Browsed by
Month: August 2017

The Voice from Heaven, Part 2

The Voice from Heaven, Part 2

THE VOICE OF PRESENT TRUTH

It becomes an important question then: Have ALL God’s people heard this Voice? We answer that we do not think all have yet heard; hence there must be many true Christians still in Babylon, partakers of her sins, but confused because of ignorance, because of lack of knowledge. The question might be asked: Shall we go forth making this call a special message? We answer: This is not our thought. Our thought is that where this is made a special message the result is usually different from what is intended: it makes many angry.

They say: By what authority do you call us Babylon, and by what authority do you tell us to “come out”?

Our thought is that it is the Lord who calls His people out of Babylon, not we; it is the Lord who gives the ear to hear and the eye to see, not we, the call is to be recognized especially as a Voice from Heaven.

What is this Voice from Heaven?

Apparently, the Voice is Present Truth–a presentation of the doctrines of the Scriptures, with their times and seasons–a showing that while there has been confusion and error all the way down throughout the Age, we are now in the Harvest time, when Truth is clearer than ever before. This Voice of Truth tells us whether or not we should support a system that is full of error and confusion or flee.

In what way are we to give God’s Message to come out of Babylon? We should show them the Light, the Truth, show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Pet 2:9); we should place before them the opportunity for investigation, and encourage them to prove these things for themselves. As they come to see the Truth and the bondage in which they have been, they will be glad to stand free in Christ by breaking off these shackles. This will be the Voice, then, that will show all the Lord’s people who are in the right attitude of heart that they should stand free, that they should come out of Sectarianism, that they should not misrepresent the Lord by claiming that they are of Babylon when they are not, but that they take their stand for God.

LOYALTY TO TRUTH THE TEST

This stand will mean the holding forth of the Divine Plan of the Ages, the Truth. If, after one has seen the real character of Babylon and has gotten his bearings in a general way, he then remains, it can be only by compromising the Truth. By being worldly wise he might remain and continue for a time to have popularity, to receive the honor of men. But if after seeing the Truth, after understanding the Truth, one were to continue in Babylon, he would of course be a greater sinner than one who had not been so enlightened. It is not our thought that we should avoid doing our duty in the proclamation of the Truth, but that we should avoid arousing unnecessary antagonism; for people in error are in no condition to have the errors they cling to lightly spoken of. They must be in the right condition before one can even whisper to them, “Come out of her.”

If, when you have heard and believe the Truth, you remain in Babylon, you will be a partaker of her sins, and more guilty than the average one among them (Rev 18:4). When you are able to hear this Voice yourself–this Voice, which will show you the right and the wrong, the Truth and the error–no doubt you will have the fortitude to “come out.”

BABYLON’S ATTITUDE TOWARD THE TRUTH

But those who hear the Voice of Present Truth, and who obey the call to come out of Babylon, are usually subjected to persecution. In our Lord’s Day, when the believers were from among the Jews, some were put out of the synagogues. We remember a particular instance during our Lord’s ministry. A man who was born blind was asked how he had his sight restored; and when he confessed Jesus, the rulers put him out of the synagogue. (John 9:22, 34.) That same spirit, that same condition, seemed to follow with the Apostles.

All through the Dark Ages those who were faithful to the Light were kept out of the churches. The church creeds and practices were conscience-barriers to keep Light-bearers out; those faithful to the Truth were excommunicated or put to death as heretics. This condition continued to some extent even after the time of the Reformation. Servetus, a brother Christian, whose horrible death by burning at the stake was caused by Calvin, is a case in point. Jesus said,

They shall put you out of the synagogues; yea, the time cometh that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service.”

The execution of Servetus was an instance of the literal fulfillment of our Lord’s words. Those who have ruled the synagogues have not always been bad people, but mistaken people. Thus it was with Saul of Tarsus, when he haled Christians to prison and approved the death of St. Stephen. And so with the churches of our day when any become enlightened and let their light shine. The same thing is true that has always been true; namely, “The darkness hates the light.” They say: If you stay with us you shall not present these matters, keep your views and opinions to yourself. So those who are loyal to God are in this way forced out of the synagogues (out of the nominal systems); indeed, the loyal ones are now called to “come out.”

YOUR BRETHREN THAT HATED YOU

But our day has a peculiarity that other days have not had. The Divine Plan is now so beautiful that we can see that others are in darkness, and this impelling Voice of the Truth is the Voice of God, the Voice of conscience, the Voice of enlightenment, calling us out of Babylon, which is misrepresenting God, His character, His Plan and His Word. We do not know but that they may go to the extreme in our day–to kill socially, to kill ecclesiastically, perhaps to kill physically. Nearly all the persecutions that have come to God’s people have come from professed Christians, fellow-believers.

Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My Name’s sake, said, let the Lord be glorified; but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.”–Isa 66:5

We are glad that these shall one day, not far off, we believe, see their mistake. Instead of feeling like bringing vengeance upon our enemies, we should feel quite sympathy–not with them, but for them. We should realize that it is with them very much as it was with the Jews in our Lord’s Day: those Jews and their rulers knew not what they did, or they would have been ashamed. And they will be ashamed when they come forth and realize what they did–just as Saul of Tarsus was ashamed when he realized what he had done, and so with these blinded ones of today:

Some shall come forth to shame and lasting contempt.” This contempt will last until there has been a proper repentance for their share in the persecutions of the Lord and His faithful ones.

It is because we believe that there are children of God attempting to live on the husks and skimmed milk of human tradition–brethren in Christ starving for the pure food offered in the Word of God–that we are trying to reach and help them. Otherwise we would abandon all special efforts at propaganda; for we know that as soon as the Messianic Kingdom shall have been set up, conditions will be favorable to all to come to an accurate knowledge of the Truth as it is contained in the Bible.

The days that are almost upon us will surely bringweeping and gnashing of teethto many of the Lord’s professed people; for whoever stands for error will be in opposition to God. They are about to go into a great Time of Trouble, and it will be their own fault.

 

The Voice from Heaven, Part 1

The Voice from Heaven, Part 1

THE VOICE FROM HEAVEN

“…He calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” (John 10:3-5)

“Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Rev 18:4)

The context of the Scripture above as found in Revelation shows that our text refers to Babylon–not the literal city of Babylon, but to the symbolic city, described in the Book of Revelation. The term Babylon seems to signify a concentration of the various errors in the apostate church systems, personified in Revelation as mother and daughters.

Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots,” is the name given by the Lord to the original System, thus intimating that the whole brood (both Mother and daughters) is illegitimate in every sense of the word. She neglected the Heavenly Bridegroom, and mingled in her “cup” a stupefying potion that has intoxicated the world; even the Lord’s saints were bewildered. (Rev 17:1-6)

After the Apostles “fell asleep,” the people of God gradually drifted into error of doctrine and practice, which culminated in the Dark Ages. A great System then developed (The Anti-Christ), and led the great majority into confusion and darkness. We need not suppose that in all these centuries everyone connected with this false System was hypocritical. As the people of Natural Israel were led captive into literal Babylon, so the people of Spiritual Israel, among who were some of the Lord’s true saints, were led captive into Mystic Babylon (The Church Nominal). Some of these would have liked to have gotten free, yet did not know what to do.

When we finally come down to the time of the Reformation, we see that instead of getting entirely free from Babylon and her errors (Papacy, Catholicism, the “Mother” system), the various new systems then formed (i.e. the “daughters”, Protestantism) partook to a considerable extent of the same spirit of the Mother System from which they had separated. The same spirit of persecution that was manifested in the “Mother” has also been manifested more or less in the “daughters”.

This enslaving power extended from medieval times to the Reformation; so that, looking out upon the so-called Christian world today (Christendom), we see that there could not be a better word used to picture existing conditions than the word confusion (i.e. babble, Babylon).

Yet there are even now many of the Lord’s true people to be found in this Babylonian System. But THE TIME OF SEPARATION IS HERE: those yet remaining in Babylon MUST HASTEN! The fact that some of God’s children have been in Babylon all throughout the Age shows us why God has had any respect at all for Babylon; His saints have been more or less enslaved (fenced) in there for centuries. This is the only reason why God has dealt with Babylon in any sense or degree, not for the sake of the “tares” but for the “wheat”.

BABYLON CAST INTO THE SEA

Our text with its context is a prophecy that in the end of the present Age a time would come when God would wholly reject Babylon. In the picture given us in Revelation of this time, the Lord’s rejection of the apostate systems is declared in the words, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen! She has been spewed out of His mouth, and the Almighty now calls upon His true people to “come out of her.” The faithful ones are delivering themselves out of Babylon during this Harvest time; the separating work (of the wheat and the tares) is almost completed. Soon, as pictured in Scripture, the “sea” of anarchy (The Great Time of Trouble) will swallow up these false systems. Babylon is to be “cast as a great millstone into the sea.” (Psa 46:2; Jer 51:62-64; Rev 18:21.) It is our belief that these prophecies are to be fulfilled in the very near future.

Some may ask: How may we recognize God’s Voice calling His people to come out of the churches now? In what manner shall we hear His Voice?

We answer that God bids His people to separate themselves from all sin and sinful conditions. Our forefathers did not hear this Voice, did not see this condition of sin. The Voice had not then spoken. Even in the time of the Reformation these entanglements of error were not clearly discerned. But now, in this Harvest time, we can see very clearly that the teachings of the nominal churches have been grossly in error–have grossly misrepresented the Divine Purpose and the Divine Character. We now perceive that Babylon is full of error and corruption of doctrine, and filled with the spirit of the world.

Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, and is become a habitation of demons, and a hold of every unclean spirit, and a hold of every unclean and hateful bird.” (Rev 18:2)

KNOWLEDGE BRINGS RESPONSIBILITY

Furthermore, the times and seasons of God’s Plan are now made plain, to the discerning, (to the “wise”, not according to the wisdom of this world, but according to that wisdom which comes from above) 1 Thess 5:1; Dan 12:10; 1 Cor 2:7, 13. We are shown that we are now living in the time foretold when these systems of error are to be rejected by the Lord. Should we not leave these systems when we see all this? This is God’s Voice to “come out of her.” We hear this Voice now speaking; we see that this prophecy of Revelation is now being fulfilled.

If any remonstrate: But, Lord, we have many precious friends in Babylon, and we are loath to leave them. It will be a great loss to us to leave them all and take a stand against them. Must we come out? Our friends will think us crazy! The Lord replies: “Come out of her,” or “receive of her plagues.”

You are not sharers of her sins until the time you see this. You may have been born in Babylon, but the Lord is not holding you responsible for what you did not understand. But the more you understand, the more responsibility you have. If, when you see what the Truth is and what the error is, and yet you still chose to remain in Babylon and support her by your presence, influence, money, service or etc. you will be very culpable. If you fail to come out of her when you hear the Lord’s Voice, it will imply that you are not thoroughly loyal to Him.

You may be one of His children, but if you fail to obey the Lord through fear of earthly loss, fear of what your friends, family or fellow church members might think of you, it will prove that these things are more precious to you than His favor, and He will treat you as He treats the hypocrites: you will have a share in their experiences. If you are approving of the sins (errors, false teachings) of the spewed-out systems by upholding them and giving them your influence and support, you will surely be partakers of Babylon’s plagues. This is a fair warning. We understand that it is the duty of every Christian to break every tender tie, if necessary, and to be loyal to God, to stand free from the error and sins of Babylon. The time of her judgment has come.

We will continue with this in our next post.

The Great Pyramid, Part 28

The Great Pyramid, Part 28

The Grand Gallery and the Ante-Chamber

In this next segment it will prove necessary for us to review both the Grand Gallery and the Ante-Chamber at the same time as they are uniquely connected to one another, this will become all the more evident when we take a closer look at their symbolic significance.

The Grand Gallery

The Edgar brothers found it impossible to secure a photograph showing the entire northern end of the lofty Grand Gallery; but managed to get one which includes enough detail to furnish the very difficult perspective-lines of that most interesting passage—Plate CLXXIX. (We have also included the color photo above which likewise shows this unique feature.)

Following this indication of the proper perspective, K. Vaughan has been able to construct a drawing of the full height of the northern end of the Gallery, showing as nearly as possible a view of it as it looks to one standing about thirty feet up from the north wall on the inclined floor Plate CLXXX. This carefully executed drawing presents a pictorial idea of the appearance of the remarkable and noble Grand Gallery, truer to the reality than any we have seen. Nevertheless, the passage is so large, and the floor slopes away so steeply, that it is not possible for a picture to convey an accurate impression…Notice the open Well-mouth on the left side.

In the photograph on which K. Vaughan’s drawing is based, a number of the details of the Grand Gallery are shown very clearly. At the bottom (1) appears the upper half of the doorway of the First Ascending Passage. Six of the seven overlapping’s of the walls are shown; and it will be noticed that the lowermost on each of the east and west side walls (2) is not developed on the north wall (The red dotted line). Immediately above the third overlapping on the west (left) wall, there can be seen (3) a small section of one of the pair of shallow grooves, which are cut opposite each other in the masonry of the east and west walls, and which run the entire length of the Grand Gallery—Compare Plate XXIV.  (This groove can be seen much better in the color photo at the top of the page.) The original purpose of this pair of corresponding grooves is difficult to imagine; the structural reason for their existence has not yet been satisfactorily explained; but no doubt there is some symbolical significance in connection with them, as there is in connection with many other mysterious features in this immense and generally little understood edifice.

Col. Howard Vyse, who first drew attention to these grooves, wrote with regard to them: “For the long grooves running on each side the whole length of the passage, it is difficult to assign a use; they are roughly cut, and therefore could not have been used for a sliding platform, for which, at first sight, they appear adapted. Perhaps they were made to receive scaffolding for the workmen employed in trimming off the sides of the passage.” But to this suggestion Professor C. Piazzi Smyth objected–” that the groove is represented so near the bottom of its overlapping sheet, that there was- little strength left to support any weight; and as the grooved portion has to a great extent perished, without any strain being put upon it,—we cannot regard it as any- thing connected with scaffolding, but rather with some symbolic meaning.”

The grooves are each 6 inches wide by ¾ of an inch deep; and the distance from the edge of the third overlapping up to the lower edge of the groove is, in each case, 5¼ inches. According to the measurements of Professor Flinders Petrie, the lower edges of these grooves run parallel with, and exactly midway between, the floor and roof of the Grand Gallery.

We have secured several photographs of the lower end of the Grand Gallery looking south, with the camera erected about two feet from the north wall. These show the sheer cut-off of the floor of the Grand Gallery immediately above the low doorway of the Horizontal Passage leading to the Queen’s Chamber. One of these (Plate CLXXXI) shows the floor of the Horizontal Passage, and John standing on it with his left hand resting against the sheer cut-off above the doorway (We have also included a good color photo of the same above).

Two other photographs, one of which was taken with a long-focus lens, and both taken with the camera erected on a higher level than in the one described, give a good impression of the long sloping floor, Ramps and side walls disappearing into the darkness above Plates CLXXXII and CLXXXIII. Judah, who stands on the floor of the Horizontal Passage, is leaning against the sheer cut-off; while John is seen ascending the very steep and slippery floor of the lofty Gallery, his feet placed in the shallow footholds, and his left hand holding on to the East Ramp.

The Ramps are exceedingly useful. The ancient builders carved out a series of large oblong holes on the upper surface of each of them (a few of which can be seen in the photographs), for what reason we do not know; but they enable one to take hold of the Ramps more firmly. As this passage represents the Gospel Dispensation, the Ramps symbolize the Grace of God, his “exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might be partakers of the Divine nature.” —2 Pet. 1:4—See Par. 185. One misses them in the First Ascending Passage, which so well symbolizes the Law Dispensation. There, to help in the ascent and descent, we require taking advantage of the little irregularities on the walls, which have been caused by exfoliation. If it were not for these irregularities, and the footholds hewn in the floor, if the walls and floor of the First Ascending Passage had preserved their original smooth condition, it would be impossible for the average man to walk in it. (Today passage up the First Ascending Passage is made much easier due to the addition of hand railings and special floor planks allowing a greater foot hold as can be seen in the photo below).

On a former occasion the thought had occurred to me (Morton), while we were returning down the Grand Gallery from a journey to the King’s Chamber, that the course of the “backslider” is harder than that of the willing climber. To go back is more difficult than to go forward. I mentioned the thought to John, and he thoroughly agreed with me, for at the time he was holding the East Ramp firmly with his hands, and carefully sliding down one foot after another into the footholds!

But not only does the Grand Gallery symbolize the walk of the faithful followers of Christ Jesus during the Gospel Dispensation, by its appropriate steepness and other properties, but its precise length in Pyramid inches agrees, at the rate of an inch to a year, – with the duration of that Age; for the full length of the Gallery from the base of the north wall up the floor-line to the vertical line of the south wall, is very slightly over 1881½ Pyramid inches; and the total number of years from the date of the death and resurrection of our Lord, Spring of 33 A.D., till the end of thetimes of the Gentiles in Autumn of 1914 A.D., is 1881½ years See Par. 126 and 127 (Explained below).

As already noted several times, the theoretically correct length of the Grand Gallery is 1881.5985+ Pyramid inches. This is little more than a tenth-part of an inch under the practical measure taken by Professor Flinders Petrie, whose published figures, converted to Pyramid units, is 1881.7164 Pyramid inches. (Professor C. Piazzi Smyth appears to have made his measurement a little too short, owing to his method of measuring with rods, instead of the surer method adopted by Professor Petrie of measuring with a long steel tape, the method which we ourselves have adopted; for we had a steel tape specially made for this purpose.)”

Great Pyramid Passages, Pages 369-372 par. 574-582

“Jesus was not born on the plane of condemnation and death represented by the Descending Passage, but on the plane of human perfection. He was “holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinnersHeb. 7:26. But he was born under the Law—Gal. 4:4. This would require that the Great Pyramid should indicate the date of his birth somewhere in the First Ascending Passage, and this is clearly shown in an ingenious and yet simple fashion. The Queen’s Chamber symbolizes human perfection. If the line of its floor be produced northwards till it touches the floor of the First Ascending Passage, the point of contact will necessarily be on the plane, or level, of human perfection. This point will, therefore, fulfil the required conditions—Plate XXIV.

That this point on the floor of the First Ascending Passage indicates the date of the birth of Jesus is confirmed by the following interesting fact. It has been shown that the First Ascending Passage and the Grand Gallery, symbolize respectively the Law Dispensation and the Gospel Dispensation. It follows that the point on the floor which is in line with the north wall of the Grand Gallery, and which marks, therefore, the end of the First Ascending Passage and the commencement of the Grand Gallery, indicates the date of the death and resurrection of Christ which closed the Law Dispensation, and ushered in the Gospel Dispensation—Col. 2:14. Now, if we measure along the floor of the First Ascending Passage from the point already determined as indicating the date of the birth of Jesus, to this line of demarcation which indicates the date of his death, the distance between the two is found to be 33½ inches, the exact length which corresponds to the duration of Jesus’ life on earth at the rate of an inch to a year.”

Great Pyramid Passages, Pages 83-84 par. 126-127

Symbolic significance of the Grand Gallery

“The death of Christ ended the Law, and the resurrection of Christ the third day after inaugurated the dispensation of grace, known to us as the Gospel Age. Just as the First Ascending Passage symbolizes the Law Age, so the Grand Gallery to which it leads symbolizes the Gospel Age.

Although both passages rise at the same steep angle, and although their floors are equally slippery, yet there is great difference between them in two important respects. In the first place, the Grand Gallery is far higher in the roof, and there is no necessity for one to stoop as when coming up the First Ascending Passage. This illustrates a manifest difference between the two Ages. The exacting requirements of the law was a burden to the Jew and bowed him down; but Christ became an end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believed; and those receiving the Gospel message experienced the glorious liberty wherewith Christ makes free. They passed, as it were, from the low, confined First Ascending Passage into the greater freedom of the Grand Gallery.

The other difference between the two passages is that, should one slip when ascending the Grand Gallery, he can cling to the side Ramps and steady himself until he regains his footing; but in the First Ascending Passage there is nothing to lay hold of should one feel his feet sliding. This again illustrates an important contrast between the two Ages; for although the followers of the Lord in the Gospel Age occasionally slip from their steadfastness through temporary lack of faith or from other causes, yet they have the “exceeding great and precious promises” of the Lord’s Word to sustain and reinstate them on the upward way. They have promises that the Lord will never forsake them; that if they confess their sins he is faithful and just to forgive them their sins and to cleanse them from all unrighteousness; that the Lord’s strength is made perfect in weakness. By these and many other precious promises, all who have taken up their cross and followed the Lord are enabled to overcome and ultimately “become partakers of the Divine nature.”

During the Jewish Age, on the contrary, those who sought to gain life by the law had no promise of aid should they slip even in one of the commandments, as the Apostle James declares: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law [in an endeavor to merit life thereby], and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all,” and is therefore under the curse of the law (James 2:10). Had Jesus not laid down his life in sacrifice he would have remained alone on the plane of human perfection; for, as we have seen, none of the human race, whether of the people of Israel or of the Gentiles, could escape the downward-road to death. But our Lord came to this earth for the very purpose of sacrificing his human life on behalf of the world. We read, therefore, that “He poured out his soul unto death,” and that “He gave his life a ransom for all.” He gave his flesh for the life of the world.

We may picture our Lord as standing on the level of the Queen’s Chamber floor, a perfect man in whom was no sin, holy, harmless, and un-defiled and separate from sinners, as far above the condemned human race as the horizontal line of the Queen’s Chamber floor stands above the downward line of the Descending Passage. Then at the due time he, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man. He laid down his life in sacrifice; and this sacrificial death, as we have said, is represented in the Pyramid by the Well-Shaft.” (xiii-xiv)

We will take a look at the Ante-Chamber in our next post.

 

 

 

The Mediator and the New Covenant, Part 4

The Mediator and the New Covenant, Part 4

We continue once again with our forth question, who specifically is the Mediator?

In this study we would like to take a quick look at the “Testator” to see how this is related to the Mediator.

Testator: a person who has made a will or given a legacy.

And for this reason he is the Mediator of the new covenant by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first (Law) covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal in heritance. For where there is a testament (a bequest, a will) there must also of necessity be the death of the testator, for a testament is in force only after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.”(Heb 9:15-17)

The Apostle explains that no will or testament or bequest is of validity so long as the testator lives. Whatever covenant of agreement may be had, it awaits a final sealing or completion by the death of the testator. The Apostle applies this to Christ. By His death Jesus passed on to us, the church, the benefit of his merit; namely, the earthly rights of ‘justification’ to all that was lost in Adam and redeemed by the precious merit of Christ’s sacrifice finished at Calvary. In accepting these earthly blessings, we, as His members, agreed to the terms; namely, that we also surrender our rights to these, as servants or ‘ministers of the New (Law) Covenant’—that these earthly blessings secured by our Lord’s obedience and death should thus pass through us and still be the Redeemer’s asset to be given to Israel, under Israel’s New (Law) Covenant.

The fact that Israel is still outcast from God’s favor is merely evidence that the body of Christ is not yet completely sacrificed, for bear in mind that the covenant is of no validity until the death of the testator. The Lord Jesus, the primary Testator, has accepted consecrated believers, as ‘members of his body,’ and he is working in them by his holy Spirit to will and to do the Father’s good pleasure—that they may lay down their lives in sacrifice, filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Messiah.  As soon as the last member of the church shall have died as a member of His body, the New (Law) Covenant with Israel will be sealed—sealed with the blood of the Testator; the death of the Christ, Head and members.

Meantime the resurrection change of the church as the body of Christ will have brought the Testator as a whole to the plane of glory, honor and immortality. On this plane the Christ, Jesus the Head, and the church, His mystic body, will be in antitype the great Prophet, the great Priest, the great King, the great Judge, the great Mediator between God and mankind in general. Then will come the time promised in the Scriptures when this Great One, this Glorified One, the Seed of Abraham on the spiritual plane, will begin the work of blessing all the families of the earth, under the conditions of the New (Law) Covenant, to be made with Israel first. (R4453)

Hebrews 9:16 reads:For where a Testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.” In the case of Moses the death of the Testator was represented by the slaying of the bullock AND the goat. In the case of the Antitypical Moses, the death of the Testator is shown in the sacrifice of our Lord AND the Church his Body. The ability of Christ to give a Testament or Covenant, or to make a Covenant, should also be seen. As the man Jesus he could not make this Covenant. Why? Because as a man–not spirit-begotten–he could merely have given his human life for mankind and then would have had nothing left for himself; or if he had retained his earthly life he could have established only an earthly Kingdom and never could have given eternal life to any one subsequently. He might have blessed them with wise laws and regulations and improved conditions over the present time, but never could have given them life and the perfections and blessings that he will be able to give under the New Covenant.”

HOW THE LORD BECAME A TESTATOR   

In order to be a Testator and give eternal life to the world, it was necessary that our Lord should carefully follow the Plan that God had arranged: First, by his own obedience he should demonstrate his loyalty to God and receive life on the divine plane as his reward; second, that then, by taking up his human life which he did not forfeit in anywise, he should have that human life and its rights to give to Israel and through them to all mankind. He is thus a Testator. He is thus one who bequeaths (or wills) something to others. He bequeaths it not while he is alive, as a gift, but he gives it as a Testator, as that with which he parts in death. So our Lord Jesus, as the Great Mediator of the New Covenant, will give to mankind the human rights and privileges to which he had a right by virtue of his perfect obedience to the Divine Law. He invites us, NOT to share those rights with the world, NOT to come under his Mediatorial reign and be sharers in restitution privileges, but, according to the will of God, to do something else, viz., to join with him in becoming Testator, to lay down our lives and thus be sharers with him in the spirit of his great work, that we may also share with him in the actual features of that work during the Millennium.

HOW WE (THE CHURCH) ARE JOINED TO THE TESTATOR   

The very first difficulty encountered is that we, unlike him, have not perfect bodies that we could give as perfect sacrifices; hence God’s arrangement for those who have this sacrificing attitude of mind is that they may be dealt with by the Lord Jesus and that he may, as their Advocate, impute to them his merit, his restitution rights, to make up for, to off-set, their blemishes and imperfections, that they may offer unto God a sacrifice that would be pleasing. We see that he does not give to these who are now called, either the Mediatorial blessings of the Millennial Age or the restitution conditions which that Mediatorial reign will confer. He gives to them that which will serve his purpose for them much better; viz., an imputation of his merit for past sins, to allow their sacrifice to pass the Divine propitiatory satisfactorily. Even then their sacrifice would prove imperfect and unsatisfactory because of inability to carry it out to a completion, did he not continue to be their Advocate. With every blemish and imperfection that is unwillingly theirs they can go to him as their Advocate and obtain mercy and have the cleansing from all sin through the merit of his sacrifice.” (R4623 par.12-14)

“So, then, in the Scriptural language, that which our Lord did do in connection with the promised New Covenant between God and Israel at his first advent, was that he became a “surety” and guarantee for its later fulfillment. (Heb 7:22) From that time, therefore, the New Covenant may be considered as assured or legislated or guaranteed, but not put into force, because, as the Apostle declares, a testament or will is of no binding force until the death of the testator. In harmony with the Divine Plan the Redeemer applied the merit of his sacrifice to a special class “called” and “drawn of the Father” during this Gospel Age, to be members, to join with him in his sacrifice. These were to receive of his fullness, his merit, as the atonement for their sins, and then they were to drink of his blood or share in his death, that his blood or the merit of his sacrifice might as a blessing pass through them and permit them by sacrificing restitution blessings to attain the divine nature and glory. (2 Pet 1:4)

None of these may keep the blessing of restitution privileges. Each was obliged in advance to pledge his life in sacrifice with his Lord before his final acceptance and begettal of the Holy Spirit to joint-heirship with the Head in his glory, honor and immortality. So then (AND THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART) the reason that the New Covenant promised in Jeremiah’s day (Jer 31:31), and assured by our Lord’s death has not yet gone into effect and become operative in restitution blessings to Israel and the world is, that the death of the testator has not yet been fully accomplished; for the testator, through whom Israel will get that great blessing of the New Covenant, is not our Lord Jesus alone, but The Christ, Head and Body.

To this agree the words of the Apostle again, namely, that natural Israel will “obtain mercy through your [Spiritual Israel’s] mercy.” (Rom 11:31) The laying down of the restitution rights received by us from the Lord through faith in his blood is our sacrifice of the same, the dying of the Testator’s Body. (2 Cor 4:10) Israel is to be the beneficiary of this testament, this legacy, this will, the merit of which is all as Jesus said, “in his blood,” in his cup, which we must drink  (Matt 20: 22,23; 26:27).” R4498

Although we have to a limited extent already answered our fifth and final question, where and when does this mediation begin? There are still a few more thoughts pertinent to this question, which need to be addressed.

More to the point where (or with whom precisely is the new covenant mediated) and when will this mediation commence?

Behold the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD; I will put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jer 31:31-33)

This Scripture rightly understood fully answers our question as to whom precisely the new covenant is mediated, and when precisely this mediation will commence.

Let us apply our God given ability to reason here and work this out for ourselves.

A covenant is a contract, a binding agreement between two parties. In the business world if two parties have established a contract between themselves by law this contract is binding until its terms have been fully met by both parties. In essence Israel as a nation or people entered into such a contract with the LORD when at Mount Sinai they agreed to the terms of the Law Covenant, exclaiming “All that the LORD has spoken we will do” (Exod 19:1-9; 24:1-8), Moses at the time acting as the “go- between” or  Mediator of this contract.

“The Word of God distinguishes between a covenant and its mediator. A covenant does not go into operation until after it has been fully mediated. When Moses mediated the Law Covenant, he first offered sacrifices; then he took the blood of the animals and, dividing it into two parts, sprinkled both the Book of the Law and the people. (Exod 24:4-8; Heb 9:19-24) After he had done this, the Law Covenant was in force; and it will continue until superseded by its antitype, the New Covenant.” (R5164)

Thus we see that if a proposition is made to make a new covenant with someone it implies that they were previously under covenant or contract prior to this and that this new contract is to supersede the former one established with them.

Now we ask what nation or people other than the nation of Israel has God ever entered into covenant or contract with? Is it not written?

Now therefore if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant then you shall be a special treasure to me above all people; for all the earth is mine, and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation…” (Exod 19:5)

Hear this word that Jehovah hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up out of the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will visit upon you all your iniquities.” (Amos 3:1, 2)

There is absolutely no Scriptural support for any theory that God was ever in covenant arrangement with any other nation other than the nation of Israel.

Thus the first part of our texts taken from Jeremiah should be rightly understood as follows, viz.

Behold the days are coming (when the Testator complete will have finished the great antitypical sacrifices of himself and his church, the “better sacrificesHeb 9:23, when he will have finished with the second presentation of the blood of atonement in the Most Holy, that of the Lord’s goat, representing “his body” the “Church”, “the sin-offering, which is for the people”, which makes atonement, reconciliation for the people Lev 16:15 with this he will have finished making application of the blood, the blood which seals, makes binding, ratifies, the New Covenant which makes satisfaction for the sins of the world), says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah (With whom did he say? Did he say the Gentiles? No! Did he say the Church? No! neither of these, he said with the house of Israel, “For this is my covenant with THEM, when I shall take away their sinsRom 11:27) not according to the covenant (the Law Covenant) that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them says the LORD.”

“Jesus death (blood) constituted the blood which seals or makes effective the New Covenant. Our taking of this cup and drinking of it (Matt 26:27) shows our participation. The consecrated lives (blood) accepted by our Lord are counted in as a part of his own sacrifice (the sin-offering) which seals the New Covenant.”

This New Covenant will not become operative until the cup of the Lord’s sufferings which is left behind has been completely drained in death by the last member of his Body” (R5542:6, 4310:2, 3)

This is my blood (symbol of LIFE given up in death) of the new covenant, shed for many for the remission of sin;” “Drink ye all of it.” (Matt 26:27, 28) It is by the giving up of his life as a ransom for the life of the Adamic race, which sin had forfeited, that a right to LIFE comes to men. (Rom 5:18, 19)

Jesus’ shed blood was theransom for ALL,” but his act of handing the cup to the disciples, and asking them to drink of it, was an invitation to them to become partakers of his sufferings, or, as Paul expresses it, tofill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ.” (Col 1:24) “The cup of blessing, for which we bless God, is it not a (joint) participation (on our part in) the blood [shed blood—death] of the Anointed one?” (1 Cor 10:16)  Memorial Meditations, Page 16

Our Lord speaking to his followers inquires, “Are you able (willing to participate) to drink of the cup (of shame, ignominy, sufferings and reproach) which I have drunk, and to be baptized with the baptism which I am baptized with (a baptism of death, and that a sacrificial death, Rom 6:3)?

To those so willing he states, “You will indeed drink of my cup (participate in the blood shed as part of the Day of Atonement “sin-offerings”, the blood which seals the New Covenant), and you will indeed be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with” (Matt 20:22, 23)

Let us now take a look at the latter part of our text taken from Jeremiah,

But this is the covenant (the New Covenant) that I will make with the house of Israel (Note once again whom specifically this covenant is to be made with) after those days, says the LORD (After what days? After the days of this Gospel Age, after those days in which the Church the body of Christ as joint sacrificers with their Lord will have finished their share in the Day of Atonement sacrifices, after the death of the Testator. These days likewise apply to the “seven times” of Israel’s chastisement.

Along with the blessings promised Israel if they would be faithful to their covenant (the Law Covenant) with the LORD were likewise promises of punishment if they felled to keep it. “But if you do not obey me, and do not observe all my commandments…but break my covenant, I will also do this to you…I will set my face against you, and you shall be slain before your enemies, they that hate you shall reign over you… and if you will not yet for all this harken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.” (Lev 26:17, 18, 24, 28)

“In the Bible a “time” is used in the sense of a year, whether the year be literal or symbolic, but at the time of the utterance of any prophecy, it could not be known which. A symbolic year used in prophecy is reckoned on the lunar year 360 days each, day representing a year. Thus 7 X 360 = 2520 years.

These “seven times” refer to the “Times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) the time in which “they that hate you shall reign over you” the 2520 years in which the Gentile nations have reigned over Israel beginning in B.C. 606 with the overthrow of Zedekiah and ending in A.D. 1914, from which time sense no Gentile nation has fully governed Israel.

After these days (not immediately after, but following after the completion of the “sin-offering”, as we have seen, the body of Christ, which shall likewise be completed, i.e. finished after these days); I will put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

The New Covenant will not be made with any other nation but Israel; for God never purposed to make a covenant with the Gentiles, however even amongst these since the people are not worthy to enter directly into relationship with God, that covenant must have a Mediator, the Christ , Head and body complete. The New Covenant will not be made with rebellious sinners.

God’s Covenant will be WITH the Mediator FOR Israel, guaranteeing forgiveness and reconciliation to all of Abraham’s natural seed who will exercise the faith and the obedience of Abraham.

The work of the Mediator with Israel (and the world of mankind, who to be blessed must become Israelites indeed) during the Millennium, will be their instruction, enlightenment and uplifting out of sin and death, out of ignorance and superstition, out of depravity and unbelief up to human perfection; so that, at the end of the Millennium, all of Abraham’s seed, all of his faith and obedience, will have reached human perfection and be ready for the Mediator to deliver them over to the Father, that God may be all in all–the unwilling and rebellious, after due trial, being cut off during the Millennium in the Second Death. (R4555 Par.17, 18)

“The New Covenant will begin to swallow up the old Law Covenant as soon as the Kingdom is established. The Scriptures indicate that the first to receive it will be the Ancient Worthies. Raised from the dead to human perfection, they will form the nucleus of the new arrangement in the earth. (This despite the fact that our JW friends erroneously assume that they themselves will form this nucleus) Next in order will be those who have been known as Christians, but who have not been consecrated to death, and Jews who have been consecrated to the Law, but who have been blinded. Gradually the light will come to all who love righteousness and hate iniquity. Sprinkled from all sympathy with evil, they will make their declaration of full loyalty to God. In due time this light will spread to all kindred’s and tongues and nations.” (R 5164)

Thus we conclude our look at the Mediator and the New Covenant.

The Mediator and the New Covenant, Part 3

The Mediator and the New Covenant, Part 3

Who specifically is the Mediator?

As we had stated at the end of our last post the typical answer to this question is Christ, but who is THE Christ? What say the Scriptures?

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into the body…for in fact the body is not one member (Christ its head alone) but many (from the divine standpoint, a composite body)now you (who have been baptized into Christ, made participators in his death, Rom 6:2) are the body of Christ (the Anointed, the Church, having lost your individually being joined to the body), members in particular (individually, the mystery hidden from ages and from generations, but now revealed in his saints, ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory’ Col 1:26,27 ).” 1 Cor 12:12-14, 27

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Col 1:18)

So then if Christ is the Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb 8:6; 9:15) having obtained a more excellent ministry (a more exalted and effective service than the earthly priesthood), insomuch as he is also the Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises (promises under which not only the “Israel of God”, [Gal 6:16], the Church, the body of Christ benefits, but likewise through them the whole world), and furthermore God has since reconciled US (the Church, the anointed) to himself by Jesus Christ (NOT through any mediatorial work on the part of Christ, but though faith in the blood as we had shown in Part 3 of this study), and (now having been reconciled, He) has given US the ministry [work] of reconciliation (the ministry of mediation) 2 Cor 5:18.

As members of the body, co-labors with Christ, we as under-priest are all involved in the same work, some on this side of the Vail some on the other side, but nevertheless all of one mind, one purpose.

“As for the word Mediator, it is indeed a glorious name and title possessed by our Lord, but it is not the proper name to be associated with his service in our justification. It is not scripturally applicable to the church at all, except that we are associates with the Mediator of the New Covenant as ‘his members’ in the sufferings of this present time and as joint-heirs with him in the glorious prospects of the Millennium.” (R4560:6)

The Lord is now gathering his Church, a little flock, to be members of the antitypical Prophet, Priest, King, Judge, Mediator between God and the world of mankind during the Millennium. These called, chosen, spirit-begotten, are “able ministers of the New Covenant,” after the same manner as their Lord–walking in his steps. They minister or serve the New Covenant as an attorney serves in drawing up an agreement or Covenant. It will not be a Covenant until sealed, but, while it is in process of preparation it is spoken of as a Covenant and, in writing the agreement; the attorney is serving that agreement by putting it into shape, arranging for its sealing, etc. So Christ and his members are able or qualified ministers or servants of the New Covenant which God has promised and in which the hope of Israel and the world is centered.

In what way do Christ and the Church now minister for or serve that New Covenant? In various ways:

(1) In gathering the members of the Body of the great Mediator.

(2) In learning and teaching to others the lessons necessary to qualify for the position.

(3) In preparing the blood with which it is to be sealed–“his blood,” “Jesus’ blood,” appropriated first to the Church and ultimately, after having served its purpose in the justification of the Church, to be passed on for the blessing of the world through the sealing of the New Covenant with Israel.” (R4496)

Moses indeed said, a prophet shall the Lord God raise up unto you from among your brethren, like unto me. To him shall ye hearken in all things whatsoever he shall speak unto you. And it shall be, that every soul that shall not hearken to that prophet, shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.” (Acts 3:22, 23)

That Moses, the mediator of the Law Covenant, was a type of Christ, the Mediator of the New Covenant, is clearly taught in the Scriptures and generally recognized by Bible students; but all have not recognized that Moses was a type of the entire Christ — head and bodyand that in this sense the entire Gospel age has been the period of Christ’s raising up…” (D629)

“The antitypical Moses here pictured is undoubtedly the glorified Christ, Head and Body, in its instruction of the world during the Millennium. It is certainly not true that all are destroyed who disobey the Lord at the present time (thus furnishing a clear evidence that not only is the Mediator, the Great Prophet incomplete at this time, but likewise the covenant mediated by this Prophet, the New Covenant is not yet in operation) It is this antitypical Moses (the body of Christ) taken from amongst the brethren that God has been raising up during this Gospel age. Our Redeemer and Lord was raised up first to be ‘Head over the church which is his body.’ Since then the members are being raised up from the world, separated from the world to the Lord and the millennial work.” (R4354)

Our Lord, the Mediator of the New Covenant, delays the mediation of the New Covenant, in order to first gather together the “very elect,” who are to constitute the members of his Body, his joint-heirs, in the millennial glory and mediatorial work. He is the Messenger or servant of the New Covenant and each one of the Church now being called and chosen becomes an under-servant and messenger of the New Covenant. This work of qualifying the Church, the members of the Body of the Mediator, prepares them for a future service in helping Israel and the world under and through the terms of the New Covenant.” (R4474)

Moses served as the typical Mediator of the Law Covenant, a type of the great Mediator, the Christ of God, of which Jesus is the Head and the overcoming saints, his faithful followers, are accounted members.

We will continue with our look at the Mediator in our next post examining the role of the “Testator

The Mediator and the New Covenant, Part 2

The Mediator and the New Covenant, Part 2

Who are the parties in dispute who require mediation?

In the general sense we have already addressed this question by affirming that the dispute is between God and the “sons of disobedience” (Eph 5:6), that it is these two parties who have need of mediation in order to facilitate reconciliation.

Now who exactly are the “sons of disobedience” upon whom the wrath of God abides?

“And you [did he make alive,] when you were dead through your trespasses and sins, wherein you once walked according to the course of this world, [under the direction of] the prince of the powers of the air, of the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience; among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest:– but God, being rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have you been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly [places], in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus: for by grace have you been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory.” (Eph 2:1-9)

In the forgoing statement the Apostle makes it evident that there is now a difference between the standing of the Church and that of the world in the sight of Godthat wewere (once) children of wrath,’ but, by God’s grace, are such no longer, however the world still lies in the wicked one and are still children of wrathi.e.sons of disobedience”.

Now the question is, how did this change come about, how was reconciliation made between the LORD and the Church, and was a Mediator required in this process?

For it pleased the Father that in him (Christ) all the fullness should dwell, and by him to reconcile all things to himself, by him whether things on earth or things in heaven having made peace through the blood of his cross. And you who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now he has reconciled (made atonement for) in the body of his flesh through death to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in his sight…” (Col 1:19-22)

We are not rebels, we are not alienated from God, but now through faith in the blood we are children of God, and our Redeemer assures us,The Father himself loves you.” (John 16:27)

A mediator implies hostility between two principals, requiring the intervention of a third party, and this is not the case with the Church. Even before the time came in the Lord’s plan when the Kingdom would be established, the rebels subdued, we were glad to hear the Father’s voice speaking peace through Jesus Christ, and we came to him: Surely, then, there is no need of a Mediator between the Father who loves his children and children who love their Father. However, the basis of our acceptance with the Father was our hearty renunciation of sin and our acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus as covering our blemishes and condemnation of the past, and our acceptance of the Father in Christ was on condition that we would henceforth walk in his steps, not after the flesh but after the Spirit, as set forth in the perfect law of liberty, the law of love to God and man.”

“With the gradual opening of the eyes of our understanding we noted in 1 John 2:2 the declaration that our Lord’s sacrifice was a propitiation, a satisfaction for our sins, the Church’s sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. We perceive that in this text the Lord sharply differentiates between the Church and the world, between our salvation and the world’s salvation. True, at one time there was no difference, for we were all “children of wrath even as others” still are; but we who have heard the voice of the heavenly Father speaking peace through Jesus Christ, we who have accepted that message, we who have been reconciled to God through the death of his Son (through faith in the blood, the ransom), are no longer of the world, but, from God’s standpoint, constitute a separate and distinct class.

The Scriptures tell us that we are called, chosen, separated from the world. Our Master’s words are, “Ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world,” “Ye have not chosen me but I have chosen you, and ordained you.” John 15:16, 19” (Harvest Gleanings 2 Page 356)

For if when we (the Church) were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more having been reconciled (acquitted of all charges), we shall be saved by his life, and not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation (the atonement Greek, kattalage; the satisfaction of justice and restoration of God’s favor and harmony with himself).” Rom 5:10, 11

Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. Now all things are of God (who first instigated reconciliation), who reconciled us (i.e. all true believers) to himself through Jesus Christ (through faith in Christ and membership in the body), and has (henceforth) given us the ministry of reconciliation (of atonement, that is to say through our membership or participation in the body of Christ we become joint sacrificers with our Lord in the great antitypical Day of Atonement “sin-offeringsLeviticus 16, the “better sacrifices” spoken of in Heb 9:23 and through this ministry or service, our joint participation in these sacrifices we proclaim the message), that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself (bringing about the at-one-ment between himself and the world), not imputing their trespasses to them (but laying them on Christ), and has committed to us the word (the honor of relaying the way) of reconciliation (the means by which return to God’s favor is obtained, both presently and in the next age). Now then we (the Church) are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us, imploring you (those not yet reconciled, but who have an ear to hear) on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor 5:17-20)

Once again our question: Who are the parties in dispute who require mediation?

The Scriptures indicate that the two parties are God on the one hand and the “sons of disobedience” on the other; those not yet reconciled to him, “children of wrath”, out of harmony both with himself and with his laws. Clearly it is these two parties that are in need of mediation.

“Note the difference between the above and the Church’s attitude to the Father and the Son during this Gospel Age. We are introduced to the Father at once, because our hearts are in the right condition—desirous of knowing and doing God’s will to the extent of our ability and trusting in the merit of Christ’s sacrifice already applied on our behalf. When we consecrate our lives after the example of our Redeemer–“to suffer with him,” “to be dead with him,” that we may live and reign with him–the Redeemer, according to the Father’s Plan, becomes our Advocate, endorses our petition, applies his merit on our behalf and becomes guarantor for us, that we may be loyal to God, or die the Second Death. As our Advocate, our Lord does not stand between the Father and us, but stands with us as our Elder Brother, as Chief Priest over his own House of Priests. “For both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified, are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren; saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto thee.” (Heb 2:11, 12)

The Redeemer purposes no mediatorial work in behalf of the Church. He is not our Mediator, he is our Advocate. “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.” (I John 2:1) Instead of standing between the Father and us, as during the Millennium he will stand between the Father and the world, he introduces us immediately to the Father, and the Father, on receiving us, immediately begets us of the Holy Spirit. Our Lord’s words are, “No man cometh unto the Father but by me” —the Advocate of the Church.

As sinners we had no relationship to God. When we believed and turned from sin we had a justification by faith tentatively imputed to us, permitting us to draw nigh to God and to hear his message through Christ– speaking peace to us and informing us of the High Calling and assuring us that “Now is the acceptable time“; that during this Gospel Age he is willing to accept us as living sacrifices through the merit of Jesus and to beget us of the Holy Spirit to the divine nature. The moment we accepted those terms our Redeemer became our Advocate and immediately the entire contract was closed and we were begotten of the Holy Spirit. We were no longer in the flesh, but in the spirit–no longer in the Courtyard condition, but in the Holy or spirit begotten condition. The New Creature being without sin needed no Mediator to come between it and God.

Now even though the New Creature requires no Mediator it does have need of an Advocate. Even though it is in full relationship with the Father and even though as a New Creature it has no sin–the sins cancelled at Calvary were those of the old creature only. Is it asked why the New Creature, begotten of God, sinless, needs an Advocate? We reply that it is because he has the treasure of the new mind in an earthen vessel that is very imperfect through the fall. The sins of his mortal body were all cancelled through the imputation of the Advocate’s merit and at that moment the old nature died and ceased its responsibility. He that is dead “hath ceased from sin.” (I Pet 4:1) The New Creature, which at that moment was begotten and as a new mind or new will took possession of the mortal body reckoned dead, is held responsible for its conduct in exactly the same manner that the owner of a dog is responsible for him. Whatever violence the dog may do, the owner is responsible, because he should have chained him up. So we, as New Creatures, are responsible for our hands, our feet, our eyes, our tongues, in what they may do. If the tongue slanders another through weakness, force of habit, etc., the New Creature is responsible and must give an account.” (R4584 Par. 3-6)

The Church is not included with the world because they are already at one with God, reconciled, this reconciliation (or at-one-ment) they received NOT through any mediation, but simply through faith in the blood, faith in Christ AND in their membership in the body.

The reason we stress upon their membership in the body as being prerequisite to their reconciliation (their complete or full reconciliation) is because there exist in the household of faith those of differing degrees of reconciliation. Some as of yet, the unconsecrated have only received a measure of reconciliation, a measure of peace (Rom 5:1) this they received when through faith in Christ they entered the “courtyard condition” the “tentatively justified condition”. We say “a measure of peace” because they are not yet fully in harmony with God as indicated by their unwillingness to fully surrender themselves in full consecration, to take up their crosses and follow in the Master’s footsteps, which of course would naturally lead them to sacrifice something which they are not prepared to do. The majority of these are quite content with the belief that a mere profession of faith is all that is required of them.

The fully consecrated on the other hand realize that much more is expected of them than simply a mere profession of faith especially if they would ever hope to gain the prize of the high calling which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. These having followed in their Master’s footsteps not only receive their justification through him (actual justification, reckoned so), but likewise peace with God, but more than this they receive “the peace of God which passes all understanding” (Phil 4:7) a full and complete peace obtained only by those who have submitted themselves totally to His will, and are thus at one with him, relieved of all anxiety, worry, or concern completely confident in the LORD’s over rulings, divine providence, these are considered more than just God’s friends, but his sons, begotten of the Holy Spirit.

And so we would consider those in the courtyard condition (the mere professor), not yet reconciled to God in the truest sense as being part of the world likewise, “children of wrath”, these along with the rest of the world will require mediation in order to complete the atonement between themselves and the LORD.

“Gradually those who went out from us because they were “not of us” are going into darkness on all subjects, especially this one. This was to be expected. A root of bitterness developing in the heart affects the sight. Light becomes darkness; darkness becomes light. New things pass away. All things become old again in the wrong sense.

These friends, not content with urging un-scripturally that they need a Mediator between them and God, become very angry with us because we point out to them the truth on the subject–that the Mediator is between God and men and NOT between God and the New Creature (the Church, the body of Christ)…These erstwhile friends, busy seeing what they can object to, are step by step walking into darkness.” (Be careful my friends that you are not found among them). R4585

In our next post we will address our forth question, who specifically is the Mediator? The typical answer is Christ, but who exactly is Christ?

 

The Mediator and the New Covenant, Part 1

The Mediator and the New Covenant, Part 1

A common and erroneous thought held by many professing Christians today is that the Lord is (presently) engaged in the work of mediation, mediating the New Covenant between God and the Church. They imagine that this New Covenant went into effect during our Lord’s first advent when it is assumed he sealed the New Covenant with Spiritual Israel, with his blood.

Now it is our hope in this particular presentation to find the truth on these matters so as to alleviate the confusion caused by these erroneous assumptions. We will begin our examination by taking a closer look at the Mediator and his purpose.

The Mediator, who, what, where, why, and when?

In this study we hope to find the answer to the following questions,

1)  What is a mediator?

2)  Why is a mediator necessary?

3)  Who are the parties in dispute who require mediation?

4)  Who specifically is the Mediator?

5)  Where and when does this mediation begin?

What is a mediator, that is to say what specifically is the function and or purpose of a mediator?

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines a Mediator as: an individual or agency that intervenes between two parties in dispute in order to bring about an agreement or reconciliation.

Young’s Analytical Concordance defines a Mediator as: a middle man, mediator.

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance defines a Mediator Greek mesitēs Strong’s #3316 as: a go-between, i.e. (simply) an internunciator, or (by implication) a reconciler (intercessor) ambassador or messenger.

Thayer’s Lexicon defines a Mediator as: one who intervenes between two, either in order to make or restore peace and friendship, or to form a compact, or for ratifying a covenant; a medium of communication, an arbitrator.

“The term “mediator” (equals middleman, agent of mediation) is nowhere found in Old Testament or Apocrypha (English Versions of the Bible), but the corresponding Greek word mesites, occurs once in Septuagint (Job 9:33 the King James Version, “Neither is there any daysman betwixt us,” where “daysman” stands for Hebrew mokhiach, “arbitrator,” the American Standard Revised Version, the English Revised Version margin “umpire” (see DAYSMAN); Septuagint has ho mesites hemon, “our mediator,” as a paraphrase for Hebrew benenu, “betwixt us“). Even in the New Testament, mesites, “mediator,” occurs only 6 times, namely, Gal 3:19, 20 (of Moses), and 1 Tim 2:5; Heb 8:6; 9:15; 12:24 (of Christ).

In Moses we have for the first time a recognized national representative who acted both as God’s spokesman to the people, and the people’s spokesman before God. He alone was allowed to “come near unto Yahweh,” and to him Yahweh spoke “face to face, as a man speaks unto his friend” (Exod 33:11). He went up to God and “reported the words of the people” to Him, as to a sovereign who cannot be approached save by his duly accredited minister (Exod 19:8). We have a striking example of his intercessory mediation in the episode of the golden calf, when he pleaded effectively with God to turn from His wrath (Exod 32:12-14), and even offered to “make atonement for” (kipper, literally, “cover“) their sin by confessing their sin before God, and being willing to be blotted out of God’s book, so that the people might be spared (Exod 32:30-32).” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Page 5388

Intercession is in all stages of thought an essential element in mediation. We have striking examples of it in Genesis 18:22-33; Job 42:8-10.

So in essence a mediator is one who negotiates peace between two parties who are at variance with one another, with the intent of negotiating an agreement or covenant between the two in order to restore and or establish peace, reconciliation between the two.

Having now we hope sufficiently explained our first question what a mediator is let us move on to our second question,

Why is a mediator necessary?

The need of a Mediator arises out of the fact of sin. Sin interrupts the harmonious relation between God and man. It results in a state of mutual alienation. On the one hand, man is in a state of enmity to God (Rom 5:10; 8:7; Col 1:21). On the other hand, God is moved to righteous wrath in relation to the sinner (Rom 1:18; 5:9; Eph 5:6; Col 3:6). Hence, the needs of a mutual change of attitude, a removal of God’s displeasure against the sinner as well as of the sinner’s hostility to God. God could not restore man to favor by a mere fiat, without some public exhibition of Divine righteousness, and vindication of His character as not indifferent to sin (compare Rom 3:25, 26). Such exhibition demanded a Mediator.”

So then in answer to question three the two parties in dispute (at variance) one with another would be God on one hand and on the other hand the sons of disobedienceupon whom God’s wrath abides (Eph 5:6). These are the two parties requiring reconciliation the parties in need of a Mediator.  

The qualification of a Mediator depends upon His intimate relation to both parties at variance. Our Lord meets both of these qualifications.

Christ’s Relation to Man:

Firstly, He is Himself a man, i.e. not merely “man” generically, but an individual man. The “one mediator between God and men” is “himself the Man, Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5), “born of a woman” (Gal 4:4), “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom 8:3, where the word “likeness” does not make “flesh” unreal, but qualifies “sinful“), i.e. bore to the eye the aspect of an ordinary man; secondly, He bore a particular relation to a section of humanity, the Jews (Rom 1:3; 9:5); thirdly, He bore a universal relation to mankind in general. He was more than an individual among many, like a link in a chain. He was the Second Adam, the archetypal, universal, representative Man, whose actions therefore had significance beyond Himself and were ideally the actions of humanity, just as Adam’s act had, on a lower plane, a significance for the whole race (Rom 5:12-21; 1 Cori 15:22,45).

His Relation to God:

Paul very frequently speaks of Christ as the “Son of God,” and that in a unique sense. Moreover, He was the “image of God” (2 Cor 4:4; Col 1:15), and subsisted originally “in the form of God” (Phil 2:6). He is set alongside with God over against idols (1 Cor 8:5, 6), and is coordinated with God in the benediction (2 Cor 13:14). Clearly Paul sets Him in the Divine sphere over against all that is not God. Yet he assigns Him a certain subordination, and even asserts that His mediatorial kingship will come to an end, that God may be all in all (1 Cor 15:24, 28). But this cessation of His function as Mediator of salvation, when its end shall have been attained, cannot affect His Divine dignity, “since the mediatorial sovereignty which is now ceasing was not its cause, but its consequence” (B. Weiss, II, 396).

The Means of mediation, the Death of Christ:

The means of effecting the reconciliation was mainly the death on the cross. Paul emphasizes the mediating value of the death both on its objective (God-ward) side and on its subjective (man-ward) side. First, it is the objective ground of forgiveness and favor with God. On the basis of what Christ has done, God ceases to reckon to men their sins (2 Cor 5:19). Paul’s view of the death of Christ effecting the mediation may be seen by considering some of his most characteristic expressions.

(A) It is an act of reconciliation. This involves a change of attitude, not only in man, but in God, a relinquishing of the Divine wrath without which there can be no restoration of peaceful relations (though this is disputed by many, e.g. Ritschl, Lightfoot, Westcott, Beyschlag), but not a change of nature or of intention, for the Divine wrath is but a mode of the eternal love, and moreover it is the Father Himself who provides the means of reconciliation and undertakes to accomplish it (2 Cor 5:19; compare Col 1:20,21; Eph 2:16).

(B) It is an act of propitiation (Rom 3:25, hilasterion, from hilaskesthai, “to render favorable” or “propitious“). Here is a clear though of a change of attitude on God’s part. He who was not formerly propitious to man was appeased through the death of Christ. Yet the propitiatory means are provided by God Himself, who takes the initiative in the matter (“whom God set forth,” etc.).

(C) It is a ransom. The Mediator “gave himself a ransom for all” (1 Tim 2:6). The idea of payment of a ransom price is clearly implied in the word “redemption” (Rom 3:24; 1 Cor 1:30; Eph 1:7; Col 1:14, apolutrosis, from lutron, “ransom“). It is not alone the fact of liberation (Westcott, Ritschl), but also the cost of liberation that is referred to. Hence, Christians are said to be “redeemed,” “bought with a price” (Gal 3:13; 4:5; 1 Cor 6:20; 7:23; compare 1 Peter 1:18). Yet the metaphor cannot be pressed to yield an answer to the question to whom the ransom was paid. All that can safely be said is that it expresses the tremendous cost of our salvation, namely, the self-surrendered life (“the blood“) of Christ.

NOTE: it is our contention that the ransom is to be paid to justice, applied as satisfaction to the claims of justice. See R 2822

The resurrection and exaltation of Christ are essential to His mediatorial work (1 Cor 15:17). It is not alone that the resurrection “proves that the death of Christ was not the death of a sinner, but the vicarious death of the sinless Mediator of salvation” (B. Weiss, I, 436), but that salvation cannot be realized except through communion with the living, glorified Christ, without which the subjective identity of the believer with Christ by which redemption is personally appropriated would not be possible (Gal 2:20; Rom 6:4,5; Phil 3:10; Col 3:1). The exaltation also makes possible His continuous heavenly intercession on our behalf (Rom 8:34), which is the climax of His mediatorial activities.

At present the merit of Christ sacrifice (represented in the blood of the “bullock”) has only been applied to himself (that is, his body, the Church more specifically the “little flock”), and to his household (the Levites, i.e. the Great Company class) these together composing the spiritual class, “the church of the first born” (Heb 12:23). His intercession work is presently confined only to these and only in respects as an Advocate.  

Therefore he (the High Priest of our profession, a sacrificial priesthood under a “covenant of sacrificePsa 50:5) is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through him, since he always lives (unlike the typical priests who died) to make intercession for them.” (Heb 7:25)

Very soon now when the last member of the body of Christ has passed beyond the Vail the blood of the “Lord’s goat” which is for the people (all mankind) will be sprinkled upon the mercy seat making intercession. Then shall the merit be applied to “all the people” (Lev 16:33).

The Man-ward Efficacy of His Mediator-ship:

The effect of Christ’s death on man is described by the words “cleanse,” “sanctify,” “perfect” (Heb 9:14; 10:10,14,29; 13:12), words which have a ritualistic quite as much as an ethical sense, meaning the removal of the sense of guilt, dedication to God, and the securing of the privilege of full fellowship with Him. The ultimate blessing that comes to man through the work of Christ is the privilege of free, unrestricted access to God by the removal of the obstacle of guilt (Heb 4:16; 10:19). I.S.B.E. Pages 5402-5409

Now it might appear that we have already answered our third question concerning, the parties in dispute in need of mediation, but in truth we have but only briefly touched upon the subject here. We believe that this particular point is what is causing most of the confusion, and therefore needs further clarification, which is what we hope to address in our next post.

The Great Pyramid, Part 27

The Great Pyramid, Part 27

Concluding thoughts on the significance of the Well-shaft

The Mouth of Well

“The Scriptures declare that it was not possible that he, the Holy One, the Prince of Life, could be “Holden of death,” but that God burst the bond of death and raised his beloved Son the third day, no longer a human being, however, but a spirit being on the highest plane. So the Well-Shaft symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is no longer represented as standing on the plane of the Queen’s Chamber, but high above in the King’s Chamber condition of spirit life. We know that the Scriptures declare that Jesus was made perfect through the things that he suffered in the flesh. That is, he was made perfect as a New Creature and High Priest; and when he rose from the dead the third day all power in heaven and earth was given unto him, as he declared to his disciples. Here, then, we see the great significance of the Well-Shaft. Briefly stated, it represents the ransom-sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, belief in which alone can enable men to pass from death unto life.

Jesus declared that the hour was coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth. He also declared that, if he was lifted up from the earth he would draw all men unto him (John 5:28, 29; 12:32). Also the apostle Paul declares that, as in Adam all die, even so shall all in Christ be made alive (1 Cor. 15:22). Adam brought condemnation and death upon the world, but Jesus Christ brought righteousness and an opportunity for life to every man (Rom. 5:18-22). The Descending Passage very well symbolizes the condemnation through Adam, while the Well-Shaft symbolizes Christ Jesus as the onlyway of escapefrom that condemnation. (xiv-xv)

“The descending Passage symbolizes the downward course of “this present evil world” (Gal. 1: 4) to destruction, represented by the Pit, or Subterranean Chamber. It is important to notice that it is not the people, but “this present evil world “—the present evil institutions (governments, authorities, religious institutions)—which will be destroyed in Gehenna. These evil institutions will, thank God, never be re-awakened.

The Pit thus symbolizes Gehenna, the condition of death from which there will be no awakening, just as the Well symbolizes Hades, the condition of death from which there will be an awakening.

From the Descending Passage, representing the plane of Adamic condemnation, to the upper planes of life and immortality- represented by the Queen’s Chamber and the King’s Chamber respectively, two ways are shown in the Great Pyramid, namely, the First Ascending Passage, and the Well. A glance at the illustration shown above reveals that of these two ways, the First Ascending Passage, representing the Law Covenant, appears to be much easier to ascend than the other. That is how the Israelites regarded the Law Covenant. When Moses laid before them the words which the Lord commanded him, “All the people answered together and said, ` All that the Lord hath spoken we will do “—Exod 19: 8. They thought they could keep the Law and thus gain life, for God had said: “Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord “—Lev 18: 5.

They did not recognize that it is impossible for fallen flesh to obey the Divine Law. What is it that blocks this way to life? It is the perfect Law of God. Just as the Granite Plug completely blocks the entrance of the First Ascending Passage of the Great Pyramid, so the Divine Law blocks the way of life which the Law Covenant offered to the Jew. Thus the Granite Plug symbolizes the Divine Law. As the Apostle put it, “The commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death “—Rom. 7: 10. Through the Atonement Sacrifices, however, which the Lord instituted, the Israelites were typically justified (not really justified, because “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sinsHeb. 10: 4), and were accordingly reckoned by God as typically obeying the Law and progressing along the Law Dispensation. The First Ascending Passage, therefore, symbolizes both the Law Covenant and the Law Dispensation.

As the First Ascending Passage is blocked, and the passage forced by Al Mamoun is no part of the original design of the Great Pyramid, it follows that there is only one way open from the Descending Passage, symbolical of Adamic condemnation, to the upper passages which symbolize life and immortality, namely, by the Well-shaft. But this way is vertical for a great part of its course. In fact it is not a passage at all in the proper sense of the term. As already intimated, it symbolizes Christ’s Ransom sacrifice. Thus the teaching of the Great Pyramid corroborates that of the Word of God, which intimates that the way to life and immortality was first opened up through the death and resurrection of Christ, and that salvation is by faith. “By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast “—Eph. 2: 8, 9, none can ascend from the plane of condemnation and death, to the plane of justification, except by faith. Justification by faith is not the result of works.

Only two men have been capable of keeping the perfect Law of God, because none but these two began life in this world on the plane of human perfection. The first one, Adam, willfully broke God’s Law (2 Tim. 2: 14) and sold the whole human race under sin and death. The other, on the contrary, the man Christ Jesus, kept the Law, and did not require to die; but delighting in the will of God, he voluntarily gave up his life as a sacrifice, the just for the unjust (1 Pet. 3: 18); and then, as it was not possible that he, the innocent one, should be Holden of death (Acts 2: 24), God burst the bonds and raised his beloved Son from hades, the death-state. Through the risen Christ as the Last Adam, the First Adam with all of his family will eventually also be raised from the death-state—1 Tim. 2: 4-6.” (Great Pyramid Passages, Page 81, 83 par. 122-125)

“Speaking of the peculiar Grotto which intercepts the course of the Well-shaft, and its possible symbolical meaning, C. T. Russell writes: “Moreover, the location of the ` Grotto’ and the fact that it was natural and not hewn are significant. It evidently symbolizes the death of our Lord Jesus. The fact that it was natural teaches that the Lord’s sacrifice of himself was not an expediency, but a foreordained, pre-arranged matter in Jehovah’s plan, before the outworking of the plan, symbolized by the Pyramid began. The fact that it is located above and not below the basal line (base line or rock level) of the Pyramid seems to teach another lesson in harmony with the Scriptures that though our Lord died as a ransom for sinners, he did not descend into sin and degradation, but even in his death was within the limits and bounds of the divine plan, as symbolized in the Pyramid structure above the basal line.”

It is appropriate that the upper end of the Well should be so centrally situated, namely, at the junction of the First Ascending Passage, the Horizontal Passage, and the Grand Gallery, because it symbolizes the ransom-sacrifice of Christ which is the center or hub of the great plan of salvation Plate XXIV. Just as the Well is situated at the end of the First Ascending Passage and at the commencement of the Grand Gallery, so it was the death of Christ which closed the Law Dispensation and commenced the Gospel Dispensation; and just as the Well is also at the beginning of the Horizontal Passage leading to the Queen’s Chamber, so the ransom- sacrifice of Christ was the beginning of the loving scheme devised by God for the ultimate salvation of the entire world.” (Great Pyramid Passages, Page 111 par. 183,184)

A unique confirmation of the symbolic significance of the well-shaft found elsewhere

While the Edgar brothers were in the Holy City (Jerusalem) they had time to visit the “Tombs of the Kings”, situated some distance to the north of the city.

After descending a broad flight of rock-hewn steps, we turned to the left, and through an archway entered a large open quadrangle, about 30 feet or more deep, also cut in the rock. On the left wall we noticed a large opening like the stage and proscenium of a theatre—Plate CXII (The black and white photo above is the same photo as found in the Edgar’s book, but taken from another source and of course the colored photo a more recent depiction). On the left side of this stage at the back, there is a depression in the floor leading down to a low open doorway, propped up beside which is a large stone like a mill-stone. If freed, this stone would roll down and effectually close the entrance.

We crept through this doorway, and stood upright in a large chamber hollowed out in the solid rock. Extending our explorations with lighted candles, we found a number of rock-cut rooms, large and small, connected by little passages. The small rooms were used as the sepulchral-chambers of the tombs, as these contain the familiar niches for the dead. It is tombs such as these that are referred to in Mark 5:3, where a spirit-possessed man is spoken of as “dwelling among the tombs.” They are to be found everywhere in Palestine and Egypt. Both Professors Smyth and Petrie lived in rock-cut tombs, named by them “East Tombs,” while conducting their work at the Great Pyramid. Professor Petrie occupied East Tombs for two years, and said he preferred them to the houses.

What attracted our special attention in the Tombs of the Kings is the bench, or ramp, cut in the natural rock, which runs along each wall-base in the larger compartments, similar to the ramps at the base of each side wall in the Grand Gallery in the Great Pyramid of Gizeh. In one of the rooms the resemblance of the low benches to the Ramps in the Grand Gallery is remarkable, for in the north-west corner of this chamber a portion of the bench is broken away, disclosing an open shaft—Plate CXIII below. At a short distance down, this shaft leads to a small subterranean chamber, on three sides of which are niches for the repose of the dead. Situated at a lower level than the other sepulchral rooms, this little chamber reminds us of the “lowest hell“, or “sheol“, spoken of in the Scriptures—Deut. 32:22; Psa. 86:13.

The appearance of the broken bench, and the open mouth of the downward shaft in the chamber, is much like the north-west corner in the Grand Gallery where the Ramp is broken away, forming the Well-mouth. In the Great Pyramid the Well-mouth is not at the immediate upper end of the shaft, but opens into a low horizontal passage, from the end of which the shaft proper descends—Plate XIX. In the Tombs of the Kings, also, the opening in the north-west corner of the chamber is not the top of a perpendicular shaft, but an opening by which, a short distance down, a few steps lead through a little passage to the niche- chamber.

We have always, since we studied the symbolical aspect of the Great Pyramid, understood that theWell represents Hades, the tomb or death-state; and now that we have seen this example of a tomb-chamber, with its broken bench or ramp making a “well-mouth” opening, down through which the dead were lowered to their resting-places, our belief in the reasonableness of the accepted symbolism of the “Well” in the Great Pyramid is strengthened.

In early times fanciful ideas were entertained regarding the purpose of the Well-shaft in the Great Pyramid. In those days, as Professor C. Piazzi Smyth wrote, “nothing was known of the Pyramid’s Entrance Passage further down its course than its junction with Caliph Al Mamoun’s forced hole and the entry to the First Ascending Passage”. Therefore, when men ventured to look into the Well-mouth from close to the north-western corner of the Grand Gallery, near the broken Ramp-stone, as mentioned above, they found themselves overhanging a dark and dismal abyss, no one knew how deep or where leading to.

“What Caliph Al Mamoun and his immediate followers thought of it is not recorded; but soon after his time, ‘ the well begins to figure in Arab accounts, as an open pit of preternatural depth and fearful qualities. A party of twenty men, from the Fayoum district, was once formed to investigate the mystery, but was frightened when one of their numbers fell down the aperture such a terrible distance, that he was said to have been three hours in the act of falling!”

One has to picture the scene from their perspective at the time, there was a spooky and narrow dark hole leading straight down into darkness, remember the first part of the well-shaft is 25 feet deep straight down before it meets with the irregular part of the shaft and begins to venture toward the south. All they had for lighting at the time were torches or oil lamps neither of which would reveal much looking down into this abyss.

(Great Pyramid Passages, Pages 248, 251,252 par. 406-412)

In our next post we will begin our investigation of the Grand Gallery.

The Great Pyramid, Part 26

The Great Pyramid, Part 26

Those loose Granite Stones found in the Pyramid

“Wedged in at the east edge of the deep hollow in the floor of the Grotto is a large granite stone, which, judging by its broken appearance is a fragment of a larger block. It has two worked surfaces at right angles to each other, and, most wonderful of all, parts of two large holes drilled through it! The north-east upper corner of this stone may be seen at the lower left-hand corner of our photograph of the Grotto (Plate CLXXV); but K. Vaughan’s drawing enlarges upon the photograph (but not by much), and shows more of this stone, as well as the floor of the Grotto at the small doorway Plate XXXII. The second picture below gives a much better view; the man in the background has his hand upon it.

There are similar granite stones elsewhere in the Great Pyramid. At that time, three lie on the floor of the Descending Passage. One of these, the largest, was discovered by Professor Flinders Petrie, a little below the junction of the First Ascending Passage. It is across the top of this stone, as mentioned before, that the iron grill-door is fixed. It has five worked surfaces and the remains of one drill-hole four inches in diameter.

In more recent times a new gate to the descending passage has been provided one which no longer requires the use of the before mentioned stone, I believe this stone has since been removed to the outside entrance to the descending passage as shown below.

Another stone lies on the floor of the Descending Passage a little above the opening of the lower end of the Well. Like the one in the Grotto there are two drill-holes in it. This second stone now lies below the Well opening. On the day our men began to clear the debris from the Descending Passage, they had uncovered a third but smaller granite stone, which lay on the floor a little below the iron grill-door. Taking away too much of the supporting debris, this stone began to move, and quickly gathering impetus on that steep floor, it plunged down the 200 feet or more of the passage and crashed with great force into the granite stone with the two drill-holes, knocking it to the bottom. Nevertheless, no damage was done to either of the blocks. As these two stones now prevented entrance to the Small Horizontal Passage leading to the Pit, I had them removed a few feet up the passage, and laid against the east wall, taking care so to place the larger block that the drill-holes might be examined readily by interested visitors.

In one of our photographs of the lower end of the Well, taken before this incident occurred, this larger stone may be seen lying further up the passage; and part of one of the worked surfaces, and even the upper ends of the drill-holes may be discerned Plate CLXXVIII. Judah is seen reclining on the floor of the Descending Passage above the stone, supporting his head on the board which the American excavator had placed across the passage to keep back the debris when he was clearing away the rubbish below that point—Par. 235. This board, of course, is no longer required, as the entire length of the passage is now clear.

I believe the granite stone pictured in the above black and white photo to be the same one now located on the ledge of the first square shaft in the subterranean pit.

There is still another granite stone (shown below) lying in the small Recess in the passage leading to the Pit… It has worked surfaces, but no drill-holes. There are also several small fragments of granite lying in the Pit.

At first we were greatly puzzled to know how one of these granite stones found its way into the Grotto, of all places! It appears, however, that among the large stones which formerly blocked the irregular portion of the Well-shaft above the Grotto, one was of granite; for we find in M. Caviglia’s list of measurements of the Well, the following item: “Depth of the Well to a block of granite that had fallen into it-38 feet.”

Some active operator at the Pyramid (probably Mr. Caviglia himself) must have had this granite stone lowered by means of ropes until it hung opposite the small doorway of the Grotto, into which it was then pulled out of harm’s way. Although this operation must have been attended with considerable difficulty and danger because of the weight of the block, it was the easiest way to get rid of it; for had it been thrown down the lower part of the Well, it would have again become tightly wedged somewhere in the narrow shaft, completely blocking the passage.

A more difficult problem, however, is to discover the original site and purpose of these five blocks of partly dressed granite stones with their drill-holes. The fact that one of the three largest is now in the Grotto, and has been traced to a point several feet higher than its present lodging place, would seem to indicate that they all originally occupied a position somewhere in the upper parts of the Pyramid.

When Professor Flinders Petrie made his discovery of the large granite block on the floor of the Descending Passage at the junction of the First Ascending Passage (he seems not to have known of the others), it occurred to him that it might have come from the Ante-Chamber. The three pairs of grooves on the sides of that chamber suggest the possibility of other granite leaves or portcullises stretching across between the walls like the present Granite Leaf See Plate CXXXVII. It is the only likely place he could imagine; but he saw too many objections to this theory to advance it as anything more than a mere suggestion. Why, he asks, should there be a [four-inch] drill-hole through the block [and we have seen that the two next largest also have each a pair of drill-holes], if it originally formed part of another Leaf?

He anticipates that some might claim that the hole is modern, made for smashing up the block more easily; but objects that “it is such a hole as none but an ancient Egyptian would have made, drilled out with a jeweled tubular drill in the regular style of the fourth dynasty [the period during which this Great Pyramid was built], and to attribute it to any mere smashers and looters of any period is inadmissible.”

The grooves in the Ante-Chamber are, in any case, too wide, being an inch more than the thickness of the stone. Professor Flinders Petrie remembers that the blocks of the Granite Leaf are also an inch narrower than their grooves; but seems to forget what he himself points out later, and as we have already seen (Par. 489), that the extra inch is filled in by corresponding projections or rebates on the blocks, which are wholly lacking in the block discovered by Professor Flinders Petrie; nor are any to be seen on the other blocks.

Without doubt, these granite stones with their unique drill-holes, form a mystery which must be left for some future investigator to make plain; we cannot think what was their original purpose, and are bound to confess as did Professor Flinders Petrie, that, to use his words, “something has been destroyed, of which we have at present, no idea.”

(Great Pyramid Passages, Pages 362-364 par. 553-563)

We will attempt to wrap up the well-shaft in our next post.

 

 

 

The Great Pyramid, Part 25

The Great Pyramid, Part 25

 

The Grotto

Continuing with our examination of the “Well-shaft

“Judah fastened a rope-ladder to the iron pin which our men had previously fixed with cement at the head of the vertical part of the Well-shaft; and John and I descended with the intention of examining and measuring the shaft, and also the mysterious Grotto. Were it not for the ladder I question whether we would have ventured the descent. Even with its aid we found our down- ward climb laborious, and not without risk. This vertical part of the shaft lies a few feet to the west of the line of the Grand Gallery, being approached by the small horizontal passage already referred to—Plates XVIII and XIX. The floor of the small passage does not appear to be the original one. It is not all on one level, but rises abruptly in a shallow step near the Grand Gallery end.

To determine the level of the original surface of the floor might now be a little difficult; probably it was flush with the upper surface of the step, but it may have been a little higher. Our drawings show this floor restored. At the top of the vertical shaft, on the north side, there is a fairly large excavation. It is in the rough floor of this excavation, as I mentioned before, that our men have fixed the iron pin, from which the ladder is suspended. What purpose the excavators had in view in forcing their way into the masonry at this point we do not know; probably it was they who cut the floor of the small passage, to gain more headroom for working.

At the foot of the first vertical part (which is about 25 feet deep, and nearly 28 inches square in bore), we noticed a bend in the shaft southward. It still descends very steeply, however, and the rope-ladder hangs down it for yet another ten feet. From this point the shaft looks very fearsome, especially to us who are unaccustomed to such places.

The walls of the first vertical part are comparative smooth; but from the bottom of the first down to the top of the second vertical part, the shaft is very uneven indeed, being neither square nor round in section Plate XI. It looks as if the great irregularity in this part of the shaft is the result of stones having been dislodged from its walls; for the whole of this portion of the Well, from the Grand Gallery down to the top of the second vertical part, descends through the comparatively rough core masonry of the Pyramid. Here and there, one can see the open joints between the core stones; and we found them sometimes large enough to stow away our measuring rods when not required. Situated on the east, at the foot of the first vertical part, there is a crevice large enough at its outer end to allow one to sit in it; and in at its further end, the square corner of one of the core blocks is clearly distinguishable.

The small opening into the Grotto is situated a short distance down the second vertical part. For about seven and a half feet upward from the floor of the doorway, the four walls of the square shaft are composed of masonry built of small stones in ten horizontal courses. This short built part of the shaft goes through the Grotto. Below this, right down to the lower opening into the Descending Passage, the shaft is cut through the solid rock.

The grotto is longer from east to west, than from north to south. The roof is low; and except in one spot to the west, where there is a deep hollow in the floor, it is too low to allow one to stand. The floor, walls and roof are composed for the most part of gravel embedded in caked sand, which crumbles when touched. Here and there the natural rock appears Plate CLXXVII.

Owing to the thick coating of dust, and the extreme roughness of the walls of the shaft, it is difficult to determine the level at which the core masonry of the Pyramid rests upon the natural rock; but it cannot be far above the Grotto. It appears to us as if the large core blocks rest directly on the top of the ten courses of small stones which line the upper half of the square shaft of the second vertical part. As I indicated before, these courses of small stones were built to continue the shaft through the Grotto; and the level of the rock on which they rest can be distinctly seen in our photograph Plate CLXXV, with which compare K. Vaughan’s drawing, Plate XXXII.

Professor Petrie points out that the ancient workmen must have cut and completed the Subterranean Chamber and the lower part of the Descending Passage in the rock, before commencing the erection of the superstructure of the Pyramid with its built continuation of the Descending Passage. So also with the Well, its lower part would probably be cut in the rock first, and then it would be gradually continued upward as the core masonry of the Pyramid was built up, course by course, until it reached its present outlet on the west side of the lower end of the Grand Gallery. But before proceeding to the erection of the Great Pyramid, the workmen would also probably level the surface of the foundation rock.

That they did not do this in one plane, but in terraces, is evident, because the beginning of the rock-cut portion of the Descending Passage is distinctly on a higher level than the rock under the pavement at the outside base of the Pyramid; while our measurements of the length of the Well-shaft show that the rock-cut portion of that shaft begins on a still higher level Plate XI.

Our thought with regard to the Grotto is that, while the ancient builders were engaged in this work of leveling the rock surface in terraces preparatory to the erection of the Pyramid, they uncovered a large natural cavity or fissure. As the shaft of the Well passed through this cavity (and its course would lead one to believe that it was diverted for this purpose), the workmen would be instructed to build a continuation of its four walls with small courses of stone up to the level of the rock.

The cavity or fissure would then be filled up to the level of the rock with sand and gravel from the desert, packed in firmly round the four walls of this built continuation of the shaft, and so form a solid foundation for the masonry of the Pyramid. In our photograph of the Grotto some of this sand and gravel can be seen adhering to the white plaster of the masonry.

Curious investigators (probably shortly after Al Mamoun’s time), wondering what could be concealed behind such strange little walls, forced their way through the four lowest of the small courses of the south wall. Encountering nothing but sand and gravel, they would soon abandon their task; but, from time to time, later investigators, imbued with the same curiosity, would gradually extend the breach by picking away large quantities of the partly caked sand and gravel, and throwing it down the shaft would completely block up the bottom of the Well. (This thought was first advanced by Col. Coutelle in 1801).

Thus, the lower portion of the four walls of the shaft, built so long ago through the cavity, were again laid bare on their outer surfaces; for the Grotto curves almost completely round the Well-shaft—Plate CLXXVII. Even Professor Flinders Petrie did his share in enlarging what has for long been generally known as the “Grotto.” We discovered, at the bottom of the deep hollow to the west, a basket of the kind regularly used by the Arabs to carry sand, etc.” (Great Pyramid Passages Pages 351,358-362 par. 538, 539, 540-542, 548-552)

Continued with next post.