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THE CHART OF THE AGES
At a considerable cost, besides five cents apiece postage, we sent our readers (in July) as a supplement, a “Chart of the Ages” (the same which appeared in our last issue, only larger), suitable for hanging in a sitting room.
We fear that by many it has not been thoroughly studied, and because we know of nothing which would give you so clear a conception of the plan of God, we again direct your attention to it, and suggest that you study it three, four or ten times until you get every point clearly and indelibly fixed in your mind and heart, and it cannot fail to be a great blessing to you.
In the last paper (and also in the pamphlet) you have the same explanation of the chart which is found on the back of the large one, which will be found a more convenient form for study.
A reader asks regarding the extreme right of the chart—”The Tabernacle”—whether by the line which is shown as running through the center of the “Most Holy,” we are to be understood as teaching that heaven is divided into two parts?
[Will questioner read explanations with more care? It required careful thought to state them, and must have the same careful thought to read and understand them.]
We would answer assuredly not, and if you had studied with more care the chart and its explanation, you could have drawn no such conclusion. The line which is shown to run through the “Most Holy” is the same which passes all along the upper part of the chart, and is explained to be (plane K) an illustration of the condition or plane (not place) of Glory. But as many have a very incorrect idea as to the meaning of the different parts or places of the typical Tabernacle, we want simply to suggest to you that none of those apartments indicate places. They are places in the type, but conditions in the antitype.
The “Most Holy” represents the perfect, spiritual and glorious conditions—planes K and L. The “Holy” represents the consecrated condition in which we are now as priests ministering before God, offering up sacrifices on the Golden Altar, a sweet incense, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, and eating of the spiritual food and being enlightened by the Golden Lamp—the Word of God. We are there now in condition, but not in place; there is no such place where we will need a Golden lamp, etc., for when we are perfected and go beyond the Vail we shall know as we are known and not need the light of the lamp—Word. We repeat, we are now in the condition typified by the “Holy,” just as we expect shortly to be in the condition typified by the “Most Holy.”
“The Court” represents the condition (not place) of justification by faith—the justified human.
“The Camp” represents the condition (not place) of the World busy with its own pleasures and affairs.
All these are conditions, as much as, when Paul says: “Let us go to him without the Camp,” (referring to the sacrifices for sin—the bullock, Christ, and goat—the Church). He refers to our being cast out from, and dead to the World—he refers to a condition into which we are to go and not to a place.
The confusing idea as to place has been obtained by many from Paul’s expression that Jesus did not enter the Tabernacle (Holy and Most Holy) made with hands—the type, but he entered the real—even “heaven itself.” (Heb. 9:24.) Now, while not disputing the fact that there is a locality called heaven and that Jesus is there, yet the meaning of the word heavens here is spiritual reality, as contrasted with the earthly type.
We think that Paul’s statement and the type he was explaining referred to Jesus’ having gone first into the condition represented by the Holy, in which condition he ministered and offered sacrifices before God during his three and a half years’ ministry, and then at his resurrection, his entering the “Most Holy” or perfect spiritual condition—afterward proceeding to the Glory plane in that Most Holy spiritual condition.
This is shown by the connections, for Paul says (Heb. 8:5) that the earthly Tabernacle, etc., served as an example and shadow of heavenly (spiritual) things, and (9:23) that though the pattern or typical Tabernacle was sprinkled by the blood of bulls and goats, yet the heavenly (spiritual) must have better sacrifices. Therefore Christ Jesus entered not the literal (neither do we) but the real or spiritual. (So do we as members of the same body following our fore-runner.) Both of the above words rendered heavenly (Greek, epouraneous) are the same exactly that Paul uses in describing our position when he says (Eph. 2:6) that God hath quickened us (Ye are alive toward God) and made us sit together in heavenly (spiritual) places in Christ Jesus.
Thus we see that as Jesus went into these heavenlies in their proper order—into the first during the three and a half years of self-sacrifice, and into the other (the perfect spiritual condition) at his resurrection, so we are to do as followers of our forerunner. And those who are living the consecrated life (living sacrifices) toward God, are now in the first of these “Holy” or spiritual conditions, and, like our leader, will enter into the other, the “Most Holy,” when at resurrection (or change) we are made like unto Christ’s glorious body.
The force of this is more clearly seen when we notice Paul’s statement in Eph. 1:20. Here Paul asserts that at his resurrection Jesus was exalted by God far ABOVE all powers, etc., and placed at his right hand (choicest condition of favor) in THE (chief) heavenly place. The Greek word heavenly, here used, is emphatic, and signifies the chief heavenly condition, which is in perfect harmony with what we have already seen, viz.: that Jesus (as we are) had been in a heavenly condition during three and a half years before, but at resurrection he had reached THE heavenly or perfect spiritual condition.
Let us remind you that here also, the word rendered heavenly is the same word used with reference to our position as spiritually begotten—new creatures. This text affirms that at resurrection Jesus entered THE epouraneous (heavenly, spiritual condition), while now we are in an epouraneous condition as asserted by the Scripture above referred to (Eph. 2:6), and in due time we hope to reach THE epouraneous condition and be like him.
— October And November, 1881 —