Saturday, December 17, 2016
I have been spending time in the Book of Exodus. It is a marvelous book of power,miracles,deliverance and the darkness of our own souls. In the latter parts of this book, the Lord God instructed Moses in the building of the tabernacle. It was a vision first and then detailed instructions on the building of what is said one of the ancient wonders of the world. Moses having plans in hand and the workers given to him by the Lord by name, undertook definitely one of the most important and challenging tasks a man or nation would ever perform..the building of a place where God would absolve the sin of a nation. A place where, the Pillar of cloud would descend while Moses entered to speak with the very One who created everything. So how was such a place constructed? There are chapters that detail every step and the care taken by the construction of each curtain, clasp and utensil. How was the pattern to be constructed. One phrase rings repeatedly from the mouth of God and carried through by Moses as he oversaw all the painstaking work. What was that phrase?
In such a phrase and spirit that tabernacle in all its Glory was constructed and when finished, the Almighty came down to fill it with the smoke of His glory. Moses had achieved it. His nation had done it. They had constructed a Habitation for the Almighty Himself. A place has been made where the very presence of God would dwell between the golden cherubim with wing pulled straightly forward pointing to the place where the Divine Presence was centered. Only entered into by the High Priest himself and very gingerly keeping himself in careful reverence lest that presence be violated and perhaps they and the nation should suffer for it because of irreverence.
So the question and perhaps the temptation of men would be to propose that in some imaginative effort well directed and an orchestrated action construct something that might touch that place at least a little. If that pattern can be uncovered, then perhaps there is a chance that one person or group may fashion something that God would be so pleased as to reveal Himself especially and perhaps only to that people. May I say it is heady stuff. It is intoxicating to take on such a notion and to see and fully believe if some method could weave such a reality, what would happen would be the glory cloud once again descending.
Friends, it has been tried. Many have even believed that it has been achieved in the efforts and teachings of some. The premise is if one is given the pattern by study or revelation and constructs such a way of life, it can be fashioned into something where the very presence of God is so strong, the ones who have worked to make that happen flee out of that very presence because it is so powerful no one could stand in it and live. Some take this as the lesson of Moses in Exodus. If one builds ‘according to the pattern’ by building ‘just as’ God has constructed, then glory awaits with all its rewards. And so they wait and build, tear down and build again. Cycle after cycle, pattern after pattern, revelation after revelation –ever learning but never coming to the full knowledge of the truth.
What is that truth?
Simply it can’t be done. The lesson of Moses and the Book of Exodus is NOT to provide a pattern for living in a ‘just as’ fashion. The lesson of Moses is it cannot be done. It is impossible. You see, the effort and the intricacy of that construction to the point of perfection was to provide a pattern that only one could fulfill. Only one could build ‘just as’ and ‘according to the pattern’. The whole procession of worship in that place on the most Holy Day of Atonement is type and shadow of the steps of Christ Himself. Think about it.
1 1> The priest who is to minister is first to wash in the bronze laver, this is shadow of the baptism of Christ to prepare Him for the work at hand.
2 2> The priest is then to provide the prescribed sacrifice. To kill and apply the blood upon the horns of the altar and to mutilate the body of that sacrifice to a degree where certain parts were to be exhumed and burnt as instructed. This signifies the actual sacrifice of Christ by His death.
3> The priest then took the blood and with a hyssop branch sprinkled the people with the blood of the sacrifice. It was this that ‘covered’ the sin of the people. This is Christ proclaiming the people called by His Father His brethren to be cleansed from their sin.
4 4> The priest then took the blood into the tabernacle. This was Christ’s resurrection and ascension into Heaven to perform the act of atonement with His own blood.
5 5> The priest was to take some of the blood and to apply to the horns of this ‘altar’. This was a special table and in itself it signified the Lord Himself where the sacrifice of incense – made solely for that purpose—burned continually before God. This signifies the ever presence of Christ constantly before the Father as the pleasing sacrifice to offer prayers and supplications for the people of God.
6 6> Finally after such actions, the priest could enter inside the veil and sprinkle the mercy seat as aforementioned with the blood of the sacrifice. This a picture of the consummation of the ages where Christ Himself was received by His Father and it was received as an acceptable sacrifice.
You see, the imagery and effort of the tabernacle was NOT to attempt its replication in any form as some have attempted. Its very nature was to show, the impossibility of replication. There is no formula or ‘pattern’ to build where God will indwell it that could be constructed or conceived. As God had supplied Moses with the vision, detailed instructions and called the talent, so He did with His Son which fulfilled all the patterns in the Old Testament God has prescribed in type to Moses.
We must remember that EVERYTHING in the Old Testament points to the Son of God in some form or another. He is the building God has made, He is the temple of God and only God can construct that. It is supposed to be that way.
Many have tried and in their own perception have constructed what they thought was the divine pattern only to see it in ruins as time and history marches on. I call this the Moses syndrome. No, there is only one building ever constructed that is eternal, it is Jesus Himself and He is the cure for our own self-deception of self-importance.