VN520443 3-13-16 Doyle We Are The They
Exodus 25:10-17. Listen to the detail here. “And they shall make an ark of acacia-wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it. And thou shalt make staves of acacia-wood, and overlay them with gold. And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them. The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it. And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.” That is the 10 Commandments. “And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.”
Okay, so once again a quick review of the box. He said the box, the box part of it is to be made out of acacia wood. The other word shittim wood is King James but it’s what we know today as acacia wood. You can make this box out of acacia wood. Put gold leaf all the way around it. It has to be hammered gold. You’ve got to take a piece of gold and beat it out so it’s real flat and then cover the box inside, outside, underneath it. Gold is the sign of or the symbol for divinity. Gold is pure. Pure gold doesn’t rust, it doesn’t tarnish. It’s always shiny no matter what. You can bury it, you can put it in a box and let it lay there for years and when you take it out it will still be just as bright. The blood that is shed is a representation of the blood of Jesus Christ and it’s to teach us about the power of the blood, and the glory of God Himself is to dwell in between over the Ark of the Covenant, over that mercy seat where the two angels are, with their wings almost touching.
Now with all of that, just hold that picture in your mind and I’m going to jump over and tell you about an event that takes place in 1 Samuel. It’s going to be in chapter 2 through chapter 4. There is a guy, his name is Eli. I happen to like the name Eli. Eli was the High Priest at the time. He is the man in charge of sprinkling the blood, making sure all the sacrifices are done, and all the rest of the details that are to be maintained within the temple and the altars and the table of shortbread. He is the one to make sure that everything is done right and then he would be the one who would carry the blood in and sprinkle the blood before the covenant. This man is also the one who was High Priest when Samuel’s mother came and prayed and asked for a son and first he thought she was drunk and he said go away you old drunk and she goes I’m not drunk, I’m praying for a son. She says I’ve dedicated him that if I have a son, when God gives me a son, when he gets older I’ll bring him back and he will serve God in the temple.
God said cool so later she has a baby and names him Samuel. Brings Samuel back to the temple and while Samuel is there he has a visitation from God. Eli is not much of a good priest, to be honest. He knows his stuff, he knows what is required and he does it. He sits out in front of the temple, usually on a stool if you read it. He is sitting out there all the time. He knows that the presence of God is inside of that temple. He has a good head knowledge of everything that is going on, but honestly it doesn’t seem to really have touched him. I mean he knows it and he knows it to be true, he raised his boys up who were supposed to be in line to take his place, but as they got older they became known as wild child. They liked to party, they liked to drink, they liked to carouse. They understood that there was some power there but they really didn’t grasp the idea, the whole teaching that it was for their sins that the animal died. All they were interested in was lets party and that thing has got power.
So, as time went on one time these boys decided to get into a war with one of the neighboring community of peoples and they needed a weapon that would help them overcome and beat that next village over so they went and got the Ark of the Covenant. They picked it up by the two staves. They had read and heard the stories of the exodus where the ark was brought out before the people and they would sing and then God would help the people win the war, and sometimes God would just flat out win the war without the people doing anything. God would just basically say step back and watch what I can accomplish. So they thought well, if we’ve got the ark with us, not necessarily God, but if we’ve got the ark with us, it’s a weapon and we’ll use that weapon and we’ll overcome, and Eli let them take it. God didn’t say let the boys take this out, I’m going to fight a great battle. He just stood back and let them do it.
Now that is the way Eli was, kind of self-centered. He was about his family. It was there, he knew it was okay, it was real, but eh, after all if you read you’ll find out that Eli had a good life and he liked that good life. The boys liked the power and privilege it gave them for being the children of Eli. Hold that thought. Now let’s go back to what it actually said. Remember I said when I was reading the Exodus part I said pay attention to the details. There is something that I had never had pointed out to me before. I was reading some rabbinical writings and two rabbis, I don’t know their names, pointed out that when you’re reading that in Exodus it says let them make a box. Let them make the acacia wood box. Let them do it, but then after that it always says you build the show bread table, you build the menorah, you build the gold that goes over the outside of it. You, you, you, individual, but the box itself is a “they”. They. Have them build the wooden box. I’ve got three thoughts going here. We’re going to try to get it all together.
Now if you happen to go to Disney World down in Florida you’ll find out that after you’re there awhile, you’ll hear people talking about hidden Mickeys. What they are is just little pictures of Mickey, little symbols of Mickey Mouse, sometimes it’s just his feet, but they’re stuck in very unusual places and if you’re not looking for them you won’t notice them. They’re like on a ride and there will be a star-filled sky and if you know right where to look you can see the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head. Or, if you’re on a ride you’ll see what is supposed to be an old billboard and the paper is peeling off the billboard and underneath one of these folds of paper all you can see is Mickey’s feet sticking out. They’re called hidden Mickeys. You can even buy a book on where to find the hidden Mickeys and people honestly do it like an Easter egg hunt or a treasure hunt. They go around and they look for all of them and they check them off the book and say I’ve seen this Mickey, I’ve seen that Mickey. So, there are these hidden Mickeys.
What this is talking about, now we’re back to the ark, “they” build the acacia wood box. The rest of it is you, you, you, you. The “they” build the acacia wood box is actually a hidden prophecy. It is a hidden prophecy about you people. Yeah. The “they” are the ones who are supposed to do this, and this is the hidden prophecy and we’re going to go over to 1 Corinthians 12:27-31. “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”
How is that the hidden Mickey? Because what that box represents is Jesus Christ Himself in symbolic form. Jesus was made a man. Acacia wood represents man. Wood when you’re studying symbolism in the Old Testament you’ll find out wood always represents humanity. The cross of Christ is a thing that is cursed because of the tree that Cindy was saying about. The man with the tree. Anybody that hangs on the tree is cursed. Man is a cursed being because of our fall. Therefore, we’re represented as wood. Jesus came down and He is totally human yet, yet He is totally God. That’s why it is covered in gold because God is trying to get across the idea that this is the representation of Jesus Christ. He is also totally divine. That’s why the lid is pure gold with the angels. He is pure God. He is the God man who came to dwell upon the earth. The God man is what actually was touching the ground when they would set it down. The God man, that part was touching the earth. God was over that. Then He also represents the Lamb of God whose blood is shed and sprinkled on top of that mercy seat.
It’s to show the shed blood of Jesus Christ. “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” So, we have a picture of Jesus Christ. He is this wooden box. He is man covered as God. He is man and God. The divinity of Him is up there. It is battered, it is hammered, and that is God, that is Jesus, the hammered divine being who was nailed to the cross. He is the one whose shed blood is sprinkled on top of that covenant to represent Jesus Christ, and He is the one who protects us from condemnation 24 hours a day. Because of the shed blood when we trust in it that’s why those tablets of stone which have the Commandments chiseled on them, unchanging cold stone is placed inside of that ark and then covered up and then the blood is sprinkled over the top of it because it protects us. The blood of Christ sprinkled on top of that mercy seat protects us from the judgment of God who is sitting in heaven. His Son is the battered human, truly divine, truly human, whose blood protects us from the 10 Commandments and the judgment that they so justly, rightly and perfectly, and holy, H O L Y, holy demand saying these are sinners. Here’s the law. They failed to keep the law. They should be judged.
God said Jesus, will you go down? Will you take care of this? Will you deal with this? He said yes. He took upon Himself all of our sins, enclosed them within Himself, and then He died on the cross and His blood was shed for us. So, we have here a picture of Jesus Christ worthy of worship symbolizing the redemption that we’re going to have and yet the first thing I read in Corinthians 12:27 was this. “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” We are the body of Christ and members in particular. We are that representation of the box also. We’re represented in that because we are the body of Christ. We are the box. We are the humans who are in Christ, that’s why we’re covered. It says we are in Christ in different places. It says we have His righteousness, we are clothed with righteousness, we wear the robes of righteousness. It’s giving us the idea of this picture. We are wood and we are covered with the blood of Christ. We’re under. I should say technically we are under the blood of Christ and His righteousness covers us, protects us, and especially a spruce tree. If you could slice it real thin and use an iodine die to tint it and then put it under a microscope you can see that that wood actually has little cells within it.
We are those little cells. We are part of Christ. We are members of the body of Christ. He has gone on and now it’s up to us, the body of Christ, the congregation of Jesus Christ, the assembly of Jesus Christ, we are now the Ark of the Covenant to the people of the world. We are His body. He is the head, we are the representation, and we are what is touching this earth. People are to come to us and say what must I do to get saved and we’re to say there is a God. He shed His blood on the mercy seat and we are under the blood and we are under the protection of God. We are His assembly. If you trust in Him you will be protected from the judgment demanded by His 10 Commandments and He will protect you also. So, they can come in and become part of the body of Christ that is resting on this earth. So, we are here in this place and it’s our part to bring this knowledge to the world. That box which is a picture of Christ, that wooden part of the box which is also a picture of us as a church, as an assembly put together, we are the “they” that bring that box together. We are the “they.” Everything else was you, you, you, you, but that wooden part of that box was referred to let them build that box.
We are here building the church of Jesus Christ. We are here building the church of Jesus in this world and it’s up to us to demonstrate and to contact, make contact with the people of this world which are different from us to make contact and explain to them about Jesus Christ. Okay, Doyle, why all that stuff about Eli? Because it’s possible to be in a church that knows that there is a God in heaven, that knows that Jesus Christ died for our sins and His blood was shed on the mercy seat, that box shows that and has made the statement that between the wings and right over where the blood is placed the presence of God is. It’s possible for a church to know about the presence of God in their midst and still be like Eli. Sat out in front. Enjoyed the good life. Even pastors, evangelists, TV evangelists are most noted for this, just taking advantage of the situation, letting the cash roll in, letting their kids grow up and just be ornery as snot and not doing anything to stop them. There is a possibility of being an Eli church sitting there knowing this and it really not touching your life.
It didn’t really touch Eli’s life. He knew it but it didn’t change his ways. He knew there was the presence of God inside that tent and yet he let his boys go in and take that out and go off with it to fight a war when God didn’t say take the box and go fight a war. He sat there and let them. It’s like us just letting the world go by, letting our children do whatever they want and saying oh, it’s okay. I know it but it doesn’t really mean a whole lot to me. That would be like being Eli. How could that man sit in front of that tent with the presence of God just a few yards behind him and go eh. Finally Samuel gets told by God, and Eli knows that God has been talking to Samuel and he says Samuel, this story goes on for awhile but he says Samuel at the end of it you tell me what God said and don’t you spare anything. Finally Samuel says okay. Eli, this is what is going to happen. God is going to bring judgment against you and your family and not even a sacrifice at this time will spare you from what is going to happen to you and your family. And you know what Samuel said? Eh. Eh. Whatever. I’ve heard this kind of stuff before. Eh, whatever.
After the boys took the box and went off to war it got stolen. It was taken away from him. The enemy won and took the Ark of the Covenant and put it in one of their temples with an idol sitting in front of it. That’s another story. It’s interesting. But when a guy escaped and ran all the way back to where Eli was sitting and he walks up to Eli and he said Eli, we lost. The ark has been stolen and put in a temple of another god, and Eli darn near passed out. Actually he got so close to passing out he fell over backwards and broke his neck. You can read about all this. He broke his neck. His boys died. The ark was lost. It’s a representation. Remember it’s always a symbolic representation. It’s possible for even the pastor and the churches or a particular church to know all the truth about God and His presence and still not have a lasting change in their life. They’ve got all the head knowledge but they don’t have any of the heart knowledge.
So, what do we do? What do we do? One of the things to do is like the lady who had the issue of blood in Matthew. She had it for 12 years. She is different. Jesus is walking along. There are hundreds of people around Him. They’re shouting Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Some of them are saying heal me, heal me, heal me. I want to be healed. I hope I’m healed. Jesus, and they’re touching Him. Some of them are singing His praises. Jesus, you’re great. They’re just singing songs and they’re dancing in front of Him and they’re talking and chanting His name. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. And out of all these people nothing is really going on but this one lady with the issue of blood said if I can just touch His garments I will be healed. If I can just touch the very hem of His garments. What made her different is she had found a promise that is in Malachi 4:2. All it says is when the Sun, S U N, of righteousness rises he will have healing in his wings. That’s the way it’s interpreted in the English. But, what it actually says in the Hebrew is when the S U N, the Sun of righteousness arises he will have healing in the fringe.
We took it, or our translator said well, that’s the same word they use for the tips of a bird’s wing is those fringe parts of a feather, but that’s also the word that they use for the prayer shawl that the Jewish people, Jewish men, were supposed to wear. They were to have fringe on the four corners and so she read it and understood it. When the Sun of righteousness comes, when the Messiah comes He will arise and He will have healing in the fringe of His garment and she understood that and she said if I could just touch the hem of His garment. Now she didn’t say it once. The Greek actually says she was continually saying if I could just touch the hem of His garment I’ll be healed. If I can get to Him and touch the hem of His garment I will be healed. I will be healed when I can touch the hem of His garment. She was repeating and saying the Word of God, a promise that she had, and she said it so much that she came to the point of faith and finally said I am going to go find Him. She elbowed her way through this crowd of people chanting. She touched His garment and it says the virtue went out from Him and she was healed and He stopped.
Whoa. It says that she came up from behind Him. He’s walking along and He goes whoa, wait a minute. Hundreds of people. He said who touched me? The disciples said how are we to know who touched you? Look at all these people. They’re all yelling Your name and You want us to find on person that touched You? Everybody has been trying to touch You. He said who touched Me? And the lady is like oh, I’m caught. She said I did, and He said your faith has made you whole. All the people were chanting His name, all the people were singing His praises, all the people were at this event, all the people were there. People were touching Him, they were swamping Him. He was like a rock star as they say today. Everybody was trying to get a piece of Jesus at that point and yet this is the lady who gets healed out of all of them. What she did that was different from Eli is she found in the Word of God and she believed what God said. She repeated it. She came to faith and she said there is power in this Messiah. There is power because He is the rising Sun. He is the one and there is power and I believe it so much when I touch that fringe I’m going to be healed.
Levi, it says, sat out in front of the temple of God where the presence of God was and He knew it and he was like oh, yawn, who cares. Bring me some more steak, bring me some more wine to drink, bring some more gold in here. I need some new clothes, some new robes. Make me some new robes. Hey boys look, we’ve got steaks for tonight. Go out there and put them on the barbeque and start grilling those steaks for later. Oh, sure, invite the girlfriends over too if you want. He was there in the presence of God and he never really understood it, he never studied it, he never reached out and touched the presence of God and said I believe that you are God Almighty. At any point he could have stood right there. Now there was a curtain. He couldn’t have went in there boldly but at this point he could have stood outside in front of that and said I know that You are in there God. I know that You are the presence of God and I know that You can hear us. Father, we are a nation that needs Your help. We’re a nation of stiff-necked people. We need, and these people are attacking us. We need your help.
Forgive us of our sins. Father, lead, guide and direct us. Teach us to walk in Your ways. I ask that you would touch my boys and cause them to come around and become true believers so that they can grow up and be proper priests before You in this tabernacle, in this area where we’re praising and worshipping You. He never did that, yet here is this lady who found the truth of Jesus Christ, who understood He was the presence of God. He was what was the representation of the Ark of the Covenant and she reached out and she touched Him just like it said to do, and she was healed. The difference is she knew that He was the presence of God and in faith she touched Him. The question is out of all the people that were chanting there they never got touched. They made all the right noise, they said all the right things. Eli knew all the right things and yet he was never really motivated. We are Glenwood Church. Everybody that has accepted Christ you are assembled here today. You are the assemblage of Glenwood Church. We are covered with the presence of Jesus Christ and His righteousness. We are the “they” that is here on this earth. We are under god’s protection and the blood of Christ covers us and is sprinkled and the presence of God Himself is over us.
Right there. “Where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I.” So, there is the presence of God right here at Glenwood Church. The question is are we really going to come to the place where we say the presence of God is here. I come to this assembly expecting the presence of God and if I can just reach out and touch Him in prayer and in faith He will hear me just like that lady, or are we going to be like an Eli church and say yeah, sure, He’s here. We know it. We’re assembled. It’s all there, but it doesn’t change us in any way. Are we going to be an Eli church? Are we going to be Eli individuals, or are we going to say the presence of God is here and tell people the presence of God is at Glenwood Church and we are pursuing to understand. Not just knowledge, but we are pursuing to understand how to reach out and touch Him so that our prayers will be answered and His magnificent grace will be manifest and we can experience it. Or, are we going to choose to be Eli? Sit down, take thine ease. Eat, drink and sleep. Tomorrow we may die so just don’t worry about it and live it up. Are we an Eli church or not?