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Compiled by JS LOWTHER
(continuation from: A Community of Election and Order)
A Government of Election
The Purpose of the Presbyter
Honor (value) thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which YHWH thy God giveth thee.
When we begin to venture out side of the simplicity of the meaning of Father and Mother, as ones direct forbearer, that is their literal father who begat them and their mother who bore them, verses like:
Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head,
and honor the face of the old man/ Presbyter (πρεσβυτερων),
and fear thy God: I am YHWH.
(G4245 Presbyter: (elderly); older, old one)
We last looked at and discussed the relevance of noticing a Presbyterian order being utilized by Israel, yet before the organization of Israel’s national codified Government we nevertheless see is the exact Example of Reforming Faith we should all recognize from the teachings of Jesus and the epistles of the Apostles as well as that pertinent principle of the European Christian reformation, we see the response of certain elders to God given Faith as is given by the only source it can be accredited to Grace, the free gift of God’s mercy in allowing an Elect group of these Elders to have Faith Alone unto God’s self ordained glory:
Exo_3:16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt:
Exo 3:17 And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.
and importantly, what is said in
Exo_4:28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him.
Exo 4:29 And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel:
Exo 4:30 And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people.
Exo 4:31 And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.
Exo_4:29 And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders H2205 / G1087 of the children of Israel:
These Elders have before the Passover are those who believe, this is a death blow at any concept of apostate faith that should teach that Faith was no had in ‘old covenant time’ or in any time before Christ’s manifestation. The Whole response that separates these old men, from other old men are not that they marched and moved with the general congregation just as sheep move with the flock, but these Elders these Presbyters are marked by Faith, by belief in the God of their Fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they are marked by a belief that God will fulfill his promises to Israel, they believed in the signs they did not see but that which Moses and Aaron God’s messengers told the people, these Elders Heard in fact by Faith that YHWH visited Israel, and that YHWH had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.
This are the first marks to again point out, so often over looked that Again, according to the Eternal Logical of God that Faith by God’s Grace Alone is accountable for a slaves response to freedom from bondage, no differently do we identify by this principle today, simply my paraphrase of Eph_2:8-10 is the standing word found through out all the Scripture: Grace Through Faith unto good works, is the only order that can exist for any man after the fall of Adam.
So what do we find as the next order of Electing the Presbytery in the book of Exodus?
After all of the warnings and punishments upon the Egyptians, at the blessed time of the revealing of the Eternal Passover prior ordained and written in the Heavens since eternity past, It was on the Month Called Abib literally meaning green ears of the barley crop , it was on that rebuilding of the New Moon that the instructions for Passover were given, and these instructions for preservation, worship and salvation was entrusted to the men, or husbands of the houses of the people of Israel of the general gathering or congregation:
Exo_12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:
Exo 12:4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.
And While the instructions were generally given to all the congregation, the specific command of the administration of the teachings of this sacrament was placed again into the hands of the council of Elders:
Exo_12:21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover.
Moses Called kalled for all the Elders (old men), the old men were called out into an assembly, properly these men are in the Church council (Church G1577 / ἐκκλησία /ekklēsia) these men have been called by Moses who is the law giver of God, YHWH’s mouth piece and these old men responded to his Call, this is the relative nature of the Ecclasia / church to the Presbytery in a working order, that is the Elders of the people instructing the people: in realistic imagery we see the Elders who respond to the Call of God’s Law (as represented by Moses call), and these “Elders of Israel… Draw out and take… a lamb according to your families, and kill the Passover. ” And so we also see the Regulative principle of worship arising from this order as it is and has been based in the family structure.
That is, that the Elders that respond to the Call of God by the Law of God, they are in this instance are called to the purpose of teaching the family the good works which flow out the faith given to them to believe by the merciful grace of God there savior: These Men are called to lead in their ordained good works by example, by taking the lamb and killing the Passover for his particular house, this is the example to the whole general congregation of those who have faith and those who do not, but never the less this faithful Elder is the example for every man under his headship and who look to him as an example who ever that may be.
In a Christological relevance
We of course see that redemption made by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world (1Pe_1:17-20) represented in every lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8) , we see the charge of taking the lamb, and taking responsibility for the Lamb’s death and the blood upon our family house here given to the Elders to teach the family and congregation, in fact to teach every man in Israel the absolute need for understanding the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; that is the knowledge of the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Ultimately it is this knowledge which the commandments of God our savior teaches in every Jot an tittle of the words of Moses, ultimately it is this relevant truth that is only committed to the Elect that Moses words speak to in its observance and this principle is not taken up and given to the best preacher, or the ordained evangelist, but rather foremost and at the front line of the battle for the hearts and mind and soul of the children is the called out obedience of the Elders as they teach the congregation of men in their families. And it is upon this regulative principle of worship that the people of God’s Covenant Faith will most benefit in their own kinisic and nationalistic society, when the Gospel is taught by the Law of their father’s worship according to the scriptures alone.
So now that we are beyond the Paschal feast of Egyptian Exodus, and we are journeying with our fathers into the wilderness, let us continue to see How God used This Council of Elders or Aged men or Presbyters or the זקנH2205 / ZaQen of the Faithful Hebrew family to further establish the National order.
Exo_17:1 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.
Exo 17:2 Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?
Exo 17:3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?
Exo 17:4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.
Exo_17:5 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders / presbyters G4245 of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.
We need to make some distinction here in certain terms, remember how in Exo_12:3 where it said ” Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying…” And I said remember this for later, Exo_17:1 is the later. See how Exo_17:1 is speaking of the general assemblage of the people, the synogog in Greek and the kol-edath or all the gathered, this rebellion is of a gathering of people, this is not the same as the church or ecclesia or the Quhal in Hebrew which literally means the Called out from this general people.
This is an important distinction to make because when we speak of this whole assembly of the children of Israel we are not automatically saying every Israelite is called from the heart and mind and soul unto the God of His father Abraham Isaac and Jacob, all of which were called though not all of their children are called as they were called out, that not every Israelite of the general assembly the synagogue posses the Faith given by Grace. We know this because this same general assembly kept the Passover according to the example of there respective elder, but it was not that all did so by Faith. We know this because here we see the same congregation chiding and in rebellion to Moses on account of a lack of Faith that God would not kill them in them in the wilderness by thirst, so much so was this that Moses is convinced this congregation of the children of Israel would kill him by stoning.
This is a rebellion of the people, the general populous against God’s Law as Moses represents it and importantly not representing all, but certainly representing a people who as a whole show faithlessness in God’s promise to the whole congregation of Israel.
Notice by direct and clear reading of the promises of God, we have read prior, of deliverance of the Nation and of a home land, we see the faithful and unfaithful alike given an inheritance, simply because one was a son of Jacob and reckoned among the tribes of Israel a general inheritance was given in deliverance an a portion in the country that is coming that flows with milk and honey.
But it is the faithless that always start the trouble within the congregation of Israel, though some will keep the Passover and some will by tradition
…followed after the law of righteousness, they do not attained to the law of righteousness.
Rom_9:32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works.
And so, in all ages
Rom_11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
So we must continue to see this calling of the Elect or the selected ones out of the whole assembly, regardless of what group we see the LORD commanding Moses to select from, all of the standards which we will see God revealing to Moses are those traits of an Elect person, these traits are to reflect the call of God upon a persons life which a mark the whole congregation will look to in their respective families, we will see the further revelation of God’s order in establishing this system on several levels.
But at this time notice this first organic ‘selection’ before we are informed of the ‘Godly criteria’ to be stated in the next chapter by God’s Revelation through the mouth of Jethro Moses’ father in law. The first group God command’s Moses to turn to are the Old men of authority over the families that are given charge by their age and headship over the families that they are fathers and brothers of first but we have a great record of the character already proven about these presbyters.
And so it is we see in
Exo_17:5 that YHWH said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel… and Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.
God again specifically instructs Moses When the people chide him and rebel, to go to the Old men of the these families, this is no doubt to importantly distribute the water and the miracle of it’s happening but also because the family connection of bone and flesh, of Grandpa, uncle or dad calling you to be calm is a natural bridge from Moses to the people as a congregation as a whole, as a nation now wondering though the wilderness. The elders are those who are the intermediary between the Lawgiver and the general assembly or the congregation who lead by example. In short, even the unfaithful child can generally identity with his family and follow the good order and Law being handed to him, this child may not be Elect and may not have the Grace of God in the giving of Faith, but in order to stay related to the whole this Headship will more often than not be affective in connecting the Order of the law with the family of a Faithful man.
It is in this way we see how even the unregenerate, lest they be adverse to the family and thus even to his own flesh, this order will bless even the unfaithful because even the faithless know in their being that total anarchy / a total lack of headship is destructive to themselves as well.
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