VICTORY AND RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH
Triumph of Faith. Psalm 44:3; Deuteronomy 9:1-6
One of the last messages that came of the Israelites before they entered the promised land was that their success would not be the result of their "own sword" or their "own arm" or their own "righteousness," but by the faith and through the righteousness of their great Leader. Moses then reminded them of their rebellion at Kadesh-Barnea when "they would not enter in because of unbelief." See verses 7, 8, 23, 24. At Kadesh-
Barnea they had attempted to enter in their own strength and miserably failed. "They had rebelled against His commands when He bade them to go up and take the land that He had promised them, and now, when He directed them to retreat from it, they were equally insubordinate, and declared that they would go to battle with their enemies. They arrayed themselves in warriors dress and armor, and presented themselves before Moses, in their own estimation prepared for conflict, but sadly deficient in the sight of God and His sorrowful servant." —Vol. 4:153, 154.
That victory and righteousness are obtainable alone through faith was a hard lesson for Israel to learn and it is equally hard for modern Israel. Failure to learn this lesson delayed the triumph of the Exodus Movement for forty years, and the same failure has delayed the final triumph of the Advent Movement for many years. At last Israel learned the lesson and the Lord led them into the promised land. We are told that this might have been done forty years before if they had exercised faith. The Advent people will also eventually learn this lesson and enter the heavenly Canaan. The final messages of the prophet of the Exodus Movement just before his death centered in victory, justification and righteousness by faith in Christ, their Leader, and this too was the great burden of the prophet of the Advent Movement just before her death. Her final messages are filled with reminders of the failure of the Advent people to accept the message of 1888 and enter the heavenly Canaan, and with earnest appeals to accept by faith the victory and righteousness of Christ as the only hope of salvation. "We may achieve victories which our own erroneous and misconceived opinions, our own defects of character, our own smallness of faith, have made to seem impossible. Faith! We scarcely know what it is." —T.M. 187. The message now being given is restoring faith in the hearts of God's remnant people and soon they will march in triumph into the heavenly kingdom.
Crossing the Jordan
The message of victory and righteousness by faith was soon followed by the crossing of the Jordan. This was a wonderful manifestation of faith such as had not been seen among them since the crossing of the Red Sea. Hebrews 11:29. This event is recorded in Joshua 1:11; 3:7-17. "All watched with deep interest as the priests advanced down the banks of the Jordan. They saw them with the sacred ark move steadily forward toward the angry, surging stream, till the feet of the bearers were dipped into the waters. Then suddenly the tide above was swept back, while the current below flowed on, and the bed of the river was laid bare. At the divine command, the priests advanced to the middle of the channel, and stood there, while the entire host descended, and crossed to the farther side. Thus was impressed upon the minds of all Israel the fact that the power that stayed the waters of Jordan was the same that had opened the Red Sea to their fathers forty years before. —P.P. 484.
As a memorial of this great miracle twelve men chosen from the twelve tribes took each a stone from the bed of the river and set up a monument on the western bank. "The people were bidden to repeat to their children the story of the deliverance that God has wrought for them, as Joshua said, 'that all the people of the earth might know the hand of he Lord, that it is mighty, that ye might fear the Lord your God forever.' The influence of this miracle, both upon the Hebrews and upon their enemies, was of a great importance. It was an assurance to Israel of God's continued presence and protection. … Such an assurance was needed to strengthen their hearts as they entered upon the conquest of the land,—the stupendous task that had staggered the faith of their fathers forty years before." —Id. 484, 485.
Reproach of Egypt. Joshua 5:2-10
Sin is the reproach of Egypt. See Numbers 15:30; Proverbs 13:34; Ezekiel 20:5-8. True circumcision is the cutting off of sin. Colossians 2:11. It is also a sign of righteousness by faith. Romans 4:11. The acceptance of victory over sin and the righteousness of Christ by faith rolled away the reproach of Egypt and thus ended the period of their rejection which began at Kadesh-Barnea and during which they "were under the divine rebuke." "The suspension of the rite of circumcision since the rebellion at Kadesh had been a constant witness of Israel that their covenant with God, of which it was the appointed symbol, had been broken. And the discontinuance of the Passover, the memorial of their deliverance from Egypt, had been an evidence of the Lord's displeasure at their desire to return to the land of bondage. Now, however, the years of rejection were ended. Once more God acknowledged Israel as His people, and the sign of the covenant was restored." —Id.485. Because the "reproach of Egypt" was rolled away from Israel at their first encampment after crossing the Jordan, the name of the place was called Gilgal which means "a rolling away" or "rolling off." The crossing of the Jordan by faith after the final shaking, sealed Israel as God's covenant-keeping people. The reproach was removed and the Lord returned to Zion to work with power among them.
In 1 Corinthians 10:1, 2, we are told that the crossing of the Red Sea was a baptism. Then the crossing of River Jordan would also be a baptism. In an individual sense the former probably symbolized our water baptism at the beginning of our Christian experience and the other the Spirit baptism at the close. In relation to the movement they probably represent the two great outpourings of the Holy Spirit at the beginning and close of the Advent Movement, which might be called the early and latter rain. The Holy Spirit was poured out during the 1844 experience at the beginning of the Advent Movement, and there will be another baptism of the Spirit during the latter rain at the close. The crossing of the Jordan by faith and the restoration of the rite of circumcision and the ordinance of the Passover were the evidences of restoration to divine favor and full acceptance which was the necessary preparation for entrance of the promised land.
The Latter Rain
Just as the crossing of the Jordan was the result of the acceptance of the message of victory and righteousness by faith, so the preaching and acceptance of the same message will bring the latter rain. "The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin pardoning Redeemer. This is the beginning of the light of the angel whose glory shall fill the whole earth." —R.H. Nov. 22, 1892. "The message of Christ's righteousness is to sound from one end of the earth to the other to prepare the way of the Lord. This is the glory of God, which closes the work of the third angel." —Vol. 6:19. "Clad in the armor of Christ's righteousness, the church is to enter upon her final conflict." —P.K. 725. The latter rain will be the chief evidence to the Advent people of the restoration of the divine favor and acceptance and that they are sealed for the kingdom. It will indicate that the Laodicean rebuke has been removed and the Laodicean message and remedy accepted and applied. It will be the evidence that the reproach of sin and the world has been removed and that the Lord has returned to Zion to complete the work of redemption.
Capture of Jericho. Joshua 5:13-15:6
The capture of Jericho is placed in the great chapter of faith as one of the two greatest exhibitions of faith during the Exodus Movement. Hebrews 11:29,30. The movement began and ended in victory by faith even though there were few demonstrations of faith between the two events. Faith is absolute dependence on the Word of God without any evidence in sight. Hebrews 11:1. "Now faith is a well-grounded assurance of that for which we hope, and a conviction of the reality of things which we do not see." —Wey. Implicit obedience to the Lord's directions for the capture of Jericho, when they were seemingly so unreasonable, was a wonderful manifestation of faith. The capture of this fortified stronghold just after the crossing of the Jordan was a type of the conquest of the entire promised land and thus ends the events of the Exodus Movement as typical of the Advent Movement.
Victory by Faith
"The Israelites had not gained the victory by their own power; the conquest had been wholly the Lord's; and as the first-fruits of the land, the city with all that it contained, was to be devoted as a sacrifice to God. It was to be impressed upon Israel that in the conquest of Canaan they were not to fight for themselves, but simply as instruments to execute the will of God; not to seek for riches or self-exaltation, but the glory of Jehovah their king." —P.P.491. After describing the encircling movements of Israel around the walls of Jericho the same author continues: "The very plan of continuing this ceremony through so long a time prior to the final overthrow of the walls, afforded opportunity for the development of faith among the Israelites. It was to impress upon their minds that their strength was not in the wisdom of man, nor in his might, but only in the God of their salvation. They were thus to become accustomed to relying wholly upon their divine Leader. God will do great things for those who trust in Him." —Id.493.
God the Victor
"How easily the armies of Heaven brought down the walls that had seemed so formidable to the spies who brought the false report! The word of God was the only weapon used. The mighty God of Israel had said, 'I have given Jericho into thine hand.' If a single warrior had brought his strength to bear against the walls, the glory of God would have been lessened and His will frustrated. But the work was left to the Almighty; and had the foundation of the battlements been laid in the center of the earth, and their summits reached the arch of heaven, the result would have been the same when the Captain of the Lord's host led His legions of angels to the attack." "The majesty of Heaven, with His army of angels, leveled the walls of Jericho without human aid. The armed warriors of Israel had no cause to glory in their achievements. All was done through the power of God." —Vol. 4:161, 162, 164.
Human Credit Excluded. Psalm 44:3
"In the taking of Jericho the Lord God of hosts was the General of the army. He made the plan for the battle, and united heavenly and human agencies to act a part in the work, but no human hand touched the walls of Jericho. God so arranged the plan that man could take no credit to himself for achieving the victory. God alone is to be glorified. So it shall be in the work in which we are engaged. The glory is not to be given to human agencies; the Lord alone is to be magnified." "None but God can subdue the pride of man's heart. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot regenerate ourselves. In the heavenly courts there will be no song sung, 'To me that loved myself, and washed myself, redeemed myself, unto me be glory and honor, blessing and praise.' But this is the keynote of the song that is sung by many here in this world." —T.M. 214, 456.
What Might Have Been
"Long had God designed to give the city of Jericho to His favored people, and magnify His name among the nations of the earth. Forty years before, when He led Israel out of bondage, He had purposed to give them the land of Canaan. But, by their wicked murmurings and jealousy, they had provoked His wrath, and He had caused them to wander for weary years in the wilderness, till all those who had insulted Him with their unbelief were no more. In the capture of Jericho, God declared to the Hebrews that their fathers might have possessed the city forty years before, had they trusted in Him as did their children." —Vol. 4:162. Now the Israelites fully realize the cause of their previous failures to enter Canaan. "They could not enter in because of unbelief."
The Advent Movement. Hebrews 4:1
"The history of ancient Israel is written for our benefit. … Many who, like ancient Israel, profess to keep God's commandments, have hearts of unbelief while outwardly observing the statutes of God. Although favored with great light and precious privileges, they will nevertheless lose the heavenly Canaan, even as the rebellious Israelites failed to enter the earthly Canaan that God had promised them as the reward of their obedience. As a people we lack faith. In these days few would follow the direction given through God's chosen servant as obediently as did the armies of Israel at the taking of Jericho. The Captain of the Lord's host did not reveal Himself to all the congregation." —Vol. 4:162.
A Conquering Power
Faith is a conquering power that will bring triumph to the Advent Movement. "Faith is the living power that presses through every barrier, overrides all obstacles, and plants its banner in the heart of the enemy's camp. God will do marvelous things for those who trust in Him. It is because His professed people trust so much in their own wisdom, and do not give the Lord an opportunity to reveal His power in their behalf, that they have no more strength. He will help His believing children in every emergency, if they will place their entire confidence in Him and implicitly obey Him. … God works mightily for a faithful people, who obey His work without questioning or doubt. … Let the people give up self and the desire to work after their own plans, let them humbly submit to the divine will, and God will revive their strength and bring freedom and victory to His children." —Id. 162-264. See 1 John 5:4, 5; 1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Corinthians 1:10; 2:14. The fact that the message of victory is one of the many evidences that we are on the very borders of the kingdom of Heaven.
Fruition of Hopes
We have come to wonderful days in the history of the Advent Movement, especially for the young men and women. Soon the final shaking will purify the movement of all rebels and the children of faith will be sealed and receive the latter rain. The reproach of Egypt or of the world will be rolled away, the Laodicean rebuke removed, the divine favor restored, and the Lord will return to Zion with Pentecostal power. Then will the remnant of the church go forth "fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners."
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