THE HIGH PRIEST’S GARMENTS (PART 2) – THE BEAUTY OF CHRIST IN THE COLOURS OF THE EPHOD
22 March 2009 [1st svc]
Preached by Ps Joseph Prince
As noted by Yeo Choon Meng Terence
NO NOTES FOR 15 MARCH 2009
As Senior Pastor and Pastor Mark together with their families were in China on holiday last Sunday, March 15, Pastor Lawrence preached. I am not posting notes of this sermon.
ADDENDUM TO 8 MARCH 2009 SERMON NOTES
I have more notes after re-listening to the CD of the 2nd svc of 8 March 2009.
(1) FAITH always reasons from God’s perspective of and into our circumstances, and not the other way round. When David confronted Goliath, he saw Goliath as ‘defeated’ from God’s image of Goliath and he did NOT view Goliath from the human perspective of a huge giant.
(2) Samaritan woman at the well. One good way to open up a conversation with a fellow human being is to emulate Jesus. In this case, Jesus was able to reach out to the Samaritan woman by asking for a favor — could he get some water from her from the well. She then opened up in conversation. Many men are too proud to ask for help especially from women.
(3) PETER walking on water is an example of believing, “As Christ is, so am I in this world” — Beholding and identifying in our High Priest.
(4) Leviticus 13:44 (KJV) is correctly rendered: “He is a leprous man, he [is] unclean: the priest shall pronounce him utterly unclean; his plague [is] in his head.”
Leprosy of the head is the worst kind of leprosy as the KJV uses the word “utterly unclean” only of this kind or leprosy and not others. Other parts of body need not be afflicted by leprosy, so long as the head is afflicted, the label given is “utterly unclean”, that is why head leprosy is the most terrible type of leprosy. Why is head leprosy so serious. Used as typology, all sins (leprosy) originate as thoughts from the mind (head).
In contrast, the thoughts of Jesus are always Holy. That is what on the headgear of the High Priest, it is engraved, “Holiness to the Lord”.
Moreover, the requirement of the law for holiness in our heads is not on us but on Jesus our High Priest, and praise Jesus, He fulfills that, always!
Our thoughts are irrelevant in the sense that as long as Jesus’ thoughts are holy, we are accepted forever before God. Why? Every sin begins in the head and Jesus thoughts are always holy! Hallelujah!
(5) God sees us in His beloved Jesus’ heart (engraved on gems of breastplate of High Priest) and is thus reminded of us constantly. We are thus always in God’s and Jesus’ heart of love. May we also hold Jesus in our hearts always.
(6) Our names are engraved on High Priest’s shoulders and breastplate. This means Jesus upholds us on his shoulders (strength) and breastplate (heart of love).
(7) After Jesus Christ rose he showed us his nail-pierced hands – indicating his finished work. The finished work brings us peace. But it is Jesus’ presence ALIVE that brings us JOY! The Law cannot demand peace and joy. Only Jesus can give this to us.
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS FOR 22 MARCH 2009 SERMON
Only God can be fully trusted, not mortal man, and God has the kindest heart.
You have got revelation when you feel humbled by all of God’s goodness and you thank Him. If not, you may just be puffed up with mere knowledge.
2 Cr 3:18 tells us that as we behold Jesus, we are transformed! As we behold Jesus’ qualities, we receive them too. The Holy Spirit performs this work of transformation from glory to glory. We simply behold.
As Christ is, so are we in this world. As Jesus has (Psa 110:3) the “dew of youth”, so do we! Jesus is our righteousness, wisdom, etc.
Sometimes in other churches, before the service starts, the people would be asked to rebuke Satan etc. But by even thinking of Satan and thus deciding to rebuke him, it is a form of worship to Satan! Ignore Satan completely. Leave him out of everything. This is very effective as Satan is a creature of pride.
For spiritual warfare to succeed, we must know more about our Commander-in-chief (Jesus) than the enemy.
One thing about spiritual truths is that you do not have to memorize them to benefit from them. This is because the Holy Spirit will provide you with the context of the verse, where it is found in the Bible, the verses before it and after, etc.
Spiritual truths have this quality: You can feed on them without having to memorize.
Like physical food, spiritual truth is like food which even if you have forgotten what you have eaten, it is assimilated into you and you thereby benefit from it. The spirit man within us never forgets. It is always retained in the spiritual ‘memory’.
Every healthy organization eats, assimilates and purges. Likewise for any Church.
It is more important to listen and feed on the Word of God being preached than to write down everything that the preacher says.
EVERYBODY IS BORN FOR A PURPOSE
Nobody is an accident.
Sometimes, however, the timing of the birth may be an accident.
HIGH PRIEST GARMENTS
Why does the High Priest wear linen undergarments. Part of reason is that God wants our sexual appetites “cool”. Pastor remarked that because of the qualities of linen, somebody should develop and sell linen underwear today.
God wants cool heads (linen turban of High Pries) and burning hearts for Jesus.
Jesus came to do will of the Father. Our High Priest (Jesus) represents people to God.
Jesus is in heaven as our High Priest. His very presence in Heaven is making intercession – a constant memorial – that our sins are forgiven.
Every attempt to politicize Christianity down the centuries has failed. The nation in Asia which is officially “Christian” has a high level of poverty. In this dispensation, nations are not saved. Jesus Christ cares about saving individuals. Example: Samaritan women at the well.
GARMENTS FOR GLORY AND FOR BEAUTY
Exo 28:2 And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty.
God likes beauty. When He comes into our lives, he makes our lives orderly and beautiful.
The Greek text of the book of Colossians should more accurately be rendered as in Christ “all things consist” and from this we know that Jesus integrates us. Jesus Christ hold all things together. He is the one that prevents the negative and negative elements in atoms from splitting apart.
COPIES OF THE TRUE
Hbr 9:24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us
High Priest of the OT is a picture of Jesus Christ today. Jesus Christ enters the real Holy of Holies in heaven. The High Priest entered the copy on earth. Everything in the OT are copies of the true. For instance, all the garments of the High Priest are outward to serve as visual aids for us to see spiritual truths. The names of the tribes are engraved on the gems of the breastplate to illustrate visually to us that we are eternally in the heart of Jesus.
Jesus Christ is our High Priest in the Holy of Holies for us.
Heb 10:1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.
Now, the reality of good things have come. Praise God!
HOLINESS TO THE LORD
In Exo 28:36, we are informed that there is a plate of pure gold on the High Priest’s turban on which is engraved “Holiness to the Lord” . Praise God, Jesus’ thoughts are always holy and God is looking at His thoughts for our acceptance.
See the beautiful lyrics of the 19th century hymn by Charitie Bancroft.
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in Heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.
Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!
DECODING 1 PETER 3:3
ESV 1 Pet 3:3 Do not let your adorning be external-the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing-
ESV 1 Pet 3:4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
One erroneous interpretation of 1 Pet 3:3 is to say that Christian women cannot braid hair or wear gold at all. This is incorrect because you have to be consistent. If you say that Christian women cannot braid hair, or wear gold, you also have to follow through on 1 Pet 3:3 and say that you cannot wear clothes at all! This cannot be! What 1 Pet 3:3 really means is that Christian women should not let their main attraction be the external adorning but the “hidden person of the heart”. They can still go about braiding their hear, wearing gold and wear fine apparel so long as the main attraction remains their inner spirit.
GLORY AND HONOUR
Hbr 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory [Greek: doxa] and honour [Greek: tema (Strong's 5092) ]; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
Exo 28:2 And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty [In the Greek LXX, the word "beauty" is also rendered in the Greek, "tema"].
THE BEST THINGS IN GOD COME FREE, BY SIMPLY TRUSTING HIM
Exo 28:3 So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest.
You don’t have to cultivate the skills on your own. God will fill you with gifts and talents. Praise God!
This is unlike the world where we have to stress ourselves to develop and cultivate relevant skills.
None of the disciples of Jesus went to Bible school. God filled them. Therefore it is wrong to say that Bible schools are the only God-ordained way to produce pastors and teachers.
Remain teachable. God was able to fill those with the spirit of wisdom because they were teachable and humble and not full of pride, believing they are already skilled, etc.
SEVEN PIECES OF THE HIGH PRIEST GARMENTS
Exo 28:4 And these are the garments which they shall make: (1) a breastplate, (2) an ephod, (3) a robe, (4) a skillfully woven tunic, (5) a turban, and (6) a sash. So they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother and his sons, that he may minister to Me as priest.
The seventh piece which is visible is the crown which is attached to the turban upon the forehead of the high priest and which consists of a gold plate on which “HOLY TO THE LORD” was engraved.
If God looks at our thoughts, we are finished. Thankfully, we are accounted righteous because Jesus our High Priest has always holy thoughts.
Actually there is an eighth piece which is the linen breeches. This garment is hidden from view. Akin to bermuda shorts.
Exo 28:42 And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach
BREASTPLATE IS FIRST-MENTIONED OF THE GARMENTS
You would note that the breastplate is mentioned first in Exo 28:4. This is because it is the most expensive and chief of the garments — as it is the most expressive of the heart of Jesus Christ.
Everything points to the heart our High Priest because we are close to the heart of Jesus Christ.
Many parts of the high priet garments are linen. In cold weather, linen warms you up. In hot weather, line cools you down.
SASH / GIRDLE
The high priest also wears a sash (NKJV) or girdle (KJV) of the servant. Jesus Christ came to serve us.
Exo 28:5 And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen.
Exo 28:6 And they shall make the ephod [of] gold, [of] blue, and [of] purple, [of] scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work.
The colours of blue, purple, scarlet (red) and white (fine linen) in the Ephod are representative of each the 4 Gospels and each tell forth one aspect of our Lord Jesus.
[Trivia: The idea of the four colors in fashion was original with God and not modern-day Missoni or Bulberry brands]
Red — speaks of man — Adam, literally means the red-blooded man from the ground. dammin, a derivative, means red. => Gospel of Mark. The Gospel of the Suffering Servant.
Red (from ground) + Blue (speaks of Jesus’ deity as heaven – His abode – is blue. Gospel of John)
= Purple (Colour of royalty and kingship. Gospel of Matthew)
Jesus is thus very God and very Man.
In a sense, God made the sky blue to reflect to glory of His Son. Everything on earth is for Jesus.
Trace the blue, red and purple in the Gospels
When Jesus was sleeping in the boat in the Galilee when the storm started, this is the Red. (“… the sleep of a labouring man is sweet” – Ecc 5:12) [side note: often when you work hard, you have a peaceful sleep. sometimes, when you are lazy, your sleep is not sweet and you wake up with a headache.]
Jesus sleeps through the storm. He is not concerned about or affected by the devil, recession or the other storms of life. Only when his disciples were afraid and cried for help did He wake up to rescue them. Because Jesus had inward peace, He called the situation to be SHALOM and the storm ceased. From mega-storm to mega-calm.
Linen (white) is the color of the Gospel of Luke – demonstrating the Perfect Man. The Son of Man.
Jesus is very domestic in the Gospel of Luke. The parables of the Prodigal Son (father-son relationship), Lost Sheep (shepherd caring for his sheep), etc, the story of Mary and Martha are found in Luke. This shows that Jesus has empathy with our humanity.
Linen is the foundation of all the other colors in the Ephod. The white of the linen cannot be seen as the other colors are impressed on it. Therefore actually only 3 colors.
THE JESUS-SHAPED SPACE IN OUR HEARTS
Every human being is crying out for Jesus. In each of our hearts is a Jesus-shaped space that only He can fill.
If we don’t receive Jesus, it is likely that we will settle for something less, something or someone like Him.
That is why human beings fall to flattery because we have a desire to be accepted by Jesus, and that is why young girls are sometimes desperate for recognition and compliments. The world settles for the inferior from other human beings, and sometimes with disastrous consequences!
That is why humanity craves for a super-hero. Introduce your kids to the real Hero – Jesus – and not to the comic-book heroes of today. Tell your young kids to be not afraid to sleep as Jesus is with them and plant in them the image of them as little sheep in arms of strong Jesus. When they have this image with them as you leave the room, they will have a peaceful sleep.
Jesus Christ has no sin therefore if He did not receive our sin, He would not have died. Body Odor is the result of bacteria producing decay on the typical human body — a sinful and imperfect body. Jesus was sinless and had a perfect body. The bacteria producing body odor therefore cannot live on the body of Jesus. They would die the moment they touched Jesus. The servant (disease, bacteria) is lesser than the master. There is no sin on Jesus, therefore no bacteria, no decay, and no body odor. We would be going too far to ‘humanize’ Jesus if we said He had body odor.
Jesus is sinless flesh as He is born of a virgin. Placenta does not bring mother’s blood, it only brings food. The blood is all from the Heavenly Father. That is why if Jesus did not take our sin, He would never die. This is also why Jesus blood is pure and powerful to redeem us all.
JESUS BLOOD IS ETERNAL
The blood of Jesus is eternal as he lived before everybody. Therefore, Jesus can die for everybody who has ever lived and who will ever live.
Jesus Christ is very Lord (blue) and is very Man (Red) and He was mixed in a virgin to produce (Purple – royalty). We must believe this truth.
We see that everything which is God-initiated has God-results and is permanent.
The Grace message gives us stability and does not give license to sin. It is easier to sin against 2 impersonal sets of stones (10 commandments) than a loving and personal Jesus Christ.
THE GOLD IN THE EPHOD – WE ARE PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE
Ex 39:3 And they beat the gold into thin sheets and cut it into threads, to work it in with the blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and the fine linen, into artistic designs.
The gold (symbol of divine righteousness) was beaten in thin sheets and cut into threads. The gold in the thread gives firmness and brilliance to the materials of the Ephod.
When Jesus had come to Mary and Martha, their brother (John 11) had already been in the grave four days.
John 11:35 Jesus wept
John 11:35 is probably the shortest verse in the Bible.
Jesus wept because death was never meant to be. Man in Eden had free choice and chose death by bowing his knee to an outlaw spirit in Eden.
The second reason Jesus wept was because the people had been with Him for so long and they still did not realize that He is “the Resurrection and the Life”. This shows that Jesus had a human heart. We see the RED – Humanity in this action of weeping.
John 11:25 Jesus said unto her [Editor: Martha], I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
John 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
We see the BLUE (Divinity) when He raised Lazarus from the dead.
John 11:43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
John 11:44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
This action of Jesus in raising Lazarus from the dead must have been spectacular. Lazarus, must have been bound in linen cloth very tightly and wrapped with aromatic herbs, as per Jewish burial customs and lain in an underground tomb. The present day Bethany site of Lazarus tomb confirms this as, and one even has to bend over to enter the tomb. Thus Lazarus must have been levitated by the power of God alive out of the tomb and placed face to face in front of an astonished crowd – a foretaste of the End Time Rapture ! The same power that will produce the Rapture in the End Days was demonstrated here as Jesus declared in this incident that “I am the Resurrection, and the Life”. Lazarus had to be raptured out as there was no way he could move in that position where he was bound tightly. Jesus later called people to “loose” the resurrected Lazarus.
PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE
We are the Red (Man), receiving the Blue (Jesus) as savior and we become Purple – royal King-Priests.
Jesus (Blue) received the humanity (Red) and became purple.
Jesus, the Son of God, became the Son of Man, so that we (sons of Man) can become sons of God.
We who receive Jesus become partakers of the divine nature (blue).
Jesus is the opposite. He is divine nature but partook of humanity.
Jesus is as comfortable in one aspect (Red, Blue, White or Purple) or the other. There is no ‘putting on of a show’. He is very blue and very red – this is the Glory of Jesus. No effort, no haste.
Even when the people lamented for Him (Luke 23:27), Jesus turned to them and said (Luke 23:28) “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me …”
Also when Jesus wept, He cried for us, and not for his benefit.
JESUS SERVES US !
Exo 28:8 (KJV) And the curious girdle of the ephod, which [is] upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; [even of] gold, [of] blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.
Exo 28:8 (NKJV) And the intricately woven band of the ephod, which is on it, shall be of the same workmanship, made of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen.
The colour of the girdle or band of the ephod is the same as the main part of the Ephod. Significance: All that we see Jesus in the Gospels – red, blue, white and purple – goes into serving us ! Praise Jesus! The girdle is the garment of the servant.
All that Jesus is — is for serving us! Hallelujah!
Jesus is very Lord (White) in serving us. Praise Jesus!
Jesus is very Man (Red) in serving us because He sat wherever you sat, He walked wherever you walked, etc
You are already completely and eternally bathed in Jesus blood of salvation, however, always allow Jesus to serve us and wash our feet (daily walk) and avoid Peter’s mistake.
We delight in serving Jesus because Jesus delights in serving us.
Rev 1:13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands [One] like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band
In the Book of Revelation, we see that in Heaven, Jesus continues to serve us, even in eternity — He is “girded about the chest with a golden band”
The Apostle John saw the divinity of Jesus in the girdle. Jesus is glorified servant serving us. Hallelujah!
The gold stood (Rev 1:13) out because it is the divine righteousness of God that redeems us.
PRESCRIPTION FOR HEALTH
If you are sick, skip the teaching bits of the Gospels, and zero in on the miracles and before the 4th or 5th miracle, you will be bursting forth in faith and would have received your healing.
THE POOR YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE WITH YOU
Jhn 12:1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
Jhn 12:2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
Jhn 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
Jhn 12:4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s [son], which should betray him,
Jhn 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
Jhn 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
Jhn 12:7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
Jhn 12:8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
The chance to love Jesus is “not always” but there will always be the poor with us. This was how Jesus rebuked Judas. The World is concerned because we ‘waste’ on Jesus Christ. They consider this as wasteful because they do not know who Jesus is and how precious He is.
When confronted by people who say you should have donated to poor instead of giving to the church or other Christian ministry, say “You remind me of Judas”
The local media recently reported that our latest fund raising for One-North is the largest sum raised in a 24 hour period in Singapore. However, they failed to report the back-story. The funds were raised from a high quality congregation, consisting of people who have been preached to for some ten over years with Jesus-filled messages.
If famous actor saves a baby from drowning, it is front page news. If it is an ordinary person, there will be no media coverage.
It all depends on who did it!
It is the identity of the individual who gives gravity and weight to the action.
Likewise, it is Jesus Christ who gives weight and importance to concepts like forgiveness, righteousness, etc
There because it is Jesus who saves us — It is Once Saved, Always Saved (OSAS).
The question is not, How can He save billions, but Why NOT!
One drop of His blood can save billions.
Now the Father says to Jesus that He is crowned with “glory and honour” (Heb 2:9) and “is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him” (1 Pet 3:22)
Hbr 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
Hbr 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom [are] all things and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
ALL of Jesus as High Priest, He uses to serve us! Hallelujah!
JESUS PURIFIES OUR HEARTS BY FAITH
Acts 15:8-9 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as [He did] to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: THE ABOVE NOTES WERE DRAFTED BY, DEVELOPED, COMPILED AND ORGANISED BY YEO CHOON MENG TERENCE IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY ON 4 APRIL 2009 AND ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS ARE HIS ALONE. THE ABOVE NOTES ARE NOT REPRESENTATIONS OF, ATTRIBUTABLE TO OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH NEW CREATION CHURCH OR JOSEPH PRINCE MINISTRIES.