The Tabernacle in the Wilderness -The Alter of Sacrifice

This message by Rev. Paul Burleson was delivered at a luncheon gathering at Trinity Baptist Church on Tuesday afternoon, October 16, 2007, and was taken from Hebrews 8:1-6, Hebrews 9:11-12, and Hebrews 9:22-24.

Paul BurlesonWhen do you receive the Holy Spirt. Our Penticostal brothers believe that we receive him in part at conversion, and the rest of his presence at a point of sanctification, or second blessing. We Baptists believe we receive the Holy Spirit the moment we believe and receive Jesus Christ.

God’s spirit comes to dwell within us in exactly the same way that the priests experienced God as he came to dwell in the tabernacle once a year.

  1. They had to come through the door. The fabric wall around the tabernacle was built in such a fashion that they could not slip under it to get in. Jesus said “I am the door” (John 10:9). There was only one way to get in. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ( John 14:6)
  2. Why was there the need for blood? On the day of atonement, the sacrifice was killed at the alter, outside the holy place, or the holy of holies. Blood from that sacrifice was taken into the holy of holies and sprinkled on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant. At that point God came down, and his glory filled the holy of holies. There were three items inside the ark.
    1. The staff of Aaron that budded, representing God’s sovereignty. God chose the tribe of Levi by this sign to be the tribe to serve before the presence of God.
    2. A bowl or jar of manna which represented God’s sufficiency, as God sent just enough manna each day, a double portion the day before the Sabbath, to sustain the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness for forty years.
    3. The law of God written on tablets of stone, representing the standard of God.
  3. An individual has a relationship with God by being perfect. The sacrifice of the lamb is a picture of perfect, sinless Jesus dying on the cross in the place of sinners. Imputation is the act of Jesus’ righteousness being put to one’s account and their sin being put to Jesus’ account as he is being punished by the Father on the cross
  4. You gain the presence of the Holy Spirit the moment you believe. How do you possess the Holy Spirit yet fail to enjoy him? No Christian will experience the Holy Spirit’s presence within his person unless he abides in the holy place, In Christ. The Lamb at the alter has settled our nature. The Father has declared us to be what we ought to be. We are God’s dwelling place. May we learn what it to be just that.
  5. Tomorrow: How we experience the brass laver.
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