Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
THE PROGRESSIVE TABERNACLE PICTURE
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
THE TRUTH on the Tabernacle was given to Bro. Russell by the Lord in 1979, who set it before God’s people, particularly in his book, Tabernacle Shadows. This Truth has helped them understand better many features of God’s great Plan of salvation for the Church and for the world. Tabernacle Shadows sets forth the typical setting of the Tabernacle and the Camp in the wilderness pertaining to God’s Gospel Age people. However, the typical setting of the Tabernacle and the Camp is progressive (Proverbs 4: 18). In addition to the Gospel Age setting, there is a transitional, or Epiphany, setting, a Millennial setting and a post-Millennial setting. Bro. Russell showed that in the closing of the Gospel Age there is an adjustment of matters pertaining to the antitypical Holy, Court and Camp. At that time the Gospel Age setting merges into the Epiphany setting. Likewise, the Epiphany setting merges into the Millennial setting, and in due time the Millennial setting will merge into the post-Millennial setting.
The Fourfold Tabernacle Picture
Following are these four pictures: for the Gospel Age picture the Most Holy represents the condition of the Divine Beings; the Holy represents the condition of the embryo New Creatures, crown-retainers and crown-losers; the Court represents the condition of the faith justified; the Camp represents the condition of the nominal as distinct from the real people of God, while the territory outside the Camp represents the condition of those who are either not even nominal people of God or are excommunicated ones.
For the Epiphany the Most Holy represents the condition of the Divine Beings; the Holy in the finished picture represents the condition of the crown-retaining New Creatures; the Court in the finished picture represents the Great Company and the Youthful Worthies; the Camp in the finished picture represents the formerly faith justified ones who hold to the Ransom and practice righteousness, and converted Israel; while the territory outside of the Camp represents the condition of those who were the Gospel Age Camp, or who are excommunicated ones.
For the Millennial Age the Most Holy represents the condition of the Divine Beings, and, so far as the Christ is concerned, it represents them in their capacity of serving Godward for the people; the Holy represents the condition of the Christ in their capacity of serving peopleward for God; the Court represents the condition of the Ancient Worthies (Kohathite Levites), the Great Company (Merarite Levites) and the Youthful Worthies (Gershonite Levites); the Camp represents the condition of the world undergoing restitution; while the territory outside of the Camp represents the condition of those who have not made a start toward restitution and the Second Deathers who die at 100 years of age.
For the post-Millennial setting the Most Holy represents the eternal condition of the Divine Beings, the Christ in its ministries Godward for all beings lower than the Divine class; the Holy represents the Christ in their capacity of serving for God all beings lower than the Divine class; the Court represents the condition of the Ancient Worthies, Great Company and Youthful Worthies (all three classes then being spirit beings) in their capacity of serving under the Christ toward the world and other beings to be created in the Ages of glory; the Camp represents restored humanity and the new orders of perfect beings to be created in the Ages of glory, who will be faithful in their testings; and the territory outside of the Camp represents the new orders of perfect beings not yet fully tested.
Steps in the Little Flock’s Course
The steps taken by the Little Flock in coming from sin to their place in the Kingdom, to the glory, honor and immortality of the Divine nature, are typed in the Tabernacle setting as follows: (1) exercising “repentance toward God” (Acts 20: 21), typed by progress from a place in the Camp of Israel to a place just outside the Gate of the Court; (2) exercising “faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ,” thus entering the faith justified condition as antitypical Levites, typed by passing through the Gate into the Court; (3) knowledge and appreciation of, and growth in harmony with, the righteousness of Christ, typed by seeing and appreciating the Brazen Altar; (4) cleansing from filthiness of flesh and spirit by the Word of God (2 Corinthians 7: 1) (Ephesians 5: 26), typed by washing at the Laver; (5) progressing on to consecration, vitalization of justification, and into the Spirit-begotten condition, typed by progress from the Court through the First Veil into the Holy; (6) being enlightened by the Truth, strengthened by the Truth and offering up sacrifices acceptable to God, typed, respectively, by seeing the light of the Golden Candlestick, eating the Shewbread and offering incense at the Golden Altar; and (7) progressing on to the death of the human body, followed by the birth of the Spirit in the First Resurrection, the entering into the Spirit-born condition of glory, honor and immortality, typed by progress from the Holy under the Second Veil into the Most Holy.
Adjustment of Matters Regarding the Holy
In the adjustment of matters pertaining to the Holy, the Great Company (Spirit-begotten ones who would lose their crowns) were put out of the Holy back into the Court. Thereafter they would no longer be typed by priests in the Holy, nor would their death be typed in the high priest passing beyond the Second Veil into the Most Holy. Rather, they would be typed by Levites in the Court. The time for the adjustment of matters pertaining to the Holy set in in the Fall of 1914, when the Epiphany period of our Lord’s Second Advent began and the Parousia (reaping) period ended.
But when the Great Company members were put out of the Holy, they did not thereby lose their Spirit-begettal, nor forfeit their consecration, or their vitalized justification; but they could no longer thereby secure for themselves a standing in the Holy. Though back in the Court, they retained these, BUT WITH A CHANGED PURPOSE, that is, for becoming Epiphany Levites. In the Epiphany period, the Tabernacle antitype progressed to the building of the Epiphany Court as distinct from the Holy.
Post-1914 Consecrators not in the Holy
The Youthful Worthies, whose call began in 1914, took the same first four steps as the Little Flock did, but for them a decided change took place as respects step five. Although the Youthful Worthies made the same consecration as all the prospective Little flock members did, the Youthful Worthies’ consecration could not be pictured at the First Veil, the Door of entrance into the Holy. This Veil did not picture the death of the Youthful Worthies’ human wills, for they could not become prospective Priests.
Thus something new began to exist which had not existed before the Fall of 1914 while the door of entrance into the High Calling was open, in other words, a situation in which ALL who became fully consecrated believers had their standing pictured IN THE COURT, and not IN THE HOLY. Furthermore, in the Epiphany setting the Great Company’s and the prospective Youthful Worthies’ enlightenment by the Truth is not shown by seeing the light of the Golden Candlestick; not is their strengthening in every good word and work shown in feeding at the antitypical Table of Shewbread; nor is their ministerial service pictured by sacrificing at the antitypical Golden Altar. The furniture of the Holy was not brought out into the Court for the benefit of the Levites in the type, or the antitype.
Adjustment of Matters Regarding the Court
There also came a time in the Epiphany when the tentatively justified, who were tentative Levites in the Court, who, if they had not consecrated, would not be recognized as in the Court – they ceased to be tentative Levites. Hence at the adjustment of matters in the Court, they were no longer eligible for Youthful Worthiship. Those not consecrating by that time thenceforth had their standing in the Camp – the Epiphany Camp; for they were no longer typed by Levites in the Court, but by Israelites in the Epiphany Camp. Although these may (1) gain much more knowledge and appreciation of, and growth in harmony with the righteousness of Christ, and may (2) do much more cleansing of themselves by the Word, these activities are no longer typed by privileges connected with the Brazen Altar and by washing at the Laver (steps three and four of the Little Flock’s course), because the Brazen Altar and the Laver in the Court were for the Priests and Levites ONLY, and not for the Israelites in the Camp. As the furniture of the Holy was not brought out into the Court for the Levites, in type and antitype, so the furniture of the Court was not taken out into the Camp for the Israelites there, in type and antitype.
(to be continued)