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SOME NEW THOUGHTS
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In the article above, Brother P. suggests some food for thought regarding the type of the sin-offering, scape-goat, etc. We fully agree with the general view expressed relative to tares, Babylon, etc., not representing the church in any sense, neither the "little flock" nor great company.
But we must yet hold to our views, as heretofore expressed, that the scapegoat represents the "great company," not Babylon, tares, etc., for several reasons. First: The scape-goat was brought to the door of the Tabernacle, and had been accepted of God. Surely this is not the case with hypocrites in the church.
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If they present themselves, they may deceive men, but not God. Again: God intimates that as far as He is concerned, He has no choice (shown by casting lots) as to which shall be the sacrifice or sin-offering. This would not be true of a hypocrite. God would not accept of a tares sacrifice for sins; the offering must be pure, free from sin. Jesus was such in fact. We are so, because justified by Him, and we think that both goats standing thus before God must represent, not tares, but justified ones–Christians.
This class of true (though not faithful) Christians stand side by side with the faithful ones who do follow their Lord's example, and crucify the will of the flesh. These are overcome by the world, and though they would love the approval of their Lord, cannot bear the frown of men. Like the unfruitful branches, they do not bear the fruit of the vine, but merely leaves, and are, therefore, "castaways" from the high calling and honors of the overcomers. These are not accounted worthy to escape those things coming upon the world, and go through at least a part of the world's trouble, the object being the "delivering over to Satan, for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord Jesus." This is made necessary by their having failed to crucify the fleshly nature according to their covenant. And as we have already seen, it is necessary for all to lose the fleshly nature and form, either by "destruction" or "sacrifice," in order to the obtaining of the Divine form and nature. "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God– your reasonable service."
The subject is large and will bear much examination, which we hope all will give it.
— October, 1880 —