Let The Dead Speak
November 2011 Issue
By ITH Ministries
God has given me light regarding our periodicals. What is it?--He has said that the dead are to
speak. How?--Their works shall follow them. We are to repeat the words of the pioneers in our work, who knew what
it cost to search for the truth as for hidden treasure, and who labored to lay the foundation of our work. They
moved forward step by step under the influence of the Spirit of God. One by one these pioneers are passing away.
The word given me is, Let that which these men have written in the past be reproduced. Review and Herald - May 25,
Stephen Haskell - The Cross and its Shadow - Part 2
James White - Millennium Bible Adventism - Sermon 2
The Cross and It's Shadow
Part 2 of 5
ONE entire tribe of Israel was set apart for the
service of the sanctuary. As we recall the last words spoken to Levi by his father Jacob as he lay on his
death-bed, we might wonder that his descendants were chosen for that sacred work. When Jacob remembered the
sins of Levi, he pronounced almost a curse instead of a blessing upon his son, and closed it with these
I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in
Israel. (Gen. 49:5-7)
Wondrous is the love of our God that can change a curse into a
blessing. (Neh. 13:2) Only a mighty God can make scarlet sins as white as snow. (Isa. 1:18) The impulsive nature
which, under the control of Satan, drives a man to commit desperate crimes, is not removed when he is converted.
That same impetuosity, consecrated and under the control of Christ, makes him a valiant warrior for the Lord.
Saul, the desperate persecutor, when converted, became Paul, the leading apostle.
The fearless character which, under the control of Satan, led Levi
to murder the Shechemites, when controlled by the grace of God, enabled his descendants to take their stand
boldly on the Lord's side when the mass of Israel went into idolatry. (Ex. 32:26-29) God then turned the curse
into a blessing; He said because they had observed His law and kept His covenant, they
teach Jacob His judgments and Israel His
law. (Duet. 33:8-11)
In order that their influence for good might be more widely felt
throughout Israel, the Lord, instead of giving them one portion of the land for their inheritance, as He had
given the other tribes, appointed as their portion forty-eight cities scattered among all the tribes, (Number
18:20; 35:1-8) Truly they were divided in Jacob and scattered in Israel, but the curse was turned into a
Our God is
yesterday, and to-day, and forever. (Heb. 13:8) When He pronounces
evil against a nation or an individual because of their wickedness, if they turn from their wrong-doing, God
will repent of the evil He
thought to do unto
them, and as in the case of Levi, a blessing will come instead of
the curse. (Jer. 18:7-10)
Levite was applied to all the priests, but only
the descendants of Aaron were to hold the sacred office. The remainder of the tribe were to do the, service of
the sanctuary under the direction of the priests. They were not allowed to officiate at the altar of
burnt-offering, nor to burn incense, nor to do any of the priest's work within the veil. The Levites were to
serve, or minister to, the priests; but the priests were to minister for the people before the Lord. (Num.
The Levites were consecrated to the work of the sanctuary by the
laying on of hands by the whole assembly of Israel, and then Aaron offered them
before the Lord for an offering of the children of Israel. (Num. 8:9-14)
The Levites were chosen by the Lord instead of the firstborn of
Israel. (Num. 8:17,18) While journeying in the wilderness, they carried all that pertained to the tabernacle;
but although they bore the sacred furniture, they were never permitted even to look upon it. (Num.
After the temple was built, the Levites were assigned the work of
waiting on the priests in the sanctuary service. They prepared the showbread, often led the singing, collected
the tithe, and did a large amount of work in connection with the service of the Lord. (1 Chr.
In the time of David the Levites began to serve in the sanctuary
at the age of twenty-five. At fifty years of age they were to
return from the warfare of the service. (Num.
8:23-26) They were not discharged; they still had an oversight of the work, but were not expected to perform
The work of the Levites was largely confined to the court, and
thus typified the work of the gospel ministry of the present day.
|Num. 18:1-7. The Levites served under the priests in the court of the sanctuary.
||Matt. 28:19, 20. Christ's ministers are to go to all the world the antitypical court.
|2 Chron. 35:3; 30:22. The Levites were teachers in Israel.
||Matt. 28:19. Christ commissioned His disciples to teach all nations.
Garments of the Priests
THE garments worn by the ordinary priests were of white linen, a
fit emblem of the Spotless One of whom their ministry was a type The outer robe was white woven in one piece,
and extended nearly to the feet. It was confined at the waist with a white linen girdle, embroidered in blue,
purple, and scarlet. A white linen miter or turban, covered the head. These articles, with the linen breeches
which were worn by all officiating priests, completed the costume of the common priest. These garments of white
linen were made for
glory and for beauty. (Ex. 28:40-42)
Only the family of Aaron could wear the rich garments of the priest; but there are robes of
fine linen, clean and white, in store for every overcomer, (Rev. 19:8) Even in this life, Christ
clothes His faithful ones with
the garments of salvation and
the robe of
righteousness. (Isa. 61:10)
The pure white garments were worn by the high priest on ordinary occasions, but when he entered
the most holy place to make atonement for the people, he was clad in gorgeous robes, which fitly represented our
High Priest as He confesses the names of His people before the judgment-seat of the Judge of the whole
The high priest always wore the long white linen robe of the common priest, but over this was a
robe of blue woven in one piece, and beautifully ornamented around the skirt with golden bells and pomegranates
of blue, purple, and gold. The ephod, a sleeveless garment of white linen, beautifully embroidered in gold,
blue, purple, and scarlet, was worn over the blue robe. This was shorter than the other garments, and was
confined at the waist by a richly embroidered girdle of the same color.
On the gold embroidered shoulders of the ephod were two onyx stones, on which were engraved the
names of the twelve tribes of Israel, six names on each shoulder, thus typifying the Mighty One who bears the
perplexities and burdens of His people upon His shoulders. (Isa. 9:6)
While the robe of blue with its golden bells and the handsomely embroidered ephod were
beautiful, yet the crowning feature in all the gorgeous dress of the high priest was the breastplate worn over
his heart as he officiated in the holy of holies before the Lord. The breastplate was of the same material as
the ephod. It was in the form of a square and measured a span. In it were set in gold twelve precious stones,
arranged three in a row. On each stone was engraved the name of one of the tribes of Israel. Around these was a
border of a variety of stones. The stones in the breastplate were the same as those that form the foundation of
the New Jerusalem. (Ex. 28:2-39) The breastplate hung from the shoulders of the ephod and was fastened at the
waist by a blue cord through gold rings.
Set in the breastplate, one on either side, were two brilliant stones, called the Urim and
Thummim. By means of these stones the mind of the Lord could be ascertained by the high priest. When questions
were asked, if light encircled the precious stone at the right, the answer was in the affirmative; but if a
shadow rested on the stone at the left, the answer was negative.
The breastplate being attached to the ephod, David, in calling for the priest to bring the ephod
when he was undecided as to what course to pursue, was really asking for the breastplate, by which he might know
the mind of the Lord. (1 Sam. 23:9-12)
There was one other article belonging to the high priest's garments, the miter, or bonnet, (Ex.
28:36,37) A gold plate bearing the inscription,
Holiness to Jehovah, was fastened by a blue lace to
the front of the white bonnet, or turban, worn by the priests.
No priest was allowed to wear the priestly garments except when officiating in the sanctuary or
court. (Eze 44:19)
There is a touching significance in the high priest's wearing the names of all Israel on his
shoulders and over his heart as he performed the work which typified the judgment, when the case of every one
will come up in review before God. The breastplate was called
the breastplate of judgment. (Ex.
28:15) Those names engraved on the stones were a type of the names of the overcomers, which Christ will confess
before His father and the angels. Stone is an enduring substance, but far more enduring is the book of life,
where the names which Christ has confessed, are written to remain forever. (Rev. 3:5)
|Ex. 28:32. Garment all of one piece.
||John 19:23. Christ's earthly garment was woven in one piece.
|Ex. 28:15-21. The breastplate of judgment contained the names of the twelve tribes, and was worn
over the heart of the high priest as he performed the work which typified the work of the
||Rev. 3:5. As each individual name comes up in review before God in the judgment Christ will
confess the names of the overcomers, and their names will remain in the book of life
THE Passover was the opening feast of the yearly round of
religious services. It was both commemorative and typical, commemorative of the deliverance of the children of
Israel from the bondage of Egypt, and typical of the deliverance from the thralldom of sin of every individual
who claims Christ as his Passover Lamb, and accepts His blood as a covering for past sins. (1 Cor. 5:7)
The Passover was celebrated in the early springtime, when the opening buds and flowers
proclaimed that winter was past. As the time drew near for this feast, every road leading toward Jerusalem was
thronged with devout Jews wending their way toward the holy city; for every man of the children of Israel had to
appear before the Lord at the time of this feast. (Duet 16:16) All classes mingled together in these traveling
companies, which were constantly increasing as they neared the city. Shepherds, farmers, priests, and Levites,
men from all walks in life, joined the throngs which entered Jerusalem from all directions. The homes in the
city were thrown open to entertain them, and tents were pitched upon the house-tops and in the streets to
shelter those attending the feast, and to provide rooms where as families and groups they might gather to eat
Prior to the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt, the new year began in the autumn;
(Ex. 23:16; 34:22) but when the Lord brought the Israelites out from Egyptian bondage, in the month Abib, or
Nisan, He said,
This month shall be unto you the beginning of months:it shall be the first month of the year
to you. (Ex. 12:2) The month Abib corresponds with the last of March and the first of April.
On the tenth day of the month Abib, the Passover lamb was selected, and was kept separate from
the rest of the flock until the fourteenth day of the month, when it was slain. There was an appointed hour for
the slaying of the lamb
between the two evenings, (Ex. 12:6) or about the ninth hour of the day,
which in our reckoning of time would be three o'clock in the afternoon.
The lamb was roasted entire, not one bone being broken. If the family was small, several
families could join together in the feast. Unleavened bread and bitter herbs were eaten with the lamb. The
unleavened bread commemorated the rapid flight from Egypt, when the children of Israel took their dough before
it was leavened,
their kneading-troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. The
unleavened bread also typified the condition of the one who is covered by the blood of Christ, the antitypical
Lamb. (Ex. 12:1-6) To such a one the Lord says,
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. (1 Cor. 5-8)
Not only was unleavened bread used in the feast, but no leaven was allowed in the homes during
the entire week following the day of the Passover.
This is a very beautiful emblem of the Christian, who, while claiming to be sheltered by the
blood of Christ, should not only keep his mouth from speaking evil, but his heart also should be free from the
leaven of malice and wickedness. The bitter herbs were a reminder of their cruel bondage in Egypt.
The lamb was to be eaten in the night of the fourteenth day of the month. If any of the flesh remained until the
morning, it was burned by fire.
When the lamb was slain, a sprig of hyssop was dipped in the blood, and with it they were to
strike the two side posts and the lintel of the door of the house where the lamb was eaten. This commemorated
that wonderful deliverance of the first- born of Israel when all the first-born of Egypt were slain. The Lord
The blood shall be to you 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. (Ex.
While the event commemorated by the blood on the lintel was wonderful, yet the event typified
was far more wonderful. Just as truly as the destroying angel passed through Egypt and laid the icy hand of
death upon the brow of every first-born child who was not shielded by the blood, so the second death, from which
there will be no resurrection, will fall upon every one who has not been cleansed from sin by the blood of
Christ. (Rev. 20:14,15) There was no respect of persons; all were slain, from the heir to the throne of Egypt to
the first-born of the prisoner in the dungeon. Exalted station, wealth, or earthly fame will not shield one from
the destroying angel of the Lord. One thing alone will shield rich and poor alike, it is the precious blood of
The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.
If we confess our sins, He
is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John
Dwelling upon the commemorative side of the Passover feast, strengthens our faith. Remembering
how the Lord wrought for His afflicted people, how he heard their cries and worked miracles for their
deliverance, brings a blessing to the soul; but there is also salvation for the one who dwells upon the typical
part of the Passover feast, and claims the blessings there shadowed forth by type and symbol. Every Passover
lamb, from the one slain on the night of the deliverance from Egypt to the time of Christ, was a type of the
Saviour in a special sense.
Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. (1 Cor. 5:7)
Just as the Passover lamb had for centuries been taken from the flocks a few days before it was
to be slain, and had been kept separate, a lamb marked for death; so a few days before Christ was crucified, the
Sanhedrin condemned Him to death. From that day forth, as they looked upon Him, they knew that His death was
determined. As the lamb was kept apart, so
Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the
Jews. (John 11:47-54) This was only a few days before Jesus was seized by the cruel mob and condemned
by false witnesses.
On the morning after that awful night of torture and agony, the Saviour was brought to Pilate's
judgment hall. All night the Jews had followed Christ while He had been in the presence of their high priest;
but now, when He was taken into the Roman hall of justice, the Jews
went not 'into the judgment hall, lest
they should be defiled; but that they might eat the Passover. (John 18:28) According to their
ceremonial laws of defilement, they would not be permitted to eat the Passover if they entered this place. This
was the morning of the day the Saviour was crucified. It was the preparation day for the Jewish Passover, the
day upon which,
between the two evenings, the lamb was to be slain; or, in other words, it was the
fourteenth day of the month Abib, or Nisan, which in the year the Saviour was crucified fell upon Friday, for
the day following was the Sabbath day, according to the commandment, the seventh day of the week. (Luke
It was not by chance that the Saviour was crucified upon Friday, the sixth day of the week. For
centuries God had ordained that the day following the Passover, the fifteenth day of the month Abib, should be
kept as a ceremonial Sabbath, (Lev. 23:6,7) thus typifying the fact that Christ, the real Passover, would be
offered the day before the Sabbath. The Passover lamb was slain between the two evenings, or about the ninth
hour of the day. The great antitypical Lamb, as He hung between heaven and earth an offering for sinful man,
about the ninth hour, cried,
It is finished, and yielded up His life an offering for sin. (Matt.
27:46-50; John 19:30) At this hour the priests were preparing to slay the lamb at the temple, but they were
arrested in their work. All nature responded to that cry of agony from the Son of God. The earth reeled to and
fro, and unseen hands rent the veil of the temple from the top to the bottom, (Matt. 27:50) showing by an
unmistakable sign that type had met antitype. The shadow had met the substance which cast the shadow. No longer
was man to approach God by means of offerings of animals, but he was to come boldly to a throne of grace, (Heb.
4:15,16) and present his request in the precious name of
Christ our Passover.
The work typified by the Passover extends on down through the ages, and will not have fully met
its antitype until the children of God are forever freed from the power of the enemy of all righteousness.
It was at midnight that the destroying angel passed throughout Egypt, and manifested his power
in delivering the people of God from bondage; so it will be at midnight that God will manifest His power for the
final deliverance of His people. (Ex. 12:29,30) The prophet, looking down through the ages, says,
shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away:and the mighty shall be taken away without hand. (Job
Those partaking of the Passover feast were to leave nothing of it until the morning. The morning
was to bring a new experience freedom from bondage. The soul that accepts Christ as his Passover and partakes of
Him by faith, enters upon a new experience freedom from the condemnation of the old life. When God manifests His
power at midnight for the final deliverance of His people, the morning will leave none in bondage.
walls are rent asunder, and God's people who have been held in bondage for their faith are set
free, nevermore to feel the oppressive power of the enemy.
The destruction of Pharaoh and all his host in the Red Sea, and the song of deliverance sung by
the Israelites on the other shore, were typical of the final deliverance of God's people from this earth. (Rev.
15:2,3) The righteous will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, but the wicked, like Pharaoh's host, will
be left dead upon the earth, neither gathered nor buried. (1 Thess 4:16,17)
No stranger could partake of the Passover feast; but there were provisions made in the old
Levitical service whereby a stranger, by complying with certain forms and ceremonies, could become an Israelite,
and then partake of the Passover. (Ex 12:48) Sin debars mankind from sharing in the blessings promised the
children of God, but there is a remedy for sins:
Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as
snow; though, they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Is. 1:18)
If any man sin, we have an
advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (1 John 2:1)
The children of Israel were surrounded by heathen nations, who, when all the men went up to
attend the annual feasts, would seize upon their flocks and land, unless they were especially protected by God;
for not only at the Passover, but three times in the year all the men of Israel were required to attend the
feasts at Jerusalem. They went up trusting the promise,
I will enlarge thy borders:neither shall any man
desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the Lord thy God thrice in the year. (Ex.
34:24) We have the same God to-day, and for the man or woman who will seek
first the kingdom of God, and His
righteousness, God will
enlarge their borders, and protect their temporal interests. (Matt.
No longer do God's people gather at Jerusalem to eat the Passover; but faithful followers of the
Lord in all nations of the earth partake of the memorial of His broken body and shed blood. To each company the
words are spoken:
As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He
come. (1 Cor. 11:26)
There is a difference between the annual offerings, or feasts, and the ordinary offerings. The
sin-offering, trespass-offering, peace-offering, or any of the ordinary, offerings could be celebrated at any
time in the year, whenever the occasion or needs of the people demanded it; but not so with the annual
All the annual feasts were prophetic as well as typical. While the Passover lamb, slain each
year, was a shadow of
Christ our Passover, who was sacrificed for us, the fact that the lamb could
be slain only on the fourteenth day of the month Abib, was a prophecy that the antitypical Passover Lamb would
yield up His life for the sins of the world on the fourteenth day of Abib.
One unanswerable argument that Jesus is the Messiah, is that He died upon the cross the very
day, and time of the day, that God had said the Passover lamb should be slain; and He came forth from the dead
the same day of the month, that the first-fruits had been waved for centuries. God, Himself, definitely fixed
the date for the celebration of each of the annual offerings.
The day of the year when each annual offering was to be celebrated, was a direct prophecy of the
time when the type would meet its antitype.
Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us (1 Cor.
|Ex. 12:3-5. The Lamb selected some days before it was slain.
||John 11:47-53. Christ condemned to death by the Sanhedrin some days before the crucifixion.
|Ex. 12:6. It was set apart, and kept separate from the flock.
Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews.
|Ex. 12:6. The Passover lamb was slain on the fourteenth day of Abib, or Nisan.
||John 18:28; 19:14; 19:31; Luke 23:54-56. Jesus was crucified on the day the Jews were preparing to
eat the Passover; the fourteenth day of the month Abib, or Nisan.
|Ex. 12:6, margin. The Lamb was slain between the two evenings.
||Mark 15:34-37; John 19:30. Jesus died
between the two evenings about the ninth
|Ex. 12:46. Not a bone of the lamb was broken.
||John 19:33-36. Not a bone of the Saviour was broken.
|Ex. 12:7. Blood was placed on the two posts and lintel of the door.
||1 John 1:7.
The blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanseth us from all sin.
|Ex. 12:8. Unleavened bread and bitter herbs were eaten with the lamb.
||1 Cor. 5:7,8. Unleavened bread represented freedom from malice and wickedness.
|Ex. 12:19. No leaven was allowed in their homes for one week after the Passover feast.
||1 Peter 3:10; 1 Thess. 5:23. The Christian is not only to keep his lips from speaking guile; but
his whole spirit, soul, and body are to be preserved blameless.
|Ex. 12:7,12,29,42. Deliverance came at midnight after the slaying of the first born of the
It is at midnight that God manifests His power for the deliverance of His
|Ex. 12:22,23. No shelter from the destroyer except under the blood of the Passover lamb.
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven
given among men, whereby we must be saved.
|Ex 12:10,46. None of the lamb to be left until morning, the portion not eaten was to be
||Mal 4:1-3; Ez 28:12-19. When the righteous are delivered, ashes will be the only reminder of sin
|Ex. 12:43. No stranger could eat of the Passover.
||Rev. 21:27. No sinner can share in the reward of the righteous.
|Ex. 12:48. There was a provision made by which a stranger could eat of the Passover.
||Eph. 2:13; Gal. 3:29.
But now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off, are made nigh by
the blood of Christ.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread
THE Feast of Unleavened Bread began with the fifteenth day of the
month Abib, or Nisan, and continued seven days. (Num. 28:17) Unleavened bread was eaten with the Passover lamb;
but the Feast of Unleavened Bread followed the Passover, although at times the term
Feast of Unleavened
Bread also included the Passover. Many offerings were offered upon each one of the seven days, and
among them seven iambs. The first and last days of the feast were kept as ceremonial Sabbaths, but the first one
of these Sabbaths was reckoned the more important, being spoken of as the Sabbath. (Lev. 23:11,15)
The whole Jewish economy is a compacted prophecy of the gospel, and every service
commanded by God in the Jewish economy was either a shadow of the service of our High priest in the heavenly
sanctuary, or of the service enjoined upon the earthly congregation for whom he is officiating. Therefore there
was a special significance attached to the fact that for centuries the day following the Passover was kept as a
In the previous chapter we have shown that it was not by chance that in the year the Saviour was
crucified the Passover came on Friday, the sixth day of the week. Neither was it by chance that the ceremonial
Sabbath, the fifteenth day of Abib, came upon the seventh-day Sabbath of the Lord. It was type meeting antitype.
The beloved disciple John said,
That Sabbath was a high day, (John 19:31) which term was used
whenever the ceremonial annual Sabbath came upon the weekly Sabbath of the Lord.
Four thousand years before, on the first sixth day of time, God and Christ finished the work of
creation. God pronounced the finished work very good, and
He rested on the seventh day from all His work
which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it:because that in it He had rested from all
His work which God created and made. (Gen. 2:2,3) About twenty-five hundred years later, God, amid the
awful grandeur of Sinai, commanded His people to
remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy; (Exo.
20:1-17) for upon that day the seventh day He rested from the work of creation.
It was a mighty work to speak this world into existence, to clothe it with verdure and beauty,
to supply it with animal life, to people it with human beings made in the image of God; but it is a far greater
work to take the earth marred by sin, its inhabitants sunken in iniquity, and re-create them, bringing them
really to a higher state of perfection than when they first came from the hand of the Creator. This is the work
undertaken by the Son of God; and when He cried upon Calvary,
It is finished, He spoke to the
Father, announcing the fact that He had complied with the requirements of the law, He had lived a sinless life,
had shed His blood as a ransom for the world, and now the way was opened whereby every son and daughter of Adam
could be saved if they would accept the offered pardon.
As the westering sun was heralding to the world the approach of the holy Sabbath of the Lord,
from the cross on Calvary the Son of God proclaimed the work of redemption finished. That work was to affect the
entire creation, and although wicked men understood not the meaning of those mystic words,
finished, all nature responded, and, as it were, leaped for joy; even the solid rocks were rent
asunder. God designed that this stupendous event should be recognized by humanity; and as those living and even
gazing upon the scene were unconscious of its significance, sleeping saints were awakened from their graves to
proclaim the glad news. (Matt. 27:50-53)
The work of redemption was completed on the sixth day, and as God rested after the work of
creation, so Jesus rested in Joseph's tomb during the sacred hours of that holy Sabbath. His followers rested
also; for He had ever taught them obedience to His Father's holy law. He had forbidden any ever to think that
even a jot or tittle of the law of God could be changed. (Matt. 5:17,18) For four thousand years the Sabbath had
been observed as a memorial of creation; but after the Saviour died upon the cross it was doubly blessed, being
a memorial of redemption as well as of creation.
The Sabbath, like a great bridge, spans all time. The first pier upholding this great
institution was placed in Eden, when, according to the account given in Gen. 2:2, 3, God and unfallen man rested
through the sacred hours of the Sabbath. The second pier of the bridge was founded amid the thunders of Sinai,
when God, in proclaiming the fourth commandment as found in Ex. 20:8-11, gave the fact that He had rested upon
the seventh day from the work of creation, as the reason why man should keep it holy. The third pier of the
Sabbath bridge was hallowed by the blood of Calvary. While the Son of the mighty God rested in the tomb from the
work of redemption, it is recorded in Luke 23:54-56 that Jesus' followers
rested on the Sabbath day according
to the commandment. The fourth pier of this wonderful bridge will be laid in the earth made new. In
Isa. 63:22, 23, we are told that after the last trace of the curse of sin is removed from the earth, all flesh
will from Sabbath to Sabbath come to worship before the Lord. As long as the new heavens and the new earth
remain, so long will the redeemed of the Lord love to commemorate the Sabbath as a memorial of the finished work
of Christ in the redemption of this fallen world, as well as a memorial of its creation.
The second day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread was the offering of first-fruits. This was a
very important service, and will be dwelt upon separately from the rest of the feast. During the seven days
following the Passover, the people ate unleavened bread. Seven, denoting a complete number, was a fitting type
of the life that should be lived by the one who claims Christ as his Passover, and has the blessed assurance
that his sins are covered by the blood of the Saviour. Leaven is a type of
malice and wickedness;
unleavened bread represents
sincerity and truth. He whose past sins are hidden, (Romans 4:7,8) and
who realizes what it is to have the condemnation of his old life lifted from him, enters into a new life, and
should not return to his life of sin, but live in all
sincerity and truth. All this was symbolized
by the seven days' Feast of Unleavened Bread, following the Passover.
|Lev. 23:6, 7. The day following the Passover, the fifteenth day of Abib, was a ceremonial
||Luke 23:54-56; John 19:31. The fifteenth day of Abib, in the year the Saviour was crucified, was
the seventh-day Sabbath of the Lord.
There shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven
|1 Cor: 5:7.
Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.
For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
Seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread,...that thou mayest remember the day when
thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.
|1 Cor. 5:8.
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.
The Offering of The First-Fruits
WHEN the waving fields of golden grain proclaimed that the time of
harvest had come, the service of offering the first-fruits before the Lord was performed in the temple.
As the children of Israel journeyed toward Jerusalem to attend the Passover, on every side could
be seen fields of yellow barley, the heads heavy with ripened grain bending in the breeze. But not a sickle
could be put into the grain, or even kernels gathered to be eaten until the first-fruits had been presented
before the Lord.
The offering of first-fruits came on the third day of the Passover feast. The fourteenth day of
the month Abib, or Nisan, the Passover was eaten, the fifteenth day was the Sabbath, and upon the sixteenth day,
or as the Bible states it,
On the morrow after the Sabbath, the first-fruits were waved before the
Lord. (Lev. 23:5-11)
It was a beautiful service. The priest clad in his sacred robes, with a handful of yellow heads
of ripened grain, entered the temple. The glow of burnished gold from walls and furniture blended with the tints
of the golden heads of grain. The priest paused in front of the golden altar, and waved the grain before the
Lord. Those first heads were a pledge of the bountiful harvest to be gathered, and the waving indicated
thanksgiving and praise to the Lord of the harvest.
The waving of the first-fruits was the principal service of the day, but a lamb was also offered
as a burnt-offering. No portion of the first-fruits were ever burned in the fire, for they were a type of
resurrected beings clad in immortality, nevermore subject to death or decay.
For centuries God had met with His people in the temple, and accepted their offerings of praise
and thanksgiving; but a change came. When Christ died on Calvary and the veil of the temple was rent asunder,
the virtue of the temple service came to an end. The Jews slew their paschal lambs as formerly, but the service
was only a mockery; for that year, upon the fourteenth day of the month Abib,
Christ our Passover was
sacrificed for us. The Jews kept the empty form of the Sabbath on the day following the Passover; but
it was the rest experienced by Jesus and His followers that was accepted of God. On the sixteenth day of the
month, in the year the Saviour died, the Jews in the temple God had forsaken went through the empty form of
offering the heads of grain, while Christ, the antitype, arose from the dead, and became
the first-fruits of
them that slept. (1 Cor. 15:20) Type had met antitype.
Every field of ripened grain gathered into the garner, is but a reminder of the great final
harvest, when the Lord of the harvest, with His band of angel reapers, will come to gather the spiritual harvest
of the world. Just as the first handful of grain was a pledge of the coming harvest, so the resurrection of
Christ was a pledge of the resurrection of the righteous;
for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. (1 Thess 4:14)
The priest did not enter the temple with only one head of grain, he waved a handful before the
Lord; neither did Jesus come forth from the grave alone, for
many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and
came out of the graves after His resurrection. (Matt. 27:52,53) While the Jews were preparing to
perform the empty service of the offering of first-fruits in the temple, and the Roman soldiers were telling the
people that the disciples had stolen the body of Jesus, these resurrected saints went through the streets of the
city, proclaiming that Christ had indeed risen. (Matt. 28:11-15)
It is a sad fact that even the disciples who loved their Lord were so blinded that they could
not recognize the fact that the time had come for the appearance of the great Antitype of the service they had
yearly celebrated all their lives; and even when they listened to the announcement of His resurrection, it
seemed to them as an idle tale, and they believed it not. (Luke 24:10,11) But God never lacks for agents. When
living human beings are dumb, He awakens sleeping saints to perform His appointed work. In the type the grain
was waved in the temple, and to fulfil the antitype Christ must present Himself and the company who had risen
with Him before God in the first apartment of the heavenly temple.
In the early morning of the resurrection day, when Jesus appeared to Mary, she fell at His feet
to worship Him, but Jesus said to her,
Touch Me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My
brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your
God. (John 20:17) In these words Jesus notified His followers of the great event to take place in
heaven, hoping that on earth there might be an answering chord to the wonderful rejoicing in heaven; but just as
they had slept in the garden on the night of Christ's agony, and failed to give Him their sympathy, (Matt.
26:40-44) so now, blinded by unbelief, they failed to share the joy of the Saviour's great triumph. Later on the
same day Jesus appeared to His followers, and allowed them to hold Him by the feet and worship Him, (Matt. 28:9)
showing that in the meantime He had ascended to His Father.
Paul tells us that when Christ ascended up on high,
He led a multitude of
captives. (Eph. 4:8 marg.) In speaking of them in Rom. 8:29, 30, he tells how this company of
resurrected saints, who came forth from their graves with Christ, were chosen. They were
and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom
He justified, them He also glorified. This was done that
He might be the first-born among many
brethren. This company was composed of individuals chosen from every age, from that of Adam down to the
time of Christ. They were no longer subject to death, but ascended with Christ as trophies of His power to
awaken all that sleep in their graves. As the handful of grain in the typical service was a pledge of the coming
harvest, so these saints were a pledge of the innumerable company that Christ will awaken from the dust of the
earth when He comes the second time as King of kings and Lord of lords. (John 5:28,29)
Little did the inhabitants of earth dream of the wonderful antitypical offering of first-fruits
that was being celebrated in the heavenly temple at the time the Jews were carrying out the empty forms in the
temple on earth.
That was a wonderful congregation in the heavenly courts. All the hosts of heaven and
representatives from the unfallen worlds were assembled to greet the mighty Conqueror as He returned from the
most terrible war ever waged and the greatest victory ever won. Earthly battles that simply gain dominion over a
small portion of the earth for a brief span of years, are as nothing compared with the war that raged between
Christ and Satan here upon this earth. Christ returned to heaven bearing the scars of that terrible struggle in
the prints of the nails in His hands and feet and the wound in His side. (Isa. 49:16)
Words fail to describe the scene as the heavenly host with one accord fail prostrate at His feet
in adoration; but He waves them back, He bids them wait. Jesus has entered heaven as
the first-born among
many brethren, and He will not receive the worship of the angels until the Father has accepted the
first-fruits of the harvest to be gathered from the world He has died to redeem. (Matt. 13:38-43) He pleads
before the Father,
I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am. (John
17:24) He does not plead in vain. The great antitype of the service celebrated for centuries is fully met. The
Father accepts the first-fruits as a pledge that all the redeemed host will be received by Him. Then the decree
Let all the angels of God worship Him. (Heb. 1:6)
We wonder how Christ could ever leave the glories of heaven to return to the earth, where He had
met only ignominy and reproach. But marvelous is the power of love! His sorrowing followers on earth were so
dear to His heart that the worship of all heaven could not keep Him from them, and He returned to comfort and
cheer their hearts.
The first three days of the Passover feast typified wonderful events in the work of our Saviour.
The first day typified His broken body and shed blood; and the day before the type met antitype, Christ gathered
His disciples together and instituted the touching memorial service of the Lord's supper, to commemorate His
death and suffering until He comes a second time. (Matt. 26:26-29)
Every weekly Sabbath of the Lord is a memorial of that Sabbath on which Jesus rested in the
tomb, after He had finished His work on earth for the redemption of a lost race.
God has not left His church without a memorial of the great antitype of the offering of the
first-fruits. He has given them baptism to commemorate this glorious event. As Christ was laid in the tomb, so
the candidate for baptism is laid in the watery grave.
We are buried with Him by baptism into death:that like
as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of
life. (Romans 6:4) As the first-fruits of the resurrection taken to heaven by Christ were a pledge of
the final resurrection, so rising from the watery grave of baptism is a pledge of the resurrection to the
faithful child of God;
for if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in
the likeness of His resurrection. (1 Cor. 15:23)
Christ the First-fruits. 1 Cor. 15:23
NOTE:--Bible students for centuries have been divided into two classes in regard to their
opinion of the time that the Lord ate the last supper with His disciples. One class believe Jesus did not fulfil
the type in regard to the time, but only as to the event. They claim that the year Christ died, the 14th day of
Nisan, or Passover, came on Thursday; that He was crucified on Friday, the annual Sabbath, the 15th day of
Nisan; that He lay in the tomb while the first-fruits were waved in the temple on the 16th day of Nisan; and
arose from the dead on the 17th day of Nisan. In support of this position, they quote the following texts:Matt.
26:17; Mark 14:1, 12; Luke 22:7.
The other class believe that, when God decreed certain offerings should be offered on a definite
day of the month, the type would meet antitype at that specified time.
These types were fulfilled not only as
to the event, but as to the time. - Great Controversy, p. 399. In fulfillment of this Christ was
crucified on Friday, the 14th day of Nisan, and died on the cross about the ninth hour
between the two
evenings at the very time the Passover lamb had been slain for centuries. The previous evening He had
eaten the last supper with His disciples. The Saviour rested in the tomb on the Sabbath, the 15th day of Nisan,
which had been kept as an annual Sabbath in type of this event.
Christ was the antitype of the wave- sheaf,
and His resurrection took place on the very day when the wave-sheaf was to be presented before the
Lord. - Desire of Ages, large edition, p. 785. This was Sunday, the 16th day of Nisan. In support of
this position the following texts are quoted: John 13:I,2; 18:28; 19:14; 13:29; 19:31.
|Lev. 23:5-11. The first-fruits were offered the third day after the Passover.
||Cor. 15:20; Luke 23:21-23. Christ arose on the third day, and became the first-fruits.
|Lev. 23:10, margin. The priest waved a handful of grain in the head or an omer of kernels.
||Rom. 8:29; Matt. 27:52, 53. Many saints arose with Christ. He was the first-born among many
PENTECOST, so called because it was held fifty days after the
waving of first-fruits, (Lev. 23:16) was the last of the annual feasts held in the first half of the year. (Acts
2:1) This feast was called the Feast of Weeks, on account of seven weeks intervening between it and the Passover
feast. (Duet. 16:9,10) It was also called the Feast of Harvest, as it came at the close of the harvest. (Ex.
23:14-16) The Feast of Weeks was one of the three principal annual feasts, when all the men of Israel were
required to appear before the Lord in Jerusalem.
As the children of Israel journeyed toward Jerusalem to attend this feast, on all sides could be
seen the stubble from which had been gathered the ripened grain that lay all ready to be trodden out upon the
At the time of the Passover feast there was uncertainty in regard to the coming harvest, as
drought or storm might blight it before it was gathered; but now there was no uncertainty. The fruit of the
harvest was in their possession, to be used for their pleasure and the advancement of the work of the Lord. And
none were to appear before the Lord empty. They were not simply to bring a few heads of grain, as in the
springtime; but they were to bring a freewill-offering according as the Lord had blessed them. (Duet. 16:10)
This feast was sometimes called the Day of the First-fruits (Num. 28:26) because the children of
Israel were expected to make liberal offerings to the Lord at this time. It was a season of great rejoicing for
the entire family, in which the Levites and the poor and afflicted were to join.
The services of the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, occupied but one day. Many offerings were
presented at the temple, among them two loaves of leavened bread, which were waved before the Lord. The Feast of
Weeks was observed as an annual Sabbath, and was a holy convocation. (Lev. 23:15-21)
When Christ ascended from the earth, He bade His disciples teach all nations. They were to carry
the gospel to the entire world. The disciples saw only a mere handful of believers as the result of Christ's
three years of toil and sacrifice. But when Pentecost had fully come, or in other words, when the seed which the
Son of God Himself had sown during those three and a half years of weary toil, had sprung up, then came the
harvest. (Acts 2:41)
The disciples were ignorant of the results of the Saviour's life, work, and sacrifice upon the
minds of the people. In explaining to them the parable of the tares and the wheat, Christ had said,
soweth the good seed is the Son of man, but they comprehended it not. As the Saviour went from city to
hamlet, He was constantly sowing the
good seed. The harvest of souls gathered from this seed was to
be presented at the antitypical Feast of Harvest. For centuries the children of Israel had celebrated this
feast, bringing offerings from their harvest of grain. Of each one God had said, At the Feast of Harvest thou
the first-fruits of thy labors, which thou hast sown in the field. (Ex. 23:16) The
antitype came when the Son of man presented
the first-fruits of His labor, which He had sown in the
There was a work for the disciples to do in order that they might be ready for the great
antitypical Feast of Harvest. They needed to study the Scriptures, to put aside every difference, and become of
one accord, that they might receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which would enable them to know how to
care for the great harvest of three thousand souls that was awaiting them as the result of the Saviour's
ministry. They also needed this special outpouring of the Spirit to prepare them to carry forward the wonderful
work begun on the day of Pentecost, until every creature under heaven should hear the glad news of salvation.
In Palestine there was an early rain and a latter rain, which came in time to ripen the harvest.
The prophet Joel, in speaking of the work of God in the last days, uses the terms
latter rain to represent the outpouring of God's Spirit. And in the following words he gives the
assurance that in the closing work of the gospel in the earth God will again pour out His Spirit:
given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the
latter rain,...and the floors shall be full of wheat. (Joel 2:23,24) This great harvest of souls at the
antitypical Feast of Harvest was only a beginning of the greater harvest that will be gathered before the end of
In the type the children of Israel brought liberal offerings to the Lord at the Feast of
Harvest. Those who entered into the spirit of the antitypical Feast of Harvest, or Pentecost,
possessions and goods, and gave the proceeds to help in carrying forward the work of the Lord. These
offerings enabled the disciples to extend the work rapidly, so that within about thirty-four years they could
say that every creature under heaven had heard the gospel. (Col. 1:23) Those who enter into the spirit of the
latter rain will, like the early disciples, lay all upon the altar to be used by the Lord in the great closing
As the seed sown by the Son of man during His earthly ministry brought a harvest of souls at
Pentecost, or the early rain, so the good seed sown by Christ's ambassadors who faithfully scatter the printed
page filled, with the gospel message, and by voice and life teach the saving truth, will yield a bountiful
harvest in the time of the latter rain, when God's Spirit is poured out upon all flesh. Then will be gathered
the fruit of what each one has sown in the field.
He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly, and he
which soweth bountifully shall reap bountifully, (2 Cor. 9:6) is the divine promise.
|Lev. 23:16. This feast was held seven weeks, or fifty days, from the offerings of
||Acts 2:1. The day of Pentecost had fully come, that is, the full seven weeks had passed.
|Deut. 16:16. All the men of the children of Israel were to appear before the Lord at Jerusalem at
the time of this feast.
||Acts 2:7-11. Men from all parts of the then known world were gathered at Jerusalem at the time of
|Ex. 23:16. The Feast of Harvest indicated
the first-fruits of thy labors which thou hast sown in
|Acts 2: 41. The antitype of the first-fruits was three thousand souls, the spiritual harvest
gathered as the result of Christ's personal work.
|Deut. 16:11, 12. Those celebrating this feast in the type were to
rejoice before the
Lord and remember their freedom from Egyptian bondage.
|Acts 2:41, 46. Those that shared in the antitypical Feast of Harvest made it a time of rejoicing on
account of their freedom from the bondage of sin.
|Deut. 16:10. The children of Israel were to make liberal offerings at this feast, according as God
had blessed them.
||Acts 2:44,45. At the antitypical feast
all that believed sold their possessions and
goods and gave them to the Lord's work.
IN none of the types was the individual worshiper brought into so
close contact with the sanctuary service as in the sin-offering. There is no part of religious worship that
brings the individual worshiper into such close touch with the Lord as when he kneels at the Saviour's feet,
confessing his sins, and knowing the strength of the promise,
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just
to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. It is then that the repentant
sinner touches the hem of the Master's garment, and receives His healing power in the soul.
Sin is the transgression of the law of God. The one who had
done somewhat against any of the
commandments of the Lord was guilty of sin' and in order to be free from sin, he must bring an
offering, that by seeing the innocent victim die for his sins he might more fully comprehend how the innocent
Lamb of god could offer His life for the sins of the world. If the sinner was a priest, filling that holy office
where the influence of his wrong course would case others to stumble, then he was to bring a bullock, an
expensive animal, as a sin-offering; but if he was one of the common people, he could bring a kid goat or a
The sin-offering was brought into the court of the sanctuary, to the door of the tabernacle of
the congregation. (Lev. 4:1-35) The sinner, with his hands laid upon the head of the lamb, confessed over it all
his sins, and then with his own hand he killed it. (Lev. 4:29; Num. 5:7) sometimes the blood was taken into the
first apartment of the sanctuary by the officiating priest, who dipped his finger in the blood and sprinkled it
before the Lord. The horns of the golden altar, the altar of incense, were also touched with the blood. The
priest then came out into the court, and poured all the blood at the base of the altar of burnt-offering. (Lev.
4:7,18,25,30) The bodies of the animals whose blood was taken into the sanctuary, were burned without the camp.
Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the
gate. (Heb. 13:12)
The sinner, by confessing his sins over the lamb, in type and shadow transferred them to the
lamb. The life of the lamb was then taken instead of the life of the sinner, typifying the death of the Lamb of
God, who would offer His life for the sins of the world. The blood of the animal was powerless to remove sin,
(Heb. 10:4) but by shedding its blood the penitent revealed his faith in the divine offering of the Son of God.
Every sin-offering was to be without blemish, thus typifying the perfect sacrifice of the Saviour. (1 Peter
In some offerings the blood was not taken into the sanctuary, but in every sin-offering all the
blood was poured out at the base of the altar of burn-offering in the court. When the blood was not taken into
the first apartment of the sanctuary, a portion of the flesh of the sin-offering was eaten by the priest in the
holy place. (Lev. 10:18)
As the priest assimilated the flesh of the sin-offering, and it thus became a part of his own
body; and as he performed the work of the sanctuary, he strikingly typified how
Christ bare our sins in His
own body on the tree, (1 Peter 2:24) and then entered the heavenly sanctuary with that same body to
appear in the presence of God for us.
The priest ate only the flesh of the sin-offering when the blood was not taken within the
sanctuary. The command in regard to this was very pain:
No sin-offering, whereof any of the blood is brought
into the tabernacle of the congregation to reconcile withal in the holy place, shall be eaten: it shall be burnt
in the fire. (Lev. 6:30) To violate this command would ignore the significance of the type. The priest
entering into the sanctuary to present the blood of the sin- offering before the Lord, was forcible symbol of
Christ who by His own blood, entered into the heavenly sanctuary,
having obtained eternal redemption for
us (Heb 9:11,12) By the blood and by the flesh the confessed sins of the sinner were in type
transferred to the sanctuary. They were hid from view, for no human eyes, except the eyes of those who
officiated as priest, gazed within the sanctuary.
The type was beautiful, but how much more beautiful the antitype! When the sinner lays his sins
the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world, those sins are hidden, covered by
the blood of Christ. (Rom 4:7,8) They are all recorded in the books in heaven; (Jer. 2:22) but the blood of the
Saviour covers them, and if he who sinned is faithful to God, they will never be revealed, but will finally be
destroyed in the fires of the last day. The most wonderful part is that God Himself says He will cast them
behind His back (Isa. 38:17) and will not remember them. (Isa. 43:25) why need any one carry the burden of sins
when we have such a merciful Saviour waiting to receive them?
In every sin-offering two things were essential on the part of the sinner: first to realize his
own sinfulness before God, and to prize pardon sufficiently to make a sacrifice to obtain it; second, to see by
faith beyond his offering, the son of God through whom he is to receive his pardon,
for it is not possible
that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. (Heb. 10:4) The blood of Christ alone can
atone for sin.
After the blood was presented before the Lord, there was yet an important work for the sinner to
perform. With his own hands he was to remove all the fat from the different organs of the animal offered as a
sin-offering. (Lev. 7:30,31) and give it to the priest, who burned it upon the brazen altar. At first thought
this might seem a strange ceremony, but when we remember that the fat represented sin, (Ps. 37:20, Isa 43:23,24)
we see that it is a fitting ceremony.
It was evidently viewing this service in the sanctuary that saved David from backsliding. He had
beheld the prosperity of the wicked, and was envious of them. Until his
steps had well nigh
slipped; but when he went into the sanctuary, then he understood the end of the wicked. (Ps. 73:2-17)
We can imagine him watching the sinner separating the fat and the priest placing it upon the great altar, and
presently nothing remained but ashes. In it he was ashes only as the final end of all who would not separate
from sin (Mal. 4:1-3) for if the sin was a part of themselves, then when the sin was burned, they would be
burned with it. The only reason God will ever destroy a sinner is because the sinner keeps sin in his own
character, and will not separate from it.
This was an impressive type, the priest waiting for the sinner to separate the fat from the
offering, ready to take it as soon as it was offered to him. So Christ, our great High Priest, is waiting for
each sinner to confess his sins and give them to Him, that He in return can clothe the sinner with His own robe
of righteousness; (Isa. 61:10) and consume his sins in the fires of the last day. Paul evidently refers to this
part of the sanctuary service in Heb. 4:12.
The burning of the fat was
a sweet savor unto the Lord (Lev. 4:31) There are few
odors more disagreeable than that of burning fat and yet it is sweet to the Lord, for it typified the sin
consumed and the sinner saved. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Eze 33:11) but He delights in
the destruction of sin separated from the sinner. When the redeemed of the Lord from within the shelter of the
New Jerusalem behold the fires of the last day consuming all the sins they have committed, it will be indeed a
sweet savor to them (Rev. 20:8,9)
An individual who was too poor to offer a lamb for a sin-offering could bring two pigeons' and
if he was so poor that he did not possess two pigeons, then he could catch two of the wild turtle doves, and
offer them for a sin-offering; but if he was too feeble to capture the wild doves, the Lord made provision that
he should be allowed to bring a small portion of fine flour, and the priest would present the crushed grain as a
type of the broken body of the Saviour. Of this one it was said,
His sin shall be forgiven him, just
the same as of the one who was able to bring a bullock. The handful of flour burned corresponded to the burning
of the fat, in type of the final destruction of sin; and the remainder was eaten by the priest; thus typifying
Christ's bearing the sins. (Lev. 5:7-13)
In every sin-offering where animals or birds were offered, the blood was all poured out at the
base of the altar of burnt-offering in the court of the sanctuary. When we remember how particular the Lord was
that everything about the camp should be kept in a sanitary condition, (Deut 23:14) we can see at a glance that
it must have required much labor to keep the court clean. Therefore the Lord would not have directed that all
the blood by poured on the ground at the base of the altar if it had not contained a very important lesson.
The first sin ever committed in the earth affected the earth as well as the sinner. The Lord
said to Adam,
Cursed is the ground for thy sake. (Gen 3:17) When the first murder was committed, the
Lord said to Cain,
Now art thou cursed from the earth. He also said that from that time the earth
would not always yield her increase.
The curse of sin rests heavier and heavier upon the earth. (Isa. 24:5,6) There is only one thing
in all the universe of god that can remove this curse.
The land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed
therein, but by the blood of him that shed it. (Num. 35:33) It must be one of humanity, of the same
family that shed the blood. For that reason Christ partook of humanity, became our Elder Brother, (Heb. 2:11)
that He might remove the curse of sin from the earth as well as from the sinner. By His death upon Calvary,
Christ purchased the earth, thus redeeming it as well as its inhabitants. (Eph. 1:14)
Since it is the sins of mankind that defile the earth, in every sin-offering, after the offering
had been made for the sinner, the remainder of the blood was poured out on the ground at the base of the brazen
altar in the court as a type of the precious blood of Christ, which would remove every taint of sin from this
earth, and clothe it in Eden beauty. (Rev. 21:1)
|Lev. 4:3,23,28. The animal to be without blemish.
||1 Peter 1:19. Christ was
without blemish and without spot.
|Lev. 4:4,14. The offering was to be brought before the Lord to the door of the sanctuary.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy,
and find grace to help in time of need.
|Lev. 4:4; Num 5:7. The sinner laid his hand on the head of the offering, thus acknowledging his
||1 John 1:9.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.
|Lev. 4:29. The sinner slew the sin-offering; he took the life of the lamb with his own hands.
||Isa. 53:10. Christ's soul was made an offering for sin. Criminals often lived for days upon the
cross; it was the awful burden of sins of the world that slew Christ.
|Lev. 4:5-7,17,18. In some offerings the blood was taken into the sanctuary and sprinkled before the
By His own blood He (Christ) entered in once into the holy place, having obtained
eternal redemption for us.
|Lev. 10:16-18. When the blood was not taken into the sanctuary, a portion of the flesh was eaten by
the priest in the holy place; thus in type the priest bore
the iniquity of the congregation, to make
atonement for them before the Lord.
|1 Peter 2:24. This was a type of the One
who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the
tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were
|Lev. 4:31; 7:30. The sinner with his own hands was to separate all the fat from the sin- offering
the fat typifying sin. Ps. 37:20
||Isa. 1:16. We are not only to confess past sins, but we are to examine our own hearts and put away
Cease to do evil.
|Lev. 4:31. The fat is all burned to ashes in the court of the sanctuary.
||Mal. 4:1-3. All sin and sinners will be burned to ashes on the earth.
|Lev. 4:7, 18, 25, 30. The blood of every sin- offering was poured on the ground at the bottom of
the brazen altar in the court.
||Eph. 1:14. Christ purchased the earth as well as its inhabitants by His death on the cross.
THE whole burnt-offering had its origin at the gate of the garden
of Eden, (Gen. 4:4; 8:20) and extended to the cross; and it will never lose its significance as long as mankind
is subject to temptation and sin. The entire sacrifice was laid upon the altar and burned, (Lev. 1:2-9)
typifying not only a surrender of sin, but a consecration of the entire life to the service of God.
Wherever the people of God sojourned during the patriarchal age, rude altars of stone were
erected, upon which to offer their whole burnt-offerings, Gen. 12:7,8; 13:4; 35:3) After the long period of
Egyptian bondage, Israel was so prone to idolatry that the Lord had the brazen altar built in the court of the
tabernacle, and instead of burnt- offerings being offered anywhere by the father of the household, they were
brought to the sanctuary and offered by the priests of divine appointment. (Duet. 12:5,6) There were special
occasions when burnt-offerings were offered in other places than the sanctuary, as the sacrifice offered by
David on the threshing-floor of Ornan, (2 Sam. 24:18-25) and the memorable sacrifice offered by Elijah upon
Mount Carmel. (1 Kings 18:31-38)
The accounts of the burnt-offerings in the Bible are a history of wonderful victories when
individuals drew near to God by putting away their sins and surrendering their lives and all they possessed to
the service of the Lord. Abraham's great test of faith was a burnt-offering upon Mount Moriah. (Gen. 22:2-13)
Gideon's wonderful victories dated from the whole burnt-offerings offered before the Lord when he, by those
offerings, showed he surrendered all to the Lord to be consumed on the altar as the Lord directed. (Judges
The whole burnt-offering was a type of the full consecration that must come into every life that
God can use to His glory. Paul urged the fulfilling of the antitype in the following words:
I beseech you
therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable
unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Rom. 12:1) The offering of the most costly animal was only
an abomination to the Lord unless it was accompanied by the surrender of the heart and life of the one who
offered it. (Is. 1:10,11 Amos 5:22)
This principle was beautifully illustrated in the Saviour's passing by as of little value the
large gifts of the rich who offered only for display, and stating that in the valuation of heaven the two mites
which the poor widow gave with a heart full of love, were of more value than all the wealth given for vain
display. (Mark 12:41-44) The Lord regards the gifts and offerings made by His people to carry forward His work
on the earth, as
an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God, and He
pledges to supply all their needs. (Phil 4:16-19)
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken
than the fat of rams. (1 Sam. 15:22)
The whole burnt-offering was offered as an atonement for sin. (Lev. 9:7) The individual making
the offering laid his hands on the head of the animal, confessing his sins; (Lev. 1:4; Num. 8:12) and then, if
it was from the flock or the herd, with his own hands he took its life. If the burnt-offering was a bird, the
priest killed the offering. The blood was sprinkled round about upon the brazen altar, in type of the cleansing
blood of Christ, and then the offering was burned upon the altar.
Every morning and evening a lamb was offered at the sanctuary as a whole burnt-offering. (Ex.
29:38-42) Each Sabbath day four lambs were offered, two in the morning and two in the evening. (Num. 28:9,10)
These sacrifices typified a reconsecration of the whole congregation each morning and evening to the service of
Since the shadow has met the substance, it would be hollow mockery to offer burnt-offerings
morning and evening now; but the type has lost none of its significance, and contains lessons for us; for
love Him [God] with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the
strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt-offerings and
sacrifices. (Mark 12:33)
The heart filled with love to God and our fellow-men is an offering always acceptable to God. In
order to keep the heart in this condition, it must be filled with the life-giving Word of God. (Ps. 119:11) The
Lord regards a
knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings. (Hosea 6:6) The individual who will
sacrifice selfish interests and pleasures sufficiently to take time morning and evening to study God's word,
will experience that love in the heart which always has been and ever will be far more acceptable to God than
whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices.
|Lev. I:9. Sacrifice given to God was accepted as
a sweet savor unto the Lord.
|Eph. 5:2. Christ has given Himself for us
an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet
|Ex. 29:38-43. God met with His people as they offered their whole burnt-offerings, and they were
sanctified by His presence.
We are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for
|Lev. 1:2-9, 13, 17. The entire body was consumed on the altar,
an offering made fire, of a sweet
savor unto the Lord.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the by mercies of God, that ye present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.
THE drink-offering was celebrated long before the sanctuary
service was instituted at Sinai. After the Lord appeared to Jacob at Bethel and said,
Thy name shall be
called no more Jacob [a supplanter], (Gen. 27:36) but Israel [a prince of God]
shall be thy
name, (Gen. 32:28) Jacob felt so grateful to the Lord that he set up a pillar in the place where He
talked with him, and poured out a drink-offering thereon, (Gen 35:10-14) showing his willingness to pour out his
life, if necessary, for the cause of God. The drink-offering was wine, but was never drunk by either priest or
people; it was poured out before the Lord. No doubt wine was chosen for the drink-offering for the same reason
that it was used in the celebration of the Lord's supper, as an emblem of the life of Christ, (Lev. 17:11; Matt.
poured out His soul unto death, to redeem a lost race. (Isa. 53:12)
The drink-offering, like the meat-offering, was offered with burnt-offerings, for
made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord. (Num. 15:10) When Israel departed from the Lord, the
drink-offering, was often used in their idolatrous worship. (Jer. 7:18; 44:17-19) Drink-offerings were never
poured on the altar of incense, (Ex. 30:9) but always in the court, for they typified things which transpired in
the antitypical court - the earth.
The pouring out of the drink-offering was no doubt an emblem of the pouring out of the Holy
Spirit. (Joel 2:28; Isa. 44:3) Paul used the beautiful type of pouring the drink-offering upon the
burnt-offering, and the consuming of all upon the altar, as an illustration of his life fully surrendered to
Holding forth the word of life; he said,
that I may rejoice in the day of Christ,
that I have not run in vain....Yea, and if I be poured forth upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I
joy; and rejoice with you all. (Phil. 2:16,17)
When the three mighty warriors for the love they bore David risked their lives to bring him a
drink from the well of Bethlehem, David considered the water too sacred to drink, for they had
lives in jeopardy to obtain it; therefore he
poured it out to the Lord. (1 Chron.
The drink-offering was a type of Christ's life poured out for us, and the antitype can be
repeated in the life of every one who, like Paul, rejoices in being poured forth upon the sacrifice and consumed
upon the altar.
The drink-offering is no doubt referred to in Judges 9:13 where wine is said to
cheer God and
man. It is not the wine drunk at the table with friends, but wine used at the altar.
The wine of the drink-offering truly gladdened the heart of God and man; for like the water of
Bethlehem poured out by David, it represented, when offered in sincerity, the pouring out of the heart or life
of the sinner before God.
When Hannah gave Samuel to the sanctuary, she brought a bottle of wine with the animal for a
burnt-offering. It was after she had expressed the full surrender of her only son to the Lord by her
burnt-offering and the wine of the drink-offering, that she could fill the temple court with her voice of praise
and thanksgiving. (1 Sam. 1:24; 2:1-10)
|Gen. 35:14. The drink-offering was poured out before the Lord.
||Isa. 53:12. Christ
poured out His soul unto death.
|Num. 15:10. It was poured over the burnt-offering on the altar, and consumed. The burning was a
sweet savor, acceptable to God.
||Phil. 2:16, 17, margin. The one who fully surrenders his life for the Lord's service, pours his
life upon the sacrifice of Christ, to be spent for the glory of God, as His life was spent.
DANIEL prophesied that Christ would
cause the sacrifice and
oblation to cease. (Dan. 9:27) Here reference is made to the two great divisions of offerings:
sacrifices with, and sacrifices without blood. The meat-offerings belonged to the last class. There was neither
flesh nor blood in the meat-offering. The original meaning of the word
meat as first used in the
food; (Gen. 1:29) and in this sense the term is used in connection with this offering. The
meat-offering consisted of flour, oil, and frankincense, (Lev. 2:1) In some cases the flour was baked into
unleavened cakes, or wafers, before being offered. The bread of the meat-offering was never to be made with
leaven. Every meat-offering was seasoned with salt. This offering was spoken of as
a thing most holy of the
offerings of the Lord made by fire. (Lev. 2:4-13; 6:17)
No leaven or honey was allowed in any of the meat-offerings; for leaven indicated
wickedness, (1 Cor. 5:8) and honey turns sour and leads to fermentation.
The qualities of salt are directly opposite. Salt removes and prevents corruption; it is also an
emblem of friendship.
The salt of the covenant was never to be omitted from the meat-offering, thus
reminding God's people of His protecting care and promise to save, and that only the righteousness of Christ
could make the service acceptable to God.
A portion of the meat-offering was burned on the brazen altar, whether it was flour or
unleavened cakes; also a portion of the oil, and all the frankincense; (Lev. 6:15) and the remainder was eaten
by the priest in the court. (Lev. 6:16,17) If a priest offered a meat-offering, no portion was eaten, but the
entire offering was burned on the brazen altar. (Lev. 6:20-22) The high priest offered a meat-offering every
Wherever flour or cakes were offered in connection with any other offering, it was called a
meat-offering. The offering for the sinner too poor to bring even a wild turtle-dove was a meat-offering or
trespass-offering. There was no oil or frankincense in this offering. (Lev. 5:11) In the offering for jealousy,
the oil and frankincense were also left out. No frankincense was ever added to the meat-offerings that brought
iniquity to remembrance. (Num. 5:15)
The meat-offering was a very common offering and was united with all burnt-offerings. (Num.
15:3-12) It was offered every morning and evening on the brazen altar, in connection with the morning and
evening burnt-offering. (Ex. 29:39-42)
The meat-offering of first-fruits was
green ears of corn dried by the fire, even corn beaten
out of full ears. (Lev. 2:14-16) We quote from Andrew A. Bonar in regard to the significance of the
A peculiar typical circumstance attends these. These are ears of corn, a figure of Christ; (John
12:24) and ears of the best kind, for so the Hebrew intimates. They are dried by the fire, to represent Jesus
feeling the wrath of His Father, as when He said, My strength is dried up, i.e., the whole force of my being is
dried up; (Ps. 22:15) 'I am withered like grass.' (Ps. 102:4)What an affecting picture of the Man of Sorrow!
How like the very life! The best ears of the finest corn in the plains of Israel are plucked while yet green;
and instead of being left to ripen in the cool breeze, and under a genial sun, are withered up by the scorching
fire. It was thus that the only pure humanity that ever walked on the plains of earth was wasted away during
three-and-thirty years by the heat of wrath He had never deserved. While obeying night and day, with all His
soul and strength, the burning wrath of God was drying up His frame. 'Beaten out of full ears,' represents the
bruises and strokes whereby He was prepared for the altar. 'Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by
the things which He suffered.' (Heb. 5:8) It is after this preparation that He is a perfect meat-offering, fully
devoted, body and substance, to the Lord.
In all this He is 'First-fruits,' intimating that many more shall follow. He the
first-fruits, then all that are His in like manner. We must be conformed to Jesus in all things; and here it is
taught us that we must be conformed to Him in self-dedication - self-renunciation. We must please the Father; as
He left us an example, saying, 'I do always those things that please Him,' (John 8:29) even under the blackest
The meat-offering typified the full surrender of all we have, and all we are, to the Lord. This
offering was always presented along with some animal sacrifice, thus showing the connection between pardon of
sin and consecration to the Lord. It is after an individual's sins are forgiven that he lays all upon the altar
to be consumed in God's service.
In the meat-offering, like the sin-offering, provision was made for the poor. The wealthy class
baked their meat-offerings in an oven; the individual in moderate circumstances, on the
fire plate; while
the cakes baked by the poor in the
frying pan, were equally acceptable. (Lev. 2:4-8)
|Lev. 2:1-3. It was
a thing most holy of the offerings of the Lord made by fire.
Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God.
|Lev. 2:9. The meat-offering was
a sweet savor unto the Lord.
|Phil. 4:18. When God's people make sacrifices for Him, it is
an odor of a sweet smell,...well
pleasing to God.
Every oblation of thy meat-offering shalt thou season with salt;...with all thine
offerings thou shalt offer salt.
Have salt in yourselves. Col. 4:6.
Let your speech be alway with grace,
seasoned with salt.
Continued Next Month
Return to Menu
James S. White
Bible Adventism Series
The Second Coming
Text: Let not your heart be
troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not
so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go, and prepare a place for you, I
will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also. John
JESUS was soon to leave his disciples, and ascend to the
Father. And in his words of instruction and consolation, he was preparing their minds for that event which
would prove a great grief to them. His presence constituted their joy. His absence would be their sorrow. "Can
the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the
bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast." Matt.9:15.
The real friends of our Lord will ever desire his tangible
presence. A worldly church, whose affections are placed upon the things of this life, will enjoy his absence
quite as well. Those who truly love their divine Lord will receive the word relative to his return with all
Our Lord was tenderly introducing to his disciples the subject
of his ascent to Heaven. "Little children yet a little while I am with you." John 13:33. "Whither I go, thou
canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards." Verse 36. This statement caused distress and
consternation in the minds of the disciples, and led Peter to say to his Lord, "Why cannot I follow thee now? I
will lay down my life for thy sake." Verse 37. Then follow the comforting words of the text, assuring the
sorrowing disciples that their Lord would come again, and receive them to himself.
Jesus also assured them that the Father would give them
"another comforter, " even the Spirit of truth, which should dwell with them, and be in them. Chap.14:16, 17.
The words, "another comforter, " suppose two, at least. The one was the person of our divine Lord. The other is
the Spirit of truth. Both were comforters of the church. Christ was such in a special sense while with his
disciples. The other was to abide with the church, to administer the blessings and gifts of the Holy Spirit to
the church, until her absent Lord should return in glory to take her to himself. Then the days of her mourning,
and fasting, and griefs, will be over forever. With such a faith and hope, the waiting church of Jesus Christ
may well sing:
"How bright the vision! Oh, how long
Shall this glad hour delay?
Fly swifter round, ye wheels of time,
And bring the welcome day."
And while the church waits in joyous expectation of speedy
deliverance, her Lord "saith, Surely I come quickly, " to which the church responds, "Amen. Even so, come, Lord
Jesus." Rev.22:20, 21.
The certainty of the second advent of Christ,
and the manner and object of his coming, are points of thrilling interest to all who love our Lord Jesus
He will appear the second time. Paul speaks
directly upon this point, "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. And unto them that look for him,
shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Heb.9:28. Again he says, "Looking for that blessed
hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Titus 2:13.
Another apostle testifies to this point thus:
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he shall
appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3:2.
The second advent of Christ will be personal and visible.
"Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him." Rev.1:7. Jesus, as he was addressing his disciples
upon the subject of his second advent, pointed forward to the generation who should witness the signs of that event
in the sun, moon, and stars, and said: "They shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and
great glory." Matt.24:30. See Mark 13:26; 14:62; John 14:3.
And at the ascension of Christ, two angels
declared to the anxious witnesses: "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like
manner as ye have seen him go into Heaven." Acts 1:2.
The apostle testifies to the personal and
visible appearing of Christ in language not to be misunderstood. He says: "For the Lord himself shall 26 descend
from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God." 1 Thess.4:16. See also Titus
2:13; 1 John 3:2.
When the Lord shall be revealed from Heaven in
flaming fire, sinners then living will be destroyed, and the earth will be desolated. "And to you who are troubled
rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking
vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished
with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." 2 Thess.1:7-9; 2:7, 8
See also Matt.13:26-30, 37-43; 3:12; Luke 17:26-30; Isa.13:9; 6:8-11; 24:1-3; 34:1- 15; 28:21, 22; Jer.4:20, 27;
25:32-38; Zeph.1:2, 3, 7-18; 3:6-8.
When Christ appears the second time, the righteous dead will
be raised, and the living righteous will be changed to immortality. "Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all
sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet
shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on
incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." 1 Cor.15:51-53.
Again the apostle testifies to this point: "The
Lord himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God,
and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them
in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1
The church will then be no more separated from
her adorable Redeemer; but, with all the endowments of immortality, will "ever be with the Lord." The apostle
states that they will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Will they return to the earth
immediately? Or will the Lord lead them up to the eternal city of the saved?
Jesus had plainly told his disciples that he
would leave them. "Simon Peter said unto him, Lord whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go thou canst
not follow me now, but thou shalt follow me afterward." John 13:36. Jesus was soon to go up to the Father. The
disciples could not follow their Lord then; but afterward, at the time of his second advent and the resurrection of
the just, they should follow him up to Heaven, as he should return to his Father.
The disciples were pained to learn that their
Lord would leave them. And he would comfort their troubled hearts by saying to them, "In my Father's house are many
mansions." "I go to prepare a place for you." "I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am,
there ye may be also." John 14:1-3.
It is true that the earth made new, Rev.21:5,
when the holy city shall come down from Heaven upon it, verse 2, will be the final inheritance of the righteous.
But Peter, with faith and hope inspired anew by the resurrection of Christ, points to Heaven as the place where the
inheritance is reserved, and says:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord
Jesus Christ, which, according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved
in Heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last
time." 1 Pet.1:3-5. In this case the apostle refers only to the holy city, the metropolis of the inheritance
complete. The redeemed will remain in the city above, and reign with their Lord in judgment, Rev.20:4, during the
The doctrine of the second appearing of Christ
has been held by the church ever since her Lord ascended to the Father to prepare mansions for her reception. It is
the event that consummates her hopes, terminates the period of her toils and sorrows, and introduces her eternal
repose. What sublime scenes will then open before the waiting children of God! The blazing heavens will reveal the
Son of God in his glory, surrounded by all the holy angels. The trumpet will sound, and the just will come forth
from the grave, immortal. And all - Redeemer and redeemed, attended by the heavenly host - will move upward to the
mansions prepared for them in the Father's house.
To those who really love their absent Lord, the
theme of his soon return to bestow immortality upon the dead and living righteous, is fraught with unspeakable
blessedness. This event, with all its grand results, has always been the hope of the church. Paul could look over
eighteen long centuries, and speak of it thus: "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the
great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Titus 2:13. And Peter exhorts: "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of
the day of God." 2 Pet.3:12.
And Paul again, after speaking of the descent
of the Lord from Heaven, the resurrection of the dead in Christ, and their ascent with the living righteous to meet
the Lord in the air, says, "Wherefore comfort one another with these words." 1 Thess.4:18.
The second coming of Christ is a subject
of great importance to the church. We conclude thus from the amount of testimony relative to it, in connection with
the resurrection of the just, and the judgment, found both in the Old and New Testaments. Popular orthodoxy may
cast it aside as not essential to the Christian faith, yet it may be traced through the sacred Scriptures, as made
prominent by prophets, Jesus, and apostles. The Bible dwells upon essentials. It does not deal in non-essentials.
When the Lord in his word gave his people a rule of faith and practice, he was careful to leave the non-essentials
all out. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable, " says Paul; "and let all the people
The doctrine of the second appearing of Christ,
made so very prominent in the Scriptures, is lost sight of by those who receive theories not found in the
Scriptures. Thus the fulfillment of all the threatenings of God's word, relative to the swift-approaching day of
wrath, and the revelation of the Son of God in flaming fire, to destroy the inhabitants of the earth, as they were
once destroyed by water, are put far into the distant future, if not completely lost sight of, by the unscriptural
doctrine of the world's conversion and the temporal millennium.
The second personal appearing of Jesus Christ
is most absurdly applied to several different things. Some teach that death is the second coming of Christ. This is
not only a violation of plain Scripture declarations, but of the laws of language. There can be but a single second
advent of Christ, while this misty sentiment has as many appearings of Jesus as there are deaths.
The early disciples did not receive the idea
that death was the second coming of Christ. Peter, seeing the beloved John, "saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall
this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. Then
went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die; yet Jesus said not unto him, he
shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?" John 21:21-23.
So far were the disciples from holding that
death was the second coming of Christ, that when they understood their Lord to intimate that John might remain
until his return, they at once concluded that he would not die; and from them went this saying abroad. No; instead
of receiving the idea that the second advent of Christ, in any sense whatever, took place at death, they regarded
it as an event that would forever put an end to the power of death over the righteous.
And what foggy theology is this that makes
death the second appearing of Christ! He is coming as the Lifegiver, and the believer's best friend. Death is the
life-taker, and man's last enemy. 1 Cor.15:26. Christ is coming to give life to the just, and to destroy him that
hath the power of death, that is, the devil. Heb.2:14.
Mark this: The devil has the power of death,
and, in the providence of God, is permitted to send the barbed arrow even to the heart of the just, lay him low in
death, and lock him in the tomb.
But the Lifegiver, having passed under the
dominion of death, and having been gloriously raised from the embrace of the grave, triumphantly says, "I am he
that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of the grave [hades] and of
death." Rev.1:18. The devil holds the power of death. Christ holds the keys of death and the grave, and at his
second appearing he will unlock the tombs of the just, break the power of death, their last enemy, and lead them
forth to immortal and eternal scenes of glory. Astonishing, that modern theologians should assert that death is the
second coming of Christ!
Again, conversion is said to be the second
coming of Christ. Then there are as many second comings of Christ as there are conversions. There can be but one
second appearing of Jesus Christ. And, again, the manifestations of the Holy Spirit are said to be the second
advent of Christ. Hence, men talk of the spiritual coming of Christ, and his spiritual reign for one thousand
years. But here, also, they are involved in the difficulty of a plurality of second comings of Christ; for in this
case they would have Christ appear at each gracious manifestation of the Holy Spirit. There can be but a single
second advent of Christ.
But more than this, those who talk of a
spiritual coming and reign of Christ have things badly confused. May the Lord help them to see the difference
between the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, and the personal presence of Christ at his second appearing, while
we appeal to the Scriptures. "I will pray the Father, " says Jesus, "and he shall give you another Comforter." John
14:16 This language implies more than one comforter. When Christ was with his people, he was their
In his absence, the Father was to send another
comforter, even the Spirit of truth. During the absence of the Son, the Holy Spirit was to be his representative,
and the comforter of his dear, sorrowing people. The facts in the case are distinctly stated in the following
impressive words: "But now I go my way to Him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But
because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is
expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I
will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of
judgment." John 16:5-8.
And yet again, the Shakers see the second
appearing of Christ in the person of Ann Lee. And the Mormons see the fulfillment of the prophecies relative to the
coming and kingdom of Christ in the gathering of "the latter-day saints, " at Salt Lake. And the Spiritualists
generally agree in saying, Lo, here is the second advent of Christ in the manifestations of
In the prophetic discourse of Matt.24 and 25,
covering the entire Christian age, our Lord, after speaking of the tribulation of the church under Papal
persecutions, says of our time: "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe it not.
For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if
it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Matt.24:23, 24.
The word then in this passage points to a
specific period of time when "Lo, here is Christ, and lo, he is there, " would be heard. Our Lord here describes
the spiritual deceptions of the present age. False christs arose not far from the first advent to deceive the Jews
in regard to that event (Matt.24:5); likewise false christs and false prophets have arisen at this day to deceive
the people on the subject of the second advent.
The "Time of the End, " a work of no small
ability and importance, properly calls the doctrine of the temporal millennium a modern novelty. From this popular
error of a temporal millennium and spiritual reign of Christ, have grown the mystical applications of the plainest
declarations of Scripture relative to the second appearing of the Lifegiver, to death, to conversion, to the
manifestations of the Holy Spirit, to Shakerism, to Mormonism, and to Spiritualism.
How forcible are the words of our Lord when
applied to the subject before us: "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it
not." Matt.24:23. No one need fail to see who the men are who are crying, "Lo, here is Christ, and lo, he is
there!" The Lord continues, in verses 25 and 26: "Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore, if they shall say unto
you, Behold, he is in the desert, go not forth; behold, he is in the secret chambers, believe it
Our Lord is here dwelling upon what he has just
before told them. His subject is still the teachings of those who cry, "Lo, here is Christ!" "Lo, he is there!" If
the Mormons say, "Behold, he is in the desert, go not forth." Or, if you hear proclaimed from the popular pulpits
of our time, "Behold, he is in the secret chambers, " Christ's second coming is spiritual, at death, or at
conversion, "believe it not."
And why not receive such mystical teachings?
The reason is given in the next verse: "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the
west, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be."
We are very happy that our Lord has not only
pointed out false christs and false prophets, and has warned us against their mystical teachings, but he has in
contrast set before us the manner of his second coming in the plainest terms.
The vivid lightning flashing out of the distant
east, and shining even to the west, lights up the whole heavens. What, then, when the Lord comes in flaming glory,
and all the holy angels with him? The presence of only one holy angel at the new sepulcher where Christ lay in
death, caused the Roman guard to shake and become as dead men. The light and glory of one angel completely
overpowered those strong sentinels.
The Son of Man is coming in his own kingly
glory, and in the glory of his Father, attended by all the holy angels. Then the whole heavens will blaze with
glory, and the whole earth will tremble before him.