The Remnant Bride – Part 8

by | Nov 5, 2018

Evidences of Separation

Not all Christians will freely receive the message of a remnant Bride. Those who are content with the things of the world and who are enjoying the pursuit of their own interests will find the message to be somewhat threatening to their idyllic existence. The western church is full of “easy believism.” The message of the disciple’s cross is largely absent from our midst.

It is those who fail to walk in integrity before the Father who would cry foul at the notion of God treating individual saints differently. The righteous have nothing to fear. Those who are passionately pursuing their Savior have only longing and expectation for His appearing.

I John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

The Bible is full of images of separation. God has always made a distinction between those who please Him and those who do not. Our error today is in assuming that everyone who has confessed Christ by faith to receive the forgiveness of sins is pleasing to the Father.

Galatians 6:7
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

In the design of the Tabernacle of Moses, which was constructed in the wilderness, God showed that there would be a distinction made among those who could approach Him. This structure was divided into three distinct parts: the Outer Court, the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place. Each area represented a different level of intimacy with, and approach to, the Father.

I do not have the space to go into an exhaustive teaching of the design and significance of the tabernacle here. I will simply point out a few truths that are pertinent to an understanding of the Bride. I want you to see that there is tremendous support for the idea that Yahshua has chosen a special remnant out from among His body to be the Bride.

As has been mentioned, the Bride is made up of those who have made themselves ready. They are pure and radiant. They are holy and blameless before God. Those who have soiled their garments are forbidden from being a part of the Bride.

In the design of the tabernacle, holiness has everything to do with access to the different parts. The outer court is the least restrictive portion. Virtually all of the congregation of Israel had access to the Outer Court. In the church, the Outer Court represents those who come to Christ for the remission of sins.

The next level, the Holy Place, was more restrictive. Only  priests from the tribe of Levi were allowed into the Holy Place. This represented a significant decrease in access from the Outer Court. The priests who served in the tabernacle had requirements placed upon them. They had to be without defect or disease to perform service in the tabernacle. We see a double refinement here. Only one tribe of Israel could enter and only those who were without blemish or defect.

It was not God’s original intent that only one tribe should have access here. God’s original desire was that the whole nation should be priests before Him (Exodus 19:5,6). It was only after Israel refused to turn from the idolatry of Egypt that Levi was chosen. This transfer of the priesthood from the entire nation to the tribe of Levi occurred after the nation sinned when Aaron made the golden calf for them to worship. Levi alone proved themselves willing to pay the cost of separation unto Yahweh after the nation sinned (Exodus 32:25-27).

God’s original purpose was that the firstborn male of every household should be holy and dedicated unto Him as a priest. After Israel sinned in their idolatry, God substituted the entire tribe of Levi for the firstborn of all Israel. God had every firstborn male of Israel numbered by tribe. They were then ransomed and released from their dedication as a priest before God by having a Levite male take their place. There were more firstborn males from Israel than there were Levite males, so the remaining number had to be redeemed with money (Numbers chapter 3).

The double refinement of the Holy Place was therefore a refinement that weeded out those whose commitment to obedience was lacking and only allowed access to those who were dedicated to God. Furthermore, these dedicated ones had to be without disease or defect (Leviticus 21:17-23). This is reflective of the Bride of Christ who is to be “without spot or wrinkle or any such blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:27).

The Most Holy Place represented a final refinement. Only the High Priest could enter here, and only after much preparation. His entry was further restricted to one day out of the year. The Most Holy Place was where the ark of the covenant was kept and it represented the presence of God.

We see in this picture that as one approached the presence of God, greater requirements had to be met. At each level the number of those who had access decreased tremendously. It was not treated as a trivial thing to come into God’s presence. The same is true in the church age.

Throughout scripture, the church, individually and corporately is referred to as a temple or tabernacle. God has designed this living temple along the same lines as the physical. The requirements for approach to the presence of God are the same.

I Peter 2:5
You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Yahshua the Messiah.

Ephesians 2:20-22
having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Yahshua Himself being the corner stone in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

The place of intimacy is the Most Holy Place. It is here that the Bride will consummate the marriage. The Bride that is allowed here is a Bride that has been made ready, a purified and holy Bride as described in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

Ephesians 5:26-27
that [Christ] might sanctify [the Bride], having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the [separated out ones] in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.

We see in the pattern of the tabernacle that access to the presence of God is not given in the same measure to all individuals. Holiness and preparation were required to go deeper into God’s presence. The number of people who met the requirements for access dropped precipitously at each level.

In this temple of living stones that God is fashioning, we see three separate areas. This corresponds to three groups of Christians. Your access to the Father and to His most holy things is determined by what group you belong to. Your discernment of what is righteous and what is profane, and your diligence to walk in a manner that is worthy of the Lord are keys to further entrance into the holiest portions of the temple of God. Those who attain to the Most Holy Place are the Bride of Christ. For them there is no veil of separation.
Look again at the following verse:

I Peter 2:5
You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Yahshua the Messiah.

In this verse we are told that as Christians, we are members of a holy priesthood. However, even among the priests of Israel we know that not all priests were accorded equal honor. Some walked worthily and some did not. God made a distinction among them, even as He has among those who are called the church. The things of the Old Covenant are very relevant as types and shadows for us who are of the New Covenant.

I Corinthians 10:11
Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

In the book of Ezekiel we are told of God making a distinction among the priests of the tribe of Levi. The passage is prophetic, speaking of service in a future temple, a temple of living stones. Access to the most holy things and to God Himself was determined by how worthily one walked before God.

Ezekiel 44:10-16
“But the Levites who went far from Me, when Israel went astray, who went astray from Me after their idols, shall bear the punishment for their iniquity.  Yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the house and ministering in the house; they shall slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister to them. Because they ministered to them before their idols and became a stumbling block of iniquity to the house of Israel, therefore I have sworn against them,” declares Yahweh God, “that they shall bear the punishment for their iniquity. And they shall not come near to Me to serve as a priest to Me, nor come near to any of My holy things, to the things that are most holy; but they shall bear their shame and their abominations which they have committed. Yet I will appoint them to keep charge of the house, of all its service, and of all that shall be done in it. But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the sons of Israel went astray from Me, shall come near to Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer Me the fat and the blood,” declares Yahweh God. “They shall enter My sanctuary; they shall come near to My table to minister to Me and keep My charge.”

What a tremendous loss was incurred by the disobedient priests who went with the people in the pursuit of their idols. They were relegated to the service of the building. They were forbidden to serve directly in God’s presence. They could not come near unto Him, nor unto any of His holy things, the things considered most holy. Their service was a service of the Outer Court as is indicated in verse 11:

Yet they shall be ministers in My sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the house and ministering in the house; they shall slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister to them.

Your current love and passion for God will determine whether you see the above passage and its judgment on the idolatrous priests as tragic or not. Some may think that their punishment doesn’t sound too bad. After all, they were still priests and they were still allowed to serve at the temple. There is great tragedy in it, however.

The temple itself is nothing without the presence of God. The temple is merely a vessel that contains a great treasure and the great treasure is the presence and person of God. The idolatrous priests are being told that their service and access in the temple will be restricted to the building itself, the true treasure will be withheld from them.

It is much like being given a present of inestimable worth and then being told that you can only keep the box that the gift came in. This directly correlates to the judgment brought upon Queen Vashti in the book of Esther. She was a queen, but she was denied access to the presence of the king. What joy is there in being the bride of the king if you are denied access to him?

The idolatrous priests are not only forbidden from serving in God’s presence, they are denied access to the things which are the most holy things of God. Because of the abominations they have committed, they must bear their shame.

It would be reasonable at this point to ask what, if any, indication there is in scripture of God making a similar distinction among those who are His children in this present age. There is a parallel passage in the New Testament to the above scripture from Ezekiel, which reveals the same truths, bringing them forward into the era of the New Covenant.

Luke 12:42-48
And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you, that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that slave says in his heart, ‘My master will be a long time in coming,’ and begins to beat the slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk; the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him, and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, shall receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. And from everyone who has been given much shall much be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”

This passage reveals that not all Christians will have access to all of God’s possessions. This is a privilege reserved for those who are faithful. What is it that will be withheld? It is God’s most holy things and God’s very presence. When Yahshua spoke of the faithful servant, “Truly I say to you, that he will put him in charge of all his possessions,” He was speaking of a great honor being bestowed upon him, an honor that not all would share.

Many Christians today have taken no thought to such things. Having obtained freely the remission of sins, they have become content and live much as the world does, pursuing the same idols of materialism, security, and comfort that the unbelieving masses pursue. It is but a remnant of the church that is actually pursuing God. It is but a few who are anxiously and passionately awaiting the return of the Son of God, keeping their robes unstained from the world.

God’s standards have not changed for His church. Those who think they can pursue the same idols that the world chases after and still be given access to the most holy things of God are mistaken. Service in the presence of God will also be withheld from them. They will not be accounted as worthy to be a part of the Bride of Christ.

We are priests before God just as certainly as the Levites who were referred to in Ezekiel. The same standard of holiness required of them is required of us.

I Peter 2:5
You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood…

Not all things are equal for all Christians. The remission of sins is God’s free gift, but there is much beyond this. Many Christians stand in peril of suffering great loss, loss of that which they did not even know existed and was being offered to them. The church must wake up or experience devastation. Access to the very presence of God is at stake.

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