Restoration Through Moses – Part 3
18.104.22.168 The Failure of the Second National Course to Restore Canaan
Due to the Israelites’ faithlessness, the foundation for the Tabernacle was invaded by Satan three times. Therefore, the national indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature was not fulfilled, and the foundation of substance for the second national course to restore Canaan was not laid. Consequently, the entire second national course to restore Canaan ended in failure. God’s providence was prolonged to a third national course.
Because the Israelites turned faint-hearted upon hearing the report of the faithless spies, the second national course to restore Canaan ended in failure. The forty years Moses had spent in the wilderness of Midian to restore the foundation of faith were invaded by Satan. As a result of the failure of the mission to spy out the land, the people had to wander in the wilderness for forty years, one year for each day of the forty-day spy mission, until they returned to Kadesh-barnea. For Moses, this forty-year period was to separate Satan, who had invaded the previous foundation of faith, and to restore through indemnity the foundation of faith for the third course. Moses honored the Tabernacle with faith and loyalty throughout the entire forty years of wandering in the wilderness. By the time he returned to Kadesh-barnea, he had completed the foundation of faith for the third national course to restore Canaan. Accordingly, he also secured the position of Abel for the foundation of substance.
The foundation of substance for the second course ended in failure when, due to the people’s persistent disbelief, Satan defiled the foundation for the Tabernacle. However, at least the foundation of faith for the Tabernacle remained, preserved by Moses’ continued devotion. If, upon this foundation, the Israelites had faithfully followed Moses through the forty years of wandering in the wilderness, thus establishing the basis for the separation of Satan, they would have set up the foundation of substance for the Tabernacle and completed the foundation for the Tabernacle. If they had then honored and obeyed Moses and entered Canaan in faith, they would have completed the foundation of substance for the third national course to restore Canaan.
For Moses, the forty years of wandering in the wilderness was the period required to establish the foundation of faith for the third national course. For the Israelites, the goal for this period was to accomplish the dispensation to start the third course. They were to do this by establishing the foundation for the Tabernacle, thereby returning to the state of grace which they had enjoyed in the second course when they first constructed the Tabernacle under Moses’ direction.
The tablets, the Tabernacle, and the Ark of the Covenant became necessary in the second course only because the Israelites lost faith in the wilderness. Soon after they crossed the Red Sea, they forgot the three signs which God had granted when conducting the dispensation to start. To restore this through indemnity, God tested the people through a forty-day period while Moses was on the mountain. He then gave them three manifestations of divine grace: the tablets of stone, the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle. Moreover, God had granted the ten plagues, which were to restore Laban’s ten deceptions of Jacob in Haran. Yet when the Israelites lost faith even after witnessing these, God attempted to restore the ten plagues through indemnity by giving the Ten Commandments. If the Israelites had renewed their faith by honoring the three manifestations of divine grace and obeying the Ten Commandments, they would have returned to the state of grace they had enjoyed when they left Egypt under the power of these miracles.
Accordingly, in the third course the Israelites should have completed the forty-year indemnity period by following Moses in faith and obedience through the wilderness. After they returned to Kadesh-barnea, they should have stood with Moses upon the foundation for the Tabernacle and exalted the tablets, the Tabernacle and the Ark. Had they done so, they would have stood in the position they had enjoyed at the completion of the dispensation to start the second course, when God struck the Egyptians with the three signs and ten plagues. The tablets were a smaller representation of the Ark; the Ark was a smaller representation of the Tabernacle; hence, the tablets were a smaller representation of the Tabernacle. The Ark and the Tabernacle may thus be represented by the tablets or their root, the rock. Therefore, the third national course to restore Canaan was to begin at Kadesh-barnea upon completing a dispensation to start based on the rock. Henceforth, had the Israelites honored the Tabernacle with faith and devotion and followed Moses into Canaan, they would have fulfilled the indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature required for the foundation of substance in the third national course.
How did God intend to conduct the dispensation to start based on the rock? During the forty years of wandering in the wilderness, the Israelites again fell into complaint and faithlessness. To save them, God instructed Moses to strike the rock with his staff that it might yield water and give drink to the people.119(Num. 20:4-5, 8)CEV|KJ|NI Moses should have struck the rock only once. The awe-struck Israelites then should have united with him, thereby standing with him upon the foundation for the Tabernacle. In this way, they would have fulfilled the dispensation to start based on the rock.
However, when Moses heard the people murmuring against him and complaining that they had no water to drink, he raged in uncontrolled anger and struck the rock twice. Whereupon God said to him:
By striking the rock twice when he should have struck it only once, Moses undermined the dispensation to start based on the rock. As a consequence, he was not permitted to enter the promised land. He could only gaze upon it from a distance at the end of his life.120(Num. 27:12-14)CEV|KJ|NI
Let us investigate why Moses should have struck the rock just once, and why his striking it twice constituted a sin. The rock is a symbol for Jesus Christ.121(I Cor. 10:4)CEV|KJ|NI; (Rev. 2:17)CEV|KJ|NI Since Christ came as the tree of life,122(Rev. 22:14)CEV|KJ|NI; (cf. Fall 1.1.1)the rock may also be seen as the tree of life. The tree of life is also a symbol for perfected Adam in the Garden of Eden; hence the rock symbolized Adam in perfection.
In the Garden of Eden, Adam should have matured to become the ideal represented by the rock. Yet when Satan struck him and caused him to fall, Adam could not become the tree of life or the rock which could give his descendants the water of eternal life. Therefore, the waterless rock, before Moses struck it the first time, symbolized fallen Adam. To indemnify Satan’s act of striking Adam and preventing him from becoming the rock which could give the water of life, God had Moses strike the rock once. When he hit the rock once and it yielded water, Moses fulfilled an indemnity condition to restore Adam as the water-giving rock. The rock, struck once, symbolized Jesus who was to come and give fallen humanity the water of life. Therefore, Jesus said:
Thus, God intended that Moses strike the rock once as an indemnity condition for fallen Adam to be restored in the person of the second, perfected Adam – Jesus. However, when Moses struck the rock the second time, after it had already brought forth water, it represented the possibility that Jesus might be struck. In other words, Moses’ act of striking the rock twice in anger at the faithlessness of the Israelites set up the condition that when Jesus came, if the Jewish people were to turn faithless, Satan would have grounds to confront Jesus, the fulfillment of the rock. This is why Moses’ act constituted a sin.
Although Moses’ act of breaking the tablets of stone could be restored, his mistake of striking the rock the second time could not be restored. Why is this so? In the context of the providence of restoration, the tablets of stone and the rock were related as external and internal. The tablets of stone, inscribed with the Ten Commandments, were the core of the Mosaic Law and the heart of the Old Testament. The Israelites could receive the salvation available in the Old Testament Age by upholding the ideals contained in the tablets. In this sense, the tablets of stone were an external representation of Jesus who was to come.
The rock, on the other hand, not only symbolized Christ; as the root of the tablets of stone, it also symbolized God, the origin of Christ. The tablets of stone were external; the rock was internal. If we liken the tablets to the body, the rock corresponds to the mind; if we liken the tablets to the holy place, the rock corresponds to the most holy place; if we liken the tablets to the earth, the rock corresponds to heaven. In short, as an internal representation of Christ, the rock had greater value than the tablets of stone.
As an external representation of Jesus, the tablets of stone also symbolized Aaron. Aaron was an external representative of Jesus as he stood before Moses, the representative of God.123(Exod. 4:16)CEV|KJ|NI; (Exod. 7:1)CEV|KJ|NI When the Israelites pressured Aaron to make the golden calf,124(Exod. 32:4)CEV|KJ|NI Aaron himself lost faith, and this led to the breaking of the tablets. Nevertheless, Aaron could be revived because he repented while still standing upon the foundation of having drunk the water from the rock at Rephidim.125(Exod. 17:6)CEV|KJ|NI When he did so, the tablets of stone symbolizing Aaron could also be refashioned and restored based on the internal foundation of the water from the rock. However, since the rock – the root of the tablets of stone – symbolized not only Jesus but also God, his origin, striking the rock the second time could not be undone.
What were the consequences of striking the rock twice? Moses struck the rock the second time because he was overcome by uncontrolled rage at the people’s faithlessness.126(Ps. 106:32-33)CEV|KJ|NI He acted under the influence of Satan, even on Satan’s behalf. Consequently, the dispensation to start which God had intended to carry out based on the rock was defiled by Satan.
Although externally Moses’ act of striking the rock a second time proved to be a satanic act, still in a deeper, internal sense he gave drink to the people with the water which flowed from it and saved their lives. This reaffirmed the prophecy God had given earlier127(Num. 14:28-34)CEV|KJ|NI that the external Israelites, those who were adults when they left Egypt, could not enter Canaan as was promised, except for Joshua and Caleb. Moses, too, would die without fulfilling his long-cherished dream of entering the promised land.128(Deut. 34:4-5)CEV|KJ|NI On the other hand, the internal Israelites, those who were children at the time of the Exodus from Egypt or were born during the wilderness course when the people drank water from the rock and honored the Tabernacle, would enter Canaan under the leadership of Joshua,129(Num. 32:11-12)CEV|KJ|NI who succeeded Moses.130(Num. 27:18-20)CEV|KJ|NI
Since Moses’ act of striking the rock twice allowed Satan to invade, we would not expect the rock to have yielded water. How, then, was it possible for water to flow from it? Moses had already brought forth water from the rock at Rephidim131(Exod. 17:6)CEV|KJ|NI in the second national course to restore Canaan, thus laying the foundation to bring forth water from the rock. The tablets of stone, the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant erected upon this foundation were sustained into the third national course, despite the people’s faithlessness, by Moses’ unwavering devotion. He firmly maintained the foundation of faith for the Tabernacle, which he had laid during his forty-day fast. Although Moses’ faith faltered in a moment of anger, his heart toward God remained unchanging. Furthermore, Joshua had laid the foundation for the Tabernacle through his absolute faith during the forty days of spying, and he continued to uphold the tablets, the Tabernacle and the Ark from that time forth. Thus, the foundation to bring forth water from the rock, which had been established at Rephidim, remained intact centered on Joshua. In sum, although the second dispensation based on the rock was invaded by Satan externally due to Moses’ outward act of faithlessness, it remained sound internally. The rock brought forth water for the people due to Moses’ and Joshua’s internal attitude of unswerving faith and devotion.
When Moses struck the rock the second time, he in effect struck it from the position of Satan. Satan, therefore, took possession of the stone. Accordingly, when in Jesus’ time the people disbelieved, Jesus, as the fulfillment of the stone, had to personally enter the wilderness and recover the stone. This is the reason behind his first temptation, when Satan challenged him to turn the stone into bread.
Due to the faithlessness of the Israelites, Moses became enraged and struck the rock twice. This gave Satan a lien on his body, which bound Moses to die outside the promised land. However, he was able to enter Canaan in spirit because he had brought forth water from the rock by virtue of his indomitable faith. This foreshadowed what could happen when Jesus came as the true manifestation of the rock. If the Jewish people disbelieved, Jesus’ body would also suffer attack by Satan, even to the extent of being hung on the cross. He would die before completing the restoration of Canaan worldwide. Nevertheless, he would still be able to accomplish the spiritual portion of restoration through his resurrection.
Shortly after this episode, the Israelites again complained along the way, and God sent fiery serpents which bit and killed many of them. When they repented, God had Moses make a bronze serpent and set it on a pole, that anyone might look at it and be saved.132(Num. 21:6-9)CEV|KJ|NI The fiery serpents symbolized Satan, the ancient serpent133(Rev. 12:9)CEV|KJ|NI who had caused Eve to fall; the bronze serpent set on the pole symbolized Jesus, who was to come as the heavenly serpent. This foreshadowed what might happen in Jesus’ time, as he said: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up.”134(John 3:14)CEV|KJ|NI Although God let the Israelites fall prey to the satanic serpent when they became faithless, He saved their lives with the bronze serpent when they repented and renewed their faith. Likewise, in Jesus’ time, if the people were to disbelieve, God would have to leave them vulnerable to Satan’s attack, and Jesus would have to be hung on the cross as the heavenly serpent to save humanity. Whoever then repented of his faithlessness and believed in the redemption by the cross would be saved. Indeed, the episode of the fiery serpents was a remote cause of Jesus’ walking the path of the crucifixion to begin the course of spiritual salvation.
When the Israelites were faithless and Moses struck the rock twice, God declared that Moses would not be permitted to enter the land of Canaan.135(Num. 20:12)CEV|KJ|NI Although Moses desperately prayed to God and begged God to allow him to enter Canaan,136(Deut. 3:25)CEV|KJ|NI he was denied entrance and died outside its borders. After his death, his body was buried in a valley in the land of Moab, but no one knew the place of its burial.137(Deut. 34:6)CEV|KJ|NI This also foreshadowed what might happen to Jesus: if the people were to reject him, he would be crucified. Even though he might pray desperately to avoid this fate and realize the Kingdom of Heaven – as he in fact did in the Garden of Gethsemane when he prayed, “let this cup pass from me” – he would die unable to accomplish this goal. Furthermore, after his death no one would know the whereabouts of his body.
When at Kadesh-barnea Moses struck the rock twice, the dispensation to start the journey to Canaan, which was to have been based on the rock, was not brought to pass. Although Satan invaded externally, nevertheless the foundation which Moses had laid internally when he had brought forth water from the rock at Rephidim remained intact, and he could bring forth water from the rock at Kadesh-barnea for the people to drink. This set the pattern for what would follow. The external Israelites born in Egypt, who became faithless in the wilderness, all perished except for Joshua and Caleb, who had shown firm faith during the forty-day mission to spy out the land.138(Num. 32:11-12)CEV|KJ|NI The internal Israelites, the younger generation who were born and raised in the wilderness when the people drank water from the rock and were upholding the Tabernacle, entered the land of Canaan under the leadership of Joshua.
God instructed Moses to commission Joshua in his stead:
Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay your hand upon him; cause him to stand before Eleazar the priest and all the congregation, and you shall commission him in their sight. You shall invest him with some of your authority, that all the congregation of the people of Israel may obey. –Num. 27:18-20CEV|KJ|NI
When the people were beset with fear upon hearing the reports of the spies, only Joshua and Caleb remained firm in their faith upon the foundation of faith Moses had laid through the Tabernacle. With absolute faith and loyalty, they thus established the foundation for the Tabernacle and would honor it to the end. Although Moses’ faith faltered later on, the tablets of stone, the Ark and the Tabernacle all remained intact upon the foundation for the Tabernacle which Joshua laid.
Therefore, God worked the dispensation to start the course anew, this time based on the water from the rock, by elevating Joshua to Moses’ place and having the internal Israelites obey him and stand with him upon the foundation for the Tabernacle. On this basis, they were to enter the land of Canaan, where they were to fulfill the national indemnity condition to remove the fallen nature. In this way, God intended to establish the foundation of substance centered on Joshua in the third national course.139(Deut. 3:28)CEV|KJ|NI
When Moses had satisfactorily accomplished the period of forty years in the wilderness of Midian, God appeared before him and commanded him to guide the Israelites to the land of Canaan, the land of milk and honey.140(Exod. 3:8-10)CEV|KJ|NILikewise, when Joshua accomplished with faith and devotion the period of forty years of wandering in the wilderness, God personally called him to serve in the position of Moses, commanding:
Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land which I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. . . . As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and of good courage; for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. –Josh. 1:2, 5-6CEV|KJ|NI
All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go…. Whoever rebels against your commandment and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage. –Josh. 1:16-18CEV|KJ|NI
They pledged with their lives to follow Joshua. In succeeding Moses’ mission to restore Canaan, Joshua prefigured Christ at the Second Advent, who will come to complete the mission which Jesus left unfinished. Just as Joshua’s course was to restore through indemnity Moses’ course, the course of Christ at the Second Advent must restore through indemnity, both physically and spiritually, Jesus’ course of spiritual restoration.
In the second national course, Moses sent twelve spies to Canaan.142(Num. 13:1-2)CEV|KJ|NI Upon the foundation of heart laid by the two spies who had faithfully completed their mission, Joshua sent two men to spy out the fortified city of Jericho.143(Josh. 2:1)CEV|KJ|NI When they returned from Jericho, the two spies made a faithful report: “Truly the Lord has given all the land into our hands; and moreover all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of us.”144(Josh. 2:24)CEV|KJ|NIThe younger generation of Israelites raised in the wilderness all believed the spies’ words, and this faith indemnified the sins of their parents, who had not properly completed the previous forty-day mission to spy out the land.
Having pledged with their lives to obey Joshua, who stood upon the foundation for the Tabernacle, the internal Israelites could stand with him on that foundation. By restoring the dispensation to start based on the water from the rock, they assumed the same position as their parents had when, under Moses’ leadership, they had participated in the dispensation to start at the Exodus from Egypt when God provided the three signs and ten plagues. Just as the Israelites under Moses’ leadership had passed through a three-day course before they crossed the Red Sea, the Israelites under Joshua’s leadership passed through a three-day course before they crossed the Jordan River.145(Josh. 3:2)CEV|KJ|NI In the second national course, after the three-day course was completed, the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire led the Israelites to the Red Sea. Similarly, after the Israelites under Joshua’s leadership completed the three-day course, the Ark of the Covenant led them to the Jordan River.146(Josh. 3:3, 6)CEV|KJ|NI The tablets lying at the center of the Ark, and the pillars of cloud and fire both symbolized Jesus and his would-be Bride.
Moses used his staff to guide the way and split the Red Sea in two. Likewise, Joshua placed the Ark of the Covenant in front of the troops to guide their way. When the priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant entered the Jordan River, its waters parted, opening the way for the people following the Ark to walk on the riverbed.147(Josh. 3:16-17)CEV|KJ|NI Moses’ staff symbolized Jesus; similarly, the Ark containing the tablets of stone, manna and Aaron’s staff symbolized Jesus and his would-be Bride. Therefore, the parting of the Jordan River before the Ark, which allowed the Israelites to enter the land of Canaan safely, foreshadowed what would happen in the presence of Jesus and his Bride: sinful humanity, symbolized by water,148(Rev. 17:15)CEV|KJ|NI would be divided between the righteous and the wicked and face the judgment. All faithful believers would then complete the restoration of Canaan worldwide.
Upon reaching the Jordan River, God commanded Joshua, saying:
Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, “Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood, and carry them over with you, and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.” –Josh. 4:2-3CEV|KJ|NI
And thus the people did:
The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they encamped in Gilgal, on the east border of Jericho. And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal. –Josh. 4:19-20CEV|KJ|NI
What did this foreshadow? As was discussed earlier, the stone symbolized Jesus. Accordingly, when the twelve leaders representing the twelve tribes each carried a stone from the middle of the Jordan River after its waters had been divided by the Ark, it foreshadowed what the twelve disciples of Jesus, representing the twelve tribes, should do at his coming: uphold him at the very place where his Word judges this sinful world and divides it into good and evil.
After they took the twelve stones and set them up in the camp at Gilgal in the land of Canaan, Joshua said, “So that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty; that you may fear the Lord your God for ever.”149(Josh. 4:24)CEV|KJ|NI This foreshadowed that the twelve disciples of Jesus should become one in heart; only then could they complete the restoration of Canaan worldwide, that all the people of the world might praise the power of God eternally.
Just as Jacob built a stone altar wherever he went, the representatives of the twelve tribes, descendants of the twelve sons of Jacob, gathered together the twelve stones and built an altar in praise of God. They were eventually to construct the Temple. This foreshadowed that the twelve disciples of Jesus should join together and honor Jesus as the Temple. For this reason, when his disciples were not uniting, Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”150(John 2:19)CEV|KJ|NI The twelve disciples in fact failed to unite with each other, and one of them, Judas Iscariot, even sold Jesus to his foes. Only after Jesus suffered crucifixion and resurrected after three days was he able to bring together his scattered disciples. The disciples then honored the resurrected Jesus as the spiritual Temple. Only at his Second Coming will his followers be able to serve him as the incarnate Temple.
When the Israelites left Egypt and set out for the land of Canaan, they observed the feast of Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.151(Exod. 12:17-18)CEV|KJ|NI Likewise, the Israelites under Joshua’s leadership, who encamped at Gilgal, observed the feast of Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month of that year. Afterward, they set out for the city of Jericho. When they began to live on the produce of the land, God stopped giving the manna which He had been providing for forty years. From that time forth, they were to make a living with their own sweat. Furthermore, until they had overthrown every last satanic city, they had to strive to the utmost to fulfill their responsibility.
As they approached Jericho, in accordance with God’s command, the Israelites put forty thousand soldiers at the forefront while seven priests blew seven trumpets as they marched behind the soldiers. Following behind them was the Ark of the Covenant carried by the Levitical priests, and the rest of the Israelite army marched at the rear. The Israelites marched around the fortified city in this formation once a day for six days, but this caused no change in the city. With patience and obedience, the people were restoring through indemnity the six-day period of creation which had been invaded by Satan. After they faithfully endured through six days, on the seventh day the seven priests circled the city walls seven times, blowing the seven trumpets, and Joshua said to the people: “Shout; for the Lord has given you the city.”152(Josh. 6:16)CEV|KJ|NIThe people raised a great shout and the city walls tumbled down. The conquest of Jericho153(Josh. 6)CEV|KJ|NI foreshadowed that by the power of Christ and the work of his followers, the satanic barrier between Heaven and earth will crumble. Once dismantled, this wall will never be erected again. Thus, Joshua proclaimed:
Cursed before the Lord be the man that rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho. At the cost of his firstborn shall he lay its foundation, and at the cost of his youngest son shall he set up its gates. –Josh. 6:26CEV|KJ|NI
Joshua then launched attacks on the enemy with insurmountable force. He defeated thirty-one kings altogether.154(Josh. 12:9-24)CEV|KJ|NI This foreshadowed that Christ will come as the King of Kings to build the unified Kingdom of Heaven on earth by bringing all gentile kings to complete surrender and winning the hearts of their people.
We have learned that the Israelites failed in the second national course to restore Canaan when they could not fulfill the forty-day mission to spy out the land as a condition to separate Satan. To pay indemnity for this failure, during the third national course they wandered in the wilderness for forty years. During this period, Moses laid the foundation of faith for the third course, and the Israelites stood upon the foundation for the Tabernacle. Yet Satan defiled these two foundations due to the people’s faithlessness and Moses’ mistake of striking the rock twice. Consequently, the older generation of Israelites, except for Joshua and Caleb, perished in the wilderness. Joshua and Caleb had faithfully fulfilled the forty-day spy mission while standing upon the foundation of faith for the second course and the foundation of faith for the Tabernacle which Moses had laid. They thereby established the foundation for the Tabernacle. The younger generation of Israelites crossed the Jordan River while bearing the Ark of the Covenant with utmost faith under the leadership of Joshua, who succeeded Moses. Then, destroying the fortified city of Jericho, they entered Canaan, the promised land. Based on this victory, they laid the foundation of substance in the third national course and established the foundation for the Messiah for this course – albeit as a people without sovereignty.
The family foundation for the Messiah had been fulfilled in the days of Abraham. His descendants passed through a four-hundred-year course of indemnity as slaves in Egypt before they could enter Canaan and there complete the national foundation for the Messiah. This required more than merely entering and conquering Canaan. As was discussed earlier in detail,155(cf. Foundation 3.3) fallen people had already founded powerful nations such as Egypt, led by satanic rulers who opposed God’s providence of restoration. Therefore, even though the national foundation for the Messiah was established under Joshua’s leadership, it would be necessary to build a sovereign kingdom from which the Messiah could confront the satanic nations of the world. However, once the younger generation of Israelites entered Canaan, they also became faithless. Hence, God’s providence was prolonged again, and would suffer repeated setbacks until the time of Jesus.
Throughout history, people of faith have read the biblical account of Moses and thought it was merely a record of Moses’ life and Israel’s history. No one truly understood that God intended to reveal by this account certain secrets of the providence of restoration. Jesus only intimated it, saying, “The Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise.”156(John 5:19)CEV|KJ|NI He passed away without divulging the true significance of Moses’ course.157(John 16:12)CEV|KJ|NI
In these pages, we have revealed how Moses walked the model course or formula course for the providence of restoration. By making a comparison between this section and the next section, readers will understand more clearly how, through Moses’ course, God foreshadowed the path Jesus would walk. Yet even by studying the providence centered on Moses alone, we cannot but come to the conclusion that God exists and has been guiding human history toward the realization of one absolute purpose.
Moses’ course also demonstrates that the actual outcome of a person’s life depends upon whether or not the person fulfills his portion of responsibility, regardless of God’s foreordained plan for him. God’s predestined Will cannot be achieved through the person entrusted with its fulfillment if he does not complete his portion of responsibility. Specifically, God foretold that He would have Moses lead the Israelites into Canaan, the land of milk and honey, and commanded him to carry this out. Nevertheless, when Moses and his people did not fulfill their responsibility, only Joshua and Caleb among the first generation entered Canaan. The rest died in the wilderness.
Moreover, God does not intervene in the human portion of responsibility but acts only upon the actual result a person brings. Although God guided the people with amazing signs and miracles, He did not interfere in their actions when they worshipped the golden calf while Moses was away on the mountain. He did not intervene to restrain Moses when he struck the rock twice. When they did so, they were carrying out their portions of responsibility which were theirs alone to fulfill. However, once they had acted either to fulfill their responsibility or to fail in it, God regarded their result and acted accordingly.
Moses’ course demonstrates the absoluteness of God’s predestined Will. God predetermines absolutely that His Will be fulfilled and continually attempts to accomplish it until it is done. Thus, when Moses could not complete his responsibility, God found a successor, Joshua, and worked determinedly to accomplish His Will through him. In general, when someone in the Abel position whom God has chosen does not complete his given mission, someone in the Cain position who has demonstrated the utmost devotion will replace the Abel figure and inherit his mission. Jesus described a comparable situation when he said, “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.”158(Matt. 11:12)NIV; (cf. Messiah 2.3)
Moses’ course shows that the greater one’s mission, the greater the test one will face. Because the first ancestors fell when they did not believe in God but turned away from Him, central figures restoring the foundation of faith must overcome a test in which God abandons them. Moses had to overcome a trial in which God tried to kill him159(Exod. 4:24)CEV|KJ|NI before he could rise as the leader of the Israelites.
With the Fall as a condition, Satan bound human beings in a relationship with him. Consequently, God does not grant grace to people without a necessary condition, for if He were to do so, Satan would make accusations. Therefore, when God is about to give grace, He puts the person through a test, either before or after the grace, to prevent Satan’s accusation. Moses’ course provides examples of this. God granted Moses the grace to begin the first course to depart from Egypt only after he had completed the test of living in the Pharaoh’s palace for forty years. God granted him the grace to begin the second course to depart from Egypt only after he had completed the test of living in the wilderness of Midian for forty years.160(Exod. 4:2-9)CEV|KJ|NI Only after giving the test in which God tried to kill Moses161(Exod. 4:25)CEV|KJ|NI did He grant the three signs and ten plagues.162(Exod. 7:10)CEV|KJ|NIOnly after giving the test of the three-day course163(Exod. 10:22)CEV|KJ|NI did God grant the pillars of cloud and fire.164(Exod. 13:21)CEV|KJ|NI Only after giving the test of crossing the Red Sea165(Exod. 14:21-22)CEV|KJ|NI did God give the grace of manna and quail.166(Exod. 16:13)CEV|KJ|NI After giving the test of the battle with the Amalekites,167(Exod. 17:10)CEV|KJ|NI God granted the grace of the tablets of stone, the Tabernacle, and the Ark of the Covenant.168(Exod. 32:18)CEV|KJ|NI The grace of the water from the rock169(Num. 20:9)CEV|KJ|NI was given only after the test of wandering for forty years in the wilderness. When God sent the fiery serpents, the people’s repentance was the condition for God to give the grace of the bronze serpent.170(Num. 21:6-9)CEV|KJ|NI
These are lessons which Moses’ course teaches us.