Staying In God's Presence
The 1st Book of God's Word is Genesis. Within it's pages God tells of our creation after God made all the rest of the Cosmos through Christ. Humans were the crown of creation, made in the Creator's image. Then man embraced sin instead of obedience and the long line of ravaged, ruined and buried bodies testified to sin's destroying power.
But all along the way are clues on how God wanted His creatures to be restored in fellowship with Him. Coming back to God had to involve the shed blood of animals to show a substitutionary atonement.
- That is why God killed animals to clothe Adam and Eve.
- The altar of sacrifice was offered to both Cain and Abel.
- The grace at the Flood for Noah and his family.
- God's Calling Abram from the idolatry of Ur.
- The many altars of meeting in the pages of Genesis all speak of God's desire for restoring His own to fellowship.
Then the offering of an only son on an altar of sacrifice culminates the story. Isaac is saved by the substitution of a Lamb provided by God! And the story is complete. God's plan is substitutionary atonement, bloody sacrifice and heart prompted obedience.
That was Genesis. The 2nd Book of God's Word is our study tonight. The Book of Exodus continues the incredible story of God's desires for us His creations. Please turn there with me as we uncover within these pages the wonders of Jesus Christ. He is perfectly all we need.
Then, the Sacred Tent (chapters 25-40) was erected and the priesthood given, to offer an incredibly clear and powerful image of Christ their only hope. As always, it was not the covenant that saved, nor the sacrifices, nor the ceremonies. Not even big events were able to save them like the Passover, Red Sea event or Sinai. It was only by personal faith mixed with obedience (as most clearly shown in the brazen serpent incident). As the atonement was sufficient for all (they all came out of Egypt) it was only efficient or effective for those whose personally took the truth by faith (seemingly a precious few)!
Staying In The Presence of God
So how did God instruct His people to stay in touch with Him? He had them construct a long, black, unattractive tent of badgers' skins. But when we come inside, we find ourselves surrounded by shining gold: looking up to the curtained roof, we see the wings of the cherubim woven in; blue and purple and scarlet and fine twined linen. The light of the golden candlestick reveals all the beauty within. So it is with Christ Himself. The natural man, beholding Him, sees no beauty that he should desire Him. But to those who know the Lord Jesus Christ, His beauty satisfies their souls.
Once a year into that Tent walked the High Priest. The annual time was prescribed by God for him to pass behind that veil. He was wearing bells on the hem of his garment to let the other priests know he was still alive as he was inside; garbed carefully in the God directed robes and priestly garments. With trembling hands cradling a basin of blood, veiled by a cloud of smoking incense burning in a pot he carried - the High Priest would enter. And stay only as long as necessary before hurrying from the presence of God.
How differently we come. God welcomes us. We linger long before Him. But lest we miss the beauty of staying in the presence of the Lord, we need to understand the Tabernacle. Every detail was given by God. Every detail was a great shadow lesson about Jesus. Every person had to come God's way, for He showed the only way into His presence. The entrance was 30 feet wide, showing the wideness of God's mercy. But every detail shouted He was HOLY!
Please read of the Lord Jesus in His Tabernacled glory - Hebrews 9:1-5
Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry.22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. 23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
The tabernacle was God's dwelling place by the power of the Spirit as now in Christ's church. Exodus 25:8 "And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.- Ephesians 2:19-22 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,21 in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit; II Corinthians 6:16 - The Tabernacle is also typical of the believer 2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people." NKJV
The Symbolic Articles Are All Pointing to Jesus
The gate means Jesus is the Door
The linen reminds us Jesus is Righteous
The Brass reminds us of Judgment borne
The Gold reminds us of the Deity of Jesus
The Silver reminds us of the Blood of Jesus (redemption money)
The Wood reminds us of the Humanity of Jesus
The Altar means Jesus is the Sacrifice on the Cross
The Laver means Jesus is the cleansing One
The Showbread means Jesus is the bread of Life
The Candelabra means Jesus is the light of the World
The Incense means Jesus is the Great high Priest
The Ark reminds us that Jesus is Faithful to keep His promise
The Court was entered by the Gate. So Jesus is the Door to God
John 10:9 "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture." NKJV). This was a curtain. A curtain is the very easiest means of entrance; it is not like a wooden door, at which you have to knock, you can lift it silently. At the time no one need know of the transaction which takes place silently between the soul and its Savior. It may be like Nicodemus, coming by night. But when the curtain is dropped again you are completely inside, not half in and half out as in a doorway-but completely shut off by a sharp dividing line.
Have we entered by the Gate, and accepted the Sacrifice, and known the Cleansing. Only the Priests might enter the Tabernacle itself. If we have proved the power of the Cross, Christ calls us to be priests, set apart for His Service. We may enter still farther. The Holy Place is entered by the Door. This again is Christ Himself. He is the means of entrance into every fresh position of blessing. Every spiritual blessing comes with a fresh view of Christ and what He can be to us. He is the one entrance as well for the first step as for the last. The Gate, the Door, the Veil they were all of the same materials and colors, and the same number of square cubits (20 by 5 or 10 by 10) though the Gate was stretched out wide as if to encompass the breadth of the universal proclamation, " Whosoever will may come."
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