"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .

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Monday, May 31, 2021

EXODUS – GOD’s MIRACULOUS DELIVERANCE of ISRAEL FROM EGYPT – Chapter TWENTY SEVEN & TWENTY EIGHT


Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire

Complete Study of Exodus by pastor Chuck Smith  

EXODUS 27 & 28 – SERVING GOD HIS WAYby Sonny Islas; Video was not available this time.

Regarding the Tabernacle (The Tent of Worship, where God graciously condescends to dwell with sinners) and everything that happens there, we can clearly see that God is detailed when it comes to how He wants us to serve Him. What many people fail to understand is that God has clearly prescribed in Scripture both in the OT and in the NT - exactly how He wants to be worshipped/served/obeyed/loved.

In Exodus 25:40 God tells Moses,
And see to it - that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.” In other words, God’s saying “do it My way Moses – period.” Jesus says the same thing in Matthew 28:20 – The Great Commission – “teaching them to observe (keep, do, perform, obey) all things that I have commanded you…”
People who ignorantly and arrogantly say that they can serve God their own way is the equivalent of offering a turtle on the altar instead of a lamb or a bull as God has commanded. Or like taking the LORD’s Supper with Dr. Pepper and Skittles instead of bread and wine (or something similar). As we’ll eventually see, Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu were killed/burned alive by God, just because they did worship/serve God their own way (Lev. 10:1,
2). And in the end, ALL the Nadabs’ and Abihus’s of our world will eventually become toast!

God has clearly prescribed in His Word/The Bible exactly how He wants to be served in every area of life both inwardly and outwardly, whether its faith, praying, marriage, divorce, sex, parenting, work, worship, civil duties, preaching, and everything else to do with the local church. The point of it all is this: God is God, and we are not. God knows best and we just don’t. KNOWING, LOVING AND DOING the perfect will of God is the ultimate thing, and it can only be found where it has been revealed - in God’s Holy Word – for Moses, it was “on the Mountain”.

Last Wednesday pastor Albert taught Exodus Chapters 25 and 26 regarding The Ark of the Covenant, The Table for the Showbread, The Gold Lampstand, and the Tabernacle. At times it’s difficult to picture or even try and imagine what these things must have looked like, so I went ahead and made some slides to help with that. Visuals will be really helpful here. 

For our TTUF readers, you can click on this link and see what these things looked like. 

Today, scholars estimate that it would cost approximately 100 million dollars to build this same Tabernacle – due to all the gold; The Tabernacle was about the size of a modern single wide mobile home).

Today I will be covering Exodus 27 and 28 which consist of - The Altar of Burnt Offering, The Court of the Tabernacle, The Care of the Lampstand, and the Garments (clothing) for the Priesthood. I have some slides prepared for these too.

And again, for our TTUF readers, you can check out the various garments of the Levitical priests and the high priest at the following site.

EXODUS Chapter 27

EXODUS 27:1-8
– The Altar of Burnt Offering
“You shall make an altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits wide—the altar shall be square—and its height shall be three cubits. 2 You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it. And you shall overlay it with bronze. 3 Also you shall make its pans to receive its ashes, and its shovels and its basins and its forks and its firepans; you shall make all its utensils of bronze. 4 You shall make a grate for it, a network of bronze; and on the network you shall make four bronze rings at its four corners. 5 You shall put it under the rim of the altar beneath, that the network may be midway up the altar. 6 And you shall make poles for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with bronze. 7 The poles shall be put in the rings, and the poles shall be on the two sides of the altar to bear it. 8 You shall make it hollow with boards; as it was shown you on the mountain, so shall they make it.

The word Altar in Hebrew is the word zabach and it basically means “to slaughter” or “killing place.” This altar is where lambs and bulls were offered and burned for the sins of God’s people and in the place of God’s people. This altar was a type of the cross and where Jesus as the Lamb of God was hung for the sin of the world.

The burnt offering was the most common offering, and it represented the individuals (the one who was offering it) over all state of sinfulness, not necessarily a specific sin. So, the animal died and was burned in the offeror’s place.

Interestingly, this altar was made of acacia wood then overlaid with bronze. The crown of thorns that Jesus wore on the cross was also made of acacia wood – because the acacia tree was basically the only super thorny tree around. By the way, acacia wood was used for nearly the entire tabernacle.

The fact that this altar was portable and was carried by two poles could also point to the cross that was carried by Jesus and made up of two beams. Just a thought.

This alter had four horns on each corner to tie down the lamb for sacrifice – these four horns could be pointing to the three nails that pinned Jesus the Lamb of God to the cross/His alter.
This altar was a box-like structure – 7.5 ft. wide and 4.5 ft. high.

The altar was located in the outer court for everyone to see – it was visible to all who would enter the gates of the court of the tabernacle – in the same way, the sacrifice, the cross of Jesus, was visible to all.

But just like when the High Priest Aaron, who is a type of Jesus, took the blood from the sacrifice/altar into the Holy of Holies once a year (on The Day of Atonement) no one could see this private matter, in the same way when Jesus rose from the dead to present Himself in heaven at the true Holy of Holies (God’s Throne), this too couldn’t be seen. 

Hebrews 9:11,12 says,
But Christ came as High Priest (i.e. like Aaron) of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” Humanity couldn’t see this great moment, but we did see the cross.

EXODUS 27:9-19 – The Court of the Tabernacle
9 “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. 19 All the utensils of the tabernacle for all its service, all its pegs, and all the pegs of the court, shall be of bronze
.

The entire court of the tabernacle was 150 ft in length x 75 ft in width – it was a rectangular shaped yard. It was just about double the size of our entire church property – it was not really big. Again the Tabernacle was about the size of a modern single wide mobile home – a bit smaller than my house.

The walls all around the court of the tabernacle were made of white linen. This was a reminder to all the tribes encamped all around that this spot was pure and holy.
The court of the tabernacle only had one entrance – one gate. This is a picture of Jesus who is the only way/only entrance (the Narrow gate) to heaven. Regarding the question about how one gets to heaven, in John 14:6 Jesus answers with, 
I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

This gate was made up of blue (the color of God’s throne?), purple (Royalty - God is King!) and scarlet thread (The blood of Jesus), just like the inside of the Tabernacle and the Ephod (the high priestly vest) that Aaron wore. These three colors are colors of royalty; by the way, the throne of God is very likely blue (Ezekiel 1:26). This is most likely why the sky is blue – to remind us that He reigns on high above the earth!

EXODUS 27:20-21 – The Care of the Lampstand
20 “And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually. 21 In the tabernacle of meeting, outside the veil which is before the Testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening until morning before the Lord. It shall be a statute forever to their generations on behalf of the children of Israel.

The tribes were to provide pressed olives for the light to cause the lamp to burn continually. This too is a type of Jesus’ suffering as He was pressed to the point of sweating great drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane which means “oil press” – it was an olive tree grove. Isaiah 53 tells us that Jesus was crushed for our sins. The oil represents the Holy Spirit (Zech 4:3-6) and Jesus is the Light of the World (John 8:12) who then gives us His Spirit (John 20:22) and makes us the light of the world (Matt 5:14).

Keep in mind that it takes pressing and crushing in order for the oil to ooze out of the olive berries to then be used for light. 
In the same way unless we are pressed and crushed of our selfish ambitions, pride, lust etc. the oil of the Holy Spirit will not be produced, and our light will either dim or be snuffed out. So the crushing produces the oil, and the oil fuels the light.

Notice it was the priest's responsibility to keep the light burning from morning to evening? 1 Peter 2:9 says that we are priests unto the LORD which means we are New Testament servants of God and it’s our responsibility to keep our light burning for Jesus – day and night! 

We do this by devouring the light of God’s Word. And by devoting ourselves to being fueled by God’s truth – His Word is truth. The LORD could have kept the light burning for them, but He didn’t – He left that job for them. And it’s the same today, God is not going to read the Word for you. He’s not going to grab the Bible and study for you – that’s your job.

In Matthew 5:16 Jesus says,
Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify Your Father in heaven.” Which means that light is also living in truth and loving actions before others.”

EXODUS Chapter 28

EXODUS 28:1-4 – Garments of the Priesthood
Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to Me as priest, Aaron and Aaron’s sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 2 And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. 3 So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest. 4 And these are the garments which they shall make: a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a skillfully woven tunic, a turban, and a sash. So they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother and his sons, that he may minister to Me as priest.

Holy garments – for glory and for beauty. God wanted the priest to stand out above the rest as holy representatives of Yahweh God. Today we are to be clothed with righteousness, with Christ and humility (1 Peter 5:5). That the glory and beauty people see is not our outward appearance but the inner man – our character, our words, and actions.

Job said,
I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban.” (Job 29:14)

The bigger picture points to Jesus being the one who stands out above all like Aaron the High Priest when he was clothed. Jesus' outer appearance was not very attractive (Isaiah 53:2), but His heart, mind, words, and actions were stunning!

“I have filled them with the spirit of wisdom…”: It is God who equips us for ministry – all kinds of ministry. “…that he (Aaron) may minister to Me…”
We are ministers, that is, servants of God first and foremost.

EXODUS 28:5-14 – The Ephod
5 “They shall take the gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and the fine linen, 6 and they shall make the ephod of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, artistically worked. 7 It shall have two shoulder straps joined at its two edges, and so it shall be joined together. 8 And the [a]intricately woven band of the ephod, which is on it, shall be of the same workmanship, made of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen.
9 “Then you shall take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel: 10 six of their names on one stone and six names on the other stone, in order of their birth. 11 With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, you shall engrave the two stones with the names of the sons of Israel. You shall set them in settings of gold. 12 And you shall put the two stones on the shoulders of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel. So Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord on his two shoulders as a memorial. 13 You shall also make settings of gold, 14 and you shall make two chains of pure gold like braided cords, and fasten the braided chains to the settings
.

The Ephod was basically a colorful vest – the colors again matched both the inside of the Tabernacle and the gate of the court of the Tabernacle.

This Ephod had two onyx stones on each shoulder with the names of the twelve tribes engraved on them, six names on each one. They were placed on Aaron’s shoulder as a reminder that Aaron, who is a type of Jesus, would bear the sins of His people. When he looked to the left or the right He was to think of Israel – always praying for them and sacrificing for their sin.

Notice that the stones are black which could signify the sin of these Twelve Tribes, but they are set in gold, the same as the Mercy Seat which could signify God’s grace and mercy for His people.

EXODUS 28:15-30 The Breastplate
15 “You shall make the breastplate of judgment. Artistically woven according to the workmanship of the ephod you shall make it: of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, you shall make it. 16 It shall be doubled into a square: a span shall be its length, and a span shall be its width. 17 And you shall put settings of stones in it, four rows of stones: The first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and an emerald; this shall be the first row; 18 the second row shall be a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; 19 the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 20 and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They shall be set in gold settings. 21 And the stones shall have the names of the sons of Israel, twelve according to their names, like the engravings of a signet, each one with its own name; they shall be according to the twelve tribes.

22 “You shall make chains for the breastplate at the end, like braided cords of pure gold. 23 And you shall make two rings of gold for the breastplate and put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate. 24 Then you shall put the two braided chains of gold in the two rings which are on the ends of the breastplate; 25 and the other two ends of the two braided chains you shall fasten to the two settings and put them on the shoulder straps of the ephod in the front.
26 “You shall make two rings of gold and put them on the two ends of the breastplate, on the edge of it, which is on the inner side of the ephod. 27 And two other rings of gold you shall make, and put them on the two shoulder straps, underneath the ephod toward its front, right at the seam above the intricately woven band of the ephod. 28 They shall bind the breastplate by means of its rings to the rings of the ephod, using a blue cord, so that it is above the intricately woven band of the ephod, and so that the breastplate does not come loose from the ephod.

29 “So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart, when he goes into the holy place, as a memorial before the Lord continually. 30 And you shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be over Aaron’s heart when he goes in before the Lord. So Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel over his heart before the Lord continually
.

The Breastplate with the precious stones that had the twelve tribes of Israel engraved on them was placed over Aaron’s heart. So Aaron was to bare their sin – shoulders – and love them – chest/heart. This is also a picture of the Church’s oneness with Christ!
This shows us how Jesus, in a sense places our names, over His heart.

Spurgeon says that,
Every pastor should have the names of his congregation in his heart and in his prayers”.

The greatest significance is that Aaron as one man represents the twelve tribes just like Jesus as one man represents all of His people made up of both Jews and Gentiles. And just as the breastplate become one with Aaron, we become one with Jesus and therefore we can say with Paul “I have been crucified with Christ it’s no longer I who live but Christ lives in me…” (Gal. 2:20a)

Urim and Thummim: There is mystery concerning these two stones. It is said that one stone is white and the other is black. They were used to judge or decide somehow what God wanted in certain circumstances (Num 27:2, Ezra 2:63). Urim and Thummim may mean: Light and Perfection. This light and perfection obviously referred to God’s perfect knowledge and judgements. The High Priest had a special connection with God’s will through these stones.

EXODUS 28:31-43
31 “You shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue. 32 There shall be an opening for his head in the middle of it; it shall have a woven binding all around its opening, like the opening in a coat of mail, so that it does not tear. 33 And upon its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet, all around its hem, and bells of gold between them all around: 34 a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell, and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe all around. 35 And it shall be upon Aaron when he ministers, and its sound will be heard when he goes into the holy place before the Lord and when he comes out, that he may not die.

36 “You shall also make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet:
37 And you shall put it on a blue cord, that it may be on the turban; it shall be on the front of the turban. 38 So it shall be on Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things which the children of Israel hallow in all their [a]holy gifts; and it shall always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord.

39 “You shall skillfully weave the tunic of fine linen thread, you shall make the turban of fine linen, and you shall make the sash of woven work.
40 “For Aaron’s sons you shall make tunics, and you shall make sashes for them. And you shall make [b]hats for them, for glory and beauty. 41 So you shall put them on Aaron your brother and on his sons with him. You shall anoint them, consecrate them, and [c]sanctify them, that they may minister to Me as priests. 42 And you shall make for them linen trousers to cover their nakedness; they shall reach from the waist to the thighs. 43 They shall be on Aaron and on his sons when they come into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister in the holy place, that they do not incur iniquity and die. It shall be a statute forever to him and his descendants after him
.

At the hem of Aaron’s robe there were small woven pomegranates and golden bells in that sequence all around the bottom. This was for those outside of the Holy of Holies to hear that Aaron was still alive and moving about freely. This could also point to how God wants us to be fruitful in our service to him and for the sound of ministry to always be heard by all.

Again the hem of Aarons garment had to be made just as God has commanded. They had to make woven pomegranates and golden bells – one pomegranate, then one bell in that sequence all around. It couldn’t be three pomegranates then two bells or apples and bananas instead of pomegranates or flutes and guitars instead of bells – you get the point. We’re called to serve God - His way!

Aaron wore a gold crown that said HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD: This served as a reminder for all who would look at his face. This was their main duty – to separate themselves from evil and give themselves wholeheartedly to the LORD. It’s what the LORD desires for us today. 

Hebrews 12:14 says,
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:”
We are called to pursue holiness that is the character of Christ in everything we do.
Notice the words “HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD” was engraved on the golden crown not the words “YOUR BEST LIFE NOW,” OR “COME GET YOUR MIRACLE.” In other words, holiness before the LORD is the primary thing and Jesus has given us His HOLY Spirit to make that possible.

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