Let them build…

The project recorded in Exodus 35 bears only a slight resemblance to the work of Messiah in building his church. The people responded to the call with gusto, but the family of the redeemed, Abraham’s faithful clan, labours on a different platform. The Hebrew people built things on things, whereas Christians build on Christ himself, chief cornerstone.

The building project

And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.
Exodus 36:5-7

Christ as priest

The seeping of tabernacle matters into the priesthood of Christ is perhaps the most destructive intrusion into truth. Christ is not a Levitical priest; his ministry needs nothing created by God or man. Christ did his redeeming work all alone: as priest and sacrifice.

Heaven, whither our Lord ascended, is above the heavens themselves, and is the rightful place for Him who is above the heavens. Scriptures tell us that God places His conquering Son above all names and above all authority, yet some believe that Moses and the prophets can override the Lord Yeshua and his apostles. Symbols do not circumscribe the reality!

No resolution of atonement in the Tabernacle

It is Christ who builds his church with converted people. Only sinners can become stones in the church. The annual cycle, over all those years since the erection of the Tabernacle, is evidence that atonement was not a available through the blood of animals, nor were any of the sacrifices effective for reconciling man to God.

Hebrews 9:7-8 shows the annual cycle.

But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

Hebrews 9:9 explains the effect or outcomes.

Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;

Hebrews 9:10 tells us of the scope and time of the offerings.

Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

So, unlike the ancient and modern Hebrews, we are not builders of God’s residence, and it is without controversy that Christ builds his church through the Holy Spirit. First, the Holy Spirit impresses the sinner with the truth. Secondly, Christ gives the repentant sinner the Holy Spirit. This is the building process in which we are caught up. Many have tried to turn the symbols into reality without Christ being the Α and the Z. When he is missing from the construction site as builder we labour in vain. Simply saying “in Jesus’s name” does not validate the speech. In plain sight and with plain speech both the historian and the songwriter capture the emptiness of the made-with-hands house.

But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded? 1 Kings 8:27

A Song of degrees for Solomon. Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: Psalm 127:1a

Taking Care of Business

Readiness for the presence of Christ is unlike other passages in believing experience. It includes a measure of happiness. While much is made of the certainty of Christ’s coming and the demand that people prepare for the event so as to affirm our assignments in the current situation. What readiness looks like should not elude us and much of our dismay and anxiety may be reduced if Christ’s own words become the prism through which we see our happiness at that grand event.

Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Matthew 24:45-46

This saying pins parousia happiness to

  1. persons (servants) in authority
  2. giving food in due season

Meanwhile, many are wasting time reaching for sinlessness, miracle-working power or status, and treating their fellow householders as if

  • there is a lot of time [ My lord delayeth his coming; ] And shall begin to smite his fellowservants,
  • personal relationships rest on eating and drinking [and to eat and drink with the drunken; Matthew 24:48-49]

Not a Loan

Prying the irrelevant away from our Christian highways is not a priority yet the evidence that we need to keep doing so is abundant. God does not save us then threaten us with death. That would make salvation less than a gift. In addition to divine gifts being irrevocable (Romans 11:29), God has committed himself to be with us (Heb 13:5, Mat. 123). It is God incarnate who distributes grace and mercy. We are God’s children, not on trial, and not under tutors and governors. Eternal life and adoption are not loans.

Leave those things alone that do not fit grace, mercy and peace

Fable Truth and Magic

It is easy to see how the fabulous attracts attention even in the Bible. All Israel needed was the ark to host her enemies, until not. All the church needs are eyewitnesses until not. The church needs no ark and does not exist where all we have is fable and magical wonder. The all-important word is authentic in the mouths of genuine witnesses.

Exit Death Valley

One way to show that you deserve no air time is to begin and end your testimony with “our fathers”. When the Jewish leaders investigated John the Baptist they did not like what they heard. John and Jesus were calling “last lap” and “time’s up”. Time had run out for the Jewish religious system. The axe was at the root of the tree. The thought that someone and something other than Moses and the Law were God’s priority was terrifying and it held the only exit from death valley.

The thing about ancestry in New Testament Judea was its use as a cover for everything. “We are Abraham’s descendants” was the answer when

[ ] Bondage is mentioned. They answered him, We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, You will become free? John 8:33

[ ] Hypocrisy is suspected. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Matthew 3:7

[ ] Truth is at stake. Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death. John 8:51

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The ancestors of the Jewish people were idolaters. Make no mistake about it. They ate, drank and rose up to dance their way around the covenant.

What did idolatry look like? 1 Corinthians 10:7 is precise.

Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.

How much of our worship today is eating, drinking, and dancing?

Exodus 32:6-8

And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.

And the Lord said to Moses, Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!

How many of our priorities are in the same box?

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith

  1. by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons
  2. through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,
  3. who forbid marriage
  4. and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 1 Timothy 4:1-3

Who does this? Who is in death valley?