THE BRAZEN LAVER
he word Laver means wash basin. The English derivative of this word is lavatory which carries the meaning of place of washing in addition to wash basin.
The BRAZEN LAVER, or basin made of brass, is positioned between the altar and the Holy Place. The brass was taken from the mirrors of the women. A mirror or looking glass represents vanity, and it was an act of great sacrifice to self for the women to surrender their highly polished brass mirrors for the construction of the Laver.
Incidentally, the law of the Tabernacle forbade the woman to go any further than that point in the Tabernacle. The symbolic meaning of this is that Soul in the Bible is always described as feminine and Spirit as masculine. In the Holy Place, all the activities represent the works of the Spirit. When, therefore, we are in Christ, we do not operate in our own soul power. The Church is described in Scripture as the feminine and Christ as the masculine, thus the bride or wife does not act in her own name, but in the name of her husband. This is the symbolism of the women's looking glass being destroyed to create the Brazen Laver.
The Laver also represents three changes, and they speak of DEATH. The whole realm of the Outer Court is a realm of death; the death which precedes life.
DEATH TO SELF is the message of the brazen laver. The three changes are:
1) Sanctification - depicted by the washing
At the Brazen Altar, the blood of the animal was taken and mixed with hyssop, which must eventually go into the Holiest of All and be sprinkled before the Lord. Now the priest must wash his hands of the stains of the Brazen Altar. This depicts the work of sanctification - the removing of the very stains of sin which yet remained from the acceptance of the death principle. While there is the possibility of sin, sanctification will continue.
The wash basin being of brass, here again, shows that it represents judgment. This time it is JUDGMENT AGAINST SELF. Because the soul has returned to God to participate in His DIVINE ORDER, he must GIVE UP SELF LIFE before he can enter into the CHRIST LIFE. The Holy Place represents Christ Life. Again, here we see that the washing cannot make one perfect, though it is necessary in our walk towards perfection. Sin was an alien nature thrust upon us by the error of our forefather, and on the whole, even from a human point of view, is UNDESIRABLE. BUT the second death is not so. It demands death for that which we desire to live - SELF.
SELF DIES HARD
When the priest washes at the Laver, in effect, he puts the death of the cross behind him as a work completed, and turns to the next step on his journey through the Tabernacle, which is Sanctification and Consecration. CONSECRATION is the putting aside of that which was cleansed for the work of the Lord only. The thought behind this act has its counterpart in the act of King Belteshazzar of Babylon, who took the consecrated vessels of the Lord and drank from them, whereupon God wrote with his own hand on the wall, and the king was slain that same night. The people who bear the name of the Lord must be clean and are not permitted worldliness. The word "church" means a called-out people. Called out of what? The world is the answer. Too many Christians are part of the SIN SYSTEM of the world. They were called out, but they did not come out.
Paul dealt with this subject conclusively in his letter to the Corinthians.
2nd Corinthians 6:14-18, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them: and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
CONSECRATION IS THE MESSAGE THAT WILL TAKE US OUT OF BABYLON. The word Babylon, as used here, means the whole world of rebellion against God's DIVINE ORDER. Man is resisting God spiritually, politically, and economically, and this is the main cause of our failure in all these areas.
The Spirit of God is now calling all men to separation unto Himself. This is the message of consecration.
THE BRAZEN LAVER REPRESENTS BAPTISM
The Brazen Laver represents baptism. This is the second church-realm experience, which also is the second church age into which God leads man in his walk unto perfection. Baptism, therefore, is death. It is death to SELF, and all things pertaining to one's own personal ambitions, aspirations, desires, will, thoughts, emotions, and emulations.
WATER BAPTISM - A COVENANT
Water Baptism is an act of Covenant, just as a Marriage Ceremony. When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour, there was no cost accrual to us. Our salvation was bought and paid for by The Blood of Jesus Christ. Now that we are Christians, God is asking us to reciprocate. If we want to be a part of the Body of Christ, our first act would be to make a covenant with the Body of Christ, or in other words, declare our loyalty and love by some act of our will. We, therefore, must renounce the former things, and declare our stand for Christ, thus becoming dead to sin and alive unto God.
As the chart shows, let us look at the three dimensions which God has ordained for us to operate.
(1) NATURAL - The first dimension is always the natural. Every principle of God is first given to us in the natural. If we allow our understanding to remain in the natural, then it has no real meaning, since the natural will pass away, and at best is temporary. THE NATURAL BAPTISM, THEN, IS IN WATER, AND PERFORMED BY A HUMAN PERSON.
(2) SPIRITUAL - The Second dimension is always spiritual. The spiritual, therefore, is the real purpose for the natural, and it is upon a higher plane. The spiritual baptism is called the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. This is the entering in of the Holy Spirit into the spirit of the individual. In this baptism, instead of being covered over with water, one is covered over with the Holy Spirit, inside and outside. The pattern, however, was laid by the water baptism. Just as the water covered the believer, so also the Holy Spirit covers him, and the Baptizer is Christ Himself.
(3) FULLNESS - The Third dimension is the absolute fulfillment of both natural and spiritual. If we then understand the water baptism, then we will easily understand what the fullness of baptism will be. In this baptism, we are immersed into Christ by the Holy Spirit. Hebrews 6:2 speaks of "baptisms," while Ephesians 4:5 tells us that there is only "one baptism." These are reconciled when we understand that in the one there are three. Matthew 3:11 tells us that John the Baptist baptized with water, but Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire. That gives us the scripture for the first two. The third is found in 1st Corinthians 12:13, where it states that the Holy Spirit baptizes us into Christ.
An example would be in order at this point. There was a natural man named Israel, and he produced a people named Israel. If this was the end of the story, then it would be a sad one indeed, but the natural Israel produced a man named Jesus Christ, who became the Saviour and Lord of a spiritual nation, and then some of the promises which it was impossible for natural Israel to walk in, the spiritual Israel are walking in. However, this spiritual Israel is just as unsatisfactory before God as the natural Israel. God, therefore, must bring another Israel to be made out of both, which He calls Zion (The Body of Christ), which will be the perfection of Beauty.
THE TRUE MEANING OF BAPTISM
The first thoughts of baptism came to us from Genesis 7, where God baptized the whole world in the waters of tribulation, and only those who had faith in God survived. All others died. Baptism by water, therefore, typifies death; therefore a baptism without a RESURRECTION would be negative and without life. BUT "buried with Him in baptism - rise in newness of life." Romans 6:4. The two go together like peas in a pod. The experience is the last before the priest goes through the veil into the Holy Place. Thus before the individual enters into the LIFE OF CHRIST, he must first get rid of SIN AND SELF. THE CEREMONY WITHOUT THE WORK HAVING BEEN DONE IS ONLY "tomfoolery!" The baptism is a dying from within, and the ceremony is a TESTIMONY for those without. The next question which is appropriate is, "Can we do away with water baptism, since it is the work within that matters?" The answer is EMPHATICALLY NO! If we could, then we could do away with the marriage ceremony. "I take this man! I take this woman!" This is absolutely necessary to be performed before witnesses. I will tell you a story.
DOING AWAY WITH THE CEREMONY
There was a church organization in Jamaica which did away with the legal marriage, and insisted that they were above the law, so they would take unto themselves wives without any legal papers being signed by an authorized person. FOR A WHILE it worked well, when everybody was spiritual, and men and women kept their obligation without being bound by any natural human law. BUT THEY WERE TEMPTING THE DEVIL. So it happened after some time, the BISHOP of this church was taken by lust, and he saw a young girl which he wanted to marry and so he did. When the people rebuked him, his reply was that he was never really married to his wife, with whom he lived for many years and had raised children, because there was no legal marriage and no legal papers.
DIPPING MANY TIMES
Many persons are taking several trips to baptismal pools, hoping that by these several baptisms, they may obtain something they did not have before. Some are being baptized in different names, hoping that if the name of Jesus or some other name is called over them, then they will be OK this time. BUT NO CALLING OF NAMES OR REPETITIONS OF BAPTISM CAN SUBSTITUTE FOR THE "answer of a true conscience before God." 1st Peter 3:21.
BAPTISM IN THE NAME OF JESUS
Someone who reads this book is asking right here,"Then what name must we be baptized in?" I will put it simply. The word "name" in the Bible does not just refer to the calling of a word, but it definitely speaks of NATURE. Thus we find the names of the twelve tribes of Israel refer to twelve natures within man through which God will work His glory (further explained in another chapter on twelve loaves).
NAME IS NATURE
To be baptized in a name, therefore, is to be immersed in the nature of the name. Thus, when men enter from the Outer Court to the Holy Place, we enter into the NATURE OF CHRIST, THUS WE ARE BAPTIZED IN CHRIST. Therefore, when I say you should be baptized in the NAME OF CHRIST, I mean into His nature. The Christ nature should cover and supersede your own nature, and the CHRIST SHOULD BE THE PREDOMINANT factor in your being.
A WET SINNER
If one, therefore, who does not give up his own name (nature), yet takes baptism, then he would go in as a dry sinner and come up as a wet one. That was the only difference in his going down and his coming up again. THUS THE WHOLE CEREMONY HAS BECOME AN INNOCENT LIE. "They know not what they worship." The preaching that there is a certain magic in being baptized in the name of Jesus is twisted by misunderstanding, particularly by the ministers. Some say, "If you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, I will baptize you," even though you live in adultery and all manner of uncleanness. Water baptism can only be in its proper place when the work is done within, or when the candidate firmly submits to OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST, who is the AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF his faith, and enters into a Covenant relationship with Him. One is therefore BAPTIZED OUT OF SELF, losing your name, and by Covenant agrees to go all the way with Christ, receiving a new name, even Christ. Remember name means nature. Baptism means IMMERSION, "being covered over with;" therefore, to be baptized into the name of Christ means being covered over with His nature.