Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
God's place of meeting with, and God's place of blessing the people (Rev. 21: 3-5). Usually the tabernacle in the wilderness types the Christ during their Gospel-Age experiences of humiliation, and the temple of Solomon their Millennial-Age experiences of glorification. Yet we find in the Bible the word tabernacle also applied to their Millennial-Age activities (Rev. 21: 3-5), and the word temple to their Gospel-Age conditions (1 Cor. 3: 16, 17; 6: 19; Eph. 2: 20-22; 1 Pet. 2: 5; Rev. 11: 19; 15: 6, 8; 16: 1). The antitype of the tabernacle in v. 15 is the Christ during the Gospel-Age. Hence the day that the tabernacle was reared up represents the Gospel-Age. The rearing up of the tabernacle is the Gospel-Age developing of the Christ class as God's place of residing, of meeting with, and of blessing the people. This antitypical tabernacle did not exist before our Lord's consecration, when the antitypical court, brazen altar and brazen laver sprang into existence, also the first vail and the High Priest stooping under it. His begettal was accompanied with the antitypical Holy and its lampstand, table of shewbread and golden altar coming into existence. At His death the antitypical second vail came into existence and at His resurrection the antitypical chest of the Ark and its mercy seat, cherubim and shekinah were joined, making the antitypical Most Holy come into existence insofar as Christ is concerned. At Pentecost the antitypical court, brazen altar and laver and first vail came into existence insofar as they represent the Church, as the justified humanity of the Church was consecrated; and at the same time the antitypical Holy and its lampstand, table and altar came into existence insofar as they represent the Church, as by Spirit begettal the first of the Church's new creatures came into being. Since then, as the remaining parts of the Christ have been coming into the tabernacle condition, the antitypical tabernacle has been in process of erection. The erection was completed, so far as the antitypical court's and Holy's including the Church is concerned, in 1914,
since which time, therefore, no more have been added to these. All through the Gospel-Age the antitypical second vail has been in process of erection insofar as the individual faithful ones are concerned as they completed their sacrifice unto death, and will be completed when the last member dies. Since Nisan 16, 1878, the antitypical Most Holy and chest of the Ark have been springing into existence insofar as they represent the Church; and these will be completed when the last member of the Christ class shall have passed beyond the vail. It is this whole creative process that is typed by the erection of the tabernacle (v. 15); and the time for this work is the Gospel-Age. Hence the day of this verse types the entire Gospel-Age (Joel 2: 29; John 17: 21-24; 16: 23, 26; 1 Cor. 1: 30; Eph. 2: 10).
(19) The cloudy, fiery pillar covering the tabernacle types the Truth as due and its Spirit resting upon the Christ class. This means that the Lord has throughout the Gospel-Age made the Christ class the recipient and depository of the Truth as due and of its Spirit. Certainly the Scriptures abundantly prove this thought, as the following passages, a few selected from among many, show: Ps. 25: 14; 97: 11; 119: 66, 99, 100, 130; Prov. 3: 32; Is. 30: 18-21; Amos 3: 7; Matt. 11: 25; 13: 11, 16, 17; Rom. 16: 25, compared with Col. 1: 26, 27; 2 Cor. 3: 13, 14. This has been their peculiar prerogative; for in the sense that they have these none others do. This is typed by the cloud resting upon the tabernacle and not, e.g., on the camp or on the territory without the camp. To the great, mighty and wise of this world this claim sounds absurd; nevertheless it is true that whatever of Truth is due or whatever of the Spirit of the begettal is poured out, they are in the Church, and can be gotten only through the Church's ministry, implied in her being the depository of these (1 Kings 17: 1). All this, and more, too, is represented by the cloudy, fiery pillar resting upon the tabernacle. If the world rails at, and despises such a claim, it may do so; but this will not in the least alter the fact that
the Christ is the recipient and depository of God's Truth and Spirit as due. This, our privilege, beloved, by far surpasses what the world's greatest, mightiest and wisest may have or boast. Grateful to the Lord for this, the greatest of all privileges, we envy not the most favored of the present evil world whatever advantage they have or think they have.
(20) It will be noted that the pillar was a cloud by day and the appearance of light by night (v. 15). This is likewise typical. During the Gospel-Age there are two symbolic days and two symbolic nights. Thus the Parousia is frequently called a day and the Epiphany a night (Ps. 91: 5, 6; Matt. 20: 1-8). They are both called a day, symbolized by the light and dark part of a 24-houred day respectively (1 Cor. 3: 13; Eph. 6: 13). The watchman calls the trouble time—the Epiphany—a night, implying that a preceding period was a day—the Parousia (Is. 21: 11, 12). The night wherein no man can work (do reaping work, as the connection shows) is the Epiphany; hence it is preceded by a period called a day—the Parousia (John 9: 4). This passage has another application; for the day in which Jesus worked was the reaping time of the Jewish Harvest, implied also in the parallel Harvests, and a night followed that day, in which no reaping was done, and that night lasted from Oct., 69 A. D., until Oct., 1874. These two periods give us the other day and night of the Gospel-Age: the Jewish Harvest, the period between it and the Gospel Harvest. There is a reason why the two Harvests are each called a day and why their succeeding periods until the next succeeding days are each called a night. Based upon the fact that in nature the sun shines by day and the moon by night (Gen. 1: 16), the Bible, among other things, uses the sun to represent the New Testament and the moon to represent the Old Testament (Is. 60: 19; 30: 26; Matt. 24: 29; Acts 2: 20; Rev. 6: 12; 8: 12; 12: 1). Hence the periods during which the New Testament would mainly be giving light as a symbolic sun would be
days; and the periods during which the Old Testament as a symbolic moon would mainly be shining with its light would be symbolic nights.
(21) Self-evidently the New Testament truths shone during the Jewish Harvest, even as the preaching of that time and the production of the New Testament at that time prove. Hence the Jewish Harvest was a day as distinct from a night. There was, of course, some Old Testament light shining at that time also, though it was much less than the amount of New Testament light then shining. This fact is also illustrated by a partial moon shining visibly to us during part of the day, especially after the moon has passed her third quarter. An examination of our Pastor's writings— Parousia teachings—reveals the same fact; for his writings consist mainly of expositions of New Testament teachings, though to a considerably less degree they also contain, usually, short expositions of Old Testament Scriptures. A comparison of the amounts of the Comments devoted to the Old Testament and the New Testament Scriptures as set forth in the Berean Manual will quickly prove this thought to be true, if one remembers that the New Testament is about a fourth as large as the Old Testament. John's writings compose those New Testament Scriptures which were produced after the Jewish Harvest; and in the light of the figure under study are well illustrated by the light that the sun still gives for a while after it has sunk beneath the horizon. Thereafter set in the symbolic night, lasting until the Gospel Harvest. And the historical facts bear out this figure; for the stars of the five intervening churches shone Old Testament light more than New Testament light. E.g., Arius, who was the principal man of the Pergamos star, Claudius of Turin, who was the principal man of the Thyatira star, Marsiglio, who was the principal man of the Sardis star, and John Wessel, who was the principal man of the Philadelphia star, wrote, one and all, mainly on Old Testament themes. The reason for this is quite evident:
Apart from what the papacy drew from heathen sources, which is no inconsiderable part of its counterfeit, it drew also in large measure from counterfeit Old Testament teachings its counterfeit for the Christ in His teachings, practices and organization. This of necessity forced not only the principal, but also the subordinate men of these stars to give true expositions, as far as due, of the pertinent Old Testament passages and facts counterfeitedly given by the papacy in palming off the before said counterfeit of the Christ.
(22) But the full symbolic moon was not shining during the interval between the Harvests. Many of the passages and facts on which these brethren commented were seen by them only in part, as the writings of Claudius of Turin, Peter Abelard, Marsiglio, Wiclif, Wessel, Luther, Cranmer, etc., abundantly prove. However, they understood them well enough to expose and refute the papal counterfeits tortured out of Old Testament Scriptures. And in this they accomplished the Divine intention in the premises. With the Reformation time (the Sardis and the Philadelphia periods) there was a long early and later dawn as this night was ending, like our early Northern summer dawn, preceding the Parousia Day. And from the standpoint of the figure under study this will account for the much larger relative use of New Testament Scriptures during the Sardis and Philadelphia periods than during the three preceding periods, especially the second and third of these. And this use continually increased as the Sardis and Philadelphia periods advanced, until when we come to Bros. Wesley, Stone and Miller, the New Testament increasingly came to the foreground in their preaching and writings. In the Epiphany, the night following the Parousia day, we have a full symbolic moon shining. This will account for the ever clearer expositions of Old Testament facts and passages and pertinent refutations of error during this Epiphany period. This will continue until all of the Old Testament not expounded by our Pastor will be
made clear by the end of the Epiphany (Rom. 15: 4; Is. 30: 25, 26). Not only so, but as we toward the end of the Epiphany night enter the dawn of the Millennial day, as distinct from the Parousia day and the Epiphany night (note the difference between this and the Millennial Dawn which is the end of the reign of sin viewed as a night Ps. 30: 5), as suggested by the figure under study; New Testament matters will again gradually advance to the foreground. The long promised true exposition of Revelation will then be given, which incidentally will refute the false ones offered to the Lord's people from time to time, especially by Levite leaders. This figure shows that the promised exposition will not come so soon as we had previously thought, i.e., immediately after the great earthquake. It will likely begin to be written during the anarchy. This will afford ample time for us, by our articles on Numbers, etc., to give a goodly store of Church history as Biblically typed, to prepare well the Church in pertinent knowledge to appreciate the exposition of Revelation.
(23) Accordingly, we are now in one of the Gospel-Age's nights. And naturally therein we are to expect the moon—the Old Testament—to do the main shining. To expect the sun—the New Testament—now to do the main shining is unreasonable, since the day time is the proper period for the sun to shine and the night time for the moon to shine. Our Levite friends often criticize the Epiphany brethren for their large use of the Old Testament, particularly of its types, exclaiming, "Give us New Testament thoughts; we want New Testament truths and not Old Testament types!" To them we make the reasonable reply: The New Testament thoughts came as due in the Parousia day, as the rays of the symbolic sun. We are now in the night and the light now due is the moon light. And since our Pastor gave a very large amount of the Old Testament prophetic Truth, the light now due is more especially the symbolic moon's typical truths. If, as they do, they
continue to cry out for the symbolic sun's light and to deprecate the symbolic moon's light, we must tell them that their efforts to draw back the set symbolic sun for its light are as vain as would be the efforts of a man to lasso the set literal sun and draw it back to make day when night is due. Evidently this can be done with neither the literal nor the symbolic sun! And those who despise the shining of the full moon in this Epiphany night, and who insist on the symbolic sun to shine now, are seemingly not among those whom the symbolic sun did not smite by day, nor the symbolic moon by night (Ps. 121: 6). Their course seems to indicate that they were smitten by either one or both of them. And this is indicated by their barking at the symbolic full moon as its rays lighten the night. As a matter of fact, as a rule they do this as symbolic wolves (clericalists) and dogs (sectarians), even as literal wolves and dogs bark at the bright light of the literal moon. And we rather opine that the Levite leaders will be found to have been braying at that symbolic moonlight, even as asses are well known to bray at the light of the literal full moon. For our part, as illustrated in the figure under study, while recognizing that the sunlight of the Parousia day was much better, clearer and more desirable than the full moon light of this Epiphany night, nevertheless, since we are in that night time, and know that it is now due for the advancing light to come mainly from the symbolic moon and not mainly from the symbolic sun, we are grateful for having cloudless full moon light to brighten our pathway, and thus enable us to avoid the pitfalls of darkness and to walk in the shining path of the righteous. Let us, therefore, beloved, rejoice and be grateful for the kind of light that the Lord is pleased to give us now in the Epiphany night and not, like willful children, cry for the day light in the night time and despise the clear full moon light of the night in which we are and must remain until the next day.
(24) But some may say: You purposed to explain
the difference between the cloudy pillar and the fiery pillar, but have instead been explaining the symbolic sun as shining by day and the symbolic moon as shining by night. Is this not irrelevant to the subject under discussion? We reply that we do so because the symbolic sun and the symbolic moon mean in a general way the same as the antitypical cloudy pillar and fiery pillar; for the literal cloudy, fiery pillar served Fleshly Israel, so far as their marches and encampments were concerned, as the natural sun and moon do to mankind, clarifying their way and their places of abode; and hence the antitypical cloudy pillar and fiery pillar do for Spiritual Israel, so far as their symbolic marches and encampments are concerned, just as the symbolic sun and moon do for them, which fact serves rather closely to identify them, the different symbols bringing out different operations of the same things—the Word and Spirit enlighten (sun and moon) and lead (cloudy, fiery pillar). Hence the propriety of our discussing the symbolic sun and moon as such to elucidate the antitype of the cloudy, fiery pillar. It is from the standpoint that these type the Truth and its Spirit in the Old Testament and the New Testament kinds that we can understand the propriety of our Pastor's remark that the cloudy, fiery pillar was a manifestation of God's presence with Israel (Z '07, 216, 217), even as the Truth as due and its Spirit are the most manifest evidence of God's presence with His faithful Spiritual Israel. Accordingly, we have shown that the Gospel-Age day times, typed by the day time when the cloudy pillar was with Israel, are the reaping times of the Jewish and Gospel Harvests, and that the cloudy pillar, appearing as it did during the day, represents the New Testament Truth as due and its Spirit in the reaping times. And we have also shown that the night times when the fiery pillar appeared to Israel represent the periods immediately following these periods, between them and the day following, i.e., they represent the period between the two reapings and the period between
the Parousia and the Millennium, viz., the Epiphany, while the fiery pillar itself represents the Old Testament Truth as due and its Spirit. This leads us to remark that there are still another day and night in God's plan. That day is the Millennium (Zech. 14: 4-9; Is. 25: 9), when the cloudy pillar (New Testament teachings adapted to New Covenant arrangements, and its Spirit) will lead the Millennial Israel, as typed by Israel's march from Etham to the Red Sea (Ex. 13: 20-22), up the Highway of Holiness to its final trial at the beginning of the Little Season. The third night will be the Little Season itself, typed by the night (Ex. 14: 20, 24, 27) at the Red Sea; and the fiery pillar will be the Old Testament truths adapted to the Little Season's needs of the faithful, and its Spirit. After the Little Season's night day will always be; for "there shall be no night there" (Rev. 22: 5).
(25) "So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night" (v. 16). In this verse we have not only, by way of emphasis, a repetition of the statement of v. 15, but the added item that such was continually the case with the cloudy, fiery pillar. God's faithfulness as the Leader and Guide of His Fleshly Israel is thereby set forth; and antitypically His faithfulness as the Leader and Guide of His Spiritual Israel is taught. And, beloved, this certainly has in the past proven true; and it will ever prove true, until they shall safely arrive in antitypical Canaan. Therefore the Truth as due and its Spirit were present, as needed, to lead and guide Spiritual Israel in the Jewish Harvest, in the interval following that until the Gospel Harvest, in the Parousia, and now in the Epiphany. Always as needed the dear Lord gave the Truth due and its Spirit to His Faithful. While He became darkness more or less to the unfaithful and measurably faithful, He never once failed His own with a sufficiency of His Truth as due and its Spirit to lead and guide them to His Holy Hill, the Kingdom. Nor will He ever fail them in this respect; for "so it was
alway: the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night." And, beloved, so long as we abide faithful we may ever look for the antitypical fiery cloudy pillar among God's real people, and we will always find it resting upon them; for God designed it thus to be—His faithful Church is the recipient and depository of the Truth as due and of its Spirit, a fact guaranteed by the never failing faithfulness of Jehovah, our God and Father! Praise our God, all ye His saints, and be thankful at the remembrance of His holiness! His faithfulness is firmer than the mountains and more steadfast than the hills. It never wearies, falters or lags: "So it was alway!"
(26) But the cloudy, fiery pillar was not equally distinct to all Israelites, and that for two reasons: Increased distance gradually dimmed its clearness; so did decreased eye-sight. The priests who dwelt nearest to, or served in the tabernacle saw it most clearly; then the Levites who dwelt next nearest to, or served in the court saw it with the next degree of clearness; then those who dwelt in the camp saw it the least clearly. So, dear brethren, the antitypical Priesthood as new creatures see the antitypical cloudy, fiery pillar more clearly than the antitypical Levites as the Gospel-Age faith-justified; and these latter in turn see it more clearly than those in the antitypical camp—those who seek a measure of fellowship with God, but who do not even proceed to tentative justification, or who, having once had it, backslide from the court to the camp. A reason for these differences is the differing symbolic distances from their symbolic place of standing as to the antitypical pillar. Then, too, there are differences in the visibility of the symbolic cloudy, fiery pillar to those of the same classes. Thus some Priests see the antitypical pillar much more distinctly than do others. This is due to their having keener eyesight spiritually, backed by more of the Spirit, especially of study, than do other Priests. For a similar reason some justified ones have a keener insight into the justification features
of the antitypical pillar than do other justified ones. For a similar reason some of those in the antitypical camp see the moral and elementary justification truths more clearly than do other camp-dwellers, some of whom are nearly entirely symbolically blind. Thus those who walk and dwell close by the antitypical cloudy, fiery pillar are blessed with more of its light and Spirit than do those who walk and dwell not so close by. This suggests to us the desirability of our walking and dwelling as closely by the advancing Truth and its Spirit as we can. And if we so do, its light and direction will ever more clearly and blessedly lead us until we shall at last arrive at our Canaan inheritance and home and be forever blest and at rest.
(27) V. 17 gives in a summary what is divided into details in vs. 18-23. It shows that on the going up of the cloud from the tabernacle the children of Israel journeyed and that where it rested there they encamped. This is just as symbolic as the things of the pillar already studied. What is represented by the cloudy, fiery pillar beginning to move, proceeding to move and coming to a stop? Both the involved figures and our experience furnish us with the answer. Since the pillar represents the Truth as due and its Spirit, its beginning to move would fittingly represent these beginning to unfold. Accordingly, as from such a start the pillar would advance, so such advance fittingly represents the further unfolding of the advancing light and its Spirit. And its coming to a halt would fittingly represent the completion of the pertinent Truth and its Spirit. Thus each advance of the pillar toward Canaan would represent the advance of the Truth and its Spirit along a certain line or set of lines. This process, of course, would have a beginning, typed by the pillar's beginning to move, and an ending, typed by the pillar's halting. And in this set of acts a very important Biblical principle is brought to our attention. This is variously expressed by language like, "meat in due season" (Luke 12: 42), "light that shineth more
and more" (Prov. 4: 18) and "the testimony for due times" (1 Tim. 2: 6). The progressiveness of the Truth is indicated by these expressions; for the Biblical Truth has this peculiarity, that it progresses in a seasonable unfolding. And it so progresses in order to adapt itself to the varying needs, experiences and circumstances of God's people. In this as well as in other ways the Bible is quite different from human creeds, which, like hobby horses, jump up and down, but make no progress. Hence one may safely commit his thinking to the Bible as a guide, but not to creeds.
(28) One has said, The Bible is like the ocean—shallow enough in places for a babe to wade in, and deep enough in places for an elephant to swim in. The adaptability of the Bible to all conditions of spiritual development and to every need, experience and circumstance of God's children is one of the surest proofs of its Divine origin; for nobody but God could have made a Bible so elastically practical, and yet so true. Practical omniscience was needed to furnish such a leader and guide for God's people. Hence the Bible is a Divine revelation and is Divinely inspired. This is not a fanciful claim. It is attested by the experiences of all God's faithful people, as well as by God Himself in His revelation. The reason that the Bible Truth has this quality of progressiveness adaptable to the varying needs, experiences and circumstances of God's people is that God, foreseeing the needs, experiences and circumstances of His people, put something into the Bible to fit everyone of them; and whenever they arise He commissions Jesus, the Interpreter of the Bible and the Executive (Rev. 5: 2, 5, 7, 12) of its plan, to bring out these things from the Bible into the sight of His people. And, additionally, God so arranged the Bible that in its types and prophecies it gives a prophetic history of His people, in so far as their acts are connected with, and are a part of the unfolding of His plan. This He tells us in Amos 3: 7: "Surely the Lord Jehovah will do nothing but [except] He revealed [it as]
His secret unto His servants, the prophets." This means that nothing would occur in connection with the unfolding of God's plan (His secret) except it was beforehand revealed by Him through the writers of the Bible. And, conversely, nothing was written by its scribes but belonged to that plan and its unfolding.
(29) Hence every part of the Bible is revelatory. God's Gospel-Age people are the main agents advancing that plan. Hence it has so much to say of their doings in its teachings, types and prophecies. Hence, too, all their doings, needs, experiences and circumstances pertinent to the unfolding of His plan have been anticipated by God and are mentioned in the Bible. God put into the Bible these pertinent things, which speak out to them the appropriate things in their deeds, needs, experiences and circumstances; and in so doing it proves itself to be the giver of meat in due season, of light that shineth more and more, and of the testimony for due times. It is this progressiveness of God's Word that acts in the antitype of the cloudy, fiery pillar's beginning to progress and advancing in the progress to a completion. And when it has given all it has on a certain subject, it gives no more new things thereon, typed by the pillar coming to a halt. This progressive unfolding is a more or less slow process as viewed by man. It is very well described in Is. 28: 9, 10: "Whom shall He teach knowledge [the deep things]? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine [again the deep things]? Them that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts. [Those who are advanced beyond the first principles of Christ (Heb. 5: 12—6: 2). Then to show that such He undertakes to teach only piecemeal and gradually, He says] For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little." The connection shows that this method will by Divine design stumble the unworthy and unfaithful (vs. 11-13), but will try unto approval the faithful. (V. 16—"He that believeth [the faithful]
shall not make haste," i.e., as to the seeming slowness of the Word's unfolding, by attempting to take things into his own hands in impatience, as the unfaithful do, thereby running ahead of the Lord; for this can result only in mischief to them, if they do so, even as it always does to the unfaithful and unworthy). Let us, beloved, learn, in view of this characteristic of God's Word, to wait quietly upon the Lord's due time for everything "for in quietness and confidence will be our strength." So doing, all will be well with us.
(30) Not only are the actions of the pillar as stated in v. 17 typical; but the actions of the Israelites as stated in the same verse are also typical. These actions are twofold, marching and encamping. What these two things represent will become clear when we remember that in the Scriptures Fleshly Israel's journey from Egypt to Canaan types Spiritual Israel's journey from this present evil world to the Kingdom (Heb. 3: 1-4: 11; 1 Cor. 10: 1-14). Therefore we find frequent reference to the Christian life as a walk, a journey, and to Christians as strangers and pilgrims having here no continuing city as their residence, but traveling to another and better (1 Pet. 2: 11; Heb. 13: 13, 14; Ps. 107: 4-7; Is. 30: 21; Jer. 6: 16; Micah 6: 8; Rom. 6: 4; 8: 1; 2 Cor. 5: 7; 1 John 2: 6). As Fleshly Israel progressed toward Canaan by every advance made from one station to another, thus ever nearing Canaan, so they by their marches from station to station type the various features of progress that we make in the Christian life, taking us farther and farther from the present evil world and leading us ever nearer to fitness for, and to the Kingdom. Hence Israel's progress toward Canaan by their successive marches represents our progress in the Christian life, ever bringing us nearer to Kingdom fitness and, as a result, to the Kingdom itself. We make this progress especially by three kinds of steps in the Christian life: (1) study of God's Word; (2) ministry of, and according to God's Word; and (3) practice of God's Word, including in this third
item Christian watching and prayer. Thus our growth in knowledge, service and grace (2 Pet. 3: 18; Rom. 12: 1) is the thing represented by Israel's marches toward Canaan. That this is true is evident from the nature of the case; for as we continue to grow in these three respects, we continue to advance away from the world toward Kingdom fitness and consequently toward the Kingdom itself. And when we have completed this development we stand on Jordan's strand, at the end of our journey to the Kingdom. It is of this figure of the Christian's life progressing as a journey from symbolic Egypt to Heavenly Canaan, the Kingdom, that we so aptly sing in Hymn No. 71.
(31) So far as the active part of the Christian life is concerned, we have nothing else to do than the three things mentioned in the preceding paragraph. Let one think ever so long on the subject, he will be unable to mention a thing belonging to the developing, the active part of the Christian life, other than these three things. The various marches of the Israelites typed different features in these three steps in our Christian journey. For us the order in general was, first, to learn the special Truth typed by the pillar's advance; second, to help our fellows learn, spread and practice it and, third, to develop the graces and heavenly affections involved in this pertinent Truth. Our learning the pertinent Truth is typed by the Israelites' keeping their eyes on the advancing pillar. Our ministering this Truth to others is typed by the stronger Israelites' helping their weaker brethren to see the way before them, helping them carry their too heavy burdens and encouraging them to march on. Our progress in grace is typed by the Israelites' walking onward, step by step, from the beginning to the end of each march. Beloved, let us keep our eyes of understanding wide open, ever looking at our cloudy, fiery pillar. This is the first prerequisite for a successful march. Those Israelites who paid no attention to the cloudy, fiery pillar soon turned out of the way and presently found themselves separated from the others,
wandering in a waste, howling wilderness, with nothing to guide their steps. Few indeed of these ever regained the host, most of them perishing in the desert drear. So will it be with us unless we keep our eyes on our cloudy, fiery pillar. Nor let us neglect to minister to our fellow pilgrims in their needs; and above all let us look well at our steps that they continue following that cloudy, fiery pillar and not, as many do, let weariness, foot-soreness and the heat of the desert sun and sand cause us to give up the journey and turn aside from God's hosts. The commencement of our progress was typed by Israel's beginning to march, the continuance of this progress by their continued advance and the end of it by their ceasing from each march they took.
(32) But there is another part to the Christian life additional to its three active, its three developing, features. There is a passive part to the Christian life, which must endure trials and tests of character, sufferings for zeal in Truth and righteousness and persecution for loyal adherence to these. The Scriptures abundantly testify that these, too, are a part of the Christian life (Matt. 5: 10-12; John 16: 2; Acts 14: 22; 2 Tim. 3: 12; 2 Cor. 4: 8-13; Jas. 1: 2-4, 12; 1 Pet. 2: 19-21; 4: 12-16). It will be noted that none of these are the active, but all of these are the passive parts of the Christian life. They are expressive of endurance, not of development, hence are passive. We have seen that the active, developing, part of the Christian life is typed by the Israelites' following the cloudy, fiery pillar, but how does the passive part of the Christian life find typification in Israel's experiences between Egypt and Canaan? There was only one other feature of their wilderness experiences— their encampments. And these, their resting in their camps, represent the passive part of the Christian life. This is evident from the fact that since their journey consisted of but these two things, their marches and encampings, and that since their marches type the active parts of the Christian life, the only thing to type the passive parts of the
Christian life would be their encampments. And just as the character of a march fittingly typed progress in the Christian life, so the character of an encamping fittingly types standing under trial, suffering and persecution (Eph. 6: 13). Furthermore, all of Israel's typical trials occurred while they were encamped, which suggests the thought that our trial time is our camping time. Thus they were tried for the first time while encamped at the Red Sea (Ex. 14: 2-20). Their trials over the manna (Num. 11: 4-34), at Moses' long stay in the mountain (Ex. 32: 1-35), in the matter of Baal-peor (Num. 25: 1-18), with the fiery serpents (Num. 21: 4-9) and with Korah, Dathan, Abiram, etc. (Num. 16: 1-50) were all while they were encamped and are expressly referred to by St. Paul as typical of our trials (1 Cor. 10: 5-14). Again, the trial of Miriam and Aaron as to Moses' wife and as to Moses himself as God's special mouthpiece occurred while Israel was encamped (Num. 12: 1-16); and this types the trial of certain crown-losers and crown-retainers as to the Church as of lowly origin and as to Jesus as God's special Mouthpiece. Furthermore, the great trial incidental to the report of the ten spies occurred while Israel was encamped (Num. 13: 26—14: 45); and this was typical of a general trial of God's real and nominal people in the Jewish and Gospel Harvests. Every other trial mentioned in Israel's experiences between Egypt and Canaan occurred while they were encamped; and therefore we are warranted in concluding that Israel's encampments represent the passive features of the Christian life.
(33) These consist of three forms of endurance. First, we must successfully bear whatever of pressure our development in head and heart receives. So far as our heads are concerned, the pressure comes from subtle error that, with specious arguments, the adversary through his mouthpieces presents to our minds in an effort to make us victims of a frenzy of delusion, to which in one form or another we will give way, if our
hearts are not full of love for, and loyal to the Truth already learned (2 Thes. 2: 9-12). Often this pressure is very great, not only because of the subtlety of the error, but because of the agent through whom it is presented, who may be one who has been a nourisher of our spiritual life hitherto. When such is the case, the trial is especially severe, as many of us by experiences can testify. Then, our hearts— graces and good sentiments—are subjected to the pressure of sore trial, that may come in a single form, a double form or even in a manifold form, since we must be tested at every point of character. The following are some of the means of our trials: losses, disappointments, delays, restraints, shelvings, our and others' faults and lacks, hardships, necessities, misunderstandings, false brethren, weariness, privations, sickness, poverty, pain, persecution, etc. Singly, doubly and manifoldly our graces and good sentiments are pressed down by these, the adversary offering some relief, if we break down under the test. A second form of endurance comes from pressure borne down upon us from our own humanity, due to our loyalty in study and service. Ordinarily the daily work of the brethren is quite exhausting. If in addition to such weariness we devote our extra time to study and service, increasing weariness will be felt. The head often becomes tired from study, and the head and body not infrequently become weary from service. Not seldom does this weariness result in much loss of sleep and nerve fatigue. In some cases it has extended even to nervous prostration, as is evidenced in our Lord's case by His sweating blood in the garden. More than one through zeal in study and service has made himself sick. And others have deprived themselves of many a comfort in order to render financial support to the work. The Lord puts us into circumstances requiring great self-denial, privation and physical endurance, if we would be faithful to His Truth and its study and service. Those are trials of endurance that come from, and are in our bodies. Finally, endurance as a part of
the Christian life must be shown amid persecution for loyalty to the Truth in its study, service and practice, particularly in its service. Persecution has taken the forms of reviling, slandering, hatred, despite, boycotting, commercially and socially, excommunication, imprisonment, stripes, tortures and even violent death. Many have not been put to the test of the most extreme of these; yet all the faithful must be tested by the pressure of persecution, in some ways at least. And while undergoing such trials, sufferings and persecutions, we are undergoing the antitypes of Israel's encampings the beginnings of their encamping typing the beginnings of our enduring experiences, their continued encampings typing our continued endurances and their breakings up of their encampings typing the endings of our various enduring experiences:
(34) There is a strong corroborative evidence that the cloudy, fiery pillar represents the advancing Truth and its Spirit found by a comparison of the Hebrew in the beginnings of vs. 17 and 18. The first parts of these verses, literally rendered, are respectively as follows; "At the mouth of the cloud's ascending from over the tent … the children of Israel journeyed." "At the mouth of the Lord the children of Israel journeyed." These two expressions are in sense synonymous. Therefore the second proves that antitypically the pillar is the Lord's Word and Spirit—His mouthpiece (Ps. 45: 1). The mouth in this case giving a command, the sense is properly though not literally given in v. 18 when it is rendered as in the A. V., "At the commandment of the Lord, etc." Typically v. 18 teaches that it was God who directed all of Israel's journeys, and that it was He who sent them to, and kept them in every station of their journey until He brought them finally to Canaan. Antitypically this suggests that it is God who orders all our steps in our journey to the Kingdom (Ps. 37: 23). He has planned every situation and experience that attend our journey to the Kingdom. This fact guarantees that none of our steps will slide (Ps. 37: 31) nor decline
(Ps. 44: 18), if we follow faithfully His leadings by the antitypical cloudy, fiery pillar. V. 18 also shows that it is at the Lord's command, given through the cloudy, fiery pillar, that Israel encamped. Antitypically this means that it is God who arranges for all our untoward experiences. Nothing happens to us who are His save as He permits; for there are no experiences in the lives of God's saints except as God permits and overrules (Rom. 8: 28). Our Father rules and overrules in all. From Him come our experiences of progress and growth; and from Him come our experiences of endurance of trial, suffering and persecution. However much secondary agents are active therein, God is the primary Worker in all his saints' experiences. V. 18 further shows that it is God who directed the lengths of Israel's stay at their various encampments: "As long as the cloud abode upon the tabernacle, they rested in their tents," i.e., remained encamped. Of course we are not to understand the expression, "they rested in their tents," to mean that no Israelite left his tent, or worked, or did other things than rest in his tent while encamped; for the Bible in passages cited above shows otherwise. But we are to understand the expression to mean that they remained encamped. Their remaining encamped as long as the pillar remained on the tabernacle types the fact that God's people remain under trials, sufferings and persecutions just as long as the Lord is pleased to have them remain so. Let us remain in our trials as long as it pleases the Lord to have us remain therein and not like impatient children seek by hook or crook to escape our trialsome experiences, otherwise we will fail to learn the intended lessons.
(35) Since we are tried, not on what we have not yet developed, but on what we have developed, we infer that our encampments follow our pertinent journeys, i.e., we are tried, made to suffer and are persecuted as to, and on our previous attainments. Therefore we infer that Israel's journeys before an encampment type our growth before our pertinent endurances. V. 19