LECTURE 8

 

From Eden to Eden

Along The King’s Highway.

A Popular “Broad Way” Contrasted with A Forgotten “Narrow Way.”

 

 

FROM Eden to Eden is a journey of six thousand years, during which period countless millions have entered, trod, and passed out of this vale of tears. Our first parents enjoyed the felicity of Eden, as and when, they were fresh from the Great Creator’s hands. But the glories and blessings- granted when every thing was “very good”- were withdrawn when “sin entered the world,” and consequently were withheld from the children of men; these were “the Adamic family” which, as we have seen, came into existence after Adam and Eve were driven from the garden.

Behold, then, a world developed outside the fair estate of Eden! Its character­istics, associations and relationship can only be such as would be the outcome, and development, of the darkened mind which caused its progenitors to “hide themselves from the presence of the Lord God” because they were “afraid.” From the all-seeing and penetrating eye of “the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth,” however, they could not hide.

 

“Whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” (Psa. 139: 7-12).

 

Cast out from the presence and favor of God, it can truly be said of the whole Adamic family, that “darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people;” and unless “the Lord shall arise upon thee,” never again “shall history be seen upon thee.”

What has happened to the countless millions who, in the barque of humanity, have sailed down the dark river of time? From the “broad way” comes an answer in the voice of the sons of men, who possess a way which seemeth right unto them­selves, and who, in part, would have us believe that universal salvation is the solu­tion; others claim a second, or fair, chance for the multitudes who in their day and generation have missed the mark, and who otherwise would have died without hope. Yet many there be with whom God is not in their thoughts; and these know­ing not God have no understanding of His ways, and therefore either accept oblivion as the inevitable, or- the wish being father to the thought-speculate upon some way of escape as being their due; still they know not how. But Christendom cries “All men are immortal- they live on for weal or woe!”

Is it true that “one generation passeth away, and another generation cometh;” and yet “the earth abideth for ever”? (Eccles. 1: 4). When the generations “pass away,” do they continue to be? Do we not rather “spend our years as a tale that is told”? These being, according to the Psalmist, “passed away in thy wrath,” we are therefore “consumed by thine anger.” The result:

 

“Thou turnest man to destruction.” (Psa. 90). “Thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.” (Psa. 104: 29).

“As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.” (Psa. 103: 15, 16).

From the King’s Highway a clarion call is heard; “Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider; God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.” (Eccles. 7: 13 14).

 

Sinners against the Edenic Law, by their own action, were adjudged unworthy of being the recipients of the divine favors so lavishly, hitherto, bestowed upon them. Fellowship with God was impaired by sin; the sinners must be made to realize all that was involved in, and by, their transgression. “Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden.” Man must henceforth “till the ground.” “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life.” (Gen. 3: 23, 24).

 

THE CHERUBIM

 

DR. JOHN THOMAS has some interesting observations upon the CHERUBIM, from which a few quotations are submitted. “The cherubim and sword were to guard the Way of the Tree, so that it could not be approached. If they disposed to make a Circuit to avoid the Cherubim, the flaming sword, or devouring flame, flashed on every side; ‘it turned every way to keep it’ from, being invaded by their presumption.”

“But little is said about the Cherubim in the Mosaic narrative. The word is a plural noun, and represents therefore more objects than one. But, in what did this plurality consist? I should say, judging from a text in the next chapter, that it had special regard to a plurality of faces; for when the Lord God sentenced Cain to a fugitive and vagabond life, the fratricide answered, ‘behold, then, from THY FACES (plural in the Hebrew) shall I be hid.’ That is, ‘I shall no more be permitted to come before the Cherubic faces, which thou hast placed at the east of the garden, to present an offering for my sin.’ As he truly observed, ‘mine iniquity is greater than that it may he forgiven.’ He was exiled from the faces of God still further to the east as a murderer doomed to eternal death as the end of his career. That the faces were connected with the Cherubim seems unquestionable from other passages of scripture where cherubims are described. The Lord spoke of them to Moses in the mount . . . It is probable that the reason why Moses gave no description of them in Genesis was because he intended to speak more particularly when he came to record their introduction into the most holy place of the tabernacle . . .But, though Moses informs us of two cherubim with a plurality of faces and wings each, he does not tell us what kind of faces, or how many wings they had. This deficiency, however, seems to be supplied by Ezekiel. . . . It will be seen, from this view of things, how important a place the Cherubim occupied in the worship of God connected with ‘the representation of the truth.’ They were not objects of adoration; but symbols representing to the mind of an intelligent believer, the Seed of the woman as God manifested in the likeness of sinful flesh. This I take it was the significancy of the Cherubim which the Lord God placed at the east of the garden; and which became the germ, as it were, of the shadowy observances of the patriarchal and Mosaic institution’s; whose substance was of Christ.” -Elpis Israel, pp.131-6.

In his exposition of The Apocalypse in Zechariah, Dr. Thomas wrote “These four chariots are the cherubim of glory, which constitute the Chariot of Jehovah. In speaking of the four-faced figures with wings outstretched over the Mercy Seat of the Ark in the Most Holy place, David styles them in I Chron. 28: 18, ‘the Chariot of the Cherubim.’ The Spirit of Jehovah rested in the form of a cloud between and upon their wings, from the dedication of Solomon’s temple until the Glory took its departure in the days of Ezekiel, and shortly before its destruction by the Chaldeans. Alluding to this cherubic incumbency of the Spirit, David says in Psa. 80: 1, ‘O Shepherd of Israel inhabiting the Cherubim, shine forth. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh arouse thy might, and come for salvation to us. O Mighty Ones (Elohim), turn us, and cause to shine thy Faces, and we shall be saved.’ The Cherubim were the typical throne of Jehovah in Jerusalem, before which the High Priest presented himself on the occasion of the annual Covering of the sins of the nation. In the first and tenth chapters of his prophecy, Ezekiel shows what they typify or represent. Let the reader peruse these chapters in connection with Apoc. 4 and 5; and he will find that the cherubim are representative of the Spirit corporealized and manifested in the Saints, the Elohim of Israel- the One Eternal Spirit in multitudinous manifestation.”

“Zechariah’s Four Chariots are identical with these. They represent the resur­rected Saints in the execution of the judgment written (Psa. 149). There are ‘four’ of them, because there were four faces to the typical golden cherubims of the Ark of the Covenant in the temple; and ‘four living creatures’ in Ezekiel’s vision; and ‘four living creatures’ in the Apocalypse; and the reason why there are four, and not three or five, is because in the military organization of Israel the twelve tribes were set off into four camps.” –Eureka, Vol. 1.

“These four living ones and their four wheels are ‘THE CHARIOT OF THE CHERUBIM.’ They are the chariot in which the Deity rides forth to battle against the enemies of the house of David, and upon which he sits enthroned over Israel. This appears from 2 Sam. 22:11, and Psa. 80:1. In the former place, Yahweh is said to ride upon a cherub; and in the latter, to inhabit the cherubim.  The etymology of the word is regarded as obscure. . . This derivation is suggested by the text where Kheruvim, or cherubim, first occurs in the scriptures; as, ‘Yahweh Elohim placed at the east of the garden of Eden the cherubim and the flaming, sword which turned itself to guard the way of the tree of the lives’ . . . as, ‘the cherubim, even the flaming sword’- the flame containing the cherubic power, as Ezekiel’s ‘whirlwind, great clouds, and fire,’ did the four living ones he saw. But be the etymology what it may, it is certain that they are symbols of a waisting and destroying power. -Eureka, Vol. 2.

“The things represented by the lion, ox, and eagle faces were visibly mani­fested in the sword of flame. This was light, spirit, and fire, flaming around the cherubim as the glory of God. It turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life. This is all Moses says about it; and were it not for other testimonies, we should be at a loss to understand its allegorical signification. The cherubim set up in the tabernacle and first temple, were enveloped in a cloud of thick darkness. At night the cloud appeared like a blaze of fire, but in the day, it towered aloft as a pillar of cloud. Darkness and fire were frequent accompaniments of the divine presence; indeed, always so upon great occasions. The presence of the Lord upon Mount Sinai was a magnificent and terrible example; and when Jesus expired in blood, Judea was veiled in darkness, and God looked upon it. But the flaming sword in Eden is more strikingly illustrated as to its probable appearance by Ezekiel’s description of the cherubic glory. He says, he beheld ‘a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the brightness thereof as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire; whence issued forth the likeness of four living creatures, or cherubim. It was customary with the Lord to answer men by fire when a great principle, or new institution was to be estab­lished. Thus, the covenant with Abraham was confirmed by fire; there also came out a fire from before the Lord, and consumed the offering on Aaron’s induction as high priest . . . from these examples, I think it is a fair inference, that the flaming sword in Eden was applied to a similar purpose, namely, to, flash forth its fire for the consumption of the sacrifices offered by the family of Adam before the Lord.” -Elpis Israel, p. 137-8.

 

 

“FAIR INFERENCE"

 

THE significance of the symbolic, or representative, “Cherubim” presented in the prophecies, as given in the exposition of Dr. Thomas, may be taken as a guide to the understanding of the divine purpose, hidden in the simple statement of Gen. 3: 24, “Cherubim, and a flaming sword.” Yet, whilst the symbolic cheru­bim had “wings,” and “wheels,” we do not therefore concede that, of necessity, these were also to be found on the literal cherubim “placed at the east of the garden.” If the cherubim were of the elohim they would have within themselves, by the Spirit of the Almighty, the powers depicted in, and by, the symbolic representations. It is, as Dr. Thomas says, “a fair inference.” We are not informed how long the cherubim remained “at the east of the garden.” But if their purpose was to act as mediator “between God and man” they would, at least, continue until a new ordinance was established.

Perhaps the casual reader of the Bible record would conclude that the cheru­bim with the sword was so placed to prevent Adam and Eve returning to the tree of life, as seems to be suggested by the language of verse 22. But, in view of what has been advanced, much more was involved. Adam and Eve were “sent forth from the garden” lest they should do what is stated in verse 22. If it were simply “lest they should eat of the tree of life,” and it was feared that the transgressor- even after being “driven out”- would seek to return to the garden, the situation could have been met by removing the tree. But such action would have imparted no lesson to the transgressors, other than “thou shalt not eat of it.” We do well to ponder (and seek for its hidden meaning) the statement “to keep the way of the tree of life.” In the last message of the Bible we read: “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, the tree of life, which bare twelve fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leave’s of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (Rev. 22: 1, 2).

BY COMPARING SCRIPTURE WITH SCRIPTURE we may conclude that “the tree of life” became a symbol, representative of “a promise of life” which God- in mercy and goodness- saw fit to open up for those who would come in to the world, which unfortunately had now become subject to the reign of sin. But “sin hath reigned unto death”; hence, transgressors had no right in themselves to approach the tree of life. And yet, the tree was there! Doubtless its significance was made known, and “THE WAY of the tree of life” would be unfolded for the benefit of the Adamic family. Otherwise, how could Adam and Eve, with their children, comply with Heaven’s mandate? The sinners, we are told, “sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” (Gen. 3: 7). 

Such a covering was not acceptable to God, for in place thereof we are informed, “the Lord God did make coats of skins, and clothed them.” (Verse 21). Without the reason being given for the new covering the change would have been ineffective upon the minds of Adam and Eve. A detailed explanation being given to them at the time of the change would open their understanding to the new Way. They would know the Cherubim were there, and for what purpose the flame of fire “turned every way, to keep- or guard- the Way.”

A TRUTH WAS THERE, and then, definitely set forth for all to learn that “there is a way which seemeth right to the sons of men; the end thereof is the way of death.” A further fact was emphasized- one which is as true and as stringent today- that none can draw nigh to God without first complying with the conditions laid down by God Himself, and which way is jealously guarded by the Almighty to the extent depicted in the “flaming sword.” Four thousand years later, Jesus taught: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14: 6). “I am the door”; said the Savior, “by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved. He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” (John 10: 9, 1).

This detailed information of New Testament doctrine was not given “in the beginning”; nevertheless, sufficient to meet the needs of time and circum­stances would, of necessity, be made known. This is demonstrated in the brief record concerning Cain and Abel.  “In process of time” we are told that both Cain and Abel brought “an offering unto the Lord.” To whom would they present their offerings? It seems to be “a fair inference” that the offerings would be taken to the Elohim, who, as the Cherubim, were appointed to “keep the way.” That the Lord “had respect to one offering,” but to the other “had not respect,” shows that there was a principle involved, which was recognized by Abel, but disregarded by Cain. “The Lord said unto Cain,” shows clearly that instructions had been given which must be obeyed if man would have access to “the Way.”

Without such compliance access to God was not, and is not, permitted. From this it is seen that the Way of Salvation was introduced “in the beginning,” im­mediately after “sin entered the world, and death by sin”; and further, that the law of sacrifice-essential to salvation- being then inaugurated was typical of the One Great Sacrifice, which would “take away the sin of the world.” In this way Jesus was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13: 8). This is a fundamental truth, which belongs to the King’s Highway. If any aver that such a view is “narrow,” let it be remembered it is “the narrow way” which leads to life, even though there be few who find it. When thoughts and theories are met contrary to this truth (and there are many) they are the offspring of “the broad way”; to follow in their path can only lead to destruction.

 

IS THERE NO DEATH?

 

FROM the depths of “the broad way” a voice is heard, crying;

“There is no death!” “All men are immortal, and cannot die.” “Man has a soul. The body dies, The soul never dies.” “The soul is immortal. This is a foundation truth, upon the removal of which religion falls to the ground.” Men and women through the ages have accepted the theory of the immortality of the soul as if it were gospel truth. They have not known that, in reality, it is but a continuance of the first lie, which we have on record. That lie came from the serpent- not from God. The woman said, “God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. Today it is said, “There is no death.” To the woman, the serpent said, “Ye shall not surely die.”

 

“The idea of the immortality of the soul has no source in the gospel; it comes, on the contrary, from the Platonists, and it is just when the coming (of Christ) was denied or lost sight of that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul came in to replace that of the resurrection.” -John Nelson Derby, Lectures Vol. 4.

“The Egyptians were also the first that asserted the doctrine that the soul of man is immortal, that when the body perishes it enters into some other animal, constantly springing into existence . . . This opinion some among the Greeks have at different periods of time adopted as their own.” -Herodotus

“The Egyptians were the first who taught the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, a fact mentioned by all Greek writers from Herodotus to Aristotle, and one brilliantly confirmed by the monuments”-Bunsen, Egypt's Place in Universal History.

“When arguments are offered for the immortality of the soul, they are rarely derived from Scripture. The indication there afforded, when properly coordinated one with another, bear no marks of the idea of natural immortality, either as directly revealed or as prevalent among mankind at large”

W.E. Gladstone.

“The tomb is not the terminus, but the starting-point.”- T. De Witt Talmage.

 

Well might a poet write; “Tell me, my soul, can this be death?”

Arising from this serpent-lie dogma other voices are also heard; these, likewise, are not founded upon Bible Truth. If the soul does not die, what becomes of it when the body dies? Some place must be found for it- therefore (discarding the Scriptures which definitely teach the resurrection and judgment of those who are associated with the divine Plan of Salvation) these theorists have the souls pass out, in the event men call death, and wing their flight to realms of bliss beyond the skies or, otherwise, sink to the depths of degradation in the tortures of hell, ordained for the damned! But that is not all! for, the voice cries yet again, “If there is a God, there must be a devil.” And what a devil a false theology has invented and proclaimed. This devil roams “the broad way” in every age, land and clinic. His work- and continual purpose- is to deceive, entice, allure, and destroy. His field of operation is every where- no color, race or creed can stay his hand. Judging by his success, numerically speaking- for wickedness is more rampant in the earth than right­eousness- this devil is stronger than God. Whence did he come, or who made him? According to “the broad way” this devil is not alone. “He is the prince of the devils, who perhaps was the first and leader of that grand rebellion against God. He con­veyed himself into the serpent when he tempted Eve.” -Cruden.

For such a devil a home is necessary. He has therefore been clothed with as­bestos, and given control of the subterranean regions, which have been wrongly styled “hell.” Many pictures have been painted of those “sulphurous caverns,” but listen to this for a sample; “Listen to the tremendous, the horrible uproar of mil­lions and millions of tormented creatures, mad with fury of hell. Oh, the screams of fear, the groanings of horror, the yells of rage, the cries of pain, the shouts of agony, the shrieks of despair, from millions on millions. There you hear them roar­ing like lions, hissing like serpents, howling like dogs, and wailing like dragons. There you hear the gnashing of teeth, and the fearful blasphemies of the devils. They cry forever and ever. They cry because the sulphurous smoke torments their eyes. A sixteen year old girl, with feet which are bare, stands upon the red-hot burning floor. She asks, Let me go off this burning floor for one moment. The devil answers, Not for one single moment during the never ending eternity of years shall you ever leave this red-hot floor.”- ‘Rev.’ J. Furness.

The unrepentant “are cast into hell, where they are compelled. by punishments, not to sin; but punishments do not take away the will, the intention, and con­sequent thought of evil; they only take away the act.” -Swedenborg.

And then to enlarge “the glory of the blessed” we are asked to believe that all these horrors are witnessed by those who are saved! The following quotations from different writers demonstrate this fallacy. “The elect will come forth to behold the torments of the ungodly, and at this spectacle they will not be smitten with sorrow; on the contrary, while they see the unspeakable suffering of the ungodly, they, intoxicated with joy, will thank God for their own salvation.” “The smoke of their torment shall ascend up in the sight of the blessed for ever and ever.” “Should this eternal punishment cease, and this fire be extinguished, it would in a great measure obscure the light of heaven and put an end to a great part of the happiness and glory of the blessed.” “The happiness of the redeemed in heaven will be enhanced, by beholding the agonies of the damned in hell, throughout endless ages.” -From The Bible Vindicated.

 

 

“PUT AWAY SIN” – “DESTROY THE DEVIL”

 

IN seeking for The King’s Highway, amidst the clamor of the broad way, it is well to examine the claims of popular theories in the light of definite state­ments given in the Book of God. Whilst these outrageous doctrines have held sway, for many generations, with professing Christians- and with many, fear of the devil has been more evident than the fear of God- it is a fact that the term devil does not appear in the Old Testament; four times only do we find the plural, devils; and in those cases idol worship is clearly seen. “They served their idols: which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils” (Psa 106: 36, 37). God is both “just” and “merciful.” When God punished Adam and Eve for their sin no mention was made of the devil being the cause of all the trouble. The sinners were not warned of the danger of further temptation, by such a devil, and of their ending in the flames of hell if they failed to escape from the snare of the prince of the devils, with the mighty host under his command. The few passages of scripture advanced by “the broad way,” in support of this erroneous conception, upon examination fail to teach the theory, or to agree with its claim.

He who would find the Way of God is not asked to do so blindly. He is invited by God “to reason together”; by so doing, after he has found the way, he will be able to comply with the injunction, required of those who would be saved, “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” (I Pet. 3: 15).

In our march from EDEN TO EDEN we, at times, obtain a glimpse of the One who was promised from the beginning, by whom the devastating effects of “the Sin of the world” was to be removed; and who was to “restore” that which he did not take away.” (Psa. 69: 4). The Spirit of Christ is to be found in the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets; yet not always with the same outstanding clarity. We cannot contemplate Eden lost without thinking of Eden restored. Evil came, not by the machination of a fallen angel who became known as the devil, but, by the revealed fact that “sin entered and death by sin,” and since that event evil has continued because “sin hath reigned.”

So in The King’s Highway we look for the means by which the evil will be eradicated, and when we read, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (John 3: 8), we must follow in His steps to find the devil whose works He was destined to destroy. By finding “the works" which are to be destroyed, we shall surely find the devil, or the cause of the works. John further testifies; “Ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins.” (verse 5); to which is added, “He that committeth sin is of the devil.” Sin and the devil are therefore closely associated. WHEN JESUS HAS AL-TOGETHER TAKEN AWAY SIN, will the devil still continue to exist?

We read again of Jesus; “Now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Heb. 9: 26). The work of Jesus, in His sacrificial death, was “to take away sin.” In doing so would He also destroy the devil? Not the devil of the broad way- for such is a fallacy, and not to be found in the Bible. The Bible devil we are now considering is the diabolos- “that which causes to cross the line, as from right to wrong”; and as such may be applied to a person or principle. Now read again concerning Jesus: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” (Heb. 2: 14). Whatever has “the power of death” is the devil. And Paul says, “The wages of sin is death.” (Rom. 6: 23). To affirm that, “Jesus died to destroy the devil” must be synonymous with, “For in that he died, he died unto sin once. (Rom. 6: 10). What is the cause of death? Paul answers, “The sting of death is sin.” (1 Cor. 15: 56).

Sin will be taken away, according to God’s Plan, by reason of the death of Christ. The destruction of such a devil, and the spoilation of all its works, arising from “the death of the cross” is understandable; but it is beyond comprehension that by dying on the cross Jesus could destroy the fire-proof, immortal devil of the broad way!

We look back to the garden from which our first parents were cast out. We, too, are on the outside. In the garden there was fellowship with God- outside we are “without God in the world.” In the garden, before sin entered, there was no need of a savior, and therefore no plan of salvation. In the development of the Adamic family- born after sin, and consequently under the reign of sin and death, or “death passed upon all men”- that which has the power of death early mani­fested itself. TWO WAYS- the way of sin and the way of God- were manifest and demonstrated in the two sons of Adam. That “sin reigned” was evidenced in the character of Cain, and amply proved by his acts. “Sons of God” and “daughters of men” in the days of Noah show the divergence developed in the children of Adam, as “men multiplied on the face of the earth.” The absolute degeneration of the race cannot be denied in face of the Apostolic testimony; “When once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” (1 Pet. 3: 20).

The flood being past, we are told that, “God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them; Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” Further we read, “Of them was the whole earth overspread.” But it was not long ere “sin” again de­monstrated that it “reigned” among the sons of men. Babylon, founded in the land of Shinar, became a representative term denoting the confusion of tongues, and the misunderstanding of the speech of the Almighty; “The Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.” (Gen. 11: 9).

 

 

“IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD”

 

With sin reigning, and Babylon abroad, wherein could be found an indication of THE KING’S HIGHWAY, and an escape from the vanity of the extending broad way? “in the beginning was the Word. In it was life; and the life was the light of men.” But where, amidst the enlarging and enfolding darkness, could men find the light? And yet, though “the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not,” The Plan of the Ages required that witness to the true Light should be made, and that some would receive it. Here it is permissible to quote and apply, the language of Paul and Barnabas; “God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: left not himself without witness.” And the witness, which God has given is the guiding star for all who would attain to the g1ories of the coming age;

 

When sin and death no more shall reign

And Eden bloom on earth again.

 

What, then, is the witness? Where shall it be found? Let the Apostle answer; “Whereby are given unto as exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Pet. 1: 4).

 

 

“RESTING ON THE PROMISES"

 

. . . is the safe and sane way of seeking “the gift of God,” which is “the pearl of great price.” They who are persuaded of these things are exhorted to “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith; hold fast the profession of faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised)” (Heb. 10: 22). “Being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” (Rom. 4: 21).

THE PROMISES OF GOD are the foundation of THE GOSPEL OF SALVA­TION, which is also “the glorious gospe1 of the blessed God.” (1 Tim.1: 11); and “the gospel of the Kingdom.” (Matt. 4: 23; 9: 35). “The gospel of the kingdom of God.” (Mark. 1: 14). These “good news” and “promises” are definitely stated by Paul to be “the hope of the promises made of God unto our fathers.” (Acts 26: 6). The identity of the “fathers” is not left for speculation, but is clearly stated, and made known. Paul speaks of his “kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came.” (Rom. 9: 3-5).

THE PLAN OF SALVATION, however, was in operation before the “Israelites” were developed as a people and nation. Promises were made before the period of Israel, and therefore the promises made unto the fathers of Israel must be seen in the light of earlier promises. This must be, “For all the promises of God in him (Jesus Christ) are yea, and in him Amen.” (2 Cor. 1: 20). “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1: 27), is but another way of expressing this same “gospel.” Follow, then, the promises as a golden thread, in the divine record, from the “fall of man” when Eden was lost, to the restoration and regeneration of such “sons of men” who, by reason of the promises, become “sons of God;” first, by faith and then by manifestation in Eden restored.

Unto the serpent God said, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Gen. 3: 15). This is the first promise of the Savior. That Jesus might save His people from their sins, and take away the Sin of the World, He must needs be “the seed of the woman.” This fact was never lost sight of in subsequent revelation, but was emphasized and elaborated. As Jesus Himself testified, “Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.” (Luke 24: 46).

There was a promise made after Noah and his family came out of the ark: and this, too, has to do with the gospel of salvation. God said, “I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.” “While the earth remaineth seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Gen. 9: 11; 8: 22). That these promises are con­nected with the gospel is obvious, for the earth must abide even though a voice was heard from “the broad way,” saying the earth was to be destroyed, literally “burnt up.”

 

But God has spoken; “As truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.” (Num. 14: 21).

“For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.” (Psa. 119: 9)

“Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.” (Prov. 11: 31).

 

IN A PROPHECY CONCERNING CHRIST, and the glories of His king­dom, we have this promise; “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isa. 11: 9). “Blessed are the meek,” said Jesus “for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matt. 5: 5). At the birth of Jesus, the angel proclaimed “good tidings of great joy,” and foretold the characteristics of His reign, when His kingdom shall be established: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” To those who will receive from their Savior “the gift of God,” the promise is given, “Thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5: 10).

 

 

“FATHER OF THE FAITHFUL”

 

ABRAHAM, “THE FRIEND OF GOD” (Jas. 2: 23), was so named because he “believed God.” He “believed” what God had promised. And the promise to the patriarch was concerning the land. That which was promised became known as The Land of Promise. The call came from the Lord, “Get out of thy country.” But in leaving one country Abraham must go to another- therefore it was “unto a land that I will shew thee.” (Gen. 12: 1). Abram obeyed God, and commenced his walk in THE KING’S HIGHWAY. There was much he did not understand, yet he believed in God, “and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Rom. 4: 3), See also Gen 15: 6. Directed by the Lord, Abram viewed the land- north, south, east and west- and then walked “through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it,” in full assurance that the Word of God would be fulfilled; “I will give it unto thee.” Even though Abram was informed that he should “go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age,” his faith did not waver. “By faith he sojourned in the land of promise,” looking forward “for a city which hath founda­tions, whose builder and maker is God.” He had also been promised “a seed,” and he realized that the fulfillment of the promise concerning the land was dependent upon “the seed to whom the promise was made.”

When contending with the Jews, Jesus said, “If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.” They claimed “Abraham is our father,” but Jesus saw beyond mere natural descent. There was, and is, a difference between a “Jew outwardly,” and a “Jew inwardly.” Therefore, ignoring the flesh-connection, Jesus dealt with the characteristics of those people, and said, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do . . . And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.” Not understanding the doc­trine of Jesus, the Jews said unto him, “Now we know that thou hast a devil.” And they challenged the claims of Jesus, saying, “Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?” This led Jesus to declare, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” (John 8).

Abraham by faith looked forward to the manifestation of his “seed,” and Jesus proclaimed Himself to be that “seed” through whom the promises will be fulfilled in His Day- the Day of His Coming, to reign for God, and to dwell with men. The land of promise was covenanted to Abraham “for an everlasting pos­session.” (Gen. 17: 8). Nevertheless, although he lived in the land, it is definitely stated that God “gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on.An everlasting possession involves everlasting life. Obviously, then, the promises to Abraham cannot be fulfilled apart from a resurrection from the dead, and the bestowal of immortality; these, therefore, were embraced in the promises, which are said to be “the gospel preached unto Abraham;” by reason of which the patriarch could look forward to the day of Christ, and rejoice in it. Paul demonstrated the association of the Abrahamic covenant and the gospel of salvation, when he wrote; “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” The Apostle names “the seed”- not as of many, but as of one, “To thy seed, WHICH IS CHRIST.” (Gal. 3).

 

 

“THEY DIED IN FAITH”

 

“HEIRS with him of the same promise.” (Heb. 11: 9), the good things, spoken of the Lord to Abraham, were extended to Isaac and Jacob. Of them we read, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises (i.e. the fulfillment of them), but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and con­fessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” (verse 13). The Psalmist sings “of all his wondrous works,” and calls upon “the seed of Abraham his ser­vant” to “seek the Lord,” and to “Remember his marvellous works”-for, “He is the Lord our God: his judgments are in all the earth. He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; and confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance.” (Psa. 105).

 

 

“WHAT IS HIS NAME?”

 

AS foretold, the natural seed of Abraham went down into Egypt, suffered in the house of bondage, cried unto God, who heard their groaning; and God re­membered Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It was, indeed, an important stepping-stone on THE KING’S HIGHWAY. It was commemorated by the introduction of a new name, by which God would henceforth be known among His people. Moses intimated that the children of Israel- now slaves in Egypt- would not readily recognize the meaning of “The God of your fathers,” but would doubtless ask, “What is his name?”

The children of Israel were about to be liberated from Egypt, and in answer to “What is His name?” it pleased the Lord to give to them A NAME, which would convey hope and confidence- for these were surely needed. In the Authorized Version we read: “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” (Exod. 3: 14). In the R.V. margin, we have an alternative rendering: “I will be that I will be.” Dr. Young’s translation is: “I am that which I am.” This is not as satisfactory as the R.V. margin. But Dr. Young gives the next verse as follows: “Thus dost thou say unto the sons of Israel. Jehovah, God of your fathers, God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is My name-to the age, and this My memorial, to generation- generation.”

The following quotation from Dr. Thomas is helpful: "Ehyeh asher Ehyeh, said he, on that occasion, I will be who I will be; EHYEH I will be; and in the third person, Yah, or Yahweh, He shall be. ‘Thou shalt say to the children of Israel, YAHWEH Elohim of your fathers, etc., hath sent me to you: this is my Name for the Olahm, and this my Memorial for a generation of the race.” -Eureka, Vol.3.

 

NAME OF SALVATION

 

THE NAME then given was designed to encourage the children of Israel, and to help them to look forward to a time of blessedness and prosperity. What would happen if the people disregarded the favor of heaven, and in their waywardness “forgot the God of their salvation, and were not mindful of the rock of their strength?”  This did not mean that God would forget His peo­pIe!  “Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy one of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me.” (Isa. 48: 17, 19).

AS THE “MEMORIAL NAME” was for “the generation of a race,” its future significance is readily seen. Later, Isaiah wrote of the Messiah, “When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” (Isa. 53: 10). “He shall see his seed.” This will be the outcome of “the travail of his soul.” And when will God’s “righteous servant” be satisfied, as the prophet declares? The apostle directs our minds forward to a day of power and glory, when he speaks of “bringing many sons unto glory,” and adds: “I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church (ecclesia) will I sing praise unto thee.” And again, “Behold I and the children which God hath given me.” (Heb. 2: 10, 13).

These “children” are “the seed to whom the promise was made” in multitud­inous form. They are the true seed of the woman, the seed of Abraham, not ac­cording to the flesh, but according to the spirit, by faith and obedience. By com­pliance with the precepts and commandments of God they entered into the only “Name given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4: 12). This gave them a relationship not otherwise enjoyed by the children of men. They were the subjects of a generation unto “the race,” which flesh and blood could not give. “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.” (Jas. 1: 18).  This “word” is powerful. It justifies, sanctifies and redeems. Without such purification man­kind is sold under sin, and inherits but corruptibility as a legacy from our first parents.

To “the seed,” being prepared, the word is written: “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot . . . that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of in­corruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (I Pet. 1: 18, 23).

Into this “Name” the people of God entered, by type and anti-type, and, with the “Father’s name written in their foreheads,” they were “born again to walk in newness of life.” A promise was left them: “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it” (Rev. 2: 17). The condition governing this manifestation of the Name was “show thy faith by thy works.” (Jas. 2: 18).  “Behold, I come quickly,” says their Master; “Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that over­cometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God: even my new name.” (Rev. 3: 11,12).

Such is the incentive for them to go unto perfection; “to make their calling and election sure,” not only to do the will of their Father in heaven, but also to anticipate the day of reward; “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Verse 21).

 

 

GOD DOES NOT FORGET

 

BUT we must return from this ramble down one of the by-paths, which are both interesting and alluring. As we contemplate the Exodus we recall how God did “Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red Sea.” (Psa. 106: 22). The manifestation of God’s power in punishing the oppressors of His people, and giving deliverance to the oppressed should have shown to them that God had not forgotten His promises.  That His people “forgat God their Saviour” illustrates how easy it is to leave THE KING’S HIGHWAY, and to enter the Broad Way, which leads to destruction.  He who “reproved kings for their sakes” desired the best for His people- but if they turned aside God must deal with them, even to their hurt, yet He does not forget.

 

Israel came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham. He sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen. They shewed his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham. He smote all the first­born in their land, the chief of all their strength. Egypt was glad when they departed, for the fear of them fell upon them. He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night. For he remembered his holy prom­ise, and Abraham his servant. And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness: And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people; That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws.” (Psa. 105).

 

It was, indeed, “a night to be much observed unto the Lord for bringing them out from the land of Egypt; to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.” To enable them so to remember what God had done for them, and that they might make it known to their children, God instituted:

THE ORDINANCE OF THE PASSOVER

 

IN THE PICTORIAL CHART we have a line, from the name Abram down to the Pyramid, which represents the land of Egypt; of this land we read- words spoken to Abram- “thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.” The touching story of the “famine upon the land,” and how “he brake the whole staff of bread”; followed by the sons of Jacob going down into the land wherein “there was corn,” is well known to all Bible readers. As the Psalmist wrote, “He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him. The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free.”

IN THE LAND OF HAM, the people (of Israel) increased greatly; their growth in numbers and strength caused the Egyptians to fear the children of Israel, and this brought about their oppression by those whose heart was turned “to hate his people.” But had not God said, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee”?(Gen. 12: 3). And God does not forget.

 

“He sent darkness, and made it dark. He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish. Their land brought forth frogs. There came divers sorts of flies and lice. Hail for rain, and flaming fire in their land. Locusts and caterpillars-without number- to eat up the herbs in their land, and devour the fruit of their ground.”

 

 

By these plagues were the Egyptians punished, until they were glad to “let My people go.”

From the pyramid there is another line, with the words “come out,” and this line extends to a small group- representing father, mother and two children- outside of a building. The father is particularly interested in “the lintel and the doorpost”; the lettering reads, 1st month, 14th day. Over this building are the words, “seed a stranger in a land not theirs; afflict them 400 years.”

Still another line directs attention to the boy on the altar. It is the story of Abraham and his seed. About fifteen years before Isaac was born God had spoken to Abraham concerning the welfare of his seed- “when as yet he had no child.” The patriarch was informed that, in process of time, “thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.” Nevertheless, God would judge and punish that nation; whilst the seed of Abram would escape from the land, and “come out with great substance”; for “in the fourth generation they shall come hither again.” (Gen. 15: 13, 16). When Abraham “was an hundred years old, his son Isaac was born unto him”; and of this son, God said, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” (Gen. 21: 12).

From henceforth the hopes and aspirations, of this “Friend of God,” would be cen­tered in his son, Isaac; for concerning him God had said: “I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.” (Gen. 17: 19). So fully did Abraham realize this that he complied with the demand of Sarah, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.” (Gen. 21: 10). Although this “was very grievous in Abraham’s sight- for Ishmael had been “born unto him” by Hagar the Egyptian handmaid- nevertheless, being instructed by God he complied, sending Hagar and the child away; “and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba.” Howbeit, because Ishmael was the son of Abraham, “God was with the lad.”

 

 

ABRAHAM’S FAITH TESTED

 

BEFORE the things embraced in “the covenant” could be developed, the faith of Abraham must again be put to the test. The gospel was being “preached to Abraham” as it was later proclaimed to his natural, and national, seed; “but the word preached to the children of Israel did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard.” (Heb. 4: 2). It is a divine principle that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” Further, that they who seek to be rewarded by God must “diligently seek” and serve Him. “Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (Jas. 2: 17). Therefore, “God did tempt (try or put to the test) Abraham,” in the incident of the mountain, in the land of Moriah.

This is depicted in the portion of the chart now being considered. Faith in God was manifested, and this was all that was required so far as “the lad” was, concerned, for Heaven’s arresting voice sounded forth; “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, for now I know that thou fearest God.” (Gen. 22: 12). And, so long after­ward, James wrote: “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?” (Verse 21, 22).

When the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob came out of Egypt, “they spoiled the Egyptians,” and so fulfilled the prediction that they “afterward shall come out with great substance.” Ere the plagues were poured upon the land of Egypt Moses had said unto Pharaoh: “Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.” (Ex. 4: 22, 23).

Before the last of the plagues was inflicted upon Egypt, Moses spake with Pharaoh. After three days “of thick darkness” the ruler of Egypt wavered, and said to Moses, “Go ye, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed.” But Moses said, No!  “Not an hoof shall be left behind.” Again the heart of Pharaoh was hardened; to Moses he declared, “Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die. And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.” (Ex. 10: 24, 29).

What a different Moses to the young man who (having “slain the Egyptian” who was seen “smiting an Hebrew,” and learning that “this thing is known,” and knowing that Pharaoh having heard of it “sought to slay Moses”) “fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian.” It was to this latter exit that the Apostle referred, when he wrote: “By faith Moses forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” (Heb. 11: 27).

LET MY PEOPLE GO

 

BUT now the climax was upon them. The slaves were to be set free, and the oppressor punished by the Lord making “bare his holy arm in the eyes of all” the Egyptians; in such a way that Pharaoh and his people would remember and appreciate what was meant when God said, “Israel is my firstborn; Let my people go!”

 

“And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it . . . And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods (or, princes) of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”

 

Such an event was not to be forgotten by those who were thus the recipients of divine favor and deliverance. That it should be fixed in the minds of the children of Israel, from generation to generation, the ordinance of the passover was divinely established.

 

 

“This day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordin­ance for ever.”

Instructions were given covering seven days wherein they were to eat “un­leavened bread”; all leaven was to be “put away out of their houses.” On “the feast day,” and also “the seventh day” there was to be "an holy convocation.” “In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat un­leavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even”; during which period “Ye shall eat nothing leavened.” These instructions having been given to “all the congregation of Israel,” Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and commanded them:

 

“Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.”

 

The observance of “this thing” was not for the night of deliverance only; for “when ye be come to the land which the Lord will give you, ye shall keep this service.” As the years rolled by the children would ask of their elders, “What mean ye by this service?” An explanation must be given in answer thereto; “It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s passover.”

 

“And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.”

 

This night of observation was one “to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations”; and as the Way of the Lord is not a broad way, restric­tions were placed upon the observance of the ordinance of the passover: “There shall no stranger eat thereof.” If a stranger sojourning with the children of Israel desired “to keep the Passover” provision was made to meet the case; and only upon compliance therewith could permission be granted. Yet this did not contradict the statement that “no stranger shall eat thereof”; for, having obeyed the divine law in the matter, they who so kept the law were no longer regarded as strangers. Here is the law: “Let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.  One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.” Such is the interesting testimony of the twelfth chapter of the book, Exodus.

 

 

THE CLEAN AND THE UNCLEAN

 

THE RESTRICTIONS, imposed by God's law, which appertain to the ordinance of the passover are not acceptable to those who travel the broad way. Their thought is that there should be no difference in the relationship of any of the children of men toward God. They do not appreciate that to this day there is a difference between “the clean and the unclean,” and “the holy and unholy.” The voice from the broad way is sometimes heard to quote, but to misapply, from the inspired Word: “Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us?” (Mal. 2: 10).  In doing so they ignore all that is involved in “the covenant of our fathers.” It is still a divine principle that “I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me.” (Lev. 10: 3).

THE LESSONS OF THE PASSOVER given to the children of Israel must not be lost upon the Gentiles, in regard to the Gospel mission, during the Christian dispensation. That the “ordinance” must be carried forward, its lessons applied and maintained, is evident from the teaching of the Apostles.  Paul wrote to those who had believed and obeyed the gospel of Christ; “For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sin­cerity and truth.” (l Cor. 5: 7, 8). The paschal lamb was thus a type of the Lamb of God, who was to take away the sin of the world; as was also “the sacrifice” of Isaac on Mount Moriah (Abraham “accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.” Heb. 11: 19). The typical passover lamb was to be “without blemish;” of the antitypical sacrifice we read, “redeemed ... with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Pet. 1: 19).

To become a member of the “body of Christ,” of which He is the “Head,” it is necessary for all who believe the gospel “to put off the old man with his deeds: and put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” (Col. 3: 9, 10). This transference, and regeneration, can only be accomplished by association with the cross of Calvary; and a further significance of the ordinance of the passover is seen by an understanding of the means provided for all who would walk in the “narrow way,” that they may become related to Christ as their Passover. Paul wrote to those who had “received Christ Jesus the Lord;” “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.”

But this circumcision, incumbent on the believers now, is not the fleshly circumcision required of the Jews under the law of Moses. Jesus was subject to this requirement, of which we read; “When eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus.” And, “when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law.” (Luke 2: 21, 27). This, however, was typical; it was superceded by His crucifixion, when “He was cut off out of the land of the living.” (Isa. 53: 8). This “cutting off” became the circumcision of Christ. The believer in the gospel must connect himself with it, or forever remain “without Christ.” There is but one way so to do- it is the Way of the gospel, God’s Way, a straight and narrow way, and yet the only Way to en­able us to walk The King’s Highway. Continuing the testimony, Paul shows us the way: "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” (Col. 2: 11, 12). It is still true that “no uncircumcised person shall eat the passover!”

 

THE OLD COVENANT

 

FOLLOWING the Exodus the people came to the wilderness of Sinai, and “there Israel camped before the mount.” We pause briefly to note the covenant which God entered into with His people, and their acceptance of the terms presented to them. “If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people. And all the people answered together, and said. All that the Lord hath spoken we will do.” (Ex. 19: 5, 8). This was followed by the giving of the ten commandments, divers laws and ordinances, for the re­gulation of the people, individually and collectively. This phase of the development of God’s Plan is shown on the chart by the “two tables,” designated THE OLD COVENANT. The connecting line makes reference to Acts 7, which outlines much of the theme herein presented. A few quotations will emphasize what has already been given.

 

“When the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt. Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. When he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. He supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Midian.

And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilder­ness of Mount Sinai an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush. This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? The same did God send to be a ruler and a deliver by the hand of the angel which ap­peared to him in the bush. This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spoke to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us; To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt.

Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye.  Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and mur­derers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.”

 

Of Moses, in Ex. 24, we read; “And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord hath made with you con­cerning all these words.” The “blood of the covenant”, is an integral feature of the Way of God. Without it, no plan of salvation is complete. A perversion of its true import will negative any so-called gospel. Paul marveled that any who had known the true gospel should be “removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another, but some would pervert the gospel of Christ.” (Gal. 1: 6, 7). And although “the broad way” has much to say concerning the Cross of Christ, its voice is not the testimony of Jesus, according to that which is written of Him, in the Law, the Psalms, and the prophets. “For where a covenant exists, the death of that which has ratified it is necessary to be produced; Because a covenant is firm over dead victims, since it is never valid when that which rati­fies it is alive.” (Heb. 9: 16, 17). -Diaglott.

The necessity for bloodshedding was demonstrated “when sin entered the world;” it was emphasized in the enactments of the Law.

“For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission,” (verses 19, 22).

However. “the law made nothing perfect, but it was the bringing in of a better hope.” (Heb. 7: 19). Consequently, it is “through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once” that the typical sacrifices, from the beginning to the cross, were ratified.

 

“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption.” (Heb. 9: 11, 12).

 

CHRIST DIED UNTO SIN, that He might destroy its power, and so “take it away.” But the death of Christ in and of itself, would not have demonstrated victory over sin- rather, it would have been victory of sin over Him! It is here then, that we see the efficacy of the blood of Jesus, “who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot (or, fault) to God.” (verse 14). Had “the blood of the covenant,” in a perfect sacrifice, not been shed there would have been no Risen Lord and Savior. THE RESURRECTION is therefore based upon The One Great Offering; as it is written, “The God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the Everlasting covenant.” (Heb. 13: 20).

 

 

SHADOW AND SUBSTANCE

 

THE superiority of “the things in Christ”, to those which were “under the law”, is very evident; and yet “the law” had a purpose to fulfill. First “the promises,” then the law added thereto “till the seed should come.” Would “the law” continue in force after the specified time- when “the seed” came? Paul speaks of the two phases, and compares them; “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” (Gal. 3: 22, 25).

As stated on the Chart, “The law through Moses’ service came, But grace and truth by Jesus’ Name.” The law was “a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things.” (Heb. 10: 1). We see a line, on the Chart, from the Tables of stone pointing towards the Cross. There we find the substance, in contrast to the Shadow. On this line we read, “A body prepared.” The preparation culminated on Calvary. “Being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Phil. 2: 8). Jesus knew what the purpose of God required of Him; “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.” The law was about to pass from the divine scheme of things, as Jesus knew; therefore He said, “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first that he may establish the second.” (Heb. 10: 5, 9).

 

 

A NEW COVENANT TO SUPERCEDE THE OLD

 

MOSES was “faithful in all his house, as a servant; But Christ as a son over his own house.” (Heb. 3: 5, 6). Under the law the priests were “a shadow of heavenly things;” but of Christ we read, “Now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.” (Heb. 8: 5, 7).

 

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

 

This has not yet come to pass, as is evident from the next verse.

“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer. 31: 31, 34).

 

Without here developing this particular theme further, I would say that the “new covenant,” yet to be entered into with the two houses of the people of Israel, is new inasmuch as the blessings to be conferred thereby were not obtainable under the old covenant; of which the apostle says, “For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold the days come,” and proceeds to quote the testimony of Jeremiah, as given above. That the “old covenant” had reference to the Mosaic constitution is obvious, from verse 13 of Heb. 8, “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.”

 

TWO SEEDS- NATURAL AND SPIRITUAL

 

A clue to the situation lies in the fact that, in the unfolding of the story of Abraham, we have two seeds, and that the development of the natural seed must precede the manifestation of the spiritual seed. The “spiritual” arises from the things spoken in the promises to Abraham; and to him God “made a covenant.” In point of time this was “before the law,” or the Mosaic. Yet the blessings of the Abra­hamic covenant could not be bestowed to the full extent of the promises, till the seed should come. When Jesus first appeared in the midst of Israel the circumstances did not permit of the promises being fulfilled, for they said, “We will not have this man to reign over us.”

The law, as we have seen was added to the promises. It served its time and purpose; waxed old and vanished away. The people rejected Jesus, and they cried, “Crucify him.” But He will come again! As the “lion of the tribe of Judah” His voice will be heard from Jerusalem. He will come with power and glory, as “the seed to whom the promises were made.” In the Father’s Name Jesus will make a new covenant with His people. It will be “new” to the house of Israel and the house of Judah, inasmuch as they have never yet comprehended all that was, and is, involved in the promises and covenant appertaining to Abraham. Their heart of stone will be taken away, and God will give them a heart of flesh. They will then look upon Him whom they “pierced,” and, repentant in heart and mind, they will mourn for Him. Thus the way will be opened for Israel to inherit the land promised to Abraham and his seed. It will be “a new covenant”, to the House of Israel, because hitherto they have not possessed the Land of Promise under the Abrahamic covenant.

Of their former possession of the Land, it is recorded; “Thou art the Lord the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham; and foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words.” (Neh. 9: 7, 8). Whilst concerning the promise “to Abraham and his seed, the Christ,” for an everlasting possession, it is written: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them . . . And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” (Heb. 11: 13 , 39, 40).

 

 

                      “I WILL NOT LIE UNTO DAVID”

 

THE name DAVID stands out in bold relief on the Chart. There is no pictorial embellishment, even though there are many interesting highlights in the life of David, which could be well expressed from the artists brush. But for our purpose the word DAVID is all-sufficient. And who, having read the Bible, cannot recall in some measure the extension of the Eternal Plan at the mention of this Name?

“Unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of host, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.” (2 Sam. 7: 8, 9).

 

David reigned for forty years- “In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.” (2 Sam. 5: 4, 5). David was “of Abraham;” his name is therefore pre­sented at the line “seed of Abraham.” The contour of the line changes at the point marked David; beyond this the line is marked SON OF DAVID. This is to demon­strate that “the seed of Abraham,” to whom the promise was made, was also to be a Son of David. The line ends in Bethlehem.

Of David we again read; “So he fed them (Israel) according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.” (Psa. 78: 72).

 

 

                      THE THRONE OF DAVID

 

THE PROMISES made of God UNTO DAVID were associated with, and an extension of, the promises unto Abraham. To the “father of the faithful” God promised, to him and to his seed, the land for an everlasting possession. DAVID WAS A KING, and God’s covenant with him was in regard to his kingdom. But as this kingdom was in the land promised, it is clear that the one promise cannot be fulfilled without the other. The Abrahamic and Davidic covenants are thus but two phases of the selfsame covenant, in the completion of which the new covenant will be brought to its full fruition. “My covenant,” saith the Lord, “will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven.” (Psa. 89: 34, 37).

THE THRONE OF DAVID WAS, and will yet again be, in Jerusalem.

 

“Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord. For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” (Psa. 122).

“For thy servant David’s sake turn not away the face of thine anointed. The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. For the Lord hath chosen Zion; here will I dwell; for I have desired it. There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed.” (Psa. 132). And what was the promise made to David?

“The Lord telleth thee that he will make thee an house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his king­dom. I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.”

 

Realizing the magnitude of this promise, David responded: “Thou has spoken also of thy servant’s house for a great while to come.” (2 Sam. 7: 12, 19).

In “THE LAST WORDS OF DAVID”, we have this theme carried forward to the day of its manifestation, with an intimation concerning the One through whom it will be accomplished. “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” Or, as translated by Dr. J. Thomas, “There shall be a just man ruling over mankind, ruling in the righteous precepts of the gods. And as the brightness of morning He shall arise, the sun of an unclouded dawn shining forth after rain upon tender grass out of the earth.” (2 Sam. 23: 3, 4).

The immediate circumstances of David’s household did not fit the case for a fulfillment at that time; hence, “Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.” (verse 5). Nevertheless, when the time spoken of arrives; i.e. “The great while to come,” God will indeed cause it “to spring forth.” Anticipating this, the petition was made; “Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the King’s son”- David’s greater Son. (Psa. 72: 1). That is why the line is extended from DAVID TO BETHLEHEM, where we have Son of Man and Son of God. “And there were Shep­herds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Following this we are told that a multitude of the heaven­ly host sang praise to God, saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2: 8, 14).

JESUS WAS BORN a prince of the House of David, and of Him it was said; “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (Luke 1: 32, 33). Paul wrote, of the gospel of God, “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh: And declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.” (Rom. 1: 3, 4). The patriarch David, “being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” (Acts 2: 29, 31).

We, therefore, have Jesus, the son of David, the Son of God, the seed of Abra­ham; in whom all the promises are “Yea, and Amen!” And inasmuch as the promises were not fulfilled when Jesus was in the midst of His people, and have not since been fulfilled, there is but one explanation- we must wait for His com­ing again. This will be “when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” Who, to His Son did say, “Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” This will be the time of “restoration,” to bring about which, God “shall send Jesus Christ;” and then what “Moses truly said,” concerning the prophet like unto Moses, will also be fulfilled, “Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.” (Acts 3: 19, 23).

How different to His first coming, when they said He had a devil! Then they refused to acknowledge Him, and did not believe in His Word. But as “children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers” the mercy of the Lord is manifest; “Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” (verses 25, 26).

 

 

“THE HOPE OF THE PROMISE” - NOT TRADITIONS!

 

ABRAHAM and David; Judah and Jerusalem; Israel and Mount Zion are in­separably connected. They are the theme of the seers, the burden of the pro­phets, the hope of a nation; a light unto the Gentiles, and the foundation for re­demption and restoration: upon which a new world will be established.

Seeing “the Land” as it is today, and contemplating the throne of David- still “cast down to the ground”- without a King, one might feel justified in doubting the reality of the promises. In fact many, of the “broad way”, do not anticipate a literal fulfillment of those “precious promises.” Their theology does not call for such. For them “the ways of Zion” are out-of-date. They believe in a kingdom not promised for the righteous. With them tradition has superceded Truth. A kingdom in the skies, “beyond the bounds of time and space,” has for many centuries been accepted as “the saint’s secure abode.” This tradition is still the hope of many professing Christians; nevertheless, this false doctrine “inherited from our fathers” must be discarded, along with many other errors, by all who would walk THE KING’S HIGHWAY.

“PEACE ON EARTH,” so desirable, is associated with “the throne of His father David;” and this at a time when “the Son of the Highest” shall “reign over the house of Jacob for ever.” Paul affirms, “God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew.” And he met the challenge of his day, and ours; “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall?” His dissertation, in the eleventh chapter of Romans, is a clear demonstration in support of the fact that such is not the case; but “rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles.” But this does not negative the hope of Israel.

Amos gives the word of the Lord; “spoken against you, O children of Israel against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt.”

ONE OF THE FALLACIES of the “broad way” is that at the present time, and during past years, one section of the tribes of Israel (referred to as British­ Israel), even the “ten-tribe” kingdom, is the recipient of the favor of Heaven whilst the House of Judah is still undergoing punishment on account of their sins. But Amos speaks against “the whole family,”(3: 1), and continues; “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” And yet we are told, “Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the Lord.” (Amos 9: 8).

To this we add the prophecy of Obadiah; “But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken. And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.”

It is not in the scope of this treatise to follow the rise and fall in the fortunes of the kingdom of Israel. From the days of Saul, through the war-like activities of David to the glory of Solomon’s reign, when a queen of Sheba, hearing of his fame, “came to prove him with hard questions.” She came, she saw, she heard. Having done so, she said to the king; “It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes have seen: and, behold, the half was not told me!” (1 Kings 10). Then, Solomon’s lapse to idolatry, followed by the rending of his kingdom; and the long, dark history of the Houses of Israel and Judah, until the Teacher of Galilee denounced a “generation of vipers,” who, said He, were “the children of them which killed the prophets;” and upon which generation “all these things,” of which Jesus had spoken, were to come. To those Jews he said, “Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.” (Matt. 23: 32).

Touching, indeed, was the lament of the Master as He looked upon the City, knowing how desolate it was to become; and yet, like Abraham who “saw the day of Christ, and was glad,” Jesus looked down the river of years, and seeing a ray of hope, testified; “For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (verse 39).

 

 

BABYLON VS. ZION

 

THE THRONE OF THE KINGDOM was overturned long before the des­truction of the city of Jerusalem, even as God had said by His prophet. But even with that word against the throne, when the “wicked prince of Israel” was about to be removed, the “end of the matter” was not overlooked: “it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.” (Ezek. 21: 27). “He who ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will” (Dan. 4: 17), makes use of the powers of darkness for the execution of His Will. The people were led away captive, and the Psalmist depicts their plight when, “By the waters of Babylon, they sat down, and wept; yea, they wept when they remembered Zion. How could they sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” No! they could not give “mirth” to their captors. And the spirit of t