the Book of the NEW MAN in Christ
“Verse by verse” the deeper meaning of this Bible-book,
explained in the light of the Israeli Tabernacle
The life in ‘the holy of holies’ of the marriage child of God
The life of the bride of Christ will be in deep and perfect UNION with God
We must view this chapter in the light of the Ark of the Covenant (also called the Covenant chest) which stood in the Holiest of holy of the Israeli Tabernacle. The lid of the Ark (or chest) is called the “mercy seat”, where also the two cherubim (statues of angels) stood. This lid with the two cherubim was formed from one lump of pure gold. The two cherubim and the mercy seat are symbolic for our almighty God. The mercy seat as the type for the Son and the two cherubim as the type for the Father and the Holy Spirit. This lid forms a complete and well-closing unity with the chest itself, which, although made of acacia wood, was covered with leaf gold; which points towards the Bride(church) of Christ; who seen from the outside is living in deep and perfect union with God in His threefold revelation. It is a union which is emphasized by the two stone tablets of the law, the ten commandments (type for the inward workings of the justice of the Father-God); and the gold cruse with manna (type for the inward workings of the mercy of the Son of God); and also Aaron’s staff, which had budded (type for the inward workings of the omnipotent union with the Holy Spirit of God), which were in the Covenant chest. These three objects depict the deep inner union of the Bride with the almighty God. A description of these are to be found in Exodus 25:10-22 and Hebrews 9:3-5. It is like the Word says in Matthew 9:15 that we must live in this dark world as “children of the Bride chamber” (literal translation from the Greek), namely in absolute union with Him alone!
Christ, the High Priest, lives in deep and perfect UNION with the Father, and acts exclusively after the will of His Father
LUKE 20 verse 1-8, “And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders, And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority? And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not? But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet. And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was. And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.”
In the previous chapter we saw Jesus, urged by the holy (and purifying) fire of His Father, cleanse the temple of the Jews – because they, by their (unholy) desires for material gain, traded even in the temple, thus in God’s house – in order to restore this temple in its original purpose, that it be a house of prayer again.
In this temple He clearly acted as someone with power, much to the irritation of those who had the leadership. In their eyes Jesus’ behavior was very inappropriate. The piqued and furious chief priests and elders, who had ignored this trade, and who most probably profited from it themselves, demanded that the Lord Jesus give them an explanation of His behavior; they wished to know who had given Him the authority for this action. The Lord, however, only was willing to answer their question if they would answer His counter-question. He associated the problem raised by them with the baptism of John. For, if they believed this baptism to be of God, then they would also heed what took place at Jesus’ water baptism, whereby a voice from heaven testified: “Thou art my beloved Son, in Thee I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22). Then they would have known that He acted in the authority of His heavenly Father. But, because of their cunning considerations, of which we read in above (bible)verses, they said: “We do not know whence this is (viz. the baptism of John)”. Therefore the Savior did not inform these (spiritually) digressed leaders either that the fire of God’s holy wrath urged Him thereto.
Our Savior had (and has) no other desire than to always live in deep and perfect union with the Father. “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me (i.e. who partakes of the holy Supper [symbol of the eating (sharing) His flesh and blood], whereby we acknowledge to also want to die to our old, earthly-minded life), even he shall live by me” (read John 6:57-58). The same way we are to live in deep and perfect union with our Lord Jesus.
The Lord Jesus lived in such deep dependence on the Father that He testified: “…The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (John 5:19b). “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:30). “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38). So, too, are we to live; in the same dependence and servitude to our Lord Jesus Christ. Never should our will be done, but always His!
God’s laborers must serve Him in deep union with, and devotion to Him and in His (perfect) love
Jesus wanted (and still wants) all God’s laborers to work with the same love, devotion and sense of unity as His. How far from this perfect image, however, were the spiritual leaders in Jesus’ days! He showed their deep (spiritual) deterioration, their works full of egocentric motivations and their rebellion against God in the following parable.
LUKE 20 verse 9-17, “Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time. And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him. But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid. And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone (symbol for Jesus) which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner (viz. an indispensable cornerstone)?”
These (spiritually) digressed laborers of God’s vineyard served themselves instead of the Lord. They wanted to profit (a lot) from their “religious” labor. They passed over the most important goal, namely to bring people to repentance, subjection and obedience to God; and instead thereof they pursued selfish goals, such as material gain and power, a good position, honor and applause among their fellow believers.
They silenced the prophets which were sent by God in a despicable manner! And finally they crucified God’s only Son, God had sent them! Therefore God took away His “vineyard” (here: His work field) from them, and brought them into judgment. Because of this judgment (a.o.) Jerusalem was destroyed and burned by the Roman armies. Many of them were killed, or sold as slaves and banished from their home and land. Palestine (present-day Israel) was to be trodden upon (and thus taken possession of) by the gentiles through the ages, until the time of the end of this present world…
God then gave His “vineyard” to His people, (spiritually) born of the gentiles, from all the nations of this world, among which also the ten “lost tribes” were and still are (see note 1 on page 3). These new people He made into a Dwelling Place of God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:22), of which He is the Cornerstone (verse 17) and the Foundation, upon which this spiritual building rests. In other words: He was able to have a relationship with these people, in such a way that He has been able to live and work in and through them. And when the Jews would repent they would be added unto them (Romans 11:11-29).
LUKE 20 verse 18, “Whosoever shall fall upon that stone (symbol for Jesus) shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”
Whosoever does not accept the Son of God, will stumble on Him, on this “Stone”; that person will come under the crushing judgment of God! And when God’s judgment falls on them, then He will (have to) crush them! “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!” (Hebrews 10:31), “for our God is a consuming fire!” (Hebrews 12:29). But this same fire of God can cleanse us (completely), and is merciful to all them who truly repent unto Him and who, by faith in Him, give themselves over to Him, to from then on live in deep union with Him, and to serve Him sincerely. That our spirit always serve Him and be devoted to Him!
By E. van den Worm
If you want, see also the ‘verse by verse’ study of: