Exodus 19:1, 4-6, 10-13, 16-20
My heart was devastated with wonder when I saw that the book of Revelation aligns itself perfectly in parallel with the account of the giving of the Law in Exodus 19 and onward, showing the orderliness of God, let alone the overwhelming confirmation that the entire Bible is certainly not the works of the minds of mere men! Typology has always amazed me with its manner of undeniable proof that the Bible is indeed the Word of God, for parallels like this are often never noticed for centuries until the Lord chooses to enlighten us and indicate them to us in prayerful Bible Study. This indicates that the newly-noticed parallel was not the contrivances of the writers. The epistle of Peter distinctly tells us that writers of the Old Testament often wrote of things they only knew were for some later generation, for they certainly could not figure out the gravity and the implications of the information they were penning.
The Book of Revelation, in symbol, gives us the account of the inception of the New Covenant to the new Israel of God in a certain pattern that was used in Israel of old that cannot be avoided once comparisons are made between the two. The symbols given in Revelation are the elements that match Sinai's presentation of the Law perfectly. They hint to us some important thoughts we should concern ourselves with, for upon careful observation of the details of the presentation of the Law as supplied for us in the book of Exodus, taken in conjunction with the involvement of the people and their reaction and behaviour regarding the then-new covenant, we see that we can miss fulfilling the great calling we have been given.
Order came to Israel after they had arrived at Mount Sinai, having escaped Pharaoh and the chains of Egyptian bondage. Order came after Moses entered the very presence of God on the mountain top and received the Law for the nation.
Such an event like this was one of the greatest moments for the young nation called Israel. A veritable Age of glory was dawning upon them, as they were chosen above all people on the earth to be an actual Kingdom of Priests. Think about it! This people would be to the world an entire Kingdom of Priests. What an awesome day was ready to dawn so long ago in a wilderness!
Surely this declaration was of utmost glory and wonder for this people of old! What a calling! The events to soon occur at Sinai were going to be most momentous events, readying them for this special calling above all the peoples of the planet earth.
The people were asked the question whether they would be sure to obey the covenant they were about to receive, before they received it and before Moses journeyed up the mountain to hear God's Word concerning their calling. With one accord, the multitude unanimously agreed. With that, Moses journeyed up to the Lord.
God proceeded to tell Moses that the people must be sanctified, for in three days He would visibly display His glory on the mountain. When the third day arrived, the day dawned with the crashing pounds of thunderings and the flashes of brilliant lightening! What a heralding display! This third day was going to be a day to remember in all the history of Israel. An Age rose up before them. A new day was dawning. A people would be anointed to be an entire Kingdom of Priests. Only such a display of God's glory could warrant the breathtaking commission about to be experienced by the race.
Hebrews 12 referred to this historical time in Exodus and contrasted it with our New Covenant. We are told that the Kingdom that we have received under Jesus Christ is a Kingdom that cannot be moved. In contrast, Israel came to a physical mountain that shook and trembled and quaked. The very touch of the mountain would bring the punishment of death upon the criminal. Not even a beast was allowed to touch it. It was awesome!
Yet we are told that we have not come to such a physical display and physical mountain when we came to the New Covenant. Theirs was an earthly arena and an earthly display. Ours is a Heavenly arena and a heavenly involvement. We are not come to an earthly mountain, but to a Heavenly Jerusalem and a Heavenly and most spiritual Mountain called Zion. God spoke to Moses on the earth, but He speaks to us from Heaven!
Jesus Himself told us that the heavens and the earth shall be shaken, in agreement with Hebrews' assessment of the greater involvement that we have as New Testament saints of God, and the superiority of the New Covenant. The earth alone was shaken in Moses' day, whereas the heavens and earth shall shake to match the greater weight and glory involved in this New Covenant.
When the third day arrived in which God would manifest His glory visibly, thunderings, lightening and quaking occurred.
Moses went up into a mountain, but another gentleman was called into a considerably more interesting domain called Heaven and saw similar things as the events of that third day so long ago at Sinai.
As the thunderings heralded the inception of the Mosaic Law, John saw the same indication used to herald the inception of the grander covenant. John saw the beginning of something great. One needs to look back to the inception of the Law of Moses and notice the comparisons with what John saw in order to understand that John saw the inception of the New Covenant when he saw the throne in Heaven and its thunderings
In Exodus we find a meeting between God and man upon Mount Sinai. But Revelation shows a meeting between God and man in Heaven.
Hebrews 12 said that God spoke to us from Heaven regarding the New Covenant in the manner in which He spoke on earth regarding the Old. And Hebrews tells us that this Kingdom we have entered into cannot be removed. Heaven and earth shall shake, but this Kingdom shall not be removed. Moses' covenant could only take the shaking of the earth, but this one is eternal and will outlast the shaking away of Heaven and Earth.
We are not come to a fleshly, material mountain that can or cannot be touched. We are come to an unseen, spiritual mountain called Zion, and to the Heavenly City Jerusalem, not of this lowly earth.
We are involved in far greater matters now. That which is seen is temporal, and that which is not seen is eternal. Moses' Law was only temporal. Paul explained that it was only come in due to transgressions until the Seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ, should come (Gal. 3).
Moses told the people that if they agreed to obey the covenant, God would make them a kingdom of Priests. The third day of that period began the inception. God proceeded to give the Ten Commandments.
In answer to the question of why God manifested so fearsomely, we read the following from Moses.
Indeed this was a very serious matter God was working with Israel that day. The same gravity must be recognized in the vision John saw that represented the beginning of the New Covenant. It must be understood that though John saw this vision in his later years, God was relating to him the entire scope of the New Covenant from its inception onward.
Notice the series of elements John saw in the vision in comparison to the series of elements Moses saw and was instructed to build the furniture for the Tabernacle in pattern of them:
|Exodus 25: 10 And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.|| ||Revelation 4: 2-3 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.|
|Exodus 25: 23 Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood: two cubits shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.|| ||Revelation 4: 4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.|
|Exodus 25: 31,32 And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same. And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side: |
37 And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it.
| ||Revelation 4: 5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. |
|Exodus 26: 31 And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made:|| ||Revelation 4: 6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.|
NOTE ABOUT THE BEASTS AND CHERUBIMS.
The description of the beasts is given in Revelation, and matches the description of the cherubims as witnessed by the prophet Ezekiel in his book. Notice:
So the cherubims are the four beasts of Revelation. The thought of these creatures seen by a barrier is reminiscent of the Garden's entrance blocked by cherubims and a flaming sword. There is more involved in this scene in Heaven than one might first suspect! Not only is John seeing the inception of the Kingdom that will never be moved, but we realize with the identical creatures that barred Adam from the Garden in the beginning due to sin.
This New Covenant involves the original sin of Adam.
From Exodus 24 onward through to the end of chapter 31, Moses receives the words from God concerning the Law and the Tabernacle system. These were all part of the Kingdom of Priests that the Israelites were moving into.
As we go back a little, we wish to point out the note of the third day when all this began to occur with Israel. Thunders and lightnings marked the beginning of this most momentous occasion. John saw the same scenario in Revelation, only it erupted from the throne of God in Heaven. Moses saw it on earth.
The fascinating truth of the picture John saw was not only did it parallel the day Law was given to Israel, but John saw the events of a third day just as Israel saw this occur on the third day. The thunder and lightning John heard and saw in the throne occurred on a third day. It does not say that in black and white in Revelation, as it did in Exodus 19 in the case with Israel. However, we know it was a third day due to the following.
John saw the events progress and in chapter 5 of the Revelation, we read about God on the throne holding a sealed book written on the inside and outside. And a voice cries out for one to approach the throne and take the book to unseal it. None are seen to approach, and John weeps. But then John is told to weep no more, for one has prevailed to open the book. He swings around and sees a lamb.
John saw the lamb as it had been slain, but the lamb is standing! This is the resurrected Jesus Christ, whom John called the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He had been slain but he now lives!
In another study entitled Take a Bite of Eternal Life, we show that this scene was a picture of the actual Holiest of Holies of which Moses merely made a model in the Tabernacle structure. John saw the actual Holiest, as Hebrews 9 told us was in Heaven. He saw Jesus enter the Most Holy place with His own blood in the form of a lamb as it had been slain and having appeared past the beasts before the throne. It was as though He passed the veil to make atonement. None could enter the holiest of the Garden since Adam was thrust out, due to sin. But this lamb was spotless and holy. He was both High Priest and Lamb sacrifice. Since a man could not die and resurrect and offer his own blood in the foreshadow of the Old Testament day of Atonement, the high priest and the lamb had to be two different creatures. But they both foreshadowed the Lord Jesus Christ.
Since Jesus entered the Holiest of Holies, we see a notable event that occurred the very day He resurrected and first met Mary at the tomb. Jesus told her to not touch him for He had not yet ascended to the Father in Heaven. But several days later, He appeared before Thomas and told Thomas to touch Him. Obviously He had already ascended. This is in tradition of the Day of Atonement when the High Priest had to be alone and untouchable in the Tabernacle the day He entered to make atonement by offering the Blood.
And the day this occurred was the third day!
John saw Him risen and presenting the Blood, after having instructed Mary to not touch Him for He was about to make atonement for mankind, as per Leviticus 16:17. John saw the lightning flash and the thunder roar on the third day when something great was about to occur, just as Moses and Israel saw the same scene the third day beside Mount Sinai.
Truly a great Covenant was initiated that day in Heaven!
The lamb appeared to redeem mankind to God.
This act of presenting His blood to redeem us after He died and resurrected occurred the third day!
After Moses ascended upon the mountain, he spent forty days and nights hearing God's Words concerning this Kingdom of priests and the Laws.
After Jesus resurrected the third day, He spent time speaking to the people about the Kingdom of God.
These parallels are simply amazing.
And after Moses spoke to God, he was given the following. Notice the description of the items given to Moses followed by the item given to Jesus.
Exodus 32:15 And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.
7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
It seems like the reason that Jesus preached for forty days after rising from the dead, before giving the people the Baptism of the Spirit, was that their entrance into this new Kingdom and their callings were things that demanded proper understanding. This is similar to the need for God to speak to Moses for forty days before Law was granted to the people.
Israel was about to enter a great age. Before going up into the mountain he told them that they would be a Kingdom of Priests and a holy nation. But when he returned with the tables of commandments after spending forty days and nights hearing from God, he found them worshipping a golden idol. They broke the first commandment before they even received them all.
We find that their idolatry and breaking of their promise to honour the covenant caused them to lose their calling as a Kingdom of Priests.
In the midst of their revelry, Moses called for the dedicated folks to come to his side. The sons of Levi gathered themselves in obedience to Moses. Guess who became the priests when all of Israel was supposed to be a Kingdom of priests?
In their lusts and their fleshly satisfactions fulfilled in their adulterous idolatry, Israel lost appreciation for their calling. They were chosen of God above all people, but lost their call. We also have a calling from God. And we must appreciate it and not forsake it through loose living in a world that tempts us to yield to the lusts of the flesh.
After Jesus left, having spoken for forty days to the believers, did the people make a golden calf and worship it? No, thank God. They went to the upper room in Jerusalem and prayed and waited upon God. Then the Holy Ghost fell and filled all of them! One hundred and twenty people were in that upper room and all of them received their anointing for priesthood and kingship.
At Sinai, only Levi's people received the priesthood since the others shirked it for the world. The others missed an entire age of glory that was for them. But in Acts 2, all the people who waited upon the Lord received the anointing.
What was the goal of the people of Israel? A Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation. Notice what the purpose of Christ's ascension into Heaven accomplished.
Kings and priests are the dual calling that God offered all of Israel. He referred to a kingdom of priests, inferring kingship in the term KINGDOM and priesthood in the term priests. A kingdom of priests is a people called to be both kings and priests, exactly the calling granted to the believers who were redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
We are chosen above all the people of the world. What an age we are involved in! And there is a great Age to come! But we can shirk the calling of God upon our lives as Kings and Priests by delving into the lusts of the flesh and world and lose this awesome privilege. We can throw away diamonds for pebbles and clumps of dirt by not keeping in mind the wonderful calling of God upon our lives in this greatest of all Covenants.
Israel lost their privilege when they promised to keep the covenant but forgot all about it and fell to their lusts. Oh, so much of the Word of God speaks about our need to resist lusts of the flesh and to forsake worldliness!
Moses told Israel of their great opportunity, and that was only a shadow of our's! Church is not some two-bit social club! It becomes that when believers lose their appreciation of the call of God. Heaven awaits us! All of eternity looms out before us, with all its fantastic wonders and experiences yet to come! And we can throw it all away for a temporal pleasure in the world.
Would we miss that for a tin idol?
We must appreciate what we are. We are never referred to as "sinners saved by grace" in the holy Word of God. We are called "saints in light" and kings and priests! Do not devalue this calling we have! We are a chosen generation of priests and kings.
We sing the chorus, "I love Him too much to fail Him now." That is the key to victory and maintaining our calling. Love God. Too many people simply have no relationship with God in the Church. They are religious and have rendered the Christian life a "have-to" life in which they simply have to serve God. They have missed the all-important aspect of having a real relationship with God. When you love God, you are not going to lose your calling for some hurt or bad treatment even from other believers. Too many use the excuse that they cannot serve God due to the hypocrisy of other believers and the hurts they received from them. Such excuses only reveal that these people did not love God enough. They left God due to some other people. Such a retreat only shows they simply did not care enough for God, Himself. We will into leave God for the sake of other's bad and unkind treatment of us if we love God.
And we can look at our pasts and how some of our pasts have been lowly and poor lifestyles. We may not have owned much in this world nor have been from a well to do family, but since we were saved, we are a chosen generation and a royal priesthood! Do not devalue your calling by connecting it with your lowly past in the natural world. All of that is forgotten by God and you are an entirely new creature in Christ. Your old life is annihilated by the cross.
Old things have passed away, and all -- all -- all things have become new.
Treasure your calling. Care about this priesthood! Value it and keep yourselves clean.
When I was a child I was involved in the cub scouts, and I treasured my little grey uniform and its badges. I kept it clean and tidy.
The Lord gave us a robe of white linen, called righteousness. And Christ is coming for a church who have kept their robes without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.
This life is worth being that serious about it that I pray and study the Bible. I take it that serious that I live by the word and trust God for miracles and healings. Too many believers take this Kingdom truth too slackly and do not live the life every day. They are devaluing this Calling and they will lose all they are to have in the eternals, as Israel lost their calling.
You are chosen, believer! Above all the people of the earth are you chosen! Treasure that calling. You are in a New Kingdom! Live the life and shun the wrong and the things of the world. What an awesome calling we have been giving!
Hebrews 12 ends the particular discussion and gives us heed to appreciate our calling.