A Comparison between the Great Pyramid and the Tabernacle, continued
For the moment we should like to proceed on to individual’s numbers 4 and 5 in our examination of the courtyard, and return to numbers 3 and 4 a bit later as 4 and 5 represents those individuals who are making proper progress as antitypical Levites (justified believers) on their way toward the true purpose or intent for faith justification now during the Gospel Age.
Having gain entry into the courtyard through faith in Christ as pictured in the “Entrance Curtain”, the first item of notice to the tentatively justified is the great altar made of copper positioned midway between the entrance and the Tabernacle. It was our faith in Christ which allowed us entry, but here now we witness the great sacrifice, the ransom which was paid which proved necessary for our redemption.
It will be noted that faith in Christ precedes faith in the “ransom” that is because not until one has passed the “Wall of Unbelief” (represented in the lien curtains which surrounded the courtyard) are they yet prepared to understand and truly appreciate the true significance of the “ransom” and what it implies.
“The “Brazen Altar”… represents the perfect humanity (copper) of the Man Christ Jesus, who as the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36) gave himself as a RANSOM (Greek anti-lurton, a price to correspond or a corresponding price) for ALL (See Matt 20:28; Mark 10:45; 1 Tim 2:5, 6); and thus this altar in a particular sense represents also the ransom sacrifice itself.” (Tabernacle Shadows, Page 22, Par. 1)
“This ‘Altar’ stood just inside the gate within the court of the tabernacle of the congregation, making it necessary for anyone who would approach the dwelling place of Jehovah first to pass it, thus figuratively setting forth the fact that none can have communion with God except he first recognize and appreciate the ransom sacrifice of Christ Jesus.” (“Notes on the Tabernacle” page 116)
This too is another one of those valuable “keys” to understanding found in the Scriptures, there are several of these keys, but this one is of great prize.
The holding of the ransom (that is a proper understanding of the ransom and its true significance) is the key to every truth; the “hub” from which all other truths must radiate (in other words if it doesn’t square with the ransom it most likely is error). R1452:5
“Those who leave the Camp to come into the Court of the Tabernacle are feeling after God with the desire to find Him (Acts 17:27).
“The implication is that even in the fallen and depraved condition of the heart there is a dissatisfaction, a lack of ease, a restless feeling, a longing desire to be something better than we are, to have the nobler elements of our being in close touch with our Creator and to render to him the obedience of righteousness which to some extent is instinctively recognized as his due.” (HG2, Page 331)
When such come up to the Tabernacle enclosure they find that there is only one entrance (Faith in Lord Jesus Christ), and that that one way is the only way of approaching the Tabernacle. They enter, and as they enter they must pass the Brazen Altar of Sacrifice before they have gone very far within the enclosure, the individual who sees (who grasp the true significance of this altar) sees more than ever before of the matter. But he or she is not yet at the Tabernacle proper. Those who have come thus far must remember that they have still to go on for a bit more yet. At that Altar they have seen the fact that God has provided a way from sin.
Recognizing this, they may stop there for a longer or shorter period. A danger however is that some are so pleased with that portion that they would sit down there content with that. It is good that we thank God for having made that provision for salvation, but there must be a going forward for a distance yet.
What comes next after seeing this Altar and its meaning?
The next step is to yonder Laver, and towards yonder Laver they go next. What do they find? Water! This surely means Cleansing. Oh! To put away the filth of this flesh and make myself–or rather allow myself to be made–as nearly as possible right with God! Have I wronged anybody? Such questions as that must be asked of ourselves and answered by ourselves. This is the attitude of those who have reached the Laver for cleansing. We may cleanse ourselves at the Laver, but still we have not fully come to God. Is there not something I can do? That is the next question which turns up in the mind of those who have reached the Laver. We remain in a justified condition so long as we keep moving forward in our way, and we become more right with God, more justified, if we might say, every step of the way onward.”
If by chance we have allowed the cares and concerns of this world (jobs, family and etc.) to temporally occupy our time it is a good idea before approaching the LORD’s, dwelling place to once again cleanse both our minds and bodies through a look into the Word, the “water of life”, which tends to have a cleansing affect upon the individual.
“After washing at the Laver—putting away the filthiness of the flesh—the believer (the tentatively justified) approaches close up to the door of the Tabernacle and `ties’ (binds) himself there—obligates himself by consecration vows, devoting himself fully to the Lord and his service, whatever that may be.” (R5959:3)
Once again we enter the courtyard through faith in Christ as represented in the entrance curtain, the first step.
“We see, then that justification by faith, faith in Christ, our first step toward holiness, brings us into a condition of peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 5:1). When our sins are forgiven, or reckoned covered with Christ’s righteousness we are a step nearer to God, yet still human, WE HAVE NOT YET BEEN BEGOTTEN TO A NEW NATURE NOR HAVE WE RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT AS OF YET, this despite what the blind guides would have many to believe.”
Remember, Justification means “to make right,” IT DOES NOT SIGNIFY ANY CHANGE OF NATURE; it simply means to make right that nature which was.
“The Scriptures teach that the result of belief is justification to that condition which Adam forfeited by his disobedience. He forfeited human perfection; moral–mental– physical. Belief in Christ as the Redeemer is the condition, on which this condition may be restored or recovered.”
“The Court represents all the believer’s experiences in justification, from the time he enters the gate, coming into the Court passing the Brazen Altar and the Laver till he comes to the door of the Tabernacle. It is tentative justification, from the time the individual begins to take the first step.”
“The process of tentative justification may in some be very slow. Often they progress very slowly because they are still heavily influenced by the false doctrines and teachings of the church nominal. Thus they tend to wander in and out of the courtyard, not realizing what the proper steps are.”
“These steps of tentative justification in the Court are simply leading one to the point of vitalizing his justification.
“Jesus justifies at the Door of the Tabernacle; but He does not justify a person who merely wishes to put away the filth of the flesh. Only when one comes to the Door, ties himself up and makes a covenant with God, can he be fully justified. There the High Priest is ready to impute to him His righteousness and to accept him as a member of the Body of Christ–while at the door.” (Q411)
“Many have failed to see in the past, and some still fail to see, that justification by faith is a gradual process… During the period of progress in faith, (full or vitalized) justification is being gradually approached, the individual receiving more and more of the Divine favor, but not until the final step is taken will he become fully justified to the human nature–a son on the earthly plane.” (Q405 edited)
“If the Lord should fully justify any one just as soon as he had entered the Gate (that is as soon as he had made a profession of faith in Christ), and came into the Courtyard to the Brazen Altar (recolonizing the ransom sacrifice of Christ), there must, of course, be some object in that justification.
What could the object be?
The object of justification is to make one amenable to or ready for the reception of the Holy Spirit, and this does not take place until one has reached the door of the tabernacle.
If, therefore, he should be justified at the Brazen Altar and receive the Holy Spirit, all his earthly chances or privileges would be gone. He might want to go out–as many do (back out into the “camp” the world)–but it would be too late if positive justification (i.e. vitalized justification) had taken place.
Whoever has not come to the point of making a Covenant with God, has not given up his restitution rights (his human life rights, which were secured through the ransom). Until his consecration, he still has an opportunity for these in the future, in the Millennial Age. But whoever makes this consecration and is accepted by the Lord (whoever is begotten of the Holy Spirit to a new nature, a spirit nature), will never get restitution rights or anything else on the human plane in the future Age.” (Q411)
“If we were accepted of God at the time of our first coming to Him before we had really made a consecration, and if He would impute His merit to us then, there would be no more for us to have in the future, for when once the merit of Christ is imputed to an individual there is no more to be imputed. In other words, when Christ died for our sins there was one share for you and one share for me, and one share for each member of the race. When you get your share you will never have it duplicated. If you misuse that share after you get it that is your responsibility, you are not to get a second share, Christ dies no more, death will have no more dominion over Him, and He makes an imputation of His merit only once on behalf of the human family; you get your one share, and each other member gets his one share.
The thought then, is that if God would accept us, justify us fully now immediately after passing through the entrance curtain into the courtyard, i.e. immediately upon a profession of faith in Christ, and then we do not go on to fulfill our sacrifice, then we would lose all hope of any future privileges for life which we may have received with the rest of the world in the future. Having already received our earthly life rights restored to us through the ransom sacrifice of Christ how long do you think we would last at this present time under the reign of sin? Adam was fully justified at one time, but only lasted two years before falling into sin and losing his justification, and thus his life rights, and he was perfect. Q408 edited
In mercy, therefore, the Lord does not recognize any one until he has taken all the necessary steps in just such a tentative justification, and has thoroughly decided that he wants to be the Lord’s disciple, and has truly said so after he has sat down and counted the cost. Until he has come to this point of decision, the Lord will have nothing to do with him. But if he will bind himself up to that door by way of making a covenant with God, then the Lord will take charge of him and make everything work together for his good–but not until after he has taken that step.” (Q411)
We will continue with our next post taking a look at some of the stumbling blocks which inhibit the progress of many professed Christians.