The Banner Of Truth 2014
Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. (Psalm 60:4 )

"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).
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The Tabernacle’s Great Relevancy to Men
By Al Stoner

 
“But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building [not of this creation, ASV]; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb. 9:11-12).
 
The tabernacle in the wilderness is called by the writer of Hebrews “the patterns” (KJV)— “the copies” (ASV), “the figures” (Alford), “the outlines” (ABUV)—“of things in the heavens” (Heb. 9:23).  Alluding to these very patterns in this epistle, the Lord Jesus Christ, our divinely-appointed Advocate, is declared to be “a Minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man” (Heb. 8:2).  He is ministering salvation to believing men and women today from the heavenly sanctuary. 
 
The One who has “gone into Heaven” (I Pet. 3:22) is presently readying the recipients of God’s salvation for an eternal habitation in the world to come. He is bringing “many sons unto glory”.  And from one very real perspective the salvation of men depends upon Christ’s present ministry, in their behalf, there in the true tabernacle in the heavens.  “Wherefore He (Jesus) is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them” (cf. Heb. 7:25).  Let us ever seek grace to comprehend more of the Person and work of our “great High Priest” who has “passed into the heavens” (Heb. 4:14), and to daily walk in the spiritual awareness thereof.
 
A Truncated Tabernacle?  The representations in Scripture of the structure and furniture of the tabernacle (including the outer court) were mirroring aforetime just some of the necessary requirements involved in men being reconciled back to God from sin and transgression.  But if the tabernacle had been patterned after many of today’s popular theologies (rather than after that which was showed to Moses in the mount), it would be a truncated structure, consisting possibly of an entrance, an altar, a laver, and an outer court, but with no substantive holy place or most holy place! And alas, the focus and emphasis of that which calls itself the church today are largely upon things which have their part in this present world, coupled together with a studied ignorement of “the hope set before us” (Heb. 6:18)!  Incidentally, if there is no holy place and most holy place (where God dwells) to enter into even in the present time (as is witnessed to by the substance of what the tabernacle is foreshadowing), then, in the words of the Apostle Paul “we are of all men most miserable” (I Cor. 15:19).
 
Some Things to be Clearly Seen. Some of the essential things that were clearly pictured there were, for example:
1) the need for a blood sacrifice (the death of an innocent victim) in the behalf of the ones being reconciled to God [typified by the altar of sacrifice],
 
2) the need for the washing, or cleansing, of those who would be approaching the holy place [signified by the laver],
 
3) the necessity for a High Priest to first enter into the Holy Place with the blood of an innocent Victim [Christ entered into the Presence of God in Heaven with His own blood (Heb. 9:12, 14, 24)],
4) the absolute necessity for men to see the necessity to purposefully approach unto the holy place, then actually to approach, and ultimately to enter into the most holy place (Heb. 9:3, 8) [foreshadowed in Moses and further clarified by the Apostle in Hebrews].
 
5) the need for spiritual understanding and illumination on the part of those entering the holy places [implied by the golden candlestick]. “After ye were illuminated” (Heb. 10:32). Being Illuminated is an expression here equated by the Apostle to being “born again” (Jn. 3:3, 5).  Apart from this illumination one cannot negotiate one’s way into the holy place from the outer court, nor can one enter into the holiest of all.  It is essential that a man “see the Son” in order that he may “believe on Him” (cf. Jn. 6:40). 
 
6) the purpose of God for reconciled men and women to now actually enter, as we have said, into the holy place (the church), and also into the most holy place, representing “Heaven itself” (Heb. 9:3, 8, 24; 10:19),  We have been raised up to sit together in heavenly places in Christ, as Paul declares in Ephesians 1 and 2.  We have been “enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and” have been “made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come” (Heb. 6:4-5). 
 
7) the need for intercessions and prayers to be made in behalf of the reconciled ones by the High Priest (Rom. 8:34) and the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:27) (as is witnessed by the altar of incense). 
 
In summary, the tabernacle will correctly instruct those of good understanding of the many complexities involved in the matter of sinful men returning to the living God: complexities arising from God’s holiness, man’s sinfulness, and God’s inability to act in a manner which does not accord with His own Nature and Person.  (God cannot deny Himself, and men, by their own devising and strength, are completely unable to rid themselves of their sinfulness in order to come back to God.)  These are but some of the obvious things which can and must be learned from the structure and layout of the tabernacle.
 
Bridging Two Worlds. Part of the tabernacle structure corresponds to things which have occurred (the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ), and do yet occur (conversion to Christ), in this world.  And part is representing some very vital things (the intercession of Christ for us, the presentation of His blood before the Father in our behalf) that are yet transpiring in the unseen realm to which Christ has now gone.  Thus, “the true tabernacle” (Heb. 8:2) bridges two worlds: the appointed way of approach to God is in this world, but the holy places, where the Father and the Son dwell, are partly in this world (the tabernacle of God is with men) and partly in the world to come. 
 
In the baptismal waters men die to the world that now is, and are “raised up from the dead” “to walk in newness of life” (cf. Rom. 6:3-6).  By faith they “die daily” (I Cor. 15:31) to the domain which is perceived by the senses, and are “renewed day by day” “in knowledge” (II Cor. 4:16; Col. 3:10) unto “that world” (Lk. 20:35) which is invisible, yet very substantive, though being perceived only by faith.  Even in this life believing men are given to taste “the powers of the world to come” (cf. Heb. 6:4-6), while the church itself is “a colony of Heaven” (Phil. 3:20, Moffatt).
 
“The Cross” (Phil. 2:8) and “the sufferings of Christ” (I Pet. 1:11) had their singular place in this world; but the intercession of Christ for men proceeds from the unseen realm to which Christ is now gone, and which faith must “lay hold upon” (Heb. 6:18).   The actual purging of men’s sins took place on a hill called Golgotha, but the administration of the pardon for those sins is presently being dispensed from the right hand of God (cf. Heb. 1:3; Acts 5:30-31; 13:38).  Jesus, the divinely-appointed “Advocate” (I Jn. 2:1) for men once “dwelt among us” (Jn. 1:14), but has now “gone into Heaven” (I Pet. 3:22), having great mercy upon those who “come unto God by Him” (cf. Eph. 4:8; Heb. 2:17; 4:15-16; 7:25).   Things such as repentance, baptism, believing, making and holding fast a profession of faith, all occur in “this world” (cf. Lk. 20:34), but the “faith,” which “is the substance of things hoped for” (Heb. 11:1), is nourished and sustained from “that world” (Lk. 20:35) by Christ Jesus, “the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2).
 
Some Closing Thoughts. Let us see that we are as spiritually-familiar, and moreso, with the holy places represented by the tabernacle structure as we are with “the outer court” (Ezek. 10:5).  [The purpose for the outer court is simply to provide the acceptable way of access for men into the domain where God dwells.  Thus, for men to fail to “draw near” to Him “with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Heb. 10:22) [that is, with “hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience” and “bodies washed”] amounts to frustrating the grace and purpose of God!] 
 
Let us be certain that the faith which we have embraced does, in fact, enable us to “enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus” (Heb. 10:19, NIV).  Christ was “put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit” “that He might bring us to God” (I Pet. 3:18, NKJV).  Let us examine our own hearts to see whether we have, in fact, been so brought to Him, being comforted by, and delighting in, His Presence.  And finally, let us determine to spend the remainder of our days seeking those things which are above (cf. Col. 3:1-3), dwelling by faith in the blessed domain where the Father and the Son abide.—Editor
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"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;  and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).