A message spoken in March of 2016
We have been, and are being reduced in size - the stripping process is not what you call a joyful experience, but we know God is with us! We know we have a promise! And we also have an understanding of the divine process, at least in part!
Jesus said that every branch that bears fruit is pruned, cut back, so that it might bear more fruit (John 15:2b). There has been good fruit produced here. God has used some of that fruit to reproduce in other places. Being transplanted is not what you call pruning; some have been transplanted, some are yet to be transplanted in the Lord's service!
If you happen to take a look at the birthday list, you will notice quite a few that are no longer with us - upwards of 20 have disconnected. But there is always a cutting before enlargement. God is also providentially shuffling things into place. Even our pastor Dan Oakes is being relocated.
Now, I would like to have the little Tabernacle sketch projected; and were going to look at this from a different perspective.
We are going to consider the numerical significance of the floor space - they reveal spiritual positions in the kingdom.
There are basically three divisions in the tabernacle, which can point to a number of types; but for all the intents and purposes of the study, we are considering three categories of believers:
Isaiah 2:3, "And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem."
Zion upholds the law, the word from Jerusalem. The law is above the word; many churches preach the word, but do not uphold God's law or standard. (Zion is actually a higher elevation within the city.)
Okay, let's consider some of the dimensions on the sketch: the outer court is 50 x 100, which makes the surface area 5000 square.
Let's look at Mark 6 to see the implications; here we will see the feeding of the 5000. Mark 6:40, 44: "And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties...And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men." When you consider the multitudes that followed Christ, it was basically for the outer court message: the bread and fishes and healing and the miracles.
John 6:2, "And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased." Great multitudes were following because...? It was for the temporal things, for the spectacular. Notice in the same chapter in verse 26: "Jesus answered them and said, verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled." Again, following or seeking for the temporal things; as Jesus goes on to say: seek not the temporal, but the eternal. And that is noted in verse 27: "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed." If you follow the crowds today, they will take you into the arena where the emphasis is all on the temporal - turn to Jesus and be blessed! The emphasis is on getting the better job; the better home; materialistic blessing, wellness... It's all about the betterment that relates to this life!
Now there is nothing wrong with that except that there is no emphasis on the life of Christ: imitating Christ, or on morality or purity or sanctity of marriage, or purity of music etc. It's all about being excited! Feeling good!
Let's go back to our sketch and look at the next dimension: we are looking at the holy place - the surface measure is 200 square.
Wow! That is quite reduced in size. The ratio to the outer court would be 25 to 1. For every 25 in the outer court, there would be one in the holy place. So what is the truth of this numeric (200)? There must be some merit or benefit to be in this place; well, yes there is a deeper worship there - the incense altar sits before the veil. There is the candlestick, which speaks of the Seven-Spirit anointing.
There is also the table of showbread, with the 12 cakes - this speaks of the word becoming flesh. There has been an overcoming; you're strong in the Lord...
The number 200 is interpreted for us in the Song of Solomon 8:12, "My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred." The keeper here is kind of a sharecropper. The vineyard is the Lord's, and the faithful keepers - those who keep or guard the fruit thereof get a share.
Solomon or Christ gets 1000, the keeper gets 200 - In other words, 20% of the profit. The number 200 means reward of the faithful servant. You also have the thought of the 200 that stayed with the stuff, in First Samuel 30:21 - 25. They shared equally with those that went out.
Now coming into the New Testament, the only logical place to connect this is found in John 21:8, "And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes." Here are the faithful disciples after the resurrection: this catch of fish is recorded as being 200 cubits from land. The net was packed, it did not break, and they were not ordinary fish; but they were all whoppers.
In verse 11, the number of fish is recorded, 153. 153 is the number of Zion. These are the kinds of fish (spiritually) we would all like to catch. John 21:11, "Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken." To the faithful, God will give the kind of fruit that produces 100 fold. Which brings us to our next dimension: looking at the sketchâ€¦
The holy of holies is 100 square. Wow, that is a ratio of 50 to 1. For every 50 in the outer court, one is in the holiest place. These uphold the law â€“ God standard; these have the law written upon their heart. The group that advances to the third position has crucified the flesh and they will be one hundredfold Christians. Let us look at Matthew 19:27 â€“ 29: Mat 19:27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? Mat 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Continued Mat 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. Zion equates with the holy of holies because the unveiled ark containing the law sat upon Mount Zion. This third abiding place is for the pure â€“ as Psalm 24 attests: The pure The innocent The guileless For those free from covetousness â€“ idolatry: Psa 24:3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? Psa 24:4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. How many mega-churches preach on purity and holiness? Or, how many try to turn people from their covetousness! I think in some cases they promote covetousness â€“ the quest for material things. However, the point that Iâ€™m leading up to, is the number of disciples that actually remained at the conclusion of Jesus ministry. Multitudes followed Jesus in his outer court ministry, however, when he came to the crux of his message, and to the very issue that determines their eternal place â€“ we are looking at 11 remaining men!
Let us return to John chapter 6: When Jesus spoke of eating his flesh and drinking his blood he was relating a spiritual truth: Eating his flesh relates to his word â€“ the word was made flesh. When Jesus spoke of drinking his blood, the blood speaks of the life; in other words, to identify with his life and death. John 6:66-68, "From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Notice how the crowd dissipates. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." Do you get the point? The mega-church flourishes for a while on the blessing and feel good message; but in the end, it was the few in the upper room that turned the world upside down or shall we say the world right side up!
Isaiah said: a little one shall become 1000: In Isaiah 60:21 â€“ 22: "Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time." People can compromise for numbers. Ministers compromise Godâ€™s standard for numbers. King Rehoboam forsook of the law, and when he did, God allowed the enemy to come in and remove all the gold in the Temple. King Rehoboam replaced the gold with brass. Brass is an outer court metal, gold is holy of holies! (2 Chr. 12) Let us be encouraged â€“ let us not be as Rehoboam who compromised the law, who compromised the divine nature, and received judgment rather than true blessing. By the way, brass speaks of judgment!
God bless you!