Nov. 7, 2016

According to the pattern of heaven

Hebrews 8 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; so it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer. Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, “See,” He says, “that you make all things according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.” But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.

For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. For finding fault with them, He says,

“Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, When I will effect a new covenant With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers On the day when I took them by the hand To lead them out of the land of Egypt; For they did not continue in My covenant, And I did not care for them, says the Lord. 10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, And I will write them on their hearts. And I will be their God, And they shall be My people. 11 “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ For all will know Me, From the least to the greatest of them. 12 “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more.”

13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.


Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, “See,” He says, “that you make all things according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.”      That is a principle that we should apply in respect to all things here on earth. Earthly things are to be made in the form of heavenly things. Jesus taught us to pray: “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”    We should view the world from the perspective of heaven. In Isaiah 6:1-3, we read the account of the prophet’s vision of heaven and the throne of God:        In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”       From the perspective of heaven, the Seraphim saw the whole earth as being full of the glory of God. From an earthly perspective, things on earth were a mess. That’s why Isaiah was being called as a prophet to the people. Far too often, we tend to view the things of heaven from our earthly perspective. We question or even judge God’s love, His righteousness and His justice because of the conditions and circumstances here on earth. God is not to blame for the evil wrought by man. It is not God’s fault that there is war, violence, abuse etc. throughout the world. From the beginning God gave man dominion over the earth. Genesis 1:26-31 says:   Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.       God created man in His image and likeness. He gave man dominion, authority to rule over the earth. From the beginning the prayer Jesus taught us was to be lived out, the earth was to be like heaven, the kingdom of heaven here on earth. Psalm 115:16 says: The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, But the earth He has given to the sons of men.      Man, not God, is responsible for the evil in the world. We have failed to exercise our dominion and authority in a God like way.

This flawed view, this reversed perspective, judging God by earthly standards rather than aligning our standards and perspective to heaven, also causes many people to misinterpret other things. For instance, many people who have had a bad experience with their earthly fathers, view God, the heavenly Father the same way. They fear that He will hurt them, abuse or neglect them. They feel that there is almost no way they could ever please God, because they were rejected, not good enough for their earthly father. Earthly fathers are to be a representation of the love, the compassion and the nurturing heart of God. Unfortunately most fathers, like us all: have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) In God’s will every human relationship would be modeled after God’s relationship with us. In Ephesians 6:1-10, Paul describes what these relationships would look like according to the heavenly model. When we look at any or all of the things that have been broken, neglected and destroyed at the hands of men and try to hold God responsible, we view things wrongly. Truly, from the perspective of heaven, both heaven and earth are full of the glory of God.

Since man has fallen and failed in properly exercising our dominion here on earth, how are we to live and be the answer to the prayer Jesus taught us, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven? How are we to bring the realities of heaven here to earth, rather than allowing the world to view heaven through its own darkness? Today’s text saysHe (Jesus) is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.    From the time of creation, up until the time of Christ, man was unable to live according to the standards of God. The covenant relationship God had with people up to that time was based on the actions of the people. In Deuteronomy 30:15-20 God says “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity;  in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it.  But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them,  I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it.  I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,  by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him”     Because man was unable to live according to the standards of God and so experienced the curse rather than the blessing, Jesus came to enact a new and better covenant for us. Luke 22:20 says:  And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”      Because man was unable to live rightly and righteously, Jesus became our righteousness. Through the finished work of the cross, through His blood, He took away the curse redeemed man from sin and restored all things to the way God intended. In Matthew 28:18 Jesus says:  “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”  This authority which has been given to Him, all authority in heaven and on earth, He also has given to us.  In Matthew 16:18-19 Jesus says:   “upon this rock (the revelation that Jesus is the Christ) I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”

Jesus has been given all authority, in heaven and on earth. Through the finished work of the cross, through the revelation that He is the Christ, through our believing, He gives us that authority, the authority to bind and loose in heaven and on earth. May we as Jesus taught us get it right, may it be on earth as it is in heaven.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. In my life and through my life may I see and be the reality of heaven, here on earth; In Jesus name, through the finished work of the cross.    Amen