Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
which the Little Flock and Great Company will actually enjoy. It is evidently that of mental eyes, since during the Millennium none of the Ancient and Youthful Worthies will with bodily eyes see God. This is, moreover, seen from the statement of what were the things seen. By God's feet (under his feet), not physical feet are meant, but His conduct displayed in the outworking of His Millennial truths, arrangements and acts is here symbolized. God's Millennial course (paved work; literally pavement) in the outworking of His plan will be a marvelous display of Divine love (sapphire stone) and Divine power (as it were the body of heaven; literally, like the substance of the heavens, the very heavens themselves [the powers of spiritual control]), both His love and His power being unclouded and brightly clear, purity itself, unmixed with any foreign inharmonious substance, shining in all their glory (clearness; literally, brightness). So will the Millennial acts of God appear to the four elect classes— expressions of Divine love and power, otherwise symbolized in the same general acts by the two cherubim over the mercy seat, after the blood was sprinkled thereon. This vision of God—His character of love and power as Millennially displayed—will in no wise injure any of the four elect classes (upon the nobles … he laid not his hands, v. 11), who will by their mental eyes see God in His characteristics of love and power as displayed in His Millennial acts of love and power (they saw God), and who will appropriate to themselves the great and little powers, privileges and functions of their separate and distinct Millennial offices (did eat and drink).
(56) Vs. 12-18 go back antitypically to the Gospel Age and type certain things connected with it from its start to its end, i.e., throughout its seven Epochs. This we construe, first, from the absence of reference to Nadab and Abihu, whose antitypes as classes first exist in the Epiphany, secondly, from the references to the six and seven days; thirdly, from the reference
to the seventh day, i.e., the Laodicean period, and, fourthly, from the things antityped in the entire section. Early in the Gospel Age God invited Jesus to make His calling and election sure to an entrance into the Divine nature and into the Kingdom (the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, v. 12), where He is everlastingly to remain (and be there) and where God would entrust Him with all of the Kingdom matters: the laws of the Covenant (tables of stone, and a law, and commandments; literally [which are], both the law and the commandment [singular number, duty love]). Here God defines the tables of stone as both the law and the commandment planned by God (which I have written [which proves that the law and the commandment refer to what was written on the tables]) and to be taught by Jesus to the Millennial Israel (that thou mayest teach them). In compliance with this Gospel-Age invitation to make the ascent, the Lord Jesus, with the Apostles and the Laodicean Messenger, as the chief servants of the Truth, entered into this course (Moses arose and his minister Joshua, v. 13) and came into the Kingdom, first at His ascension, then during Laodicea (went up into the mount of God). Our Lord Jesus, speaking especially in the twelve Apostles and the Laodicean Messenger, bid their contemporary special helpers (he said unto the elders, v. 4) to limit their work to their office functions, which excluded them from acting as special mouthpieces, who approached nearer the Lord than their special helpers (Tarry ye here for us; Ex. 19: 21-25), and to wait until they would bring forth to them the meat in due season (until we come again unto you); and the twelve (Aaron) and the Laodicean Messenger (Hur) in their capacity of teaching the due Truth to the brethren, not in their capacity of receiving the due Truth from Jesus (for in this capacity they were typed by Joshua) would be with their special helpers to solve their difficulties as to perplexing matters that any occupied therewith would
bring to them for solution (Aaron and Hur are with you; if any man have any matters … come unto them). The reason why we include the Apostles in antitypical Joshua and limit them to antitypical Aaron here is that the setting of matters here begins with the Jewish Harvest, the first of the six Epochs (six days, v. 16), and the reason why we include the Laodicean Messenger in antitypical Joshua and limit them as antitypical Hur is that the setting of matters here includes the Laodicean Epoch (seventh day).
(57) It was early in the Ephesian period (26-69 A. D.) that Jesus, during their first three and one-half years, made His ascent to the Divine nature, by making His calling and election sure, and into His place in the Kingdom condition. His ascent coming unto a culmination in His resurrection, ascension and glorification (Moses went up into the mount, v. 15). But the Kingdom condition for the rest of the Kingdom class, the Christ Body, was hidden from human sight, and for the most part even from the Body, the various forms of trouble that surrounded the embryo Kingdom class. This trouble includes all the tribulations that come upon the Kingdom class in its embryo condition (the cloud covered the mount). But despite these tribulations the splendor of God's perfect character, wherein perfect wisdom, power, justice and love blend perfectly with one another, and in this blending dominate all His other affections and graces of character, remained upon the part of the Kingdom class (Jesus) that had ascended into the Divine nature and the Kingdom condition, as well as upon that part of the Kingdom class (the Church) that was not yet in the Divine nature and Kingdom condition (the glory of the Lord abode upon Mount Sinai [pointed, peaky], v. 16). Upon the Head of the Kingdom class it abode undimmed and undiminished, giving Him the Truth that was due, to bestow upon the Church, and enabling Him in all things perfectly to reflect the Divine character in His executory, revelatory and
guiding acts. Upon the embryo Body of the Christ class this splendor rested with less luster, due to the weakness of the flesh, but with ever-increasing brightness upon the individuals as they mounted higher and higher in development in God's and Christ's likeness.
(58) Throughout the first six Epochs of the Church tribulations rested upon it (the cloud covered it six days). These tribulations were not only those that are common to humans, but were additionally those that accompany the course of the narrow way, with each Epoch bringing its separate sets of troubles. In the Ephesian period were troubles of Jewish and apostate Christian oppositions and errors, and Jewish and pagan persecution; in the Smyrna Epoch, the troubles of pagan Rome's fierce persecutions and the rise of the three great errors of trinity, immortality and eternal torment, as well as clericalism culminating in hierarchism; in the Pergamos Epoch, the troubles due to the union of state and church, the attainment of papal supremacy in church and papal exercise of civil power and the rise of errors incidental to such union, supremacy and exercise, with the surrender of the Millennial hope for the present reign of the (nominal) Church over the world before Christ's return; in the Thyatira Epoch, the troubles incident to the full development of the papal antichrist, its ever-growing errors, increasing persecution, crusades against the faithful and other dissidents and Moslems; in the Sardis Epoch, troubles from increasing inquisition and other state-church persecutions, half-way reform measures of Romanist reformers, crusades against Wyclifites and Hussites, controversies against papal errors; and in the Philadelphia Epoch, the most fearful of all papal persecutions against the faithful and their supporters, in the form of Romanist-inspired religious wars, tortures of the Inquisition, the rise and progress of Protestant sectarianism, the effect on the faithful of the star-members and their special supporters (antitypical Samson) becoming blinded and
enslaved by sectarians unto the service of sectarian Protestantism, with the resultant sore trial and oft persecution of the faithful by sectarian Protestantism, the great religious controversies of this period, the rise and spread of Atheism, Pantheism, Deism and infidelistic Rationalism. Certainly, all this trouble made a heavy cloud over the embryonic Kingdom class! It was during the first part of the Parousia stage of the Laodicean Epoch (seventh day), while the Church was still in tribulation (out of the cloud), that God called Jesus to enter into the ruling feature of the Kingdom and its work, which occurred Oct., 1874.
(59) Throughout this seventh, Laodicean, Epoch, from 1874 to 1954-56, God's perfect attributes of character manifested themselves as a consuming fire, from 1874 to 1914, in that they worked destructively against Satan's empire as to its religious and secular errors, and from 1914 to 1954-56, destructively against the symbolic heavens and earth of that empire (the sight [literally, appearance] of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire, v. 17). This destruction has been going out from God's character, primarily through the agency of Jesus, the Head of the Kingdom class, and secondarily through the agency of the resurrected Church (on the top of the mount), and has been witnessed by all professed Christians during the Laodicean period (in the eyes of … Israel). Amid the sufferings of the Church Jesus ascended in 1874 to His Kingdom position, and, beginning in 1878, and continuing throughout Laodicea, hence it is not yet over, He has been joined by the resurrected saints, who are ascending amid their troubles while still in the flesh into their Kingdom position (Moses into the midst of the cloud, v. 18). Jesus continued in this first feature of His Kingdom position, i.e., as the Destroyer of the secular and religious foundation errors of Satan's empire, as well as continues in its destruction since 1914, being joined in the meantime by the resurrected saints onward from 1878 to 1956.
Surely our study of Ex. 15: 22-24: 18, particularly Ex. 19— 24, thoroughly proves that the New Covenant belongs, not to the Gospel, but to the Millennial Age. Doubtless vs. 12-18 went back from the establishment of the New Covenant in the Millennium to the Gospel Age, as a fitting introduction to the typing of the Gospel-Age Tabernacle, typed in the bulk of the rest of Exodus.
(60) Sandwiched in between the account of the instructions on building the tabernacle and its appurtenances and the record of their actual construction are the stories recorded in Ex. 32—34, which we will discuss before we study the tabernacle, based on Ex. 25—40. Since we are discussing the Gospel-Age antitypes and not those of the Harvests, the story of Ex. 32, which in 1 Cor. 10: 7 is shown to have been enacted in the second of the Harvests' siftings (June, 36—Oct., 39 A. D. and June, 1881—Oct., 1884), is by the Gospel-Age picture (Heb. 3: 1—4: 8, compared with the Harvest siftings' picture, since the Harvests and the Interim are parallels, not in time, but in events) proven to have been antityped during the Interim's second Epoch, the Pergamos period, even as we found that the first of the Harvests' siftings was also in parallel enacted in the Interim, and that in its Smyrna Epoch. Yea, the facts of the Interim prove that in each of the Interim's five Epochs there was a sifting corresponding in order and character to each of the five Harvests' siftings. We have already seen that the Gospel-Age No-Ransomism sifting occurred in the Smyrna period (EI, 7-86), corresponding to the first sifting in each of the Harvests (April, 33—Oct., 36 A. D. and April, 1878—Oct., 1881). Hence Ex. 32, according to the Scriptures cited above, had its Gospel Age antitype during the Pergamos period, 313- 799. A comparison of the events recorded in Ex. 32 and the falling away and sifting, events from 313 to 799 will show in wonderful detail that the relation of the events
recorded in Ex. 32 to those falling-away and sifting events in the Pergamos period is one of type and antitype, even as the above-cited Scriptures teach.
(61) The hope of the Apostolic Age was our Lord's Return to take home His Bride, then to establish the Millennial Kingdom and through it to bless all the families, kindreds and nations of the earth (Gen. 12: 3; 22: 18; Acts 3: 25). Not having been told how long the time between His two Advents would be, but charged with the duty of hoping and watching for it during the interval between them, the Church ardently looked and watched for His Return. Of course, it did not imagine that it would be so long in occurring. The Jewish Harvest passed by; and He did not return; yea, the Smyrna Epoch of nearly 250 years passed by; and still He did not return. His stay in heaven was much prolonged and the professed people of God concluded that He was delaying His Second Advent by remaining in heaven (saw … come … mount, v. 1). Very early in the Pergamos period everywhere in Christendom unitedly (gathered) they appealed to the hierarchy and the priests (Aaron, enlightenment) to bestir themselves to give them powerful substitutes for what they had expected in the Kingdom (Up, make us gods), to prepare ways for them to go (go before us), saying that, while Jesus had brought them out of bondage to sin and error in Satan's empire (brought us … Egypt), yet they were at a loss to account for His whereabouts, condition and non-return (wot [know] not … of him). The hierarchy and priests (Aaron, v. 2) charged them to do what was a violation of their Divine understanding of the Lord's Word, for it implied a surrender of the Truth and its perversion into error (Break … earrings), held by their churches (wives), movements (sons) and powers and qualities (daughters), and to bring these understandings into the control of the hierarchy and priests (bring). Accordingly, they did as charged (all … Aaron v. 3). The hierarchs and priests took from their power (hand, v. 4)
these proper understandings (received them) into their charge and changed them into error (after … molten calf); for the hierarchy, claiming apostolic succession, arrogated to themselves the custodianship of doctrine and practice, and in their arrogance perverted both, and then elaborated them in great detail and subtlety (fashioned) by their keen minds (tool).
(62) The following were the main errors of doctrine and practice that constituted the antitypical calf: (1), the Church, consisting of all professed Christians visibly organized under the hierarchy, must convert the world and reign over it 1,000 years before Christ's return (post-Millennialism); (2) the trinity; (3) Christ the God-man; (4) the Spirit a person; (5) worship of Mary and the saints as mediators and of their relics and images; (6) purgatory; (7) the mass for the sins of the living and the dead and for release from purgatory; (8) celibacy of the priests; (9) monasticism; (10) a gorgeous ritual; (11) asceticism; (12) excessive penances; (13) secularization of the Church and professed Christians; (14) persecution of dissenters; (15) superstition; (16) Church made a civil power; (17) papacy; (18) forced conversion; (19) union of state and church, etc. After establishing each of their errors the hierarchy and priests declared it to be a part of the creed of true Christians, as distinct from the alleged errors, actually truths, that they displaced (said … gods), and claimed them to be their deliverers from the sin and error of Satan's empire (land of Egypt). Thus they, like their Harvest parallels, became infidelistic as to God's plan and set up another plan with other doctrines and practices in its stead—infidelism, the second sifting error. As the hierarchy and priests contemplated their creed idol (saw it, v. 5), they developed the so-called Catholic Church (built an altar) in matters related to their creed idol (before it). Then they began to agitate (proclamation; literally, proclaimed and said) for a special mode of religious exercise (Tomorrow is
a feast) which they alleged to be for Jehovah (Lord). Zealously and at once did the nominal people of God enter into this new mode of religious exercise (rose up early, v. 6), a new religious creed and practices on which they believed God would manifest His acceptance (burnt offerings). They made and kept vows according to their new religious creed and practices (peace offerings). They assiduously studied and appropriated to themselves their new doctrines and practices in their deep (eat) and surface (drink) aspects. Then they entered into a thorough practice of the union of state and church, symbolic fornication (play; 1 Cor. 10: 7; Rev. 17: 1, 2, 4; 18: 3, 9; 19: 2), which had its beginning shortly after Constantine publicly espoused Christianity and began to overthrow in war the heathen party, 313 A. D. These evils of doctrine and practice were gradually developed during the Pergamos Epoch and were further elaborated in the following Epochs.
(63) God was not an uninterested Observer of this apostasy; for it grieved Him. Hence He charged our Lord emphatically to undertake (Go, v. 7) counteractive measures on earth (down), because the people whom our Lord had delivered from Satan's empire (people … out of … Egypt), by Pergamos' false teachings and practices, had wrought great corruption to Truth, righteousness and holiness (corrupted; literally, have done very corruptly). The Truth and its arrangements as the way God had charged them to go they had very soon set aside; and thus they turned away from what God charged and thus from the Lord (turned … way which I commanded, v. 8). Moreover, they had developed a creed idol of false doctrines and practices (made … molten calf), yielding it reverence (worshiped it), and putting at its service the things that they had consecrated to God (sacrificed thereunto), asserting that these were their mighty ones who had delivered them from sin and the curse as the sphere of Satan's empire (thy gods … Egypt). The Lord said further that He had inspected His professed
people (seen this people) and found them to be stubbornly wilful (stiff-necked, in allusion to bulls, which in their stubbornness stiffen their necks). God's justice desired no restraint upon it as to its preparation for punishment of the sin (let me alone … wax hot, v. 10), which would have utterly destroyed them (consume them), had it continued unto a completion. This wrath expressed itself in part in the distresses brought upon the nominal people of God through the Germanic nations' invading and devastating the Roman Empire and killing great numbers of God's nominal people, the invasions beginning shortly after the Pergamos period started and continuing nearly to its end, the Lombards being the last of these marauders. It also expressed itself in part in the very great siftings of that period. Had God's justice completed this wrath, He would have made Jesus a large nation (great nation).
(64) But our loving Lord on the basis of His merit, which He used to propitiate God's wrath against them (besought; literally, appeased the face of Jehovah, v. 11), by His intercession turned God's wrath away before it had fully consumed them (and said). His merit imputed to them reasoned against God's wrath coming to a climax (why … thy people), Jesus declaring that on the basis of His merit (mighty hand) and other features of His ministry (great power) God had delivered His people from Satan's empire, the sphere of sin and the curse (brought … Egypt). He further reasoned that if Divine justice would destroy His people, worldlings would with a show of truth charge that God in delivering them from the sphere of sin and the curse (bring, v. 12) had not good but evil intentions as to them (Egyptians speak … mischief), i.e., to kill them in the kingdoms where they would be (slay … mountains) and wipe them off the face of society (consume … earth). Therefore He entreated that God's great wrath be staid (turn … wrath) and change His procedure from inflicting punishment to bestowing blessing (repent). Additionally, He pleaded the Covenant
promises that God in His justice had made to God in His love (Abraham, v. 13), to Christ (Isaac) and to the Church (Jacob), all of whom render service to God in His justice (servants), to whom He in His justice had bound Himself by the Oath-bound Covenant (swarest) to develop a spiritual seed (stars of heaven), as well as an earthly seed (this land … seed … inherit it for ever). Thus Jesus' intercession embraced three pleas for God's sparing His people: (1) His merit and ministry as delivering God's people; (2) God's character as not deserving reproach from the wicked; and (3) God's Oath-bound Covenant. Mighty indeed and successful was His intercession (repented, v. 14). Jesus turned from His work of heavenly intercession on behalf of His erring people (Moses turned … from the mount, v. 15) and gave His attention to His earthly ministry pertinent to the situation at hand (went down) with the Truth on the two salvations in His power (two … testimony). As He revealed this Truth in the Jewish Harvest, it was distinctly set forth as embracing both salvations: the high calling and restitution, the latter now reckonedly operating in faith-justification (written on both their sides), which were then emphatically and distinctly stated (one side … other). God Himself had devised this twofold Truth (work of God, v. 16) and had described these two salvations (writing of God).
(65) The Pergamos star-members as controversialists (Joshua, Jehovah is salvation, v. 17), on considering the agitations (heard the noise), could see only controversy in the Gospel-Age infidelism movement; for these were engaged in much controversy, e.g., brothers, like Arius of Alexandria, who resisted the errors of Christ as co-eternal, consubstantial and coequal with the Father, like Macedonius of Constantinople, who resisted the personality of the Holy Spirit and its consubstantiality and coequality with the Father and Son, like Jovinian of Rome, who resisted formalism, monasticism, asceticism, reliance on good works
and worship of saints, particularly of Mary, like Tichonius of North Africa, who resisted the views of the Church as being all professed Christians organized externally under control of the hierarchy and of the union of state and church, like Cassianus of Massilia (present Marseilles), who resisted Augustinian predestination and total depravity, and like Adelbert, a Frank, who resisted tradition as a source of faith and practice, papal absolutism, no future probation for the heathen and compulsory priestly celibacy (shouted … war in the camp). But our Lord, who saw more clearly the heart of the evil, recognized that it was not the controversial cries of the victors (not … shout for mastery, v. 18), nor those of the vanquished (neither … cry for being overcome), that above all other things rang in His ears; rather, that it was the proclamation in a non-polemical way of wrong teachings and practices (noise … sing [voice of singing] do I hear). Giving closer attention to the experiences and activities of the doctrines and practices of the nominal people of God (came nigh to the camp, v. 19), He saw all the details of their erroneous doctrines and practices (saw the calf) and the people conducting themselves (dancing) according to them, especially according to the error and practice of the union of church and the world, among others, that of church and state, the chief source of error and practice, the one from which all their other errors of doctrine and practice flowed (what these wrong doctrines and practices were are enumerated above; Rev. 17: 1-5; 18: 3, 9; 19: 2); and He was increasingly very greatly displeased (Moses' anger waxed hot). So great was His slowly increasing displeasure that He gradually withdrew more and more of the Gospel-Age message of the two salvations out of the power of the Pergamos star-members (cast the tables … hands), resulting in these truths becoming increasingly broken to pieces, through the growing errors outside the embryo kingdom (beneath the mount). These acts, each beginning at an
interval after the preceding one, were progressive, extending, from beginning to end, over the almost five involved centuries, 313-799. Our Lord through the testimonies of the star-members, their special and other helpers took up controversially each feature of this infidelism as it arose and thoroughly refuted it with the Truth (burnt it in the fire, v. 20), and that not in a general way, but in the minutest detail (ground it to powder), and thoroughly submerged it in the Truth (strawed [scattered] it upon the water) and made the people know their errors' weakness (drink).
(66) Next our Lord gave His attention to the hierarchy and priests, demanding of them an explanation of what the people had done to them to influence them to mislead the people into so great a wrong (What … unto thee … brought … sin upon them? v. 21). This demand He made through His mouthpieces, the star-members, their special and other helpers, by their preaching and writing against the course of the misleaders. These misleaders first sought to appease our Lord's anger at them (Let not … lord wax hot, v. 22); secondly, they accused the people as being in their evil disposition responsible for what they had done (people … on mischief). However true it was that the depraved people instigated the wrong (v. 1), the leaders should have refused to grant their requests; and had they been faithful they would have refused it. Then they, thirdly, told how it came to pass, as shown in our explanation of v. 1, which in the people's statement is here in v. 23 quoted verbally. They abbreviated and slightly changed what they had said to the people on the subject in v. 2, though in the end the sense is about the same, but with less particulars. Then they acknowledged that they had taken heathenish ideas that the people held; for be it remembered that to gain converts they adopted their ideas and gave Christian names to these heathen ideas, e.g., they counterfeited God by the trinity of heathen gods, Mary by various chief heathen goddesses, the saints
by inferior heathen gods, etc., etc., etc. (gave it me, v. 24). Furthermore, they more or less misrepresented in part and in part suppressed their part, as though it were inconsequential, alleging that when subjected to the furnace fires of their logic (cast it into the fire), of themselves these evil teachings and practices developed (came out this calf). Jesus perceived that the people were destitute of His righteousness and righteousness of their own (people were naked, v. 25). Thus the errors and wrong practices that the hierarchy and priests taught the people robbed them of the robe of Christ's righteousness and of whatever righteousness they had developed by their own efforts; for error is always depraving, as it often takes away the fruits of consecration and justification (Aaron … naked). This resulted in their shame (shame) in the presence of their enemies, e.g., the heathen philosophers, Julian the apostate, etc., who in attacking them refutatively to their shame supposed they were attacking Christianity; and the star-members and their special and other helpers in attacking their errors knew that they were attacking them destitute of real Christianity and its blessings of justification and sanctification (among their enemies).
(67) Taking His stand with the Truth servants who admit people among the number of God's people at the upsurge of each new error (stood in the gate of the camp, v. 26), He called upon all who were loyal to God (Who … Lord's side?) to rally to Him (unto me). This call He made by the pertinent Truth that still was with God's people contradictory of each new error as it appeared. There rallied to Him the pertinent star-member and his special helper and other helpers great and small as each error arose (all … Levi … unto him). These our Lord speaking as God's mouthpiece (saith the Lord, v. 27) exhorted to prepare themselves with pertinent controversial truths for the refutation of the pertinent error (put … sword by his side), secondly, to advance against every
set of error teachers (gate to gate) and all their followers (throughout the camp), and then refute (slay) their most intimate errorists (brothers), their less intimate errorists (companion) and mere acquaintance errorists (neighbor). This was done by these as charged, as each error arose (Levi did, v. 28); and they refuted the propounders of the errors and their main cooperators, who were crown-losers and justified ones (fell … three thousand men). That they were crown-losers and justified we gather from the thousands in the number, 3,000. As crown-losers they were anticipatory Epiphany Levites and the others were actually Gospel-Age Levites, who are each of three groups, indicated by the number three in the three thousand, while the thousands being multiples of 10 indicate natures lower than the Divine, i.e., spiritual and human; and that they were the outstanding propounders of the errors and their main supporters is apparent from their being called men (men). For our Lord had exhorted the star-members, their special and other helpers to be fully occupied at that period in the interests of the Lord (consecrate yourselves [literally, fill your hand, i.e., busy yourselves, be occupied with] … Lord, v. 29), and that even against those whom they developed (son) and most intimate ones who were advocating error (brother). So doing the Lord would give them a special blessing during that period (bestow … blessing this day). Though giving the charge to refute the errorists, without sparing them, as another feature (morrow, v. 30) of His work, Jesus by His mouthpieces preached repentance to the people (Ye have sinned a great sin); and as an encouragement to repentance He assured them by these that He would exercise His Advocate office (go up unto the Lord) to atone for their sin (peradventure … atonement).
(68) Accordingly, Jesus turned to this feature of His ministry (returned unto the Lord, v. 31) and acknowledged the sin of the people, not hiding its exact nature (sinned … gods of gold), but He pleaded
for their forgiveness (yet … forgive, v. 32). He even in His star-members went to the extent of asking that if God could not forgive (if not), His resignation in them from His office in them in God's arranged plan be accepted and His office activities in them therein be blotted out (blot me … thy book). Jehovah's answer was that those who had sinned too greatly God would blot out of their places in that plan, i.e., the pertinent Little Flock members would lose their official place in the Little Flock and be remanded to the place of crown-losers; pertinent crown-losers would lose out in their office as such and be remanded to second-deathers; pertinent justified ones would lose their official standing and become Campers; and pertinent Campers would be cast out unto heathenism from among the Campers (sinned … blot out of my book). Nevertheless, Jehovah charged our Lord to continue to lead the people of God to the heavenly Canaan (go, lead the people … spoken, v. 34), assuring Him that His Spirit, Word and providence would be with Him in all the way in preparation for each onward step (mine Angel shall go before thee). But God in His justice declared that He would punish all wilfulness of the people in due time (day … visit their sin). As a part of this punishment God distressed the wrong-doers by siftings that dazed and made unsound their minds and severed many from their fellowship (plagued the people, v. 35), because of the great iniquity of the hierarchy and priests and of the cooperating people in making their creed image of false doctrines and practices (calf). Certainly the history of the times from 313 to 799 witnesses to the many plaguesome errors in doctrine and practice and the consequent controversies and siftings that prevailed among professed Christians; for the Greek Church was then divided into its main sects and the seed that grew into the full-grown noxious plant of a division between the Greek and Roman Churches was then sown, germinated and grew into a small plant; though,
despite a number of Pergamos interruptions of fellowship between them, the full division did not set in until about the middle of the Thyatira period; and in the Roman Church various controversies and sects arose during the Pergamos period. Thus in part by symbolic plagues the Lord punished them for their sin.
(69) Jehovah then charged our Lord (said unto Moses, Ex. 33: 1) to leave the Pergamos condition (hence), to lead up the people whom He had delivered from Satan's empire as the sphere of sin and error (land of Egypt) and to bring them into the sphere of the Truth and its Spirit (land), which God in His justice in the Oath-bound Covenant (sware) promised Himself in His attribute of love (Abraham), Christ (Isaac) and the Church (Jacob) to give to God's seed (Unto thy seed will I give it). This sphere of the Truth and its Spirit would by God's Spirit, Word and providence be ridded of its present infesters: worldliness (Canaanite, v. 2), sin (Amorite), cowardice (Hittite), siftingism (Perizzite), sectarianism (Hivite) and temptation-oppression (Jebusite). To this sphere of Truth and its Spirit (land, v. 3), which abounds in the Truth (milk) and the joys of hope (honey), are God's people to come and are to conquer it. This promise seems to type the Parousia and Epiphany, when the Truth and its joyful hopes were restored to God's people. God declares that He would not in His attribute of justice go or mingle with His Gospel-Age people (not … midst of thee), because they had especially by the Gospel-Age infidelism sifting demonstrated their stubbornness and waywardness (stiffnecked people). But in this God showed mercy; for if He had dealt in justice with them He would have destroyed them (lest I consume thee). Through the preachings, etc., of the star-members and their special and other helpers God made known to His professed people this decision of His, which very greatly distressed them heard … mourned, v. 4). Since the spirit of mourning is opposed to and hinders
the development of the graces (Is. 61: 3), their mourning prevented their putting these on as publicly visible graces (no man … his ornaments); for God, who desires by the knowledge of sin to arouse sinners to repentance, had charged Jesus (had said, v. 5) to declare to His erring people (Say unto … Israel) their sin of stubbornness (stiffnecked). Furthermore, He had threatened to deal suddenly with them in justice and thus destroy them as His people (come … moment, and consume thee). By His causing their wickedness to be brought home to them, in order to work sorrow for it in them, God by act bade them not to put on the graces as publicly visible (put off thy ornaments), not that He intended this as a finality for them, but that by grieving them, and thus for the time being preventing them therefrom, He might bring them into the condition wherein they could advantageously develop the graces, for without such grace-hindering grief they could not attain forgiveness and thus could not grow in grace (Rom. 2: 4; 2 Cor. 2: 6-8; 7: 10). Then their undergoing or not undergoing such grief would determine God's future dealing with them (know what to do). These teachings had in the well-disposed their intended effect of grieving them righteously, with the consequent temporary cessation of practicing graces (stripped … ornaments, v. 6) before the nominal kingdom (mount).
(70) God had our Lord do another thing indicative of His displeasure with His nominal people, i.e., remove the faithful servants of the Truth and its Spirit from places of prominence and influence in the nominal church—caused the symbolic woman, the Covenant promises and the servants who apply them to the brethren to go into the wilderness condition, Rev. 12: 6—(took the tabernacle [not the one later built, but Moses' official residence] … without the camp, v. 7), and that not but slightly away from the erroneous doctrines, practices organization and disciplines of the nominal church, but very far from these (afar off)
and made the Truth and the servants who applied it to the brethren, as well as these last, the place where God resided, met with His people and blessed them (tabernacle of the congregation; literally, tent of meeting). Henceforth every one who in heart's loyalty sought fellowship with the Lord in spirit, truth, righteousness and holiness went forth from the nominal church to such Truth, its applying servants and the others of His real people (sought … congregation), apart from the nominal church (without the camp). When our Lord left nominal-church matters and gave His attention to Truth matters, its servants and the rest of His real people (went out unto the tabernacle, v. 8) the attention, through the pertinent discussions, of the nominal people was publicly attracted to Him in the star-members (all the people … stood … tent door) in His pertinent acts and gave study to them (looked after Moses), until He in the star-members busied Himself with Truth matters, its applying servants and the others of His real people (into the tabernacle). When our Lord busied Himself with Truth matters, its applying servants, etc. (Moses entered into the tabernacle, v. 9), the Truth and its Spirit as due became manifest (the cloudy pillar descended), and remained at the entrance, consecration (door), where God revealed truths to Jesus in the star-members (talked with Moses).
(71) The Truth in its nature by its applying servants was presented to the mental sight of the nominal people in connection with the promises, their applying servants, etc. (stand … door, v. 10); and to the degree that they could understand it they expressed reverence for it toward God (rose up and worshiped … door). God made His revelations to Jesus by direct and immediate conversation in perfectly clear communications (spake … face, v. 11), in the utmost free and confidential spirit and manner (speaketh unto his friend). Whenever it was due our Lord gave His attention to things pertaining to the nominal church, including
matters of doctrine, practice, organization and discipline, which activity always involved refutation and correction (turned … camp). But the star-members as fishers of men (his servant Joshua … Nun, fish), who were, so far as it concerns perfection of Truth and the Spirit of the Truth, not yet fully developed, for the scene here is one connected with the Interim, i.e., during Pergamos, Thyatira and Sardis (a young man), remained faithfully amid the Truth, its applying servants, etc. (departed not … tabernacle). In His concern for God's people Jesus in His star-members mentions the fact that God had commissioned Him in them to bring His people unto antitypical Canaan (said … sayest unto me, Bring up this people, v. 12). Despite this, God up to that time had not let Him in His star-members know who would be His Helper in them (not let me know whom … with me), and this despite the fact that God had assured Him that He approved of His character and office in them and that He had in them gained God's very special favor (know thee by name … found grace in my sight). Hence He reasoned pleadingly (therefore, I pray thee, v. 13) in the star-members that if in them He had found favor in God's sight, God might cause Him in them to understand His Word's doctrines and practices (show … way), that He in them in mind, heart, will and act might know God (know thee), to the end that He in them might receive God's special favor (find grace) and that God might recognize Spiritual Israel as His people (consider … thy people).
(72) God thereupon gave Christ in the star-members the assurance that His special favor (presence; literally, faces, i.e., favors, v. 14) would be with Him in the star-members, and that He would give Him in them rest, first, the peace of God in this life, and by and by the rest that remaineth for the people of God (give thee rest). Feeling in them the utter uselessness of His going on in them without God's special favor to Him in them, He in them entreated God not to have