A Comparison between the Great Pyramid and the Tabernacle, continued
The “Most Holy”
As the passing of the First Vail, the “Door”, represented the death of the human will so the passing of the Second Vail (Individual #5) represents the death of the human body; both are requisite to complete our sacrifice, both fleshly mind and fleshly body must be left behind before we can enter into the “Holiest of All”, perfected as partakers of the Divine Nature and its spirit conditions; for “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God”, that is the spiritual phase of the Kingdom of God. (1 Cor 15:50 Compare John 3:5, 8, 13)
Here again just as the First Vail represented Christ, the Scripture Heb 10:19, 20, is applicable here also “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us, through the vail, that is to say, his flesh.”
Standing now within the second chamber of the Tabernacle, the Most Holy we notice once again that the room is completely covered in Gold as was the first apartment, the Holy (that is with the exception of the tapestry above our heads and the vail which we have just passed). This room although much smaller than the first is a perfect square and as you recall a square, because all its four angles and four sides are equal, is a symbol of “perfection.”
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.
There was but one piece of furniture in this room, the Ark of the Covenant (Exod 25:10–22; 37:1–9), the only light the Shekinah glory which shown forth from between or in the midst of the two cherubim perched upon the mercy seat (the lid to the ark). We will take a further look at this shortly but first let us return to our examination of the room itself specifically the construction of the pillars behind us which upheld the second vail.
As there was a remarkable difference found between the pillars located in the courtyard (behind the courtyard curtains), and the pillars located in the Holy (located behind the First Vail), so too we should expect to fine some difference in those pillars located in the Most Holy (behind the Second Vail), for each of these three types of pillars represented the condition of those individuals who inhabited those particular areas or conditions.
Recall once again,
The Courtyard Pillars (at the present time) represent the faith justified, (believers) standing inside the wall of faith, The bare wood represents their corruptible nature nevertheless their being set in copper sockets represents justification and thus their standing as that of perfect human beings. These individuals reside within the courtyard or tentatively justified condition.
The Pillars of the “Holy” represent the spirit begotten, “new creatures in Christ Jesus” residing within the “Holy” behind the First Vail, the vail of consecration and the death of the human will. These pillars were covered in gold symbolic of the divine nature. Their being set in sockets of copper represented how “we have this treasure [the divine nature] in earthen vessels” (2 Cor 4:7); i.e., our new nature is still based upon, and rests in, our justified humanity (the copper sockets).
The Pillars of the “Most Holy” represent the spirit born (Individuals # 6), the faithful over-comers, residing beyond the Second Vail (the death of the flesh) these have proven themselves to be “faithful until death” and as such have received the crown of life, the divine nature, glory, honor, immortality (Rev 2:10). These pillars were likewise covered in Gold, but no longer set in copper—no longer dependent on any human condition—they were in sockets of silver (reality, truth, verity) seeming to say to us, When you come inside this vail, you will be perfect—really and truly new creatures.
“There were five pillars that supported the first Vail into the “Holy” (Exod 26:37; 36:38). There were four pillars that supported the second Vail into the “Most Holy” (Exod 26:32; 36:36). It may be that this ratio of 5:4, as suggested by Brother Russell in connection with the five wise and five foolish virgins, is not of particular significance. “The numbers are not significant; neither are the proportions.” (C91)
On the other hand, it is possible that in the case of the pillars supporting these respective vails—five for the “door” to the Holy and four for the “vail” into the Most Holy—may be intended to reflect the fact that there will be more who consecrate unto death than will actually make their “calling and election” sure, to become inheritors of the divine nature.” (“Notes on the Tabernacle”, Page 102)
“The Ark of the Covenant or Ark of the Testimony was the only article of furniture in the Most Holy. (Heb 9:2–4 Diaglott footnote) Its name suggests that it illustrated the embodiment of Jehovah’s plan, which he had purposed in himself, before the beginning of the creation of God—before the minutest development of his plan had taken place. It represented the eternal purpose of God—his foreordained arrangement of riches of grace for mankind in (and through) the Christ (Head and Body)—`the hidden mystery.’ It therefore represents Christ Jesus and his Bride, the `little flock,’ to be partakers of the divine nature, and to be imbued with the power and great glory—the prize of our high calling—the joy set before our Lord, and all the members of his Body.” (T121)
“The slab (or lid) which covered the Ark of the Covenant was called the “Mercy Seat” or Propitiatory (Exod 25:17; 37:6); and yet it represented more particularly that most basic and fundamental attribute of Jehovah’s character— one that can know no mercy, Justice.” (See T124)
It was here that Israel’s high priests had once each year to sprinkle the blood of atonement, to satisfy the demands of a violated Justice. Only then could the high priest come forth as the administrator of God’s mercy, to bless the people with forgiveness and peace.
In the New Testament, our Lord Jesus is referred to as both the propitiation (hilasmos)—1 John 2:2; 4:10—and propitiatory (hilasterion)—Rom 3:25, Rotherham, Fenton, Wilson. The former of these expressions means “satisfaction” whereas the latter means “the place of satisfaction”—i.e., the place where satisfaction is made (justice is satisfied); hilasterion has been so translated in Hebrews 9:5. (See also E442)
Putting first things first, we see that God’s Mercy (an essential element of his love) could not act on behalf of sinners until Justice had been satisfied, how beautifully this also is illustrated in the position of the two cherubim representing Love and Power upon the “Mercy Seat.”
“The two cherubim represent divine love and divine power. These attributes, justice the foundation principle, and love and power of the same quality or essence, and lifted up out of it are in perfect harmony. They are all made of one piece (Exod 37:6-8): they are thoroughly one. Neither Love nor Power can be exercised until Justice is fully satisfied. Then they fly to help, to lift up and to bless. They were on the wing, ready, waiting; looking inward toward the `Mercy Seat’ toward Justice, to know when to move.” (T125)
Over yonder is the stream of God’s Mercy, dammed up by Justice. In the dam, however, is a sluice gate, representing that God intended to find a way in which he could remain just and yet justify the sinner who would believe. The sluice gate would permit the waters to pass beyond the dam if someone would only open it. This is just what Jesus did by way of his ransom sacrifice, so that the gate which once was an integral part of the dam of God’s Justice, now becomes the channel of blessing.
It is just so that the cover of the ark first of all represents God’s Justice, but after the sprinkling of the blood of atonement upon it, it becomes the “Mercy Seat” or channel by way of which God’s Mercy flows man-ward.
“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness [by extension: the realm of truth] and peace [by extension: the realm of mercy and love] have kissed each other.” (Psa 85:10)
As for the rectangular box overlaid with gold upon which the Mercy Seat was placed this represented the divine nature granted to the glorified Church. (T121)
As the Ark represented the Christ, so the Mercy Seat or cover represents God, “The head of Christ is God” (1 Cor 11:13)
In our next post we will return to the Great Pyramid to see how the second half of the Tabernacle picture beginning with the second step is likewise illustrated there.