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Friday, March 11, 2016

The True Exodus, the True Temple

It's fairly common knowledge that the Exodus which occurred in the days of Moses, wherein Yahweh led His covenant people out of Egypt, was typological of the Final Salvation of Israel through Jesus the Christ, the Great Anti-type of Moses. It is also pretty common to metaphorize this event, equating 'Egypt' with 'sin' &, using this Story to relate our own personal journey out of sinful lifestyles. There are certain critics who have convinced themselves, as well as others, that this event never actually happened, but that it is simply an example, like the Story of Adam & Eve ( particularly 'The Fall'-Genesis 3 ), of ANE ( Ancient Near Eastern ) prose, not meant to be taken literally ( at least, not to our Western mindset ), but prophetically, pointing to & foreshadowing the Christ, or the Messiah!

The Temple itself, which was typological of the conjunction of Heaven & Earth, was patterned, from all accounts, after the Hebraic Vision of the Courts of Yahweh, or Heaven. As the Dwelling-place of Almighty God on earth, or more technically, in the Land, first the Tabernacle in the Wilderness & then the Temple in Jerusalem signified Yahweh's Presence in the midst of His covenant people. In the language of Peter & Paul, even Jesus Himself, the Temple itself symbolized, not just the Dwelling-place of the Creator on this earth, it was significant of His Covenant People, those who received salvation through Messiah!

In his first epistle, the apostle Peter used a building metaphor, talking about Jesus the Messiah as being 'A chief cornerstone' ( quoting Isaiah 28:16 ), then referring to His disciples ( followers ) as 'living stones'. The apostle Paul goes even further in his first epistle to the Church at Corinth, revealing clearly that His People, individually & collectively, are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. He wrote, in his second epistle ( II Corinthians 6:16 ), 'you are the temple of the living God'. Paul borrowed language from Peter's epistle in his own letter to the Church at Ephesus ( 2:19-21 ) when he wrote, 'you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit'.

The Exodus was all about Establishing Temple, or bringing Heaven to Earth! The apostle Paul again wrote, referring to that first, typological Exodus, 'they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ'. Jesus Himself, in a type, had followed the Children of Israel throughout their wilderness journey, providing them with safety & sustenance, though they knew it not. That first Exodus was a weeding-out, so to speak, of those who were not fit to dwell in Yahweh's Presence; the Final Exodus took place when Jesus extended His Arms outside the City & led His People to Heaven. He spiritually led His Covenant People on an Exodus, the True Exodus, out of Sin & Death!

Jesus told His disciples, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.' Because we keep His Word, or rather, His Word keeps us, we are now Home to the Creator of the Universe! Previous to this, He told them that there were many [ places ] in His Father's House: these [ places ] are us, we, His Covenant People. We make up His Body, as He formed ours in the beginning!

The True Exodus continues for the people of the Creator God, as the True Temple continues to expand with the People of the Creator God! As Moses led the children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt through a burning wilderness to freedom on the Land, so Jesus led His People out of the  ( national ) Land into true & lasting freedom in what the Land had only ever pointed to; Heaven & the Blessed Presence of our Creator God! As we, the Son of God, now lead those who will follow into the Promised Land, let us forever remember that though we have entered our rest, there are those who have yet to reach those hallowed shores; let us continually rejoice in the blessings we have received & share those blessings with all those around us!

Charles Haddon Shank



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