A Box

Why was the effort made to change the custom such that we are baptized outside, out of structures made by man in natural "living water" but the historical, and probably future contemplated temple puts us into a box?

In Israel, a temple was only built because Israel refused to come up on the mount, and instead of God being written in their heart, God gave them the many ordinances that they asked for, had a temple built, and his presence could also be found there. (Maybe a temple is never necessary, but always inevitable.)

There's nothing my spirit hates or is fearful of more, at this point, than to be put into a box, or a perfect cube for that matter. A cube is worse.

The temple seems to be condemnatory, or as one man puts it, a consolation for those who won't ascend on their own. Those who don't ascend want outward rules and ordinances.

It seems like the culmination of rules and ordinances is to be put into a strait-jacket, in the form of a cubic room, maybe so your spirit can finally feel or see the constraints of it. Or just reading about it, and thinking about the possibility that you will have to pass through something similar, perhaps you can see the symbolism of constraint and spiritual imprisonment. Maybe the idea is, when you discover it one way or another, something inside you is repulsed, and perhaps that is the lesson.

I had some more bitter feelings with God today, and this is one of the points that upset me, and I had these thoughts about it.

A friend found this today from Come Let Us Adore Him, Chapter 7, The Ten Lepers. This sounds a lot like what I was trying to say, and probably where I originally got the idea.

However, the incident of the ten lepers records something even more profound. There was one of the healed who, upon seeing he was freed from his disease “turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks.” One returned to Christ. The other nine were still on their way to the priests to receive their washings and anointings. The deeper meaning of the incident can only be understood by what Christ then said: “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?”

The obvious answer to Christ’s question is: they were doing as He told them to do. That is, they were on their way to the priests.

But the true answer to Christ’s question is: these other nine failed to understand Who the Priest really was. Nine went to the priests who performed ceremonies. They went to see the symbol of Christ. But they went without understanding the priests officiated merely as a substitute symbol which pointed to Christ. One, however, came to the True Priest. Only one understood and did exactly as Christ had directed. He alone came to the True Priest.

Nine would go through a public ceremony, be anointed, washed, reunited with society and enjoy public recognition and reunification. One would hear the words from the Great High Priest Himself declaring: “Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.”

For this leper who returned, no further ceremony was needed. While nine were seeking comfort from the symbols and ceremonies, the one who returned received relief from the Master, Himself. While nine were to be ceremonially clean, one was becoming clean indeed. For this one there was no need to comply with the Law of Moses, because the One who gave the Law of Moses declared him to be “whole.” Christ’s personal declaration to a man is more important than any ceremony or rite performed by men. Men may endlessly repeat the ceremonial return to Christ’s presence, but it means nothing unless the man actually returns to Him.

For anyone who does return to the Lord’s presence, the rites are not what are important. It is when they hear the voice of God declaring to them: “Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole” which makes them confident in the Day of Judgment. If Christ declares a man to be “whole” then the man is whole indeed.

From this incident we see how Christ was respectful, even deferential, to the religious authorities of His day. Though they lacked any real authority over Him, He did not openly challenge their right to preside and administer the priestly ordinances. When He healed these lepers, He sent all ten of them to the authorities to have the rights performed. The “priests” He sent them to constantly challenged His right to cure, His right to teach, and His authority to attract a following. They condemned Him. He, in turn, sent those He healed to them to receive ordinances at their hands.

...

Christ did not compel any of the lepers to recognize Him as the True High Priest. In fact, He seemed almost resigned to how few would recognize Him when He commented: “There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.” It is always the same. Only the rare person realizes where light and truth, which is the glory of God, can be found. For the rest there is an abundance of rites, ordinances, observances, rituals, and symbols. While all of these point to the real thing, they are not the real thing itself. Therefore we find still that “there are not found that return to give glory to God, save [a few].”

This incident encapsulates the whole dilemma of the second estate. The test we are taking is exactly the same now as it was from the beginning. The people we read about in the Gospel of Luke are exactly as the people of our own day. We are being tested to determine whether or not we can be blinded by traditions, presumptions, trappings and priestcrafts; or if we can see through those things to find the Son of God. What a marvelously consistent, perfectly equal chance all of us are given here. This plan and its author are perfect. “Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.” (Moro. 7: 14.)