die, that the men in the ship might live! In this, how truly Jonah was a "sign" of the Son of man! who, when he was to be cast into the great deep, also meekly gave himself up. "Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground" (Judas with them). "Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he? if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: that the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gayest me have I lost none." "I lay down my life for the sheep."
So did Jonah obediently yield himself up to the sea for the precious lives in the ship, and in so doing he was their salvation. How true was their prayer, "We beseech thee, 0 LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, 0 LORD, hast done as it pleased thee." Yes, "as it pleased thee." The men saw this and knew it. Jonah, the prophet of the Lord, had so told them, that this deadly storm was upon them for his sake; that is, because he was one with them in the ship. Until Jonah was numbered with them, the Lord did not send the storm upon the ship.
There is a deep and solemn spiritual truth in this, and in the beseeching prayer of those in the ship. They implored God, that he would not let them perish because they must deliver up Jonah to the sea, nor lay upon them innocent blood; "for thou, 0 LORD, hast done as it pleased thee." This was true in the person of Jonah, and as true in the person of Jesus, when they went down into the sea, and into the heart of the earth. Not that Jesus was a transgressor in his own spotless person, 0 no! yet he was numbered with the transgressors in God's account, and he bare the sin of many. For verily the disobedience of his people was his by righteous imputation, just as the debt of the married woman is her husband's as well, and his payment of the debt is her justification in the law.
The truth is this: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. " This was the Son of man. He was then one with his bride under the law, and was equally responsible with her for her disobedience, and all her violations of the law were his as the Bridegroom and the Head of the church, which is his body. He must meet the fury of the overwhelming tempest of sin avenging justice, or all in the ship of Zion must perish in the sea of destruction. His righteous obedience of suffering unto death is the only way for the disobedience of his people, his many members, to be taken away, and for they themselves to be saved and made righteous.
Jonah said, "Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea: so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you." But the men rowed hard to bring the ship to land, and to thus save Jonah and themselves from perishing, but they could not. And thus they knew that their own arm could not save them, nor their best efforts help them. No, nor could their idol gods, upon whom they had called, do them any good. They had cast out into the sea all the wares or goods, to lighten the storm-beaten ship, in the hope that it might outride the furious tempest. 0 how earnest and desperate were their struggles against death, which had come so near them! But the fury of the tempest increased the more against them, and all they could do against it ended only in despair.
Such is the agonizing experience of all whom the Lord delivers from so great a death. The heavens gather blackness above them, and their soul is tempest-tossed upon life's engulfing sea. God himself must rescue them, or they must perish. This was true of Jonah himself, and his only hope was in God, whom he feared. Of his new covenant people the Lord says, "for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest." "And they shall be all taught of God," says his dear Son.
We have seen how all in the ship were taught of him. It was through fearful peril, suffering and loss, but the divine teaching was effectual. and it cured them of idolatry. So it is with every one whom the Lord teaches.
One hope only of salvation was left to the now God fearing men in the ship. They most sorrowfully knew it, because God had thus taught them, and so had the prophet Jonah, who said to them, "Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea." 0 this was to them a heartbreaking sorrow! yet it was the way of God, and the good way. Unto this very end and for this same purpose the Lord had sent Jonah down upon this sea voyage, and then sent the great tempest; for the Lord's idolatrous people were in that ship, as well as in the great city of Nineveh; and so God would send Jonah, the sign of the Son of man, both into the ship and into Nineveh, to save them. To deny this, is a denial of the wisdom and goodness, power and providence of God, which is faithless infidelity. True enough, the disobedience of Jonah was the moving and active cause that sent him forth in the ship, and forth into the sea, but God in the riches of his mercy ordained it so; for in this way he would make his suffering servant a blessed sign or type of his suffering Son. This way of suffering and of sowing the precious seed in tears is the blessed way of God, both for Jonah and Jesus to learn obedience. Yea, and all who come after Christ into his perfect obedience, must learn obedience through his sufferings being fulfilled in them; for thus has God predestinated that we shall be conformed to the holy image of his beloved Son. God in his infinite wisdom knew that the only way into holy obedience and life and a glorious immortality is, through suffering unto death. We cannot too well understand this sacred truth; for only this faith in God will support and comfort us in tribulation, and inspire us to say with David, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
The wisdom of men, which is foolishness with God, will disdain and reject this truth, but vain man thus replies against God.
But in this simple and sublime faith in the Lord God Omnipotent, who reigneth everywhere, suffering Job said, •'Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." Jesus, our Prophet, teaches us to say in prayer to our Father in heaven, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." This proves positively that God's will is done; for his holy Son would not and could not teach his apostles and us to pray a falsehood.
This faith and trust in God is the victory that overcometh the world. It was this that made both Jonah and Jesus obedient unto death. It was this trust in God that led the perishing men in the ship to most sorrowfully take up the prophet of God, and cast him forth into the sea. So it is in this same revealed faith in the heart of each humble believer in Jesus that he says in tearful sorrow, "'Twere you, my sins, my cruel sins, his chief tormentors were." "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures," says faithful Paul. Therefore, if we had not sinned, then Christ would not have died. But, unless Christ had died, then there would not have been any resurrection of the dead. Indeed, there could not have been any resurrection unto life and glory. "For since by man came death, by Man came also the resurrection of the dead," says Paul. Then, as certainly or absolutely as God foreordained that his holy Son should die in the flesh, and redeem his people with his precious blood, as testifies Peter, so did he likewise foreordain that by one man sin should enter into the world, and death by sin, and so death should pass upon all men. We therefore read in the word, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." When he appeared on earth the first time, it was with the sins of his people upon him, which he bore upon the cross, and put them away by the sacrifice of himself. To each one of his believing people he has thus appeared once, and they are looking for him to appear the second time, and he will come at the appointed hour, and will not tarry. And when he appears to us the second time, then both Christ and his people shall be without sin.
That will be on heaven's side of the grave. "Then shall we also appear with him in glory."
Jonah must, therefore, be swallowed up in the sea three days and three nights, and so must the Son of man be swallowed up three days and three nights, before Jonah should arise and go to Nineveh and save the city, and before the Man Christ should arise in the glory of his power, and swallow up death in victory, and save all the people of the city of God. The sign or figure was established and made sure by the mighty God of Jacob, and glorious was the result; and so much more gloriously sure shall be the end unto which Christ both died, and arose and revived.
Let us see what God wrought by his servant Jonah. "Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows." They were delivered from death, and saved from idolatry, to worship the only true and living God. Who will now presume to say, that the Lord did not most wisely and mercifully send the storm upon the ship, and then send Jonah down to the bottom of the sea?
"Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. " At the end of that time Jonah said unto the Lord, "I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD." This is verily true in the experience of the men in the ship, in the experience of Jonah, in the experience of the city of Nineveh, in the experience of the Son of man, in our own experience, and in the experience of all the saved in time. We notice, that all this salvation was on earth and in time. Whoever, wherever and whenever any one is saved, "Salvation is of the LORD." So Jonah preached, so the Son of man preached, and so Moses preached, saying,
"Happy art thou, 0 Israel: who is like unto thee, 0 people saved by the LORD." "Neither is there salvation in any other." JESUS is salvation. All else is idolatry and condemnation.
"And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD." This was the obedience of faith, learned through suffering, according to the will of God. We do well to notice here, that even the great fish obeyed the Lord. The Lord had prepared and sent it to the side of the ship, ready to swallow up Jonah at the very moment when he was cast out of the ship; and the Lord had increased the fury of the storm until the shipmen could not longer keep Jonah on board. The Lord is never too soon, nor too late. "His work is perfect. "
So when the meek and lowly Jesus said to the wicked, "This is your hour, and the power of darkness," neither the deeply sorrowing mother and disciples, nor the hard efforts of Pilate the governor to release him from the murderous Jews, could hold him back from going down into the heart of the earth; for this was God's own appointed way, and Jesus must be true to his own type. Great was the sorrow, fearful the suffering and appalling the vengeful tempest, when the power of darkness was poured forth against God's Anointed. Yet God's wisdom and love, power and mercy were in it; for there was no other way to save the ship and the city, the church, the children that God in love gave to his Son. Through death, he must deliver them from all this that would swallow them up in wrath.
But 0, let us evermore bless the Lord! For at the end of the three days and three nights, not one moment longer, could the great fish, nor the deep sea, hold the prophet Jonah, who must then arise and go to Nineveh that great city, preach righteousness in it, and save the city. No, nor could all the now destroyed powers o darkness, nor the great stone, nor the king's seal upon: it, nor the Roman soldiers, nor death and the grave confine the sleeping body of the dear Son of man on moment beyond the early dawn of the third day. "H. is not here; for he is risen," said the rejoicing angel the weeping sisters.
And as the obedient prophet of the Lord preached the word of the Lord in the great city of Nineveh, and the all repented in sackcloth and ashes, and the Lord spare. the city; so the living Savior of his people says, "I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, 0 LORD, thou knowest have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have no concealed thy loving kindness and thy truth from the great congregation. "
"For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed, to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. " Praise unto God. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me preach the gospel to the poor; he bath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captive: and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
The triumphant Son of man himself fulfills this glorious ministry of his, even as the prophet Jonah himself preached the word of the Lord in the city of Nineveh. The ministry of Jonah was effectual, just as God ordained that it should be. And so the angel Gabriel said to Joseph, "And thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins."
WE have seen that the types of the Man of God's right hand, whom he made strong for himself, are varied in name and character and mission, yet not antagonistic, but rather variety in unity, so that all make one symmetrical whole, and all find their full complement or perfection in the Brother born for adversity, of whom even the pagan Pilate said, "I find no fault in this Man." In every way and in all his life and ministry and work, Jesus of Nazareth was a perfect Man. He alone, of all men, was this. In him the blessed and holy God himself is well pleased.
We now come to another type of this faultless Man, BOAZ. In his very name, which signifies fleetness and strength, he represented Christ. Boaz was noble and good and great in Israel. Bethlehem was his home, the home of his son David, and the birth place of David's son Jesus. Jesus was swift to run in the race that God set before him, and strong to finish the work he came to do. Never did he falter or turn back. To his mother he said, "Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" To his Father he said, "Lo, I come to do thy will, 0 God. "
In this virtue Boaz was a type of Jesus. Naomi said to Ruth, "Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day."
In the little book of Ruth is given a very touching biography of Elimelech and Naomi his wife, their two sons, and Ruth and Boaz. It says, "And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz." Because of a famine in the land of Israel, Elimelech, with his wife and two sons, went to the country of Moab to dwell, and Naomi remained there about ten years. But the Lord did not prosper them in that idolatrous place; for her husband died. Then her two sons married maidens of Moab, named Orpah and Ruth. But, alas! the sons, Chilion and Mahlon, also died, and the three childless widows were left alone in their poverty and sorrow. It was then in the heart of Naomi to return to Bethlehem; "for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread. Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah." Naomi entreated them to return each to their mother's house, saying, "the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me. * * } Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept. And they said unto her. Surely we will return with thee unto thy people." But she again plead with them to return, and said, "nay my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me. And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her motherin-law; but Ruth slave unto her. And she said, Behold, thy sister-in-law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods; return thou after thy sister-in-law. And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee; for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God; where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried; the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. When she saw that she was steadfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her. So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?" (The name means pleasant.) "And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Marah; for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty; why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?"
This was indeed another very mysterious and afflictive providence of God; for it seemed to have well nigh cut off the family of Elimelech; but really it was rich in wisdom and goodness and blessing, not only to the house of Elimelech, but as well to the house of Israel, and overflowing with mercy to the Gentiles. Truly did Cowper write, "God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform," &c.
We have read the words and sentiments of Naomi and Ruth, and have seen how they were received in Bethlehem. Let us seek instruction from them, seeing that the Lord was dealing with them. The sorrowful confession of Naomi showed bitter irreconciliation to the dealings of the Lord with her, and also unbelief and distrust. This was natural and of the flesh. With her husband and sons she had left her home-land and inheritance and people, that they might do better for themselves among the idolatrous Moabites. She returned in ten years to Bethlehem, bringing only Ruth with her, each of them widowed and empty handed. Her husband's inheritance in Judah had been sold for debt, and this left herself and Ruth, the widow of her younger son Mahlon, homeless, for they could not redeem the forfeited inheritance. Naomi was old and infirm, and so the youthful Ruth was under the humbling necessity of gleaning after the reapers in the harvest field, to pick up the crumbs that fell from the master's table, that Naomi and herself might have bread. This sadly explains the words of Naomi: "I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty. " She was willing to go out, that she might keep all she had, and not lose it by the famine in Israel; but now, because she was empty, she was willing to return home again. It was in this way that the Lord brought her home again.
In all this there is a wonderful lesson of spiritual doctrine and truth. Naomi was an Israelite, as were her husband and their two sons; so all their inheritance and fullness was under the first and legal covenant. All this had been forfeited under the law, and was gone from her, and she had neither husband nor son to redeem it. She was no longer a married wife, neither full nor rich, but empty, grieved and forsaken. She had left to her the cleaving, loving Ruth only, but she was as poor and homeless as herself. Naomi confessed that the Lord brought her home again in this sorrowful way, having Ruth only with her; still it was true that the Lord had brought her home, home to Bethlehem, home to his people and her people, home to her kinsman, the mighty man of wealth, the noble Boaz.
In all this sorrowful way, which was of the Lord, the bereaved and dear Naomi, who was still pleasant, was a beautiful and true type or figure of the Hebrew church of Christ. For all that was true of Naomi in her experience in going out full, and in the Almighty dealing very bitterly with her, and in bringing her home again empty, was as touchingly true also in the Lord's dealings with the gospel church among the Jews. For he took away from them their legal head, their first husband, their children under the law, and all their inheritance and fullness in the old covenant.
As Naomi went away from Judah to the country of Moab, so did her legal people depart from that covenant, and they lost all their legal fullness. To suffering Naomi it was a bitter way indeed, yet it was the Lord's good and best way to bring her home to a better inheritance, and to rest in a richer faith and trust. Paul clearly shows all this, by relating all his advantages and fullness in the law as an Hebrew, and then says, "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things." In this way only could Paul know and be brought into the fullness of Christ, and Christ become more than all else to him, and blessedly be all in all.
Having seen how the Lord has wonderfully shown us this in the typical Naomi, let us now return to the lovely Ruth in the little city of Bethlehem. She was a Gentile, but had forever turned away from her natural people and their gods, henceforth to live and die with the people of Naomi, and to worship her God. We have read her precious words to Naomi. Truer love, stronger faith, firmer trust and more undying devotion to God and his people could not dwell in the heart of any one, even Mary the mother of Jesus. It beautifully. manifests the blessed and sweetly overcoming power of the God of all grace in bringing home to himself the stranger, the Gentile Ruth, to live to him in the same faith and love with the home-born daughter Naomi. And who can fail to be filled with hearty admiration and esteem for both the Jewish mother and her Gentile daughter, for their endearing love and union to each other. This is a sweetfwonder, seeing that the Jew looked upon the Gentile as unholy and unclean, as no better than swine.
We have seen that Ruth, whose name means a friend, the true and loving Ruth, was a woman of faith, a faith that could not be turned back, an overcoming and trusting faith in the God of Israel. This was Naomi's God, and now no less the God' of Ruth. In this faith and uniting love they two were one, and their people one.
All will now see in lovely Ruth a beautiful type of the Gentile church. Poor in herself and a stranger, her faith in God had separated her from the world in which she once was at home, and it had joined her to Naomi and her people in Bethlehem. Most touchingly Ruth walked by faith, and was saved by hope. For her faith and hope in the God of Naomi was all she had in the world to look to and trust in. True, Naomi was with her as her loving mother, but Naomi was as poor and needy herself as Ruth, and they were then both desolate widows, sorrowful and having no inheritance. God alone could provide for them now, build them a house and give them an inheritance. With nothing in their hands, having neither husband nor son, the God of Abraham had brought these two sorrowing women to Bethlehem. 0 how sadly interesting they were! It is no wonder "that all the city was moved about them;" for our own hearts are moved about them in love and sympathy.
We behold in Naomi and Ruth, Jew and Gentile, thus united as one in the same faith and love to God, the one church of Christ in her desolate widowhood and poverty in herself, before the spiritual Bridegroom manifestly betroths her unto himself in bonds of love and faithfulness, and seals her upon his heart as his bride, all fair and lovely.
In this place it is edifying and profitable that we notice the commendable example the Lord has wisely given the church in Ruth, of a true believer in coming to dwell with his people in the church. Naomi, a type of the church, did not urge or persuade Ruth to go, nor even invite her, but urged her to go back to her natural people, as Orpah had done, and told her of her own afflictions, and that she could offer her no natural inducement to cast her lot with hers in Bethlehem. This proved the faith of Ruth, that it was in God, and she must be true to her faith. "Faith worketh by love, and purifieth the heart." It was her faith that separated Ruth from her worldly people, and turned her willing feet to go with Naomi. The same faith in Moses led him also to choose to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin. Seeing this in sweet Ruth, Naomi was content to have her with her. Had she urged Orpah, as many are urged now, she would also have gone'on with them to Bethlehem, as she had started to go. But this would have been worse for both Naomi and Orpah, because she was moved by sympathy and natural affection only, and she could not have felt at home with the Lord's poor and afflicted people. It is needless and wrong, therefore, to urge any one to go to the church; for until they are drawn and moved, like Ruth, it were better to follow the example of Orpah. The Lord in his perfect love and wisdom has given his people these true examples and patterns for our learning.
Boaz now appears to Naomi and Ruth, and he is another worthy and noble example. The Lord, the God of his people Israel, raised Boaz up for that time, and specially honored him, so that he became renowned in Israel, as we shall see. Yea, the Lord made Boaz the head of the house of Elimelech, the restorer of the lost inheritance to both Naomi and Ruth, and the illustrious ancestor of the house of David the king, of whom Christ came according to the flesh. All this was through blessed Ruth, and for her sake. For both King David and his son King Jesus were sons of lovely Ruth, the woman of faith. "This is the LORD'S doing; and it is marvelous in our eyes." Do we wonder now that Elimelech and his two sons, in whose name was the inheritance, must be sent through famine into the country of Moab and there lose their inheritance through poverty and death, and there leave three desolate and poor widows? For this was God's way to take away the legal inheritance, to restore to his poor people the better gospel inheritance, to bring in the Gentiles as fellowheirs with the Jews, and to bring salvation to both Jews and Gentiles. The hand of the Lord directed it all.
It was the time of barley harvest at Bethlehem when the Lord brought his daughter Naomi home, and her trusting Ruth with her, to share her poverty. And thus through hunger Ruth went into a near field to glean, or gather up the heads of grain that might be left by the reapers. This was the law in Israel, that the poor might live. The Lord blesses the poor, and they have the gospel preached to them. It is because they are poor that they feast on its riches.
"And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace." Behold her faith! "And she said unto her, Go my daughter. And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech. And, behold Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee," Seeing Ruth gleaning, Boaz asked them, "Whose damsel is this?" Being told, he said to her, "Hearest thou not my daaghter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens: let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: * * * and when thou art athirst go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn. Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him' Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger? And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother inlaw since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust. Then she said, Let me find favor in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens. "
"So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest." He had commanded his young men to let her glean even among the sheaves, and to let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she might glean them. Ruth related all this to Naomi, who said unto her, "Blessed be he of the LORD, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, the man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen."
To the nearest kinsman in Israel belonged the right of redemption of the forfeited inheritance, that he might justly restore it to the family in rightful possession. Naomi and Ruth were the only remaining heirs of the family of Elimelech, and they were equal heirs. Now it was in the heart of Boaz to perform the kinsman's part for Ruth, by making her his wife, thus restoring her and Naomi to the inheritance, and making them the happy possessors with himself of his own rich inheritance and home. But there was a nearer kinsman than Boaz, as he told Ruth, whose claim upon Naomi and their lost inheritance was first. So Boaz said to Ruth, "If he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well, let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth."
Before ten of the elders of the city this one thus answered Boaz: "And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it."
"And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's, and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi. Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders said, we are witnesses."
"So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife." Unto them was born a son, And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Is rael. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age, for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. And the women and her neighbors gave it a name, saying, There is a son born unto Naomi, and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David." Obed means worshiping God. How true this name was of Boaz and Ruth and Naomi, and how true the prophecy of the women, that this son should be famous in Israel, and should restore the life of Naomi; for of his sons there should be raised up unto Naomi and Ruth and the house of Israel a line of famous kings, from David unto Christ. And so Ruth was indeed better to Naomi than seven sons.
Now all this is truly blessed and wonderful. The infinite love and wisdom and omnipotent power of the God of Boaz and Ruth only could have accomplished it. Here was poor Ruth, a Gentile stranger, who had come from afar, an humble gleaner, now exalted to honor and riches, and made the happy wife of Boaz, a Jew! Yea, she became the near ancestress of the renowned King David; yea, too, of King Jesus, the Son of David, and the last King to reign upon the throne of his father David; for he was of her family in Israel! It is all most blessed and glorious. God, and not man, had wrought it all. Most wonderfully did the Lord fulfill the blessing of Boaz upon Ruth at their first meeting, saying, "The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust."
Boaz and Ruth are one; she the happy bride, he the rejoicing bridegroom; and in them the Gentiles are one with the Jews, their fellow-heirs to the same inheritance. And better still, through the lovely Ruth, our friend, the holy child Jesus, the Son that God gave unto us, is one with us Gentiles. Now this leads us to enquire, By what law of righteousness Boaz redeemed the forfeited inheritance of Elimelech, restored it to Naomi and Ruth, made her his bride, and raised up a son and heir to Elimelech and Naomi? The comforting answer is, The law of near kindredship. This was God's law in Israel. The right of redemption and of marriage to the widow of the kinsman belonged to the brother or nearest kinsman. This was a sacred right. Boaz was a noble son of Abraham, the friend of God, and he esteemed it an honor to himself to honor this righteous law. But there was a nearer kinsman than himself and this one held the first claim against this poor family. But we have seen that Boaz redeemed this claim unto himself, and then fulfilled all the law of redemption, most happily to Naomi and Ruth. In all this it could be truly and righteously said of him, "Then I restored that which I took not away." These are the words of One greater than Boaz, even of the Redeemer of his father's family, our spiritual near kinsman.
Thus it was in all these respects, as we have seen, and very specially as the near kinsman and redeemer, the restorer, that Boaz was the noble and renowned type of our Brother Redeemer. What, then, did the nearer kinsman typify? who said, "I cannot redeem it," and whose claim Boaz honored by redeeming it to himself. He evidently represented the law of justice; for we know that the law could not redeem that which was forfeited and held under bonds. Yet the claims of the law were just, and they must be met righteously, and met, too, by a near kinsman, one in whom was the right of redemption, as shown in the typical Boaz. Paul therefore says, "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, (not by us,) who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
We may truly say of Naomi and Ruth, that in the spirit of the law of redemption it was fulfilled in them, and they walked in its fulfillment rejoicingly, but their rejoicing and their happy freedom from condemnation, and justification unto righteousness, was in Boaz, their near kinsman and redeemer, and not in themselves. In this Naomi and Ruth personated the church under the law, and the redeemed church under grace, even as Boaz personated Christ, the spiritual Bridegroom and Head of the church. In Boaz there was a blessed redemption and free inheritance for both Naomi and Ruth, Jew and Gentile. The same is more blessedly true in Christ Jesus. the Savior of the Jews and also of the Gentiles.
"Wherefore my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God." This is true as well of the Jew as of the Gentile. "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."
"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby; and come and preached peace to you which were afar off and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God."
How happily this was prefigured by Naomi and Ruth in the house of Boaz, and how dear was their love and sacred their peace! We have seen that Boaz was the same near kinsman to Ruth that he was to Naomi, before he married Ruth, he being the brother of their husbands, or their near kinsman. In the absence of this kindredship, which must be near, the right of redemption could not have vested in Boaz, but because of it, Naomi and Ruth, representing the children of God among the Jews and the Gentiles, are made one blessed family in Boaz and in Jesus. For Jesus was no less the near kinsman of Ruth than he was of Naomi and Boaz, both in the flesh and in the Spirit. As the Son of David, Jesus was descended from no less than four Gentile women. Of these our typical Ruth, the bride and the joy of the mighty Boaz, was the most illustrious, because she was the very embodiment of overcoming Faith and blessedly personified the bride of the Son of God, the household of faith.
Boaz loved Ruth, and gave himself for, her that all his honor and riches might be hers with him; so likewise did Christ love the church, and gave himself for it, that he might present it to himself a glorious church. Boaz, the near kinsman, redeemed Naomi and Ruth from all that the law held against them, and raised them up out of poverty, putting them in possession of his own inheritance; and so Christ brings home all his kindred from legal bondage and Gentile idolatry, to love and worship God in the beauty of holiness, and will say to them. "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. "
DAVID, meaning beloved, was the second king in Israel, Saul having been anointed out of a vial of oil the first king, by the prophet Samuel. The Lord afterward sent Samuel to Bethlehem, to the house of Jesse, to anoint his youngest son David with a horn of oil king over Israel, in Saul's stead, from whom the Lord would rend the kingdom. The Spirit of the Lord was with David, but not with Saul. Therefore Saul, who was a fleshly and wicked king, hated, persecuted and tried to kill David. Saul thus represented the ungodly and wicked powers of the world, of whom the Lord says, "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us." This was the maJ effort of Saul against David.
The vial out of which Saul was anointed was weak in itself, and doubtless Samuel threw it on the ground and it was broken. This was a symbol of all earthly kings, and the powers of this world. "The Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure." And thus did Saul perish, and his power was broken. It was so also with Pharaoh, with the king of Babylon, with Herod, and with Rome. The handwriting of God on the wall is against all those kingdoms, saying, "God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting."
Thus shall all the kingdoms of this world pass away and perish, because none of them were established in righteousness, but corruption stamps the best of them, and they shall all cease to be.
But with the symbolic kingdom of David it was not so, as shown by the horn out of which Samuel poured the oil upon his youthful head, the symbol of strength and durability. So the kingdom of David should not pass away, but endure as the days of heaven. Not, however, as a literal and symbolic kingdom, but in its exalted spiritual reality it shall abide forever, as we shall see.
Let us here pause and observe that, in all the foregoing symbolic persons, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has been seen as doing and suffering for his people. In Adam we have seen how that Christ went down into death for his church, to clothe her with the robe of righteousness. Melchisedec shows that Christ is our eternal High Priest, who gave us his flesh and his blood, the bread and water of life, as the typical priest gave bread and wine to Abraham. in Isaac is seen the church released from death, by the offering of Christ the Lamb of God; and how he then brought home into the gospel house his bride. Joseph shows us how deeply Jesus was humbled, that he should save his Father's house from perishing. In Moses we behold the Prophet and Mediator that God would raise up unto Israel his people, to lead them out of bondage and death, and to make them his household, that they should worship God. Joshua shows Jesus as risen from the dead, as building the church, and giving his people the victory. Aaron, the high priest, who entered into the most holy place in the presence of God once a year with atoning blood, pointed to the end of all the sacrifices for sin, when Christ should offer himself without spot unto God, pass through the vail of his flesh, take death away and open to all his people and brethren a new and living way into heaven. Jonah shows us that death and the grave could not hold Christ, and that neither can his people be held under the victory of the grave, but they shall all be saved by his risen life, and shall rejoice forever in his righteousness, which he preaches unto the great congregation of his saints. And in Boaz we joyfully behold that the holy Son of man is our near kinsman, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, our Restorer, and that, through all that he has done for us, all the bitter waters of Mara, all affliction, poverty and death, shall be removed from us, and we ourselves shall be redeemed and enter into the rich inheritance of eternal life and heavenly glory, as the children of God and the brethren and joint-heirs of his well beloved Son. In all this good way of holiness our Brother in the flesh, the Captain of our salvation, suffered and endured, fought, overcame and conquered for us.
Moreover, to his glory be it said, that not only did our Prophet and Priest, Brother and Redeemer, perform and fulfill all righteousness and salvation for the children that God gave him, but having thus finished the good work, he now also performs it in them. Thus our Savior brings every one of his people into actual and active and personal union, participation and fellowship with himself, both in his sufferings and his rejoicings, his battles and his victories, his cross and his crown. For in very truth, in all that the Man Christ Jesus does, and in all that he is, whether on earth or in heaven, he is one with his people and they are one with him. It is this that made them so sacredly near and dear to him, and that makes him so unspeakably precious and beloved to them. His love to them and in them is stronger and much more abounding than sin and death, or all the powers of darkness. His righteous and endless life in them is so omnipotent in its power, and purifying and sanctifying in its nature, that it uplifts every one of his members above all sin and degradation and disobedience, and will conform them to his own holy image of love and glory and bliss forever. In proof of this his word to us is, "Because I live, ye shall live also." "We shall be saved by his life." In this glorious truth is the secret and all-potent cause of all true obedience, worship and service to God. This is more than a thousand arguments to convince and persuade, more than ten thousand incentives and motives to move to action. Without this all else, is no better than hypocracy and mockery.
"Jesus answered and said unto him, if a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is, not mine, but the Father's which sent me." Our Lord gives us this infallible rule and test, and teaches us the only cause of all true obedience, and the one reason for disobedience. It were folly to try to give any other cause or reason; or to improve on what he has said. For he again says, "I am the way, the truth and the life." Again, "My word shall not pass away." "Thou hast the words of eternal life."
This perfect work of salvation, in bringing us unto Christ and making us complete in him, in the fulfillment of his atoning death and his saving life in us, as the members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones, has been set forth by those typical persons, and what God wrought by them, as we have seen. And hence, that which was true in them, as fulfilled in Christ, is likewise true in the members of Christ, and its truth will be manifested to them in their experience of salvation. So let us now see if we can follow them in heartfelt union and fellowship, and be witnesses with them in those things in which they personated Christ.
Of those figures of the Lord Jesus, ADAM stands first. By him and in him, and by his one act of disobedience, sin and death came upon us. Now, have we realized in ourselves the strength of sin, which is the law, and the sting of death, which is sin? If so, then we are in touch with the sin-burdened and bowed Adam and Eve when they fled from the flaming sword in Eden, to toil in the earth, which was cursed for their sake. We can enter into their painful experience of deep sorrow and repentance for sin, when all their sweet prospects and innocent joys in Eden were turned to wormwood and ashes, and the guilty knowledge of evil burdened their souls. Then, too, we have fellowship with the last ADAM, when he fell prostrate in another garden, and sorrowed unto death, because of our sins, which were his by us. 0 how deep the fellowship of kindred suffering! Yet it is this woeful knowledge and experience of Adam's disobedience unto death, in which we found ourselves equally guilty with him, that made us know and feel the need of the Physician to heal our sicknesses, and prepared us to love and glorify the Man of sorrows for his obedience of suffering. And 0 how supreme the blessing and perfect the peace, when we experience that his righteousness removes the curse and takes away all our sins! Now we both sorrow and rejoice, both die and live, in that we are one with the first Adam, and one with the last Adam. God hath thus joined us together. We now appreciate Paul's giving thanks unto God when he says, "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was deliveyed you." Yes, "obeyed from the heart." "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous." "My violations of the law were his; his obedience is mine. "
It is the conscious knowledge and experience of sin and its desert or guilt, and only this, that brings us to see and know the goodness and mercy of God in giving us the priesthood of MELCHISEDEC, and another High Priest after his order. Were it not for this sorrowful knowledge, we should be self-righteous, trust in our own offerings, and remain under the curse of the law. "For by the law is the knowledge of sin. " It is this knowledge that so endears our sympathizing High Priest to us, who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. "For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted." But unless we also suffer in our experience for our sins, and are tempted or tried, as he was, how can we have fellowship with Christ and his brethren in their suffering and sorrow for sin? This fellowship of suffering with Christ, our blessed High Priest unto God, is most endearing and sacred; for without it there is no union with him. It is the suffering and fellowship of love, and it is in his life and in our life. "If we suffer" (with him) "we shall also reign with him." Yet, 0 how sorrowful! SIN, OUR SINS, are the cause of all our mutual woes, and of this tender fellowship of kindred suffering. Without the experience of suffering for sin, we could neither have needed nor experienced the riches of God's mercy, nor the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Priest and Advocate.
In ISAAC, the child of the promise of God to Abraham, when his father bound him and laid him upon the altar, ready to die, we see ourselves and find our own experience, when the Justice of God bound us under the sentence of death, as the victims under the commandment of God. The commandment was just and holy, and, like Isaac, we were made to submit and yield to the sentence of death. This was the most painful experience of unutterable anguish of the soul; for it was to us the sacrifice and loss of all things, and of our very being and self. Words can never utter this experience of woe, and yet of unresisting submission, this cup which God gave to Isaac, and to the holy child Jesus, and to every child of the promise. For every one of them must drink of this cup of Christ, as he said to James and John. This experience is but once. It came to Isaac only once, to Jesus once only, and to each child of God, who is brought into the fellowship of the dying Christ, once only. Then, 0 then, the joy inexpressible and full of glory! when Isaac was loosed from the pains of death! when Jesus was raised up from the dead! and when he came to eaeh one of us and said, Go free! It was the joy of a new life, the happy experience of a new birth, into a new world.
JOSEPH, the beloved of his father, the hated of his brethren, Joseph, the deeply humbled and suffering brother, the savior of his father's house, -our experience of fellowship with Joseph, our brother Joseph, and of love and honor to him, cannot be told. There is a sacred sorrow in it, a tender sympathy, an unfathomed fountain of love, too profound and sacred for human speech. For our fellowship for Joseph in his afflictions and our love to him in his beautiful character and exceilent glory, as the salvation and glory of his father's house, unite us in the deathless bond of holy fellowship with the lovely and all glorious Jesus.
Our experience of fellowship with the meek MOSES, in his work and ministry as a very remarkable and special type of Christ in the days of his life in the flesh is very solemn and most deeply impressive, real and abiding; for it is printed in our minds and written in our hearts by the Spirit of the living God. It is the experience of all our life under the law, from the time sin revived in us, and we realized the most cruel and intolerable bondage and oppression under sin and Satan, until we were made to "Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord" at the sea of a yawning death,-on, and on, through the great and terrible wilderness, to the dreadful mount Sinai, which showed us our fearful unholiness before the overpowering glory and majesty of God, and filled our trembling souls with a cry for his mercy, and stopped our mouths as quietly before him. But the passover and the salvation of the Lord at the sea, the manna in the wilderness, the wells of water, and the waters from the smitten Rock, came to us in the midst of our unbelief and stumblings, hardness of heart and complaints, as tokens of God's goodness and mercy. But all the way in the wilderness, from the Red sea to Jordan, we were with Moses and under the law; and we were sorrowfully made to experience that there is no perfection in the flesh. Moses himself taught us this solemn lesson, and pointed us to another Prophet and Mediator, whom God should raise up unto his people, whom they should hear. And so all the way of our euperience under Moses, as our leader and teacher, only the more convinced us of sin, and taught us the need of righteousness and of justification from sin. Every step of the way in this dreary wilderness was the evidence of weakness and failure on our part. Yet this was God's way to bring us to ChrIst, although it was the painful experience of sin and suffering; for it is needful that we should die unto sin, that we may be made free from its dominion. "For Christ also bath suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. " Now it is in this same way that Christ brings us to God; that is, through this experience or suffering with him for sins, and of being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. In this way we were baptized with Christ into his death. And thus Moses himself died. And it was for Moses, and for us, that Jesus himself died in the flesh under the law of Moses, the law of God. In this deeply solemn way only, the way of a suffering experience for sins unto death, can any of us be brought unto God. It is not Moses nor our sufferings, nor sin, nor death, but CHRIST who so brings us unto God, by his own death and life, thus fulfilled in us. None can have this salvation from sin, without this personal experience of fellowship with Moses, and with Jesus, in the flesh for sins. Paul therefore says, "God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, bath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and bath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Death goes before the quickening.
Our experience of companionship with JOSHUA in leaving the wilderness, going through the Jordan, and being established in the worship of God in the gospel Canaan, is more joyous, yet not more sacred, than it was with Moses, and with Jesus, under the law. But under the leadership of Joshua in the land of promise, we are blessed with the comforting experience that, "Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept." This is the experience of fellowship with Christ in his life. And both in his death and in his life, his saints are all one with him; that is, they are one with one another in Christ, who is their living Head, in the blessed fellowship or communion of his life. This is sacred and everlasting. In this fellowship in Christ's righteous life, they are all taught of God to love him and to love one another. In this love is the brightest evidence that we are the children of God, as well as the dearest and closest bond of fellowship. This is as enduring as is the power of this endless life.
Our fellowship with AARON in the experience of his ministry, as God's typical high priest, is very closely related to our experience with Moses under the law, an experience of sin and death. By it we are taught, however, that our sins were not imputed to us, but were carried on, and on, through all that priesthood, in the longsuffering and forbearance of our covenant God, until the fullness of the time was come, when God would send forth his Son, the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, who was thus shadowed forth by those priests, and who should through the eternal Spirit offer himself without spot unto God, and forever put away our sins, the sins of all his people and brethren. Now, all who have left Sinai, and have come to Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant, have ceased from their own works and sacrifices, and in this experience they have fellowship with one another in the faith of Jesus, and with Aaron, who continually pointed his brethren away from himself, away from the law, away from all that they could do, and he symbolically said to them, This bleeding sin offering teaches us that our sins yet stand against us, and merit death, even as this offering has been put to death for us. But in the mercy of God, who gave us this typical atonement for our sins, we by faith in the One perfect offering and full atonement that shall be made for all the people of God's promise, do hereby renounce all our own works, and cast ourselves wholly upon the mercy of God. This is the evident typical language and the divine teaching of every divinely appointed sacrifice for sin. So if we believe this doctrine, that the blood of Christ alone justifies us, and that he only shall save us` from wrath, then our experience and faith unite us in fellowship with Aaron, type of our ever-living High Priest at the right hand of God. Paul most positively and comfortingly proves this, saying of the children of God and of his Son, "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." That is, for his brethren, the children that God gave him. All other sacrifices which God ordained for sin, from Abel's offering of the firstling of his flock until Christ ate the last passover with his disciples, were appointed to direct the faith of his people to the Lamb of God, who should take away their sins. In this faith only have we abiding and true fellowship with the Father and with the Son, with the apostles and prophets, with those typical men of God, who said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world," and with one another.
If we through the disobedience of unbelief have been cast into the great deep with JONAH, and with him have thus been made to know that "Salvation is of the Lord," then we have fellowship with him in this experience of suffering, by which not only he, but the Son of God himself, learned obedience, as do we also. On the other hand, if we of our own will are good and obedient, and are well pleased with ourselves, then our fellowship is with the scribes and Pharisees, in their doctrine of man's ability and merit. But then we have no such experience as came to Jonah, and to the Son of man, who were three days and three nights buried in death for sin; and consequently, we are neither in fellowship with them in their death unto sin, nor in their risen life unto God, whom they glorify.
Our fellowship with BOAZ, and with JESUS, as our near kinsmen, will be known, if indeed we are in union with them, by the fact that our experience has brought us into close touch and loving sympathy with Naomi and Ruth, who were afflicted and poor and in debt, and whose only hope of deliverance and blessing was in the near kinsman as their redeemer. For this, their only hope was in the mercy of God. Would he move Boaz to be their restorer? Would he send Jesus to redeem and save them? Yes, this was their faith and trust and hope in their deep distress. In this experience of sorrow and joy our hearts are in warm sympathy snd sweet fellowship with these lovely daughters of Faith.
Now, how is our heart toward DAVID, the last type of God's well beloved Son? These are his last words:
"Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow," Is this our experience also? Is all our salvation and all our desire in the everlasting covenant of God? And is it the faith of our heart, that this covenant of salvation is ordered or established in all things, and sure? If this is true in us, then we shall have fellowship with David in his experience, when he says of the Lord, "He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity." Thus, we see that David, who was thus taught of God, was in fellowship with Paul and the saints at Philippi, to whom he said, "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." If we have been also taught of God, as were these inspired saints, and as all the people of God shall be, then we have also come to Christ Jesus, in whom is all our salvation and rejoicing. Blessed are all they that have this experience of the salvation of the Lord, for they are brought into the fellowship of Christ, and of all those holy men of God.
How divinely good and blessed it is, that all the typical persons and sacrifices, together with the experience of all saints, who testify of salvation, all meet in Christ Jesus, who is the center, the fullness, the perfection and glory of all. And thus all who went before Christ and testified of him, holy men of old, patriarchs and kings, Moses and the law, priests and prophets, the psalms and all devotional offerings, all those by whom God hath spoken and testified, all unitedly crown JESUS.
David was first a shepherd, then a king also; that is, he was the SHEPHERD-KING. In this he was peculiar. That a ruddy lad, the humble shepherd of his father's "few sheep in the wilderness," should be raised up to the kingdom and dominion of Israel, God's own kingdom, and wear the royal crown upon the most renowned throne on earth, was an honor and power which the God of nations only could give. And unto the God of his father Abraham, the God of the everlasting covenant, who built the kingdom, did David ascribe all the excellent honor, dominion and power unto which God raised him. His songs of praise in the book of Psalms, in which he poured forth his soul in giving glory to God, and in which he personated Christ, testify that to God belonged the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
At the word of the Lord by Samuel his prophet, Jesse sent and called home his son David, who was keeping his flock in the wilderness, and when he came, the Lord told Samuel this shepherd-boy was his anointed, a man after his own heart, and so Samuel anointed David king over Israel, the kingdom of God. And so David was not only the shepherd of his father's flock, but the Lord God of Israel made him also the shepherd over his own flock, the whole house of Israel, the people of his covenant.
As his father's shepherd, the youthful David was strong and valiant, true and faithful. When his father sent him to the field of battle, with supplies for his older brothers, and to see how they fared and how the battle went, and David heard the defiant challenge and taunting boast of Goliath, the mighty giant, who defied the God of Israel and his army, and all Israel and Saul the king were in terror, the little David meekly, but boldly, went to the king and asked him to let him go and slay this giant enemy, and take away the reproach from the people of the living God. The king was amazed at the request of this brave boy, and feared to let him go and fight the great giant. For David was of a fair and ruddy countenance, and not a man of war, but only a keeper of sheep; yet he said to Saul, that there came a lion, and a bear, and each took a lamb out of the flock, but he slew both the lion and the bear, and delivered the lamb: "and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. * * * The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine." Thus did David trust alone in the living God.
On the one side was the mighty hosts of the warring Philistines, led on by this great champion, Goliath, of Gath, all eager for the battle and confident of victory; on the other side was the terrorized army of Israel, when, lo, the shepherd-boy, with only his sling and staff, a shepherd's bag and in it five smooth stones of the brook as his armor, stands between his people and all the power of their destroying enemies! Both armies, who confronted each other upon opposite mountain sides, were amazed and filled with strange wonder at the scene, when they saw in the valley between them this youth fleetly running forward to meet his giant enemy, knowing that it meant either death and destruction, or life and salvation, to David and his people. The vaunting giant and all his wicked hosts despised little David, and were sure of victory over all Israel, but with the army of the living God there was great fear and alarm. They knew that their only hope of deliverance from the cruel power of their mighty and deadly enemies was in David. 0 should he be able to slay the giant, and gain the victory over all that dark host! Fearfully awful was the hour and event. How strangely mysterious it was, that just at that time Jesse sent his obedient son to the army, to see how all fared! It was all of God. How sublime was the trust and courage of this lovely youth, to thus fearlessly take his place alone in the valley of death, between the Lord's hosts and all the hosts of their enemies!
Let us hear his words to Goliath: "Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands."
All this word of the Lord by David was wonderfully fulfilled, and there was great rejoicing in Israel through conquering David, who now was not only his father's faithful shepherd, but as well the victorious captain of the armies of the Lord of hosts.
David truly personated the youthful Jesus in all this wonderful way and victorious work over all his enemies. As shepherd, he saved his father's floek from the devouring lion and bear, so that not a lamb perished; and the Lord of hosts made David strong and mighty in battle agaisnt all his enemies, and to all Israel he became the captain of their salvation.
In the dark giant Goliath and his wicked hosts, Satan and all the powers of darkness were represented; and they were too many and mighty for the fleshly king Saul and his army to stand against them. Then, 0 how the Lord was honored in David, when he said in the hearing of all, "And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S." "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."
In the beginning of his work, Jesus was the Shepherd of his people, and gathered his lambs and sheep to him, and faithfully kept them and fed them. He comfortingly said to them, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. " David, his type, said of him, "The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want. " "I am the good Shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep." said Jesus.
The time came when he must do this; for all the hosts of darkness were gathered to the battle against the flock of slaughter, to destroy it. So, as the father of David called him from feeding his flock, and sent him to the war, likewise did the Father of Jesus call him from personally feeding his flock, to go to the battle field, and there meet all the enemies of God in the low valley of death, where David fought and conquered, and to lay down his life for the sheep, accomplish the warfare of his people, destroy both death and the devil, obtain eternal redemption for all his brethren, and then gather all his sheep safely to his right hand, that not one of his little ones that the Father gave him should perish. And so David was a faithful type of the good Shepherd.
King David was one of the last types of the Son of God on earth, the Prophet and Priest and King of all saints. In his flesh and on his mother's side, the child Jesus was the Son of David, and the last heir to reign upon the throne of Israel, the kingdom of his father David. Therefore, it was as the renowned King in Israel that David specially personated Christ. The angel Gabriel was sent from God to announce unto the virgin Mary that she had found favor with God, and should be the mother of JESUS. "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Israel for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."
It is good to understand the right and authority of Jesus to wear the crown and reign as King upon the throne of David. He was of the royal family of David as the Son of Mary, and was entitled to the throne of Israel by birth. And as this was his right, the Lord God, by whom kings reign, gave unto him the throne and the kingdom of his father David. His anointing and his crown were of God, therefore. And so the Lord said of Christ, when the kings of the earth tried to prevent this, "Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion." It was here that David reigned. In this kingdom of Zion Jesus reigns supreme. He will not divide his throne with another. He alone shall be exalted in this kingdom of Zion.
The annunciation of Gabriel reveals to us another truth, most blessed and glorious, saying to Mary of her Son: "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest. * * * wherefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Thus the holy child Jesus, born of the lowly virgin Mary, and laid in a manger, was not only the Son of man, as he called himself, the Son of David according to the flesh, but he was equally the Son of God according to the Spirit of holiness, as declarad by the resurrection of his body from the dead. Thus the Man Christ Jesus was the Son of God with power, with all power, with omnipotent power. The eternal power and Godhead and the holy Manhood united as One in JESUS. This personal name, given him by the Angel of God, expresses in its two syllables both Godhead and Manhood, because Jesus was verily both. In this fact of his personal twofold being is the source of his kingly authority, his regal power, his conquest and victory, and his almighty dominion over all creatures and things. This holy child Jesus, the child of Mary, the Son of God and the Son of David, thus obtained by inheritance, as his birthright., a more excellent name than any of the angels. For by his twofold descent, first from the King Eternal in the Spirit, then from King David in the flesh, as born of his virgin mother Mary, the holy child JESUS inherited a double crown and the only name of KING IMMORTAL, with the divine right to sit and reign upon the throne of his father David on earth, and of his Father God in heaven. That a MAN should be born unto this name supreme, a name above every other name, and should have all power above and below, is a wonder inexpressible and full of glory. Yet this was blessedly true in the Man Christ Jesus. For he had omnipotent power over all other powers, over the law and sin, death and the devil, power to fulfill and to destroy, power to lay down his life and to take it up again. No other man was ever born unto this inheritance and supreme dominion. And it is so unlike all other men, so impossible with men, that the religious world does not receive or believe that this is true of the Son of man, who is meek and lowly in heart. For if they understood and received this grandest doctrine and truth of God our Savior, they would at once cease from man, from themselves and their own efforts and works, and would know that the arm of the LORD rules for him, and that his own almighty arm brought salvation unto him for all the subjects and people of his kingdom.
The cause of this unbelief of the world is, the wise and prudent do not understand or know this mystery of godliness, that Jesus of Nazareth, the Man of the cross, is the all conquering King, reigning upon the throne of David in Zion, and upon the throne of God in heaven, and that the crown of unlimited power and omnipotent dominion is upon his head. We are all slow of heart to believe this; therefore we cannot too well consider the title that Pilate placed above the head of Christ on the cross: "THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS." Never were truer words written, though they were the accusation against him. This accusation still exists in the minds of all unbelievers, and they will not accept the truth that this Man is the KING. They may admit that he is the Prophet, and the High Priest, but it seems too great a power for a crucified Man to reign as King Supreme over heaven and earth. If they and we truly believed this, then they and we should believe that our Brother Man upon his throne needs not our help, nor the help of saints nor angels, but that he himself is both willing and able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing that he ever liveth to make intercession for them. And both as Priest and King the Son of God says, "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." The Son asked this because his Father so loved him, and loved them also. As their Advocate with the Father, the Mediator thus interceded for his people, But it is as King that he speaks, saying, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." In his exercise of his power as King, there is no power or being that can possibly hinder our Lord from bringing them to him and to the Father, who gave them to him, for God hath put all powers and things under the feet of Christ, and he hath conquered every foe.
Therefore, having risen from the dead, ""Jesus came and spoke unto them," (the apostles) "saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." This is the kingly power of God's Anointed. As Samuel anointed David king with the horn of oil, showing the perpetuity of his kingdom, in his Son Jesus, so, when Christ sat down upon his throne God anointed him King with the Holy Spirit- without measure, that is, with the fullness of power. And so God said, "Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion, I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee" (from the dead). "Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." David the king therefore said, "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy foot stool. The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness." The Lord thus declares the power of Christ our King upon the throne of David. Of this great power to reign, Christ himself said to our God, "Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him." Since God gave his Son power over all flesh unto this end, he will certainly give eternal life to every one that the Father gave him; for neither themselves, nor the world, nor the flesh, nor the devil. can prevent him from doing his Father's will. Jesus our King therefore says of them, "I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. " "And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." As the King upon the holy hill of Zion, and having all power, our glorified Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will do this; "For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." That is, in his body or person. "I am in the Father, and the Father in me: , the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works,"
Who, then, that at all believes in Christ as our Prophet and Priest and King, can at all doubt his power to save them to the uttermost that come to God by him? This means that he is able to save them to the farthest extent; that is, from sin and death and the grave. This faith in the Son of David, the King eternal, immortal, who is able to save to the uttermost, drives infidelity and unbelief out of the heart, drives out the doctrine of the Sadducees, who deny that there is any resurrection of the dead; for this faith in our all-conquering King triumphs over every foe, even over death and the grave, saying, "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." Through Christ God giveth us the the victory over both death and the grave, the last enemy.
This is the success and glory of our spiritual King David, whose kingdom is as abiding and blessed as God and heaven, and whose dominion is as universal and omnipotent as the throne of Eternal Power. Before the Son of David, our crowned King Jesus, who "Sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high," the glorified Man, all enemies, all the opposition of the haters of God and his people, all corruption, death and the grave, all these powers of darkness shall flee away forever, as darkness flees before the brightness of the sun. For there is absolutely nothing, either animate or inanimate, no power in all the universe, that can resist or stand against the power of our God and of his Christ.
King David, the type of our reigning Christ upon the throne of Zion, subdued all the power of the wicked King Saul, and all other enemies who came against him, and none of them could stand before him. He slew the bear, and the lion, which came against his father's flock; he took off the head of the giant Goliath, and delivered Israel from the great army of the Philistines. And shall not the crowned Son of David, who sits enthroned in the heavens, at whose word the dead are made alive,-shall not he conquer the last enemy, and save all his people? The Almighty thus spoke of him: "I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people. I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: with whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him. * * * And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. * * * Also I will make him my First-born higher than the kings of the earth. My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven." This is the true and faithful word of God. Of his Son God saith, "And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom." Therefore, Isaiah said of him, "Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness." Of his kingdom Daniel said, "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever."
In all this divine testimony our God has graciously made known to the people of Christ's kingdom how highly he has exalted it above all worldly kingdoms, and established it for ever in righteousness and truth, power and glory. Neither sin nor unholiness, error nor falsehood, nor any wicked person nor thing, shall enter ,into the kingdom in which Jesus reigns in righteousness. For as the glorious High Priest of his people and subjects, he has for ever taken away all their sins and transgressions, and he purifies and sanctifies them unto himself, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness, and worship God in the beauty of holiness. Unto this exalted use and end, God chose and blessed all his beloved people in Christ, that they should be holy and without blame before him in his perfect love. They shall, therefore, be made righteous unto God in the righteous obedience of his holy Son, who takes away from them their filthy rags of unrighteousness, and adorns them with the robe of righteousness, and beautifies them with salvation. The typical King David said that no wicked person should dwell in his presence.
It is certainly very wonderful, yet blessedly true, that the sinful people of Jesus shall be all righteous, blameless and holy, even like himself. Yea, their blindness and foolishness, ignorance and weakness, shall all be taken away from them, and they shall be made wise unto salvation, and strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Yea, too, they shall be a kingdom of priests, an holy priesthood, "The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord," to offer up unto God spiritual sacrifices, acceptable by our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul tells us how-this glorious perfection is accomplished in us, saying, "But of God are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
As the PROPHET of his people, Christ perfects them in wisdom; as their HIGH PRIEST, he perfects them in holiness; and as their KING, he perfects them in power. And as their Prophet-Priest-King, he will present them with himself unto his and their Father and God in eternal life and immortality and glory.
"Behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. * * * And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him." The mouth of the Almighty hath spoken this, and his arm of power will perform it.
"God * * * hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his Person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." As the SON of God and HEIR of all things, the Man Christ obtained the more excellent name than the angels, being born unto it as the Son of David and the Son of God, not only the Prophet and the Priest of the people of the saints of the most High, but as well their King eternal. And so we may know that, since the Son of man was born this King, and was the heir to the throne of David in Israel, and to the throne of God in glory, he hath obtained a name which is above every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.
Now then, it is for our comfort and honor to know and trust in his name; for his is the only name whereby we must be saved; "and in his name shall the Gentiles trust." "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."
"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. And in his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS."
"In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness. For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel. ,~ * * Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he shall not have a son to reign upon his throne."
"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name EMMANUEL, which being interpreted is God with us." Blessed name, "GOD WITH US!" "If God be for us, who can be against us?"
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. "
"And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. "
"And there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lard, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshiped God, saying, We give thee thanks, 0 Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. "
"And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him."
"And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written,
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."
THE CHRIST-MAN IN GLORY.
"THE SON OF MAN, " let us remember, sitteth upon the glorious high throne of God his Father, thus highly exalted far above all kings and all lords or rulers, having supreme dominion over them, as we have seen in the ten chapters of this work. To the deeply humbled Man of Bethlehem, the city of David, the Father Almighty gave this supreme and universal authority, power and dominion, to thus reign as Head over all things to his body, the church, until he shall have put down all rule and opposing power, and subdued all things under him. When this is done, then the triumphant reign in righteousness of our exalted King and glorified Brother, the Man that was made in all things like unto us, his brethren, shall cease, and he shall be one with us, and we shall be like him and with him, his joint-heirs.
We shall never forget the time of Christ's deepest humiliation and sufferings in the flesh for us, and for our redemption and glorification in the presence of God in heaven. This was prefigured by those ten typical men, who foretold the coming and sufferings of Christ, and the glory which should follow, when he should be crowned King of glory at the right hand of God, where he now reigns as the Lord God omnipotent.
It is well that we briefly notice in closing, the necessity that the WORD should be made flesh, in the likeness of men, and become obedient unto the death of the cross. Paul forcibly tells why the holy Son of God must also be the Son of man, saying, "For since by man came death, by MAN came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." All in Adam die now in time, because they are in him, even so in Christ shall all be made alive at his coming, because they fall asleep in him. By the first man sin and death entered into the world, carrying all in him down into death with him, because he was their earthly head and natural life. So likewise, by the last Man, who died unto sin for the sins of his people, then rose again out of the grave for their justification, sin and death were ended and destroyed, and Christ, who is the resurrection and the life of his people, will raise them up out of the graves at the last day in the likeness of his resurrection, because he is their heavenly Head and spiritual life.
"The soul that sineth, it shall die." Therefore, equity and justice require that, since the first man, through disobedience, brought the just penalty of suffering and death upon all men whom he represented, even so, by the obedience of suffering unto death, the second Man, who is the Lord from heaven, redeemed from death all men whom he represented, and will resurrect them unto glory and immortality and eternal life.
It was for this righteous cause that Jesus was made a little lower than the angels, and came to his people in their flesh, that their sins might be righteously imputed to him, as one with them under the law, and that, fulfilling the righteousness of the law for them, and in them, his rightousness shall likewise be imputed to them, and justify them unto holiness and life evermore. "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. "
While thus with his disciples, Jesus said to them, "If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I." He said this as a man, and the Brother of the children of men. As God's righteous servant, Christ came into the world, not to be ministered unto as an earthly king, but to minister unto his many people, and to give his life a ransom for them. In this humbled state the blessed Redeemer said, "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will, For the Father judgeth no man, but bath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent him. * * * Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so bath he given to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. * * * Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. * But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father bath given. me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which bath sent me, hath borne witness of me." This the Father did at the baptism of his Son, and again at his transfiguration on the holy mount, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him."
Now, this wonderful testimony of Jesus himself clearly shows us for what holy and glorious purpose God the Father gave all this omnipotent and supreme authority and power and divine honor to his Son, the meek and lowly Son of man in the flesh. The full execution of this righteous judgment and work, which God committed unto his obedient Son, will be completed when "all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth."
Paul therefore testifies that "God hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that MAN whom he bath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead." Thus the resurrection of the buried Son of man from the dead, wherein he was declared to be the Son of God with power, is the absolute assurance of God unto all men, that all that he bath spoken by his Son, he shall so fulfill. It was unto this end that Paul said of Christ, "Wherefore God also bath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
This testimony proves most surely that all creatures, in heaven and earth and under the earth, shall be put down or subdued unto God under the Lordship of the MAN who reigns upon the throne of the Highest, and that in all this absolute dominion and universal conquest, God shall be glorified in his Son.
Paul was inspired to write when all this shall be accomplished, and the time of the end, saying, "But every man in his own order; Christ the First-fruits; afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign until he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted" (God is excepted), "which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. "
This shall be thus gloriously consummated at Christ's coming. Of this the word of truth says, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
This will be the all-glorious end of the Mediatorial work and reign of our Crowned King of Glory upon his Father's throne on high; and then shall his triple work of Prophet and High Priest and King be fulfilled, and holy heaven shall be filled with songs of praise to God and the Lamb. "For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters."
"He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied." "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. "
"I heard a great voice of much people in heaven saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God. " "And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new."
"Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. AMEN." THE END.