|From the Pastors Desk|
|Tabernacle||The Big Picture||Lesson 52|
Manchaca Bible Fellowship
|22 February 2004||Bible Lessons
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.
11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
For a lessons or two, we have been reviewing some bits = "lines" and pieces = "precepts" of Biblical information discovered in past lessons. In reference to our present area of the study of Israel and the Tabernacle in the wilderness, the Holy Spirit calls those bit or "lines" and pieces or "precepts", "shadows" and "examples".
Why use so many different "handles" for the information given in the Scriptures? The main reason for these "pseudo-terms" is…:
(1) We "need" them for our clear understanding of God's truth.
Other reasons are…
(2) They add "color" to the picture of God's eternal program.
(3) Each one has a different "shade" of meaning.
(4) They were given to people with different "levels" of knowledge.
Isaiah 28:9 "Whom will he teach knowledge? and whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts? 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little."… …13 But the word of the LORD was to them, "Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little,"…
Concerning His eternal plan,
Our task, with the leading of the Holy Spirit, is to take those seemingly random bits of information and bring them together into a harmonious "package" of truth. The Holy Spirit calls this process "rightly dividing the Word of Truth" by comparing Scripture with Scripture.
There are many activities that involves God's direct participation in the daily lives and eternal destiny of humankind. The basic or foundational activity of God on behalf of humankind is the Plan of Redemption.
• Redemption of humankind was in the heart and plan of God even before He spoke the worlds into existence.
• Redemption is the underlying theme of all prophecy.
• Redemption is the thread of the entire fabric of the Old Testament.
• Redemption is the reason Christ came to this earth, lived, died and rose again.
• Redemption is the reason Christ is coming back to this earth.
• Redemption is the reason for the New Heaven and New Earth.
• And the list could go on and on.
God's plan for this period of eternity,
There are many aspects of God's redemptive program. Four of the more obvious aspects are:
(1) The Redemption of humanity.
(2) The Redemption of the earth from the domination of Satan.
(3) The Suspension of the curse of Gen 3.
(4) The Conquest of ALL enemies.
Each of the "four aspects" of redemption have at least "4 phases".
(1) The promise.
(2) The sacrifice.
(3) The application.
(4) The consummation.
(1) The promise
Revelation 13:8 And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead,
(2) The sacrifice
Hebrews 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. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purged, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. 5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you had no pleasure. 7 Then I said, 'Behold, I have come - in the volume of the book it is written of Me - to do Your will, O God.' " 8 Previously saying, "Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them" (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
(3) The application
Hebrews 11:32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented - 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.
(4) The consummation
Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors - not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die (in our Spiritual fellowship); but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live (in our Spiritual fellowship). 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs - heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 And not only they, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
We have seen that the written revelation from God:
(2) Is "ACCUMULATIVE".
(3) Must be "RIGHTLY DIVIDED".
(4) Is in"COMPLETE HARMONY" with itself.
Look again at the four obvious aspects of God's Redemptive program. If we will carefully divide the information of the Word of God into these four categories, it will go a LONG way to prevent us from being whipped around by every "wind" of doctrine that is be passed around, today. Redemption is the great and overriding aspect of God's will.
(1) The Redemption of humanity.
(2) The Redemption of the earth from the domination of Satan.
(3) The Suspension of the curse of Genesis 3.
(4) The Conquest of ALL enemies.
If we are to live in and by God's revealed will, we must:
If Redemption is the very "center" of God's will for mankind, and it is, THEN we need to know Redemption frontward and backward. Not only must we receive that Redemption, we must know how to live within its boundaries for time, and set our hope on its completion in eternity.
The Holy Spirit, in an effort to help our finite minds comprehend infinite truth, gave us a "picture" of Redemption in the account of Israel and the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. The 7 major feasts of the Jews are a very good "snap-shot" of this redemptive program.
Even though we looked briefly at these feast in the last lesson, please take the time to go over that material again. To help you do so, I have included that material from the last lesson.
(2) Unleavened Bread
There were four feasts in the first 3 months, and three feasts in the 7th month.
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
When we take all of these "lines" and "precepts" concerning Redemption, scattered throughout the Scriptures, and we arrange them in an orderly progression, what are we doing???
Our collection and harmony of these facts may not be perfect, but if we make sure that all our conclusions are in perfect harmony with all that is collected, we have gone a long way toward the goal of comparing Scripture with Scripture.
Once we have compared all Scripture with itself from the aspect of God's redemption of mankind, we can take our conclusions from such a study and compare those conclusions with the results of comparative studies of other subjects such as God's kingdom, etc.
As we compare our conclusions from these studies, we may have to make some adjustments in our conclusions until all are in harmony with each other. Making adjustments is a most difficult action among Christians. Somehow we seem to think it is a mortal sin to "grow" and mature as a Christian.
If we allow this comparing and adjustment process to continue, we will grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. However, if we hold to the "prevailing" religious philosophy of - if we have read a book or heard a sermon, then we know all Biblical truth and we need never change or grow, then we will continue as immature Believers.
Not knowing all Biblical truth is not a sin. BUT
This process of properly comparing Scripture and growing Spiritually has no ending point, in this life. The Bible, like no other book, can never be exhausted of its truths.
Job 9:10 He does great things past finding out, yes, wonders without number.
Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! 34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?" 35 "Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?" 36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
It is true that total Biblical exploration is beyond our ability to completely trace, or map-out every detail. However, in the process of Biblical exploration, we learn to walk closer and closer to the One Who is being revealed by such exploration.
Genesis 5:21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. 22 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and begot sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word (precept), even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! 16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, (set their minds) the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
|© Clyde White, Austin TX, 2004|