Barriers to God

Hope for Today (English)
Hope for Today (English)
Barriers to God
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Exodus 26:31-37 

Hello and welcome, thanks so much for joining us on Hope for Today. We are honored to be here with you and look forward to our time together. Today I’d like to encourage you with some feedback we received from our listeners. It was encouraging for us to hear, and we trust it will have the same effect on you. If at any time you would like to share your story with us, stay right here and at the end of this program I will give you several ways to contact us. We would love to hear from you.  

Let’s go to India where we have this story from Dr Abhay, a university professor. He heard the program on social media. After listening for a few days, he called the producer and inquired about Jesus. “I know that Jesus is only a social reformer; how can he be a God or son of God? A man cannot be God.” The producer guided him in what the Bible says about Jesus and Dr Abhay found the answers in the scripture, now he says, “Your programs helped me to know Jesus in the true sense.” 

He was right, normally man cannot be God. Jesus is the only one who has ever truthfully made this claim and He gave us the evidence to support it.  

Again, we thank you for joining us and trust that you have been encouraged by hearing from our listeners. Now if you can open your Bibles to Exodus and let’s give our attention to Pastor J Mark as he shares today’s lesson with us.  

Many religions of the world have secrets which only the members may know. To become a member, you need to go through some secret rites of initiation. In some religions members are required to practice their faith behind closed doors. Some of these religions have various levels of practice that exclude the common people. If watched a follower of a religion like that you may not know what he believes or whether he believed anything. 

One of the significant facts about those of us who follow Christ is that we live our lives in openness. There are no secrets about following Jesus. The Bible is available. It is not restricted, except by governments and men who are afraid of its message. You and I can both read from the Bible. It’s an open book so you can learn what I learn. Its message is open to any and all who take time to read it. There are no secret requirements. 

However, you and I must remember that the God of the Bible is perfect and holy. Because He is a holy God and was coming to the people of Israel to live among them, He set up certain barriers to keep reminding them of His holiness. I am happy to tell you that in Jesus Christ, these barriers have been taken away. Now, Christ’s holiness is granted to us by faith in Him. 

However, we still come to God in reverence and holy fear. The BARRIERS TO GOD of Exodus 26:31-37 were set up to cultivate in Israel’s people a sense of holy fear and reverence. 

31.  And thou shalt make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubim shall it be made: 

32.  And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver. 

33.  And thou shalt hang up the veil under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy. 

34.  And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place. 

35.  And thou shalt set the table without the veil, and the candlestick over against the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south: and thou shalt put the table on the north side. 

36.  And thou shalt make a hanging for the door of the tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework. 

37.  And thou shalt make for the hanging five pillars of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, and their hooks shall be of gold: and thou shalt cast five sockets of brass for them. 

These verses inform us God employed certain REQUIRMENTS to help us know better who He is.  

The First REQUIREMENT the LORD made was, 

The Division. 

The inner veil was to divide between the holy place and the most holy place. Here we learn that the space was divided in a ratio of two to one. In other words, the holy place was twice the size of the most holy place. The most holy place was five meters wide by five meters long by five meters high. It was a cube. In that most holy place, the ark of testimony was to be placed. That was the only article of furniture that was to be placed in the most holy place.  

Then the mercy seat was to be placed on the top of the ark of the testimony in that most holy place. We speak of this as the mercy seat and at the same time it was the seat of justice. Here was where God would meet with His people in their great need for atonement. 

No one was permitted to enter into this most holy place except the high priest, and he could only enter once each year. There was the division that the inner veil created between the most holy place and the holy place. 

The holy place was the entrance to the most holy place. It was five meters wide by ten meters long by five meters high. It was twice as long as it was wide. In this room stood the table of the bread of fellowship and the golden lampstand signifying the light of revelation. Here the presence of God was revealed in the table of fellowship and the lampstand.  

Into this holy place only the priests were allowed to go. The common people like you and me would never have entered at any time into this inner part of the tabernacle. 

Then there was the outer veil: a hanging for the door of the tent. It was to be blue and purple and scarlet, of fine twined linen wrought with needlework. This hid the holy place from the curious eyes of onlookers.  

Here is described two hangings, two veils: one before the most holy place and one before the holy place. These I have called barriers to God. 

The Next REQUIREMENT the LORD made (to help us know better who He is) was, 

The Decoration

God wanted to make Himself real in the presence of His people in every detail of the decoration. There was meaning even in the colors God required. Blue points to the heavens, purple sets forth royalty, scarlet speaks of sacrifice. Gold and silver in their pure state are the precious metals. Then there was the brass or bronze, which is the blending of copper and tin. 

I’m sure the decoration must have been a very beautiful sight. It was to be done with skillful needlework: the cherubim on the finely woven linen. There was order and beauty in all this decoration to remind the people of Israel that God was among them. There was no clashing of art or colors. They were all skillfully blended together in a completeness of beauty and order almost beyond our imagination.  

So, God wanted to make His presence among them orderly and beautiful. For those privileged to minister in the tent of meeting, that beauty would remind them of the majesty and glory of Jehovah God.  

This requirement of decoration would help His people better understand who God is.  

The Next REQUIREMENT the LORD made (to help us know better who He is) was, 

The Deterrent. 

There were certain reasons why these veils were to be constructed and hung before the most holy place and the holy place. 

Each section had its particular function. Worshippers were to know and remember that God is real and that He is holy! The veils teach the reality of God’s holiness as He came to dwell among His people. In these deterrents God helped Israel to know that He is approachable. They could come to God, but they needed to come in a proper way. 

You must understand that God is approachable, but He is also holy. Let’s think about that veil which separated the holy place from the most holy place. In the temple which Israel built to replace the tabernacle there were the same veils. They followed the same pattern God had given to Moses in building the tabernacle. So, they divided the temple into two parts. They used the same ratio of dimension in building the temple so that the most holy place was a cube. They hung a heavy veil between the most holy place and the holy place. 

The New Testament informs us that at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus that veil between the most holy place and the holy place was torn in two from the top to the bottom. That was a divine act of God to show that He is approachable. We are told that a yoke of oxen could not have torn that thick veil.  

The tearing of that veil signifies that we can come to Him. At the same time the veil indicates that we are not fit to come into God’s presence without some preparation. God is not approachable until we have met the necessary requirements. But He is approachable when we come by His way.  

Under the old covenant, you couldn’t come to God without shedding the blood of an animal sacrifice. Today, we come to God by faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. You can find God and He can be real to you. The barriers have been removed. Why don’t you come to Him today? 

Thanks J Mark for this teaching and thank you for being here for this teaching from God’s Word. As we are going through this section of Exodus, I am so thankful for the completed work of Jesus Christ, through Him we have confidence to enter God’s presence. He has opened for us a new and living way, no longer do we have to abide by the Old Testament standards. Hallelujah Jesus Christ is the way!  

If you have any questions or if you’d like a copy of today’s teaching, here are a few ways you can contact us. The best way is via email. Our email is [email protected]. If you don’t have email, you could write to us, our address is Hope for Today, Box 3, Breezewood, Pennsylvania 15533. Or you can connect with us on our website. Our website is Heraldsofhope.org. On our website you will find other teaching similar to this and more helpful resources, please look around while you are there. And If you go to the connect tab you can message us directly. Again, the website is heraldsofhope.org.  

Thank you so much for being with us. We look forward to next week and hope you will join us for more lessons from Exodus. I will finish with a verse from Hebrews 9 on Christ’s finished work, “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come… 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.”  

*This episode is an exposition of Exodus 26:31-37 by J. Otis Yoder, re-recorded by J. Mark Horst, with an opening and closing by Arlin Horst.

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