A Comparison between the Great Pyramid and the Tabernacle, continued
Having taken a short look at the Grand Gallery an its significance in dipicting the work of the Gospel Age we should now like to return once again to the Tabernacle and the Courtyard.
“The Courtyard and the Tabernacle may properly be viewed from two different standpoints, the one representing the final accomplishment of those things typified and the other representing the tentative accomplishment of those things and the progress toward their full attainment. Into this `Courtyard’ only Levites (typical of justified believers) were allowed to come.
The reason we say this condition is only tentative is because not all who profess to be believers (antitypical Levites) attain to all the privileges accounted to such, the vast majority fail to conform their lives to do all that is required of Levites, such coming into the Courtyard condition (the faith justified condition) for a time, but failing to go on and make a consecration, lose their standing as prospective Levites. As it is only a tentative standing, originally, they must come up to certain requirements to make it sure, to make their selection as Levites firm, positive, and lasting.” (R4656:2 edited)
Perhaps a little further insight taken from Part 8 of The Tabernacle, its Spiritual Significance might prove helpful here.
A square, because all its four angles and four sides are equal, is the symbol for “perfection.” Jehovah, in giving instructions to Moses with regard to the Tabernacle, told him that the altars for burnt-offering and for incense were to be “foursquare.” (Exod 27:1; 30:2) So also was it to be with the “breastplate of judgment” which, when folded (doubled), was to be “foursquare.” (Exod 28:6) And, of course, the basic measurement of the “Most Holy” was also to be “foursquare”—ten by ten cubits, all of these—the altars, the breastplate of judgment, and the basic measurement of the Most Holy—represented “perfection.” The altar of burnt-offering represented the ransom sacrifice (T22); the altar of incense represented the consecrated church in the present sacrificing condition (T120); the breastplate of judgment represented the Divine Law in its two aspects, the “letter” and the “spirit” (T35); and of course anything that had to do with the Most Holy of the Tabernacle represented “glory, honor and immortality.” (T22)
By the same token, a rectangle cannot represent “perfection” because although all its angles are equal, its sides are not. It must therefore represent an “imperfect” or “in part” condition, the “perfect” not yet having been attained (See 1 Cor 13:10). For example, the Court condition, which represents justification for the “saint” traveling east to west, is not the ultimate to be attained. The Court itself is a rectangle, not a square. The “saint” next enters the “Holy” which, for him, is the spirit-begotten condition of sanctification. Nor is this yet the ultimate, for the “Holy” is not a square either, but like the Court is also a rectangle. Both the Court and the Holy are “in part” conditions. It is only after the “saint” has passed the “second vail” and entered into the “Most Holy” that he really attains the ultimate condition of glory, honor and immortality—the divine nature. Then that which is “perfect” will have come and that which has been “in part” will be done away. The Most Holy rests upon a square!”
Let us now take a closer look at,
… along with the various steps necessary for entry, for progress as antitypical or prospective Levites, and what it takes to reach the next condition, the “Holy condition” as depicted by the first chamber in the Tabernacle, the “Holy”. While we’er here we should likewise like to note one of the primary stumbling blocks which has impeded the progress of the majority of believers since nearly the beginning of the Gospel Age.
THE “FIRST STEP” entering the Courtyard
As was stated in one of our previous post the Tabernacle was surrounded by a fence consisting of white linen curtains, this enclosed area was all holy ground, and was therefore called the “Holy Place“–also the “Court of the Tabernacle.” Its opening, like the door of the Tabernacle, was towards the east, and called the “Gate.” This “Gate” was of white linen, interwoven with blue, purple and scarlet.”
The entrance curtain or Gate represents Jesus Christ 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) “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and fine pasture.”(John 10:9)
So then what is the requirement for entry into this courtyard?
Knowing now that there is no other way of entry into the courtyard condition, no other way of returning to God (as represented in the Tabernacle) except by entering through Christ, the “gate” to the enclosure, how do we being “sinners even as others” gain entry into the holy place, what’s the procedure, how may we pass through the door?
The first requirement is an acknowledgement that one is a sinner and in need of a savior, followed by a desire to repent or amend ones ways.
“Repent and be converted (turned around), that your sins may be blotted out.” (Acts 3:19)
Repentance is sorrow for ones actions and/or conduct, conversion however involves a little more it requires a change in ones thinking and behavior, both are necessary steps which each sinner and unbeliever must take before he can begin his journey back to God, however the only way in which an individual’s sins can be blotted out (forgiven) is by a heartfelt confession of ones guilt and an acceptance of Christ as one’s personal savior as the propitiation or atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 2:2).
“…You who were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience”. Eph 2:1-2 (NAS)
We see here that one of the first things required of us to walk with God is to change our direction, that is, we are not to walk “according to” or “under the direction of” the prince of the power of the air, Satan, but rather “to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we might prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Rom 12:2)
Henceforth we are determined to dedicate ourselves to living righteously to the best of our ability. This is known as a “consecration to righteousness” and is a requirement of all believers.
Our consecration to righteousness (to right living) is represented by our taking the “First Step”, a step of faith, faith in the redemption and forgiveness of sins secured to us through Christ Jesus our Lord. This act is represented by our passing through or beneath the “entrance curtain” into the courtyard of the Tabernacle. Passing this curtain we enter by faith into the courtyard or tentatively justified condition. This particular consecration we have needed to reaffirm often due to the fallen nature of our flesh, and our tendency of relapse into sin.
Having now entered the courtyard we can now take a closer look at the courtyard its curtains, post and various appointments to see what they were composed of and why. As previously stated the curtains of the courtyard consisted of fine woven linen, white linen; linen represents the justice of God; white represents purity and holiness. Thus these curtains symbolized the righteousness of Christ as a “covering” or “robe” to those justified within.
To those within, this curtain represents a wall of faith, but to those without a wall of unbelief hindering their view and access to the holy things within. These curtains were upheld by wooden posts (or pillars) which stood in *copper sockets likewise suspended by silver fillets or rods which ran from one post to the next. Each post was capped with a silver chapiter or ferrule and tied to the ground by means of cords (rope) both from the inside and the outside of the curtain wall. The rope was attached to silver hooks on the post and tied to the ground by copper pins (or tent pegs).
The significance of this is this, “The posts which stood in the court and upheld the white curtains, represented justified believers…They are of wood, a corruptible material. This shows that they are not actually perfect as human beings; for since human perfection is represented by copper, these posts should be either made of copper, or covered with copper to represent actually perfect human beings. They were made of wood, but were set into sockets of copper, which teaches us that, though actually imperfect, their standing nevertheless is that of perfect human beings. It would be impossible to more clearly represent Justification by faith.” (T 113)
“Being justified by faith, we have peace with God” (Rom 5:1) that is we are no longer considered as God’s enemy, but rather as his friend, NOT a son yet, but a friend, and as a friend we are equated certain favors, foremost of these is the opportunity during the Gospel Age, the “acceptable time” to sacrifice (2 Cor 6:2, Rom12:1).
“In proportion as those in the Court advance (i.e. take steps) toward the Holy, in that proportion they draw nigh to God and experience a measure of justification (tentative justification) or harmony with God, which if completed leads to complete (or vitalized) justification.
Continued with next post