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WE HAVE already shown in "Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices" that Israel's "Day of Atonement" of old typified this Gospel Age and the blessings to follow—in the Millennium; that now is the sacrificing time—from Jesus' baptism until His second advent in glory, and that then will come the time for the general application of the merit of the antitypical "better sacrifices" to mankind under the New Covenant. And we have also seen that the faithful Sacrificer (Head and Body) will be the great antitypical Mediator between God and mankind in general.
Our readers have fully in mind also that the call of this Age is for sacrificers only—to follow our Redeemer's footsteps of self-denial, even unto death. This was our Lord's proposal: "Whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it." (Matt. 10:39.) St. Paul reiterated and expounded this saying, "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God," for "If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him."—Rom. 12:1; 2 Tim. 2:12.
St. Paul directly associates the sufferings of the Church with the sufferings of the Redeemer, and both with the "better sacrifices" of the Day of Atonement. He says, pointing back to the type, "Let us go to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach." (Heb. 13:11-15.) Here the Apostle refers to the fact that as our Lord Jesus fulfilled the antitype of the "bullock," we should fulfil the antitype of the "Lord's goat" of the Day of Atonement. As the "bullock" was slain, so our Lord fulfilled that feature by the consecration of His life to death at His baptism. As the "bullock's" body (except the fat and the blood) was then dragged outside the camp and burned, so our Lord suffered shame, ignominy, destruction of the flesh, to accomplish the antitype.
Likewise we, who have accepted the call of this Age ("Gather together my saints unto Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice"), should fulfil the antitype of the Lord's goat. As the body of that "Lord's goat" passed through the same experiences as those of the "bullock," so we should, like our Lord, first make a full covenant of sacrifice and then fulfil the burning of the flesh of the Lord's goat by suffering shame, ignominy and revilings, even unto death. Only those who thus suffer with the Redeemer for righteousness' [R4921 : page 426] sake will reign with Him as the Royal Priesthood of the Millennium.
The "scape-goat" shows a class which, after making consecration and being accepted and spirit-begotten, refuse or neglect to "go to Him outside the camp bearing His reproach"—even unto death. This class does not repudiate the Redeemer, nor "the blood of the Covenant wherewith they were sanctified." As the "scape-goat" remained tied at the door of the Tabernacle, so these in antitype remain loyal, outwardly, to their consecration, but bound—as the Apostle declares, "who through fear of death were all their life time subject to bondage."
The Lord will "deliver" these, however, but not to the glory, honor and immortality which He will bestow upon the class antityping the Lord's goat. Their deliverance will mean tribulations, which will test their loyalty by forcing them into the "wilderness" of sorrow, disappointment, separation. They may suffer just as much tribulation as the Lord's goat class as they go unto death. The difference is that one class endures willingly, voluntarily, joyfully, while the other endures under compulsion of circumstances; or, failing so to endure, is cut off in the Second Death, and is not represented in the experiences of either of those goats.
Some erroneously think of the two goats as representing two different classes from start to finish. Not so; they represent the finished classes only—those who "sin wilfully" (Heb. 6:4-8 and 10:26,27) being entirely ignored, because they fail entirely and go into the Second Death.
Until the finish it may not be known where any of those consecrated to sacrifice may terminate their race. "Ye are called in one hope of your calling"—the hope that we may be of the Lord's goat class. Some for a time may appear to be fulfilling the part of the Lord's goat, but later they may "become weary and faint in their minds" and seem to fulfil the experiences typified in the "Scape-Goat;" yet eventually they may allow pride or some other form of selfishness to quench the Holy Spirit whereby they were sealed and may be dropped entirely from the favor of God and treated as His enemies—and be destroyed in the Second Death.
On the other hand, many are so slow of development, so slow to be quickened by the Lord's Spirit to sacrifice for the Truth or for righteousness' sake, that it may for years appear as though they would belong to the "scape-goat" class. Yet later some of these receive the light of Truth more clearly and by their noble self-sacrifices apparently show that they finish the race as members of the Lord's goat class.
Nothing is determined or fixed in respect to any of us until our tests have all been passed. St. Paul, after having sacrificed much, after having experienced many sufferings of Christ as a tentative member of the Lord's goat class, and even after being honored of the Lord as a special mouthpiece, wrote: "I keep my body under (in subjection to the new will and its consecration to sacrifice), lest after having preached to others I myself might be a castaway."—I Corinthians 9:27.
Brethren, the Lord's goat's experiences are the type of what the Lord would have fulfilled in us if we would attain the crown of glory, the honor and the immortality promised to the faithful—the Bride class. There will indeed be a secondary class of "virgins" who foolishly hold back from sacrificing their little all, and who consequently will fail to become members of the Bride of the Lamb. These, after demonstrating an inferior loyalty, will follow the Bride into scenes of glory as her honored servants. (Psalm 45:14.) These are represented in the scape-goat.
If any reader realizes that he has not been zealously and voluntarily suffering with his Savior, laying down [R4921 : page 427] time and strength, reputation and life in His service he is realizing his danger of being counted in as one of the scape-goat class, or worse. Such should quickly arouse himself or herself and appeal in prayer to the Master for grace and faith to walk in His steps of voluntary sacrifice. He should also seek to "arm himself with the same mind" that the Lord had by studying afresh the "exceeding great and precious promises" of God's Word. He should at once "Lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset (whichever weakness may be his special besetment) and run with patience the race set before him" in the gospel—the narrow way. He should indeed, Look unto Jesus, the Author of our faith, who is also to be the finisher of it. He should consider Him lest he be weak and faint in his mind and thus fail to be an overcomer.—Heb. 12:1-3.
"It does not matter what it means, poor heart,
The dear Lord knows, to bear it is your part;
Nor think some strange thing happens unto you
Which He would not allow so if He knew.
He does know. In His all-wise Fatherhood
He knows it, and allows it for your good.
He is not hard; you do not think He is
When in the dark you find your Hand in His;
When it was light you tried to walk alone,
And thought the strength He gave you all your own.
"You did not ask what that last blessing meant;
Just smiled and took it, satisfied, content.
You did not think it strange. You thought He knew
And planned the sweet surprise which came to you.
Tried one, then do you take life's sweet and good,
Yet cannot trust that tender Fatherhood,
But think it makes mistakes whene'er it sends
Some hindrance which your eager haste offends?
"I think the language of God's heart would read:
'I love My child, I note his slightest need;
I long to prosper him in all his ways,
To give him quiet nights and peaceful days,
But if I do, he'll lose himself from Me,
My outstretched hand he will not wait to see;
I'll place a hindering wall before his feet;
There He will wait, and there we two will meet.
"I do it not in wrath for broken laws,
Or wilful disobedience, but because
I want him nearer, and I cannot wait
For him to come, for he might wander late.
My child will wonder, will not understand,
Still half in doubt he'll clasp My outstretched hand;
But when at last upon My heart he leans
He will have ceased to wonder what it means.'"