A Scriptural Study Newsletter edited by Elder Vernon Johnson

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!




Holy Robe

Ex. 28:31 35, "And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue. And there shall be a hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as it were the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent. And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about: a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell, and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about. And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth into the holy place before the Lord, and when he cometh out, that he die not." As with all the holy garments of the high priest, this garment speaks to us concerning the work of our High Priest, Jesus Christ, and the effect of this work on the elect of God.

 According to Is. 61:10, 11 we read, "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS...so the Lord God will cause RIGHTEOUSNESS and praise to spring forth before all nations. Thus the robe above is the robe of righteousness. Christ, our high priest, is clothed with righteousness and has made us righteous.

The robe was all of blue. According to Num. 15:38 40 blue ribband were to placed on the borders of the peoples' garments that they might remember and do the commandments of the Lord. Thus blue represents the commandments of the Lord. Jesus said on the mount of Olives, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Jesus came to fulfill the law to perfection.  Jesus is altogether righteous and according to Rom. 10:3, 4 he is the "end of the law for righteousness." He fulfilled (end) the law for righteousness to a jot and tittle. He kept it perfectly. He is the "Righteous One." Furthermore, according to II Cor. 5:21, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Christ through his righteous fulfilling of the law and subsequent blood atonement has made us righteous before God.

Second the robe was woven throughout that there was to be no rent in it. Weaving intertwines the fabric. The elect of God and the work of Christ are intertwined in the covenant of redemption. In Rom. 8:29, 30 we read, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first born among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Thus we see the elect of God intertwined with the work of Christ. Christ in his High Priestly work calls the elect, justifies the elect, and glorifies the elect. Furthermore, there is no rent as all the elect are predestinated, called, justified, and glorified without the loss or addition of any.

Third, the robe is compared to an habergeon. From what I have been able to gather, the habergeon was part of the armor of the solder in battle. Jesus Christ fought and won the battle for us. He fought against sin, the devil, the grave, death, and hell. He was mightily victorious over all that great host of enemies that were against us. He fought according to the law and as he strove lawfully, he won the war for us.

Fourth, the hem of the robe had affixed to it alternating golden bells and pomegranates. The pomegranate is the fruit of the pomegranate tree. The fruit has a somewhat hard outer shell and inside the shell are very numerous seed surrounded by a sack filled with a pulpy sweet fluid. When I was a child we had a neighbor who had a pomegranate tree. My recollections of the fruit were of the numerous seed and sweet taste of the pulpy fluid. The scriptural picture painted for us is that of a golden bell followed by a pomegranate around the circle of the robe's hem. Thus we have the ring of a golden bell followed by the fruit resulting from that ring.

Gold represents to us the Lord as King. Thus the ring of the bell would be suggestive of the sounding forth of the voice of the Lord in commandment. Several examples of this biblical pattern follow:

1. Gen. 1:3, "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." Throughout Genesis chapter one we see the Lord speaking followed by the immediate fulfillment of that command.

2. John 5:25, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live." The Lord speaks to those dead in trespasses and sins and immediately thy have spiritual life.

3. I Thes. 4:6, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." Thus the Lord commands and our dead bodies come forth and alive in the resurrection.

From the above we gather that when the Lord speaks in commandment with his powerful voice there is an immediate fruit produced. This was illustrated to us in creation, regeneration, and the resurrection. The elect of God are regenerated (spiritual creation) by the still small voice of the Lord and the dead bodies of the elect will be resurrected by the shouted voice of the Lord.

Fifth, the pomegranates were blue and purple and scarlet. As we have noted in a previous essay, blue is representative of the law, purple is representative of kings and priests, and scarlet is representative of the redemptive blood of Christ. Accordingly we read in Rev. 1:5, 6 "Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father..." Thus Jesus redeemed the elect from the curse of the law (blue) by his atoning blood (scarlet) and made us kings and priests (purple) unto God.

Sixth, the garment was upon Aaron to minister. Jesus said, "I have meat to eat that ye know not of. My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." Jesus work of redemption, the new birth, and the resurrection of our bodies is represented to us in this robe of the High Priest.

Seventh, the sound of the golden bells was to be heard when the High Priest went into the holy place before the Lord that he die not. Only the High Priest could go into the holy place. Since the holy place before the Lord was representative of the glory world, the High Priest who entered there had to be perfect according to the law and had to have fulfilled all the work of that great office. No one else was qualified to approach unto God but our High Priest, Jesus Christ, who had kept the law perfectly and fulfilled all the work he came down to do.

The Holy Crown

The head garment of the high priest is described in Ex. 28:36 38, "And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be. And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord."

A signet was a signature ring. It contained an engraved seal that was peculiar to its owner and when the seal was impressed on documents it represented the authority of the owner. For instance, the signet seal of a king represented the authority of the king. From the scriptures we know that King Ahab, King Ahasuerus, and King Darius all had and used their signet rings to authorize official documents and orders of the king. The seal of the ring carried the full weight and authority of the king. The seal of the signet is found frequently in the scriptures.

Examples of the seals use are as follows:

1. II Tim. 2:19 "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And let every one that nameth the name of the Lord depart from iniquity."

2. Eph. 1:13, 14 "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the  word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."

3. Rev. 7:2, 3 "And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads."

The seal on the golden plate was "HOLINESS TO THE LORD." The word LORD is translated from the Hebrew word meaning Jehovah. As we studied earlier the name Jehovah is the name denoting God as a covenant making, covenant fulfilling God. Thus the will of our high priest, Jesus Christ, was to fulfill the covenant of God to save his people from their sins. The signature of this covenant making, covenant keeping God is HOLINESS. Jesus Christ is the Holy One, he is described as holy,harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. He is also described as that "Holy Child." His conception into the world was different from anyone else's conception, as he was conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of a virgin. His life was holy as he kept the law to a jot and a tittle and he lived by every word that proceeded from the mouth of God. His nature was holy in a way that none other was as he was both man and God. He fulfilled all that was written of him. He truly in his nature and work bore the signature HOLINESS TO THE LORD.

The high priest bore the burden of the children of Israel on his shoulders, he bore the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart in the breastplate of judgment, and he bore their iniquities upon his mind (forehead). Cannot we see all these things fulfilled by our High Priest, Jesus Christ. In II Cor. 5:21 we read, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Thus it is thru Jesus' holiness that he was the perfect sacrifice for our sins and thereby making us righteous before God.

It is thru the HOLINESS of Jesus Christ that we are accepted before the Lord as we read in Eph. 1:6, 7, "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace."

Because of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ and because we are made accepted in the beloved, our worship and service to God is acceptable to God. According to Phil. 4:18 it is "an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God."

Holy Candlestick

A description of the candlestick that was placed in the holy place of the tabernacle in the wilderness is described for us in Ex. 25:31 40. We are not made to guess concerning the typical significance of the candlestick as we are told in Rev. 1:20, "The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks.  The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches." Thus the candlestick is a "type" of the church.

In Ex. 25:31 we are told that the candlestick is made of pure gold.  Gold is used in the scriptures to represent kings and their kingdoms.  We read of the golden crowns of kings and the golden scepter. We read of golden thrones and the king's shields of gold. We also read of the golden lions on the steps leading up to the king's palace. Yes, gold is associated with the king and his kingdom. We also read in Rev. 1:6 where God has made us kings and that we are to live and reign with him in his kingdom (church).

Also in verse 31 we are told the tabernacle is of "beaten work" which speaks of forcible molding. The scriptures teach us that we must thru much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. The Lord said, "They that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." Also in the old testament we read where the Lord said, "And I leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people and they shall trust in the name of the Lord." Moreover, Peter wrote that "the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried by fire, may be found unto praise, honor, and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ." God's people in the church are an afflicted and poor people. They are tried in the furnace of trials, afflictions, and persecutions and when the Lord has sufficiently tried them thy shine forth as gold.

Next, the candlestick had knops, flowers, and bowls made like almonds. Knops, flowers, and almonds speak of the growth process. The Lord's people are to grow spiritually in the church. We are told to desire the sincere milk of the word that we may grow thereby. Also we are to speak the truth in love that we may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. Furthermore, the body increases and edifies itself in love. Also we are told to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Son of God. Thus the members of the church are to grow spiritually in grace, knowledge, understanding, faith, and good works. In addition, almonds speak of fruitfulness. The Lord said, "Herein is my father glorified that ye bring forth much fruit."

When the word was sown in the good ground (an honest and good heart) it brought forth much fruit, some thirty fold, some sixty fold, and some an hundred fold.  Paul wrote that we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk therein. The fruit we are to bring forth is the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.  When we are fruitful in these things we glorify God.

There were a total of 22 bowls in the candlestick. Twenty two is the bible number associated with the word of God. God's people as bowls are to be filled with the word of God. We should, as Job, desire the word more than our necessary food. We should, as David, hide it in our hearts, that we might not sin against God. We are to live, not by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

Moreover, the candlestick is said to be of "one beaten work." Romans chapter 12 and I Corinthians chapter 12 speak of the church as being the body of Christ. In Rom. 12:4, 5 we read, "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." In 1 Cor. 12:18 20 we read, "But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body." Since we are members one of another in the church we are to have the same care, one for another. We are not to be selfish individuals in the church, but as members of a body we are to function as members of the body for the good of the body.

Additionally, the candlestick is a lamp stand and there are to be lamps thereon. For no man lighteth a candle and putteth it under a bushel, but put it on a candlestick that it may give light unto all that are in the house. The Lord, in the new birth, lights spiritually everyone that comes into this spiritual world. We re told to let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our heavenly Father.

Furthermore, the church is the light of the world, a city that is set on a hill that cannot be hid. There is a proper place for a candle and that is on the candlestick. God's people are to be lights in the world and they are to do that as members of the Lord's church. The candlestick had tongs and snuff dishes as associated vessels to clear away the refuse of the burning lamps. God's word and, subsequently, the preaching of God's word is not only designed to feed us and prepare us for doing good works, but it also reproves and corrects us according to II Tim. 3:16, 17, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." When we consider that we have a two fold nature and the flesh nature has nothing good dwelling therein, and that we are daily plagued with the desire to sin, then we can see the need for the tongs and dishes of God's word to reprove and correct us that we may walk closer to the teaching of God's word and that our light shine brighter each day that we live.

Furthermore, the candlestick was costly: it was made of a talent of pure gold. The Lord's church is even more costly than the type. The Lord's church was purchased with the shed blood of Jesus and that is more than all the gold and silver in the world. As members of the Lord's church we should ever remember the cost of our salvation from sin.

Finally, there was a pattern to the candlestick and it was to be built according to the patter God showed Moses in the mount. Likewise, there is a pattern to the church: it is to be ordered according to the new testament pattern and the government is to be according to that new testament pattern. We are not to deviate from that pattern. We are not to add our own design or desires to that pattern, but to maintain her as the Lord gave her to us.

Primitive Baptist