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131 - Anticipating the “Big Day”

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin
The Truth Network Radio
January 28, 2023 1:00 pm

131 - Anticipating the “Big Day”

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin

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January 28, 2023 1:00 pm

Episode 131 - Anticipating the “Big Day” (28 Jan 2023) by A Production of Main Street Church of Brigham City


You pick up your Bible and wonder, is there more here than meets the eye?

Is there anything here for me? I mean, it's just words printed on paper, right? Well, it may look like just print on a page, but it's more than ink. Join us for the next half hour as we explore God's Word together, as we learn how to explore it on our own, as we ask God to meet us there in its pages.

Welcome to More Than Ink. Okay, picture this, Christmas Eve and you're assembling a bicycle for your kids. What's the first thing you do? You make sure you have all the parts.

Make sure you have all the parts. And then make sure you have all the tools. And then you pull out that little piece of paper. And see what to do first and then next.

Tells you how to do it. And we're going to do that today as we get ready to set up the tabernacle on More Than Ink. And yes, you have joined More Than Ink. I'm Jim.

And I'm Dorothy. And we are working our way, man, toward the end of Exodus. It's been a great read.

It really is. And we are like finished. Things are finishing up here.

Yeah. Well, we built all the pieces of the tabernacle according to the specifications. And not only the tabernacle itself, stuff that goes inside the tabernacle, the courtyard, the big courtyard, the stuff that sits in the courtyard, you know, like that big bronze laver and the place where you sacrifice animals. I mean, everything's built. And then last week, we got this very, very special and significant clothing of the high priest put together, you know, woven and stitched together. And now he's all clothed and he's got all the stuff he needs to do his role there.

The other priests that are supporting him, largely his sons, they're all ready to go. We are like ready to go. Everything is made. So what is there left to do? Well, we got to get everything together.

Well, yeah, because Moses had given all the instruction and then the people were busy for six months or more actually doing it. So here in the second half of chapter 39 is when we actually said it's all done and they brought it. Right. So we're right on the cusp of making this thing put together so we collect everything. And that's where we start today. We're in the middle of chapter 39, verse 32, and we're going to collect together all this finished stuff, gold and wood and linen and I mean, silver, everything, everything is ready to go. Let's bring it together. Okay. Join us in verse 32.

32. Thus all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting was finished. And the people of Israel did according to all that the Lord had commanded Moses.

So they did. Then they brought the tabernacle to Moses, the tent and all its utensils, its hooks, its frames, its bars, its pillars, its bases, the covering of tanned ramskins and goatskins and the veil of the screams, the arc of the testimony with its poles and the mercy seat, the table with all its utensils and the bread of the presence, though so they baked bread even. The lampstand of pure gold and its lamps with the lamp set and all its utensils and the oil for the light, the golden altar, the anointing oil and the fragrant incense and the screen for the entrance of the tent, the bronze altar and its grading of bronze, its poles and all its utensils, the basin and its stand, the hangings of the court, its pillars and its bases, the screen for the gate of the court, its cords and its pegs and all the utensils for the service of the tabernacle for the tent of meeting. And finally worked garments for ministering in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons for their services, priests, according to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the people of Israel had done all the work and Moses saw all the work and behold, they had done it as the Lord had commanded, so they had done it.

Then Moses blessed them. We are done making stuff. And it's a pretty complete list. It's kind of random. It's a little bit mixed up. As you were reading, I wanted to go check, check, check. Right. Have we got this? Check. Have we got the ark?

Check. Well, there's innumerable things that are not actually listed and all its utensils, right? Because we know from other passages, there were shovels and fire pans and brooms and all kinds of tools that you need to do the work of scraping ash and cutting sheep and all of that. But here's the deal. If you're going to set this thing up, if you're going to get this going, you got to get it all assembled in one spot and here we are bringing it together in one spot. It's a lot of stuff. And it is a lot of stuff. I was impressed even while you're reading it about the fact that they're going to have to carry this thing around for a long time. And so it has to, like a tent, you have to be able to take it down, put it up, take it down, put it up, take it down.

And every piece has to be portable. Yeah. And wouldn't it be horrible if they left something behind as they were? Well, that's why they were specific portions of the tribes assigned to specific things.

So they only had to keep track of their assigned thing. Have we got all the silver bases? Have we got all the bronze bases?

Yeah. It is a lot of stuff. It's a lot of stuff to make this tent, which again, to remind you, the tabernacle is God's way of saying, I want to dwell in your midst. I want to dwell in your midst, but we do have a problem. I can dwell in your midst, but you can't come very close to me because sin is still your problem. But even though you have sin, I want to live in the middle of your camp. I want to go where you go.

I want to be where you are. And this, this is his manifestation of doing that. And you know what is, what strikes me here too, is the emphasis on the fact that as the Lord had instructed, so they had done, they had done it completely. They finished it. They didn't stop working until they were done. As the Lord had said, they did all the work.

So they had done it. It says that maybe four times in just these few verses that we read. I went back at the original, I don't know, giving of the task to Moses. If you go back to Exodus 25 and it says, and God says, and let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell in their midst exactly as I show you. That's the words in 28 or 29, exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle and of all its furniture.

So you shall make it. And it says here, so they had done it. So in a sense, you know, that task I just read for you from Exodus 25, 8, that's God saying to Moses, make sure they do this and make sure it's exactly as I show you. And has he, all this stuff is collected and Moses is checking out. It's like he's the quality assurance program.

He's going, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And Moses blessed them, said, we got it. You know, that just suddenly dawned on me when they, in the incident of the golden calf, when Aaron says later, well, we threw all this stuff in the fire.

This is what came out, right? By contrast, this is highly designed and carefully dictated by God in every detail, whereas that event, they just kind of slapped something together, worked it and stood it on an altar and said, behold, your God, who knows what that looked like. It was a God of their own making. Right. And by the way, none of the gold in that calf made it into the tabernacle. No, if you remember what happened to it, it was ground into dust and put in water and they drank it. Yeah, yeah. So none of that gold got repurposed for the tabernacle, which is, you know, symbolically a good idea.

You don't want it to be incorporated. So here we are. I mean, we're right on the cusp of setting this up.

We're right on the cusp of getting things going. We've collected everything together. We've checked everything off on our list and Moses has inspected it, which is right because he was the one that was given the task.

He's inspected it and it's all according to his satisfaction. He's saying, we're good, we're there and he blesses them and we're ready to say, so God, how do we put it up? Right. Let's do it. So that's what's next.

How do we put it up? And that starts us in the chapter 40. Do you want me to read?

Or I can read. Okay. Okay.

I'll do a little reading. Yeah. Chapter 40 verse one.

So the Lord spoke to Moses saying, on the first day of the month, you shall erect the tabernacle of the tent of meeting and you shall put it in the end, you shall put in it the ark of the testimony. Wait a minute. On the first day of the first month. Did I miss that? Yeah. Yeah. The first day of the first month. That's pretty specific.

Well, let's stop right there. Why is that important? Because it's the beginning of the second year. Yes.

Yes. It's a point in time at which God began to dwell in their midst. And to this day, the first day of the first month, that's New Year's Day. It's the beginning of the calendar. And so God's saying right here, raising the tabernacle in a way, this is the beginning of your calendar.

This is the start of everything about who you are. And as I recall, it was in the first month of the year that they left Egypt. And Passover is like 15 days into that, so it was in the middle of the month. But that first month, this is like almost a year anniversary. So we've come out of all that stuff.

And so now on the first day, at the beginning of your calendar, your calendar will now be set by when the tabernacle goes up. I think that's kind of cool. Okay. Anyway, let's move on. Sorry. I had to interrupt you. It's an important day.

Okay. It's an important day. So verse three, and you shall put in it the ark of the testimony and you shall screen the ark with the veil and you shall bring in the table and arrange it.

And you shall... Remember, we said the table, we call it the table of presence of the bread, but from that point on, it's just called the table. The table. It's just called the table. You shall bring in the table and arrange it. And you shall bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps. And you shall put the golden altar for incense before the ark of the testimony and set up the screen for the door of the tabernacle. Let's just stop there for a second because that leaves us inside the tabernacle. So this is an interesting order. This is very carefully ordered.

Yeah, it is. We start with the ark of the testimony. So the heart of the hearts, the very most central thing. From the most inner place.

Yeah. The ark goes in, the screen next to it, the veil to separate it. The table with the bread is outside. The lampstand is out there as well. The golden altar for incense, which is before the ark, actually it's not before the ark. It's right in front of it. It's right in front of it with the veil separated.

Right, on the outside of the screen. So actually we have everything inside the tabernacle, all arranged. That's all the furniture. So everything is in and the lamp has been lit. So he says bring the lamps in and set up its lamps.

That set up means you get them going. So now we've got everything inside the tabernacle. And what comes next? The court. So you shall set the altar of burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting and place the basin between the tent of meeting and the altar and put water in it.

So we're not going to be ready. Like get that baby going. And you shall set up the court all around, hang up the screen for the gate of the court. And then you shall take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and all that's in it, consecrate it and all the furniture so that it may become holy. You shall also anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils and consecrate the altar so that the altar may become most holy and you shall anoint the basin and its stand and consecrate it.

Let's stop there. Yeah, let's stop there because that's all the anointing and consecrating of the tent itself and the actual contents, the furniture, the symbolic things that are inside. So that anything that the oil touches is God's way of saying, this is what I've instituted. I've authorized this and anointed this.

This is mine. I've smeared my fragrance on it. And it belongs to me. Often too, when I see the word anoint, I think of a plan enacted, you know, it's kind of like putting his fingerprint on those things and saying, this is according to my plan, this is according to my plan. And so when we talk about Jesus as the Messiah being the anointed one, it's God saying, this is according to my plan. Well and it also kind of imparts, this is the chosen thing or the chosen one, the designated one and the anointing is the mark of that because thereafter you've been anointed with this fragrant oil.

You smell like it. Right, right. And later on in the scriptures, we come to understand that that anointing is a symbol of the Holy Spirit's anointing. Yes. Which again is God saying, this is my plan. This is what I've always intended.

Yeah. And this is authorized by me. This is my idea. This is what we're doing. So this is a way of going around and systematically touching everything for God saying, this is my idea. This is my plan. This is my authority place on this. I've anointed this.

This is for me. Anointed and consecrated. And consecrated.

So those two things go together. We find that pair happening all the way through the rest of this passage, the anointing, the marking with the oil, and that signifies the consecration, the setting apart for holy use. The setting apart, which ends in being holy.

Holy is about being consecrated and set apart. Yeah. So that's what it is. Everything here now has been touched by God saying, it's in place. This is what I planned and is for this purpose.

And that's what happens when He uses this special oil to do that, that very thing. Well, why don't you pick it up from there, verse 12. Okay. So we've done with the building and the furniture. Now in verse 12, then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting and shall wash them with water. That's why they had to have water in the basin.

Had to have water in here. Wash them with water and put on Aaron the holy garments and you shall anoint him and consecrate him that he may serve me as priest. You shall bring his sons also and put coats on them and anoint them as you anointed their father that they may serve me as priests and their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood throughout their generations.

Wow. So the structure, the furniture and the priests are all dedicated, consecrated, raring to go. We are there.

We are on the edge of doing the whole thing. And it's interesting the way this passage ends when it says, and their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood. Yeah.

Because throughout their generations, in other words, they get to serve for their generation and when they die, another one takes their place. It doesn't mean they become immortal. No. No.

It just means. The priesthood itself is going forward. Priesthood is passed down.

But the individuals in each generation will serve. Yeah. As opposed to our high priest in Christ who serves forever as Hebrews tells us. Forever.

Right. And this perpetual priesthood hints to that. I mean, it's not that any one of these men are immortal in that sense. They're never going to die. They will die. In fact, the author of Hebrews says that's very much the case.

That's the problem. But the fact that the role and the purpose and the consecrated purpose of this priesthood goes on, it's an eternal kind of thing. And so there it is, perpetual priesthood, but in reality with Christ who continues to be our high priest through all generations. You know, I would encourage you if you're listening to this program that you would now, we've gotten to this point in chapter 39, go forward into the New Testament and just do a one sitting read through the book of Hebrews.

Because you'll find. Oh, you'll recognize a lot of stuff. You'll find you recognize all of this symbolism about the high priest and find it completely unpacked and pointing to Jesus. Yes.

Yeah. And remember the high priest's job is pretty dominated by the problem of our sin. That's all concerned with our sin. A problem of our sin. And yet as being intermediary, the problem of our sin is keeping us from, let's say the nearness of God. And so not only is the intermediary task one of dealing with the sinfulness, but that's really not the end of it. Once sin is taken care of, then we're talking about coming into the presence of God. And remember God said he wanted to be in our midst. So many times we get stuck on the high priest role of just dealing with sin, but once sin is dealt with, so then what? Well the then what from the new covenant perspective is now you can come into the presence of God, which has always kept you out. The veil has kept you out because of your sin. Yeah.

So that's the point. And in fact, I say this to a lot of people, once my sins are forgiven, I'm saved. And I said, yeah, but saved to what?

Well, I don't know. Saved to walk in a manner worthy of the God who called you. And to be in his presence.

And to fulfill his ministry by his power within you. Yeah. Yeah.

But in company with him. Right. Right.

Yeah. And see that's the whole thing with the Holy of Holies and the veil that's right there. You can't come in.

You can't come in. And yet when Christ is crucified and the veil is torn from top to bottom, clearly God is throwing open the door into his presence. And so that payment that's paid on our behalf, the high priest who is also the sacrifice in Christ, throws open the door into the Holy of Holies, into the presence of God. And because our sins have been taken care of, they've been dropped in the sea, they've been forgotten, they've been paid for, the wrath of God is satisfied, we can actually come into God's presence. Yeah, actually Hebrews 6 gives us this beautiful picture that he entered the Holy of Holies and anchored, he anchored our souls there. He opened the way and led right through and all we have to do is follow. And prop the door open.

The steps, yeah. Left the door wide open for us to just pull ourselves, well we don't pull ourselves. No, we don't pull ourselves. To follow along. We follow along. We follow the track with you. In fact the author of Hebrews gives this high priest and Jesus a particular term which is kind of translated captain. Like he's the one that's in charge and he goes ahead and we follow.

And he's the one who blazes the trail and we follow. So Jesus himself through his own blood and roll his high priest and sacrifice simultaneously gives the way with his blood into the presence of God himself so we can enjoy the presence of God. Relationship with God, that's actually what I'm saved to, not just saved from my sins, but those sins have kept me away up until that point and now the door's open. Brought into fellowship when the Lord says I've always wanted to dwell in your midst.

That's such a beautiful picture. Yeah, and I've always loved that phrase by the psalmist where he says the nearness of God is my good. The nearness of God is my good. So here's a God who's intention is to live amongst us and he does in this tabernacle for them in their midst. When he moves they move.

When he stops they stop. I mean he's clearly a co-sojourner with them in life. He wants to be with them in life and he wants to be in their midst. But now you know that separation, that veil that keeps us away because of our sin. The reminders of sin as we walk past that gigantic altar where they're burning animals and stuff like that.

The need to have a payment made on our behalf for our sin. All those reminders to us are well God is here and he's near but I can't come near because I'm sinful. And so God fixes that in the new covenant.

I mean it's complete, it's completely fixed. But this is such a great graphical picture of how the reminder of sin and the sacrifice for sin paves the way for us to come in the presence of God. And now we, both Peter and Paul, talk about this in the New Testament that we, because Christ dwells in us and we have entered the holy place in him and through his sacrifice, we are being built up together as living stones into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

That's right. Paul speaks of that in Ephesians, Peter speaks of it in 1 Peter. So in a sense we are being built into a tabernacle. We are the tabernacle, the dwelling place of God. The dwelling place of God, yeah.

Corporately together we are stones in that new tabernacle, that new temple where God says I elect to be here and I'm glad you're part of it. Now in between those two pictures, the tabernacle in the wilderness and the temple that built out of stone that Solomon built. And the picture, the fulfilled picture of us being the dwelling place of God in the Spirit, in John 1 it says the word of God became flesh and dwelt among us, dwelt among us, tabernacled among us and we beheld his glory.

Glory is of the only begotten from the Father. So this whole idea, God came and dwelt among us in the person of his Son who paid the sacrifice for our sin and now indwells us by his Holy Spirit and we become the temple. Yeah, so in the same way that Israel left Egypt and went out tenting and wandering through tough circumstances, God says I'm going to go tenting with you and when Christ comes he says I want to go tenting with you through the difficulty of life.

I want to be near you, I want to be alongside of you. And so Christ tabernacled with us. So here's a God who clearly says in these pictures in the Old Testament as well as through Christ, my desire is to be with you as you live life. It's not to be separate from you and the problem of your sin has prevented that but I have fixed that in the sacrifice of Christ and I can be near you and you can be near me. And so now Paul says here's the miracle, Christ in you, the hope of glory.

I mean that's an amazing thing. God not only wants to be sort of where we are but he wants to be in you in the process as you tent your way through life. And so now you are the temple of God, you're the place where it comes from.

So he is in us and we are in him. Yeah, so you could almost say that this picture we're looking at with the tabernacle in a way represents us in fellowship with God. And I know I've read a lot of commentators who try to take this analogy and kind of work it to death in terms of the design of the tabernacle. Right, the design of the tabernacle. I don't know if I go totally with a lot of that stuff but it is kind of intriguing because that's what's being pointed to in a real sense, the God who wants to be near, the God who takes care of our problem of sin and allows us to be near and to tent along with us through life. So I'm just saying as we're sort of pulling away, finishing this tabernacle here, this is a good time for you, which is what we do when we do Bible study, is to sort of what I call push back from the table a little bit, you know, put your hands behind your head, stare at the ceiling and say, so what is the intricate detail of the design of this thing trying to teach me? What is God trying to say?

Because he was very insistent with Moses. We make sure it's exactly as I show you because that exactness is teaching us something profound about what God's intentions for us are in the real world and we know that this tabernacle is kind of a shadow of that real thing in terms of God's design. Not just kind of. It is a shadow. It is a shadow. Well that's what the writer of Hebrews says.

It is a shadow. It's a pretty good projection of the reality of what God's intention for us is. So this is where you get to sit back and sort of scratch your head about that and I've been scratching my head about this picture of the tabernacle for like 50 years and it's not like it's not knowable but there's a lot in here that really you can connect to. So take the time to sit back and just noodle on it for a while and put the picture of what you've seen as we've looked at the tabernacle back in your head and say, what exactly is this telling me? Yeah.

You're stunned. Well, I'm just, I'm trying to think about, you know, we've heard over the years a lot of kind of unpacking of the symbolism of the actual structure of the tabernacle and I was thinking about the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies and that is described really as a picture of the deepest holy place within us where God's Spirit dwells, where God meets with us in the deep secret places of the heart and where His Word dwells in us, where Aaron's rod that budded, right, life out of death indwells us, where that jar of manna was preserved in the Ark, God's living bread, right? The bread of life.

We don't live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. So there's a lot of true truth to be gained by meditating on these symbols in this beautiful picture. Yeah, and Jesus took the Pharisees to task at one point and basically told them, look, you guys should have gotten it. Right.

You should have gotten it. So I mean, for you and I, if this feels like kind of a foreign task of putting together this picture for what it means, it wasn't as foreign a task as it was for the Israelites. I mean, the Israelites really, this was tailored for them quite well. And so when Jesus comes, He says, you know, they spoke about me. They spoke of who I was. And the high priest all by himself spoke of who Jesus was. And He says, you should have gotten it, but you missed it.

And here I am. So just by way of wrapping up here, when Jesus introduced Himself in the synagogue in Nazareth where He grew up, this is Isaiah 61, He says, the Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted. He sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners and to proclaim the season of the Lord's favor. That's as far as He read in the tabernacle, in the synagogue that day. And then He closed the book and said, today, this is fulfilled in your hearing. So He owned that anointing of God and said, I'm the anointed one, I am the sent one. And that's what the Messiah means, the anointed one.

Here's the person of purpose that God has placed in our midst to bring redemption. Well, we are totally out of time. And come back next week on our last episode on Exodus, and we're going to put this up and we're going to see if they build it, will He come? See you next week on More Than Ink. There are many more episodes of this broadcast to be found at our website, And while you're there, take a moment to drop us a note. Remember, the Bible is God's love letter to you. Pick it up and read it for yourself, and you will discover that the words printed there are indeed more than ink. This has been a production of Main Street Church of Rhythm City.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-28 14:14:45 / 2023-01-28 14:27:11 / 12

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