The Court Post – The White Curtains – The Silver Hooks – The Door Posts of the Holy and the Most Holy – The Golden Table – The Golden Candlestick – Antitypical Priests Who See the Deep Things and the Levites Who Do Not See Them – The Golden Altar – The Ark of the Covenant in the Most Holy – Its Contents and Their Significance – The Mercy Seat – The Two Cherubim – The Priest Unblemished – The Mystery Hid from Ages.

N THE preceding description we have purposely omitted an explanation of some interesting details, which can now be better understood by those who have, through careful study, obtained a clear understanding of the general plan of the Tabernacle, its services and its typical significance.

The posts which stood in the "Court," and upheld the white curtains, represented justified believers – the "Court," as we have already seen, represented the justified condition. The posts were of wood, a corruptible material, thus implying that the class typified are not actually perfect as human beings; for since human perfection was typically represented by copper, those posts should either have been made of copper, or covered with copper, to represent actually perfect human beings. But although made of wood they were set in sockets of copper, which teaches us that [T114] though actually imperfect their standing is that of perfect human beings. It would be impossible to more clearly represent justification by faith.

(1) What was represented by the "posts" which stood in the "Court" and upheld the white curtains?

Justified believers.

T.113, par. 2 (1st 3 lines).

(2) Why were they constructed of "wood," instead of "copper"?

Wood is corruptible. This shows that those justified believers are not perfect but are subject to death and corruption.

T.113, par. 2 (4th to 9th lines).

(3) What does their being set in sockets of copper typify?

They are set in copper, indicating their standing is perfect, even though they are not actually perfect themselves.

T.113, par. 2 (9th line on).

The white curtain, which, sustained by those posts, formed the "Court," well illustrated the same justification or purity. Thus, justified ones should continually hold up to the view of the world (the "Camp") the pure linen, representing Christ's righteousness as their covering.

(4) What was illustrated by the "white curtain"? And should we hold up before the world the "pure linen" – Christ's righteousness?

White pictures purity. Those justified believers continually hold up the standard of purity, Christ, to the world.

T.114, par. 1.

The silver hooks, by which the posts held up the curtain, were symbolic of truth. Silver is a general symbol of truth. The justified believers, represented by the posts in the "Court," can thus really and truthfully claim that Christ's righteousness covers all their imperfections. (Exod. 27:11-17) Again, it is only by the aid of the truth that they are able to hold on to their justification.

(5) What was symbolized by the "silver hooks"?

The standing of justified believers is held up by Truth.

T.114, par. 2, Ex. 27:11-17.

The door posts at the entrance to the Tabernacle – at the "door" of the "Holy" – were covered by the first "Veil." They were totally different from the posts in the "Court," and represented "new creatures in Christ" – the consecrated saints. The difference between these and the posts in the "Court" represents the difference between the condition of the justified believers and the sanctified believers. The consecration to death of a justified man we have seen is the way into the "Holy" – passing through the death of the human will, the fleshly mind, the first veil. Hence these posts should illustrate this change, and so they do; for they were covered with gold, symbolic of the divine nature. Their being set in sockets of copper represented how "we have this treasure [the divine nature] in earthen vessels" (2 Cor. 4:7); i.e., our new nature is still based upon, and rests in, our justified humanity. This, it will be remembered, corresponds exactly with what we found the "Holy" to symbolize, viz., our place or standing as new creatures, not yet perfected. Exod. 26:37

(6) What was represented in the "door-posts" at the entrance of the Tabernacle – under [behind] the "vail"?

Those who have not only been justified (as pictured by those in the court) but have gone on to sanctification, spirit-begettal (in the Holy). This is indicated by the fact that these posts are covered in Gold, gold being a symbol of things Divine.

T.114, par. 3 (1st 12 lines).

(7) Why were these posts, also, set in sockets of "copper"?

Copper pictures human nature This reminds us that we have this treasure (gold, promise of the Divine Nature) in an earthen (copper) vessel.

T.114, par. 3 (13th line on); 2 Cor. 4:7; Ex. 26:37. [T115]

The door posts of the "Most Holy" were just inside the second "Veil," and represented those who pass beyond the flesh (veil) entirely, into the perfection of the spiritual condition. These posts were so constructed as fully to illustrate this. Covered with gold, representing divine nature, but no longer set in sockets of copper – no longer dependent on any human condition – they were set in sockets of silver (reality, truth, verity) seeming to say to us, When you come inside this veil you will be perfect – really and truly new creatures. Exod. 26:32

(8) What was represented by the "door-posts" within the second "vail"?

Those who have successfully completed their earthly course and are now born of the spirit, they are on the Divine Plane of existance.

T.115, par. 1; Ex. 26:32.

The Golden Table, which in the "Holy" bore the shewbread, represented the Church as a whole, including Jesus and the apostles – all the sanctified in Christ who serve in "holding forth the word of life." (Phil. 2:16) The great work of the true Church during this age has been to feed, strengthen and enlighten all who enter the covenanted spiritual condition. The Bride of Christ is to make herself ready. (Rev. 19:7) The witnessing to the world during the present age is quite secondary and incidental. The full blessing of the world will follow in God's "due time," after the Gospel age (the antitypical Day of Atonement with its sin-offerings) is ended.

(9) What did the "golden table" symbolize?

The Christ, Head and body during the Gospel Age, Holding forth the bread of life (shewbread).

T.115, par. 2; Phil. 2:16; Rev. 19:7.

What is the relative importance of witnessing?

Compared to the chief concern of the church (that of making herself ready for the marriage), it is secondary.

Can someone make their calling and election sure without witnessing?

It would seem unlikely. Consider our Lord's instructions to His disciples after His resurrection - Matt. 28:19-20.

The Golden Candlestick or lampstand, which stood opposite the Golden Table, and gave light to all in the "Holy," was of gold – all of one piece hammered out. It had seven branches, each of which held a lamp, making seven lamps in all – a perfect or complete number. This represented the complete Church, from the Head, Jesus, to and including the last member of the "little flock" that he is taking out from among men, to be partakers of the divine (gold) nature. Our Lord says, "The seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches" (Rev. 1:20) – the one Church whose seven stages or developments were symbolized by the seven congregations of Asia Minor. (Rev. 1:11) Yes; that [T116] candlestick represented the entire Church of the Firstborn – not the nominal, but the true Church, whose names are written in heaven – the true light-bearers – the "Royal Priesthood."

(10) Explain the meaning of the "golden candlestick."

The Golden Candlestick also represented the Christ, Head and body in its earthly career. Our Lord is said to walk amongst the candlesticks. see Rev. 1:12-13,20. Compare Zech. 4:10 and Rev. 5:6.

T.115, par. 3; Rev. 1:20; 1:11.

The form of its workmanship was beautiful – a fruit and a flower, a fruit and a flower, following successively – representing the true Church as both beautiful and fruitful from first to last. The lamp part on top of each branch was shaped like an almond, the significance of which we shall see when considering the significance of Aaron's rod.

(11) Describe its workmanship and explain the beautiful symbolism of its various features.

Fruit = fruits of the spirit. Flower = outward beauty. This would seem to show the development of the fruits of the spirit from the inside (fruit) that eventually become more and more discernable to others outwardly (flower).

T.116, par. 1.

The light from this lamp was from olive oil, "beaten" or refined; and the lamps were kept always lighted. This oil was symbolic of the holy Spirit, and its light represented holy enlightenment – the spirit of the truth. Its light was for the benefit of the priests only, for none others were ever permitted to see it or to profit by its light. Thus was represented the spirit or mind of God given to enlighten the Church, in the deep things of God, which are entirely hidden from the natural man (1 Cor. 2:14), even though he be a believer – a justified man (a Levite). None but the truly consecrated, the "Royal Priesthood," are permitted to see into this deeper light, hidden in the "Holy." The priests (the consecrated Body of Christ) always have access to the "Holy"; it is their right and privilege; it was intended for them. (Heb. 9:6) The Levite class cannot see in because of the veil of human-mindedness which comes between them and the sacred things; and the only way to set it aside is to consecrate and sacrifice wholly the human will and nature.

(12) What supplied the light for this "golden lampstand"?

Pure Olive oil. Exo. 27:19-21 - The oil was supplied by the people and it was kept burning always by the 'Aaron and his sons.'

And of what was this a symbol?

The Holy Spirit.

T.116, par. 2 (1st 4 lines).

(13) For whom alone did this light shine?

For the priests - representing the church during the Gospel Age.

T.116, par. 2 (4th line on); I Cor. 2:14; Heb. 9:6.

The lights were to be trimmed and replenished every morning and evening by the High Priest – Aaron and his sons who succeeded him in office. (Exod. 27:20,21; 30:8) So our High Priest is daily filling us more and more with the [T117] mind of Christ, and trimming off the dross of the old nature – the wick through which the holy Spirit operates.

(14) How often were these lights trimmed and replenished with oil?

Every morning and evening.

And what important lesson is taught us in this symbol?

Christ is continually refreshing us with the Holy Spirit.

T.116, par. 3; Ex. 27:20,21; 30:8.


The Posts

In this chapter we first looked at the posts of the Tabernacle. All of the posts in the Tabernacle were made of wood. This includes the posts that held the curtain surrounding the court as well as those used to uphold both the first and second veils in the Tabernacle.

The Court

For those holding up the white curtain surrounding the court, these posts are not covered. They are wood - indicating they are perishable and thus represent fallen human beings. Nevertheless they are set in sockets of copper (justified human nature). It is the justified that hold up before the world (the camp) the purity of Jesus (as shown in the white linen curtain.) These posts are on the inside of the curtain not on the outside. Thus it is showing that justified believers are not holding up themselves before the world but are holding up Christ Jesus and his righteousness (white linen) for all to see.

The Holy

Here we again see wooden posts holding up the first veil (separating the Court from the Holy.) In this case the posts were covered with gold and set in sockets of copper. This shows that the church (in the Holy) has the hope of the Divine Nature (gold) but is still human (copper sockets, justified human nature.)

The Most Holy

Here we see posts again, just within the 2nd veil separating the Holy from the Most Holy. The posts are covered with gold (Divine Nature) and are set in sockets of silver. Silver pictures Truth, reality. This tells us that those who reach this condition have, in reality obtained the Divine Nature.

The Golden Table

The golden table pictures the Christ (including Jesus) during the Gospel Age holding forth the word of God, the bread of life (pictured by the shewbread). - Matt. 4:4.

The Golden Candlestick

The golden candlestick also pictured the entire church, giving light to all in the spirit-begotten condition. It was of one solid piece of gold (Exo. 25:36), indicating the one True church, yet it had seven branches, picturing the seven stages of the True church. The light came from the burning of the olive oil. This pictured the Holy spirit and it was only profitable for the priests (the true church). The oil was repleneshed every morning and evening by the Hight Priest, picturing how it is our Lord who is "daily filling us more and more with the mind of Christ, and trimming off the dross of the old nature-- the wick through which the holy Spirit operates."

Antitypical Priests and Levites

Are we sometimes puzzled to know why some religious people cannot see any but natural things – cannot discern the deeper spiritual truths of the Word? – why they can see restitution for natural men, but cannot see the divine, heavenly calling? These Tabernacle lessons show us why this is. They are brethren in justification, of "the household of faith," but not brethren in Christ – not fully consecrated – not sacrificers. They are Levites – in the "Court": they never consecrated as priests, to sacrifice their human rights and privileges, and consequently cannot enter the "Holy," nor see the things prepared for the priestly class only. The natural "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard – neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us [who through consecration have become "new creatures," called to become "partakers of the divine nature,"] by his spirit [light of the lamp], for the Spirit searcheth [revealeth] all things – yea, the deep [hidden] things of God." 1 Cor. 2:9,10

(15) Why cannot some Christians see spiritual things?

Because they are in the antitypical court and not in the antitypical holy. They therefore do not have the holy spirit and these things are spiritually discerned.

T.117, par. 1; I Cor. 2:9.

The church nominal has always included both the justified and sanctified classes – Levites and priests – as well as hypocrites. In the Apostle Paul's letters certain parts were addressed to the justified class (Levites) who had not fully consecrated. Thus he writes to the Galatians that "They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." (Gal. 5:24) He thus seems to imply that only some of them had complied with the Gospel call to sacrifice – crucifixion of the flesh.

(16) What three classes have always been represented in the Church nominal?

Levites - tentatively justified believers, Priests - the spirit-begotten, and hypocrites - wolves in sheep's clothing.

T.117, par. 2; Gal. 5:24.

In the same way he addressed the Romans (12:1); "I [T118] beseech you, therefore, brethren [believers – justified by faith in Christ – Levites], by the mercies of God [manifest through Christ in our justification], that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice [that you consecrate wholly – thus becoming priests], holy, acceptable unto God." All who in heart renounce sin and accept God's grace in Christ are justified freely by faith in Jesus – God accepting them as reckonedly sinless or holy; and such sacrificers and their offerings God has declared himself willing to accept through Christ during this Atonement Day (the Gospel age) and until the full elect number of the royal priesthood is completed. "Now is the acceptable time" – the time when such offerings will be accepted. True, as we have just seen, God will accept sacrifices of the world, and it will always be the only proper course for all to pursue – to render unto the Lord their purchased beings. But after this age is ended, none will be permitted to sacrifice unto death and sufferings – such sacrifices will be impossible after the new age and its regulations are inaugurated.

(17) Does St. Paul differentiate between merely justified believers and those who go on to sanctification, in Romans 12:1?

Yes. In this verse he is speaking of those who are not spirit-begotten. Yet he calls them 'brethren,' i.e., tentatively justified. Those who are merely justified need to go on to a full consecration (i.e., present their bodies as living sacrifices) that they may become spirit-begotten.

(18) How does his discrimination there correspond to the difference between the typical priests and their brethren, the Levites, from whom they were separated to the work of sacrifice and higher service?

The Priests were permitted to enter the Holy and thus to see spiritual things, those who were merely Levites were not.

T.117, last par.

(19) Have all justified believers of this Gospel Age been eligible to membership in the Royal Priesthood until the "harvest" time?

Yes, until 1881.

(20) Will the opportunity for entering the ranks of the antitypical priests ever cease?

Yes, when the Body of Christ is complete.

T.118, line 11. C216-220.

(21) What is the usual interpretation of the text, "Now is the acceptable time"?

This phrase is normally (and erroneously), by the nominal church, understood to mean that this life is the only time when you must accept Jesus as your personal Saviour. If not you will be consigned to hell.

(22) What is the correct interpretation of it?

That the only time available to become a member of Christ's body is during the Gospel Age. Once that age has ended there will still be opportunities for man to come into harmony with God, but the high calling to joint-heirship with Christ is limited to the Gospel Age.

T.118, line 12.

It seems evident that by far the larger proportion of the early churches (much more so of the modern worldly mixture, the confused "Babylon" of the present day) were not consecrated to death, and consequently were not of the antitypical "royal priesthood," but merely Levites, doing the service of the Sanctuary, but not sacrificing.

Looking back at the type in the Law, we find that there were 8,580 Levites appointed in the typical service, while only five priests were appointed for the typical sacrificing. (Num. 4:46-48; Exod. 28:1) It may be that this, as much as the other features of the "shadow," was designed to illustrate the proportion of justified believers to self-sacrificing, consecrated ones. Though now the nominal Church numbers millions, yet, when an allowance is made for hypocrites, and when only one in each seventeen hundred of the remainder is supposed to be a living sacrifice (though few, [T119] yet a correct proportion according to the type), it seems quite evident that the Lord did not make a misstatement when he said that those (the "royal Priesthood") who would receive the kingdom would be a "little flock." (Luke 12:32) And when we remember that two of the five priests were destroyed by the Lord, in symbol of the death* of negligent and unfaithful priests, we find the proportion of 3 priests to 8,580 Levites to be only 1 to 2,860.

*As we come more clearly to realize the high attainment of character required of all who will ever be accorded everlasting life on any plane, and how very few seem to make any serious profession of or attempt at perfect love as a governing principle in their lives, we are led to wonder if the two sons of Aaron who were destroyed by the Lord were not intended to typify the large proportion of consecrated and spirit-begotten ones who have failed to reach the high standard of heart necessary, and who will consequently not be worthy of any life, but will, on the contrary, sink into oblivion – the Second Death.

(23) Do those who now consecrate themselves to God as priests sacrifice as New Creatures, or as sinners, or as justified humans?

This question could be better worded to make the point. As sinners we make the consecration to righteousness – see F124:2.

Rom. 12:1.

(24) Do they offer spiritual or fleshly sacrifices?

We do not sacrifice spiritual but rather fleshly things. To put it another way, our sacrifice includes giving up that which is considered acceptable by the world so that we may have more time, money, energy, etc. to use for spiritual things.

John 6:51; Col. 1:22,24; I Pet. 4:1; Heb. 10:10.

(25) If this be true, why do we read that the Church is a "holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God"?

According to Br. Russell the word 'spiritual' does not appear in the Sinaitic manuscript in 1 Pet. 2:5. That would make the passage read: "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."

I Pet. 2:5.

(26) Are we justified in accepting the reading of the Sinaitic MS., the oldest Greek MS. of the New Testament, which omits the word spiritual in I Pet. 2:5?

Most authorities (including the English translation of the Sinaitic from the Codex Sinaiticus Project) include the word spiritual. If this is correct then we may consider The Bible in Basic English translation of this verse as follows:
"You, as living stones, are being made into a house of the spirit, a holy order of priests, making those offerings of the spirit which are pleasing to God through Jesus Christ."

See Tischendorf Testament; also list of interpolations shown in new WATCH TOWER BIBLES.

(27) Is it conceivable that the Lord should wish us to sacrifice spiritual interests?

Normally we would answer no. The only exception to that might be that we could sacrifice our spiritual interest in order to advance the spiritual interest of another. For example: There is room for 4 in a car going to convention. 3 seats are taken and you may take the fourth seat, but in so doing another brother or sister must remain behind. In such a case you may sacrifice your own spiritual interest in order to let the other have that blessing.

Are we not always to sacrifice the earthly so as to gain the spiritual?

We must meet our earthly obligations, but even in this we should be attempting to reduce these as much as possible so we can have more to devote to the Lord and His people.

(28) Is it probable that many in the Church at any time have been sacrificing priests?

T.118, par. 1.

(29) What was the proportion of numbers as between the priests and the Levites?

1 priest to every 2,800 Levites.

T.118, par. 2.

(30) Considering this typical teaching on the subject, should we be surprised that those professing consecration to death in God's service and living accordingly are few – a little flock as compared with the millions of Christendom?

Absolutely not.

Compare C163.

(31) How many nominal Christians make up the population of your city or town? And what number do you know who profess faith in Jesus as their Redeemer and have renounced sin and are living saintly lives?

According to one website the percent of adherants to Christianity in Georgia in 1990 was 56.5%. If we assume the number in the greater Atlanta area to be near that, about 50% then the number of those claiming to be Christian would be about half the population of the area. Using that as a basis, consider the following taken from the Wikipedia website:

"According to the 2010 census, Atlanta's population is 420,003. The Atlanta metropolitan area, with 5,268,860 people."

If 50% is about right then there are 2,634,430 people in the greater Atlanta area who claim to be Christian. Of those we only know of two classes of Bible students and the total combined number of those claiming consecration in the two classes is about 15. That works out to be a ratio of 1 consecrated for every 175,629 'Christians.'

(32) Even amongst the great, rich, wise and noble, according to the estimation of the world, do you find many possessing the fruits of the holy Spirit?

(33) If the type shows 8580 Levites to 5 priests, is it not a faithful picture in prophecy?

For an earlier time in the Gospel Age this may well be correct. Today's numbers (as shown by our answer to Question 31) would seem to indicate that the true church is nearing the end of her earthly course.

T.118, par. 2.

The names of the 4 sons of Aaron are (in order of birth):
  1. Nadab - Liberal.
  2. Abihu - father (i.e. worshipper) of Him (i.e. God).
  3. Eleazar - God (is) helper.
  4. Ithamar - coast of the Palm tree.

If we assume that the two (Nadab and Abihu) who were destroyed by fire for offering 'strange fire,' picture the second death class, what we are left with is three priests who were faithful. The High Priest could then picture the Little Flock with the two remaining sons picturing the Great Company.

This would also fit well as possibly picturing the ratio of Little Flock and Great Company (though we could never, on this side the veil, be certain of this because the Great Company is a number that no man knows - Rev. 7:9.) This would be in alignment with Pastor Russell's estimates given in R2942:5; and R4304:1, and close to that which seems to be suggested in Rev. 6:6.

The fact that we see believers who are trying to put away their sins is not of itself evidence of their being "priests"; for Levites as well as priests should practice "circumcision of the heart" – "putting away the filth [sins] of the flesh." All this is symbolized in the Laver of water in the "Court," at which both priests and Levites washed. Nor is a spirit of meekness, gentleness, benevolence and morality always indicative of consecration to God. These qualities belong to a perfect natural man (the image of God), and occasionally they partially survive the wreck of the fall. But such evidences not infrequently pass as proofs of full consecration in the nominal Church.

(34) What was signified by the laver of water in the Tabernacle Court?

This was where the both the priests and the Levites washed. It represented the efforts of the justified to put away the filthiness of the flesh.

T.119, par. 1.

(35) If that washing meant the putting away of the filth of the flesh, does its antitype apply only to the antitypical priests – the "little flock"?

No. It applied to the Levites too. This indicates that it applies to the tentatively justified believers. F124:2.

T.119, par. 1

(36) Are natural men "totally depraved," as some teach, or do some of the divine characteristics in a modified degree still persist despite the fall?

We do not believe anyone is 'totally depraved.' If they were then how could Jesus have given His life a ransom for all? If someone was totally depraved then there would be no hope for them at all and the ransom would not then be applicable to them. And if not applicable to these, that would make void 1 Cor. 15:22 and Heb. 2:9.

Even when we see believers practicing self-denial in some good work of political or moral reform, that is not an evidence of consecration to God, though it is an evidence of consecration to a work. Consecration to God says, Any work, anywhere; "I delight to do thy will, O God"; thy will, in thy way, be done. Consecration to God, then, will insure a searching of his plan revealed in his Word, that we may be able to spend and be spent for him and in his service, in harmony with his arranged and revealed plan.

(37) May a justified believer be wrongly consecrated to a work instead of to the Lord?

Yes they can. We need to remember that the work of assisting the world of mankind belongs to the next age. Our primary work now is the work within as well as assisting the Lord's people as much as we are able.

T.119, par. 2.

(38) Do Church work, Rescue work, Temperance work, etc., sometimes deceive well-meaning people and take the place of the proper work of complete sacrifice to God – to do the will of the Father in heaven and to finish his work of gathering out the "Elect"?

Clearly this is a danger for the New Creation.

T.119, par. 2.

Marvel not, then, that so few have ever seen the glorious beauties within the Tabernacle: only priests can see them. [T120] The Levites may know of them only as they hear them described. They have never seen the hidden light and beauty; never eaten of the "bread of presence"; never offered the acceptable incense at the "Golden Altar." No: to enjoy these, they must pass the "Veil" – into entire consecration to God in sacrifice during the Atonement Day.

(39) Should we then be surprised that so few see "the deep things of God" – hidden behind the Tabernacle Vail, which represents full consecration – death of the will?

"Many are called, few chosen." Matt. 22:14

T.119, par. 3.

The Golden Altar in the "Holy" would seem to represent the "little flock," the consecrated Church in the present sacrificing condition. From this altar ascends the sweet incense, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ – the willing services of the priests: their praises, their willing obedience – all things whatsoever they do to the glory of God. Those who thus offer incense acceptable to God (1 Pet. 2:5) come very close to their Father – close up to the "Veil" which separates from the "Most Holy"; and if they have requests to make they may be presented with the incense – "much incense with the prayers of saints." (Rev. 8:3) The prayers of such priests of God are effectual. Our Lord Jesus kept the incense continually burning, and could say, "I know that thou hearest me always." (John 11:42) So the under-priests, "members of his Body," will be heard always if they continually offer the incense of faith, love and obedience to God: and none should expect to have requests recognized who do not thus keep their covenant – "If ye abide in me and my words [teachings] abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you." (John 15:7) The necessity of a clear apprehension of Christ's teachings as a guide to our requests and expectations, that we may not "ask amiss" and out of harmony with God's plan, is clearly shown by this scripture – but seldom noticed.

(40) Does the Golden Altar of the holy, like the candlestick, represent not only Jesus but also all those whom he accepts as "his brethren," his "Body"?


T.120, par. 1.

(41) Do the "royal priests" offer their own incense (prayers) to God, or are they offered by their Advocate and Head?

It is our High Priest who takes our prayers to the Father on our behalf.

John 15:7; Rev. 8:3; T.120, par. 1.

(42) Is it in their own merit as individuals or only as under priests in the merit of their Head, the High Priest, that the prayers of the consecrated believers are acceptable to God at the Golden Altar of incense?

The church has no merit of its own. All we have is because of the sacrifice of our High Priest, Jesus. - Rom. 3:26

T.120, par. 1.

(43) If they "ask amiss" is it because the New Creature does not offer the prayer, or has neglected to seek and obtain first the mind of the Head on the subject, and because the Head will not present the petition?

If they "ask amiss" (James 4:3) it is because they have not fully followed John 15:7.

T.120, par. 1.

We have learned, through types previously considered, [T121] something of the glory of the "Most Holy" (the perfect, divine condition), which no man can approach unto (1 Tim. 6:16), but to which the "new creatures in Christ Jesus" made partakers of the divine nature – will finally come, when the incense-offering on the part of the entire Body of Christ, the "Royal Priesthood," is finished, and the cloud of perfume goes before them into Jehovah's presence, that they may live beyond the "Veil," being acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, their Lord.

(44) Is it merely the prayers of the priests that were typified by the incense offered on the Golden Altar?

No. This also included the trials (coals of fire) carried by the High Priest, which represented the persecutions that His faithfulness brought upon Him. It is this faithfulness under trials that caused the incense to burn and send that aromatic cloud into the Most Holy.

T56, par. 2 and 120, par. 2.

(45) Would the incense representing the Church's obedience to God be acceptable unless supplemented by their Lord's imputed merit?

Of course not.

With his merit would theirs be acceptable to God?


Rom. 12:1.

Within the Most Holy

The Ark of the Covenant or "Ark of the Testimony" was the only article of furniture in the Most Holy. (See Heb. 9:2-4 and Diaglott footnote.) Its name suggests that it illustrated the embodiment of Jehovah's plan, which he had purposed in himself, before the beginning of the creation of God – before the minutest development of his plan had taken place. It represented the eternal purpose of God – his foreordained arrangement of riches of grace for mankind in the Christ (Head and Body) – "the hidden mystery."* It therefore represents Christ Jesus and his Bride, the "little flock," to be partakers of the divine nature, and to be imbued with the power and great glory – the prize of our high calling – the joy set before our Lord, and all the members of his Body.

*Scripture Studies, Vol. I, Chap. V.

(46) What constituted the only article of furniture beyond the Vail – in the Most Holy?

The Ark of the Covenant.

and what did it represent?

'The eternal purpose of God,' thus it pictured The Christ, Head and body. We also remember that our God is described as being the one that 'dwellest between the cherubims.' 2 Kings 19:15; Psa. 80:1; Isa. 37:16

T.121, par. 1. A. chap. 5.

As before stated, it was a rectangular box overlaid with gold, representing the divine nature granted to the glorified Church. It contained the two Tables of the Law (Deut. 31:26), Aaron's Rod that budded (Num. 17:8), and the Golden Pot of Manna (Exod. 16:32). The Law showed how the Christ would meet in full all the requirements of God's perfect Law, and also that legal authority would be vested in him as the Law-executor.

(47) What did the Ark of the Covenant contain?

The 2 tables of the Law, Aaron's rod that budded and the golden pot of manna.

Please read the Scriptures which explain this.

T.121, par. 2.

(48) What did the two tables of the Law there signify?

"The Law showed how the Christ would meet in full all the requirements of God's perfect Law."

and why were there two?

"..and also that legal authority would be vested in him as the Law-executor."

We might also suggest that the two tables of the law pictured the letter and the spirit of the law. These may also be said to be revealed in the Old (letter) and the New (spirit) Testament scriptures.

T.121, par. 2.

The righteousness of the Law was actually fulfilled in our Head, and it is also reckonedly fulfilled in all the new creatures [T122] in Christ, "who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit"; i.e., who walk in obedience to the new mind. (Rom. 8:1) The infirmities of the old nature which we are daily crucifying, once covered by our ransom-price, are not again charged to us as new creatures – so long as we abide in Christ.

(49) Since the Lord's followers, even with the best intentions, are still actually more or less imperfect, how can it be that they could be represented by God as fulfilling his perfect Law?

T.121, par. 3.

(50) By what means can God maintain the justice and dignity of his own laws and yet overlook our blemishes?

Romans 3:26; T.121, par. 3.

When it is written that "the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us," it signifies that the end of our course (perfection) is reckoned to us, because we are walking after or toward that actual perfection which, when reached, will be the condition in the "Most Holy," represented by the Ark of the Covenant.

(51) In what sense is "the righteousness of the Law fulfilled in us" now, before we have actually reached the end of the way?

Human perfection is imputed to us now by faith in the blood of Christ.

T.122, par. 1.

The Contents of the Ark

"Aaron's Rod that budded" showed the elect character of all the Body of Christ as members of the "Royal Priesthood." By reading Numbers XVII, the meaning of the budded rod will be seen to be Jehovah's acceptance of Aaron and his sons – the typical priesthood, representatives of Christ and the Church – as the only ones who might perform the priest's office of mediator. That rod, therefore, represented the acceptableness of the "Royal Priesthood" – the Christ, Head and Body. The rod budded and brought forth almonds. A peculiarity about the almond tree is that the fruit-buds appear before the leaves. So with the "Royal Priesthood": they sacrifice or begin to bring forth fruit before the leaves of professions are seen.

(52) Relate the narrative of the budding of Aaron's rod.

The Lord instructed Moses to collect a rod from each of the heads of the 12 tribes (with Aaron's rod being for the tribe of Levi). These were placed overnight in the Tabernacle. In the morning the rods were brought out to the people. Finally Aaron's rod was brought out and it had budded, produced flowers and Almonds.

The Lord did this in order to put a stop to all the complaining against Moses and Aaron, so the people would understand that they were the chosen ones of God.

Num. 17.

(53) What did that budded rod, when placed in the Ark of the Covenant, signify or typify?

It pictured the Royal priesthood as being the ones of whom the Lord has approved to be in the role of mediator.

T.122, par. 2.

(54) What was the peculiarity of the almond tree which constituted it a suitable type, marking the Royal Priesthood?

The almond brings forth some fruitage before it puts forth its leaves. And this is similar to the new creation which begins to show forth spiritual fruitage before making professions of consecration.

T.122, par. 2.

(55) How could a rod which marked the acceptance of Aaron and his sons represent Christ and his followers of the Royal Priesthood, since these were not Aaron's sons nor of his tribe – Levi?

According to the Apostle Paul those things that happened to natural Israel were typical of that which happens to the church during the Gospel Age. This is especially true with the arrangements of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. It is not literally the tribe of Levi that becomes the Royal Priesthood but rather it is what the tribe of Levi represents, i.e., those who do work in the antitypical Tabernacle.

Heb. 5:1-5.

(56) If Aaron and his sons under the Law typically represented only the sacrificing work of Christ, is there any other type which represents his great future work as a Priest-King – a Royal Priest?

Melchisedec who was both a King as well as a Priest. Psa. 110:4

Heb. 5:6-10.

The Golden Pot of Manna represented immortality as being one of the possessions of the Christ of God. Our Lord Jesus doubtless refers to this when he says: "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna." Rev. 2:17

(57) Was the Manna, hidden in the Ark of the Covenant by Moses, referred to seventeen centuries later by our Lord?

Clearly yes.

Read Rev. 2:17.

(58) What does Gold represent in the divine symbolisms

Gold represents things Divine (most often, the Divine Nature).

and why?

Because gold never tarnishes. Consider the following from the Internet:

From colorspark.com/clean-gold.html

How to Take Care of Gold Jewelry

About Gold

Pure gold (24k) is extremely soft so to make gold sturdy enough to use in jewelry, other metals are mixed with it, creating an alloy. Gold is an inert element so it doesn't tarnish, but the silver and copper in the alloy may react to the oxygen, sulphur and moisture in the air and eventually turn the gold jewelry dark.

There are rare circumstances in which alloys containing a high percentage of gold will tarnish, but in general the higher the percentage of gold in the alloy, the less likely it is that the gold jewelry will tarnish. Gold jewelry that is 14k and higher may never tarnish. If it does, the process will be much slower than the tarnishing of sterling silver.

Manna was the bread which came down from heaven as a life-sustainer for Israel. It represented the living bread, supplied to the world by God through Christ. But as the Israelites [T123] needed to gather this supply of manna daily or else want and starve, so it will be necessary for the world ever to seek supplies of life and grace if they would live everlastingly.

(59) Did Israel's supply of Manna keep indefinitely or was it very perishable?

It was perishable. It kept for one day except for that which they gathered on Friday (the sixth day.) That kept for two days.

Read the record in Exodus 16:18-20,23-25,32-34.

(60) Was there any typical significance in the fact that no manna fell on the seventh day? Would it not represent that the bread of Truth on which the Lord will feed the world during the Millennium will be exactly the same as he has now provided and that came from heaven, during the sixth day of the world's history?

(61) Since Christ is the antitypical Manna must all, to have eternal life, "eat the flesh of the Son of Man?" Read John 6:48-51,58.

(62) What is meant by eating Christ's flesh?

Partaking of the merit of Christ's Ransom sacrifice.


But to those who become Christ's joint-heirs, members of the Anointed Body, God makes a special offer of a peculiar sort of manna, the same and yet different from that given to others – "the hidden manna." One peculiarity of this pot of manna was that it was incorruptible; hence it well illustrates the immortal, incorruptible condition promised to all members of the "Seed" – which is the Church. The manna or life-support fed to Israel was not incorruptible, and must therefore be gathered daily. So all the obedient of mankind who shall by and by be recognized as Israelites indeed, will be provided with life everlasting, but conditional, supplied and renewed life; while the "little flock," who under present unfavorable conditions are faithful "overcomers," will be given an incorruptible portion – immortality.* Rev. 2:17

*Scripture Studies, Vol I, p.185.

Here, then, in the golden Ark, was represented the glory to be revealed in the divine Christ: in the budded rod, God's chosen priesthood; in the tables of the Law, the righteous Judge; in the incorruptible manna in the golden bowl, immortality, the divine nature. Above this Ark, and constituting a lid or head over it, was

(63) If the Manna is for all could it represent eternal life to some eaters and immortality to others? 2 Tim. 1:10. T.123, par. 1,2.

"The Mercy Seat" – a slab of solid gold, on the two ends of which, and of the same piece of metal, were formed two cherubim, with wings uplifted as if ready to fly, their faces looking inward toward the center of the plate on which they stood. Between the cherubim, on the "Mercy Seat," a bright light represented Jehovah's presence.

As the Ark represented the Christ, so the "Mercy Seat," Glory-light and Cherubim together represented Jehovah [T124] God – "the Head of Christ is God." (1 Cor. 11:3) As with Christ, so with Jehovah, he is here represented by things which illustrate attributes of his character. The light, called the "Shekinah glory," represented Jehovah himself as the Light of the universe, as Christ is the Light of the world. This is abundantly testified by many scriptures. "Thou that dwellest between the cherubim, shine forth." Psa. 80:1; 1 Sam. 4:4; 2 Sam. 6:2; Isa. 37:16

(64) Describe the Mercy Seat and state what it symbolized. I Cor. 11:3; Psa. 80:1; I Sam. 4:4; 2 Sam. 6:2; Isa. 37:16. T.123, par. 3, 4.

Humanity cannot enter Jehovah's presence: hence the royal priest, Head and Body, represented by Aaron, must become new creatures, "partakers of the divine nature" (having crucified and buried the human), before they can appear in the presence of that excellent glory.

(65) Can humanity enter Jehovah's presence? I Tim. 6:16; T.124, par. 1.

The slab of gold called the "MERCY SEAT" (or more properly the Propitiatory, because on it the Priest offered the blood of the sacrifices which propitiated or satisfied the demands of divine justice) represented the underlying principle of Jehovah's character – justice. God's throne is based or established upon Justice. "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of thy throne." Psa. 89:14; Job 36:17; 37:23; Isa. 56:1; Rev. 15:3

(66) Why was the Mercy Seat called the "Propitiatory"? and what particular attribute of God's character was represented in it? Psa. 89:14; Job 36:17; 37:23; Isa. 56:1; Rev. 15:3. T.124, par. 2.

The Apostle Paul uses the Greek word for Mercy Seat or Propitiatory (hilasterion) when referring to our Lord Jesus, saying – "Whom God hath set forth to be a Propitiatory* [or Mercy Seat]...to declare his righteousness...that he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." (Rom. 3:25,26) The thought here is in accord with the foregoing presentation. The Justice, the Wisdom, the Love and the Power are God's own as well as the plan by which all these cooperate in human salvation: but it [T125] pleased God that in his well beloved Son, our Lord Jesus, all of his own fullness should dwell, and be represented to mankind. Thus in the type the High Priest, coming forth from the Most Holy, was the living representative of Jehovah's Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power to men – the living representative of divine mercy, forgiveness, appeasement. Although the divine being is veiled, hidden from human sight, his divine attributes are to be displayed to all men by our great High Priest, who, as the living Mercy Seat, will at the close of this age draw nigh to mankind and make all to understand the riches of divine grace.

*By some means the translators of the Common Version Bible mistranslated hilasterion "propitiation." The word hilasmos, signifying satisfaction, is properly translated "propitiation" in 1 John 2:2 and 4:10.

(67) Is this word "Propitiatory" ever applied to our Lord Jesus? and why? Rom. 3:25,26; T.124, par. 3.

See also Heb. 9:5.

The Two Cherubim represented two other elements of Jehovah's character, as revealed in his Word, viz., divine Love and divine Power. These attributes, Justice, the foundation principle, and Love and Power of the same quality or essence, and lifted up out of it, are in perfect harmony. They are all made of one piece: they are thoroughly one. Neither Love nor Power can be exercised until Justice is fully satisfied. Then they fly to help, to lift up and to bless. They were on the wing, ready, but waiting; looking inward toward the "Mercy Seat," toward Justice, to know when to move.

(68) What was represented by the two cherubim? And what was shown by their being of the same piece as the "golden slab"? T.125, par. 1.

The High Priest, as he approached with the blood of the Atonement sacrifices, did not put it upon the Cherubim.

No: neither divine Power nor divine Love independently required the sacrifice; hence the High Priest need not sprinkle the Cherubim. It is the Justice quality or attribute of God that will by no means clear the guilty, as it was Justice that said: "The wages of sin is death." When, therefore, the High Priest would give a ransom for sinners, it is to Justice it must be paid. Hence the appropriateness of the ceremony of sprinkling the blood upon the "Mercy Seat" – the PROPITIATORY.

(69) Was the blood of the sacrifices placed by the High Priest on the Cherubim? And, if not, where was it placed? and why? T.125, par. 2. [T126]

Love led to the whole redemptive plan. It was because God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son to redeem it by paying to Justice the ransom-price. So Love has been active, preparing for the redemption ever since sin entered; yes, from "before the foundation of the world." 1 Pet. 1:20

(70) What attribute of Jehovah led to the plan of redemption? I Pet. 1:20; T.126, par. 1.

"Love first contrived the way
To save rebellious man."

When the Atonement Day sacrifices (bullock and goat) are complete, Love tarries to see the results of its plan. When the blood is sprinkled Justice cries, It is enough; it is finished! Then comes the moment when Love and Power may act, and swiftly they wing their flight to bless the ransomed race. When Justice is satisfied, Power starts upon its errand, which is co-extensive with that of Love, using the same agency – Christ, the Ark or safe depository of divine favors.

(71) When will love and power act for the accomplishment of God's wonderful provision for mankind? T.126, par. 2.

The relationship and oneness of that divine family – the Son and his Bride, represented by the Ark, in harmony and oneness with the Father, represented by the Cover – was shown in the fact that the "Mercy Seat" was the lid of the Ark, and hence a part – the top or head of it. As the head of the Church is Christ Jesus, so the head of the entire Christ is God. (1 Cor. 11:3) This is the oneness for which Jesus prayed, saying, "I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me" – "that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us, that the world may [then] believe." John 17:9,21

(72) How is the relationship and oneness of Christ and his Bride to the Father shown in the Ark? and how is the supreme headship of Jehovah represented? I Cor. 11:3; John 17:9,21; T.126, par. 3.

Begin Here 1/1/2012

The Priest Unblemished

It is significant also that any member of the priesthood that had a blemish of eye, hand, nose, foot, or of any part, [T127] could not fill the office of Priest (High Priest); neither any man having any superfluity, such as an extra finger or toe.

This teaches that every member of the Body of Christ glorified will be complete – lacking nothing; and also that there will be in that "little flock" neither one too many nor one too few, but exactly the foreknown and foreordained number. When once the Body of Christ is complete, there will be no further additions – no superfluity. All, therefore, who have been "called" with this "high calling" to become members in particular of the Body of Christ, and have accepted it, should earnestly seek to make their calling and election (as members of that "little flock") sure, by so running as to obtain the prize. If any such be careless, and miss the prize, some one else will win in his place, for the Body will be complete; not one member will be lacking, and not one superfluous. Take heed, "let no man take thy crown." Rev. 3:11

(73) Could a man who had a blemish of any kind fill the office of High Priest, in the type?


And what was prefigured in this?

That each member of the body of Christ (the antitypical priesthood) will, when glorified, be perfect, without blemish in character or in form.

T.126, par. 4; T.127, par. 1, first six lines.

(74) What solemn lesson is contained in this for us?

The type also indicates that there can be no priest missing or having an extra body part. This clearly indicates that there is an established number for the Little Flock in glory.

Rev. 3:11; T.127, par. 1, 6th line on.

"The Mystery Hid from Ages and Generations"
Col. 1:26

It has been a matter of surprise to some that the glory and beauty of the Tabernacle – its golden walls, its golden and beautifully engraved furniture, and its veils of curious work – were so completely covered and hidden from view of the people; even the sunlight from without being excluded – its only light being the Lamp in the Holy and the Shekinah glory in the Most Holy. But this is perfectly in keeping with the lessons we have received from its services. As God covered the type and hid its beauty under curtains and rough, unsightly skins, so the glories and beauties of spiritual things are seen only by those who enter the consecrated condition – the "Royal Priesthood." These enter a hidden but glorious state which the world and all outside fail to appreciate. [T128] Their glorious hopes and also their standing as new creatures are hidden from their fellowmen.

(75) Why were the beauties and glories of the Tabernacle kept so securely hidden from the people?

Because God was painting yet another picture.

What does this mean in the antitype?

Only the Lord's spirit-begotton new creatures are permitted to see the things that go on in the antitypical Holy and Most Holy. These are for our spiritual development and use. Thus they are hidden from the world who would not appreciate them.

T.127, par. 2.

"Ah, these are of a royal line,
All children of a King,
Heirs of immortal crowns divine,
And lo, for joy they sing!

"Why do they, then, appear so mean?
And why so much despised?
Because of their rich robes unseen
The world is not apprised."