Friday, March 28, 2008

The Sanctuary

We're busy making our own model of the sanctuary.

Went today to some meetings organized by Medical Missionaries. Very, very inspiring. This afternoon went to one on end time prophecies. The speaker reminded us of the Sanctuary and it's services etc. This is a review for me, and I thought very interesting, so I'll share some of that with you.

A study into the Biblical Sanctuary will reveal many wonderful nuggets of truth, not only for the historical Israelites, but for people throughout history - of all tribes, tongues and nations. In the feasts and ceremonies described, we see the complete plan of salvation laid out in beautiful sequence. There are three main sections: the outer court, the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. In the symbols of the earthly tabernacle prescribed to Moses and built according to the plan God gave him, is revealed Jesus, who has, up til now, fulfilled all but two of the 'feasts' correlating to the furniture and functions of that sanctuary. The second to last is the Day of Atonement festival/Holy convocation which occurs in the Most Holy Place, and which WE ARE CURRENTLY in. After the Day of Atonement, the next festival was the Feast of Tabernacles, which we will hereafter celebrate after Christ's second coming.

There are 7 feasts mentioned (Leviticus 23). That in itself is it relates to earth's history - so far 6000 years....a topic for another time.

To start at the beginning, there were festivals prescribed for the Israelites, which corresponded to parts of the Sanctuary, and ultimately, the plan of salvation. The first feast was the Passover (14th day of the 1st month). In the outer court, it corresponds to the Altar of Sacrifice, where Jesus was crucified at the Passover at the exact time(3pm) of the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb on the 14th day. Jesus is also typified by the next festival of the unleavened bread (leaven represents sin)on the 15th day. (Christ was in the tomb - the spotless one). The next one was the festival of first fruits - Christ as the first fruits of Righteousness - the hope of our resurrection in the future - sealed by His resurrection. (This image is just a schematic representation, of course)

Fifty days after the resurrection, the disciples and others received the Holy Spirit, corresponding to the Pentecost - the Feast of weeks - 50 days after the festival of First Fruits, corresponding to Jesus' being accepted by His Father in heaven as an acceptable sacrifice after His ascension. The Holy Spirit now takes Jesus' place on earth to continue the work He started. Remember Jesus said "Except I go, the Comforter(Holy Spirit) will not come unto you..."(John 16:7) and verse 14: "He will glorify Me for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you", etc.

The feast of Trumpets announced the coming Day of Atonement (on the 1st day of the 7th month). The Day of Atonement was so serious and the implications so far-reaching, that the people were reminded of it, and warned about it 10 days beforehand! During all the time of the Holy Place (starting Spiritually from Jesus' ascension until 1844 when He moved to the Most Holy Place - foretold in Daniel 8:14 - long explanation, won't go into it here, as to how that works...)until the Day of Atonement feast, Jesus was in the Holy Place, mediating and interceding on our behalf in the heavenly Sanctuary, as a High Priest would have on earth. (Hebrews gives a wonderful parallel between the earthly sanctuary services and the heavenly). The blood of His sacrifice was being APPLIED. Without that application, our confessed sins would be just as if we had not confessed them. Jesus took our sins upon Himself, and then, before the Father, He applies that blood on our behalf and the Father accepts us as He does His own spotless and perfect Son.

Many people wonder why Jesus has taken this long to return. It is because of His work for us in the Sanctuary. When we understand the sequence of events revealed there, we will realise why EVERYTHING wasn't accomplished at the Cross.

The Most Holy Place/Day of Atonement (10th day of the 7th month), is where the cleansing takes place. This feast was also only once a year. The sins and guilt were actually removed completely (the sins, transgressions and iniquities of the Israelites were laid on the head of a scapegoat which was then led into the wilderness.) This was a day of solemn affliction of their souls, as it should be for us now too. Any sins that are not confessed over the "scapegoat" cannot be cleansed from us. We must search our hearts for sins that we cherish and don't want to give up. We must let the Lord cleanse our hearts in order to be ready for the great last feast, the Feast of Tabernacles (the 15th day of the 7th month, for 7 days). Before the feast is a famine (fast)!!

This time of the Day of Atonement is a solemn time, a time of soul-searching, self-sacrifice and alert watching. In a sense it is a Day of Judgement.

The Israelites of old knew where the High Priest was in the Tabernacle because of the bells around his robe. We must know where Jesus Christ is by the "bells" revealed in Scripture - so we KNOW where He is and what He is doing for us NOW.

Many people don't think twice about the Old Testament Tabernacle - most think little of all the many feasts and symbols of it. Yet, why would God go to all the trouble of giving a literal, physical "story" of salvation if it weren't applicable to us Spiritually now? All the more, it gently points us to Jesus - the ultimate Type to the Antetype. It's amazing how He and His work and infinite LOVE FOR US, is revealed in every aspect of the Sanctuary service.

I hope you study this beautiful Sanctuary for yourselves (look in Leviticus 16 and 23 for the basics of the feasts)and find even greater meaning there for yourself and others. We are near the end. When the Day of Atonement is over, there will be no more chances. There will be no "left behind" - no second chance. As the pre-flood people found out, their probation had an ending and nothing could change that decision. We all have only one life to live. We are on the brink of eternity.

Anyway, I'm going on more than I expected to as usual. There is still so much about it. But remember this - the devil wants you to be in the dark. You have a choice now - but Satan doesn't want you to know that. Study the Bible and uncover the gems.

Happy Sabbath.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Visits and Volcanoes

We are blessed to have cousin Deirdre and two friends from Andrew's University in Michigan visiting us this long weekend. They've been catching up with friends here at Southern and just enjoying their spring break.

 (The arm bandage is a fake, by the way!)We had a neat time tonight playing instruments and singing from the hymnbook. Deirdre and C on violins, me on cello, S playing piano, and Miracle and Terrance singing. Now they're at vespers at the University. Tomorrow is the Sonrise walkthrough (an interactive walk through Jesus' last few days leading up to His crucifixion). C and I usually walk through part of it but don't include all the intense scenes!
This afternoon we got to go to a birthday party at Chuckee Cheese's. Whew - noisy!
And now for the part you're wondering about. Here is a volcano according to C - her breakfast porridge. Thought I'd just include that just for imagination's sake!

On Sunday we drove to Cohutta Springs for the Adventurer Family Fun day! Cold and windy but fun, especially for the kids. Here are a few pics of that wonderful event.Over 700 were officially registered - quite a crowd! Our local club's theme was "Wandering in the Wilderness". The kids had to go through a short obstacle course and at the end they received "manna". Most clubs had little rewards for their particular activity. Each club had a specific activity to do and the kids got a sticker for each club they did. Each child who participated also gets a "Family Fun Day" patch for their sash. Altogether there were 22 clubs and we only got through a little over half of them.

Well, I guess I'll have to talk more of the violins another time! We're still having a"ball"!
Happy Easter. (Passover is next month - funny that they're so far apart - a topic for a google search sometime! - I have heard various reasons...but need to refresh my memory)

Friday, March 14, 2008

And now I'm Seven

Can't believe it's been 3 weeks since the last blog! Only seems like two! Anyway, this blog will be about the big party #7 for C which we celebrated 2 weeks ago on Sunday. The weather could not have been better - the most beautiful day so far this year! We've had snow lately, wind, rain and icy cold so we were glad and blessed to have caught such a great day for the birthday party - - and what a blessing, since we had arranged for our friend Mindy to bring her horse over for the kids to ride.

Fancy is fancy

What a sweet, well-behaved horse!

Sparkly hooves

The birthday cowgirl

Below, is the cake - a horse, a dog, cat, bird, ducks, flowers, tree and of course, the ubiquitous butterfly. The cake was easy this year - compared to pigs, castles and Strawberry Shortcake amongst others in years past

After the eats and presents, the kids had a wonderful time playing freeze tag and other games outside while the adults chatted.

 All in all a VERY lovely day thanks to all our friends, and Mindy with Fancy, the calm and well-behaved horse! Thank you all!