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Solomon at the Tabernacle 2 Chronicles 1

Posted by Ez1 Realty on December 28, 2016


 

1 month after leaving Egypt, God spoke the 10 Commandments to Israel. They were all in favor thinking they could follow 10 simple rules. But a little while later when God offered to make them a kingdom of priests, they turned down the offer, and told Moses to talk to God and fill them in on the details.

God wrote the Commandments on stone Moses smashed when he saw how Israel was worshiping a false god. Moses chiseled out a new set of stones, took them to God, who wrote a new set of the Commandments on them. That set was placed inside the Ark.

The Ark was the center of the Tabernacle kept is a special room called the Most Holy. A cloud by day and pillar of fire guided them by night. The Ark and Tabernacle] were moved at God’s command.

Reaching the promised land, the Tabernacle was set up and the Ark settled in Shiloh. It remained in that location until Eli’s sons took the Ark into war against the Philistines. After a short stay with the Philistines, the Ark wound up in Gibeon. Somehow the Tabernacle was moved to Gibeon.

David tried to move the Ark from Gibeon to Jerusalem. The first attempt failed, costing Uzzah his life. On the second attempt, David had the Levites carry the Ark to Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 1:1-6 NLTse (1) Solomon son of David took firm control of his kingdom, for the LORD his God was with him and made him very powerful. (2) Solomon called together all the leaders of Israel–the generals and captains of the army, the judges, and all the political and clan leaders. (3) Then he led the entire assembly to the place of worship in Gibeon, for God’s Tabernacle was located there. (This was the Tabernacle that Moses, the LORD’s servant, had made in the wilderness.) (4) David had already moved the Ark of God from Kiriath-jearim to the tent he had prepared for it in Jerusalem. (5) But the bronze altar made by Bezalel son of Uri and grandson of Hur was there at Gibeon in front of the Tabernacle of the LORD. So Solomon and the people gathered in front of it to consult the LORD. (6) There in front of the Tabernacle, Solomon went up to the bronze altar in the LORD’s presence and sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings on it.

Here we see Solomon at the Tabernacle. The author pointed out, the Tabernacle was still in Gibeon, and the bronze alter built by Moses was still in the courtyard. David already moved the Ark to the tent he prepared in Jerusalem. But that about the other articles inside the Tabernacle courtyard and tent?

It seems rather strange when you think about it. What were the priests in Gibeon sacrificing to when the Ark was in Jerusalem? Once a year the high priest took blood into the Most Holy, and sprinkled it on the Ark. But how could they conduct that service if the Ark was in another city?

Aaron must take from the community of Israel two male goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. “Aaron will present his own bull as a sin offering to purify himself and his family, making them right with the LORD. Then he must take the two male goats and present them to the LORD at the entrance of the Tabernacle. He is to cast sacred lots to determine which goat will be reserved as an offering to the LORD and which will carry the sins of the people to the wilderness of Azazel. Aaron will then present as a sin offering the goat chosen by lot for the LORD. This is a permanent law for you, to purify the people of Israel from their sins, making them right with the LORD once each year.” Moses followed all these instructions exactly as the LORD had commanded him. (Leviticus 16: 5-9, 34 NLTse).

That was a rather obscure ceremony, but one of the most important. That ceremony pointed to one of the most important ministries Jesus conducted in the Heavenly Sanctuary. The event in the Heavenly Sanctuary is explained in the Book of Hebrews.

So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. With his own blood–not the blood of goats and calves–he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever. Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant. (Hebrews 9:11-15 NLTse).

Hebrews explained how Christ as High Priest ministers over all the good things to come. The once a year ceremony recorded by Moses pointed to a change in Heaven. Not a yearly change, but that yearly ceremony pointed to a one time event in Heaven. Hebrews explained why. The systems and symbols in the Tabernacle were conducted, maintained, understood, and explained by imperfect men. Few Christians look at or examine that ceremony in Leviticus chapter 16, or compare it to Hebrews chapter 9.

There was a particular time Jesus entered the Heavenly Sanctuary, to serve a particular purpose. The book of Hebrews explained why Christ entered the Heavenly Sanctuary. With his own blood–not the blood of goats and calves–he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever. What does that actually mean? When we think of Christ’s blood, what purpose does that blood serve? Most Christians agree, Christ shed His blood to forgive the sins of this world. Since Hebrews defined Christ’s entry into the Heavenly Sanctuary as a one time event, to secure our redemption, once and for all, we have to make sure we know what the word redemption means.

REDEMPTION G3085 λύτρωσις lutrōsis loo’-tro-sis

From G3084; a ransoming (figuratively): – + redeemed, redemption.

A ransom tells us a price had to be paid for our sins. That is pretty basic Christianity, but few people give it the thought and consideration it deserves. When we look at separating the Ark, and the law it contained from the sacrificial alter, giving it the consideration it deserves, we can’t help but see a light set upon mistakes Christianity made, and continues to make today. In modern Christianity, we have dozens of interpretations to Christ’s ministry in Heaven. We could go on for days listing all the modern day beliefs. As a whole, mankind has tried to turn the ransom Jesus paid into a cliché.

Is it right to separate the Ark, and the Law it contains from the sacrificial altar? Are we supposed to continue to follow that tradition, or modify it in an easier way to understand to make people feel good about themselves, and their religion? Or are we supposed to get back to the basics, look into the original plan, compare the symbols with the explanations provided in scripture, then determine what beliefs are man made substitutes, traditions, and doctrines? There has to be a system to determine exactly what God’s original plan was.

Many modern, wannabe prophets stick to so many details outside the spectrum of scripture, they wouldn’t know truth if it ran them over, walked into their church, or prayer meeting. What is this subject we are looking at? If Jesus’ ministry in Heaven is not recorded as prophecy, what is prophecy? But how many people today study it like a prophecy, or put as much time into prophecies about Jesus as they put into trying to guess what will happen tomorrow?

The fact of the matter is, Jesus’ ministry, here on earth, and in Heaven has been recorded as prophecy. According to the law of context, every recorded prophecy has a recorded fulfillment. To examine this concept of what I refer to as parallel chapters, we have to compare both introductions to verify both chapters are covering the same subject.

Leviticus 16:1-4 NLTse The LORD spoke to Moses after the death of Aaron’s two sons, who died after they entered the LORD’s presence and burned the wrong kind of fire before him. (2) The LORD said to Moses, “Warn your brother, Aaron, not to enter the Most Holy Place behind the inner curtain whenever he chooses; if he does, he will die. For the Ark’s cover–the place of atonement–is there, and I myself am present in the cloud above the atonement cover. (3) “When Aaron enters the sanctuary area, he must follow these instructions fully. He must bring a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. (4) He must put on his linen tunic and the linen undergarments worn next to his body. He must tie the linen sash around his waist and put the linen turban on his head. These are sacred garments, so he must bathe himself in water before he puts them on.

Hebrews 9:1-8 NLTse That first covenant between God and Israel had regulations for worship and a place of worship here on earth. (2) There were two rooms in that Tabernacle. In the first room were a lampstand, a table, and sacred loaves of bread on the table. This room was called the Holy Place. (3) Then there was a curtain, and behind the curtain was the second room called the Most Holy Place. (4) In that room were a gold incense altar and a wooden chest called the Ark of the Covenant, which was covered with gold on all sides. Inside the Ark were a gold jar containing manna, Aaron’s staff that sprouted leaves, and the stone tablets of the covenant. (5) Above the Ark were the cherubim of divine glory, whose wings stretched out over the Ark’s cover, the place of atonement. But we cannot explain these things in detail now. (6) When these things were all in place, the priests regularly entered the first room as they performed their religious duties. (7) But only the high priest ever entered the Most Holy Place, and only once a year. And he always offered blood for his own sins and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. (8) By these regulations the Holy Spirit revealed that the entrance to the Most Holy Place was not freely open as long as the Tabernacle and the system it represented were still in use.

Comparing the two chapters confirms, both are covering the subject centered on entering the Most Holy compartment in the Tabernacle, and Heavenly Sanctuary. Inside the Most Holy room is where the Ark of the Covenant is located. The introductions to these two chapters confirms beyond any shadow of doubt, they are explaining the same subject.

To make certain we are looking at what I refer to as parallel chapters, we also compare summations, or the last few verses in the two chapters.

Leviticus 16:30-34 NLTse (30) On that day offerings of purification will be made for you, and you will be purified in the LORD’s presence from all your sins. (31) It will be a Sabbath day of complete rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. This is a permanent law for you. (32) In future generations, the purification ceremony will be performed by the priest who has been anointed and ordained to serve as high priest in place of his ancestor Aaron. He will put on the holy linen garments (33) and purify the Most Holy Place, the Tabernacle, the altar, the priests, and the entire congregation. (34) This is a permanent law for you, to purify the people of Israel from their sins, making them right with the LORD once each year.” Moses followed all these instructions exactly as the LORD had commanded him.

Hebrews 9:24-28 NLTse For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf. (25) And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal. (26) If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice. (27) And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, (28) so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.

The summations verify, these two chapters are explaining the same subject. We now have a prophecy and its recorded fulfillment in our presence. Now what do we do with them? Another rule of context is perfectly consistent throughout scripture. When we locate and combine parallel chapters, that is to study them together, the information is not doubled, like common man would think, but multiplied by a much higher factor, magnified beyond what man could hope to achieve through uninspired thinking, teaching, and writing.

It does us little good to locate and identify parallel chapters if we don’t compare and study those chapters as a whole. Allow me to bring up an example of tradition and how it rears its ugly head in Christianity.

What are the most important days in Christianity? Most people would answer Christmas and Easter, which of course is the observance of Christ’s birthday here on earth, and His resurrection. As A child who hadn’t read a single verse in the Bible, I had to ask why people celebrate those two holidays by eating ham. Pigs are unclean animals. How do you honor Christ by consuming and unclean animal? Where did that tradition come from. From Satan of course.

What about that day Christ entered the MOST HOLY In Heaven? Why don’t we observe that day? Wouldn’t that day be as important as a birthday, or Jesus’ resurrection? What good would Jesus’ resurrection be if He didn’t eventually step into the presence of God’s Law in Heaven to cover that Law with His own blood?

The interesting thing is, Christians claim there is no way for us to know exactly what day Christ was born. We are assured of the exact date Christ rose from the grave. What about the day Christ entered the Most Holy Room in the Heavenly Sanctuary? Do we know that day, and is the information in the Bible confirming that date?

To find the exact day of Jesus’ resurrection, all we need to do is find the date Passover occurred on the Sabbath, and match it up with the list of kings recorded in scripture. That seems like a rather easy task. But how many people know how to go about verifying what we are told to believe?

Finding the exact date Jesus entered the Heavenly Sanctuary is a bit more involved. But it is in scripture. In the mid 1800’s William Miller and a handful of other people took on the task of conducting a chronological study of a series of dates and events that led to the day Jesus entered the Most Holy to cleanse the Heavenly Sanctuary foretold by the yearly ceremony recorded by Moses, and explained in Hebrews. You can read more about that study on your own. The only problem Miller had was, he looked at the cleansing of the earth, not the Sanctuary in Heaven. The date was correct, but his interpretation of what was cleansed was not correct.

That misinterpretation should have taught us a lesson. Not to allow one detail to slip through without proper verification. In Miller’s case, everyone involved forgot to compare scripture about the cleaning with the introduction of the chapter, that clearly identified the Heavenly Sanctuary.

Hebrews 10:36-39 NLTse Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (37) For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. (38) And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.” (39) But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.

My main intent is to explain a series of Bible Study methods so people can test any Bible Study over the past two thousand years. And to find the answer to the question raised in 2 Chronicles chapter 1, why the Ark was removed from the Tabernacle. The introduction of a book in scripture sets the theme for the entire book. This seems rather unusual for a book such as Chronicles to cover a subject like the separation of the Ark from the Tabernacle. But what is the main theme in 2 Chronicles? What happened in the temple from the reign of one king to another? How did they use the temple, and how did the temple vacillate from worship of God to a variety of Pagan gods? How did the removal of the Ark from the Tabernacle contribute to those changes, and how does that relate to Christianity today?

Looking at the introductions to Leviticus chapter 16 and Hebrews chapter 9, we’ll look at how the information is magnified. The first sentence in Leviticus 16 is a rather strange way to introduce a new subject. The LORD spoke to Moses after the death of Aaron’s two sons, who died after they entered the LORD’s presence and burned the wrong kind of fire before him. What does this tell us? On the physical level we see the loss of a good portion of the priesthood at that particular time. Why did two of Aaron’s sons loose their lives? The Bible tells us, they offered the wrong type of fire in the LORD’S presence. What does that fire represent? A smart Bible student allows the chapter at hand to answer every question on a symbol. That eliminates all human guess work.

In this case, we see how this chapter deals with the cleansing, or purification of the Tabernacle, in particular, the MOST HOLY room. Fire is used for purification in other stories in scripture, and fits in this story in no other way but to purify. The death of Aaron’s sons showed, the right type of fire provides the right purification. There must be a wrong type of fire, Since there is reality no difference in physical fires, other than fuel and temperature, the death of Aaron’s sons, and the fire involved must lead to a spiritual lesson.

Aaron, the high priest was warned not to enter the MOST HOLY any time he wished, but to follow a specific process once a year. It was a rather long, detailed ceremony Aaron had to follow. If he didn’t, Aaron, and all the high priests after him ran the risk of meeting the same fate his sons met with.

How does that apply to Jesus’ ministry in Heaven? Jesus had to follow a specific process to present Himself, and His blood. Jesus lived a sinless life on earth by following all of God’s laws. It makes sense for Jesus to continue that trend in Heaven.

The bull as usual was meant to remind Aaron of that golden calf, the false god he fabricated in the wilderness. The idea of that calf was borrowed from concepts and religious services learned in Egypt. That is another warning related to the lesson about the wrong type of fire offered in God’s presence. Bible authors have the habit of presenting the same lesson in a variety of ways.

The services Aaron performed were recorded in great detail. That detail included how the high priest was dressed. When we study the Sanctuary, and Christ’s ministry, we find Christ dressed in particular ways. Other authors went to great lengths to record specific details. Those details help us determine what phase of ministry the author is describing. Like outdoor scenes, we can understand the season of Christ’s ministry based on what Jesus is wearing.

Hebrews chapter 9 begins by explaining, one ministry passed away, and was replaced by a better, in fact perfect ministry. That tells us, mankind has little to nothing to do with that particular ministry, outside of sitting still and learning. Which may be the most difficult task for some people. When we compare that fact to warnings in Leviticus chapter 16, we see how serious this subject is.

Hebrews chapter 9 is constructed in a rather obscure fashion. The chapter as a whole described the Heavenly Sanctuary, but began by describing the Tabernacle Moses constructed. The author went into elaborate details about what the Ark contained. Are items once found in the Ark housed inside the Tabernacle now in Heaven? What does Aaron’s rod and the gold jar containing manna represent? Again, we will let the chapter explain their spiritual interpretations. We have to keep in mind, the author wrote, “we cannot explain these things in detail now.”

We have another detail to consider. By these regulations the Holy Spirit revealed that the entrance to the Most Holy Place was not freely open as long as the Tabernacle and the system it represented were still in use. What time frame does that point to? Since many of those details could not be understood until the New Testament was completed, we have to assume the author was not pointing to the time period when David removed the Ark from the Tabernacle.

One item in the Tabernacle was moved in the book of Hebrews. Place the incense altar just outside the inner curtain that shields the Ark of the Covenant, in front of the Ark’s cover–the place of atonement–that covers the tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant. I will meet with you there. “Every morning when Aaron maintains the lamps, he must burn fragrant incense on the altar. And each evening when he lights the lamps, he must again burn incense in the LORD’s presence. This must be done from generation to generation. Do not offer any unholy incense on this altar, or any burnt offerings, grain offerings, or liquid offerings. (Exodus 30:6-9 NLTse).

Originally, the incense alter was placed outside the curtain separating the Holy from the Most Holy room. When Jesus began His Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary, the incense alter was placed inside the Most Holy room in the presence of God and the Ark. Why is that detail important?

This also emphasizes the point, prayers originate in Heaven. Most people teach, prayers originate on earth, and go up into Heaven. But where does that incense burnt in the altar in Heaven come from, Heaven or earth?

Looking at the summations, a few details jump out. The cleansing of the Tabernacle was a permanent law. Does that mean it ended, and we can forget all about it at some future date? Let’s get serious. The Tabernacle is gone. Its been gone for generations. No one knows what happened to it. All we have to study the Tabernacle is a handful of books Moses wrote, and of course the Book of Hebrews. At best, we have a dim view at what the Tabernacle actually looked like. We have a general concept if the design, but not enough technical information to recreate an exact replica. We also know the Tabernacle Moses build was an exact replica of the Heavenly Sanctuary he was shown in Heaven. Or at least the pattern God wanted Moses to build.

Hence all those warnings about strange fire, which is misrepresenting the Tabernacle, and Heavenly Sanctuary, point to misrepresenting the Heavenly Sanctuary.. We know how serious those warning are when we look at the most predominant word repeated at the end of Leviticus chapter 16, purification.

Take any example you can think of. If you have exact instructions to purify anything, a building, garment, or life, and skip a few steps in those instructions, do you have perfect purification? Based on the subject those two chapters cover, we know how serious the process of purification is.

There are two things purified in Heaven, the Sanctuary, and us from our sins. Both have to be perfectly purified. When we look at the purification of the Tabernacle as a permanent law, but we don’t have the Ark, or the Law, what is that pointing to? Go back to the incense altar which is now placed in the Most Holy room. The physical Tabernacle has moved from a physical to a spiritual level. We now moved from the passive role of observance, to an active role of observance by moving from the age when details could not be explained, to the age when we can, and should understand those symbols and their meaning. Purification also points to our understanding of the Heavenly Sanctuary. We can’t afford to teach false and misleading concepts about the Heavenly Sanctuary. That is the unholy fire we should never consider presenting before God.

The one a year ritual has been replaced by the single event when Christ entered the MOST HOLY compartment in Heaven. Christ didn’t have to keep returning to earth, suffering on the cross, dying, being resurrected again and again every time someone sinned. Hebrews explained exactly why Christ entered into the MOST HOLY in Heaven.

But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice. And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.

There are four details associated with the word once at the close of Hebrews chapter 9. Christ appearing in the MOST HOLY compartment, offering His blood as a ransom payment for sins, people dying only once, and judgment. Each of those happens only once.

We have no choice but to consider each of those as a whole. We cannot allow ourselves to fall for misleading interpretations that separate one item, then offer man made interpretations. There is one time Christ will enter the MOST HOLY, one time He will offer His blood to cover the law for us, one time people will face death before the judgment, and one time we will all be judged. Jesus entered the MOST HOLY compartment in Heaven to begin the judgment process.

The Two Goats

Leviticus 16:5-10 NLTse (5) Aaron must take from the community of Israel two male goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. (6) “Aaron will present his own bull as a sin offering to purify himself and his family, making them right with the LORD. (7) Then he must take the two male goats and present them to the LORD at the entrance of the Tabernacle. (8) He is to cast sacred lots to determine which goat will be reserved as an offering to the LORD and which will carry the sins of the people to the wilderness of Azazel. (9) Aaron will then present as a sin offering the goat chosen by lot for the LORD. (10) The other goat, the scapegoat chosen by lot to be sent away, will be kept alive, standing before the LORD. When it is sent away to Azazel in the wilderness, the people will be purified and made right with the LORD.

Hebrews 9:9-15 NLTse This is an illustration pointing to the present time. For the gifts and sacrifices that the priests offer are not able to cleanse the consciences of the people who bring them. (10) For that old system deals only with food and drink and various cleansing ceremonies–physical regulations that were in effect only until a better system could be established. (11) So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. (12) With his own blood–not the blood of goats and calves–he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever. (13) Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. (14) Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. (15) That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.

Aaron had to follow a precise order of sacrifices. A bull for him and his family. A ram as a burnt offering, and two male goats, which appears a little complicated. It may be difficult to understand until we look at Hebrews chapter 9. This is an illustration pointing to the present time. For the gifts and sacrifices that the priests offer are not able to cleanse the consciences of the people who bring them.

The sacrifices, offerings, and services Aaron offered were an incomplete set of symbols pointing to Christ’s perfect ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary. Those goats were incomplete sacrifices, so it didn’t matter which was the sacrifice, and which was to carry sins into the wilderness. Those goats were only symbols. But God chose which goat filled which role, which shows us God’s involvement and presence in the ceremony, as well as any study into this subject.

Hebrews tells us about a New Covenant, a more perfect Covenant under Christ that will remove sins, for all time, something none of those animals could do. Since only one goat shed blood, who would that goat point to? The answer is explained in Hebrews. Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God.

If the one goat represented Christ, and the blood He shed, what does the other goat represent? The second goat was sent to a physical wilderness. Who was banished to a spiritual wilderness? Christ was sent to the wilderness in one story. Who did Jesus meet there? Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. (Matthew 4:1 NLTse). Is this the answer, or another clue? What does the devil have to do with the purification of the Heavenly Sanctuary? Where did sin originate?

Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. This great dragon–the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world–was thrown down to the earth with all his angels. (Revelation 12:7-9 NLTse).

For war to be in Heaven, there must have been trouble that lead up to it. Satan was cast out of Heaven, so he must have been in Heaven before he was banished to this world. The Heavenly Sanctuary has to be purified of all the traces Satan left behind. What better way to clean those sins Satan established in Heaven than the blood of Christ, the One who defeated Satan, and threw him out of Heaven.

Previous verses in Revelation 12 identified that wilderness. Then I witnessed in heaven another significant event. I saw a large red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky, and he threw them to the earth. He stood in front of the woman as she was about to give birth, ready to devour her baby as soon as it was born. She gave birth to a son who was to rule all nations with an iron rod. And her child was snatched away from the dragon and was caught up to God and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place to care for her for 1,260 days. (Revelation 12:3-6 NLTse). The spiritual wilderness is this world.

When will Satan be banished to that wilderness? Looking at that goat sent to the wilderness, sins were laid upon its head. When can sin be laid on Satan? Not until the trial is completed, Satan is found guilty, and of course all the sins Satan has to carry have been judged.

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. He seized the dragon–that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan–and bound him in chains for a thousand years. The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterward he must be released for a little while. (Revelation 20:1-3 NLTse).

The word, then, tells us to look back at the previous event. Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army. And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast–miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies. (Revelation 19:19-21 NLTse).

The beast and all the people who followed him are slain. The world is not yet purified, but is burnt by a lake of fire. Satan is bound by an angel in the bottomless pit, the wilderness, this world, all alone for a thousand years to carry the weight of all the sins placed upon his head. Satan is the second goat banished to the wilderness.

Leviticus 16:11-19 NLTse (11) “Aaron will present his own bull as a sin offering to purify himself and his family, making them right with the LORD. After he has slaughtered the bull as a sin offering, (12) he will fill an incense burner with burning coals from the altar that stands before the LORD. Then he will take two handfuls of fragrant powdered incense and will carry the burner and the incense behind the inner curtain. (13) There in the LORD’s presence he will put the incense on the burning coals so that a cloud of incense will rise over the Ark’s cover–the place of atonement–that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. If he follows these instructions, he will not die. (14) Then he must take some of the blood of the bull, dip his finger in it, and sprinkle it on the east side of the atonement cover. He must sprinkle blood seven times with his finger in front of the atonement cover. (15) “Then Aaron must slaughter the first goat as a sin offering for the people and carry its blood behind the inner curtain. There he will sprinkle the goat’s blood over the atonement cover and in front of it, just as he did with the bull’s blood. (16) Through this process, he will purify the Most Holy Place, and he will do the same for the entire Tabernacle, because of the defiling sin and rebellion of the Israelites. (17) No one else is allowed inside the Tabernacle when Aaron enters it for the purification ceremony in the Most Holy Place. No one may enter until he comes out again after purifying himself, his family, and all the congregation of Israel, making them right with the LORD. (18) “Then Aaron will come out to purify the altar that stands before the LORD. He will do this by taking some of the blood from the bull and the goat and putting it on each of the horns of the altar. (19) Then he must sprinkle the blood with his finger seven times over the altar. In this way, he will cleanse it from Israel’s defilement and make it holy.

Hebrews 9:16-23 NLTse Now when someone leaves a will, it is necessary to prove that the person who made it is dead. (17) The will goes into effect only after the person’s death. While the person who made it is still alive, the will cannot be put into effect. (18) That is why even the first covenant was put into effect with the blood of an animal. (19) For after Moses had read each of God’s commandments to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, along with water, and sprinkled both the book of God’s law and all the people, using hyssop branches and scarlet wool. (20) Then he said, “This blood confirms the covenant God has made with you.” (21) And in the same way, he sprinkled blood on the Tabernacle and on everything used for worship. (22) In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. (23) That is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals.

Leviticus 16:20-31 NLTse (20) “When Aaron has finished purifying the Most Holy Place and the Tabernacle and the altar, he must present the live goat. (21) He will lay both of his hands on the goat’s head and confess over it all the wickedness, rebellion, and sins of the people of Israel. In this way, he will transfer the people’s sins to the head of the goat. Then a man specially chosen for the task will drive the goat into the wilderness. (22) As the goat goes into the wilderness, it will carry all the people’s sins upon itself into a desolate land. (23) “When Aaron goes back into the Tabernacle, he must take off the linen garments he was wearing when he entered the Most Holy Place, and he must leave the garments there. (24) Then he must bathe himself with water in a sacred place, put on his regular garments, and go out to sacrifice a burnt offering for himself and a burnt offering for the people. Through this process, he will purify himself and the people, making them right with the LORD. (25) He must then burn all the fat of the sin offering on the altar. (26) “The man chosen to drive the scapegoat into the wilderness of Azazel must wash his clothes and bathe himself in water. Then he may return to the camp. (27) “The bull and the goat presented as sin offerings, whose blood Aaron takes into the Most Holy Place for the purification ceremony, will be carried outside the camp. The animals’ hides, internal organs, and dung are all to be burned. (28) The man who burns them must wash his clothes and bathe himself in water before returning to the camp. (29) “On the tenth day of the appointed month in early autumn, you must deny yourselves. Neither native-born Israelites nor foreigners living among you may do any kind of work. This is a permanent law for you. (30) On that day offerings of purification will be made for you, and you will be purified in the LORD’s presence from all your sins. (31) It will be a Sabbath day of complete rest for you, and you must deny yourselves. This is a permanent law for you.

When we look at the actual ceremony, it is a little difficult to understand how Hebrews explained the role of the scapegoat taken into the wilderness. That is because Hebrews deals with Christ’s ministry in Heaven. The devils role is discussed in other books.

We also have a certain amount of repetition to deal with, like the bull Aaron sacrificed for his sins. God didn’t want us to forget Aaron was human, and the ceremonies he performed did nothing to forgive sins. Then Moses explained the incense burner. In a sense, we have to offer something to God before we can understand. Time is one sacrifice. What we know before we study is another.

Aaron was to offer incense before sacrificing the goat. That shows us how the message or announcement when Jesus enters the Heavenly Sanctuary will be known before it occurs. After the announcement, Jesus begins the purification process. With God, timing is everything.

Hebrews talked about a will, a last will and testimony to call attention to the first covenant. In this case, the sacrificial system. The physical system in the Tabernacle was a set of symbols pointing to Christ and different phases of His ministry. That covenant was sealed in blood, a symbol showing how Jesus would fulfill His part of the contract.

Few people think about Jesus’ blood purifying the Heavenly Sanctuary. Most Christians restrict their thoughts to Jesus’ blood purifying themselves. That is a rather narrow view of a system explained in a number of books from one end of the Bible to another.

After Aaron purified the Tabernacle, he turned his attention on the live goat. Aaron placed both of his hands on the goat’s head and confessed over it all the wickedness, rebellion, and sins of the people of Israel. Of course Israel is another symbol pointing to all of Jesus followers. The man chose to take the goat out of the camp into the wilderness represented the strong angel who takes hold of Satan, throwing him into a symbolic bottomless pit. Whatever filth the angel picks up from Satan must be cleaned before he returns to Heaven.

Studying this subject is so important, God called it a Sabbath, a rest. Not only are we supposed to dedicate serious time to the subject, we are supposed to look at the rest and comfort the lessons bring. Jesus has the blood to cleanse the Sanctuary as well as cover the Law and our sins. People can and will get a little flustered, or worried when they only have a narrow view of the purification and judgment process.

This is only a brief explanation of the overall subject. Just enough to look at the question, what was the effect when David took the Ark away from the Tabernacle? For one thing, the high priest was no longer able to purify the entire Tabernacle. In essence, the Ark, and the Law it contained went uncovered for generations. Where does that place us is our understanding of the process? Exactly were we see the world today, lacking understanding, and interest in Jesus’ ministry in Heaven. Attention is refocused on other, more modern stone temples, new traditions, modified sacrificial systems, and everywhere but where our attention belongs. The question now has to be, how do we refocus our attention?

God Met with Solomon

2 Chronicles 1:7-12 NLTse (7) That night God appeared to Solomon and said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” (8) Solomon replied to God, “You showed faithful love to David, my father, and now you have made me king in his place. (9) O LORD God, please continue to keep your promise to David my father, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth! (10) Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?” (11) God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for wealth, riches, fame, or even the death of your enemies or a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people– (12) I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame such as no other king has had before you or will ever have in the future!”

The answer is obvious when we follow scripture. How are we supposed to know and understand the full effect of separating the Ark from the Tabernacle unless we meet with God. Solomon had to meet with God to understand how to run a limited kingdom for a limited amount of time. We are studying to learn about eternity.

Solomon had a problem, and met with God. Or shall we say, God met with Solomon. Of course we don’t have to offer a thousand sacrifices for God to talk to us. All we need to do is learn to listen. When we do learn to listen to God, how would you like to hear God ask, “what do you want?”

That is an unusual question to ask from a God who knows everything about all of us. Of course God knew exactly what Solomon wanted. God still needed to hear it. Just like an everyday father. God added another part to the message. “Ask, and I will give it to you!” How would you like that kind of communication with God? Is it that far away?

Solomon had to remind God about the love and affection He showed David. Then Solomon got to the point. He admitted he was not as strong as his father David. Solomon admitted he needed help. This tells us about the life Solomon led as a prince in the palace. Of course David’s sons had the best education the kingdom could afford. Solomon and his brothers had tutors, maids, people cooking for them, cleaning up after them, and servants galore, More than we could ever imagine. That may seem fine to some people, but that type of life style leaves holes in places we don’t take time to consider holes in their character.

When people are brought up with someone, or armies of people doing everything for them, they develop a lack of experience. The experience they need to make decisions on their feet. A lack of experience that makes them dependent on people around them to supply their every need and desire. That results in a very poor, or nonexistent prayer life with God, The usual prayer life of, thank you God for everything I have…. bless so and so, and that is about as deep as they go.

Trials build character. Confrontations build character. Attacks build character. Designing and building parts and structures builds characters. Working with your hands, and with people builds character, and helps to gain respect from the people you work with. Learning trades and skills builds the ability to teach others. A simple life builds dependence.

Solomon led a life of luxury and security. No one really challenged Solomon. No one picked fights with Solomon. Of course there was competition between him and his half brothers. Scripture confirmed that. But whenever quarrels broke out, someone stepped in to calm the situation. That didn’t do anything for Solomon to build problem solving skills required to lead a nation.

I recently had a conversation about a pastor leaving a church. He didn’t feel he was receiving the support he needed. Members left all the work up to the pastor, who had a fire for evangelism, but without proper support, and time wasted on all that paperwork, reports, and energy required to keep a physical church running, not to mention mentoring members and listening to all their little day to day problems, and the real trials that creep into their lives, the pastor was not able to pursue his personal ministry. The church let him down, leaving him feel like he had a huge hole in his life.

That situation indicates a number of issues. First, the members felt like a pastor played the role of a servant catering to their needs. In a way, they wanted a life like Solomon led, but couldn’t see how that was detrimental to their character. Church members wanted a man to do all the little tasks making it appear they were playing church.

That situation also showed how ill prepared pastors are after graduating with a pastoral degree. They are not prepared it taught how to build character in people. Pastors are not trained to recognize character flaws, or how to pray about them, in other words, listen to God about how to challenge those character flaws, or point them out in a Christlike manner. Pastors are not trained how to listen to God to know when to dive into a situation, or draw back. Pastors want to solve problems, not identify how God is building character through those situations. At times, pastors are working contrary to God’s plan, and don’t even know it.

Based on my experience with churches, pray and God’s Spirit are essential to any development. Pastors need to pray God places the right people around them. It takes the right leaders to build a church. Everyone HAS to be on the same page when it comes to who is really in charge of the church. That is Christ. That requires a lot of prayer and listening. Time to make decisions may be the best asset church leaders have. The first thing they need to develop is a willingness to spend time to solve problems, and make decisions. Too often, one or two people on a church board with an attitude, they can instantly solve each and every problem will tip, and sink the boat.

That pastor had to learn how to run a church. Solomon had to learn how to run a kingdom. And had to learn quickly. Solomon had another problem David never faced. Solomon had a mother who watched him like a hawk, and dedicated her life to grooming him for the throne. But what did Bathsheba know about running a kingdom? She instigated a plan to get her husband killed, all to gain more glory and power. She wasn’t about to let that power go. That was all she knew about fighting. Her husband Uriah was the warrior. That didn’t make her the type of leader Israel needed. Bathsheba had little to hand down to her son.

David had the advantage of growing up in an environment where he really needed God. At times his life depended on God’s full power, and David’s total faith. David was also a warrior, commander, and general. He learned how to rely on people, give orders, and during his life, depend on God in crucial times. Solomon was never placed in situations David lived through. Solomon heard the stories, then suddenly reality slapped him in the face. One day Solomon was a boy listening to those stories of honor and conquest. The next day Solomon was the man everyone looked up to and was about to depend on. That scared the life out of Solomon. He knew he couldn’t depend on his mother to make all the decisions for him. Solomon was smart enough to see through that masquerade. But that didn’t give Solomon the knowledge and wisdom he needed to run his father’s kingdom. What else was Solomon going to ask for?

God knew Solomon well, just like He knows all of us. Along with that knowledge and wisdom would come security for the kingdom Solomon inherited. With the right kind of knowledge and wisdom, the wealth and riches that came with the throne would increase. That would also grow his fame.

Solomon Turned to Egypt

2 Chronicles 1:13-17 NLTse (13) Then Solomon returned to Jerusalem from the Tabernacle at the place of worship in Gibeon, and he reigned over Israel. (14) Solomon built up a huge force of chariots and horses. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He stationed some of them in the chariot cities and some near him in Jerusalem. (15) The king made silver and gold as plentiful in Jerusalem as stone. And valuable cedar timber was as common as the sycamore-fig trees that grow in the foothills of Judah. (16) Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Cilicia; the king’s traders acquired them from Cilicia at the standard price. (17) At that time chariots from Egypt could be purchased for 600 pieces of silver, and horses for 150 pieces of silver. They were then exported to the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Aram.

The author pointed out the fact, Solomon left the Tabernacle in Gibeon and returned to Jerusalem. The introduction and summation of this chapter are like bookends with Solomon receiving knowledge and wisdom in the middle. The introduction and summation reminded us, the Ark was separated from the Tabernacle. What about that yearly purification ceremony? How was the high priest ever going to complete that ceremony with the Ark missing?

When we look at the end of this chapter, we see what Solomon used his wealth and riches for. Solomon went to Egypt to build up his military strength. Why? Solomon had the Ark sitting outside his front door. What did he need Egyptians chariots and horses for?

Building up military power reminds us about how people build up arguments when they separate parts of the Tabernacle, and don’t look at the design and all its symbols as a whole. When people concentrate on the sacrificial altar, they build up excuses to ignore the Ark, and the law it contains. When people concentrate on prayers, associated with the incense alter, they down play the sacrificial system to one or two essential details. Some people look at colors used in the Tabernacle, but neglect to examine the support pillars and bases. There are other parts of the Tabernacle few people pay attention to. We tend to emphasize the symbols we know, or have been told about, and like a warrior, fight off anything that doesn’t fit into the sections we feel comfortable with. Just ask yourself, what may have happened if Solomon took the Ark back to the Tabernacle and made it whole? Better yet, have a nice long conversation with Jesus about it.

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