Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
GOSPEL-AGE SINNERS AND NAZARITES.
Num. 5; 6.
THREE CLASSES OF GOSPEL-AGE SINNERS. CHURCH SINNERS. THE GOSPEL-AGE NAZARITES. BEREAN QUESTIONS.
IT HAS been our privilege to expound in the preceding chapters Num. 1-4 and 26, from the standpoint of the type and the Gospel-Age antitype. In this chapter we trust to give, by God's grace, Num. 5 and 6 from the standpoint of the type and the Gospel-Age antitype. We believe that these seven and all other chapters of Numbers type also Epiphany and Millennial things; but we desire in this book on Numbers to emphasize the Gospel-Age antitypes. It will be recalled that we have pointed out that the Most Holy's corner boards, which are visible to the extent of one of their thirds from the Most Holy, type the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. It will also be recalled that in the same article it was stated that one of the Most Holy's pillars types Jesus as a Divine being and the book of Revelation as of His authorship, and that another of these pillars types St. Paul as a Divine being and the epistle to the Hebrews as of his authorship. From this standpoint, the relation of the book of Hebrews to the books of Exodus and Leviticus makes us think that the pillar representing it stood on the same side of the Most Holy as the corner boards that typed the books of Exodus and Leviticus. And because the book of Revelation sustains a similar relation to the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy, we believe that the pillar representing the book of Revelation stood on the same side of the Most Holy on which the corner boards stood that typed the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy. Therefore the understanding of the antitypes of the things recorded in Numbers and Deuteronomy is of greatest importance to an understanding
of the Revelation. It is for this reason that we are in this volume expounding Numbers 1-14 and 26, and we, by grace Divine, perhaps in another volume will expound the Gospel-Age antitypes of the rest of Numbers. If it should fall to our lot to give the Church an exposition of the Revelation, these antitypes will be found very helpful as a preparation of the Church for a better appreciation of it.
(2) In Num. 5: 1-4 the three classes of Gospel-Age sinners who were to be disfellowshipped are typically set forth. They are typed by the lepers, those having an issue and those unclean by contact with the dead. The lepers types those New Creatures who lost their crowns, but not life, the individuals who will find themselves before the throne. That the lepers type the Great Company in their uncleansed condition, we construe from the type of Aaron (the Little Flock) and Miriam (the Great Company) faulting Moses (Jesus) (Num. 12: 1-16; see the next to the last chapter of this volume). Those with an issue type willful sinners, usually those of the Second Death class; because their infirmity was one whereby vitality, life, was leaving them, thus antityping those who lose life, though in some cases these do not type Second Deathers (Lev. 15: 2-15). Those defiled by the dead type justified ones who have become contaminated by more or less gross sin. When we look at the New Testament teachings we do find that they command us to withdraw our fellowship from uncleansed Great Company members (1 Cor. 5: 1-5, 13); the Second Deathers (2 Tim. 3: 5, 8); and the justified ones who impenitently give themselves to gross sin (1 Cor. 5: 11; comp. Rom. 12: 1). Thus not only the symbols used in Num. 5: 1-4, but also the direct teachings of the New Testament show that we are to withdraw fellowship from the uncleansed Great Company members, Second Deathers and impenitent sinners among the justified. The withdrawal of fellowship is typed by the expression, "put out of the camp" in vs. 2 and 3. In v. 3
the reason for this step is given by the Lord: "that they defile not their camps in the midst whereof I dwell." The presence of the antitypes of such people among the real or nominal people of God in the Gospel Age gives them an opportunity to contaminate with their defiled condition those not thus defiled and thus to dishonor God, who dwells among them. By such disfellowshipment the Lord who dwells among His people is glorified, and they are safeguarded from contamination, while if those sinners remain among the Lord's people in full fellowship, they will contaminate others and dishonor God. The children of Israel's (v. 4) obeying this charge types the fact that during the Gospel Age such sinners were disfellowshipped by both the real and the nominal people of God, e.g., not only the true Church has disfellowshipped them, but also all denominations have regulations in their church laws covering such cases and have enforced them. Thus we see the fulfillment of the type of Num. 5: 1-4.
(3) In vs. 5-10 the Lord types, as far as concerns the Gospel Age, how its sinners should make restitution for their wrong-doings. In the type the charge was given that people should right the wrong that they committed by confessing the wrong-doing and giving the equivalent back, with 20 per cent. added, to the wronged person, or, if he no more lived, to his heir—next of kin (v. 7); but where this could not be done, the recompense should be made to the Lord at the hand of the priest together with the trespass offering (v. 8). For the Gospel Age, making good to the wronged party would mean that its sinners should acknowledge their wrongs to the Lord always and usually to the wronged party, but not when the wronged party would be injured or not benefited by the confession; and that they should make restitution to the extent of their ability. We say that confession should usually be made to the wronged party. There are times when only evil would result from such a confession, e.g., when a husband or wife has been
unfaithful, it can only injure the innocent party to know it; therefore we believe in such a case the confession should be made not to the wronged spouse, but to God alone. Making restitution in the type antitypes first that the wrong-doer undoes his wrong to the extent of his ability, e.g., if he has stolen or otherwise unjustly gotten the possessions of his neighbor, he should repay the principal and add as much more to it as is necessary to work the evil out of his own character; or if he has misrepresented another, he should recall his statements to all to whom he made them and should give the wronged person as good a certificate of character as he is able, etc. The 20 per cent., a multiple of 10, stands like 10 and its multiples, for full ability in natures lower than the Divine. Therefore it types that we are, in addition to undoing the wrong, i.e., restoring the principal, to add as much as we can to work the evil out of our own characters.
(4) In the type if the wrong was of such a kind that it could not be made good to the wronged party or his heirs, then the sinner was to make it good to the Lord by giving to the priest the principal and 20 per cent. added (v. 8). This seems to type the thought that we are to root out of our characters the wrong qualities that led us to commit the sin in question, and make our characters as much better than they were before as we can, and do it as something that would honor God and benefit our Lord. Indeed, every reformatory act of ours honors God; for it repairs injury done to His image in us, and it benefits Christ as our High Priest; for it assists Him in His work of cleansing our characters. The ram of atonement (v. 8) types our Lord's sacrificed humanity—His merit. The sinner bringing the ram to the priest for his atonement represents us as coming to God in faith in Christ's merit, pleading for forgiveness on the basis of that merit; and the priest's making atonement by the ram of atonement for the wrong-doer represents our Lord's
imputing of His merit for the forgiveness of our sins, and thus satisfying God's justice on our behalf.
(5) Three distinct things, from among those that were brought by the people to the temple service (v. 9) are spoken of as belonging to the priest: (1) the heave offerings, (2) the hallowed, i.e., consecrated things, and (3) the gifts for the priest. While treating of the heave offerings it might be well for us to mention and explain briefly, type and antitype, all the sacrifices: (1) the sin offerings, (2) burnt offerings, (3) peace offerings, (4) meat and drink offerings, (5) wave offerings, (6) heave offerings and (7) free will offerings. The sin offerings typed the humanity of Christ and the Church as working atonement. The burnt offerings represented these same sacrifices from the standpoint of their manifested acceptableness to the Lord. The peace offerings represented them from the standpoint that they were offered as a matter of covenant obligation assumed by Christ and the Church. The meat and drink offerings represent these sacrifices from the standpoint of the praise and worship that they bring to God in that they are offered by a declaration of His attributes in preaching His plan in its deeper (meat) and simpler (drink) truths and by a service of Him in advancing His plan. The wave offering represents the same sacrifices from the standpoint of their continuity unto a completion and their elevation of the offerer's character. The free will offering represents that their humanity is freely, without constraint, offered up to God. And the heave offering represents that their humanity in its sacrifice yields honor unto God. This honoring of God is typed by heaving, i.e., raising or exalting repeatedly the shoulder of the sacrifice heavenward by the priest. The heave offering, as a part of the sacrifice consisting of the right shoulder (Lev. 7: 32; Num. 6: 20), types the proper conduct—the shoulder, being a part of an animal's forelegs, in harmony with Scripture symbolism representing right conduct—of the sacrificer
as honoring God and Christ. Many other things, gifts like tithes, firstfruits, etc., given to the priest, are also Scripturally called heave offerings (Num. 18: 27, etc.). The heave offerings, hallowed things and gifts of vs. 9 and 10, for Gospel-Age purposes, therefore, represent the honors, services and joys that reforming sinners render Christ by their reformation and good conduct. Such honors, services and joys God desires Christ to have.
(6) From v. 11 to v. 31 certain Gospel-Age persons— denominational churches and the true Church in their relation to Christ, as His espoused—are typically set before us in the type of a wife, suspected of unfaithfulness to her husband and subjected to the test of a Divinely enjoined ordeal. Heathen ordeals and those which in the Dark Ages were practiced in Christendom always put the disadvantage on the accused. They required, e.g., the victims to walk on burning coals, through flaming fires, to put their hands in boiling water, etc. If the victim was unburnt, uninjured and made no outcry, he was accounted innocent; but if he was hurt, injured or made an outcry, he was declared guilty, upon the theory that the gods or God would preserve the innocent harmless and painless, but would cause the guilty to suffer harm and unbearable pain! Of course, the whole principle on which such ordeals were based was wrong—a tempting of God in reality. But the only ordeal that the Bible commanded contained no such unreasonable elements as these. In the ordeal of Num. 5: 11-31, God agreed to work a miracle injurious to the guilty only, with no miracle at all to be wrought with the innocent during the ordeal, though, if necessary to make her fruitful, it would have been done. And when we see the antitype of this story, we will at once recognize the marvelous figure that the Lord wrought in connection with the ordeal now under consideration.
(7) First we will make a few general explanations, type and antitype; then we will proceed to an explanation,
type and antitype, of the details of Num. 5: 11-31. In this account we understand that the husband represents Christ as prospective Bridegroom; the suspected wife represents, if guilty, the denominational churches, if innocent, the true Church; the priest represents Christ as High Priest; and the ordeal represents the crucial tests put upon the denominational churches and the true Church to determine whether they have been loyal or not to Christ as the Heavenly Bridegroom. But one might object to the above setting of the antitypical Bridegroom that in the type the man is spoken of as the woman's husband, while in the antitype the marriage of the Lamb is not due until the end of the Age. To this objection we answer: In Israel the espoused as well as the married were considered man and wife (Gen. 29: 21; Deut. 22: 23, 24; Matt. 1: 20, 24). Therefore the law under consideration applied both to the espoused and to the married in Israel, and hence could very properly apply antitypically as given above. Again, it may be objected that the denominational churches are not espoused to Christ. To this we answer that each denominational movement began as a Little Flock movement and each denominational church contained members of the Little Flock after it became a sect, and all of them, as a whole, according to Rev. 1: 20, compare with Rev. 2 and 3, were by God recognized tentatively as the Church, and as such as His mouthpiece up to 1878. Hence the propriety of the denominational churches being recognized by Jesus as His espoused until in crucial trial unto a completion they were proven guilty of unfaithfulness on account of symbolic fornication with earthly institutions. And finally, some might object that it is unreasonable that Christ could be represented both by the husband and by the priest during the ordeal. To this we reply: In other types Christ from varied standpoints has been represented by two persons acting different parts in the same general transaction; hence there are for the above-suggested
setting Scriptural precedents. E.g.: In Num. 3: 5, 9, 10, Moses represents Christ as God's Executive, and Aaron represents Him as High Priest. In Deut. 31: 22, 23, Moses represents Christ both as Executive and as the Revealer of God's will, i.e., Prophet, and Joshua represents Christ as the Captain of the Lord's army. Thus the above setting has Biblical analogy in support of its propriety.
(8) Having seen these generalities, let us now proceed to the details which we will find in perfect harmony with the setting "of things as given in the preceding paragraph. In vs. 12-14 there are set forth the circumstances under which the ordeal described in this section should be applied. It was not to be applied to a wife caught in the act of adultery; for in such cases the law prescribed stoning (Deut. 22: 22-24). It was to be applied to such wives of whom the husbands were suspicious, and from such suspicion became jealous, regardless of whether their wives were guilty or innocent; for the ordeal was appealed to in order to reveal their guilt or innocence. Antitypically we understand the guilty wife to represent the denominational churches which have committed fornication with the kings—the governmental, clerical and aristocratic organizations—of this earth, by becoming one with them in unholy alliances (Rev. 17: 5, 15-18; 18: 3, 9; 19: 2). The innocent wife types the true Church, which maintained her virgin purity by remaining separate from all worldly alliances, waiting in symbolic chastity for her complete union with her Lord at His Second Advent (2 Cor. 11: 2, 3; Rev. 19: 7, 8; 21: 2, 9-27). The fact that the typical husband did not know whether his suspicions were true or not types the fact, not that our Lord does not know whether symbolic fornication has been committed, but that He acts as though He did not know it, and therefore arranges to put her under crucial tests applied by God for an unanswerable demonstration of the guilt or innocence
of His espoused. The spirit of jealousy coming over the husband types our Lord's zeal for the symbolic chastity of His espoused and His not being satisfied with her without requiring and receiving its proof (v. 14).
(9) The husband's bringing his wife to the priest types (v. 15) our Lord as prospective Bridegroom bringing the denominational churches and the true Church to Himself as the High Priest; because as such He is God's Agent in disclosing the guilt or innocence of the suspected one. The offering that the husband brought, consisting of flour, was a meat offering, even as v. 15 in the Hebrew calls it twice minchas—meat offering. It being a tenth of an ephah—a tenth being a fraction in which the number ten is involved—represents that this offering was as much as power less than Divine could give. As we have seen, the meat offering types the worship and praise given to the Lord. To worship means to serve, and to praise means to reflect credit on someone. We serve God by advancing His plan, and praise Him by declaring His Word, which reflects credit upon Him—praises Him—in that it manifests His glorious wisdom, power, justice and love. Thus the meat offering represents our advancing God's plan and declaring God's Word—ministering to and spreading the Truth; hence the barley flour represents the Truth given by Christ to the denominational churches and to the true Church. To each denominational church a special truth has by Christ been entrusted, faithfully to administer as its stewardship. Thus to the Greek Catholic Church the doctrine that there is only one person in our Lord, as God's vicegerental Agent, to the Roman Catholic Church the doctrine that there is only one Church, to the Lutheran Church the doctrine of justification by faith alone, to the Reformed or Presbyterian Church the doctrine that the bread and wine in the Lord's Supper represent the body and blood of Christ, to the
Baptist Church the doctrine that consecrated believers alone are to be baptized—immersed—etc., were committed. These doctrines are typed by the barley flour. The Parousia and the Epiphany Truth is the antitypical tenth of an ephah of barley flour given to the true Church in her ordeal, which has been given to her for six testful experiences—siftings—since 1874 and will continue with her while the Priests and the Levites are being completely separated as such.
(10) The fact that no oil was to be poured on the flour, and the fact that no frankincense was to be put upon it are likewise typical. Oil, among other things, types the spirit of understanding (Matt. 25: 1-12). Frankincense types praise, virtue. Thus the gold, frankincense and myrrh that the magi brought to the child Jesus (Matt. 2: 11) type the fact that the Faithful will bring their sacrificial sufferings (myrrh), their praises, virtues (frankincense), and their Divine (gold) New Creatures, as their best gifts to Christ. Similarly, the frankincense placed upon the shewbread types praise, virtue, the fruit of the Spirit, founded upon God's Word and developed in the Priests as they partake of the antitypical shewbread—the Word of God. There being no oil in the meat offering presented in the ordeal service types the fact that no denominational churches nor the true Church would have the spirit of understanding as to the significance of the special trial connected with the antitypical ordeal while it was going on; and there being no frankincense upon the meat offering types the fact that no new or increased virtues will be added to the offerer during the antitypical ordeal. In other words, there would be no increased knowledge or grace worked in the churches and the Church during the antitypical ordeal—they will have only what they had previously developed and had, as their support throughout their trial, which was to test them for their past acts along the lines of past attainments or lack of attainments;
even as at school we were tested in our examinations on our past work and attainments, and were given therein no new things and attainments. This is the reason for withholding the oil and frankincense from this ordeal meat offering, and the meaning of the expression (v. 15): "for it is a [meat] offering of (1) memorial [past privileges], (2) bringing iniquity to remembrance,"-literally, bringing to mind iniquity, i.e., revealing past conduct. And, certainly, from experience we know this is true. None of us knew what the six siftings meant before we had been proven true amid them; nor did any of us add new graces to our characters while in the crucial trial of any of those siftings; but our past attainments were sorely tested therein. Thus in these siftings we offered the antitypical meal without antitypical oil and frankincense.
(11) The expression of v. 16, "The priest shall bring her near, and set her before the Lord," has the same general meaning as we found in Lev. 16: 20: "He [Aaron] shall bring the live goat near." It meant in the type that the priest undertook in connection with her to put her publicly into the position of one that was to undergo the ordeal in God's presence as a part of the Divine arrangement for such cases. In the antitype it means that the denominational churches and the true Church were put into such public circumstances connected with the Lord's service as brought them to the Lord's special attention for the purposes of putting them through the antitypical ordeal. It therefore meant their being publicly manipulated into such relations, circumstances and experiences as would favor their being put under the Lord's special observation into the crucial tests that would reveal their past course as to worldly affiliations and alliances. This will become clearer by several illustrations. When the Catholic Church was about to enter her crucial trials involved by the reformation through individuals in the 14th and 15th centuries,
through the conflict between Philip the Fair of France and Pope Boniface VIII a very public situation was created in religious respects [before the Lord], which later enabled Marsiglio to be the instrument of the Lord to test the Catholic Church crucially. Similarly, when the same kind of a testing was ministered through Wyclif, the shameless monetary exactions of the popes and begging friars in England and the conflict between contending claimants to the papal chair, furnished the setting for the antitypical ordeal in that it brought the Catholic Church prominently before the Lord and the public along these lines. Again, when the time came for Huss to be used as the Lord's instrument in applying the antitypical ordeal to the Catholic Church, the conflict between the reforming clerical party and the papal court culminating in calling the councils of Pisa, Constance and Basel furnished the situation that brought the Catholic Church "near and set her before the Lord." And back of all these circumstances was our Lord as High Priest manipulating the circumstances to create just such situations—bringing her near and setting her before the Lord. The same general features mark the situations when the Catholic and Protestant sects received their ordeals in the Reformation by sects, as also the same general features mark the circumstances that led up to the six siftings of the Parousia and Epiphany.
(12) The holy water that the priest put into an earthen vessel (v. 17) was taken from the laver; for that water was "holy"-consecrated to the Lord. Such water we understand to type the Truth (Eph. 5: 26; Heb. 10: 22), and that pertinent to the subject at hand. The earthen vessel into which the holy water was placed represents those "secondarily prophets" whom the Lord used as the special servants giving the truth applicable for the test, like Marsiglio, Wyclif, Huss, Wessel, Luther, Zwingli, Hubmaier, Servetus, Cranmer, Browne, Fox, Wesley, Stone, Miller, etc.
The dust from the floor of the tabernacle types the facts of Church History (Vol. III, Chap. II) pertinent to the teaching applicable to each case. Mixing it with the water types the fact that along with the presentation of the pertinent Scriptural teachings the facts of Church History would be used to show the history of the true doctrine and right practices, and of the false doctrine and the wrong practices as corroborative evidence of the innocence or guilt of the one undergoing the antitypical ordeal.
(13) For sake of emphasis the statement of v. 16, "set her before the Lord," is in substance repeated here in v. 18. Covering the head implies that the person so covered is in subjection. Thus in the Church meetings the sisters wear a head covering to symbolize that as the representatives of the Church they are subject to the brothers as representatives of Christ, i.e., the Church is subject to Christ; while the brothers have their heads uncovered to symbolize that they as the representatives of Christ are free from subjection to the sisters as the representatives of the Church, i.e., Christ is the Head of the Church (1 Cor. 11: 1-16). For the woman under the ordeal to have her head uncovered would fittingly represent what we know to be a fact in trial—the Lord permits each one to do just as he pleases; and each one in the trial actually does what he pleases, i.e., does just what his previously developed heart and mind will prompt him to do. Consequently those who developed the selfish and worldly heart and mind will, as their will, fulfill the desires of self-will; and those who have developed the Lord's heart and mind will, as their will, fulfill the desires of the Spirit (Gal. 5: 16-18). The uncovered head of the guilty women would therefore type the fact that the denominational churches in the antitypical ordeal were given freedom to exercise their own free wills, which, through their developed selfish and worldly dispositions, made them manifest in the trial teachings and
practices contrary to the Lord's mind and heart. And the uncovered head of the innocent woman would therefore type the fact that the true Church in the antitypical ordeal was given freedom to exercise her own free will, which, through the developed spiritual mind and heart, prompted her to manifest in the trial teachings and practices harmonious with the Lord's mind and heart. Certainly history demonstrates such opposite exercise of their free wills to mark the denominational churches and the true Church during the antitypical ordeals; and this we believe shows our application to be Scriptural, reasonable and factual.
(14) V. 18 also tells us that the priest put the meat offering, both as a memorial offering and as a jealousy offering, in the woman's hands, before the ordeal. This suggests the thought that to each denominational church Christ gave its special truth, and to the true Church the Parousia and Epiphany Truth, for administration and service, before the ordeal; and, during the ordeal it serves as (1) a reminder of past privileges (memorial offering), and as (2) a revealer of past conduct (jealousy offering). This can be seen plainly in the history of each one of the denominational churches and of the true Church as having taken place. E.g., the Roman Catholic Church before each one of her ordeal experiences stressed the doctrine of there being but one Church; the Lutheran Church before its ordeals stressed the doctrine of justification by faith alone, etc., and during the ordeal as a reminder of their past privileges and as a revealer of their past conduct. So the true Church during the Parousia was given the opportunity to stress before each ordeal connected with the five Parousia siftings the Parousia Truth, and during the ordeal as a reminder of past privileges and as a means of revealing past conduct. The same is true of her in the Epiphany so far as its ordeal has advanced. Not so to have done would have been contrary to the thought of bringing an antitypical
meat offering suitable for the Lord's altar. To do so would be fulfilling the picture given us of the woman before and while she was subject to the ordeal proper.
(15) V. 18 supplies still another item—the priest held in his hand the earthen vessel containing the water called, because of its effect on the guilty, "the bitter water that causeth the curse." Like every other feature of this chapter, this item is also typical. We have already seen that the vessel represents those "secondarily prophets" whom the Lord uses as special mouthpieces and through whom He gives the Truth and its Church History corroborations that reveal the guilt or innocence of the antitypical woman undergoing the antitypical ordeal. For the priest to hold this vessel in his hand implies that it was in his possession and power for ministering the testing and revealing water. His so holding this vessel types that our Lord Jesus holds such "secondarily prophets" in His possession and power for ministering the testing and revealing Truth and facts from Church History pertinent to the particular denominational church or true Church in the ordeal. This thought is, among other thoughts, included in the symbols of Rev. 1: 16, where our Lord is represented as holding in His hand the seven stars. We say that it is, among other thoughts, included in the thoughts of this verse, because this verse covers all the uses that the Lord has made of those symbolized by the seven stars, and these uses are broader than simply employing them to minister the testing and revealing truths during the antitypical ordeals. Our Lord holding these "secondarily prophets" as the antitypical vessel in His hand, implies that He protects, strengthens, enlightens and uses them efficiently to accomplish their intended service in connection with the antitypical ordeal, as well as directs, etc., other features of their work, teaching the Truth apart from ordeals and directing the general work of the Church in its other phases.
(16) Vs. 19-22 show how the priest put the woman under an oath by which she solemnly agreed to accept the issue of the ordeal as the Divinely given proof of innocence or guilt, accordingly as the issue would be favorable or unfavorable, v. 19 showing that no harm would come to the innocent, and vs. 20 to 22 showing that the guilty would become a curse and oath among her people, i.e., an outcast and an object of execration, when manifested as guilty by the swelling of her belly and the shrinking (not rotting) of her thigh. Her saying, "Amen, amen," is her consent under oath to accept the issue of the ordeal as revealing her true character. Putting the woman under oath to accept the issue of the ordeal, and that as the Divinely directed proof of guilt or innocence, types the fact that our Lord as High Priest so manipulated circumstances when accusations of disloyalty to the Heavenly Bridegroom were made against the denominational churches and the true Church, that they were led solemnly to appeal to God as the witness of their innocence and to agree to stand test revelatory of innocence or guilt, binding themselves solemnly to abide by the issue of the ordeal and to accept vindication, if innocent, and condemnation, abhorrence, avoidance and execration by sister churches and the true Church, if proven guilty. Certain it is that every, denominational Church and also the true Church under accusation of disloyalty to the Heavenly Bridegroom were necessitated solemnly to deny the charge, appeal to God as the revealer of their condition as to the charge, and bind themselves to accept the issues of any test the Lord would bring upon them to manifest their guilt or innocence. This can be seen, e.g., in the strenuous denials of disloyalty that were made by the Catholic Church under accusation, her appeals to God as her vindicator and her agreement to abide by the decision He would reveal, during the reformation by individuals and that by sects. The same things can be seen
in the course of the Lutheran Church, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church, etc., as it can be seen by the course of the true Church, both in the Parousia and the Epiphany sifting ordeals.
(17) It will be noticed that the innocent woman was assured that she would be unharmed by the ordeal; for the curse of the ordeal would come upon the guilty only. No miracle would be required to keep the innocent woman free from the curse, because the natural effect of drinking the water would not be the curse; for the curse could be effected by a miracle only. Consequently by this ordeal God agreed to work a miracle in the form of a curse to reveal the guilty. The curse affected not only primarily the person of the guilty, but also secondarily the esteem in which she had been held by her kinsfolk. If the woman was guilty, her belly was to swell and her thigh was to fall away, i.e., shrink (see margin), so that she would henceforth limp. The translation "rot" is not correct here. All this of course is typical. No harm befalling the innocent woman types how the true Church would emerge from her crucial tests unscathed. When we look at the course of the true Church during the five completed siftings of the Parousia and during the incomplete sifting of the Epiphany, we will recognize that this has been true. Though sorely tested in these five ordeals, she emerged from every one of them uninjured; and by the time the sixth sifting is completed, she will have been found to be uninjured, even as we find her uninjured during the features of the sixth sifting that are already in the past.
(18) But not so with the denominational churches, every one of whom has committed symbolic fornication with the political, clerical, or aristocratic kings of the earth, i.e., the political, clerical, or aristocratic institutions, like governments, clerical organizations, orders of nobility and aggregation of capitalists. In that these churches united with any one of these for any
reason whatsoever, they became disloyal to the Heavenly Bridegroom, and thus symbolic harlots, as they are expressly called in the Scriptures, especially in the Revelation. Not only is the guilty woman a type of these churches, but her primary punishments—the swelling of her belly and the shrinking of her thigh—are also typical of their untoward experiences. We will first consider the swollen belly. We understand it to represent corrupting of doctrine. This will become apparent if we remember that in Scripture, teachings are symbolically called food (Heb. 5: 12-14; Rev. 10: 9, 10; Is. 55: 1, 2; 65: 13, 14). Our foods go to, and are digested in, the belly. Hence by the figure of metonymy—the container for the thing contained—the belly in this passage is put for the corrupting food which caused the swelling to set in. Hence the swelling belly types the corruption of doctrine setting in as a result of the antitypical ordeal. Thus the Truth and facts of Church History that the Lord Jesus through His special mouthpieces gave to the pertinent churches at the time of their ordeal, coming in contact with the teachings held by these churches, turned them into more and more corruption and thus caused disease to spread throughout the teachings of these churches, even as the typical water corrupted more and more the contents of the woman's belly and made it swell.
(19) A few illustrations will clarify this. For example the Scriptural teachings on justification by faith alone-corroborated by facts of Church History-that the Lord Jesus gave through Luther, the earthen vessel, to bring into contact with the papal teachings on justification, occasioned such corruption of teaching in the papal system of doctrines that almost all her teachings were given a falser cast in order to evade the refutative Truth teachings on justification. So, too, when the Lord used Zwingli as the earthen vessel to present, as against Luther's false doctrine of the real presence of Christ's body and blood in the bread and
wine, the Truth on the Lord's Supper—that the bread and wine are merely symbols of Christ's body and blood, which were not really present in the Lord's Supper—the Truth on this subject not only led Lutheran theologians to deeper corruptions on the doctrine of the Lord's Supper, but also on other matters, e.g., it led them to teach as a basis for the real presence in the Lord's Supper the monstrous doctrine that now Jesus' humanity has the Divine attributes communicated to it, so that, e.g., His humanity is everywhere present; also to teach the doctrine that Water Baptism and the Lord's Supper actually and inherently confer the grace of forgiveness of, and cleansing from, sin. Thus the symbolic belly of the Lutheran Church swelled, when the pertinent Truth was brought into contact with her errors. Again, when the Truth was given by the Lord Jesus through Robert Browne that elders and bishops were not the rulers of the ecclesias, but that each ecclesia under the Lord was to direct her own affairs—the Truth that the Lord gave to Congregationalists to conserve—the Episcopal Church that hitherto had made very little of Episcopal ordination and almost nothing of Apostolic succession, in contradiction began to develop the error of exclusive Episcopal ordination and the Apostolic succession of its bishops. Thus its symbolic belly swelled—its comparatively mild errors on these subjects became more and more corrupt, diseasing its whole theory of the church. These illustrations will clarify the antitype of the swelling belly.
(20) The second part of the primary curse was the falling away—the shrinking—of the thigh. As her belly swelled, the guilty woman became very unsightly; but when as a result of her shrunken thigh she limped, she became all the more unsightly, and of course was unable to conceal her guilt, which was plainly manifest from her physical deformities. With the loose fitting oriental clothes it was possible measurably to hide the swollen belly, but not to conceal the
limping walk of the guilty woman. In the symbols of the Bible, walking represents conduct, character; and the upright walk represents righteous, and the limping walk, unrighteous conduct and character (Ps. 26: 11; 56: 13; 78: 10; 84: 11; Prov. 2: 7; Jer. 6: 16; Nah. 2: 5; Rom. 8: 1, 4; Eph. 4: 17; Phil. 3: 18; Is. 35: 6; Heb. 12: 12, 13). We therefore would understand that the antitypical shrunken thigh types the unrighteous conduct that has marked every denominational church in the antitypical ordeal. Several illustrations will make this manifest. When the Lord Jesus put into John Huss as the earthen vessel the Truth on the nature of the Church—that it consists of the faithful elect, invisible to man but known to God—and through him brought this teaching in contact with the Catholic error that the true Church was the Roman Catholic hierarchy, not only was the Catholic Church in defense of her view led to resort to various false teachings in support of her false doctrine on this subject—the swollen belly; but also in order to put aside Huss' teachings, to burn him and his ablest supporter, Jerome of Prague, at the stake, the Council of Constance, as the official assembly of that Church, ordering them thus to be burned; and to seek by force of arms through Sigismund, the Emperor, to destroy Huss' followers, as such, in Bohemia, in some very cruel and unjust wars. Thus her antitypical shrunken thigh was manifest.
(21) Another example of the antitypical shrunken thigh we find in the way Servetus was treated by the Reformed or Presbyterian Church. When the Lord Jesus placed in Servetus as the earthen vessel the Truth refutative of trinitarianism, and when this refutative teaching came in contact with the Reformed leaders, Oecolampadius, Capito, Bucer, Calvin, Beza, Bullinger, Farel, etc., they not only rejected it and resorted to fresh doctrinal twists to evade its refutative force; but those who survived until Servetus' second