The Editor recognizes a responsibility to the Master, relative to what shall appear in these columns, which he cannot and does not cast aside; yet he should not be understood as endorsing every expression of correspondents, or of articles selected from other periodicals.
This paper will be sent free to any of the Lord's poor who will send a card yearly requesting it. Freely we have received and freely we would give the truth. "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat – yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." And you that have it – "Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently – and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness." – ISAIAH 55:1,2.
VOLUME VI. closes with this number. We revise our list every August and February, so that we may not continue sending the TOWER where it is not wanted. If your subscription commenced with the first of the volume, do not neglect, but advise us at once of your desires. Should mistakes occur, please advise us. Some from whom we have not heard for a long time, will find a blue mark opposite this paragraph.
THE TABERNACLE pamphlet being out of print, this issue will hereafter supply its place. As our usual sized paper would not contain it complete, we have issued a double number. A thorough study of the subjects herein presented, will require not less than two months. May these solemn lessons be as strengthening to your hearts as to ours.
"I will stand upon my watch, and fix my foot upon the Tower, and I will watch to see what will be said to me." Habakkuk 2:1.
Human judgment in its fallen condition is very much inclined to take extreme views on whichever side of a question it looks. Like the pendulum of a clock, men go from one to an opposite extreme. The way to steady and settle our judgment is to conclude that we can know only what God has revealed, and come to the Bible as His revelation; and leaving our own opinions, make new ones strictly and entirely therefrom.
This disposition to fly to opposite extremes frequently manifests itself in those who for years have believed that ninety-nine out of every hundred of the human family were en-route to everlasting torture. When they come to realize that the love of God would sanction no such thing, but that the extreme penalty of sin is destruction of being; and that from the destruction (death) which came upon the entire race through Adam's sin, a full ransom has been made by Jesus, and that a full RESTITUTION of all the forfeited rights, privileges and enjoyments of perfect life is to come to all in God's DUE TIME – when they see this, they become so overjoyed that they go to an opposite extreme and conclude that God is so loving that he would never be happy unless ultimately every human being shall be everlastingly saved. From the extreme view that God was all JUSTICE and without LOVE, they unintentionally run to the opposite extreme that He is all LOVE and destitute of justice.
Beloved, let us BALANCE our warped and perverted and unbalanced judgments by the testimonies of God's Word. Let us remember that EXISTENCE is a boon from heaven, to be forced upon none. It is a favor, a blessing, designed only for those who shall appreciate it; and who will use it in harmony with the LAW OF RIGHT, the law of God; others cannot have it, and must cease to exist; not only for their own good, but for the good of all and the everlasting purity of God's kingdom in earth and heaven.
Surely God has stated to us plainly that justice and equity are the very foundations of his throne (Psa. 89:14); and not only so, but for over four thousand years he illustrated the penalty of sin and the unrelenting, positive character of his justice, which not only condemned Adam (and all the race as represented in him) to death, destruction, but refused to FORGIVE that wilful sin, because God could not do so and be JUST. Rom. 3:26.
Surely such a demonstration of justice, as God manifested in giving His Son to be a ransom ["corresponding price"] for all, before that sin could be blotted out, evidences a firmness and a justice on God's part that is simply sublime. It should not only be an assurance to us that those once justified from Adamic guilt have nothing further to fear therefrom (1 John 1:9), but should also assure us beyond question, that all who are fully released from Adamic penalty and guilt when on trial individually, would be dealt with in the same inflexibly just manner that Adam was. If obedient, life will be sure, as the reward; if disobedient, death [this time a second death], as surely as in Adam's case. And the conditions would be the same, in that Justice could no more forgive the personal wilful sins which invoked the second death, than it did the Adamic sin which invoked the first death.
But, some one inquires: Will God's love every change? And if not, will not the same love which planned the ransom through Christ and the coming restitution as a result, prompt God to again redeem with another ransom those who go into the second death?
We reply: God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and will always pity and love any of His creatures who unwillingly or without their own will or choice, are under the penalty of His law; but from the very nature of things He can have neither sympathy nor pity for those who with a full knowledge of the heinousness of sin, a full experience with its penalty, and a full knowledge of what it cost for their redemption from it once, and full ability to resist it, shall, notwithstanding all this wilfully, and designedly, despise His goodness and love, and violate the laws which they know divine wisdom enacted for the lasting good of all: with such, God cannot be pleased. As God hates sin because it is wrong and works evil, so he must "abhor" and be "angry" with such WILFUL sinners as we have just described.
It is declared that Christ shall reign until he has subdued all enemies. Sinners are enemies through wicked works; and such as will not be RECONCILED to God's laws and arrangements must be destroyed, as it is written: "All the WICKED [wilfully so] will He [God] destroy." (Psa. 145:20.) The wicked shall be [re]turned [Heb., Shub, turned back, returned;] into hell [sheol – death; hence SECOND DEATH]. (Psa. 9:17.) This agrees also with the statements of Revelation regarding the results and termination of that Millennial reign: Satan and all who in that time of trial, shall willingly and persistently follow his example, and be thereby his co-workers in evil (his messengers) shall together be cast into the "Lake of fire," symbol of destruction – the second death. Rev. 20:14,15.
Nor can any one consistently claim that the second death is to be destroyed by a resurrection of its captives out of it, BECAUSE it is stated that present death – the first (the death which resulted from Adam's sin) is to be destroyed by resurrecting ALL who went into it; because redeemed from its power by the precious blood of Christ. These two deaths are not the same; hence the first can and will be destroyed, while the other everlastingly blots out of existence, and thus everlastingly punishes all who go into it. Those who cannot see more, should at least recognize the difference by the fact that the one is cast into and destroyed in the other. (Rev. 20:14.) That this destruction of all willful evil doers who, under the favorable opportunities of the Millennium refuse to hear [heed] that Prophet (Acts 3:23), will take place, is evident, from the statement that this is at the close of that reign (Rev. 20:7-9), and that immediately following it everything is described as pure, holy and happy – no sin, and hence none of its results. Rev. 21:4,22.
The only one of Jesus' parables which furnishes a clear outline of that age (Matt. 25:31-46), shows the same termination of that age, in which "the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of his glory" and judge the world. It shows that those who at the end of that trial are of the "goat" class, having refused to become his sheep, will be delivered into everlasting punishment [DEATH being the punishment or wages of sin] prepared or designed [only] for the Devil and [those who wilfully and persistently follow his precepts and example] his angels.
To claim another redemption and another chance beyond that which the Millennium brings, as a result of the ransom given by Christ, is not only to add to God's Word, but to contradict it; for it declares that those who sin WILFULLY after knowing the truth, show that they despise the ransom-sacrifice and do despite to the spirit of FAVOR which God therein manifested toward them; and that for such, there remaineth no more a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation which shall DEVOUR these adversaries of God and his law. "Christ dieth no more"; and even if he did, it is declared that such put themselves in such a condition by opposing and despising God's [R770 : page 1] once manifested goodness, that it is IMPOSSIBLE TO RENEW THEM AGAIN UNTO REPENTANCE. See Heb. 6:4-8; 10:26-31 and Rom. 6:9.
The results of the Millennial Age will be so complete and perfect, that not one being who appreciates God's favors, and desires to please him, will be destroyed in the Second death; and not one will escape it who is not, at heart, as well as outwardly, in fullest sympathy with God's government and its beneficent laws in support of righteousness, peace and love. Christ will do this work so thoroughly that when the kingdom is delivered up to God even the Father, nothing by way of making it more perfect will remain to be done in the successive ages. He must reign until he has put all enemies under his feet. He shall not fail nor be discouraged till he have ESTABLISHED righteousness in the earth on a lasting basis. 1 Cor. 15:26, and Isa. 42:4.
Besides, suppose a case: Suppose a being to have lived through the Millennium under the full light and teaching of the Christ, with all of its lessons fully impressed upon him, who yet cherished such love for evil doing, that when evil is given greater liberty of action in the end of that age – as a test of the heart sentiments – he would follow that evil willingly, and knowingly and eagerly, and as a result of resisting Christ is "cut off from among the people," in the second death. (Acts 3:22.) Suppose for the moment, such an one resurrected from that Second death and tried again; what assurance could there be that with the SAME knowledge and liberty again at his command he would not do the same again? And if some one suggests that God COULD coerce his will, and thus compel his everlasting obedience, we answer, Yes; but God declares that such is not his design. He seeketh not such as he can compel, for he could compel all; but, "The Father seeketh such to worship Him" as "worship Him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:23,24.) Besides, if God is going to compel their acquiescence to his laws, why not do so at first without having a "second death;" and without marring the perfectness and bliss of future ages by trying over and over again to get some to consent and worship him in spirit and truth whom in the end he must compel? This is unanswerable.
Again, if such were to be compelled to obedience would it not be degrading them below the level of manhood? Is not manhood's chief glory his will, his power of moral choice? And would not such a change as would deprive him of this freedom of choice, deprive him of manhood and make him merely a machine? and if so would it not be far more to God's glory to blot out such unworthy beings and create such "new machines" as he wanted – if he wants mere machines? – which evidently he does not.
The mistake of those who fall into this error is that they do not fully appreciate the opportunities of the Millennial Age, and the abundant arrangement there, provided by divine wisdom. They think of it as though the sin of disobedience might possibly be one act, and it perhaps induced by a measure of ignorance or lack of experience or weakness. But no; God's provision has been complete: Man will not be suddenly brought to perfection and then suddenly exposed to trials which might sweep away his judgment, and over-riding his past experiences, sweep him into evil; but he will be brought gradually to it during that age, as in a [R770 : page 2] school. He will be helped to surmount the weaknesses of the fall, and to regain the summit of manhood's estate; helped by the Redeemer who purchased for him the right to return to that estate. Christ, in restoring to man "that which was lost" (Luke 19:10, and Acts 3:21) will do it in such a manner as will do the man most good. He will make known to him its advantages and opportunities [bring him to "a knowledge of the truth"] while saving him out of Adamic death (1 Tim. 2:4). He shall in that schooling learn what wilful sin is and the sureness of its punishment, and be fully acquainted with the fact that at the close of the age all must be in heart, in will, holy, and in harmony with the holy God, else they will be condemned to death – destruction everlasting – as wilful transgressors unworthy of God's blessings, and unfit for the ages of perfectness then to be introduced.
We cannot suppose, judging from our own feelings, that MANY would thus sin WILFULLY and despise God's favors; nevertheless the fact that Satan has done so for the past six thousand years, and that he will when "loosed," at the end of the next age, be of the same disposition, notwithstanding all that he shall have witnessed of God's love, etc., (as God's Word positively declares;) proves that some are not affected to repentance by a knowledge of God's goodness, and reasonably leads us to conclude that there may be some of mankind whom it will be as "impossible to renew ...unto repentance" as Satan. And this conclusion Scripture sustains by positive declarations.
Out of the billions of the race who have lived and will there have trial, it would not be many if ONE MILLION should prove incorrigible and be returned to sheol – destroyed in the everlasting destruction of the second death; but for the sake of an argument let us suppose that only one thousand would be of this incorrigible class. Let us suppose the suggested theory of some, that these who go into the second death will be redeemed out of it by a "ransom" [corresponding price] as all the race were redeemed out of the Adamic death. In that case it would be necessary that one thousand perfect beings should die to "ransom" this thousand wilful sinners. One Saviour could not give a ransom [a corresponding price] for all these, as Jesus did for the entire Adamic race numbering millions; because this thousand were each one, WILFUL sinners, while in the case of the Adamic race, there was but ONE perfect person tried; ONE only sinned wilfully; and hence ONE perfect being freely offered, was a full ransom – a corresponding price. See Rom. 5:17-19 and 11:32.
But to continue the supposed case and show its further inconsistency: Suppose that at the close of the Millennium one thousand of the perfected race were to present themselves as ransoms for the one thousand incorrigible, what a scene it would be – a thousand Calvarys at once. And who would put them to death? Not the holy and righteous; they should and could no more slay their brethren than could the Apostles have crucified Jesus. Then we must suppose to carry out this incredible supposition that the ONE THOUSAND INCORRIGIBLES would add this to their wilful sins; that they would kill their redeemers: And surely no better proof of their incorrigibility could be imagined than a willingness to shed innocent blood. Jesus could pray for his murderers, "Father forgive them, they know not what they do," because they were blinded by the devil, and depraved by the fall; but no such prayer could be made for this class – brought to a full knowledge of the truth.
But some may want still further to suppose: – Suppose after all this, they come to realize the great sacrifice these redeemers have made for them, would it not melt them to love and obedience? We answer, No; "it is impossible to renew" SUCH "to repentance." In the first place they could not "come to realize it," because if perfect and doing it wilfully, they must have realized their offence all along. In the second place, if the love and sufferings of Christ did not move them, no love and sufferings would; for "GREATER love hath no man than this." If with a perfect knowledge of the love of God for men, manifested in him who was rich yet for our sakes, became poor that we through his poverty might be made rich, if this love of Christ does not constrain them nothing would: And it is perfectly absurd for us to think of God trying to outdo his own superlatively grand exhibition of love. John 15:13.
So far from mourning for their loss, the balance of the race will be so ashamed of them, that they will be relieved by their utter blotting out of existence. Yea, all the righteous, from Jehovah to his humblest intelligent creature, must rejoice, when after full opportunity for reformation, the Universe shall be cleansed of the incorrigible. Their destruction will be a mercy to themselves, as well as for the lasting happiness of all the righteous.
MY DEAR BRO.: – It is sometime since I have written you a letter, yet I am not forgetful of you. I am busy, preparing and reading a series of papers before a considerable congregation. The manner in which these meetings are conducted is like this: I spend from twenty to thirty minutes in reading an essay; after the reading is done each hearer is permitted to present a written query concerning the subject. These I answer as best I can at the next meeting. I think they will get quite interesting as we proceed. Why evil was permitted is our present theme. When we are fully under headway I will write you and let you know how we are coming on. I am preparing manuscripts from Z.W.T. in the shape of lectures which I intend to deliver whenever opportunity presents. I was a little slow to accept the doctrines held forth by the TOWER, but I wanted to be sure they were correct before I embraced them. I was hungering for something like it for some time, and it seemed a mere accident that I got possession of it; but I thank God that I have found the truth. Here is a dollar to pay for my paper, and to send some back numbers if you have any to spare. Send me anything that I can use in the lecture field. I will send more for the work by and by. I am happy now, since I have the truth, let come what may.
Your Brother in Christ,
DEAR MR. and MRS. RUSSELL: – Although it is so long since I wrote to you last, it is not decrease of interest in glad tidings which has kept me silent. The Z.W. TOWERS you so kindly sent are a source of great refreshment to me and to those to whom I make their contents known. Some point which has been exercising me in the Scriptures is touched upon in the next number that arrives. One of these happened to be the Baptism, about which having only been sprinkled and confirmed by the Church of England, I have felt dissatisfied in proportion as I have become more enlightened. Before separating from the Church of England I saw the error of infant baptism and I perceived that it was open to me to decide whether I would be immersed or not according to my conscience; then I endeavored to find a set of christians who would perform the office for me without seeking by enrollment with their special tenets, but I did not succeed. I am not satisfied without fulfilling this outward symbol, simply because the Lord enjoined it – so hope to be given the opportunity very shortly of taking this step together with some I have been teaching.
I am extremely obliged to you for sending all that you have sent, but if you knew how many more copies of the "Food" and "Tabernacle" I could use you would try to spare me some more; ere long I trust you will receive some money from me to pay for your supply of them to me and my friends. It is so strange that where ever I have lent the books they are almost invariably lost or mislaid so long that one would be tempted to think it had been done on purpose; on the other hand I have friends craving to read them. On two occasions, an opportunity has been given to me to speak of the glad tidings; but Satan tried to hinder. At one place, having found a quiet earnest body of believers on a retired street – belonging to no particular sect, I offered to lay before them all that I myself had learned. They received me cordially, and requested me three times to meet them, once at a general assembly. Having made a large wall copy from your Chart of the Ages I hung it up on the wall and sat amidst those earnest thirsty people to tell them the good news, inviting them to question me afterwards, which they did; some very sharply, and as if to trip me; but let the Lord receive all praise! it was given me to answer quietly, and one of the most arrogant of my opponents came up afterwards wrung my hand and thanked me begging I would return again. But the Salvation Army, it seems had begun to influence these christians so that my teachings offering to go further than it's teachings made them afraid, I think, to give ear beyond the time I was with them. I left a copy of "Food" which they promised to meet together and study with the Scriptures; but curiously enough so soon as I had left for London – the book was lost. However, many men and women have become interested in the teachings, to whom I distributed the sample TOWERS. My work lies chiefly at the present time among detached individuals; and in writing to the absent. Only one, truly enlightened, lives near me, a police constable, who is too poor to send the money he would, to you, having a large family. He longs for a Diaglott of his own: I have lent him mine occasionally. Before long I could buy him one I think, and if so, will send the money to you; but can you supply him with regular TOWERS and some of the books? he has a wide means of working; at present, he has my papers to read and that is all. He and I only were able to keep the anniversary of our Lord's marvelous sacrifice as units....
I am, dear friends, yours affectionately,
I have been a reader of the TOWER for three years and I thank God that it was sent to me, as I believe through Divine providence. When I first received the paper I was a Class-leader in the Methodist Church and also Sunday School superintendent. Since that time I have withdrawn from the church (?) and am walking the narrow way. I was about to say alone, but, thank God, I am accompanied by my Leader and Guide.
My name has been cast out, and I am no longer an "influential" person, but I am doing what I can to bring others to a knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus. The TOWER comes to me monthly like a gentle shower to a thirsty land, and I am refreshed and invigorated, and am enabled through the grace of Him who loved us, to withstand the wiles of the adversary.
Your brother in the work,
Respected Sir: – I again write you for a repetition of your favor. I previously wrote you from city of Callao, Peru, giving you information of how a fragment of your "Food for Hungry Christians" accidentally fell into my hands from an Italian sailor, and asking you for a complete copy of the same, to which you at once made reply by forwarding me the copy and also several copies of your WATCH TOWER. Before, however, I had time for the full examination I could have wished, my friend, C.W.H., then in Callas, carried them off from me, and as I embarked in a ship making the round trip to Valparaiso, Lobus Island, and finally to England, I lost the run of the book.
I am much pleased with the annual celebration of the Lord's Supper, as noticed in one of the numbers of WATCH TOWER you sent me. Now, I want you to send me the September sample number of WATCH TOWER, also, "Teachings of the Tabernacle," and one other copy of "Food for Christians."
I now leave you, in the hope of future pleasant correspondence, with the good old Spanish parting of "May God be with you." I remain, therefore,
DEAR MR. RUSSELL: – I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude for ZION'S WATCH TOWER. Each paper has created a longing for more which seems to increase every time I read it. I have not been altogether silent respecting its contents either. The relics of early training twine tenaciously about me, but it seems to me they are loosening and must finally be cast aside, for the old dogmas quake before the simple truth, and some of them shiver to pieces and decay before the light that has dawned on my vision.
Thank God, for the light; it shall shine on and on until the world shall see the "castles in the air" – the fabrications of men – lying in ruins; the "houses built upon the sand" swept away and the true Church having for its foundation "The Rock of Ages," shall raise her meek and lowly head above the tumult of falling systems, and bid defiance to the storm which shall sweep the world of its calumnious teachings and lay waste the fabulous constructions of the world's praised ones.
I remain yours in Christian love,
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Since I accidently found your paper, "Food for Thinking Christians" more than three years ago, a flood of light has been pouring in upon me. How inexpressibly grand the whole plan of salvation appears, and yet how plain and simple. Strange it is that so few will believe it, and hate those who do; but that was the way they treated our Master. I can afford to have my name cast out as evil if I can be of the number that shall overcome. The more closely I compare the Word of God with the present state of the Nominal Church and the world, the more clearly I see the truth of your position that the Lord is really present and has commenced his harvest work.
TO THE EDITOR OF ZION'S WATCH TOWER. – Sir: – A pamphlet has been lately put into my hands entitled, "Food for Thinking Christians." It has greatly instructed and interested me, and led me into a new region of biblical teaching, presenting many aspects of truth altogether overlooked, the importance and scripturalness of which appear to me most clear and well founded. I have a strong desire to receive further teaching in the same direction; and I find a note appended on the cover which applies unmistakably to my case, therefore I eagerly avail myself of the suggestion to write to you. I should like to read and study "The Tabernacle and its Teachings" in the light which God has given you on the matter.
If ZION'S WATCH TOWER is a periodical publication, I should like to see a copy of it, and should be glad to know where it may regularly be obtained. I desire also that others also may be made acquainted with the like precious truths.
Yours gratefully and respectfully,
LITTLE pains and little annoyances and little discomforts are as much a part of our discipline as are the formidable adversities that occasionally smite us like hurricanes.
Blow ye the trumpet blow
The gladly solemn sound;
Let all the nations know,
To earth's remotest bound:
The year of Jubilee is come;
Return ye ransomed sinners home.
Jesus, our Great High Priest
Hath full atonement made:
Ye weary spirits, rest;
Ye mournful souls, be glad.
The year of Jubilee is come;
Return, ye ransomed sinners, home.
Extol the Lamb of God,
The all-atoning Lamb;
Redemption through His blood,
To all the world proclaim.
The year of Jubilee is come;
Return, ye ransomed sinners, home.
Ye who were sold for naught,
Whose heritage was lost,
Shall have it back for naught,
A gift at Jesus' cost.
The year of Jubilee is come;
Return, ye ransomed sinners, home.
The Seventh Trumpet hear,
The news of heavenly grace;
And, saved from death, appear
Before the Saviour's face.
The year of Jubilee is come;
Return, ye ransomed sinners, home.
The Tabernacle which God commanded Israel to construct in the Wilderness, in connection with which all their religious services and ceremonies were instituted, was, Paul assures us, a shadow of good things to come. (Heb. 8:5; 10:1; Col. 2:17.) In fact the whole nation of Israel, with their laws and their religious services and ceremonies, was typical. This being true, our understanding of the plan and work of salvation now in progress, as well as their future development, cannot fail to be greatly enlightened by a careful study of that Jewish shadow, which was repeated year by year continually for the edification of the saints during the Christian Age. 1 Pet. 1:12.
It is not simply to gain a historical knowledge of the Jewish forms, ceremonies and worship, that we come to the investigation of this subject, but that we may be edified by understanding the substance from an examination of the shadow, as God designed in arranging it.
We will fail to attach sufficient weight and importance to the shadow, unless we realize how carefully God guided and directed all of its details: First, He took Moses up into the mount and gave him an illustration of just how things were to be made; Secondly, He charged him to be very careful – "See, saith He, that thou make all things after the pattern showed to thee in the mount." (Heb. 8:5; Exod. 25:40.) So too, with all the minutia of the service; every jot and tittle must be performed in the type, because it illustrated something great and grand coming after. And in order that these shadows might all be exactly performed, and that the people might not become careless, the usual penalty for any violation was death: For instance – 2 Sam. 6:6,7; Lev. 10:1,2; Ex. 28:43; Num. 4:15,20; and 17:13.
Realizing God's care in making the "shadow," should not only give us confidence in its correctness, that not one jot or tittle of it shall fail until all shall be fulfilled (Matt. 5:18.) but, it should also awaken in us so great an interest in God's plan, as would lead us to examine closely, and search carefully, for the meaning of those shadows: And this, with God's promised blessing we now propose to do, assured that among those who are truly God's consecrated ones – children begotten of the Spirit – "He that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened."
The directions given to Moses for the construction of the Tabernacle may be found in Exod. 25 to 27, and the account of the performance of the work, in Exod. 35 to 40. Briefly stated, the Tabernacle was a house constructed of a series of boards "overlaid" or plated with gold, and set on end into sockets of silver, and firmly fastened together by bars of the same wood (Shittim) also covered with gold.
This structure was 15 feet wide, 15 feet high, and 45 feet long, open at the front or east end. It was covered by a large linen cloth, with figures of cherubim woven into it, in blue, purple and scarlet colors. The open end, or front of the structure was closed by a curtain of similar material to the covering cloth, called the "door," or first vail. Another cloth of the same materials and colors, and similarly woven with figures of cherubim called the "Vail" (or second vail) was hung under the taches, and divided the Tabernacle into two apartments. The first or larger apartment 15 feet wide and 30 feet long was called "The Holy."* The second or rear-most apartment 15 feet wide and 15 feet long was called "The Most Holy." Over this Tabernacle proper, was a tent to shelter it and protect it from the weather. It was made of a covering of cashmere cloth or goat's hair, another of ram skins dyed red, and another of seal skins, translated badger skins.
The Tabernacle was surrounded by a yard or "court" toward the rear of which, it stood. This court 75 feet wide and 150 feet long was formed by a fence of linen curtains suspended from silver hooks, set in the tops of wooden posts 7½ feet high, which were set in heavy sockets of copper, (translated brass,) and braced like the tent with cords and pins. This enclosure was all holy ground, and was therefore called the "holy place" – also the "Court of the Tabernacle." Its opening, like the door of the Tabernacle, was towards the east, and was called the "gate." The "gate" was of linen embroidered with blue, purple and scarlet. It will be noticed that the three entrance passages, viz: "the gate" to the Court or "holy place" – "the door" to the "Holy" and "the vail" to the "Most Holy" were of the same material and colors.
First on entering the gate and immediately in front of it, stood the Brazen Altar. This altar was made of wood and covered with copper, it was 7½ feet square, 4½ feet high. It had various utensils belonging to its service – fire pans, called Censers, for carrying the fire to the Incense Altar; basins to receive the blood; flesh-hooks, shovels, etc.
Next, between the Brazen Altar and the door of the Tabernacle, was the Laver. It was made of polished copper and was a receptacle for water for the washing of the priests before entering the Tabernacle.
Within the Tabernacle on the right (north) stood the wooden "Table" overlaid with gold, and upon it were placed twelve cakes of unleavened bread in two rows or piles, with frankincense on top of each pile. (Lev. 24:6) The bread was for the priests; it was holy, and was renewed on the seventh or Sabbath day.
Opposite the Table was the "Candlestick" made of pure gold, beaten work (hammered out) having seven branches and in each branch a lamp. It was the only light in "The Holy," for as we have seen, the natural light was obscured by the walls and curtains, and there were no windows.
Further on, close up to "the Vail" stood a small altar of wood, covered with gold, called the "Golden Altar" or "Incense Altar." It had no fire upon it except as the priests brought it in the censers, which they set in the top of this golden altar, and then crumbled the incense upon it, giving forth fragrant perfume.
Beyond the vail, in the Most Holy, there was but one piece of furniture – the Ark. It was a rectangular box made of wood overlaid with gold, having a lid or cover of pure gold called the Propitiatory, improperly translated "Mercy Seat." Upon it (and of the same piece) were two cherubs of gold – beaten work. Within this Ark (under the Propitiatory) were placed the golden bowl of manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the two tables of the law. (Heb. 9:4) Upon the Propitiatory, a supernatural light appeared, shining out between the cherubim: This was the only light in the Most Holy.
It is noticeable that everything inside the Tabernacle was of gold, while in the court everything was of copper. Wood, which was used as the basis, and was covered by these metals was used, we believe, to make the articles lighter of weight, than if of solid metal. This would be an important consideration when they traveled. The vessels of the Temple, representative of the same things were of the solid metals. (1 Kings 7:23,48.) These two metals, gold and copper, were used, we think, to represent two different natures – copper, representing the human nature in its perfection; and gold representing the divine nature – much alike in their appearance, yet different in quality, as the human is an image of the Divine nature.
The Camp represented the condition of the world of mankind in sin, typified by all Israel. These were separated from all holy things by the curtain of white linen, which to those within represents a wall of faith, but to those without, a wall of unbelief which hindered their view of, and access to, the holy things within. The only way to enter the "Holy Place" or "Court" was to come through the "gate" – Jesus. "I am the way...no man cometh unto the Father but by me." John 14:6.
The Court represented the condition of Justification, entered through faith in Christ, the "gate." Into this court, only Levites (typical of justified believers) were allowed to come. These have access to the Brazen Altar and Laver, and do service in the Court, but have no right as Levites (believers) to go into the Tabernacle; no, nor even to look into it. (Num. 4:19,20.) Here in the "Court" all things were of copper.
The Tabernacle represented the condition of all who have changed their nature; that is, those who have consecrated their human nature to death, and have become partakers of the Divine nature by being begotten of the Spirit. And no human being, be he ever so full of faith, be he washed from every sin, and in God's sight justified freely from all things, reckoned perfect, can have any place or privilege in Divine things unless he fully consecrate or sacrifice himself. He cannot even look into spiritual things in the sense of appreciating them. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit,...neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Cor. 2:14,12.
All things in the Tabernacle were of gold representing the Divine nature, and only those of the Levites who were consecrated to the work of sacrifice (the Priests) had access to the Tabernacle. So only those of the household of faith, who are consecrated to sacrifice, enter the Divine conditions represented in the Tabernacle.
The "Court" or justified human condition was entered by faith only; but while we must retain the faith that justifies, we must do more, if we would change our nature and become "new creatures" – partakers of the Divine nature. If we would enter the Tabernacle or Divine condition, we must crucify the justified flesh, presenting our human wills and bodies a living sacrifice to God; no longer to seek for human pleasure, honor, praise, etc., but to be dead to these and alive to the heavenly ones. Yet into this condition also, we come through Christ Jesus our Lord, who not only opened for us the "gate," but also opened to us the "door" into the Tabernacle "a new" way of life through and beyond the vail. Heb. 10:20.
The two apartments of the Tabernacle, the Holy and the Most Holy, represented two phases or stages of the Divine life. The "Holy" represented the present condition of those begotten of God through the Word, these are Divine minded, "new creatures," who though still "in the flesh" have their real life and walk with God within the vail and beyond the sight of the world, and the unconsecrated believers. These enjoy the light of the candlestick, eat of the special food, and offer at the golden altar.
The "Most Holy" represented our perfected condition as new creatures, when born from the dead in the resurrection. Then being beyond both vails – the fleshly mind and fleshly body, we shall be glorious spiritual bodies, as well page 4 as spiritually minded. We shall be like our Leader, our forerunner beyond the vail, who, having entered, hath consecrated for us this new and living way. The spiritual minded creature in the "Holy," by faith looks forward through the rent Vail into the "Most Holy" catching glimpses of the glory, honor and immortality beyond the flesh; which hope is an anchor entering into that beyond the vail. Heb. 6:19; and 10:20.
We see, then, that justification by faith, brings us into a condition of peace with God. Our sins being forgiven, we are a step nearer to God, but still human – in the Court. If we would attain to the prize of our high calling which is OF GOD in Christ Jesus, and enter in through the "Holy" to the "Most Holy," we must follow
We now find ourselves as "new creatures" in the "Holy" – in the first of "the Heavenlies" or Holies (Eph. 2:6. – Diaglott); and here we are enlightened by the Golden Candlestick, (God's Word) refreshed and strengthened daily with the truth as bread lawful only for the Priests to eat. (Matt. 12:4.) And thus enlightened and strengthened, we are daily offering up sacrifices at the "Golden Altar," acceptable to God by Jesus Christ – a sweet perfume to our Father. 1 Pet. 2:5.*
Thus, all the saints, the consecrated, are in a "heavenly" or "holy" condition now – "seated (at rest and communion) with Christ in (the first of these) heavenly places," but not yet in the Holiest of all. No; another vail must first be passed: As the passing of the preceding vail was the death of the human will, so the passing of the second vail is the death of the human body; and it requires both to complete our sacrifice: Both fleshly mind and fleshly body must first be passed before we shall be in the "Holiest of all" – perfected as partakers of the Divine nature and conditions.
With these thoughts as to the three conditions represented by these three places – Camp, Court and Tabernacle, let us notice particularly the three classes occupying these conditions, viz.: the Unbelieving World, Justified Believers and the Saints or Consecrated Believers; typified respectively by
In understanding the significance of the Tabernacle service, it is necessary not only to get a clear idea of the structure, its furniture and their typical signification, but also of the actors and their significance as types.
Israel is used in many instances to typify the Christian Church. For instance: When they left Egyptian bondage, they were a type of God's children who hear his call to come out from the world and engage in his worship.
The wilderness journey represents the tedious pilgrimage through which many pass, seeking the promised Canaan rest – "Come unto me and I will give you rest." As in the type, so in reality, the promised Canaan of rest is not far off, if God's children had faith enough to go up and enter in. God has made abundant provision for them: Yet they journey through the wilderness of sin seeking rest but finding none, because they lack faith in God's promises. Some wander thus a long time; some never enter the Canaan rest because of unbelief. But while Israel, according to the flesh, is thus and in other ways used to typify the spiritual Israel, yet, it is a totally different type, as we are now examining it, in its relation to the Tabernacle. Here, Israel unquestionably typifies the whole world of mankind. The sin-offerings, sacrifices, atonement, etc., made typically for them, (and them only) were typical of better sacrifices and atonement, made on behalf of the whole world; for, "He is a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2:2.
In a word, Israel, as well as the Tabernacle, Priests, Levites and Sacrifices, was a type. And that which was there done in symbol, is, since the first advent of Christ, being carried out on a higher plane, and on a larger scale; the latter being the reality, of which that was the type or shadow.
As Israel typified the world, so the tribe of Levites typified the "Household of faith," or all believers in Jesus and his ransom. The Priesthood, one body under one chief or High Priest, was typical of the "little flock" who with their "Head" or High Priest are to be Kings and Priests to reign on the earth. Rev. 5:10. Thus viewed we see Jesus the High Priest not of the Aaronic order which was but the type of our profession or order, the real priesthood of which others were but figures. Heb. 3:1; 4:14.
But before these members of the body of Christ, the priesthood, shall be united to their Head and begin their reign, they must first "suffer with him" in making the sacrifices, as we shall shortly see. 2 Tim. 2:12.
Peter shows who were typified by the priests, when, addressing those who are sanctified, he says: (1 Pet. 1:2 and 2:5,9.) "Ye are...an holy priesthood to offer up sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." "Ye are...a royal priesthood."
That the head or chief of this priesthood, this "little flock," is Jesus, is repeatedly mentioned by the apostles. We give but one quotation: "Holy brethren (the Royal Priesthood) partakers of the Heavenly calling, consider the apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus. Heb. 3:1.
As we now pass to the consideration of the inauguration of the typical priesthood, we notice that the tribe of the Levites (typical of believers or the Justified) existed for a long time before the Priesthood was instituted. So in the antitype, the "Royal Priesthood" began with the anointing of Jesus the High Priest (at baptism, Luke 3:22; Acts 10:38.) but believers, justified by faith in Christ, had lived long before that. For instance – Abraham believed God, and was justified by his faith. (Rom. 4:2,3.) Though even the type had not yet come in his day, yet Abraham as a justified believer was a member of the "household of faith," typified by the Levites. But none of the "Royal Priesthood" were selected until after the Chief or High Priest of this order was first initiated and installed in office; since then the initiation and installment of the under priests has been the special work of this Christian dispensation. Thus, the priests now being installed and now sacrificing, are being prepared as God's instruments for the blessing of the world.
In this ceremony, as in every other, relating to the ordination and work of the priesthood, it will be well to notice that Jesus was the first – the Leader, Captain, Forerunner – teaching clearly that none preceded him, hence that none of the Patriarchs or Prophets are of the "little flock," "the royal priesthood," "the Bride, the Lamb's wife." Though they will be greatly blessed as the Lord's servants, their service will not be so grandly high as that of the priests, nor their honor so great; though, as represented in the Levites, both their service and honor are great. "The narrow way to life" (Immortality) was not opened up until Jesus came. He was the first to walk in it. He "brought life and immortality to light." (2 Tim. 1:10.) And though all believers (Levites) shall become possessors of everlasting life, and the world (Israel) also, if they will accept it – during the Millennial age; yet, only the priesthood, who overcome and follow their Leader in the narrow way to life – sacrificing the human – thus seeking Glory, Honor and Immortality, will ever become the possessors of that unlimited degree of life called Immortality, as yet possessed only by Jehovah and our Lord Jesus. (See "Food for Thinking Christians," page 134, "The narrow way to life.")
Under the Law, the ANOINTING was the ceremony by which the Priests were installed in God's service. The Priests were anointed to their office with a peculiar ointment, called the Holy Anointing Oil, used upon none but the Priests, and unlawful for any one else to have or to make. (Exod. 30:25-33.) This oil typified the Holy Spirit of adoption whereby we the real, "Royal Priesthood" are sealed. Only the consecrated ones are ever to be anointed thus. Aaron, the typical High Priest, represented Jesus the head, and the church, as members of the body of the great High Priest. Being but a sinful man like others, he had to be washed in order to fitly represent the purity of the antitype. Aaron was then clothed with the holy garments of "glory and beauty," (Exod. 28.) and then the anointing oil was poured on his head. Each article of this glorious apparel was typical of qualities and powers of the Great Deliverer – head and body, which Jehovah discerned looking down into the future to the time for "the manifestation of the Sons of God," and the fulfillment in them of his promises.
And these are the garments...a breastplate, and an ephod, and an upper robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre and a girdle. Exod. 28:4.
The linen "coat" represented the High Priest's purity, while its embroidery showed the outgrowth of that character in works. The "mitre," a strip of fine linen, (typical of righteousness) worn around the forehead, to which was fastened with a blue lacer, the golden plate or "crown" shows that the crown is righteously his. Upon the golden plate was inscribed, "Holiness to the Lord," thus proclaiming: This High Priest is entirely devoted to the accomplishment of Jehovah's purposes. The golden crown proclaims his royalty: He is to be "a priest upon his throne" – "a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek." (Psa. 110:4.) The linen "girdle" indicates a righteous servant; linen – righteousness; girdle – servitude.
The "upper robe," of blue, represents his faithfulness. The fringe of it was made of golden bells and pomegranates. The pomegranate, being a choice fruit, showed that the faithful performance of his work of sacrifice had borne rich fruit – the redemption of the forfeited life of the human race. The golden bells signified that when the High Priest appears in glory and beauty, the fruit of the sacrificial work shall be made manifest to all – proclaimed to all the world, as in the type, the bells proclaimed it to all Israel. This is indicated by the close proximity; the bells drawing attention to the fruit.
The "ephod" was made of a cloth of purple, blue, scarlet, white and gold threads; interwoven skillfully and beautifully. It was of two parts, one hanging in front and the other over the back. These two parts were fastened together by two gold clasps which rested on the shoulders. This ephod, we believe, typified two covenants: the Abrahamic represented by the front part, and the New Covenant represented by the back part, both of which are thus shown to be dependent on this High Priest. They are laid on him; if he fails to support them they must fall to the ground. But, thank God, they are firmly clasped on him by the Gold clasps, (Divine power) as well as bound to him by the "Curious Girdle" – a cord made of the same materials as the ephod. This girdle seems to say, this is a servant; and as this is the girdle of the ephod it tells us that this one is – "The messenger (servant) of the Covenant whom ye delight in." Mal. 3:1.
True the Abrahamic Covenant is partially fulfilled in the person of the High Priest – who is the Seed, the spiritual seed, which is to bless all. But as we have seen, the Abrahamic covenant has two phases; the heavenly, or spiritual seed, and the fleshly seed, the literal descendents of Abraham; the latter the only one recognized by Abraham, the spiritual being hid. During the Gospel Age the spiritual seed develops, becoming members of the body of the High Priest; growing up into the head. After this spiritual seed has been developed, then that phase of the covenant, understood by Abraham and all his descendants to this day, will be fulfilled; its fulfilment hangs on the great spiritual High Priest. So says Paul: "As concerning the Gospel [the spiritual part of the covenant] they [the literal seed] are enemies for your sakes; but as touching the election they are [still] beloved for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts and callings of God are not things he will repent of. For this is my covenant TO THEM. There shall come out of Zion [the spiritual] the deliverer, [this great High Priest, the servant of the Covenant – Jesus the head and the "little flock" his body] and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. Rom. 11:26-29.
So then, after the body of Christ, the spiritual "seed" is complete, the Abrahamic covenant must have a fulfillment to the fleshly seed; that fleshly seed must become great "as the sand by the sea shore" as the heavenly seed is likened to "the stars of heaven." They must first be turned to righteousness and truth, and then become an agency through which the spiritual seed will operate, to bless all mankind with truth and knowledge.
Thus the earthly phase of the Abrahamic covenant is seen still to depend on and to be upheld by the Great High Priest, who is also the mediator of the "New Covenant" which Jesus sealed or ratified with his own blood, in which sacrifice, the members of his BODY have been privileged to join with him; and they will be also privileged to share with him in conferring upon mankind the blessings of that "New Covenant" when the day of sacrifice is ended and the reign of glory begins. (Jer. 31:31; Ezek. 11:19 and 36:24; Rom. 11:27.) This New Covenant is typified by the back part of the ephod.
The scarlet, blue, purple, etc., which composed the ephod, indicated the conditions of the covenant; the scarlet showed how God provides redemption from the Adamic curse through the blood of the ransom; the white linen indicated the restoration of man to his original purity; the blue vouchsafes to him the ability to faithfully maintain his righteous character; the purple proclaims the restoration of the royalty of earth as possessed by Adam, earth's first monarch. All of these blessings are woven together – made sure, by the Divine power of the anointed Priest, as shown by the interwoven thread of gold. That part of the Abrahamic covenant referring to the spiritual seed, is represented as complete in God's sight. They all, as God sees them, are born of the Spirit to the completeness of the Divine nature, represented in the person of the Priest. Thus Jehovah has laid all these covenants upon one who is both mighty and willing to execute these glorious covenanted blessings – "in due time."
The Breastplate of Judgment was placed on the front of the ephod. It was suspended by a gold chain from the clasps on the shoulder, and was fastened to the ephod by a lacer, through golden rings – this fastening being so concealed underneath, that to the casual observer it might appear to be a part of the ephod. (Exod. 28:26-28.) This breast-plate represents beautifully the Law: It was not a part of the Abrahamic covenant (Ephod) but "it was added" to it. (Gal. 3:19.) As the page 5 Israelite regarded them, not seeing the hidden connection, the covenant to Abraham and "the law which was 430 years after," were all one: But Paul shows us that there are two parts – two seeds – to this covenant: the spiritual, and the natural; and that the Covenant and the Law were distinct "to the end that the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the Law, but to that also which is of the Faith." Rom. 4:16.
This Law emblem (the Breast-plate) was one of the most beautiful of the High Priest's garments; it was made of the same materials as the ephod. It had in it, set in gold, twelve precious jewels, in which were engraved the names of the twelve tribes. It was bound on his heart, indicating that it was precious to him. As a "breast-plate of righteousness" it covered him. That which condemned all imperfect ones was his pleasure – "I delight to do thy will O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart." Psa. 40:8.
The breast-plate was two spans long and one wide, folded in the middle, i.e., a span long and a span wide double. The size, a span, indicates that the Law of God is the full measure of a perfect man's ability. Jesus, being perfect, was the only one who ever kept it fully, while his BODY has his righteousness imputed.
Its being double, of the same size and measure, represents the letter and the spirit of the law. The front part contained the jewels and was hung by the gold chain to the gold clasps of the ephod; the under part was fastened to the ephod. This latter, tied to the ephod (covenant) seems to represent the law in letter as presented to fleshly Israel. The former, or front part seems to illustrate the spirit of the law fulfilled in us, "who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit." (Rom. 8:4.) The two are really ONE when rightly seen, yet the front part only, bears the precious jewels. Pure gold being a symbol of divine things, the dependence of this part of the Law by a gold chain, from the gold clasps, seems to teach that the Law is kept by divine power; and so we know, it is by divine strength that we walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. It is this phase of the Law which bears the "jewels" set in gold representative of the true Israel. "They shall be mine in the day that I come to make up my jewels." Thus embedded in gold (the divine nature) and upheld by the golden chain of divine promises, what wonder that "the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us."
As Aaron stood there clothed in these typically glorious and beautiful robes and anointed with the holy oil, his head representing Jesus – the head of the priesthood, and his body representing the Church complete in him, how impressive his significance, as a type of the World's High Priest, undefiled, and clothed with power and authority to carry out Jehovah's covenants. We see the BODY again typified individually by the under priests who wore bonnets covering their own heads to indicate that they were not the head of the Priesthood, but members of his body. God gave Jesus "to be the head over all things to the church which is his body." Eph. 1:22,23.
It is for this reason that Paul insists that a woman's head should be covered as indicating that she is not the head; the husband and wife being typical of Jesus and his Bride – the Church of the first-born. These under priests were robed in linen garments, the imputed righteousness of Jesus, and girdled, showing that they also were servants.
As Aaron had the Holy Oil poured upon his head, so our Head, Jesus, was anointed with the antitypical oil – the Holy Spirit – when he was thirty years of age, on the banks of Jordan, at the time of his consecration. There he was "anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows" – as head over all the joint-heirs. A measure of the Spirit is given to every man who thus consecrates; but Jehovah gave "not the Spirit by measure unto Him." (John 3:34.) John saw and bare record that our High Priest was thus anointed (John 1:32; Luke 4:1), and Peter adds his testimony (Acts 10:38), "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power."
The anointing oil was poured only upon the head. The under priests were not anointed individually: Since they were recognized as members of the High Priest's body, they received their anointing through the head.
The oil "ran down even unto the skirts of his garments" (Psa. 133:2), thus representing how the members of his body are all to be partakers of the same anointing after their head. "The anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you." (1 John 2:27.) This oil began to reach the body on the day of Pentecost and flows on, down through this Gospel Age, anointing all who are truly baptized into Christ, to be with their Head, kings and priests unto God; to reign a thousand years. Rev. 20:6.
We thus see that Aaron robed and anointed represented the entire Christ – "the seed," in which God is about to bless all the families of the earth. But let us not forget that we have been viewing the Great Deliverer from God's standpoint, and with him looking down to the time of his manifestation – the dawn of the Millennial Day – when all the members have come into the body and when the "holy oil" has run down "even to the skirts of his garments," anointing every member. Then he will begin the work of blessing mankind. For the glorious reign of this Kingly Priest, we constantly pray – "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth."
The consecration of the Priesthood (Lev. 8:14,33), was typical of the entire consecration of the human nature of Jesus and his body, to the will of Jehovah – Jesus' obedience even unto death, and the obedience of the members of his body suffering the same with him. The whole body represented by Aaron's sons, as well as the Head represented by Aaron himself, are by the antitypical sacrifices being made, during the Christian Age, CONSECRATED for their future work as kings and priests, to restore and rule and bless mankind. When this consecration is made, they have given ALL they had. But their extremity is Jehovah's opportunity, and when they have consecrated all they had to destruction and become joint-sacrificers with Jesus their Redeemer, for the sins of the world, they are begotten of God to a new nature – spiritual; and not only so, but to the highest order of spiritual existence – the Divine nature; and as such they are owned as spiritual sons of God. Gal. 4:4,7, and 2 Pet. 1:4.
This type shows these two natures: the higher is represented by Aaron and his sons, while the human is represented by a bullock. The bullock for the sin offering was brought "and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head" of it, thus saying, This sacrifice represents us. From that moment all that happened to the bullock, represents what was to be done to Jesus and to his body, the Church, as human beings. The bullock is delivered up to "the Law" – (represented by Moses) to meet its demands. To meet the demands of the law, it must be slain – "And Moses slew it." He then applied the blood to the horns of the altar. The "finger" of the "Law" thus pointed out that the altar of earthly sacrifices was acceptable to God by reason of the shed blood (the life given), and that all who realize the power of the altar (horns are symbols of power) must recognize first the blood which sanctified it. The blood poured at the bottom of the altar, shows that through the blood of the sacrifice (life given) even the earth was purchased back from the curse which sin brought upon it. See Eph. 1:14: "Unto the redemption of the purchased possession."
And Moses took the bullock, his hide, flesh, etc., and burned them with fire without the camp. (v. 17.) Thus the humanity of the Christ complete – head and body – is made "a sin offering," suffering the destruction to which the world was doomed, and from which, by this sacrifice, they shall ultimately be delivered. But while the human being is destroyed, as a vile thing, as represented by the burning of the bullock without the camp, God accepts the heart devotion which prompts the sacrifice, which says, "Lo, I come to do thy will O God;" "I delight to do thy will, O my God." This is represented by the offering on the altar, of the fat and parts of the inward life-producing organism, as a "sweet savor" unto the Lord.
Other features of the same consecration are shown by the two rams mentioned in verses 18 and 22. The first mentioned is the ram for the Burnt-offering. Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon its head, thus indicating that it represented them. It was killed; its blood sprinkled the altar; and Moses "cut the ram into pieces, and washed the inwards and legs in water" and "burnt the head and pieces, and the fat." Thus Jesus and his body, the Church, are being presented before God on the altar, during the entire Gospel Age. The head was laid there first, and since, all who are "dead with him," and cleansed, as in the type, by the washing of water – through the Word. Its burning on the altar shows how God accepts this sacrifice. It is "a sweet smelling savor."
The second ram, "the ram of consecration," shows what effect the sacrifice will have upon us, as the first showed how God received it. Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon its head – it represented them. And Moses slew it and took its blood (consecrated life) and put it upon each separately, thus showing that consecration is an individual work. And he put it upon the tip of the right ear, thumb of right hand, and great toe of right foot. Thus, by our consecration, we are enabled to have the "hearing of faith" and to appreciate God's promises as none but the consecrated can. Our hands are consecrated, so that whatsoever our hands find to do, we do it with our might as unto the Lord. Our feet are consecrated, so that henceforth "we walk not as other Gentiles," but "walk in newness of life," "walk by faith," "walk in the spirit," "walk in the light," and even "as ye received Christ, so walk in him." Vs. 23,24.
The choice portions of the ram, its "inwards" and "fat," representing our best powers, were taken in the hands of the priests and waved; passed to and fro, before the Lord, representing the fact that a consecrated offering is not given the Lord for the moment, or day, or year, but continually we keep our affections and powers uplifted before our Father, never ceasing until accepted of him as having finished our course. And Moses took them off their hands, God's acceptance being shown by fire. So we may not lay down or cease to offer our every power in God's service while we have them, and until all are consumed in His service. When the love ("fat") of our inmost being is laid upon the altar, it helps to increase the fire of God's acceptance. The more love there is connected with our consecration to God, the more quickly will it be accepted by him.
The first unleavened cake, represented the actual purity of Jesus as a man, and the imputed purity of the Church as men, as attested by the Law (Moses). The second unleavened cake mingled with oil, represented the indwelling spirit of God – Sanctification. The third a wafer was mingled with honey, and represented our faith in the exceeding sweet and precious promises of Glory, Honor and Immortality.
Without these three elements, it is impossible for our consecration to be complete, and hence acceptable, viz.: Justification, (purity), Sanctification by the Spirit through the belief of the truth, and faith in the promised Glorification.
This consecration is in progress during the entire Gospel Age; even when as individuals our offering has been waived and accepted, we are to abide in the Tabernacle, eating of the cakes, growing in grace and knowledge continually, by partaking of the assurances and promises of God's Word – for we shall live by the words (promises) which proceed from the mouth of God.
The anointing oil mingled with the blood of consecration was sprinkled over them (vs. 30), showing how we may know that our consecration is accepted – the Holy Spirit of God (the oil) blending with and witnessing to the spirit of sacrifice in the consecrated man (the blood), that he is a son of God. Rom. 8:16.
The boiling of the flesh of consecration (vs. 31) was no part of the sacrifice; it was merely the preparing of the portion which they ate. It was all to be disposed of (v. 32), showing how we are to be entirely consecrated and none of our time or powers wasted.
The seven days of consecration (vs. 33 and 35) show again, that we are consecrated to God's service, not a part of our time only, but all of it. Seven is a complete number in Scripture, and signifies all or the whole of whatever it is applied to. ("Seven Seals," "Trumpets," "Plagues," etc.) Ver. 36 shows the completion of the work of consecration.
There never was a time when it was more necessary than now, that all who are consecrated as priests should see to it that we "be dead with him" and our every ability waived before God, that he may accept and make use of our talents to his glory. Especially is it of interest to those who believe that very soon all the members of the body will be accepted with the head, a sweet savor to God, and the work of self-sacrifice finished. And if we fail to be among the priests now, during the time of consecration, we cannot expect to be one of them when they begin their service for the people in the "ages to come" – when these same priests (now despised of men but a "sweet savor to God,") shall have the title of King added, and with their head, Jesus, rule and bless all nations. Do we earnestly desire to be among those who will sing to the praise of our great High Priest, "Thou hast made us unto our God Kings and Priests, and we shall reign on the earth?" If so, let us be fully consecrated now, for "If we suffer with him we shall also reign with him." 2 Tim. 2:12.
In considering these types we must, to appreciate them, remember that each is a picture by itself, of one particular part, of the work of the World's High Priest; and so with the various ceremonies of the Day of Atonement. To understand it clearly, we must realize that while Jesus is our (the Church's) High Priest, yet in the more full and complete sense he is the Head and we the members of the body, of the World's High Priest, just as Aaron was High Priest or chief of the under priests, while in a general sense, the whole priesthood was one, designed to minister for Israel who typified the world. These Levitical pictures primarily referring to the Head, when fully considered refer to the body complete. For instance, the ceremony of anointing commenced with the "Head," but the anointing applied to all the body during the entire Gospel Age, as we have seen. As the consecrating of the priesthood includes all the members of his body, and requires all of the Gospel Age to complete it, so also with the "Sin-offering" or the sacrifice of Atonement: it commenced with the Head, and we the members of his body "fill up the measure of the sufferings of Christ which are behind," and this suffering requires all of the Gospel Age. The Day of Atonement, which in the type, was but a twenty-four hour day, we see then in the antitype, to be the entire Gospel Age. And with its close the sacrificing ceases and the glory and blessing commences, and the Great High Priest of the world (Jesus and His bride, made ONE, Head and members complete), shall stand forth crowned a King and Priest after the Melchizedek order: King of Peace – a Priest upon his throne.
There he will stand before the world (manifest, recognized but unseen) not only as King and Priest, but also as the Great Prophet – "A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me [Moses], ...and it shall come to pass that the soul that shall not hear that Prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people." When brought to perfect knowledge and ability, perfect obedience will be required, and all who will not render it will be cut off from life – the second death. Acts 3:22,23. page 6
In the end of the Jewish Age, Jesus offered himself individually to Israel as Prophet, Priest and King, typical or illustrative of the whole Body. As Prophet, he taught them; as Priest – "he offered up Himself," (Heb. 7:27), as King he rode into their city at the close of his ministry. But they did not receive him in any of these offices. During the Gospel Age, his church or body has acknowledged him as "a teacher sent from God" – the great Prophet; as the "High Priest of our profession;" and as the rightful King. The Word teaches, however, that it is not by the Church only that he is to be accepted, but he (together with us, His Body) shall be the Prophet for the people, the Priest for all the people, and the King over all people, nations and languages; "Lord of all," Priest of all, Prophet or teacher of all.
In the type of the Priest's consecration, we saw Aaron and his sons representing Jesus and his body as "new creatures," and a bullock representing their humanity; but in the type now to be considered, we find Aaron alone representing the entire Anointed One (head and body), and two different sacrifices, a bullock and a goat, are here used to represent the separateness, yet similarity in suffering of the Body and its Head, as the "Sin-offering." The bullock represented Jesus at the age of thirty years – the PERFECT MAN who gave himself and died on our behalf. The High Priest, as we have already seen, represents the "new" nature of Jesus, the anointed head, and also all whom God foreknew as members of his body. The distinction which is here made between the human and the "new creature" should be clearly understood and remembered. "The man Christ Jesus who gave himself" at thirty years of age, was he who was previously rich (of a higher nature), but who for our sakes became poor; that is, became a man, that he might give the ransom for men – a perfect man's life. 1 Cor. 15:21.
Since the penalty of man's sin was death, he must become a man, be "made flesh," or he never could redeem man. A man had sinned, and the penalty was death, and if Jesus would pay the penalty he must be of the same nature, (but undefiled, separate from sin,) and die, that mankind might in due time be liberated from death. To do this, the man Jesus made sacrifice "of all that he had" – glory as a perfect man, honor as a perfect man could claim it, and finally life as a man. And this was all he had, (except God's promises of a new nature and the hopes which those promises generated) having exchanged his spiritual being or existence for the human which he made "a Sin-offering" as typified by the bullock.
But since to be our ransom his humanity must take our place in death, that humanity can never again be restored. If it were, we the redeemed would again come under the dominion of death. But thanks be to God, it remains a sacrifice forever, and we are forever free from Adamic guilt and death. If then, the Father would ever confer upon Jesus any honor, glory or life as a reward for his obedience even unto death, it must be a glory, honor and life on some other plane of being than the human, so as not to interfere with our ransom.
Such was the promise of Jehovah to him, viz., that he would highly exalt him above the human plane, and above his pre-human condition; above all angels, principalities and powers, to his own right hand, (condition of chief favor, next to Jehovah,) a partaker of immortality – the Divine nature. For these and other joys set before him, Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Heb. 1:3.
The new nature which was received instead of the human, and as a reward for its sacrifice, is what is here typified by the Priest. While it is true that the sacrifice of the human was not finished until the cross, and that the Divine nature was not fully received until the resurrection, three days later, yet, in God's reckoning – and as shown in this type, the death of Jesus (the bullock) was complete when Jesus presented himself a living sacrifice at baptism – the type of his covenant of sacrificial death. There he reckoned himself dead – dead to all human aims or hopes of human glory, honor or life, in the same sense that we are exhorted to reckon ourselves dead indeed to the world, but alive as new creatures unto God. Rom. 6:11.
This acceptance of Jesus by Jehovah at the time of consecration, as though dead indeed, was indicated by the anointing with the Holy Spirit – the earnest or guarantee of what he should receive when death had actually taken place.
Thus considered, we see that the death of the bullock typifies the offering by Jesus of himself when he consecrated himself. This is in harmony with Paul's statement, that when Jesus consecrated saying – "Lo I come [as in the volume of the Scriptures it is written of me] to do thy will, O God" – to die, and redeem many. There he took away the first [or set aside, the typical sacrifices] that he might establish [or fulfill] the real sacrifice for sin. (Heb. 10:7,9,14.) Yes, there the slaying of the bullock occurred, and the three years of Jesus' ministry show that all human will was dead, and the body reckoned so, from the moment of consecration.
Jesus the Anointed – filled with the Spirit, was the new, divine creature (though not perfected as divine – until the resurrection) and that relationship he always claimed, saying, The works that I do are not mine [as a man] but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works; The word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. (John 14:10,24.) Not my will [as a man] but thine [Father – the divine] be done, [in and to this earthen vessel consecrated to death.] Mark 15:36.
When the bullock was slain [Jesus consecrated], the work was done in "the Court," which we have seen typified the plane of human perfection or justification: the condition of faith in and harmony with God; the highest attainment of the flesh. Jesus was in this condition, a perfect man when he offered himself (the bullock in the type) to God.
Bearing in mind these distinctions, let us examine carefully the work of the typical Atonement Day, that we may more clearly understand the reality. Aaron was washed, in order to fitly represent the sinlessness of the "new creature." ("No one who has been begotten of God practices sin; because his seed abides in him and he cannot sin, because he has been begotten by God." 1 John 3:9. – Diaglott.) The new nature cannot sin, and it keeps a constant watch over the old nature reckoned dead lest it come to life again. Aaron was clothed for the service of the Day of Atonement not in his usual garments of glory and beauty, but in garments of sacrifice, with the "linen garments," emblems of purity – the righteousness of saints. The robe of linen was an earnest of the glorious robe to follow; the "linen girdle" represented him as a servant, though not so powerful as when at the close of the Day of Atonement he should be girdled with the "curious girdle" of the ephod; the mitre of linen being the same as that belonging to the glorious apparel, proclaims his perfect righteousness now, as then.
So the High Priest, the Divine minded, spirit-begotten one, though not yet born of the Spirit, is able to accomplish the sacrifice of the atonement. Aaron now brings his typical sacrifice as we read: "Thus shall Aaron come into the Holy Place [the Most Holy] with a young bullock for a sin-offering and a ram for a burnt-offering." "And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin-offering which is for [represents] himself, and make an atonement for himself [the members of his body – the under priests] and for his house" [all believers, the entire "household of faith" – the Levites]. "And he shall kill the bullock of the sin-offering which is for [represents] himself." "And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small [powdered] and bring it within the vail [the first vail or "door"]. "And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the Lord, [The censer of coals of fire was set into the top of the golden altar in the "Holy" and the incense crumbled over it, gradually yielded a smoke of sweet perfume] that the cloud of the incense [penetrating beyond the second vail] may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony [or which covers the Law] that he die not." Vs. 3,6,11-13.
Looking through the type to the antitype, let us now, step by step, compare the doings of Jesus with the prophetic picture. When Jesus had consecrated, he immediately took the sacrificed human life [blood of the bullock] to present it before God as the ransom of ours. But first, before entering the "Most Holy" [perfect spiritual condition] he must tarry in the "Holy" [spirit begotten condition] where the offering of his perfect humanity is acceptable – a sweet perfume before Jehovah. The High Priest took with him, along with the blood, fire from off the altar, and his two hands full of sweet incense to cause the perfume.
This illustrates how Jesus' fulfillment of his vow of consecration during the three and a half years of his ministry, was a sweet and acceptable perfume to the Father, attesting at once to the completeness of the consecration and the perfection of the sacrifice. The sweet incense beaten small, represented the perfection of the man Jesus. The fire from the Brazen Altar represented the trials to which he was subject; and when the perfections of his being (incense) came in contact with the trials of life, he yielded perfect obedience to the Divine will – a sweet perfume. Thus is shown his temptation in all points, yet without sin. It was all consumed in the fire; so he yielded all in obedience. It was his "two hands full" which he offered, thus representing his full capacity and ability as being tested and required and yielded.
But while Jesus as a "new creature" was thus within the "Holy," enjoying the light of the golden candlestick, fed by the bread of truth, and offering acceptable incense to Jehovah, let us look out into the "Court," and yet further out, beyond the Camp, and see another work progressing simultaneously. We last saw the bullock dead, in the Court; now the fat of it has been placed upon the Brazen Altar and with it the kidneys and various life-producing organs. They are burning furiously, for a bullock has much fat. A cloud of smoke, called "a sweet savor to God" rises in the sight of all who are in the "Court," viz.: Levites – believers.
This represents how Jesus' sacrifice appeared to believing men. They saw the devotion, the self-sacrifice, the loving zeal (fat) ascending to God as a sweet and acceptable sacrifice. They well knew that with him God was ever well pleased. They knew from what they saw in the "Court" (in the flesh) that he was acceptable, though they could not see the sacrifice in its full grandeur and perfection as it appeared in Jehovah's sight (in the "Holy") a sweet incense on the Golden Altar.
And while these two fires are burning – in the "Court" the "fat" and in the "Holy," the "incense" and their perfumes ascending at the same time, there is another fire "outside the camp." There the body of flesh is being destroyed. (Ver. 27.) This represents Jesus' work as viewed by the world; to them it seemed foolish to spend his life in sacrifice. They saw not the spirit of obedience which prompted, as the Father saw it; they saw not the loving perfections as the believers (in the "Court" condition) saw them. No, nor did they see in him their ideal hero and leader; they saw only those elements of his character which condemned them, not being in condition to love and admire him. To them he was odious – an outcast – despised and rejected; they hid their faces from him, as the Israelites turned from the burning carcass in the type.
We see, then, how Jesus' life for three-and-a-half years fills all three of these pictures: His sacrifice of perfect manhood was in the sight of the world, foolishness and detestable; in the sight of believers, a sacrifice acceptable to God; in the sight of Jehovah, "a sweet incense." They all ended at once – at the cross. The bullock was entirely disposed of, the incense all offered, when Jesus cried, "It is finished" – and died. Thus the man Christ Jesus, gave himself a ransom for all.
The incense from the Golden Altar having preceded him and been satisfactory, the High Priest passed under the second "Vail" into the "Most Holy." So with Jesus; having for three and a half years offered acceptable incense, in the Holy or consecrated condition, he passed beyond "the Vail, that is to say, his flesh." For three days he was under the Vail, in death; then he arose in the perfection of the Divine nature beyond the flesh, "the express image of the Father's person:" "Put to death in the flesh, but quickened (made alive) in Spirit:" "sown a natural (human) body, raised a spiritual body." He was then in the "Most Holy," condition; the perfection of spiritual being.
The next step was to present the blood (ver. 14) – the evidence of the redemption – for "ye were redeemed... with the precious blood (sacrificed life) of Christ." (1 Pet. 1:19.) This going into the presence of the Mercy Seat and sprinkling, or presenting the blood, was evidently fulfilled by Jesus, when he, after forty days, ascended up on high, "there to appear in the presence of God FOR US, presenting on our behalf and as the price of our redemption the value and merit of the sacrifice just finished.
We now leave the High Priest before the "Mercy Seat" while we go out to "the court" to witness another work. We quote: "And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin-offering. And he shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the "door" of the Tabernacle. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord and the other for the scape-goat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the Lord's lot fell and offer him for a Sin-offering. But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scape-goat, shall be presented alive before the Lord to make an atonement with him, to let him go for a scape-goat into the wilderness." (Vs. 5-10.)
These two goats taken from Israel and brought into the "Court," typified or represented all who coming from the world and accepting of Jesus' redemption consecrate their lives to God's service. First, taken from the "Camp" or world condition, they are brought into the "Court" or justified condition. There they present themselves before the Lord (represented by the goats at the door of the Tabernacle) desiring to become dead with Christ as human beings, and to enter the heavenly or spiritual conditions as Jesus did; first, the spiritual mind, and secondly, the spiritual body; the "Holy" and "Most Holy."
But, as not all who say, Lord! Lord! shall enter the kingdom, so too, some of those who say, "Lord, here I consecrate my all" promise more than they ever perform. They know not what they promise or what it costs of denial of self, to take up the cross daily and follow the bullock – to "go to him without the camp [to the utter disregard and destruction of the human hopes, etc.,] bearing the reproach with him." (Heb. 13:13). In this type, both classes of those who covenant to become dead with Christ are represented: those who do really follow in his footsteps as he hath set us an example, and those who "through fear of [this] death, are all their lifetime subject to bondage." (Heb. 2:15). The first class is the "Lord's goat," the second the "Scapegoat." Both of these classes [goats] as we shall see, will have a part in the atonement work; in bringing the world into complete harmony with God and his Law, when this "Day of Atonement" the Christian Age is ended. But only the first class (the "Lord's goat") who follow the Leader, are a part of the "Sin-offering."
The casting of lots to see which goat would be the "Lord's" and which the "Scapegoat," indicates that God has no choice as to which of them shall win the prize. It shows that God does not arbitrarily select which shall become partakers of the divine nature and joint-heirs with Christ our Lord. Every believer who presents himself is acceptable, and he who keeps his covenant and performs the sacrifice is represented in the page 7 "Lord's goat." Those who draw back are represented in the "Scapegoat."
To return to the High Priest: After having sprinkled the "Mercy Seat" [literally, the Propitiatory, or place of satisfaction] with the blood of the bullock seven times (perfectly), "Then, shall he kill the goat of the sin-offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the Vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the Mercy Seat and before the Mercy Seat." (Vss. 14-15.) In a word, that which was done with the bullock was repeated with the "Lord's goat." It was killed by the same High Priest; its blood sprinkled just the same; its fat, etc., burned on the altar in the Court also. [It is worthy of notice that a prime bullock is always very fat, while a goat is a very lean animal. So Jesus as represented by the bullock had a great abundance of zeal and love for his sacrifice, while his followers, represented by the goat, are lean in comparison.] The body of the "Lord's goat" was burned in like manner as that of the bullock – "without the camp." Paul tells us that only those animals which were Sin-offerings were burned without (outside) the "Camp" (Heb. 13:11.) and then he tells us to go to him without the camp bearing the reproach with him. (Heb. 13:13.) Thus is furnished us unquestionable evidence not only that the followers of Jesus are represented by this "Lord's goat" but also that their sacrifice reckoned with that of their Head, Jesus, constitutes part of the Sin-offering. "The reproaches of them that reproached thee, are fallen upon me." Psa. 69:9.
The "Lord's goat" represented all of the "little flock;" they are all alike; they all came by the same "narrow way:" so what is true of the company as a whole, is true of each one in it. Therefore the "Lord's goat" typifies each one and his sacrifice, except that the whole must be complete and the sacrifice of all ended, before the "blood" of the goat (representative of all the Body) will be presented on the Mercy Seat.
The blood sprinkled on and before the Mercy Seat, was in the design of a cross, with the top or head of the cross on the Mercy Seat. This is shown by the description: "He shall sprinkle it with his finger upon the Mercy Seat eastward (toward the "door") and before (across in front of) the Mercy Seat." This is the full end of the Sin-offerings for the sins of the world. The bullock, as we have seen, was a sin offering for the "Household of faith" (the under Priests and Levites), and the goat, was the sin offering "for the people," Israel – type of the (at present) unbelieving world.
Thus we see that this entire Christian Age is an age of suffering and death, to those who sacrifice the human nature, to become partakers of the divine. Just as soon as the sacrifice of Jesus on behalf of his "body" and "house" was complete and presented before the Father, came the evidence of its acceptance in the Pentecostal baptism. And this anointing (symbolized by the oil) which came upon the church continues ever since on all the living members of the High Priest's body. This impartation of the divine mind to those consecrated ones, was the energy in them which killed each, as the "Lord's goat." This coming of the Holy Spirit, the Lord's power or "hand" at Pentecost is shown in the type (vs. 15) by the High Priest coming to the door of the Tabernacle and laying hands upon the "Lord's goat" and killing it. Just as the Spirit of the Father enabled Jesus to kill the bullock, so it is the same spirit – the Spirit of God and of Christ IN the Lord's goat class, which enables them to crucify themselves as men – to kill the goat – in hope of the promised Glory, Honor and Immortality of the divine nature.
It was thus, for instance, that Paul when possessed of this spirit of the Leader and Head, could reckon all things but loss and dross that he might win [a membership in] Christ and be found in Him. Inspired by this hope and spirit he could say: "I (the new creature) live, yet, not I" the old creature – the goat – it is being consumed with the reproach and contempt of the world outside the camp. His earthly affections and powers had all been presented an offering to God, a living sacrifice; thereafter it was Christ living in him, the hope of glory – Christ's mind, crucifying and keeping under the human nature.
While actually in the world, he was not of it; to such an extent was this true that he could say: "The life which I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God." Yes, by faith he had become a partaker of the Divine nature, and was in the "Holy," feeding by faith on the "holy bread," enlightened continually by the light from the "Golden Candlestick."
Thus furnished with knowledge and strength, he was able to offer "Incense" acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, i.e., Paul's sacrifice because of Jesus' merit imputed to it was acceptable to God. Thus he kept the goat nature always sacrificed. So, too, the same thing has been done by the other members of this "Lord's goat" company since, though none have been so widely known: Paul's sacrifice sent up a very rich perfume.
As the goat filled up that which was behind of the Sin-offering after the bullock, so does the "little flock" following after Jesus "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." Col. 1:24.
The moment must sometime come when the last member of this "Lord's goat" class shall have consecrated, then no more can thus consecrate. The moment must also come, when the sacrifice of the last one will be consumed and the Sin-offering forever ended. That we are now in the close of the "Day of Atonement," and that the last members of the Lord's goat are now on the altar we firmly believe from evidences elsewhere given. We understand that the door of opportunity to consecrate for this sacrifice has closed, though there is still time to carry out the consecration already made. Soon, when their sacrifice is consumed, the last members of His Body shall pass beyond the second Vail – beyond the flesh into the perfection of the Divine nature, already commenced in this mortal body. The passing of the second Vail means to the body what it meant to the head; it means in the presenting of the "blood" of the goat, what it meant in the presenting of the blood of the bullock. The body of the Priest passing the second Vail, bearing the blood of the Goat represents the passing of the Body of Christ entirely beyond human conditions into the perfection of the divine nature when we shall be made like Christ Jesus who now is the express image of the Father's person. Oh blessed hope! "I shall be satisfied when I awake in Thy likeness," was spoken prophetically for Jesus; and how sublime the promise that "we shall be like Him." If we may but win this prize for which we run, then, –
Perish every fond ambition,
All we've sought of earth or known;
Yet how rich is our condition,
Heavenly prospects now our own.
It will be accepted for "the people" as was that of our glorious Leader accepted for Himself [his Body] and house; and then the reconciling work is accomplished; sin and condemnation is fully covered for all. The sprinkling of all shows that the "blood" is full satisfaction, and that the work with the Scape-goat which followed was not part of the Sin-offering and was not needful to complete the "reconciling." Hence in it we must see some other object and significance. We read: –
"And when he had made an end of reconciling the Holy ["Most Holy"] and the Tabernacle of the congregation [the "Holy"] and the Altar [in the "Court"] he shall bring the live goat: and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat [Scape-goat] and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel [typical of the world], and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man [any one convenient] into the wilderness." (Vs. 20-22.)
As before expressed, we understand that this "Scape-goat" which presented itself for sacrifice with the other, but failed to perform it, and to walk in the steps of the bullock, represents a very large class of God's children who have made the same covenant as the others, viz.: to become dead to the world, and to sacrifice their justified human nature, but have failed to actually do so.
While this "Scape-goat" class has existed throughout this Gospel Age, the one goat and the work done with it, at the close of the "Day of Atonement" is representative in a general sense of the dealing with each individual of that company during the age, though it specially illustrates the scape-goat class in the end of the age of sacrifice.
Let us look first at God's proposed dealing with members of this company who will be living when the work of Sin-offering is complete – the last members of the scape-goat company; and then see how it will apply to the preceding members of the same class.
But let us remind you that we are now dealing with things future; after the "Sin-offering." The Lord's goat is not yet wholly consumed, consequently the "little flock," represented by the body of the Priest, has not yet gone beyond the second "Vail" into the condition of spirit perfection; and the special work with the living "Scape-goat" is after this.
Other scriptures show us (Rev. 7:9,13-17 and 1 Cor. 3:15) that there will be a "great company" who during this age have entered the race for the grand prize of joint-heirship with Jesus, who fail to "so run" as to obtain it; and that they, though "castaways" as regards the prize (1 Cor. 9:27), are nevertheless objects of the Lord's affection and love, who, by his providences in the circumstances of life will cause them to come through "great tribulation" thus accomplishing for them "the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." (1 Cor. 5:5.) Notice, that they consecrated their justified human life, and God accepted of the consecration and reckoned them, according to their covenant, dead as human beings and alive as new – spiritual – creatures. But, by their failure to carry out the contract, they are cut off from the Priesthood, from membership in the Body of Christ – "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh it away." John 15:2.
These are in a pitiable condition; they have failed to win the prize, therefore cannot have the divine nature; nor can they have restitution to perfect humanity with the world, for in their consecration, all human rights and privileges were exchanged for divine hopes, – for the opportunity to run for the divine nature. But though not faithful and not overcomers, the Lord loves them, and will deliver those who through fear of death, (fear of contempt – fear of the reproach borne by the bullock and goat, beyond the Camp – in the Wilderness, the separated, or dead condition) were all their life time subject to bondage – bondage of fear of men and men's traditions and opinions which always bring a snare, and keep back from full obedience to God – even unto death. Heb. 2:15.
Through the favor of the High Priest, this great company are to go into "great tribulations" and have the flesh destroyed. This will not make of them "overcomers" nor give them membership in the Bride – the Body of Christ. It will not give them a place on the throne as Kings and Priests, but in a position "before the throne," as perfect spiritual beings though not of the highest order of the spiritual – the Divine; not possessed of the Crown of life, Immortality, yet "like unto the angels." These shall serve God in His Temple, though they will not be members of that symbolic Temple which is the Christ. Rev. 7:14,15.
This class will be sent to the Wilderness condition, of separation from the world; forced thither by "the man of opportunity" – adverse circumstances – there to be buffeted by adversity until they learn the vanity, deceitfulness and utter worthlessness of the World's approval and until all human hopes and ambitions die, and they are ready to say God's will, not mine, be done. The world is ever ready to scorn and cast out the chastened and afflicted ones, though they earnestly covet its deceiving smile and its empty honors. The body of the scape-goat was not burned in the wilderness; only the sin-offering (bullock and Lord's goat) were burned. (Heb. 13:11.) The burning of the sin-offering represented the steady continuous submission of that class to the fiery ordeal of suffering – "faithful (willing sacrifices) unto death." Both classes, suffer even unto death of the human will and body; but the first class die willingly, destroyed by continual crucifying of the flesh as shown in the symbol by fire, burning continuously until there is nothing more to burn. The second class is simply sent to the wilderness and there left to die unwillingly. Their love of the World's approval perishes with the World's neglect and scorn and reproach; and their spiritual nature ripens and blooms into life. Not only will this be true markedly with the last or closing members of this Scape-goat class shortly, but the same has been fulfilled to some extent all along; for there has always been a class, and a large one, which yielded to death only by compulsion; who instead of willingly sacrificing, suffered "destruction of the flesh." 1 Cor. 5:5. The classes represented by both goats have been developing side by side throughout the age.
When the "little flock" have all gone beyond the Vail, the hand of the Lord will set free those bound ones "who, through fear of death [to the world], are all their lifetime subject to bondage," by overthrowing the many theories, creeds and traditions of men and great nominal Church organizations, in and to and by which, they are held and hindered from hearing and obeying the Lord's voice.
Forced into freedom by "Babylon's" fall, while realizing that the great prize has been lost, they will then hear the High Priest's voice and find themselves forced into the Wilderness condition of separation and flesh destruction. At no other time perhaps have there been so many consecrated ones bound as at present; but through all the age, there have been some.
All the consecrated ones, of both classes, pass through great trials and afflictions, yet by one class they are esteemed light afflictions, taken joyfully, which they rejoice to be accounted worthy to suffer; a willing sacrifice, like that of the Head. To the other class, they are burdensome, great afflictions, almost without joy – an enforced destruction of the flesh. And proportionately different are their positions and rewards at the end of the race.
"And Aaron shall come into the Tabernacle of the congregation ["the Holy"] and shall put off the linen garments which he put on when he went into the Holy place ["Most Holy"] and he shall leave them there; and he shall wash his flesh with water in the holy place [the "Court"] and put on his [usual] garments [the garments of glory and beauty] and come forth and offer his Burnt-offering and the Burnt-offering of the people, and make another illustration of the atonement for himself [the body – the church – the "little flock"] and for the people. Vss. 23 and 24.
The Burnt-offerings consisted of two rams (vs. 3 and 5.): one representing the Bullock and the other the Lord's goat. These being alike, show the harmony and oneness of the sacrifices made by Jesus and his footstep-followers; that in God's sight they are all one sacrifice. "For both he that sanctifieth [Jesus] and they who are sanctified [the little flock] are all one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." Heb. 2:11.
This is further shown in the treatment of each of these sacrifices. The rams of "burnt offering" were cut in pieces and washed and the pieces laid unto the head upon the altar and burned, making sweet perfume – a burnt offering of sweet savor unto Jehovah. Since both rams were thus treated, it shows that in Jehovah's estimation, they are all part of one sacrifice; the members joined to the head, acceptable as a whole, as the atonement for the sins of the World – thus satisfying the claims of justice and purchasing the whole world of sinners. page 8
As the Sin-offerings illustrate the necessary crucifixion and death of the Redeemer, so the Burnt-offering illustrates God's manifested acceptance of the same sacrifice. Let us not forget that God does not manifest his acceptance of the "better sacrifices" than bulls and goats, until that Sin-offering is complete and the High Priest is robed in the honor and glory of his office represented in the change of garments. During the time of making the Sin-offering he wore only the white linen garments; afterward and usually he wore the glorious garments illustrative of the honor and glory conferred on him. During the Christian age the Sin-offerings progress and no honor is bestowed upon the Priests, but at its close comes the outward manifestation of God's approval and acceptance of it in the putting of glory and honor upon the Priests who made the sacrifice, and in the blessing of the people for whose sins he atoned.
The Burnt-offering must be burned on the Altar in "the Court," thus teaching that God will manifest His acceptance of the sacrifice of the whole body (head and pieces or members) in the sight of all in "the Court" condition, viz: all believers. But before this manifestation to believers, of God's acceptance of the work, is accomplished the "scapegoat company" are sent away, and the robes of the Priest changed. As the white robes worn throughout the work of sacrifice – which covered the body and represented the justification of the body, their purity in God's sight through Christ, so now the garments of glory and beauty represent the glories of position and work in the future, after the new creatures have been perfected – gone beyond the "Vail." The washing with water seems to show that though the white garments are laid aside – the body now clothed in majesty of power is still pure and that the sins of the people for which atonement had been made do not attach to or contaminate the purity of the Priest. Thus ends this type of the development of the Priesthood and satisfaction of the World's sins.
We tarry to glance at a few verses of this chapter (Lev. 16) not directly connected with the narrative.
Vs. 17. "There shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place [Most Holy] until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel." This limitation applies only to this special day, for the Apostle says – "The priests went always into the first tabernacle (the "Holy") accomplishing the service, but into the second (tabernacle – the "Most Holy,") went the high priest alone, once every year" [on this "Day of Atonement," which was repeated annually.] Heb. 9:7.
The privileges of the Tabernacle are only for those who are priests – members of the body of the Head Priest – so that whether as now, in the first of these heavenly conditions (spiritual minded, new creatures in Christ Jesus); or whether as we hope to be soon, in the second or perfected spiritual condition; it will in either or both cases be because we are in Christ Jesus, new creatures – no longer men. "For ye are not in the flesh [human], but in the spirit [spiritual, new creatures], if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." Rom. 8:9.
Vs. 28. "And he that burneth them [the bullock and goat of sin offering] shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp." This seems to teach that those principally instrumental in reproaching, reviling and destroying the humanity both of Jesus [bullock] and his "little flock" [goat], will have no special punishment for it, as they did it ignorantly – at the same time accomplishing God's plan. "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do," was a truthful prayer and from one whom the Father heard always. They wash and are clean and come into the camp – i.e., come into the same condition as the balance of the world, all of whom are sinners, and all of whom are ransomed from Adamic depravity and sin.
Vs. 26. "And he that let go the goat for the Scape-goat, shall wash his clothes and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward come into the camp." This teaches the same lesson relative to those who shall be instrumental in bringing the trouble, and consequent destruction of the flesh, upon the "great company" represented by the Scapegoat.
In the type, the Day of Atonement thus ended; and typically cleansed from sin, Israel was reckoned no longer defiled and separated from God, but now made at-one with God. Justice no longer condemned, but bade them realize God's reconciled presence in their midst, to bless and protect and direct into the Canaan of rest and peace.
In the Antitype, the "Day of Atonement" is this Gospel Age, during which, Jesus and his body, the Church, make sacrifice to justice, in full satisfaction of the Adamic sin. When the work of reconciliation is complete, God will recognize mankind and place his sanctuary among men. Then, will be fulfilled that which was written: "The Tabernacle of God (the glorified Church) is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be [become] his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things [reign of Satan, sin and death] are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new." Rev. 21:3-5.
But while all these blessings shall result from the establishment of God's residence, or sanctuary among men ["I will make the place of my feet glorious" – "Earth is my footstool,"] yet its blessing will be a gradual work, requiring the Millennial Age for its full accomplishment; i.e., death, pain, and tears will be in process of destruction (wiping away), but not completed until the end of the Millennial Age.
The gradual process by which man will be brought into perfection of being and fullness of harmony with Jehovah, is well illustrated in the typical sacrifices of Israel, made after the Day of Atonement, the antitypes of which will be fulfilled during the next age.
To rightly divide and understand these typical sacrifices, it must be recognized, that the present Gospel Age is the day of atonement toward God for the general sin of mankind; and that all sacrifices coming after the Day of Atonement in type, represents fulfillments or antitypes due after the Gospel Age is ended – during the Millennial Age – when the world of sinners may become reconciled to, or at one with God.
Thus we may see that at-one-ment has two parts – first, Justice at one with, and not any longer condemning and killing Adam and his children on account of his sin; and secondly, the sinner being brought to at-one-ment with God's righteous laws recognizing them and obeying them. The first of these phases of at-one-ment or reconciliation is brought about entirely by the Priest's sacrifice in the "Day of Atonement sacrifices."*
The other – The reconciling of the World to God or the bringing of them into full at-one-ment and harmony with God, will be accomplished during the next age by the "Royal Priesthood" who, typified by Moses will be the Great Prophet whom the Lord will raise up to teach the people, to whom if they will not give heed, they shall be cut off from life – die the second death. Acts 3:23.
Be it clearly seen that though the saints of Jesus' followers, be permitted as represented in the Lord's goat to share in and be members of the Sin-offering on behalf of the World, it is not because of their being by nature purer or better than the World for the entire race of Adam was condemned in him; and of them "There is none righteous, no not one" (Rom. 3:10) and none could give ransom for his brother. Psa. 4:97.
They share in the sacrifice for sins as a favor in order that by so doing they might share with Jesus the promised Divine nature and be his companions and joint heirs. To permit and enable them to offer themselves acceptable sacrifices the benefits of Jesus' death were applied to these first, justifying or cleansing them, and his death blesses the World through his body the Church.
As in the type, the Day of Atonement sacrifices preceded all others, and were a basis of general forgiveness and acceptance with God for all Israel, but were followed by other sacrifices after that day, for individual sins, termed "Sin offering," "Trespass offerings," etc., so in the antitype. After the sacrifices of this Gospel Age shall have brought the world in a justified condition, there will still be sins and trespasses committed, which will require confession and reconciliation, making these after sacrifices necessary.
The Atonement Day sacrifices represent the cancellation of Adamic sin by the sacrifice of the Christ, but during the Millennium errors will be committed by the not yet perfected world, for which they will be in some measure responsible. For such they must make some amend, accompanied by repentance, before they can be again at harmony with God and Christ.
And consecration will be in order in the next Age, though owing to the changed condition of the world consecration will no longer, as now, mean unto death, but on the contrary it will be unto life, for with the close of Satan's reign comes the end of pain, sorrow and death, except upon evildoers. Consecration must always be a voluntary presentation of one's powers, and hence this is represented in some of the sacrifices after Atonement Day.
As the basis of all forgiveness of sins in the next age will be the "Day of Atonement sacrifices," it would be appropriate in the type for the sinner to bring some sacrifice, which would indicate a recognition of those sacrifices, as the ground for forgiveness anew. And so we find that all offerings of the people after the Day of Atonement, were of a kind which pointed back to, or recognized the sacrifices of that day. These offerings might be of cattle, or sheep, or fowl (turtle doves or young pigeons), or of fine flour, the article offered depending on the ability of the offerer.
During the Millennial Age all men "will come to a knowledge of the truth" and be saved from the curse of Adamic death. (1 Tim. 2:4.) When we remember that this death includes all the sickness, pain and imperfection to which humanity is now subject, we see that God's plan includes a full restoration to human perfection; but perfection will come gradually, and it will require the co-operation of the sinner's WILL to ever reach it. He must do what he can to climb up again to perfection, and will have all the assistance necessary. This is shown by these sacrifices in general; they were to be according to every man's ability. If very much degraded by sin and very imperfect, he must, when he comes to a knowledge of the truth, present himself to God. If thus poor and degraded he may bring a dove, or pigeon; when less degraded a goat; and when perfect as man his offering may be a bullock; just as a bullock was used to typify the perfect humanity (much fat) of Jesus' sacrifice, and as a goat (wayward and lean) was used to represent our imperfect human nature in the sacrifices of this Atonement Day, so those animals similarly represent the offerers (Israel – the world) in their consecrations.
When the whole world has been brought to perfection there will be no longer any who are poor in this sense – all will be perfect men and their offerings will be their perfect selves; typified by bullocks. David speaking of this says: "Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness (of right doing), with burnt offering and whole burnt offering; then shall they offer bullocks (perfect sacrifices) upon thine altar." (Psa. 51:19.) Yet that David's language should not be understood to teach the restoration of the literal bloody, typical sacrifices, is evident, for in the same connection he says, "Thou desirest not sacrifice," (the typical)..."The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." All these sacrifices must be of the free will and desire of the offerer. Lev. 1:3.
The completeness of consecration is shown by the death of the animal; that is, each member of the race must consecrate his will; but it will neither be followed by the destruction of the human nature (burning of the flesh outside the camp) nor by the taking of the life into a new nature, – into the Most Holy – only the High Priest enters there, as shown in the case of the Atonement sacrifices. No; when consecrated, they are accepted as human beings, their right to life as such having been purchased by the Priesthood. Their consecration represents their appreciation of their ransom and their acquiescence to the law of God as the condition upon which they shall continue to live everlastingly in harmony and favor with Him.
The burnt offerings of the Priests was to be kept up continually on the Altar, and the fire never suffered to die out. "This is the law of the Burnt Offering; it is the Burnt Offering because of the burning upon the Altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the Altar shall be burning in it....It shall not be put out, and the Priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it....The fire shall ever be burning upon the Altar; it shall never go out." Lev. 6:9,12,13.
Thus is presented to the mind of each offerer the fact that the Altar was already sanctified or set apart, and their offerings acceptable because of God's acceptance of the Atonement Day sacrifices. To this Altar the Israelite brought his free will offering as narrated in Lev. 1. It was made in the usual way; the animal cut in pieces and washed, was laid, the pieces to the head, on the altar, and wholly burnt, a sacrifice of sweet savor unto the Lord. This would serve to typify a thankful prayer to Jehovah – an acknowledgment of His Mercy, Wisdom, and Love, as manifested in the broken body of the Christ – their ransom.
"If a soul (being) commit a trespass and sin through ignorance in the holy things of the Lord;...if he sin and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the Commandments of the Lord, though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity." "And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of the flock," and money according to the Priest's estimation of the trespass, with a FIFTH MORE, and this shall be their offering. And the priest shall make an atonement for him. And if any sin knowingly and damage or defraud his neighbor, He shall restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto (twenty per cent interest) and give it to the wronged one. And he shall bring a ram for the trespass offering unto the Lord. Lev. 5:15-19; and 6:1-7.
This teaches that for every wrong, restoration must be made with interest, and a repentance or asking forgiveness of the Lord through the Church (Priesthood); their recognition of their own imperfection and the value of their ransom, being shown by the ram presented.
But notice the difference between the treatment of this Sin-offering and the Sin-offerings of the Day of Atonement: The latter were offered to God (Justice) in the Holy as the ransom or purchase-price of sinners; the former were offered to the Priests who had on the Atonement Day purchased the people; the acknowledgement of the people was made to their Redeemer. The Priest took a part and offered it to the Lord as a memorial, page 9 or a recognition that the whole plan of redemption as executed on the Atonement Day [Gospel Age] was His, appropriating to himself (eating) the balance.
The offerings of the Atonement Day, we have seen, were always burned (Lev. 6:30, Heb. 13:11), but these Sin-offerings are not to be burned, but eaten by the Priests. – "This is the law of the sin offering:...The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it:...All the males among the priests shall eat thereof." Lev. 6:25-29.
The whole world, purchased with the precious blood (human life) of Christ, will present themselves, for forgiveness of trespass, to the Royal Priesthood who paid their ransom price; and their acceptance of it will be the forgiveness. To this agree Jesus' words to his disciples: "He breathed on them and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit. Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain [to them] they are retained." John 20:23.
While this "ministry of reconciliation" belongs in its fullest sense in the next age, when all the sacrifices of Atonement will have been completed, yet even now, any member of the "Royal Priesthood" may say to those who believe and repent, "Thy sins are forgiven thee" – as did our Head, by faith looking forward to the completion of the sacrifice for sins, which sacrifice he had begun.
This offering must be of the herd or flock, and it might be made in fulfillment either of a vow (covenant), or as a willing "thank offering." Part of it was to be brought to Jehovah by the offerer – "His own hands shall bring the offerings of the Lord made by fire; the fat with the breast; it shall he bring," and the priest shall burn the fat on the altar, and wave the breast before the Lord. But the breast shall be the priest's, also the shoulder. The offerer must eat the sacrifice. Lev. 3 and 7:11-18,30-34.
This seems to show, that if any man would come into a condition of full peace and harmony (as all are to do or be cut off in the second death), they must eat or fulfill a covenant before God, of entire consecration to him. If, after being thus perfected, they again become defiled with sin, they must die, (second death) as shown by the touching of unclean things. Lev. 7:19-21.
With this sacrifice there was presented an offering of unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and anointed wafers, representing the offerer's faith in Christ's character, which he will copy; and leavened bread indicating his acknowledgment of his own present imperfection at time of consecration – leaven being a type of sin. Lev. 7:11-13.
These, of fine flour, unleavened cakes, with oil, etc., were presented to the Lord through the priest. They probably represent praises and worship offered to the Lord by the world, through his Church. "Unto him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages." (Eph. 3:21.) These were accepted by the priests: A sample being offered on the altar shows that it is acceptable to Jehovah.
This chapter seems to give a more condensed picture of the work and sacrifices of the Day of Atonement than the one already examined (16.), and in addition, it furnishes certain features which, after the consideration of the sixteenth, will be of interest to us. It is another picture of the Atonement.
"And Moses said, This is the thing which the Lord commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the Lord shall appear unto you. And Moses said unto Aaron, Go unto the Altar and offer thy Sin-offering and thy Burnt-offering and make an atonement for thyself [the members of his body required it] and for the people" [the World].
This shows how Jesus [the bullock sacrifice for sins] was sufficient both to redeem his body, the "little flock," and also the whole world of mankind. Our share in the Sin-offering could have been dispensed with entirely; we might have been saved from death and just as all mankind will be, restored to perfection of human nature. But it pleased Jehovah not only to choose Jesus to this great work of sacrifice, but also to make him the Captain or Head of his "Church which is his Body," who, as well as their Captain, should be made perfect as SPIRITUAL beings, by suffering as Sin-offerings, in the flesh.
Paul, referring to our intimate relationship to our Head, says: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places [the "Holy" and "Most Holy"] in Christ; according as he hath CHOSEN US in him before the foundation of the world...to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Eph. 1:4,6.) God "called you by our gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ," (2 Thes. 2:14,) so that "if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him." 2 Tim. 2:12.
To continue – After offering his own sacrifice once for all, he was to "offer the offering of the people [the goat], and make an atonement for them as the Lord [Jehovah] commanded." [The arrangement for our having part in the sacrifice of atonement, was a part of our Father's original plan as Paul also attests.]
"Aaron therefore went unto the altar and slew the calf of the Sin-offering which was for himself. And the sons of Aaron brought the blood unto him, and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar; but the fat, [etc.] ...he burnt upon the altar,...and the flesh and the hide he burned with fire without the camp. And he slew the Burnt-offering [a ram,] and Aaron's sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled round about upon the altar. And they presented the Burnt-offering unto him; and he did wash the inwards and the legs, and burnt them upon the Burnt-offering on the altar, with the pieces thereof and the head." [Much the same account as in the 16th chapter, and having the same significance.]
Thus the Burnt-offering of Jesus has been burning all through the Gospel Age, giving evidence to all in the "Court" of God's acceptance of him and the acceptance of all the members of the body – laid to the head, on the altar.
"And he brought the people's offering, and took the goat which was the Sin-offering for the people [not for the Priests and Levites] and slew it and offered it for sin as the first," i.e., treated it exactly as he treated the bullock. This goat is the same as the "Lord's goat" in the other picture, the scapegoat and the other features being omitted in this more general view. It is, however, confirmatory of the teaching, that only those who follow the Lord's footsteps are participants in the Sin-offering. Who could take exception to this?
"And he brought the Burnt-offering and offered it according to the [usual] manner. And he brought the Meat offering, and took a handful of it and offered it upon the altar beside the Burnt-sacrifice of the morning."
"He also slew the bullock and the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings which was for the people." The Peace-offering, as already described, represents a vow or covenant. By this peace offering, made in connection with the Sin-offering of the High Priest, is signified the covenants and promises based on the Sin-offering. In the type, the peace was established between Jehovah and Israel because their former Adamic sin was typically removed; and they were obligated to now live obedient to a covenant based on their forgiveness – i.e., they were to keep the Law – that he that doeth those things should live by (or as a reward for keeping) them. But as our Sin-sacrifices are better than the typical ones, so with the Peace-offering or covenant established by those sacrifices; it is a better covenant. Thus in this sacrifice of peace or covenant offering, the Priest is seen to serve unto the example and shadow of spiritual things – the mediator of a better covenant, (Heb. 8:6-13), under which all people shall be blessed with RESTITUTION and thus enabled to obey the perfect law and live forever.
"And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people and blessed them and came down from offering of the Sin-offering, and the Burnt-offering and Peace-offerings." Thus in the type we see illustrated the fact that though the blessing is not fully due to come upon the people until all sacrifices are finished, yet a measure of blessing comes upon mankind from the members of the Priest, even now during the age of sacrifice, before we all go into the "Most Holy" or perfected spiritual condition.
When this DAY of sacrifice is over, the Priest (head and body) appears before God, giving evidence of having met all the claims of the Law against the people (world). Moses' going in also, seems to say, The Law was fully satisfied and its righteousness vindicated in the sacrifice of Christ. The Law (represented in the type by Moses) will testify on behalf of the world that it is justified to life through the sacrifices of the Priest who "offered up himself."
When presented, the sacrifices were "holy, acceptable to God," and Moses and Aaron came out, and together they blessed the people. So in the incoming age, the Christ will bless all the families of the earth (Gal. 3:8,16,29; Gen. 12:3), yet not by setting aside or ignoring the Law of God and excusing sin, but by restoring men to the perfection of humanity, in which condition they will be able to keep the perfect Law of God, and be blessed by it. Now, by reason of our inherited imperfection, though the Law says, "He that doeth these things (obeys) shall live by them," (shall have a right to continuous life) yet none of the imperfect race can now have this everlasting life, because of inability to keep the Law. But, then, blessed by the Priest, made perfect and able to keep the Law, its condition of "do and live" will be a great blessing to all men; for whosoever will, may then obey and live forever in happiness and communion with Jehovah.
"And the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people." As the blessing progresses (restoring and elevating the race mentally and physically) the results will become manifest. The people – the world in general – will recognize God's gracious love, more and more each day. Thus it will be, that "the GLORY of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." (Isa. 40:5.) They will come to see gradually, the length and breadth, and height and depth of the love of God which surpasseth all understanding.
It is worthy of note that the blessing here mentioned was not a blessing to the under-priests; no; they were represented in the blesser – in Aaron. The blessing came on all the people, who, as we have seen, represented the world. It is this blessing of the world by the "SEED" – the entire Christ, after all the afflictions are filled up by the Body, (Col. 1:24) that Paul refers to, saying, that "The whole creation [humanity] groaneth and travaileth in pain together...waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God" before they can experience deliverance from the bondage of corruption and restoration to the liberty of sons of God, as enjoyed by God's first human son, Adam. Luke 3:38.
It is doubtless this same blessing of all the people – salvation from death and its sting, sin, that Paul refers to, saying: "UNTO THEM THAT LOOK FOR HIM SHALL HE APPEAR THE SECOND TIME WITHOUT [a Sin-offering], unto salvation." (Heb. 9:28.) The world has seen the Priest – head and body – suffer as a Sin-offering during this age: Jesus was manifested to the Jews in the flesh (as a Sin-offering); and, as Paul could say, so can all the followers in his footsteps, viz.: "Christ is manifest in our mortal flesh." (2 Cor. 4:11.) As the whole Christ has thus been manifest and suffered in the flesh, so they shall also be "glorified together" before the world; for the glory [and Blessing and Salvation] of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." When he shall appear, we also shall appear with him in glory. Col. 3:4.
But this great High Priest of the world, will be recognized only by them that look for him. If he were to appear in the flesh – or appear in the sky, it would be an appearance to all, whether looking for him or not; but we have already seen that the Scriptures teach that the Head has been perfected as a spiritual being, and that his "little flock" shall be made "like him." We have seen that the way in which the world will see the glorified Church will be by mental perception, in the same sense that a blind person may properly be said to see. In the same sense we now see the prize, the "crown of life," while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen [by physical sight]; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Cor. 4:18.) It is in this way that the entire Church of this age has been "looking unto Jesus"; thus "we see Jesus," Heb. 2:9 and 12:2.
This is the only way in which the human can see or recognize things on the spiritual plane. Jesus expresses this same idea to the disciples – they who recognized his spirit or mind and thus knew him, would be acquainted with the Father also in the same way. "If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know him and have seen him." This is the only sense in which the world will ever see God, for "no man hath seen God at any time," ["whom no man hath seen nor can see"] – "the only begotten Son he hath DECLARED him." (1 Tim. 6:16; John 1:18.) Jesus revealed or caused the disciples to see him by making known his character – revealing him as a God of Love.
Thus it is, that Jesus the head (now present to gather the Jewels) is being now revealed to the living members of the "little flock," though others continue to plant, build, etc., and know not of his presence. Luke 17:26-30.
Thus also it will be in the Millennial Day, when the complete Christ – the Priest – is revealed; it will be only to those that look for him – only those shall see him. They will see him, not by organic sight, but as we now see all spiritual things – Jesus, the Father, the prize, etc. – by faith. Men will not see the Christ by physical sight, for the same reason that they will never see Jehovah; because on a different plane of being – one spirit, the other flesh. But we (the little flock) shall see him as he is, for we shall be like him. 1 John 3:2.
But, though only those who look shall be able to recognize the Christ as the deliverer who will save them from the dominion of death; yet this will embrace all the world, for the manner of revelation will be such that ultimately all must see. Every eye shall see him; and all in their graves, being raised to life – they that pierced him will realize that they crucified the Lord of Glory. He shall be revealed (In the sky? No;) in flaming fire, (judgments) taking vengeance on those that know (recognize) not God, and obey not (accept not) the gospel (good news – the deliverance). It will not take long for all mankind to recognize him under such circumstances. Now the good suffer; then shall ye discern between him that serveth the Lord, and him that serveth him not; for in that day the distinction will be manifested. (Mal. 3:15-18.) Then all, seeing clearly, may accept of him and have everlasting life; for "We trust in the Living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially those that believe." 1 Tim. 4:10.
This the types illustrate – "And as it is appointed unto men [Aaron and his successors who were only types of the High Priest of the new creation] once to die [typically, as represented in the animals slain] and after this, [following as a result of those sacrifices] the judgment [of God; manifesting approval or disapproval of the sacrifice.] So Christ [head and body, the true, the Royal Priesthood] was once offered [never will it be repeated] to bear the sins page 10 of many ["every man"] and unto them that look for HIM, he shall appear the second time, without sin [not as a Sin-offering] unto salvation." (Not again to be sacrificed for the sins of the people, but to bless them.) Heb. 9:27,28.
Every time a Priest went into the Most Holy on the Atonement Day he risked his life; for if his sacrifice had been imperfect he would have died as he passed the Second Vail, and he would neither have been accepted into the Most Holy himself, nor would his imperfect sacrifice have been acceptable as an atonement for the sins of the people. Hence any failure meant his death and the continuance of the people in sin and death whose sins he attempted to cover or propitiate. This was the "judgment." Jesus our Priest passed this "judgment" successfully; his sacrifice was acceptable, as evidenced in his sending the blessing at Pentecost, which was a guarantee or assurance that ultimately He [and we in him] would come forth to bless the people – the world, for whose sins He has acceptably atoned.
Many have been looking in an indefinite way for a good time to come, and the removal in some way of the curse, of whom Paul says: "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now, waiting for the MANIFESTATIONS of the SONS OF GOD" – Jesus the Head or Chief, and all the BODY complete in him. Rom. 8:19,22.
"And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the Burnt-offering and the fat, which, when all the people saw, they shouted and fell on their faces" – worshiped. This is the same thought expressed in another form. The fire symbolizes God's acceptance; its recognition by the people, shows that the world will realize the sacrifice and its value in God's estimation as the price of their liberty from death and the grave; and when they realize it, they will worship Jehovah and His representative – the Priest.
How beautifully these types teach of a restitution, and a full ransom for all the people, and a blessing to come upon all. Nothing in the types seems to make a distinction between the living and the dead, and some may be inclined to infer that when the sacrifices of the High Priest are over, and the blessing commences, those who are then living will be greatly benefited and not the dead. But we answer, nay, in God's estimation the living and dead are alike; He speaks of them all as dead; all died in Adam, and all the little spark of life which any man possesses is really but one stage of dying. It is a dead race because of the sin of Adam, and it will be a race justified to the same life he enjoyed and forfeited; and all who will, may have it back, whether they have gone all the way down into death, or whether they still linger on the brink – in "the valley of the shadow of death."
This is the object of the sin-offerings to release mankind from the dominion of death, to the perfection of being which is essential to perfect happiness and atonement with his Creator. This is the blessing which comes to all the families of the earth through The Seed of Abraham. This is the good news which was preached to Abraham, as we read: "God foreseeing that he would justify the heathen (all mankind – Gentiles) through faith, preached before the gospel [good tidings] to Abraham, saying, In thee, and in thy seed shall all nations be blessed [justified]...which Seed is Christ [primarily the head, and secondarily the body] for if ye be Christ's [members] then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promises," referred to – viz.: that we may bless all the families of the earth. (Gal. 3:16,19.) But the Seed must be complete before the blessing comes, as shown in the type just considered: – The Sin-offerings must be ended before all the blessings resulting can flow out.
While the sacrifices of the people (Israel – the world) belong to the next age, and will then be presented to the Priests, yet in a certain sense this has a very slight beginning now. Thus it is, that the worldly man possessed of wealth, is in that sense a steward of God's things, and can use that "mammon" and with it make for himself friends; that when this age of Satan's rule is ended, and the reign of Christ commences, in which he shall no longer be a Steward, then, those whom he thus favored will bless him. If the worldly Stewards of wealth (the mammon or God of this age) were wise, they would use their means thus. For whosoever shall give a cup of cold water even, unto one of the least of these (Priests) shall by no means lose his reward when the kingdom of Christ is organized and its rule begins. Luke 16:1-8, and Matt. 10:42.
It should be remembered that the restriction that the High Priest alone, went into the Most Holy once a year to make an atonement, should not be misunderstood to mean that he and the underpriests never went in thither during succeeding days – after the Atonement Day had made full reconciliation for sins.
On the contrary, the High Priest went in there often in after days. It was into the Most Holy that the High Priest went whenever he would inquire for Israel, using the breast-plate of Judgment and Urim and Thumim. Again, whenever they broke camp, which was often, the Priests went in and took down the Vails and wrapped up the Ark, and all the holy vessels, before the Levites could carry them. Num. 4:5-16.
Again, whenever an Israelite offered a sin offering unto the priests (after the "Day of Atonement" sacrifices were (over) they all ate it in the Most Holy. (Num. 18:10.) So with the antitype, after the present "Day of Atonement", is over the "Royal Priesthood" shall be in the Most Holy or perfect spiritual condition, and there accept (eat) the sacrifices for sin, brought by the world for their own transgressions – not the Adamic sins which were canceled on the Day of Atonement. There in the perfect spiritual condition, the priesthood shall instruct in every matter represented in the Urim and Thumim.
In the preceding description we have purposely omitted an explanation of some interesting details which can now be better understood by those who have, through careful study, obtained a clear understanding of the general plan of the Tabernacle, its services, and their typical signification.
THE POSTS which stood in the court and held up the white curtains, represent justified believers. They are in the "Court," the proper place for such, as we have already seen. They are of wood, a corruptible material. This shows that they are not actually perfect as human beings; for since human perfection is represented by copper, those posts should either be made of copper, or covered with copper to represent actually perfect human beings. They were made of wood, but were set into sockets of copper, which teaches us that, though actually imperfect, their standing is that of perfect human beings. It would be impossible to more clearly represent Justification by faith.
THE WHITE CURTAIN, well illustrates the same justification or purity. These justified ones should continually hold up to the view of the world (the camp) the pure linen representing Christ's righteousness, as their covering.
THE SILVER HOOKS by which the posts hold up the curtain, are symbolic of TRUTH; (Silver is a general symbol of truth.) they can really and truthfully claim that Christ's righteousness covers all their imperfections. (Lev. 27:11-17.) and it is only by the aid of the TRUTH that they are able to hold to their justification.
The Posts at the entrance of the Tabernacle
THE POSTS in the "Most Holy," were just inside the second vail, and represent those who pass beyond the flesh (Vail) entirely, into the perfection of the spiritual condition. These posts were so constructed as to fully illustrate this – covered with gold, representing divine nature, but no longer set in sockets of brass – no longer dependent on any human condition; they were set in sockets of silver (reality and truth), which seems to say to us: When you come inside this vail you will be perfect – really and fully New Creatures. Exod. 26:32.
THE GOLDEN TABLE bearing the shew bread, represents the church as a whole, including Jesus and the Apostles – all "Holding forth the word of life." (Phil. 2:16.) The great work of the true church during this age, is to feed and strengthen and enlighten all who enter the covenanted spiritual condition – The bride of Christ is to make herself ready. (Rev. 19:7.) The witnessing to the WORLD during the present age is quite secondary and incidental. The full BLESSING of the World will follow in God's "DUE TIME."
THE GOLDEN CANDLESTICK was all of one piece, hammered out; there was one central shaft with a lamp on top, and three branches on each side of it, each bearing a lamp, making seven lamps in all – a perfect or complete number. Does not this represent the complete Church from the Head, Jesus, to and including the last member of the "little flock," He is taking out from among men, to be partakers of the divine (gold) nature? Jesus says, "The seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches." Rev. 1:20. Yes, that candlestick represented the entire Church of the first-born. Not the nominal but the true Church is here meant however – the Royal Priesthood.
The form of workmanship was beautiful – a fruit and a flower, a fruit and a flower following successively, shows us that the true church ["whose names are written in heaven"] is both beautiful and fruitful from first to last. The lamp part on top of each branch was shaped like an almond, the significance of which we will see when considering Aaron's rod.
The oil for this lamp was Olive oil – beaten or refined; and the lamps were kept lighted always. Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. It was for the benefit of the priest class only, and represents the spirit or mind of God given to enlighten the church, in the deep things of God, which are entirely hidden from the natural man (1 Cor. 2:14), even though he be a believer – a justified man (a Levite). None were permitted to go, or even to see, into this deeper light, hidden in the "Holy," but the true church, the consecrated ones – the Royal Priesthood. These always had access to the "Holy;" it was their right and privilege; it was intended for them. (Heb. 9:6.) The Levites could not see in, because of the vail of human-mindedness which came between them and the Sacred things; and the only way to set it aside was to consecrate and sacrifice wholly the human nature.
The lights were to be trimmed and replenished every morning and evening, by the High Priest – Aaron and his sons who succeeded him in office. (Exod. 27:20-21; and 30:8.) So our High Priest, is daily filling us more and more with the mind of Christ, and trimming off the dross of the old nature.
Are we sometimes puzzled to know why some who are in the church cannot see any but natural things – cannot discern the deeper spiritual truths of the Word? They can see Restitution for natural men, but cannot see our heavenly calling. These Tabernacle lessons show us why this is: They are brethren, of the household of faith, but Levites – in the Court; they never consecrated as priests, consequently cannot enter the "Holy," nor see the things prepared for the priests only. The natural "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard – neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us who through consecration have become 'partakers of the divine nature' by His Spirit [light of the lamp], for the Spirit searcheth [revealeth] all things – yea, the deep [hidden] things of God." 1 Cor. 2:9,10.
The church nominal has always included both the justified and sanctified classes – Levites and Priests. In Paul's letters certain parts were addressed to the justified class (Levites), who had not consecrated. Thus, after exhorting in Gal. 5, he winds up by assuring them, that the things he complains of, are evidences that they do not belong to the body of Christ, the Priesthood: for, he says, "They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." Verse 24.
In the same way he addresses the Romans (Ch. 12:1): "I beseech you therefore brethren [believers – justified by faith in Christ – Levites], by the mercies of God [manifest through Christ in our justification], that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice; [that you consecrate wholly – thus becoming Priests] holy, acceptable unto God." Being justified freely by faith in Jesus, God reckons you as sinless or holy; and He has agreed to accept every such sacrifice – "With such sacrifice he is ever well pleased." By so doing, you become Priests – members in particular of the High Priest's body.
The succeeding verse tells them what will result from so consecrating – viz.; The transformation of their minds. Their wills being renewed, they will be priests – new creatures possessing the spirit of Christ. The fact that at this time they have not the spirit of sacrifice is an evidence that they were not members of Christ – for "if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of His." (Rom. 8:9) and it seems evident to us, that by far the larger proportion of the early churches (much more so of the modern worldly mixture, the confused "Babylon" of the present day) were not CONSECRATED, consequently not Priests, but merely Levites, doing the SERVICE of the Sanctuary, but not sacrificing.
Looking back at the type in the Law, we find that there were 8,580 Levites appointed in the shadowy SERVICE, while only five Priests were appointed for the shadowy SACRIFICING. (Num. 4:36,40,44,48; Ex. 28:1.) It may be that this, as much as the other features of that shadow, was designed to illustrate the proportion of justified believers to self-sacrificing, consecrated ones. Though now the nominal church numbers millions, yet when a fair allowance is made for hypocrites and one in every seventeen hundred of the balance supposed to be living sacrifices, (a correct proportion according to the type,) it seems quite evident that the Lord did not make a mis-statement when He said, that they who would receive the kingdom (the Royal Priesthood) would be a "little flock." Luke 12:32.
The fact that we see believers who are trying to put away their sins, is not of itself evidence of their being Priests, for Levites, as well as Priests, should practice "CIRCUMCISION" of the heart – "putting away the filth (sins) of the flesh." Nor is a spirit of meekness, gentleness, benevolence and morality, always a result of consecration to God. These qualities belong to a perfect natural man – (the image of God), and occasionally partially survive the wreck of the "Fall." But such people when in the nominal church, not unfrequently pass for the cream of Christianity.
Nor yet, when we see believers practicing self-denial in some good work of political or moral reform, is that an evidence of consecration to God, though it is an evidence of consecration to a WORK. Consecration to God says, any work, any where; Lo, "I delight to do THY will, O, God" – THY will in THY way be done. CONSECRATION TO GOD, THEN, WILL INSURE A SEARCHING OF HIS REVEALED PLAN IN HIS WORD, that we page 11 may be able to spend and be spent, for Him and in His service according to His arranged plan.
Marvel not, then, that so few have ever seen the glorious beauties within the Tabernacle; only Priests can see them. The Levites may know of them only as they hear them described. They have never seen the hidden light and beauty; never eaten of the "bread of presence;" never offered the acceptable incense at the Golden Altar. No; for these, they must pass the Vail – in entire consecration to God in sacrifice during the Atonement Day.
THE GOLDEN ALTAR seems also to represent the entire (consecrated) church in the present sacrificing condition. From this altar ascends the sweet incense, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Here is offered to God the willing services of the Priests; their praises, their willing obedience; all things whatsoever they do, to the glory of God. Those who thus offer incense acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 2:5), come very close to their Father – close up to the Vail; and if they have requests to make they may be presented with the incense "much Incense with the prayer of saints." (Rev. 8:3.) The prayers of such Priests of God are effectual. Jesus kept the incense continually burning and could say, "I knew that thou hearest me always." (John 11:42.) So we will be heard always, if we continually offer the incense of obedience to God: and none should expect to have requests recognized who do not thus keep their covenant – "If ye abide in me and my words [teachings] abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you."* John 15:7.
We have learned through types previously considered, something of the glory of the "Most Holy" (the perfect, divine condition) which no man can approach unto (1 Tim. 6:16), but to which the "NEW creatures" in Christ Jesus – partakers of the Divine nature, will finally come, when the incense offering on the part of the BODY is finished and the cloud of perfume goes before us to Jehovah's presence that we may live beyond the vail acceptable to God by Jesus Christ our Lord.
THE ARK. We would now endeavor to learn what God designed to symbolize by the "Ark of the Testimony," the only article of furniture in the "Most Holy." Its name suggests that it illustrates the embodiment of Jehovah's plan, which he had purposed in himself, before even the head of the Christ had been created the beginning of the creation of God, or the minutest development of his plan taken place. It represented the purpose of God to develop a little flock, to be partakers of the Divine nature and to be imbued with power and great glory – the prize of our high-calling; the joy set before our Lord, and all the members of his body.
As before stated, it was a rectangular box overlaid with gold which represents the Divine nature. It contained the Law showing how the Christ should meet in full, all the requirements of God's perfect Law, and also that legal authority should be vested in him as the Law executor.
The righteousness of the Law was actually fulfilled in our head, and it is also fulfilled actually in us as new creatures who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; that is, who walk in obedience to the new mind. The infirmities of the old nature which we are daily crucifying, are not charged to us as new creatures.
When it is written that "the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us" – the end of our race – perfection – is reckoned to us, because we are walking toward, or after the spiritual perfection, which, when we reach the Ark condition in the "Most Holy" will be complete.
AARON'S ROD that budded, shows the elect character of all the body of Christ, as members of the royal priesthood. By reading Num. 17, the meaning of the budded rod will be seen to be Jehovah's acceptance of Aaron and his sons – the head and underpriests – as the only ones who might perform the priest's office of Mediator. That rod, therefore represented the acceptableness of the "Royal Priesthood" – the Christ, Head and Body. The rod budded and brought forth almonds. A peculiarity about the almond tree, is, that the fruit appears before the leaves; so with the "royal priesthood;" they sacrifice or bring forth fruit, before the leaves, or professions are made.
THE GOLDEN POT OF MANNA represents Immortality as being one of the possessions of the Christ of God. Jesus doubtless refers to this, when he says: "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna." (Rev. 2:17.) Manna was the bread which came down from heaven – a life sustainer; so God through Christ provides life for all Israel (the world) that they may live forever – continually eating of it; but he offers to those who become joint heirs, members of the Anointed Body, that they shall have a peculiar sort of manna, or life principal, the "hidden manna." One peculiarity of this pot of manna was, that it was incorruptible; hence, it well illustrates the immortal and incorruptible condition promised to all members of the "Seed" – which is Christ. The manna fed to Israel was not incorruptible and must be gathered daily. So all except the "little flock" of Priests will be provided with life everlasting, but conditional, while the little flock who under present unfavorable conditions are faithful overcomers, will be given incorruptible life, Immortality. See "FOOD" page 134.
Here then in the golden Ark, is represented the glory to be revealed in the Divine Christ; in the budded rod, God's chosen priesthood; in the tables of the Law, the righteous Judge; in the incorruptible manna in the golden bowl, Immortality in divinity.
Above this Ark, and constituting a lid, or head over it, was the Mercy Seat – a slab of solid gold, on the two ends of which, and of the same piece of metal, were formed two cherubim, with wings uplifted as if ready to fly – their faces looking inward toward the centre of the plate on which they stood. Here, between the cherubim on the Mercy Seat, a bright light, indicated Jehovah's presence.
To our understanding that Mercy Seat, Glory-light, and Cherubim, together represented Jehovah God. As with the Christ, so with Jehovah, He is here represented by things which illustrate attributes of his character. The light reminds us of Paul's words: (1 Tim. 6:16) God "only hath immortality, dwelling in light, which no man can approach unto." Humanity cannot enter his presence; hence, the priesthood, head and body, represented by Aaron, must become new creatures, "partakers of the divine nature" (having crucified and buried the human) before they can appear before that excellent glory.
The slab of gold called the Mercy Seat, or more properly the Propitiatory, because on it the Priests offered the blood of the sacrifices which propitiated or satisfied God's just demands, represents the underlying principle of Jehovah's character – JUSTICE. His throne is established upon JUSTICE. "Judgment and justice are the habitation of thy throne." Psa. 89:14; Rev. 15:3; Job 36:17 and 37:23; Isa. 56:1.
The TWO CHERUBIM represent two elements of our Father's character as revealed in his Word, viz.: Love and Power. These attributes, Justice the foundation principle and Love, and Power of the same quality and lifted up out of it, are in perfect harmony with each other. They are all made of one piece; they are thoroughly one. Neither Love nor Power can be exercised until Justice is fully satisfied: Then they fly to help, to lift up and to bless. They were on the wing ready but waiting; looking inward toward the Mercy Seat, toward Justice, to know when to act.
See the High Priest as he approaches with the blood of the Atonement sacrifices. Will he put it upon the Cherubim? No, neither the Power nor the Love of God independently require the sacrifice; he need not, therefore, sprinkle the Cherubim. It is the Justice of God that will by no means clear the guilty – It was Justice that said: The wages of sin is death. When, therefore, the High Priest would give a ransom for sinners, it is to Justice that it must be paid. Hence the appropriateness of the ceremony of sprinkling the blood upon the Mercy Seat – upon the PROPITIATORY.
Love led to the whole redemptive plan. It was because God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son to redeem it, by paying to Justice the ransom. So Love has been active, preparing for the redemption ever since sin entered – yes "from before the foundation of the world." 1 Pet. 1:20.
"Love first contrived the way
To save rebellious man."
When the Atonement Day sacrifices (bullock and goat) are complete, Love tarries to see the results of its plan. As the blood is sprinkled, JUSTICE cries, it is enough. It is finished. Then comes the moment when Love and Power may act and swift they wing their flight to bless the ransomed race. When Justice is satisfied, Power starts upon his errand which is co-extensive with that of Love, using the same agency – Christ.
The relationship and oneness of that divine family the Son and Bride, represented by the Ark in harmony and oneness with the Father represented by the Cover, is shown in the fact that the Mercy Seat was the lid of the Ark, and hence a part – the top or head of it. As the head of the Church is Christ Jesus, so the head of the entire Christ is God. (1 Cor. 11:3.) This is the oneness for which Jesus prayed, saying: Father "I pray not for the world, but for those thou hast given me" – "that they all may be one; as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us – that the world may [then] believe." John 17:9,21.
It is significant also, that any member of the priesthood that had a blemish of eye, hand, nose, foot, or in any way, could not fill the office of Priest [High Priest]; neither any man having any superfluity, such as an extra finger, or toe. This seems to teach us of the perfection of every member of that body – they are all "overcomers:" and furthermore, it shows that when the body of Christ is complete, there will be no additions permitted – no superfluity. If then, we are called, if we here heard the invitation to become members in particular of his Body, and have accepted it, let us seek to make our calling and election (as members of that "little flock") sure, by so running as to obtain the prize. If we miss the prize some one else will win in our place, for the body will be complete; not one member lacking, not one superfluous. Take heed "that no man take thy crown." Rev. 3:11.
It has been a matter of surprise to some that the glories and beauty of the Tabernacle – its golden walls, its golden and beautifully engraved furniture, and vails of curious work were so completely covered and hidden from view of the people; no sunlight from without even, to illuminate its glorious beauty. But this is all in keeping with the lessons we have received from its services. As God covered the type and hid its beauty under curtains and rough unsightly skins so the glories and beauties of spiritual things are seen only when within, by those who enter – the Royal Priesthood. These, too, enter a hidden glory which the world and all outside fail to appreciate. Their glory and also their standing as new creatures are hidden from their fellowmen.
"Ah, these are of a royal line,
All children of a King,
Heirs of immortal crowns divine,
And lo, for joy they sing!
"Why do they, then, appear so mean?
And why so much despised?
Because of their rich robes unseen
The world is not apprised."
GOD gives to his children blessings without measure, but their trials he measures carefully. Every burden which he permits to rest on any of his loved ones is weighed with exactness. It is just enough to do its needful work. No portion of it could be spared.
Two distinct companies of spiritual children of God have been developing side by side throughout the Christian Age. One class is designated a "little flock," and the other "a great multitude." (Luke 12:32; Rev. 7:9.) Not that one is called to be a member of the little flock, and another a member of the great company, but all are called to be of the little flock to whom it is the Father's good pleasure to give the kingdom, and to be joined in heirship with Jesus Christ, as his Bride. As Paul declares, "Ye are all called in one hope of your calling." Eph. 4:4.
All these start on the same narrow way, and being fully consecrated to God are begotten of the Spirit through the word of truth. Hence all are "new creatures" – spiritual – their old nature (the human) being doomed to certain destruction by their own free will and covenant. Therefore if these ever develop it must be as spiritual beings. The human perfection, physical, mental, and moral, to which the world may attain in the next age, is now out of the question to these consecrated ones; that having been presented by them and accepted by God as their sacrifice. If these fail to develop as "new creatures" – spiritual – there is no other hope for them: Death is the only alternative.
To be developed as new creatures, the old nature with all its hopes, ambitions, etc., must die. But to steadily put it to death, of our own continuous free will, is no light task, and this becomes more and more difficult, as the way narrows down to its end. Only a minority of all who in good faith make the consecration, run with patience to the end – in all only a "little flock." With many, courage begins to fail, and they need to be spurred onward by the chastening rod of him who has become our surety (Heb. 7:22) to guarantee that we fulfill our covenant, though our own efforts should fail; otherwise, the end of such must be death. In love, therefore, special afflictions are sent upon the consecrated, when needed, to wean the affections from earthly things, and to draw the heart again into closer sympathy and communion with God in fulfillment of its covenant of sacrifice. A few only run patiently in the way of sacrifice, rejoicing at the privilege of winning so great a prize at such small comparative cost. The great company, we read, come up through great tribulation, which the "little flock" escapes (Rev. 7:14; Luke 21:36), and yet some in each company may have come through the very same experiences. To one it is great tribulation because he looks at the things that are behind, and weighs their value in the scales of this world; to the other it is but a light and easy yoke, because forgetting the things that are behind, he presses toward the prize of our high calling.
"To him that overcometh," rendering a cheerful and willing sacrifice, even unto death, our Lord says, "will I grant to sit with me in my throne" (Rev. 3:21). And of the "great company" also beloved of the Lord, and rightly exercised by his chastening rod, it is said, "Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple."
Both companies are developed as spiritual beings, but the little flock to the highest order of spiritual being – the divine nature. Let us, therefore, seek to render unto the Lord that which is well pleasing to him, a cheerful, constant, willing sacrifice. "God loveth a cheerful giver." "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." Would the bridegroom want for his bride one who would come with any other spirit? No, faithfulness under difficulties is the test of her love and devotedness.
At first sight Heb. 12:5,8, may appear to be out of harmony with this thought, but the Greek words "paideuo" and "paideias" in the King James translation rendered chastened and chastening, signify, to discipline, to instruct, to teach, to chasten. But chastening becomes a part of discipline only when the subject is an unwilling one. The Diaglott very clearly expresses the Apostle's thought. It reads, "My son, slight not the discipline of the Lord, neither be discouraged when reproved by him; for [R772 : page 12] whom the Lord loves he disciplines, and he scourges every son whom he receives. If you endure discipline, God deals with you as with sons; for is there any son whom a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline of which all have become partakers, then truly you are spurious and not sons. Have we then received discipline from our natural father, and we reverenced them; shall we not much rather be submissive to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days disciplined us according as it seemed right to them; but he for our advantage in order that we may partake of his holiness.
Yes, we all need the disciplining, training and scourgings to which our heavenly Father is now subjecting all his spiritual sons, that we may be prepared for the responsible positions to which we shall shortly be assigned. If we never have received, and know nothing of, this discipline, this training, then we may be sure we are not sons. Even Jesus, the perfect man, received it, shall we then hope to escape it? Not unless we despise it, refuse to receive it, and turn our backs upon it, ignoring our covenant entirely, which open rebellion verse 9 implies and Heb. 10:26,27, clearly states, must end in death.
The discipline which all the spiritual sons receive is the same which Jesus received – the buffetings of the world, the neglect, the cold indifference, the misunderstanding, the unbelief, being despised, persecuted, and cast out as evil, even by some or all of those of our own household; Lawful and proper human desires which conflict with our covenant, as well as all sinful besetments which must be constantly curbed and crucified, however they may clamor with our new nature for their rights, are all elements of our discipline. Then again the peculiar and subtle temptations of the Adversary which must be met and overcome through faith in the divine promises, which must be diligently searched for, and stored in mind, as the defense against sudden and unlooked-for attacks. Such trials of faithfulness Jesus endured, and overcame, and we, by his aid, "in every time of need," may also overcome; though not like him, perfect, yet his grace is sufficient for us, and we can overcome as he overcame the world and its spirit (influence); yea, we can do all things through Christ's strength freely given unto us for the seeking. Phil. 4:13.
All discipline is severe and painful, yet necessary, both as training for our future office as Priests unto God, and as filling up the measure of the afflictions of Christ now. It was experienced by our Head unto the bitter end – death, and that without a murmur. He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. Isa. 53:7.
He was led, not driven to death. He willingly permitted the sick and afflicted to partake of his vitality, his strength, and himself bore their infirmities to the extent necessary for their healing. In Gethsemane, knowing that his hour was come, he gave himself into the hands of his betrayers. He willingly endured the disapproval of men and denied himself the blessing of men that he might spend his time and talents according to his Father's will, esteeming it his meat and drink to do that will at any cost. All his sacrifice from the beginning to the end was rendered cheerfully, without a murmur, and even with delight. Why? Because he looked not at the things behind, which he had given up, but to the things before. He never even mentioned the things behind, but he had much to say of the things to come.
To follow in his footsteps then is to sacrifice ourselves as he did, with the same uncomplaining cheerful submission, delighting to do the Father's will. To obey grudgingly, reluctantly, with slow and halting step, with much complaining and frequent lookings back to lament over the loss of the things behind, holding back, loving the world, its ways and its things, and driven forward mainly by the scourge of tribulation and fear, are marks of those developing for the "great company," and to such there is danger of not only being "cast away" from the anointed body, but also of not even gaining a position in the "great company." To gain a position in the latter even, they must give heed to the discipline, and in it, must wash their robes and make them white. The robe given to each saint is at first pure and spotless – Christ's righteousness is imputed to them. Those who fail to overcome and to keep their garments unspotted from the world must have the tribulation of washing them, and must rightly appreciate and use it, else they are unfit for either company.
In the case of Jesus and all who joyfully surrender themselves, it is called "SACRIFICE" of the flesh or human nature, and such are called "OVERCOMERS." In the case of those who hold back and wait for tribulation before rendering obedience, it is called "DESTRUCTION of the flesh" or human nature. The one class of which Jesus is the head, overcome the world; the other is overcome by the world, but finally delivered by the Lord through tribulations. And the rewards of these two classes, as stated by the Lord, will differ. The "overcomers," a "little flock," as members of His body, will sit with him in the throne, and be members of the spiritual temple, and wear the crown. The others – a "great company" will serve God in or [R773 : page 12] through his temple (the Body of Christ) and praise him before his throne and have "palms" of victory at last, though they failed to win the crowns.
In what a precarious situation we stand. O that all may be fully awake to the solemn responsibilities and issues of this, the Judgment Day of the Church – of all who have put on the name of Christ. All discipline indeed, as it respects the present, seems not to be of joy, but of grief; yet afterwards it returns the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hold fast. Let no man take thy crown. Do not let the gratification of the present moment rob you of the great prize of our high calling which God desires to bestow upon you. Lay aside every weight and hindrance and count present sacrifices all joy, and by cheerful, prompt sacrifice, work out, make your calling and election sure; work out your salvation while God by his truth and his providence shall work in you.
"Therefore brace up the wearied hands and the enfeebled knees," make a desperate and continuous effort to render such a sacrifice as will be acceptable and well pleasing to God through Jesus; and "Make level paths for your feet" – i.e., arrange your circumstances, etc., as far as possible, so as to help and not hinder you, "lest that which is lame be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed" (Heb. 12:13.) – lameness or likings for certain things which as consecrated ones we have no right to. Make your circumstances favor self-denial in this way as much as possible, that you may not be severely tempted on this weak or lame point of your character.
What great advantage accrues to the willing sacrificers – the little flock? They run with joy, realizing the Father's approval, and inspired by the glory of the prize kept constantly in view, while the great company of consecrated ones limp painfully along, many of them through the very same outward experiences, harassed by fears, worried by doubts, saddened by the loss of the things behind which they cannot now enjoy, yet failing to clearly discern the glory before, and driven by circumstances, fear, etc., to the fulfillment of their covenant.
And then this great company shall not be esteemed worthy to be of the Bride of Christ. That intimate relationship and communion is reserved only for those who have proved their devotedness by prompt, cheerful, willing sacrifices, even unto death. But the great company chastened, refined, purified shall be beloved and honored also with the next most favored position, because they were rightly exercised by the chastening rod.
In view of the momentous issues of this time of trial, let our efforts be constantly supplemented by our prayers that the Lord may give us grace to let him work in us, to will and to do his good pleasure, for unaided by divine grace none of us can make our election sure.
DEAR BRETHREN: We read, "Cry out and shout thou inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee." Hallelujah – yes he has come! "The Holy One of Israel" is now present. Those in "Zion" know of his personal presence; having heard his voice, and opened the door, they are now feasting with him. Blessed feast! "Wines on the lees." The marrow and fatness of gospel truth. New dispensational truth. "Meat in due season." Again we say hallelujah! We cannot help it. The very stones would cry out if we held our peace. Our hearts are full of gladness, our mouths with praise, and eyes with tears of joy, as we read the last "TOWER," so full of gospel truth. Yes, beloved – as you so truthfully say – "the whole armor is needed now more than ever in this day of battle for God's truth."
What joy to the faithful virgin Bride to know that her Lord has come! What joy to her holy Bridegroom to reveal himself to his waiting, watching, faithful ones! "Unto them that look for him, shall he appear the second time."
Long years ago "witnesses chosen of God" (Acts 10:41) saw him ascend in "a cloud." Silent and still his departure, unknown alike to the world and the worldly-lukewarm Church. Having received the kingdom, "in like manner" has he returned, "sitting on the white cloud" (Rev. 14:14), unknown alike to the world and the lukewarm, or Laodicean Church.
But "witnesses chosen of God," by faithfully taking heed to the "more sure word of prophecy," whose eager eyes of faith, piercing through the white cloud, behold the King of Glory, with his golden crown and sharp sickle; a sure indication of harvest work. "The harvest is the end of the age."
The seven churches of Asia seem clearly to represent the seven successive steps or stages in the development of the nominal gospel church, from the ascension to the second advent of Christ. He did not say, "Behold, I stand and knock," to any of the seven, except to the last, or Laodicean Church. To the others he said, "Behold, I come quickly." A dear friend, living in a distant State, writes me: "I am coming to you quickly." Has he come? No; but I am looking for him very soon. Again a message comes: "Behold! (see!) I stand at the door and knock." Has he not come? Is he not present?
Why does Christ accuse the seventh or Laodicean Church with blindness, unless because he is personally present and they fail to see – recognize – his presence? To none of the seven except the last does he say: "Anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." See what – who? Evidently the "Holy One of Israel," who is now "in the midst of Zion." "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord." The greatest joy of our hearts is to know that "all nations shall come and worship, in his presence."
Your brother laborer in the harvest-field.
MR. C. T. RUSSELL, Dear Sir: – I write to solicit two copies of "The Tabernacle and its Teachings," as I have just found where they are needed. I regret that I am unable to send a mite for the tract fund with this note. I am only a sinner, but I take great interest in this work. I do what lies in my power to propagate these truths, but few seem to have any curiosity, and still less the patience to investigate, yet occasionally we find one who is willing and anxious to search and find.
I have always ridiculed orthodoxy, but have believed in the divinity of Christ. The WATCH TOWER has made the Bible very plain to me, and although I often feel myself a castaway, it is a great comfort to know that such a glorious future is soon to dawn upon this dying world. In reading the letters and articles of the WATCH TOWER I see that some are drinking the cup of which he drank, and are being baptized into his death. It seems to me impossible that any who have been so enlightened by the Spirit and exalted to such fellowship with God should falter or suffer any influence of evil in to any measure separate them from the love they have in him.
If in early years I had known what I now know, I might have been among your number, but doubtless it is well.
DEAR BROTHER: – I presume you will be somewhat surprised that I address you as brother when you do not seem to reckon yourself a child of God. But of one thing I feel quite sure, that if you are not a brother of the anointed company, you are a brother of the household of faith – a sinner SAVED BY GRACE – and therefore not now a sinner. The weaknesses of our flesh which will not permit our perfect conformity to the will of God, are not imputed to us. They are not reckoned as our sins. Our sins were all laid upon Jesus who bore their penalty for us. Please read in the TOWER of March, 1884, the article entitled, "Lost and Saved," and I think you will see that I am right in calling you brother.
But it may be that even in a higher sense you are a brother, yet not fully discerning your high relationship to God and his anointed. May it not be with you as it has been with many others, that you have at some time in the past given yourself to the Lord fully and in all sincerity, yet because of surrounding temptations, and only a vague indefinite knowledge of our Father's will and plan, you had grown cold and even forgetful of your covenant? If so, the truth now made so clear to your mind should be regarded as a special incentive urging you to fulfill your covenant, and thus make your calling and election sure. It is our Father's good pleasure to give us the kingdom, hence the special incentives now made so manifest in this special time of need. The restitution, or restoration to human perfection, which is to be the portion of the mass of mankind, will indeed be a glorious portion; but those who have once presented themselves as living sacrifices, holy, (justified) and therefore acceptable to God, can never be developed to human perfection (restitution); such are "new creatures in Christ" (spiritual) and as new creatures they must be developed. The human once given up and accepted of God, cannot be taken back.
Think well, dear brother, and in the light of God's truth determine what is your position and calling, and then run with patience the race set before you, whether it be for human or for spiritual perfection.