Revelation 1:10-11 The first Vision of John

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

 
Our author, John, tells us that he was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day.
“The Lord’s Day”
This phrase is only encountered here in the Bible, but it seems to have become more common in the Second Century Christian writings.
Here it is believed that this phrase was used to counteract “The Lord’s day” as it was used to denote the worship of the Roman Emperor.
Christians were using this phrase, possibly in protest, to give this reference to Jesus instead of Caesar.
This particular day is on Sunday.  The first day of the week.  The day when Jesus was raised from the dead.
 
Here John is going to give us his first vision encounter with heaven.  The first things John hears is a voice, but not just any voice.  He hears a loud voice like a trumpet.
 
This voice says:
 
I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
 
Now we have arrived at the first of many questions that we really should work out when trying to put this message to John together.
 
Just Who is speaking here?
 
In the KJV and the NKJV, I know that these words are in red, which means that they are spoken by Jesus.  Some translations don’t.  Most commentators say this is Jesus but if we re-read the previous verses in this chapter it will give us a better idea as to Who this must be.
 

John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

In these verses we see the Godhead lain out for us:

GOD: Him which is, which was, and which is to come.

The Holy Spirit: Seven Spirits which are before His throne

JESUS: The faithful witness, the First Begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.

And again in verse 8, we know that this must be God, the Father, Who is, Who was, essentially summed up in what we know of as Jehovah, or Yahweh.

But what about this last words God uses to describe Himself?

Which is to come.

Now we know that Jesus will return, but according to the book of Zechariah, somehow, someway, God is returning to the earth as well.

Zechariah 14 King James Version (KJV)

14 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.

For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:

But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.

And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.

And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.

 
Many times, even when we see the word Lord used, we tend to think of Jesus, yet here in verse 3, Zechariah tells us that the Lord is coming and in these verses he doesn’t say Son of Man if he were speaking of someone other than God. He speaks of Jehovah, Yahweh.
 
When speaking of Jesus, John says
 
Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Yet most commentators see this as Jesus but in these verses the speaker not John actually tell us Who is speaking to him.
Is this God or Jesus? The descriptions of the attributes of the speaker don’t help in that many ways we get a description of God and Jesus in the same verses.

Is this some high ranking Angel sent by Jesus?

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Exodus 25:18-22 The Ark of the Testimony – A Picture of Jesus Christ Part 11

Exodus 25:18-22

And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim at the two ends of it of one piece with the mercy seat. And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat. You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you. And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.

And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim at the two ends of it of one piece with the mercy seat. And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat.

The cherubim were to be made as a part of the mercy seat, not made separately and soldered onto it. The idea is that this lid would be made with the cherubim as one piece so that they were inexplicably linked together.

They were to be placed on each end of the mercy seat with their wings covering the lid while they faced each other but directing their attention towards the middle of the mercy seat.

The use of and meaning for the cherubim is debated and there are roughly three main views.

1. They symbolically represent the Godhead (Father, Son, and Spirit)

2. They represent all of redeemed humanity (Jew and Gentile)

3. They represent actual angels as those who guard the tree of life(Genesis 3:24) and those created in Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 6:23-28).

These angels were also some form of divine chariot. (Psalms 18:11, 2 Samuel 22:11, Ezekiel 10:15-20)

You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the Testimony that I will give you.

The Testimony or the two tablets was to be placed inside the ark before the ark was sealed by the mercy seat.

The implication of this is that the Testimony was for Israel. It not only was a testimony concerning their duty to live by its standards as God’s chosen people but also a testimony against them when they violated its standards.

This was not something to be taken lightly. The God of the universe, the one true God, had chosen these people as His. He had reached out of eternity and specified how He wanted them to live and interact in His government.

This testimony was placed inside the ark and this lid was its covering. This also tells us that what is inside the ark and under the mercy seat requires mercy. This testimony that blesses and can curse was sealed inside the ark and under the mercy seat. It also implies that this testimony will be broken.

And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel.

The word for “meet,” is “yaad” and it means “to appoint, to designate.” This was the designated point of meeting between God and not all of Israel. The use of the word “you” is singular. This was the meeting place of God and one chosen to meet with Him. Moses at first, then eventually the High Priest.

Gods presence would be above the mercy seat, in between the cherubim wings and the spot where they were looking. This is the very place where He would speak. The place where His Word would go out.

As we have seen before, the ark is a picture of Jesus. We get an even more complete picture now that we see the Testimony being placed within the ark.

In this we see that the ark is also a picture of His death. Jesus died even though He was incorruptible and fully God.

The tablets represent the entire Law being placed inside the ark.

This pictures Christ embodying the Law. He is the fulfillment of the Law.

Yet, without His death, the Law couldn’t be considered fulfilled.

In His death we see a new covenant coming into place where the Law was fulfilled for us as we are granted mercy from the Law. He is the place where propitiation is restored with God and man

Jesus fully answers each demand of the Law

His blood covers us from the curse of the Law and from sin.

Galatians 3:13

For Israel, once a year a priest would enter the Holy of Hollies and sprinkle blood from a sacrificed animal, usually a lamb, to atone for the sins of Israel.

This Day of Atonement continued as an instrument of God’s covenant with Israel all the way to the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.

The most telling picture of Christ as our meeting place with the Father and for His work in grace and mercy is captured in John as we see the representation of the outcome of the sprinkling of the mercy seat once and for all.

John 20:1-18

(Matt. 28:1–10; Mark 16:1–8; Luke 24:1–12)

Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb. So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.

But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”

She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”

Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”

She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary!”

She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).

Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ”

Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.

We see three things here.

1. Jesus as the Lamb of God

The sprinkling of blood on the mercy seat was required yearly for Israel as atonement for sin. This was a pictorial lesson that the earthly sacrifice was not what man needed. The blood of animals as well as the earthly priesthood was temporary and limited.

Jesus is the Lamb of God whose shed blood was a complete atonement for sin. He died physically once and for all for not only Israel but for all mankind.

2. Jesus as the Person and presence of God in earth.

When Mary looked into the tomb, she saw the two angels sitting at the head and feet area where Jesus had been laid to rest, just as we see in the mercy seat. Yet Jesus was not there.

In Matthew 28 it tells us that three angels were there and that one tells the two Marys that Jesus is not there. He had risen.

Here in John Mary weeps because she doesn’t know where the body of Jesus is.

She is very much like Ezekiel and Israel as eventually God’s presence would be gone out of the Temple.

Ezekiel 10:18-19

Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. And the cherubim lifted their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight. When they went out, the wheels were beside them; and they stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.

This was the result of the nation and it’s leaders idolatry.

After the exile in Babylon, those returning under the leadership of Ezra endeavored to rebuild the Temple and restore it to its former glory.

Sadly nowhere is it mentioned that God’s presence and glory return when they finished.

Now we almost see the same thing as Jesus is nowhere to be found.

Yet Mary sees and speaks with the risen Jesus, then later the disciples see and touch our Lord and Savior.

He is present and His presence is no longer in one physical place. He meets with us through the Holy Spirit.

His presence meets with us in our hearts and mind as we are now His temple.

3. He has ascended yet He will return.

When the disciples look into the tomb, they see the face cloth used to cover the face of Jesus, rolled up or folded by itself. The prominent story for what this represents has been the this:

When a master is eating in his house and he stops for some reason (a visitor comes to the door) he will do one of two things to let his servant know where he is with his food.

He will either place his napkin over the food indicating that he done.

Or he will fold his napkin by his plate indicating that he is not done and he will return.

While this works out well in this scenario and gives a great illustration for us that our Master Jesus Christ is coming back; I must admit that there is nothing that confirms this tradition.

Another story is that of a carpenter. A rolled up handkerchief was a sign to a client that the work was done and the carpenter was coming back to settle the account.

Sadly we can’t be for sure that either of these was true but I believe that this incident was placed there and mentioned by the Spirit for a reason.

Even if it is simply a sign for us that what had happened was orderly, voluntary, and finished at the moment.

Either way we have a perfect picture of the precious blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ

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Exodus 25:18 The Ark of the Testimony – A Picture of Jesus Christ Part 10

The Seraphim and the Cherubim

Exodus 25:18

And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat.

We get a detailed description of the Cherubim in Ezekiel 1:4-25

Ezekiel also gives another description of the same living creatures in chapter 10.

In Isaiah 6:1-10 Isaiah describes creatures he calls Seraphim.

In Revelation 4:6-8, John gives us a description of the same creatures as Isaiah, but each having only one of the four faces described in Ezekiel.

Most agree that Ezekiel is describing a completely different being than the creatures described by Isaiah and John.

These beings are considered Seraphim. Seraph means “Burning One.”

Interestingly enough, the term “Seraph/Seraphim occurs four times in the book of Isaiah. In chapter 6 it is used to describe the beings who surround God’s throne and praise Him continually.

The word appears again in Isaiah chapter 14 and 30

Isaiah 14:29

“Do not rejoice, all you of Philistia,

Because the rod that struck you is broken;

For out of the serpent’s roots will come forth a viper,

And its offspring will be a fiery flying serpent.

Isaiah 30:6

The burden against the beasts of the South.

Through a land of trouble and anguish,

From which came the lioness and lion,

The viper and fiery flying serpent,

They will carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys,

And their treasures on the humps of camels,

To a people who shall not profit;

This term is also used in the Torah

Numbers 21:6-8

So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died.

Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.”

Deuteronomy 8:15

who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock;

In each of these instances, it describes a fiery serpent.

The following may just be the difference between these two types of beings

In all traditional beliefs, the Seraphim are higher in order than the Cherubim.

Not only were the Cherubim considered guardians but they had other roles as well

They are depicted as transporting Yahweh’s throne.

Psalms 18:10

Ezekiel 1 and 10

and as the very vehicle on which Yahweh moves upon.

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Exodus 25:18 The Ark of the Testimony – A Picture of Jesus Christ Part 9

And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work you shall make them at the two ends of the mercy seat.

When we think of cherubs what mainly comes to mind are the Putto, little chubby babies with wings. These images eventually also represented Cupid.

Ezekiel gives us a vivid description of these heavenly beings and they are anything but little flying babies.

Ezekiel 1:10-11

As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle. Thus were their faces. Their wings stretched upward; two wings of each one touched one another, and two covered their bodies.

Ezekiel give us their description again in chapter 10

Ezekiel 10:14

Each one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, the second face the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

We don’t know if the beings mentioned in Exodus reflected what Ezekiel describes but they are designated as Cherubs.

Cherubs are a special class of beings first mentioned in Genesis 3 as guardians in the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 3:24

So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Notice the difference in the Cherubs faces.

Ezekiel 1:

Man

Lion

Ox

Eagle

Ezekiel 10

Cherub

Man

Lion

Eagle

Why the difference?

Some older commentators claimed that perhaps Ezekiel in his second vision merely saw the cherubs faces all at once in some strange way.

Hebrew sages say that the Hebrew word for Cherub is “Kruv,” This word comes to us from Aramaic and means “As a baby.”

Others claimed it meant “Formless matter that can assume any form whatsoever,” as a baby’s face changes form as it matures.

Through Jewish tradition we can see that the faces coincide with the standard of the children of Israel

1. The Lion – Judah

In Genesis 49:9 Judah is prophesied to be a lions whelp, originally prey, but becomes an old powerful lion. His standard is associated with a lion.

Genesis 49:9

Judah is a lion’s whelp;

From the prey, my son, you have gone up.

He bows down, he lies down as a lion;

And as a lion, who shall rouse him?

2. The Man – Reuben

His name means “Behold a son,” he is the firstborn of strength. His symbol was that of a man.

Genesis 49:3

“Reuben, you are my firstborn,

My might and the beginning of my strength,

The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.

3. The Ox – Ephraim

Ephraim was blessed under Joseph to be full of strength. His traditional standard was an ox or a unicorn

Genesis 49:24

But his bow remained in strength,

And the arms of his hands were made strong

By the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob

(From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),

Deuteronomy 33:17

His glory is like a firstborn bull,

And his horns like the horns of the wild ox;

Together with them

He shall push the peoples

To the ends of the earth;

They are the ten thousands of Ephraim,

And they are the thousands of Manasseh.”

4. The Eagle – Dan

Dan means “Judge,” and his original standard would have been that of a serpent biting the heels of those around him.

According to tradition, Ahiezer, a chief of the tribe of Dan, changed the standard to depict an eagle clutching a serpent in order to dismay any association with the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 49:16-18

“Dan shall judge his people

As one of the tribes of Israel.

Dan shall be a serpent by the way,

A viper by the path,

That bites the horse’s heels

So that its rider shall fall backward.

I have waited for your salvation, O Lord!

Their flags were probably arrayed with their tribe names, their coinciding depiction, and their color based on the stones of the High Priest breastplate.

Each of these 4 tribes were camped around the Tabernacle and were positioned just as the faces of the Cherubim.

Numbers 2

To look down upon the tribes of Israel encampments surroundings the Tabernacle, one would see what looks like a cross and just as the Tabernacle and the Ark, the Spirit points us to Christ

As followers of Jesus Christ we see the same four aspects of the cherubs faces in the Gospels of Jesus.

1. The Lion – Matthew

Jesus Christ, son of David is King.

Matthew is aimed towards a Jewish audience and starts with the genealogy of Jesus to show His rightful place as Messiah and King of the Jews. Jesus fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophesies concerning the Messiah.

2. The Ox – Mark

Jesus Christ, Son of God, the Suffering Servant

Mark is aimed more towards the Gentile Christians in Rome. His Gospel narrative seems to be written to encourage those who were feeling the effects of tribulation in the cause of following Christ. He focuses more on the deeds of Jesus as the Servant Who came to do the Fathers will.

3. The Man – Luke

Jesus Christ, son of man, the God-Man

Luke’s account was aimed at a Greek audience. The Greeks were preoccupied with the consideration of man and Luke portrays Jesus as the perfect example of humanity. First by tracing His lineage all the way back to Adam, accounts of His prayers, and by giving us the most on His birth and childhood

4. The Eagle – John

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Word became flesh.

John’s Gospel is aimed at new believers and gives us an up-close and personal look at the identity of Jesus Christ.

Though fully God, Jesus came in the flesh to reveal God to mankind. He shows us that Jesus is the source of eternal life to all who believe in Him.

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Revelation 1:1-11 The Problem We Face Part 4: A Slightly Quick Review

Revelation 1:1-11

Introduction and Benediction

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Greeting the Seven Churches

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Vision of the Son of Man

I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

It’s been a while since we looked at the book of Revelation and after having the opportunity to think about this wonderful book and listening to and reading the teachings of those who different views made me think we ought to review the first couple of verses to begin again.

This book is mesmerizing and quite puzzling. It causes more questions than it gives answers but it also promises a special blessing for those who read it, understand it, and apply it.

This gives us the opportunity to look at this book with a whole new set of eyes if we can. This also causes us to ask some hard questions as well. Questions that might not get truly answered when we are done.

My only hope is that we can truly set aside preconceived notions and doctrine as we try to truly understand what Jesus through Revelation is telling us. I don’t begin to believe that I am in any way an expert on this book and what it teaches. I just decided that I had some questions and I thought they were decent enough to share.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place.

Lets look at the obvious first.

1. This book is the Revelation (Unveiling) of Jesus Christ. In some bibles it is called “The Revelation of St. John,” but the very first verse tells us the subject.

Another thing we often overlook is just Who this revelation came from.

It comes straight from God. This message was given from God to Jesus for us. It comes from Jesus in the form of His messengers in dreams and visions to John, then to us.

So we are the fifth in line to get this message of “things which must shortly take place.”

Before we attempt a look at the Godhead, let’s look at the author:

A man named John.

While we don’t know for sure, most agree that this is the Apostle John who followed Jesus during His earthly ministry.

The most telling evidence comes from an early church father named Irenaeus. Irenaeus was a discipline of Polycarp, who knew John personally as his student. Irenaeus records that Polycarp confirmed that it was the Apostle John Who was the author of this book.

Most of the 2nd and 3rd Century Church Fathers attested to the same.

This his name would have carried weight when distributed among the assemblies.

One of the most debated questions about the book of Revelation is “When did John write it?”

Some argue for a date prior to the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. mainly because John does not mention it.

Preterists claim John possibly wrote Revelation around 64 or 65 A.D. and he either predicted the destruction of the Temple or he wrote it after the fact in order to make it look as though he predicts it.

Another argument for the pre destruction date is that the persecution of Christians is mentioned with John as a witness to and victim of persecution. John tells us himself “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

So those with an earlier date in mind marry this with the persecution of Christians by Nero in 64 -65 A.D.

Yet once again, Irenaeus comes to the rescue of the truth by recording Polycarp, who stated that John wrote Revelation during the reign of Domitian in 81-96 A.D.

Nero’s persecution was more localized while Domitian had a more empire wide reach.

At the same time there seem to be differing accounts as to the degree of his persecutions. Some historians claimed that his persecution only consisted of John’s banishment to Patmos and the exile of other Christians to the island of Pontia.

Yet there are others who claim that he was just as cruel as Nero.
He demanded that Christians practice Emperor worship. A practice required of all Roman citizens, but something he knew Christians would refuse.

Just before this era, Gentiles who joined the Jewish led Messianic movement were seen as converts to Judaism. Jewish citizens had been given special exemption from Emperor worship as long as they prayed for the well-being of the Emperor and Gentiles rested under this exemption for some time.

But this all changed by the time Domitian came to power. Gentiles had essentially wrestled the Messianic movement from the Jews and while Jewish believers and leaders were still involved, Christians let it be known that they were not Jewish and strangely enough opened them up to persecution for refusing Emperor worship.

This leads us to where John finds himself. In exile at the island of Patmos. One legend claims that John had been boiled in oil and when he did not die, they sent him to the island.

Here are two things we know about this book.

1. This book calls itself prophecy.

John tells us that he was in the spirit on the Lords day. There are two different approaches as to what this means. Some claim that he meant he was “in the Spirit,” as in the Holy Spirit on the Lord’s Day, or Sunday, but why would he go through the trouble of just telling what day it was?

Others claim he was “in the spirit,” small “s” as so many Old Testament prophets had experienced when receiving a vision from the Lord. “The Lord’s Day” to some is looking to a future event, known by all believers, Jewish and Gentile, as “The Day of the Lord.”

So is this book speaking of only things that will happen in the indefinite future?

Is it a twofold prophecy in the near future for the seven assemblies and then an even further prophecy for the end times?

Was it all allegory?

Has all this prophecy already happened?

If so then who does it effect?

2. This book promises a blessing for those who read, hear, understand, and obey what is taught through it.

Many believe that this book essentially stands alone in the New Testament with no connection to the Old Testament.

At the time of the writing of this book, no idea of the New Testament existed. While Paul’s letters were probably circulated, and some of the Gospels, The only Scripture known to believers, especially Jewish believers, was The Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible.

John was not like Paul. Paul quoted Scripture in his letters. John wrote this book with the idea that his audience knew Scripture and although he didn’t quote it verbatim, he calls to mind Scripture through his wording.

This is something we need to keep in mind as we study this book. Reading it and having a passing understanding is not what we need.

We need to comprehend what Jesus is telling us through this wonderful book in order to receive the blessing it promises.

With that said, here are a few of the attempts man has created to understand Revelation.

The futurist sees the prophecy in this book taking place in the future before the second coming.

The historical views the prophecy in this book to be concerning Church history from the first advent up to the second coming.

The preterist see the prophecy in Revelation as completely fulfilled after John wrote this book.

The idealist or symbolic approach does not believe that the prophecy in this book points to any real event but as symbols of the struggle between good and evil.

Evidently there is a new approach called the eclectic approach. In this view, one allows the preterist, futurist, and idealist approaches to interact in a way that maximizes their strengths and minimizes their weaknesses.

Of course this doesn’t even begin to crack the surface of the sub divisions of extra doctrine contained in some of these approaches and it seems that most only circulate around a more western Christian viewpoint leaving out the Eastern branch.

We will do our best to look at each view in its context as well as understanding what John meant through his words in that day, at that time, in his culture.

understand what those words meant to John in that day, at that place, in his culture and his language.

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Exodus 25:17 The Ark of the Testimony – A Picture of Jesus Christ Part 8

Exodus 25:17

“You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two and a half cubits shall be its length and a cubit and a half its width.

“You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two and a half cubits shall be its length and a cubit and a half its width.

The mercy seat is known as “Kapporeth.”

This is the first of 27 times it is used and it is always speaking of this very item.

The meaning of this word is the same as “Kopher,” and indicates “a cover” but in these instances indicates “a satisfaction” which comes from the word “Kaphar,” meaning “to appease or satisfy.”

In Greek the word is translated as “hilastérion,” meaning “propitiation.”

The mercy seat was to be made of pure gold which meant no defilement. It was also made in the exact same measurements as the ark so that it served as a lid and as the place where the High Priest would atone for the sins of Israel. The area in the Temple known as the Holy of Holies was where the ark was contained was known as “Bayith ha’kapporeth,” or “House of the mercy seat, or expiation.”

1 Chronicles 28:11

Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers, and the place of the mercy seat;

It would be from this very instrument where propitiation of the people’s sins would come and mercy would be granted.

On the day of atonement (Yom Kippur), when the high priest entered the Holy of Holies, it was necessary that this highest place of atonement should be enveloped in a cloud of incense. The blood of the sin-offering of the atonement was then sprinkled on the face of and seven times before it.

The ark and the lid were made from shittim wood. This represents the humanity of Jesus. He was born into the world just as we are.

This wood is an incorruptible material. In this we see His incorruptible nature. Although He was born a man, He never sinned.

The ark was not very large, in fact, one could call it humble and lowly.

Through this we can see Jesus in His humbled and lowly state as He ministered on this earth. He didn’t come as a larger than life figure, but rather He came to a poor family and led a rather small existence by the world’s standards.

The ark was overlaid with pure gold both inside and out. In this we see three things:

1. His deity

Gold was and is still the most precious metal. The gold, which overlaid the wood, pictures His deity overlaying His humanity as fully God and fully man.

2. His Status as preeminent

Gold is the standard by which the value of all other things is measured. In this way He is the perfect standard by which all others are compared too.

3. His purity

The gold of the ark is described by the word “Tahor,” which means “pure.” In every way. It is completely undefiled.

The wood that is beneath the gold is an incorruptible wood. Both together represent His undefiled purity in every way as well as His incorruptible human/divine nature.

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Exodus 25:12-16 The Ark of the Testimony – A Picture of Jesus Christ Part 7

Exodus 25:12-16

You shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in its four corners; two rings shall be on one side, and two rings on the other side. And you shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, that the ark may be carried by them. The poles shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. And you shall put into the ark the Testimony which I will give you.

You shall cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in its four corners; two rings shall be on one side, and two rings on the other side. And you shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, that the ark may be carried by them.

Some versions use “four feet” instead of “four corners,” because the word “pa’amoth” means “times or occurrences,” as in striking something or a persons feet striking the ground as they stepped.

One interesting aspect of the Ark is how the poles were attached to it’s corners.

Almost every drawing of the ark shows the poles on the long side of its frame or what could be considered the sides. It would be carried like a coffin

Yet there are some who believe that the poles were attached on the short sides of the ark and carried in a way similar to a throne.

Many favor the throne scenario. It keeps the Ark elevated and it would keep any part of your body from touching the ark in any way.

In 1Kings we can get an idea as to how it was carried

1 Kings 8:6-9

Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles. The poles extended so that the ends of the poles could be seen from the holy place, in front of the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from outside. And they are there to this day. Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.

The ark rested length-wise in the Temple with the cherubim on each side, to the left and right as one walked in and so the poles were on the short side and could be visible in the Holy place. They were not taken completely out from under the ark and symbolized that the ark had finally reached its place of rest.

From this, we can know that unlike the pictures we commonly see, the ark was carried by the priests as a throne. The ark would face forward with the cherubim on each side as it was carried.

The poles shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it.

The Law was given that the poles were to never be removed from the ark even before it was constructed. This was to ensure that it would never be touched by man A steep penalty had been given for anyone who had presumed to do so.

Numbers 4:15

And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, when the camp is set to go, then the sons of Kohath shall come to carry them; but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.

“These are the things in the tabernacle of meeting which the sons of Kohath are to carry.

2 Samuel 6 shows us how immediate the penalty was

2 Samuel 6:6-7

And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God.

And you shall put into the ark the Testimony which I will give you.

Once the construction of ark was completed, the Lord directs that the Testimony, meaning the two tablets of stone which are the basis of the law, were to be put inside of the ark itself. As the basis of the law, they represented the entirety of the law.

Deuteronomy 31:26

“Take this Book of the Law, and put it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there as a witness against you;

The ark was to go first when the Israelites journeyed and it was to be carried by the priesthood. It was to be present and preeminent in their lives and in their walk. It was first even in battle.

The one time they carried it differently than prescribed someone died.

Another time they did not carry it into battle they were utterly defeated.

Why?

Because the ark was representing the very presence of God among man. They had failed to put Him first and in doing so had failed.

It’s the same for us today. Jesus, God in flesh, just like the ark, is present in our lives, our walk, our trials, and tribulations.

We must learn to put Him first. He is not only present in our lives, He is not only prominent in our walk but must be preeminent in our hearts and minds.

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Exodus 25:10-11 The Ark of the Testimony – A Picture of Jesus Christ Part 6

Out of all of the articles used in the Tabernacle and the Temple, the Ark of the Testimony, other than the Menorah, is the most widely known part of Israel’s worship. People who have no idea of the history of Israel recognize the Ark. It has been the object of many movies, documentaries, books, and speculation.

If it truly exists on this earth then we know that the story of Israel is true and thus many have searched for it. Many groups have claimed to have it and there exists a long legend of groups claiming to have moved it around the earth.

Regardless of its existence and location, one thing remains true. It is a picture or type of Jesus Christ.

He is the fulfillment of this marvelous piece of furniture where God once met with man.

Exodus 25:10-11

“And they shall make an ark of acacia wood; two and a half cubits shall be its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half its height. And you shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and shall make on it a molding of gold all around.

1. Details of the Ark

“And they shall make an ark of acacia wood; two and a half cubits shall be its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half its height. And you shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and shall make on it a molding of gold all around.

This word “Aron” or ark has only been used once thus far in Scripture and it gives us an idea of its purpose and its look.

Genesis 50:26

So Joseph died, being one hundred and ten years old; and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

This word describes a box or chest used for storage or to house something specific.

It is made using Acacia wood. This wood is similar to cypress and it is considered an incorruptible wood because of its resistance to insects and moisture.

We see Jesus in just it’s shape and in it’s material.

He came to earth and in all appearances He looked like any other man on this earth. Yet He is more. He is fully God and fully man. He emptied Himself. He did not give up His deity, that would make Him just a man. Rather He gave up the glory of God in order to die for our sins.

Philippians 2:5-11

The Humbled and Exalted Christ

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The incorruptible acacia wood that is overlaid with gold inside and out represents the incorruptible nature of His humanity and the indisputable nature of His deity.

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Exodus 25:3-9 The Tabernacle: A Picture of Jesus Christ Part 5

Exodus 25:3-9

And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.

Fine Linen’ (Purity)

The linen was most interesting. Made from Egyptian flax, it was finely woven, brilliantly white, and bore a special name, “byssus”. This material was used for garments for royalty and persons of rank and has been found in the tombs of the Pharaohs. Linen in one tomb was found to have 152 threads per inch in the warp and 72 threads per inch in the woof. White linen always speaks of purity and righteousness:

Rev 15:6 And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands.

Rev 3:5 “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”

Rev 19:14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.

The fine-twined, white linen speaks of righteousness and typifies Jesus, the Son of Man, spotless, pure, and sinless.

I Jn 3:3-5 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure…and you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.

‘Goats Hair’ (Cursed sin offering)

Goats were common in those days for their milk, their meat, their skin which was used for many things such as water bottles, etc., and their hair, which was very long, dark and course, was spun and woven into cloth. The goat was a sacrificial animal. The Goat’s Hair covering was the first above the tabernacle curtain. This drab color tells us of Jesus in His humility and poverty. Goatskins were worn by the poor and throughout the Bible represented extreme poverty.

Heb 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented–

Lk 9:58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

And the hair speaks of Christ as the separated One, just as the hair must be separated from the goat, so Christ had to sacrifice His own covering in order to provide a covering for others.

Another interesting point about the goat is that it was used on the Day of Atonement. After the high priest completed the blood sprinkling in the holy of holies he would go into the court of the tabernacle and lay his hands on the head of the scapegoat, confessing over it all the sins of the people. The goat was then led away, by a man standing ready, into the wilderness, and there let free, to signify the carrying away of Israel’s sins which God had forgiven. This reminds us of Jesus, humble and poor, becoming a curse for us, that we might have our sins carried away into the land of forgetfulness.

2 Cor 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

‘Rams skins dyed red’ (Substitutionary sacrifice)

A ram is a grown male sheep and the head of the flock. A shepherd may have one or two rams in a flock of ewes to promote uniformity. The ram is forever in the eyes of the Jew as the substitute animal, faithful unto death. This is of course because God provided a ram as a substitute for Isaac on that day when Abraham’s faith was revealed.

Gen 22:12-13 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.

The ram’s skins were dyed red to represent the sacrifice of a substitute. So Jesus as the head of the human race, the last Adam, sacrificed His own life as a substitute for all who would put their trust in Him.

Heb 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

Heb 2:17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

Jn 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

‘Badger skins’ (Outward appearance-unattractive)

Badger skins were the final covering, the outer covering that everyone saw. They were tough and course and very plain in their appearance. But how does this speak of Christ? It speaks of what Christ was to man. There was no outward beauty to the tabernacle proper, so it was with Christ when He came to earth when He pitched His tabernacle among men. As the prophet foretold:

Is 53:1-2 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.

What was Jesus to the Jews? nothing but a course, hard badger skin. What is Jesus to the world today? nothing but a course, hard badger skin. But to those of us who have opened up our hearts to Him He is much much more. He is the “altogether lovely One”, He is the “Rose of Sharon”, the “Lily of the Valley”, and the “Fairest among 10,000” to our souls. If anyone desired to look beyond the outer flesh covering they would see the transfiguration of Christ’s glory. “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Jesus says, “Come and see”.

Jn 1:10-14 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became 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.

Acacia Wood’ (Incorruptible humanity) also called Shittim Wood

The Shittah tree grew in the deserts of Sinai, and the deserts around the Dead Sea. The wood is hard, very heavy, indestructible by insects, and has a fine, beautiful grain. It was remarkably luxuriant in dry places, sometimes attaining a height of twenty feet. It had lovely yellow flowers and its insect-resisting Acacia wood was used in making mummy cases. This Acacia wood undoubtedly speaks of the incorruptible humanity of Christ, for we are told that His humanity would never see corruption.

Ps 16:10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.

He was the truly human One, “the man Christ Jesus”. The Bible calls Him, “the son of Mary”, and the “son of man”. A body was prepared for Him:

Heb 10:5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.

And that body He still possesses in a glorified form. “This same Jesus” is in heaven right now and one day will return for us and glorify us also:

1 Jn 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

Rom 8:18-21 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Oil’ (The Spirits anointing)

The oil was obtained by crushing the olive berries of the land. Oil, as we know, was the liquid used when the prophet, priest, and king were anointed in Old Testament times. And because of passages like:

1 Jn 2:20-21 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.

1 Sam 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

Is 32:15 Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest.

We have scriptural authority for seeing the oil as a type of the Holy Spirit. In the Bible the olive tree is symbolic of many things:

a) Beauty

Hos 14:6 His branches shall spread; his beauty shall be like an olive tree, and his fragrance like Lebanon.

b) Fertility

Ps 52:8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.

c) Richness

Judg 9:9 But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?

The Holy Spirit, then, as olive oil, is the One who possesses all that man needs for life and godliness. Richness, fertility, and beauty are all His in an abundant measure. Jesus was anointed by God as prophet, priest, and king. Everything Christ did was filled with richness, fertility, and beauty because He was the temple of the Holy Spirit and filled with all fulness:

Jn 3:34 “For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.

It is interesting that the olives weren’t beaten or pressed but crushed. So Jesus was crushed in the Garden of Gethsemane (Heb. Oil Press) and then by the very wrath of God on a Roman cross, as the Scriptures say:

Is 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to crush him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

The anointing oil was restricted for tabernacle use only, anyone violating the command was put to death. The olive oil was to be pure and nothing but pure because it represents the HOLY Spirit of Christ. The word “Christ” is the Greek word for the Hebrew “Mashiach” (Messiah) which means “the anointed One”. It literally means “to smear” as with oil. The oil was also used to anoint the Holy Tabernacle and its furniture, and to light the golden lampstand.

Spices for the oil and incense’ (Sweet smelling fragrance to God)

There were three spices to be added to the frankincense and oil:

Ex 30:34 And the LORD said to Moses: “Take sweet spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, and pure frankincense with these sweet spices; there shall be equal amounts of each.

a) Stacte

A powder from the hardened drops of the fragrant resin found in the bark of the Myrrh bush. The word means “a drop”.

b) Onycha

A powder from the horny shell cover of a clam-like mollusk found in the Red Sea. When burnt, this powder emits a penetrating aroma. The Hebrew word means- “aromatic shell”. The Red Sea is an isolated warm water pocket of the Indian ocean and is known for its peculiar subspecies of mollusks.

c) Galbanum

A brownish pungent resin that exudes from the lower part of the stem of a Ferula plant. This herb plant is found at the Mediterranean Sea and has thick stalks, yellow flowers, and fern-like green foliage. It has a musky, pungent smell and is valuable because it preserves the scent of a mixed perfume, and allows of its distribution over a long period of time.

In these spices or perfumes we see Jesus as the sweet smelling aroma bringing joy to the Father’s heart. When mixed with the olive oil we see the sweet illuminating work of the Spirit of Christ, and when mixed with frank-incense we see the sweetness of prayer as a “sweet smelling aroma in God’s nostrils”. How fitting that these perfumes would point to Christ.

Jn 8:29 “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”

Eph 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

2 Cor 2:15-16 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?

https://www.bible-history.com/tabernacle/TAB4Overview.htm

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Exodus 25:3-9 The Tabernacle: A Picture of Jesus Christ Part 4

Exodus 25:3-9

And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.

Blue – (Heaven)

Woven into or embroidered on the linen were blue, purple, and scarlet thread.

The Hebrew Word for blue is “Tekhelet,” and May mean “Shellfish.”

According to the Talmud and Oral teachings this dye is exclusively produced from a marine creature known as the “Hillazon,” also spelled “Chilazon.”

Blue was used in the clothing of the High Priest, The tapestries in the Tabernacle, and the tassels affixed to the corners of ceremonial garments.

This bright color represents the sky or Heaven and is always mentioned first.

It suggests the idea of Heaven as the place where God reveals Himself to man. It is also a reminder of man’s destination.

It speaks of Jesus, our Redeemer, Who came down from above, making the way for us to be destined to dwell in the presence of God.

John 3:31

He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.

Purple – (Royalty)

This color came from mixing blue and scarlet together and depicts the color of royalty.

This color typifies Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The mixing of the colors gives us another important truth.

Blue speaks of Heaven, that which comes from above. Scarlet, as we are about to see, speaks of sacrifice, blood and death.

Purple, the combination of both, speaks of our King, Who came down from Heaven as fully God and fully man, to die in our place for our sin.

Isaiah 33:17

Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;

They will see the land that is very far off.

‘Scarlet thread’ (Sacrifice)

Scarlet was derived from an Eastern insect, or worm, that infests certain trees. It was gathered, crushed, dried, and ground to a powder that produced a brilliant crimson hue.

Scarlet speaks of sacrifice and typifies Christ in His sufferings.

Psalm 22 quotes Jesus as saying – “I am a worm”.

Psalms 22:6

But I am a worm, and no man;

A reproach of men, and despised by the people.

God took upon Himself flesh and blood then died giving Himself as a ransom for us all.

The Hebrew word for our English word worm is “rimmah,”  which is defined as a maggot or a worm.  But the word for “worm” in Psalm 22:6 is  towla’, or tola’ath, and it derives from the root words:  yala’, which means: to blurt or utter inconsiderately:—devour, and shaniy, which is defined as: crimson, prop. the insect or its color, also stuff dyed with it:–crimson, scarlet (thread).

So the word “tola’ath” used in Psalm 22:6 denotes not only a worm, but also a crimson, or scarlet, worm that is common to the Middle East, predominantly in Israel.  It’s well known that both crimson and scarlet are the colors of blood – a very deep, blackish red — and in this crimson worm is a hidden meaning of biblical significance.

The Crimson Worm

The Crimson Worm (scientific name: coccus ilicis or kermes ilicis) looks more like a grub than a worm. Its lifecycle reveals a remez (hidden meaning) that “points” us to the work of Jesus on the cross.

When the female worm is ready to lay her eggs (which happens only once in her life), she climbs up a tree or fence and attaches herself to it.  She particularly likes a specific type of oak tree. With the worm’s body attached to the word, a hard crimson shell forms — a shell so hard and so secured to the wood that it can only be removed by tearing apart the body which would kill the worm.

The female Crimson Worm, under the protective shell, lays her eggs under her body and when the larvae hatch (the baby worms are born) they remain under the protective shell and feed on the living body of the mother worm for three days.  Then the mother worm dies and her body excretes a crimson or scarlet dye that stains the wood to which she is attached and also her baby worms.  They remain crimson colored for their entire life.  On day four, the tail of the mother worm pulls up into her head, forming a heart-shaped body that is no longer crimson but has turned into a snow-white wax, looking like a patch of wool on the tree or fence.  It then begins to flake off and drop to the ground looking like snow (or manna?).

https://reasonsforhopejesus.com/psalm-22-crimson-scarlet-worm/

Isaiah 1:18

“Come now, and let us reason together,”

Says the Lord,

“Though your sins are like scarlet,

They shall be as white as snow;

Though they are red like crimson,

They shall be as wool.

Ephesians 5:2

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

Hebrews 9:26

He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

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