"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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Thursday, July 22, 2021


Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire
Complete Study of Exodus by pastor Chuck Smith 

EXODUS 39 & 40: “WHEN GOD DREW NEAR/THE GRAND FINALE” – by Sonny Islas, Facebook video

One overarching reality to keep at the forefront of our mind is that GOD rescued Israel out of Egypt - to be with them. To re-introduce Himself to them as the GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And as the promise keeping Yahweh, as the GOD of extraordinary powers and wonders beyond human comprehension, and as the One true GOD who is HOLY, HOLY, HOLY
He has come to pick up where they left off 400 years ago and to continue to be their GOD – their Sovereign, their Savior, their Protector, their Provider, their King, their miracle worker, their Sanctifier and Heavenly Teacher (i.e. The Decalogue/Ten Commandments).
This is what the LORD has does for us; He rescued us from this world’s fallen ways and from Satan’s grip - to draw us near and make us His. To be for us all that we will ever need. He is our ONE stop eternal shop!

The Grand finale in EXODUS 39 and 40 is that GOD DRAWS NEAR!
These last two chapters in Exodus focus on: The finished work of the priestly clothing and the tabernacle (The Big Tent of Worship).

The tabernacle was completed and erected about one year after being rescued from Egypt. This was a very big deal for Israel, and they were super excited about GOD DRAWING NEAR. Chapter 40 is the highest point in the Book of Exodus because Yahweh comes down from Mountain Sinai to dwell with Israel in the camp! This was God displaying His great love for them – to be among them and near them. From only a chosen few being permitted to draw near on the mountain lest anyone dies, to here where all are welcome to draw near!

EXODUS 39:1-7 Making the Garments of the Priesthood
1 And of the blue, and purple, and scarlet, they made cloths of service, to do service in the holy place, and made the holy garments for Aaron; as the LORD commanded Moses. 2 And he made the ephod of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. 3 And they did beat the gold into thin plates, and cut it into wires, to work it in the blue, and in the purple, and in the scarlet, and in the fine linen, with cunning work. 4 They made shoulder pieces for it, to couple it together: by the two edges was it coupled together. 5 And the curious girdle of his ephod, that was upon it, was of the same, according to the work thereof; of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen; as the LORD commanded Moses. 6 And they wrought onyx stones enclosed in ouches of gold, graven, as signets are graven, with the names of the children of Israel. 7 And he put them on the shoulders of the ephod, that they should be stones for a memorial to the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses.
Aaron’s high priestly garments were made up of royal colors – “blue, purple, and scarlet
These colors chosen by God Himself no doubt pointed to men working for The King of the universe.

Interestingly enough, The robes that were placed on Jesus before His crucifixion (as a form of mockery) were described as gorgeous in LUKE 23:11, scarlet in MATT 27:28, and purple in MARK 15:17 and JOHN 19:2. Again the colors of royalty.

By the way, these were the same colors used in the Tabernacle – so when the people saw Aaron – they caught a glimpse of the beauty found in the tabernacle. In the same way when Israel saw Jesus, they saw a glimpse of heaven.

Garments of ministry and for ministering, that is, holy garments for Aaron: These garments were holy in the sense that Aaron could only wear these beautifully designed clothing for holy service in the tabernacle. He couldn’t sleep with them on. No playing volleyball with them, nor taking a walk around town (in his case the desert) with them, nor let a friend borrow them. They were strictly and specifically used for holy service. This clothing was set apart for God’s work and worship.

In verse 6,7 we find that the two-onyx stones with the names of the twelve tribes were placed on Aaron’s shoulders – seeing that Aaron is a type of Christ, this could point to ISA 9:6 where it says that “And the government will be upon His shoulder.” This will take place in the millennial reign where Jesus will carry both the nation of Israel on His shoulders along with the entire world. This also points to Jesus being our burden bearer and as the Good Shepherd who carries His wounded sheep on His shoulders. Aaron carried memorial onyx stones on His shoulders, Jesus carried a cross (with lost souls in mind) on His!

EXODUS 39:8-21 Making the Ephod
8 And he made the breastplate of cunning work, like the work of the ephod; of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. 9 It was foursquare; they made the breastplate double: a span was the length thereof, and a span the breadth thereof, being doubled. 10 And they set in it four rows of stones: the first row was a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this was the first row. 11 And the second row, an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. 12 And the third row, a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. 13 And the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper: they were inclosed in ouches of gold in their inclosings. 14 And the stones were according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet, every one with his name, according to the twelve tribes. 15 And they made upon the breastplate chains at the ends, of wreathen work of pure gold. 16 And they made two ouches of gold, and two gold rings; and put the two rings in the two ends of the breastplate.
17 And they put the two wreathen chains of gold in the two rings on the ends of the breastplate. 18 And the two ends of the two wreathen chains they fastened in the two ouches, and put them on the shoulderpieces of the ephod, before it. 19 And they made two rings of gold, and put them on the two ends of the breastplate, upon the border of it, which was on the side of the ephod inward. 20 And they made two other golden rings, and put them on the two sides of the ephod underneath, toward the forepart of it, over against the other coupling thereof, above the curious girdle of the ephod. 21 And they did bind the breastplate by his rings unto the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it might be above the curious girdle of the ephod, and that the breastplate might not be loosed from the ephod; as the LORD commanded Moses.

When we read “He made the ephod,…he made the breastplate…he made the robe,” etc. “He” is referring to Bezalel, the man God appointed for this special work back in chapter 31.
And when it says, “they beat the gold…they made the shoulder straps…they made the robe’s pomegranates and bells,” etc. “They” is referring to Bezalel and Aholiab and other experienced helpers. Exodus 31 tells us that God filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God, no doubt to do the work with joy, passion, and precision.

This clearly shows us where ministry success comes from – through the help of the Holy Spirit! I personally pray to the Holy Spirit for help and wisdom all the time. Ministry is not ministry without His power and assistance.

The Breastplate just like the two onyx stones also had the names of the twelve Tribes of Israel which served as a constant reminder of how Israel should always be on Aaron’s mind and over Aaron’s heart.
The same is true of Jesus, He holds all the names of His redeemed over His heart. Every one of us, individually and collectively, are always in the LORD’s heart. The same should be said of the pastor(s) regarding his congregation.

Anoint the men and the things – consecrate all for God. Like a husband and wife’s consecration to one another in holy matrimony and each one’s body is for private use only not public use.

Holy: Other, distinct, different, set apart – united with God – belonging to God – useful to God.
Anointed: Chosen and set apart God – in other words, “this is mine.” This one is mine. “Minister to Me.” As we serve God, those around us get the benefit. I serve you as unto the LORD. I serve my wife as unto the LORD. You serve your boss as unto the LORD. We serve the LORD in whatever we do and don’t do – “do all as unto the LORD” (COL 3:23).

EXODUS 39:22-43 Making the other priestly garments.
22 And he made the robe of the ephod of woven work, all of blue. 23 And there was an hole in the midst of the robe, as the hole of an habergeon, with a band round about the hole, that it should not rend. 24 And they made upon the hems of the robe pomegranates of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and twined linen. 25 And they made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates upon the hem of the robe, round about between the pomegranates; 26 A bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, round about the hem of the robe to minister in; as the LORD commanded Moses. 27 And they made coats of fine linen of woven work for Aaron, and for his sons,
28 And a mitre of fine linen, and goodly bonnets of fine linen, and linen breeches of fine twined linen, 29 And a girdle of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, of needlework; as the LORD commanded Moses. 30 And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote upon it a writing, like to the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. 31 And they tied unto it a lace of blue, to fasten it on high upon the mitre; as the LORD commanded Moses. 32 Thus was all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation finished: and the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did they. 33 And they brought the tabernacle unto Moses, the tent, and all his furniture, his taches, his boards, his bars, and his pillars, and his sockets, 34 And the covering of rams' skins dyed red, and the covering of badgers' skins, and the vail of the covering,
35 The ark of the testimony, and the staves thereof, and the mercy seat, 36 The table, and all the vessels thereof, and the shewbread, 37 The pure candlestick, with the lamps thereof, even with the lamps to be set in order, and all the vessels thereof, and the oil for light, 38 And the golden altar, and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, and the hanging for the tabernacle door, 39 The brasen altar, and his grate of brass, his staves, and all his vessels, the laver and his foot, 40 The hangings of the court, his pillars, and his sockets, and the hanging for the court gate, his cords, and his pins, and all the vessels of the service of the tabernacle, for the tent of the congregation, 41 The cloths of service to do service in the holy place, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and his sons' garments, to minister in the priest's office. 42 According to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work. 43 And Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the LORD had commanded, even so had they done it: and Moses blessed them.

“…a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate…” – I can’t help but think that ministry work should be fruitful and musical/joyful. Pomegranate speaks of fruitfulness and bells speak of sound. What kind of fruit do we bear? Good fruit through the power of the Spirit or rotten fruit through the powerlessness of the flesh? What kind of sound do we make? Do we make any joyful noise for Jesus? The sound of work for God? For the gospel? Or are we sadly soundless, silent, ashamed, and quiet? Are we pomegranate-less and bell-less Christians? We shouldn’t be. We should be fruitful and working for God.

You see, when Aaron was at work, everyone knew it because of the bells by his feet. Every move he made resulted in the gentle chiming of those bells. When one is about the Father’s business, people will see and hear it – no doubt. And even taste the sweetness of our devotion to God through our character, actions, and words.
In JOHN 15:8 Jesus said –
By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit (in the life of God produced us); so you will be My disciples.
The spiritual fruit in our lives prove that we belong to God just as the pomegranates point to Aaron being High Priest.
“the plate of the holy crown of pure gold” reads ‘’HOLINESS TO THE LORD.’’

Most people who don’t understand the word holy – they think of it as a bad and super religious word but in reality, it’s a beautiful word and in reality, a joyful word.
HOLY means set apart for God’s use. It means different, distinct, other than – and belonging to God. Whatever God sets apart and uses, be it people or things – it automatically becomes holy. God alone makes things and people holy.

When Jesus became LORD and Savior of our lives the HOLY SPIRIT was given to us to live with us and inside of us – this made us holy people of God.
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
In chapter 40 God comes to dwell in the Tabernacle but in the New Testament God comes to dwell in us!

As we can see Aaron and his son’s wore attractive clothing to identify and signify who they were and what they did – they were men who were set apart for God’s work. Today we are called to dress modestly but to not make what we wear or how we look to be the most attractive thing about us but that we would be clothed with the character of Christ. That who we are on the inside might be seen and heard on the outside.

EXODUS 40:1-38
1 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation. 3 And thou shalt put therein the ark of the testimony and cover the ark with the vail. 4 And thou shalt bring in the table and set in order the things that are to be set in order upon it; and thou shalt bring in the candlestick and light the lamps thereof. 5 And thou shalt set the altar of gold for the incense before the ark of the testimony and put the hanging of the door to the tabernacle. 6 And thou shalt set the altar of the burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation. 7 And thou shalt set the laver between the tent of the congregation and the altar, and shalt put water therein. 8 And thou shalt set up the court round about and hang up the hanging at the court gate. 9 And thou shalt take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle, and all that is therein, and shalt hallow it, and all the vessels thereof: and it shall be holy.

10 And thou shalt anoint the altar of the burnt offering, and all his vessels, and sanctify the altar: and it shall be an altar most holy. 11 And thou shalt anoint the laver and his foot and sanctify it. 12 And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation and wash them with water. 13 And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto me in the priest's office. 14 And thou shalt bring his sons and clothe them with coats: 15 And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations. 16 ¶ Thus did Moses: according to all that the LORD commanded him, so did he. 17 And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up. 18 And Moses reared up the tabernacle, and fastened his sockets, and set up the boards thereof, and put in the bars thereof, and reared up his pillars.

19 And he spread abroad the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering of the tent above upon it; as the LORD commanded Moses. 20 And he took and put the testimony into the ark, and set the staves on the ark, and put the mercy seat above upon the ark: 21 And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, and set up the vail of the covering, and covered the ark of the testimony; as the LORD commanded Moses. 22 And he put the table in the tent of the congregation, upon the side of the tabernacle northward, without the vail. 23 And he set the bread in order upon it before the LORD; as the LORD had commanded Moses. 24 And he put the candlestick in the tent of the congregation, over against the table, on the side of the tabernacle southward. 25 And he lighted the lamps before the LORD; as the LORD commanded Moses. 26 And he put the golden altar in the tent of the congregation before the vail: 27 And he burnt sweet incense thereon; as the LORD commanded Moses.

28 And he set up the hanging at the door of the tabernacle. 29 And he put the altar of burnt offering by the door of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation and offered upon it the burnt offering and the meat offering; as the LORD commanded Moses. 30 And he set the laver between the tent of the congregation and the altar, and put water there, to wash withal. 31 And Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet thereat: 32 When they went into the tent of the congregation, and when they came near unto the altar, they washed; as the LORD commanded Moses. 33 And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work. 34 ¶ Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 36 And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: 37 But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys

Here we find that every holy thing including the priests were anointed with oil. Oil points to the Holy Spirit – whomever the Holy Spirit touches and dwells in becomes holy and useful for God’s work. I’ve been in Pentecostal circles where pastors would anoint – put oil – on things and houses etc. but that’s not necessary because in the New Testament we’re told to anoint the sick with oil – not the guitar, or the drums, or the chairs.

Anointing means that someone is Spirit filled and it’s noticeable when that person is being used by God. When I think of anointed people – I can’t help but think of Paul Washer, or Tim Conway or Zac Poonan, or A.W. Tozer. But not too many men are as anointed as they in my opinion. But this is God’s doing, not necessarily man’s doing. Just like in the case Bezalel and Aholiab – the scripture says that Bezalel was filled with the Spirit – doesn’t say the same of Aholiab (though he was given wisdom). One obviously got more of the measure of the Holy Spirit for the work at hand than the other.

But so that all are encouraged, the bible says that we are all anointed of God in 1 John 2:27 – anointed to know the truth.

When the priests were anointed, they were consecrated which means that they now belong to God and His service and no one else and no-thing else. It’s kind of like a marriage - it’s consecrated – the husband is for his wife and the wife is for her husband. They are no longer for public use. In the same way we now belong to God and not the world.

Vs.13 – About Aaron – “that he may minister to Me” This is one thing we must all know very well, and this is that we are first and foremost servants of God – people reap the benefit, but we do and say everything to the glory and service of God! This is what keeps me strong in ministry – to always remember that I am first and foremost a servant of God and to God.

Vs. 34 – This is the grand finale!!! “Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the Tabernacle!”

From the fire in a burning bush to a pillar of fire leading them out of Egypt through the Red Sea, to the Fire on top of the Mountain to the fire slowly moving down from the mountain to the Tabernacle to rest and be worshiped! All without burning anything (furnishings, roof, etc.). Just like the bush on fire but that didn’t burn – it wasn’t consumed. GOD came near and they were not consumed!

But it doesn’t stop here – approximately 1600 years later Jesus came in human flesh and dwelled (“tabernacled”) among us and in the Upper Room, a tongue of fire sat on each and every disciple, not just one tent like we see here. JESUS – EMMANUEL – GOD WITH US! THEN IN THE NEW HEAVEN WE WILL BE GOD’S HOUSE (REVELATION 21:3)!

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