Archive for March, 2018

The call for Unity

The Call for unity

The church, the spiritual body of Jesus Christ has been urged by the apostle Paul saying, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1Corinthians 1:10).
Therefore, to everyone who profess to be a member of the body of Christ, we should make it our aim to walk in the unity of the Spirit as admonished by the apostle Paul saying, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3)
It is the Lord`s earnest desire that all believers may be one, as stated in His prayer to the Father stating, “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me” (John 17:21-23).
Now the rationale for this call for unity, is due to the fact that, “There is one body of which we are all members, one Spirit, in whom we were all baptized, called in one hope of our calling; there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in us all.
One cannot deny the fact that the churches which supposed to be representing the body of Christ are not in one accord, they are divided and are not perfectly joined together as the Lord intended, so the main concern is how can we all fulfill the Lord`s desire to have His church perfectly joined together?
To be able to help in the process of assuring unity in the body of Christ I think that it is imperative that every member learn how to use his/her gift for the overall development of the church, because Christ Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
The reason for that is that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ —from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:11-16).
To be able to help resolve the differences that exist in the body of Christ I have come up with a formula that will help me personally deal with this issue of disunity in the body of Christ. The formula I came up with is as follows:-
1. Try to identify the root cause of the disagreement
It is almost impossible to solve a problem without knowing the root cause of it. A problem cannot be solved by dealing with the effects, neither by compromising.
2. Seek the right solution in dealing with the particular issue
The truth of the word should not be compromised in order to attain unity, instead we are to strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:12-14).
3. Learning to shod the feet with the gospel of peace
In essence that means shunning profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness, but instead pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
4. Approach the situation in humility
For it is required of a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26).
Note that the forces behind the wrangling and arguments is a snare of the devil, Therefore, we have been admonished to, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”.
The irony of truth is, for though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when our obedience is fulfilled” (2 Corinthians 10:2-6).
5. Establish the truth
In any discussion which pertains to the believer`s way of life, the truth must be established, and the way we establish the truth is by following the procedure by which biblical knowledge can be attained which is stated as follows; ” Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts?
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, to whom He said, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,” And, “This is the refreshing”; Yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was to them, “Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little” (Isaiah 28: 9-10).
Therefore, to establish the truth one should not take one verse of scripture in isolation to the rest of the scriptures and knowledge is revealed to those who are mature and partaking of solid food.
6. Uphold the laws of nature
Nature is a sure way of teaching us even the invisible things of God, for we have been admonished saying; “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20).
Therefore, if there is anything that seems hard and difficult to understand, see how the natural laws of nature deal with the particular issue.

Tabernacle of meeting (2)

The Inner Court

This second compartment of the Tabernacle is called the Holiest of All, and similarly to the first compartment, whatever occupies this compartment verifies the activities that are being conducted therein. What is of primary importance is that no one is allowed to enter this compartment without blood: This compartment is furnished with:-

a. The golden altar of incense

This is figurative to approved services of worship. Jesus Christ has already given Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma, which we are to take heed to offer to God at their appointed time. (Ephesians 5:2; Numbers 28:2).

• The incense

The incense is figurative to worship, prayer and praise; For it is written, “Let my prayer be set before you as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice” (Psalms 141:2).
With regards to prayer it is stated, “Now when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty four elders fell down before the lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”
‘Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. And he was given much incense that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand” (Revelation 5:8; Revelation 8:3-4).
And with regards to praise it is written; “For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering: for My name shall be great among the nations says the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 1:11).

b. The Ark of the Covenant overlaid on all sides with gold

This symbolizes God’s visible presence and power. As it is written; “Whenever the ark set out Moses said; “Rise up, O Lord! Let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You.’ And when the ark rested he said; “Return. O Lord, to the many thousands of Israel (Numbers11:35-36).
With regards to the ark David prayed saying; “Now therefore, arise, O Lord God, to Your resting place. You and the ark of Your strength, let your priests O Lord God be clothed with salvation, and let your saints rejoice in goodness” (2Chronicles 6:41).

c. The golden pot that had the manna

This is figurative to Jesus Christ as the true bread from heaven. When asked by the crowd, “What miraculous sign then will You give that we may see it and believe You? What will You do? Our forefathers ate the manna in the dessert; as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat’ Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread from heaven: For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:30-32).

d. Aaron’s rod that budded

This is figurative to the Jesus Christ the High Priest Whom God has chosen, as Aaron was chosen. For it is testified; “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Numbers 17:1-10; Hebrews 7:17, 21).

e. Tablets of the covenant

This is descriptive of the Ten Commandments, the principles established by God by which man should live. Moses describes the righteousness which is of the law this way, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” The law is not of faith, “But the man who does them shall live by them” (Leviticus 18:5; Ezekiel 20:11; Nehemiah 9:29; Romans 10:5; Galatians 3:12).

f. Cherubim of glory:

This is figurative to the two witnesses witnessing the testimony which is placed in the ark when brought to the presence of God. As it is written, “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.” For it is by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” And it is also written in the law that the testimony of two men is true” (1Timothy 5:19; Matthew 18:16; John 8:17).

g. The Mercy Seat
This is figurative to Jesus Christ our merciful and faithful High Priest whose duty is to plead and intercede on behalf of His saints. “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” For according to the scriptures, the accuser of the brethren Satan the devil, accuses them before our God day and night (1Peter 4:17; Revelation 12:10).
Therefore, there is a huge difference between what takes place in the outer court, and what takes place in the inner court. In the inner court only the redeemed should be allowed to appear before the presence of God to worship and glorify Him, by partaking of the bread from heaven in fellowship with the Father and His Son, to answer charges levelled against them by the accuser, and to receive forgiveness and requital for charges brought against them; and to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
The inner Court is synonymous to, “coming to Mount Zion and to city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the first born, whose names are written in heaven.’ When in the inner Court, “we have come to God, the Judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel” (Hebrews 12:22-24).
According to the laws of the temple which by the way was a shadow or copy of the true Tabernacle in heaven, because remember, when Moses was about to build the Tabernacle he was divinely instructed saying; “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain” (Hebrews 8:5).
There are laws which govern those who are admitted in the Temple. The law with regard to those who should enter the new temple was disclosed to the prophet Ezekiel by the Lord saying; “Son of man, look carefully, listen closely and give attention to everything I tell you concerning all the regulations regarding the temple of the Lord. Mark well who may enter the house and all who go out from the sanctuary.’
“Now say to the rebellious, to the house of Israel, ‘thus says the Lord God: “O house of Israel let us have no more of all your abominations. When you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in My sanctuary to defile it – My house – and when you offered My food, the fat and the blood, then they broke my covenant because of all your abominations.’
“And you have not kept charge of My holy things, but you have set others to keep charge of My sanctuary for you. Thus says the Lord God: “No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart or uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter My sanctuary, including any foreigner who is among the children of Israel” (Ezekiel 44: 5-9).
Allowing the uncircumcised in heart, and spiritually unclean to enter the temple, not the one made with hands, but the true tabernacle in heaven, is a violation of the laws of the temple, and profanes the holy things of God. For thus says the Lord to Ezekiel concerning the leaders of Israel; “Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so I am profaned among them” (Ezekiel 22:26).
Now the principal objective for observing the Sabbaths is to offer the Lord His food for His offerings. Like the shadow of the reality we are told that, “into the second part (the inner court) the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance” (Hebrews 9:7).
Today, we can daily come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need, but not without the blood of the new covenant. As clearly stated by the apostle Paul who wrote saying; “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:19-22).
It is only when these prerequisites are in place should we “…consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Contrary to this we are told, “When you come to appear before Me, who has required this from your hand to trample My courts? Bring no more futile sacrifices; incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies – I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting: Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; they are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them.’
‘When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood” (Isaiah 1:12-15).
My prayer is that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory will give us the spirit of wisdom, and revelation in the knowledge of him, and that the eyes of our understanding may be enlightened, so that we may know how to have access to His throne of grace with confidence, in order to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need, and not spending our time only in the outer court of the tabernacle, or profaning the inner court with abominable things.
Our call of duty is not to bring or invite the world into the church, but rather to preach the gospel to the world, and those who believe and are baptized, will the Lord adds to the church. Remember that, a little leaven leavens the whole lump, and the church can only have fellowship with one another, and with the Father and Son, when we are all walking in the light, because the Father has absolutely no fellowship with darkness which is synonymous to sin and lies.
This I know may not be the popular teaching and concept of many churches, but as a nation of priests and a holy nation the main objective is to be holy and righteous in order to be in a constant fellowship with the Father.

The Tabernacle of meeting

Lucius Joseph

Many people seem not to be able to make a clear distinction of what is abolished and what has been reformed. The services which are to be performed as priests of the MOST High have not been abolished as many people assumed, but they have rather been reformed by having the reality instead of having the copy or shadow of the reality.
So instead of having an earthy tabernacle made with men’s hands, we now have the true eternal Tabernacle in heaven, instead of having weak and temporary high priest, we now have the Eternal High Priest, and instead of having offerings which could not present the worshipper perfect and holy in the presence of the Most High, we now have the perfect offering which can present the worshipper perfect, holy and irreproachable in the presence of the Most High.
In performing the services of God as priests one should consider the fact that there are two compartments in the Tabernacle of meeting in which the work has to be performed, one is the outer court and the other is the inner court, and there are specific functions that are to be carried out in both courts.
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1. THE OUTER COURT
This first compartment called the outer court or the sanctuary is where the priests enter regularly to carry out their ministry, and what occupied this compartment verified the activities that were being conducted therein, and they consist of:-
a. The lamp stand
This was figurative to the church as clearly illustrated in scriptures which state; “The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lamp-stands. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp-stands which you saw are the seven churches” (Revelation1:13, 20).
b. The Table
This is figurative to the heart, and fellowship for it is written; “Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” And, “You are manifestly an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not of tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, the heart” (Proverbs 3:3; 2Corinthians 3:3).
With regards to fellowship, it coincides with Jesus Christ’s statement when He said; “And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:30).

c. The showbread

This is figurative to Christ and the church. In relation to Christ, Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” And concerning the church the scripture states, “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (John 6:48; 1Corinthians 10:17).
The outer court demonstrates the faithfulness of Jesus Christ to His church. He never leaves them nor forsakes them. Even if we are faithless or unfaithful, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. He is ever present to empower, teach and guide them to perform their work of service.
The outer Court is where the church evangelizes, reaching out to others with the gospel, through bible study, lectures, crusades going out into the world, preaching the gospel and reaping the harvest of souls, with Christ in their midst upholding and supporting it.
But the inner court requires a compltely different service which will be discussed in the next article.

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