Saturday, November 23, 2013
In recent weeks, several high-profile religious leaders—including Pope Francis, Billy Graham, and Russell Moore—have expressed concern that churches can get so involved with controversial social and political causes that other important aspects of ministry are neglected, relationships suffer, and basic common teachings are overshadowed. Is it time for faith leaders to tone down the activism and pull back from engaging in contentious "culture wars"? Care to comment? Change the World by Caring for Souls John Beckett, Druid Priest If we think we can change the world through religiously motivated political activism, we are almost certain to fail. I'm convinced we will change the world by caring for souls, not by political mandates. .. Preaching Social Ethics: Boring and Doomed Joseph Bottum, The Weekly Standard Christianity is fundamentally a metaphysics. Christendom is mostly an ethics. Our trouble these days is that Christendom is broken. .. Heaven and Hell Have No Place in Public Policy-Making Deborah Dykes, The D.L. Dykes, Jr. Foundation Salvation hysteria is a poor competitor to a Jesus of history who non-violently resisted the empire of his day and called the oppressed around him to join in God's program of justice. .. Enduring Norms to Guide Millennials Josh Good, American Enterprise Institute Today's college grads should think in terms of a decades-long engagement with civic and political life, even if it often seems broken. What principles can guide the way? .. Pull Back from Politics? Evangelicals Aren't Engaged Enough David French, American Center for Law and Justice It's easy to generate example after example where a biblical witness is necessary in the great questions of our time—not just in abortion and economics but also in matters of war and peace. .. The LDS Church: From Proposition 8 to Religious Freedom Valerie M. Hudson, Texas A&M University Though California's Prop. 8 passed by a wide margin, the LDS Church and its members and allies received painful bruises for being involved in the campaign. Here are three lessons learned from that experience. .
Thursday, October 17, 2013
The Religious Right Is a Fraud There's Nothing Christian About Michele Bachmann’s Values The American right obsesses over abortion and birth control, not helping people. It's different around the globe. Last week, the nation’s capital was host to Value Voters 2013 Summit, a three-day political conference for predominantly religious conservatives. Among the smattering of social and economic issues at hand, the overall tenor of the Summit focused on eliminating Obamacare, expanding the tangible presence of Christianity through the public arena and military and preventing the proliferation of easily available birth control and abortion. In speeches, lunches and breakout sessions, American’s Christian Right worked out strategies to bring the values of the federal government in line with their preferred Christian ethical dictates, using democracy as their chief tool. It isn’t unusual for Christians living in democracies to use the vote to express their ethics, and to shape government to do the same. That the moral and ethical preferences of a given society should inform government is a foundational principle of democracy, after all. And American values voters are far from the first Christians to undertake the project of bringing their government’s policies in line with Christian ethics: European Christian parties have aimed to do the same for decades. But between American Christian voters and their European counterparts, a curious departure opens up: while European Christians generally see the anti-poverty mission of Christianity as worthy of political action, the American Christian Right inexplicably cordons off economics from the realm of Christian influence. By all means, the American Christian Right is willing to leverage government authority to carry out a variety of Christian ethical projects, especially within the arena of family life. Michele Bachmann would make abortion illegal, and Rick Santorum has stated on multiple occasions that he supports laws against homosexual intercourse. But Christian politicians in the United States curtail their interest in making the gospel actionable when it comes to welfare. While the government should see to the moral uprightness of marriage, sex and family, the Value Voters 2013 Summit was notably bereft of talks on living wages, labor rights or basic incomes. The notable exclusion of poverty from the Christian agenda would doubtlessly puzzle European Christians, whose support of Christian ethical approaches to family life have always been paired with a deep and vigorous concern for the poor. And, unlike their American counterparts, European Christians haven’t been willing to leave poverty up to individual charity or the market to handle. Quite the contrary: Just as public morality is an arena fit for intervention by a Christian-informed government, so too is welfare. Consider the British Christian People’s Alliance 2010 election manifesto, a document intended to explain the imminently Christian party’s policy goals: “The Christian Peoples Alliance believes that Britain will return to economic prosperity when government chooses instead to put human relationships in right order. This requires power, income and wealth to be redistributed and for greater equality to be achieved. These are deeply spiritual convictions and reflect a Biblical pattern of priorities…By the end of the next Parliament, the CPA will establish the reduction of inequality as a national target, so that the ratios of the incomes of the top 20 per cent are reduced to no more than five and a half times the incomes of the bottom 20 per cent.” The CPA election manifesto goes on to explain that their aversion to inequality arises from a uniquely Christian concern for the health of human relationships, which suffer under the weight of massive social inequality. Their position on inequality is hardly an anomaly among European Christian parties. In fact, the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM), a confederation of Christian parties from different European nations operating within the European Union, states very similar goals in its own programme:
Monday, September 23, 2013
The not for profit Prophet Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land! “When will the new moon be over,” you ask, “that we may sell our grain, and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat? We will diminish the ephah, add to the shekel, and fix our scales for cheating! We will buy the lowly for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals; even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!” The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never will I forget a thing they have done! Amos 8:4- There is a certain joy and challenge to having to preach every week, especially when one follows the spirit of God instead of making things up as we go based on our favorite theological biases or interests. Thus coming back to a place where I am having to preach each week it is a challenge. It is interesting for me to see what the Bible has to say on issues that Christians including me like to ignore. The funny, but not so funny thing is that those parts of the Bible that many conservative American Christians of all denominations, but especially Evangelicals like to ignore are the kinds of passages that are more the norm than the exception. Thus we tend to ignore the really challenging things and focus on what tickles people’s ears. Now I have never been a fan of having my ears tickled but evidently some do or the Apostle Paul wouldn’t have not warned Timothy about it. In the United States Christians have it good. As rich and fashionably well to do entitled Christians we love to cite verses that talk about prosperity. Those more theologically adept love to misuse the writings and theology of John Calvin to show who our material success somehow equals God blessing us. The sad thing is in order to do that many of us will totally ignore most of Jesus’ teachings about the misuse of wealth and the abuse of the poor as well as those of Paul, James, and the vast majority of the prophets of the Old Testament in such matters. But then what do they know? They didn’t study Ayn Rand did they? I can only imagine what Amos, a prophet from Judah whose ministry was primarily directed at the Kingdom of Israel in about 750 BC would be if he walked among American Christians today. I mean really, think about it. Amos almost sounds like he is talking about the Prosperity Preachers and those in the church who for the sake of partisan political power are willing to ignore or even worse to sacrifice the most vulnerable people in society for their own place at the seat of power. How Constantinian of them. Yet Amos and most of the other prophets seem to have a most egregious disregard for the issues that contemporary Christians have sacrificed on the altar of political power and expediency. Yes “Christian Right” I and they are talking about you. Pope Francis is nailing the issue. For too long the Christian Church in the United States and western Europe have been engaging in the so called “culture wars.” While some of the issues are legitimate including some of the pro-life related issues, they are actually subordinated to a broader and much more insidious agenda which is neither Christian or for that matter American, at least in the sense understood by the religiously tolerant and pluralistic founders of the country understood. Ever since Nazi apologist Pat Buchanan (See his book Hitler Churchill and the Unnecessary War) declared the beginning of the “Culture Wars” in 1992 and long after the foundations were laid by others on the Christian Right the Church, Evangelical Protestant and Roman Catholic decided on the Christian version of Jihad to achieve political goals. In fact men like Catholic theologian Peter Kreeft actually wrote books like Ecumenical Jihad to define their strategy and goals. Clothed in the veneer of Constantinian virtue these people helped lead the church into an abyss that from which may not be able to extricate itself in our lifetimes. Unfortunately the problem is that the culture wars are more often fought with the goal of maintaining the political power and influence of Christians while ignoring the very tenants of what writer after writer, prophet after prophet and even Jesus made foundational issues of their day. We Christians have sold out the Gospel in order to be co-opted by the very people and interests who hate the kind of justice that Jesus and the prophets preached about. When Pope Francis talked this week about those “culture wars” this week in a number of ways. He decried the manner in which some bishops were more at war with the culture than caring for the people of their own dioceses and how in terms of caring for and loving people "The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules..." He said that in regard to the focus that many Catholics have had on abortion and homosexuality. Pope Francis said: “The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all." To finish the week, or rather to start this week on a high note Francis attacked the culture of greed which many in the church have blessed and furthered. I am all in with Pope Francis on this because he is speaking the truth. The fact is that he is saying things that most of us do not want to hear. Francis is talking about redemption, the fact as the Apostle Paul wrote in 2nd Corinthians that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself counting men’s sins not against them.” Yes these are tough words, but the proof of their validity is in the pudding. Non-believers want nothing to do with the church, even if they happen to like what Jesus says and many believers are fleeing the church and not coming back. And yes this is different than the days when young people would leave the church for a few years and then come back. The folks leaving now for the most part have no desire to return. The reasons are self evident. It is not Jesus, nor is it even doctrine. It is how Christians and the Church treat the world. Something that Pope Francis seems to understand while many of his Bishops as well as leaders of Evangelical Christian Churches in the United States seem oblivious. George Barna, an Evangelical Christian who runs one of the most respected polling agencies around has done a number of polls on this very subject. Sad to say his polls, which are scientific in the way they are conducted line up with what I am saying here and what Pope Francis is speaking about. One Barna poll asked the words which most describe Christianity. The results: Hypocritical, anti-homosexual, insincere, sheltered and too political. Another Barna study dealing with why young people are leaving the church included that nearly 25% of young people said “Christians demonize everything outside of the church” while 20% said that “God seems missing from my experience of church” while 22% said that “church is like a country club, only for insiders” and 36% said that they were unable “to ask my most pressing life questions in church.” That survey was of young people of Christian backgrounds, people for the most part raised in the church. Frank Schaeffer, son of the late Dr Francis Schaeffer noted in his book Crazy for God: “I personally came to believe that a lot of the issues that were being latched onto by the Christian Right, whether it was the gay issue or abortion or other things, were actually being used for negative political purposes. They were used to structure a power base for people who then threw their weight around.” Schaeffer should know, in the 1970s and 1980s he was a key player in the growth of the political Christian Right. But I digress.... Soren Kierkegaard noted “The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.” The fact is that if we actually decide to look at the way we do life, faith, politics and ethics in light of the writings of men like Amos, James and even Paul to some extent not to mention Jesus we might have to actually repent. But then, when all that matters is maintaining our political and social power who needs repentance? But I digress, after all, repentance in our American Christian culture is never having to say your sorry. It is no wonder that Mark Twain noted: “If Christ were here there is one thing he would not be—a Christian.” I think that old Amos might just be talking to us as much as he was talking to the people and leaders of Israel. But hey, I could be wrong.
Friday, September 13, 2013
What you were never told about the Book of REVELATION The apocalypse [one of the Jewish and Christian writings of 200 b.c. to a.d. 150 marked by pseudonymity, symbolic imagery, and the expectation of an imminent cosmic cataclysm in which God destroys the ruling powers of evil and raises the righteous to life in a messianic kingdom] Introduction Dating the Book of Revelation One of the most important items in terms of interpreting the Bible is to understand the historical context in which it was written. Much of the debate concerning Bible Prophecy hinges on when Revelation was written. While dispensational scholars insist that John wrote his apocalypse in the mid 90's, a more compelling argument can be made for a much earlier date, around 65-66 AD. Now one may ask, "Why is this important?" After all, it was nearly 2,000 years ago. What difference does 30 years make? Obviously, 30 years (or even 10 years) can make a big difference in the history of a nation. Germany and Japan in 1950 were quite a bit different than they were in 1940. In the same way, Rome and Jerusalem, the two main players in the Book of Revelation, were much different in 96 AD then they were in 66 AD. Thus the dating of the Book of Revelation becomes crucial in properly interpreting the book. External Evidence I.) The Syriac History of John, the Son of Zebedee makes reference to John's banishment under Nero, who reigned from 54 to 68 AD. It states: "After these things, when the Gospel was increasing by the hands of the Apostles, Nero, the unclean and impure and wicked king, heard all that had happened at Ephesus. And he sent and took all that the procurator had and imprisoned him; and laid hold of St. John and drove him into exile; and passed sentence on the city that it should be laid waste." Elsewhere in the Syriac tradition, we should note that both of the Syriac Versions of the Revelation give in the title the statement that John was banished by Nero. Their titles say. - "The Apocalypse of St. John, written in Patmos, whither John was sent by Nero Caesar." Since John was banished to Patmos by Nero, and Nero died in 68 AD, then Revelation was written prior to 68 AD. II.) The Muratorian Canon states "…for the blessed apostle Paul himself, following the order of his predecessor John, he wrote to only seven churches by name, in the following order…". Paul was killed in 68 AD by Nero. Since Paul copied John's example of writing to 7 churches, then John wrote Revelation prior to 68 AD. III.) In his work Against Jovinianum (1:26), Jerome states, "But if thou art near to Italy, thou hast Rome, where we also have an authority close at hand. What an happy Church is that, on which the Apostles poured out all their doctrine, with their blood: where Peter had a like Passion with the Lord; where Paul bath for his crown the same death with John; where the Apostle John was plunged into boiling oil, and suffered nothing, and was afterwards banished to an island." It is almost universally accepted that Peter and Paul were murdered by Nero. Jerome places John's banishment in the same time period (as do many other church fathers). IV.) In Quis Salvus Dives (Section 42), Clement of Alexander writes, "… a true account of John the apostle that has been handed down and preserved in memory. When after the death of the tyrant he removed from the island of' Patmos to Ephesus," The fact that Clement does not identify "the tyrant" suggests that it was probably Nero, not Domitian. Nero was universally feared and despised, and his name became the household word for anything evil. Internal Evidence I.) Revelation was written during the reign of the 6th Roman Emperor (Nero) - Revelation 17:10. "There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time." Date Emperor 69 B.C. - 44 A.D Julius Caesar 31 B.C. - 14 A.D Augustus Caesar 14 A.D. - 37 A.D Tiberius Caesar 37 A.D. - 41 A.D. Gaius (Caligula) 41 A.D. - 54 A.D Claudius 54 A.D. - 68 A.D Nero Caesar The Seventh king was Galba, who was killed in office after only 6 months. II.) Revelation was written during a time of great persecution of the Church - Revelation 2:10. "Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life." III.) Revelation was written while the temple was still standing in Jerusalem, before the Romans destroyed the holy city - Revelation 11:1-2 "Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, "Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is utside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months." IV.) Revelation was written while there were still other apostles alive - Revelation 2:2. "I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;" V.) There is a lot more internal evidence, such as Judaists in the church and the state of the churches themselves. For more information, read "Before Jerusalem Fell" by Kenneth Gentry. Evidence for a late date? The only evidence for the 95 AD date is a vague statement made by Irenæus, the second century bishop of Lyons. In his book "Against Heresies", he writes, "We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that was seen not very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian's reign." – Against Heresies Book V, Chapter 30, Verse 3 (Domitian reigned from 81 to 96 AD). Irenæus's statement is quite vague. He's not real clear on exactly what was seen "towards the end of Domitian's reign." However, even if we allow for the understanding that John saw the vision during Domitian's reign, Irenæus remains a questionable source at best. In this same book, he wrote that Jesus had an earthly ministry of 15 years and live to be almost 50 years old. "For how had He disciples, if He did not teach? And how did He teach, if He had not a Master's age? For He came to Baptism as one Who had not yet fulfilled thirty years, but was beginning to be about thirty years old; (for so Luke, who hath signified His years, hath set it down; Now Jesus, when He came to Baptism, began to be about thirty years old:) and He preached for one year only after His Baptism: completing His thirtieth year He suffered, while He was still young, and not yet come to riper age. But the age of 30 years is the first of a young man's mind, and that it reaches even to the fortieth year, everyone will allow: but after the fortieth and fiftieth year, it begins to verge towards elder age: which our Lord was of when He taught, as the Gospel and all the Elders witness…" – Against Heresies Book II, Chapter 22, Verse 5 Irenæus was a great Christian and church father, but was a poor historian. Those who continue to hold to the late date based on Irenæus's statement do so out of theological desperation, not sound historical research. There are other church fathers, such as Victorious and Eusebius, who also hold to this late date. However, they clearly use Irenæus as the source for their belief. "Irenæus, in the fifth book of his work Against Heresies, where he discusses the number of the name of Antichrist which is given in the so-called Apocalypse of John, speaks as follows concerning him:" Eusebius – History of the Church Book III, Chapter 18, Verse 5. In fact, Eusebius, in his work "Evangelical Demonstrations", contradicts this belief, placing John's banishment under Nero. Conclusion When the evidence is weighed, both internally and externally, it clearly supports the Neronic date. This fact is crucial considering that John was writing to the First Century Churches of Asia Minor regarding "things which must shortly take place" (Rev. 1:1), were "near" (Rev. 1:3), and were "about to take place" (Rev. 1:19).
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Sunday, August 04, 2013
The Book of Leviticus I. TITLE: A. Hebrew: In Hebrew the title for this book comes from the opening words wayyiqra (aqyw) meaning “and he called” 1:1 B. Greek: In the Greek LXX the term is Leuitikon (LEUITIKON) an adjective used to describe the book as dealing primarily with ritual worship C. Latin: The Vulgate (a revision of the Old Latin) rendered the Greek heading Liber Leviticus (Book of Leviticus) from which the English is derived 1. This is an adjective suggesting the complete title “the Levitical book” or the “book pertaining to the Levites” 2. The book is really about cultic service which the descendants of Levi would participate in. The principle people in the book are Aaron and the priests to whom was committed the Aaronic priesthood 3. Later a distinction was made between the Levites and the Priests, and thee Levites could not claim Aaronic descent II. CHRONOLOGICAL SETTING: A. The Passover occurred on the first day of the first month of the year (Ex 12:2) B. The tabernacle was erected at Mount Sinai exactly one year after the Exodus (Ex 40:2, 17) C. One month later the nation prepared to leave Sinai for the Promised Land (Num 1:1) D. It seems that the book of Leviticus was given to Moses during the one month period between the erection of the Tabernacle and the departure of the people for the Promised Land from Mount Sinai Because YHWH is now dwelling among His people in holiness, He provides prescriptions mediated through Moses for the people to remain in relationship with Him (e.g., through ritual and cleanliness). III. AUDIENCE: A. Aaron and his sons as the priests to serve in the rituals and duties of the tabernacle (Lev 6:9--7:38; 11:1; 13:1; 15:1; 21:1) B. The Redeemed nation at Sinai (Lev 18:2; 19:2; 23:2; 26:46) IV. PURPOSES: A. Priests: To remind the priests who officiate before YHWH that He must be treated as holy and honored before all the people (Lev 10:3)3 B. Individual: To instruct the individual that they must come before YHWH in worship through cleanness, atonement, and holy living4 C. Nation: To remind the nation of their covenant obligations which are necessary for continued occupation of and blessing in YHWH’S HOLY LAND D. Culture: To instruct Israel to establish their culture by narrating the revelation and the first steps in approaching into God’s presence as well as the revelation of living with God E. Stipulations: To present his redeemed, covenanted people with a collection of cultic, civil, social, moral, and economic stipulations in order that the Holy God may continue to dwell amid an unholy people as He continues His work through them in the world. These stipulations are designed to prevent the withdrawal of YHWH from His people who will bring about defilement of the sanctuary F. Reveal: To reveal YHWH in His holiness, righteousness, mercy, and sovereignty who blesses Israel with His presence dwelling in the midst of their nation administered in specific instructions for approaching God’s presence and for living in the community of God’s people6 G. Model: To demand that the Israelites live in a way that would show to the contemporary Near Eastern nations the true nature of holiness7 1 R. K. Harrison, Leviticus: An Introduction and Commentary (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1980), 13. 2 Exodus 13:2, 13; 22:29; Numbers 3:12. 3 Philip Powers, Analysis of Leviticus a paper presented in 371 Seminar in the Pentateuch (DTS, November 1989), 10. 4 Ibid. 5 Ibid. The emphasis is not on conditions for God's presence, but on conditions for the people to be in the land with His presence! The danger is that the individual will be cut off from the people in the land and that the Nation will be removed from the Land. 6 Elliott E. Johnson, Notes in 371 Seminar on the Pentateuch (DTS, Fall 1989). 7 R. K. Harrison, Leviticus, 26. The five books of the Torah A = Bereshit; B = Shemot; C = Vayikra; B = Bamidbar; A = Devarim. If we view the five books of the Torah as a whole entity, we find interesting parallels. Bereshit is a tale of a family and an evolution over generations from an individual's faith to a community's embrace of that belief. There were many bumpy roads traversed along the way but the core family emerges intact at the end of the story. Bereshit is a chronicle about the past Shemot is about the blossoming of this family into a people. Shemot records the Jewish people's exodus from Egypt and their transition into a nomadic nation wandering the desert. Shemot is a chronicle of the present. Whereas the other books are replete with stories, Vayikra has few stories and little character development. Its primary focus is on priestly laws with detailed attention given to animal sacrifices and personal purity. The culminating chapter, 19, focuses on "Kedoshim tihiyu - you shall be holy" by loving your neighbor as yourself. Bamidbar picks up Exodus' trail. Through the desert, the Jewish people meet both internal dissent and external foes along the way. It is a book of complaints and hope as the people transition from the exodus generation to their children who will enter the Land of Israel. Bamidbar is a chronicle of the present. In Devarim, the mitzvot are given for life during Temple times in the Land of Israel but upon receiving these commandments the Jews are still a nomadic people who can only dream of owning land. The Temple is yet to be built, and so Devarim is a chronicle of the future. Bereshit and Devarim both focus on the land of Israel, past and future. Shemot and Bamidbar take place largely in the desert in the present. But if these four books cover the past, present and future, where does that leave Vayikra? It is left standing all alone as the timeless book of eternity focused on the service of the divine through purity and holiness. The Midrash in Vayikra Rabbah asks, "Why do we begin teaching children the book of Vayikra and not Bereshit? Because children are pure and sacrifices are pure. Let the pure come and involve themselves with purity." A child, innocent and wholesome, was said to be worthy of partaking in this learning. Vayikra is not simply a passage about obscure levitical rules or leprosy. Purity and holiness are the book's main focus, with the Torah providing the road map of how to achieve them. Vayikra endeavors to close the gap between humans and the Divine. But this relationship needs work. As the Underground in London admonishes us, one has to first "mind the gap" to understand how to narrow it. In his biblical commentary, the Ramban (1194-1270) advises us to view sacrifices, korbanot, as a means of getting closer to God. Not as an ancient cultural ritual but rather as a timeless path to reach God. Korban, sacrifice, stems from the Hebrew root karov, to get close. Today, post-Temple, we have developed alternative methods of finding God. The rabbis instituted prayer and it opens up a communication channel for many. A spiritual journey needs divine assistance and demands personal effort to ensure success. The Torah provides us with tools, and one such guide is the command to use salt on sacrifices. In Vayikra 2:13 - "All your near-offerings of a grain gift you are to salt with salt, you are not to omit the salt of your God's covenant from atop your grain-gift, atop all your near-offerings you are to bring-near salt." Salt is repeated four times for emphasis. Salt in ancient times was used as a preservative as well as a taste enhancer. Our relationship with God needs salt: eternal support as well as an infusion of taste, understanding and reason. One can simply go through the motions on autopilot, but eternal experiences need to include passion and salt! Youth, who represent our past, present and future, are first taught the book of purity and spirituality. Children, filled with optimism, can readily look at the world with hope.They start out sans any preconceived biases. God is pure. Children are pure. Leviticus is pure. Let them all find each other and holiness can spring forth. God's presence can certainly be found in the other four books, but no other book has a central theme of God's holiness and the people's holiness as its pinnacle message. Hillel acts as a wonderful preservative for our religion. Judaism has been around for thousands of years and we constantly need to make religion relative. Bland ritual will be tasteless and eventually abandoned. Reason-filled and salt-infused understanding will enhance and preserve Judaism for generations to come. The Jewish people are at a critical junction where the other four books of the Torah are threatening to pull us apart. We argue time and time again about whether we should return to our past, live in the present or only plan for the future. Vayikra's message of eternal purity and holiness If the book of Shemot (Exodus) describes the melding, collective identity and destiny of the Jewish people, Vayikra (Leviticus) discusses how this community is to live its collective life and strive to higher levels of sanctification. The book deals with sacrifices, the rituals of sacrifices, and the role of kohanim, or priests. The opening chapter of Vayikra deals with the intricacies and classification of sacrifices to be brought by the children of Israel. Unlike many other sections of the Torah, it is hard to find a lot of philosophical or metaphysical concepts in this section. Just details, i.e., this is brought for such and such type of sacrifice, and how it is done. How do we reconcile the loftiness of the ideas set forth in this book with the dullness of its introduction? Just what role did sacrifices play in the lives of the children of Israel? As you can imagine, the children of Israel were more connected to the necessities of life than we are today. They grew the food they needed and raised the livestock they ate. The sacrifices they offered came from this food and livestock - the very sustenance they needed to live. These sacrifices had real meaning to Jews then, and what sacrifices were offered for which cause had real significance and value in their day-to-day lives. Through burnt offerings, meal offerings, peace offerings, sin offerings and guilt offerings, actions were imbued with real meaning and import. It is ironic that what seems dull, distant and anachronistic to us today was very real, immediate and relevant then. Sacrifices spoke to people in a way they could understand, and by utilizing that which was ordinary but essential to everyday life, sacrifices were able to transform that everyday life and imbue it with meaning and sanctity. It is an interesting question to think about what speaks to us and can sanctify our lives in the same way today. we begin reading the third book of the Bible, Leviticus or Sefer Vayikra as it is called in Hebrew. This book deals primarily with the laws of sacrifices that were to be brought in the Tabernacle in the desert and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. Vayikra is often described as being inaccessible to modern readers, because we have a hard time relating to the detailed description of sacrificial worship that occupies a large part of the book. It is true that the details of Vayikra are often gory and confusing, but at a deeper level, the book is full of themes, symbols and ideas that resonate deeply with us. Finding meaning in Vayikra presents a challenge to us, but it is a challenge well worth taking. The following verses from Chapter 4 of Vayikra describe the sacrifices that are to be brought when one sins accidentally. The chapter deals with both communal and individual sins. Leviticus Chapter 4 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the Israelite people thus: When a person unwittingly incurs guilt in regard to any of the Lord's commandments about things not to be done, and does one of them - If it is the anointed priest who has incurred guilt, so that blame falls upon the people, he shall offer for the sin of which he is guilty a bull of the herd without blemish as a sin offering to the Lord... If it is the whole community of Israel that has erred and the matter escapes the notice of the congregation, so that they do any of the things which by the Lord's commandments ought not to be done, and they realize their guilt... In case it is a chieftain who incurs guilt by doing unwittingly any of the things which by the commandment of the Lord his God ought not to be done, and he realizes his guilt... If any person from among the populace unwittingly incurs guilt by doing any of the things which by the Lord's commandments ought not to be done, and he realizes his guilt... Many of the classical Biblical commentators are troubled by the same questions. The following two commentators focus on the fact that the leadership is addressed first. Rabbeinu Bachya ben Asher (late 13th Century, Spain) The order of sinners who bring sacrifices in this chapter is: The high priest, the Sanhedrin (supreme court), the king, and the general populace. It begins with the high priest who is a great man and a messenger of God so that everyone will see what he does, and thus all of Israel will do repentance (Teshuva) - when they see that the most diligent person among them brings a sacrifice for his transgression, they will all learn from him: Just as God forgives someone who is close to God who is not supposed to sin, all the more so God will forgive the rest of the nation. Rashi on Leviticus 4:22 In case it is a chieftain who incurs guilt - (The Hebrew for this is: asher nasi yecheta). The word asher (in case) means "fortunate" (the Hebrew for fortunate is ashrei, which sounds like asher). Fortunate is the generation whose chieftain offers atonement for his accidental transgressions. All the more so that he regrets his willful transgressions. Your Commentator Navigator 1. According to Rabbeinu Bachya, why do people feel comforted by the fact that the high priest is forgiven for his sins? 2. Is it fair to hold leaders to higher standards than the rest of the nation? 3. Why does Rashi think a generation is fortunate if its leaders offer atonement? Is it harder for a leader to admit that he/she is wrong than an average person? A Word Both Rashi and Rabbeinu Bachya recognize the powerful positions that leaders are in. Whether it is fair or not, leaders are held to higher standards, and people have greater expectations of them. Furthermore, leaders' actions have greater impact. Our chapter is dealing with instances when the law is broken because it has not been properly taught. When leaders are wrong in this context, they cause others to err as well. While this places a great deal of responsibility on leaders, at the same time the Torah recognizes that our leaders are fallible and that they will make mistakes. The Torah's message is that while our leaders must be aware of the responsibility which they bear, they should have confidence in themselves and their abilities. At the same time, a critical leadership skill is to be willing to admit when you are wrong and to take the necessary steps to fix your mistakes.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Well gentle readers,
We come to a close of one book only to enter another. It is not as easy as it looks and in trying to give you insights into Sacred Writ perhaps I spent too much time for many. We skipped over areas that called for much more detail than I gave here. But to be truthful this is the only book that I have not grown tired. So we will leave Exodus with this final study and move on to Leviticus. We will not go in depth this time as I am assured that you have learned how to dig for yourself by now.
But we will hit the pertinant facts in this book. So we present here you a summery
Moses—A Type of Christ
"The life of Moses presents a series of striking antitheses. He was the child of a slave, and the son of a king. He was born in a hut, and lived in a palace. He inherited poverty, and enjoyed unlimited wealth. He was the leader of armies, and the keeper of flocks. He was the mightiest of warriors, and the meekest of men. He was educated in the court, and dwelt in the desert. He had the wisdom of Egypt, and the faith of a child. He was fitted for the city, and wandered in the wilderness. He was tempted with the pleasures of sin, and endured the hardships of virtue. He was backward in speech, and talked with God. He had the rod of a shepherd, and the power of the Infinite. He was a fugitive from Pharaoh, and an ambassador from Heaven. He was the giver of the Law, and the forerunner of Grace. He died alone on mount Moab, and appeared with Christ in Judea. No man assisted at his funeral, yet God buried him. The fire has gone out of mount Sinai, but the lightning is still in his Law. His lips are silent, but his voice yet speaks" (Dr. I. M. Haldeman).
But the most striking thing of all in connection with this most remarkable man, is the wonderful way and the many respects in which he was a type of the Lord Jesus In the Introductory article of this series (Jan. 1924) we stated: "In many respects there is a remarkable correspondency between Moses and Christ, and if the Lord permits us to complete this series of articles, we shall, at the close, summarize those correspondencies, and show them to be as numerous and striking.
Ere we attempt to set forth some (for we do not profess to exhaust the subject) of these correspondencies, let us first appeal to the Word itself in proof that Moses was a type of Christ. In Deuteronomy 18:15 we find Moses saying, "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken". Thus it wilt be seen from these words that we are not trafficking in human imagination when we contemplate Moses as a type of Christ. Such is the plain teaching of Holy Writ.
As we desire to bring to a close these "Gleanings in Exodus" in this current study, and therefore can devote but one article to our present theme, and as the points to be considered are so numerous, we cannot take up each one separately and comment upon it at length. Rather shall we, with a few exceptions, simply give the references, and ask the you the reader to look them up for himself/herself.
1. His nationality. Moses was an Israelite (Ex. 2:1, 2). So, according to the flesh, was Christ.
2. His Birth. This occurred when his nation was under the dominion of a hostile power, when they were groaning under the rule of a Gentile king (Ex. 1). So the Jews were in bondage to the Romans when Christ was born (Matthew 2:1 cf. Luke 24: 21).
3. His Person. "In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair to God" (Acts 7:20). How blessedly did he, in this, foreshadow the Beloved of the Father! His estimate of the "fairness" of that Child which lay in Bethlehem’s manger, was evidenced by the sending of the angels to say unto the shepherds, "Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11).
4. His Infancy. In infancy his life was endangered, imperiled by the reigning king, for Pharaoh had given orders that, "Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river" (Ex. 1:22). How this reminds us of Matthew 2:16: "Then Herod . . . sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof"!
5. His Adoption. Though, previously, he was the child of another, he yet was made the son of Pharaoh’s daughter: "And became her son" (Ex. 2:10). Thus he had a mother, but no father! What anointed eye can fail to see prefigured here the mystery of the Virgin-birth! Christ was the Son of Another, even the Son of God. But, born into this world, He had a mother, but no human father. Yet was He, as it were, adopted by Joseph: see Matthew 1:19-21.
6. His Childhood. This was spent in Egypt. So also was Christ’s: "Behold the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, and take the young Child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word" (Matthew 2:13). Thus was fulfilled God’s ancient oracle, "And called My Son out of Egypt" (Hosea 11:1).
7. His Sympathy for Israel. He was filled with a deep compassion for his suffering kinsmen according to the flesh, and he yearned for their deliverance. Beautifully does this come out in Acts 7:23, 24, "And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren of the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him." So too Christ was filled with pity toward His enslaved people, and love brought Him here to deliver them.
8. His early knowledge of his Mission. Long years before he actually entered upon his great work, Moses discerned, "how that God by his hand would deliver them" (Acts 7:25). So as a Boy of twelve, Christ said to His perplexed mother, "Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?" (Luke 2:49).
9. His condescending Grace. Though legally the "son of Pharaoh’s daughter", yet he regarded the Hebrew slaves as his brethren: "And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren" (Ex. 2:11). So it is with Christ: "He is not ashamed to call them brethren" (Heb. 2:11).
10. His great Renunciation. "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt" (Heb. 11:24-26). What a foreshadowing was this of Him "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant" (Phil. 2:6, 7)! Like Moses, Christ too voluntarily relinquished riches, glory, and a kingly palace.
11. His Rejection by his brethren. "And the next day he showed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? But he that did his neighbor wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us?" (Acts 7:26, 27). This is very sad; sadder still is it to read of Christ, "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not" (John 1:11). This same line in the typical picture was before us when we considered Joseph. But mark this difference: In the case of Joseph, it was his brethren’s enmity against his person (Gen. 37:4); here with Moses, it was his brethren’s enmity against his mission. Joseph was personally hated; Moses officially refused—"who made thee a ruler and a judge over us"? So it was with Christ. Israel said, "We will not have this Man to reign over us" (Luke 19:14).
12. His Sojourning among the Gentiles. "But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian" (Ex. 2:15). Following Christ’s rejection by the Jews, we read, "God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name" (Acts 15:14).
13. His Seat on the well. Away from his own land, we read of Moses, "And he sat down by a well" (Ex. 2:15). So the only time we read of the Lord Jesus seated by the well, was when He was outside Israel’s borders, in Samaria (John 4:4, 6).
14. His Shepherdhood. "Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law" (Ex. 3:1). This is the character which Christ sustains to His elect among the Gentiles: "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold, them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one flock, one Shepherd" (John 10:16).
15. His Season of Seclusion. Before he entered upon his real mission, Moses spent many years in obscurity. Who had supposed that this one, there "at the backside of the desert", was destined to such an honorable future? So it was with the incarnate Son of God. Before He began His public ministry, He was hidden away in despised Nazareth. Who that saw Him there in the carpenter’s shop, dreamed that He was ordained of God to the work of redemption!
16. His Commission from God. He was called of God to emancipate His people from the house of bondage: "Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth My people the children of Israel out of Egypt" (Ex. 3:10). So Christ was sent forth into this world to "seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).
17. His Apostleship. Thus he was God’s apostle unto Israel, for "apostle" signifies one "sent forth": "Now therefore go" (Ex. 4:12). So Christ was the Sent One of God (John 9:4 etc); yea, in Hebrews 3:1 He is designated "the Apostle".
18. His Credentials. His commission from God was confirmed by power to work miracles. So also Christ’s mission was authenticated by wondrous signs (Matthew 11:4, 5). It should be noted that Moses is the first one mentioned in the O. T. that performed miracles; so is Christ in the N. T.—John the Baptist performed none (John 10:41).
19. His first Miracles. Moses wrought many wonders, but it is most striking to observe that his first two miraculous signs were power over the serpent, and power over leprosy (Ex. 4:6-9). So after Christ began His public ministry, we read first of His power over Satan (Matthew 4:10, 11), and then His power over leprosy (Matthew 8:3).
20. His Return to his own land. In Exodus 4:19 we read, "And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life". The antitype of this is found in Matthew 2:19, "An angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, Arise, and take the young Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young Child’s life"!
21. His Acceptance by his brethren. This is recorded in Exodus 4:29-31. How different was this from his first appearing before and rejection by the Hebrews (Ex. 2)! How beautifully it prefigured Israel’s acceptance of their Messiah at His second appearing!
22. His powerful Rod. Moses now wielded a rod of mighty power: see Exodus 9:23; 10:13; 14:16. So also it is written of Christ, "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron" (Ps. 2:9).
23. His Announcing solemn Judgments. Again and again he warned Pharaoh and his people of the sore punishment of God if they continued to defy him. So also Christ declared, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3).
24. His deliverance of Israel. Moses perfectly fulfilled his God-given commission and led Israel out of the house of bondage: "The same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer" (Acts 7:35). So Christ affirmed, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (John 8:36).
25. His Headship. Remarkably is this brought out in 1 Corinthians 10:1, 2, "All our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Morea". So obedient Christians are "baptized unto Jesus Christ" (Rom. 6:3).
26. His Leadership of Israel’s Praise. "Then sang Moses and the children of Israel" (Ex. 15:1) Of Christ too it is written, "In the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee" (Ps. 22:22).
27. His Authority challenged. This is recorded in Numbers 16:3; the antitype in Matthew 21:23.
28. His person Envied. See Psalm 106:16, and compare Mark 15:10.
29. His person opposed. Though Israel were so deeply indebted to Moses, yet again and again we find them "murmuring" against him: Exodus 15:24, 16:2, etc. For the N. T. parallel see Luke 15:2, John 6:41.
30. His life Threatened. So fiercely did the ungrateful Hebrews oppose Moses that, on one occasion, they were ready to "stone" him (Ex. 17:4). How this brings to mind what we read of in John 8:59, 10:31!
31. His Sorrows. Moses felt keenly the base ingratitude of the people. Mark his plaintive plea as recorded in Numbers 11:11, 14. So too the Lord Jesus suffered from the reproaches of the people: He was "the Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief".
32. His unwearied Love. Though misunderstood, envied, and opposed, nothing could alienate the affections of Moses from his people. "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it" (Song 8:7). Beautifully is this seen in Exodus 32. After Israel repudiated Jehovah and had worshipped the golden calf, after the Lord has disowned them as His people (Ex. 32:7), Moses supplicates God on their behalf, saying "Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray Thee, out of Thy book which Thou hast written" (vv. 31:32). How this reminds us of Him who "having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end" (John 13:1)!
33. His Forgiving spirit. "And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses... Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath He not spoken also by us"? (Num. 12:1, 2). But he answered not a word. How this pointed to Him who, ‘when He was reviled, reviled not again" (1 Pet. 2:23). When Miriam was stricken with leprosy because of her revolt against her brother, we are told, "Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech Thee" (Num. 12:13).
34. His Prayerfulness. An example of this has just been before us, but many other instances are recorded. Moses was, pre-eminently, a man of prayer. At every crisis he sought unto the Lord: see Exodus 5:22, 8:12, 9:33, 14:15, 15:25, 17:4, etc. Note how often in Luke’s Gospel Christ is also presented as a Man of prayer.
35. His Meekness. "Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth" (Num. 12:3) cf. Matthew 11:29.
36. His Faithfulness. "Moses verily was faithful in all his house" (Heb. 3:5). So Christ is "The faithful and true Witness" (Rev. 3:14).
37. His providing Israel with water. See Numbers 20:11 and compare John 4:14, 7:37.
38. His Prophetic office. Deuteronomy 18:18 and compare John 7:16, 8:28.
39. His Priestly activities. "Moses and Aaron among His priests" (Ps. 99:6). Illustrations are found in Leviticus 8: "And Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar... and he took all the fat... and burned it upon the altar" (vv. 15, 16 and see 19:23). So Christ, as Priest, "offered Himself without spot to God" (Heb. 9:14).
40. His Kingly rule. "Moses commanded us a law, even the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob. And he was king in Jeshurun" (Deut. 33:4, 5). So Christ is King in Zion, and will yet be over the Jews (Luke 1:32, 33).
41. His Judgeship. "Moses sat to judge the people: and they stood by Moses from the morning until the evening" (Ex. 18:13). Compare 2 Corinthians 5:10.
42. His Leadership. Moses was the head and director of God’s people, as He said to him, "Lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken" (Ex. 32:34). So Christ is called, "The Captain of their salvation" (Heb. 2:10).
43. His Mediation. What a remarkable word was that of Moses to Israel, "I stood between the Lord and you" (Deut. 5:5): "There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5).
44. His Election. In Psalm 106:23 he is called, "Moses His chosen". So God says of Christ, "Behold My Servant, whom I uphold, Mine elect" (Isa. 42:1).
45. His Covenant-engagement. "And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel" (Ex. 34:27): so Christ is denominated, "The Mediator of a better covenant" (Heb. 8:6).
46. His sending forth of the Twelve. "These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land" (Num. 13:16 see previous verses). So Christ sent forth twelve apostles (Matthew 10:5).
47. His Appointing of the Seventy. "And Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people" (Num. 11:24). So Christ selected seventy (Luke 10:1).
48. His Wisdom. "Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians" (Acts 7:22). Compare Colossians 2:3.
49. His Might. "And was mighty in words and in deeds" (Acts 7:22). Behold the antitype of this in Matthew 113:34: "They were astonished, and said, Whence hath this Man this wisdom, and these mighty works"?
50. His Intercession. "And Moses brought their cause before the Lord" (Num. 27:5). Compare Hebrews 7:25.
51. His Intimate Communion with God. "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face" (Ex. 34:10). So, on earth, Christ was "The only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father" (John 1:18). It is striking to behold in Exodus 31 to 34 how Moses passed and re-passed between Jehovah in the mount and the camp of the congregation: expressive of his equal access to heaven and earth—compare John 3:13.
52. His Knowledge of God. See Psalm 103:7 and cf. John 5:20.
53. His holy Anger. See Exodus 32:19 and cf. Mark 3:5, etc.
54. His Message. He was the mouthpiece of God: "And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord" (Ex. 24:3). Compare Hebrews 1:2.
55. His Commandments. See Deuteronomy 4:2 and cf. Matthew 28:20.
56. His Written Revelation. See Exodus 31:13 and cf. Revelation 1:1.
57. His Fasting. See Exodus 34:28 and cf. Matthew 4:2.
58. His Transfiguration on the mount. See Exodus 34:29, 35 and cf. Matthew 17:2.
59. His Place Outside the Camp. See Exodus 33:7 and cf. Hebrews 13:13.
60. His Arraigning of the responsible head. See Exodus 32:21 and cf. Revelation 2:12, 13.
61. His Praying for Israel’s Forgiveness. See Numbers 14:19 and cf. Luke 23:34.
62. His Washing his Brethren with Water. "And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water" (Lev. 8:6). Who can fail to see in that a foreshadowing of what is recorded in John 13:5: "After that He poureth water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet"!
63. His Prophecies. See Deuteronomy 28 and 33 and cf. Matthew 24 and Luke 21.
64. His Rewarding God’s servants. See Numbers 7:6, 32:33, 40 and cf. Revelation 22:12.
65. His perfect Obedience. "Thus did Moses according to all that the Lord commanded, so did he" (Ex. 40:16). What a lovely foreshadowing was this of Him who could say, "I have kept My Father’s commandments" (John 16:10)!
66. His erecting the Tabernacle. See Exodus 40:2, and cf. Zechariah 6:12.
67. His Completing of his Work. "So Moses finished the work" (Ex. 40:33). What a blessed prefiguration was this of Him who declared, "I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do" (John 17:4).
68. His Blessing of the People. "And Moses blessed them" (Ex. 39:43). So too we read in Luke 24:50, "And He led them out as far as to Bethany, and He lifted up His hands, and blessed them".
69. His Anointing of God’s House. "And Moses took the anointing oil (the O. T. emblem of the Holy Spirit), and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein" (Lev. 8:10). Carefully compare Acts 2:1-3, 33.
70. His Unabated Strength. "His eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated" (Deut. 34:7): compare Matthew 27:50, and note the "loud voice".
71. His Death was for the benefit of God’s people. "It went ill with Moses for their sakes" (Ps. 106:32); "But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes" (Deut. 3:26). What marvelous foreshadowings of the Cross were these!
72. His Appointing of another Comforter. Moses did not leave his people comfortless, but gave them a successor: see Deuteronomy 31:23 and cf. John 14:16, 18.
73. His giving an Inheritance. "The land which Moses gave you on this side of Jordan" (Josh. 1:14): in Christ believers "have obtained an inheritance" (Eph. 1:11).
74. His Death necessary before Israel could enter Canaan. "Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to thee" (Josh. 1:2). "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit" (John 12:24).
75. His Second Appearing. Moses was one of the two Old Testament characters which returned to this earth in New Testament times (Matthew 17:3)—type of Christ’s second coming to the earth. Our space is already exhausted so we shall leave it with our readers to search the Scriptures for at least twenty-five other points in which Moses foreshadowed our Lord. The subject is well-nigh exhaustless. And a most blessed subject it is, demonstrating anew the Divine authorship of the Bible. May the Lord bless to many this very imperfect attempt to show that "in the volume of the Book" it is written of Christ.