QUESTIONS ON JUSTIFICATION
Question.--(1) Did the Court of the Tabernacle represent justification by faith merely, or did it represent justification to eternal life rights?
Answer.--In seeking for the lessons of the Tabernacle types we should remember that they represent both progress and completion. In reality, all those saved during this Gospel Age are called to be priests--no one is called to be of the "great company," the antitypical Levites. Those who will become members of the "great company," the antitypical Levites, will be such as have been called to the priesthood and who took certain steps in harmony with that call, but failed to make their calling and election sure. Eventually, as shown in the type, only a "little flock" of priests, will attain the condition typified [R4579 : page 93] by the Tabernacle itself. Eventually a large number, begotten of the holy Spirit, will fail to manifest sufficient zeal as sacrificers and will be accounted only as Levite helpers. Their place will be in the Court, as shown in type.
Now let us view the processes by which the antitypical priests and Levites reach their fixed positions represented by the Tabernacle and the Court. All who are feeling after God and righteousness may be said to draw near to the Tabernacle. To such the great altar and its sacrifice will be manifested. By faith they may then enter in through the gate and be behind the curtain in the Court. They are in the Levite attitude or position, but are not yet really Levites in the finished sense. Passing the altar they proceed to the Laver and see its water and their privilege of washing, putting away the filth of the flesh. As faith alone did not determine them to be Levites, neither does the washing or putting away of sin. They must additionally approach the Veil, which symbolizes consecration--they must stoop to this Veil and pass under it before they can belong to the spirit-begotten class.
Inside the Veil they are nominally priests. And if they will, they may proceed to enjoy the privileges of the shewbread and of the light from the golden lampstand and proceed to the Incense Altar antitypically by responding to all the opportunities and privileges granted them of laying down their lives for the brethren--presenting their bodies daily, hourly, living sacrifices in the Lord's service, "a sweet odor." If faithful even unto death they then will pass beyond the rent Veil into the Most Holy condition. As members of the High Priest's Body they will then have free course, full privilege to the Tabernacle condition forever. Or rather, as shown in the other type, they become living stones in the glorious spiritual Temple.
But those who made the consecration and who fail to burn the incense on the Golden Altar may not remain in the Tabernacle--they must go out again into the Court. They lose the priestly privileges, but not their Levite privileges and right to remain in the Court condition. Only a willful, deliberate rejection of the Lord's grace and turning to sin--anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife, etc., works of the flesh and of the devil, which would mean their utter destruction in the Second Death--would exclude them from the Court of favor. Those who pass the Gate and the Altar, some of them going, perhaps, so far as to use the Laver but refuse to make consecration of themselves, will be ultimately rejected from the Court condition. They will be thrust out and become parts of the world, to be dealt with by the Great Redeemer during his Mediatorial Reign--to have all the privileges of the remainder of the world and no more.
JUSTIFIED TO PEACE
Question.--To what stage of our justification does the Apostle refer saying, "Being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"?
Answer.--From the time we first approach God we begin to have a measure of this peace. (Romans 5:1.) It continues with us as long as we are walking in the right direction, growing in knowledge and in obedience. Those whose faith or obedience stops find their peace with God diminish. If the faith and obedience extend to the point of full consecration and the begetting of the holy Spirit it becomes the "Peace of God which passeth all understanding, ruling in our hearts." (Phil. 4:7.) The latter text refers to the perfected peace imparted by the holy Spirit, resulting from a full consecration to the Lord.
To illustrate: Imagine a person not in harmony with God, but feeling after him. Typically he recognizes the Divine Presence as represented in the Tabernacle. He draws near to God. He finds but one "gate" for entrance from the camp to the court. There he beholds the brazen altar with its sacrifice representing the Redeemer's meritorious sacrifice. Passing the altar implies faith in the redeeming work. From the time of entering the court condition of faith, the peace continues to increase with each onward step of obedience. When the Laver is reached and its lessons of cleansing mind and heart are applied the peace with God increases, because of the obedience. Next, the First Veil is seen, representing consecration to death. If the stoop of full consecration to pass under the Veil be made, the result is full or perfect peace, such as our Lord referred to when he said, "My peace I give unto you." Our peace is no longer merely through faith in our Redeemer's work, but more than this; it has become peace, the gift of God's love, the begetting of the holy Spirit, which passeth all understanding, ruling in our hearts. But if, when the first Veil is reached and seen to represent the sacrifice of all earthly interest, then that step be not taken, the result will be a lessening of the peace and possibly a more or less rapid retrograde movement back toward the "gate"--toward the world.
ANCIENT WORTHIES NOT IN THE COURT
Question.--Were the Ancient Worthies in the condition represented by the Court of the Tabernacle? If not, why not?
Answer.--No. In their day the Priest had not yet come and the antitypical Tabernacle and its Court had not been established; hence they could not be in it. According to their hearts, as expressed in their conduct, they must have been members of the household of faith. It is our understanding that ultimately they may be granted a place with and as a part of the "great company," the antitypical Levites of the antitypical Court condition.
JUSTIFIED FULLY TO HUMAN RIGHTS
Question.--Are all who are justified freely from Adamic death the recipients of life rights on the human plane?
Answer.--If in the word freely is signified fully our answer is, Yes. Whoever is fully justified out of Adamic death is fully justified to human restitution. This will be the case with the world during the Millennium. During that thousand years the world will gradually rise out of its unjust and imperfect condition--gradually attain perfection or justification.
Applying the question to the present time--to faith-justification: A full justification would be attained only at the moment when Christ would accept the sinner as a disciple and that is at the moment of consecration. He does not spurn the sinner who is approaching him, exercising faith and evidencing a desire to forsake sin. All such are justified to their measure of faith and obedience, to have his fellowship, his aid; as it is written, "No man cometh unto the Father but by me." He invites the sinner to have confidence in him as a burden-bearer, saying, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me." (Matt. 11:28,29.) All thus approaching have a measure of peace and a measure of justification, but neither complete. The full or complete justification and peace are obtainable only at the moment when the sacrifice is fully tendered and accepted. At that moment our great Advocate and Elder Brother imputes to us his merit, so that our consecrated sacrifice can be accepted.
For our Lord to impute his merit to us in the full sense sooner than that moment of consecration and spirit-begetting [R4580 : page 94] would be to do injury to the interests of those who would fail to go on to consecration and discipleship: because if Christ's merit were fully imputed to them, canceling the sins that are past and presenting them to the Father, they would not be acceptable to the Father during this age unless they did consecrate to death. And, being unable to maintain themselves in Divine relationship as justified humans, they would be amenable to the Second Death, because the provision of the Mediatorial Kingdom, etc., has not yet gone into operation. Without that New Covenant arrangement under the better Mediator no imperfect human being would have any opportunity for attaining perfection. If Christ's merit were now applied (to any except the actually justified and sanctified), it would put them directly into the hands of Jehovah and under the jurisdiction of his Law, and the result would be failure, Second Death. Only the sanctified can say, "The righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us." (Rom. 8:4.) On the other hand, note the Divine arrangement that the Father does not deal with us as men, but as New Creatures. The Redeemer becomes our Advocate and applies his merit at the instant of our consecration. The Father's approval by the impartation of the holy Spirit is the evidence of the acceptance of our sacrifice under the imputed merit of Christ. As the Great High Priest is a Spirit Being, so must all his members be. And it is only with the spirit-begotten ones, therefore, that the Heavenly Father deals in any sense of the word.
CAN ANY PASS FROM THE COURT?
Question.--Is there any way to retreat from the antitypical Court condition without going into the Second Death?
Answer.--Yes, and no. For any of the antitypical Priests and Levites to abandon the Court would mean to leave the condition of membership in the "little flock" or in the "great company" to go to some other condition. There would be no other condition for them to go to, except as suggested, the Second Death.
On the other hand, let us keep in memory the fact that there are at present prospective or tentative Levites. We refer to those who are approaching through the Gate of faith past the Altar and the Laver and before the first Veil, but who have never taken the consecration step, fully renouncing their earthly rights. These have had justification-peace only, and that conditioned upon their obedience to the sacrificing terms of the "high calling." When they ceased to go forward, ceased to obey, their justification to peace began to die. These gradually go out of the Court, but not into the Second Death condition--because their justification had never reached the point of vitalization in sacrifice.
THE CHRISTIAN'S BATTLE
Your brother has offended you.
Must you forgiveness show
When he has not forgiveness asked?
I really do not know
That you are called to go that far--
He's very much to blame.
Of course, I would not slander him,
Nor injure his good name;
But then, I think, I'd show him, too,
That he has quite offended you.
How can I be a child of God
And not forgiveness show?
Why, he has covered all my sins,
And I must surely grow
In that sweet grace, which from the heart
Forgives by word and deed.
I would be like the blessed Lord;
For in his Word I read
That he left all the joys of heaven,
To die that I might be forgiven.
Your brother has imposed on you;
Says, "All that's thine is mine."
It is not right; what shall you do?
Where will you draw the line?
Why should you share your earthly goods
Which you by thrift acquired?
That which you toil for is your own;
And you are not required
To give to every one who comes
To seek your help, your bread, your home.
I've often wished that I had lived
When my Lord left his throne,
And trod this earth in human form,
That I might then have shown
My love to him, in service sweet;
But still the suffering Christ
Walks by my side each day and how
Neglected, poor, despised,
Still needing ministries of love--
Now here's the chance, my love to prove.
Your brother shows no gratitude
For all your kindly deeds.
He surely should express some thanks,
When you supply his needs.
You've loaned, you've given, you've gone without;
You've helped him all you could;
I really think, in counting up,
You've done more than you should.
I'd call a halt, till he has seen
How very kind you've always been.
What! work for thanks! then I should lose
A future rich reward;
All service to my brother, now,
Is done to my dear Lord.
Each little sacrifice I make,
Is precious in his sight.
To see my love and zeal abound,
I know is his delight.
For all the wealth beneath the sun,
I would not miss his sweet, "Well done."
Your brother slandered you, I hear,
And tried on you to throw
Suspicions base to injure you;
Told things that were not so;
Surmised that you had evil done;
Tells others of his fears,
With coolness meets your looks of love,
And costs you many tears.
You do not owe him in return
A love which he will only spurn.
'Tis not my brother you hold up;
'Tis not his faults you show.
It is my brother's enemy,
Like you, a deadly foe.
My brother does not do the things
That you lay at his door;
'Tis his old creature that one day
Shall trouble him no more.
The New Creation is my kin,
The New Creation does not sin.
Your brother claims he walks in love;
Then why is he so mean?
In many people of the world
There's more goodness seen
Than he shows in his daily life;
You know you're vexed with him,
He has such ugly little ways,
And such besetting sins:
He sorely lacks in Christian grace--
Now, how can he win in the race?
The way is getting narrower,
More steep and rough it grows;
And fewer they who walk therein.
Lord, I would be of those
Who walk on to the very end
Through good report or ill--
My chief desire to know and do
Thy blessed holy will.
Complete in me thy work of grace,
That I may see thee face to face.
REBECCA FAIR DONEY.