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The Great Pyramid, Part 30

The Great Pyramid, Part 30

The Ante-Chamber Continued

Some writers have suggested that the three opposite pairs of broad vertical grooves originally contained sliding portcullises of granite, which at one time cut off all entrance to the King’s Chamber. This suggestion was supported by Col. Howard Vyse, who was quite of the opinion that the King’s Chamber once contained the body of a dead king. He based this view on the resemblance of the Coffer to a sarcophagus, and on the fact that the other pyramids in Egypt, all carefully examined by Mr. Perring (his active partner in the work), as well as by himself, had given unmistakable evidences of having been erected as monumental sepulchers. His idea was that, during the lifetime of the king, the now-missing portcullises were suspended above the floor of the Ante-Chamber on a level with the top of the low passages, just as the Granite Leaf is now suspended; but that after the death and interment of the king, they were one by one lowered gradually by chiseling away the supporting granite immediately below them on the side walls, until, sinking down by their own weight, they finally rested on the floor and closed the entrance of the King’s Chamber. This, he believed, explains why these grooves run down the whole height of the wainscots. For some reason, which he fails to explain, the ancient workmen had not lowered the fourth portcullis (i.e., the Granite Leaf), and it was still to be seen suspended in its original position.


Except for a few mechanical difficulties, this theory seems reasonable; and those who have little interest in the matter might be inclined to accept it without further question. When, however, we begin to investigate the subject more closely, and with due “respect for the intelligence of the Pyramid architect” (to quote Professor Smyth), we find that there are distinctive peculiarities about the “Granite Leaf ” (first so named by Professor Greaves in 1638 A.D.), which make it certain that it, at all events, had not been intended by the architect to serve as a *Portcullis.

As a portcullis, the Granite Leaf would be unaccountably small when compared with its companions, for its grooves are four and a half inches less in width than theirs; and as it is formed of two stones placed horizontally one upon the other (See Plate CXXXVII), it could have been lifted out of its position or broken up with comparative ease.

If the Granite Leaf had originally been intended to act as a portcullis and had been lowered to the floor in the manner claimed for the missing three, it would have been quite useless as a protection against intruders; for its uneven upper surface would then have been only six inches higher than the top of the doorway; and the space of 21 inches between it and the north wall would have permitted workmen to enter the chamber in order to break and remove the other portcullises Plate CXXXVI.

The grooves which contain the Granite Leaf stop short at the level of the top of the passages, but the others, as is shown in the Plates, sink a few inches below the level of the floor. This is sure proof that the latter grooves were not chiseled out after the completion of the building, but that, on the contrary, the granite wainscots were previously cut and finished in this fashion, and then built in position at the sides of the chamber, before the granite floor-stones were laid down between them. (In the King’s Chamber the same method of construction was adopted, for the four granite walls of that chamber dip down about five inches in an unbroken line below the level of the floor—Plate XX.) An additional proof is that the lower portions of the grooves do not present the rough appearance which must have resulted had they been cut in the manner suggested by Col. Howard Vyse.

A close examination of the Granite Leaf makes it quite certain that the architect did not design it as a fourth portcullis, not only because it never has been, nor could have been effectually so used, but also because it is firmly cemented into its present position (and, probably, also mortised into its place, although this is not so easy to determine).

We believe that the Granite Leaf was intended for a very different purpose; and I should like to draw your attention to a unique feature in connection with it. The Granite Leaf appears to be an inch narrower than its corresponding grooves in the wainscots; it is 15 ¾ inches thick, while the grooves are 16 ¾ inches wide (These are approximate measures; NOTE 2 on page 316 gives the dimensions in Pyramid inches). Close examination shows, however, that this difference is made up by narrow one-inch projections or rebates on the north face of the Leaf, which make it fit tightly into its grooves. With the exception of these rebates (which are an evidence of special design), the whole of the north face of the Leaf has been dressed or planed down one inch, in order that one little part near the center might appear in relief. This little part is generally known as the *Boss. It is in external shape like a horse-shoe, and is 5 inches wide by 5 inches high on its outer face, which is level with the side rebates. It is situated on the upper of the two blocks which form the Leaf, its lower edge being 5 inches up from the horizontal joint between the blocks, and its center nearly midway between the east and west walls of the chamber, but one inch nearer the west. The horizontal joint between those blocks can be seen in the photograph of the south side of the Leaf —Plate CXXXVII.

The extra labor which was necessary to reduce so carefully and uniformly the whole north surface of both the blocks, with the exception of the Boss and the projecting side rebates, to the extent of one inch, shows that this little Boss is an intended feature in the Great Pyramid; and Professor C. Piazzi Smyth saw much significance in it. He claimed that both in its size and in its position it forms a key to the length of the Pyramid unit of measure, called by him the “Pyramid Inch” and also to the length of the “Pyramid Cubit” of 5-times 5 Pyramid Inches; both of which measures he proves, as we ourselves have also proved, to be abundantly evident everywhere throughout the Pyramid Par. 19 (See bottom of page).

Everything in this wonderful little chamber has symbolical significance, and the Granite Leaf is a most important feature. You will remember how beautifully, in the 3rd Volume of Scripture Studies, C. T. Russell points out a number of these symbolisms, which the photographs we have taken are intended partially to illustrate—See Chapter VII, Section (E). On page 316 I have added NOTE II, drawing attention to some of the scientific features indicated in the Ante-Chamber by the Granite Leaf.



One other photograph taken in the Ante-Chamber (Plate CXXXIX) shows on the right side a portion of the west wall with its broad shallow grooves and its broken pilasters, and on the left the low passage, only three and a half feet in height and about eight feet five inches in length (or 100.8434 + Pyramid inches), leading to the King’s Chamber. The narrow rebates on each side of the door-way are clearly apparent, as also the four vertical and parallel grooves, measuring 3 ¾ inches in width by 2 ¾ inches in depth, reaching from the ceiling of the Ante-Chamber down to the fractured door top. (In the colored photos you can likewise see the extensive repair work which has been done in more recent times to square off the doorway.) All of these details are shown to better advantage in K. Vaughan’s drawing (Plate XXXV), even to the small section at the top of the southern wall which is of limestone, all the rest being of granite. The five spaces marked off by these four vertical grooves and the two side walls, stand out distinctly, and are of equal width, namely, six inches. The white line across the floor at the further end of the low passage is the dividing line between the granite floor of the entrance passage, and the granite floor of the King’s Chamber beyond. The prominence of this line is due to the fact that the floor of the King’s Chamber is about three-quarters of an inch higher than that of the Ante-Chamber and the entrance passage.” (Great Pyramid Passages Pages 286-303 par.474-492)

We will take a more extensive look at the symbolic significance of the Grand Gallery and the Ante- Chamber in our next post.

*Portcullis: (especially in medieval castles) a strong grating, as of iron, made to slide along vertical grooves at the sides of a gateway of a fortified place and let down to prevent passage.

*Boss: a knob, stud, or other circular rounded protuberance, especially an ornamental one on a vault, a ceiling, or a shield; (Mechanical Engineering) a. an area of increased thickness, usually cylindrical, that strengthens or provides room for a locating device on a shaft, hub of a wheel, etc. b. a similar projection around a hole in a casting or fabricated component.; an ornamental, knoblike architectural projection.

In Classical Greek and Roman construction, when stone components were rough-cut offsite at quarries, they were usually left with bosses (small knobs) protruding on at least one side. This allowed for easy transport of the pieces to the site; once there, the bosses also facilitated raising and/or inserting them into place.

Par. 19 “The Great Pyramid unit of measure. As a result of pains- taking investigation, Professor C. Piazzi Smyth ascertained that the unit of measure employed by the builders of the Great Pyramid, is a cubit, divided into five parts, and each of these into five smaller parts, named by Professor Smyth, Pyramid inches. Thus there are 25 Pyramid inches in a Pyramid cubit. To convert a British-inch measure to its corresponding value in Pyramid inches, we must deduct one-thousandth part of the British-inch measure from itself. Therefore, a round 1,000 British inches equal 999 Pyramid inches.’ Sir Isaac Newton, in his Dissertation on Cubits, claimed that the sacred cubit of the Israelites approximately equaled 25 British inches, while the Egyptian cubit measured 20.68, and the Greek and Roman cubit 18.24, British inches.”

The Great Pyramid, Part 29

The Great Pyramid, Part 29

The Ante-Chamber

“Later in the day we resumed our work in the interior of the Great Pyramid. Placing the camera in front of the Step at the head of the Grand Gallery, we took a picture of it in order to show how dilapidated it now is after the wear of fully a thousand years’ traffic (Plate CXIV); for since 820 A.D., when Caliph Al Mamoun forced his way into these upper passages, they have ever been free of access to all. This photograph also shows the low passage which leads from the Grand Gallery to the Ante-Chamber and beyond this the second low passage leading out of the Ante-Chamber to the King’s Chamber. The lower edge of the Granite Leaf in the Ante-Chamber is also distinguishable (More so in the color photo). You will also note from the newer black and white photo and the color photo that an attempt was made to repair the worn down step.)

The drawing by K. Vaughan (Plate XXXIII) shows the surroundings of the upper (southern) end of the Grand Gallery more fully; and from this one can form a clearer idea of the appearance of this part. In this drawing, also, Caviglia’s excavation in the Ante-Chamber’s west wall is more distinct. Originally the west wall, like the east wall, was continuous and unbroken from its commencement at the south wall of the Grand Gallery to its termination at the King’s Chamber. The continuity of the east wall is shown in another photograph which we took with the camera erected on top of the Step to the west Plate CXXXV below. This photograph shows the square but somewhat dilapidated doorway of the small passage as it appears in the south wall of the Grand Gallery, and, to the left, part of the east wall of the Grand Gallery. (In the second photo below we are kneeling down looking into the first little passage which leads into the Ant-Chamber.)

Without entering into full details at this juncture, I shall mention that as the result of our careful measuring, and by comparing with the former figures of Professors C. Piazzi Smyth and Flinders Petrie, we conclude that the theoretically correct measures are: from the north, front, edge of the Step at the head of the Grand Gallery, horizontally southward to the south wall of the Ante- Chamber, 229.1989 + Pyramid inches; and to the north wall of the King’s Chamber, 330.0423 + Pyramid inches; while between the south end-wall of the Grand Gallery and the north wall of the King’s Chamber, the distance is 269.0828+ Pyramid inches.  But though we accept these as the standard measures, we can see that the Pyramid’s inspired architect purposely designed this part of the building to show more than the one measure between two given points. For example : between the north edge of the Step, and the south wall of the Ante-Chamber, other measures ranging approximately between 229, and 230, inches are obtainable ; and all of these measures can be demonstrated to be intentional, and all of them indicate scientific features. The same may also be said of the length of the Ante-Chamber: it is well known that the theoretically correct length for this chamber is 116.2602 + Pyramid inches; for this length is equal to the diameter of the solar tropical year circle, that is, the circle, the circumference of which is as many inches as there are days in the year. Yet this little chamber has been so constructed that measures of its length range between, approximately, 116, and 117, inches, as the figures of Professors Smyth and Petrie show. This range of measures is intentional, and not the result of carelessness on the part of the ancient builders as Professor Petrie understood. We hope to make this clear in Vol. III of Great Pyramid Passages.

We secured photographs of several parts of interest in the Ante-Chamber. One shows John standing in the twenty-one inch space between the north wall of the chamber behind him, and the Granite Leaf in front—Plate CXXXVI. He is leaning against the east wall, which at this part is, like the north wall, composed of limestone. The floor is of special importance. You will no doubt recall how Professor C. Piazzi Smyth and others point out that, while the floor of the king’s Chamber is composed entirely of granite, that of the Ante-Chamber consists mostly of granite, but partially of limestone—Plate XX. The latter portion is a continuation of the limestone block which forms the Step in the Grand Gallery and the floor of the short passage leading into the Ante- Chamber. This limestone portion ends a few inches to the north of the Granite Leaf. John is seen standing on it, his toes touching the first granite floor-stone which is raised a quarter of an inch above the other stones of the Ante-Chamber floor. Before he can rest his feet firmly on solid granite, he will require first to bow down and pass between the granite walls under the Granite Leaf into the Ante-Chamber proper. The length of the granite portion of the Ante-Chamber floor is 103.0329 + Pyramid inches.

In the color photo above we are kneeling in the second little passage leading into the Kings Chamber looking back north through the Ante-Chamber toward the Grand Gallery. The tan colored stone a bit before you is the lower portion of the granite leaf; however what we really would like to draw your attention to is how it clearly shows the transition from the limestone part of the floor to granite part, and if you look closely you can see the ¼ inch lift in the first granite stone leading into the Ante-Chamber. Due to the extreme decline of the Grand Gallery what you are seeing way out in front of you is the jagged ceiling of the Grand Gallery.

Another photograph (Plate CXXXVII) shows John in the act of passing under the Granite Leaf. By actual trial we found it impossible to raise our heads on the inner or south side of the Granite Leaf, without first lifting our feet from the limestone floor, and placing them on granite. With the exception of two small limestone blocks in the upper corners of the south and east walls, this, the main portion of the Ante-Chamber, is formed entirely of granite. The drawing by K. Vaughan (Plate XXXIV above) shows more of the floor of the Ante-Chamber, as well as a better view of the lower part of the east wall. The fragmentary pilasters, and the deep rectangular hollows at the side of the floor, are shown to advantage.

As there is only a width of about three and a half feet between the east and west walls of the Ante-Chamber, we could not have taken the photograph of the small space to the north of the Granite Leaf, had it not been for Caviglia’s excavation in the west wall. By taking advantage of this excavation, we were enabled to set back the camera far enough to secure a view of sufficiently wide angle to show John at nearly full length.

We find it necessary to use our special wide-angle lens, which has a focus of only 3 ⅛ inches, in nearly all our photographs of the interior of the Great Pyramid; in such confined spaces as that mentioned above, it is of great advantage. For views outside we have another lens with a focus of 6.3 inches, which can also be converted into a focus of 11¼ inches by an arrangement lately devised by lens-makers. Both of these lenses were made by Carl Zeiss of Jena, and are in our opinion the best possible for careful work. In addition to these, we have a “Tele-photo” lens (also made by Carl Zeiss) capable or giving up to five magnifications; but so far we have not had many opportunities to make use of it.

A third photograph (Plate CXXXVIII) taken inside the Ante-Chamber, with the camera placed on the flat upper surface of the east wainscot, shows the upper portion of the west side of the Granite Leaf where it fits into its groove in the granite wainscot of the west wall. Above this, on the right side of the photograph, are seen the upper and middle of the three limestone blocks which form the north wall of the Ante-Chamber. Of the two blocks shown above the west wainscot, the one to the north is limestone, and the other is granite. The extreme blackness of the granite roof is due to the smoke from the torches and candles of the countless visitors who have passed below on their way to and from the King’s Chamber.

More of the Granite Leaf would have been shown in the above photograph had it not been for an unfortunate incident. According to our usual method we had set light to the touch-paper inserted in the powder, and had retired to a safe distance till the flash should be over. After waiting for a longer interval than usual without hearing the explosion, we concluded that the touch- paper had become extinguished, as had happened on other occasions. I therefore edged over in the direction of the camera along the top of the east wainscot, so as to cover the lens before adjusting a fresh piece of touch-paper. When quite close to the camera, but before I had time to cover the lens, the powder suddenly ignited. The result is that part of the field of view is intercepted by my knees; there is sufficient in the photograph, however, to give a general idea of the appearance of the upper portion of the Ante-Chamber.

I had a little difficulty myself at first in comprehending this photo so I added some perspective lines to help me see more clearly what was being shown. You may still be wondering what exactly we are looking at and how exactly this photo was originally shot so I have included another shot at what is being shown taken from the floor of the Ante-Chamber looking up to this position or corner of the chamber.


The two “wainscots” form a very distinctive feature of this little chamber. Their distance apart is the same as the width of the walls of the low passages, i.e., about three and a half feet. They are each approximately a foot thick, the width; therefore, of the Ante-Chamber is about two feet more in its upper than in its lower part. The whole height of the chamber from floor to roof measures twelve and a half feet. The east wainscot reaches upward to within 46 inches of the roof, but the west wainscot is 8 ¾ inches higher. This difference in height is well shown in the photograph by the fact that my position, as I sit on the upper surface of the east wainscot, is seen to be distinctly on a lower level than the top of the west wainscot.

Each wainscot is characterized by four broad vertical grooves, 3 ¼ inches deep; those on the east side are of the same dimensions as, and exactly opposite to, those on the west side of the chamber. The grooves into which the Granite Leaf is fixed are about 16 ¾ inches wide and stop short at the bottom of the Leaf; but the other grooves are cut the full height of the wainscots, and are 21 ½ inches broad. The vertical ridges or pilasters which divide the three broad grooves on each wall measure about 5 inches wide; whilst the width of those which retain the Granite Leaf on the south is 3 ¾ inches. The upper surface of the west wainscot is differentiated from that of the east by three deep semi-cylindrical horizontal grooves, which correspond in position with the three broad vertical grooves—See Plates XXXI and XXXV below.

We will continue with out look at the Ante-Chamber with our next post.


The Great Pyramid, Part 28

The Great Pyramid, Part 28

The Grand Gallery and the Ante-Chamber

In this next segment it will prove necessary for us to review both the Grand Gallery and the Ante-Chamber at the same time as they are uniquely connected to one another, this will become all the more evident when we take a closer look at their symbolic significance.

The Grand Gallery

The Edgar brothers found it impossible to secure a photograph showing the entire northern end of the lofty Grand Gallery; but managed to get one which includes enough detail to furnish the very difficult perspective-lines of that most interesting passage—Plate CLXXIX. (We have also included the color photo above which likewise shows this unique feature.)

Following this indication of the proper perspective, K. Vaughan has been able to construct a drawing of the full height of the northern end of the Gallery, showing as nearly as possible a view of it as it looks to one standing about thirty feet up from the north wall on the inclined floor Plate CLXXX. This carefully executed drawing presents a pictorial idea of the appearance of the remarkable and noble Grand Gallery, truer to the reality than any we have seen. Nevertheless, the passage is so large, and the floor slopes away so steeply, that it is not possible for a picture to convey an accurate impression…Notice the open Well-mouth on the left side.

In the photograph on which K. Vaughan’s drawing is based, a number of the details of the Grand Gallery are shown very clearly. At the bottom (1) appears the upper half of the doorway of the First Ascending Passage. Six of the seven overlapping’s of the walls are shown; and it will be noticed that the lowermost on each of the east and west side walls (2) is not developed on the north wall (The red dotted line). Immediately above the third overlapping on the west (left) wall, there can be seen (3) a small section of one of the pair of shallow grooves, which are cut opposite each other in the masonry of the east and west walls, and which run the entire length of the Grand Gallery—Compare Plate XXIV.  (This groove can be seen much better in the color photo at the top of the page.) The original purpose of this pair of corresponding grooves is difficult to imagine; the structural reason for their existence has not yet been satisfactorily explained; but no doubt there is some symbolical significance in connection with them, as there is in connection with many other mysterious features in this immense and generally little understood edifice.

Col. Howard Vyse, who first drew attention to these grooves, wrote with regard to them: “For the long grooves running on each side the whole length of the passage, it is difficult to assign a use; they are roughly cut, and therefore could not have been used for a sliding platform, for which, at first sight, they appear adapted. Perhaps they were made to receive scaffolding for the workmen employed in trimming off the sides of the passage.” But to this suggestion Professor C. Piazzi Smyth objected–” that the groove is represented so near the bottom of its overlapping sheet, that there was- little strength left to support any weight; and as the grooved portion has to a great extent perished, without any strain being put upon it,—we cannot regard it as any- thing connected with scaffolding, but rather with some symbolic meaning.”

The grooves are each 6 inches wide by ¾ of an inch deep; and the distance from the edge of the third overlapping up to the lower edge of the groove is, in each case, 5¼ inches. According to the measurements of Professor Flinders Petrie, the lower edges of these grooves run parallel with, and exactly midway between, the floor and roof of the Grand Gallery.

We have secured several photographs of the lower end of the Grand Gallery looking south, with the camera erected about two feet from the north wall. These show the sheer cut-off of the floor of the Grand Gallery immediately above the low doorway of the Horizontal Passage leading to the Queen’s Chamber. One of these (Plate CLXXXI) shows the floor of the Horizontal Passage, and John standing on it with his left hand resting against the sheer cut-off above the doorway (We have also included a good color photo of the same above).

Two other photographs, one of which was taken with a long-focus lens, and both taken with the camera erected on a higher level than in the one described, give a good impression of the long sloping floor, Ramps and side walls disappearing into the darkness above Plates CLXXXII and CLXXXIII. Judah, who stands on the floor of the Horizontal Passage, is leaning against the sheer cut-off; while John is seen ascending the very steep and slippery floor of the lofty Gallery, his feet placed in the shallow footholds, and his left hand holding on to the East Ramp.

The Ramps are exceedingly useful. The ancient builders carved out a series of large oblong holes on the upper surface of each of them (a few of which can be seen in the photographs), for what reason we do not know; but they enable one to take hold of the Ramps more firmly. As this passage represents the Gospel Dispensation, the Ramps symbolize the Grace of God, his “exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might be partakers of the Divine nature.” —2 Pet. 1:4—See Par. 185. One misses them in the First Ascending Passage, which so well symbolizes the Law Dispensation. There, to help in the ascent and descent, we require taking advantage of the little irregularities on the walls, which have been caused by exfoliation. If it were not for these irregularities, and the footholds hewn in the floor, if the walls and floor of the First Ascending Passage had preserved their original smooth condition, it would be impossible for the average man to walk in it. (Today passage up the First Ascending Passage is made much easier due to the addition of hand railings and special floor planks allowing a greater foot hold as can be seen in the photo below).

On a former occasion the thought had occurred to me (Morton), while we were returning down the Grand Gallery from a journey to the King’s Chamber, that the course of the “backslider” is harder than that of the willing climber. To go back is more difficult than to go forward. I mentioned the thought to John, and he thoroughly agreed with me, for at the time he was holding the East Ramp firmly with his hands, and carefully sliding down one foot after another into the footholds!

But not only does the Grand Gallery symbolize the walk of the faithful followers of Christ Jesus during the Gospel Dispensation, by its appropriate steepness and other properties, but its precise length in Pyramid inches agrees, at the rate of an inch to a year, – with the duration of that Age; for the full length of the Gallery from the base of the north wall up the floor-line to the vertical line of the south wall, is very slightly over 1881½ Pyramid inches; and the total number of years from the date of the death and resurrection of our Lord, Spring of 33 A.D., till the end of thetimes of the Gentiles in Autumn of 1914 A.D., is 1881½ years See Par. 126 and 127 (Explained below).

As already noted several times, the theoretically correct length of the Grand Gallery is 1881.5985+ Pyramid inches. This is little more than a tenth-part of an inch under the practical measure taken by Professor Flinders Petrie, whose published figures, converted to Pyramid units, is 1881.7164 Pyramid inches. (Professor C. Piazzi Smyth appears to have made his measurement a little too short, owing to his method of measuring with rods, instead of the surer method adopted by Professor Petrie of measuring with a long steel tape, the method which we ourselves have adopted; for we had a steel tape specially made for this purpose.)”

Great Pyramid Passages, Pages 369-372 par. 574-582

“Jesus was not born on the plane of condemnation and death represented by the Descending Passage, but on the plane of human perfection. He was “holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinnersHeb. 7:26. But he was born under the Law—Gal. 4:4. This would require that the Great Pyramid should indicate the date of his birth somewhere in the First Ascending Passage, and this is clearly shown in an ingenious and yet simple fashion. The Queen’s Chamber symbolizes human perfection. If the line of its floor be produced northwards till it touches the floor of the First Ascending Passage, the point of contact will necessarily be on the plane, or level, of human perfection. This point will, therefore, fulfil the required conditions—Plate XXIV.

That this point on the floor of the First Ascending Passage indicates the date of the birth of Jesus is confirmed by the following interesting fact. It has been shown that the First Ascending Passage and the Grand Gallery, symbolize respectively the Law Dispensation and the Gospel Dispensation. It follows that the point on the floor which is in line with the north wall of the Grand Gallery, and which marks, therefore, the end of the First Ascending Passage and the commencement of the Grand Gallery, indicates the date of the death and resurrection of Christ which closed the Law Dispensation, and ushered in the Gospel Dispensation—Col. 2:14. Now, if we measure along the floor of the First Ascending Passage from the point already determined as indicating the date of the birth of Jesus, to this line of demarcation which indicates the date of his death, the distance between the two is found to be 33½ inches, the exact length which corresponds to the duration of Jesus’ life on earth at the rate of an inch to a year.”

Great Pyramid Passages, Pages 83-84 par. 126-127

Symbolic significance of the Grand Gallery

“The death of Christ ended the Law, and the resurrection of Christ the third day after inaugurated the dispensation of grace, known to us as the Gospel Age. Just as the First Ascending Passage symbolizes the Law Age, so the Grand Gallery to which it leads symbolizes the Gospel Age.

Although both passages rise at the same steep angle, and although their floors are equally slippery, yet there is great difference between them in two important respects. In the first place, the Grand Gallery is far higher in the roof, and there is no necessity for one to stoop as when coming up the First Ascending Passage. This illustrates a manifest difference between the two Ages. The exacting requirements of the law was a burden to the Jew and bowed him down; but Christ became an end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believed; and those receiving the Gospel message experienced the glorious liberty wherewith Christ makes free. They passed, as it were, from the low, confined First Ascending Passage into the greater freedom of the Grand Gallery.

The other difference between the two passages is that, should one slip when ascending the Grand Gallery, he can cling to the side Ramps and steady himself until he regains his footing; but in the First Ascending Passage there is nothing to lay hold of should one feel his feet sliding. This again illustrates an important contrast between the two Ages; for although the followers of the Lord in the Gospel Age occasionally slip from their steadfastness through temporary lack of faith or from other causes, yet they have the “exceeding great and precious promises” of the Lord’s Word to sustain and reinstate them on the upward way. They have promises that the Lord will never forsake them; that if they confess their sins he is faithful and just to forgive them their sins and to cleanse them from all unrighteousness; that the Lord’s strength is made perfect in weakness. By these and many other precious promises, all who have taken up their cross and followed the Lord are enabled to overcome and ultimately “become partakers of the Divine nature.”

During the Jewish Age, on the contrary, those who sought to gain life by the law had no promise of aid should they slip even in one of the commandments, as the Apostle James declares: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law [in an endeavor to merit life thereby], and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all,” and is therefore under the curse of the law (James 2:10). Had Jesus not laid down his life in sacrifice he would have remained alone on the plane of human perfection; for, as we have seen, none of the human race, whether of the people of Israel or of the Gentiles, could escape the downward-road to death. But our Lord came to this earth for the very purpose of sacrificing his human life on behalf of the world. We read, therefore, that “He poured out his soul unto death,” and that “He gave his life a ransom for all.” He gave his flesh for the life of the world.

We may picture our Lord as standing on the level of the Queen’s Chamber floor, a perfect man in whom was no sin, holy, harmless, and un-defiled and separate from sinners, as far above the condemned human race as the horizontal line of the Queen’s Chamber floor stands above the downward line of the Descending Passage. Then at the due time he, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man. He laid down his life in sacrifice; and this sacrificial death, as we have said, is represented in the Pyramid by the Well-Shaft.” (xiii-xiv)

We will take a look at the Ante-Chamber in our next post.




The Great Pyramid, Part 27

The Great Pyramid, Part 27

Concluding thoughts on the significance of the Well-shaft

The Mouth of Well

“The Scriptures declare that it was not possible that he, the Holy One, the Prince of Life, could be “Holden of death,” but that God burst the bond of death and raised his beloved Son the third day, no longer a human being, however, but a spirit being on the highest plane. So the Well-Shaft symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is no longer represented as standing on the plane of the Queen’s Chamber, but high above in the King’s Chamber condition of spirit life. We know that the Scriptures declare that Jesus was made perfect through the things that he suffered in the flesh. That is, he was made perfect as a New Creature and High Priest; and when he rose from the dead the third day all power in heaven and earth was given unto him, as he declared to his disciples. Here, then, we see the great significance of the Well-Shaft. Briefly stated, it represents the ransom-sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, belief in which alone can enable men to pass from death unto life.

Jesus declared that the hour was coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth. He also declared that, if he was lifted up from the earth he would draw all men unto him (John 5:28, 29; 12:32). Also the apostle Paul declares that, as in Adam all die, even so shall all in Christ be made alive (1 Cor. 15:22). Adam brought condemnation and death upon the world, but Jesus Christ brought righteousness and an opportunity for life to every man (Rom. 5:18-22). The Descending Passage very well symbolizes the condemnation through Adam, while the Well-Shaft symbolizes Christ Jesus as the onlyway of escapefrom that condemnation. (xiv-xv)

“The descending Passage symbolizes the downward course of “this present evil world” (Gal. 1: 4) to destruction, represented by the Pit, or Subterranean Chamber. It is important to notice that it is not the people, but “this present evil world “—the present evil institutions (governments, authorities, religious institutions)—which will be destroyed in Gehenna. These evil institutions will, thank God, never be re-awakened.

The Pit thus symbolizes Gehenna, the condition of death from which there will be no awakening, just as the Well symbolizes Hades, the condition of death from which there will be an awakening.

From the Descending Passage, representing the plane of Adamic condemnation, to the upper planes of life and immortality- represented by the Queen’s Chamber and the King’s Chamber respectively, two ways are shown in the Great Pyramid, namely, the First Ascending Passage, and the Well. A glance at the illustration shown above reveals that of these two ways, the First Ascending Passage, representing the Law Covenant, appears to be much easier to ascend than the other. That is how the Israelites regarded the Law Covenant. When Moses laid before them the words which the Lord commanded him, “All the people answered together and said, ` All that the Lord hath spoken we will do “—Exod 19: 8. They thought they could keep the Law and thus gain life, for God had said: “Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord “—Lev 18: 5.

They did not recognize that it is impossible for fallen flesh to obey the Divine Law. What is it that blocks this way to life? It is the perfect Law of God. Just as the Granite Plug completely blocks the entrance of the First Ascending Passage of the Great Pyramid, so the Divine Law blocks the way of life which the Law Covenant offered to the Jew. Thus the Granite Plug symbolizes the Divine Law. As the Apostle put it, “The commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death “—Rom. 7: 10. Through the Atonement Sacrifices, however, which the Lord instituted, the Israelites were typically justified (not really justified, because “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sinsHeb. 10: 4), and were accordingly reckoned by God as typically obeying the Law and progressing along the Law Dispensation. The First Ascending Passage, therefore, symbolizes both the Law Covenant and the Law Dispensation.

As the First Ascending Passage is blocked, and the passage forced by Al Mamoun is no part of the original design of the Great Pyramid, it follows that there is only one way open from the Descending Passage, symbolical of Adamic condemnation, to the upper passages which symbolize life and immortality, namely, by the Well-shaft. But this way is vertical for a great part of its course. In fact it is not a passage at all in the proper sense of the term. As already intimated, it symbolizes Christ’s Ransom sacrifice. Thus the teaching of the Great Pyramid corroborates that of the Word of God, which intimates that the way to life and immortality was first opened up through the death and resurrection of Christ, and that salvation is by faith. “By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast “—Eph. 2: 8, 9, none can ascend from the plane of condemnation and death, to the plane of justification, except by faith. Justification by faith is not the result of works.

Only two men have been capable of keeping the perfect Law of God, because none but these two began life in this world on the plane of human perfection. The first one, Adam, willfully broke God’s Law (2 Tim. 2: 14) and sold the whole human race under sin and death. The other, on the contrary, the man Christ Jesus, kept the Law, and did not require to die; but delighting in the will of God, he voluntarily gave up his life as a sacrifice, the just for the unjust (1 Pet. 3: 18); and then, as it was not possible that he, the innocent one, should be Holden of death (Acts 2: 24), God burst the bonds and raised his beloved Son from hades, the death-state. Through the risen Christ as the Last Adam, the First Adam with all of his family will eventually also be raised from the death-state—1 Tim. 2: 4-6.” (Great Pyramid Passages, Page 81, 83 par. 122-125)

“Speaking of the peculiar Grotto which intercepts the course of the Well-shaft, and its possible symbolical meaning, C. T. Russell writes: “Moreover, the location of the ` Grotto’ and the fact that it was natural and not hewn are significant. It evidently symbolizes the death of our Lord Jesus. The fact that it was natural teaches that the Lord’s sacrifice of himself was not an expediency, but a foreordained, pre-arranged matter in Jehovah’s plan, before the outworking of the plan, symbolized by the Pyramid began. The fact that it is located above and not below the basal line (base line or rock level) of the Pyramid seems to teach another lesson in harmony with the Scriptures that though our Lord died as a ransom for sinners, he did not descend into sin and degradation, but even in his death was within the limits and bounds of the divine plan, as symbolized in the Pyramid structure above the basal line.”

It is appropriate that the upper end of the Well should be so centrally situated, namely, at the junction of the First Ascending Passage, the Horizontal Passage, and the Grand Gallery, because it symbolizes the ransom-sacrifice of Christ which is the center or hub of the great plan of salvation Plate XXIV. Just as the Well is situated at the end of the First Ascending Passage and at the commencement of the Grand Gallery, so it was the death of Christ which closed the Law Dispensation and commenced the Gospel Dispensation; and just as the Well is also at the beginning of the Horizontal Passage leading to the Queen’s Chamber, so the ransom- sacrifice of Christ was the beginning of the loving scheme devised by God for the ultimate salvation of the entire world.” (Great Pyramid Passages, Page 111 par. 183,184)

A unique confirmation of the symbolic significance of the well-shaft found elsewhere

While the Edgar brothers were in the Holy City (Jerusalem) they had time to visit the “Tombs of the Kings”, situated some distance to the north of the city.

After descending a broad flight of rock-hewn steps, we turned to the left, and through an archway entered a large open quadrangle, about 30 feet or more deep, also cut in the rock. On the left wall we noticed a large opening like the stage and proscenium of a theatre—Plate CXII (The black and white photo above is the same photo as found in the Edgar’s book, but taken from another source and of course the colored photo a more recent depiction). On the left side of this stage at the back, there is a depression in the floor leading down to a low open doorway, propped up beside which is a large stone like a mill-stone. If freed, this stone would roll down and effectually close the entrance.

We crept through this doorway, and stood upright in a large chamber hollowed out in the solid rock. Extending our explorations with lighted candles, we found a number of rock-cut rooms, large and small, connected by little passages. The small rooms were used as the sepulchral-chambers of the tombs, as these contain the familiar niches for the dead. It is tombs such as these that are referred to in Mark 5:3, where a spirit-possessed man is spoken of as “dwelling among the tombs.” They are to be found everywhere in Palestine and Egypt. Both Professors Smyth and Petrie lived in rock-cut tombs, named by them “East Tombs,” while conducting their work at the Great Pyramid. Professor Petrie occupied East Tombs for two years, and said he preferred them to the houses.

What attracted our special attention in the Tombs of the Kings is the bench, or ramp, cut in the natural rock, which runs along each wall-base in the larger compartments, similar to the ramps at the base of each side wall in the Grand Gallery in the Great Pyramid of Gizeh. In one of the rooms the resemblance of the low benches to the Ramps in the Grand Gallery is remarkable, for in the north-west corner of this chamber a portion of the bench is broken away, disclosing an open shaft—Plate CXIII below. At a short distance down, this shaft leads to a small subterranean chamber, on three sides of which are niches for the repose of the dead. Situated at a lower level than the other sepulchral rooms, this little chamber reminds us of the “lowest hell“, or “sheol“, spoken of in the Scriptures—Deut. 32:22; Psa. 86:13.

The appearance of the broken bench, and the open mouth of the downward shaft in the chamber, is much like the north-west corner in the Grand Gallery where the Ramp is broken away, forming the Well-mouth. In the Great Pyramid the Well-mouth is not at the immediate upper end of the shaft, but opens into a low horizontal passage, from the end of which the shaft proper descends—Plate XIX. In the Tombs of the Kings, also, the opening in the north-west corner of the chamber is not the top of a perpendicular shaft, but an opening by which, a short distance down, a few steps lead through a little passage to the niche- chamber.

We have always, since we studied the symbolical aspect of the Great Pyramid, understood that theWell represents Hades, the tomb or death-state; and now that we have seen this example of a tomb-chamber, with its broken bench or ramp making a “well-mouth” opening, down through which the dead were lowered to their resting-places, our belief in the reasonableness of the accepted symbolism of the “Well” in the Great Pyramid is strengthened.

In early times fanciful ideas were entertained regarding the purpose of the Well-shaft in the Great Pyramid. In those days, as Professor C. Piazzi Smyth wrote, “nothing was known of the Pyramid’s Entrance Passage further down its course than its junction with Caliph Al Mamoun’s forced hole and the entry to the First Ascending Passage”. Therefore, when men ventured to look into the Well-mouth from close to the north-western corner of the Grand Gallery, near the broken Ramp-stone, as mentioned above, they found themselves overhanging a dark and dismal abyss, no one knew how deep or where leading to.

“What Caliph Al Mamoun and his immediate followers thought of it is not recorded; but soon after his time, ‘ the well begins to figure in Arab accounts, as an open pit of preternatural depth and fearful qualities. A party of twenty men, from the Fayoum district, was once formed to investigate the mystery, but was frightened when one of their numbers fell down the aperture such a terrible distance, that he was said to have been three hours in the act of falling!”

One has to picture the scene from their perspective at the time, there was a spooky and narrow dark hole leading straight down into darkness, remember the first part of the well-shaft is 25 feet deep straight down before it meets with the irregular part of the shaft and begins to venture toward the south. All they had for lighting at the time were torches or oil lamps neither of which would reveal much looking down into this abyss.

(Great Pyramid Passages, Pages 248, 251,252 par. 406-412)

In our next post we will begin our investigation of the Grand Gallery.

The Great Pyramid, Part 26

The Great Pyramid, Part 26

Those loose Granite Stones found in the Pyramid

“Wedged in at the east edge of the deep hollow in the floor of the Grotto is a large granite stone, which, judging by its broken appearance is a fragment of a larger block. It has two worked surfaces at right angles to each other, and, most wonderful of all, parts of two large holes drilled through it! The north-east upper corner of this stone may be seen at the lower left-hand corner of our photograph of the Grotto (Plate CLXXV); but K. Vaughan’s drawing enlarges upon the photograph (but not by much), and shows more of this stone, as well as the floor of the Grotto at the small doorway Plate XXXII. The second picture below gives a much better view; the man in the background has his hand upon it.

There are similar granite stones elsewhere in the Great Pyramid. At that time, three lie on the floor of the Descending Passage. One of these, the largest, was discovered by Professor Flinders Petrie, a little below the junction of the First Ascending Passage. It is across the top of this stone, as mentioned before, that the iron grill-door is fixed. It has five worked surfaces and the remains of one drill-hole four inches in diameter.

In more recent times a new gate to the descending passage has been provided one which no longer requires the use of the before mentioned stone, I believe this stone has since been removed to the outside entrance to the descending passage as shown below.

Another stone lies on the floor of the Descending Passage a little above the opening of the lower end of the Well. Like the one in the Grotto there are two drill-holes in it. This second stone now lies below the Well opening. On the day our men began to clear the debris from the Descending Passage, they had uncovered a third but smaller granite stone, which lay on the floor a little below the iron grill-door. Taking away too much of the supporting debris, this stone began to move, and quickly gathering impetus on that steep floor, it plunged down the 200 feet or more of the passage and crashed with great force into the granite stone with the two drill-holes, knocking it to the bottom. Nevertheless, no damage was done to either of the blocks. As these two stones now prevented entrance to the Small Horizontal Passage leading to the Pit, I had them removed a few feet up the passage, and laid against the east wall, taking care so to place the larger block that the drill-holes might be examined readily by interested visitors.

In one of our photographs of the lower end of the Well, taken before this incident occurred, this larger stone may be seen lying further up the passage; and part of one of the worked surfaces, and even the upper ends of the drill-holes may be discerned Plate CLXXVIII. Judah is seen reclining on the floor of the Descending Passage above the stone, supporting his head on the board which the American excavator had placed across the passage to keep back the debris when he was clearing away the rubbish below that point—Par. 235. This board, of course, is no longer required, as the entire length of the passage is now clear.

I believe the granite stone pictured in the above black and white photo to be the same one now located on the ledge of the first square shaft in the subterranean pit.

There is still another granite stone (shown below) lying in the small Recess in the passage leading to the Pit… It has worked surfaces, but no drill-holes. There are also several small fragments of granite lying in the Pit.

At first we were greatly puzzled to know how one of these granite stones found its way into the Grotto, of all places! It appears, however, that among the large stones which formerly blocked the irregular portion of the Well-shaft above the Grotto, one was of granite; for we find in M. Caviglia’s list of measurements of the Well, the following item: “Depth of the Well to a block of granite that had fallen into it-38 feet.”

Some active operator at the Pyramid (probably Mr. Caviglia himself) must have had this granite stone lowered by means of ropes until it hung opposite the small doorway of the Grotto, into which it was then pulled out of harm’s way. Although this operation must have been attended with considerable difficulty and danger because of the weight of the block, it was the easiest way to get rid of it; for had it been thrown down the lower part of the Well, it would have again become tightly wedged somewhere in the narrow shaft, completely blocking the passage.

A more difficult problem, however, is to discover the original site and purpose of these five blocks of partly dressed granite stones with their drill-holes. The fact that one of the three largest is now in the Grotto, and has been traced to a point several feet higher than its present lodging place, would seem to indicate that they all originally occupied a position somewhere in the upper parts of the Pyramid.

When Professor Flinders Petrie made his discovery of the large granite block on the floor of the Descending Passage at the junction of the First Ascending Passage (he seems not to have known of the others), it occurred to him that it might have come from the Ante-Chamber. The three pairs of grooves on the sides of that chamber suggest the possibility of other granite leaves or portcullises stretching across between the walls like the present Granite Leaf See Plate CXXXVII. It is the only likely place he could imagine; but he saw too many objections to this theory to advance it as anything more than a mere suggestion. Why, he asks, should there be a [four-inch] drill-hole through the block [and we have seen that the two next largest also have each a pair of drill-holes], if it originally formed part of another Leaf?

He anticipates that some might claim that the hole is modern, made for smashing up the block more easily; but objects that “it is such a hole as none but an ancient Egyptian would have made, drilled out with a jeweled tubular drill in the regular style of the fourth dynasty [the period during which this Great Pyramid was built], and to attribute it to any mere smashers and looters of any period is inadmissible.”

The grooves in the Ante-Chamber are, in any case, too wide, being an inch more than the thickness of the stone. Professor Flinders Petrie remembers that the blocks of the Granite Leaf are also an inch narrower than their grooves; but seems to forget what he himself points out later, and as we have already seen (Par. 489), that the extra inch is filled in by corresponding projections or rebates on the blocks, which are wholly lacking in the block discovered by Professor Flinders Petrie; nor are any to be seen on the other blocks.

Without doubt, these granite stones with their unique drill-holes, form a mystery which must be left for some future investigator to make plain; we cannot think what was their original purpose, and are bound to confess as did Professor Flinders Petrie, that, to use his words, “something has been destroyed, of which we have at present, no idea.”

(Great Pyramid Passages, Pages 362-364 par. 553-563)

We will attempt to wrap up the well-shaft in our next post.




The Great Pyramid, Part 25

The Great Pyramid, Part 25


The Grotto

Continuing with our examination of the “Well-shaft

“Judah fastened a rope-ladder to the iron pin which our men had previously fixed with cement at the head of the vertical part of the Well-shaft; and John and I descended with the intention of examining and measuring the shaft, and also the mysterious Grotto. Were it not for the ladder I question whether we would have ventured the descent. Even with its aid we found our down- ward climb laborious, and not without risk. This vertical part of the shaft lies a few feet to the west of the line of the Grand Gallery, being approached by the small horizontal passage already referred to—Plates XVIII and XIX. The floor of the small passage does not appear to be the original one. It is not all on one level, but rises abruptly in a shallow step near the Grand Gallery end.

To determine the level of the original surface of the floor might now be a little difficult; probably it was flush with the upper surface of the step, but it may have been a little higher. Our drawings show this floor restored. At the top of the vertical shaft, on the north side, there is a fairly large excavation. It is in the rough floor of this excavation, as I mentioned before, that our men have fixed the iron pin, from which the ladder is suspended. What purpose the excavators had in view in forcing their way into the masonry at this point we do not know; probably it was they who cut the floor of the small passage, to gain more headroom for working.

At the foot of the first vertical part (which is about 25 feet deep, and nearly 28 inches square in bore), we noticed a bend in the shaft southward. It still descends very steeply, however, and the rope-ladder hangs down it for yet another ten feet. From this point the shaft looks very fearsome, especially to us who are unaccustomed to such places.

The walls of the first vertical part are comparative smooth; but from the bottom of the first down to the top of the second vertical part, the shaft is very uneven indeed, being neither square nor round in section Plate XI. It looks as if the great irregularity in this part of the shaft is the result of stones having been dislodged from its walls; for the whole of this portion of the Well, from the Grand Gallery down to the top of the second vertical part, descends through the comparatively rough core masonry of the Pyramid. Here and there, one can see the open joints between the core stones; and we found them sometimes large enough to stow away our measuring rods when not required. Situated on the east, at the foot of the first vertical part, there is a crevice large enough at its outer end to allow one to sit in it; and in at its further end, the square corner of one of the core blocks is clearly distinguishable.

The small opening into the Grotto is situated a short distance down the second vertical part. For about seven and a half feet upward from the floor of the doorway, the four walls of the square shaft are composed of masonry built of small stones in ten horizontal courses. This short built part of the shaft goes through the Grotto. Below this, right down to the lower opening into the Descending Passage, the shaft is cut through the solid rock.

The grotto is longer from east to west, than from north to south. The roof is low; and except in one spot to the west, where there is a deep hollow in the floor, it is too low to allow one to stand. The floor, walls and roof are composed for the most part of gravel embedded in caked sand, which crumbles when touched. Here and there the natural rock appears Plate CLXXVII.

Owing to the thick coating of dust, and the extreme roughness of the walls of the shaft, it is difficult to determine the level at which the core masonry of the Pyramid rests upon the natural rock; but it cannot be far above the Grotto. It appears to us as if the large core blocks rest directly on the top of the ten courses of small stones which line the upper half of the square shaft of the second vertical part. As I indicated before, these courses of small stones were built to continue the shaft through the Grotto; and the level of the rock on which they rest can be distinctly seen in our photograph Plate CLXXV, with which compare K. Vaughan’s drawing, Plate XXXII.

Professor Petrie points out that the ancient workmen must have cut and completed the Subterranean Chamber and the lower part of the Descending Passage in the rock, before commencing the erection of the superstructure of the Pyramid with its built continuation of the Descending Passage. So also with the Well, its lower part would probably be cut in the rock first, and then it would be gradually continued upward as the core masonry of the Pyramid was built up, course by course, until it reached its present outlet on the west side of the lower end of the Grand Gallery. But before proceeding to the erection of the Great Pyramid, the workmen would also probably level the surface of the foundation rock.

That they did not do this in one plane, but in terraces, is evident, because the beginning of the rock-cut portion of the Descending Passage is distinctly on a higher level than the rock under the pavement at the outside base of the Pyramid; while our measurements of the length of the Well-shaft show that the rock-cut portion of that shaft begins on a still higher level Plate XI.

Our thought with regard to the Grotto is that, while the ancient builders were engaged in this work of leveling the rock surface in terraces preparatory to the erection of the Pyramid, they uncovered a large natural cavity or fissure. As the shaft of the Well passed through this cavity (and its course would lead one to believe that it was diverted for this purpose), the workmen would be instructed to build a continuation of its four walls with small courses of stone up to the level of the rock.

The cavity or fissure would then be filled up to the level of the rock with sand and gravel from the desert, packed in firmly round the four walls of this built continuation of the shaft, and so form a solid foundation for the masonry of the Pyramid. In our photograph of the Grotto some of this sand and gravel can be seen adhering to the white plaster of the masonry.

Curious investigators (probably shortly after Al Mamoun’s time), wondering what could be concealed behind such strange little walls, forced their way through the four lowest of the small courses of the south wall. Encountering nothing but sand and gravel, they would soon abandon their task; but, from time to time, later investigators, imbued with the same curiosity, would gradually extend the breach by picking away large quantities of the partly caked sand and gravel, and throwing it down the shaft would completely block up the bottom of the Well. (This thought was first advanced by Col. Coutelle in 1801).

Thus, the lower portion of the four walls of the shaft, built so long ago through the cavity, were again laid bare on their outer surfaces; for the Grotto curves almost completely round the Well-shaft—Plate CLXXVII. Even Professor Flinders Petrie did his share in enlarging what has for long been generally known as the “Grotto.” We discovered, at the bottom of the deep hollow to the west, a basket of the kind regularly used by the Arabs to carry sand, etc.” (Great Pyramid Passages Pages 351,358-362 par. 538, 539, 540-542, 548-552)

Continued with next post.


The Great Pyramid, Part 24

The Great Pyramid, Part 24

Having ascended up the 120+ feet of the low and steep first ascending passage the Edgar brothers were quite relived to stretch their backs and take a little rest when they finally reached the end of the passage and emerged into the Grand Gallery.


“Straight in front of us we saw the low entrance to the Horizontal Passage, which extends southwards in the same vertical plane as the Descending and First Ascending Passages, but, as indicated by its name, in a horizontal direction. In height and width, it corresponds to the Descending and First Ascending Passages, and leads to a large, nearly square room with a high gabled roof, known as the Queen’s Chamber…”

The photos above depict what the Edgar brothers would have seen before them, minus of course all the newly installed guide rails, ladders and gates and of course the excellent lighting we have today in the Pyramid. In the first photo we are just emerging from the first ascending passage looking down the horizontal passage towards the Queens Chamber. Immediately to the right is the gate which closes off access to the small passage leading to the well. In the second photo we are standing in the Grand Gallery and have approached the gate to the horizontal passage.

Above the low entrance of the Horizontal Passage, sixteen and a half feet in front of us, we beheld the present apparent commencement of the Grand Gallery floor. Strictly speaking the commencement is at the north end-wall. At this place the floor of the First Ascending Passage appears to project about two feet into the Grand Gallery, but this little inclined portion, though continuous with the floor of the First Ascending Passage, is really the beginning of the Grand Gallery floor. Between this portion and the portion further south above the Horizontal Passage, there is a large gap—for the purpose of affording entrance along the Horizontal Passage to the Queen’s Chamber. Some think that originally there was no break in the continuity of the Grand Gallery floor, and that thus the entrance into the Queen’s Chamber was concealed. But it is more probable that the gap was constructed in order to give the appearance of having been forced. There are certain features which indicate this.

When facing south, we perceived at our feet on the west or right-hand side, a very small and short passage branching off in a horizontal direction—See Plates XVIII and XIX. The roof of the short passage is-on a level with the floor of the Horizontal Passage. When examining this small passage we found it necessary, after stepping down into it, to crawl along its floor on hands and knees, but we required to exercise extreme caution, for at a very short distance to the west, it terminates in a deep vertical shaft, fully two feet square in bore. This is the upper end of the Well, the lower opening of which, (depicted below), appears on the west wall near the foot of the Descending Passage.” (Great Pyramid Passages, Page 67 par. 102)

“It is difficult to secure photographs of the Well-mouth which will show it as it appears to one who is standing in the Grand Gallery, because it is impossible to set the camera sufficiently far from the opening and its surroundings to include them all in one picture. The two records which we managed to take (Plates CLXXIII and CLXXIV), while not giving a full view of the opening, show the fractured Ramp-stone very plainly, and also the depression in the west wall of the Grand Gallery (Outlined in red in the second diagram), which marks the place formerly occupied by the missing portion of the Ramp immediately above the Well-mouth–Compare with Plate XIX.” (Great Pyramid Passages, Page 351 par. 537)

I have purposely substituted the above two illustrations for the original black and white photos as they appear to illustrate much better what the Edgar’s were attempting to explain. Sometimes I find that illustrations are better suited for details.

Today it is nearly impossible to see what the Edgar’s were referring to do to the security gate which was placed over the opening to prevent anyone from wandering into the little side passage and accidentally stumbling into the well shaft.

“According to the Apostle’s statement in Rom 11:25-27, the New Covenant cannot be put into operation until the “fullness of the Gentiles” has come in to complete the body of Christ; for every member of the “body” shares with the “head” in the sacrifice, the blood of which, in the end of this Gospel Age, will be used in sealing with Israel the New Covenant. In other words, when the heavenly calling to become members in the body of Christ closes, the earthly calling of the New Covenant opens.

The first photo above is looking south or up the Grand Gallery while the second is looking north or down the Grand Gallery toward the first ascending passage.

The Great Pyramid corroborates this important phrase of the Lord’s Plan; but to appreciate the symbolism fully, one must have clearly before his mental vision the actual appearance of the lower end of the Grand Gallery. On each side of this passage there is a stone bench which runs the entire length of the floor. These benches are called “Ramps,” and measure about 21″ high by about 20″ wide. The distance between the Ramps is approximately 3½ feet, so that the widths of the floors of the Grand Gallery and First Ascending Passage are the same. The mouth of the Well is formed by a portion of the Ramp on the west side having been broken away; and the appearance of the masonry surrounding this Well-mouth suggests the thought of the once covering Ramp-stone having been violently burst out from underneath (As noted in the above illustrations of the well mouth). If the missing portion of the Ramp were restored the Well-shaft would be entirely concealed. The apparent bursting away of the Ramp-stone graphically suggests the resurrection of Jesus Christ, when God “burst the bonds of death” and raised his beloved Son from the death-state (Acts 2:22-24).

In addition to the breaking of the Ramp-stone at the head of the Well-shaft, a portion of the lower end of the floor of the Grand Gallery appears to have been forcibly removed. It looks as if the floor of the passage had originally extended upward in an unbroken line from the north wall, but that an explosion had taken place which tore away about 17 feet at the lower end. Thus, two violent explosions have taken place in the Great Pyramid; or, rather, the appearance of the lower end of the Grand Gallery gives that impression; for we believe the great Master-Builder purposely arranged the masonry of this part of the passage to suggest the thought of explosions for figurative purposes. If the missing portion of the floor of the Grand Gallery were restored, the Horizontal Passage leading to the Queen’s Chamber would be entirely concealed, so that anyone emerging from the First Ascending Passage and continuing on his way up the Grand Gallery would be unaware of the existence of the Horizontal Passage.

This feature of the Pyramid’s system symbolically confirms Scriptural teaching that the faithful among the people of Israel passed directly from Moses into Christ. They partook of the high or heavenly calling to joint-heirship with Christ, and are represented as emerging from under the low roof of the First Ascending Passage, and walking with him upward along the floor of the Grand Gallery (which at this stage is understood to be unbroken and entire) to the King’s Chamber condition of the Divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4). The majority, blinded because of their unbelief, are pictured as standing with bowed backs in the low First Ascending Passage, while the Gentiles, “who sometimes were far off, are made nigh by the blood [ransom-sacrifice] of Christ ” (Eph. 2:12, 13), and are coming up, as it were, through the Well-shaft and broken Ramp on to the floor, or “walk,” of the Grand Gallery, partaking with Christ Jesus in the heavenly calling. The present condition of the people of Israel is in accordance with the curse pronounced against them by God “Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back always” (Rom. 11:10).

Soon the last member of the Body, having completed his course of trial and testing by laying down his life in sacrifice, will be raised to join his fellow-members who have preceded him since the beginning of the resurrection of the Body in 1878 A.D. The resurrection of the “Body” of Christ constitutes the second bursting of the bonds of death (Matt. 16:18), immediately after which the New Covenant opportunity for human life will be made with the temporarily blinded nation of Israel, as well as with the “residue” of the Gentiles (Acts 15:14-17). This second bursting of the bonds of death is symbolized by the apparent violent breaking away of the lower part of the Grand Gallery floor, which, as will be readily seen, while necessarily closing the “walk” of this upward passage, reveals and opens, as a consequence, the Horizontal Passage leading to the Queen’s Chamber.

Although the raising of the “Head” and “Body” of the Christ from the dead are far separate in point of time, they are regarded by God as one resurrection. We read in Rev. 20:6Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” The Apostle Paul, also, intimates that all those who are made conformable to Christ’s death, shall know the power of His Resurrection (Phil. 3:8-14; Rom. 6:3-5).”

Great Pyramid Passages Pages 92-95, Par. 209-214

We will continue with our next post.


The Great Pyramid, Part 23

The Great Pyramid, Part 23


Key to the Pyramid

The Well-Shaft is in truth thekeyto the entire symbolism of the Great Pyramid. Just as the ransom-sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ is the central theme of the whole Plan of God, and is the key that unlocks the teaching of the Bible, so the understanding of the Well-Shaft in the Great Pyramid opens up the true meaning of all the passages and chambers in the building.

Well Shaft

From the structural standpoint the Well-Shaft is entirely with-out meaning. It can serve no useful purpose so far as the building itself is concerned. That is why some investigators, such as Professor Flinders Petrie, are of the opinion that the Well-Shaft was an after-thought on the part of the builders—that they cut it through the rock and masonry after the Pyramid had been erected. Close investigation of the masonry and rock, however, demonstrates beyond question that the Well-Shaft was not an afterthought, but was part of the original design of the whole building. We our-selves (The Edgar brothers) gave particular attention to this part of the building during our visits to the Pyramid, and we have no hesitancy in saying that the Well-Shaft is indeed an integral part of the monument’s original design. In our Volume 1 of “Great Pyramid Passages,” to which specially attention was drawn by Brother Russell in the “Watch Tower” of 1st August, 1910, we go into this matter at some length, presenting diagrams to illustrate the important architectural features at the upper end of the Well-Shaft; for we have always considered that a correct understanding of this part of the Pyramid is essential.

Let us repeat: Structurally speaking the Well-Shaft is meaningless, but symbolically it is absolutely necessary—it is the key that unlocks the meaning of all the other parts of the building. As anyone can see, by a contemplation of the chart above, it is not possible for one to reach the upper passages and chambers except by the Well-Shaft, because the First Ascending Passage is rendered impassable by the obstructing Granite Plug. In symbolical language this means that neither the spiritual nor human conditions of life (represented by the two chambers high up in the masonry of the building) can be gained by the works of the Law (represented by the First Ascending Passage); but it is possible to gain them through faith in the ransom-sacrifice of Jesus Christ (represented by the open Well-Shaft).” Pyramid Discourse-1929, Page xi-xii

The Well-shaft not an Afterthought, Page 346

“The theory held by Colonel Howard Vyse, and others of an Egyptological turn of mind, as to the original purpose of the Well-shaft in the Great Pyramid is that, it was intended to be used as a way of escape from the upper parts of the monument, to be used by those men who carried the dead monarch up the ascending passages to the sepulchral King’s Chamber where they interred him. After the work of entombing the king in the “King’s Chamber” (and the queen in the “Queen’s Chamber” ; for this tombic theory is responsible for the distinctive names given to these two chambers), these men are supposed to have pushed down the blocks of granite which form the Granite Plug in the First Ascending Passage, and which till that moment had been stored in the lofty Grand Gallery, so as to effectually close the upper parts, and then to have climbed down the Well-shaft to the lower end of the Descending Passage, up which they made their way to the outside of the Pyramid.

Note: it would have been near impossible to attempt to push these granite blocks from the Grand Gallery all the way down the First Ascending Passage (122.5 feet) as each of these three stones comprising the granite plug weight nearly seven tons a piece, even at the unique 26 degree angle of the passage the narrowness of the passage as well as friction itself would make this a very difficult task to perform. If by chance one of the stones became wedged somewhere along the passage way it would destroy the whole design and purpose of the structure.

There are however too many objections to this theory for anyone to seriously entertain it for long; and some of these objections are architectural, or constructional, ones, and all of them are dictated by common sense. That Col. Howard Vyse lacked real confidence in this theory is demonstrated in the building itself in a very practical way, for he left here and there large, and deeply excavated holes in the masonry, where he had been searching for the “body,” anywhere, in fact, but in the King’s Chamber where the theory demanded that it was placed !

Had the Well-shaft been intended by the Pyramid’s designer to serve as a means of egress in the way suggested, there could have been no need for it to have taken the course it does, away down to the lower end of the Descending Passage. But when we understand the true significance of the Great Pyramid, we perceive how necessary this peculiar well-like shaft is to complete, and, indeed, givelifeto, the symbolical building’s interior system, and how necessary that its upper and lower openings should be precisely where they are. From the purely symbolical standpoint the Well-shaft is essential, and reasonable; from the Egyptological standpoint which regards the Great Pyramid as simply a huge monumental tomb, its existence, and especially the direction of its course, is not only unnecessary, but meaningless. ” (Great Pyramid Passages, Pages 252, 255, par. 416-418)

As stated above some Egyptologists like Professor Flinders Petrie claim that the Well-shaft was not contemplated in the first instance, but was merely an after- thought. This is how Professor Petrie states his opinion:

“The shaft, or `Well,’ leading from the north end of the Gallery down to the subterranean parts, was either not contemplated at first, or else was forgotten in the course of building; the proof of this is that it has been cut through the masonry after the courses were completed. On examining the shaft, it is found to be irregularly tortuous through the masonry, and without any arrangement of the blocks to suit it; while in more than one place a corner of a block may be seen left in the irregular curved side of the shaft, all the rest of the block having disappeared in cutting the shaft. This is a conclusive point, since it would never have been so built at first.”

Our comment upon this reasoning is that: because a section of the tortuous part of the shaft may have been cut through while some of the masonry blocks were in situ, this is not at all a conclusive proof that the Well was not in the original design; for the same thing is evident in the bore of the First Ascending Passage, especially at the lower end of that passage, as we have already noticed (Pars. 461,468); and Professor Petrie does not suggest that the First Ascending Passage was a mere afterthought. And then it is in the tortuous part only that such cutting seems to have been made; for Professor Petrie says nothing of the long section of the shaft which is not tortuous, that is, the top, vertical part, which is square in bore, and presents every appearance of having been built while the building-operations were in progress.

Continuing his argument, which he claims to be conclusive, Professor Petrie says: “A similar feature is at the mouth of the passage, in the Gallery. Here the sides of the mouth are very well cut, quite as good work as the dressing of the Gallery walls; but on the south side there is a vertical joint in the Gallery side, only 5.3 inches from the mouth [He means a joint on the Ramp side, which is about 5 ½ inches to the south of the Well-mouth]. Now, great care is always taken in the Pyramid to put large stones at a corner, and it is quite inconceivable that a Pyramid builder would put a mere slip 5.3 thick beside the opening to a passage. It evidently shows that the passage mouth was cut out after the building was finished in that part. It is clear, then, that the whole of this shaft is an additional feature to the first plan.”

As Professor Petrie does not present his readers with a diagram to illustrate the vertical joint he speaks of, it is almost impossible for the student who has not been to the Pyramid to judge the soundness or otherwise of the argument. When I visited the Pyramid again in 1912 (my second visit), I took the opportunity to carefully measure every stone and joint both on the west side of the Gallery where the Well-mouth is situated, and on the opposite east side as well; and from these measurement I have drawn the diagram here presented—Plate CLXXI.

For the sake of easier comparison I have drawn the vertical elevation of the Gallery’s east side as if it were possible to see it thus while looking west, or as if the wall and Ramp on this east side were transparent. An examination of this diagram will convince you that the masonry-blocks were all specially cut as to size, and arranged as to position, with direct reference to the open mouth of the Well on the west side. And the “large stone at the corner,” which Professor Petrie declares must always be found where a passage begins, is not missing in this case also; for a very large corner stone is there to be seen very clearly, placed right at the southern boundary of the Well-mouth; and the “mere slip” of stone to which Professor Petrie refers is safely below this protecting corner block; and for over four thousand years it has stood as it is, uninjured in the main. And immediately over the mouth of the Well, and spanning the Ramp-stone which was purposely broken-away for symbolical reasons, there is a specially-placed large wall-stone, to still further strengthen the masonry surrounding the open mouth of the Well.

I am assuming the small “slip” of stone mentioned as residing beneath the large corner stone (the “ramp stone”?) is that which we have highlighted in red above. It’s very difficult to locate this vertical joint supposedly located 5 ½ inches south of the well mouth given what photos and illustrations we have.

You will notice how squarely and symmetrically arranged the masonry-blocks are, which form the Ramp on the west side, and to the south of the Well-mouth. Anyone can easily see that the masonry of this part of the Grand Gallery was particularly designed on account of, and for the sole purpose of, the originally contemplated Well-mouth and shaft. And as if to further accentuate this special arrangement of the masonry on the west side, the masonry on the opposite, east side is altogether different. Therefore, from the purely architectural aspect, even apart from our belief in the necessity of the Well because of its symbolical importance, we are abundantly justified in stating that all the evidences prove that the Well-shaft is indeed an integral part of the Great Pyramid’s passage and chamber system as originally designed and completed. This is the opinion that was held by Professor C. Piazzi Smyth, and other competent authorities.” (Pages 346-351, par. 532-536)

We will continue with our examination of the well shaft with our next post.

Bible Prophecy

Bible Prophecy

Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7

The following article was written by Charles Redeker and brings out several important points concerning why the Lord’s people should make the effort to study prophecy.

“The Bible as God’s gift to us is a book of great diversity! It contains history and law, types and symbols, poetry and promises, devotion and doctrine, parables and paradoxes. Much of it also contains prophecy. In the Old Testament alone there were sixteen different prophets who authored seventeen books of prophecy; hence one of the three divisions of that work is designated as “The Prophets.” (The other two are “The Pentateuch“, the first five books of the Old Testament and “The Holy Writings.”)

In the New Testament, the book of Revelation is devoted merely to outlining events that would occur all through the Gospel Age, culminating in the establishment of the kingdom. In addition, many prophecies are interwoven throughout the other books of this Testament. The sayings of Jesus were so frequently associated with predictions of future events that some consider him to be among the greatest of the prophets (Acts 3:22, 23).

Considering such weighty emphasis upon prophecy in the Scriptures, we may properly ask regarding its purpose in God’s unfolding plan. Why did our heavenly Father cause so much of his word and revelation to consist of prophetic utterances that spoke of future times, circumstances, and events?

All Scripture, we understand, “is profitable for doctrine for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). But what is the special role that prophecy holds in influencing the life of the believer?

Before proceeding, let us look more closely at the words “prophecy” and “prophet.” In modern usage, a prophecy is thought of as a prediction of a future event, especially when made under divine influence or direction. To this should be added what commonly accompanied such declarations in biblical times: rebuke for sin and a call to repentance. It is estimated that more than half of the prophetic utterances in the historical books and those of the Major and Minor Prophets fall under this latter category. Thus a prophet was one who delivered the divine message or interpreted God’s will, and this generally entailed the foretelling of future events.

One author has described the function of a prophet as two-fold: to “forth tell” and to “foretell.” Forth telling sets forth the message of the Lord by teaching, warning, exhorting, and comforting. Foretelling involved the prediction of future events, whether of people and nations, or of Messiah’s coming reign. A surprisingly large number of prophecies deal with our Lord’s return and detail circumstances involved in this event and in the setting up of his kingdom upon earth.

Bible time prophecies are a yet more specialized and exacting form or prophecy. These lay out a period of time required for the unfolding of a given event and thus permit a specific year to be determined. It is fascinating to see how some time prophecies were hidden in the Bible types or in seemingly vague wording of Scripture, waiting God’s due time for them to be understood.

To Reveal the Glory of God

Our first consideration fittingly pertains to God, the source of all true prophecy. In fact, God claims to be the only one capable of foretelling the future: “I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done” (Isa. 46:9, 10). “Who then, like me, can call and declare . . . things yet to be and that shall come to pass? Let them declare on their part” (Isa. 44:7 Rotherham’s). God has also challenged all others to manifest this clear evidence of divinity: “Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; Let them show the former things, what they were, That we may consider them, And know the latter end of them; Or declare to us things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods…” (Isa. 41:22, 23)

As most are aware, the accuracy of worldly prophets who attempt to penetrate the future with their predictions is very low indeed, and hardly exceeds that of chance occurrences. Neither the astrologers nor the magicians of the past nor the scientists and intellectuals of today have been able to shed any light on future events. Yet God, speaking through his prophets, is able to do just that, demonstrating his glory and his unerring wisdom.

To Establish the Bible’s Credibility

The Bible as a book is unique in that it contains literally hundreds of prophecies that span thousands of years and that have witnessed equally as many fulfillments. Other sources may venture opinions or suggest reasonable outcomes of events, but they amount to little more than hopes or outright guesses. Only the Bible, as the word of God, has proven consistently reliable in its predictions dealing with empires, nations, civilizations, and events, often very specific and detailed in their coverage.

It has been said that prophecy is greater than miracles in establishing faith in the Bible. A miracle that occurred, say 2,500 years ago, fades into the mist of time and cannot be confirmed today. But a prediction of antiquity, if preserved in writing, especially if appearing at odds with known facts at the time and therefore most improbable of ever occurring, yet fulfilled later as stated, amounts to very convincing evidence.

The credibility of the Bible as a whole is greatly enhanced when the accuracy of its prophetic forecasts is considered. Careful reflection shows that these predictions are of an order and detail that preclude the possibility of historical facts being mere wrested to fit the outcome. Numerous recent archaeological findings have further validated certain Bible prophecies by indirectly confirming their early origin. This has disarmed the critics who contended for later dates or had supposed they originated after the historical events they depicted had occurred.

Now even skeptics are being forced to admit the accuracy of the Bible without being able to provide a satisfactory explanation!

As a sincere truth seeker considers the claims of the Bible as the word of God the overwhelming testimony of fulfilled prophecy encourages an overall faith that will accept the divine revelation in its entirety. This builds confidence in the yet to be fulfilled promises (prophecies), and a willingness to accept its broader teachings and precepts.

To Enlighten the Believer

Bible prophecies provide a whole range of information related to the divine plan that is useful to the believer. Especially do they reveal the steady progress that is being made in the outworking and final culmination of that plan. Such developments as the punishment of Israel, the coming of Messiah in his role as Suffering Servant, the lease of power to the gentile nations, the rise of the Antichrist system and the persecution of the saints, the cleansing of the sanctuary, and many others were all predicted in Scripture and find clear fulfillment’s in history.

Thus step by step we are able to recognize the approach of the climax of God’s purpose in the establishment of his kingdom and the blessing of mankind.

Another era of enlightenment is in the time prophecies relating to the end of the age. There are forecasts of the harvest of the gospel age; the Parousia (or presence) of our Lord, the great time of trouble, the times of restitution, the day of judgment, and Israel’s returning favor. All of these and more have enabled the Lord’s people to be fully aware of the significance of the distressing events taking place about them, surely this insight into the purposes of God and recognition of our position along the stream of time amounts to a wonderful blessing.

To Stimulate To Activity

Such knowledge is also strengthening and stimulating to the Lord’s people. It enables them to be spiritually awake and provides the tools needed to be about [the] Father’s business. We are not to be complacent with the insights that prophecy provides, nor hide our light under a bushel. There is a work to be done and a message to be proclaimed (Matt. 24:14).

In this connection we think of Jesus’ words, “The night cometh when no man can work” (John 9:4). The realization that the time is short provides added incentive for zealous activity in the Lord’s service. The true gospel of the Kingdom needs to be proclaimed to a fearful and perplexed world about us. Bible prophecy has strengthened us; let us use it to strengthen and encourage those about us (Isa. 61:1-3).

To Comfort and Encourage

When these things (prophecies) come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your [deliverance] draws nigh.” (Luke 21:28). What could be more cause for rejoicing to the Lord’s people than to recognize by the eye of Bible prophecy that we are approaching unto Mount Zion and the grand fulfillment of our hopes (Heb. 12:22-29)! While we cannot take pleasure in the suffering and pain inherent in the birth pangs of the kingdom, we do rejoice in the prospects of peace and life and blessing that await a very troubled humanity.

There is also encouragement that we receive as believers in the prophecies and in noting their realistic fulfillment’s. We are confident that we have not been following cunningly devised fables but a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto [we] do well [to] take heed (2 Pet. 1:16, 19). We are convinced of the divine origin and outworking of these matters, which is so heartening and uplifting to us as God’s people. Again, this in turn leads to a heightened desire to be found faithful in doing the work of the Lord and in letting our light shine out to others.

To Test Our Faith

We have witnessed so many end-time fulfillment’s of Bible prophecies in our own lifetime that one might almost think that faith in this area is hardly required any longer. And yet, as we reflect on this matter, we see how vital faith remains as an element in the development of the Lord’s people, even to their closing experiences this side of the veil. It was necessary that the patriarchs and saints of past ages be tested, frequently in respect to a promise of God or a predicted event in their day; and so likewise it is for us.

Think of the experiences that must have befallen Noah and his family as they endured the reproaches of their contemporaries in patiently carrying out God’s instructions in building the ark and waiting the due time for the deluge (Gen. 6:12-22). Think of Abraham and Sarah as they contemplated God’s promise of a son and heir, and yet realized the impossibility from the human standpoint for such an occurrence at their advanced age (Gen. 18:10-14), or of the Israelite’s when they had been taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar and longed for the day of promised restoration (Jer. 29:10-14).

For the experiences of the Lord’s people at the end of the age, the matter of the time of their deliverance also has become a test. Major disappointments accompanied the failure of expectations of the church’s glorification in 1844 and 1914, and other anticipated dates have come and gone. Yet we are now assured that God’s program is on track and his timetable correct: “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it [seem to] tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry” (Hab. 2:3).

Bible prophecy provides a test of our faith along yet another line. Sometimes we find that secular history is at variance with the Scriptures in regard to chronology and other significant dates. There appear to be differences, for example, in the dates which are derived for the destruction of Jerusalem in Zedekiah’s day (606-607 B.C. versus 586-587 B.C.) and in calculating the twentieth year of the reign of Artaxerxes (455 B.C. versus 445 B.C.).

The date for Jerusalem’s fall is critical in establishing many unique harmonies of the divine chronology; that of the twentieth year of Artaxerxes is the basis for calculating the start of a crucial biblical time prophecy pertaining to the first advent of our Lord—the sixty-nine weeks reaching to Messiah the Prince (Dan. 9:23-27). It is not easy to resolve such issues, and our faith may need to be called upon to assist in arriving at a conclusion that harmonizes with our overall beliefs. Thus our faith continues to be put to the test.

To Develop Christian Character

Finally, Bible prophecy is very instrumental in helping to shape and formulate our character. The message of the prophets of old was all but lost upon the rulers and people of Israel, with very few exceptions; but we dare not ignore nor gloss over it in our own lives. There is a personal aspect to the many warnings of wayward conduct that were issued in the past and we need to listen to what God would have us do today.

How does the knowledge of what must soon come to pass, or in fact is already occurring, affect us as the Lord’s people? Are we diligent in making every effort to develop that character which is pleasing to the heavenly Father and useful as an instrument of his blessing to others? Are we so thrilled with the vision of the future and by the increasing evidences of the nearness of the kingdom that we are doing all in our power to develop the fruits and graces of the Spirit and to be like our Lord?

This is perhaps the most basic and vital aspect of Bible prophecy that confronts us today. How we respond to it will determine whether we will receive the abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that we so much desire. And as the Apostle Peter reminds us, “He that lacks these things [the mature development of Christian character] is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins” (2 Pet. 1:5-11).

Though the world seems immersed in the clouds and gloominess of the present “day of the Lord,” the early light of the morning is spreading upon the mountains and can be discerned by the believers who are spiritually awake (Joel 2:1, 2; Isa. 60:1, 2). These earnest students of the prophecies are fully aware of the realities of the present, and have been blessed by the administration of their Lord in the early dawn of the new day (Psa. 46:5). For all such the Apostle Peter has one final admonition:

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation [manner of life] and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God. . . . Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”—2 Peter 3:11-14

What, then, is the role of Bible prophecy in the plan of God? In summary, it is:


  1. To reveal the glory of God.
  2. To establish the Bible’s credibility.
  3. To enlighten the believer.
  4. To stimulate to activity.
  5. To comfort and encourage.
  6. To test our faith.
  7. To develop Christian character.


Setting Dates

Setting Dates

The following comment was made on Facebook by a young Christian.

“I need to be very careful how I state this: There are a few very well meaning pastors who like to set dates for specific things they believe will happen as it relates to prophecy. This the Bible states clearly that He is coming back and there will be certain signs before He does. However……one should not specifically set dates to make the Bible fit their narrative.”

Although it is true that many well-meaning howbeit misguided souls have endeavor to set forth various dates in which they believed certain prophetic events were/ are to take place, the problem was twofold, 1) they were as you say attempting to force events (the times and the seasons) into their own particular plan not realizing that God already has a plan of his own and that it is unfolding according to the counsel of his own will, and 2) they were attempting to predict the time for the fulfillment of prophecy (future events) forgetting that no prophecy, that is the exact time or date of that prophecy can be ascertain until (after) its fulfillment.

Now at the other end of the spectrum, the pendulum swinging to far the other way are those naive souls who believe that it is impossible to arrive at a set date for a fulfilled prophecy.

And yet the dates for those prophecies which have already been fulfilled can be readily determined by the facts (the signs and/or evidences) given, take for example the time of our Lord’s first advent, the time (or date) of his crucifixion, the time when the nominal fleshly house (the Jewish nation) was cast off, left desolate, the time when favor would return to them etc., etc.

The problem today is that most of the Lord’s professed people have become indifferent, lethargic, disinterested in prophecy and so have little if any awareness to the times and seasons.

The spirit of prophecy is the spirit of the Lord.

We read in the scriptures of how the angels in heaven greatly desired to know prophetic matters, their own interest in these matters puts to shame any professed Christian who does not share the same desires especially seeing as most of the prophecies recorded in the scriptures relate to mankind, the church especially.

We are admonished, “Do not despise prophecies.” (1 Thess 5:20).

As for the neglect of prophecy and the study of the coming (or presence) of our Lord, the fault lies not so much in the individual professing Christian as in the erroneous misconception which has been fostered by the blind guides of Christendom, specifically that no one knows nor ever will know of the time of the Lord’s Second Advent. In fact it is asserted that not even the Lord himself knows the exact time of his own arrival, this of course being preposterous as obviously the Lord would know of the day when he comes as it is he who is to come.

“But of that day and hour knows no man; no not the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but my Father only.” (Matt. 24:36, Sinaitic MS, Compare with Mark 13:32, 33.)

“Take ye heed, watch and pray, for ye know not when the time is.”

To many these words seem to imply much more than they express: they think of them as though they put a lock upon and made useless all the prophecies of the Bible—as though our Lord had said, “No man shall ever know,” whereas he merely said, “No man [now] knows,” referring only to the persons who heard him–to whom the exact times and seasons were not due to be revealed. Who can doubt that the “angels of heaven” and “the Son” now know, fully and clearly, matters which have progressed so nearly to fulfilment? And if they are not now hindered from knowing by the statement of this verse, neither now are God’s saints hindered or restrained by this verse from seeking an understanding of all truth “written aforetime for our learning.” Indeed, it was in great measure because it was not the Father’s will that his people then, nor down to the time the “seals” were broken should know the date, that our Lord delineated the course of events, and assured them that if they would watch and pray and thus continue faithful, they, at the proper time, would not be left in darkness, but would see and know.

God, through his Prophet Daniel, pointed out that at this time “the wise shall understand” the vision and prophecy, and merely that “none of the wicked shall understand.” (Dan. 12:9, 10) To this the Apostle Paul adds his testimony, “Ye brethren are not in darkness that that day should come upon you as a thief,” although it shall come thus upon the entire world. “Watch ye, therefore [that in due time YE MAY KNOW], and pray always that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass.”

If no man is to know of the day of the Lord’s presence, then why are we admonished to be vigilant, to keep awake, and to watch?

“Watch therefore, for you do not know what day your Lord is coming” (Matt 24:42) “If therefore, thou shalt not watch, thou shalt not know what hour it will come upon thee.”

What then are we watching “for”? Strange indeed to be told to look for something which no man can know.

The key here is that none would be aware of the day of the Lord’s Second Advent PRIOR to its having taken place, not AFTER it takes place.

“The Apostle Paul declares, “Of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you; for yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. [Quietly, stealthily it will come, and after it has come, many will not for some time know that they are in it] for when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes upon them as travail upon a woman. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thess. 5:1-4

The “brethren” all have the lamp, the more sure word of prophecy mentioned by Peter (2 Pet 1:19), as a light in a dark place; and while they keep the proper attitude of brethren, as faithful, meek and humble students of the Word, they will at no time be in darkness as to that day: they will always have the truth supplied as meat in due season. At no time have those then living in full harmony with God been left in ignorance of necessary truth, to grope their way in the dark with the world.

Abraham and Lot knew of the destruction of Sodom beforehand, God saying, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?” (Gen. 18:17) Noah knew of the flood in time to build the ark, and was informed of the very day that he should go into it. At the first advent, too, Simeon and Anna, and the wise men of the East, knew to expect Messiah. In fact, the expectation was general then. (Luke 2:25-38; Matt. 2:2; Luke 3:15) And if God so dealt with the house of servants, shall he do less for the house of Sons? Our Lord and Head has said,

Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knows not what his Lord does; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” (That is all things necessary for you to know.)

Our Lord certainly shall know of the times and seasons when due (including his second advent), especially since he is the one appointed to arrive and to accomplish the plan, and unless he has changed, he will continue to make known those plans to those close to him and associated in his work–his friends, his saints.

Reason, then, teaches us that so surely as it is written, “The Lord will do nothing, but he reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7), and that most of what he revealed unto them was not for themselves, but for us, the Gospel Church (1 Pet. 1:12), so surely will the faithful not be left in darkness, unable to discern it, when the day of the Lord has come. It will not come upon them as a thief and a snare–unawares; for they will be watching (looking to “the more sure word of prophecy”, NOT to the sky as others do), and will have the promised light then due upon the subject.”

There are many prophecies which have already been fulfilled which specific dates (within the year) can be ascertained by the signs, facts and evidences given the majority of these unbeknownst to most Christians due to their lack of study upon the subject and more importantly their lack of “oil” (the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit) in their vessels.

These gems are given only to those who are diligently seeking to know and to understand them so that they might know precisely where they are on the stream of time and in the out folding of God’s plan. They are given neither to the scoffer or skeptic nor the lukewarm listless Christian, all such shall the Lord assures us shall remain in darkness as to the times and seasons.

Time to wake up my friends, to truly wake up, many make the claim to be awake, but their knowledge of prophecy, of the times and seasons states otherwise.