Click on letter in Chart at top
to find explanation in text below.
Representing the Plan of the Ages
Planes of Actual and Reckoned Standing--
The Course of our Lord Jesus--
The Course of His Followers--
Three Classes in the Nominal Church--
Separation in the Harvest--
The Anointed Class Glorified--
The Great Tribulation Class--
The Tares Burned--
The World Blessed--
The Outcome Glorious.
A - World
"Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with
2 Peter 3:6
- Present Evil World
"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the
minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel
of Christ who is the image of God should shine unto them."
2 Corinthians 4:4
"In the dispensation of the
fullness of times he might gather together in one all things
Above is a chart representing the plan of God for the world's salvation. By it we have
sought to aid the mind, through the eye, in understanding something of the progressive
character of God's plan, and the progressive steps which must be taken by all who ever
attain the complete "change" from the human to the divine nature.
First, we have an
outline of the three great dispensations, A, B, C--the first of these, A,
lasting from man's creation to the flood; the second, B, from the flood to the
commencement of the Millennial reign of Christ, at his second advent; and the third, or "Dispensation
of the Fullness of Times," C, lasting from the beginning of Christ's reign for "ages
to come." Ephesians 1:10; 2:7
These three great dispensations are frequently referred to in the Scriptures: A is
called "the world that was"; B by our Lord Jesus is
called "this world," by Paul "the present evil world,"
by Peter "the world that now is." C is called "the world to come,
wherein dwelleth righteousness," in contrast with the present evil world. Now
evil rules and the righteous suffer, while in the world to come this order is to be
reversed: righteousness will rule and evil-doers will suffer, and finally all evil will be
In each of these three
great dispensations, epochs or "worlds" God's plan with reference to men
has a distinct and separate outline; yet each is but a part of the one great plan which,
when complete, will exhibit the divine wisdom --though these parts considered separately
fail to show their deep design.
Since the first "world" ("heavens and earth," or that
order of things) passed away at the time of the flood, it follows that it must have been a
different order from "this present evil world," of which our Lord said Satan is
the prince; hence the prince of this present evil world was not the prince of the world
that was before the flood, although he was not without influence then. Several scriptures
throw light on God's dealings during that time, and thus give a clear insight into his
plan as a whole.
thought suggested by these is that the first "world," or the dispensation
before the flood, was under the supervision and special ministration of angels, who were
permitted to try what they could do to recover the fallen and degenerate race. Doubtless,
with God's permission, they were anxious to try it; for their interest was manifested in
the singing and shouting for joy over the works of creation. Job 38:7
That angels were the permitted,
though unsuccessful rulers of that first epoch is not only indicated by all references to
that period, but it may reasonably be inferred from the Apostle's remark when, contrasting
the present dispensation with the past and the future, he says (Hebrews 2:5),
"Unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the
world to come."
No; that world is to be under the
control of the Lord Jesus and his joint-heirs; and hence it will not only be a more
righteous administration than that of "the present evil world," but it
will also be more successful than that of the first world or dispensation under the "ministration
of angels," whose inability to reclaim the race is manifest from the fact that
man's wickedness became so great that God in his wrath and righteous indignation destroyed
with a flood the whole of the race then living with the exception of eight persons.
During the "present evil world," man is permitted to try governing
himself; but by reason of the fall he is under the control of Satan, the "prince
of this world," against whose secret machinations and intrigues he has vainly
striven in his efforts at self-government during the long period from the flood to the
attempted reign of man under Satan is to end in the greatest time of trouble the world has
ever known. And thus will have been proven the futility, not only of angelic power to save
the race, but also of man's own efforts to reach satisfactory conditions.
Gods special dealings with Abraham, Isaac,
The second of these great dispensations, B, is composed of three distinct ages,
each of which, as a progressive step, leads upward and onward in God's plan.
Age D was the one during which God's special dealings were
with such patriarchs as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
E - Jewish Age
"You only have I known of all the families of the earth." Amos 3:2
Age E is the Jewish Age, or the period following the death of Jacob, during which
all of his posterity were treated by God as his special charge--"his people."
To these he showed special favors, and declared,
"You only have I known (recognized
with favor) of all the families of the earth." Amos 3:2
These, as a
nation, were typical of the Christian Church, the "holy nation, the peculiar
people." The promises made to them were typical of the "better
promises" made to us. Their journey through the wilderness to the land of promise
was typical of our journey through the wilderness of sin to the heavenly Canaan. Their
sacrifices justified them typically, not really; for the blood of bulls and goats can
never take away sin. Hebrews 10:4
But in the Gospel
Age, F, we have the "better sacrifices," which do make atonement
for the sins of the whole world. We have the "royal priesthood," composed
of all those who offer themselves to God "living sacrifices," holy and
acceptable, through Jesus Christ, who is the Chief or "High Priest of our
profession." Hebrews 3:1
In the Gospel age we
find the realities of which the Jewish age and its services and ordinances were shadows.
F - Gospel Age
"Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider
the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus." Hebrews 3:1
The Gospel age, F, is the period during which the body of Christ is called out of
the world, and shown by faith the crown of life, and the exceeding great and precious
promises whereby (by obedience to the call and its requirements) they may become partakers
of the divine nature. 2 Peter 1:4
Evil is still permitted to reign over or rule the world, in order that by contact with it
these may be tried to see whether they are willing to give up the human nature with its
privileges and blessings, a living sacrifice, being made conformable to Jesus' death, that
they may be accounted worthy to be in his likeness in the resurrection. Psalms 17:15
"Look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."
II Peter 3:13
The third great dispensation, C, is to be composed of many ages--"The Ages
The first of these, the Millennial age, G, is the only one concerning which
we have any definite information. It is the thousand years during which Christ will reign
over and thereby bless all the families of the earth, accomplishing the
"restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets."
During that age, sin and death
shall be forever blotted out; for
"Christ must reign till he hath put all enemies
under his feet....The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death"--Adamic
death. 1 Corinthians 15:25,26
That will be the great
reconstruction period. Associated with Christ Jesus in that reign will be the Church, his
bride, his body, even as he promised, saying,
"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit
with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his
throne." Revelation 3:21
H - "Ages
"In the Ages to Come he might show the exceeding riches of his
grace." Ephesians 2:7
The "Ages to Come," H, following the great
reconstruction period, are to be ages of perfection, blessedness and happiness, regarding
the work of which, the Scriptures are silent.
It is enough to know, at this distance, that they will be ages of glory and blessing under
"Lift up your eyes,
and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." John 4:35, Matthew
Each of these dispensations has its distinct seasons for the beginning and development of
its work, and each ends with a harvest manifesting its fruits.
The harvest at the close of the Jewish age was a
period of forty years, lasting from the beginning of Jesus' ministry, when he was anointed
of God by the Spirit (Acts 10:37,38), A.D. 29, until the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D.
In this harvest the Jewish age ended
and the Gospel age began. There was a lapping of these dispensations, as represented in
The Jewish age ended in a measure when, at the end of his three and one-half years'
ministry, the Lord rejected that nation, saying, "Your house is left unto you
desolate." Matthew 23:38 Yet there was favor shown them for three and one-half
years after this, by the confining to them of the Gospel call, in harmony with the
prophet's declaration (Daniel 9:24-27) regarding seventy weeks (of years) of favor toward
them, in the midst of the last of which, Messiah should be cut off (die), but not for
died [not for himself, but] for our sins," and thus caused the sacrifice and the
oblation to cease, in the midst of the week--three and one-half years before the
expiration of the seventy covenant weeks of Jewish favor. When the true sacrifice had been
made, of course the typical ones could no longer be recognized by Jehovah.
Gospel to the Gentiles
There was, then, a fuller sense in which that Jewish age closed with the end of the
seventieth week, or three and one-half years after the cross--after which the Gospel was
preached to the Gentiles also, beginning with Cornelius. Acts 10:45 This ended their age
so far as God's favor toward and recognition of the Jewish church was concerned; their
national existence terminated in the great time of trouble which followed.
In that period of the Jewish harvest the
Gospel age had its beginning. The design of this age is the call, development and trial of
"the Christ of God"--Head and body. This is the Spirit dispensation;
hence, it is proper to say that the Gospel age began with the anointing of Jesus "with
the Holy Spirit and with power" (Acts 10:38; Luke 3:22; 4:1,18) at the time of
his baptism. In relation to the Church, his body, it commenced three and a half years
"In the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together
first the tares, and bind them in bundles... but gather the wheat into my barn."
"The harvest is the end of the
A "harvest" constitutes the closing period of the Gospel age also, during
which there is again a lapping of two ages the Gospel age ending, and the
Restitution or Millennial age beginning.
The Gospel age closes by stages, as did its pattern or "shadow," the
As there the first seven years of
the harvest were devoted in a special sense to a work in and for Israel after the flesh,
and were years of favor, so here we find a similar seven years indicated as having the
same bearing upon the Gospel Church, to be followed by a period of trouble ("fire")
upon the world, as a punishment for wickedness, and as a preparation for the reign of
righteousness--of which more again.
N - Plane of Human
Perfection Actual or Reckoned
"What is man, that thou art mindful of him?...Thou madest him
a little lower
than the angels."
Plane of Typical Perfection
"For the law having a
shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of things, can never with those
sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto
Plane of Sin and Depravity
"Wherefore, as by one man
sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so, death passed upon all men, for that
all have sinned." Romans 5:12
The Path to Glory
K, L, M, N, P,
R, each represents a different plane.
N is the
plane of perfect human nature. Adam was on this plane before he sinned; but from
the moment of disobedience he fell to the depraved or sinful plane, R, on which all
his posterity are born. This corresponds to the "Broad Way"
which leads to destruction.
represents the plane of typical justification, reckoned as effected by the sacrifices of
the Law. It was not actual perfection, for "the Law made nothing perfect." Hebrews
represents not only the plane of human perfection, as once occupied by the perfect man,
Adam, but also the standing of all justified persons.
died for our sins, according to the Scriptures," and in consequence all believers
in Christ--all who accept of his perfect and finished work as their justifier--are,
through faith, reckoned of God as justified, as though perfect men, as though they had
never been sinners.
sight, then, all who accept of Christ as their Redeemer are reckonedly on the plane of
human perfection, N. This is the only standpoint from which man may approach God,
or have any communion with him. All on this plane God calls sons--human sons. Adam was
thus a son (Luke 3:38), and had communion before he became disobedient. All who accept of
our Lord Jesus' finished ransom work are counted or reckoned as restored to
primitive purity; and in consequence they have fellowship or communion with God.
During the Gospel age God has
made a special offer to justified human beings, telling them that on certain conditions
they may experience a change of nature, that they may cease to be earthly, human beings,
and become heavenly, spiritual beings, like Christ, their Redeemer.
A symbol of consecration.
"...present your bodies a
your reasonable service."
Some believers--justified persons--are satisfied with what joy and peace they have through
believing in the forgiveness of their sins, and so do not heed the voice which calls them
to come up higher.
moved by the love of God as shown in their ransom from sin, and feeling that they are not
their own, having been bought with a price, say, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to
do?" Such have the Lord's answer through Paul, who says,
"I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of
God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, your
What does the Apostle mean by
thus urging the presentation of ourselves as living sacrifices? He means that we should
consecrate to God's service every power and talent we possess, that henceforth we may live
not for self, nor for friends, nor for family, nor for the world, nor for anything else
but for, and in the obedient service of, him who bought us with his own precious blood.
But since God would not accept of blemished or imperfect typical sacrifices, and since we
all became sinners through Adam, can we be acceptable sacrifices? Paul shows that it is
only because we are holy that we are acceptable sacrifices.
We are not holy like Jesus, who knew no
sin, for we are of the condemned race; nor yet because we have entirely succeeded in
reaching perfection of conduct, for we reckon not to have attained that perfection to
which we are called; but we have this treasure in (fragile and leaky) earthen vessels,
that the glory of our ultimate perfection may be seen to be of God's favor, and not of our
own ability. But our holiness, and our acceptableness to God as sacrifices, come from the
fact that God has justified us freely from all sin, through our faith in Christ's
sacrifice on our behalf.
Plane of Glory
"To them who by patient
continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life."
- Plane of Perfect Spirit Being
"Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not;
for I am not yet ascended to my Father..."
M - Plane of
"And the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a
voice...said, thou art my beloved Son..." Luke 3:22,
As many as appreciate and obey this call rejoice to be accounted worthy to suffer reproach
for the name of Christ, and look not at the things that are seen, but at the things that
are not seen--at the "crown of life"--"the prize of our
high-calling in Christ Jesus" and "the glory that shall be revealed in
the moment of consecration to God, are no longer reckoned as men, but as having been
begotten of God through the word of truth--no longer human, but thenceforth spiritual
children. They are now one step nearer the prize than when they first believed. But their
spiritual being is yet imperfect: they are only begotten, not yet born of
They are embryo spiritual
children, on plane M--the plane of spirit begetting.
Because begotten of the Spirit, they are no longer reckoned as human, but as spiritual;
for the human nature, once theirs, once justified, they have now given up or reckoned
dead--a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to and accepted of God.
They are now new creatures in
Christ Jesus: old things (human hopes, will and ambitions) have passed away, and all
things have become new; for "ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be
that the Spirit of God dwell in you." 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:9
If you have been begotten of the
Spirit, "ye (as human beings) are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in
God." Plane L represents the condition
of perfect spiritual being; but before plane L can be reached, the
conditions of our covenant must be carried out. It is one thing to covenant with God
that we will be dead to all human things, and a further thing to perform that covenant
throughout our earthly career--keeping the "body under" (dead), keeping
our own will out of sight, and performing only the Lord's will. The entrance upon plane L
is called birth, or the full entrance into life as a spirit being.
The entire Church will enter on
this plane when gathered out (selected) from the world in the "harvest" or
end of the Gospel age. The "dead in Christ shall rise first." Then we,
who are alive and remain, shall be changed in a moment--made perfect spiritual beings with
bodies like unto Christ's glorious body (for "this mortal must put on
immortality"). Then, that which is perfect having come, that which is in part
(the begotten condition with the various hindrances of the flesh to which we are now
subject) shall be done away.
But there is a still further step
to be taken beyond a perfection of spiritual being, viz., to "the glory that shall
follow" --plane K. We do not here refer to a
glory of person, but to a glory of power or office. The reaching of plane L brings
full personal glory; i.e., glorious being, like unto Christ. But after we are thus
perfected, and made entirely like our Lord and Head, we are to be associated with him in
the "glory" of power and office--to sit with him in his throne, even as
he, after being perfected at his resurrection, was exalted to the right hand of the
Majesty on high. Thus shall we enter everlasting glory, plane K.
a - Adam
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..."
"And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good..."
b - Fallen Adam
and His Posterity before the Flood
"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great..."
c - Ancient Worthies
"...Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness."
d - Mankind
from flood to Messianic Age
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;
and so death hath passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."
e - Fleshly Israel Typically Justified as a Nation
"For the law having
a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with
those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto
f - Jewish Time of Trouble
"Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor,
and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire
g - Jesus
at age 30, a Perfect Man
"...Christ Jesus... made himself of no reputation and took upon him the
form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men."
Let us now carefully study the chart and note its illustrations of the various features of
the plan of God. In these illustrations we use the pyramid figure to represent perfection,
because of its fitness and because of evident reference to it in the Scriptures.
Adam was a perfect being, pyramid a. Notice its position --on plane N, which represents human
On plane R,
the plane of sin and imperfection or the depraved plane, the topless pyramid, b, an
imperfect figure, represents fallen Adam and his posterity--depraved, sinful and
others of that day, justified to fellowship with God on account of faith, are represented
by a pyramid (c) on plane N.
Abraham was a member of the depraved
human family and by nature belonged with the rest on plane R; but Paul tells us
that Abraham was justified by faith; that is, he was reckoned of God a sinless and perfect
man because of his faith.
This, in God's estimation, lifted
him up above the world of depraved sinful men to plane N; and though actually still
imperfect, he was received into the favor that Adam had lost, viz., communion with God as
a "friend." James 2:23
All on the perfect (sinless)
plane N are friends of God, and he is a friend of theirs; but sinners (on plane R)
are at enmity against God--"enemies through wicked works."
The world of mankind after the
flood, represented by figure d, was still on plane R--still
at enmity, where it continues until the Gospel Church is selected and the Millennial age
"Israel after the flesh," during the Jewish age, when the typical sacrifices
of bulls and goats cleansed them (not really, but typically, "for the Law made
nothing perfect"-- Hebrews 7:19), were typically justified, hence they are (e)
on plane P, the plane of typical justification, which lasted from the giving of
the Law at Mount Sinai until Jesus made an end of the Law, nailing it to his cross.
There the typical
justification ended by the institution of the "better sacrifices" than
the Jewish types, those which actually
"take away the sin of the world" and "make
the comers thereunto [actually] perfect." Hebrews 10:1
The fire of trial
and trouble through which fleshly Israel passed, when Jesus was present, sifting them and
taking out of their nominal church the wheat, the "Israelites indeed,"
and especially when, after the separation of the wheat, he
"burned up the chaff [the
refuse part of that system] with unquenchable fire,"
is illustrated by figure f. It was
a time of trouble which they were powerless to avert. See Luke 3:17,21,22; 1 Thessalonians
Jesus, at the age
of thirty years, was a perfect, mature man (g), having left the glory of the
spiritual condition and become a man in order that he (by the grace of God) should
taste death for every man.
The justice of
God's law is absolute: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and a life for a life. It
was necessary that a perfect man should die for mankind, because the
claims of justice could be met in no other way.
The death of an
angel could no more pay the penalty and release man than could the death of "bulls
and of goats, which can never take away sin."
Therefore, he who is
termed "the Beginning of the creation of God" became a man, was "made
flesh," that he might give that ransom (corresponding price) which would redeem
He must have been a
perfect man else he could have done no more than any member of the fallen race to pay the
"holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners." He took the same
form or likeness which sinners have "the likeness of sinful flesh"--the
But he took that
likeness in its perfection. He did not partake of its sin nor did he share its
imperfection, except as he voluntarily shared the sorrows and pains of some during his
ministry, taking their pains and infirmities as he imparted to them his vitality and
health and strength.
It is written that "Himself took our infirmities and bare our
sicknesses" (Isaiah 53:4), and "virtue [life, vitality, vigor]
went out of him and healed them all." Mark 5:30; Luke 6:19; Matthew 8:16,17
Being found in fashion as a (perfect) man,
he humbled himself and became obedient unto death. He presented himself to God, saying,
"Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, O
God"--and symbolized this consecration by a baptism in water. When he thus
presented himself, consecrated his being, his offering was holy (pure) and acceptable to
God, who showed his acceptance by filling him with his Spirit and power--when the holy
Spirit came upon him, thus anointing him.
h - Jesus,
Spirit Begotten at Jordan
"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water:
and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the
Spirit of God descending like
a dove, and
lighting upon him."
i - Jesus Resurrected as a Divine Being
"And he is the head of the body,
who is the beginning, the firstborn
from the dead..."
This filling with the Spirit was the begetting to a new nature --the divine--which should
be fully developed or born when he had fully accomplished the offering--the sacrifice of
the human nature.
begetting was a step up from human conditions, and is shown by pyramid
h, on plane M, the plane of spirit begetting. On this plane Jesus spent
three and one-half years of his life--until his human existence ended on the cross.
Then, after being
dead three days, he was raised to life--to the perfection of spirit being (i, plane
L), born of the Spirit--"the first born from the dead." "That
which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
therefore, at and after his resurrection, was a spirit--a spirit being, and no longer a
human being in any sense.
True, after his resurrection he
had power to appear, and did appear, as a man, in order that he might teach his disciples
and prove to them that he was no longer dead; but he was not a man, and was no longer
controlled by human conditions, but could go and come as the wind (even when the doors
were shut), and none could tell whence he came or whither he went.
"So is every one that is born of the
Spirit." John 3:8 Compare 20:19,26.
k - Jesus,
40 days after his resurrection in divine glory
"Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at
his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power, and
might, and dominion, and every name
that is named."
- Jesus, in the Gospel Age, set down with the Father on His throne
"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even
as I also overcame and am set down
with my Father
in his throne."
From the moment of his consecration to sacrifice, at the time of his baptism, the human
had been reckoned dead and there the new nature was reckoned begun, which was
completed at the resurrection, when he reached the perfect spirit plane, L, was
raised a spiritual body.
Forty days after his resurrection, Jesus ascended to the majesty on high--the plane of
divine glory, K (pyramid k). During the Gospel age he has been in glory (l),
"set down with the Father on his throne," and Head over his Church on
earth--her director and guide.
entire Gospel age the Church has been in process of development, discipline and trial, to
the intent that in the end or harvest of the age she may become his bride and joint-heir.
Hence she has
fellowship in his sufferings, that she may be also glorified together with him (plane K),
when the proper time comes.
The steps of the Church to glory are
the same as those of her Leader and Lord, who
"hath set us an example that we should walk in his
--except that the Church starts from a lower plane.
Our Lord, as we have seen, came
into the world on the plane of human perfection, N, while all we of the Adamic race
are on a lower plane, R--the plane of sin, imperfection and enmity against God.
The first thing necessary for us,
then, is to be justified, and thus to reach plane N. How is this
accomplished? Is it by good works? No; sinners can do no good works.
We could not commend ourselves to God, so "God commended his love toward us, in
that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 Then the
condition upon which we come to the justified or perfect human plane is that Christ died
for our sins, redeemed us and lifted us up, "through faith in his blood,"
to the perfect plane, from which, in Adam, we fell.
"We are justified [lifted to plane N] by faith." And "being
justified by faith, we have peace with God" (Romans 5:1), and are no
longer esteemed by God as enemies, but as justified human sons, on the same plane as Adam
and our Lord Jesus, except that they were actually perfect, while we are merely reckoned
so by God. This reckoned justification we realize through faith in God's Word, which says,
Ye are "bought," "redeemed," "justified freely from all
We stand in God's sight
blameless, spotless and holy in the robes of Christ's righteousness imputed to us by
faith. Our sins he consented to have imputed to him, that he might bear our penalty
for us; and he died on our behalf, as though he were the sinner.
His righteousness is consequently
imputed to all who accept of his redemption, and brings with it all the rights and
blessings originally possessed before sin entered. It restores us to life and to
fellowship with God. This fellowship we may have at once by the exercise of faith, and the
life and fuller fellowship and joy are assured--in God's "due time."
But remember that while justification is a blessed thing, it does not change our nature:*
we are still human beings. We are saved from the wretched state of sin and alienation
from God, and instead of being human sinners we are human sons; and now, because we are
sons, God speaks to us as such.
During the Gospel age he has been calling for the "little flock" of "joint-heirs,"
saying, "My son, give me thine heart"--that is, give yourself, all
your earthly powers, your will, your talents, your all, to me, even as Jesus hath set you
an example; and I will make you a son on a higher plane than the human. I will make you a
spiritual son, with a spirit body like the risen Jesus--"the express image of the
If you will give up all of the
earthly hopes, ambitions, aims, etc., consecrate the human nature entirely, and use it up
in my service, I will give you a higher nature than the rest of your race; I will make you
a "partaker of the divine nature"--an "heir of God and a
joint-heir with Jesus Christ, if so be that you suffer with him, that you may be
also glorified together."
*The word nature is used in an accommodated sense when it is said of a man that he
is ill-natured. Strictly speaking, no man is evil by nature.
Human nature is "very good," an earthly
image of the divine nature. So every man is of a good nature, the difficulty being
that this good nature has become depraved.
It is then unnatural for a man to be
evil, brutal, etc., and natural for him to be God-like. It is in this, its primary sense,
that we use the word nature, above.
We are justified by Christ to a full return
to all the privileges and blessings of our human nature--the earthly image of God.
Those who rightly value this prize set before them in the gospel gladly lay aside every
weight and run with patience the appointed race, that they may win it. Our works were not
called for to secure our justification: our Lord Jesus did all the work that could be done
to that end, and when, by faith, we accepted of his finished work, we were justified,
lifted to plane N. But now, if we would go further, we cannot go without works.
True, we must not lose our faith, else we
will thereby lose our justification; but being justified, and continuing in faith, we are
able (through the grace given unto us by our begetting of the Spirit) to do works, to
bring forth fruit acceptable to God. And God requires this; for it is the sacrifice we
covenanted to make. God requires that we show our appreciation of the great prize by
giving all that we have and are for it; not to men, but to God--a sacrifice holy and,
through Christ, acceptable to him--our reasonable service.
The Widow's Mite - pictures the
Christian giving his/her all in consecration.
When we present all these things, we say: Lord, how wouldst thou have me deliver this, my
sacrifice, my time, talent, influence, etc., to thee? Then, examining God's Word for an
answer, we hear his voice instructing us to deliver our all to him as our Lord
Jesus did, by doing good unto all men as we have opportunity, especially to the household
of faith--serving them with spiritual or with natural food, clothing them in Christ's
righteousness or with the earthly raiment, as we may have ability, or as they may need.
Having consecrated all, we are
begotten of the Spirit, we have reached plane M; and now, through the power given
unto us, if we use it, we will be able to perform all of our covenant, and to come off
conquerors, and more than conquerors, through (the power or Spirit of) him who loved us
and bought us with his own precious blood. But, thus walking in the footsteps of Jesus,
"Ne'er think the victory won,
Nor once at ease sit down.
Thine arduous work will not be done
Till thou hast gained thy crown."
The crown will be won when we,
like our faithful Brother Paul, have fought a good fight and finished the course, but not
sooner. Until then, the flame and incense of our sacrifice of labor and service must
ascend daily--a sacrifice of sweet odor unto God, acceptable through Jesus Christ, our
Those of this overcoming class who "sleep" will be raised spirit beings,
plane L, and those of the same class who are alive and remain unto the coming of
the Lord will be "changed" to the same plane of spirit being, and will
not "sleep" for a moment, though the "change" will
necessitate the dissolution of the earthen vessel. No longer weak, earthly, mortal,
corruptible beings, these will then be fully born of the Spirit--heavenly, spiritual,
incorruptible, immortal beings.
1 Corinthians 15:44,52
We know not how long it will be after their "change," or perfecting as
spirit beings (plane L), before they, as a full and complete company, will be
glorified (plane K) with the Lord, united with him in power and great glory.
This unifying and full glorification of
the entire body of Christ with the Head we understand to be the "marriage of the
Lamb" to his Bride, when she shall fully enter into the joys of her Lord.
m - Spirit
Begotten Class who become the Great Company
"...a great multitude, which no man could number... stood before the Lamb, clothed
with white robes, and palms in their hands."
n - Spirit Begotten Class who become the Bride of Christ
"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Fathers good pleasure to give
you the kingdom." Luke12:32
|Look again at the
chart--n, m, p, q are four distinct classes which unitedly
represent the nominal Gospel Church as a whole, claiming to be the body of Christ. Both
the n and m classes are on the spirit-begotten plane, M.
These two classes
have existed together throughout the Gospel age; both covenanted with God to become living
sacrifices; both were "accepted in the beloved" and begotten by the
Spirit as "new creatures." The difference between them is this: n
represents those who are fulfilling their covenant and are dead with Christ to earthly
will, aims and ambitions, while m represents the larger company of the spirit-begotten
children who have covenanted, but who, alas! shrink back from the performance of their
covenant. The n class consists of the overcomers who will be the Bride of Christ,
who will sit with the Lord in his throne in glory--plane K.
This is the "little
flock" to whom it is the Father's good pleasure to give the Kingdom. Luke 12:32
Those of the m class shrink from the death of the human will, but God still loves
them, and therefore will bring them by the way of adversity and trouble to plane L,
the perfect spiritual plane. But they will have lost the right to plane K, the
throne of glory, because they were not overcomers.
If we prize our Father's love, if
we desire our Lord's approval, if we aspire to be members of his body, his Bride, and to
sit in his throne, we must fulfil our covenant of sacrifice faithfully and willingly.
p - Believers,
but not fully consecrated
"For many are called, but few
q - Church- Goers, but not Believers; Hypocrites
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing, but
inwardly they are ravening wolves."
"Let both grow together until
the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together
first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat
into my barn."
The majority of the nominal Church is represented by section p.
Notice that they are not on plane M, but on plane N. They are justified but
not sanctified. They are not fully consecrated to God, and not begotten, therefore, as
spirit beings. They are higher than the world, however, because they accept of Jesus as
their ransom from sin; but they have not accepted the high-calling of this age to become
part of the spiritual family of God.
If they continue in faith and fully submit to the righteous laws of Christ's Kingdom, in
the Times of Restitution, they will finally attain the likeness of the perfect earthly
man, Adam. They will completely recover all that was lost through him. They will attain
the same human perfection, mental, moral and physical, and will again be in the image of
God, as Adam was; for to all this they were redeemed. And their position of justification,
plane N, as those who have heard and believed in the salvation through Christ, is a
special blessing which they by faith enjoy sooner than the general world (for all shall be
brought to an accurate knowledge of the Truth, in the Millennial age).
These, however, will have had the
advantage of an earlier start and some progress in the right direction. But class p
fails to improve the real benefit of this faith justification in the present time. It is
granted now for the special purpose of enabling some to make the acceptable sacrifice, and
to become the n class as members of "the body of Christ."
Those of class p receive
the favor of God [justification] "in vain"
(2 Corinthians 6:1): they fail to use it to go on and present themselves acceptable
sacrifices, during this time in which sacrifices are acceptable to God. Those of this
class, though not "saints," not members of the consecrated "body,"
are called "brethren" by the Apostle. Romans 12:1 In the same
sense the entire race, when restored, will forever be brethren of the Christ, and the
children of God, though of a different nature. God is the Father of all in harmony
with him, on every plane and of every nature.
Another class connected with the
nominal Church, which never did believe in Jesus as the sacrifice for its sins, and which
consequently is not justified--not on plane N--is represented below plane N,
by section q. These are "wolves in sheep's
clothing"; yet they call themselves Christians, and are recognized as members of
the nominal Church.
They are not truly believers in
Christ as their Redeemer; they belong to plane R; they are part of the world, and
are out of place in the Church and a great injury to it. In this mixed condition, with
these various classes, n, m, p, and q, mingling together and all calling
themselves Christians, the Church has existed throughout the Gospel age.
As our Lord foretold, the nominal
kingdom of heaven (the nominal Church) is like a field sown with wheat and tares. And he
said he would "let both grow together until the harvest" in the end of
the age. In the time of harvest he will say unto the reapers ("the angels"--
messengers), Gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather
the wheat into my barn. Matthew 13:38,41,49
These words of our Lord show us that while he purposed that both should grow together
during the age, and be recognized as members of the nominal Church, he also purposed that
there should come a time of separation between these different elements, when those who
are truly the Church, his saints (n) approved and owned of God, should be made
manifest. Matthew 13:39
During the Gospel age the good seed has been growing, and tares or counterfeits also. "The
good seed are the children of the kingdom," the spiritual children, classes n
and m, while "the tares are the children of the wicked one."
All of class q, and many of class p,
are therefore "tares"; for "no man can serve two masters,"
and "his servants you are to whom you render service." As those in class p
do not consecrate their service and talents to the Lord that bought them--a reasonable
service--doubtless they give much of their time and talent really in opposition to God,
and hence in the service of the enemy.
is a time
...the Wheat from the Tares.
Now notice on the chart the harvest or end of the Gospel age; notice the two parts into
which it is divided--seven years and thirty-three years, the exact parallel of the harvest
of the Jewish age.
harvest, like the Jewish one, is to be first a time of trial and sifting upon the Church,
and afterward a time of wrath or pouring out of the "seven last plagues"
upon the world, including the nominal Church. The Jewish Church was the "shadow"
or pattern on the fleshly plane of all that the Gospel Church enjoys on the spiritual
plane. That which tried fleshly Israel in the harvest of their age was THE TRUTH
then presented to them.
The truth then due was the
sickle, and it separated the "Israelites indeed" from the nominal Jewish
Church; and of the true wheat there was but a fragment compared to the professors. So also
is the harvest of this age. The harvest of the Gospel age, like that of the Jewish age, is
under the supervision of the chief reaper, our Lord Jesus, who must then be present.
The first work of our Lord
in the harvest of this age will be to separate the true from the false. The nominal
Church, because of her mixed condition, the Lord calls "Babylon"--confusion;
and the harvest is the time for separating the different classes in the nominal Church,
and for ripening and perfecting the n class. Wheat will be separated from tares,
ripe wheat from unripe, etc. Those in class n are a "first fruits"
of the wheat, and after being separated they will, in due time, become Christ's Bride, and
be forever with and like her Lord.
r - Jesus, at His
"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive
you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
s - Little Flock, separating from nominal church
"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my
people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of
S - World's time of
trouble in Gospel Harvest. Separation of Wheat and Tares.
The separation of this little flock from Babylon is shown by figure s.
She is on the way to become one with the Lord, and to bear his name and share his
glory. The glorified Christ, Head and body, is shown by figure w.
Figures t, u,
and v represent Babylon--the nominal Church--falling, going to pieces during
"the time of trouble" in the "day of our Lord." Though this
may seem to be a dreadful thing, yet it will actually be of great advantage to all the
true wheat. Babylon falls because she is not what she claims to be.
The Church nominal contains many
hypocrites, who have associated themselves with her because of her honorable standing in
the eyes of the world, and who, by their conduct are making Babylon a stench in the
nostrils of the world. The Lord always knew their real character, but, according to his
purpose he lets them alone until the harvest, when he will
"Gather out of [or from] his kingdom [true
Church, and bind in bundles] all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and
cast them into a furnace of fire [trouble, destructive to their nominal system
and false profession].... Then shall the righteous [the n class]
shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." Matthew 13:41-43
The trouble coming upon the
Church will be occasioned in great measure by the growth of Infidelity and Spiritism, of
various kinds, which will be severe trials because Babylon holds so many doctrines
contrary to God's Word.
As in the harvest of the Jewish age the
cross of Christ was to the Jew, expecting glory and power, a stumbling block, and
to the worldly-wise Greek, foolishness, so in the harvest of the Gospel age it will again
be the stone of stumbling and rock of offense.
t - Great Company
"Now if any man build upon this foundation ...wood, hay, stubble; ... it shall
be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every
I Cor. 3:12,13
u - Babylon Falling
"And the great city was divided into three parts, and ... fell; great Babylon
came in remem- brance before God to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of
v - Babylon, Hypocrite Element
"And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is
fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit."
w - Glorified Christ, Head
"And I John saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem...prepared as a bride adorned
for her husband."
Every one who has built upon Christ anything else than the gold, silver and precious
stones of truth, and a character consistent therewith, will find himself sorely beset
during the time of wrath ("fire"); for all the wood, hay and stubble of
doctrine and practice will be consumed.
Those who have built properly, and who consequently possess the approved character, are
represented by figure s, while t represents the
"great company," begotten of the Spirit, but who have built with wood,
hay and stubble--wheat, but not fully ripened at the time of the gathering of the first
They (t) lose the prize of
the throne and the divine nature, but will finally reach birth as spirit beings of an
order lower than the divine nature.
Though these are truly
consecrated, they are overcome by the worldly spirit to such an extent that they fail to
render their lives in sacrifice.
Even in "the
harvest," while the living members of the Bride are being separated from others
by the truth, the ears of others, including class t, will be dull of
hearing. They will be slow to believe and slow to act in that time of separation.
They will, no doubt, be greatly
dismayed when they afterward realize that the Bride has been completed and united to the
Lord, and that they, because so listless and overcharged, have lost that great prize.
The beauty of God's plan, which
they will then begin to discern as one of love, both for them and for all the world of
mankind, will quite overcome their grief, and they will shout
"Alleluia! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Let us be glad, and rejoice, and give honor to him, for the marriage of the Lamb is come,
and his wife hath made herself ready." Revelation 19:6,7
Notice, too, the abundant
provision of the Lord: the message is sent to them Though you are not the Bride of
the Lamb, you may be present at the marriage supper--
"Blessed are they which are called unto the
marriage supper of the Lamb." Verse 9
This company will, in due time,
through the Lord's chastisements, come fully into harmony with him and his plan, and will
wash their robes, that they may ultimately reach a position next to the Bride--y, on the spiritual plane, L. Revelation 7:14,15
x - The glorified
Christ class reigning
"...they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a
y - The Great Company
"...a great multitude which no man could number...stood before the
throne, and before the Lamb, clothed
with white robes,
in their hands."
z - Fleshly Israel restored
"And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come
out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness
The time of trouble, as it will affect the world, will be after Babylon has begun to fall
and disintegrate. It will be an overturning of all human society and governments,
preparing the world for the reign of righteousness.
During the time of trouble, fleshly Israel (e), which was cast off until the
fullness of the Gentiles be come in, will be restored to God's favor, and the Gospel
Church, or spiritual Israel, will be completed and glorified. During the Millennial age
Israel will be the chief nation of earth, at the head of all on the earthly plane of
being, into oneness and harmony with which all the obedient will be gradually drawn.
Their restoration to perfect
human nature, as well as that of the world in general, will be a gradual work, requiring
all of the Millennial age for its full accomplishment. During that thousand years' reign
of Christ, the results of Adamic death will be gradually swallowed up or destroyed.
Its various stages--sickness,
pain and weakness, as well as the tomb--will yield obedience to the Great Restorer's
power, until at the end of that age the great pyramid of our chart will be complete.
(x) will be the head of all things--of the great company, of angels, and of
men--next to the Father; next in order or rank will be the great company, spirit beings (y),
and next, angels; then Israel after the flesh (z), including only Israelites
indeed, at the head of earthly nations; then the world of men (W), restored to perfection
of being, like the head of the human race, Adam, before he sinned. This restoration will
be accomplished gradually during the Millennial age--the "times of
restitution." Acts 3:21
Some, however, will be destroyed
from among the people: first, all who, under full light and opportunity, for one hundred
years refuse to make progress toward righteousness and perfection (Isaiah 65:20); and
second, those who, having progressed to perfection, in a final testing at the close of the
Millennium prove unfaithful. Revelation 20:9
Such die the second death, from
which there is no resurrection or restitution promised. But one full individual trial is
provided. But one ransom will ever be given. Christ dieth no more.
When we look at our Father's
great plan for the exaltation of the Church and the blessing through it of Israel and all
the families of the earth by a restitution of all things, it reminds us of the song of the
W - Mankind restored
to perfection and harmony with God
"... Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with
and they shall
be his people,
and God himself
shall be with them,
and be their God."
"Glory to God in the highest; on earth, peace,
good will toward men!"
That will be the consummation of
God's plan--"the gathering together of all things in Christ." Who will
then say that God's plan has been a failure? Who will then say that he has not overruled
evil for good, and made the wrath of both men and devils to praise him?
The figure of a pyramid not only
serves well the purpose of illustrating perfect beings, but it continues to answer the
purpose of illustration in representing the oneness of the whole creation, as in the
fulfillment of God's plan it will be one when the harmony and perfection of all
things will be attained under the headship of Christ, the Head, not only of the Church
which is his body, but also of all things in heaven and in earth. Ephesians 1:10
Christ Jesus was the "beginning," "the head," "the
topstone," the "chief (upper) corner-stone" of this grand
structure, which as yet is only commenced; and into harmony with the lines and angles of
the top-stone must every understone be built. No matter how many kinds of stones may be in
this structure, no matter how many distinct natures there may be among God's sons, earthly
and heavenly, they all, to be everlastingly acceptable to him, must be conformed to the
image of his Son.
will be of this building must partake of the spirit of obedience to God, and of love
toward him and all his creatures (so amply illustrated in Jesus), the fulfillment of the
law--Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart, mind, soul and strength, and thy
neighbor as thyself.
In the process (as God's Word outlines this gathering together in one of all things, both
heavenly and earthly, under one head), Christ Jesus, the Head, was first selected;
secondly, the Church, which is his body. Angels and other spirit classes will rank next;
then the worthies of Israel and the world. Beginning with the highest, the ordering shall
proceed until all who will shall have been brought into harmony and oneness.
One peculiarity is that this tried, chief, corner top-stone is laid first and called a foundation
stone. Thus is illustrated the fact that the foundation of all hope toward God and
righteousness is laid, not on the earth, but in the heavens. And those built under it and
united to this heavenly foundation are held to it by heavenly attractions and laws.
And though this order is the very opposite
of an earthly building, how appropriate that the stone in whose likeness the entire
structure is to be found should be laid first. And how appropriate also to find that our
foundation is laid upward, not downward; and that we, as living stones, are "built
up into him in all things."
Thus the work will progress
during the Millennial age, until every creature, of every nature, in heaven and in earth,
will be praising and serving God in conformity with the lines of perfect obedience. The
universe will then be clean; for in that day
"It shall come to pass that the soul that will not
hear that Prophet shall be cut off from among the people"--in the second death.
The Tabernacle inf the Wilderness
The same lesson shown in the
Chart of the Ages is here taught in this divinely arranged type, the lessons of which will
be more fully examined subsequently. We place it alongside, that the different planes or
steps to the Holy of Holies may be duly noted or appreciated, as teaching the same steps
already examined in detail.
Outside the court of the
tabernacle lies the whole world in sin, on the depraved plane, R. Entering through
the "gate" into the "court," we become believers or justified
persons, on plane N.
Those who go forward in
consecration press to the door of the Tabernacle, and, entering in (plane M),
become priests. They are strengthened by the "shew
bread," enlightened by the "candlestick"
and enabled to offer acceptable incense to God by Jesus Christ at the "Golden Altar."
Finally, in the first
resurrection, they enter the perfect spiritual condition, or "Most Holy" (plane L),
and are then associated with Jesus in the glory of the Kingdom, plane K.
A little while, earth's fightings will be over;
A little while, her tears be wiped away;
A little while, the power of Jehovah
Shall turn this darkness to Millennial Day.
A little while, the ills that now o'erwhelm men
Shall to the memories of the past belong;
A little while, the love that once redeemed them
Shall change their weeping into grateful song.
A little while! 'Tis ever drawing nearer...
The brighter dawning of that glorious day.
Praise God, the light is hourly growing clearer,
Shining more and more unto the perfect day.
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