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Month: October 2017

Justification, Sanctification, Redemption, Part 2

Justification, Sanctification, Redemption, Part 2

All who are called may take the second step—SANCTIFICATION

To sanctify is to set apart or separate to a special thing or use. God’s will is that all justified ones should be sanctified or set apart to his service as we read: “This is the will of God even your (believers) sanctification.” 1 Thess 4:3.

There are two parts to sanctification–first ours, secondly God’s part.

As we have seen, God provides for our justification as men and then calls us to set apart–sanctify –or consecrate to him that justified humanity. When we do, thus consecrate or give up our will, our time, talent, life and all we have and are to God, and ask him to take our little all and use it as seems to him good, and agree to let the will of God dwell in us richly–when we have done this we have done all that we can do; and here God who accepts of every such sacrifice, begins His part of the sanctification work. He begins to use this will resigned to his care and “to work in you both to will and to do” in harmony with his will. From that moment it is no longer you (the human) but “Christ in you.” Even the earthly (human) body under the new controlling will (God’s) is used in God’s service and is thereby made holy.

From this moment when we give consecrate–ourselves–we are reckoned dead, as human beings for the human will, should be buried from that moment forward; and when the will of God– the mind of Christ–the Holy Spirit takes possession of us so that it becomes our will and our mind, we are called “new creatures“–we are thus begotten to newness of life. This new creature is only an embryo being: It is not complete; but it grows and develops and “we all with open face, beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3:18.) Thus as new spiritual creatures we grow in his likeness during the time we abide in this earthly condition. As the spiritual nature grows stronger the human nature grows weaker and is the easier to keep dead, for I must not only give up my will to God, but keep it in a surrendered condition, “keep my body under“– under God’s will.

As the new spiritual nature grows it longs for its perfection when it will no longer be trammeled and fettered by human conditions, but be “like unto Christ’s glorious body.” This is promised us–we have been begotten, and by and by shall be born of the Spirit–spiritual bodies, for “that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit,” just as truly as “that which was born of the flesh was flesh.” Our begetting we have and our spiritual life is begun. It is to be completed, perfected, when this corruptible, and mortal condition shall give place to the incorruptible, immortal conditions of the Spiritual body. This will be at the moment of resurrection to those who sleep in Jesus (those who died prior to this time)—raised spiritual bodies; and it will be the moment of change to the living (i.e. those who die in Christ henceforth) from the fleshly body to their own spiritual bodies– theirs as new creatures. Thus, “we which are alive and remain shall be changed in a moment.” 1 Cor. 15:52.

“If I in Thy likeness, O Lord, may awake, and shine a pure image of Thee, Then I shall be satisfied when I can break the fetters of flesh and be free. When on Thine own image in me Thou hast smiled, Within Thy blest mansion, and when the arms of my Father encircle His child, O! I shall be satisfied then. And O! The blest morning already is here; the shadows of nature do fade; and soon in Thy likeness I’ll with Thee appear, in glory and beauty arrayed.”

This change of residence or condition, from the earthly body to the spiritual body is the third step of our development, viz: REDEMPTION.

This redemption from the present earthly conditions finishes and completes our salvation and the glory of power will follow.

Toward this the end of the race we are looking with longing eyes, “Ourselves, that have the first fruits (begetting) of the Spirit, even we groan within ourselves waiting for sonship, –the redemption of our body” (the body as a whole, the body of which Jesus is the head and all overcomers are members.) Rom. 8:23.

THE POWER WHICH SANCTIFIES

It is not a power of physical force that is used by the Spirit of God in our development, but a mental power which appeals to our minds and wills. The Spirit appeals to our reason, and uses the word of God as its agent. In the Word, the Spirit has in former ages stored up, both by prophetic utterances and Law shadows and types, those truths which God designed should during this Gospel age to be the food to sanctify the body of Christ and build it up in the most holy faith. And we act wisely if we make use of this spiritual food. (“Thy words were found and I did eat them.” Jer. 15:16). It is furnished us for the purpose of sanctifying us.

If we go to our Father and say, Father, I give myself all to thee; I pray thee, set me apart as holy to thy service, both now and hereafter. Give me needed strength to do thy will.

He answers, yes, my child, I have already provided a rich store-house of truth, from which, if you eat, you shall have the strength you ask. “Knock, and it shall be opened unto you”–seek, and you shall find.”

The seeker returns, saying, Father, I found the store-house, but saw little but plain food exposed to view; most of the choice viands must have been locked up in the great closets which the keys did not seem to fit. Father, give me strength in some other way.

Not so, my child. Part of your lesson is to learn that my way is best; that my way of giving is your best way of receiving strength. Go; your strength, joy, zeal and love for me will increase as one after another these closets open before you, revealing their rich treasures.

Yes, the word of God is the treasure-house of our Father, in which He has stored truth to sanctify the church in every age, wherein is “given us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might become partakers of the Divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:2, 4). In it is revealed “the love of Christ (which) constraints us.” (2 Cor. 5:14), and by means of it our Master prayed that we should be sanctified: “Father sanctify them through Thy truth. Thy word is truth.” (John 17:17.)

What Christian, then, who desires sanctification, can afford to ignore the Scriptures? Which one will say he has no time to examine and seek in it for truth?

As well say he has no time for sanctification. “It is the power of God unto salvation.” (Rom. 1:16.) Let us, then, who seek this great salvation– high calling– say to ourselves as Paul said to Timothy (2 Tim. 3:15-17), “From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation.” “All Scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable, for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Now call to mind the steps: First, justification of the human nature; second, a consecration or sacrifice of that human nature to God, its consequent death and the beginning of your existence as a spiritual new creature in the human body during the present life; third, the completion of your new, divine nature, by the power of God, when you will be like unto Christ’s glorious body–who is the express image of the Father’s person. What a glorious, high calling! You are called:

Many are called, few are chosen,” “Make your calling and election sure.”

Do you ask how you can make it sure?

I answer, by doing according to your covenant; give up your all to Father and let Him use you as he sees best–

“All for Jesus! All for Jesus! All your being’s ransomed power: All your thoughts and words and doings, all your days and all your hours.”

If you do these things (which you covenanted) ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Pet. 1:10-11.) God will surely keep His part of the agreement [Faithful is He that called you.] “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him.” (2 Tim. 2:12.) R199

Justification, Sanctification, Redemption, Part 1

Justification, Sanctification, Redemption, Part 1

These are the three steps by which we are to reachthe prize of our high calling“–glory, honor and immortality. Not one of these steps can be omitted by those who win the great prize, nor can they be taken in any way but their order as directed in the Scriptures.

Justification comes first as a necessity, because, all the human race being sinners, as such God could not either sanctify or glorify them; therefore, by some means, they must be “made free from sin” (brought to a condition of sin-less-ness) in order that they might “have their fruit unto holiness” (sanctification), and eventually receive “the end thereof– eternal life” (redemption). Rom. 6:22.

As sinners, men “are not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can they be.” (Rom. 8:7). We are “made free from sin” by faith; that is, we are told of God that a ransom has been given for our sin, and that if we by faith accept the ransom, he no longer regards or treats us as sinners, but as perfect and sinless beings. This cleansing from sin is a complete work. You are justified–reckoned of God just and perfect, but it cannot be seen with the natural eye. You cannot realize that physically you are any more perfect than before you believed yourself justified. It is entirely by the eye of faith that you know yourself now as a being, justified freely from all things. God’s word declares it and you believe Him.

We need not fear that our justification is incomplete, for Jehovah Himself is the justifier, as we read, God is “just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26), and again, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies.”

Upon what grounds does God reckon human sinners as justified or righteous persons?

Because the ransom for our sins has been paid by Jesus, who “Himself bare our sins in His own body on the tree.” (1 Pet. 2:24). For “Christ suffered, the just for the unjust (sinners), that He might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18) as justified beings. Jesus was treated as a sinner on our behalf, and we are now treated as just persons on His behalf. As we read again, “Ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Cor. 6:11). And again, “Being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Rom. 5:9).

But ONLY BELIEVERS ARE JUSTIFIED during this Gospel age. They who do not believe that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that “He rose again the third day,” for our justification (1 Cor. 15:14; Rom. 4:25), are not justified: “Ye are yet in your sins.” So we read, God “is the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Again, “All that believe are justified from all things” (Acts 13:39), and “A man is justified by faith.” (Gal 2:16; 3:24).

When we believe the “good news” of our justification, it causes us joy and peace to realize that we may now come to God; and we no longer dread but now love God, because we see His goodness and love, for “herein is the love of God manifested.” (1 John 4:9).

We are thus brought into fellowship with God as justified human beings –“Being justified by faith, we have peace with God.” (Rom. 5:1). Few, very few, lay hold upon justification fully; few believe God that they “are justified from all things” and are in God’s sight clothed in the spotlessness of Jesus, in whom was no sin; consequently very few have the joy and peace which spring from believing. And it is no uncommon thing to hear, in church meetings of all denominations, men and women tell God that they know themselves to be “miserable sinners.” Poor creatures, no wonder they agonize and daily ask the forgiveness of those sins which God’s word declares are (already) forgiven. 2 Pet. 1:9. They know not that they partake of the justification by believing. If they would only believe God, they would have the realization of forgiveness, and consequently joy and peace. “For without faith it is impossible to please God.” Beyond this point of rejoicing in a consciousness of forgiveness of sins, and acceptableness in God’s sight, few Christians go.

The foregoing represents the “First Step” which is symbolized by passing beneath the “Entrance Curtain” into the Tabernacle courtyard. The entrance curtain or “gate” as it is likewise referred represents Christ Jesus our Lord. This was the only entrance, the only gateway in which to enter the Courtyard; the type thus testifying to the antitype that there is but one way of access to God—one “gate” Jesus. “I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Did you ever think why God has made known to us our justification now, but keeps it hidden from the great mass of the race until the millennial age, though the ransom price is eventually to release all mankind from sin and its penalty, and bring them to the same condition of acceptance –sinlessness–perfection which we now enjoy by faith? It is because God has a plan which He is working out according to the counsel of His own will, and a part of that plan is that He will select from among mankind a number who will eventually be transferred from the earthly conditions and human nature to spiritual conditions and the “divine nature“–to be “heirs of God, joint heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord.”

God’s object in the development of this “little flock” is two-fold: first, He will make them everlasting monuments of His goodness, to be known and read of angels and men. As Paul expresses it (Eph. 2:7), God’s plan in the development of the Gospel church of overcomers, is, “That in the ages to come, He might show the exceeding riches of His grace, in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” The second part of God’s plan, in which we are directly associated, is, that He purposes to use us during the next–millennial–age as kings (rulers) and priests (teachers, instructors), when we shall reign with Christ a thousand years. (Rev. 5:10, 20:6). Thus shall the “seed,” of which Jesus is the head, bless all the families of the earth. (Gal. 3:29).

No sinners are called to have part in this “high calling, which is of God in Christ Jesus.” True, Jesus called “sinners to repentance“–so does the word of God and all his children seek to bring men to repentance and faith in Christ and consequent justification. But only the justified ones are called to be “kings and priests unto God, and to reign on the earth.” It is worse than useless to present the grand prize (the “heavenly calling”) for which we run to the attention of sinners–the unjustified. For the natural man receives not the things of the spirit of God, neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned–they are foolishness unto him. Therefore, “cast not your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

This being true, that none are called to the high calling except the justified ones, the fact that you know of your justification may be the proof to you that you are one of those whom God has “called” to spiritual life and joint-heirship with Jesus.

What a blessed privilege to be called with such a high calling. Now do you realize that you are called to be a member of the Bride of Christ? Then remember who called you– God; and that “Faithful is He that calls you, who also will do it.” (1 Thess. 5:24). Our Father mocks none with a call which they cannot attain to. His grace is sufficient for us.

Nevertheless it is important to understand that simply being called does not the new creature make, you still have something to do in this matter, after having first “counted the costs” and accepting the terms you must enter into covenant relationship with the Father (Psa 50:5) i.e. follow through with a full consecration of yourself, presenting your body (the justified human nature) a living sacrifice. (Rom 12:1)

This is the “Second Step”, which few take, mostly because they had no idea there was a second step in the first place. Having been misled by the blind guides of Christendom they have been assured of their heavenly reward simply upon a confession of faith, alas the majority of these poor souls will awaken in the earthly phase of the kingdom, having missed their opportunity to experience a change of natures and a heavenly reward, this simply because they placed too much confidence in their ministers, rather than in the Word of the Lord.

This is the gate of which our Lord spoke that few there be that find, the Straight gate which leads to life (life inherent, immortality), by means of the narrow way of death by sacrifice (Matt 7:14) “So narrow (is this “gate“) that it admits only the Lord’s plan, the Lord’s way and only to those willing to conform to it.” (R5045:3)

The “Second Step” is likewise symbolized in the Tabernacle picture; here it is represented by passing beneath the “First Vail” depicting the surrender or death of ones will for that of the Lord’s and entering into the “Holy” condition wherein the individual receives special light provided by means of the “Golden Lamp-stand” representing the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. This light shines upon the “Table of Show-bread” in which special food, spiritual food is provided for the growth and encouragement of the new creature. The “Holy” of the Tabernacle could be said to be a testing or schooling ground for the new creature.

This “Second Step” is also pictured in the Great Pyramid by the “Step” at the end of the Grand Gallery; the Grand Gallery similar to the “courtyard” of the Tabernacle depicts the upward path of the believer leading him to the point of full consecration. After he ascends this step he must first bow beneath the “granite leaf” err he enter the “Ante-chamber” which likewise pictures the holy condition or school of Christ.

We will continue with this study in our next post.

 

The Great Pyramid, Part 33

The Great Pyramid, Part 33

The Grand Galley

In the last section we saw that the Grand Gallery, in its relation to the Ante-Chamber as the School of Christ, symbolizes the condition of the justified who are called or invited to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto GodRom. 12: 1. Those who do so are urged to forget those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things that are before, press toward the mark for the prize of the  High Calling  of God in Christ Jesus—Phil. 3: 13, 14. In the present section, the Grand Gallery will be considered as symbolizing the High or Heavenly Calling in itself — Heb. 3: 1.

The two modes of access, the one for the Jew, the other for the Gentile, to the privilege of the High Calling, have already been considered in Pars. 179-182. (Viz. those Jews who accepted Christ as the end of the Law entered by way of the First Ascending passage representing the Law Dispensation, and those Gentiles who accept Christ enter by way of the “Well”, representing the ransom sacrifice of Christ.)

This High Calling began, so far as Jesus was concerned, at his birth, because he was born into this world for the purpose of accepting the call to sacrifice when the due time should come, which was at his baptism; but it was not until his death and resurrection that the “new and living way” was opened up to the world of mankind, first to the Jews and afterwards to the Gentiles. Good men, like John the Baptist (of whom there was no greater), who died prior to the time when Jesus Christ rose from the dead and appeared in the presence of God for us, his followers (Heb. 9 : 24), had no part in this High Calling to be joint – sacrificer and ultimately joint-heirs with the Master—Matt. 11: 11. The first of the Jews to accept this call and to receive the Holy Spirit in token of their acceptance by God, where the 120 disciples when they were assembled in the upper room at Pentecost, the exact date foreshadowed by the Law—Lev. 23: 4-17; Acts 1: 13, 14; 2: 1-18. The first Gentile to accept, and be accepted, was Cornelius, to whom the Apostle Peter was specially sent by God—Acts 10.

The lofty height of the Grand Gallery very well represents the perfect liberty and high aspirations of the followers of Christ. Those who go up this way do not require to walk with their heads bowed as they did when coming up the First Ascending Passage, representative of the Jews bowed down and condemned by the exacting requirements of the Law, or when going down the Descending Passage, representative of the remainder of the human race bowed down under the Adamic condemnation to death. Those who are privileged to go up the Grand Gallery can do so with their heads erect: for “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth,” and “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit “—Rom. 8: 1.

The Jews who struggled up the First Ascending Passage, and the world who labor down the Descending Passage are weary and faint because of their galling yoke and heavy burden; “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint “—Isa. 40: 31.

Nevertheless, although this way is lofty, it is a narrow way, fornarrow is the way which leads unto life “—Matt. 7: 14. It is rather less than seven feet wide above the Ramps, and the walking part between the Ramps is narrower still. It is only three and a half feet wide just room for two to walk abreast, “My Lord and I.” However anxious the Lord’s brethren may be for some dear one to share this pathway with them, while they may assist him to see his privilege, none of them can lead him up. They must urge him to take Jesus’ hand; and all who respond will find Jesus able to save to the uttermost. They will hear Jehovah’s tender words: “Fear thou not, for I am with thee: be not dismayed, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness “—Isa. 41: 10.

The way is dark; “but unto the upright there arises light in the darkness.” Those who walk this way have a “lamp,” the Word of God, by the light of which they are enabled to see the pathway, and this lamp is shining more and more brightly—Psa. 112: 4 ; 119: 105; Prov. 4 : 18. The way is also slippery; but the wayfarers have the Lord as their yoke-fellow; if they should slip, he will help them. Moreover, they have the Ramps beside them all the way, representing the grace of God, his “great and precious promises” to support them when they are weary, to cling to when they slip.

When I said, `My foot slips,’ thy mercy, O Lord, held me up “—Psa. 93: 18.

Should anyone willfully  begin to retrace his steps, he will find that the way of the backslider is hard, just as in the Great Pyramid the descent of the Grand Gallery is even harder than the ascent. Persistence in this downward course must eventuate in the Second DeathHeb. 6: 4-6; 10: 29; 2 Pet. 2: 20-22.

NOTE: The true collaboration between and the Great Pyramid Passages and the Divine Plan as found in the Word of the Lord should be taken from the perspective of how the chambers and passages appeared during the time of the Edgar brothers and their predecessors viz., Professors Flinders Petrie and Piazzi Smyth, Colonel Howard Vyse, and etc., all of these gentlemen saw the pyramid as it first appeared prior to most of the modern restorations which have taken place since then, thus their notes and most especially their early drawings and photos of the various chambers and passages are invaluable.  These early photos depict how the pyramid is supposed to be view when attempting to collaborate it with the Divine Plan. For example the subterranean chamber (or pit) should not be seen as it is today all cleaned up and well-lit, but rather it should be envisioned as it was when all the rubble was still skewed all about the floor thus giving it the appearance of an unfinished work, a chamber with no noticeable floor or bottom, i.e. a bottomless pit. The same in respects to the Grand Gallery don’t look at it from the perspective of its modern condition all restored and well-lit with all sorts of modern aids, ramps and steps to aid the visitor, but rather try to envision it as the Edgar’s first saw it as in the photo above. Only then will you truly see how the pyramid chambers and passages coincide with the Divine Plan.

The Step at the head of the Grand Gallery represents the last great trial to be overcome in each individual Christian’s course; but just as visitors to the Pyramid can surmount this Step and gain entrance to the King’s Chamber by taking advantage of the help afforded them by their guide and by the Ramps, so all who are true Christians will prove over-comers if their strength is not in themselves, but in the Lord, and if they rely on the grace of God, “the exceedingly great and precious promises: that by these they might be partakers of the Divine nature2 Pet. 1: 4.

When we examine the two side-walls of the Grand Gallery, we see that they are each composed of eight courses of masonry above the Ramps, and that each course projects about three inches beyond the one below it. There are thus seven over-lapping’s, and the width of the passage becomes gradually less between each pair of opposite courses till the roof is reached; here the width is identical with the floor-space between the Ramps. Wordsworth E. Jones suggested that they might represent the various stages in the upward growth in Christian character as detailed in 2 Pet. 1: 5-7: “And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love.”

From this point of view, the floor of the Grand Gallery may be taken as representing the foundation of our faith. The Apostle assures us that “other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ“—1 Cor. 3: 11. Jesus himself said: “I am the way “—John 14. 6. It is on him that the “exceedingly great and precious promises” are based, just as it is on the floor of the Grand Gallery that the Ramps are based. The lowest course of each side wall, representing the faith of the Christian, rests on the floor through the medium of the Ramp, and similarly, the faith of the Christian rests on the foundation of Jesus Christ through the medium of the Lord’s great and precious promises.

But the Christian may have all faith so that he could move mountains, and yet, if he did not add to it the various graces of the spirit, the greatest and highest of which is love, his faith would profit him nothing. We must add to our faith the various over-lapping’s of 1), virtue, fortitude, the courage of our convictions; 2), knowledge ; 3), temperance,—self-control ; 4), patience; 5), godliness,—reverence for God with desire to do his commands, duty love ; 6), brotherly kindness,—love for all who are brethren in Christ Jesus ; 7), love in its all-comprehensive sense,—love for God, for the brethren, for mankind in general, for enemies.

These are all built upon, and are additions to each other in the order named, and all are necessary, if we would be joint-heirs with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “If these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacks these things is blind and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure ; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall ; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ2 Pet. 1 : 5-11.

The fact that the space between the side walls is narrower and narrower at each overlapping, till the roof is reached where the width is the same as that between the Ramps, would seem to indicate that the various additions to the upward growth in grace enumerated by the Apostle Peter, present more and more difficulty to the individual Christian who is faithful to his covenant of sacrifice. The way becomes narrower and narrower, till at length it becomes as narrow as the way the Master trod. This will be reached only when we develop love in its all-comprehensive sense, in addition to and inclusive of the other graces of the spirit. It is only those who cultivate this love, the sum of all the graces, who will be raised to joint-heirship with Christ, inasmuch as these alone will have proved their fitness to be associated with Christ in judging and blessing the world in righteousness—I Cor. 13 : 1-13 ; 6 : 2 ; Rev. 3 : 21; Psa. 96:9-13.”

The fact that the “shallow groove” or “rut” appears in the lower level of the forth overlap may imply that many brethren fall into a “rut” here having great difficulty developing patience, not only toward their fellow man, but likewise toward the brethren themselves.

(Great Pyramid Passages, Pages 107-122 par. 177-183, 185-209)

In our next post we will begin our examination of the Kings Chamber.

The great Pyramid, Part 32

The great Pyramid, Part 32

The Grand Gallery and the Ante-Chamber to the Kings Chamber, continued

After the visitor to the Great Pyramid enters the Ante- Chamber and stands erect, he finds himself at first in a little compartment measuring 21 inches from front to back, by 42 inches from side to side. His further progress is barred by the “Granite Leaf,” nearly 15 3/4 inches thick, which has its under surface in line with the roof of the entrance passage. The traveler will, therefore, require again to bow very low in order to pass under this block of granite before he can get the full freedom of the Ante-Chamber.

The stooping necessary to pass through the entrance passage, which is constructed entirely of limestone, represents the voluntary death of the human or earthly will, self-renunciation, but this alone is not sufficient. Some on giving up their own will accept the will of the Pope, for instance. To these the Pope’s will becomes infallible, and they consent to believe and do whatever he commands (for others it is the will or decrees, ordinances of a particular sect or denomination to which they belong). This is not true consecration to God. Those who accept the high calling of God in Christ Jesus must not only deny themselves, but they must also bow to the will of the Lord.  As granite in the Great Pyramid represents things Divine, so the Granite Leaf represents the Divine Will, to which those who would enter the School of Christ must bow submissively. Before they do this, although they are standing under a granite roof (Plate XXXI) representing Divine protection, they are, nevertheless, still standing on limestone. This symbolizes the fact that they are still regarded by God as human beings, not yet begotten to the spirit nature. But as soon as they come to the decision to bow down to the will of God symbolized by the Granite Leaf, thus evidencing their willingness to ” lose their lives” for Christ’s sake, Christ imputes to them a sufficiency of his merit to render their sacrifice holy and acceptable to God. Their justification then becomes complete; and their sacrifice being now a living one, because entirely free from the Adamic condemnation, it is at once accepted by the Lord. As the Apostle states, “there is, therefore, now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit“—Rom. 8: 1.

The difficulty here with the majority of professing Christians is that they know nothing of this second and most important step which they must render first if they are to ever enter the narrow path which leads to joint heir-ship with Christ Jesus our Lord. For the most part the majority are completely ignorant of this necessary step, believing as they have been taught by the blind guides of Christendom that all that is necessary for spirit begettal and a heavenly inheritance is simply a mere profession of faith. Such have put too much faith in their ministers, the blind guides and as such have missed the way. Not the way to salvation, mind you, that was secured through the ransom sacrifice of Christ and is simply dependent upon faith and obedience.

No! It is the “new and living way” to which we refer, a way which leads to something more than just salvation, but to a change of nature, spirit begetting, to cross bearing, to suffering, to sacrifice and then upon a faithful completion of this course to glory, honor, and immortality.

But alas as we have alluded to the blind guides have misled the majority of believers. Even as it is written,

Woe to you lawyers! (Doctors of the Law as they were then called, but now known as the Doctors of Divinity both nevertheless designated by the Lord as the “blind guides” of the blind) For you have taken away (through your traditions and speculations) the key of knowledge (the key to the privileges and opportunities of the Gospel age as they pertain to the church and her special calling, the “Heavenly Calling”, a call to sacrifice now and by and by to glory later, much of which is taught through the Tabernacle types which you neglect to teach) you did not enter in yourselves (enter into “His rest” through faith and consecration, and thus never entered the “Holy”, the spirit begotten condition, Why? Because you were blinded by your own ignorance and disbelief preferring the teachings and traditions of men over that of the Word of the Lord.), and those who were to enter in (whom you presumed to be leading in the proper path, who stood outside the Tabernacle proper) you have hindered (misled through false teachings and misrepresentations),” Luke 11:52 and so they too have never entered in.

That is to say through your own ignorance you have deceived them into thinking they have done everything require of them, yet there remained one more crucial step. You thoroughly convinced them that a mere confession of faith in Christ was all that it took, not only to be saved, but to be begotten of the spirit or “born again” as you like to call it, and that all such believers were assured of a heavenly inheritance. The blame for this deceit however belongs to both the blind guides and the blind who follow them as the vast majority of professed Christians have long since placed far too much faith in the “wisdom of men” in their ministers, Pastors, teachers and etc., rather than in the Word of the Lord itself.

There is no scriptural evidence to support the theory that a mere profession of faith grants anyone spirit begettal.

In the Tabernacle type only those who had entered into the courtyard, who had recognized the brazen altar as typifying Christ sacrifice, and subsequently washed at the laver (typifying the washing of the word) and from there gone forth to present themselves at the entrance to the Tabernacle (typifying the surrendering of the will, consecration), only these having passed the “First Vail” and entered the “Holy” were begotten of the spirit. The vast majority of professed Christians have yet to have experienced a change of natures and are still of the earth, earthly “natural men” lingering in the courtyard, in the tentatively justified condition.

It is important to notice that when Paul besought the Romans to present their bodies a living sacrifice, and pointed out to them that it was their reasonable service to do so (Rom. 12: 1), he did not address those who were enemies of God through evil works, but those who had turned to have faith in God, and were, therefore, his “brethren” of the household of faith. The man who lacks faith cannot present his body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. Not having been freed from condemnation his death would not be sacrificial, or holy, but would be forfeited at the hands of justice; nor would his body be his own to present. The death of such avails nothing, for “God hath no pleasure in the death of the wicked“; but the sacrificial death of those declared “blessed and holy” because of their faith in Jesus avails much, for “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints “—Ezek. 33:11; Psa. 116:15.

The visitor to the Ante-Chamber who bows down under the Granite Leaf (likewise typified by passing beneath the “first vail” of the Tabernacle), steps for the first time on to granite; symbolizing that those who submit themselves to the will of God, have now risen from the plane of human justification to the plane of spirit-begetting. Henceforth God reckons them dead as human beings (Col. 3:3),—not dead in Adam, but dead in Christ,—and alive as spirit beings. They are “accepted in the Beloved” as members of his body. They are immersed into Christ, because they are immersed into his death (Eph. 1:6; Rom. 6:3); and becoming partakers of his sufferings and death they will ultimately, if found faithful, become partakers of his glorious resurrection, the first or chief resurrection Phil. 3:10, 11; Rev. 20:6.

The first stone of this granite floor is about a quarter of an inch higher than the limestone; and if a vertical line be drawn downward from its first or north edge, it will be found to pass beyond (south of) the Queen’s Chamber which symbolizes the perfect human condition.

Once an entrance has been gained into the Ante-Chamber proper, it is found that the level of its floor falls immediately to the level of the limestone Step outside, showing that although those who are spirit-begotten have now the spiritual mind, the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), they have as yet undergone no change of nature as regards their bodies. They have received the Holy Spirit of promise as an earnest or pledge of their future spiritual inheritance (Eph. 1:13, 14), the Divine nature, but their bodies are still human. Nevertheless, as they are standing on granite, this shows that they are reckoned by God as partakers of the Divine nature, because they have presented their bodies a living sacrifice, and are striving to fulfill their vow of consecration. Above them is the granite roof, signifying that they are, even more than before, under Divine protection. “He that dwells in the secret place of the most high, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty “—Psa. 91:1.

Before they can enter the “Sanctuary” or King’s Chamber, which is a figure or type of heaven itself (Heb. 9:24), they must bow down once more and pass through another low entrance- passage. The stooping necessary to do this symbolizes death, for those who will become joint – heirs with Jesus Christ must rise from the plane of spirit-begetting to the plane of spirit-birth, that is, they must be changed to the spiritual condition in the actual as distinguished from the reckoned sense before they can enter the heavenly glory, for “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God“—1 Cor. 15:50 (That is the spiritual phase of the kingdom). That the plane of spirit-birth is higher than the plane of spirit-begetting is indicated in the Great Pyramid by the fact that the granite floor of the King’s Chamber is on a higher level than the upper surface of the first granite stone in the floor of the Ante-Chamber.

The emergence from the low entrance-passage into the King’s Chamber symbolizes the ‘resurrection of those who have been faithful followers of Christ. This is the first or chief resurrection concerning which John the Revelator states: “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years “—Rev. 20: 6. Paul, speaking of the same class, said: “The dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thess. 4: 16), and again, “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him2 Tim. 2:11, 12.

This gracious offer of joint-heirship with Jesus is free to those who have ears to hear the glad tidings before the time when the door of opportunity will close, and all who accept and are faithful unto death will receive the crown of life, and will find that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in them, for they will be raised in the likeness of Christ’s glorious spiritual body and will reign with him—Rev 2 : 10; Rom 8 : 18; Phil 3 : 21; 1 John 3 : 2.

It is thus evident that the Grand Gallery symbolizes the plane of faith-justification; the first granite stone in the Ante- Chamber the plane of spirit-begetting ; and the granite floor of the King’s Chamber (or Sanctuary) the plane of spirit-birth, the Divine nature.

Continued with next post.

 

The Great Pyramid, Part 31

The Great Pyramid, Part 31

The Grand Gallery and the Ante-Chamber to the Kings Chamber

“From the viewpoint now to be considered we see that the Grand Gallery, the Ante-Chamber, and the King’s Chamber correspond respectively with the Court, the Holy, and the Most Holy of the Tabernacle in the wilderness—See  Tabernacle Shadows,  by C. T. Russell. And when these three compartments in the Great Pyramid are compared with the Chart of the Ages (Plate V), they are found to correspond respectively with the plane of justification, the plane of spirit-begetting, and the plane of spirit-birth, or Divine Glory.

As already mentioned (Pars. 139, 140), these three compartments and three planes symbolize the three successive steps or conditions of those drawn of the Lord: —

(1) The Grand Gallery represents the condition of the justified by faith, those who are reckoned by God as perfect human beings because of their faith, and are called with the high or heavenly calling to sacrifice (Rom. 12:1), that they may become joint-heirs with Christ in his glory.

(2) The Ante-Chamber represents the condition of those who, having accepted this gracious invitation to present their justified human nature in sacrifice, arebegotten againto a new nature, receiving theholy spirit of promiseas an earnest of their future spiritual inheritance, thespirit of adoptionwhereby they now cryAbba, Father “—Eph 1:13, 14 Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6; Heb 12:9. These are the spirit-begotten, and are now in theSchool of Christwhere they receive trials and testings necessary to develop them asnew creatures in Christ Jesus.” In this School, grace and peace are multiplied unto them through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus their Lord, 2 Pet. 1:2.

(3) The King’s Chamber represents the condition of the spirit-born, those who have completed their sacrifice in death, and have in the resurrection received spirit bodies of the Divine nature in keeping with their new minds2 Cor. 5:1. Thus the King’s Chamber symbolizes heaven itself, the throne of the Lord.

Those Jews and Gentiles, who are justified by faith, are at peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, the purpose being that they may be called to joint-heirship with Christ. In the Great Pyramid they are represented as standing in the Grand Gallery, which, in this picture, symbolizes the conditions of faith-justification.

Just as the First Ascending Passage leads up to the Grand Gallery, so this symbolizes the fact that the privilege of faith-justification was first offered to those who were under the Law Covenant (the Jews); for, as the Apostle Paul says, the Law was theirschoolmaster to bring them unto Christ, that they might be justified by faith“—Gal. 3: 24. For this purpose, that the Jews might be justified by faith, Christ came “to his own“; and to as many as received him as the Father’s appointed way to life, “to them gave he the privilege to become the sons of GodJohn 1: 11, 12. “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one [under the law] that believeth “—Rom. 10: 4. Because of their faith they were no longer compelled to remain under the bondage of the Law-schoolmaster (Gal. 3: 25, 26), even as those who pass from the low confined First Ascending Passage into the greater liberty of the Grand Gallery, are no longer obliged to walk bowed down, but can straighten their backs and raise their heads in full assurance of faith in the great height of the roof.

But those who received Christ by faith were few in number; the vast majority because of unbelief never realized that Christ had taken the Law out of the way, nailing it to his cross (Col. 2: 14); and of them it was written: “Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back always “—Rom. 11: 10. As they rejected the glorious liberty of Grace so well symbolized by the Grand Gallery, they were allowed to remain in their bowed condition under the Law symbolized by the First Ascending Passage. But, praise the Lord, “God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all“; for the death and resurrection of the Christ, head and body, symbolized by the breaking-away of the Well-mouth and lower part of the Grand Gallery floor, opened the way by which, when God shall ” take away their sins,” they may ultimately progress to the Queen’s- Chamber condition of human perfection—Rom. 11:27-32.

As merely a “remnant” of the Jewish nation received Jesus as the Messiah, and the rest “judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life,” God turned to the other nations, the Gentiles, to “take out of them a people for his name “—Acts 13: 46 ; 15 : 14. But the Gentiles were not born under the Law symbolized by the First Ascending Passage, but were born down on the plane of Adamic condemnation to death symbolized by the Descending Passage, and, therefore, far away from the Grand-Gallery privileges of the high calling to son-ship. Nevertheless, although Jesus came to his own people, the Jewish nation, being born under the Law, that he might redeem them that were under the Law that they might receive the adoption of sons (Gal 4 : 4, 5), his ransom- sacrifice was all-sufficient to reach right down to those who were “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel,” even as the Well, the Great Pyramid’s symbol of the ransom-sacrifice, descends all the way down to the lower parts of the Descending Passage Plate XL Thus, those ” who sometimes were far off ” from Israel’s covenants of promise, and enemies of God through wicked works, were “made nigh by the blood of Christ ” (Eph. 2 : 12, 13) ; and during his Gospel Age they have passed, symbolically, from the Descending Passage up to the Grand Gallery by means of the Well, that is they have passed through faith in the ransom-sacrifice of Christ from the plane of condemnation to the plane of justification, that they may have the glorious privilege, also by faith, of partaking in the high or heavenly calling of God in Christ Jesus.

But as with the Jewish nation, so also with the other nations, only the few, a “little flock” in all, have exercised saving faith. On their downward course the other nations have passed the Well, the ransom-sacrifice of Christ, without seeing it; or if they did, they have had no faith in it as a way to life. To the majority of the Jews it was a cause of stumbling, just as the upper mouth of the Well may be a cause of stumbling to one who emerges from the First Ascending Passage; and to the majority of the Gentiles it appears to be foolishness, just as the lower end of the Well appears to be merely a side-track from the lower part of the Descending Passage—1 Cor. 1: 23. They little know the drawing power of God, which he exerts on behalf of those, who have faith in this way to life and immortality—John 6 : 44

The great height of the roof, the steep slippery floor, and the help afforded during the ascent by the Ramps,—the stone benches which run the whole length of the Grand Gallery at the base of the side-walls,—symbolize well the upward progress of those who have faith sufficient to advance along the pathway of the just. Yet their path is not an easy one. Owing to the weak-ness of the flesh, they find it difficult and fatiguing to advance. It is not by their own strength, however, but by the strength of the Lord, that they are enabled to conquer the difficulties of the way, and this strength they can have only as a result of faith. Again and again they find themselves prone to slip, but the grace of God, symbolized by the Ramps, enables them to make upward progress in righteousness in spite of the many difficulties, and the more progress they make, the nearer they come to God, just as the Grand Gallery leads one upward and nearer to the King’s Chamber, symbolical of the Holy of Holies, heaven itself.”

Of those visitors to the Great Pyramid who reach the Grand Gallery, the few who make the laborious ascent as far as the great Step at the top, and so come to a position where they can see the low entrance to the Ante-Chamber, find that their labor is not at an end. If they desire to make further progress they will require to surmount the Step, and then, after a short pause on its level upper surface, bow down and creep through the low passage, only three and a half feet high, into the Ante-Chamber. The surmounting of the Step is difficult owing to its height of 36 inches, and to the fact that the feet are resting on the inclined and slippery floor of the Gallery; but by placing a foot on one of the Ramps, the difficulty can be overcome.

In this we have a picture of the condition of those who have advanced through faith to the end of this portion of their journey. Perseverance in following the path of faith-justification (or tentative justification) by the help of the grace of God has led them to the point where they can see the further step of sanctification, just as perseverance in climbing the Grand Gallery by the help of the Ramp leads the traveler to the point where he can see the low entrance into the Ante-Chamber. The Step symbolizes the natural dislike of the human mind to entertain earnestly and sincerely the thought of self-denial and self-sacrifice, forno man ever yet hated his own fleshEph. 5:29. With the help of the grace of God, however, some are enabled by an effort to surmount this difficulty. When they do so, they find that more than half the battle of decision has been won. They are now, for a shorter or longer period, on the halting-place symbolized by the level upper surface of the Step, and can examine more closely the narrow way which lies open before them into the condition of sanctification, and thence to joint-heirship with Christ.

If they will look back and consider the wonderful love of God in sending his Son into the world to die for them while they were yet sinners, they will reason that if, when they were enemies, they were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, they will be saved by his life; and not only so, but they will also rejoice in God through the Lord Jesus Christ— Rom. 5: 8-11. Further, if they consider how much they have already been enabled to accomplish along the pathway of faith- justification, not in their own strength, but in the strength of the Lord, they will not hesitate long in coming to a decision. Doubts evidence lack of faith, and tend to obscure the judgment. The sooner we get rid of them, the more pleasing we shall be to the Lord, for “without faith it is impossible to please him,” and “he that wavers is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed; for let not that man think that he will receive anything of the Lord “—Heb. 11: 6; Jas. 1: 6, 7. Sooner or later, if they do not decide for the Lord, they will lose this grace of God which they have received (2 Cor. 6: 1), and find themselves again in the Descending-Passage condition of the world sharing in its condemnation; for just as the sole purpose of the Grand Gallery is to lead to the Ante-Chamber and King’s Chamber, so the sole purpose of faith-justification (tentative justification) in the Gospel Age is to lead us to the sanctified condition and joint-heirship with Christ symbolized by these two compartments of the Great Pyramid. As Jesus said: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, but whosoever will lose his life for my sake the same shall save it “–Luke 9: 23, 24.

How important it is to realize that it is only the meek whom the Lord will guide in judgment and will teach his way (Psa. 25: 9), and who will, therefore, see that it is their reasonable service to bow down (to fully consecrate themselves), and enter the Ante-Chamber condition of sanctification. These will realize, furthermore, that it is not only their reasonable service to present their bodies a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1), but that a wonderful privilege is being offered to them to share first in the sufferings, and afterwards in the glory, of the Lord; for without sacrifice unto death, none need hope to attain the heavenly inheritance with ChristRev. 2: 10; 2 Tim. 2: 11, 12. When they see this their faith in God and their appreciation of his love for them will lead them to reciprocate, and they will deny themselves, and bowing down to his will, will “make a covenant with him by sacrifice “—Psa. 50 : 5. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” “Because he [Jesus] laid down his life for us, we ought also to love one another.” “Because he [Jesus] laid down his life for us, we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren “—1 John 4: 10, 11; 3:16, R.V.

Continued with next post.