All Things According To The Pattern
"Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.” Hebrews 8:5
The Tabernacle of Moses was built as the place where God would abide in the midst of the children of Israel after they came out of Egypt while they were in the wilderness before they came into the Promised Land. It was established to be for them a type of the things in Heaven. It was the central place of their instruction in worship according to God’s will, done God’s way, by all of His people. It was to stand in bold contrast to the ways of the world they had seen and heard of in Egypt.
It was worship not of many Gods, but of the only One, true and Holy God of Creation, the God Who called Himself the God Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is the God Who said to Israel, I will be your God and you will be my people.
“And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” Exodus 6:7
“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 18:2
“But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.” Jeremiah 7:23
“Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God…” Jeremiah 11:4
From the time of Abraham until the time of the Exodus, there was very little that his descendants knew about God and even less about how to worship Him besides making blood sacrifices, erecting memorials and telling the stories of the events in the lives of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, of the covenants and the commandments God had given to them up to that time.
But until they came out of Egypt they were not governed by a set of Laws, that God had given them. They did live within the company of one another and remained away from intermarrying and mixing their families with foreign nations. When Joseph the beloved son of Jacob became second in command over all of Egypt they came to live in Egypt in the land of Goshen and there they flourished and multiplied and prospered. But when Joseph died they no longer had favor with the Pharaohs that Joseph served, as a result they became subjected to slavery and cruel bondage. [See Exodus]
By the hand of God through Moses they were delivered out of Egypt, but the traditions and ways of Egypt were all their generations had known of any religious rituals and practices. Therefore, God had to reveal Himself to them in ways that would make them aware of how Godly acceptable worship was to be done, that is, worship that would result in their transformation from slaves to a nation of priests unto God.
“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” Exodus 19:5-6
Ultimately, they were to take His pattern of worship and show it to the world, to the nations that they would go in to possess in the time to come. God’s plan was that they would reveal Him to the world. So that in due time the world would recognize the Messiah, Savior Redeemer when He came.
The Tabernacle was to be built to the exact pattern given to Moses, no shortcuts, no compromises, no substitutes and no alterations to the pattern. It was to be built exactly according to the pattern of things in Heaven.
The Mercy Seat, which was the cover of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holiest of Holy places in the Tabernacle, was the foundation, indeed, the establishing central place of their worship. Therefore, it was to be an exact image of the pattern of the things in Heaven. It was at that Mercy Seat that God said He would meet with His people. Heaven would abide on earth among the people of God at that place.
“And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.” Exodus 25:21-22
So when Moses was on the Mountain with the Lord, He gave him the exact instructions for building the Tabernacle, the precise, detailed “blueprint,” so to speak, of how it was to be built and then how worship was to be carried out in it.
It is critically important for us today to understand that we are serving and worshiping this same God who is the same yesterday, today and forever. The pattern of things in Heaven has not changed. Period! They have not been adjusted for inflation, they have not been altered to suit political correctness, and they have not been modified so as not to offend the delicate sensibilities of the children of this present age. And most importantly they have not been revised to make the message of the Gospel in the Church of Jesus Christ more palatable for this world.
The Gospel is still foolishness to some and an offense to others. They hated Jesus for it and they will hate His true disciples for carrying it on. But that did not deter Jesus and it must not deter us. Life and death hang in the balance for millions. We cannot lose our zeal, our courage or our commitment to be His true disciples in the world that grows darker everyday as sin becomes more acceptable and the message of Jesus’ suffering, death burial and resurrection for the redemption of all people from sin is denied, ignored and suppressed by those who, inspired by hell, hating God and His people, gain greater control over the systems of communication, education and government.
But we have a command, a summons from God to take the Gospel, the uncompromised message of Jesus Christ’s work of redemption, of salvation and invitation, to the dying world and by whatever means available to us save all that we can.
We call Jesus our Savior and Lord, and indeed He is if we truly believe and follow Him. Have you noticed how He is accepted in the world today? Have you noticed how just the mention of His name becomes a catalyst for mocking, derision and a trigger to send some people into a frenzy of vitriolic denial and aggression against Him and against those who profess their faith in Him?
Now what about us? Are we experiencing the same responses from the Christ haters? If we are, then we have reason to rejoice and be glad in the Lord because we have been accounted worthy to suffer persecution for His name’s sake. We must not let the threat of persecution cause us to compromise the message of Jesus to make ourselves and Him appear to be more in step with this world.
God hates sin, He despises unrighteousness, He calls certain things an abomination to Him. The message of the cross of Christ is not that it opens a pathway to sin with no consequence of punishment and death, as some would preach today.
Yes, let whosever will, come to Him, warts, sins, disfigurement, warped thinking and all. Yes, come as you are, but come with an expectation and a hope that He will transform you, that He will change you. Come to Him with the desire to be saved by Him and to become like Him not that He will change Himself to become more tolerant and accepting of your sin making it ok.
God is not calling this world to Him that it might transform Him into its image, but that the world through Jesus Christ might be saved to be transformed into the image of Christ.
No sin is ok. All of it is rewarded by death, which is eternal separation from God and judgment in hell. But the offensive, foolish message of the Gospel is the pathway to life, and that more abundantly with joy, health and peace forever, the truest fulfillment of our creative purpose.
We were created for God’s glory, to share in its pleasures forever through Jesus Christ our Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit now and forevermore.
But we do not get there by our way, by our strength or our great wisdom and self-seeking, all of which is founded in sin, but by His way according to the pattern of things in Heaven. The Way is narrow, but it alone leads to life. The broad way, which seems right to men, leads only to death.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
There is still no other name by which we can be saved, but Jesus Christ.
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
There is one pattern of things in Heaven, one Kingdom of God that will come to earth, One Way of salvation for all mankind, One Savior, One Lord Jesus Christ.
“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:4