For Glory and Beauty

Date: 04/03/2021 
For Glory & Beauty
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Pastor: All right. Well, I'm excited about our topic this evening, a very important topic that we're going to look at because we can learn a lot from clothing. Our topic is For Glory and Beauty and I can't help but think about when I was a kid, how I loved Superman. I was raised by the television and Superman was my hero, and I remember specifically about Superman as he had many and various colors on his uniform and it meant something. Some people say that the S on Superman is an S and others say that it's a symbol for hope. Well, that's actually a counterfeit. Superman is a counterfeit. And today, we're going to learn about the real hero. Can you say Amen to that?

Congregants: Amen.

Pastor: And we're going to learn about His uniform and His emblem on His chest and the ultimate symbol for hope for you and for me and for everyone around this planet. Amen?

Congregants: Amen.

Pastor: Okay. So here we go. When we think back, when we look back at the very beginning of the Bible, we learned some very important principles and you guys are going to be familiar with these principles. When we look at the Book of Genesis, we see a theme taking place where we have seven days that open up with the Divine command where God speaks, God says, and it's miraculous to see the creative power of God by his audible voice. God says something and it happens. We cannot do that today, but God can. He is our creator and when we surveyed the Book of Genesis, we see Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6. God is speaking and something happens. God is speaking and something happens all the way through and then something very climactic and important happens on Day 7. Do not miss this important point and this is where you guys will be familiar with this point is that God does something special on Day 7 and that's where He institutes the Sabbath and He doesn't necessarily command it in like a dictator type of fashion. What He does is He establishes the Sabbath through His commitment to the Sabbath. He leads by example. I'm thankful that we have a God that leads by example. How many of you are thankful for that as well?

So we see Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and it ends all the way in Day 7 with the Sabbath. Now what happened after this? What was God's original plan with the creation? When we look at the creation, we see there was perfect order in the Garden of Eden, there was perfect peace in the Garden of Eden and humanity was at one with God. So there was atonement with God there in the garden and whether you know it or not, the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation tells us the story of how to get back to the garden. It starts in a garden and it ends in a garden. So what happened though is we know mankind lost the way. Mankind is confused today.

It's a scary world that we live in. It's like a maze if you're out there in the world. I know because I used to be in the world. And as I said, I was raised by my babysitter and the babysitter was a television. So I was taught by all these different things and I literally was very confused. I was literally in Babylon. I didn't know what was going on. And that's the way a lot of people are today. Even people that claim to be Christians, they're confused by the way that the world operates. So what we see in order for God to restructure everything and get humanity back on track? What does He do? He follows his pattern now after a problem has occurred and there's a series of divine speeches in the Book of Exodus just like in the Book of Genesis where God speaks, God says, God says, and then guess what? The number seven speech ends with something very important, a reminder of the thing that he told us to remember and to embrace and to keep holy which is the Sabbath. All of this is centered around these speeches, are centered around, guess what? The sanctuary. All these speeches here where God is speaking in the Book of Genesis is leading to the sanctuary and dealing with the sanctuary.

What was the point? What was the whole point of all these? The same point that God established in His creation. So when we look at what's going on here in the Book of Exodus, we have the same thing taking place. We see order, we see the concept is to be back at peace and to have atonement with God. That is what the sanctuary is all about. He said in Exodus 25:8, "Let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them." God wants to dwell with you. He wants to dwell with me. He wants to dwell with all of humanity and the way that He helps us to learn to understand how we can dwell with God is the preparation for that most holy place experience and the way is found in the sanctuary.

Notice what it says in Psalm 77:13. It says, "Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary." Who is so great a god is our God. Now we'll come back to that question tomorrow as we look at the Revival of the Beast tomorrow morning. I hope you guys are going to join me in the morning. We're going to get up, we're going to be here early. At 8:30 in the morning, we're going to dive into this question right here and see what it really means.

Notice John 14:6 also. It says, "Jesus said unto them, I am the way, the truth, and the life." And what does Jesus do? Jesus brings us back to who? He brings us back to the Father. There's no way back to the Father but by Jesus. So what we see is we see a parallel going on here. We see Jesus saying, "I am the truth the way, and the life," and we see the sanctuary says, "Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary." The way is in the sanctuary and the way is through Jesus. So we see parallels where when we look at the sanctuary, when we study the sanctuary, when we study the sacrifices, when we study the furniture when we study the priest, every detail will point to Jesus.

I saw a new book that was introduced to me just a few days ago where there was a really cool picture. I would have illustrated it but I didn't have time to do it for you guys. But we see Jesus he's standing, he's really tall, and he has his arms stretched out above the sanctuary and the sun is behind him, and then you see his shadow going over the sanctuary, and guess what it is, the shadow of a cross going over the sanctuary. It's beautiful. It's tremendous. And this is what we see when we look at the sanctuary. But you see the other side of that equation is when we see in Proverbs 14:12. It says there is a way, there's another way, so there's the way in the sanctuary but then there's another way and that way is a way that seems right to us, seems right as far as our mind works, but you see our mind is tainted, our mind is distorted, our mind is damaged. You might as well just go ahead and get ready to tell your neighbor, look at them right now and say, "You have brain damage." Go ahead and tell them that. "You have brain damage."

Every one of us have brain damage, we're sick, and we need to be saved by the ultimate hero. That's what we're going to look at today because there is a way that seems right unto a man but the end thereof are the ways of death. Romans 6:23 says, "The wages of sin," is what? Is death. But it doesn't end there, "But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord." So what we see now, what was the big picture here? What is God trying to communicate? There are all kinds of fascinating things that we can look at that will help us to learn about the literal things with the children of Israel, the literal inter-workings in the sanctuary, but also we're going to bounce back and forth today. We're going to look at the literal things but we're also really going to focus in on how they apply to us because what does Peter tell us? Peter tells us, "But you," say "You."

Congregants: You.

Pastor: Say "Me."

Congregants: Me.

Pastor: You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people. Have you ever been called weird before? I know about you, weird people. I wasn't always a weird person. But you know what weird really means? It means set aside, set aside for a holy purpose. It makes you feel a little bit better about being weird when you know what it means. Amen? So we see we have a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light.

Now when I was a boy, I wanted to be in a gang. How many of you wanted to be in a gang? Probably not. If you did, don't raise your hand. I'll be bold enough to tell you. I wanted to be in a gang, not in a bad gang but just a good gang, a cool gang. As I said, my mind was distorted watching all these different TV shows and movies and things and I wanted to be a gang and I wanted to wear a blue jean jacket and I wanted the sleeves to be torn off of the blue jean jacket and I got my grandmother to sew me a special emblem on the back of my blue jean jacket and I had my friend, he was my partner in the gang, we were the two head honchos in the gang and he had a blue jean jacket too, he had the sleeves torn off, and he had a special emblem put on the back. Do you know what we were called? We were called The Double Dragons. We were The Double Dragons and we thought we were bad. We thought we were tough. Nobody messes with us before The Double Dragons. That's what we thought, right? We were youngsters and the day came when we were going to wear our blue jean jackets with no sleeves to school. We're going to show everybody, we were The Double Dragons.

Well, I was so excited. I went to school and guess what happened? I surveyed the playground looking for my friend, he was nowhere to be seen and I finally saw him because he wasn't wearing his blue jean jacket and I walked up to him, I'm wearing mine proudly 'cause I'm a double dragon and guess what? He was ashamed to wear his blue jean jacket to school because he didn't want our friends to make fun of us. So I was the only one wearing the blue jean jacket and I was there in shame now because my partner was not with me.

There are all kinds of implications when we think about clothing in the Bible. When we look at the clothing of our great hero, which the priest was an example of. The priest was a type of Jesus, the ultimate hero, and what we see is we can learn so many things. Just like every other presenter said, I was going to go ahead and tell you, I will not have time to go through every little detail that we can look at but I just want to whet your appetite. Are you still hungry? You guys just ate but I am hungry to learn more about God. Are you?

Congregants: Amen.

Pastor: There's no way we can go into all of it and I'll make a public confession to you - I don't know it all. I'm still learning about all these things, but I'm excited to share with you what little I do know. So, without further ado, I'd like to bring out a special guest that we have with us today. I want to invite Aaron, our high priest if he would come out and if he would just kind of walk around the table of showbread here, make his way as a model here as a model would do on the runway. You'll just make your way there slowly and let the camera crew get some good shots of you. That is what the high priest would look like and notice, too, this is not by mistake. Notice, he doesn't have any shoes. We're going to talk about that in a little bit. All right, Aaron. Give me a good handshake there. We really appreciate you coming out and we'll call you back out in a little bit. So, be listening. All right. Everybody give Aaron a hand there. Isn't that cool? That's very neat.

So, is there meaning to the high priest uniform? In order to understand this, we need to look back at the main focus of the Book of Leviticus. And I should say The Book of Leviticus is like that dreaded book. How many of you, January comes around, or the end of December you're like, "I'm going to read the whole Bible this year. I'm gonna do it. I'm going to start in Genesis." Everything goes great. You learn about the creation. You learn about the fall. You learn about the flood. You learn about all these extraordinary things maybe Joseph and his family. Things are going great then you get into The Exodus and Moses and the children of Israel and Egypt and they're coming out of Egypt and all these things and the great Exodus account. And then, you get to the dreaded Book of Leviticus. Have you been there? You probably either stopped and you stop reading altogether or you fast-forward it into the New Testament and I hope you kept reading but that's what usually happens. But let me tell you, I have been trying and struggling and studying and I've had quite a bit of fun here lately going through the Book of Leviticus and trying to dissect it and see Jesus all through the book. He's there. So I want to challenge you to take a look at it.

What's the sum total of The Book of Leviticus? What's the main idea about? Here it is right here, "Sanctify yourselves therefore and be ye holy for I am the Lord your God." Here's another one, "And ye be holy unto me for I the Lord am holy and have," noticed this, I like this, "I have severed you from other people that you should be mine." God has severed you. He severed all of us and you see either we're going to be severed by God or we're going to be severed from God. Isaiah says that our sins have severed us or separated us from God and, here, God is wanting to sever us from the world and bring us to Him. Why? To be holy. To be different. To be special. To be a light to the world that they may see God's light shining through us in a time of great darkness. And that's what we see today. We see a very dark world and the people are wanting answers, they're wanting clarity, they're wanting purpose, and the best purpose that you can have is to realize that God has called you out of darkness and He has called you to be a beacon of light to this dying world.

So we need to know what our uniform is going to be like as we go along so let's just do some surveillance or some forensics rather would be the better. We're going to do some forensics and see how did God create humanity in the very beginning. So we see in the Book of Genesis in Genesis 1:26, God is speaking here and God says, "Let us make man," notice the language that I have highlighted here, "in our image after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air and over the cattle and over all the Earth." They were given dominion and how were they created? They were created in the image and the likeness of God. So just keep that thought in your mind, and then we fast forward here in Genesis 2:25, and it says, speaking of Adam and Eve they were both naked, the man and his wife, and strange language here. They were not ashamed. Have you ever wondered about that?

They were not ashamed. They were naked and not ashamed. Today, if we didn't have any clothes on, we would be a little nervous about that. Like if I were to come out here on the stage with you in this area here with no clothes on, I would be a little embarrassed about that, right? It's just not something we do. All of you have on clothes right now, but here's the sad reality. You may have your clothes on and I may have my suit on but guess what? We are naked. Did you know that? We have lost what they once had.

Let's do a little bit of investigation here. How does God dress? Have you ever wondered that? How does God dress? When you read the book, Patriarchs and Prophets, that great expansion on the early books of the Bible there, you read about that Adam and Eve wore garments of light and people have challenged me in the past, the Bible doesn't say that at all. They wore garments of light, that's adding to the Bible. Let's do a little investigation here. I want you to grab your Bibles here and look at Psalm 104 and let's read verses 1 and 2. How does God dress? Can we find any clues and will it help us in our journey of how we need to dress today? So I invite you to turn there, Psalm 104.

I have the same problem that Brother James has. I have a new Bible here. So some of my pages are kind of sticking together. Okay. Psalm 104, verses 1 and 2, "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great," now notice the language, "thou art clothed with honor and majesty." But then it doesn't end there. Read verse 2, "...who covers thyself with light." As with a garment who stretches out the heavens like a curtain. So, God wears a garment of light is the language by the Psalmist here. And then when we bounce that off of Psalm 37:6, notice the language here, "And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light and thy judgment as the noonday." So there is an equivalence between God's garment of light and righteousness, therefore, we could say that Adam and Eve were clothed literally in glowing robes but they were also clothes in or covered in the righteousness of God. They were a representation of his character to the entire world. That's the way that they were created and they lost that.

We know the sad story that their eyes of them both were opened and they knew that now they were naked in a bad sense. They sewed fig leaves together, a false sense of righteousness, self-righteousness, and self-worth, which is rooted in so many other religions in the world today, but I'm so thankful that we don't have to cover ourselves, that God covers us for us if we come to Him. We'll talk about that in just a little bit. So they sew together for themselves fig leaves and we know that they were given a great gospel promise, but they had to exit the garden, they had to leave the garden, and now like I said, our whole experience is trying to get back to the garden. How do we get back to the garden? How do we get back to this wonderful creation? That's what we want to do.

Notice what Matthew Henry says. He says, "Holy garments were not made for men to sleep in or to strut in but to do service in and then they are indeed," for what? For glory and beauty. Continuing on with this great book right here that I have just been introduced to, it's with Jesus in his sanctuary. It says, "When clothed with them, the priest presented himself as a representative of Israel," just like Jesus. He's a representative for all of us because we today are Israel showing by his garments the glory that Israel should reveal to the world as the chosen people of God, the high priest who dared to appear in holy office and engage in the service of the sanctuary where the robe was looked upon as having severed himself from God. This is coming from the Desire of Ages, chapter 75.

So when we look now at the high priest, I'm going to ask Brother Aaron if he will come back out real quick and we'll just going to take a quick survey of the dress of our superhero's uniform and we can look and see what it means. We're going to do this rather quickly. But if you'll notice as I already said, he doesn't have any shoes on and then we see he's clothed in white and there are these weird pomegranates and bells that go around in exact order one after another the same number of each and then we see a nice blue here and then we see the mixture of blue and purple and red and all this going on here, these crazy stones, again white sleeves, nice white beard. How many of you like that beard? Ain't that nice? And then he has these stones on his shoulders with the names of the six tribes here and six tribes here and then we have Holiness to the Lord on his nice hat. Also notice, what color is it? It's white. So this is a rundown of what the high priest would look like.

Now, what does it all mean? Thank you, Aaron. What does all this mean? Let's start with the white robe. Revelation 19:8 says it represents the righteousness of Christ. We all know white is a symbol of righteousness in the Bible so it's without doubt that this is righteousness. And then when we look at Isaiah 64:6, we have the parallel that our righteousness, all of our righteousness is as filthy rags. I was just talking to a young lady here just a moment ago and she was a little emotional. She was taking in all the presentations that have been given so far and she was just taken back by the great love of God of how much he loves us. I thought something was a matter with her. I thought she had received a phone call, some bad news or something so I went down to visit with her and that's what she was taken back by, the great love of God. She says, "I'm just not sure what to do. I don't deserve this," and I said none of us deserve it. She says, "I'm not sure what to do," and I said, "Just accept it." Just accept it.

Just accept the fact that, right now, your righteousness is as filthy rags, the best Sabbath keeping that you can offer, the best health message that you can adhere to, all of the little checklists that we have, guess what? They don't gain you any points with God, they are as filthy rags. It is only his righteousness is what purifies us and that is good news because I get tired of trying to earn my way to heaven. How many of you have been tired, and that's where Jesus says, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you what? I will give you rest. We look at John 15:5 and Jesus says, without me, you can do how much? You can do nothing. And then Philippians 4:13, but good news, I can how much? All things through Christ which strengthens me. So these are just a few lessons from the white robe and there we see an allusion to this in Genesis 3:21 going back all the way to the fall account there. God doesn't leave them in the garden and he goes searching for them. That's good news, by the way. God is out to get you, did you know that? He's not out to get you, he's out to get you, and he's calling for you the same thing that he called to Adam and Eve. Where are you? He's calling for you today.

God was the first missionary and he's calling you today to reassess your walk, to reassess your clothing, to see - are you in connection with Him? Have you laid away your forms of righteousness, your forms of self-worth and allowed God to clothe you? Notice what it says also for Adam and his wife, the Lord God made tunics of skin and he did what? He clothed them. In Revelation 3, we have some very important words dealing with the church that is being judged, the last Church in the phase of Earth's history. We are living as we saw from Pastor Bohr's presentation, in the time of the judgment, right? We're living in the time of judgment and we are the Church of Laodicea which means a people judge. So what does God have to say to the Laodicean church here in Revelation 3:17-18? I invite you to turn there. It says, "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind," and there's our keyword what?

Congregants: Naked.

Pastor: Naked. "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." Notice what he says he wants us to buy, how do we buy because salvation can't be purchased? Isaiah 55, I love it. He says, "Come, buy. All of you that are thirsty, come and buy," how? Without money. But we're rich. All of us are rich. We have a lot of sin, we bring our sin to Jesus. He's a great merchantman and He works with us by we do the great exchange. We give him our sin and He gives us his righteousness. He is the solution for the Laodicean disease that we are all infected with.

Continuing on in Isaiah 61:10, "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord. My soul shall be joyful in my God," for he has done what? "He has clothed me with garments of salvation," he has covered me with the robe of righteousness. And then we see this great warning in Isaiah 4:1, you read that for homework and see there what is going on in Isaiah 4:1 where it talks about all these women that are coming. I think it's a great prophecy for the last days, forms of self-righteousness, and their own doctrine only to take away the reproach but they want to be called by God's name. And then notice this - what does Peter tell us when we consider our outward adorning? Peter says, "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair and of wearing of gold or putting on of apparel," did you know the Apostle Paul, he was looking forward to the day where God would give him a crown of righteousness. And there's a crown waiting for you. I want you to know that there will be no crown without gems and a gem in your crown is someone that you have one to Jesus Christ. God wants all of us to be missionaries where we're winning souls for his kingdom and that's the greatest thing that you can ever do, by the way, is being a missionary for God, being a disciple for God.

It awakens your faith to see it in other people's lives, to see them embrace the gospel message, it does something for you. It's a two-way benefit. And that is the ultimate thing that God wants to do is he wants you to receive your crown and then he wants to decorate it full of gems. So you see, I'm waiting to wear my crown. I'm waiting to wear my jewelry for the new Earth and then I can't wait, guess the first thing that I'm going to do when I get my crown? I'm going to take it off and I'm going to lay it at the feet of Jesus. Amen?

Congregants: Amen.

Pastor: But you see the devil, he's confused us and all you sweet ladies and different people all over the world. We get confused when we think we have to decorate ourselves. But God, you see, it's a counterfeit for what God is wanting to do. God has a crown for you one day that shows how much He loves you. It has great meaning. That crown is made of gold and how do we understand gold? Gold is talking about our faith tried in the fire. It produces gold. So there is gold for you in heaven. Notice what it says, but what do we need, "But let it be the hidden man of the heart and that which is not corruptible. Even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God a great price." Now what about the blue? Numbers 15 and several other passages in the Bible when we look at the color blue is symbolizing none other than the law of God, but not just the law of God but obedience to the law of God.

James 2:20 tells us, "Faith without works is dead." 1 John 2:3 says, "And hereby we do know that we know him, you can know that you know him if-" there's an indicator, "if we keep his commandments or if we wear the blue robe of the ephod." And why do we keep the commandments? Because Jesus says, "If you love me, keep my commandments. The commandments are a perfect picture of how the world should operate. Have you ever looked at the commandments and not in a negative way? Every time I do studies with people looking at the Ten Commandments, I always try to get them to write them in positive - promises, and that's what they really are when you understand them on a deep level is they are promises of God for us. But people call us legalists because we want to keep the law but notice this - if the uniform is worn properly it is impossible to be a legalist because, notice, the blue is on top of the white. You have to have the white before you have the blue.

We must accept by faith his righteousness. We are saved by righteousness by faith seeing and believing in what He has done and what He wants to do for us that touches our heart and we, by faith, claim to that and He then counts you a son and a daughter for His kingdom and then you obey by the power of the holy spirit. So we can't be a legalist if we have our uniforms in the right order. What about those pomegranates? Notice this, this is coming from a great book. If you haven't read it's called The Path to the Throne of God by Sarah Peck. Sarah Peck was one of our first female missionaries in The Seventh-Day Adventist Church. She went to South Africa. She was the secretary and literary assistant for Ellen White. A powerful book called The Path to the Throne of God.

She says the pomegranate is a round fruit about the size of an apple. Its purplish red shell is completely packed with seeds. Each of which is encased in a sack of blood-red delicious but sometimes bitter fruit. Each fruit is a seed basket of precious seeds. The seed is the word of God. It tells us in Luke 8:11, "The word of God is literally packed with precious promises." Have you ever cut open a pomegranate and looked at it? Notice what it says in 2 Peter 1:4, "Whereby are given unto us exceedingly great and precious promises that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature." And then we look at a pomegranate and when we look at the Bible, there are over 31,000 Bible promises in the Bible. It's filled with promises for you and me. Every promise is sealed in the blood of Jesus Christ as the seeds are sealed in the red fluid. And then you see their weapons, their weapons of mass salvation for us. You're armed when you understand the pomegranates and their precious promises of God, they're like grenades, grenades against the enemy. If the enemy comes at you, you could say, "It is written, devil. It is written, devil," and watch the devil flee from you as they explode with God's word, God's redemptive power. That's what these pomegranates are, they're grenades for you to throw at the devil to protect yourself.

Why are promises what you're supposed to be gifts on the blue robe of obedience? Because for every Bible promise, there is a Biblical condition to its fulfillment. And then I can't prove this but some writers and Sarah Peck says this in The Path to the Throne of God. She says there were 72. This is just by tradition, so don't take this dogmatically here, but there were 72 bells and pomegranates. When you double that, you get 144. Basically, when you realize the character of what this clothing represents when you look at all the clothing and put it together, it represents the perfect character of Jesus, which will be showcased to the world by any number dealing with 144-maybe thousand. Yeah, 144,000. That's what it's all about right there. What about those bells? Notice what it says here, what do the bells and the pomegranate signify? Because this was equal in number, someone has suggested that they were well-illustrated, the lesson that in our Christian experience, I like this - there should be as much sound, no? As much fruit as sound or profession.

Some of us make a lot of noise, but we don't have any fruit, and Jesus says, "You will know them by their fruits." And what kind of fruit should we have? The fruit of the spirit, which is none other than showcasing to the world what God looks like. The blue mantle of spirit-induced active obedience resting on the white robe of Christ imputed and imparted righteousness produces fruit, which does not crowd out witnessing and witnessing in harmony with fruit-bearing. Notice what it says in Exodus 28:35 now it says, "And it shall be upon Aaron to minister and his sound shall be heard when he goeth unto the holy place before the Lord and when he comes out," that he what? "That he dies not." Letting us know that we have a living priest. Aren't you glad that we have a living priest today? He is alive and well and He hears your prayers and He is there for you and he can save you to the uttermost.

When I was a kid, I used to say, "You can talk the talk. Can you walk the walk?" I used to like to fight when I was a kid and I did martial arts and I thought I was tough and all this stuff. I was actually pretty tough, but I'm not a fighter anymore. I'm a lover. I'm a fighter for God. Amen?

Congregants: Amen.

Pastor: God is asking us, "You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?" Because you notice, the bells and the pomegranates, they were at the very bottom and when you walked, they would move so it's letting us know to survey our walk. The ephod, the double apron that we looked at there with all those beautiful colors in it - the red, the purple, and the blue and the gold, why those colors? Well, in summary, I'll just give you what it says in Philippians here but I've added the colors in, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus who thought it not robbery to be purple, which is equal what God made himself of no reputation and became blue obedient unto red, death even gold, the death of the cross." So we see here another illusion to the perfect character of Jesus following the wheel to the T for his father. He was royalty. He was obedient. He was obedient even unto death but not just any death, the death of all of mankind on your behalf if you and I accept it.

What about these onyx stones on the shoulders? Isaiah 9:6 says, "The government of the people is upon Christ's shoulder." In Galatians 6:1-2, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, you which are spiritual restore such as one in the spirit of meekness considering thyself lest thou also be tempted bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ." Jesus had the sins of the world on his shoulders but he wasn't forgetting what he was doing it for. The names of each of the tribes were on his shoulders and whether you knew it or not, by your personality traits you fit into one of those tribes. I don't know if you've ever done a study on that but it's a very fascinating study. They have psychology today that tells you these different categories of psychology, but when you read the Bible, it gives you the true meaning of the different personalities through the children of Israel through their names and you all are on God's mind. When he died on the cross, you were on his mind. Isn't that awesome? You. And guess what? If you were the only one living on planet Earth if you were the only one alive right now, He would have done it all just for you. Isn't that special?

What about the breastplate? I love this. "Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment. Upon his heart when he goeth in unto the holy place for a memorial before the Lord continually." Again quoting from The Path to the Throne of God, these 12 breastplate jewels, no two alike, born on the heart of the high priest represent God's special treasure. He calls us in Malachi 3:17, my jewels. You are a jewel for God. That just makes me excited. I know you guys are tired so it's okay if you're not excited. "They are gathered to the heart of Christ. The redeemer of the twelve tribes from every nation and country. Some from the depth of the ocean and some from Earth's darkest minds." It doesn't matter how far you go, how deep into darkness you go, God can pull you up out of that. God can save you. If you're still breathing and if you have a loved one, if they're still breathing, there's still hope. Maybe you have a wayward child, there's still hope if they're still alive. That's very comforting to know, isn't it?

The miter, the holy crown, Exodus 28:36-38. On it were written the words Holiness to the Lord. What's right behind the miter there? What's right behind it? The frontal lobe. And that is the control center of the brain and that is what God wants to do for us. We're going to either have the seal of God or the mark of the beast. Who is our God and are we going to be a representation of holiness to the world or are we going to be a representation of the government of the evil one to the world? The arch-villain? That's what we have to decide.

And what about the shoes? Well, in Exodus 3:5 where Moses has his encounter with a burning bush, what does God tell him? "Take off your shoes for where you stand is holy ground." What about Joshua? He tells Joshua the same thing. Now, what does that mean for us today? Some of us need to take off our shoes. You see when I was a kid, I wanted to some Nike shoes. Do you guys remember Nike shoes? Yeah, they're still around. What was Nike's tagline? Just do it. I want to propose to you today that many of us are Nike Christians. We are just doing it. But God says, "That's okay. You're alive, you're breathing, take off your shoes. Take off your shoes and don't just do it. Come to me and I'll give you a new purpose. I'll give you a new identity. I'll take off your filthy rags and I'll clothe you with my robes of righteousness and I will give you a mission where your life will never be the same again."

What does God prefer? When we look at what these priests now, their clothing, what they would do is they would offer up sacrifice for all of us and I wish I could, in great detail, go into all the various sacrifices for you today. Again, I'm still learning about these but what I have learned is very very beautiful. Notice what it says in Samuel, it said, "Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice." Some people have trouble, they have a hard time looking at all the different sacrifices in the Bible thinking that God was a bloodthirsty God, but really, in essence, what we have is God is not a bloodthirsty God, God is a bleeding God. He is one that bled for you. Notice what it says, "It is far better to prevent evil than to attempt to heal it." The solution, the overall goal is to go and sin no more. That's what God wants from all of us.

Why are there so many different sacrifices? There are all these different details and that's why you probably stop reading The Book of Leviticus because of all these details. You just get bogged down and you want to shut the book. Oh, it's just too much, all these details, why is it like that? Because, you see, every sacrifice shows us a different angle of the beauty and the depth and the wonder of the sacrifice of Jesus. Jesus's sacrifice is so dynamic. We're going to be studying about how He saved us for all of eternity. It's going to be mind-blowing. It's already mind-blowing when you just look at it and you think about the last few chapters of the book Desire of Ages. And if you want a good audio recording of it, let me know and I'll be sure to show you where you can listen to the most beautiful audio recording of the Desire of Ages, and it will touch your heart listening to Gethsemane, and At Joseph's Tomb, and It Is Finished, all these last few chapters. Oh, it's amazing. And that's where we begin to see how dynamic and how deep the sacrifice of Jesus is. That's why there are all these sacrifices. Christ was the foundation and the life of the temple. The entire plan of sacrificial worship was a foreshadowing of the Savior's death to redeem the world.

When we look at everybody's favorite book in Leviticus 1:7, that's where we see all these sacrifices. But what are they? They're really altar calls. They're bringing us to the altar. We see in Genesis 3 as we've already said, God is saying, "Where are you? Come to me." In Leviticus 1:1, God calls out to Moses, calling out to you today with all these sacrifices. There was the burnt offering, the fire was ever burning, the fire was provided by God, the whole victim was burned on the altar of the burnt offering. Also, it's fascinating, Jesus, when we think about all the different sacrifices, they were the bulls, they were the sheep, they were the goats, they were the fowls, it didn't matter if you were rich or poor, you could bring a sacrifice. God is the equal salvation provider. It's awesome. If you're poor, that's okay, bring a little bird. If you're rich, you can bring a bull but the number one was, look, John the Baptist. He didn't say, behold, the bull of God. He didn't say that, did he? He didn't say, behold the turtledove of God. What did he say? "Behold the lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world." The lamb is the paramount sacrifice all through the Book of Leviticus. It's all about the lamb.

In Revelation, it's all about the lamb. The lamb is the one that can open the Seven Seals. He's a lamb as though he had been slain, but he's alive. The lion, the eagle, the strong animals, the predators, they were not the ones that were offered as sacrifice. They were unclean and God is showing us, too, the character of the sacrifice. Was it to be a strong ferocious animal? It was to be a calm docile animal. A lamb. It would not talk back, it would not fight back but would be willing to go to the cross. It would not fight back. His way of fighting would not be like this, but it would be like this. Amen?

Congregants: Amen.

Pastor: So we continue the grain offering. I wish I could talk about all these things. The peace offering, we can only have peace today because of what Jesus has provided for us. If you sin in ignorance, there was an offering for that. If you sin willfully, there was a sacrifice for that as well if you were repentant in heart. But if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins. And then what do we do? What's the sum total conclusion of all the sacrifices? Paul tells us, he says, "I beseech you, Brethren, by the mercies of God that you present yourselves as a living sacrifice." When did the sanctuary honors close? We all know. When straightaway coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opened and the spirit like a dove descended upon him.

In Mark 1:10, this is the one instance where Mark uses the word "open". In Greek, that word is schizo. So, literally, the sky opened up and Jesus was baptized there. The Holy Spirit came down like a dove and it means to split or to sever. Then when we go to the end of The Book of Mark, he uses it only one other time purposely in his writings. The only place he uses this word two times, the beginning and the end, and notice what it says, "In the veil of the temple was rent." It schizo and twanged from the top to the bottom, and there the sacrificial system ended. So what two options do we have? We're left with John the Baptist's response or Pontius Pilate's response. Which one will we have today? Pontius Pilate when he saw Jesus there at the trial, what did he say? "Behold the man." What was John the Baptist's response when he saw Jesus, "Behold the lamb." It's all about your relationship with the lamb. Is he just another man to you or is he your lamb?

You see, Jesus is the ultimate priest and he's the ultimate sacrifice. There was once a little boy and he wanted a German Shepherd so bad. He wanted a German Shepherd puppy that he could play with, that he could play fetch with and play games and teach him all these tricks. He wanted a German Shepherd so bad but his parents didn't have enough money so they told him if you wash dishes enough and you save up enough money, you can get a German Shepherd puppy. He wanted one so bad. It was his number one desire. Finally, the day came when he saved up enough money, and he was able to get a German Shepherd. He went to the place where they were selling the German Shepherds and he looked at all the different puppies, everybody could say "Oh" now. He looked at all the puppies. There was a good strong male. There was a very attentive female but those were not the ones that he wanted. There was one puppy back in the back corner. The puppy had a hurt leg. His paw was smaller than his other paws. He was the runt. The owner said, "Oh, you don't want that puppy. You need this big strong male here or this attentive female." The little boy pulled up his leg and said, "No, I don't want any of those puppies. I want that hurt puppy." He pulled up his leg and he revealed to that owner that he himself had a bad leg from birth. He had a limp his whole life. He looked up at that owner and he said, "That's the puppy for me. That puppy needs a master. That puppy needs a friend that understands."

You see, Jesus as our dying lamb, and Jesus as our great high priest, He understands today. He understands your pain, your sorrow, your doubt. You can come to him today as your living lamb that died and now intercedes for you as your high priest. Are you willing to come to him today to put it all on the altar and be clothed in his righteousness? Is that your desire?

Let's pray. Father in Heaven, clothe us now, Father. As we come to you, save us from our sins. Help us to embrace our mission to go out and to be your workers, to be your light bearers in this dark world. We love you and thank you so much. We pray all these things in Jesus's lovely and holy name. Let us all say, Amen.


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