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Jesus and the Outer Court of the Tabernacle

The Outer Court (or Court of the Tabernacle) points to Jesus

source: ferrelljenkins.wordpress.com

source: ferrelljenkins.wordpress.com

Christ, just as does every part of the Tabernacle of Moses.  In this post we will see the beautiful picture of the holiness and the redemption of Jesus Christ in the walls and gate of the Outer Court.

Exodus 27:9-18

You shall also make the court of the tabernacle. For the south side there shall be hangings for the court made of fine woven linen, one hundred cubits long for one side. 10 And its twenty pillars and their twenty sockets shall be bronze. The hooks of the pillars and their bands shall be silver. 11 Likewise along the length of the north side there shall be hangings one hundred cubits long, with its twenty pillars and their twenty sockets of bronze, and the hooks of the pillars and their bands of silver.

12 “And along the width of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits, with their ten pillars and their ten sockets. 13 The width of the court on the east side shall be fifty cubits. 14 The hangings on one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and their three sockets. 15 And on the other side shall be hangings of fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and their three sockets.

16 “For the gate of the court there shall be a screen twenty cubits long, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver. It shall have four pillars and four sockets. 17 All the pillars around the court shall have bands of silver; their hooks shall be of silver and their sockets of bronze. 18 The length of the court shall be one hundred cubits, the width fifty throughout, and the height five cubits, made of fine woven linen, and its sockets of bronze.

The Materials of the Outer Court

As we saw in Jesus and the Tabernacle Materials every item used in the construction of the Tabernacle had a divine purpose and meaning:

  • The walls of the Outer Court were made from hangings of fine woven linen = the Righteousness of Christ
  • Its 20 pillars and 20 sockets for the pillars were made of bronze = judgment against sin
  • The hooks and bands of the pillars were made of silver = redemption

The Outer Court is a picture of Christ. Christ came in His righteousness as our redemption. He took our place, as a substitutionary atonement in God’s judgment against sin.

The Outer Court and the Law of God.

source: signature9.com

source: signature9.com

The Outer Court is also a picture of the Law of God. The Tabernacle was surrounded by a wall of fine linen hangings. This wall kept the Holy of Holies, where God’s Shekinah Glory dwelt, separate from the outside world. Each person upon approaching God’s dwelling place, the Tabernacle, was confronted by this huge 7.5 foot-high wall of fine linen.

As we know, fine linen speaks to us of righteousness. At the front of the Tabernacle an individual was confronted with the wall of the holy standard of God’s righteousness upon their approach to Him. How could they enter this holy and righteous place? How could they scale this wall of righteousness? How could they get to a holy God?

The Bible says “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear” Isaiah 59:2

The sinner is separated from the holiness of God because of the defilement of his sin. The fact is, the sinner cannot approach a holy God in his own righteousness. The Bible says that:

“…we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;” Isaiah 64:6

Just as each person was confronted with the wall of God’s righteousness at the Tabernacle, so this is true of today as well. Each sinner needs to be confronted with God’s holy bible-cover-pagerighteousness – His Law, the 10 commandments, to see that he cannot measure up to God’s standards of holiness. God is perfectly good, perfectly Holy, perfectly righteous. But we are not.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

Once we are confronted with His righteousness we see that there is no way to scale the wall into His righteousness. There is no way we can get in on our own.

We are lost, without hope.

But…the Outer Court had a Gate.

The GATE

source: poliges.com

source: poliges.com

“For the gate of the court there shall be a screen twenty cubits long, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver…”

God, in His marvelous grace, has of course made a way into His presence.

But…. there is only ONE way. And that is through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

An individual could only enter the Outer Court through one gate on the east side of the Tabernacle.

The walls were so high that anyone trying to climb over them could have plunged to their death. This speaks of the sinner trying to work his way, or climb his way, up to God. It doesn’t work, for we will never be good or holy enough to meet God’s standards. The way of the flesh only leads to death.

“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.” John 10:1

But there was this gate and it was the way, the only way, into the presence of God, into Life. The gate had a screen woven of blue, purple and scarlet thread as well as fine linen.

Jesus Himself said: “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved…” John 10:9 (NIV)

The gate, of course, speaks to us of Christ:

  • The fine linen= His righteousness,
  • The colours = His heavenly nature (blue), His royalty (purple) and His sacrifice (red).
source: catechismway.blogspot.com

source: catechismway.blogspot.com

We see that there is only one way into the presence of a Holy God, and that is through the gate, the Person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Just as none could enter the Tabernacle and approach God from any other way except through the gate, so it is the same today. No one can approach God any other way than through Jesus Christ.

We come through Him, we come through the Gate.

Going through the gate we enter through Him. We come through His righteousness (linen), His heavenly nature (blue), His Kingship (purple) and His sacrifice (scarlet).

Then when a person was in the Outer Court of the Tabernacle they too were separated from the world. This speaks of the holiness of God and the separation of man from the world unto Him.

Upon entering through the Gate, immediately the individual is met with the Brazen Altar.

Next post:   Jesus and the Brazen Altar

Previous post: Jesus and the Tabernacle Materials


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Jesus and the Tabernacle Materials

source: templestudy.com

source: templestudy.com

This post follows on from The Tabernacle of Moses and the Cross

Firstly it is important to note that it is possible to study the Tabernacle in 2 ways:

  1. God unto man: From the Holy of Holies out to the Outer Court.  This is the path of Sovereign grace
  2. Man unto God: From the Outer court into the Holy of Holies. This is the walk of faith

 

source: tabernacleofmoses.org

source: tabernacleofmoses.org

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: “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. And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. 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:

Material Represents
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
Fine linen Righteousness
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

 

Next post : Jesus and the Outer Court of the Tabernacle


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The Tabernacle of Moses and the Cross

Continued from The Tabernacle of Moses and Jesus

The Tabernacle’s Position

Israel was a large group of people, divided into 12 different tribes. As God is a God of order, this large group of people had to be arranged orderly. God set up the camp as follows:

  • The Tabernacle was in the midst of the camp (Numbers 2:17)
  • On the East side the tribes of Judah, Issachar and Zebulon camped
  • On the West side the tribes of Ephraim, Mannasseh and Benjamin camped
  • On the North side the tribes of Dan, Asher and Naphtali camped
  • On the South side the tribes of Rueben, Simeon and Gad camped

Many experts believe that the view from heaven as God looked upon the camp was in the shape of a cross.

Chuck Missler explains: “The tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun–collectively called the Camp of Judah–had to encamp east of the Levites. This poses a technical problem.  Notice that if the breadth of their camp was larger than that of the Levites, the excess would be southeast or northeast, not east. Therefore, their camp could only be as wide as the Levites, and they then had to extend eastward to obtain whatever space they required.

The camps of Reuben, Ephraim, and Dan had the same constraint on the south, west, and north, respectively. The length of each leg would be proportional to total in each camp.

If we assemble what we can infer from the Torah account, we can imagine what the camp of Israel looked like from above: the tabernacle and the Levites in the center, surrounded by the four faces of the tribal standards, and each of the four camps of Judah, Ephraim, Reuben, and Dan, stretching out in the four cardinal directions.”

Source:http://www.ldolphin.org/camp.html

 

God should be in the midst of the camp, in the midst of His people. Where Christ is in the centre of a believer’s life, or of a Church, then there is divine order. We see that God’s dealing with His people is always on the basis of the cross of Jesus Christ.

 

The Construction of the Tabernacle

The Tabernacle took nine months to build. It was built from materials which the Israelites willingly offered unto the Lord.

Christ was nine months in the womb of Mary. Mary willingly offered her life to God for His purposes.

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “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. And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. 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

We see that when we willingly give to God our lives then He will use it for His purposes and bring forth divine life.

God bless!


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The Tabernacle of Moses and Jesus

source: templestudy.com

source: templestudy.com

God gave Moses a divine plan in building the Tabernacle :

“According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so shall you make it.” Exodus 25:9

Moses was required to build the tabernacle exactly to the plan which God gave Him.

“They served in a system of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. For when Moses was getting ready to build the Tabernacle, God gave him this warning: “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.”” Hebrews 8:5

It was divided into three different areas within it.

source: tabernacleofmoses.org

source: tabernacleofmoses.org

There was the Holy of Holies, the Holy Place and the Outer court.

Each area had its own pieces of furniture. The furniture was also to be made exactly to the pattern that God gave Moses.

 

The Purpose of the Tabernacle

When Moses was on the mountain with God, God said to him:

“…let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8

The purpose of the Tabernacle was for God to dwell among His people, in order to guide them and to bless and provide for them.

God has always desired fellowship with man. We see this with God’s dealings with Adam and Eve, with Israel and with the followers of Christ – His Church. In fact the Tabernacle of Moses points ultimately to Jesus Christ as it is a picture of God dwelling amongst man.

In John 1:14 we read:

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The word “dwelt” here literally means to “pitch a tent”. It is from the Greek word skenoo

“…This word skene (tent) is the very word used in the New Testament to refer to the tabernacle of God used by Israel in their early worship of God. If you remember, the tabernacle was a wooden structure with a tent pitched over the top. In the Greek New Testament therefore, the word translated “tabernacle” is skene — “the tent” (Acts 7:44; Hebrews 8:2, 5, and chapter 9). Hence, when the glory of God descended to the earth to take up residence in the midst of Israel as described in Exodus 40:34-38, it could be said that God “pitched His tent” among men. The writer of the book of Hebrews calls it “the true tent [skene] that the Lord set up” (Hebrews 8:2). The glory of God went camping with Israel as Israel wandered in the wilderness.” (source: http://www.awordfromtheword.org/dwelt)

When Jesus became a Man and dwelt among us, it was the ultimate fulfillment of the Tabernacle of Moses. Here was God not only dwelling amongst human beings, but God dwelling in human flesh Himself. How merciful that God would take on human flesh to bring about fellowship with man again!

And now, as believers in Christ, God Himself dwells (tabernacles) in us. By His Holy Spirit God now dwells not only with man, but inside of man. The incredible kindness and mercy of God!

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? ” 1 Corinthians 6:19 

The Tabernacle of Moses shows us many things:

  • That God desires fellowship with His people;
  • That God always is the one to initiate fellowship between Him and man;
  • That God has a plan to bring that fellowship about;
  • That God clearly shows man how to have fellowship with Him
  • That man must approach God in the way in which God appoints;
  • That the tabernacle points to Christ dwelling with and in man and
  • That Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of the tabernacle

 

Blessings in Christ! 

 

Next…The Tabernacle of Moses and the Cross

 


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Moses : a Type of Christ

The Old Testament is all about Christ. It really is.Jesus2

 

Don’t listen to those who would put the OT down and say it is over with, it is past. Don’t listen to those who would say OT = “bad” but NT = “good”. It makes up 2/3’s of the Bible and it is all about Jesus.

“Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.” Hebrews 10:7/Psalm 40:7.

Remember: The New is in the Old concealed, the Old is in the New revealed.

 
The NT sheds light on the OT. And the NT is concealed in the shadows of the Old – it is hidden, but it is there for those who like to search for hidden treasure. Looking for the types and foreshadows of Christ in the OT is such a joy. I love discovering Him in the OT.

 

One example is Moses. Moses is such a wonderful type and picture of Christ. His life and ministry foreshadows Jesus in many ways. However One even greater than Moses is here now, in the Person of Jesus Christ. Let’s see how:

 

  • Moses was hidden away in Egypt as a baby for his own protection when Pharaoh decreed that all Hebrew baby boys were to be killed.
  • Jesus was hidden away in Egypt as a baby for his own protection when Herod sought to kill Him.

 

  • Moses, willingly left his royal home and high position in Pharaoh’s palace for the sake of his people.
  • Jesus, the royal Son of God, willingly left the glory of heaven to come to earth for the sake of His people.

 

  • In due course Moses came up out of Egypt and spent 40 years in the wilderness.
  • In due course Jesus also came up out of Egypt. He spent 40 days in the wilderness.moses

 

 

 

 

  • Moses was the deliverer of Israel out of the bondage and slavery of Egypt. He redeemed the Israelites from their hard-taskmasters with the blood of the Passover lamb.
  • Jesus is the deliverer of not only Israel but also of the Gentiles. He has delivered us from our bondage and slavery to sin. He has redeemed us from our hard-taskmaster (Satan) with His very own blood.

“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

 

  • Moses interceded for the Israelites when they corrupted themselves and worshipped a golden calf. In Exodus 32:32 Moses offered his own life on behalf of the people. Such was his love for them that he was prepared to take their guilt upon himself and to die for them.
  • Jesus interceded for the whole of humankind, utterly corrupted and gone astray as we were.  Jesus actually did lay down His life on behalf of humankind. Such is His love for us that He did take our sin and guilt upon Himself and was offered to God in our place.

 

  • Moses was mediator of the Old Covenant of Law.
  • Jesus Christ is mediator of the New Covenant of Grace.

“For the law was given through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17

 

This barely skims the surface of the treasures of Christ that can be found in the life of Moses. Have a look for yourself and see what else you can find.

 

God bless!
 


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New Covenant Hope : Jesus our Priest

The New Covenant promises are there to be a foundation for our hope in the Lord.  This is the reason I would like to share below the comfort I have Heaven 4found in Jesus, Him being the High Priest of the New Covenant.  When “darkness hides His lovely face”, when we go through hard times, when we feel lost or lonely, then it is that this hope must be “the anchor of our soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 8:19, 20

The difference we have in the New Covenant with Jesus as our High Priest:

Old Covenant New Covenant
Moses was the mediator of the Old covenant Jesus Christ is the Mediator of the New covenant
No oath was made to human priests by God.“for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath…” Hebrews 7:21 Jesus was made a priest by an oath:“God has sworn and will not relentYou are a priest forever, according to the

Order of Melchizedek” Psalm 110:4

The law appoints as priests men who have weakness. Jesus is the guarantee of a better covenant because of the oath. The oath appoints Jesus as Priest, who has been perfected forever.
The priests were human. As such they were sinners themselves, bound to the earthly realm. Jesus is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners and is not earth-bound, but rather He is higher than the heavens.
The priests needed to daily offer up sacrifices for both their own sins as well as the sins of the people. Jesus is sinless so does not need to offer up a sacrifice for Himself. At the cross He offered up a once-for-all sacrifice for the sins of mankind.
The priests offered animals as sacrifices for sin Jesus offered up Himself as the sacrifice for sin.
The priests each eventually died, and so there were many different priests at different times. Jesus never dies so His priesthood is unchangeable. (What a comfort!)
The priests could only intercede for the people whilst they were alive, therefore their priesthood was LIMITED. Therefore, because our Priest never changes, because He always lives and is always interceding for us, He will save to the UTTERMOST those who come to God through Him. His Priesthood is UNLIMITED and NEVER-ENDING.

“His oath, His covenant, His blood

Support me in the ‘whelming flood

When all around my soul gives way

He then is all my hope and stay”

(lyrics from “On Christ the Solid Rock I stand”)

(This table is by no means exhaustive. There are so many more eternal truths about Jesus as our High priest. I have compiled this table from a study of Hebrews 6 & 7)

Blessings!


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Grief and the Song of Moses

Grief is strange.

You go along fine for a while. And then all of a sudden…another wave descends, and you are plunged beneath the depths of it. It encompasses you and you have no choice but to let it carry you along for a while.

Then after you’ve been thrown around for a bit, after you’re soaked through with tears and your heart pierced with pain and memories, the grief sets you down and rolls away again.

Until the next wave….

Last August my friend Jenny went to be with the Lord. It was sudden, unexpected.

Four days after Jenny went, my Grandma also went to be Jesus.

I went into shock when my Grandma went.

Jenny called me “her angel”….Jenny was “my Jenny”.
Grandma called me “dearest”…..I called her my “Granny Apple-Bee”, or GAB for short.

I miss them so much.

I don’t understand why they had to go at the same time.

But I know Jesus. And even though it was terrible and painful and incomprehensible, and sometimes still is, yet will I trust Him. He is my life. Without Him I am undone.

My Grandma’s favourite hymn was “I am weak, but thou art strong”. OH Lord help me.

My Jenny’s favourite song was “The Song of Moses”. I still haven’t been able to listen to it since she went home but I am putting the link here for you to watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF-Ald7IPfA in honour of her and my Granny-Apple-Bee. It is one of the most beautiful songs in the world, straight from Revelation 15.

I love knowing that they are with Him in heaven singing the Song of Moses and of the Lamb.

God bless you this Passover season


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Holy Fire vs Profane Fire

” A fire shall always be burning on the altar, it shall never go out.” Leviticus 6:13

This verse jumped out at me the other day as I was reading that most mis-understood of books, Leviticus. I’d like to share with you what God brought to my heart.

Leviticus 6:8-13 is the record of the law of the burnt offering. This is Old Covenant stuff yes, but the principle presented here is eternal, and is recorded for our benefit.

God is here setting forth His commands to the priest, Aaron and his sons. All believers are now priests unto God under the New Covenant, so there is something here for us.

“And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it, is shall not be put out. And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order on it; and he shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings.” Leviticus 6:12

Two points here:
1. God requires that the fire on the altar never goes out
2. God requires that the priest shall keep the fire burning by bring wood every morning

Where does the fire come from? It is a divine fire, lit by God Himself.

“…Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people and fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.” Leviticus 9:23, 24

The fire must be lit by God to be holy. God will never accept our self-effort, it is a “profane fire” to Him. The fire must be initiated by Him and comes from Him alone. We see on the Day of Pentecost the fire of God settling upon each of those in the Upper Room (Acts 2:3). This was fire sent by God, as John the Baptist had prophesied “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance but He who is coming after me is mightier than I… He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” Matthew 3:11.

All of our fleshly works must be consumed. Look at what happened to Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu when they offered the “fire” of their own self-effort…

“Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it and offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.” Leviticus 10:1, 2

So we see that God will never accept fire, or works, initiated by man. However God does require man to play his part too.
Whilst the fire is initiated by God, God gives the responsibility to maintain the fire to man. God will never do for us what He expects us to do ourselves. So He commands the priests to keep the fire burning, to not let it die out.

How do we keep it burning continually? Well God even tells us how to do that…
“And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning…” Leviticus 6:13
Praying and spending time with the Lord, in His Word daily keeps the fire burning.

“…and lay the burnt offering in order on it…” Leviticus 6:14. How?
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” Romans 12:1

“You never have to advertise a fire. Everyone comes running when there’s a fire.
Likewise, if your church is on fire, you will not have to advertise it. The community will already know it.” Leonard Ravenhill

Be blessed!


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Pentecost (and a Hard Question for You)

Image

I would like to share something of urgency, which God has put on my heart today.  Firstly though I need to do a little background on the Feast of Pentecost, which, so happens, is today.

Today (from sundown May 14-15) is the national observance of the Feast of Pentecost, or Shavuot, in Israel. Shavuot is considered to be the time when God gave Moses the Torah on Mount Sinai after the exodus from Egypt.  The giving of the Torah to Moses was by God Himself coming down to meet with him on the Mount in a cloud, accompanied by smoke and fire and a blast of God’s trumpet. This was to establish His covenant with His people and so Shavuot is celebrated as the biblical birth date of the nation of Israel.

The basic theme of Shavuot is “the harvest” and of giving thanks to God.  Passover marked the beginning of the Spring harvest and on the Feast of First fruits the first fruits of a sheaf of barley was required to be presented before the Lord, as a wave offering in thanksgiving for the harvest.  From the next day, seven weeks were counted until wheat harvest.  This is why Pentecost is also called the “Feast of Weeks”.

Why is this relevant to us?  Because God works by His prophetic calendar. In the year AD 30, on the day of Pentecost, something else of great importance was birthed.  At Passover Christ had died as the Lamb of God, at Feast of First Fruits He rose again, then 50 days after His resurrection, on the Day of Pentecost, the Church was born.

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”  Acts 2:1-4

God once again used fire, wind and other demonstrations of the Holy Ghost to establish a covenant with His people.  This was also a time of great harvest, with many thousands of people being saved and brought into the Church at once.

So this leads to what the Holy Spirit has impressed on my heart this afternoon.  Over the centuries since the Church was born at Pentecost there have been other times of great harvest and the ingathering of souls.  As Peter said, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.” (Acts 2:17, 18) Times of the outpouring of God’s Spirit have been recorded through history.  There was the Great Awakening traced to the Moravians in 1727, there was Whitefield in 1742, John Wesley in the 18th century, Finney in the 1830’s, DL Moody in the late 19th century, the Welsh revival in 1904, Asuza Street in 1906 – just to name a few.

But will God do it again? Will there be another time of a great outpouring of His Spirt, of revival, before the end of the age?  It is my wholehearted belief that it will be so.

(It is not my intention here to prove that God will once again bring revival.  I can recommend the following books if you would like to pursue this question further.  One is Leonard Ravenhill’s “Why Revival Tarries”, the other is “In the Day of Thy Power” by Arthur Wallis.)

The scripture that God impressed upon me today was this:

“And he said, ‘Thus says the Lord, make this valley full of ditches.  For thus says the Lord, you shall not see wind, neither shall you see rain, yet that valley shall be filled with water…” 2 Kings 3:16, 17

God required Judah and Israel to prepare for the coming outpouring of the water which He was to send by making the valley full of ditches.  This was so when the water came it would fall into these catchment areas and not simply run-off and be lost and wasted.  This is what God is speaking to His Church even in this day.   It is no secret that water can be a symbol of the Holy Spirit in the Bible.  He is saying to prepare for the coming outpouring of the Spirit – by making ditches in the valley to catch the water as it flows through.

I guess the Israelites must have dug into the desert floor with some sort of spade instruments.  It can’t have been an easy task to make a valley “full of ditches”.  But while it was probably hard, it wasn’t impossible, and they did do it.

How do we make ditches today?  We need to dig into the hardness of human hearts with the instrument of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The hardness will be confronted with the power of the gospel and pride will be broken down when met with the Word of God.

Jesus said in Matthew 9:38 “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few, Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”

God needs labourers to go out into the harvest once again and gather in the lost.   God needs us to warn them that without Him, they will die.  I am not being melodramatic.  One thing God impressed upon me today is His urgency to have sinners turn to Him.  He says :

“Say unto them, ‘As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” Ezekial 33:11

This is serious.  If we truly believe that we are in the last days and if we truly believe that Jesus is coming back as the Lion of the tribe of Judah to judge the world in a Day of wrath, then we need to warn people.  It is God’s heart that none should perish.   But He has entrusted to us the precious task of preaching the gospel, of warning, of being watchmen.  And He actually, really expects us to do it.

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for[a] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.”  Ezekiel 33:7-9

This is not a call for an elite set of evangelists, or for someone with a special anointing, this is a call for every Christian.  Jesus Himself said “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

I am sorry if this makes you uncomfortable or if it bursts your happy bubble, but God’s heart breaks for the lost every single day.  And ours should too.

Of course, the very first thing that occurs when we are confronted by a hard truth, me included, is our sense of inadequacy.  That I am unfit for the task, that I am too weak, too female, or too imperfect hits me most of the time.  But God says we are not inadequate, we are not incapable.  He has called us for this very reason and He will put His words in our mouths.

Listen to this:  Ninevah turned from their sin when Jonah got over himself and warned them of their impending judgment.

They turned.

And they lived.

God is calling for someone to “make this valley full of ditches” in these last days.

Will it be you?

“The fact is, Christians are more to blame for not being revived, than sinners are for not being converted.  And if Christians are not awakened, they may know assuredly that God will visit them with His judgments.  How often God visited the Jewish church with judgments because they would not repent and be revived at the call of His prophets.”  Charles Finney