|From the Pastors Desk|
|Tabernacle||Understanding the Shadows||Lesson 51|
Manchaca Bible Fellowship
|15 February 2004||Bible Lessons
We are looking back at our study of "shadows" and "examples" recorded by the Holy Spirit, for our learning and our warning. We are looking particularly at the "shadows" and "examples" of the Israelites and the Tabernacle in the wilderness.
1 Corinthians 10:5 But with most of them (Israelites in the Wilderness) God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust (greed) after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor murmur, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
God's plan for this
In the last lesson, we were reviewing the fact that God did not reveal the information about this redemptive plan in outline form or in a textbook format. Instead, God gave "bits" of information to holy men at different time and in different ways.
That information was often recorded as a single bit of information sometimes called "a line", as in Isaiah. Sometimes that information was recorded as a small organized treatise or as a brief report called "precepts" and sometimes as a prophecy of future events.
We closed the last lesson with the fact that our responsibility is to take those "lines" and "precepts", bring them together, sort them and place them into one complete harmonious picture. God has not left us on our own, to flounder our way through this process. God calls this process "rightly dividing the Word of Truth".
2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.
(1) Doing this rightly dividing process properly brings "approval" from God for yourself.
If we were really and properly engaged in this process, it would go along way towards solving one of the most "prominent" social problems of today. High on the list of those who are supposed to know, is the great problem of - "acceptance" - "approval" - "self-esteem" (or whatever it might be called).
To have the "approval" FROM God should overshadow all disapproval of others, UNLESS we have made others more important THAN God. Making something or someone more important than God is call - Idolatry.
(2) Doing this process of rightly dividing makes one a good Spiritual worker who does not need to be ashamed.
In light of the fact that
If we were really doing this "rightly dividing", it would take care of a lot of church problems. Many church problems are caused by someone trying to "grab" the position (or limelight) of some other worker in God's program.
For some reason, many Christians feel that their position in God's work force is somehow "sub-par", and they are ashamed doing such insignificant tasks. After all, God must have made a mistake when passing out assignments, and gave them the wrong one. However, God's Word is quite clear, that God did know what He was doing when He passed out assignments. Therefore, we should each accept and perform those God given assignments with our whole heart.
1 Corinthians 12:14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
(3) Teaching Biblical facts only as religious teachings, not based on a properly divided Word of Truth, is called, by the Holy Spirit, "profane and vain babblings".
(4) Religious teaching not based on a properly divided Word of Truth will INCREASE to more ungodliness.
(5) There is a proper and orderly progression in the events presented by the Word of Truth (Ill. the timing of the resurrection).
(6) When facts from the Word of Truth are not presented in their proper progression, that improper presentation can prevent or overthrow the faith of some.
We have seen that the written revelation from God:
I was ask, why God didn't just give us a concise orderly presentation of His plan, right up front? In that way, we could concentrate on fulfilling the plan, instead of trying to figure it out.
There are many reasons for God's progressive revelation of His plan. The strongest and most important reason is that…
He is God!! He is right and proper in all that He does! Mine is not to question "why" God does what He does. Mine is to obey what God says.
However, there are many other reasons for such a segmented presentation. Here are a few.
The great expressed concern of many about God's program is "What is the 'will of God' for me?" Quite often the expression of wanting to "know God's will" has to do with how do I become healthy, wealthy and good looking more than what does God want me to do, which would be His will.
Sad to say, too often, there is far more effort placed in expressing the concern about God's will, THAN there is living in the will of God. That will is clearly revealed in the Word of God. If we are to learn God's will, we must be living by what God had clearly presented in His Word.
I don't think God would
If we are to live in and by God's will, we must:
There are many aspect of God's redemptive program. Four of the more obvious aspects are:
There are many reasons for what seems to be an endless list of facts and events surrounding Israel in the Wilderness and the Tabernacle. Some of those facts are repeated and, to the natural mind, these facts seem to have little value to the total scope of God plan. Some of the reasons for this type of presentation by God were seen in what we covered in this lesson.
Let me review some other reasons for such a presentation by God:
An example of some of the above reasons are the major feasts of Jews. The feasts of the Jews are a portion of the historical information that is often considered unimportant and simply endless lists. There were 7 major feasts:
These first four feasts, even though distinct, are really parts of or the continuation of the one overall feast of Passover. The first four feasts have to do with the first phase of Redemption.
This first phase of Redemption includes… payment for sin, the appropriation of that payment by individuals, and a personal fellowship with God by the ones who have accepted Christ's payment and Person.
Take a quick look at these 7 feasts and a few related Scripture passages.
(1) Passover << >> Christ's sacrifice on the Cross
1 Corinthians 5:7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
(2) Unleavened Bread << >> The Spiritual cleansing provided through the fellowship of Christ
1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Revelation 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
1 Corinthians 1:7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
(3) Firstfruits << >> Resurrection
1 Corinthians 15:20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
(4) Pentecost << >> Giving of the Holy Spirit
Acts 2:1 Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Interval << >> The Church
(5) Trumpets << >> Christ's return for His Saints
1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed - 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
(6) Atonement << >> Redemption completed and glorification
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. 10:1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.
(7) Tabernacles << >> Reigning with Christ
Revelation 20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
The feast of Pentecost is the completion of the feast of the Firstfruits. The feast of Firstfruits is one part of the whole Passover celebration. The Firstfruits marked the beginning of harvest. The feast was "suspended" - for lack of a better word, - until harvest was finished. Then the Passover Feast "package" was completion by the feast of Pentecost or harvest.
So, we see that these first four feasts are really parts of a whole. That whole was the Passover, itself. This feast "package" is a "Shadow" of the first phase of Redemption. The last three feasts are a picture form of the future aspects of Redemption
Truly the feasts
|© Clyde White, Austin TX, 2004|