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Bro. Sulley's book is one of the basic books on the Truth that we should study thoroughly. It was the product of many years of investigation and labour.
Ezekiel's Temple is a difficult subject. Many in the past had struggled to get a coherent picture from this description, but all had failed. Bro. Sulley presents a consistent exposition. It fills all the required necessities, and it is in full harmony with the truth of the gospel. In fact, it very materially assists in giving body and substance and reality to the gospel of the Kingdom.
There is today, unhappily, a strong movement in other groups to break down and discredit this whole concept. A recent one, just published, applies it all to the days of Nehemiah-a very pitiful attempt. Another with more official backing teaches that the people of the world serve voluntarily and don't have to, if they don't wish to.
More than ever it is important that we study and keep clear and defend the basic scriptural picture, as presented by our pioneer brethren. None of us has any time to waste on nonessential, worldly, passing things, or on mere self-pleasing activities. There is infinitely too much to be learned and to be faithfully defended. The strength of a fellowship depends upon the depth of the intelligent, scriptural understanding of all its members. Life is very, very brief and very soon over. And we have absolutely no time to waste on any present things. If we do not learn that, we are lost.
If we hope for salvation we must make ourselves a prospective part of the Cherubim of Glory, which underlie and give meaning to all Ezekiel's visions. It is of the deepest significance that they rest not day and night from saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts.
Holiness is the essence of the purpose of God. Without holiness, shall no man see the Lord. And it's a lifelong proposition.
The popular conception of holiness is that it is theoretically beautiful and desirable, but too high for humans, and inconsistent with pleasure and enjoyment. Until we learn that holiness is the only happiness-the only true pleasure and enjoyment; until we by diligent scriptural study get out of babyhood and infancy, and mature to the realization that everything not related to God is empty folly, and that anything out of harmony with pure divine holiness is ugly and dirty and repulsive. Until we learn this, we are no fit candidate for the Cherubim of Glory. They rejoice in God; they rejoice in nothing else; they have time for nothing else.
Bro. Sulley's basic picture is very satisfying. He presents a building that is ideal for the purpose intended-a vast open structure of massive but delicate masonry, latticework, and archways, filled in and canopied over by thick, verdant greenery-a vivid contrast to man's increasingly horrible and artificial monstrosities. This building will have all the freedom and healthiness and beauty and freshness of open-aired living, with none of its bareness or disadvantages. Trees purify the air naturally and effortlessly and quietly. This building will host a continuous flow of millions. Greenery everywhere, ventilation everywhere, and pure clear running water everywhere are its primary characteristics.
Bro. Sulley gives the basis outline, but he is quick to point out that this is the most important building of all history, that it is designed directly by God's infinite wisdom, and that, therefore, while man can humbly suggest the general unrevealed details (as bro. Sulley has done, to give us something to visualize), still man cannot possibly begin to picture this building in its full divine beauty, as it actually will be.
Bro. Sulley cautions us that the details and decorations that he gives are merely suggestive and that we must take them as just a faint hint of the real beauty to be revealed. At times, he gives alternate suggestions, and we ourselves can legitimately formulate our own within the basic pattern. But until we have fully studied and mastered bro. Sulley's book, it would be presumption to question or discount individual details. He spent many years, and his pattern holds together. Bro. Sulley, like bro. Thomas, and this I believe was his secret, took scriptural detail very seriously-neither ignoring anything nor conveniently spiritualizing it away.