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The Tabernacle which God commanded Israel to construct in the Wilderness of Sin, 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, were 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 they repeated year by year continually until the Gospel age, for the edification of the saints. – 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 careful of every particular – "See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount." (Heb. 8:5; Exod. 25:40.) So, too, with all the minutiae of the service: every jot and tittle must be exactly performed in the type, because it illustrated something greater and more important 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; Exod. 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 of shittim wood "overlaid" or plated with gold, and set on end into sockets of silver, and firmly fastened together by bars of the same wood, 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 so that it 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 rearmost apartment, 15 feet wide and 15 feet long, was called "The Most Holy." Over this Tabernacle proper was a tent to shelter it. It was made of a covering of cashmere cloth or goat's hair, another of rams' skins dyed red, and another of seals' skins, mistranslated badgers' 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 which covered the Tabernacle, 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 toward 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, and was 7½ feet square and 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 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 [R1237 : page 2] wood overlaid with gold, having a lid or cover of pure gold, called the Propitiatory, or "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, 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, representing the divine presence. 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 of lighter 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 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 the nation of 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." "I am the door." – Jno. 14:6; 10:9.
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 had access to the brazen Altar and to the Laver, and did service in the Court, but had 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, to indicate that the class admitted there were justified men only.
The Tabernacle represented the condition of all who have changed their nature; that is, those who (as Levites – justified believers) have consecrated their human nature to death, and have become partakers of the divine nature, by being begotten of the Spirit. 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, even unto death, enter the divine conditions represented in the Tabernacle.
The "Court" or justified human condition is 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" of justification through faith in his blood, but who also opened the "door" into the Tabernacle, "a new" way of life, as spirit beings, through and beyond the vail by the sacrifice of the justified flesh. – 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, as divine minded, "new creatures," 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 incense at the golden altar, acceptable through Christ Jesus.
The "Most Holy" represented the perfected condition of such new creatures, when born from the dead in the resurrection. Then, beyond both vails – the fleshly mind and the fleshly body – such shall be glorious spiritual bodies, as well as spiritual-minded. They shall be like their Leader, and 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. When our sins are forgiven, we are a step nearer to God, but still human – in the Court. If we would attain the prize of our high calling which is OF GOD in Christ Jesus, and enter through the "Holy" into 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 represented in the Shew-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 through 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 represented 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 its spirit-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; and 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 was a type as well as the Tabernacle, Priests, Levites and sacrifices. And what was there done in symbol with and for Israel 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 a greater and grander profession or order, but the head of the real priesthood of which others were but figures. – Heb. 3:1; 4:14.
But before the under-priests, the 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 priest 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 all the justified believers) 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 all the families of the earth. [R1237 : page 2]
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," otherwise called "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; yet, 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 "The Plan of the Ages," Chapters X. and XI.) [R1237 : page 3]
Under the Law, the ANOINTING was the ceremony by which the priests were installed in God's service. They 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 has 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 – as Jehovah discerns them, looking down into the future to the time for "the manifestation of the Sons of God," and the fulfilment 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, represented 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 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 skilfully 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.
That part of the Abrahamic covenant referring to the spiritual seed is represented as complete in God's sight, the person of the High Priest representing the complete spiritual seed as it will be clothed with honor and power at the beginning of the Millennium. Yet 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 previously seen, this covenant has two phases, the heavenly, or spiritual, and the earthly, or fleshly, the literal descendants of Abraham. The latter was the only one recognized by Abraham, the spiritual being hid until God's due time. 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. And its fulfilment hangs on the great spiritual High Priest, too. 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 Church] 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 fulfilment 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." (Gen. 22:17.) They must first be turned to righteousness and truth, and such shall 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 woven together are made sure by the divine power of the anointed Priest, as shown by the interwoven thread of gold. Thus, Jehovah has laid both of these covenants, as they relate to men, 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 breastplate represented beautifully the Law: It was not a part of the Abrahamic covenant (ephod) but "it was added" to it. (Gal. 3:19.) As the 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 see; 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 breastplate) 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 "breastplate 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, indicated 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 the "little flock," his Body, has his righteousness imputed to them.
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 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 divine; and we know that 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 those beautiful robes so typically significant, and anointed with the holy oil, his head represented Jesus – the head of the priesthood, and his body represented the Church complete in him. How impressive and significant 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 the 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 and wore girdles. Their robes represented the imputed righteousness of Jesus, and their girdles showed that they also are servants of righteousness.
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 his 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 bore 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 Spirit 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. Hence only those who are in Christ Jesus are partakers of the anointing which seals all those who shall be recognized as the heirs of God's promises, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ their Lord.
The oil "ran down even unto the skirts of his garments" (Psa. 133:2), thus representing how all the members of his body are 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, and 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." [R1237 : page 4]
The consecration of the Priesthood (Lev. 8:14,33,) was typical of the consecration of the human nature of Jesus and his body, the Church, to the will of Jehovah – the obedience of Jesus, 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 personally by Aaron himself, are, by the antitypical sacrifices being made during the Gospel 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 their ALL. 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, 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 new or divine nature is represented in Aaron and his sons, while the human nature 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 against mankind in general. 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 base of the altar shows that through the blood of the sacrifice (life given) even the earth was purchased back from the curse. See Eph. 1:14: "Unto the redemption of the purchased possession."
And Moses took the bullock, his hide, flesh, etc., and burnt 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, it shall ultimately be delivered. But while their humanity is destroyed, as a vile thing in the eyes of the world, 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 on the altar; and Moses "cut the ram into two 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 then 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 our consecration is an individual work. And he put it upon the tip of the right ear, and upon the thumb of the right hand, and upon the great toe of the 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 to the Lord for a moment, a day, or a year, but that 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 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.
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.). Verse 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 waved before God, that he may accept and make use of our talents to his glory. Especially is this a matter 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 that the work of self-sacrifice being then finished, the glorious work of blessing men and fulfilling the Covenant of God will begin. And if we fail to be among the priests now, during the time of consecration, we cannot expect to be of them when they begin their service for the people in the Kingdom, 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. (Rev. 20:6.) 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 it is only "If we suffer with him we shall also reign with him." – 2 Tim. 2:12. [R1237 : page 4]
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 are 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 the 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 these sufferings require all of the Gospel Age to complete them. 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 commence, 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 by natural sight), 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]; every soul which will 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.
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); and 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 of God teaches, however, that it is not by the Church only that he is accepted, but that he (together with his Body, the church) shall be the Prophet for the people, the Priest for all the people, and the King over all people, nations and tongues; "Lord of all," Priest of all, and Prophet or teacher of all.
In the type of the Priests' 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, represented 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. (See MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., Chap. X., and Vol. II., page 126.) "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 perfect man. And this was all he had (except God's promise of a new nature and the hope which the promise generated), since he had exchanged his spiritual being or existence for the human which he made "a sin-offering" and which was 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 [R1237 : page 5] come under the condemnation of death. But, thanks be to God, it remains a sacrifice forever, that we may be 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-price.
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), and make him 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. 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 guaranty of what he should receive when death had actually taken place.
Thus considered, we see that the death of the bullock typified 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 [i.e. set aside the typical sacrifices] that he might establish [or fulfil] 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 showed 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 [when 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 by 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, was ready and able to accomplish the sacrifice of the atonement, and proceeded to do it as typified in Aaron. "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.
As 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, so Jesus' fulfilment 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 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 (fire), 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 that he should 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 him, not being in condition to love and admire him. To them he was odious – an outcast – despised and rejected; and 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." He was "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 condition as Jesus did; first, the spiritual mind, and secondly, the spiritual body – the "Holy" and the "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 is the "scape-goat." 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 Gospel 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 of the consecrated 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 "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, [R1237 : page 6] 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, all that was done with the bullock was repeated with the "Lord's goat." It was killed by the same High Priest; its blood was 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 the fat 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 – "outside the camp."
Paul explains that only those animals which were sin-offerings were burnt outside the camp. And then he adds, "Let us go to him without the camp, bearing the reproach with him." (Heb. 13:11,12.) 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 in 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 Lord's "little flock" of faithful followers. They are all alike; they all come 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 the entire Body of Christ) 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 "Vail") 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 the 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 all the world who desire to be God's people.
Thus we see that this entire Gospel Age is an age of suffering and death, to those who sacrifice the human nature in order 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 his acceptance in the Pentecostal baptism. And his 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 his hands upon the "Lord's goat" and killing it. Just as the Spirit of the Father enabled Jesus to sacrifice himself, represented by the killing of the bullock, so it is the same spirit, the Spirit, power or influence of God, through Christ, the spirit or influence of the truth, upon 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 represented in the consecrated goat]; it is being consumed with the reproach and contempt of the world outside the camp. Paul's earthly affections and powers had all been presented to God, a living sacrifice; thereafter it was Christ living in him, the hope of glory – Christ's mind, crucifying and keeping under the depraved but justified human nature and its will.
While actually in the world, he was not of it; and 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 on the "holy bread," and enlightened continually by the light from the "Golden Candlestick." Thus furnished with knowledge and strength, he was able to offer "incense" acceptable to God through 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, though none have been so widely known. Paul's sacrifice sent up a very rich perfume; his was a sacrifice of very sweet odor to God, yet like ours was acceptable to God, not on account of its own value, but because of being offered upon and partaking of the merit of Christ the Redeemer, the Golden Altar.
As the goat filled up that which was behind of the sin-offering, completing the sacrifice begun by the bullock, so does the "little flock," following after Jesus, "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." (Col. 1:24.) Not that our sacrifices are really valuable, as was our Lord's, for he alone was perfect and suitable for a ransom, for a sin-offering; the acceptableness of our offerings is through his merit first imputed to us, justifying us, and then through the grace which permits us to offer our justified selves in with our Lord's perfect sacrifice, that we may share also in his future work of blessing all with restitution.
The hour must some time come when the sacrifice of the last members of this "Lord's goat" 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. Soon 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 the new mind or will which controls these mortal bodies. 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 like Christ Jesus who now is "the express image of the Father's person." O 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 we own.
When presented it will be accepted for "the people," as was that of our glorious Leader accepted for himself [his body] and house [the household of faith]. Thus the reconciling work will be accomplished; sin and condemnation will be fully covered for all, and the great work of giving to the world the grand results of that atonement will speedily follow its completion; just as the blessing of Pentecost upon the "body" and "household" speedily followed the acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice after he passed beyond the Vail of flesh and presented our ransom-sacrifice before God. The sprinkling of all things with the blood shows that the "blood" is full satisfaction, and also indicates 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.
"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 was presented for sacrifice with the other, but failed to sacrifice, and to walk in the steps of the bullock, represents a very large class of God's children who have made the covenant to become dead to the world, and to sacrifice their justified human nature, but who fail 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 this 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.
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 (Rev. 7:9,13-17 and 1 Cor. 3:15) show us 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, 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 Body – the Bride of Christ. It will not give them a place on the throne as Kings and Priests, but 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 sin-offerings (the bullock and the 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; they are 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 [R1237 : page 7] 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 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; which, 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. Theirs is 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 [the "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] an atonement for himself [the body – the church – the "little flock"] and for the people. – Vss. 23 and 24.
The burnt-offering consisted of two rams (Vss. 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 parts 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 on behalf of the whole world of sinners. As the sin-offerings illustrate the necessary crucifixion and death of the Redeemer, so the burnt-offering following illustrates God's manifested acceptance of the same sacrifice. So 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 true 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 Gospel 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 the 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 they 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.: to all believers. But before this manifestation to believers, of God's acceptance of the work, is accomplished, the "scape-goat company" are sent away, and the robes of the Priest changed. As the white robes worn throughout the work of sacrifice 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, after they have 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 the satisfaction for 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 [the "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 the 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 [the bullock] and his "little flock" [the goat] will have no special punishment for it, because 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 may wash and be clean and come into the camp – i.e. into the same condition as the remainder of the world, all of whom are sinners, and all of whom are ransomed from Adamic depravity and death.
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 scape-goat.
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 (through his redemption and favor), 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 [the 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 fulness 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 the type, represent fulfilments 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 destroying, 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 and to govern the people, and if they will not give heed to him, they shall be cut off from life – die the second death. – Acts 3:23.
Be it clearly seen that though the saints, the followers of Jesus, are 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 a ransom for his brother. – Psa. 4:97.
They share in the sacrifice for sins as a favor, in order that by so doing they may 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. Thus it is his death that blesses the world through his body, the Church.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – I have been thinking that perhaps I ought to be better known to you, and that I have not the advantage of that spiritual sympathy which so builds up the brethren who neglect not the assembling of themselves together, which bodily assembling has now, to some of us, to be substituted by letters. I saw you and heard you at the meeting in April, and perhaps you will recall me personally. I had then many, many things I wanted to talk with you about, but I found it impossible to wait over until you would have leisure. But how I was blessed and strengthened by that meeting! I have been a careful reader of the WATCH TOWER and both volumes of "DAWN," and the spirit of that assembly and the inspiration of the meeting – the seeing, for the first time, faces of men and women who believe as I do and whose hope was also my hope – was indeed blessed. I know that you are very busy with that which the Master has intrusted to your hand, and I write this letter, knowing that occasional words of sympathy and love are encouraging, and that a word from me may help to build you up. I cannot tell you now what the words have done for me, which the Master has spoken by you through the TOWER and DAWN. For several years I was in the pastorate of the M.E. Church and a member of the Upper Iowa Conference. The study of the Bible took Methodism out of me long before I knew of your writings. I associated a few months with the Campbellites; but they were not the people my heart yearned for, and their doctrines and practices were out of harmony with THE WORD. I turned my attention to the Plymouth Brethren – read their literature, but they are the worst "hide-bound" of any, though they do have some truth and are zealous for the atonement.
To one looking at me from the outside only, I would seem to be a wanderer, having [R1237 : page 8] had little stability, having had no fixed home since leaving the M.E. Church. But God knows differently, and I am persuaded that you also can understand how that a man whose daily prayer was, "O! send out thy light and thy truth, and let them lead me," would become very peculiar in the eyes of those who are asleep in Zion. I have had some extremely painful experiences which would not have fallen upon me had I remained a pastor in the Church. But I am comforted as was our brother Paul, that these light afflictions work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. And since I have learned to walk in the light as he is in the light, I have also grasped the meaning of Phil. 4:7, THE PEACE OF GOD.
I have seven children, none of them yet self-supporting, and as my salary stopped when I stopped preaching for the people, I have had enough to do to feed and clothe them. I have earnestly desired to be at work wholly in the Gospel, but the care of my family has tied me to my business, but my heart was all the time with the Lord.
If you are very busy do not stop to answer this letter, only do not forget a friend of all those who love the Lord in deed and in truth. Your brother in faith and hope,
DEAR SISTER RUSSELL: – Although it has been quite a long time since the meeting at Allegheny, which all enjoyed so much, I thought you might be pleased to know of the blessed effect of that meeting upon some who were not there. My husband came home so full of the Holy Spirit that I immediately realized my need of a deeper work in my heart. He, through the Holy Spirit, brought me to see what a blessed privilege I had of making a complete consecration, and strange as it may be, I have been until now trying to feel the evidence that I was accepted. I did not receive the evidence as long as I was expecting it, but just as I determined to stand on his promises without a sensible evidence, then the peace that passeth all understanding filled my soul, and he has made me to rejoice in his mighty love.
These words express my feelings –
"Oh! bliss of the purified,
Bliss of the free,
I plunge in the crimson tide
Opened for me."
My prayers are ever with you, and all the Lord's children. Oh! how sweet it is to feel his presence and protecting care. I am so glad that the messengers ever found us, and now I feel like carrying the glad tidings to some others of the Lord's children who are still in Egyptian darkness.
Your Sister in His service,
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL: – Indeed it is a pleasant surprise that our blessed Lord has helped you to prepare a volume of poems and hymns for us hungering souls, and I have so much wanted something of the kind from you, but when I was writing I could not think to ask it. Praise the Lord, his guidance is so wonderful, faithful and plain.
The bit of history entitled Harvest Gathering and Sifting is very interesting and satisfactory to me; 'tis no offence, but with thankfulness I read and re-read. May the Lord continue his help in the glorious work to his willing and obedient servants.
I enclose one dollar, for which please send me one hymn book, one hundred envelopes and one volume of paper bound DAWN, Vol. I., and I will be thankful.
DEAR WATCH TOWER: – Enclosed please find $1.50 for ten volumes of MILLENNIAL DAWN. Every one wants both volumes, and the third also as soon as it is out. All that I have sold to thus far want the third volume – some of those that have already read the first and second are quite impatient for the third. I am not able to canvass for MILLENNIAL DAWN, but will recommend and sell it as I have opportunity. I send enclosed a letter from a friend, which speaks for itself. Please send the books in paper cover without delay.
MY DEAR FRIEND: – I have read and I am now re-reading "MILLENNIAL DAWN." It is not my own book, I borrowed it from a party who got it through you. I now want it for myself, for it is a "book to keep," to study and ponder. I have studied the Bible more or less from childhood, and many things of course were very plain; but many more very much hidden in mystery. This book is indeed a "helping hand." The Bible opens up grandly in the light of unfolding prophecy. I never felt such a grand sweep of happiness and perfect peace enwrap my whole being as while I have been reading this author's ideas. They seem sound. I am going through more slowly this time, with the Bible in my hand. The first time I was too much entranced to stop to hunt quotations. I rushed on and on at full gallop. Once the book fell on my lap and while the tears were actually drenching my face, I began singing the blessed old hymn,
"All hail the power of Jesus' name,
Let angels prostrate fall!
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown him Lord of all."
Blessing and glory and honor and praise belong to him forever. I am living in a new world; even old things have become new. I never doubted God's love, nor wavered in my faith, but I went on blindly, as it were, believing all would come out right. But the view I have now is so much broader and grander and fuller of love than I could ever see before. I thought for many years that we were near the end of the gospel age, but I counted differently and made it farther off than this author. Surely, the "dawning" is very near, if we are not actually in it. I would love to talk with you of these things. Can't you come up and spend a few days? We can have all the time to talk. I want a copy of these books and the third volume too. Can you give me any information, or can you get it for me? Are you agent for them? I must have them!
How full of sweet comfort is the Bible! Come up and let us talk over all these grand and glorious things.
TOWER PUBLISHING CO.: – Mr. C. K. L., a friend of mine, came into my office and said that no money could pay for the benefit he had received from the truth contained in the DAWN, Vol. I., and handed me $20.00 which I inclose herein, and requested me to purchase DAWNS and distribute them. Please send me the DAWNS, Vol. I., to that amount, including two or three of Vol. II.
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL: – I cannot refrain from writing you – your articles in the last TOWER: "Perils Among False Brethren," "Harvest Gathering and Siftings" and "Sifting the Wheat," were so very helpful and timely to me and also to others, I desire you to know how highly they are appreciated.
You perhaps know that Brother__________ has, at times, had his faith in the ransom nearly shipwrecked by Mr. Adams' theories, but now he is satisfied, and says he will work harder for the Master than he has ever before in spreading the truth.
Your plain, pointed history was very helpful. I have read the articles referred to in the May TOWER three times and see very plainly the leading of the Divine Master. I did not before understand the travail that gave birth to "Tabernacle and its Teachings." As soon as I studied it, I was sure its origin was divine. So this was the key that opened up all the dark things, the hidden things, in the day of the Lord's preparation. May God still keep you where he can use you for his work – his great work. May self be crucified, and only Christ appear.
Many will yet fall. One other we had supposed to be with us has gone back to man's inherent immortality. Who shall be able to stand? I desire to work along with you, helping, never hindering, in the great harvest work, now calling for every willing hand.
Sincerely yours in the Master,
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – For the enclosed have the kindness to mail to my address one copy each of the first and second volumes of MILLENNIAL DAWN. These are "perilous times" – the "sifting" process continues and it is our desire to walk in the light, God helping us.
There are only three of us here who are striving to enter in at the straight gate, and we are regarded as "peculiar" among the professed church people. Pray for us, that our running may not be in vain. Will you kindly mail a copy of the May number of the TOWER, prominently marking the article: "Harvest Gathering and Siftings" to Mr.__________. This man, once in the way, may possibly not have gone so far back as to reach "outer darkness."
Yours in the name of the Master,
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – The Bibles and Testaments came, and we are very thankful to have them. It is wonderful how our Heavenly Father answers prayer. We were badly served by the American Bible Society, while at Walla Walla. We could have supplied many DAWN readers there with Bibles, and attempted to negotiate with that concern to supply the demand, not expecting any remuneration for our trouble. Would they do this? No, it would seem as though they preferred that those people be without the bread of life, than to fill any orders for us, because, they said, "You are going over the country selling the book, MILLENNIAL DAWN." Did we drop the matter here? No; we did just as we have learned to do with all other things – we took it to the Lord in prayer. And shortly we received the sample from you with prices so very cheap for such beautiful Bibles and Testaments. We praise his holy name, and are thankful for such a wonderful manifestation of God's mercy, love and readiness in giving us whatsoever we ask. Enclosed you will find money order and a small order for books. Yours with greeting to all in Christ the Lord,
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Many thanks for your warning that although "the morning cometh" – "also the night" or what may be called the increased darkness preceding the morning. "It is always darkest just before day." As an evidence of the darkness – a would-be repetition of the dark ages – the following clipping from a paper dated May 31st, 1890, is a very fair illustration: –
"Bishop O'Farrell, of New Jersey, has announced in the churches of his diocese that he will not confirm any children who attend the public schools unless their parents can show good reasons for not sending them to the parochial schools."
With the political aspects, so incongruous, we have nothing to do. Apparently the Church and State will again be united, with the beautiful mother and her obedient and no longer protesting beautiful daughters at the head.
Let us now work while it is called to-day, for soon the night cometh (when the above prediction is verified) in which no man can work. Human agencies will then be unavailing and it will require the power of our Lord and his saints, no longer men, but spiritual beings, to do the work required.
Yours in Christ,
TOWER TRACT SOCIETY, DEAR SIRS: – Nearly a year ago a little pink tract came into my possession some way, I have forgotten how. The title, "Calamities, and why God permits them," attracted my attention, as it was only a short time after the Johnstown calamity. I have always been a skeptic from childhood, and no amount of praying and trying to believe did me any good. Even when called on to die, as I supposed, I could not believe. Or perhaps I really believed, but could not get that peace described by Christians as so glorious. I have invested in all the books which I thought might cure me. I could not help but believe in evolution, to the exclusion of revelation, or even of divinity. Well, I laid the little pink tract on my table, thinking I would read it the first time I had time. I picked it up several times, but did not become interested enough to read it; but every time I overhauled my table and straightened up books and papers, etc., I found the little tract. How it always got back there I cannot tell, for I thought a dozen times that I had disposed of it. To-night I saw it on the table again. I opened it, got interested and found something I had never found before. Well, I cannot describe it, but I want to know more of Christ. Please send me the "Plan of the Ages," in paper. Would be glad if you would send me some more tracts of the kind I need. I will read and hand to others.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: – Your letter came duly to hand, also the 100 DAWNS, Vol. I. My friend informs me from Sheffield that he has received the 50 DAWNS ordered, also. I should be glad if you would send me as soon as you can the remainder of the order, as I am out of the tracts, Protestants, Awake! The Lord willing, I purpose spending a week about the middle of next month at Keswick Holiness Convention. Many thousands of earnest Christians from all parts of Great Britain attend it, and I thought it would be a good opportunity for scattering some "Hail" and also selling DAWN. I was up there a few weeks ago and arranged with a bookseller to sell them for me and gave him one to read himself. So I enclose you £2 for 40 copies of Vol. I. and 20 copies of Vol. II. – colporteur rate, and I should be glad if you would for the remainder put in 2000 Arp Slips. I will get a small slip printed by this bookseller with his name and address and a few words of recommendation, and I may have a few large posters printed, and I trust by these means to sell a good many. I will take a lot more with me, to be ready should they sell well. The tracts, Protestants, Awake! kindly include, as they would do well to circulate freely with the Arp Slips.
I see by the May TOWER that you, like all God's saints, have had to buy the truth and pay for it. Well, praise the Lord! having paid the price we know some little of its value. But hallelujah! it is cheap at any price. Our experience during the past few years has been on the same lines. And all who love and serve God will have tribulation in this age; but they that know God put their trust in him. I have had to part from some of my former dearest friends, or rather they have taken themselves off and shun me as a heretic. But we can pray for them like our blessed Master who said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." It has comforted me a good deal, since I have seen that with spiritual Israel, like fleshly Israel, "blindness in part hath happened to them." So I bear with them, knowing that the trial of my faith is precious in his sight; and by his grace I mean to run the race which he has set before us, following the footsteps of our blessed Redeemer.
My wife and sister-in-law, with the saints assembled here, join in warmest Christian love to yourself and dear wife and the saints that with you are looking for that blessed hope, the glorious revelation of our Savior, Jesus Christ. May God abundantly bless you.