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

CHAPTER VIII.

 

CLEANSING, CONSECRATION AND SERVICE

OF GOSPEL-AGE LEVITES.

Num. 8: 5-26.

 

THE CLEANSING OF THE GOSPEL-AGE LEVITES. THE CONSECRATION OF THE GOSPEL-AGE LEVITES. THE FACTS OF THE CLEANSING AND CONSECRATION OF THE GOSPEL-AGE LEVITES. THE SERVICE OF THE GOSPEL-AGE LEVITES. BEREAN QUESTIONS.

 

IT IS AN undeniable fact that during the Gospel-Age there have been three classes among God's professed people: (1) the consecrated, (2) the justified and (3) the sinners, corresponding respectively to the holy, the court and the camp, or to the Priests, the Levites and the Israelites (of the twelve non-sacred tribes). The fact that God's people of these three classes were in the Jewish Age fleshly Israel implies that spiritual Israel as the antitype of fleshly Israel would consist of three classes—those mentioned above (Is. 8: 14; Gal. 6: 15; Matt. 21: 43; Luke 13: 33; Phil. 3: 3; 1 Cor. 10: 18). We have shown various phases of these three parts of God's two Israels, especially in this book. In this chapter we will study, type and antitype, the cleansing and consecration of the Gospel-Age Levites, as this is typically set forth in Num. 8: 5-26. And may the Lord bless to all of our dear readers this study as a part of the advancing Epiphany Truth, which to understand is one of the privileges of the Epiphany-enlightened saints.

 

(2) Toward the end of the preceding chapter we set forth the Gospel-Age Moses and Aaron as Truth Receiver and Giver, as typed in Num. 7: 89—8: 4. That study brought us up to the present study. Let us remember that we are not in this chapter studying the cleansing and consecration of the Epiphany and Millennial Levites; for as to the former we have not yet proceeded through their cleansing and as to the latter

 

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we have not yet even come to their cleansing; hence we do not understand either sufficiently to set them forth aright, which proves that they are not yet due to be understood sufficiently to make them satisfactorily clear. Accordingly, as not due, we shelve their consideration for the present and limit in this study our attention to the Gospel-Age antitype of Num. 8: 5-26; for it is now evidently due, as the following discussion, we trust, will factually prove. This discussion, we trust, will satisfy all of us as to the truthfulness of our Pastor's thought on the faith-justified of the Gospel-Age as being the Gospel-Age Levites—the viewpoint set forth by him in Tabernacle Shadows—the other viewpoints being set forth in others of his writings, all of which we believe to be correct.

 

(3) In former chapters of this book the factual and typical proof was given that the faith-justified have been the Gospel-Age Levites. As such, of course, they are only tentative Levites. The Levites of the finished Gospel-Age picture are those of the Epiphany—the Great Company and the Youthful Worthies. But the facts of the case abundantly prove the faith-justified to be the (tentative) Gospel-Age Levites. In our study we will first direct our attention to their cleansing and then to their consecration. The cleansing as a thing commanded is set forth from v. 6 to the middle of v. 10 and in v. 12; and their consecration as a thing commanded is set forth in the second half of v. 10, in v. 11 and from vs. 13 to 19, and the fact of their cleansing and consecration, with their service thereafter, is set forth from v. 20 to v. 26. A careful study of these vs. will show a most remarkable correspondence between the cleansing and consecration of the typical Levites and the cleansing and consecration of their Gospel-Age antitypes. V. 5 shows us that the whole procedure with the Levites, as set forth in the rest of the chapter originated in God. It was not Moses nor Aaron nor any other human who originated this service. God was

 

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its sole Originator. And this evidently is true, because this chapter, like the others of Numbers so far studied, is typical and therefore prophetical; hence it was a matter of inspiration, which proves it to have originated in God as a part of His inspired revelation, for v. 5 reads, "The Lord spake unto Moses, saying."

 

(4) V. 6 contains two charges given by God to Moses: (1) to sever the non-priestly descendants of Levi from the rest of Israel and (2) to cleanse them. In this type God, of course, represents Himself in His Gospel-Age activity toward those who are to become antitypical Levites, charging that they be distinguished from the antitypical Camp and be cleansed as such. In this transaction Moses, as usually in the book of Numbers, represents our Lord Jesus as Jehovah's Gospel-Age Executive for the matter at hand. Our Lord severed the prospective faith-justified from the rest of the antitypical Camp by a series of providences that frequently implied prenatal influences, giving them a responsive heredity for antitypical Leviteship, that sometimes implied more or less of untoward experiences with the sinners in the antitypical Camp, that always implied more or less suffering that was calculated to impress them with the unsatisfactoriness of sin and with a hunger for righteousness, and that often made on them a favorable impression toward God and righteousness, all four sets of these experiences being more or less accompanied by another set—experiences with certain religious teachings adapted to the antitypical Camp—those seeking more or less relations with God, but not advancing from the Camp condition of sinners to the condition of repentance typed by the open space between the camp and the tabernacle. It was by these five sets of experiences— four providential and one educational—that our Lord, as distinct from their cleansing and consecration, severed the prospective faith-justified from other sinners. In the widest sense, not only these five sets of experiences,

 

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but also their cleansing and consecrating may be spoken of as a severing of them from the antitypical Israelites. But in v. 6 the words, "take the Levites from among the children of Israel," refers exclusively to the five sets of separating experiences given above.

 

(5) The word, cleansing, in reference to the Gospel-Age, is used in the Bible in a narrow and in a wide sense. In the wide sense it refers to one's being washed (1) from the condemnation of sin, which occurs through the blood of Christ, and (2) from the power of sin, which occurs through the Word backed by the providences of God. But in vs. 6 and 7 the word cleanse is not used in the wide, but in a narrow sense—cleansing from the power of sin—as is evident from v. 7, while the other narrow sense of the cleansing is set forth under the atonement figure in v. 12. In v. 21 both of the narrow senses are combined, i.e., the word is used in its wide sense—"to cleanse them." In v. 7 we are directly told that the processes whereby the typical Levites were cleansed were to type the first of the above-mentioned two narrow senses—cleansing from the power of sin— "Thus shalt thou do unto them to cleanse them." Looking at these processes as they are set forth in the pertinent part of v. 7, we find that they are three in number: (1) sprinkling waters of purifying on the Levites, (2) the shaving of all their flesh and (3) washing their clothes. These three things severally done to or by the Levites in the type completed the cleansing part of the service in the first narrow sense of that word. These were the types and a consideration of their antitypes brings some very remarkable things to our knowledge. We now proceed to such a consideration.

 

(6) First, then, we will study the antitype of the sprinkling of the water of purifying upon the Levites. The waters of purifying of v. 7 are the same as the waters of separation in Num. 19: 9, 17. In the Hebrew of v. 7 the expression is, waters of chatath. The Hebrew

 

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word chatath primarily means sin, secondly, sin-offering (v. 8), just as the Greek word hamartia also has these two meanings, which we have elsewhere shown, and, thirdly, sin purification (Num. 19: 9, 17). It also means punishment for sin (Zech. 14: 19) and condition of sin, i.e., guilt of sin (Gen. 18: 20; Num. 16: 26; 32: 23; Ezek. 18: 24). Of these five meanings we are here concerned with the third only, as the one in which v. 7 uses the word. The antitype of the waters of purifying our Pastor has given us in Tabernacle Shadows, when explaining the waters in which the ashes of the red heifer were mingled, i.e., truths gathered from the record of the Ancient Worthies' suffering for righteousness as helpful in cleansing from the powers of Adamic sin, partially in the Gospel-Age and more particularly in the Millennial Age. In Num. 19: 11-22 the typical waters of purification are set forth as used to cleanse from the defilement incidental to being in the presence of, or touching the dead. The dead here represent Adam and his race under the death sentence in sin. To be in the presence of the dead types one's having the hereditary defilement of the Adamic sin, and to touch the dead types one's actively practicing Adamic sins as a result of inheriting its depravity. The ashes of the red heifer themselves represent the memories—histories—of the Ancient Worthies as these are contained in the Old Testament. The living [running] waters (Num. 19: 17) represent the progressive truths in the antitypes. E.g., the history [memory, i.e., that which is now left of these acts of the two prophets] of the last related acts of Elijah and Elisha is some of the antitypical ashes, while the true antitypical teachings of this history are some of the antitypical living waters; the true setting forth of the type and antitype is the antitype of the mingling of some of the ashes and water; and the vessel that contained the waters of purifying represents in the case under consideration the doctrine of

 

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mouthpieceship toward the public in relation to the Little Flock and Great Company. These same general principles apply to the other types and antitypes. Such teachings cleanse from sin's power, not from sin's condemnation (which Christ's blood alone does), antitypical of the waters of purifying cleansing from the defilement incurred by contact with the dead those in Israel who used it.

 

(7) These considerations prepare us to see the antitype of the sprinkling of the waters of purification upon the Levites as the first step in their cleansing. We, accordingly, understand the charge of God to Moses to sprinkle the waters of purifying upon the Levites to represent God's charging our Lord to see to it that truths connected with the histories of the Ancient Worthies should be taught to the prospective faith-justified. These truths would be of two kinds: those in the types (ashes) and those in the antitypes (running water). The types themselves, as a rule, contain three kinds of truths: (1) historical (the stories, memories, as such, of the Ancient Worthies); (2) ethical (the lessons for imitation contained in the types); and (3) correctional (frequently these stories contain warnings against sin, e.g., the story of Joseph's brethren, of David and Bathsheba, etc). And, of course, the antitypes as progressive truths have these same three lines of teachings. Thus both the types and the antitypes would serve to cleanse from the power of sin in the antitypical sprinkling—teaching. And certainly our Lord throughout the Gospel-Age, in obedience to the Father's antitypical charge, has seen to it that historical, ethical and correctional truths connected with some types and antitypes of the Ancient Worthies were taught those who were being worked upon to influence them toward justification.

 

(8) To this end the stories of the fall, Cain and Abel, the flood, the tower of Babel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, his brethren, Moses, Pharaoh, the

 

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Judges, Saul, David, Solomon, the other kings of Israel, the prophets, etc., and as much of their antitypes as were known, from time to time were told these, e.g., Ishmael and Isaac as types of Jews and Christians, Joseph as a type of Christ, Israel's battles with the inhabitants of Canaan as types of Christians' battles with sin and error, the journey to Canaan as a type of the Lord's people journeying to the kingdom, etc., etc., etc. To the prospective faith-justified these teachings were given at home, in school, in catechetical classes, Sunday schools, sermons, conversations, papers, magazines and books. The Lord, therefore, used as His agents to sprinkle the antitypical waters of purifying on these parents, teachers, catechists, preachers, writers, etc. And certainly as a result considerable historical, ethical and correctional teachings, type and antitype, were given to them; and these served as a good standard whereby faults could be seen and corrected, virtues could be seen and practiced and truths could be seen and believed. All of this, of course, served to help the prospective Levites to cleanse themselves, as they helped them to hate and put away sin and practice righteousness. This, of course, helped them to perform the antitypical cleansing from the contamination of inherited and practiced Adamic sin. Accordingly, we see that the sprinkling of the antitypical waters of purification on the prospective Gospel-Age Levites helped them to, and on the way of repentance; because it gave them a knowledge of sin and righteousness and stirred up in them a partial hatred of, and partial desire to be free from sin's contamination, and a partial love for, and desire to practice righteousness, all of which constitute a part of repentance, the first step of an approach toward God.

 

(9) The second process for cleansing the Levites is set forth in the following language of v. 7: "let them shave all their flesh," literally, as in the margin, "let them cause a razor to pass over all their flesh." We

 

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understand this razor to represent the sharp exposures of the Law. The expression law as involved in the antitypical razor implies two things: (1) God's justice, righteousness (Deut. 4: 13; Ex. 34: 28; Rom. 2: 14, 15, 27; 7: 7-14); and (2) a contract between God and man in which God offered life to the obedient and required death of the disobedient (Deut. 30: 15-20; Hos. 6: 7; see R. V.; Gal. 2: 16; 3: 10-12). Its two forms so far are the natural Law and the Mosaic Law. In the Millennium it will take on a third form, the New Law or Covenant. The Scriptures teach us that the Law teaches the responsive, first, the knowledge of their sins (Rom. 3: 20). This it does, first by showing what is right in motive, thought, word and deed, and what is wrong in motive, thought, word and deed, and, secondly, by showing each one that he has failed repeatedly to do right in motive, thought, word and deed, and has repeatedly done wrong in motive, thought, word and deed, thus convincing him of being guilty of sins of omission and commission (Rom. 3: 19). The first of these two functions of the Law it performs by setting forth general principles as to thoughts, motives, words and acts, e.g., its statement of the ten commandments (Ex. 20: 1-17) and various explanations of them (Matt. 23: 27-40; Rom. 7: 1-25) and its detailing of various thoughts, motives, words and acts in harmony with, and contrary to these. The second of these two functions it performs by applying this knowledge to the thoughts, motives, words and acts of those whose attention it attracts by its teachings and accusations. Thus it educates such as to a knowledge of righteousness and sin in general and of their own in particular; and by proving them guilty of sins of omission and commission, in motive, thought, word and deed, it convinces them that they are sinners (Rom. 7: 1-25). Not only does the revealed Law of God do these things, but also the natural Law, remnants of which are written in men's minds and hearts,

 

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with the co-witnessing of conscience works such knowledge and conviction (Rom. 2: 14, 15). By these offices of the Law it convinces the honest-hearted that they are weak, fallen and faultful, and thus cannot please God and thus are completely unable to justify themselves (Rom. 3: 10-20; Gal. 2: 16).

 

(10) But the Law does more than exposing men's sins; it brings upon them God's condemnation with its outworking in the various features of the curse (Rom. 4: 15; Gal. 3: 10). At the same time, it convinces the responsive that they are under God's condemnation and are undergoing its effects (Rom. 7: 1-24). This arouses in their hearts fear toward God, whom they recognize as being displeased with them (Rom. 1: 18). At the same time it also arouses sorrow for, and hatred of sin in their hearts and a hearty desire to be free from its condemnation and power (Rom. 7: 15-24; 2 Cor. 7: 9, 10). By the influence of such knowledge, conviction, sorrow, hatred and desire for deliverance, the Law further works the conviction of man's inability to merit deliverance from the condemnation of the Law (Rom. 3: 20; Gal. 2: 16) and his lack of strength to deliver himself from the power and dominion of sin (Rom. 7: 14, 18, 23). This results in his utter despair of himself to save himself from the condemnation of the Law, and stirs up in him the most earnest desire to gain deliverance from its condemnation and from the power of sin. Here the Law stops; for it can go no further than to show man his lost and undone condition and make him desire a Savior outside of himself; but it cannot give him that Savior, whom to give is the function, not of the Law, but of the Gospel (Gal. 3: 24). Thus far the symbolic razor—the Law's exposures— worked, but could do no more.

 

(11) Let us now look at antitypical Moses' part in the use of this antitypical razor. He, of course, did not use it personally, nor did he personally hand it to the prospective antitypical Levites. For this he used

 

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agents, some of them being animate and others being inanimate, the latter, however, being prepared by some of the former. These animate agents were sometimes officials among the priests—apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, i.e., teachers, and deacons—and sometimes priestly brethren who had no office in the real Church. Sometimes these animate agents were antitypical Levites, especially antitypical Gershonite Levites, and that of the Libni branch, acting as evangelists, revivalists, pastors, catechists, local preachers, Sunday school teachers, parents, older brethren and other "lay workers." The inanimate agents usually were books, like the Bible, Pilgrim's Progress, catechisms, pertinent hymns, tracts, magazines, etc., treating on subjects connected with the Law and repentance. Broadly speaking, these Levites belonged to two sets of denominations—the ritualistic and non-ritualistic. Among the former have been the Greek and Roman Catholic, the Lutheran and the Episcopal churches. Among the latter have been the Calvinistic, Baptist, Unitarian, Congregational, Quaker, Methodist, Christian and Adventist churches. The former, as a rule, used the catechetical method of handling the symbolic razor to the prospective faith-justified, and the latter, as a rule, used the revival or evangelistic method for that purpose, though the Calvinistic church has used both of these methods. It is, of course, not our thought that all who underwent catechetical instruction accepted this razor and used it for its intended purpose; nor that all who attended revival and evangelistic services did this. But undoubtedly those who were rightly disposed by these two methods of handling the antitypical razor—the Law's exposures—to them, did make a proper use of it. In some cases such received this razor in the more private ways of conversation and reading.

 

(12) This brings up the interesting question: How did these animate and inanimate agencies hand this

 

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razor to the prospective antitypical Levites? By teaching, preaching and describing to them the Law. This means that they explained to them the nature, the principles, the demands, the promised rewards and the threatened punishments of the Law. Thereby they acquainted them with the Law and their relations to it. They did this in such a way as revealed to them a picture of themselves reflected by the Law as a figurative mirror. Thereby they came to see that they were sinful, both in a hereditary and in an active way. They thereby saw their many faults, weaknesses and lacks. They saw themselves defiled by the disgraces, very weak in all of the graces and lacking in some degree in all of them and entirely in some of them. Thus they gave them a knowledge and conviction of their sins and sinfulness. The agents, by handing them the razor of the Law's exposures, also announced their condemnation by the Law, which many of them mistakenly magnified into an eternal torture sentence, to the injury of those who imbibed this error and its consequent effects. But the Lord quietly ignored this error and in spite of it properly disposed many to the shaving of their symbolic hair. These agents further handed the prospective faith-justified this razor by cutting off from them every hope of their being able by its use to please God, remove His sentence from them and work out their own justification. Thus their handing the razor to these gave them a knowledge of right and wrong, of their sins, a recognition of their sinfulness, a saddening consciousness of their condemnation, a conviction of their inability to right matters between them and God and escape sin's condemnation. Thus upon the anvil of the Law their hearts were crushed, figuratively speaking, to pieces, which is what contrition means.

 

(13) These agents did not do the shaving. Each one of the prospective faith-justified had to do this himself. Preliminary to this shaving he had to accept the razor at the hands of those who held it up to him. This

 

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means that each one had to look at the razor and see it in its details and uses, i.e., each one had attentively to study the nature, principles, demands, promised rewards and threatened punishments of the Law. Furthermore, he had to reach out his figurative hand—belief—and accept this razor, which means that he had to believe the Law's delineation of him, i.e., accept the knowledge of sin that it wrought, and as a result become convinced that he was a sinner. Moreover, his accepting this razor implied that he acknowledged that he was justly condemned by the Law's exposures and was unable by any of his powers to escape its penalties and right himself with God. And, finally, his accepting it implies his willingness to receive it for shaving purposes. That hair in Biblical symbols means powers, is evident from Samson's hair and the hairs like women's hairs in Rev. 9: 8—powers like those of churches. Sins are powers of a certain kind—the sinners' expressed powers of having the right to violate justice. But such powers—sins— must be removed. Repentance puts one into a state of heart and mind in which he no longer desires to have and use such powers, and it is the exposures of the Law—the symbolic razor—that the contrite sinner applies to himself as the means of severing from himself such powers. The symbolic act of shaving, therefore, means that the sinner severs from himself his sins as powers formerly had and used. For one of the ingredients of repentance is putting aside the love, the habits and practice of sins as powers of the sinner. Thus we see that both the antitypical waters of separation and the antitypical razor used in shaving all of the sinner's flesh—every part of his heart and mind, in which sins as powers were—combined to work repentance, which consists of knowledge of right and wrong in general and of one's own wrongs in particular, a conviction of one's sinfulness, a recognition of one's condemnation and his inability to save himself, a hatred of sin, a determination to sever sin from oneself,

 

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an honest and measurably successful effort at such severance, and, finally, a love for, and an honest and measurably successful effort in the practice of righteousness. The antitypical waters of separation and the razor accomplish all of the foregoing features of repentance, except the last one that we mentioned.

 

(14) This last part of repentance is accomplished by the third and final cleansing process—the washing of the clothes. In Biblical symbols clothes or garments are used to represent the graces. Just as our natural clothes are, among other things, used to cover our nakedness, so are symbolic clothes worn to cover our symbolic nakedness, which represents our faults-the disgraces (Rev. 16: 15). St. Peter shows that the graces are symbolized by garments when he exhorts us to be clothed with humility (1 Pet. 5: 5), and the sisters to be adorned with meekness and gentleness (1 Pet. 3: 3, 4). St. Paul gives a similar exhortation (1 Tim. 2: 9, 10). He also speaks of our clothing ourselves with sympathy, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, forbearance and forgiveness, which therefore, are symbolic clothes. But just as our literal clothes become spotted and dirty, so our symbolic clothes sometimes become spotted and dirty (Jude 23; 2; Cor. 7: 1). When our faults— disgraces—are removed, we are spoken of as unspotted (Cant. 4: 7; Eph. 5: 27; 1 Tim. 6: 14; 2 Pet. 3: 14). Christ's symbolic garments never had any spots (Heb. 9: 14; 1 Pet. 1: 19). Furthermore, in Biblical symbols, in its office of cleansing from the power of sin the Word of God is spoken of as symbolic water (Eph. 5: 26; Heb. 10: 22; John 15: 3; Tit. 3: 5). These considerations enable us to see what is typed by the prospective Levites' washing their clothes—it symbolizes that the prospective antitypical Levites remove from their graces whatever faults of their depraved nature cleave to them, by an application to them of the pertinent cleansing parts of God's Word. Those who have been candidates for

 

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faith-justification have had more or less of vestiges of God's image in them naturally; but these were more or less contaminated—spotted—by depravity—faults. These faults must be removed that the qualities of righteousness that they contaminate might become free from such contamination, and this occurs through applying such parts of the cleansing Word as remove these faults from those graces; and this usually is done by those parts of the Word that make those graces work oppositionally to those faults, which thereby are removed. This implies love for, and the practice of the graces of righteousness, whereby through the cleansing Word the prospective faith-justified cleanse away from their symbolic garments the spots and dirt of sin that have accumulated thereon. By the repentant sinner doing what he can to cleanse by the Word his good qualities from the faults that adhere to them, he completes the repentance process—the Gospel-Age antitype of the cleansing of the Levites as set forth in the type given in Num. 8: 6, 7.

 

(15) Dropping the figure, it would be in place for us to explain in literal language the step of repentance, which, in the general type, was represented by the Levites' starting out from the camp and making their way toward the door of the tabernacle. In the specific type under study it shows what both the Lord and the repentant sinner do as to the three cleansing processes of v. 7. The Greek noun translated repentance is metanoia and the corresponding Greek verb translated to repent is metanoein. Literally, the verb means to change the mind or disposition, and, literally, the noun means a change of mind or disposition. It, therefore, imports a change in the mental, moral and religious attitude toward sin and righteousness as respects God and man. The change in the mental attitude implies giving up errors as to sin and accepting truths thereon and giving up errors as to righteousness and accepting truths thereon. The change in the moral attitude implies

 

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the giving up of the love and practice of sin and the hatred, omission and violation of righteousness manward and the acceptance of hatred and avoidance of sin and the love and practice of righteousness manward. The change in the religious attitude implies the giving up of the love and practice of sin Godward and the hatred, omission and violation of righteousness Godward and the acceptance of hatred and avoidance of sin Godward and the love and practice of righteousness Godward. Sorrow for sin, contrition, is inseparably implied in such hatred for sin and love for righteousness, because from both of these feelings one must sorrow over having loved and practiced sin and hatred, avoided and violated righteousness. Yea, the keenest sorrow experienced by man is remorse—real contrition for sin. It is for this reason that true repentance is so heavily freighted with grief, as is shown, e.g., in the penitential Psalms: 6; 32; 38; 51; 102; 130; 143. Such a grief is Biblically called a godly sorrow and sorrow unto repentance (2 Cor. 7: 9-11).

 

(16) The following is an analysis of the things that constitute the Scriptural parts of repentance as to sin: intellectual conviction of sin (John 8: 9); heart's sorrow for sin (Matt. 11: 21; 2 Cor. 7: 9-11; Rom. 7: 24); hatred of sin (Deut. 7: 26; Rom. 7: 15); abandonment of sin (Prov. 28: 13; Matt. 3: 8); confession of sin (Ezra 10: 1; Neh. 9: 2; Prov. 28: 13; Matt. 3: 6; Acts 19: 18); restitution for sin (Lev. 6: 4, 5; Ezek. 33: 15; Luke 19: 8); and opposition to sin (Rom. 7: 15, 19, 23). The following are the ideas that constitute the Biblical parts of repentance as to righteousness: (1) love for righteousness (Rom. 12: 9; 7: 22); practice of righteousness (Rom. 6: 19-21; Acts 26: 20); and warfare for righteousness. (2 Cor. 7: 11; 10: 5; Heb. 12: 4). Thus repentance has two features: one as to sin, the other as to righteousness. In its feature as to sin it has seven distinct parts, and in its feature as to righteousness it has three parts. Thus

 

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in both features it has ten parts. This we know—both from the Bible and from our experiences, as well as from those of others who have exercised repentance. It might be further added that repentance is the first great step toward justification, the other step toward justification being faith (Mark 1: 15; Acts 20: 21). When both of these steps are taken one attains justification by faith.

 

(17) The following is an analysis of the New Testament passages in which the verb metanoein (to repent) and the noun metanoia (repentance) occur, the verb occurrences coming first: People should repent because of the nearness of the kingdom (Matt. 3: 2; 4: 17; Mark 1: 15); John preached to repent (Acts 2: 38; 17: 30); not to repent is disapproved and to repent is approved (Matt. 11: 20, 21; Luke 10: 13; 11: 32); preaching is to effect it (Matt. 12: 41; Mark 6: 12); some do not repent (Luke 13: 3, 5; 16: 30; 2 Cor. 12: 21; Rev. 2: 5, 21, 22; 9: 20, 21; 16: 9, 11); it is commanded (Acts 3: 19; 8: 22; 26: 20; Rev. 2: 5, 16; 3: 3, 19); it causes joy in heaven (Luke 15: 7, 10); and we are to forgive the repentant (Luke 17: 3, 4). Now follows an analysis of the passages in which the noun metanoia occurs: John's baptism was for repentance (Matt. 3: 11; 9 13; Mark 1: 4; 2: 17; Luke 3: 3; 5: 32; Acts 13: 24; 19: 4); God's goodness leads to it (Rom. 2: 4; 2 Pet. 3: 9); it is to be preached (Luke 24: 47; Heb. 6: 1); sorrow is a feature of it (2 Cor. 7: 9, 10; Heb. 6: 6); sometimes sorrow cannot effect it in the sense of a change of mind in others (Heb. 12: 17); it is a gift of God (Acts 5: 31; 11: 18; 2 Tim. 2: 25); the sinless do not need it (Luke 15: 7); fruits worthy of it should follow (Matt. 3: 8; Luke 3: 8; Acts 26: 20); and it is to be exercised toward God (Acts 20: 21). According to this analysis of the Biblical use of these two words, repentance is a very important part of man's coming into a proper relationship with God and man.

 

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(18) Above we discussed the Gospel-Age antitype of Num. 8: 5-7 and found therein a remarkable typical description of how our Lord throughout the Age has brought sinners to repentance, as the first part of the cleansing of Gospel-Age Levites, for which they had to be prepared by certain providential and instructional experiences (v. 6). We found in harmony with v. 7 that three distinct processes bring sinners to repentance: (1) the application to them of the types and antitypes of the Ancient Worthies; (2) the use of God's Law as to their sins and sinfulness; and (3) the use of the cleansing parts of God's Word on their natural good qualities. By these being ministered to them through suitable agents and by their subjecting themselves to the influence of these three things, repentance toward God is wrought in them unto a completion. Neither can we think of any other ways that can be employed to accomplish this effect; nor do these two things need reinforcement by any other thing to secure this result. The above-mentioned three processes alone are requisite to work a full and real repentance in properly disposed hearts. This, of course, is what we should expect; because the all-wise God, who charged our Lord Jesus to accomplish this work, is to be presupposed to know just with what such a work was to be accomplished. With respect to all of His works, and therefore with respect to this one, we can well say: He hath done all things well!

 

(19) But repentance is not sufficient for more than a measure of cleansing from the power of sin. It cannot cleanse from the guilt or condemnation of sin. This Christ's blood alone can do, as the poet has so well put it in one of the finest of our hymns.

 

"Could my tears forever flow,

Could my zeal no languor know,

These for sin could not atone;

Thou hast saved and Thou alone.

In my hand no price I bring;

Simply to Thy cross I cling."

 

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If the work of our cleansing would stop with repentance, we would never have been completely cleansed so as to be regarded as clean by God. The three processes above referred to, indeed, have their part to accomplish in our cleansing, but their part is only a part of that cleansing. The Law is helpless to complete this cleansing; for in the cleansing work it goes no further than giving us a will not to sin and a will to do right; but it does not justify us. It has come to the full end of its purpose when it has made us know that we cannot save ourselves, and, therefore, stand in need of a Savior apart from ourselves. But, blessed be the grace and mercy of our God, that there is a Helper who is able to save unto the uttermost them that come to God by Him, seeing that He ever liveth and maketh intercession for them. But the Law does not offer Him to us. The Law cannot work such a faith in our hearts that accepts Him as our Savior. Herein the Law is helpless, not that it in itself is weak, but because of our weakness (Rom. 8: 3). But what the Law cannot, on account of our weakness accomplish, the Gospel can and does accomplish (Rom. 8: 14). And this ability of the Gospel is brought to our attention in v. 8. As we have seen, the Law feature of God's Word is active in all three processes set forth in v. 7. Its having been preached and applied unto repentance, the next feature of the cleansing process—the preaching of the Gospel— should be brought to our attention, and this is done in v. 8, where the message—the Gospel of reconciliation to God— that works a justifying faith is brought to our consideration in a typical way, so concealed that unless the three typical sacrifices therein set forth are understood, the connection of Law and Gospel, as set forth in vs. 7 and 8, and how the preaching of the Gospel is set forth in v. 8, cannot be seen.

 

(20) Three typical sacrifices are brought to view in v. 8: (1) a burnt-offering; (2) a meat-offering mingled

 

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with oil; and (3) a sin-offering. The first bullock is not in this verse called a burnt-offering; but it is called such in v. 12. It will be further noted that the second bullock is not called a trespass-offering; for that would imply our Lord to have been a sinner; but it is specifically called a sin-offering. From this we can see that it relates to our Lord in connection with His personal sinless sacrifice as the first sin-offering of the antitypical Atonement Day. The Scriptures certainly assure us that He is the antitypical Bullock (Heb. 7: 27; 10: 5-9; 13: 11, 12). Hence the allusion contained in the bullock for the sin-offering in v. 8 is to our Lord's death as a sin-offering (2 Cor. 5: 21, 18, 19; Rom. 5: 6, 8; 8: 3; Heb. 2: 9; 9: 28). This, as we know, has been very ably set before us in the first part of chapter 4 of Tabernacle Shadows. We, therefore, note that Christ's death as a sin-offering is alluded to in the bullock of the sin-offering in v. 8. Let us keep this thought in mind and after other explanations have been made we will prove it to be so.

 

(21) Additionally, a bullock for a burnt-offering is also brought to our attention in v. 8. We are not to understand that this types another sacrifice that our Lord would make of Himself personally. He made one and only one sacrifice of Himself individually (Heb. 7: 27; 10: 14; Rom. 6: 8, 9); and it needs no repetition, as did that of the typical bullock. If, then, the burnt-offering does not typify another sacrifice of Himself that our Lord would bring, what does it represent? We reply, it represents God's manifested acceptance of our Lord's sacrifice (T 72, par. 3; 81, par. 2). How do we know that the burnt-offering represents God's manifested acceptance of the sacrifice of which it was the burnt-offering? We reply, that it was only with burnt-offerings that God ever connected a special sign of acceptance, as can be seen in the case of Abraham's offering Isaac as a burnt-offering, being manifested as acceptable by the giving of the oathbound

 

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covenant (Gen. 22: 2, 7, 8, 13, 16-18), the burnt-offering of Aaron (Lev. 9: 23, 24), that of David (1 Chron. 21: 26, 27), those of Solomon (2 Chron. 7: 1-3) and that of Elijah (1 Kings 18: 36-39), being manifested in acceptance by fire.

 

(22) In the antitype God manifests His acceptance of the sacrifice in a variety of ways for the various classes, e.g., in the Millennium He will manifest His acceptance of the sacrifice of the Christ for the world by the restitution blessings that the Christ will minister, typed by Aaron offering the burnt-offering. During the Gospel-Age He manifests His acceptance of our Lord's sacrifice for the Church by bestowing, through Jesus' ministry, upon the Church His Holy Spirit, the Truth and the privileges of ministering to, and suffering for the Truth. Neither of these manifestations of God's acceptance of Christ's sacrifice is referred to in v. 8; for the burnt-offering here referred to applies for the tentatively justified, i.e., the Gospel-Age Levites. And how did God manifest His acceptance of Christ's sacrifice on behalf of these? If we can answer this question aright, we will be prepared better to understand the office of the burnt-offering referred to in v. 8. God has manifested His acceptance of Christ's sacrifice for the tentatively justified: first, by tentatively forgiving them their sins; second, by tentatively imputing to them Christ's righteousness; third, by taking them into friendship with Himself; fourth, by preparing them for the Gospel-Age Levitical service; fifth, by giving them opportunities to grow in Levitical knowledge, character and service; sixth, by advancing them toward consecration; and, seventh, by inviting them to consecrate, all of these ministered to them by our Lord. The last three manifestations were not really preparations for Leviteship as such, but preparations for the priesthood offered tentative Levites who were loyal in their tentative justification. From the facts of the case, as preparatory for justification,