THESE words of Jesus respecting his Church clearly express the wide difference in his relationship to the two. Again, when praying for his followers, he said, "I pray not for the world, but for them that thou hast given me:" "that they may be one""that the world may believe." (John 17:9,11,21.) Here again the Church and the world are kept separate and distinct, and although the prayer was exclusively for the Church, he clearly intimates his love and interest in the world. He prayed not for the world because [R3915 : page 7] the world's time for trial for life eternal had not yet come: he prayed for the Church because its time of trial had already begunbecause therefore it needed the divine grace imparted.
Our Lord's interest in the world will be fully manifested in due time. He has already given his life with a view to the world's blessinghe tasted death for every man; but now in the present age his chief interest is in the Church, which is his body. The development of the Church is a necessary step in the divine plan before the blessing of the world in general can be accomplished. As it was necessary that Christ should come as the Seed of Abraham, so also it was necessary that the Church, his body, his Bride, should be developed as members of the same Seed before their work could be accomplished, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Thus the Apostle's words are clearly applicable to the Church: "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's Seed, and heirs according to the promise"heirs of the promise that through you, as members of Christ, a blessing shall proceed to all the families of the earth.Gal. 3:29.
What constitutes the distinction between the Church and the world may properly be asked. Why should the Lord favor one class more than another during this Gospel age? We answer that the distinctions between the classes is the basis for the difference in the divine dealings: the Church are those who are hungering and thirsting after righteousnessdesiring to know and to do the Lord's will, walking after the spirit of his law to the best of their ability, not after the flesh. God is pleased to accept such, and to make known to them the riches of his grace in Christ Jesus, and to receive them into his family by the adoption which is in Christ Jesus.
But as for the world, the Scriptures clearly set forth that its children are strangers, aliens, foreigners, enemies of God through wicked works. They have not the spirit or disposition to be sons; they have suffered so severely through the fall that they are quite alienated from God and considerably in sympathy with sin and injustice, so that they do not desire to walk after the spirit of God's law but prefer to walk after the flesh. Notwithstanding the sin and imperfection, injustice, hypocrisy, double dealings, etc., they love the world and the things of the world; they do not love righteousness and hate iniquity in such degree as to recognize that all unrighteousness is sin, that they themselves are full of blemishes and imperfections, and therefore justly under divine condemnation as unworthy of eternal life amongst the perfect and holy.
Not seeing their need of the great Physician the worldly are not listening in that direction and do not hear his voice. The Gospel message sent hither and thither throughout the world during this Gospel age has been sifting, separatingelectingthe lovers of righteousness and Truth and God from the lovers of sin and selfishness and those who are in sympathy with them. The result is a household of faith, among whom there are not many wise, not many great, not many learned, not many noble, not many altogether who enjoy the divine favor and blessing and privileges of this present time. On the other hand are the great mass of mankind, still outside of divine recognition, still under condemnation, still children of wrath, still in darkness and ignorance respecting the divine character and plan, which thus far they have not been counted worthy to understand, because "The secret of the Lord is with them that reverence him, and he will show them his covenant."Psa. 25:14.
Seeing the distinction which God's Word sets forth between the Church and the world, it does not surprise us to learn that totally different terms express the relationship of Christ to the Church and to the world. He is our Advocate [R3915 : page 8] now, and by and by he will be the world's Mediator. A mediator is one who interposes between two persons who are at variance, with a view to reconciling them. Thus the Scriptures teach that there is "one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Tim. 2:5,6.) The due time for this testimony to be known, as the Scriptures clearly show, will be the Millennial age, the period of our Lord's reign, his mediatorial reign, as some have expressed ita reign as a mediator for the purpose of effecting reconciliation between God and others opposed to himthe world, for God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.
As the Apostle Paul explains, a mediator is not of one party only but of two parties. (Gal. 3:20.) In this case the two parties are God and Adam and his race. Justice lay on God's side: he had a charge of disobedience against mankind, and he justly placed his ban or condemnation upon Adam and his race"Dying thou shalt die." As the Apostle expresses the matter, "By one man's disobedience sin entered the world and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men because all are sinners." (Rom. 5:12.) Originally man had no antipathy to God: on the contrary, we may be sure that Adam felt contrition, realized that his penalty was just, and longed for restitution to divine favor. But as centuries rolled around the fallen conditions worked havoc in man, and mentally and morally he got out of harmony with his Creator, got to be the enemy of God, learned to love unrighteousness and to delight in sin. The record is that God gave him over to a reprobate mindallowed him to take his wayward course of opposition to God and to righteousnessand the result has been increasing degradation and increasing opposition not only to righteousness but to God, the great King and representative of righteousness.
In addition to man's natural depravity the Scriptures inform us that Satan and the fallen angels have conspired to his undoing, blinding him to principles of Right and Truth, putting darkness for light and light for darkness, good for evil and evil for good. As a result the heart of man has become exceedingly warped and twisted from the principles of righteousness, and much out of harmony with God himself. To such an extent is this true that only a very few now have the ear to hear or any appreciation of heart for the divine message of God, that they through Christ may now come back into harmony with him. This is the declaration of the Apostle, The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the glorious light of the goodness of God shining in the face of Jesus Christ should shine in their hearts.2 Cor. 4:4-6.
The need of a mediator under these circumstances is very apparent: God refuses to recognize sin or to tolerate it in any degree. His law declares that the "wages of sin is death." The world has gotten to love sin, and is so blinded to its best interests that it hates God's righteousnessstrict righteousness. The first thing necessary was the satisfaction of justice in respect to our race. There would have been no propriety in exhorting men to return to God when the divine law inexorably commanded the death of the sinner and declared that God could have no communion with the unrighteous, the blemished. Hence it was that God provided the Lord Jesus to be the Mediator between himself and the race of sinners, to the intent that through his work so many of the sinners as possible might be brought back into accord with God and thus to the enjoyment of his approval and blessing instead of the curse or death sentence. Our Lord Jesus at his first advent died, gave himself a ransom for mankind, that thus through him the divine sentence against mankind might be remitted, cancelled, and that then the Mediator might have the opportunity of taking hold of the race he had redeemed with a view to bringing the rebels back from their blinded and fallen condition, by restitution processes, to perfection; and thus to the condition where the Father could receive them without condemnation and grant them his blessing of life eternal.
The Mediator's work in the world will be considerably one of force, compulsion: he will lay righteousness to the line and justice to the plummet, and sweep away the refuge of lies. (Isa. 28:17.) His anger will burn against all injustice and unrighteousness; stripes or punishment will be visited upon those who are out of the way and who need correction; the plowshare of trouble will be run through the hearts of men, to break up the fallow ground and to prepare them for a resowing of the good word of God, the gracious promises and appreciation of divine favors. That will be a time of reconstruction. At the very beginning of the Millennial age the Mediator will be revealed in flaming fire, taking vengeance, executing punishments upon all wrong doers, upon all who know not God, who appreciate not his character and plans and government and righteous lawsto the intent that they may learn what these are, in hope that by experience therewith they may come to learn righteousness and hate iniquity instead of loving iniquity and hating purity.
God's arrangement or dealing with the world during the Millennial age is said to be under the New Covenant. The great original covenant was the one made with father Abraham, which reads, "In thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed." This we sometimes designate the "Oath-Bound Covenant," because the Lord swore to it. That covenant, the Apostle points out, had no mediatorit needed none so far as Abraham was concerned. He loved the Lord and desired to serve him: he was not an alien or a stranger or a foreigner, not a rebel, but was acknowledged to be a "friend of God." (Jas. 2:23.) No mediator was necessary then; God merely promised Abraham a certain great blessing. The children of Abraham, the Seed of Abraham, are [R3916 : page 8] counted in with him under this covenant which needed no mediator.
Anyone, at heart or otherwise an alien from God, could not be counted as the real Seed of Abraham: only those coming into relationship to God through faith and obedience to Christ are counted of this Abrahamic Seed. They are not in alienation from God, and need no forced measures to bring them back. Rather they are looking longingly for the heavenly city and the glorious conditions of the Kingdom which God has promised to them that love him; they are to him as children, and he to them as a father; they inherit his gracious promises and delight therein, and of his sentiments toward them it is written, "The Father himself loveth you." (John 16:27.) No wonder that that covenant and those represented under it as its beneficiaries need no mediator, no go-between, to enforce upon them terms and conditions. There is a willing love which leads them to willing sacrifices that they may do the will of the Father in heaven.
The Apostle explains to us that although this Oath-Bound Covenant is the real, genuine first one, nevertheless it was not time for it to go into operation at once; but instead the Law Covenant was added, and developed during the Jewish age the Jewish nation, as a typical people of God under the Law Covenant, with Moses as its mediator, which was typical of the New Covenant, with Christ as its Mediator. The Apostle points out that this Covenant failed to bring forth [R3916 : page 9] any children of Godit brought forth only servantsand that with its failure it was set aside when our Lord Jesus at his first advent, by his obedience, proved his right to be heir to the Abrahamic Covenant. The Apostle points out that Sarah, Abraham's wife, typified that Oath-Bound Covenant, which for more than 2000 years was barrendid not bring forth the spiritual Seed of Abraham to bless the world. He declares that Hagar, the bondwoman of Abraham's family, represented the Law Covenant, that her child Ishmael represented the Jews, and that the casting off of the Jewish nation and the setting aside of their Law Covenant was typified in Abraham's dealing with Hagar"Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for he shall not be heir with the son of the free woman."Gal. 4:30.
The Apostle points out that antitypically the Son of the free woman, the son of Sarah, the Seed of Abraham that was to inherit this promise, was primarily the Lord Jesus himself, and in a larger and secondary sense the entire Gospel Church, the "little flock," of which he is the Head and Captain"If ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's Seed and heirs according to the promise." Thus we have before our minds now, by the Apostle's aid, a clear view of the Jewish nation and their Law Covenant; and also a clear view of the true Seed, Christ and the Church, the heirs of the Abrahamic Covenant, which had no mediator. It has required all of this Gospel age for the selection of this spiritual Seed (house of sons) just as it required all of the Jewish age for the selection of the class symbolized by Ishmael, the house of servants, born in bondage under the Law.
Entirely separate and distinct from both of the foregoing covenants is the Lord's promise of a New Covenant. It also was represented in Abraham's family by a woman, for after the death of Sarah Abraham married again, his wife's name being Keturah; and by her we are told that he had many sons and daughters, whereas there was but the one son by Hagar, and but one by Sarah. The intimation thus clearly is that under the New Covenant God will bring many into the relationship of sons, as it is written of Abraham, who typified God, "I have constituted thee a father of many nations."Gen. 17:4.
(1) Because during the "dark ages" God's purpose for the blessing of all the families of the earth in ages to come was lost sight of, and the theory accepted instead that death is the end of all hope, and that with the end of this Gospel age would come a wreck of matter and crash of worlds, with nothing beyond.
(2) Another reason why the promises respecting a New Covenant have been more or less applied to this Gospel age is that remarkably few of the Lord's people during and since the "dark ages" have seen clearly what the Apostle designates as the "mystery of God"which he explains to be "Christ in you [the overcomers of the Church] the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27.) Not seeing that the Church are to be fellow-heirs with Jesus in the Kingdom which is to bless all the families of the earth, indeed not seeing with any distinctness that there is to be a Kingdom at all, it is not surprising that the promises of the New Covenant were applied exclusively to this age.
Now, however, in the clearer dawning of the Millennial morning, in the brighter shining of the Lamp of God's Word upon our pathway as a light in a dark place, we see most distinctly that the New Covenant belongs exclusively to the coming age, as the Abrahamic Covenant belongs exclusively to the Gospel age, and as the Law Covenant applied exclusively to the Jewish age. And when we examine the matter all the Scriptures confirm this interpretation. For instance, note the Apostle's application of the words of Jeremiah 31:33. He says:
"Behold the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the days when I took them by the hand to lead them forth out of the land of Egypt....For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws within their mind and write them in their hearts, and I will be to them a God and they shall be to me a people: and they shall not teach every man his neighbor and every man his brother saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me from the least to the greatest of them. And I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith a new covenant he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away."Heb. 8:8-13.
It is evident that the Apostle here is contrasting the New Covenant with the Law Covenant, which did vanish away. He is not contrasting the New Covenant with the Abrahamic Covenant, under which we inherit. Moreover, the New Covenant is to be made with the House of Israel and the House of Judah, and they have been cast off from divine favor during the eighteen or more centuries since their Law Covenant passed away. They are waiting therefore for the New Covenantfor the blessed arrangement of the Millennial age, under which the Lord declares he will be merciful to them and remember no more their past sins and iniquities.
That this is the Apostle's thought let us note carefully his teachings in Rom. 11:25-33. There the Apostle is pointing out that Israel did not obtain the chief blessing sought for, that the elect obtained it, and that the rest were blinded and cast away from divine favor. Nevertheless he tells us that they are not forever cast away nor forever blinded, but as soon as the elect class shall be completed the divine blessing will turn toward the blind and outcast ones to recover them and to save them all from that blindness and cast-off condition, as it is written, "There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer that shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.Rom. 11:26.
This Deliverer is the Christ, Jesus the Head, and the Church, his body, or, under another figure, his Bride. As soon as this great Deliverer is completed Israel's time for restoration to favor will be due. Mark now the Apostle's words further, "For this is my covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins." Notice the similarity of the terms here: The Apostle says they are to be blessed under a covenant, and that it will mean the cancellation of their sins. He cannot mean the Abrahamic Covenant, because the spiritual Seed inherited it and took the place of the natural seed: neither can he mean the Law Covenant, for it passed awaythe bond woman and her son were cast out at the end of the Jewish age. He must, therefore, refer to the New Covenant, and the expression is in exact accord with the prophecy respecting the New Covenant in which the Lord declares the taking away of the sins of natural Israel.
Our Lord Jesus is specifically declared to be the Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 12:24); and again it is declared, "There is one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." But where is the New Covenant? [R3916 : page 10] Where is the mercy to the Jew and the forgiveness of his sins? We answer that the New Covenant is not yet in existence, and hence the Jew, who is first to be blessed under it, is not yet receiving his portion. Nevertheless the work has been begun: the man Christ Jesus has appeared, he has already paid the ransom price sufficient for the satisfaction of justice in respect to Adam and all of his race. He is fully prepared, therefore, to be the Mediator and to proceed in the work of mediation, and under the New Covenant to bless the world. Why, then, so long delayover 1800 years?
We answer that the Mediator, in the interim, is accepting, in harmony with the divine plan, a Bride from amongst the redeemed ones. As we have already shown, this Bride classnow being called and accepted and tested in faithfulness even unto deathneeds no mediator, needs no go-between, [R3917 : page 10] needs no urging, needs no stripes to bring them to an appreciation of God and a desire to be his. Rather, after the manner of Abraham and in the spirit of their Lord, they delight to do God's will, they delight themselves in righteousness, they seek to walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. They realize indeed their imperfections, but they glory not in these. They do rejoice that he who called them out of darkness into his marvelous light, out of the abundance of his merit has applied a portion on their behalf, that they may be reckoned perfect, clean every whit, holy, and may be accepted as his joint-sacrificers and joint-heirs in the Kingdom that is to bring the blessing to Israel under the New Covenant and through Israel to all mankind.
That the Oath-Bound Covenant could not go into effect without the shedding of blood was evidenced by the fact that Isaac, the seed of promise, died typically and typically was received from the dead by a resurrection, as the Apostle explains. (Heb. 11:17-19.) So no part of the great plan of God, either toward the Church or the world, could have succeeded without the death of Christ. Thus the Apostle, speaking of the Bride class, says that, "Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing."Eph. 5:25-27.
As for the world, the death of the Mediator is the basis of its reconciliation under the New Covenant. By his death on our behalf Jesus proves himself worthy before the divine law to be the Mediator of the New Covenant. He has associated the Church with himself, and shortly the inauguration of the New Covenant will take place. This inauguration is typified in the Law Covenant, for Moses its mediator took the blood of the typical sacrifices for sin-offerings and sprinkled the book of the Law, which represented the Almighty, as being bound by the Covenant, and then sprinkled the people by the same blood, as intimating that they also were bound by it. Meantime stirring scenes were enacted at Sinai: the mountain shook, the earth quaked, and tempest and storm prevailed with flames of lightning. And all of this the Apostle explains to us was typical of the way in which the New Covenant will be inaugurated at the second coming of Christ and the establishment of his Kingdom. We who are now being called as the joint-heirs with Christ belong to the antitypical house of Levi, and are members of the Royal Priesthood, whose work it is to offer the sin-offerings and to do the sprinkling of the blood.
The Apostle clearly intimates that this age will end with a time of trouble, which will be an antitype of the shakings and tumults at Sinai, and that here everything will be shaken, things political, religious, financial and social, until everything contrary to the divine will shall have been overthrown, and only that which God would approve will be permitted to stand. And this the Apostle intimates will be the inauguration of the Lord's Kingdom: his words are, "Wherefore, receiving a Kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace whereby we can serve God acceptably." The very thought of this Kingdom of righteousness, which God is about to establish through us for the blessing of Israel and all the families of the earth under the New Covenant, should give us a realization of the holiness necessary to be pleasing in the sight of the Lord, and should lead us to more and more sanctity of life, as it is written, "He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure."
Moses was the Mediator of the Law Covenant, which typified the New Covenant, and he foretold the greater Moses, the Mediator of the New Covenant, saying, "A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you from amongst your brethren like unto me." (Acts 3:22.) Our Lord Jesus himself was the great Head of this antitypical Prophet, Priest, King, Mediator, for Moses was all this to Israel. But it pleased the Father to associate with our Lord in these glorious offices the "little flock," his Bride and joint-heir. Again: all through this Gospel age the Lord has been raising up from amongst the brethren the "more than conquerors" who shall be counted worthy of membership, joint-heirship, as the glorified body of the Messiahthe great antitypical Mediator in whom will be vested all the powers of kingship for the rule of the world, of prophet for the instruction of the world, and of priest for the relief and succor of the world under the New Covenant.
The Church's share in the work of mediation will be a great one, as the Apostle declares, "Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?" (1 Cor. 6:2.) It will not only be the mission of the Church to shine forth with their Redeemer as the great Light of the world, the Sun of Righteousness (Matt. 13:43), and to invite the world to a knowledge and appreciation of divine mercy (Rev. 22:17), but also it will be their mission to judge, to correct, to discipline the world in righteousness. "And it shall come to pass that the soul that will not hear [obey] that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from amongst the people." Indeed we may assume that this is a large part of the divine purpose in connection with the calling of the elect Church, to make them joint-heirs with his Son and co-laborers with him in the glorious work of the Kingdom, for the judging and uplifting and blessing of all Israel, of whom it is written, "They shall obtain mercy through your mercy," and of all the families of the earth.
It being thus evident that the Church will have as Mediator an important share with our Lord in the reconciling of the world during the Millennial age, the next question is, Has the Church any share with her Lord in that part of the mediatorial work which satisfies divine justice as against the world?
We answer Yes to this question, and refer to the words of the Apostle that we are to suffer with Christ if we are to reign with him, that we are to go to him without the camp bearing the reproach with him. (Rom. 8:17; Heb. 13:13.) We notice his remark here that the sin-offerings were burned without the camp, and reason therefore that we are invited to be participants in the same offering"burned without the camp."
Turning to the principal account of the sin-offerings in Leviticus 16 we find the matter there most interestingly set forth, yet in a manner which none can understand except as the eyes of their understanding open to these things. Hence the Apostle prayed for the Church that, the eyes of [R3917 : page 11] their understanding being opened, they might be able to comprehend with all saints; and our Lord declared, "Blessed are your eyes for they see." This spiritual sight, however, is granted only to those who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, in the secret place of the Most High, in nearness and fellowship with him;these alone may see that there were two sin-offerings on Israel's typical Atonement Daythe bullock, which represented our Lord Jesus, and the goat, which represented the Church, his followers.
The value of these animals as sacrifices was typically represented in the amount of their fat, which was burned upon the brazen altar as a sweet incense to Godas a mark of the love and devotion of the sacrificed ones. And here the figure is beautifully appropriate, for the goat, which represents the Church, is a very lean animal, while the young bullock, which represented our Lord Jesus, had much fat, much zeal, much love, which gave incense before God. Furthermore, these two sacrifices were not treated as equals in any sense of the word: they were not offered together, but the bullock first as making atonement for the class represented by the goat. Thus it was necessary that Christ should die and pay the penalty for our sins, and that this should be accepted on our behalf by the Father before we could have any part or lot with him in Christ's sacrifices; or, as the Apostle expresses it, "Fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ,"afflictions which Jesus' sacrifice was so abundantly able to complete, but which he purposely left for us, in order that by participation in his sufferings we might also in harmony with the divine program be enabled to participate in his divine glory, his Kingdom.
Reading the account carefully we find that these two parts of the sin-offering were appropriately different: the valuable sacrifice, the bullock, was appropriated not for all the people but merely for the priest and his housethe house of Levithe tribe of Levi. The signification of this is not difficult to find, for over and over the Scriptures assure us that Christ is the High Priest of our profession or order, and that we are a Royal Priesthood under him. He is the Head, the chief of this body of priests, the little flock. And these all are selected from the household of faith, which was typified by the house of Levi. So, then, when we read that the High Priest offered the bullock for himself and his house, we are to understand it as signifying that the merit of the death of Christ was by God's order and arrangement applied for himself (for the Church his bodythe Head himself being holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, had no sins to atone for) and for his house, the household of faith.
This sacrifice of the bullock was accomplished by our Lord Jesushe "finished" it at Calvary. In the type the bullock represented the man Christ Jesus consecrated to [R3918 : page 11] death at his baptism, and gradually fulfilling that consecration for three and a half years of his ministry, laying down his life for his brethren, until finally he finished his baptism into death at Calvary. At the moment that our Lord made his consecration he received the begetting of the holy Spirit, of which John bore witness that it descended in the form of a dove. From that moment our Lord was reckoned as a New Creature, which, as the Priest, had the duty of sacrificing the mortal body consecrated to death. Our Lord's consecration was represented in the type by the first vail of the Tabernacle, under which he passed in consecration into the Holy, which signifies his life as a New Creature, in the closest fellowship with God, enlightened by the holy Spirit, typified by the Golden Candlestick, fed by the truth, symbolized by the table of shew bread, and privileged to offer sweet incense acceptable to God on the Golden Altar. Our Lord continued in that condition, symbolized by the Tabernacle's Holy, during all of his ministry, until he as the Priest passed under the second vail, which represented his actual death. He was under that vail for parts of three days and nights, and arose on the other side of it in the Most Holy in the perfect spiritual condition of his resurrection, concerning which he himself said, "All power is given me in heaven and in earth." A little later our Lord appeared in the presence of the Father, to lay before the divine presence the merit of his atoning sacrifice. This in the type was illustrated by the High Priest sprinkling the blood upon the Mercy Seat and before the Mercy Seat to make atonement. The efficacy of the High Priest's work was solely for the class for which he offered the sacrifice, namely, himself and his housethe Royal Priesthood, the household of faith. This is in full accord with the Apostle's statement, "He ascended up on high, there to appear in the presence of God for us."Heb. 9:24.
Jesus did not "appear" for the world: it would not have been proper to have advocated the cause of those that were aliens, strangers and foreigners through wicked works; but he could and did appear for us who have fled away from sin, who desire full harmony with the Father, and who delight to know and to do his will. The great High Priest Jesus offered his sacrifice for the Church, and we have the blessed assurance that we are reconciled to God by the death of his Son. Through the sacrifice of Christ we whose hearts long for righteousness and delight to do to the extent of our ability the Father's will, were brought into accord with him. The Father's acceptance of the High Priest's sacrifice on behalf of the Church and the household of faith was indicated by the remarkable manifestation of Pentecost, this, the Apostle declares, assuring us that Jesus procured of the Father this blessing which he shed forth upon his followers, and which indicated divine reconciliation.
The second sin-offering of the Day of Atonement was the goat, which, as already stated, typified the elect Church, "the body of Christ"the body of the Priest whose cleansing and reconciliation was typified by the sprinkling of the blood of the bullock. The New Testament abounds in exhortations to this class that they faithfully follow in the footsteps of Jesus, that they walk with him in the narrow way of self-sacrifice, self-denial, even unto death. The Apostle's words are, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God [your reconciliation, already accepted], that ye present your bodies living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God, your reasonable service."Rom. 12:1.
In the type of the Day of Atonement we see how the sacrifice of the Church is acceptedwe see it typified in the sacrifice of the goat. If at first we are disposed to say that it is impossible that we, who by nature are children of wrath even as others, should be acceptable to God as participants with Jesus in his great work of atonement, we must remember again the words of the Apostle above quoted to the effect that our sacrifices are both holy and acceptable to God, and this by reason of the fact that the merit of our Redeemer has been appropriated to us. Our sins were laid upon him, his righteousness is imputed to us.
The record states that the Priest laid his hands upon the head of the Lord's goat and slew it, as he slew the bullock. This is interesting as showing that it is not alone our consecration to the Lord that is necessary. Our consecration is shown in the fact that the goat stood at the door of the Tabernacle, and the fact that the High Priest killed the goat of the sin-offering illustrates that it is the [R3918 : page 12] power of the Lord operating in us as members of his body, working in us to will and to do of his good pleasure, that enables us to accomplish our sacrificehe by his Spirit in us sacrifices us, assists us to perform the great transaction we have undertaken, to be dead with him, to suffer with him, to walk in his steps, to be baptized into his death.
The record is that the goat in everything was treated exactly as the bullock had previously been treated. Its fat (very little, however) was placed upon the altar, and its hide, hoofs, etc., were burned without the camp in the same place that the hide, hoofs, etc., of the bullock had been burned, and its blood was taken into the Most Holy and sprinkled as the blood of the bullock had been. Thus we, like our Lord, present all that we have in sacrifice. The proportion of our love and zeal is what the Father recognizes upon the altaralas that we have no more! Our suffering of the contempt of the world and the nominal Church, the opposition of sinners, is represented by the burning outside of the camp, and in this respect resembles our Lord's experience, "The world knoweth us not, even as it knew him not"they called the Master of the house Beelzebub, why should they think that his followers were anything better than fools and the offscouring of the earth? as the Apostle declares.1 Cor. 4:13.
After telling us that only the sin-offerings were burned outside the camp, the Apostle exhorts us to go unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach; and thus he identifies us with the goat and our Lord with the bullock, and the adverse experiences of both with the burning outside the camp. But we also have advantages, for like our Lord we at our consecration pass beyond the vail into the Holy, and there, as the Apostle declares, are seated together with Christ in the heavenlies, enjoying the light of the Golden Candlestick, eating of the Shewbread, and coming with courage to the Golden Altar, realizing ourselves as accepted in the Beloved. Finally, we all, as members of the great High Priest's body, will pass under the second vail, pass into death actually, and rise beyond it in resurrection power. The entire company complete, the great High Priestwithout a member of his body missing, and without a superfluous memberwill then present the blood of the goat as his own blood, because it represents the sacrifice of all of those whom he has accepted as his members. The value of the sacrifice of the Church is thus to be presented before the Father in the end of this age, when all shall have passed beyond the vail.
On what account will this blood, this merit represented in the Church, the body of Christ, be applied? The Scriptures answer: The type tells us that whereas the blood of the bullock was applied only for the tribe of Levi, typifying the household of faith, the blood of the goat was applied for all the other eleven tribes of Israel, which typified all mankind who will ever desire to come into harmony with Godall the Israel of God as they shall be ultimately numbered at the close of the Millennial age. How beautifully these matters harmonize! what a grand message of divine love and mercy they speak! and what strength, what courage, it brings us to realize the privileges thus granted us by our Lord and our Redeemer, of having fellowship with him in his sufferings that by and by we may be sharers in his glory.
A little while and all the sufferings of all the members will be at an end. There will never be any more sin-offerings for Adam and his race, no more burnings without the camp, no more walking in the narrow way of self-sacrifice. Thank God for the privileges brought to us in this way, and thanks be to his name also for the blessed assurances that the whole world shall, in consequence of divine favor thus bestowed, be brought into fullest opportunities for reconciliation to the Fatherto the Jew first, also to the Greek and to all men. While in the type the sacrifices were offered for one tribe first and then for the other eleven, in the antitype we see this is much largerthat the one tribe represents the believers of this present Gospel age, and the eleven tribes represent the world of mankind in general, at the head of which will be natural Israel, the first to share the benefits of the New Covenant.