ONE feature of the ceremonial law of Israel, related in Numbers
19, required the killing of a red heifer (cow)--one without blemish
and which had never been under the yoke of service. It was not
one of the sin-offerings of the Day of Atonement, nor was it one of
the offerings of the people subsequent to the Day of
Atonement--indeed, it was no "offering" at all, for no part of it was
offered on the Lord's altar or eaten by the priests. It was sacrificed,
but not in the same sense, nor in the same place, as these
offerings--in the Court. It was not even killed by one of the priests,
nor was its blood taken into the Holy and Most Holy. The Red
Heifer was taken outside the camp of Israel, and was there killed
and burned to ashes--flesh, fat, hide, blood, etc.--except a little of
the blood taken by the priest and sprinkled seven times toward the
front of the Tabernacle (Revised Version and Leeser). The ashes
of the heifer were not [T106] brought into the Holy place, but
were left outside the Camp, gathered together in a heap, and
apparently accessible to any of the people who had use for them.
Under the prescription of the Law, a portion of the ashes was to be
mixed with water in a vessel, and a bunch of hyssop dipped into
this mixture was to be used in sprinkling the person, clothing, tent,
etc., of the legally unclean, for their purification.

In view of what we have seen respecting the Day of Atonement
sacrifices, which foreshadowed the better sacrifices of this Gospel
age (accomplished by the Royal Priesthood, Christ, Head and
Body) this heifer was in no sense related to these, and evidently
did not typify any of the sacrifices of this present time. So likewise
it is different from any of the sacrifices that were accepted on
behalf of the people of Israel after the Day of Atonement, and
which we have just shown signified their repentance and sorrow
for sins during the Millennium, and their full consecration of
themselves to the Lord. The burning of the heifer was not related
to any of these sacrifices, all of which were made by the priests,
and in the Court. We must look elsewhere for an antitype to this
Red Heifer, for had it in any sense of the word represented the
priests, it would of necessity have been killed by one of them as
indicating that fact.

What, then, did this sacrifice of the red heifer signify?-- What class
or persons were represented by it, as having suffered outside the
"Camp," and in what sense of the word would their sufferings have
to do with the cleansing or purification of the people of
God--including those who shall yet become his people during the
Millennial age?

We answer that a class of God's people not of the "Royal
Priesthood" did suffer for righteousness' sake outside the "Camp";
a brief history of these, and of the fiery trials which they endured,
is given us by the Apostle in Heb. 11. [T107] Of these he says,
after recounting the faith exploits of a number, "What shall I say
more? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak,
and of Samson, and of Jephtha; of David also, and of Samuel and
of the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought
righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out
of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to
flight the armies of aliens. Women received their dead raised to life
again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that
they might obtain a better resurrection: and others had trials of
cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover, of bonds and
imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were
tempted, were slain by the sword: they wandered about in
sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented, of
whom the world was not worthy." Heb. 11:32-38

Here we have a class fitting to the account of the Red Heifer--a
class which laid down their lives outside the "Camp"; a class in
every way honorable, and yet not a priestly class. This class being
no part of the Body of the High Priest could have no part or share
in the sin-offerings of the Atonement Day--nor could it be admitted
into the spiritual conditions typified by the Holy and Most Holy. It
may seem to some remarkable that we should, with so much
positiveness, declare that these ancient worthies were not members
of the "Royal Priesthood," while with equal positiveness we declare
that the no more faithful servants of God of this Gospel age are
members of this "Royal Priesthood." Our positiveness on this
subject is the positiveness of the Word of God, which in the very
connection with the narrative of the faithfulness of these patriarchs
declares in so many words, "These all, having obtained a good
report through faith, received not the promise [received not the
[T108] chief blessing], God having provided some better thing for
us, that they without us should not be made perfect." Heb. 11:39,40

Nor should it be difficult for us to realize that although there could
be antitypical Levites (justified by faith in a coming atonement)
before our Lord Jesus came into the world, yet there could be no
antitypical priests, for he was the Head or Chief Priest, and in all
things had pre-eminence, and made atonement for the blemishes of
his "Body" and of "his house" before any could become his
brethren and members of the royal priesthood. Our Lord himself
stated this matter very pointedly, and succinctly pointed out the
line of demarcation between the faithful ones that preceded him
and the faithful ones who would follow after him, walking in his
footsteps, and becoming his joint-heirs. Of John the Baptist he
said, "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women
there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist;
notwithstanding he that is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is
greater than he." Matt. 11:11

John the Baptist belonged to this Red Heifer class which suffered
outside the "Camp," even unto death, but he had nothing whatever
to do with the still better sacrifices of the royal priesthood during
the Atonement Day, whose fat and life producing organs were
offered upon God's altar in the "Court," and whose blood was
taken into the "Most Holy," typical of those who become new
creatures in Christ Jesus, even members of his "Body," the
Church, joint-heirs with him in all things.

But while these ancient worthies are not in any sense part of the
sin-offering, they are nevertheless connected with the cleansing
from sin: their ashes (the knowledge and remembrance of their
faithfulness unto death), mingled with the water of truth, and
applied with the purgative, cleansing hyssop, is valuable, purifying,
sanctifying all who desire to [T109] come into full harmony with
God--and "sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purification of
the flesh." Not, however, of themselves would these lessons of
faithfulness in the past be valuable to us, but only by, through and
associated with the sin-offerings of the Day of Atonement, to
which the Apostle refers in the same connection--"the blood of
bulls and goats." And not only are the remembrance and lessons of
the faithfulness of the ancient worthies (typified by the ashes of the
red heifer) of sanctifying power to us now, but in a much larger
sense they will be applicable and a blessing to the world of
mankind in general during the Millennial age. For, as we have
elsewhere seen, the divine arrangement is that these ancient
worthies, the greatest of whom is less in honor than the least one in
the Kingdom, will nevertheless occupy a place of high honor and
distinction under that Kingdom of God--as its agents and
representatives. For they shall be the "princes in all the earth," the
agents of the Kingdom's judgments, and the channels of its
blessings, to "all the families of the earth." Thus the faithfulness of
these ancient worthies was represented in the gathered ashes of the
heifer, as laid up in store for future use, valuable lessons of
experience, faith, obedience, trust, etc., which, applied to the world
of mankind, seeking cleansing in the coming age, will sanctify them
and purify them--not without the Day of Atonement sacrifices, but
in connection with and based upon those. Psa. 45:16

The burning of the heifer was witnessed by a priest, who took
cedar wood and a sprig of hyssop and a scarlet string and cast
them into the midst of the burning cow. The hyssop would
represent purging or cleansing, the cedar wood or evergreen would
represent everlasting life, and the scarlet string would represent the
blood of Christ. The casting of these three into the midst of the
burning would imply that the ignominy heaped upon the ancient
worthies who [T110] were stoned, sawn asunder, etc., and of
whom the world was not worthy, permitted the merit of the
precious blood, the cleansing of the truth, and the gift of everlasting
life to be accounted to them through faith; and that subsequent to
their death they would be recognized as cleansed, justified,
accepted. The under-priest (not Aaron, who typified the Lord
Jesus) who saw, recognized and approved the burning of the heifer
and who took of its blood and sprinkled it in the direction of the
Tabernacle door, would seem well antityped in that great
under-priest, the Apostle Paul, who, by the help of God (the name
Eleazar signifies "Helped by God") has not only identified for us
the sin-offerings of the Atonement Day, but also in his writings
points out to us (Heb. 11) that which enables us to identify the Red
Heifer sacrifice as typifying the ancient worthies. And thus he
sprinkles their blood toward the Tabernacle, showing that their
lives were in full, complete harmony with the Tabernacle
conditions--although, not living in the time of this high calling, it
was not their privilege to become members of the Body of the
great High Priest, the royal priesthood.

In that the red heifer never wore a yoke, it represented a class of
justified persons--made free from the Law Covenant. Although
most of the ancient worthies were born under the Law Covenant,
and therefore legally subject to its conditions and to its
condemnation through imperfection of the flesh, nevertheless, we
see that God justified them through faith, as the children of faithful
Abraham. This is fully attested and corroborated by the Apostle,
when he says that "all these obtained a good report of God through
faith"--a verdict of, Well done, a testimony that they pleased God,
and that he had provided for them blessings in harmony with his
promise--although these blessings could not be given to them at the
time, but must be waited for and be received through the spiritual
Seed of Abraham-- [T111] the Christ. The fact that this sacrifice
must be a cow and not a bullock served to differentiate it from the
great sacrifice of the Day of Atonement which could be a bullock
only. That it must be a red cow would seem to teach that those
ancient worthies were not sinless and therefore accepted of God
before the great Atonement Day sacrifice, but that they were
"sinners even as others." The fact of their cleansing or justification
by faith, was otherwise indicated as above suggested.

The cleansings for which these red cow ashes were prescribed,
were of a peculiar kind; namely, specially for those who came in
contact with death. This would seem to indicate that these ashes of
the heifer were not designed to remove the individual's guilt--no,
his moral guilt could be cleansed away only through the merit of
the Atonement Day sacrifices. The cleansing of defilement through
contact with the dead would seem to teach that this cleansing,
affected by and through the experiences of the ancient worthies,
will specially apply to the world of mankind during the Millennial
age, while they are seeking to get rid of all the defilements of
Adamic death--seeking to attain human perfection. All the
blemishes of the fallen condition are so much of contact with
death; all constitutional weaknesses and blemishes through heredity
are contacts with death: and from all of these the ashes of the Red
Heifer are to be used for the cleansing of all who will become the
people of God. Like the ashes of the red heifer, laid up in a clean
place, so the results of the painful experiences of the ancient
worthies will be a store of blessings, instruction and help, by which
they, when made subordinate "princes" in the Kingdom, will assist
in the restitution work. Each pardoned sinner, desiring to be
cleansed perfectly, must not only wash himself with water (truth),
but must also have applied to him the instructions of these
"princes"--said instructions [T112] being typified by the sprinkled
ashes of the heifer, representing the valuable lessons of faith and
obedience learned through experience by this class.
Ashes of the Red Heifer