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, are “begotten again” to a new nature, receiving the “holy spirit of promise” as an earnest of their future spiritual inheritance, the ” spirit of adoption ” whereby they now cry ” Abba, Father “—Eph 1:13, 14 Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6; Heb 12:9. These are the spirit-begotten, and are now in the “School of Christ” where they receive trials and testings necessary to develop them as “new 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 minds —2 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 their “schoolmaster 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 God” John 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, for “no man ever yet hated his own flesh” Eph. 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 Christ—Rev. 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.