BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 10, Day 3: Exodus 25:23-27:21

Summary of passage:  The Lord is still directing Moses on Mt. Sinai with regards to the tabernacle.  God told Moses to make a table and dishes of pure gold to hold the bread of the Presence on and a lampstand.  God gave Moses specific instructions on how to build the tabernacle and the curtain that would separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place (where God would dwell).  God told Moses how to build the altar for offerings and the courtyard.  There is to be lamps burning all day.

Questions:

5)  Table with the bread of the Presence:  Jesus is now the bread of life.

Golden lampstand:  The lamps are always to be burning and Jesus is the light of the world, always light, never dark, shining his light everywhere.  Note the repetition of 3’s here–pointing to the Triune God.  Jesus is the lamp, the light of the World.

Inner curtain or veil:  Upon Jesus’ death, this curtain was torn in two, ending the separation between God and man.  His blood allowed us to enter the Most Holy Place and his body (the curtain) opened a “new, living way.”

Altar of burnt offering:  Jesus was the last burnt offering man ever needed as his blood took the place of animal’s blood and cleanse us all forever. [If you keep reading the Leviticus passage given, you will glean more.  This burnt offering was the atonement offering for forgiveness of our sins.]

6a)  “Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you” on the mountain.

b)  God is a holy God and in order for us to be near him, we had to be cleansed and it had to be done right.  Everything had to be an exact representation of the heavenly reality.

Conclusions:  These sections of the Bible with listings of specifications is hard for us to read especially with units given that we no longer use.  I understand its importance; still, it doesn’t make it any easier to do these lessons.

End Notes:  Exodus 25:  The Arch of Titus has a depiction of the table from the tabernacle he rebuilt after the other one was destroyed. It closely resembles the specifications given here.  The Arch of Titus was built by his brother, Emperor Domitian, in 82 AD in Rome after his death to commemorate his victories which included the siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The Arch serves as a model for the Arc of Tri0umphe in Paris today and other arches around the world.

Herod rebuilt the temple in 20-19 BC which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.  Model of Herod’s Temple HERE  This is the second temple.  The first temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC when the Israelites were enslaved.  Solomon rebuilt the temple which was then renovated by Herod and known as Herod’s temple.  There are no records of what Solomon’s temple or the First Temple looked like.

There were 12 breads of Presence kept on this table, one for each tribe of Israel.  Leviticus 24:5-9 gives more details.  It was replaced every week and only eaten by the priests.  This bread is also known as the “face of God” and was to be eaten in His presence.

We can picture the lampstand similar to the modern-day Menorah.  The almond tree was the first to bloom in the spring, representing new life.

From Revelation 4:5, the 7 lamps represent the Holy Spirit.

The light from the lamps, instead of representing Jesus, could also point to God’s presence with us (Numbers 6:25) as light in the Old Testament represented victory and life (Psalm 27:1).

A talent of pure gold was 75 pounds.

Exodus 26:  We must remember right now the tabernacle is a tent as the Israelites are moving around in the desert for 40 years.  It isn’t until they settle down that a permanent dwelling is constructed.

Note how God gives directions from the inside out–just like He builds us.

The curtain with the cherubim could only be seen from the inside just like in heaven we will see cherubim (Psalm 80:1, Isaiah 37:16, and Ezekiel 10:3).

The goats’ hair was most likely black and similar to modern-day felt.  It hid the inner layer just like heaven is hidden to us.  The lamb skins and sea cows’ skins would have been added protection for the tabernacle.  [Anyone else wonder how they got skins from sea cows?]  Result:  complete darkness except for the lamps burning bright.

The use of silver as the foundation should draw parallels to Jesus’ work.  It separated the tabernacle from the floor like Jesus separates us from sin and the rest of the world.  Silver is the payment for sin and redemption.  (See Exodus 21:32, Leviticus 5:15, 27:3, 27:6, Numbers 18:16, and Deuteronomy 22:19)

The center crossbar would be unseen just like God.

The veil was thick, impossible to see through.  Behind the Most Holy Place was only the Ark of the Covenant.  Only the high priest could go into the sacred place and only once a year.

Inside the temple we have an altar, a table, and a lamp:  prayer, fellowship, and light for understanding.

Exodus 27:  Our altar today is the cross.  Horns represented strength and power.

The courtyard was a barrier to God yet the way to approach him with only one gate–one way to God–as Jesus is today.

Scholars say bronze represents judgments since it is forged out of fire.  Note the juxtaposition of bronze and silver here in the courtyard:  redemption through Jesus who took upon our judgement.

The tabernacle was a tent, meant to be moved.  God’s point here is this:  where you go, I go and where you dwell, I dwell.  I am with you always in your troubles and despair, your victories and triumphs.

Oil represents the Holy Spirit.  It is never to go out as the Holy Spirit within us never departs. Immanuel truly.

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BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 24, Day 2: Matthew 24:1-14

Summary of passage:  Jesus leaves the temple and predicts that the temple will be leveled (70 AD).  As Jesus sits on the Mount of Olives, the disciples ask him when this will happen and what will be the signs of his Second Coming and the end of the age.  Jesus replies to be wary for many will come in his name.  There will be wars, famines, and earthquakes.  You will be persecuted because of him.  Many will turn away and turn to false prophets.  Love will lessen but those who stand firm in the end will be saved.  This gospel will be spread all over the world.

Questions:

3a)  “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” Verse 2

b)  “When will these things happen?  And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” (Luke 21:7)

“When will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”  (Matthew 24:3)

“When will these things happen?  And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?” Mark (13:4)

c)  That Christ’s kingdom will reign until the end of the age.

d)  The temple fell in 70 AD when the Romans sacked the city to put down the Jewish rebellion.  Soldiers knocked down every massive stone in search of the melted gold that had run down as the temple burned.

4a)  Jesus is speaking of different time periods in the future.  He mentions things such as people coming in his name, wars, revolutions, earthquakes, famines, pestilences (verses 8-10).  Some of these have already happened and continue to happen.

Then Jesus switches to the immediate future, once he is gone, how the disciples will be persecuted, brought before kings and governors, betrayed, and put to death (verses 12-16).  This begins right after his death.

Jesus speaks of the End Times as well when he will come down in a cloud of power and glory to set up his kingdom on earth (verse 27).  He says this will take place when Jerusalem is surrounded (verse 20).

b)  “They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations.  Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”  Jerusalem has to wait on ALL nations and UNTIL the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, which is an indefinite amount of time.

5a)  Many will come in his name.  False prophets.  One William Miller in 1846 predicted Jesus would return and many believed.  When he didn’t, many fell away.  This is the warning to us all.

Wars and revolutions.  Too many to list: WWI, WWII, American revolution, French Revolution, Thirty Years War, Civil War, etc

Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom.  Too many to list:  all the conflicts between England and France, American revolution where it was the US against England, conflict now in the Middle East, Turks versus the Ottomans, etc.

Great earthquakes, famines, and pestilences.  Too many to list:  Tsumani in 2004, Great San Francisco Earthquake, Dust Bowl, famines in Africa, Bubonic Plague, AIDS, etc.

Jerusalem will be surrounded by armies.  Too many times to list:  According to Wikipedia, Jerusalem has been fought over sixteen times in its history.  Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times.

Increase in wickedness and loss of love.  Society will deteriorate, which I think most of us will agree is happening.  There will be less love for others and caring.

b)  The gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Through Christian missionaries in all parts of the world and even to the new generations at church and to current believers.  I don’t “preach the gospel.”  I teach it to my kids.  That’s about my extent.  I give to my church and they support missionaries.

Conclusions:  We spent most of this lesson in Luke.  Mark was ignored, a shame since I loved this nugget in Mark:  “And the gospel must first be preached to all nations (Mark 13:10)”, which makes question 5b clearer.  Jesus also mentions the Holy Spirit guiding the disciples during persecution, which must have been a great comfort upon hearing such dread events to come in their lives.  This was recorded in Mark only.

End Notes:  This is the last time Jesus will enter the temple.  He is departing for good.  The disciples are attempting to cheer Jesus after having been questioned by the Pharisees in the temple.  The temple was beautiful and magnificent to behold.  It was covered in gold and huge!

Titus’ soldiers burned the temple against his orders.  He wanted to preserve it.  However, once burned, Titus ordered the temple dismantled in order to retrieve the gold that had melted.

Titus was the emperor of Rome from 79-81 AD.  Before this, he was in charge of Judea and ending the Jewish rebellion there, which he did in 70 AD.  For this victory, he was awarded a triumph (a public ceremony honoring his achievement) and the Arch of Titus was built as a commemoration for him and for his military victories. It is one of two remaining arches still standing in the Roman forum and it was a model for the famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

The disciples probably correlated the destruction of the temple with the End Times.  Hence, Jesus’ long answer to correct their thinking.  There is much listed here, purposely vague, that scholars say are for different reasons including to confound the devil or have every generation ready for Jesus’ return.

These signs will intensify as Jesus’ return come near.  More and more earthquakes and famines. Luke says specifically there will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars.  The seas will toss; the heavenly bodies be shaken.

All we need to know is:  Jesus is coming!  So be ready!