The principle of obeying God runs throughout the Bible, beginning with Genesis 2 and concluding with Revelation 22. In Genesis 2:16-17, God said to Adam and Eve: "And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." In Revelation 22 we find these words: "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. In Revelation 22:17-18 we are told of the importance of doing what God said: no more or no less. "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." Obedience to God, therefore, involves doing just what God has commanded.
In the wilderness wanderings of Israel when they were coming out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses, God gave Moses the directions for the building of a moveable place of worship which we call "the tabernacle," or "the tent of meeting." The entire structure involved a fence around a tent that had two rooms: the holy place and the most holy place. In the instructions given to Moses there were specifications for everything. The size of the tent, the outer court, the furniture in the tabernacle: all were given. God also specified the material for the tent as well as the wood that was to be used, and the gold, silver, and brass. This was a big undertaking, but the task was finished in about 2 years; and when it was done, we read some interesting scriptures: Exodus 40:16 - "Thus did Moses: according to all that the LORD commanded him, so did he." Then seven more times in the rest of the chapter it is said: "as God commanded Moses." Moses did what God commanded, and God was well pleased. Note the last verses of chapter 40. The "glory of the Lord" filled the tabernacle showing the pleasure of God in that Moses followed faithfully the pattern of the Lord given to him by Jehovah God. When Solomon later built the temple, God was well pleased, and His glory filled the temple. This record is found in 1 Kings 8:10-11.
In Hebrew 8:5 we read these interesting words: "Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount."
The lesson for us today is that we, too, must build according to the pattern given by God. No, we are not building a material structure as a tabernacle or temple, but we are building a spiritual house, the church. Just as it was essential to follow God's pattern in the days of Moses, it is just as important for us to follow God's blueprint for the church. If we fail to follow the blueprint, we can expect only the displeasure of God. We must obey God as we build God's church today.
Now some may ask: "Where is the blueprint for the church?" Good question. The answer is simple: 2 Tim. 3:16-17 - "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." The pattern is the New Testament, and when we add things God has not commanded or subtract things God has commanded, we incur the displeasure of God: we have not obeyed God. Think about it my friend. Are you building according to a "Thus saith the Lord," or are you following the rules and regulations of man? To follow man will not please God. Seek to know God's will as revealed in the Scriptures, and follow that fully. -119 Holden Street, Rogersville AL 35652.
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