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Who are the Levites?, Part 2

Who are the Levites?, Part 2

THE ANTITYPICAL LEVITES

Is there any question as to there being an antitype? Surely not when we summarize the preceding paragraphs and note afresh the minuteness of detail given us by God’s Word in regard to this class. In brief, the Scriptures teach:

1) On the Passover night the first-born of Israel are saved by the blood of the paschal lamb.

2) For a permanent memorial they are exchanged for the tribe of Levi, which is set apart to spiritual service.

3) From the Levites the high priest and under-priests are selected.

4) Under the supervision of the priests, the Levites perform the tabernacle service and are also instructors of the Law to the people.

Thus far we have merely recited the Scriptural facts upon which all will agree. In interpreting these acts, however, patience must be exercised by all, inasmuch as there is some honest and sincere disagreement. Taking the above points in the same order, the following appears to be their logical interpretation:

(1) The Passover night represents the period of the Gospel Age, during which a class from amongst mankind, namely the Church of the First-born (Heb 12:23) are delivered from the danger of destruction by the “sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ,” the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world. (I Pet 1:2; Rom 5:9; Rev 5:9; Acts 20:28; John 1:29, 36; Rev 13:8) These are “passed from death unto life” and are become “a kind of first-fruits of His creatures” and “the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb.” “For Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” – James 1:18; Rev 14:4; 1 Cor 5:7

The deliverance of the world follows that of the Church, and was pictured in the departure from Egypt (Satan’s order) of all Israel after the “passing over” of the first-borns. The next morning typified the millennial morning; and the subsequent passing through the Red Sea and the destruction of Pharaoh’s hosts, pictured the work of the Restitution Age culminating in the final removal of all evil forces.

(2) The selection of the tribe of Levi as permanent representatives of the first-born and their separation to the tabernacle ministry can well represent the called-out class of Christians consecrated to God’s service. These constitute the “household of God” and are “the household of faith“; the “Church of the First born, which are written in heaven.” (Eph 2:19; Gal 6:10; Heb 12:23)

These are set apart to God’s service and have made with Him acovenant by sacrifice“; thus emulating their Master, whose footsteps they seek to follow in fulfilling their vow to do not their own, but the divine will.

(3) The elevation of some of the Levites to the Priesthood, comprising a High Priest and under priests seems to teach an eventual separation of these called-out, consecrated ones into two classes.

Other Scriptures bear out this thought of a division of true believers into two classes. Actually, all believers, sincere and otherwise, can be listed under four headings, viz.: those who go into the Second Death; those who are mere professors, “tares” (a.k.a. nominal Christians); and the two classes mentioned by St. Paul in the oft-quoted words of 1 Cor 3:11-15: “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and. the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abides which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he him-self shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

Here then, are two Christians, both justified, consecrated, and spirit-begotten, justified, because they build on the only Foundation (Psa 40:2; Matt 7:24; 1 Cor ,10:4); consecrated, because none can be related to the Master except they take up their cross and deny themselves; spirit-begotten, because they are building a spiritual structure. (Not an earthly structure as our JW friends would have some to believe) “No man takes this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” (Heb 5:4,) Both have come “under the blood“; both are antitypical first-borns and consequently, antitypical Levites. Both are endeavoring to emulate the High Priest of their profession (Heb 3:1); both are probationary members of the Royal Priesthood. (1 Pet 2:5, 9) The superstructure they must build is that crystallization of spiritual principles that attainment of Christ-mindedness which is best summed up in the one glorious resolution: “Not my will but Thine, O Lord, be done.” Theirs is a purely voluntary walk, neither demanded by the justice of God, nor coerced by His Power. Their attainment of the divine goal, joint-heirship with Christ, depends entirely upon the carrying out of their consecration vows, by means of the “grace sufficient” God has promised to supply. “Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” (Psa 50:5)

Both are called in the one hope of their calling, but only the one is chosen and abides faithful. Only the one follows the “Lamb whithersoever He goes.” The other, alas, fails to realize that complete submission of self-will requisite for complete overcoming, and consequently is unable to endure the fiery tests which come in the “way” of suffering with Christ. Nevertheless they are beloved of the Lord, for their failure is not due to willful sin, but solely to an avoidance of the sacrificing necessary to carry out the terms of their covenant.

In nothing perhaps is the difference between these two types of Christians more discernible than in a comparison of the lives of Abraham and Lot. Both love the Lord, both are righteous, both leave all to come to the Promised Land. But the one completely submerges self-will in a marvelous obedience to the will of God; the other endeavors to do both God’s will and his own, and succeeds in doing neither. Yet Lot is “righteous” and God spares him, though so “as by fire.” There is much food for thought here for the sincere follower of Christ.

(4) What shall be the eventual position of these two classes? There can be no question regarding the members of the Royal Priesthood — theirs, a position of joint-heirship with Christ; Kings and Priests for a thousand years. They — the “Abrahams” — shall out work all God’s gracious provisions on behalf of the human race, theirs, the joy incomprehensible.

But what of the antitypical Levites, the “Lots“? Three conclusions offer themselves. The first, that they shall be cleansed by the “fire” and thus become members of the “little flock,” we reject as doing violence to other Scriptures. The second that they shall eventually occupy a position on the earthly plane as perfect human beings is also inadmissible. We reason as follows:

1) They are a class consecrated to do God’s will.

2) As human beings, they in common with all mankind were born in sin and “shapen in iniquity,” and were “dead in trespasses and sins“; and thus were alienated from God. – Psa 51:5; Eph 2:1.

3) Before their consecration could be acceptable, they needed to be justified from Adamic condemnation.

4) Because of His purpose to “call out a people for His name,” God had arranged the means of this justification, by sending His Son to die on Calvary as the ransom price for all. (Having been “called out”, during the Gospel age in advance of their fellow man they received their share of this ransom sacrifice in advance of their fellow men who receive their share in the next age.)

5) God’s object in providing this justification (in advance) was to give them the opportunity to consecrate themselves and thus to become joint-sacrificers with their Lord, as a members of His Body.

6) God marks His acceptance of their consecration by begetting them through the Holy Spirit.

7) Thenceforth they are “new creatures“; sons begotten to the spirit plane. That which is born (after being first begotten) of the spirit is spirit. John 3:6.

8) The condition of God’s acceptance of their consecration was their “death” to all the human rights which would accrue to them otherwise, in the next age, the Millennial Age as a result of the ransom sacrifice of Christ. The grace of justification (in advance of their fellow man) was granted to them to enable them to offer up these rights by sacrifice, thus becoming “dead with Christ,” for God could not accept upon his altar anything less than that which was holy, pure, righteous, and just. These human or earthly life rights, once given up, cannot be taken back again. None of the spirit-begotten, therefore, can be reinstated to earthly hopes or human lives, for all rights to these were sacrificed at consecration.

9) They must either be born on the spirit plane or die; and since St. Paul says they will be “saved,” death certainly is not to be their portion.

10) In the wilderness the Lord set the Levites apart for His service. Thenceforth they were to represent the first-born of all the tribes. These were typical of the Church of the First-born. (Heb 12:23) They were given title to no land, thus illustrating the fact that the antitypical Levites would be without earthly inheritance, but would be called to a heavenly inheritance.

In view of these considerations we are led to the third conclusion, namely, that the antitypical Levites, after passing through the disciplinary experiences arranged by the Lord during each one’s lifetime to reveal the vanity of self-will (“saved, yet so as by fire“), will be raised to a spirit plane of existence, in which state, under the supervision of the Royal Priesthood, they shall be active ministrants in the great work of reconciliation during the Millennial Age. This we believe is the teaching of the Spirit in the typical work of the Levites on the days subsequent to the Day of Atonement.

In conclusion we would again stress the necessity of clearly discerning the importance of the doctrine of justification in its relation to this question of the future condition of the antitypical Levites. Once it is seen that consecration means the complete surrender of all earthly rights received through justification as a result of the ransom sacrifice, and that God’s acceptance of one’s consecration is marked by spirit-begettal, once these things are seen, it seems obvious that all the called of this Gospel Age must either be born on the spirit plane or go into the Second Death. There cannot possibly be a return to human rights, as the covenant by sacrifice” (is to the death- of the earthly or human life Rev 2:10, and) is irrevocable with the Lord.

And finally, though we accept the Scriptures as teaching the eventual existence of a spiritual class subordinate to the “little flock,” let us emphasize the glorious position to which we are all called, even to joint-heirship with our High Priest, and strive so to run as to obtain. Let no spirit of slothfulness be engendered because of the Levitical type, that thereby we may be led to feel that if one does not attain to the highest position, the lower will in any case be allotted. Such a disposition is very dangerous and may result in the complete loss of all. We can never plead divine grace as an excuse for indifference or carelessness; for sin ever lies at the door, and “if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in Him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe [in all the fullness of faith] to the saving of the soul.” – Heb 10:38, 39

 The truth could not have been stated any plainer for those who have eyes that see and ears that hear. Now you know whom the “great company” will truly consist of, and that their fate or inheritance is to serve the Lord and his Church as spirit beings in heaven.

 

Who are the Levites?, Part 1

Who are the Levites?, Part 1

We present the following subject due to the fact that there are still many who are confused over the issue of the Great Company , who they are and what should be their ultimate fate, much of this confusion centers over one particular statement found in Revelation Chapter 7 Verse 9 which states,

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, STANDING BEFORE THE THRONE and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands.”

The question being whether their “standing” before the throne be a symbolic or a literal statement, if it be literal then this implies they have been raised spirit beings , heavenly beings no longer human and as such have received a heavenly inheritance, for as you recall, “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God” (that is the spiritual phase of the Kingdom) 1 Cor 15:50.

As such in the attempt to promote their own agenda (an “earthly” calling or hope if you will), in truth but “another gospel” our Jehovah’s Witnesses friends, that is the organization or governing body itself have felled as faithful ministers of the Word of God (not unlike the rest of orthodoxy) to provide their followers with “the whole counsel of the Word of God” on this issue, much of which is covered in The Tabernacle and the Leviticus Types. However over time the study of the Tabernacle has fallen out of favor as most deem it as past attempts by the Jewish nation to redeem itself through the bloody sacrifices of bulls and goats. Now although it is true that the blood of bulls and goats could in no way ever bring true redemption it must be understood that these typical sacrifices and services were merely set forth as examples, types of the “better sacrifices” and of the true and actual redemption to come.

In this respects we consider the Tabernacle and the Leviticus types as key issues to understanding certain specific truths hidden from the rest of the professing church. Among these are to be found the difference between “faith justification and actual justification”, the difference between the “high priest and under-priests” the “Lords goat” (the “little flock”), and the “scapegoat” (the “great company”), as well as the truth concerning the “anointing”, and the “high calling”, but alas they (the “blind guides” of Christendom) “have taken away this key of knowledge” (the truth on these issues as well as on that of many other important issues concerning the faith, substituting instead their own teachings and beliefs, and thus not only depriving themselves, but also those who trusted in them as the Lord’s representatives to show them the way) they themselves are not entering in (into the heavenly phase of the kingdom), and those who were entering in (that is those who were approaching the entrance to the heavenly kingdom, attempting to enter in), they have hindered (mislead through false and misleading teachings, deceiving them into thinking they have already done everything necessary to secure themselves a heavenly inheritance). Luke 11:52

With the following article written by Brother W. J. Siekman we hope to shed some of that missing light which has been hidden from them thus far.

The company and assembly of the first-born in heaven enrolled.” – Heb 12:23, Young’s Literal Translation.

Regardless of our preference in favor of any interpretation, one objective and one alone must guide us as we reconsider this perennially interesting subject. And that is, to ascertain in humble and teachable spirit, what saith the Lord With this, the proper attitude of mind, let us consider anew the Scriptural facts relative to the tribe of Levi with full assurance of God’s blessing as we endeavor to learn,

1) Who the Levites were

2) Whom they typify; and,

3) The ultimate destiny of this anti-typical class.

THE SELECTION OF LEVI

 The patriarch Jacob’s descendants through his twelve sons, after having multiplied in Egypt, were reduced to virtual slavery. God raised up for them a great deliverer, Moses, and by ten plagues revealed His mighty power, until Pharaoh permitted the Israelites to depart. In the last terrible plague that befell Egypt, all the first-born of man and beast were slain except the first-born of Israel, who were preserved by the sprinkling of the blood of the paschal lamb. (Exod 12:7, 13)

In view of this deliverance, God claimed all the first-born of man and beast as His own in a special sense. (Exod 13:2) During the wilderness journey, He separated the Levites, and took them and their cattle instead of the first-born of man and beast among the other tribes.

Take the Levites instead of all the first-born among the children of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of their cattle; and the Levites shall be mine: I am the Lord.” (Num 3:45) From the tribe of Levi, thus set apart for the special service of Jehovah, God took Aaron and his sons for the priesthood (Exod 28:1), giving them the tribe of Levi for their attendants. Thus all the priests were Levites, but not all the Levites were priests. Henceforth the Levites always represented the first-born delivered on the Passover night.

The whole arrangement is given in the following words (Num 3:6-10):

Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister unto him. And they shall keep his charge and the charge of the whole congregation [“charge”, in the sense of duties with which they are charged in behalf of Aaron and the congregation] before the tabernacle of the congregation, to do the service of the tabernacle. And they shall keep all the instruments of the tabernacle of the congregation [that is, the tabernacle itself, with all its furnishings], and the charge of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle. And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron, and to his sons: they are wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel. And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest’s office: and the stranger [that is, one “not of the seed of Aaron,” Num 16:40] that cometh nigh [nigh to the sanctuary to perform any priestly function] shall be put to death.”

In the Eighth Chapter of Numbers, a more detailed account is given of the Levites’ inception of sacred service, and should be carefully considered in its relation to the antitype. We note particularly Verses 13 to 15: “Thou shalt set the Levites before Aaron, and before his sons, and offer them for an offering unto the Lord. Thus shalt thou separate the Levites from among the children of Israel: and the Levites shall be mine, and after that shall the Levites go in to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation: and thou shalt cleanse them, and offer them for an offering.” Thus an entire tribe was set apart for God’s service; the Levites holding a nearer relation to God than the other tribes, the priests than the Levites, and the high priest than the subordinate priests. The Levites alone could minister to the priests, but were themselves forbidden to exercise any priestly function.

The tribe of Levi received no inheritance with the other tribes in the land of Canaan. It was necessary, therefore, that an adequate provision should be made for their maintenance. This was included in the declaration: “Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the Lord is his inheritance, according as the Lord thy God promised him” (Deut 10:9), which is several times repeated for substantiality (Num 18:20, 24; Deut 18:1, 2; Ezek 44:28); for when God gives an inheritance to His servants, it meets all their wants, temporal as well as spiritual. Accordingly, God ordained that the other tribes should give the tenth part or tithe of all the increase of their fields and of their flocks and herds: “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.” (Num 18:21) The Levites, in turn, were commanded to give a tenth of this tenth for the maintenance of the priests. – Verses 26-32.

The Levites have no part among you; for the Priesthood of the Lord is their inheritance.” (Josh 18:7) Receiving thus no territorial possessions, forty eight cities were assigned to them by lot, out of the inheritance of the other tribes, with ample suburbs (pasture-grounds) for their cattle. (Num 35; Josh 1:21) Of the above named forty-eight cities, the priestly order had thirteen, all in the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin; and six of them were also cities of refuge, three on either side of the Jordan. By this arrangement the Levites were distributed throughout the whole Hebrew commonwealth, and so enabled, if faithful to their office, to exert the widest influence for the maintenance of the Mosaic institutions in their purity. Thus the prophetic announcement of Jacob respecting Simeon and Levi, “I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel” (Gen 49:7), was so fulfilled in the case of this tribe as to be made a blessing to the tribe itself and to the whole nation; for the functions of the Levites were spiritual, and they became, in a measure at least, the instructors of the people.

Continued with next post.

 

More on the Two Salvation’s

More on the Two Salvation’s

the-two-salvations

The following is in response to a comment made by a fellow member of the Bible Students Forum. We present it here for further insight on the Two Salvation’s.

Jacob states: To me the idea that there are two salvation’s seem to contradict the simple facts presented in the scriptures that salvation comes but one time when a believer follows these scriptural definitions of when salvation takes place.

Acts 2:21And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Acts 15:11But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.”

Rom 5:9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

Rom 5:10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

John 10:9 “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

In Reply: The scriptures you provide in no way contradict the idea of two salvation’s, they are in fact a requirement of both those who are saved now during the Gospel Age as well as of those who are saved during the Millennial Age.

Both need to…“Call on the name of the Lord to be saved” (Acts 2:21)

Both are “saved through the grace of the Lord” (Acts 15:11)

Both are “justified by his blood… saved from wrath through him” (Rom 5:9)

Both are “reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Rom 5:10)

Both must enter through the door, the only means of access to the Father (John 10:9)

I noted you quoted Acts 15:11 perhaps you should have continued on a bit further and you would have seen just how the salvation of God works not only in this age, but in the age to come, note Verses 14-17

“Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name (The Church, the Elect, the real object of this Gospel Age) And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:

After this (After the gathering of the elect Church is accomplished) I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down (favor returns to Israel); I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind (The non-elect, the rest of the world during the Millennial Age) may seek the Lord (call on the name of the Lord that they too might be saved), Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the Lord who does all these things.”

You refer to your Diaglott often times, and rightly so as it is a most reliable source for the original Greek Text. Let us now take a look at two well-known and familiar texts, comparing how each are rendered, first from the NKJ version and then from the Diaglott.

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, for there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1Tim 2:3-6)

Now from the Diaglott,

This for good and acceptable in presence of the preserver of us God, who all men wishes to be saved, and into in exact knowledge of truth to come. One for God, one and mediator of God and of men, a man Anointed Jesus, he having given himself a ransom in behalf of all; the testimony for seasons own.”

For further conformation another one of the most accurate and reliable translations (Rotherham’s, Emphasized Bible) renders the last part of our text (Verse 6) thusly,

Who gave himself a ransom in behalf of all, the testimony in its own fit times.”

Note in both instances the “due time” for one to be saved and come to knowledge of the truth is stated in the plural sense, i.e.  in due season(s) and/or due time(s), thus suggesting that there is more than one time or opportunity for salvation.

As a further confirmation of this fact note our second text found in 2 Cor 6:1-2, once again from NKJ version first.

“We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God (Justification through faith) in vain, For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted (or receivable) time (for presenting one’s self in sacrifice, Rom 12:1); behold, now is the day of (the special) salvation (now is the time in which the “new and living way” is opened, Heb 10:20; 1 Pet 2:5; Eph 1:6).”

(A through reading of the previous chapter will reveal that “the grace of Godhere mentioned is in regards to the opportunity afforded all believers, those who have been justified through faith to “live no longer for themselves, but for him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor 5:15; Compare Rom 6:7-11).

God’s grace as freely bestowed upon those who have come to a knowledge of the redemption which is in Christ Jesus is the grace of forgiveness of sins, of justification through faith; and the very object of this grace (or favor) is to permit or qualify us to become living sacrifices, acceptable to God’s altar through the great sacrifice of our Redeemer.

Now let us take a look at the Diaglott rendering,

“Working together but also we exhort, not in vain the favor of the God to receive you; (he says for: In a season acceptable I listened to thee and in a day of salvation I helped thee. Lo, now a season well accepted, lo, now a day of salvation.).”

Here we not only have mention of one of the (plural) seasons mentioned in our first text (1Tim 2:6), but likewise we have a direct statement asserting that this is but one of the day(s) of salvation.

There is a special salvation for some, as well as a general salvation for others.

There are many other passages to be found in the Bible which teach about the second day of salvation, the salvation of the world, but we believe that what we have presented here is sufficient enough evidence for the discerning bible student.

 

Earthly and Heavenly Salvation

Earthly and Heavenly Salvation

the-two-salvations

More insight into the Two Salvation’s

The Scriptures set forth TWO SALVATION’S, which are entirely separate and distinct one from another. The chief difference being in regards to the time of their application; the first salvation , the “great salvation”, the heavenly calling”, which was first mentioned by our Lord at his First Advent (Heb 2:3) is applicable only to the Church and then only following Pentecost. This salvation will eventually cease with the completion of the Church at close of the Gospel Age.

The second salvation, or “common salvation”, (Jude 3), Restitution, which with the exception of the Church will eventually apply to all mankind, was designed especially for the blessing and uplift of the mankind during the Millennial Age. This salvation was never applicable to any prior to our Lord’s First Advent nor has it been applicable to any during the Gospel Age.

These two salvation’s are distinctly different as to kind, as well as respects to their plan of operation. The salvation of the Church during this Gospel Age —since Pentecost —means not only a deliverance from sin and death conditions to eternal life, but provides that the eternal life will be on the heavenly or spiritual plane and not on the earthly or human plane of existence. Thus the Apostle declares that our “inheritance is incorruptible and undefiled and fades not away and is reserved in heaven for us, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” (1 Pet 1:4, 5). Our Lord also told that in the resurrection we shall be like unto the angels. The Apostle also declares that ultimately we shall be partakers of the divine nature and like our Lord and Redeemer.

Hence, all who participate in this salvation of this Gospel Age are scripturally spoken of as New Creatures in Christ Jesus, whose “citizenship is in heaven.” These are assured that at the Lord’s Second Coming they will constitute the First Resurrection class. They are guaranteed that only the blessed and holy will have part therein, and that all participating in that First Resurrection will be Royal Priests unto God and unto Christ, and reign with him a thousand years (Rev 20:6). They are assured that the transformation of minds which they now experience through the begetting of the Holy Spirit will, in their resurrection; result in a complete transformation, providing them with spirit bodies. Thus it is written of their resurrection, “It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory; It is sown an animal body; it is raised a spiritual body” (1 Cor 15:42-44). Of those who will share in the Church’s salvation the Apostle says, “We shall not all sleep, but must all be changed,” because “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God” (1 Cor 15:50, 51).

The world’s salvation which will follow will be wholly different from this. It will NOT include a change of nature from earthly to spirit nature. It will mean a rescue from sin and death to the earthly perfection of the original man, in the image and likeness of his Creator, and surrounded by every necessary blessing for his comfort. Human perfection and the Eden home were lost through disobedience to God. The Divine arrangement is that the merit of our Lord’s obedience unto death, when ultimately applied for mankind, shall fully cancel the death sentence upon him. More and better than this, God has promised that the same Sin-Offering shall seal a New Covenant between himself and mankind. The blessings of that New Covenant arrangement will then immediately begin. The great Redeemer will thenceforth be the great Mediator of that New Covenant. The whole world of mankind will be fully under his supervision and government for their blessing, their correction in righteousness, their uplifting out of sin and death conditions—back, back, back (or as some of us like to say, ‘Up, up, up, the Highway of Holiness), to all that was lost in Eden. All of this was the original design of the Great Creator. All of this will be outworked through the Great Redeemer. All of this was secured or sureties by his death, finished at Calvary. (Heb 7:22)

The Apostle Peter, pointing down to that glorious time of the world’s blessing, calls it “times of refreshing and times of restitution.” He tells us that all the holy prophets described the blessings of those restitution times —the thousand years, the Millennium (Acts 3:19-21). When once we get the eyes of our understanding opened, we find the Apostle’s words thoroughly corroborated by the Divine records, which describe the wonderful blessings that are to come when the earth shall yield her increase. Then Paradise Lost shall be Paradise Regained. Then God will make his earthly footstool glorious. Then the blessing of the Lord shall make rich and he will add no sorrow therewith. Then streams shall break forth in the desert and the wilderness and solitary places shall be glad. But most glorious will be the change in humanity.

The Lord promises to turn to the people a “pure message” —instead of the contradiction of creeds of heathenism and Churchianity. He promises that Satan shall be bound for that thousand years that he may deceive the nations no more. He promises that then all the “blinded eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped” (Isa 35:5; 2 Cor 4:4)

TWO SALVATION’S — ONE SAVIOR

Both of these salvation’s, according to the Bible, result from the death of Jesus our Redeemer, who died in obedience to the Divine will, “Died, the Just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God” (1 Pet 3:18). The Scriptures clearly show not only the two salvation’s, but also two parts of the Redeemer’s work, distinctly separating his work for the Church from his work for the world. In his death there was a Divine general provision for the sins of the whole world and a special provision for the sins of the Church. The two thoughts are frequently brought out in the Scriptures. One text distinctly declares, “He is the propitiation [satisfaction] for our sins [the Church’s sins], and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” His death constituted the satisfaction price. The Redeemer applied that merit for the Church’s sins, “for us,” long ago, eighteen centuries before we were born. Only when we became believers and entered into a Covenant of sacrifice did we obtain our share in the merit of that great sacrifice. The world has not yet received its share of that promised blessing, but the operation of the Divine Plan is sure and will bring it to them “in due time,” as the Apostle Paul declares (1 Tim 2:6).

TERMS OF SALVATION DIFFER

Of course, these different salvation’s imply different terms or conditions. God’s requirement of Adam, that he might continue to live forever and everlastingly enjoy Divine favor, his Eden Home, etc., was obedience to reasonable, just requirements. It was his violation of the Divine Law that brought upon him the sentence of death— “Dying thou shalt die” —with all that this has implied to him and his posterity of mental, moral and physical decline, weakness, death. The requirement of God for the world of mankind during the Millennial Age will similarly be —obedience to God’s just, reasonable regulations, laws. Whoever then will render obedience may with proportionate rapidity go up on the highway of holiness toward perfection at its end. Whoever refuses obedience to the extent of his ability will fail to make progress and ultimately die the Second Death, from which there will be no redemption and no resurrection.

Such obedience as will be required of mankind in the great Mediator’s Kingdom will include their cooperation in the resistance of their own fallen weaknesses. It will include the exercise of patience and kindness towards their fellow-creatures, fellow-sufferers. The Divine Law of love to God with all the heart, mind, soul, strength and for the neighbor as for one’s self they must learn fully. As they will realize their own blemishes and strive to overcome them and ask, not the Father, but the Mediator for forgiveness, they will be obliged to follow the Divine rule of exercising towards others similar mercy and forgiveness to that which they desire for themselves. But they will not be required to enter into a covenant of self-sacrifice, self-denial, or etc. All the blessings of God on the earthly plane will be for them fully and freely to use and enjoy, in harmony with the Divine regulation.

The conditions governing the salvation of the Church are wholly different from those which will appertain to the world. The Church is called out of the world under a Divine invitation to suffer with Christ in the present life and during this Gospel Age and then to reign with Christ during the Millennial Age, participating in his Mediatorial Kingdom for the blessing, uplifting, salvation of the world. It is not in vain, therefore, that our Lord and the apostles, in setting forth the call of the Church during this Age, specified particularly and frequently the necessity for all who would share in this salvation to participate with the Redeemer in his sacrificing, in his death,” and consequently participate in his resurrectionand in his reign of glory. Hark to the words, “Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life;” “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my Throne;” “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27).

Let us remember our Lord’s words to the disciples James and John, respecting a place in His Millennial Throne. He intimated that the getting to the Throne at all, in any place, would imply great humility and self-sacrifice. He asked the disciples, “Are ye able (willing) to drink of the cup that I shall drink of and to be baptized with the baptism (into death) that I am baptized with?” (Mark 10:38) Hearken again; this cup of which he tells us we must drink, if we would sit in his Throne, is his communion cup. It is offered, not to the world, but to his consecrated followers. It is not another cup, but “My Cup.” The invitation was, “This is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Drink ye all of it” (Matt 26:28, 27) It must all be drunk before the many, the world, can get their share of the intended blessing through the New Covenant, which this blood seals. And only the Disciples of Christ, only those who desire to walk in his steps, are invited to drink of that cup. All of them are so invited and they will drink all of it. None of it will be left for the world during the Millennial Age to drink. It is a special privilege to drink of this cup. With the drinking of it goes the special blessing of the special salvation of this Gospel Age. Except we eat of his flesh (appropriate the merit of his sacrifice), and unless we drink his blood (join in sacrifice with him), we have no life in us —inherent life, immortality.” (Harvest Gleanings 2, Page 769)

The Two Salvation’s, Part 2

The Two Salvation’s, Part 2

the-two-salvations

The Special or Great Salvation

“Let us now take a glance at the other salvation; the special one called in Scripture, “THE salvation,” “YOUR salvation,” “OUR salvation,” “so GREAT salvation,” and etc. (Luke 3:6; Eph 1:13; Phil 2:12; Rom 13:11; Heb 2:3; 1 Pet 1:10). Like the other, this salvation is also from sin and death, but it includes a change of nature, so that the life enjoyed when this salvation is fully accomplished will be not a restoration of human nature, but a transforming to the “divine nature,” no longer earthly beings, but heavenly or spiritual beings. The Scriptural evidences on which a hope for this special salvation is based should be familiar to all true Bible Students; the call to this hope is mentioned as a “high calling,” a “heavenly calling,” etc.

This GREAT SALVATIONmust take place first, before the “COMMON SALVATION shall be accomplished, for those who experience the “great salvation” are to be God’s instrumentalities through whom the “common salvation” shall be bestowed upon all the world of mankind. They without us shall not be made perfect. (Heb 11:40.) These who share in “so great salvation” are but a “little flock” and in it are not many rich or great or noble according to the course of this world, for to this salvation God hath chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, heirs of the kingdom. “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world and things which are despised hath God chosen, yea and things which are naught, to bring to naught things that are.” (1 Cor 1:28)

The Apostle speaks of the two salvations in the same sentence, when he says,

“We trust in the living God who is the savior of all men, [but especially] of those that believe.” (1 Tim 4:10)

As these two salvations differ, so do the conditions differ. The only conditions for the common salvation are recognition of Jesus who bought us with his own precious blood and an acceptance of the salvation provided (believe and accept) coupled with their best endeavors to abstain from sin. No works must be here added to the work of the Redeemer to merit this recovery of that which was lost.

In our hands no price we bring, Simply to His cross we cling.”

Those who will share in the “great salvation” and be “especiallysaved to heavenly conditions must first share by faith in the common salvation. These during the Gospel Age have accepted Jesus and his atoning sacrifice as the ground and substance of restored rights and privileges as men, not getting that restoration to perfect manhood actually, as the world will during the Millennium, but accepting it now by faith it is to such, a reckoned perfection; an imputed justification, a reckoned recovery from all that was lost to all that human perfection and blessing which Jesus’ ransom [corresponding price] recovered for all. But if such would accept of the “heavenly calling,” they must do more than thus believe and accept. They are believers and are already subjects of this common salvation from death and sin, before they are called to run for the heavenly prize.

The Apostle forcibly impresses this when he says: “I beseech you brethren [those already believers in Jesus as their Savior, already reckoned, restored or justified through faith, hence called brethren] that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice unto God.” (Rom 12:1)

This proves that sacrificing is not the condition of becoming brethren (i.e. Members of the “Household of Faith”), for these were brethren of who as yet, had not yet presented themselves as joint sacrifices with their Lord. Thus all who are freed from sin are not only prospective children of God, but are all brethren whether they are of the human nature, tentatively justified through faith, (belief), or like the Apostle begotten by the Holy Spirit (actually justified), thus obtaining a change of nature, members of the “Church of the Firstborn”. Eventually the earthly and the heavenly when complete and perfect will be all one family, as there is one God and Father of all.

Then as though anticipating an objection from these brethren, that they were unworthy to be sacrifices since all sacrifices must be pure and holy (i.e. fully justified) else they could not be acceptable to God, the Apostle answers this objection by reminding them of their tentative justification and reckoned purity on account of Jesus’ sacrifice, and assures them that being thus, upon a full surrender, consecration, they would be fully justified from all things, and thereby their sacrifices would be “holy” and “acceptable to God” as well as a “reasonable service” for them.

This “service” of “sacrifice” after having been justified from sin and death by Jesus’ ransom alone, is the condition upon which any shall be “accounted worthy” of the heavenly prize, the great salvation. Only upon the condition of sacrificing with the Master, sharing in and filling up of that sacrifice for the world, are any promised a part in that “little flock” which shall share Jesus’ resurrection [the same sort] because they share his sacrifice.

This is the salvation which can only be obtained by sacrifice—by “working out your own salvation” and the dissimilarity of this, from the salvation which no man can work out for himself, but which was purchased by the precious blood of Jesus, and which must be accepted by all as the free gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord should be apparent to all critical students.

And when this distinction is recognized all those Scriptures which before seemed contradictory on the subject of salvation by faith and salvation by works, become beautifully harmonious and clear.

But, some may inquire: Do you then claim and teach that those who gain heaven and become members of the little flock and share in divine nature and honors will gain them by their own works simply? That they will merit such high honors? Most emphatically NO! Do not misunderstand us thus.

Grace first contrived the way
To save rebellious man,
In every step ’tis still displayed
Throughout God’s wondrous plan.”

The recovery of man from sin and death was God’s favor through the sacrifice of his Son. Restitution to his “former estate” was not merited, hence was the manifestation of God’s grace or favor. So the offering to some of the redeemed race of the infinite “prize” in exchange for the human rights and privileges, which he himself had just presented to us freely through Jesus, is but a further manifestation of the grace of God. We DO NOT by any works or sacrifices MERIT an exaltation to the divine nature and glory–“far above angels and principalities and powers” as joint heirs with Jesus. And not only so, but we never could have dreamed of such an offer being made us! It is simply astounding to us; to many this “exceeding riches of his grace in his loving kindness toward us in Christ Jesus,” is wholly inconceivable, and unbelievable. But those who believe the offer and give their little all, [justified lives, human nature—saved through Christ] in exchange for a prize so great, can only say:

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.”

This “great salvation” is to be to all eternity the great monument of God’s grace by which all his creatures angelic as well as human, shall have indubitable proof that God’s grace is boundless, and his love and wisdom and power by which he is able to cause all things to work together for good to those who love and serve him are unfathomable.” (R741)

The Two Salvation’s, Part 1

The Two Salvation’s, Part 1

the-two-salvations

A failure to clearly discern the distinction between, first: the sacrifice which Jesus gave for our sins, on account of which we have been granted repentance and remission of sins, and second, the sacrifice we have been called to make with Christ as sharers of his sufferings and to fit us to share his glory, has been the source of much confusion of thought.

In consequence, some preach: It is ALL grace, we can do nothing; God through Christ does all. These would quote in proof, “By grace are ye saved through faith and that [grace] not [because of any merit] of yourselves-it is the gift of God,”–“not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:9.) Others declare: It is grace truly, but unless you do work in harmony with it, you never will be saved. It is written, “Present your bodies a living sacrifice,” and “work out your own salvation.”  (Rom 12:1 and Phil 2:12)

The party which mixes works and faith gradually comes to regard faith as of little value, and works as all important, and detracts from the value of the sacrifice which Jesus gave, while adding to the importance of the sacrifice of the sinner, or as they term it the sinner’s death to sin, as the means or cost of his own salvation.

The party, which depends wholly on faith, generally inclines to an opposite extreme and ignores the possibility of any fallen being doing works acceptable to God. In their endeavor to show that Jesus fully and amply “paid it all,” these frequently assert that the penalty of sin was eternal torture, and that Jesus endured as much suffering in a few hours in Gethsemane’s garden as all mankind would have suffered in an eternity of torture.

Each of these parties is without argument when confronted with the Scriptures of the opposite party, and without denying or disproving the texts in opposition, each quotes the texts and teaches the view which seems most approved to it; while the infidel sits there and sneers– “Your bible contradicts itself.”

There is a difficulty somewhere– what is it?

It is this: The doctrines of Election and Free-grace, both are true; both are supported by Scripture, and the difficulty has been a failure to note the two ages to which the two doctrines apply (i.e. a failure of “rightly dividing the word of God” into its proper times and seasons) an election according to favor during the Gospel age, and Free and complete favor to all during the Millennial age.

So also the doctrines of Faith and Works–BELIEF as a ground of salvation, and SACRIFICE as a ground of salvation. Both are true: When we rightly divide the word of truth, its beauty and harmony is manifested. As in the doctrine of Election, the harmony is seen by observing the two ages, so with this doctrine, the beauty and force can only be distinguished by recognizing TWO SALVATIONS.

Does someone hastily say: I cannot believe that; the Scriptures teach of two salvations? We reply: How do you know? Have you searched the Scriptures with that in view, to see? We can show clearly that the Bible does indeed teach TWO KINDS OF SALVATION and two totally different classes of saved.

The First or Common Salvation

First, then: There is a general salvation common to the entire Adamic race. Adam, the representative of the race, through sin lost the perfection of manhood with all its privileges; the result being death– extinction-not only for himself but for all springing from him and represented by him–“and so death passed upon all men.” Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. If his mission is to be successful it must result sooner or later in the recovery and restoration of all that which was lost.

Since Adam was not a spiritual but human image of God, he lost not a spiritual existence, but a human
existence. He lost not a heavenly home, but an earthly paradise. He did not even lose heavenly promises, for none such were given him. Since we all sustained our loss through Adam, ours like his must have been a loss of human perfection, human existence, human likeness to God, an earthly Paradise, etc.; hence Jesus’ mission was to redeem-save– recover –restore “that which was lost.” He commenced the work, by ransoming the race [giving a “corresponding price“]; and the Apostle assures us that he will complete the work of saving that which was lost–“When the times of refreshing [making new] shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ…whom the heavens must receive [retain] until the times of RESTITUTION [or restoration] of ALL THINGS which God hath spoken, by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:19-21)

Thus seen, the ransom given by Jesus and the results to be obtained is the exact offset to the sin of Adam and the loss thus sustained.

This salvation comes to all men just as freely through Jesus as the loss came unsought through Adam. As now death is upon all, so in the restitution, life shall pass upon all, and as a result, all will begin to improve and to come into full perfection of manhood, which condition when reached may be everlastingly theirs on condition of everlasting obedience to God.

“Therefore as by the offense (the sin) of one, (man, Adam) judgment (the sentence) came upon all men (extensively) to condemnation (or death, the wages of sin); even so by the righteousness (the sacrifice) of one, (man, the Man Christ Jesus) the free gift (the sentence, the releasing of the captives, i.e. Salvation) came upon all men (co-extensively) unto justification of life.” Rom 5:18

This then is the general salvation-the “COMMON SALVATION (Jude 3) in which all shall share, because Jesus Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man; because “the man Christ Jesus” “gave himself a ransom [corresponding price] for all, to be testified in due time.” This salvation is the saving of man from sin and death to holiness and life; but it in no sense changes his nature; he will still be man and while of the earth earthly, when saved or restored, will again be an earthly image of God, and “very good“–the lord of earth restored to his dominion– recovered from his “fall.” (R741)

In our next post we will take a look at the Second Salvation.

The Day of Salvation

The Day of Salvation

“Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Cor 6:2; Isa 49:8

These words of the Apostle, quoted from the Prophet Isaiah, are generally understood to be a call to the world to improve the present opportunity of accepting Christ by faith in order to salvation, with the warning that the present time furnishes the only opportunity, this being the day of salvation.

But this is NOT the meaning of the text. Neither the Apostle nor the Prophet addresses the world (non-believers). Both address justified, consecrated believers. The class addressed is plainly seen from Isaiah’s prophecy, to be consecrated believers of the Gospel Age–the Christ head and body. It thus reads,

“Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time I heard THEE, and in (a) day of salvation have I helped THEE: and I will preserve THEE, and give THEE for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; that THOU may say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves.”(Isa 49:8, 9)

It is the anointed, the Christ, head and body, selected and developed during the Gospel Age, which is to accomplish the great work here pointed out–the work of the resurrection, or restitution, in the next age, saying to the prisoners in death, “Go forth,” and to those in the darkness or shadow of death, “Show yourselves.” The Gospel Age now closing, has been the acceptable time for justified believers to offer themselves as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto God; because this age was specially set apart by God for the calling and development of this class of sacrificers whose sacrifices are now acceptable.

Now,” or the accepted time, did not commence until the Gospel Age began, at Pentecost; or rather in the fullest sense it began with Jesus’ sacrifice, dating from his consecration at baptism. The sacrifice of Christ, which actually takes away sin, was THE ACCEPTABLE sacrifice; and it must be an accomplished fact, before any of the condemned sinners could be actually legally justified, so as to be accepted as joint sacrificers and joint heirs with him. When the sacrifice had been made, any who trusted in it were legally justified, their sins being canceled, and the righteousness of Christ imputed to them by faith.

Though justified thus by faith in Christ’s redemptive work, none of those justified in this age have been permitted to reach actual restitution to human perfection, that being the privilege not of this the Gospel Age, but of the coming Millennial Age. But that right to human perfection and lasting life, having been secured for all, those who now by faith accept it, are reckoned as now possessing that perfection–as though now perfect men. Such during the Gospel Age have been invited to present themselves as living sacrifices to be used up in God’s service (Rom 12:1), and the assurance is given that whoever thus sacrifices “NOW” during the acceptable time, is accepted of God, and shall in due time receive the reward of the crown, the throne, and the divine nature, as joint-heirs with Jesus Christ whose example they thus follow–after being justified by faith in his sacrifice for their sins.

Those who before the death of Jesus our ransom, trusted in God’s promises, and walked in obedience to God, were not actually justified until the only sacrifice, which could take away sin, was actually offered. Nevertheless their faith shall receive a reward in the times of restitution. But living before the “acceptable” time, they were not informed of the “high-calling” of the divine nature and joint-heirship, and therefore were not invited to thus offer themselves as members of the body of Christ and joint-sacrificers with him. “Now [the Gospel Age] is the accepted time.” “Now is THE day of [the “great”] salvation.”

The class thus called and accepted, the Prophet declares is called and chosen for the special work of accomplishing the salvation of the world–their restitution from death to perfect life in the next age. Then that will also be a day of salvation, –a day of salvation for the entire world. In that day men will neither be called nor permitted to offer themselves as living sacrifices, nor to deny themselves the comforts, joys and righteous liberties then provided for all, but simply to forsake sin and pursue righteousness.

Paul, in referring to these words of the Prophet, urges those who have received this grace [favor] of justification, to see that they receive not this grace in vain– (2 Cor 6:2). This leads us to consider how we could receive the grace of justification in vain.

Since we may not in this age have an actual restitution to perfection, the only special advantage of being justified now, is that it affords us the opportunity of presenting ourselves as acceptable sacrifices, and candidates for the divine nature and joint-heirship with Jesus. Those therefore who have received the grace (favor) of justification through faith in the ransom, who realize that though still imperfect, they are reckoned of God as perfect so long as they rely upon the ransom, and who yet neglect to USE this reckoned perfection, and to present themselves covered by it, as acceptable sacrifices to God’s service within the acceptable time, have received the favor of justification in vain; and consequently they are little, if any better off than the world, whose day of acceptance to favor is in the age coming.

But those who have been justified, and who have ALSO consecrated themselves as sacrifices, may also have received the grace of God in vain, if they turn back to the world and to the gratification of the flesh, despising or ignoring their covenant.

If we would make our high calling and our election sure, we must fully carry out our consecration–even unto death.

Paul had a very clear idea of what a life of consecration meant. He did not have the idea, which many now seem to have, that it simply meant an easy-going tranquility of disposition, which might win friends in every direction, and be at peace with the entire world. No, such is not the experience of those who are faithful at the post of duty; for those who will live Godly in this evil time, shall suffer persecution in some shape or form, and generally in many forms.

Our consecration is to active service for the Master, and a patient uncomplaining endurance of whatever it may cost in the way of sacrifice. Faithfulness to our covenant will not shrink from any service because of the cost, and he that endures unto the end shall receive the crown of life. Let us mark well the example and counsel of Jesus and the Apostles, that we may gain courage and strength by the way.

Paul gives a vivid picture of the true Christian life, which we cannot ponder too carefully:

“Giving no offense in anything [against the principles of truth and righteousness] that the ministry be not blamed. But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonment, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by long-suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left; by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers and yet true (i.e. teaching truth yet being accused of teaching false doctrines); as unknown (by the world, and the worldly church, the church nominal) and yet well known (to the Lord); as dying, and behold we live; as chastened and not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing, as poor yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” (2 Cor 6:3-10)

What a nondescript is such a life before the world; yet how perfectly this marks out the course of the truly consecrated. It is not a life of easy lethargy; it is not a course that secures the approval and friendship of the worldly minded; it is not a course which secures present temporal advantage; nor is it a course agreeable to the flesh; yet in it, the “new creature” rejoices with joy unspeakable and full of glory, and in every condition gives thanks for the privilege of fellowship in the sacrifices and self-denials with Christ Jesus our Lord and Redeemer.

In the little time, which remains before the glorification of the remainder of the Body–the church, let us endeavor to make our calling and election sure, and thus prove that we have not received the grace of God in vain. If you have made the covenant of sacrifice, even at the eleventh hour, your sacrifice should be on the altar and the fire of zeal under it consuming your time, talents, reputation and all in the heavenly service. Let it be burning briskly, that the odor of sweet incense may ascend to God, that you may be fully accepted in the Beloved in this acceptable time, and be made partaker of the glory to follow–now at hand.