"The Lesson of the Heavenly Blue-Print"
"Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, seeing there are those who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, even as Moses is warned when he is about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern that was showed thee in the mount." Heb. 8:4-5 (Ex. 25:40).
The pursuance of this study is best accomplished by reading a number of chapters in Exodus especially beginning with the 25th, the entire Epistle to the Hebrews, other cross references, and by consulting Milligan's "Scheme of Redemption." We are here offering only a mere outline study in the interest of extreme brevity and in order to stimulate thought, serious sober thought, upon this Bible theme.
Logical deductions based upon the truth of the heavenly blue-print set forth in the above submitted text.
I. That the fact of the heavenly blue-print means there is a reality; God is the designer of the blue-print, hence of the reality. The blue-print is of something other than itself!
II. That the fact of the reality for which God provided a blue-print means the reality is in the eternal purpose of God; a purpose to be put into effect, into reality. Hence it could not fail!
III. That the order to Moses to build the tabernacle strictly according to the blue-print connotes the divine intention to accurately prefigure the exact nature of the reality; the type must accurately prefigure or picture the reality; else the blue-print failed of its purpose!
IV. That the strict adherence to the blueprint enjoined upon Moses connotes the divinely decreed exactness and immutable nature of the reality prefigured by the Mosaic type; else the type partakes of greater essentiality than the reality or anti-type!
V. That the strict obedience of Moses in the construction of the tabernacle enables us to unerringly establish the accuracy of the construction of the reality in its structure and services; else the blue-print lesson is of little value!
VI. That the tabernacle thus accurately describes its divinely appointed anti-type in both structure and services.
A. As to structure.
1. The holy of holies thus pictures the heavenly sanctuary; its ark and covenant, the seat of the New Covenant, namely, heaven, the throne of God. The veil as the only entrance, Christ's body (Heb. 10:20), by which he has entered for us (Heb. 6:20).
2. The holy place thus pictures the church; the table with its showbread the feeding upon Christ; the golden lamp with its oil and light, the light of truth by the Spirit, the only spiritual food and light for the people of God; its veil the only entrance; its incense from the golden altar, "the prayers of the saints" (Rev. 5:8), God's priests (I Pet. 2:5).
3. The outer court thus pictures the world ; its brazen altar, Christ's sacrifice once made forever, made in the world, not in the church; and the laver before the outer veil wherein the priests were cleansed by washing, the baptisinal cleansing for sins before entrance into the church.
NOTE: It may be objected by some that the type falls down in picturing Christ's entrance into heaven by the passing of the high priest, first through the holy place (typical of the church), then into the holy of holies (typical of heaven). Hence, that Christ passed through the church before entering heaven, therefore the church existing before Pentecost of Acts 2. But God took care of that too. Lev. 16:17 gave specific orders for no one to be in the tabernacle at all when the high priest accomplished the atonement. So if a church existed before Pentecost it had no one in it and that on divine orders. The type does not fail.
B. As to its services.
1. Note that when the priests were cleansed they served in the tabernacle, the holy place; that they could not serve until cleansed; so also the priests of the New Covenant. They are first cleansed, then ushered in to serve God acceptably.
2. Note that there was no other structure in which to serve and accomplish the services as God appointed. So it is with the church as the antitype.
3. Note that there were no booths, no vestibules, no appendages, to the tabernacle wherein to accomplish any, or all, or in part, the services designated. So also with the church ; God has provided no vestibules, no booths, no appendages, no institutions, to do the work of the church as such in whole or in part!
4. Note that Moses thus followed the blueprint under divine order. He therefore created a structure which with its services coincided with the blue-print, and thus in turn accurately described the reality under the New Covenant, both as to its structure and as to its services. Let him who objects find and establish a flaw in Moses' reproduction!
5. Therefore, any addition thereto, or subtraction therefrom, or alteration thereof, in the structure and services of the antitype, must forever rest upon the devices of men and never upon the word of God; else the type-antitype lesson of the heavenly blue-print breaks down and the flood-gate against innovation laid flat!
6. Again, it follows that the erection of any institution to accomplish the work of the Lord's church constitutes just such an innovation and positively possesses no higher authority for its existence and operation as such than any other form of digressive or sectarian error!
7. Finally, that no believer or group of believers, is obligated whether by persuasion, argumentation, censure, coercion, aspersion, vilification or excommunication to provide support whether by silence, or by preachment, or by contribution in time, treasure, supplication or moral encouragement, to any such humanly organized and constituted institutional effort to do the work which by divine purpose, blueprint, type, reality, and authority was to have been accomplished, and under apostolic direction was accomplished, solely by the blood bought church of the Lord of heaven and earth.
8. If the reader of these few lines wants to contemplate the scriptural admonitions relative to stubborn and wilful human insistance upon pursuing a purely institutional course herein described despite the divine lesson of the heavenly blue-print he is absolutely free to do so for himself.
The study of the scriptural passages referred to above is sincerely urged.
Truth Magazine IV:5, pp. 2-3