That which has come down to man as fables usually has some basis of truth—perhaps 95 percent fable (or error) and 5 percent truth. Accordingly, we will present some lessons that parallel, to a slight degree, the lessons of true Christmas, that is, the spirit of Christmas as planned by the Heavenly Father.
Posts Tagged ‘ ark of the covenant ’
We need the help of the Holy Spirit in this lifetime battle, which continues until the flesh actually dies. Until the stake is pounded through the heart of these evils, or sins, pinning them to the ground, sin will always have undue power over the Christian. “Get thee behind me, Satan” must be our attitude (Luke 4:8). Trusting in the Lord, not self, for power and the victory is the experience of the Little Flock. When some Christians fall, the experience so awakens them to a realization of their danger and the Lord’s mercy in rescuing them that from henceforth, they exhibit in their life the determination the Lord is looking for.
Spiritual Israelites must learn this lesson—that in handling the holy things of the divine Word, the divine plan, the services of the Truth, the ministry of the Church of Christ, they are not at liberty to do as they please, merely assuring themselves that their motives are good. It is their duty to note carefully the divine will and to follow out the program in the order of the directions of the divine Word. Furthermore it is for us to learn, too, that God designs that not all the services are to be performed by one or two persons, but that there is a part in the service of God for all of the consecrated and that each is to be granted the opportunity for such service, as the Lord has planned. Some may occupy the priestly service, which others may not enjoy, and some may occupy the Levites’ service, and their opportunities are not to be taken from them. Again another important lesson to be learned by Spiritual Israelites is that God is guiding His own affairs; that He is as much interested in them as we are and more, too, and that He is fully capable of their management. Some of the Lord’s people carry great burdens which do not belong to them and which hinder them from the rest and joy which otherwise might be theirs. Others are so active, so zealous, that they fancy that the work of God would not be accomplished at all unless they did it. The Lord wishes us to learn the important lesson, “In all thy ways acknowledge him,” “and he shall give thee the desires of thy heart.” Only by recognizing the Lord as first in every feature of His work and by recognizing ourselves as honored by Him in every opportunity of service shall we be able to bring blessing to ourselves and to others.
Now Paul was going into sacrifices other than those on the Day of Atonement, even though that seemed to be foremost in his mind, generally speaking. “Carnal ordinances” were earthly ordinances. (“Carnal” is based on a Greek word meaning “flesh.”) Since these ordinances were ordained of God, they could in no way be sinful. We should not cast aspersions on the Law, for God instituted it. The Law was perfect, but we are not justified by the deeds of the Law. The Law was imposed on the Jews “until the time of reformation,” that is, until the change to the gospel dispensation, when Christ opened up a new and living way, bringing life and immortality to light. The old Tabernacle was supplanted by a new tabernacle, which, in reality, is spiritual. The three tabernacles, listed in chronological sequence, are (1) the archaic tabernacle, (2) the Mosaic Tabernacle, and (3) the antitypical (or spiritual) tabernacle.
Early Christians used the fish as a symbol of Christianity because Jesus called disciples to be “fishers of men” and preached in the area of the Sea of Galilee (Matt. 4:19). In fact, fish are prominently used in the mosaic tiles of that area. In time, Papacy and the Roman Catholic Church absorbed both the name of Christianity and the symbol of the fish, which is seen in the cardinals’ pointed split “fish” hats, portraying the head of a fish. As the Catholic Church rose in power and influence and was recognized by the Roman Empire, the pagan priesthood, seeing which way the wind was blowing, very conveniently converted to supposedly become consecrated Christian priests. They brought with them a lot of their symbols, one of which was the symbol of Dagon. Cardinal Newman tried to explain the compromise and absorption of pagan customs into the Catholic Church in past centuries and how they became sanctified. An influential Protestant at one time, he converted to Roman Catholicism and wrote a book, trying to explain and justify the pagan idiosyncrasies. Incidentally, the word “nun” is an adaptation of “nin,” meaning the female aspect of a fish.
Eli’s neck being broken may indicate he realized his shortcoming and lack to the fullest extent. Just as the Great Company will experience the feeling of alienation from God when they go into the wilderness at the end of the age, so Eli felt alienation when the Ark, symbolizing God’s presence, was taken. The most munificent judgment we can attribute to Eli is that he pictures the Great Company. However, he was in a dangerous situation, because he was only one step removed from the sins of his sons. Hophni and Phinehas were the guilty ones, but when a person is that close to gross sin, he can incur the same guilt by too much sympathy and the failure to take a stand.
The six circuits (once each day) represent the first six periods of the Gospel Age (Ephesus through Philadelphia). An angel blew a trumpet (announced a special message) in each period, or church. (In all, there are seven churches, trumpets, messages, and messengers for seven periods.) In the Joshua type, seven priests blew seven trumpets. The seven priests picture the seven messengers, the seven trumpets are the Word of God, and the sound represents the seven messages.
The armed men of war represent consecrated soldiers of the Cross, who faithfully proclaim the message of truth. The armed men of war were from Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, although some from the other tribes could also have been included. The people in the rear picture the rest of the “Christian” world, which is a mixed company.
In any event, Psalm 30, a prophecy, was composed by David at the time in his life when the Ark of the Covenant was in the environs of Jerusalem and he wanted to find a place where the Temple could be built. The threshing floor pertains to the purchase of the Temple site.
Notice that Solomon started out with an individual: “If any man trespass against his neighbour….” (1 Kings 8:31). Then he prayed with regard to the nation being taken into captivity and wanting restoration: “When thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy….” (verse 33). Out of respect for what God had said earlier, he asked that the Temple be a magnet in connection with making the people’s prayers effective. Now he talked about the withholding of rain, which was also a subject in Moses’ dissertation. The withholding of rain, which brought crop failure, also meant that the Israelites had sinned. In that case, Solomon asked for an instructor to show the people the error of their way: “Teach them the good way wherein they should walk [so that they can retrace their steps].” Solomon’s prayer contained a wide range of thinking.
This is a very comprehensive subject. But to break it down to the very basics, the Tabernacle shows the path of the Christian.
Enter the Gate (Jesus is the Way, Truth, and the Life), Come to the Brazen Altar (recognize Jesus’ sacrifice, and present our bodies a living sacrifice in God’s service Rom. 12:1), come to the Laver (which pictures Baptism), come to the Holy, (Christ in you the hope of glory) partake of the shewbread (Word), provided light by the candle stick (truth, supplied by the holy Spirit), offer incense on the altar (prayer), and finally enter Most Holy (the presence of God, Heaven itself).