Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
JOURNEY TO MOUNT SINAI
Ex. 15: 22 - 19: 25
MARAH. ELIM. MANNA, REPHIDIM. JETHRO. THE JUDGES. BEFORE THE COVENANT AT MOUNT SINAI.
AS WE have seen there is a twofold Red Sea experience, the actual deliverance, which is Millennial, and the reckoned one in faith justification, which belongs to the Gospel Age. It is from the standpoint of this reckoned deliverance that Moses' bringing the Israelites onward from the Red Sea types our Lord's bringing antitypical Israel onward in the Gospel Age into Gospel-Age experiences; for the march from the Red Sea to Sinai and the Law Covenant types the progress of God's Gospel-Age people from Pentecost to the Millennial Kingdom and the New Covenant (brought … sea, Ex. 15: 22). The Church immediately after Pentecost came into contact with the fortresses (Shur [fortress, defending Egypt]) of Satan's empire as these were represented in Jewish ecclesiasticism and pagan civil and religious arrangements. And in principle the same conditions confronted the Church throughout most of the fifth, all of the sixth and in the beginning of the seventh one-thousand-year days of human history (three days). In the early part of the seventh one-thousand-year day [1872 and onward] a great lack of clear and palatable Truth and presence of bitter experiences prevailed (found no water); for at that time the prevailing teachings, e.g., trinity, immortality, eternal torment, absolute predestination of a few to life and the great majority to eternal torment, probation limited to this life, the judgment day as doom's day, etc., etc., with consequent very sad experiences were bitter indeed (came to Marah [bitter] … not drink … bitter … name … Marah, v. 23).
(2) These bitter doctrines and experiences occasioned much murmuring among the Lord's people, in which they, by their attitude and acts, blamed our Lord with responsibility for these errors and bitter experiences (murmured against Moses, v. 24), and complained that they could not satiate their thirst, and blamingly asked what teachings and experiences they should accept (what shall we drink). Our Lord Jesus, knowing that God was the only Source and Giver of the needed Truth and accordant experiences, laid the case before the Lord (cried unto the Lord, v. 25), who pointed out to our Lord Jesus the ransom sacrifice (showed him a tree [Gal. 3: 13]) which the Lord Jesus through the Lord's people, especially Bro. Russell, making it the touchstone of Truth, and applying it refutatively as such (cast into the waters), set aside all the bitterness in the said errors and experiences, and thus sweetened the teachings and experiences into the blessedness of the Parousia truths and works (waters were made sweet [Dan. 12: 12]). It was in this connection that Jesus taught the Lord's Parousia people the precept of sacrifice, consecrated living (then he made … a statute, literally, decree) and the doctrine of the ransom (ordinance, literally, judgment), as it was also in connection with the ransom teaching and the consecrated life, the two sin-offerings, that Jesus tested them (there he proved them), as the pertinent Parousia experiences prove. The side of these testings pertinent to the sifting leaders is typed in the experiences of Moses and Aaron smiting the rock twice (Num. 20: 1-13). Certainly it was during the pertinent Parousia conditions that Jesus promised (said, v. 26) through His mouthpieces, especially that Servant, that if the Lord's people would faithfully heed God's Word (diligently hearken to the voice of … God) and act according to God's justice (right), pay attention to His detailed charges of justice (give ear to his commandments) and observe all God's suggestions of sacrifice (keep all his statutes), God would see
to it that none of the faults of worldings coming in judgment from the Lord as spiritual disease would afflict Spiritual Israel (put none … upon you … brought … Egyptians), since God was intent on healing the spiritual diseases of His people (I … that healeth thee). We have just applied vs. 23-25 to the cure of the errors and bitter experiences of the Parousia. It is equally applicable to the cure of the Romanist errors and sad experiences of the Reformation period, when the ransom doctrine was used by our Lord to cure errors as to works' justification, penance, pilgrimages, asceticism, priestcraft, monasticism, mass, transubstantiation, self-atonement, sacramentarianism, purgatory, etc., and consequent bitter experiences cured by the ransom.
(3) The next experience of the Church typed during Israel's journey to Sinai and the Law Covenant is that with its leaders (Elim [trees, the symbolic great ones, Is. 61: 3, as grass represents the ordinary ledlings], v. 27). These are great ones, not in man's, but in God's and the Church's sight. The main ones of these leaders are the twelve Apostles (twelve wells) as depositories of the Truth (Matt. 18: 18), from whom the Lord's Gospel-Age people have drawn up the refreshing Truth (water), and the 70 general elders of the Jewish Harvest, of the Interim and of the Gospel Harvest, from whom God's people have been sheltered, while in the condition of isolation from the world (three-score and ten palm trees). These symbolic wells refreshed the Lord's people during their wilderness journey (Ps. 23: 2); and against the fierce rays of the sun of temptation shining in their condition of isolation from the world (Matt. 13: 6, 21) the symbolic palm trees sheltered them. Thus they have found with these refreshment and protection during their wilderness exile, resorting to them for these (encamped there by the waters). All through the Age they have had this experience, but it was especially during the Harvests that such experiences were the richest.
(4) The next set of experiences that have marked the Church's journey to antitypical Sinai, the Kingdom, and the New Covenant are such as have been connected with their receiving the Word of God as symbolic food. These are set forth in Ex. 16. The transition from the former set of experiences to these is typed by the journey from Elim (journey from Elim, Ex. 16: 1) to the wilderness of Sin (came into the wilderness of Sin [thorny]), which types the warring features of the Truth; for it has usually been amid controversies that the Truth has unfolded. And certainly between refreshing and protecting experiences and the coming to the Kingdom and the New Covenant have there been such controversies (between Elim and Sinai [peaky, pointed, in allusion to the high and pointed position of the Kingdom]). As the Truth was needed, but not yet due (15th day of the 2nd month, just one month after leaving Egypt) during the controversies following the exit of the Lord's people from the present evil world (after departing … Egypt) did they by attitude and act from shortly after Pentecost onward fault Jesus (Israel murmured against Moses, v. 2) and additionally by word fault the mouthpieces of Jesus (Aaron) in their isolated condition (in the wilderness), indicating their wish that they had never by repentance, faith and consecration left the symbolic world, but had remained under the curse until death (would … died … Egypt, v. 3) implying that there they had a sufficiency of heavy, medium and light food for heart and mind (flesh pots … bread to the full), and thus charging that Jesus and His mouthpieces were bent on starving them through lack of spiritual food in their condition of isolation (brought us … wilderness to kill … with hunger).
(5) The Lord assured Jesus that He would cause to come from Him spiritual food (Lord unto Moses … rain bread from heaven, v. 4). To obtain this the people were to bend their mental energies to acquire as much as each should need and as due in the period
of the Church in which he lived (gather a certain rate every day). Such a course on their part would provide God with opportunities to test their devotion to God's Word as to whether it would be active or not (prove them … walk in my law or no). The seven days of the week here seem to represent the seven epochs of the Church, the seventh including also the Millennium. In each of the first six epochs with the assistance of their teachers, especially of the star-members, they were to study the Bible directly and gather out therefrom what they could find there for their needs (gather a certain rate every day); but in the Philadelphia period (sixth day, v. 5) they would gather enough to last during the Philadelphia period and the Laodicean period (prepare … bring in … twice as much as … daily); for the Philadelphia truths would also include all given before in the interim, and would, as the basis of the advancing Truth of the Laodicean period, be carried over into the latter; for the Laodicean work would be, partly but not exclusively, a polishing of the vessels given in the Philadelphia period and a setting of them in their proper order (C 120, 2, 3). But whatever new truth would come in the Laodicean period would come without the Lord's people gathering it, digging it out by direct Bible study, but by the Parousia and Epiphany messengers' gathering it, certain others getting some new features, not by gathering, but more by stumbling into it, as it were; for in this connection the gathering types searching out more or less by themselves. It will be noted that it is especially in the Laodicean period that all direct Bible study is prohibited the consecrated and unconsecrated people of the Lord, Jesus and its two messengers being the only exceptions (Ex. 19: 21-25), while no such sweeping prohibition was given before, though there were certain limits placed upon direct Bible study before (Num. 12: 2-8), i.e., that it be done in connection with the ministry of the star-members and their special helpers. It was because the Lord's
people had imbibed the pertinent practice in Babylon prevailing before the Laodicean period, that not a few of them stumbled over the pertinent Laodicean arrangement as an alleged infringement on their liberty and of an alleged self-exaltation of the two members of the Laodicean messenger. More details will come on this subject as vs. 22-27 are studied.
(6) Jesus and His Gospel-Age mouthpieces told the Lord's people amid their murmurings that God would so adjust matters that error during spiritual darkness would abound among them as one of the portions of each of the six epochs (Moses and Aaron said … at even, v. 6), which would be a rebuking reminder to them that though God had once delivered them from the world, yet they again became involved in the world's error (know … Lord hath brought out from … Egypt). Nevertheless, He would in each epoch in grace, despite their murmurings, sufficiently supply them with true spiritual food during spiritual daylight (morning, v. 7), whereby they would be enabled to recognize God's wisdom, justice, love and power (see the glory of the Lord); these two things would be done, because God had taken note of the people's murmuring against Him (heareth … against the Lord), the former as retribution and natural result on the evilly disposed and the latter as favor to the properly disposed. Nor was there any valid reason for their murmuring against Jesus and His mouthpieces to them (what … murmur against us?). Our Lord showed that it would become manifest when the Lord would suffer the error to come to each epoch, and when He would also give them spiritual food, that they murmured against God (this shall be … give … flesh … bread … the Lord … ye murmur against Him, v. 8). Since Jesus and His mouthpieces were merely God's Agents in the matter, their murmuring was actually not against them, but against God (what are we … not against us, but … Lord). Then Jesus charged at each time of murmuring His mouthpieces,
by their teachings to gather the people together in matters pertinent to the Lord (Aaron … congregation … come near before the Lord, v. 9) since it was against Him that they had sinned unto His taking note of it (heard your murmurings). While the mouthpiece so taught, and the people gave attention to the truth on their isolation from the world, God's wisdom, justice, love and power became manifest to them in the Truth (Aaron spake … Israel … wilderness … glory … cloud, v. 10). Jehovah then repeats, and that to Jesus, the thoughts expressed in vs. 6-8 on the error and Truth coming in the six epochs (vs. 11, 12).
(7) Accordingly, in each epoch error came (at even the quails, v. 13). These errors came progressively and increasingly in each succeeding epoch until they reached their height in the Philadelphia epoch both in Romanist and in Protestant sectarianism on matters of doctrine, practice and organization (covered the camp). Details on these matters have been given in our exposition of the offerings of the Gospel-Age princes (EH, 169-480), and of Elijah— type and antitype (EC, 7-66), hence they need not be here repeated. The Lord also, true to His promise by the Truth of His Word, in each of the first six epochs gave His people progressively and increasingly the spiritual Truth as due and found, in the condition of isolation (morning dew lay … was gone … face of the wilderness … small [literally, thin] round [literally, flaky] thing, v. 14). Such Truth came in very small quantities and with clarity at each time until cumulatively it became much and harmonious by the end of each epoch (small [thin] as the hoar frost on the ground). As each new feature of Truth became due, the Lord's people, not knowing it before, questioned one another as to what it was, as to its nature and meaning (Israel saw it, they said … It is manna [literally man hu means, What is it? see margin. Evidently they did not at first call it manna; for they did not know what it was, and first found out what it was when Moses told them; hence
the marginal translation is better than the A.V. text] … wist not what it was, v. 15). Our Lord through His mouthpieces made it clear to His people that it was the Divinely provided spiritual food (Moses said … the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat). The popular Hebrew word for what, man, became henceforth the Hebrew name for this food from heaven. Because manna types the Truth as spiritual food, it also types our Lord as our enlightenment, justification, sanctification and deliverance, because the Truth and the Bible are Christocentric (John 6: 27, 32-58); and as we partake of it we partake of Him as our Teacher, Justifier, Sanctifier and Deliverer (1 Cor. 1: 30). Our Lord, at God's suggestion, as the Truth became due in the sixth epoch, charged (the Lord hath commanded, v. 16), through His mouthpieces, His people evermore to study (gather) it; and that according to capacity (omer) and need (eating), as the description (number) of their assemblies (tents) called for it as assemblies and as individuals in the assemblies (persons). And in harmony with this charge God's people as assemblies and as individuals did (Israel did so, v. 17) according to need and capacity; some gained more Truth, others less (some more, some less). Measured by their capacity (mete it with an omer, v. 18) and by their need (eating), each had enough with no surplus over; for some have need of, and ability for more, others for less (much had nothing over … little had no lack).
(8) Our Lord charged that no assembly or individual leave any of the Truth due in an epoch unused unto the following epoch; but that all the Truth due in any epoch be appropriated as Spiritual food during its proper epoch; for as meat in due season it was needed for overcoming purposes in its own epoch (Moses said, Let no man leave it till the morning, v. 19). Some refused to follow this admonition (harkened not … left it till the morning, v. 28) with the result that it corrupted in their minds into error (bred worms) and
in their hearts into sin (stank), which naturally displeased our Lord (Moses was wroth with them) unto His casting them off from His special favor. This occurred in each epoch's sifting. In all six periods the Lord's people studied and appropriated the Word (gathered it every morning [literally, morning by morning], v. 21) according to each one's need (according to his eating). It prevailed as long as due, but in trial and temptation times no new truth became due to enable them to stand; for God wills that the strength derived from previously due Truth be tested, hence no truth becomes due in trial and temptation to give them strength to meet them (sun waxed hot it melted, Matt. 13: 6, 21). During the sixth, Philadelphia, period an unusually large amount of Truth was due (sixth day they gathered … two omers), as can be seen, among other things, by the fact that ten of the twelve stewardship truths, as well as much refutative truth, became then due. Moreover, all the previously due Truth of the four preceding epochs was seen in the sixth epoch, as well as much of the first epoch's truths. Thus much Truth prevailed at that period; and the Lord's people in leaders and led studied (gathered) it out of the Bible. The leaders in star-members, their special helpers and the crown-lost leaders by their discourses and writings reported this fact to our Lord (rulers … told Moses).
(9) Our Lord declared (he said, v. 23) to these that according to the Lord's Word then made clear (Lord hath said) the Millennial Sabbath, whose first period was the Laodicean time, was coming, and that it was to be a period of rest from a work that had previously been pleasing to the Lord, but that in the time following the Philadelphia time would be counted speculation for all except our Lord and His special mouthpieces—direct Bible study (tomorrow is the rest … unto the Lord). Hence the leaders were to prepare in writing matters of doctrine (bake) and practice (boil) that would have pertinent value not only
for the Philadelphia, but also for the Laodicea and restitution times. It was especially by putting such matters in writing that they were to be preserved for after times (that which remaineth … to be kept until the morning). In harmony with this thought our Pastor made use of various Philadelphia writings for Parousia purposes, e.g., Mosheim's church historical works, Englishman's Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek Concordance, the Diaglott, Fox Martyrs, etc., etc., as we also make use of these and other Philadelphia works for Epiphany purposes, and as we are collecting the main priestly and Levitical works of the Gospel Age for present and Millennial uses, which vs. 23, 32 teach should be done. The leaders and the led of the Philadelphia period accordingly preserved the pertinent pen-products for later uses, which proved under Divine providence to be for Laodicea and Millennial times (laid it up till the morning, v. 24) even as Jesus by the Divine Spirit and providences indicated (as Moses bade). The pertinent writings on conduct did not, nor will they, corrupt the hearts of God's people of the seventh period (did not stink), nor do they nor will they defile their minds (neither … worm therein).
(10) Throughout the Laodicea period Jesus has been charging and during the Millennial period Jesus will charge the Lord's people to partake of the truths of the Philadelphia times (Moses said, Eat that today, v. 25); for they are not during either of these two periods to do direct Bible study, since they require all with the above-named exceptions to rest from such study during antitypical Sabbath for the Lord's sake (today is a sabbath unto the Lord). He has been declaring and will throughout this Sabbath continue to declare that no Truth will be found in that way during this seventh day (today ye shall not find it in the field). Throughout the previous six Church epochs by direct Bible study God's people arrived at Truth with the help of His mouthpieces, which was true even
in the Ephesus epoch during the Apostles' presence and activity (John 5: 39; 1 Cor. 14: 26) and especially in the Philadelphia period (six days shall ye gather it, v. 26); but the Lord has assured us (Ex. 19: 21-25) that for the Laodicea and Millennial period such should not be done; for no Truth would be found then in that way (seventh day … sabbath, in it there shall be none). We may be sure that the Lord's design thereby is a wise, just and loving one, e.g., He knew that by speculating the brethren would give room to the devil to bring all sorts of errors to the Lord's people; for the Laodicea period has been the special time of his inciting to frenzies of delusions (2 Thes. 2: 9-12). In observing this charge of the Lord, His people are shielded from error and the temptation to that pride that Satan incites in alleged "discoveries of new truth" by speculation.
(11) But despite the Lord's pertinent warnings on direct study of the Bible after "the sixth day," some have been indulging in it, as experience proves in the Parousia and, especially, in the Epiphany, and perhaps some will attempt it among the restitution class in the next Age. Especially have the six sifting classes been guilty of this evil (there went … people on the seventh day to gather, v. 27). And despite their professions of discovering "wonderful light," these speculators got absolutely no new truth at all from such study (they found none), because the Lord for the antitypical seventh day will not give any by that method. Such forbidden course led God to tell Jesus (Lord said unto Moses, v. 28) to expostulate with those who have so refused (how long refuse ye) to observe God's charges (commandments) and arrangements (laws). Jesus made this expostulation orally and in writings during the Parousia, especially through that Servant, and during the Epiphany, especially through the Epiphany messenger. This expostulation was made, because God required rest from the labor of direct Bible study on the antitypical seventh day (for that … the
sabbath, v. 29), for which reason He gave enough of such work during the Philadelphia time to suffice for that and the following period (sixth day the bread of two days). Therefore He requires every one to keep within His pertinent official functions during the antitypical seventh day (abide every man in his place) and not leave those official functions to assume those that are limited to Jesus and His special mouthpieces (let no man … on the seventh day). This charge was then fulfilled by the Lord's people (people rested on the seventh day, v. 30). The type here does not refer to those who speculated themselves out of being any longer of God's people, and compared with v. 27 shows that those who had done some of it, and who remained among the Lord's people cleansed themselves of this fault, and henceforth no more practiced it.
(12) God's people attribute the quality of understandability to the Truth as a thing both reasonable and clear (Israel called the name thereof Manna [the Hebrew word is man, what? which suggests that its meaning—What is this?—under investigation as due is reasonable and clear], v. 31). The Truth is aromatic and saving, aromatic because Divinely inspired, pure, perfect, reliable, effective, soul-satisfying and permanent; and salutary, because it makes wise unto salvation, develops the graces and saves the believing and obedient (was like coriander seed). It is also wise, just, loving and powerful (white). And to the responsive it is hope inspiring, and is thus spiritually sweet (like wafers [literally, a cake] made with honey); for it fills the responsive disposition with love, hope, faith, joy, peace and comfort, all of which constitute spiritual sweetness. Jesus a second time has charged at God's command (Moses said … the Lord commandeth, v. 32) that the Truth according to the capacity of God's people (an omer of it) be preserved in writing (kept), and that from the first epoch onward for the future use of God's people (for your generations). This charge has resulted in the production of the New
Testament and the main writings of most of the star-members and their special helpers and in their preservation to the end, that later comers of God's people may see the Truth gotten in the former "days" of the Gospel Age (see the bread … fed you in the wilderness … from … Egypt). Additionally Jesus charged His mouthpieces (Moses said to Aaron, v. 33) to take the doctrine of the Christ class' hereafter (take a pot) and fill it to its utmost capacity, which is immortality, as their kind of everlasting life (omer full of manna); and to keep this teaching as a matter relating to the Lord for the Spirit-born condition (before the Lord) to be perpetually held before all generations of God's people (kept for your generations). This was accordingly done by the Lord's mouthpieces and is fixed as the pertinent teaching as to the Spirit-born condition (so Aaron laid it up before the testimony to be kept, v. 34). The Truth in its dueness has been and will continue throughout this Age to be the food of God's people until they come to the Kingdom (Israel … manna forty years until … land inhabited … borders … Canaan, v. 35). Their capacity (omer, v. 36) for the Truth exists in a limited condition by reason of the imperfection of their mental, moral and religious powers (tenth part of an ephah).
(13) We see from our present study of Israel's journeys from the Red Sea toward Mt. Sinai that certain prominent experiences of God's Gospel-Age people are set forth typically: In Ex. 15: 22; their experience with the organized world is briefly set forth, as well as their Gospel-Age journeys as touching three one-thousand-year periods; in Ex. 15: 23-26 their experiences with the ransom as the setter—aside of the bitterness of error are pictured, while in Ex. 15: 27 their experiences with the Church's general elders are typed. Again in Ex. 16 their varied experiences connected with God's Word as their heaven-given food are represented. In Ex. 17: 1-7, as we shall see, their Gospel-Age experiences with the ransom as the source
of the water of life as spiritual drink are represented, while in Ex. 17: 8-16 their experiences in battling with sin are symbolized. Those parts of their journey pictured forth in Ex. 18 and 19, as, D. v., we shall see, concern other features of the Church's Gospel-Age experiences as they have been advancing to the New Covenant's giving. Besides the experiences typed in Ex. 16, at God's charge (according to the commandment [literally, mouth] of the Lord, Ex. 17: 1) the entire Church (all … Israel) proceeded out of thorny, controversial, experiences with regard to the Truth as spiritual food to particular experiences related to the ransom as the source of the water of life to be given as refreshment (Rephidim [refreshment]) to the spiritually thirsty. But before refreshment thirst for the water of life has been experienced by God's people; and repeatedly during the Age they lacked such water (no water … to drink). Especially was this the case as to the ransom, over which, through errors on the mass, immortality, purgatory, eternal torment, universalism, etc., thirst was felt, especially by the errorists.
(14) Amid such errors the attitude, acts and teachings of such people strove with our Lord (people did chide with Moses, v. 2); and much controversy was aroused there-over, amid which great controversial thirst was experienced, by the errorists especially, during the Philadelphia and Laodicea periods (give us water to drink). During these controversies Jesus expostulated through His mouthpieces with the chiders for their wrong attitude, acts and teachings toward Him and God (Moses said, Why chide ye with me? Wherefore do ye tempt the Lord?). The controverting errorists and their deceivinglings, desirous of refreshing Truth, in their perplexity murmured against our Lord in His mouthpieces, who offered objections to the pertinent errors (thirsted there for water … murmured against Moses, v. 3). Their oppositional attitude, acts and teachings blamed Him in His mouthpieces as having made their condition more liable to condemnation
unto death of heart and mind than when in the world, and was a demand as to why He had thus treated them, their supporters and powers (wherefore … brought … Egypt to kill). Our Lord in His mouthpieces laid the matter before the Lord, entreating for information as to what to do in the circumstance, and telling Him of their readiness to attempt to refute Him in His mouthpieces with their teachings (What shall I do … ready to stone me). Jehovah charged our Lord in His mouthpieces to set up opposition publicly (go on before the people, v. 5) to the errors and their teachers, in cooperation with loyal leaders (take … the elders) and in the -exercise of His official power (thy rod … take in thine hand), with which, by His pertinent use of it, the Truth was made repulsive and deadly to the symbolic Egyptians (wherewith thou smotest the river, Ex. 7: 17-21).
(15) God promised to stand by His wisdom, justice, love and power for Christ, and that upon Him as the Ransom (stand before [literally, in favor of] thee there upon the rock, v. 6; 1 Cor. 10: 4), even if it were in a condition of isolation (Horeb [desert]). Then the Lord charged Him in His mouthpieces to expound with His teaching authority Christ the Ransomer (smite the rock), from whom, by such activity, abundance of Truth would flow forth unto the quenching of the thirst of God's people (come water … the people may drink). Our Lord in His mouthpieces did this publicly and especially in the sight of the leaders of God's people (Moses did so in the sight of the elders), as we have witnessed in the Laodicea, and read of it in the Philadelphia time. Surely in these experiences God's people were tempted and tested, as they also tempted God and Christ therein (called … the place Massah [trial, temptation] v. 7), as we know from the Laodicea experiences, and as we have read of the Philadelphia experiences. And surely God's people were involved in great controversies on the ransom in both of these periods (Meribah
[strife controversy]); for the errorists strove with Satanic cunning on this subject against the Truth; and they tempted, bantered, presumed upon, God and Christ by questioning Their promised light and help, as well as themselves were tested (tempted the Lord … among us or not?) and tempted. The Cross still remains the Rock of offense, as it was so in the Jewish Harvest and in the periods of Philadelphia and the Parousia.
(16) Another Gospel-Age experience of God's people is their warfare with sin (Amalek [laborious] v. 8) which in their flesh, in the world and in Satan and in all its laborious forms, has continually warred against them (fought with Israel), and that after they received refreshment from the ransom and were enjoying that refreshment (in Rephidim). In this warfare Jesus charged the star-members (Moses said unto Joshua, v. 9) as His special representatives to select the abler warriors, the consecrated, to do special fighting (choose us out men) and to lead them forth to the warfare against sin in all its forms as led by the devil, the world and the flesh (go out, fight with Amalek). He promised him that in the time of battle (tomorrow) He would take His stand on the pinnacle of the embryo kingdom (stand on … the hill) with His official authority in exercise (rod of God in mine hand) as the Deliverer of God's people in their battles with sin. Accordingly, the star-members (Joshua, v. 10) fulfilled this charge in preparing the abler warriors, the consecrated (did as Moses had said), and in waging war with sin (fought with Amalek). To the vantage ground in the embryo kingdom Jesus (Moses), the crown-retainers (Aaron) and the crown-losers (Hur, noble) betook themselves during this warfare (went up … the hill). It was by Jesus exercising His power (Moses held up his hand, v. 11), which He always did when His warriors fought faithfully, that God's people prevailed over sin (Israel prevailed); but when Jesus withheld exercising His power (let down his hand),
which He did when His warriors did not fight faithfully, sin gained victory (Amalek prevailed).
(17) Our Lord's power, not acting almightily, i.e., coercively, but graciously in our battles with sin, requires the cooperation of God's people; otherwise it withholds acting effectively, as though, in man's sight, weary (Moses' hands were heavy, v. 12). But both crown-retainers and crown-losers have cooperated with the Lord in supporting Him in His helping His warriors to victory. This support they gave Him partly by enthroning Him on the truth (took a stone, and put it under Him; and he sat thereon) that of God He is made Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification and Deliverance to God's people, i.e., He is the One that gives them victory in their battles with their foes, hence also victory in their battles with sin, and partly by using their power to support His exercise of power on His warriors' behalf (Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands). In this warfare the crown-retainers have given priestly help (one on one side) and the crown-losers have given Levitical help (the other on the other side). As a result Jesus, so supported, will exercise His power in giving His warriors the needed help even unto the end of the Age (hands were steady until the going down of the sun, Matt. 28: 20). The result was victory for the star-members (Joshua, v. 13) and the Lord's warriors who overcame sin and its ramifications (discomfited Amalek and his people) by the power of the Word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit (with the edge of the sword). God charged Jesus (said to Moses, v. 14) to cause to be put into writing for the encouragement of the star-members (write … memorial … rehearse … Joshua) that He would ultimately annihilate sin in all its forms (utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek). Jesus (Moses, v. 15) accordingly developed the Church (built an altar), giving it the character of God's, standard of character, i.e., a character like God's (name of it Jehovahnissi [my banner]), declaring this to be so, because God
solemnly pledged Himself (hath sworn, v. 16) to oppose sin forever (war with Amalek from generation to generation); for the time will come when "all iniquity shall stop her mouth" (Ps. 107: 42), which the zeal of the Lord will accomplish by fighting it out of existence. To this let us all say, Amen and Amen.
(18) In Ex. 18 there are typed two experiences of God's people during the Gospel Age in their journey to the Kingdom and the New Covenant, even as our previous study brought some others to our attention. As in Ex. 3: 4 there were presented to us some types on certain events occurring between God and Christ, so in Ex. 18 a similar set of types is found, i.e., they picture forth certain experiences of God and Christ and certain resultant things among God's people occurring in their journey to Zion. In this set of types Jethro represents God, particularly in His wisdom and might; and Moses types our Lord Jesus, as he usually does in Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. With these few prefatory remarks we begin our study of Ex. 18. God, particularly in His wisdom and might (Jethro, excellent, 18: 1), gave special thought (heard) to the reckoned and actual deliverances that He had in His wisdom, justice, love and power, wrought (God had done) one behalf of our Lord and His people (Moses … His people) in that he had delivered His people from Satan's empire (Lord … out of Egypt). Before proceeding further we may here remark that this story has a threefold fulfilment in the large picture: (1) in the Jewish Harvest, (2) in the Interim and (3) in the Gospel Harvest (Parousia and Epiphany). In this study we will more especially point out the third application as more practical for us.
(19) During the period from 1846 to 1874 the Little Flock (Zipporah, little bird, v. 2), apart from the separated sanctuary, and the more faithful of the justified (Gershom, stranger there, v. 3) and the less faithful of the justified (Eliezer, my God is helper, v. 4), after being called into the Miller Movement, 1829-1844, were by our Lord's peculiar course beginning between
1844 and 1846 sent back after 1846 to Babylon (sent her back). These by the reaping message were by God brought into the Parousia and Epiphany movements, and thus to our Lord Jesus (Jethro … took … came … sons … wife unto Moses, v. 5), away from Babylon into the condition of isolation (in the wilderness) amid trialsome experiences in the near presence of the Kingdom and New Covenant (encamped at the mount of God). The developing of the more faithful of the tentatively justified (Gershom, v. 3) was the first work after our Lord's deliverance from Satan's empire to the Divine nature and glory in which He was indeed a stranger as a new creature in a strange sphere for Him (an alien in a strange land) and the less faithful of the tentatively justified were a constant reminder of God's helping Him overcome Satan's combative theories (mine help … from the sword of Pharaoh, v. 4). By the Parousia and Epiphany teachings and works God made known to Jesus that He was fellowshipping with Him (said … Jethro … am come, v. 6) by which teachings and works God brought the three above-mentioned classes to our Lord (thy wife … sons), the latter with the former (with her).
(20) Our Lord, of course, responded to the Father's message and pertinent activities (Moses … meet his father-in-law, v. 7), and did it with the reverence due to His Superior and with the tender love that He felt toward God (did obeisance and kissed him). Both of Them expressed keen interest in Each Other's welfare (asked … welfare), and took Their position in the sphere of Jesus' official activities (came into the tent). Jesus testified (told, v. 8) of Jehovah's works as to Satan and his servants (all … done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians) in the interests of God's Parousia and Epiphany people (Israel's sake). He also told of the sore trials and hard works that had befallen them aid the experiences of deliverance from the present in, evil world and as they progressed toward the Kingdom and the New Covenant (travail … by the way), and also stressed Jehovah's delivering power in all
these sore trials and hard works (the Lord delivered them). Of course God in His wisdom and might rejoiced in the grace that He in His wisdom, justice, love and power had shown Israel (rejoiced … goodness … done for Israel's sake, v. 9), in that He had delivered them from bondage to Satan's servants (delivered … out of … Egyptians). God in His wisdom and might (Jethro, v. 10) caused credit to be reflected upon Himself in His wisdom, justice, love and power (blessed be the Lord) for His delivering works toward Jesus and His people (delivered you) as to the power of Satan's servants and as to the power of Satan himself, since He freed His people from the power of Satan's servants (people … hand … Egyptians). By God's causing His supremacy in being, character, words and works to be known; He pointed out to our Lord His superiority to all heavenly beings, including our Lord (the Lord is greater than all gods, v. 11), demonstrating it as to Satan and his fallen angels in that they in pride arose to oppose His purposes as to His plan (things … dealt proudly he was above them). In accomplishing this work God in His wisdom and might stressed the acceptable sacrifice of Christ (took a burnt offering, v. 12) and the sin-offerings of The Christ (sacrifices) in the relation to God in His wisdom, justice, love and power (for God); and the whole Church (Aaron) and the leaders of God's people (elders) partook of the Parousia and Epiphany Truth with God in His wisdom and might in matters pertaining to the God of wisdom, justice, love and power (before God). What a wondrous fellowshipping together that has been which is typed in vs. 1-12!
(21) While vs. 1-12 give an experience of God and Christ during the Gospel-Age journey to the Kingdom and the New Covenant, on the fringes of which God's people and their leaders were privileged to share, in vs. 13-27 another experience which mainly involved God and Christ, but included the leaders and God's people, is set forth. Like the preceding one it has a threefold application: (1) to the Jewish Harvest,