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Volume 22 - Page 147 of 214 Index | Zoom | |
"A figure for the time then present" (Heb. 9: 9).
pp. 44 - 50
In our last article we were considering II Cor. 6: 14 - 7: 1 so far as it illuminated
that particular aspect of the main subject which has in view the principle of separation
"to" as well as "from". In that passage we found the exhortation to not only "come out
and be separate", but to "touch not the unclean thing" and to "cleanse ourselves from all
filthiness of the flesh and spirit". This is a most important principle of sanctification
which we will now proceed to consider.
In the epistle to the Hebrews there is employed a number of terms such as "purge",
"purify", etc., with a consideration of which we could commence our study. The writer
of Hebrews, however, turns back to the types and shadows of the law to enforce his
teaching, and in consonance with this we, too, are convinced that unless the weight of the
instruction given under the ceremonial law is really felt, we shall never fully appreciate
the teaching of the epistles. Should the reader have seen a book entitled "Philosophy of
the Plan of Salvation" by the Revd. James B. Walker, D.D., he will recognize our
indebtedness to this writer for some of the lines of thought here developed. Dr. Walker
raises this point:--
"It was necessary, therefore, in order to promote right exercises of heart in religious
worship, that the Israelites should be made acquainted with the holiness of God. The
precise question then for solution is, How could the idea of God's holiness be conveyed
to the minds of the Israelites?
There was not an object in the material world which could convey to the mind the idea
of God's holiness. The idea, therefore, would have to be originated, and thrown into their
mind, through the senses, by a process instituted for that express purpose. The plan to
originate the idea, in order to meet the constitution of the mind, must consists of a series
This series of comparisons, where one class is set apart as more clean than others,
underlies much of the ceremonial law, and the time occupied in acquainting ourselves
with it will be fully repaid.
Although the goal of the ceremonial typology was to reveal the holiness of God, it was
necessary to begin at the outer edge, and work step by step toward the centre. This outer
edge was the line of demarcation drawn between the one nation of Israel and the rest of
the nations of the earth.
Israel a holy nation.
"Thus shall ye deal with them" (Israel's enemies), "ye shall destroy their altars, and
break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with
fire. For thou art a holy people unto the Lord thy God. The Lord thy God hath chosen
thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the
earth" (Deut. 7: 5, 6).