A Comparison between the Great Pyramid and the Tabernacle, continued
Once again having entered the first apartment of the Tabernacle proper, the “Holy” we noticed three distinctive pieces of furniture in this room, the most notable being the Golden Lampstand, the only source of light for this room. This lampstand we determined represents the Church, both its Head and body as bearers of light (truth). The light which emanated from this Lampstand representing the light (or enlightenment) of the Holy Spirit, accessible only to the Priests, the spirit begotten class, that is those who have experienced a change of nature having entered into covenant relationship with the Father, a “covenant by sacrifice” (Pas 50:5; Rom 12:1).
We should now like to examine the next piece of furniture in the Holy, (Item #3) the Table of ‘Showbread’, or in Hebrew lechem panim meaning “bread of presence.”
“The Golden Table like that of the Golden Lampstand … represented the Church as a whole, including our Lord and the apostles—all the sanctified in Christ who serve in `holding forth the word of life.’ (Phil 2:16) The great work of the true Church during this age has been to feed, strengthen and enlighten all who enter the covenanted spiritual condition. The Bride of Christ is to make herself ready (Rev 19:7), to build one another up in our most holy faith. The witnessing to the world during the present age is quite secondary and incidental. The full blessing of the world will follow in God’s `due time,’ after the Gospel age (after the antitypical Day of Atonement with its sin-offerings) has ended.” (T115)
Upon the Table of Showbread (made of wood and overlaid with gold) were placed twelve cakes of unleavened bread in two piles, with frankincense on top of each pile. (Lev 24:6, 7) This bread was proper for the priests only to eat (typifying those wholly consecrated to the Lord): it was holy, and was renewed every seventh or Sabbath day.” (T16)
Antitypically, the showbread represented the “word of life” the Truth, (specifically “meat in due season”, or present truth, in our case the *Harvest Message) upon which the “royal priesthood” serving in the “Holy” of the Tabernacle must of, needs eat—or feed upon. This food lawful only for the priests to consume represents the “deep things” of the Word of God solid food (the meat of the Word) belonging only to those who are of full age (mature Christians) that is, those who by reason of use (practice and study) have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (able to rightly divide the Word of God, to distinguish between truth and error, to recognize the “times and the seasons”).” Heb 5: 14
* The harvest is the richest season of the year, when the buds of prophecy and promise have developed and are now bringing forth their golden fruit, and the table of the Lord fairly groans under its bounty (not only this, but it is the Lord of the harvest himself who comes forth to serve his people). R1899:2, 1890:1
The truth is all of the Lord’s words are considered spiritual (that is heavenly mana or food), they all emanate from heaven, from the Father of lights (James 1:17), this regardless of whether it be found in the courtyard as pictured in the Copper Laver or in the Holy as pictured in the Table of Showbread, the difference however is in substance of the food, one is suitable for the natural man, the believer in the “courtyard condition” (as represented by copper), and the other designed specifically for those in the “spirit begotten condition”, new creatures in Christ Jesus, (as represented by gold).
It should likewise be noted that without the aid of the light shining forth from the Golden Lampstand (representing the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit) we would not be able to fully discern (comprehend) the food placed upon the Golden Table.
These two sources, the Laver and the Table of Showbread however are not the only two sources of information from which believers feed; outside the courtyard in the camp are the tables of devils tables filled with every detestable thing. (Rev 18:2) That is to say that while the Lord spreads his table, the devil spreads his also. R1898:3
The following extract taken from The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom, Oct 1921, Page 29 well illustrates the differences between the table of the Lord and those of the Adversary.
INTOXICATION OF CHRISTENDOM (Isa 28:1-13)
Golden Text.–“Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink.”–Hab. 2:15.
“We note that, in harmony with the Apostle’s words, nearly all the Old Testament prophecies were written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the ages have come, and in many instances those who uttered the prophecies and those who heard them comprehended them not. (1 Pet. 1:12.) The prophecy at present under consideration we understand to be of this kind-specially applicable to spiritual Israel, though not without a meaning to natural Israel at the time of this writing.
“In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, and for a spirit of judgment to him that sits in judgment and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate”. Isa 28: 5, 6
Today we see the Christian world intoxicated, bewildered and confused with the wine of false doctrine mentioned so explicitly in our Lord’s last Message to His people. There it is clearly set forth that the great Mother of Harlots would make all the nations of Christendom drunk with the wine of her fornication. The crown of pride and the fat valleys of her possessions are easily seen from this standpoint. But at the same time that the glory passes away from the nominal system a proportionately special blessing will come to the residue of the Lord’s people who are not of this -class, drunken with the wine of false doctrine, but, as the Apostle declares, “Sober, girding up the loins of their minds, and pressing along the Narrow Way for the prize.”
This will mean to this class a spirit of judgment, or what the Apostle calls the spirit of a sound mind, enabling them to comprehend the Divine Plan, and enabling them to be strong in the defense of the Truth and to “turn the battle to the gate;” that is to say, the citadel of Truth will be preserved notwithstanding the fall of the masses of Churchianity. This is in accord with the prophetic statement, “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked, because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation.”–Psa. 91:7-10.
Where do we find ourselves, dear brethren and sisters, as we investigate this picture, so applicable to our day? Are we amongst those intoxicated with the spirit of the world, the spirit of Babylon, the spirit of anti-Christ, the spirit of false doctrine, the spirit of sectarianism, that has “a form of godliness but denies its power?“, the table of devils.
Or are we classed with the Lord and more and more being filled with the spirit of a sound mind? And are we standing faithful as good soldiers in the defense of the Truth and turning the battle at the gateway; not suffering that any false doctrine shall intrude upon us (or upon the brethren), but insisting that every doctrine shall be decided by the Word of the Lord, and be squared by the Golden Rule and by the Scriptural presentations on the subject of the Ransom? We trust that the more we examine ourselves, the more we can assure ourselves that we are with the latter class.
Verses 7 and 8 “But they also have erred through wine, And through intoxicating drink are out of the way; The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink, They are swallowed up by wine, They are out of the way through intoxicating drink; They err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.”
Verse 7 seemingly pictures these drunkards of Ephraim as the leaders of the people, their priests (Ministers) and prophets, their religious instructors, who have all been misled through the strong drink, the false doctrine of the Dark Ages, and who are all erring in vision and stumbling in their judgment respecting the Truth, the Divine Plan.”
TABLES FULL OF UNCLEANNESS
The statement in Verse 8 that all their tables are full of vomit and filthiness so that there is no place clean could hardly be understood to apply literally to the millions of Israelite’s of Isaiah’s day, but it does apply spiritually to the millions of nominal Israel of our day. We need scarcely say that the table of the Lord’s people signifies their spiritual supply of food, nourishment; and as we look about us we find in Churchianity many such tables, one to each denomination–its creed. The creed of each denomination represents what it claims God has set before it as the truth for its spiritual nourishment and refreshment; and for centuries each denomination has been busily inviting each other and the world to come to its table. Now, however, these tables are measurably deserted. Very few want to talk about the doctrine or creed of their sect; they generally prefer to ignore creeds.
For the most part most are completely ignorant of their church’s creed or statement of beliefs. As for those who do wish to know, the sect generally provides a modest outline of the church’s creed, one which provides just enough information to satisfy the inquisitor while at the same time avoiding those things which it deems would offend the senses of any righteously inclined individual, such as the belief in eternal torment as the wages of sin.
Many, while thinking that they worship God, really worship “doctrines of devils,” of which they are for the most part, if they are honest individuals ashamed and by which they are hindered. R4006:5
On the contrary, how is it with the remnant mentioned in Verses 5 and 6?
Have they any table? Yes, indeed! They have a table spread with Divine bounties, and it is referred to, prophetically in the 23rd Psalm, “My table thou hast furnished in the presence of mine enemies.” Having gotten free from the wine of the false doctrine of Babylon, these have sought the Truth of the Divine Word unadulterated, and have drawn nigh unto the Lord with their hearts and not with their lips merely; they have gotten mercy and found grace to help in time of great need. The Lord has bountifully supplied their wants with truths both new and old, and thus He fulfilled the promise He made when leaving us, saying to those servants who would be ready to hear the knock, indicating His “presence” at His second coming, that He would open the door, enter in and sup with them. Furthermore, be promised, that He would gird Himself and become our servant, and bring forth to His faithful ones things new and old from the larder, from the treasure house of Truth and grace. We found it so! We have a table spread with the most wonderful bounties, riches of grace, mercy and truth.”
Returning to the Table of Showbread we note the following,
“And thou shall take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake. And thou shall set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD. And thou shall put pure frankincense upon each row that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD. Every Sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant. And it shall be Aaron’s and his sons’; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire by a perpetual statute.”(Lev 24:5–9)
It is not fully ascertain as to whether or not the twelve loves or cakes were placed in “rows” or in “piles”, Rotherham’s one of the most reliable translations states that it was rows, but in the margin suggest likewise that it may just as well have been piles.
The frankincense placed upon each row (or pile) represented praise to Jehovah (R3703:4). This frankincense, was, of course, not eaten, but offered by the priest as a “memorial” upon God’s altar “for an offering made by fire unto the LORD.” (Lev 24:7) For a time, the frankincense was identified with the showbread, though in no way a part of it. So the element of praise is not itself a part of the Word of Life—the TRUTH: but it is called forth by it!
Thus he (the antitypical priest) who has been “refreshed and strengthened . . . with the truth, as represented in the `showbread’ …should daily offer up sacrifices at the `Golden Altar (Item #4),’ acceptable to God through Jesus Christ —a sweet perfume to our Father.” (T22) Such sacrifice upon the “Golden Altar” are of praise and thanksgiving (Heb 13:11; Psa 50:5, 14) unto Jehovah God. “Praise ye the LORD Praise God in his Sanctuary.” (Psa 150:1) “Notes on the Tabernacle”, Pages 174-179
“Close to the `vail,’ stood a small altar, of wood covered with gold, called the `Golden Altar’ or `Incense Altar.’ It had no fire upon it except what the priests brought in the censers which they set in the top of this `Golden Altar,’ and then crumbled the incense upon it, causing it to give forth a fragrant smoke or perfume, which, filling the `Holy,’ penetrated also beyond the `second vail’ into the `Most Holy’ or `Holy of Holies.‘ ” (T17)
“The Golden Altar in the `Holy’ would seem to represent the `little flock,’ the consecrated Church in the present sacrificing condition. From this altar ascends the sweet incense, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ—the willing services of the priests: their praises, their willing obedience—all things whatsoever they do to the glory of God. Those who thus offer incense acceptable to God (1 Pet 2:5) come very close to their Father—close up to the `Vail’ which separates them from the `Most Holy’; and if they have requests (prayers) to make they may be presented with the incense—`much incense with the prayers of saints.’ (Rev 8:3) The prayers of such priests of God are effectual.
Our Lord Jesus kept the incense continually burning, and could say, `I know that thou hear me always.’ (John 11:42) So the under-priests, `members of his Body,’ will be heard always if they continually offer the incense of faith, love and obedience to God: and none should expect to have requests recognized who do not thus keep their covenant—`If ye abide in me and my words (teachings) abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you.’ (John 15:7) The necessity of a clear apprehension of Christ’s teachings as a guide to our requests and expectations, that we may not `ask amiss’ and out of harmony with God’s plan, is clearly shown by this scripture—but seldom noticed.” (T120)
As was stated earlier all three of these items, the Golden Lampstand, the Table of Showbread and the Gold Incense Altar are indispensable to the new creature, available only to those who have taken the “second step” and have fully consecrated (sanctified) themselves to God and to His service. Such having been begotten of His spirit have entered the school of Christ that they might be fully developed, sanctified by God and made copies of their dear Lord and Master.
In our next post we will take a look at the “Most Holy” and how we may enter.