Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
THE GOSPEL-AGE TABERNACLE
Ex. 25: 1-9; 28: 9-12; 30: 22-37: 18; 35: 1-38: 20
OFFERINGS AND BUILDERS. THE SABBATH. THE STRUCTURE. THE FURNITURE AND VESSELS. THE COURT.
AS PROMISED in the preceding chapter at the end of the discussion of Ex. 23 and 24, the study of the Gospel-Age Tabernacle, as given in Ex. 25-40, is herewith taken up. It is not our thought to go over every detail of the tabernacle as there given; for our Pastor covered its main features, which to cover again would be needless repetition. Rather, the thought is to make this article supplementary to his pertinent discussions, thus to cover such features as he did not expound in T. In many respects Bro. Russell's writings on the tabernacle are among his most important pen products. In fact, the book of Revelation indicates that his Studies were developed out of his tabernacle expositions, from which we can infer their great importance. In Ex. 25-31 we find first God's charge to Moses as to what to make for the tabernacle and its contents. Thereafter is given the description of its and its contents' making and then of its setting up, their placing and the consecration of the priesthood. In this chapter we will, with a few exceptions, skip the parts of Exodus that contain the charge as to its and its appurtenances' making (Ex. 25-30) and discuss the supplementary things contained in the rest of the book. Let us all ask the Divine blessing upon the preparation and study of these supplementary expositions; for upon His blessing all good is dependent, since whom He blesses is blessed indeed, and whom He curses is cursed indeed (Gen. 12: 3). Trusting Him for His promised grace, let us in His name take up this study to His glory.
(2) Under the heading of this chapter are indicated the parts of Exodus that are to be studied in this
installment of our exposition. Accordingly, first of all the study of Ex. 25: 1-9 will be taken up. Here is typed God's charge to Jesus as His Executive in carrying out God's plan (The Lord spake unto Moses, v. 1). As we study the things set forth in vs. 2-9 we see that Jesus in an executory capacity received some of the charges, i.e., some of those that pertained to Himself, at Nazareth as exhortations for Him to arouse Himself to consecrate Himself, and then to yield to God His human all for purposes of the antitypical Tabernacle; for the charge to speak to antitypical Israel typed in v. 2 implies that He invite them to consecrate their all to the Lord, and then to yield it to Him for purposes of the antitypical Tabernacle; and He being the first of these antitypical Israelites to receive this invitation, He as Executive gave this invitation to Himself as an antitypical Israelite at Nazareth before He consecrated. Of course, God began the speaking of v. 1 before Jesus initially began this executive work, which He began on Himself as an antitypical Israelite, as just shown, as well as encouraged Himself to continue using up His human all for Tabernacle purposes to the end of His course. Jesus as antitypical Moses, i.e., as Executive, continued this inviting work towards others after His return from the wilderness throughout His earthly ministry. Moreover, after His resurrection, ascension and glorification He continued doing so in both of its aspects: (1) as an invitation to consecrate and (2) as an encouragement to carry it out. While by Oct., 1914, He ceased inviting new consecrators for the high calling purposes, He has since been encouraging the new-creaturely consecrated to make available for the antitypical Tabernacle purposes whatever they are and have, i.e., He still exercises the second feature of this work. With a changed purpose He still invites the justified to consecrate as Youthful Worthies, and then encourages them as they have opportunities to make their human all available to advance such Tabernacle matters as belong to the Court. We may go even further
and say that at their consecration to righteousness, as distinct from consecration to sacrifice, these two features of Jesus' pertinent executory work extend to the faith-justified as Gospel-Age Levites to serve matters pertaining to the antitypical Tabernacle Court and its appurtenances. Hence we understand that Jesus' pertinent work as Executive for the antitypical Tabernacle and its appurtenances will continue with the Little Flock, Great Company and Youthful Worthies until they respectively finish their courses, but will cease with the faith-justified when their faith-justification lapses, which seemingly will occur in every case by Oct., 1954, according to Rev. 22: 11.
(3) The word here rendered offering (offering, 1. 2) should have been given as heave-offering. It was called so because the offerer would repeatedly lift it upward as toward God, as distinct from the wave-offering, which was waved from side to side, and which typed the continued using of the thing offered for God. The offering of the heave-offering seems to type: (1) offering to God the thing sacrificed and (2) the elevation to higher and higher uses of the things offered to God unto His greater honor and glory. In harmony with these two things are the uses of the things that antitypical Israelites offer God for the purposes of developing the antitypical Tabernacle and its appurtenances. These were not to be constrained, but were to come from willing hearts (giveth it willingly with his heart). And the Lord's people should receive them from everyone who would so offer them (ye shall take). Generally and particularly speaking, this heave-offering here types anything of our human all, i.e., our human time, talent, education, health, strength, life, means, influence, reputation, position, qualities, etc., that will be useful in advancing the antitypes of the things mentioned in vs. 3-7. The things that we give, e.g., are not Divine (gold), nor the Truth (silver), nor New Creatures (fine linen), nor the spirit of understanding (oil), nor the acquirements in the
anointing (spice for the anointing oil), nor the twelve chief graces (stones … in the breastplate), etc.; for these are things that God gives and not we. Rather, the antitypical heave-offering is our consecrated human all that is used in service to further these things that God gives. Thus our human all furthers for God as to the antitypical Tabernacle and its appurtenances Divine things (gold, v. 3), the Truth (silver), justified human matters (brass, i.e., copper), matters of faithfulness (blue, v. 4), of royalty (purple), of the sin-offerings (scarlet), of the New Creatures (fine linen), of the justified humanity (goats' hair), of the ransom (rams' skins dyed red, v. 5), of our humanity as it appears to the world (badger [seal] skins), of our corruptible humanity (shittim wood), of the spirit of understanding (oil for the light, v. 6), of the main acquirements (Truth, understanding, knowledge, tact and skill) of the Holy Spirit (spices for the anointing oil), of choice human powers (sweet incense), of the Abrahamic and New Covenant teachings (onyx stones, v. 7) and of the twelve chief graces (stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate). By Jesus' and the Church's use of their human all in connection with these things there are developed the Gospel-Age Tabernacle and its appurtenances for God as His dwelling place among His Spiritual Israel (make a sanctuary … dwell, v. 8), among God's people (among them). God's people are to develop the Church and all its appurtenances according to the plan that God would show Jesus (according to all … the pattern of the tabernacle … instruments … shall ye make, v. 9).
(4) Nowhere, so far as we have been able to find out, did our Pastor explain the antitype of the two onyx stones that were placed upon the shoulder parts of the ephod. He did show us that the ephod types the two great covenants, its front part the Abrahamic, and its hind part the New Covenant. Hence these two onyx stones represent something connected with these two covenants. The typical stones had graven, literally,
opened (expounded, Luke 24:27, 32), upon them the names of the twelve tribes of Israel (two onyx stones … names of the children of Israel, Ex. 28:9). That the expression, "children of Israel," here stands for the twelve tribes is evident from the statement of vs. 10-12 (six names … six names, v. 10 … names, v. 11 … names, v. 12). One of the meanings of the word name in the Bible is character, which is the meaning here; for each of the twelve tribes stood for a very holy kind of character, centering in a special characteristic. Accordingly, we understand the twelve names to type the same things as the twelve precious stones in the breastplate of judgment and the twelve kinds of stones in the walls of New Jerusalem. In other words, the twelve great graces are here typed by these twelve names. From these facts we infer that these two onyx stones type the Covenant truths of the Abrahamic and New Covenants. In these truths are these twelve graces engraved by Jesus, i.e., Jesus inscribes these characteristics into the truths of these two covenants (shalt thou engrave … names … Israel, v. 11).
(5) From the facts that there were two stones and on each of them six names were engraved we are not to infer that each covenant has but six graces. Rather, we are to understand that each stone types both covenants and hence that each of these covenants has all twelve graces inscribed in it, and will give the faithful in each covenant all twelve chief graces, for each stone made secure both covenants (six … on one stone … six … on the other stone, v. 10). The word translated births in v. 10 (toledoth) is repeatedly used in the sense of histories, experiences, though usually translated generations, e.g., these are the generations (toledoth) [histories] of the heavens and the earth (Gen. 2: 4). See also Gen. 5: 1; 6: 9; 10: 1; 11: 10, 27; 25: 12, 19; 36: 1; 37: 2. It will be noted that there are ten toledoth, or histories, given in the book of Genesis. One's history consists of his experiences which develop his character. Hence the thought in v. 10 is
that these characters are according to the experiences of antitypical Israel (according to their births [histories, experiences]). This is the work of Jesus by the Truth (work … stone, v. 11) and indicates character, as signets were anciently used as one's signature, which indicated his character (like … a signet). These characters so made were to be Divinely secured (set in ouches of gold). These truths of the two covenants are to be supported by the ministering acts of the Christ (shoulders of Aaron, v. 12), in the interests of the two covenants (shoulders of the ephod), and are to be an everlasting remembrance and remembrancers of antitypical Israel (stones of memorial unto the children of Israel). In their high-priestly office are, first Jesus, then Jesus and the Church (Aaron), to minister these truths and their resultant graces (bear … upon his two shoulders), in matters pertaining to Jehovah (before the Lord), perpetually reminding antitypical Israel for them (for a memorial). Though Bro. Russell did not explain their typical significance, and we promised to supplement his tabernacle interpretations, we leave the discussion of the nature of the twelve graces, as they are represented by the names engraved on these two stones, by the twelve precious stones in the breastplate and by the twelve precious stones in the symbolic walls of New Jerusalem, until we write on Rev. 21 in our exposition of the entire book.
(6) Accordingly, we will now proceed to the exposition of Ex. 31, which our Pastor likewise did not expound. To Jesus as His Executive God revealed through whom He would develop the antitypical Tabernacle and its appurtenances (the Lord spake unto Moses, v. 1). On this point He first told Jesus that God had invited Him (called, v. 2) to be the main Worker on His Tabernacle and its contents on account of His character (by name), first as the Image of God (Bezaleel, shadow of God), full of the Divine knowledge (Uri, my light), of noble, sinless origin (Hur, noble) and one highly to be praised (Judah, praise).
He further describes our Lord as full of God's Spirit by God's own filling, and thus thoroughly qualified to be the chief Worker on the antitypical Tabernacle and its contents (filled him with the spirit of God, v. 3), which includes His having the full Truth as due (wisdom) and a full comprehension (understanding) and cognition (knowledge) of the Truth, as well as the tact and skill to produce good results in teaching and character from such Truth understood and known (all manner of workmanship). His tact and skill in defining, explaining, analyzing, proving, defending and applying the Truth are indeed highly able; and they are also such in developing character in others in harmony with the Truth, as while He was in the flesh He so developed His own character (to devise cunning [skillful] works, v. 4). This skill is adapted to work in and with Divine matters and nature (gold), in and with the Truth of God (silver), in all its aspects and relations in and with humanity (brass, copper), in and with matters pertinent to the covenants and the graces (cutting of stones, v. 5), and to make them strong in themselves and balance them with one another (to set them) and to develop unto perfection human beings (carving of timber). In brief, He has the tact and ability to do skillfully everything as to the antitypical Tabernacle (work in all manner of workmanship).
(7) With our Lord by God's special appointment (I, behold, I have given [literally, appointed] with him, v. 6) are associated as His special helpers the star-members, as those in whom God especially is and works toward God's antitypical Tabernacle and toward its contents (Aholiab, father's tent), whose work is especially to support and assist Jesus in connection with making the antitypical Tabernacle and its contents (Ahisamach, brother's support), and who as such are set in the Church to represent Jesus as its Ruler (Dan, judge). The chief parts of these star-members are those of the Ephesian and Laodicean periods; for while the Interim's star-members were limited to being
mouthpieces of Jesus, the star-members of the ends of the Ages have been, not only mouthpieces of Jesus, but also executives for Him. Moreover, they have been given mouthpieceship as to vastly more stewardship truths than were those of the Interim. Besides these star-members God has also appointed other helpers to Jesus in making the antitypical Tabernacle and its contents, i.e., (1) the special helpers of the star-members, (2) the rest of the "secondarily prophets," whose Parousia and Epiphany representatives are called pilgrims, and (3) the helpers of those called under (2) "the rest of the secondarily prophets," whose Parousia and Epiphany representatives are called auxiliary pilgrims, in their capacity of being such actually or prospectively (in the … wise hearted I have put wisdom, Truth, Matt. 13: 52). Additionally, any consecrated one who ministers consecration and then development to the consecrated works on making the antitypical Tabernacle, but does not make or help make the vessels, since such do not bring forth "things new," implied in making the vessels. Please note the distinctions made in the builders: (1) Jesus is set forth as the chief Builder (vs. 2-5); (2) the star-members are set forth as His special helpers, "with him" (v. 6), and (3) all the rest of their helpers are set forth as subordinate assistants. Please note the variation of the descriptions of the star-members and those under (1), (2) and (3) in the third sentence above, as showing a marked difference in their respective relations to Jesus, the main Worker. The way the A. V. renders the Hebrew word ve after the word for wisdom (v. 6) would imply that the third class alone would make the antitypical Tabernacle and its contents, while actually they do the least amount of work and the least responsible work thereon. Ve ordinarily means and, and should have been rendered and here; hence the clause should be rendered, "and they shall make." This corrected translation shows that all referred to in vs. 2-6 make the antitypical Tabernacle
and all its appurtenances, not simply those spoken of as the "wise hearted" in v. 6.
(8) Vs. 7-11 give the main things that the workers on the antitypical Tabernacle and its appurtenances were to make. The typical details represent: the Church (tabernacle of the congregation, v. 7), the Christ beyond the veil (ark of the testimony), God in His attributes of justice, power and love (the mercy seat, i.e., propitiatory, and two cherubim), all the doctrinal, refutative, corrective and ethical teachings of the Church (all the furniture [literally, vessels] of the tabernacle [evidently here the furniture is not meant; for that is given in v. 8]), the Church in its capacity of feeding the priesthood with the heart developing and strengthening truths for the heavenly journey (the table, v. 8), its pertinent doctrinal, refutative, corrective and ethical teachings (his furniture [vessels; here again we have a manifest mistranslation, since the table had vessels, but no furniture]), the true Church in its capacity of enlightening the priesthood (pure candlestick), its pertinent doctrinal, refutative, corrective and ethical teachings (all his furniture [vessels; the candlestick had vessels, but no furniture]), the Church in its capacity of comforting and encouraging the sacrificing priesthood in its fiery trials with Scripture passages as the antitypical censer (altar of incense), the humanity of the Christ in its capacity of supporting the sacrificed humanity of the priesthood (altar of burnt offering, v. 9), its pertinent doctrinal, refutative, corrective and ethical teachings, its censers typing the pertinent Bible passages (all his furniture [vessels; since it had vessels, but no furniture]), the Bible (the laver), the New Testament as the bowl of the antitypical laver (the laver), the Old Testament as the base of the antitypical laver (his foot, i.e., the base), the characteristics of the priests which hid from outsiders the real nature of the antitypical Tabernacle's furniture and vessels (cloths of service, v. 10), the Christ's human righteousness as the sacrificial robe of antitypical
Aaron, and the Christ's Millennial powers, prerogatives, privileges, etc., (holy garments for Aaron) and Jesus' righteousness as the sacrificial robe of the underpriests (garments of his sons)—all of which were adapted to their ministering as the Lord's priesthood (to minister in the priest's office), the Truth and its powers understood, known and skillfully applied unto giving the Holy Spirit of Truth, in knowledge, understanding and skillfulness (anointing oil, v. 11), and the Christ's choice human perfections, Jesus' actually so, the Church's reckonedly so (sweet incense for the holy). The workers on the antitypical Tabernacle and its appurtenances were to do everything thereon according to the instructions that God gave to Jesus as His Executive (according to … commanded … do).
(9) Remembering that we are studying the Gospel-Age antitypes of Exodus, we are to limit our view of vs. 12-18 to their Gospel-Age application. We have seen that the antitypical Sabbath as the seventh 1,000-year day is the Millennium. The Gospel-Age Sabbath is the reckoned Millennial Age, i.e., the reckoned rest from the curse that faith-justification imputes to the faith-justified; for faith-justification reckons to its beneficiaries all the Millennial blessings of restitution, hence rest or freedom from the curse. God charges Jesus to enjoin keeping antitypical Sabbath (spake … saying, v. 12). To keep the Gospel-Age Sabbath implies two things: (1) that one continue to trust God's promise to forgive him his sins for Christ's merit, to impute Christ's merit to him and to keep him in fellowship with Him, and (2) to live in harmony with the implication of the three blessings of justification just mentioned, i.e., live a righteous life, by abhorring, avoiding and opposing sin and by doing justly by God and neighbor (my sabbaths [the singular and plural of this word are interchangeably used for the singular] ye shall keep, v. 3). God makes the charge very emphatic (Verily … keep). He gives as a reason that the Sabbath of the Law Covenant was a type between
God and Israel throughout all their generations (sign … generations [Col. 2: 16, 17]), even as the Gospel-Age Sabbath is a proof as antitype that God sanctifies His people in justification and consecration (ye may know that I … sanctify you). Such a reckoned Millennial rest God's Gospel-Age people should keep as being set apart for them (keep … holy for you, v. 14). Whoever of God's Gospel-Age people pollutes it, which is done either by denying the ransom—the basis of the three blessings that give us this reckoned Millennial rest—or by denying the Church's share in the sin-offering—the reason for the Gospel-Age existence of the reckoned Millennial rest, and by turning unto wholly wilful sin—which is the destruction of the Holy Spirit—will die the second death (every one that defileth it … put to death). The three evils mentioned in the preceding sentence are the things referred to as work in the last sentence of v. 14 (doeth any work). Such doers are eternally severed from God's people (cut off … people).
(10) Those under the Adamic curse may deny the ransom, the Church's share in the sin-offering and sin ever so wilfully, without incurring the second-death penalty, though suffering the Adamic curse (six days may work be done, v. 15), but the justified condition of God's Gospel-Age people gives them the antitypical seventh day (the seventh is the sabbath) and is to be devoted wholly to the Lord (holy to the Lord). To emphasize the guilt of committing the three before-mentioned sins and the nature of their penalty God repeats the prohibition of them as work on the antitypical sabbath (any work … surely be put to death). Hence God's Gospel-Age people should keep the reckoned Millennial sabbath, by a living faith in the ransom, by prizing the Church's share in the sin-offering and by righteous living (Israel shall keep the sabbath, v. 16), throughout every epoch of the Church (throughout their generations), as an age-lasting obligation agreed to by them to God (a perpetual covenant).
It is an evidence of the age-lasting covenant between God and His Gospel-Age people (sign … forever, v. 17). It is a proof that God gave the salient features and arrangements of His plan during the six one-thousand-year days, in which He permitted evil (in six days the Lord made heaven and earth), and during the seventh one-thousand-year day He will rest and be refreshed, while the Christ works restitution as the actual rest of His Millennial people, which rest by faith He reckons to His pre-Millennial people (on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed). For details on God's six antitypical creative days and the antitypical rest day please see P' 43, 45-47. As God brought to an end His charging our Lord on making the Gospel-Age Tabernacle and its appurtenances (made an end of communing with him, v. 18), beyond the veil during the Gospel Age, as heir of the Kingdom (upon Mount Sinai), God gave Him the Divine law of justice—supreme duty-love to God and equal duty-love to the neighbor (he gave … two tables of testimony), to be written in human hearts (tables of stone; 2 Cor. 3: 3), as the planned revelation of God's will on human conduct (written by the finger of God).
(11) Our Lord caused God's people to be assembled (gathered … Israel together, Ex. 35: 1) and caused them to hear as God's message (said … words … commanded) certain things that they were to observe (do them). The special thing that He brought to their attention here referred to was the teaching of the race's suffering six one-thousand-year days under the curse (six days shall work be done, v. 2) and their resting a one-thousand-year day separate from the curse (seventh day … holy … sabbath of rest). This rest separate from the curse is a reckoned one the rest of faith justification—and will be an actual one—the rest of the Millennium, the rest of works justification. Accordingly, in the former one the experiences prior to faith justification are the antitypical period of labor, suffering under the curse; and in the
latter one the experiences prior to the Millennium are the antitypical period of labor, suffering under the curse. Whoever sins wilfully during either this reckoned or actual rest time will be cut off from his justification (work therein … death). The Lord's people are, among other things, to see to it that they do not set mortal sin or error afloat (kindle no fire, v. 3) among one another or each one privately in his own heart and mind (throughout your habitations), to the injury of their reckoned or actual rest (sabbath day). This should be avoided, as it would set features, error and sin, of the curse at work while they should be observing the reckoned or actual rest from all features of the curse, these features being sin, error, dying and death. We gave more details on most of these matters treated in vs. 1, 2, when expounding Ex. 20: 8-11 and 31: 12-14, to which we refer our readers for these details.
(12) While discussing Ex. 25: 2-7 we expounded the antitypical things referred to in vs. 4-9; and in discussing Ex. 31: 6 we explained antitypically the things referred to in v. 10, so will, accordingly, pass them by without further explanation, which would be merely a repetition of things expounded already. Accordingly, we will continue our further exposition, beginning with v. 11. Remembering that Moses in this connection is telling Israel what God on the mount had charged him to tell, we are prepared to go forward in our study. Moses' general exhortation was that Israel should offer things needed for the construction of the tabernacle and its belongings, as a type of what antitypical Israel in its humanity was in consecration to offer useful for building the antitypical Tabernacle. These things were mentioned in vs. 5-9, while v. 10 exhorts antitypically those able to work on that Tabernacle so to do, in order to accomplish the work typed in vs. 11-16. The first thing on which they, Jesus and His assistants, were to work was the Christ Himself (tabernacle, v. 11), i.e., the antitype of the ten linen curtains that formed the first, the inner, roof of the
tabernacle, and also hung down outside the boards for approximately nine cubits on the north and south sides of the building and nearly ten cubits on the west end thereof, the thickness of the boards making the linen curtains short of nine cubits in the parts hanging over the two sides and short of ten cubits in the part hanging over its west end. They were to work, secondly, on the antitypical tent, the antitype of the eleven curtains of goats' hair, i.e., the justified humanity of the Christ (tent). They were to work, thirdly, on the antitypes of the rams' skins dyed red, i.e., the ransom, and, fourthly, of the badger, or seal, skins, the Christ's humanity as it appears to the world (the covering). They were to work, fifthly, on the antitypes of the taches [hooks], the Divine power that held the new creatures together and that held their justified humanity together for God's purposes (taches). They were to work, sixthly, on the antitypes of the boards, the Bible books of secondary importance from the standpoint of their use for the Church (boards); seventhly, on the antitypes of the bars, the Bible books of tertiary importance from the standpoint of their use for the Church (bars); eighthly, on the antitypes of the pillars, the Bible books of primary importance from the standpoint of their use for the Church (pillars). Please, in the reading, "1 John," in EH, 72, line 13 from the top, delete the number "1" before the word "John," for John's Gospel, not his first Epistle, is symbolized by one of the four pillars in the Most Holy. They were to work, ninthly, on the antitypical silver sockets, i.e., prepare the Truth as the basis of the Biblical books and the antitypical copper sockets, i.e., prepare Truth teachings on the justified humanity as the thing to be consecrated according to the five books typed by the five pillars in the Holy. While the tenons, handles, are not here mentioned, they represent the two great Bible truths: high calling and restitution, which firmly fix each book of the Bible in the antitypical sockets, the Truth of God.
(13) Likewise Jesus and His assistants were to work on the antitypical Ark (v. 13). The typical ark in its chest types the Christ beyond the veil and the pertinent teachings; and its part above the chest types God in His attributes and the pertinent teachings. They were also to work on the pertinent passages of the Old and New Testaments furthering the antitypical Ark as to its teachings (staves), on the attribute of Divine justice in its pertinent teachings (mercy seat; literally, propitiatory), and on the death of the human body of the Christ and the pertinent teachings (vail of the covering). Having given the charge on what Jesus and His assistants were to do on the antitypical Tabernacle (v. 11) in general and on the antitypical Most Holy (v. 12) in particular, God gives, by Jesus as Executive (Moses, v. 4), what Jesus and His assistants (every wise hearted, v. 10) were to do as to the Holy and its appurtenances (vs. 13-15), which we will now proceed to study. Jesus and His assistants, first, were to work on the Church in its capacity of strengthening the brethren in every good word and work and on its pertinent teachings (the table, v. 13); secondly, on the pertinent Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments ([two] staves); thirdly, on the pertinent doctrinal, refutative, cleansing and ethical teachings (all his [its] vessels); and, fourthly, on the antitypical food, the Word of God as the bread of life, that strengthens the brethren in every good word and work for their heavenly journey (shrewbread). They were also to work on the Church in its capacity of enlightening the brethren and on its pertinent teachings (candlestick, v. 14), to enable it to give the Truth in its enlightening capacity for the minds of the brethren (light), the table and the lampstand both representing the Church and its pertinent teachings, but in a different capacity, the former in giving the brethren through the strengthening features of the Word the heavenly affections and graces for the heart, the latter in giving the brethren the enlightening features of the Word for the head.
They were also to work on the pertinent doctrinal, refutative, cleansing and ethical teachings pertinent to the Church in its work of enlightening the heads of the brethren (furniture; literally, vessels), on the Church in its enlightening capacity in its seven parts, one for each of its seven Epochs of the Gospel Age (lamps), as well as on the spirit of understanding in the Church as enlightener of the brethren (oil), whereby the enlightening work of the Church is done (for the light).
(14) Christ and His assistants were given a third general work to do for the Spirit-begotten condition of the Church, that connected with the Church and its pertinent teachings as the antitypical incense Altar, which is the Church in its capacity of comforting, encouraging, warning and correcting the brethren in their capacity as priests sacrificing amid fiery trials in the interests of the Lord's cause and people (incense altar, v. 15). It might be here in place to call attention to certain distinctions, in order to clarify the relations and capacities of the Church brought to our attention in the Holy. There are in fact seven capacities brought to our attention there: two at the antitypical Table, two at the antitypical Lampstand, two at the antitypical Altar and one at the second veil. The distinctions between the table, the lampstand and the altar, apart from their pertinent teachings, are these: The typical table represents the Church in its capacity of strengthening the brethren in their hearts with the heavenly bread of life, the Word of God, unto every good word and work for their heavenly journey; the typical lampstand represents the Church in its capacity of enlightening the brethren in their heads with the light of the Truth as the Word of God; while the typical golden altar represents the Church in its capacity of comforting, encouraging, warning and correcting the brethren amid their fiery, trialsome sacrifices; in a word, strengthening, enlightening and exhorting the Church. In ministering to our brethren we certainly have these three differing capacities as servants of the Truth. Let us, further,
note the difference in the antitypes of the three pieces of furniture in the Holy and the priest in his relations to these three pieces of furniture. The table represents the Church in its capacity of holding up the bread of life, the Word of God, as spiritual food to the Church, for strengthening it in every good word and work for its heavenly journey in the heart, while the priest eating the shewbread held up to him as food by the table types the Church in its capacity of approaching to itself the heavenly food held up to it by the Church, unto its strengthening itself in its heart in every good word and work for its heavenly journey. The lampstand represents the Church in its capacity of enlightening the Church in its head with the Truth as symbolic light, while the priest seeing in the Holy the things in the Holy by the light of the candlestick types the Church in its capacity of seeing in the Spirit-begotten condition spiritual things by the Truth taught it by the Church. The golden altar holding up to the incensing priest the censer represents the Church in its capacity of holding up Bible passages encouraging, comforting, warning and correcting the sacrificing and fiery-tried Church, while the priest sprinkling the incense on the burning coals in the censer held up to him by the incense altar represents the Church being comforted, encouraged, warned and corrected by the Bible passages held up to it by the Church as it in the priestly aspect brings its choice human powers in contact with fiery trials while sacrificing its human all for the Lord's cause and people. These distinctions show the Church in six of its capacities. The seventh capacity is typed by the priest at the second veil, lifting it up and going under it, which types the hard work of the Church's sacrificial dying unto a completion, death.
(15) Christ and His assistants were to work on the teachings of the Old and New Testaments pertinent to forwarding the Church in its capacity of comforting, encouraging, warning and correcting the fiery-tried and sacrificing Church (staves). No reference is here
made to the working on the typical vessels of the golden altar, to which reference is made elsewhere (Num. 4: 11, 12). Their pertinent antitypical work was to set forth the doctrinal, refutative, cleansing and ethical teachings pertinent to the Church in its capacity of comforting, encouraging, warning and correcting the Church in its capacity of sacrificing amid fiery trials for God's cause and people. Christ and His assistants were to work on the things with which the antitypical priesthood was to be anointed (anointing oil), i.e., on the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of fear of, the Lord (Is. 11: 2), or to put it in other words, the spirit of wisdom, power, justice and love. They were also to work on the antitypical sweet incense (sweet incense). Unburnt the sweet incense represents, first, Jesus' choice actually perfect human powers willingly yielded up for sacrifice; burnt into perfume it represents Jesus' graces made perfect through sacrificial sufferings, ascending as a most sweet-smelling savor unto God from and as a result of His perfect sacrifice. Unburnt it represents, secondly, the Church's choice reckonedly perfect human powers willingly yielded up for sacrifice; burnt into perfume it represents the Church's graces reckonedly perfect through Christ's merit and exercised faithfully, even though actually imperfect, amid sacrificial sufferings, ascending as a sweet-smelling savor unto God from and as a result of her imputedly perfect sacrifice. Finally, for the Spirit-begotten condition, Christ and His assistants worked on the human will of the consecrators, dead selfward and worldward in the act of consecration, helping the consecrated to keep it dead in the consecrated state (hanging … entering … tabernacle).
(16) Jesus and His colaborers were to work on the Christ as the Altar as viewed by the justified (altar of burnt offering, v. 16), and, secondly, on the Bible passages used by the Christ to comfort, encourage, warn and rebuke the priesthood as viewed by the justified
(brazen [copper] grate, which did for the coals and sacrifice on the altar of burnt offerings what the censer did for the coals and incense on the altar of incense; hence it seems, like the censer, to type Bible passages, the latter typing them as viewed by God and the new creatures in the antitypical Holy, the former as viewed by the justified in the antitypical Court). They, thirdly, likewise worked on the teachings of the Old and New Testaments that carried forward the antitypical Altar of burnt offering (staves), as well as on the doctrinal, refutative, cleansing and ethical teachings pertinent to this antitypical Altar (vessels); as they, fourthly, worked on the Bible (the laver), whose basis (foot) is the Old Testament and whose antitypical water-container is the New Testament. They worked, fifthly, on the righteousness of Christ, which to the antitypical Campers is a wall of unbelief, and to the antitypical Priests and Levites is a wall of faith (hangings of the court, v. 17); sixthly, on the sixty groups of the faith-justified (pillars); seventhly, on the pertinent justification Truth (sockets); and, eighthly, on Jesus as the righteousness that justifies the believer (hanging … door … court). They likewise worked on God's Truth (pins, v. 18, which had a use like that of the sockets, to support the boards) which supported the new creatures (the tabernacle), and on God's Truth (pins) which supported the justified in their 60 groups (of the court), and on writings that lent support to these two phases of God's Truth (their cords). They were also to work on the powers and qualities used to cover from the sight of those not in the antitypical Holy the Church as the antitypical Table, Lampstand and Altar, and their doctrinal, refutative, cleansing and ethical teachings (cloths … service in the holy, v. 19), as well as the sacrificing powers and qualities and the glorification powers and qualities of the World's High Priest (garments for Aaron) and those of the members of. His Body (garments of his
sons) needed by them in exercising their office while in flesh and spirit (to minister in the priest's office).
(17) After God's Gospel-Age people, in their various generations, had heard the exhortations and instructions antitypical of what is set forth in vs. 4-19, they put themselves into the condition to do their part in the enjoined work (Israel departed from … Moses, v. 20). They made a hearty (heart stirred up, v. 21) and willing (spirit made willing) consecration of themselves (offering; literally, heave offering), yielding up in the service of the antitypical Tabernacle their human all (tabernacle) for the Lord's service (services) and for the holy powers and qualities (holy garments). In vs. 22-29 three classes of consecrators are mentioned: men (vs. 22-24), women (25, 26) and rulers (27, 28). We understand that by the rulers the general teachers of the Church as the ablest brethren, by the men local elders, deacons and prominent non-official members of ecclesias as those of medium abilities among the brethren, and by the women less prominent ecclesia members as the least able of the brethren, are meant. A comparison of vs. 22-24, vs. 25, 26, and vs. 27, 28, shows that the rulers brought for the tabernacle the most important offerings, the men the things of medium importance, and the women the things of least importance in each of the classes corresponding to ability. A mistranslation of the first clause of v. 22 obscures this thought; for as given in the A. V., the women gave things of equal importance, ability, with the men. The A. V. has interpolated needlessly the words, both and and, into the text without corresponding words in the Hebrew, and contrary to their rule for such interpolations failed to put these two words in italics. Moreover, they left untranslated the Hebrew word al, which, among other things, means above. The following is, we think, the proper translation: "They came, the men above the women,"—the thought being that they had precedence above the women.