Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Titus 2:13

CHAPTER IV.

 

GIDEON—TYPE AND ANTITYPE.

 

ANTITYPICAL ISRAEL'S OPPRESSION. JESUS' PREPARATION FOR THE WORK OF DELIVERANCE WHILE IN THE FLESH. SALIENT FEATURES OF JESUS' GOSPEL-AGE MINISTRY PREPARATORY TO OVERTHROWING THE MAIN ERRORISTS AND THEIR ERRORS. THE GOSPEL-AGE ELECTIVE AND REJECTIVE WORK. JESUS' FINAL ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE CONFLICT. DIRECTIONS FOR AND PARTICIPATION IN ANTITYPICAL GIDEON'S FIRST BATTLE. THE LEVITES' PARTICIPATION IN THE WARFARE. THE YOUTHFUL WORTHIES' PARTICIPATION IN THE WARFARE. THEIR DISSATISFACTION AT BEING TOO LATE FOR THE HIGH CALLING. JESUS' TACTFUL ANSWER TO THEIR MURMURING AT HIM FOR NOT INVITING THEM TO THE HIGH CALLING. THE ORDER OF THE NARRATIVE. OUR LORD'S SEEKING SINEWS OF WAR FOR HIS ARMY. THE FINAL MARCH AND BATTLE. BEREAN QUESTIONS.

 

THE Present Truth has frequently referred to antitypical Gideon's first and second battles. The reason for such frequent references in that magazine to these battles is that both of them belong to the Epiphany. Just now we refer very frequently to the second of these battles, because it is now being waged. The brethren, we are sure, will appreciate this battle more, and take a more zealous and fruitful part in it, if Gideon, type and antitype, is more clearly understood by them. For this reason we take pleasure in presenting this subject here to the Church. We have frequently planned to do it ere this, but have until now been hindered therefrom. Until last Spring [written in December, 1920] we had frequently studied Judg. 6, but had as frequently failed to grasp its antitypical teachings. When last Spring we concluded that antitypical Gideon's second battle was approaching, believing that the clear understanding of the entire antitype, so far as fulfilled, would help all Gideonites in the second battle, we went to the Lord in special prayer, asking for the understanding of those parts not yet clear to us, especially Judg. 6, and promising Him

 

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that we would gladly give the interpretation to the Church, if He would graciously favor us with it for the brethren. Within a half-hour after offering that prayer almost everything in that chapter was antitypically clear to us; and we take much pleasure in setting forth herewith what we believe to be the antitype of Judg. 6: 1—8: 12. It has refreshed those who have heard it given orally. May the dear Lord be pleased to bless to our hearts and heads the study of this remarkable piece of history as we give it to all through the printed page.

 

(2) That Gideon is a typical character is evident from the fact that St. Paul enumerates him (Heb. 11: 32) among the heroes of faith, and states (Heb. 12: 1) that we are encompassed, surrounded as a type surrounds its antitype, by these heroes of faith as by a cloud of witnesses— shadowy or typical witnesses. That Gideon's battles with the Midianites are types is directly stated (Is. 9: 4; 10: 26; Ps. 83: 9, 11, 12). Since Gideon was the leader of typical Israel, he quite likely types Jesus, the Leader of antitypical Israel. God's people of the Jewish and Gospel Ages are the antitypes of Israel, in Judg. 6, 7, 8. Midian means strife,  and the Midianites represent errorists who have striven with God's people, and have oppressed them with erroneous doctrines and practices. We already have seen that Gideon's first battle types the defeat of those who taught the errors of the Divine right of kings, aristocrats and clergy, by the Lord's faithful people, from the Fall of 1914 to that of 1916, otherwise pictured by the first smiting of Jordan, the confessing of the sins over Azazel's Goat and the binding  of the kings and nobles in executing the judgment written. Therefore 1914 is the end of the oppression of the antitypical Israelites by the doctrines of Divine right. We know that God's Israel began in 607 B.C. to be oppressed by those that have taught these doctrines, and, actuated by such beliefs, subjected God's

 

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people to themselves. Hence we understand the seven years (Judg. 6: 1) of Midian's oppression to represent the seven symbolic years—2520 literal years—of the Times of the Gentiles. Israel's captivity, 607-537 B.C., was the beginning of these times of antitypical Midian's oppression, especially by the doctrines of the Divine right. As Fleshly Israel's sins brought this oppression upon them, so Spiritual Israel's sins brought the same oppression upon them. In this oppression (Judg. 6: 2) the errorists injured both of God's Israels by putting their false teachings into practice; and this oppression caused God's people to resort for safety to secret methods and dealings (dens and caves), e.g., dwelling in the catacombs, meeting in secret, working more or less under cover; and to fortifying themselves by arguments (strongholds) against the errorists. V. 3 shows that every time the true people of God would produce some fruit in their fields of labor the errorists would take it away from them—a thing that was true of the experiences of Fleshly and Spiritual Israel. Their chief oppressors were the errorists (Midianites), who were seconded by the wicked (Amalekites, lowlanders, those who inhabit the lowlands of sinful degradation) and the selfish and worldly (the children of the east). These certainly fought (v. 4) against the Lord's people until they overcame them, not ceasing their strife until they had subdued them into captivity in their sects (Gaza, a city of the Philistines, sectarianism). They robbed the Lord's people of their truths (substance), taking away the doctrine of the Sin-offerings and Ransom (sheep, margin, kid, and ox, i.e., bullock) and perverting every other doctrine (ass), as we see this illustrated in the course of the Papacy. V. 5 shows how this was accomplished. The oppressors came up against them with all their followers and equipment (cattle and tents) in great multitudes, individually and organizationally (they and their camels), being intent on

 

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destroying antitypical Israel's teachings and fruits. V. 6 brings us to the opening of the Christian Era, at which time all men (Israelites indeed) were in expectation, longing and praying amid their oppression for the coming of Messiah to deliver them from the yoke of Rome. The same thing was in spirit fulfilled among Christians incidental to the oppressions of Pagan and Papal Rome. According to v. 7, when these cries for release began, the Lord began to prepare deliverance for His people.

 

(3) In vs. 8-10 we understand the type to picture forth the ministry of John the Baptist, begun when all men were in expectation of the Messiah; for just as the prophet there reminded Israel of God's Covenant benefits to them, despite which they sinned against the Lord and His Covenant, so the preaching of John the Baptist was a preaching of God's goodness to Israel, of His Covenant with them, of their violations of this Covenant, and of the necessity of repentance and faith in order to obtain from the Messiah their deliverance (Matt. 3: 1-12).

 

(4) Vs. 11-24 typically refer to our Lord's preparation for, and execution of His ministry while in the flesh. In this section the angel that instructed Gideon as to his mission types the Word of God that made clear to our Lord Jesus His mission. The conversation between Gideon and the angel types our Lord's inquiries put to the Lord's Word in His studies of it, and its solution of His questions. Trees in the symbols of the Scriptures represent great ones, especially the Lord's people (Is. 61: 3); and an oak tree would represent an especially mighty one among the Lord's people. We understand John the Baptist, the mightiest of the prophets, to be represented by the oak tree of vs. 11, 19. Ophrah (fawn) seems to represent the Kingdom of God, both in its typical and its embryo aspects. Joash (God- given) seems to type Israelites indeed. Gideon (destroyer) types our Lord Jesus, not

 

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from every aspect, but as the Destroyer of sin, error, selfishness and worldliness. Hence the thought of v. 11 seems to be that, connected with the ministry of John the Baptist (under the oak), God's Word (the angel) in the typical kingdom of God (Ophrah), which belonged to the Israelites indeed (Joash), began to become clear to Jesus, while He in support of the ministry of John the Baptist was engaged in encouraging Israelites indeed (threshing wheat) respecting the Kingdom, as a means of protection against their oppressors (to hide it from the Midianites). The first thing that the Word of God made clear to Him, and that before His consecration, was that He was the One especially favored by God (the Lord is with thee), and that He was the chosen One, the mighty One among the people, upon whom the Lord had laid help for the people (thou mighty man of valor). The way in which the Lord's Word made this clear to Jesus was in all probability as follows: As He considered what He had heard from others, especially from His mother Mary, respecting the angel's announcement of His begettal, birth and future ministry, Bible passages pertaining to these matters came to His mind and corroborated His thoughts, making Him realize that He was the One of whom these Scriptures treated.

 

(5) No sooner was this thought corroborated to Him by the Scriptures than He began (v. 13) to inquire as to why God had permitted evil (why, then, is all this befallen us?)—a question that every person asks who is given to serious reflection on the Lord's Providences. Still a further matter was pressing upon His mind for solution—the deliverance of God's people from the Empire of Satan, symbolized by Israel's deliverance from Egypt, a thing promised in the Word of God, but not yet realized; for God's people were then oppressed by errorists, etc. (Midianites, etc.). V. 14 types how Jehovah intimated to Jesus through

 

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His Word (the angel) that this deliverance was to be wrought by Him, through His doing two things: (1) that in the strength of His perfect character He should go forth on the ministry entrusted to Him, first in dying for the world, and second in leading God's people in holy warfare (go in this thy might), and (2) in His utterly routing the forces of error, sin, selfishness and worldliness (and thou shalt save Israel, etc.). The expression, "Have I not sent Thee?" implies that the Lord through His Word gave Him the evidence that He was Shiloh, the Sent of God (Gen. 49: 10).

 

(6) V. 15 is a touching description of our Lord's deep humility, which He especially felt, when it became clear to Him that He was the Divinely chosen Deliverer of God's people. He felt (1) His lack of means to accomplish the work (Wherewith shall I save Israel?); (2) the lowliness of His ancestral position (Behold, my family is poor in Manasseh! i.e., I have not come from David's royal descendants, from Solomon, etc., but from obscure descendants of David, through Nathan); and (3) the ill- repute of His supposed illegitimate birth (and I am the least, etc.).

 

(7) V. 16 shows how Jehovah comforted Him (through the Word, for which probably Is. 49: 6-9 was the special section used) with the assurance that the Lord would give Him all the help and strength necessary to carry out His mission in delivering God's people. And by these promises our dear Lord, as Gideon's antitype (v. 17), was enabled to decide to consecrate Himself to Jehovah for the carrying out of the mission that Jehovah had in the Word outlined for Him to perform, His only concern being that the Lord by His Word would give Him the Holy Spirit, as the final proof of and sufficient equipment for, His ministry (v. 17). For this reason He asked (v. 18) for the Lord's presence with Him in His consecration (Depart not hence, etc.). And the Lord by His Word (the

 

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angel) assured Him that He would be with Him, and not leave Him (I will tarry, etc.).

 

(8) Vs. 19, 20 type the events immediately connected with our Lord's consecration of Himself to Jehovah to do the Latter's will in the mission offered Him. The expression, "Gideon went in," types our Lord searching His heart and mind as He counted the cost, as a part of a sober, well-considered consecration. The kid typed His humanity; the unleavened cakes typed the fact that His humanity was sinless; the ephah of flour shows that His sinlessness consisted of full and actual perfection. The distinction between the flesh in the basket and the broth in the pot seems to be the same as between that which was burned on the altar and the incense that was offered in the Holy: our Lord's sacrifice as it appeared, on the one hand, to those in the Court condition, and on the other hand to Jehovah and to the New Creatures in the Holy. Gideon's bringing these out and presenting them to the angel types our Lord's consecration. His doing this under the oak types that our Lord's consecration to do Jehovah's will, as stated in the Word, would occur in connection with the ministry of John the Baptist (the oak). In Scriptural symbolisms a rock often represents a truth, especially a fundamental truth. The particular truth typed by the rock of v. 20 seems to be the truth that Peter announced (Matt. 16: 15-18). This was the rock truth that supported our Lord's sacrifice; and God's Word bade (the angel of God said unto Him, Take, etc.) He base His sacrifice on the truth that He was the Messiah, who would save the world from the Adamic sentence by the sacrifice of Himself (Is. 53: 1-12). Thus before His baptism He was given to understand by the Word that by His baptism He was symbolically to fulfill all righteousness (Matt. 3: 15), (1) which was actually done by His satisfying the demands of the Law for the life of the world, through His death, pictured by His being put under the water;

 

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and (2) by satisfying the demand of the Law for the obedience of all under it, through His complying with all its requirements, walking in newness of life, symbolized by His rising out of the water. His delight at the time of His consecration to do the Lord's will in sacrificing Himself, based upon His faith in His Messiahship, is thus typed by Gideon's offering the sacrifice on the rock, as the angel charged.

 

(9) Vs. 21-23 briefly represent our Lord's sacrificial career, culminating in the Gethsemane and Calvary scenes. In the symbols of the Bible a staff represents an office, or work. Thus the shepherd's staff represents the shepherd's office, or work. The angel's staff would therefore represent the office, or work of the Word of God, one of whose works is to beget of the Spirit (Jas. 1: 18; 1 Pet. 1: 23). Touching the sacrifice with the end of the staff seems to represent the Spirit-begettal. The fire coming out of the rock represents the power of God in the truth that He was the Messiah, which enabled His New Creature to consume His humanity in sacrifice. Thus briefly His three and a half years' sacrifice of Himself is pictured forth. The angel departing from Gideon (v. 21) types how for the brief hour in Gethsemane the teachings of the Word that He would be faithful unto death vanished from Jesus' eyes of understanding. In Gethsemane's dark hour for a while He feared that He had not done perfectly; and He also feared that He might not be able on the morrow to do perfectly, and therefore feared that He could not be saved (by resurrection) from death  (Heb. 5: 7). Thus for a brief time He lost sight of the Lord's Word that foretold His faithfulness unto death. Perhaps our Lord's uncertainty on the cross (Matt. 27: 46) is also included, with the Gethsemane scene, in this feature of the type under consideration. Gideon's perceiving (v. 22) that he had seen an angel types our Lord's deep sense of responsibility (felt in Gethsemane) involved in His

 

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Messianic Mission, and the dangers involved in clearly perceiving such knowledge (seen an angel face to face). Gideon's fear of death types our Lord's fear of the Second Death for supposed or prospectively feared failure to be faithful—the fear that so greatly oppressed Him in Gethsemane. But as the Lord (v. 23) comforted Gideon with the benediction of peace and the assurance that He would not die, so the Father comforted Jesus with the benediction of peace and the assurance that He had been and would continue to be faithful, and therefore would not suffer the Second Death (Heb. 5: 7; Luke 22: 43). This strengthened the Lord unto the completion of His sacrifice; and as Gideon (v. 24), through the Lord's comfort, was enabled to erect an altar of peace from Jehovah for Israel (Jehovah-shalom), so Jesus, completing His sacrifice, was enabled to erect an Altar—even His Ransom-sacrifice— which speaks peace from God to antitypical Israel. This Altar is found even now in the embryo Kingdom of God (Ophrah), among those whom the Father helps (Abiezrites).

 

(10) Thus we find, as above-stated, in vs. 11-24, a brief typical history of our Lord's experiences beginning just before His consecration and ending just before Pentecost. In the remainder of this chapter we find brief typical pictures, of salient features of His Gospel Age activities with His follower against errorists, as preparations for the overthrow of the main errorists and their errors. This will appear from a study of the rest of the chapter, type and antitype.

 

(11) One of the salient features of our Lord's Gospel- Age activities is His association of the Church with Himself in His service and in His activities for Truth and against error and errorists. This is shown typically in vs. 25-27. We understand that the second bullock of Gideon's father (v. 25), offered as a burnt offering, types Jesus' ministry manifesting God's acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice for the

 

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humanity and New Creatures of the Church, whose sacrifice by our Lord follows our Lord's erection of the Ransom-sacrifice as an Altar speaking peace from Jehovah. The fact of its being seven years old types His perfection before God, affecting, among other things, the reckoned perfection of the Church's humanity. Baal's altar was the Clergy class in Fleshly Israel, where the scribes, Pharisees and priests sacrificed to Satan by grasping for power and lording it over Fleshly Israel in Jesus' day. The fact that Joash had this altar proves that He did not type Jehovah as Jesus' Father, as some might infer from the fact that he was the father of Gideon, the type of Jesus; for Jehovah did not erect and keep an altar for Baal, Satan. As Gideon's father he types Israelites indeed, of whom Jesus was one, even as Aaron in Lev. 16 types the whole Priesthood; and for the ends of the Ages Eleazar, one of Aaron's sons, types the Twelve and our Pastor. But from the fact of Aaron's fatherhood of Eleazar we are not to infer that the whole Priesthood or any part of it is the father of any priest; rather sonship here implies membership in the class typed by the father. Thus in this particular this fact is a parallel of how the antitypical Joash is not Jehovah, the Father of our Lord Jesus, but is a class, Israelites indeed, of which Jesus was a member. The antitypical Joash of the Jewish Harvest, before becoming spiritual Israelites, certainly supported those who sat in Moses' seat, despite their clericalism, and thus had an altar of Baal. The charge to throw down (v. 25) Baal's altar represents God's charge to Jesus to abrogate the office of the Jewish clergy as no longer a Divinely pleasing institution, and to overthrow their clericalistic claims. The grove that was by the altar seems to represent the partisan supporters of the system of clericalism. To cut it down seems to type the casting off of such persons from God's favor (Rom. 11: 16-22).

 

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(12) The altar (v. 26) that Gideon was commissioned to build types Jesus and the Church which under the Headship of Jesus is the Body of The Messiah—the mystery hidden from ages and generations. It is as such built upon the same Rock—the truth respecting The Messiah, i.e., that The Messiah is Jesus, the Head, and the Church, His Body— even as in the type Gideon was commissioned to build his second altar upon the same rock upon which he had offered his first sacrifice. The expression, in the ordered place, is in the margin given, in an orderly manner, i.e., both the typical and antitypical altar would have to be built according to the Lord's arrangements as typed in the Law, which for the antitype would imply its actual and reckoned perfection through Jesus' merit, and its acceptance by Jehovah for sacrificial uses. On this Altar the humanity of the Church was to be sacrificed by the Gospel-Age ministry of Jesus' burnt offering (the second bullock was to be offered). The wood of the grove seems to represent the Old Testament truths, once in the possession of the supporters of Jewish clericalism, by which truths the humanity of the Church, energized sacrificially by them, would be consumed by Jesus' offering up His burnt offering. This offering of the Jesus manifests God's acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice (burnt offering).

 

(13) The number ten (ten men) is the number for completion for any nature lower than the Divine, of which seven is the number of completion. The ten men, therefore, seem to represent the totality of human (possibly also angelic) helpers that the Lord used to carry forward His work of manifesting God's acceptance of His sacrifice for the help of the Church and of overthrowing the Jewish clericalists. By means of these our Lord accomplished the prescribed work (v. 27). By His people He set aside the Jewish clericalists and their system as obligatory upon Spiritual Israel (cut down the altar of Baal). By them He

 

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refuted their clericalistic claims and cut down the supporters of that system (cut down the grove). Gideon's doing this by night types the secret way in which the Lord has throughout the Age wrought with His people: "The world knoweth us not, even as it knew Him not." Needless suffering is spared the Lord's people by a proper hiding from the world what is exclusively the business of The Christ.

 

(14) Vs. 28-32 type the effects of the Lord's manifesting God's acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice for the Church. The men of the city (v. 28) type the leaders, great ones, in Judaism. Shortly after Pentecost (early in the morning) these perceived that their authority and power in things Divine were questioned and refuted by faithful Christians, as shown in the manner in which they looked upon the preaching and office of the Apostles. They recognized increasingly that the principles of the Truth repudiated their system and them, as any longer the representatives of God (behold, the altar of Baal was cast down and the grove was cut down, etc.). They recognized a sacrifice was being offered that was different from theirs, and on an altogether different Altar—an Altar that permitted no grasping for power, lording it over God's heritage, or any other selfish thing.

 

(15) They gave diligent search (v. 29) for the instigator of these acts and traced them to Jesus. They demanded of the Israelites indeed (Joash, v. 30)—now become faithful Christians—that they by repudiating Jesus join in the work of extirpating His name and principles (bring out thy son that he may die) because of the effect of His teaching on the Jewish systems, leaders and supporters. But the spiritual Israelites (v. 31) reasoned against supporting a clericalistic system, and warned that such deeds as the Jewish clericalists desired against Jesus were a defense of Satan himself. They announced that all who would take up such a course would be broken off as branches from the

 

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olive tree (Rom. 11: 17-24) during the Jewish Harvest (let him be put to death while it is yet morning). They further said: Let Satan and those who like him attempt to be lords over God's heritage defend their right to such authority, if they can. Hence the Christians of that time and onward have challenged Satan's power as a pleader or striver against our Lord, and have looked upon Jesus (Jerubbaal) as One who perpetually is a Challenger to Satan along this line (Let Baal plead against Him, v. 32).

 

(16) The remainder of the chapter (vs. 33-40) gives very brief sketches of the chief scenes in our Lord's activities against errorists during the rest of the Gospel Age. In v. 33 are typed the rise and association (were gathered together) of Gospel-Age errorists and sinners and selfish and worldly persons as oppressors of God's people; their progress toward (went), and their militant methods (pitched) for, the union of church and state (Jezreel). It will be recalled (Vol. III, Chapter I) that Jezreel, the mutual dwelling-place of Ahab and Jezebel, types a union of church and state. As we are aware, the mystery of iniquity, already working in St. Paul's time (2 Thes. 2: 7), developed rapidly into more and more of error, sin, selfishness and worldliness and all who had their spirit were drawn (were gathered together) more and more into a fellowship of error, sin, selfishness and worldliness, developing (went) through clericalism into the Antichrist system uniting church and state (Jezreel), for which they strove (pitched), as a Divine institution, and which in the days of Constantine the Great came into existence. This mystery of iniquity boldly taught the Divine right of kings, clergy and aristocracy as the main principle of the union of church and state. Thus v. 33 gives a brief history of the falling away in the beginning of this Age. As Gideon (v. 34) was energized by the Lord (the Spirit of the Lord came, etc.) to raise up Israelites against their

 

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oppressors, so our Lord sent forth a message (blew a trumpet) through Arianism and related movements calling upon the faithful to oppose the apostates, the oppressors of Spiritual Israel. And these faithful ones, helped by God (Abi-ezer), in the various anti-Catholic movements from the fourth to nearly the ninth century gathered together against the clericalistic errorists, even as the Abi-ezrites in the type responded to Gideon's trumpet call.

 

(17) In v. 35 we have a brief history typical of the reformatory movements from the ninth to the end of the fifteenth century. This brief sketch is elaborated typically in the experiences of Elijah in 1 Kings 17: 1—18: 33, of which we have (Vol. III, Chapter I) given the antitype. As in the type (Judg. 6: 35), after the Abi-ezrites, four groups (Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali) were called to battle, so in the antitype we find four distinct reform efforts, following the Arian and related movements. The first of these, corresponding to Manasseh gathering to Gideon, had as its chief messengers Claudius of Turin, Agobard of Lyons, and Ratrammus of Corbie, the chief antitypes of Gideon's messengers sent to Manasseh, and lasted with much fruitfulness against papal Idolism and Absolutism, especially in Northern Italy, in France and in Germany, throughout the ninth century. It will be recalled that three efforts were made before another successful reform movement could be made permanent, the first effort being begun in 1045 A.D. by Berengar of Tours and Guido of Milan, the second by Peter Abelard and Arnold of Brescia, and the third, the successful one, in 1173, by Peter Waldo, 128 years intervening between the beginning of the first and the third efforts. We understand that this movement, consisting of these three efforts at establishing a permanent reform movement, is represented by the calling of Asher; and the above-mentioned second set of brothers are the main antitypes of Gideon's messengers sent

 

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to Asher. The third anti-papal and anti-idol reform movement was begun by Marsilius, 1309 A.D., continued by Wyclif, and brought to a climax by Huss, 1415 A.D. This reform movement, we understand, is typed by the call of Zebulun; while the three brothers just mentioned are the leading antitypes of the messengers sent by Gideon to Zebulun. The next reform movement was a doctrinal one, in which the two main leaders were John Wessel and Jerome Savonarola. This movement laid down the four chief principles of the Protestant Reformation: (1) the Bible, the sole source and rule of faith and practice; (2) the Headship of Jesus in all things over the Church; (3) Justification by faith alone; and (4) the Priesthood of the faithful. We understand this movement to be typed by Gideon's call of Naphtali, and the two brothers last mentioned to be the main antitypes of Gideon's messengers sent to Naphtali. In all of these movements a favorable response was made to our Lord's call through His messengers (and they came up, etc.).

 

(18) In vs. 36-40 we have a very brief history typical of our Lord's experiences connected with the Reformation by sects and with the Harvest movement. As in the type Gideon was given the two signs as pledges of the success  of His mission, so in the antitype, the antitypes of the two signs were given to our Lord as a pledge of His success in delivering God's people from their oppressors. We understand the fleece of wool to type the Reformatory Churches—Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopal, etc. Wool is used to represent Justification by Faith (Is. 1: 18), which was both the condition and the teaching of the true members of these churches; hence they could be fittingly typed by the fleece of wool. The earth represents those outside of these churches. The dew represents the Truth as due. The wool alone being full of dew represents that during the period of the Reformation by sects the Truth as due would be found only in these

 

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sects, saturating them—it would not be found outside of them (on the earth beside). How, then, was the fact that the Truth as due was found in these sects alone and not outside of them a proof that God would use our Lord to deliver His people from their oppressors? We answer: (1) that the reformatory truths were sufficient to consume (2 Thes. 2: 8) the Papal power in very many ways, especially governmentally, and thus gave our Lord a sure proof that He would prevail against the oppressors of Spiritual Israel. Moreover, (2) the fact that the Truth given through the Reformation divided Christendom into many sects and nationalities made the overthrow of errorists much easier than if Christendom had remained largely one, nationally and ecclesiastically. The bowl full of water that Gideon wrung out of the fleece represents the sum total of Truth that the Reformation by sects contained; and this Truth was available for the movement following the Reformation by sects: The cleansed Sanctuary had this bowl full of Truth for its purposes, as those that pointed to the Harvest movement just ahead. The wringing out of the dew thus represents our Lord gathering together in the cleansed Sanctuary all of the truths of the Reformatory sects. The bowl itself seems to represent the literary productions into which the Lord put the Truth.

 

(19) Vs. 39 and 40 type the Harvest movement and Truth as another and final proof to Jesus that He would successfully deliver God's people from their oppressors. As the Reformation gave truths destructive of many Papal teachings and of much of Papal power, as well as divided Christendom nationally and ecclesiastically, and thus weakened the oppressors of God's people; so the Harvest movement furnished a people for the Lord's purposes free from all sectarian claims, and gave all the truths necessary completely to confute the errors of their oppressors. Hence it became another and final evidence of victory for our Lord over

 

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all oppressors of God's people. While during the Reformation by sects the truths as due came through and were found in the Reformatory sects alone (the dew on the fleece alone), during the Harvest all of the sects were spewed out of God's mouth (Rev. 3: 16), and thus no new truth was found in them (for it was dry upon the fleece only); but during the Harvest the Truth was found outside of the churches among the Harvest people (the dew was upon all the ground); and much secular truth was, as Millennial foregleams, found among worldlings, but not in the churches. Thus the Reformation and the Harvest truths, the divided churches and nations and a united people outside of the churches, became from God to our Lord the sure pledges of victory over the oppressors.

 

(20) Thus we bring to a close a brief study of Judg. 6, in which we find a most remarkable typical history of the salient features of the Times of the Gentiles, especially from the standpoint of the oppression of both Israels, and God's preparation of our Lord for the deliverance of them from their oppressors.

 

(21) Above we set forth the antitypical fulfillment of Judg. 6, and found it to be a brief typical history of God's people of both Israels, more particularly during the Times of The Gentiles, as well as a typical history of our Lord's preparation for the work of delivering God's people from the oppressions of error, sin, selfishness and worldliness. We desire to continue the presentation of Gideon—Type and Antitype. As we trust the subject so far treated has proven a blessing to the Epiphany-enlightened saints, so we pray that the Lord may be pleased to bless to them the further discussion of the subject. The antitypes of Judg. 6 closed with the Reformation by sects and the Harvest Movement as proofs given to our Lord that Jehovah would by Him deliver His people from their oppressors; and the curtain of Judg. 7 is raised on a

 

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scene in which the two opposing forces are represented as encamped against one another. Then the chapter depicts the selective and rejective work of the Lord connected with the participants on His side of the conflict. This is followed by a picture of the final encouragement given the Leader of God's people for the impending conflict. The directions for the first battle then are given, followed by the conflict that the Leader personally directed; and the chapter closes with a subordinate battle in which the Leader did not participate, but in which he called certain ones not previously invited to the warfare to participate.

 

(22) In v. 1 the hosts marshalled against one another are described. The scene was in the easternmost part of the plain of Esdraelon (seed of God), known also as the Valley of Megiddo (destruction), the great battleground of Palestine (Josh. 12: 21; 17: 11; Judg. 1: 27; 5: 19; 2 Kings 9: 27; 23: 29; Zech. 12: 11). This valley ended in passes north and south of the Hill of Moreh (instruction), now called the Little Hermon. It was south of this hill, "in the valley," where the Midianites were encamped; while it was a little south of them on the north slopes of Mt. Gilboa at the well Harod (terror) that the host of Gideon encamped. In this verse the names applied to Israel's leader point out in type the fact that our Lord acts as the Opponent of Satan (Jerubbaal), and as the Destroyer (Gideon) of his works. The well of Harod (terror) types the arguments on the penalty of Sin which according to the Truth is a terror, and which according to Satan's eternal torment theory is certainly a magnified terror. It is on this point, from the beginning of the Harvest onward, yea, even from the time of the cleansed Sanctuary onward, that God's true mouthpieces have contended (encamped) against the errorists. That the antitypical battle would have to do with teaching is suggested by the word Moreh (instruction); and that the opponents of God's people are here spoken of as

 

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Midianites (contenders) suggests that the battle was mainly against error.

 

(23) That the privilege of sharing in the typical and antitypical battles was to be obtained along elective lines is taught in vs. 2-8. It is decidedly necessary that the lesson, "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit," be taught to, and impressed upon the Lord's people. The glory of delivering the Lord's people from error, sin, selfishness and worldliness should not be claimed by the warriors of the Lord ("lest Israel vaunt themselves," etc.); for the battle is the Lord's. And, among other ways, God has impressed this lesson by limiting the privilege of engaging in the battle to a very small number, compared with the number of their adversaries, and by rejecting from His army a large number, compared with the number that He retained in His army. Thus there could be no doubt that the victory was of the Lord. His glory the Lord will not give another. And certainly the few who took part in antitypical Gideon's first battle, and the few who are now taking part in His second battle, have no possibly reasonable claim to the victory as gained by their own might ("mine own hand hath saved me"). There were 32,000 men in Gideon's army, which was not quite a fourth of the number of their enemies. But frequently in war victory has been won by a force proportionally that much smaller than their enemies. Hence the number had to be reduced to prevent Israel's boasting. We understand these 32,000 men to represent all who have entered the initial warfare waged by our Gideon, i.e., all who have enlisted on the side of Truth and Righteousness. Hence the 32,000 would represent all of the tentatively justified and all of the consecrated.

 

(24) The proclamation of v. 3 ("Whoso is fearful and afraid," etc.) types the call to consecration, in connection with which the exhortation to count the cost is given, and in connection with which those who lack a consecrating faith (the fearful and afraid lack such a

 

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faith) are invited to stand aside, and not go forward and make a consecration. These were to be separated from the others as soon as possible ("Let them depart early," etc.); for their presence interfered more or less with the consecrated. This proclamation was more especially made early in the Harvest period, and certainly from that time onward comparatively few of the tentatively justified mingled among the Harvest people. While the antitypical proclamation is not just the same as that which called upon the Lord's people to leave Babylon, yet their leaving Babylon served to separate the tentatively justified from them; and leaving Babylon is, in the antitype, one of the things whose cost is to be counted. The fact that 22,000 left and 10,000 remained is not to be taken as giving us an exact proportion of those who are merely tentatively justified and those who are consecrated; for the proportion of the former to the latter is much larger than these figures indicate. Rather it is to show that the majority who begin the battle for Truth and Righteousness give it up, because fearful and afraid, i.e., they have no consecrating faith, hence do not progress to the sharper conflicts beginning with consecration.

 

(25) But the privilege of sharing in the great victory cannot be given even to all the consecrated; for Jehovah decided that this privilege should be given to the Very Elect alone. Therefore the scene of the separating of the 10,000 into two companies (vs. 4-8) is used to type how God took away the crowns from the measurably unfaithful; and thus He made them become of that class whom since antitypical Gideon's first battle He has been manifesting as Great Company members; and thus as being such as from His standpoint were no longer of the Very Elect, though He did not for several years manifest these persons as such to us. It would not surprise us, if there were from 500,000 to 1,000,000 New Creatures in the world during the Harvest. These were typed by the 10,000. As in