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

CHAPTER II.

MOSES, AARON AND MIRIAM—TYPE

AND ANTITYPE.

Num. 12: 1-16.

 

PRIDE. CLAIMING EQUALITY WITH CHRIST AS MOUTHPIECE. DIVINE DISPLEASURE THEREAT. ANTITYPICAL DREAMS AND VISIONS. FIRST PRIVILEGE PECULIAR TO THE STAR-MEMBERS. SECOND. THIRD. ANTITYPICAL MIRIAM'S LEPROSY. ANTITYPICAL AARON'S REACTIONS THEREAT. CHRIST'S AND GOD'S PERTINENT COURSE. ANTITYPICAL MIRIAM'S WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES.

 

ANTITYPICALLY, the subject matter of the book of Numbers can be summed up as a history of the Word and People of God. Our last study in Numbers was on Num. 11, under the subject, The Gospel-Age No-Ransomism Sifting. There is a very close connection between the antitype of Num. 12: 1-16 and the antitype of the preceding parts of Numbers from 9: 15 to 11: 35; for Num. 9: 15-23 treats antitypically of the Truth as due on the Old Testament (fiery pillar) and on the New Testament (the cloudy pillar) and of whom these led; Num. 10: 1-10 treats antitypically of the Truth message of the high calling (one of the silver trumpets) and of the Truth message of reckoned and actual restitution (the other silver trumpet) and their announcers; vs. 11-28 treat antitypically of how these messages in various parts of their parts effected the progress of the twelve denominations of Christendom; vs. 29-32 treat of Fleshly Israel sought as a Gospel-Age helper of the Church for the Truth; vs. 33-36 show antitypically that the course of God's people was marked out by God's plan (the ark), the Truth as due (the cloudy pillar) and Christ (Moses); and Num. 11 treats antitypically of the three No-Ransomism siftings in themselves and in their relations to Christ (Moses), partly as acting through the Twelve, and to "the Secondarily Prophets" (the Seventy), as the teachers of

 

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the general Church. Num. 12 treats of Christ as He acts through the star members of the seven churches, particularly through the star members of the Laodicean Church, as His mouthpieces, in contrast with all other general teachers in the Church.

 

(2) Thus through this entire section the Lord's Word and People from a variety of standpoints are the subject. This general line of thought will also be seen to be the subject of Num. 13 and 14. Indeed, the parts of Numbers preceding Num. 9: 15 are more or less related to this general line of thought, as the Lord's people from various standpoints are there set forth in their relation to the Lord's Word. This can be seen from the antitypes of those chapters: Num. 1 and 2 treat antitypically of the twelve denominations of Christendom as gathered by the Word; Num. 3 and 4 treat antitypically of the priests briefly and of the Levites more detailedly, as ministering to the Word; Num. 5 treats antitypically of Gospel-Age sinners against the Word; Num. 6 treats antitypically of the Gospel-Age special priestly ministers of the Word; Num. 7 treats antitypically of the crown-lost princes ministering the Word; Num. 8 treats antitypically of the Levitical ministers of the Word in their cleansing, consecration and services; and Num. 9: 114 treats antitypically of the two sets of Passovers' celebrants produced by the Word. Thus we see that antitypically Num. 1-14 treats of the Word and People of God in various of their related aspects. In other words, viewed from the standpoint of the antitype, those chapters hold very logically together under one subject—the Word and the People of God. And as we continue our study of Numbers, as we have already seen this in part from our study of the antitypes of Num. 26, we will find that the antitypical subject matter of the entire book may be summed up as a history of the Truth (the Word of God) and the People of the Truth (God's People) in their mutual relations and in their

 

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relations to others. Thus there is a wonderfully logical connection in the antitypes of this book, which we are studying in such great detail. Surely when we have finished the study of it and its companion book, Deuteronomy, as symbolized by the two corner boards of the Most Holy on the side of the pillar typing our Lord as a New Creature and the Author of the book of Revelation, we will be in a splendid position to study the last-named book. With these words of introduction we are ready to begin our study of Num. 12. The Lord bless its study to all!

 

(3) The typical story of Num. 12 is easy to understand, but there is a depth of meaning in its antitype that requires more or less deep study, which will by the rich nuggets of symbolic gold and silver that it contains more than repay the efforts expended in its study. The three characters that this chapter brings especially to our attention were three of the four (Joshua being the fourth) most prominent persons noted among the Israelites mentioned so far in the history of the Exodus. Miriam (rebellion of the people, in allusion to her typing the Great Company as revolutionists against God's teaching and arrangements) was the most prominent of the Hebrew women of the Exodus, and next to Moses, Aaron (enlightened, in allusion to the Little Flock's having the Truth) was the most prominent Hebrew man of the Exodus. But in this chapter Miriam and Aaron, particularly Miriam, do not stand in a favorable light. They become guilty of two evils: of pride, resulting in murmuring, and of self-exaltation. Their pride of family and nation made them resent Moses' having a Cushite wife. Perhaps Zipporah's displacing Miriam as the first lady in Israel may have aroused the latter's envy, also. Moses (drawn out of the water, in allusion, first, to our Lord, and, second, to the Church, as selected from among the people, Deut. 18: 15, 18), at any rate, was faulted for having taken Zipporah as his wife, whose

 

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coming to Moses and Israel with her father, Jethro, and her two sons, occurred about a year before, at Sinai (Ex. 18: 2, 5, 6); and her remaining with him since then proved to be a sore trial, especially to Miriam, but also to Aaron. Zipporah (little bird) is called an Ethiopian, literally a Cushite. There were two kinds of Cushites: those who were negroes, and who lived in Africa a thousand miles south of the territory of the Midianites of Horeb, and those who were brownish-white, and who lived in Sinaitic Arabia (2 Chro. 21: 16). Seemingly, she belonged to the latter kind of Cushites. Her father, who is usually called Jethro (Ex. 4: 18; 18: 1-24), sometimes Reuel (Ex. 2: 18) and sometimes Raguel (Num. 10: 29), is called the priest of Midian (Ex. 2: 16-21; 3: 1; 18: 1), and is once called a Midianite (Num. 10: 29). In Judg. 1: 16 he is called the Kenite. (In Judg. 4: 11 the proper reading is chathan (brother-in-law), not chothen (father-in-law).) These passages may well be reconciled by understanding the former to refer to the nation among whom he lived as an official, and the latter to refer to the nation of his origin. The Kenites seem to have been Amalekites (1 Sam. 15: 6). They differed from the rest of the Amalekites in that they were friendly to Israel, when the latter came out of Egypt, i.e., in the wilderness. The Amalekites, as the first of the nations (Num. 24: 20), were evidently organized as such by Nimrod, the first ruler, who was a Cushite (Gen. 10: 8-10), which would seem to imply that they were Cushites, though this is not expressly stated anywhere in the Bible, but is fairly implied in the facts just stated and to be stated in the next sentence. Except in the case of the children of his brother, Raamah (v. 7), Nimrod seemingly founded a kingdom for each of the four sets of his nephews—by his other four brothers—(vs. 7, 10), among others Amalek being in one of these sets. This being true, we can see that, though the priest and (naturalized) citizen of

 

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Midian, Jethro was a brownish-white Cushite, one of those Cushites who dwelt near the Arabians, in the Sinaitic Peninsula, as the Amalekites did (Ex. 17: 8-16; Gen. 14: 7). But even as a brownish-white Cushite Zipporah was by Miriam and Aaron considered inferior to a Hebrew woman. Hence they murmured against Moses for having taken her as his wife (v. 1). Thus pride started them on the wrong way and resulted in their murmuring against their and Israel's Divinely appointed leader.

 

(4) While the antitype of Num. 12 may in a general way be properly applied to the Jewish Harvest and the interim between the two Harvests, its special application undoubtedly is to the Parousia and the Epiphany, as is evident from the sending of Miriam outside the camp, which is a statement synonymous with sending Azazel's Goat as a class into the wilderness, the special Epiphany work, though undoubtedly with individuals among the crown-losers in the former three periods there was a delivering to Azazel in the wilderness (1 Cor. 5: 5; 1 Tim. 1: 19, 20). Miriam, accordingly, as is indicated by the meaning of her name, by the facts of the fulfillment, and by her being sent outside the camp as partly synonymous with sending Azazel's Goat out into the wilderness, evidently in this story, represents certain ones of the Great Company, especially its abler and more prominent members, who have found much fault with some of the Lord's selections as members of the Bride, and who have actually stoutly aspired to equality with our Lord as mouthpieces of God. Aaron in this chapter represents certain Little Flock members, especially abler and more prominent ones, who found a little fault with some of the Lord's selections as members of the Bride and in a faint manner aspired to equality with our Lord as mouthpieces of God. Moses in this chapter types our Lord (v. 7; Heb. 3: 1-6) as the Church's Bridegroom and as God's special Mouthpiece and Executive. Zipporah

 

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in this chapter represents the Little Flock, especially in its less able and prominent members. This general typical setting of the four characters treated of in v. I will assist us to open up this verse rather easily. When the antitypical murmuring began antitypical Miriam was doubtless in the Little Flock; for their punishment for their wrong-doings was partly relegation to the Great Company. The antitypical Aaron of this chapter remained in the Little Flock. As pride of family, nation and position led Miriam and Aaron into the typical wrong mentioned in v. 1, so pride influenced not a few new creatures, whose real or fancied talents, stations, possessions, influence, etc., led them to think too much of themselves and to despise their Little Flock brethren whom they deemed inferior to themselves in talents, station, possessions, influence, etc., especially the more backward of these, typed by Zipporah, and as a result they set them more or less at naught.

 

(5) Not a few of us have heard members of antitypical Miriam and Aaron speak of such as follows: "I cannot see what the Lord saw in this one and that one that He should have invited them to be of the Bride. Their education, manners and appearance are so inferior that I am more or less ashamed to associate with them. They are certainly no ornament to the Truth." We have seen such more or less avoid their company, and if thrown into it, they have gotten out of it as soon as possible, feeling they should waste neither time nor words on such. They reserved their time, words, smiles and fellowship for the more gifted and to them more congenial brethren. Some of them may not by their language have spoken despairingly to or of such, but they certainly did by their acts and attitudes. What does such a course, whether by word, attitude or act, mean? It means despising some of the Lord's little ones; it means to reject some that the Lord has accepted as His own; it means to impugn God's choice of fitness

 

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for the Bride of Christ. It therefore means meddlesome busybodying, self-assertion and arrogance. Surely anyone whom Jehovah selects for Christ's Bride and anyone whom Christ accepts as a part of His Bride ought to be satisfactory to everyone else that God has chosen and Christ has accepted therefore. To act contrary to such an attitude certainly is entirely out of harmony with propriety. Yet pride often so acts.

 

(6) Thus in this matter both typical and antitypical Miriam and Aaron sinned. The former evidently went, in both the type and the antitype, much further wrong than the latter in type and antitype. But sin is not an unprogressive thing. It ever goes from bad to worse, as can be seen in the case before us. It began with sinning against Zipporah as Moses' wife and Moses as Zipporah's husband. This sin was more or less one limited to a family affair. But the pride of Miriam and Aaron developed to worse proportions. It advanced from busybodying in Moses' family affairs to claiming equality with him as God's mouthpiece (v. 2). Antitypically this would mean that antitypical Miriam and Aaron claimed equality with our Lord as mouthpieces of God, i.e., that certain more or less prominent new-creaturely members of Christ's Body claimed equality with our Lord as mouthpieces of God. How could such a thing be possible? Could any member of Christ's Body, yea, even one who was on the way of losing his crown, make such a claim verbally? Certainly none such would verbally utter so blasphemous and arrogant a claim. We doubt that even a Second Deather would verbally do so, unless he were among the worst possible of that class. How, then, are we to understand it? We think that the antitype has been and is being fulfilled by attitudes and acts, rather than by verbal claims.

 

(7) This answer, however, raises another question, How could any new creature by attitude and act do so? Here again we will have to answer qualifiedly—not directly, but indirectly, and of course not with full

 

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intention of claiming by act and attitude such equality with our Lord Himself personally. To claim so directly by attitude and act would mean to conduct oneself immediately toward our Lord, i.e., personally, as His equal as a mouthpiece for God. This neither antitypical Miriam nor Aaron have done. But they have done it indirectly, which, however, is none the less really doing so. What does this mean? They have arrogated equality with our Lord as mouthpieces of God as He has exercised His mouthpieceship throughout the Gospel Age in the star-members of the seven churches. We have given enough details on the star-members in our discussion of Num. 11 to make unnecessary here a lengthier discussion of that subject than to say that they have been Jesus' special mouthpieces throughout the Age, held in His hand (Rev. 1: 16, 20; 2: 1), and that whatever is thought, said or done to them while they act as such Jesus considers in an emphatic sense as thought, said or done to Him (Luke 10: 16). The reason is this: It is He, not really they, who speaks in them while they act as His mouthpieces. So really is He the Speaker in such cases that usually in the types of such transactions, not they, but He is represented as the Speaker, they being represented therein as His mouth.

 

(8) E.g., Moses' speaking to Dathan and Abiram (Num. 16: 12) types our Lord's speaking to the Papacy and the Federation of Churches in the Creed Smashing Sermons spoken through Bro. Russell as His mouth. Again, Moses' telling Korah and his company of 250 Levites to offer incense (vs. 5-7, 16, 17) types our Lord's telling, through Bro. Russell in the Tower and in certain sermons, the 19081911 sifters in and out of the Truth to present their views, if they thought that they had anything better than He was presenting, i.e., through Bro. Russell as His mouth. If this thought of the star-members being the mouth, hand and eye of Jesus in what He says, does and sees through them, is

 

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not kept in mind, they, and not our Lord, would seem to be the antitype of Moses in the above-mentioned and numerous other acts and speeches. Another example will help us to see this: Moses' in the mountain asking to see God's face and being refused on the ground that no man can see His face and live, types our Lord's asking and being refused on the ground that He could not see it and live. How, we ask, can this be true of our Lord personally, who does now in the time of the antitype see God's face and lives? We answer, It does not refer to Him directly and personally. It refers to Him as He has spoken by acts through His Parousia and Epiphany messengers. How so? These two brothers as Jesus' special eye and mouth in their study of God have sought to penetrate deeper into the knowledge of God Himself than was given them to go, which means to speculate on the subject, and were warned as Jesus' eye and mouth that they could not do so and live. See Ex. 19: 21-24 for a somewhat similar thought expressed as to other antitypes along somewhat different lines, wherein the same antitypical lines of thought studied by these two brothers would not be speculation (v. 24, Aaron).

 

(9) These remarks will enable us to see the antitype of Miriam and Aaron claiming to be Moses' equal in mouthpieceship for God. They type certain prominent new creatures, all of them being at this stage of the transaction still Little Flock members, teaching things contrary to and contradictory of the things that Jesus was giving through the star-members while these have acted as His eye, mouth and hand. Their attitudes in, and acts of so contradicting, and not their words, were assertions of equality with Him as a mouthpiece of God. Of course they did not realize that such contradictions were factual assertions of their equality with Jesus as God's mouthpieces. All they realized was that they were contradicting certain prominent servants of God. In most cases they did not realize that they were

 

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contradicting star-members. But when they were so doing they were actually contradicting Jesus, who was using such as His mouthpieces; and such contradiction by attitude and act, not, of course, by express word, is an assertion of equality in mouthpieceship for God with our Lord. Such contradictions occurred in the five siftings of the two Harvests and in the interim between them, and have been occurring perhaps most venomously of all times in the two sets of the five siftings, a set in the small and a set in the large miniature Gospel Age of the Epiphany. E.g., St. Paul underwent such contradiction from the Jewish Harvest's combinationist sifters (Acts 15: 1, 2) and from Hymenaeus, Alexander and Philetus (1 Tim. 1: 19, 20; 2 Tim. 2: 17, 18), etc.; and St. John experienced it at the hand of Diotrephes (3 John 9, 10). By contradicting such star-members (who only are included in the statement of Luke 10: 16 and of whom, therefore, is it true that hearing them is hearing our Lord and that despising them is despising our Lord) is not meant a meek presentation of our difficulties and doubts to them for the purpose of learning from them and a meek pointing out of things in their teachings that do not seem correct to the questioner, but a wilful, heady disputatious contention against their true teachings. A proper bringing to them of our doubts and difficulties belongs to the Divinely commanded duty of the entire Priesthood, to prove all things and to hold fast that which is good only (1 Thes. 5: 21). But such a course is entirely different in spirit, in purpose, manner and contents, from the bold, heady and self-opinionated contradiction typed more emphatically by Miriam's and more mildly by Aaron's course as given in v. 2. The statement (v. 2), "And the Lord heard it," does not mean merely that Miriam's and Aaron's words came to God's audition. It means in both type and antitype that God gave to their claims a disapproving attention and reckoning, that He was so displeased as to call them to account,

 

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(10) V. 3 is one with which higher critics have employed their supposed ingenuity, as a proof that Moses could not have written the Pentateuch. If their claim as to the alleged reprehensibility of the statement that Moses was the meekest man in all the earth, if written by himself, were true, at most he should be said not to have written that verse. They should not conclude from their claim that therefore he could not have written the Pentateuch. Their claim is that Moses could not have written these words of himself without sinning in pride thereby, that no man could be justified in making such a statement of himself; for self-praise, they say, is a sin. The basis of their proposition is that no one can without sin speak so complimentarily of himself. We deny the truth of their proposition. We assert that if good things are true of one, and it becomes necessary in justice and love to speak of one's good, and if one can do it without pride, it is no sin to speak complimentarily of oneself. Because it is true and for our good, God speaks of Himself in the Bible in superlative terms of complimentariness. He in the Bible calls Himself supreme in goodness, power, wisdom, justice, love and in every other good quality. He speaks of Himself as being in a class by Himself, above and better than all others. But He does this without the least pride or other evil, because it is true and is for our good to know. Again, under God Jesus refers to Himself in highest terms of complimentariness. He speaks of Himself as good, as the Way, the Truth, the Life, as the only avenue of approach to the Father. He inspired Paul to say of Him that His is the name above every other name and inspired other writers of the Bible to say most complimentary things of Him. Why was this not wrong in Him? Because these things were true, He said or caused them to be said in all humility and did it for our good. Again, in his epistles, especially in 2 Corinthians, St. Paul spoke complimentarily of his own person, character and office. He did it

 

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because it was true and necessary for the brethren, and he did it without the least pride. Our Pastor spoke of an office of his, which under, and next to our Lord's was the most responsible office ever held by a human being, the office of that Servant, and mentioned his qualities in having that office as wise and faithful. He did not speak of these things in pride, but because they were true and necessary for the Lord's people to know. Moses, without pride and because they were true and necessary for Israel to know, wrote the words of v. 3. Hence he could and did write these words of himself without pride. Hence they neither prove that he did not write the Pentateuch nor these words themselves.

 

(11) There was a deeper reason for these words being written, though Moses did not understand it. They were to type the fact that our Lord as the Antitype of Moses (Heb. 3: 1-6; please note that the typical allusion to Him as Moses' antitype is taken from the chapter under study— Num. 12: 7) is the meekest Being Godward in the entire universe. Meekness means submissiveness of mind and heart. In the mind it makes one teachable and in the heart leadable. God found Moses for His purposes the most teachable and leadable man on earth, and inspired him to state this fact of himself, because God desired thereby to type the fact that our blessed Lord Jesus is Godward the meekest—most teachable and leadable—Being in the universe. And has not our dear Lord always proven Himself to be so? Was not His prehuman course such? Did He not exemplify this fact while He was on earth, and that amid the most crucial trials? And has He not since His resurrection and glorification been proving it to be true? To all eternity He will demonstrate this to be true of Himself. Yea, He is worthy, not only of having the highest place under God in character from this standpoint, but also from the standpoint of every other good quality. He is altogether lovely in this and all other graces. Worthy is the Lamb!

 

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(12) Among other things, God's noting with disapproval the course of Miriam and Aaron is set forth in v. 2; and in v. 4 His beginning to act on the matter is set forth. His starting to act on the matter consisted of a command to all three of them to go forth to the tabernacle. The charge was given suddenly. The Lord did not allow such a wrong act to continue long, though He did permit it to go on long enough for the Israelites in general to learn of it; otherwise God, who commands that private sins be not made public, would have settled the matter privately and not publicly as He did, which is implied in its being adjusted before the tabernacle. So in the antitype, whenever God notes that Jesus speaking through the star-members has been contradicted with any degree of publicity, He sees to it that the matter is adjusted publicly. How is such contradiction made? Not privately, but publicly, at least before the Church and often before outsiders. Such contradiction becomes the talk of those who hear, as Miriam's and Aaron's talk was heard by others than Moses and Zipporah. Such talk always stirs up more or less excitement and usually has resulted in a sifting, first among Truth people, whence it frequently spreads to outsiders. God manipulates such events in such ways as to bring the three parties to the shaking in their activities before the whole Church at least, if not before outsiders. It is by such manipulating of the pertinent events that God gives the antitypical command to the three antitypical parties to go forth to the antitypical Tabernacle, i.e., to appear before the Church.

 

(13) This course of events we find to take place in connection with all the siftings that unfavorably affect Great Company leaders and some Little Flock leaders. It can be observed in our, the Epiphany day, to the best advantage. The Levite leaders in all cases of the Epiphany contradictions have acted like Miriam; for their contradicting the Epiphany messenger as he in mouthpieceship for our Lord gives the Epiphany

 

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message is a factual, not verbal, telling to our Lord that they are as much a mouthpiece of God as He is. If they continue this any length of time God, by the course of the pertinent events, forces them and our Lord in His mouthpiece to appear before the whole Church in discussion of the matters at hand; and when in a more or less mild manner antitypical Aaron joins in the contradiction they too are forced by God through the resultant circumstances to appear before the entire Church in this matter. Thus it comes to pass that all such actors are forced to appear on the matter before the entire Church. Please note how this has occurred in our controversies with the British managers, Society leaders, the P.B.I. leaders and with leaders of various other groups, like Adam Rutherford, Wm. Crawford, F. Lardent, M. Riemer, Menta Sturgeon, A. I. Ritchie, Carl Olson, R. H. Hirsh, G. K. Bolger, R. H. Bricker, C. Kasprzykowski, M. Kostyn, etc. Looking back to the Parousia times we find this same phenomenon, but in a less prominent form. We have instanced in Vols. VI and VII how this contradiction of our Pastor as the Parousia messenger was done by A.H. MacMillan, Clayton J. Woodworth, W.E. Van Amburgh, Jesse Hemery, J.F. Rutherford and by other members of antitypical Elisha, though for the most part God did not bring them before the antitypical Tabernacle until the Epiphany, but when He did so He did it very suddenly, e.g., note how suddenly the siftings at Bethel and in the Fort Pitt Committee were brought to the attention of the whole Church. It was like a clap of thunder out of a clear sky.

 

(14) We are to keep the features and workers of such siftings separate and distinct from the features and workers of Second Death siftings. The five Reaping siftings were mainly the latter, though somewhat connected with them and more in the background this feature of antitypical Miriam and Aaron also appeared. E.g., those who sided with antitypical Korah—the antitypical

 

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sons of Korah—in the 1908-1911 sifting. These were by antitypical Korah deceived into believing that the doctrine of the Church's share in the sin-offering implied that the merit of the Church made up for an alleged deficiency in Christ's merit to satisfy justice. Under this false impression, and in loyalty to the ransom merit, as provided by Jesus' sacrifice alone, they contradicted Jesus' teaching through that Servant, that the Church shares in the sin-offering. In this they antityped their part in antitypical Miriam's factual claim of equality with our Lord in mouthpieceship for God. There were also in that sifting some members of antitypical Aaron who more mildly and less perseveringly contradicted the Lord as He spoke in that Servant, especially on the New Covenant as operating only in and after the Millennium. E.g., Bro. John Edgar for awhile was somewhat shaken thereon, but soon recovered his equilibrium. Thus antitypical Miriam and Aaron hung about the fringes, so to speak, of the Second Death siftings of the Parousia, and, because overshadowed by the Second Death sifters, do not appear therein so distinctly as they do in the Epiphany siftings. Doubtless, too, in the Parousia and the Epiphany antitypical Miriam and Aaron appeared also in less general shakings, especially in such as were limited to one ecclesia or to several ecclesias. In the slight shaking of 1914 on the 1914 date A.H. MacMillan had a large, and the writer a small part, as we will show later. When local shakings occur, the local bodies would correspond to the tabernacle. But in general siftings of this kind the tabernacle types the entire Church. Nor are we to understand from the above that there are no Second Death siftings and sifters in the Epiphany. There are such, as typed by Abihu and his offering strange fire (see footnote in T 119, in editions from 1909 onward), by Aaron and his acting with Moses at the smiting of the rock and by Jambres and his casting down his rod before Pharaoh.

 

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(15) V. 5 tells us of the second, third and fourth steps that the Lord took in the matter of Miriam's and Aaron's assertion of equality with Moses in mouthpieceship for God. The first of these was His coming down in the cloudy pillar. We are not to understand that God did this personally; for He did not leave Alcyone in person and come to the desert of Israel's wandering. He doubtless did this as He did other acts in giving the various arrangements of the Law Covenant—through an agent, the Logos most likely (Acts 7: 38), though it could have been by another angel (Acts 7: 53; Gal. 3: 19). We say most likely it was the Logos because He was the angel who appeared to Moses in the bush, who delivered Israel from Egypt (Ex. 13: 20-22; 14: 19, 20; Acts 7: 30, 35), who gave the Law Covenant at Sinai (v. 38) and who was with Israel throughout the 40 years of the Exodus (vs. 36, 38). In the antitype, especially as it belongs to the Parousia and Epiphany, it has been undoubtedly our Lord who came down in the antitypical cloudy pillar; for, present in the Second Advent, it is His mission to come down in the antitypical cloudy pillar—the Truth. As we have seen, the cloudy pillar represents the New Testament Truth as due during the two reaping periods, and the fiery pillar represents the Old Testament Truth as due in the interim between them and in the Epiphany. When the antitypical pillar applies to the entire four periods, as in the case under study, it would ordinarily be typed by the cloudy pillar, as the more important of the two. Accordingly, the reference to the cloudy pillar in v. 5 should not be understood as excluding the Old Testament Truth as due, nor the Interim and the Epiphany. Just what is meant by God's coming down in the cloudy pillar? We understand it to mean God, by our Lord's bringing out the pertinent Truth as due, manifesting His presence and taking cognizance of the matter at hand, in this case of antitypical Miriam's and Aaron's aspiring to equality with our Lord as a mouthpiece

 

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for God. Always in such experiences before giving His judgments, but while proceeding to do so, the Lord makes pertinent Truth due. His so making the Truth due while proceeding to the pertinent judgment is the antitype of the cloudy pillar in v. 5.

 

(16) God's standing at the door of the tabernacle types God in Christ bringing the course of antitypical Miriam and Aaron to the attention of the Church in a public way as a matter that requires public treatment. He does this by bringing out in a public way the character of what they have been doing. He reveals this by bringing as many or as few circumstances and teachings as the case may require to the notice of the Church. Usually the Lord does this through the pertinent star-member's refuting before the Church the false teachings of antitypical Miriam and Aaron whereby they have contradicted Jesus as He speaks through His mouthpiece and thus by act presumed to be our Lord's equal as a mouthpiece for God. E.g., He has time and again been allowing one Levite after another, and that more markedly, and in some cases some Priests, and that less markedly, to teach that the invitations to the high calling are still being issued, and increasingly, as point after point thereon becomes due, He has been publicly giving the Truth with its proofs that such invitations ceased by Oct., 1914. This Truth as due in its various parts the Lord Jesus has been giving through the Epiphany messenger; and as the latter, as Jesus' eye, mouth and hand, set them forth, the Levites and some priests have contradicted the teaching, but have been quite unable to meet the proofs. And at each stage of their contradiction they are refuted (the Lord coming down in the cloudy pillar), and consequently the Lord brings their case before the whole Church (His standing in the door of the tabernacle). He calls antitypical Miriam and Aaron to stand forth as separate and distinct from the antitypical Moses as He speaks through His eye, hand

 

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and mouth, by manipulating the circumstances of the sifting in such a way as to bring them into prominence as such contradictors and to cause the friends to see that they are in a movement separate and distinct from our Lord as He speaks through the pertinent officiating star-member. Their coming into such a separate and distinct position is typed by Miriam and Aaron stepping forth, away from Moses (and they both came forth, v. 5).

 

(17) In vs. 6-8 God shows the difference that existed between the ordinary prophets and Moses. V. 6 shows the privileges and limitations of the ordinary prophets. Their privileges and limitations and the distinction between them and Moses God asks Miriam and Aaron to note carefully (Hear now My words, v. 6), since they are the Divine Truth on the subject. Antitypically, God in connection with the Truth as due on the pertinent subject gives the Scriptural proof for the Truth on the privileges and limitations of the antitypical prophets—the pilgrims, auxiliary pilgrims and some of the abler local elders—and the privileges of our Lord as He speaks through His special mouth, eye and hand. These God has exhorted antitypical Miriam and Aaron carefully to note (Hear now My words). He has done this by pertinent exhortations that have come to them through our Lord's speaking through the officiating star-members and by the Scripture proofs that He offers through them. The privileges of ordinary prophets in Israel as mouthpieces of the Lord are in v. 6 given as two: (1) the Lord would make Himself known to them in a vision and speak to them in a dream. This statement suggests that there is a distinction between a vision and a dream, both typical and antitypical. A vision is an external scene that was made to pass before a prophet's physical eyes while he was awake. The book of Revelation is the most noted example of a vision found in the Bible. All prophets saw them.

 

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(18) A prophetic dream was a mental operation that saw things with the mental eyes while the prophet slept. Joseph's dreams of his future greatness are examples of prophetic dreams. Antitypically there seems also to be a distinction between a dream and a vision. According to Joel 2: 28 the Ancient Worthies will be favored with dreams as their Millennial revelations; and the Youthful Worthies will be favored with visions as their Millennial revelations. We think that the distinction here brought out is the same as that brought out typically in the distinction between the parts of the tabernacle that the Kohathites bore, who, from the standpoint of the Millennial picture, type the Millennial Ancient Worthies, and the parts of the tabernacle that the Gershonites bore, who, from the standpoint of the Millennial picture, type the Millennial Youthful Worthies. The things borne by the Kohathites were all invisible to the people, while most of the things borne by the Gershonites were visible to the people. Moreover, the things borne by the Kohathites were more detailed and sacred than those borne by the Gershonites. Hence the thought of the deeper and less deep is implied in the contrasts thereby suggested for the two sets of antitypes. In general the distinction in the antitype may be given as this: the Ancient Worthies will by Divine inspiration give the deeper features of the Millennial truths, while the Youthful Worthies will by Divine inspiration give the less deep features of the Millennial truths. So we understand the expression, "Your old men shall dream dreams; and your young men shall see visions." The idea of deeper truths seems also to lie in the thought that to dream a dream is a mental operation, while the idea of less deep truths seems to lie in the thought that to see a vision is a physical operation.

 

(19) What we have just said on the difference between an antitypical vision and an antitypical dream does not tell us precisely what such antitypical visions

 

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and dreams are; for there are also deep and less deep truths in the Bible that are neither antitypical visions nor dreams; for as we look at the antitypical dreams and visions that the Lord has revealed to the antitypical prophets—the pilgrims, auxiliary pilgrims and the more prominent elders—we find in every case that they are things stated either in symbolic language or in dark sayings. Hence the visions and dreams that the Lord has during the Gospel Age been making known to the general teachers and certain local elders of the Church who have not been star-members have in every case been Biblical things expressed in symbolic language or in dark sayings. Such things are types, figures, parables, hidden prophecies, tableaus, representations and enigmatical sayings. The Bible abounds in such things, which is one reason why it is so ambiguous a book. In this verse (v. 6) God promises that He would favor the Gospel-Age general elders who are not star-members and certain local elders with an understanding of some, not all, visions and dreams, the less deep of types, figures, parables, hidden prophecies, tableaus, representations and enigmatical sayings being the visions, and the deeper of them being the dreams. This promise of v. 6 our Lord also tells us He will fulfill in every scribe instructed unto the kingdom, when He says that He will make known to him "things new" (Matt. 13: 52). Accordingly, the Lord has promised each one of the general elders, including the non-star-members, and the more prominent local elders, that they would see something in the way of an antitypical vision or dream before any others of His people would see it—"things new." This promise has had its fulfillment all through the Gospel Age, particularly during the Jewish Harvest, and most particularly during the Gospel Harvest. The columns of The Tower in the Parousia show many cases wherein God fulfilled this promise.

 

(20) Nor are we to understand from the fact that