“A person who can pray is the mightiest instrument Christ has in this world”.
Firstly it is important to note that it is possible to study the Tabernacle in 2 ways:
- God unto man: From the Holy of Holies out to the Outer Court. This is the path of Sovereign grace
- Man unto God: From the Outer court into the Holy of Holies. This is the walk of faith
The first approach, God unto man, shows that unless God first comes to man, man can in no way approach God and stand in His holy presence. This is the order of Sovereign grace – where God comes out from His throne in Heaven to earth to meet the sinner in redeeming love.
However we will study it the second way – man’s walk of faith unto God. “As man comes to God he must begin at the Gate, accept the Blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. From there on he progresses step by step, line upon line, until he comes to the ultimate, the full Glory of God, as seen in the Most Holy Place.” (KJ Conner)
The Materials Used in the Construction of the Tabernacle
Nothing is by accident, coincidence or haphazard with God. He is ordered and everything has a definite purpose. Everything in His Word is there for a reason. Even the materials used in the construction of the Tabernacle communicate to us His eternal truths.
As we saw at the end of The Tabernacle of Moses and the Cross the materials used in the Tabernacle were willingly offered to God by the children of Israel:
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering. 3 And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; 4 blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; 5 ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; 6 oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; 7 onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. 8 And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.” Exodus 25:1-9
Each material used speaks to us something important. As we look at each, something becomes apparent :
They all represent something about Jesus Christ and His atonement and point forward to Him.
Let us take a look at each material used:
|Gold||Deity, divine nature of Christ|
|Silver||Redemption (the atonement of Christ, the money paid to Judas to betray Him, who is the ransom for us)|
|Brass||Judgment against sin|
|Precious stones||The gifts of the Holy Spirit, the preciousness of God’s own people|
|Shittim (acacia) wood||The Humanity of Christ|
|Oil||The Holy Spirit|
|Spices||Used in the anointing oil and the incense: represent Christ and His nature and the imparting of Christ’s nature to the believer. The incense represents prayer (See Jesus and Incense for more info on this)|
|Blue||Heavenly/divine nature – like the colour of the heavens|
|Purple||Royalty, Kingship – this was the most precious colour in ancient times|
|Scarlet||Sacrifice – the colour of blood|
|Goats’ hair||Atonement for sin – ie. a goat died to provide its hair|
|Rams skins||Atonement for sin – ie. a ram died to provide its skin|
|Badgers’ skins||The humanity or the outward appearance of Christ; atonement|
“Christ’s call is to save the lost, not the stiff-necked; He came not to call scoffers but sinners to repentance; not to build and furnish comfortable chapels, churches, and cathedrals at home in which to rock Christian professors to sleep by means of clever essays, stereotyped prayers, and artistic musical performances, but to capture men from the devil’s clutches and the very jaws of Hell. This can be accomplished only by a red-hot, unconventional, unfettered devotion, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“In prison, the political officer asked me harshly, “How long will you continue to keep your stupid religion?”
I said to him, “I have seen innumerable atheists regretting on their deathbeds that they have been godless; they called on Christ. Can you imagine that a Christian could regret, when death is near, that he has been a Christian and call on Marx or Lenin to rescue him from his faith?”
The officer laughed, “A clever answer.”
I continued, “When an engineer has built a bridge, the fact that a cat can pass over the bridge is no proof that the bridge is good. A train must pass over it to prove its strength. The fact that you can be an atheist when everything goes well does not prove the truth of atheism. It does not hold up in moments of great crisis.”
“As there are many who believe they are Christians and in reality are not, we found that among the Russians there are many who believe they are atheists, but in reality they are not”
~ Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured For Christ
The verses we refer to are found in Luke 17: 26-28:
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;…”’
There are, in fact, two very different aspects in these three verses.
- In the first (verses 26 and 27) Jesus tells his disciples that before He comes again it will be like the days of Noah when people were leading carefree lives unaware of the impending disaster about to overtake them.
- In the second (verse 27) He tells them it will be the same as it was in Sodom before it was destroyed.
It is interesting to note that in both cases people were eating and drinking, buying, selling and marrying; in other words leading apparently normal and carefree lives. Yet in both cases they were behaving in a manner unacceptable to God. In the days of Noah it was corruption and violence (Gen. 6:11) and in the days of Sodom it was sexual abomination, especially homosexuality (Gen 19). In time each was judged for their, different but, unacceptable behaviour.
But Jesus also says that before His coming again both of these sinful behaviors will be present in the world and He clearly warns of the consequences of such behaviour.
If we look around the world today we see violence and corruption abounds everywhere: we see it between tribes, nations, within societies and even in families. Certainly none of this is a new phenomenon, yet it appears to be on the increase everywhere; frequently confirmed by governments and law enforcement authorities, stating that violence is on the increase and becoming more difficult to deal with. In the light of Jesus’ remarks to His disciples, the question we surely have to now ask ourselves is: “How close are we to the point where God will not tolerate it anymore and step in to deal with the problem”?
Of course homosexuality and general sexual promiscuity is everywhere and also on the increase, being encouraged by the media, also governments, especially in the West. Even Christian denominations are now openly allowing practicing homosexual leaders to minister and teach their congregations; in flagrant violation of God’s Word which explicitly condemns such behaviour. The increase in these evils in recent years has been astounding.
In addition the secular world not only mocks God but denies his very existence. God will not tolerate such behaviour for much longer.
Surely, the world is fast approaching the point of the days of Noah and Sodom, which Jesus warned would happen before His return. We can only conclude that there cannot be much time left before Jesus returns to correct matters. As the Lord said to Abraham:
“Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” (Gen 18:20, 21)
Let us ask ourselves: Are WE at this point yet?
And if not, how close are we…?
Bible believing Christians need to constantly remind themselves of this and not become complacent and allow themselves to be seduced by the ways of the secular world.
It is interesting to note that when Lot tried to warn his two sons-in-law to leave the city because God was about to destroy it, they would not listen because “his sons-in-law thought he was joking”. (NIV Gen: 19:14).
Even now, in our day, we see that many have disregarded the warnings that Jesus is coming soon, even to the point of ridicule.
But those Christians who hear and understand Jesus’ prophetic words of what will take place beforehand – that God will not forever tolerate the gross sin being perpetrated in the world today – must stand firm and persist in warning others of the nearness of His return.
Chris, from our fellowship, has an interest in Bible prophecy and from time to time will share his views with us on current events and how they relate to prophecy in this new series “Bible Prophecy”.