John 1- The Lamb of God

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. John 1:29-31

As soon as John the Baptist saw Jesus he declared “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” Now for the Gentiles this wouldn’t make any sense, but John was declaring this to the Jewish people, who knew he was referencing the Passover Lamb of Exodus. Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice to pay the wages for our sin

Revealed earlier, John the Baptist is the Messenger in the Wilderness prophesied by Isaiah, to prepare the way for The Lord. How did he prepare them? He preached a message of repentance and baptized them with water to make a profession of their faith. 

And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. John 1:32-34

John witnessed the Holy Spirit descending from Heaven and anointed Jesus as the Messiah. Why would the Son of God need to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Well remember Jesus became flesh to be the Lamb of God, Jesus is fully God and fully human , a concept that is difficult for our minds to grasp (Philippians 2)

Notice John baptizes with water, but Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit. Nobody else can baptize with the Holy Spirit except Christ alone. John the Baptist not only declared these things as a prophet but he was a witness to all these things!

When you feel there is no hope in this world, remember The Lamb of God took away the sin of the world so that we may be reconciled back to The Father Amen!

John 1- God Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. John 1:1-4

One of the most powerful chapters in the Bible is John 1, perhaps the gospel of John is one of the most important books in the Bible, because it clearly reveals the deity of Jesus and his sovereignty over the universe. A couple things of interest here, first the Apostle John echos Genesis 1 with Christ. All things were made through Jesus, he was in the beginning of Creation

Notice it states Jesus was with God and Jesus is God, how? The mystery of the Triunity of God, Father Son and Holy Spirit. Many today still cant grasp the concept of John 1:1 , even to the point they add text for it to make sense. But the Holy Spirit is clear, Jesus is God!

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.  John 1:5-9

Jesus is The Light of The World, without Him its total darkness. Without Christ, there is no hope, there is no victory over death. Many often skip over the passages of John the Baptist, however he plays an important role in the gospel story

Why? Because he is a witness and testifies that Jesus is the Messiah, the Lamb of God who will take away the sins of the world. Jesus called John the Baptist “the greatest of all prophets” (Luke 7:28) Christ didnt proclaim himself, the prophets , The Father and the Holy Spirit all proclaimed that Jesus is the Christ

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:10-14

Think about this, Jesus walked among us and the world didnt recognize him. Many rejected him, they even killed the Son of God. But many became Born Again, not reborn of flesh, but reborn of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit drew them to Christ and made them Sons of God

Imagine God became human and lived with us, yet the darkness of this world killed him. Even though we were still sinners, Jesus died for us, he brought us truth and grace, even when we didnt deserve it. The amazing grace of Christ given to us Amen!

Exodus 40- The Glory of God

Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. Exodus 40:34-37

Now that the construction of the tabernacle is complete, we find out why God instructed the Israelites to build it. Besides the fact , we know that everything in the Tabernacle including the Tabernacle is a foreshadow of Christ, there is a bigger reason. The glory of God can now make its dwelling on Earth in the Tabernacle

Notice the Glory of God was with the Israelites, God was with them through the journey of the Wilderness, and God is with them wherever they go. Also notice Moses couldn’t enter the Tabernacle when God filled its presence, why? Because we are sinful people and would be consumed by the holiness and glory of God

For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.  Exodus 40:38

God was with the Israelites day and night, throughout their journeys. What a comfort it must of been for Moses and the Israelites to see that presence of God and know He is with them. The same God is with us today, the Holy Spirit lives inside of us (Romans 8:11) As the Apostle Paul taught our bodies are now the Temple of God and the Holy Spirit lives inside of us (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:10)

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14

The word dwelling in the Bible is the same as Tabernacle. Jesus made his dwelling or tabernacle with us. Just as God instructed the Israelites to construct a Tabernacle so He could live with them, Jesus became Human to live with us. Immanuel , God is with us

The tabernacle is another foreshadow of Christ incarnate. God becoming human to live with us and eventually die for our sins as the atoning sacrifice. Jesus is our Tabernacle , who lives with us forever Amen!

Exodus 38- The Courtyard

And he made the court: on the south side southward the hangings of the court were of fine twined linen, an hundred cubits: Their pillars were twenty, and their brasen sockets twenty; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets were of silver. And for the north side the hangings were an hundred cubits, their pillars were twenty, and their sockets of brass twenty; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver. Exodus 38:9-11

Today we are going to take a look at the courtyard of the Tabernacle. Now at first this may seem like a boring topic but when we analyze the significance of this feature it makes alot of sense. First we know that nobody but the High Priest, after they have been cleansed and consecrated, can enter the Tabernacle. Therefore the rest of the Israelites must remain in the courtyard separated by the Veil with God. As we know Christ fulfilled that Veil so we can enter into God’s presence today

Even though the Israelites were limited to the Courtyard, they made the decision to enter in. This is an act of faith for us today also, when God calls your name, you receive his call and enter into The Gate (John 10)This is where repentance begins. Notice we see Brass or Bronze alot, this is symbolic of judgement in the Bible

And for the west side were hangings of fifty cubits, their pillars ten, and their sockets ten; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver. And for the east side eastward fifty cubits. The hangings of the one side of the gate were fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three. And for the other side of the court gate, on this hand and that hand, were hangings of fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three. All the hangings of the court round about were of fine twined linen. And the sockets for the pillars were of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver; and the overlaying of their chapiters of silver; and all the pillars of the court were filleted with silver. And the hanging for the gate of the court was needlework, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: and twenty cubits was the length, and the height in the breadth was five cubits, answerable to the hangings of the court. Exodus 38:12-18

Notice we see Silver alot also here, Silver is symbolic of Truth or Wisdom in the Bible. Jesus is The Truth and The Truth shall Set You Free (John 8) Again you enter into the Gate , which is a foreshadow of Christ (John 10) and your coming into Truth and Judgement. God has a solution, the atoning sacrifice for our sins, which is Jesus Christ!

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. Matthew 21:-12-13

Fast forward to The Temple, Jesus drove out all the corruption of the Courtyard, as this was meant to be a Holy place also. But this is also symbolic of us cleansing our sins with repentance. Jesus was cleansing the Temple of transgressions, as Jesus would become the ultimate Temple, (John 2), the Taberacle of God in the Flesh (John 1:14) Amen!

Exodus 37- Altar of Incense

And he made the incense altar of shittim wood: the length of it was a cubit, and the breadth of it a cubit; it was foursquare; and two cubits was the height of it; the horns thereof were of the same. And he overlaid it with pure gold, both the top of it, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns of it: also he made unto it a crown of gold round about. And he made two rings of gold for it under the crown thereof, by the two corners of it, upon the two sides thereof, to be places for the staves to bear it withal. And he made the staves of shittim wood, and overlaid them with gold. And he made the holy anointing oil, and the pure incense of sweet spices, according to the work of the apothecary. Exodus 37:25-29

Today we look at the altar of incense , that was another commandment God gave to Moses to build, but what was the significance or meaning? I believe, as it reveals to us in the New Testament, that  this was a foreshadow of our prayers. When we study the “Altar of Incense” we can learn alot about our prayer life

First there is the altar, we must come before The Lord with a repetitive heart before we pray. The incense was to burn continually, which is what we should do , pray without ceasing. As the smoke of the incense goes to Heaven, so do our prayers. They are like sweet fragrance of incense to God 

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. Revelation 5:8 (NKJV)

We see in the New Testament , the prayers of Gods people are incense. Notice the bowls are full of them, God hears your prayers and is collecting them! Offer your prayers as a sweet sacrifice to God, and keep praying them continually!

Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Psalm 141:2

David said ,” Let My Prayers be like incense for God and the lifting us his hands like a sacrifice” David is revealing shadows of the New Covenant, may we pray without ceasing to be like burning incense before our God, and may we lift our hands in worship and offer our praise as a Living Sacrifice (Romans 12) to The Lord Amen!

Exodus 36- The Church

Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded. And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it: And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning. Exodus 36:1-3

As we look at the Israelites building the Tabernacle, ect it reminds me of The Church. Notice God gave specific people different skills and talents and commanded them to use them to serve His people. This is the same as the Church today, we are given many different gifts and talents by God (Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12)and we are to use these gift and talents to serve Gods people, The Church

Also notice they brought free offerings every morning, meaning the Israelites provided for the needs of the Israelites, Gods people took care of each other. This is the same for the Church today, the Church is to provide for the Church (Acts 5)

And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made; And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much. Exodus 36:4-6-7

We see here that the Israelites were bringing so many offerings that Moses had to put a stop to it “The people were restrained from bringing”. Imagine that! Imagine if a Church today the people were so generous the Pastor had to say “Stop bringing your offerings”!

This is the sense of community the Israelites had, they were not a corporation or a non profit group, they were a family brought together by God to care and love for one another. This is how the Church should be today, nobody in a Church should be going hungry or lonely, the Church should be taking care of one another as a family!

And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.Acts 4:32-35

When I read about the Israelites in this Chapter it immediately reminds me of the Early Church in Acts 4. They were a community and everyone loved and took care of each other. If the Church is going to be effective and powerful today, we need to get back to our roots in the Bible Amen!