Another Voice from the
As the elderly man made his way down the steep trail, his mind
was in turmoil yet filled with wonder and awe. How could he ever find the words to share what he had just
experienced? Human language and even imagination could never frame the glory or place in context the power he had
witnessed. The trail was steep and often he had to steady himself with his staff. His
thoughts focused on that staff as memories flooded his mind. It seemed like only yesterday when he had used this
staff to direct sheep and defend them from wild animals that sought to feed from his herds. He reminisced about
those long yet peaceful 40 years in the wilderness.
He had arrived there as a forty year old man and a fugitive on the run. He had been raised in Egypt but was a man
of quick temper. Although adopted as royalty and in line for the throne, his temper had led him to murder an
Egyptian officer and he was forced to flee. The trek across the desert had almost left him a dead man. Yet God had
been with him and he had found refuge in the person of Jethro, the priest of Midian. Time had gone by and as Moses
tended Jethro’s sheep, he began to change. Spending time with Jethro and his family, Moses fell in love with one of
Jethro’s daughters. Jethro saw potential in Moses and with Jethro’s consent they were married.
Over the next forty years, he and Zipporah had a happy peaceful life. In love, they had brought two children into
the world. Moses had become dependent upon God and learned meekness and patience as a shepherd.
When he was eighty years old, God found him to be the meekest man on the earth. He would have been content to spend
his remaining years in this quiet solitude with his family. But all that had changed.
He remembered that day when God had appeared to him in the bush that burned but was not consumed. He remembered how
in spite of his reservations, God had sent him back to Egypt. His mind spun remembering the events of Egypt. God
had used him, with that rod now in his hand, to rain ten devastating plagues down upon Egypt and free His people.
They were a rough nation of people with quick tempers like he once had, but Moses loved them. God had worked many
mighty miracles to free them and now here they were at the mountain of God. God had given them His ten statutes of
guidance and promise but His voice had been too much for them. In fear they had asked Moses to be a mediator
between God and themselves. They swore that all that the Lord had said they would do. Moses had then gone up into
the mountain to be with God as their representative.
Now after forty days on that mountain with God, he was making his way back down. Though filled with awe and
amazement, he was also deeply worried. God had revealed to him that Israel was in profound trouble. They had made
an image of their own creation and attributed their deliverance from Egypt to it. God had indicated that He would
destroy them and start over with Moses. Again he used the rod to steady himself. He was still strong but the way
was steep and he was carrying a treasure. In his hands were also two tables of sapphire stone. God had written His
statutes on them with His own finger. These were the same statutes that the people had sworn to keep less than two
months ago. Moses marveled at this and held them securely as he rounded the next corner.
There he found Joshua waiting. He had waited for Moses with
patience and faith for the same forty days. “We
must hurry” cried Joshua, “there is a sound of war in the camp.” But Moses knew that there was no war, at least of
the physical kind. There was a much more serious type of war going on and Israel was losing. They quickly hurried
down. As they drew near the camp Moses exclaimed “It is not the voice of
them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them
that sing do I hear.” Ex. 32:18
When they finally rushed around the last corner and came out
above the camp, Moses saw their singing, dancing, naked forms, worshiping around the golden calf and his anger
We all know the story of how he threw down the tables of stone
and broke them against the base of the mountain. He ground up the image and made them drink it. He allowed all who
were on God’s side to come to him and then the sons of the tribe of Levi were sent out with the sword to destroy
those who remained in rebellion. Three thousand had chosen to die in rebellion instead of repenting. It is what
happens next that we must understand.
The leadership of Israel had been established by God. It was
God who had chosen Moses as the leader and Aaron was to be second in command. This was not up to debate. In all
matters of God’s interaction with man, He is not disorganized. In every movement of God, He establishes a gospel
order in which to direct and bless His children. Through gospel order, God provides three benefits for His people.
Gospel order provides a system of authority, protection, and blessing. Deny or defy any one of these and you
lose all three. We will explore this in more detail further in the book. Let’s now
take a closer look at their rebellion.
“And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down
out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which
shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is
become of him. Exodus 32:1
When the children of Israel lost confidence in the prophet of
God, they removed themselves from God’s channel of authority and thus also lost their blessing, and protection. The
next layer of protection should have come from their leadership in Aaron. But he lost confidence in Moses (God’s
appointed prophet) and thus failed to protect and guide them. Finally, the father of each family should have
protected his family but there is no evidence that they stood firm. With the loss of confidence in God’s prophet,
the movement went into apostasy.
This is a lesson we as God’s final remnant must learn. The
peril of this deception is ominous with its foundations having already been placed among us. “The very last
deception of Satan will be to make of none effect the testimony of the Spirit of God. "Where there is no
vision, the people perish." Proverbs 29:18. Satan will work ingeniously, in different ways and through different
agencies, to unsettle the confidence of God's remnant people in the true testimony.” FLB 296
When Moses saw their great peril, he described it in the
following manner. “And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their
shame among their enemies:) Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD'S side? let him
come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.” Exodus
Without being under the channel of God’s choosing, the people
were “naked” and vulnerable. We must remember that there was no city built there. There was no physical city gate.
Moses stood in the breach of Israel’s spiritual vulnerability. By choosing to come to Moses, they were placing
themselves back into gospel order and thus the leadership and protection of God through His divinely appointed
channels. In a few pages we will return to this story but we first must look at the reason for studying Moses. This
chapter is entitled another voice from the past. It is now that we must look at and identify this voice.
“And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and
the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways,
thou King of saints.” Revelation 15:3
Here in Revelation we see that at the end of time, those of us
who comprise the 144,000 of God will sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. What does it mean to sing the song of
Moses and the Lamb? Why Moses? How does his voice compare or harmonize with the voice of Elijah. What did they have
in common with Christ and how does it apply to us? These are important questions that we must answer if we are
going to be part of that 144,000. Those two voices echoing from the past have a singular message we must
understand. They are indeed tied intimately to the mission of Christ. It was these very same two that were sent to
comfort and strengthen Jesus on the mount where He was transfigured. They gave our Lord comfort and helped
strengthen Him for His trial and crucifixion.
How, one might ask, are these voices in
harmony? The voice of Elijah was a cry to choose between worshiping Jehovah or
false gods. How does that relate to Moses? We find our answer in Moses’ prophecies pointed to our time (latter
“I call heaven and earth to witness
against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess
it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the LORD shall scatter you among
the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you. And there ye
shall serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. But if
from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all
thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if
thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he
will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.”
One might be tempted to think that this is not relating to us
but to the fall of Israel in the time of Babylon but this would be a mistake. God warns us that the message of
Elijah would be sent just before the great and terrible day of the Lord and that it is tied to Moses and God’s
“Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded
unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:” (Mal 4:4-5) Note the following quote. “Each of the
ancient prophets spoke less for their own time than for ours, so that their prophesying is in force for us. "Now
all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of
the world are come." 1 Corinthians 10:11. " 7MR pg 417
Let’s go back to the coming of Elijah as seen in type with
John the Baptist and look at Christ’s words. “And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes
concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for
to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. But what went ye
out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written,
Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among
them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least
in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of
heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until
John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him
hear.” Matthew 11:7-15
Christ Himself identified John as a fulfillment of Malachi’s
prophecy. Let’s look at the conditions in the church at that time. There was no apparent outward worshiping of
idols. But there was instead a concept of God and the Messiah that totally eclipsed the truth concerning them both.
The Jews therefore were guilty of spiritual idolatry. The mission of John was to make a straight path (narrow truth
or doctrine) for Christ. John was sent to correct their view of the Father and Son. Their idolatry was one of
spiritual and doctrinal nature.
One might ask, does God really see false doctrinal views of Himself as idolatry? Consider the following quote by
Ellen G. White. “Are we followers of God as dear children, or are we servants of the prince of darkness? Are we
worshipers of Jehovah, or of Baal? of the living God, or of idols? No outward shrines may be visible, there may
be no image for the eye to rest upon, yet we may be practicing idolatry. It is as easy to make an idol of cherished
ideas or objects as to fashion gods of wood or stone. Thousands have a false conception of God and His attributes.
They are as verily serving a false god as were the servants of Baal. Are we worshiping the true God as
He is revealed in His word, in Christ, in nature, or are we adoring some philosophical idol enshrined in His
place?” ST Feb 8, 1883
In Israel during the time of Christ’s first coming, this was exactly what they had done. Their wrongly conceived
and mistaken concepts of the Father and Son lead them to reject Christ and to crucify the Son of God. Yet John the
Baptist was only a type in the fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy. The anti-type or final fulfillment would occur
just ”before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD”. Why would this voice need to
again be heard in our time? To answer this, we must also hear a different voice echoing from our near