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“AFTER DEATH THE JUDGMENT”
We believe that to the great majority of mankind (to all except the Church), their judgment or trial will be after death—after the Adamic death—has been legally cancelled, and is being swallowed up of life, as is well expressed in the foregoing article by our brother; but the text at the head of this article so frequently used as it is by our brother, in the foregoing article, as the proof of that coming judgment, we object to, because it is used by the Apostle to teach a totally different thing, as may be seen from a careful examination of the entire argument in which these words were used. (Heb. 9:6-28.)
Paul’s argument is to those who were familiar with the typical service of the typical sanctuary. In their typical service, there was a remembrance made of sins each year; and each year on the Day of Atonement a typical sacrifice was offered which never actually put away sin, but which was merely typical of the real work to be done afterward by Christ. For the blood of bulls and goats could never put away sin, and they were merely figures or illustrations for the time of the real sacrifice, “The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world”—who “put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”
It was arranged of God, that the entire process of atonement for man’s sin should be presented in types or patterns for our instruction, that the man of God should be thoroughly furnished. Accordingly, they had the Most Holy to represent the presence of Jehovah—heaven itself; and the death of Christ was illustrated by the priests every year—they using animals to represent themselves in death. When the bullock, which was “for,” or represented the Priest, was killed, it represented the death of the priest, and thereafter the priest represented Christ as a “new creature,” and took the blood—the evidence of his sacrifice of his former self—with him into the Most Holy, to present it as the ransom price for the people’s sins, and thereby to procure for the people God’s forgiveness of their sins and future favor.
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But, as these men in this work were to typify Christ and his perfect work, that must be shown; hence the law, that if the priest failed to offer exactly the proper sacrifice, and in a proper manner, he would die at the second vail and not be permitted to enter the Most Holy, and hence would fail to make atonement for the people’s sins, and to come out to bless them. But, if every thing was perfectly done, the priest and his sacrifice were accepted of Jehovah, and the blotting out of sins and blessings of the people followed. It will be seen, then, that with these men who for years had typified Christ in the consecration or killing of the animals which represented them—after this representative death—came their judgment or trial. Was it perfectly done in all respects? If so, their judgment would be favorable, and they would come forth to typically absolve the sins of the people and bless them.
As thus in type it is appointed for these men (priests) to die representatively, etc., SO ALSO Christ was once offered—died really—to bear the sins of many; and it was needful, as shown in the type, that he must go to have the sacrifice accepted in the Most Holy. We have evidence that he lives in that Most Holy, or perfect spiritual condition, which is proof to us that his was an acceptable sacrifice, and that in due time he will come forth with a blessing for all, for whose sins he paid the ransom price—his own life.
The Apostle’s reason for making this argument is obvious. The Jews derided the idea of a Saviour dying without saving them, expecting that Messiah would reign in great earthly power and splendor. Paul shows them that Christ must needs first suffer to purchase—redeem—before he could save and bless, and that this had all been shown in the types of the Law. As it is appointed unto men (your priesthood) first to die and then to go into the Most Holy, etc., BEFORE the blessing could come, SO ALSO it is with Christ, of whom your men were but types or shadows. (See also “TABERNACLE” pamphlet, p. 61, and TOWER of October, 1880.)
— September, 1883 —