The Hidden Christ - Volume 4: Types and Shadows in Israel's Tabernacle by Hayes Press by Hayes Press - Read Online

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The Hidden Christ - Volume 4 - Hayes Press

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CHAPTER ONE: A HOLY NATION

God’s desire to have a people together to be a holy nation is clearly shown both in the Old and New Testaments. There are many references to this, but two passages in particular call for careful consideration if we’re to glean the Lord’s mind on this matter. These are Exodus 19-24 and 1 Peter 2.

If we recall that the antediluvian (pre-Flood) world became so corrupt that the LORD had to destroy it with a flood, saving only eight souls in the ark; also, that soon after the flood He judged the whole earth at the tower of Babel, confounding their language and scattering them, we may be helped to appreciate better what is involved in the term, a holy nation. To secure this purpose of His heart, God made choice of an individual, separated him from his country, his kindred and his father’s house, and brought him to the land of promise. Thus Abraham left Ur of the Chaldees and came into the land of Canaan. We won’t dwell on the long trail of Abraham’s faith, but it should be noted that this commencement to secure a holy nation is introduced with a call to separation. From this separated man came a separated family, and this family was so multiplied that eventually there emerged a nation freed from the slavery of the land of Egypt.

Their deliverance from Egypt was complete when they’d known redemption by blood, and were safely through the waters of the Red Sea. They sang the praises of the LORD as a Man of war when they saw their enemies overthrown in the sea, but soon the redeemed people were encountering the difficulties of the desert way. Marah’s bitterness was sweetened by their God, and was followed by the bliss of Elim’s palms and springs, but empty kneading troughs in a barren land brought up their lack of faith in God; yet He displayed His love and grace in the manna which He sent from heaven. He quenched their thirst by the waters from the striking of the Rock in Horeb, and Amalek was overcome while Moses’ hands were raised. All this reminds us of the hymn:

"In the desert God will teach thee

What the God that thou hast found;

Patient, gracious, powerful, holy,

All His grace shall there abound."

Still, with all these experiences, the children of Israel weren’t yet constituted a holy nation; they were only in preparation for it.

In the third month after the children of Israel had left the land of Egypt they came to Sinai where God spoke audibly out of the midst of the fire. There He gave Israel His law, and took them into covenant relationship with Himself - He would be their God, and they would be His people. Verse 4 of Exodus 19 is deeply interesting:

Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself. All this is what He did for them in sovereign grace. Then follows that in which they had responsibility: Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me from among all peoples: for all the earth is Mine: and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.

Note, please, the conditional character of their being a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation: it was contingent on their obedience, on their keeping the covenant.

THEOCRACY AND DEMOCRACY

Here was a kingdom of a unique character. It was a theocracy, a kingdom where God rules, and the law with its statutes and judgements was the instrument of rule and government. The book of the covenant was read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath spoken will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you upon all these conditions (Exodus 24:7-8, RV margin). The essentials of a kingdom were present - a Ruler, a law, and subjects in subjection to the Ruler, as regulated by the statutes and judgements of the law.

How different this is from a democracy! Though because of men’s failure in government there are many arguments in favour of democracy, yet it’s far removed from the divine method of rule. It’s been defined as Government of the people, by the people, for the people; but divine government is invested in the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom the Father has given authority over all flesh (John 17:2); again He says, All authority hath been given unto Me in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). Thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through Him, and unto Him (Colossians 1:16). Jesus Christ ... is on the right hand of God, having gone into heaven; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him (1 Peter 3:22). Powers on earth, therefore, of whatever form they may be, are within the sphere of the Lord’s authority. He is supreme, and soon He will return to earth and take unto Him His great power and reign. Theocracy, the rule by God, will then obtain throughout the whole world.

During the advanced years of Samuel, the people, viewing his life and the unreliable character of his sons, asked that they should have a king. Samuel was displeased at this, and the LORD was angry, and said to Samuel: Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me, that I should not be King over them (1 Samuel 8:7). This reveals the position of God as to rule among them prior to this declension.

THE KINGDOM AND THE HOUSE

While Israel had many privileges under the gracious hand of God prior to their being constituted a holy nation, as recorded in Exodus 24, there was one thing which could not happen earlier, namely, their building God a house. The kingdom had to be set up first, and this we see consequent on the agreement at Sinai, and the ratification of the covenant there. The nobles of the kingdom were together with their King, the God of Israel, who had beneath His feet, as it were, a paved work of sapphire stone, and as it were the very heaven for clearness. Immediately after that, when Moses went up into the mount of God he received the command from God: Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them (Exodus 25:8). God’s house could not be built until His kingdom was established, His rule in the midst of a holy nation. Here was an elect people for God’s own possession.

OBEDIENCE AND SPRINKLING OF THE BLOOD

Those to whom Peter wrote in his first letter are termed an elect race, and this is found in the midst of seven terms: living stones, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession (1 Peter 2:5-9). Living stones is descriptive of all believers whether they are together or not; but the other six terms are applicable only to those brought together according to the will of God.

They were elect ... according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:1-2). We should note that the sprinkling of the blood in this passage doesn’t find its type in Exodus 12, where the blood was applied to the door posts and lintels of the houses, when Israel were redeemed from Pharaoh’s bondage. The type is in Exodus 24, and in this we’re taught that Christ died not only to redeem us from the pit, but also that He gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a people for His own possession, zealous of good works (Titus 2:14).

Save yourselves from this crooked generation, was the exhortation to the eager inquirers in Acts 2, following which three thousand having received the word were baptized and added to the hundred and twenty of Acts 1:15. And like those in Jerusalem these in the five provinces had been separated from the surrounding evil; they had purified their souls in their obedience to the truth, and had come to Jesus the Mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better than that of Abel. The responsibility associated with the divine position is emphasized in the warning:

See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For if they escaped not, when they refused him that warned them on earth, much more shall not we escape, who turn away from Him that warneth from heaven ... Wherefore, receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace, whereby we may offer service well-pleasing to God with reverence and awe: for our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:24-29).

Purity of heart and holy living were called for in the law of the LORD: Ye shall therefore keep all My statutes and all My judgements, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, vomit you not out. And ye shall not walk in the customs of the nation, which I cast out before you ... Ye shall therefore separate between the clean beast and the unclean ... and ye shall be holy unto Me: for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that ye should be Mine (Leviticus 20:22-26). From this quotation it will be seen that response to the law in its moral and ceremonial aspects would set the people apart as a holy nation for the LORD.

Thou art a holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto Himself, above all peoples that are upon the face of the earth (Deuteronomy 7:6). In this portion commands are given against the worship of false gods. The ceremonial part of the law was rescinded by the Lord (Mark 7:19), but the moral aspect remains intact and binding (except the Sabbath), being incorporated in the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints (Jude 3). This once-for-all-delivered faith is synonymous with the apostles’ teaching, in which the early saints continued steadfastly (Acts 2:42) when, as living stones, they had been built up a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood. The entire body of doctrine contained in the New Testament is here contemplated. Obedience to the faith, then, is what is required by the Lord if we are to be a holy nation, a people separated unto Himself.

Though at one time having the character described in Romans 3:10-18, those addressed are termed, beloved of God, called saints. But thanks be to God, says the apostle, that whereas ye were servants of sin, ye became obedient from the heart to that form (pattern) of teaching whereunto ye were delivered; and being made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness (Romans 6:17-18). In this portion we see that burial with Christ in baptism and rising to walk in newness of life, are part of the teaching. The saints in the holy nation were all baptized believers, thereafter they were added, and together they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers.

In 1 Corinthians 6:11 the apostle says, And such were some of you (note the evil list which precedes): but ye washed yourselves, but ye were sanctified, but ye were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God (Revised Version margin).  Then Come ye out ... be ye separate ... touch no unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be to you a Father, and ye shall be to Me sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1). These scriptures should suffice to show us the longing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who died that He might gather together into one the children of God that are scattered abroad (John 11:52).

The salvation-bringing grace of God instructs us "to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly and righteously and godly in this present world; looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our