FIRSTBORN SONSHIP OF CHRIST
THE NEW BIRTH IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
Article 45 (continued)
GATE COLORS OF BLUE, PURPLE, SCARLET, AND WHITE
18 "The screen for the gate of the court was woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and of fine woven linen. The length was twenty cubits, and the height along its width was five cubits, corresponding to the hangings of the court," Ex 38:18.
The curtain (screen, hanging, or covering) of the court gate was 30 feet long and 7½ feet high. It was made of fine twined linen (probably white in color), interwoven with threads of blue, purple, and scarlet. This curtain that served as the court gate (door or entrance), was stretched over the center one third of the east end or front end of the court fence. The curtain was made of fine twined linen, which, as already indicated, represents the righteous acts of Christ and the saints (Rev 19:7-8) – or the righteousness of God, since all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, Isa 64:6. The fine linen, therefore, represents the righteousness of God worked out by the Holy Spirit in the human lives of Christ and the firstborn sons.
However, threads of blue, purple, and scarlet were woven into the curtain, and were used otherwise in the tabernacle curtains to bear eye-catching witness of God's far-reaching prophetic purpose. That witness includes the entire redemption cycle, from the condemnation of eternal death (in the lake of fire) back into, not only a sinless state of being, but into God's divine fullness, promised in the tree of life (Gen 2:9,17; 3:22-24), and which Christ now possesses in His human body, Col 2:9; Heb 1:3-13; 2:5-18.
THE "WHITE" COLOR
The "fine twined linen" curtain of the tabernacle court and court gate was obviously "white" which signifies righteousness, righteous acts, justice, goodness, obedience, piety, purity, peace, royalty, and a divine birth of all the firstborn sons when Christ returns, Isa 1:18; Rev 3:4-5,18; 7:9-14; 19:7-8,14; Mt 6:33; 2Ti 4:8; et al.
As represented in these verses, "white" speaks of the divine righteousness (divine nature) of God, which 1) was set forth in the Law Covenant (Rom 3:21-26), 2) exemplified by Christ in His human life on earth (Rom 5:12-21), 3) inherited by Christ in His human body when it was born again out of the grave into a divine body (Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33), and 4) will be inherited by the faithful saints when they are born again into divine bodies when Christ returns, Rom 5:17 thru 6:23. The goal of justification is the new birth of the faithful testament people into divine bodies and divine spirits when Christ returns, Mt 6:33; Rom 4:25; 2Ti 4:8. Justification is progressive (in view of the new birth in the resurrection) as shown many times in these writings, and as revealed in the above scriptures and a cloud of others scriptures.
The tabernacle was called the tabernacle of witness, and the witness of these colors is clear and impressive. The other "colors" of the tabernacle are generally understood as indicated below:
THE "BLUE" COLOR
At least five times the expression "tabernacle of witness" is used regarding the tabernacle, and the more we study the tabernacle, the clearer it becomes that every detail of the tabernacle bears current (at any point in time) as well as prophetic witness of God's grand redemption purpose. Perhaps the chief witness of the tabernacle was that the tabernacle was God's dwelling place among His people and His dwelling place on the whole earth.
The cloud was over the tabernacle and over Israel day and night in the wilderness as a witness that Israel was God's special people and that He personally dwelt among them to make them a special people above all other nations of the earth, Ex 19:1-6; Deu 26:16-19. Israel is still God's special people, though under bitter judgment; hence, the local church is now God's dwelling place until Christ returns, 1Pe 2:5-9; Eph 2:10-22; Rom 11:11-22.
The tabernacle was therefore God's chosen "in-training" dwelling place through the latter part of the first four millenniums, with the true local church serving the same purpose, until Christ returns at the beginning of the seventh Millennium when the new birth will take place, Gen 2:1-3. The whole universe is under the curse (Gen 3:17-19), and eagerly waits for the liberty of the glory of the firstborn sons of God, Rom 8:19-23. These first six thousand years provide a life-long training of the covenant people in view of qualifying them for the heavenly birth.
Those who qualify will never again be earthbound, but will traverse, in seconds, the far reaches of the heavens that would take countless light-millenniums at human space speeds. Being born into a divine oneness with God (Jn 17:21-23), the saints will be joint-heirs with Christ of a heavenly state of being above the angels of heaven, Heb 1:14; 2:5. The firstborn sons will thereafter be known as "heavenly" beings. It is Christ and the faithful (by grace through faith) last will and testament people in their deified (heavenly) state of being who are represented by the "blue" color.
44 "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
45 "And so it is written, 'The first man Adam became a living being.' The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
46 "However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.
47 "The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.
48 "As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.
49 "And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
50 "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption," 1Co 15:44-50.
The firstborn sons will not bear the image of the heavenly until they are born again into that heavenly state of being. The kingdom of God here is the divine kingdom, including only divine beings: no corruption nor mere flesh beings will be in it. One must be born again to be in this kingdom, Jn 3:5. Furthermore, the true local church is the embassy of this divine kingdom of heaven. The true local church is the training grounds for qualifying to be overcomers (by grace through faith). And to be overcomers requires more than just being members of the church; we must suffer together with Christ and bear patiently in brotherly love with one another throughout our lives, Mt 5:1-12; 6:33; 18:1-35; Act 14:22; 2Th 1:3-5; 2Ti 2:10-21.
22 "That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,
23 "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
24 "And that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true (divine) righteousness and holiness," Eph 4:22-24.
1 "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.
2 "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God (our old corrupt man is still very much alive, and that divine life, the new man, is seen only to the degree that we dress up in Christ).
4 ‘When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.....
9 "Do not lie to one another, since you have (in your mind and conduct) put off the old man with his deeds,
10 "And have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him," Col 3:1-4,9-10.
The "blue" represents the heavenly divine-human nature and character of Christ, and of the faithful last will and testament people, who metaphorically are His body and were crucified died, buried, and raised into a divinely born again body out of the grave together with Him. Heaven is always up, and as we look up on a clear day, the sky is blue, sometimes a lighter blue and sometimes a deeper blue.
The color "blue" speaks of 1) the "promise" of the divine (heavenly) new birth into God's divine state of being (Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:19-33; 1Co 15:44-50; et al), 2) the disciplinary covenant training by which we are qualifying for that divine birth (Heb 3; 4; 5:8-9; 12:1-29) – we must keep coming daily to the brazen altar (Rom 12:1-2; 2Co 4:7-12), and 3) the fulfillment of God's projection of creating man in His own image and likeness, Gen 1:26-27. We must be putting off the old man and put on the new man constantly in order to qualify for the "blue" (heavenly, born from above) state of being, Rom 12:1-2; 1Co 15:1-2,29-34,58; 2Co 3:18; 4:7-12; et al.
Christ is and has always been the "I AM," (Jn 1:1; 8:58; Heb 7), the heavenly One who humbled Himself to become a lowly human, even to the vicarious death of the cross, 2Co 5:21; 1Pe 3:18. Therefore the Father has given Him a name above every name, that every knee should bow and every tongue should confess Him to be Lord of all, Phi 2:6-11. He has paid the price in full and qualified Himself to redeem to God a vast host of firstborn sons, whom God has predestined to possess the fullness of the divine image and likeness of God eternally, Rom 8:28-30; Phi 3:20-21; Col 2:9-10.
How very short and fleeting is this lifetime God has given us to prepare for so great a gift of divine life, Rom 5:20-21; 6:22-23. God has prepared abundant grace for each of us, but we are so engaged in earthly things that our eyes are dim, our ears are dull, and our hearts are overgrown with the bitter weeds of earthly glitter. This life is much too short for us not to be completely absorbed in the Bible, in prayer, in holy living, in humility, in honesty, and in witnessing to others who are blindly rushing head-on into eternal and fiery judgment in Gehenna for the unfaithful saved (Mk 9:42-50; Heb 10:25-31), as well as into the lake of fire for the unsaved, Lk 16:19-31; Rev 21:8. The Pharisees had great zeal for God, but were so sure, yet so very wrong, when it came to the true doctrine of the Bible and true godly living.
THE "PURPLE" COLOR
18 "The screen for the gate of the court was woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and of fine woven linen. The length was twenty cubits, and the height along its width was five cubits, corresponding to the hangings of the court," Ex 38:18.
1 "So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him.
2 "And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe.
3 "Then they said, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!' And they struck Him with their hands.
4 "Pilate then went out again, and said to them, ‘Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.'
5 "Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, ‘Behold the Man!'" Jn 19:1-5; Mk 15:15-20.
The color "purple" speaks of ruling as a King, so in mockery Pilate permitted the Roman soldiers to put a purple robe on Christ, a cruel crown of thorns on His head, and beat Him sorely, Mk 15:16-20. But God permitted this in order to reveal the exceeding sinfulness of sin and His own incomparable love and compassion for sinful mankind, Eph 3:14-19. God is just in all His judgments, and merciful to those who will accept His grace to believe and obey. Jn 6:27-68.
22 "What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
23 "And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory," Rom 9:22-23.
We cannot blame God for our sinful condition nor for any of our sins. Where sin abounds, God's grace (God's help) much more abounds, Rom 5:20. It was a righteous thing for God to require Adam and all his descendants (even Christ) to be tested and choose right against wrong.
6 "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
7 "You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions," Ps 45:6-7.
This was a prophecy written about a thousand years before Christ first came to earth, is quoted in Heb 1:8-9, and concerns the righteous life Christ lived. It reveals that God chose righteousness against lawlessness, and for man to be born again into the image and likeness of God and be accepted by God, we must likewise choose righteousness and hate sin. Thus all the last will and testaments incorporate this principle as a lifelong disciplinary training for the covenant people. The inheritance of all the last will and testaments is joint rulership with Christ as a divine kingdom of kings and priests, ruling over all the works of God's hands in God's larger but lower general kingdom. One must be born again into God's divine kingdom; and to be born again, the last will and testament people (now found only in a true local church) must overcome the rigid life-long covenant discipline, Heb 3; 4; & 12.
God said "Let us make man in Our image and in Our likeness," Gen 1:26-27. God had four days (four millenniums) in mind before the Seed of the woman would be the first Man born (created) into the full image and likeness of God. It would be six days (six millenniums) before a great nation of firstborn sons would be born into the full image and likeness of God. The Seed of the woman 1) would be God in the flesh as our Kinsman Redeemer 2) would be born of a virgin, 3) would live a perfect human vicarious life, 4) would be crucified and die a vicarious death, 5) would be buried after the human fashion, 6) would be born vicariously out of the grave into a divine, heavenly body in the express image and likeness of God, 7) would put the Serpent in the pit for a thousand years, and 8) would reign on the throne of His father David through the seventh millennium of "rest," Isa 9:6-7; Heb 3 & 4; Rev 20.
Man was created to rule over all the works of God's hands, Gen 1:26-31; Ps 8:3-6. As seen in the colors of the tabernacle, God chose "purple" from the beginning to represent the royal color of kings and priests, and so man has followed that pattern, Jud 8:26; Est 8:15; Jn 19:1-5; Rev 17:4; 18:12,16. But also the Scriptures reveal that from the beginning God's purpose was that man be severely tested, prove himself (by grace through faith) to be a qualified over-comer (Heb 3 & 4), and then inherit the divine birth bequeathed in all the last will and testaments.
THE "SCARLET" COLOR
18 "The screen for the gate of the court was woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and of fine woven linen...." Ex 38:18.
These four colors, (blue, purple, and scarlet, with the white linen) are used frequently (26 times in Exodus) with significant prophetic meaning 1) in the building the tabernacle in the beginning, 2) in transporting the tabernacle with its furnishings from place to place, and 3) in the daily witness it bore to all who would study its structure and ministry as we are doing here.
The color "violet" appears to be associated with sin, with blood, with cleansing (redemption), and with royalty. We will begin with its association with sin:
18 "Come now, and let us reason together,' says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool,'" Isa 1:18.
Though your sins be like scarlet red – though they be bright red like crimson, they shall be as white as snow. Scarlet is a deep red color, but it does not appear to carry any cleansing connotation here, though we will see that it does in many other relationships. Scarlet (red) and white as snow are placed in direct opposition.
3 "So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
4 "The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication," Rev 17:3-4.
This harlot woman (a religious organization) is clothed in purple and scarlet, which appears to signify regal attire and powerful religious influence over the nations, with which she commits religious harlotry, Rev 17. The world is under the usurped authority and power of Satan (1Jn 5:19; 2Co 4:4; Eph 2:2; 6:12), and unauthorized friendship with the world is spiritual adultery and makes one an enemy of God, Ja 4:4; 2Co 4:4; Eph 2:2-3; 6:11-12.
Conversely, the two spies sent to gain intelligence about Jericho told Rahab the harlot to display the color "scarlet" in her window for her protection when Israel would soon conquer Jericho, Jos 2. This appears to speak of deliverance for Rahab and her household because of her kindness to the two Israelites who were sent to gain information about Jericho. So "scarlet" is here associated with redemption rather than sin.
19 "For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people," Heb 9:19; Ex 24:6-8.
Again, "scarlet" is associated with redemption (cleansing, sanctification, atonement, etc.) from our state of eternal sin and death into a divine kingdom of kings and priest together with Christ as our divine Kinsman Redeemer. The above passages (Heb 9:19; Ex 24:6-8) are in the context of a last will and testament (Heb 9:16-17) and embrace all the covenants as last will and testaments.
The Testator as our Kinsman Redeemer 1) must be the Son of God - no one else could be found (Rev 5:1-10), 2) must live a sinless (vicarious) life as a human (Isa 53:9), 3) must bear our sins and sin's punishment on a cross (Ps 22; Zec 12:10; Isa 53), 4) must die as the human Lamb of God, be buried (Isa 53:9), and be raised out of the grave without seeing corruption (Ps 16:7-11), 5) must be born out of the grave into a divine body with the same glory and power that he had with the Father in the beginning (Job 19:25-27; Jn 17:1-5), 6) must appear before God, having deified the flesh veil (Heb 10:19-20), to minister as High Priest of the New Covenant (Heb 7:25-28), 7) must give the new birth to all the firstborn sons who have suffered together with Him through the grueling last will and testament training (Heb 9:28; 1Co 15:1-2,29-58), and 8) must rule the world in righteousness through the seventh millennium of glorious divine "rest," Rom 8:19-25; Heb 3 & 4; Rev 20.
The "scarlet" color is therefore to be primarily associated with the whole scope of redemption, as is true with "blue" and "purple" colors in the tabernacle. Consider only briefly the cleansing of a leper, Lev 14. Two clean birds with cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop were used in the cleansing of a leper. One bird was killed, and the other bird, with the cedar wood, "scarlet," and hyssop, were dipped in the blood of the slain bird, and then the living bird was released in the open field. There is much more in the cleansing of the leper, which we will discuss after finishing with the tabernacle.
Another such type of the "red heifer" offering which we will merely touch upon here. The animal, of course, had to be without blemish and had never been under the yoke, Num 19. Here again cedar wood, hyssop, and "scarlet" were used in the sacrifice. In this case, however, the cedar wood, hyssop, and "scarlet" were burned together with the animal. The ashes were then mixed with water to become a "water of purification." This water of purification was sprinkled after a specified manner upon a person who had touched a dead body. This included a one week time period and provides another beautiful sweep of the whole redemption cycle. Likewise, this also will be discussed in full after we finish with our study of the tabernacle.
THE PILLARS, THE SOCKETS, AND PEGS OF BRONZE
19 "And there were four pillars with their four sockets of bronze; their hooks were silver, and the overlay of their capitals and their bands was silver.
20 "All the pegs of the tabernacle, and of the court all around, were bronze," Exo 38:19-20.
These bronze pillars, sockets, and pegs of the court gate first represent Christ as the initial step forward into the strait and narrow way which leads into a divine oneness with God. The court fence blocked any approach to God except through the gate. Traditional teaching, in few words, says the way into the holy presence of God requires only that one believe and ask God to save them, and they are then bound for the promised land with full and free access to God. That is not at all the witness of the tabernacle, and that is not at all what the Bible teaches. There was only one gate and that gate led straight to the brazen altar, which represented Christ and the cross of Christ.
This first-faith-once-for-all-easy believism – you get it all when you first believe, is a fatal mistake. Fortunately, there are quite a few of the old school still around who believe that one must be scripturally baptized, and even that one must be faithful in a true local church in order to be in the Bride of Christ. The unfaithful will make up the nations on the new earth, Rev 21:23-27.
Another observation will here be made and emphasized throughout this study. The true worshiper must pass through the court gate, through the brazen altar, through the laver, and through the curtain into the first holy place constantly on a daily basis in order to qualify for future free access into the presence of God. Currently, we have access to the Father only representatively, through the indwelling Holy Spirit (Rom 8:26-27; Eph 2:18) and through Christ who is seated at the hand of the Father, constantly interceding as High Priest for the last will and testament people, Rom 8:34; Heb 6:19-20; 7:1-25.
When we progress to the study of the inner veil, we will recognize that no one in a flesh body has personal and direct access to the Father. Though Christ has entered, through the veil by the new birth, into the presence of God, we can do so only representatively until we receive the same divine new born divine body and spirit when Christ returns. The spirits of the faithful dead are in Paradise, under the altar (Rev 6:9-11), and are offering up many prayers, but are not freely ministering before the Father.
Christ has provided a freedom of access into the presence of God, His human body being born again into God's divine image and likeness, Gen 1:26-27; 2Co 3:18; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9-10. In our sinful human bodies, we are still not able to enter literally through the veil into the presence of the Father. We must still pass through the gate, through the brazen altar, through the laver, through the door of the tabernacle and minister in the first holy place (a true local church), until Christ returns and gives us the divine birth into the image and likeness of the Father – flesh and blood cannot enter that divine kingdom, 1Co 15:20.
THE HOOK, BANDS, AND CAPITAL OVERLAY OF SILVER
19 "And there were four pillars with their four sockets of bronze; their hooks were silver, and the overlay of their capitals and their bands was silver," Exo 28:19.
The cloud over Israel and over the tabernacle in their midst testified of God's presence among men, and especially among His chosen people. The court fence surrounding the tabernacle shut out all of mankind, even the covenant people. No sinful being can approach God in a favorable way. However, Satan and other evil spirits are permitted to approach God after a court proceeding pattern (Job 1 & 2; 2Ch 18:18-25), that God may demonstrate His divine attributes (Rom 9:22-23), yet Satan and all sinful beings are predestined to be punished eternally, Rev 20:1-10.
The court fence bore witness that all sinful beings are shut out from approaching God. Yet God's eternal purpose was to create man, permit him to sin (Gen 3; Rom 9:22-23), then conform a firstborn sonship into the image and likeness of God by means of a six thousand year period of life-long disciplinary training, Heb 3 & 4; 1Co 9 & 10. The "silver," the "bronze," the "fine twined linen," the "cords," with the added "colors" on the linen of the gate directed the last will and testament people to the gate, and through the gate to the brazen altar. All of these held forth the promise of divine fullness to those who would respond with daily and reverent obedience, Job 19:25-27; Ps 16:7-11; 17:15; Isa 54:17; 61:10 thru 62:3; Jer 23:5-6; 33:15-16; Dan 12:3.