By Gene Cloer

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The Hebrew writer in commenting on this and Moses' strict following of the orders for the building of the Tabernacle says, " This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: "See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain." (Heb. 8:5, NIV). In this same verse, the reason is given for the care, that must be exercised in the building of the Tabernacle, according to a strict pattern. The priests served "at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven." (V. 5a). If the Tabernacle is to be a "copy or a shadow of what is in heaven" then, perhaps, we can see why God wanted it to be exact. That quotation in Hebrews is taken from God's own words in Exodus 25:40.

But why the extreme care that must be taken to be sure it is done in a specific way? Why not allow Moses and the workmen some leeway in constructing the Tabernacle? Are there lessons that we can learn today from this example?

Surely there are lessons to be learned! But the primary lesson that must be drawn from this illustration is the fact that God expects obedience to His commands. When God gave the New Covenant He expected that we follow that explicitly. Christianity is not a cafeteria kind of religion where you can go by the serving table and select that which suits you best. We are not at liberty to fashion the Word of God to our liking. We must instead be, "transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2). Man is not God. God's "Thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord." (Isaiah 55:8, NIV). We do know that "a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23, NIV). Therefore it is of the utmost importance that we follow the instructions that God has given.

We often times see those today who attempt to fashion their own way of salvation. Why not study the Bible and speak where it speaks? The New Testament teaches a simple and plain way of salvation. John 8:24 "If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." The simple fact of believing that Jesus is the Son of God starts us on our way of salvation. Jesus also says, "I tell you no, but unless you repent you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:5). The declaration of Jesus is so plain; it is repent or perish. So then we must add to our belief in Jesus, a repentance of our sins. And in Matthew 10:32 "Whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven." So now we must add to that faith and repentance, confession. Romans 10:10 "For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." And again Jesus tells us in Mark 16:16, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." Faith, repentance, confession and baptism make up the plan that God has given.

"See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you..." That can apply to salvation as well as the construction of the Tabernacle. If God expected that strict observance of His laws then, will He not also do so today? And if so, is it possible to be saved in some way other than that which God has clearly given in His word?

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