The Importance of Granite Plug and its relationship to the First Ascending Passage
“The Apostle tells us that ‘death reigned from Adam to Moses” (Rom 5:14), a period of over 2,500 years. Then an opportunity to escape death was granted to the people of Israel, the descendants of Jacob. God gave them the Law through Moses, and intimated that those who did the things of the Law would live in them. The people of Israel thought it an easy matter to observe the things of the Law and readily promised to do them, but they very quickly realized how powerless they were to observe this Law of God. For the Law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good (Rom 7:12), while they were sinful, born under condemnation to death. They found that they could not keep that perfect law of God inviolate. Thus the commandment which was ordained to life was found to be unto death (Rom 7:10). None could pass the perfect requirements of the Law and gain life.
The First Ascending Passage represents this opportunity to escape the downward way to death and go on an upward way to life. But just as, in reality, the people of Israel could not ascend to life by their Law, so it is found to be impossible to take advantage of the First Ascending Passage. It is blocked at the lower end by a Granite Plug. As Brother Russell clearly proves, granite in the Great Pyramid represents that which gold in the tabernacle and temple represents, namely, divine, spiritual things.
The Granite Plug blocking the lower end of the First Ascending Passage thus very well symbolizes the divine Law of God blocking the way of life. The apostle declares that ‘the Law is spiritual,” but that we are carnal, sold under sin (Rom 7:14). Thus we find that the Great Pyramid corroborates the declaration of the Scriptures: “There is none righteous, no, not one.” “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:10, 23). Both the people of Israel and the Gentiles are alike condemned to death, and none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him (Psa 49:7). In the Great Pyramid all are represented as hastening down the Descending Passage toward the Pit, symbolical of death.
But God, who is full of mercy and loving kindness, and who had foreseen that no one could escape death by his own efforts-neither the Jew with the Law, nor the Gentile without the law-had already provided a way of escape. We read that Jesus Christ is the “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” and that he was “foreordained before the foundation of the world” (John 1:29; 1 Pet 1:19, 20). God had provided in his great Plan of the Ages that His Son should come and die for all mankind, and that he should rise again and become Lord both of the living and the dead.
Thus we read that: “In due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom 5:6), and: “When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son” (Gal 4:4). He was “delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom 4:25). This great scriptural truth is symbolized in the stone “Sign” and “Witness” by the Well-Shaft. (“The Great Pyramid, Why Was It Built? Who Built It?” Page ix-xi)
Further insight on the Symbolism of the First Ascending Passage
“THE First Ascending Passage represents the Law Covenant, or, from another point of view, the Law Dispensation. On examining the floor of the Descending Passage, which represents the downward course of ‘this present evil world,” it will be found that the portion which faces the entrance to the First Ascending Passage is composed of extremely hard limestone (Plate XIV above), whereas above and below this it is softer, and consequently much worn by the traffic of centuries.
The hardness of the floor at this part was intended for the purpose of maintaining exact measurements, but it was also intended to signify the fact that at the time when the Israelite’s were called out of Egypt to be the people of God, their standing with the Lord was firm and sure.
Owing to the extra headroom consequent upon the First Ascending Passage branching upwards from the Descending Passage in the same vertical plane, it is not necessary to stoop at this point; the traveler is here able to stand upright, and so ease his aching back. He will thus be able to appreciate the joy which the Israelites must have experienced when freed from their bondage in Egypt, and he will be enabled to sympathize with them, when, on being given the Law, they cried joyfully: “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do“-Exod. 19:1-8.
But should he now endeavor to climb the First Ascending Passage, he will find that the Granite Plug completely blocks the way. In this ingenious manner, as before explained, the Great Pyramid teaches that the way to life by the Law Covenant was impassable, and that what blocked it was the Divine Law (represented in the granite plug itself), because “by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified,” for “in man, that is in his flesh, dwells no good thing“-Rom 3:20; 7:18.
Nevertheless, although the Israelite’s could not keep the perfect Law of God, the Bible informs us that God permitted them to continue their endeavors to do so. The Great Pyramid teaches the same lesson, for in spite of the fact that at its beginning the First Ascending Passage is blocked completely by the Granite Plug, beyond this it is open. By its symbolical features, also, including its length, it represents the condition of Israel under the Law. Through the atonement sacrifices the Lord year by year forgave the Israelite’s their sins, and as a nation they were typically justified, that is, they were typically reckoned as having passed from the plane of condemnation represented in the Great Pyramid by the Descending Passage, to the plane of justification represented by the level of the Queen’s Chamber. That this justification was only typical is clear from the statement of the Apostle that the Law made nothing perfect, but was only a shadow of good things to come, for “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Heb 10:1, 4). Those individuals, however, who, like their father Abraham, rejoiced to see Christ’s day with the eye of faith, and remained until death true to the Lord in the midst of severe trials, had their faith accounted unto them for righteousness. They had friendship with God, and will be awakened to perfect human life through the instrumentality of the glorified Church (Heb 11:39, 40).
The mode of access by which it is now possible to reach the part beyond the Granite Plug (which is still in position) is the hole forced through the soft limestone to the right (west) of the Plug by Caliph Al Mamoun. The Lord thus delayed the discovery of the upper passages and chambers in order that they might be kept intact until the due time for their thorough examination. Once the traveler enters the First Ascending Passage he finds himself on a higher level that the Descending Passage, though still below the level of the Queen’s Chamber, which represents the plane of human perfection. By this means the Pyramid teaches the same lesson as the Chart of the Ages; for if reference be made to the latter, it will be seen that the imperfect pyramid (circled in blue), which represents the nation of Israel, is lifted measurably above the plane of human depravity (the world under Adamic condemnation, plane “R”), but below the plane of human perfection (plane “N”). Israel for some time resided on plane “P”, which represented their typical justification under the law.
As it is in the Descending Passage, so in the First Ascending Passage the roof is less than four feet transversely above the floor. Accordingly, the traveler is still obliged to bow his head and shoulders, though not so low as when going down the Descending Passage, because now, in walking upward, he has the advantage of the greater vertical height (4 feet 5 inches). The Pyramid thus teaches that the Jew was less degraded than the Gentile.
The way is dark, steep and slippery, and he readily stumbles and falls, more especially as there is nothing to hold on to when he slips. So slippery is this passage that we found that our measuring rods and other articles, when laid on the floor, glided rapidly to the bottom. Does not this wonderfully represent the condition of the Israelites during the Law Dispensation? Those who were sincere in heart delighted in the Law of God after the inward man, but they saw another law in their members warring against the law of their mind, and bringing them into captivity to the law of sin-Rom 7:22, 23. Bowed under the yoke of the Law, they were weary and heavy laden with the ordinances which were against them, and, as the true Light which lightest every man that cometh into the world had not yet appeared, their lamp, the Word of God, shone as yet but dimly. As a result, they stumbled, and since they were under the Law and not under Grace, they had nothing to sustain them when their feet slipped. No wonder the noble Apostle Paul, when he reflected on his former abject condition under the Law, cried despondently: “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this death-doomed body?” But at the time when he uttered these words he had already found the answer, and so he exclaimed triumphantly: “I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The terminal end of this passage (the last 33 ½ inches) represents the years of the earthly life of the “man Christ Jesus,” who nailed the Law to his cross, and thus by his death brought the Law Dispensation to a close. The faithful Israelites, who were looking and longing for the coming of the Messiah, being burdened by the Law, must have been comforted when they heard the gracious words of the Master: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light“-Matt 11:28-30. Those who accepted this loving invitation found to their joy that from that Pentecostal day, fifty days after the resurrection of Christ, when the Holy Spirit fell upon them, they were no longer under the Law symbolized by the First Ascending Passage, but were members of the high or heavenly calling, symbolized by the Grand Gallery. The Law Dispensation had come to an end, and the Gospel Dispensation had commenced. The Apostle declares: “That no man is justified by the law in the sight of God it is evident: for ‘the just shall live by faith.’ And the law is not of faith: but ‘the man that doeth them shall live in them.’ Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, ‘Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree’ ”; and again, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, he took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross“(Gal 3:11-13; Col 2:14).
These “Israelites indeed” were now able to stand fast (upright) in the liberty wherewith Christ had made them free. This, the teaching of the Scriptures, is also the teaching of the Great Pyramid, for the vertical height of the Grand Gallery is seven times the transverse height of the First Ascending Passage, twenty-eight feet as against four feet. There is no need to stoop.
Before passing up the Grand Gallery the traveler must recognize the Well at his feet (the ransom sacrifice). As has already been explained, the Well represents ‘Hades,” the ‘death-state,” and the appearance of an explosion at its mouth represents the resurrection of Christ who thus opened up the new and living way to life and immortality. In this manner the Great Pyramid symbolizes that, before the Israelite’s could be accepted as partakers of the heavenly calling, it was necessary for them to recognize the love and righteousness of God in giving his only begotten Son as a sacrifice on their behalf, and to recognize also the loving obedience of the Son in drinking the cup which the Father had given him. It symbolizes further that it was necessary for them to believe that God had by his mighty power raised Jesus from the dead and set him at his own right hand on high.
Comparatively few, however, took advantage of the grand opportunity presented to them. As a Nation they rejected the offer and were, in consequence, cast off; and as a Nation, they passed a few years later (70 A.D.) into Hades, the death-state. The few who repented, however, and were baptized for the remission of sins, were justified through faith and had peace with God, and becoming partakers of the high or heavenly calling, and being privileged to suffer and die with Christ, they were given the “exceeding great and precious promises” whereby they might become partakers of the Divine nature. (Page 99-103)
When we return we will take a further look at the “well”.