Fundamental Baptist Institute

Back to Index          Home FBI

GOSPEL ADDRESSES ON THE TABERNACLE.

By David Little

Chapter 5

I.   WHO DID THE WORK.

AND Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the Lord hath called by name Bezaleel, the son of Un, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and He hath filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship; . . . and He hath put in his heart that he may TEACH, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. Them hath He filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman. . . . Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every WISE HEARTED MAN in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the Lord had commanded." (Ex. 35:3 - 36:1) "And ALL THE WOMEN that were WISE HEARTED did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, of purple, and of scarlet and of fine linen." (Ex. 35:25) Here are four classes, Bezaleel, Aholiab, the wise hearted men, and the wise hearted women: these, and these only, were allowed to do the work.

Bezaleel, the meaning of whose name is, "In the shadow of the Almighty," is a beautiful type of the Holy Spirit. His father's name was Un, which means "Fiery." When the Holy Spirit came down upon those who "were all with one accord in one place," "there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire," which speaks of the energy in which the work was to be done.

Bezaleel was to have full charge of the work. Jehovah Himself was the architect and pattern maker. He had shown the patterns to Moses, and dictated to him the specifications which we find in the six chapters, -Exodus 25 - 30. inclusive. Moses, beautiful type of Christ as the Mediator between God and man, now gives Bezaleel full charge of the work. When our blessed Lord had finished the work of atonement and sat down on the Father's throne, He sent the Holy Spirit, on the day of Pentecost, to take full charge of the work in His absence, to erect a dwelling-place for God; not a temporal one like the tabernacle, but a "spiritual house;" (I Pet. 2:5) and the Holy Spirit now has full charge of this w6rk in Christ's absence. He has the plans and specifications and is working, and will work, by the same, no matter how men and devils may oppose. This is a wonderful truth, but one that has been lost sight of largely in Christendom at the present day. Hence how often you hear Christians. praying God to pour out His Holy Spirit upon men, and to send Him down in power. True, they do it in ignorance, and unbelief, and God in grace; knowing their need, answers according to it. But what would you - think of people praying to God to send Christ down to die for us ? Would it not shock you? Surely it would. "Why," you would say," He has already sent Him." So has He already sent the Spirit. Jesus came down and died for sinners, "the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God." (I Pet. 3:18.) He then went up to prepare a place and the Holy Spirit came down, ten days after, to prepare a people for that place, by bringing them to God through Christ. Christ went to the cross that all who accept Him might be sanctified to God by His blood; the Holy Spirit came down to sanctify them by the truth and bring them into God's presence, having reconciled them. Man, in his natural state, is estranged from God; yes, more, he is alienated. The words tie Paul, writing to the saints at Colosse, said: "And you, that were sometimes ALIENATED and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled.." (Col. 1:3)  Now notice four things stated here:

 First,-" Alienated," which means disjointed, separated, torn apart. This is true of both the moral and the immoral person. Sin has come in, and has placed us at an awful distance from. God, with a gulf between, impassable by us.

Second, " Enemies in your mind." Man is not only separated from God, but is an enemy to God. He has a "carnal mind" which is "enmity against God" (Rom. viii. 7); not in enmity, but enmity itself; and, having this, he has no desire to return to God. On the contrary, like Absalom with his father David, he would hurl God from His throne and take that place himself. This was manifest in the crucifixion of Christ, and will reach its climax in the Antichrist, when he will set himself up to be. God and to be worshipped as God. This carnal mind governs and controls the unsaved constantly; it may be manifested in different ways, but all these ways are classed here as "wicked works."

Third,-" By wicked works:" this is how the carnal mind is manifested. The careless, indifferent sinner demonstrates this: his whole life produces nothing else. "But," one may say, "I am not a careless, indifferent sinner; 1 have great respect for divine things, and I am doing my best t6 be saved." Then your life is one of "dead works,"-not wicked, but dead,-and from these ~6u will have to be cleansed, as will the careless, indifferent sinner from his wicked works: if not, you will share the same fate ;-the lake of fire will be your eternal place of abode. (Heb. ix. 12-i4.)

Fourth,- The sinner who has believed on Christ is "reconciled" to God, and his life should now be one of good works, for which he will receive a reward. (Rev. 12:12.)

Here, then, we have three classes:

First,-The careless, indifferent sinner, producing nothing but wicked works, for which he will have to be judged and receive punishment. "And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." (Rev. 20:12.)

Second,- The one who is doing works to be saved; who produces nothing but dead works, from which he will have to be cleansed by the precious blood of Christ or his name will not be found in the book of life. "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Rev. 20:15.)

Third,-The one who has judged himself and his wicked and dead works, has turned to God, has rested in the blessed work which Christ has done for him, and Is RECONCILED TO GOD. He has met God about his sins, has uncovered them all, has owned the truth about himself and his works, and being brought into the light, "the blood of Jesus Christ" has cleansed him so thoroughly from all his sins that God says to him,-Your "sins and iniquities will I remember no more." (Heb. x. 17.) This one is now exhorted to "be careful to maintain good works" (Titus 3:8), for which he will be rewarded.

No person was allowed to do a single tap of work on the tabernacle but those who had been sheltered by blood, redeemed by power out of the hand of the en6my, brought to God, and now made wise to know how to do the work of the Lord. Only the "wise hearted" men and women of Israel were to do the work.-I am exceedingly anxious that the reader may see clearly whom the Lord sends forth to work for Him. Some time ago I was traveling; and having distributed some tracts to the passengers in the car, I took my seat opposite a man who was reading one. With a sneer he threw it down, saying, "What consummate folly to say that we cannot do a single thing to please God until we are saved!" Yes, it is consummate folly to man; for it strips him of the works in which he has been trusting, about which he has been priding himself, and brings him, as a lost sinner, into God's presence, there to learn that his most righteous acts, charitable deeds, and religious exercises, are nothing but "filthy rags" when used as a means to obtain salvation. (Isa. 64:6.)

0 my dear reader! do you know that the word of God speaks of a certain class who will be banished from the Lord's presence, and yet their lives are lives of good works-good works done in His name? Listen! oh, listen! "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them., I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matt. 7:22, 23.) Now notice, the blessed Lord calls their works, WORKS OF INIQUITY, although all were done IN His NAME. Have you become so religious as to be able to d~ all that is spoken of here? You know you have not: but suppose that you have, and that you make that a plea for salvation, you will find the door shut in your face for eternity, when it will be too late for grace to reach you. Oh, repent of your good works for salvation, as well as of your evil works, or you will be eternally lost! "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."

 

II.  WHAT CHARACTERIZED THE WORKERS.

First, They had a knowledge of their salvation, and enjoyed it: of the lamb had been sprinkled, and how blessedly they had been sheltered from judgment by it, They had heard the wail of those who were not so sheltered; they had seen their enemies all swept away at the Red Sea, and had sung the sweet song of deliverance. They had feasted on the provisions Jehovah had made for them in the wilderness ; - the quails, type of Christ the heavenly One going into death to impart life; the manna, type of Christ in His humiliation, as Bread for His people to sustain life; water from the smitten rock, type of the Holy Spirit as the Comforter of His people. They had a conscious knowledge of all. these blessings before they could do one stroke of work in building a sanctuary for Jehovah. Dear reader, have you a knowledge of your salvation? can you stand in His holy presence and say truthfully, "I am His; and He is mine?" can you sing the song of redemption, and say, "Unto Him that loved me, and washed me from my sins, in His blood ?" If you cannot, remember, you cannot do one single thing to please God. No; the word of God is very emphatic on this. "So, then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God.". (Rom. viii. 8.) Please Him you cannot until you accept Christ. "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him THAT WORKETH NOT, but believeth on Him that JUSTIFIETH the UNGODLY, his faith is counted for righteousness." (Rom. iv. 4-5.) Oh no, dear unsaved one, the work that saves was done on the cross over eighteen hundred years ago. He cried, "It is finished!" He could say to the Father, anticipatively, " I have finished the work Thou gavest Me to do." Oh then, come as you are, and where you are, now, as you read these lines; come and rest in that work, and you will find peace for your poor sin-stricken conscience. Then, with a conscious knowledge of salvation in your soul, your conscience purged, your heart at sweet rest in Himself, you can cry out, with one of old, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?"

Second,-They were wise-hearted: they were not wise-minded merely, but the truth had reached the inward parts,-the heart, the very centre of their beings, the seat of their affections. "Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom." (Ps. 51. 6.) Worldly wisdom was of no account here; they must be divinely instructed to know how to do a divinely appointed work: they had to be taught by Bezaleel (type of the Holy Spirit) how to do everything, from the making of a pin to the making of the Tabernacle itself. Christ, in speaking of the Holy Spirit, said, "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth." (John 16:13.) "But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie." (I John ii. 27.) Some persons boast of the college from which they graduated, and the noted professor at whose feet they sat, like Saul at the feet of Gamaliel; but the wise-hearted soul-winners have graduated from God's school. "They shall be all taught of God." (John 6:45.)

Third,-They were willing-hearted. "Every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it." (Ex. 36:2.) It was all heart work ;-wise-hearted, to know how; willing hearted, to have their work accepted. No hirelings were engaged in this work; all the service must flow from a sense of the marvelous grace bestowed upon those who were working. Their service must be one of love; love to the One who first loved them, and had, by an act of His infinite grace, made them His own, as expressed in these wonderful words,-" The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people: but because the Lord loved you." (Deut. 7:7, 8.) They were not working to be His people,-grace had made them that already; nor were they working to be kept His. Oh no! all this was settled; and, because it was settled, they could now work with all their hearts to prepare Him a place in Which to dwell with them. What a blessed privilege! What a happy people!

When slavery prevailed in the Southern States, at an auction where several slaves were to be sold, a beautiful mulatto girl was put upon the block. One after another bid for her; but one man, from the Northern States, bid higher than all the rest, and she became his. When he came, as she supposed, to take her away, she threw her arms around her mother and wept bitterly. The gentleman drew from his pocket a paper, and presented it to her, saying, "Mary, you are no longer a slave; here are your papers, with the government seal upon them, and you are free." She looked at him in surprise; but when the truth of her freedom dawned upon her mind, and she believed it with her heart, she threw up both hands, exclaiming, "Oh, sir, I will go with you and serve you all my life, for you have loved me!" Her service then was a service of love. So must ours be, if it is to be acceptable to God. She was redeemed with silver and gold only, but the believer is redeemed "with the precious blood of Christ" (I Pet. i. 19), and "We love Him because He first loved us." (1 John iv. 19.) Oh, what a powerful incentive this should be! Shall riot such marvelous grace and all transcending love find a response in our hearts as the days are going by, and His coming so near?

Fourth,-They had to be submissive workers. They had nothing to say as to how or when anything was to be done : the pattern was given, they must go by that; the specification was there, telling them how all was to be made. Human wisdom was entirely laid aside; expediency must not be named; there must be no committee organized to see how to have the work done. Oh no! all the appointments were made by Jehovah. If we had been there, we should have seen the wise- and willing-hearted women spinning and weaving the textile fabrics; the workers of wood preparing the boards and the furniture; the workers of brass, silver, and gold, doing their work; and we should have seen Bezaleel moving about among them daily, superintending all, assisted by Aholiab, of the tribe of Dan. Is he not a type of the more public gifts in the church of God? He was to assist Bezaleel to teach the wise-hearted; but he was of the tribe of Dan, the son of a handmaid. Here we discover the blessed ways of grace-grace delighting to reach the lowest and put them into the highest place: and now, conscious of the grace bestowed upon him, how exceedingly careful Aholiab would be to instruct aright! If they asked about anything concerning the work, would he give them his opinion?  Oh no! but the specification would be referred to at once, and read with the greatest care. There was no room for dispute; all had to submit to Jehovah's directions.

If the word of God had been followed in all Christian work from the beginning, what spiritual power would have been manifested in and through the Church the whole way down! but, alas, alas, men's opinions have been brought in, and now, how few are going by the book!

Fifth, - They were indefatigable workers. They did not grow weary of the work; weary in the work they may have been, but they were all at it, and always at it; for Jehovah's sanctuary must be finished. They could look up to the top of Mount Sinai and see there the cloud o~ glory-Jehovah's dwelling-place; they knew He was waiting for His dwelling-place in their midst to be finished, so that He might be near them and have them gathered about Himself. How these wise-hearted workers looked forward with intense joy to the time when Jehovah's sanctuary would be completed, accepted, and filled with the glory of His presence! Time flew rapidly, and at the end of nine months all was done. What busy months those were, yet what joy in all this service of love! May we learn a lesson from these workers, and "not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Gal. 6:9.)

Sixth,-They went to Moses for all the material. "And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal." (Exod. 36:3.) All, all had to be obtained from Moses; day after day they had to go to him. Oh, what a lesson for all who are engaged in the Lord's work! Are we going continually to the blessed Lord for the right material for His house? Do we go to Him for the right word to be spoken at the right time and in the right spirit? A word thus spoken will prove to be the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT. "A word fitly spoken (or, upon wheels, margin) is like apples of gold in pictures. of silver." (Prov. 25:11.) A child of God, staying a few days at a quiet summer resort in England, noticed a fine looking young man, who bore the marks of a dissipated life, sauntering through the grounds. It was laid on her heart to speak to him about his soul; but being of a retiring nature, she failed to do so. Later she left the place, and some time after was engaged in the Lord's work in London, when one day she met the young man on the street. Again the Spirit urged her to speak; but she felt that she could not, and she went to her room very sad. The next day she purposed in her heart to go down the same street at the same time. She did so, and there came the same person. She looked to the Lord for the right word, but her courage failed; yet, as she was passing him, she quoted one passage of Scripture. It was a word upon wheels, entered his heart and brought him to Christ.

Seventh, -When all the work was completed, they brought it to Moses, that he might examine it; and when he had examined it with care, and accepted it, he blessed them. What a sight, to see all those wise- and willing-hearted workers standing there to have their works examined, and then to receive a blessing from Moses!

In I Corinthians, chapter iii., we have three classes of workers :-First,-Those who build gold, silver, and precious stones,-works that stand the test of the fire of His holiness. His all-seeing eye will examine everything: there will be no respect of persons then; all will be carried on according to the principle of divine righteousness.

Second,-Those who build wood, hay, and stubble; whose works are not accepted, but burned up. It is not the quantity of work we do for the Lord, but the quality,-what we are doing. Are we doing it with an eye single to His glory? Are we going by His word? have we, as Jesus had, "Thus saith the Lord"? He is our pattern to go by, and He has set us an example in this as in everything else. The word of God is our specifications: are we going by them, seeking, not the praise of men, but the smile of the Lord? His approval, His "Well done," will be worth more than all the world can give.

Third,-The one whose work destroys the temple of God; and him shall God destroy.

In which of these classes, dear reader, will you be? One is saved, and gets a reward; the second is saved, but suffers loss by not adhering strictly to both the pattern and the book; the third is destroyed, banished from God's presence forever, being an unsaved man, trafficking in divine things and defiling the temple of God with deadly errors.

The end is near; the review-day is at hand, when we shall leave the workroom and stand before the judgment-seat of Christ-when He will examine all we have done; when the very smallest piece of work done for His glory will be noticed, and the worker receive his reward.


Back to Index         Back to Material Index            Home FBI