“The Love Of Christ Jesus”/The Great Cathedrals

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

I recently watched a Nova Presentation on “Building the Great Cathedrals”.  They ask “How did the medieval engineers construct magnificent skyscrapers of stone and glass?  Aired October 5, 2011.

Notre Dame de ParisDuomo di Milano, Northwest view

Notre Dame de Paris and Duomo di Milano northwest view

  Carved from 100 million pounds of stone, some cathedrals now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse.  From the moment they appear in Europe, about a thousand years ago, they spark an intense rivalry between cities. They consume the labor of entire towns, sometimes taking a hundred years to build. With just hand tools and stone, master craftsmen find ways to defy gravity, pushing to greater and greater heights.  What pushed cathedral builders to such dangerous heights? Experts explore a radical new theory: medieval builders used sacred numbers from the Bible as a blueprint.  Amazingly, Gothic engineers built thin, super-tall walls, made, not of stone, but mostly of glass. And somehow, these walls of windows support towering ceilings of stone. How did medieval builders pull off such a dramatic transformation?  Taller than the ancient pyramids in Egypt, large enough to hold the Statue of Liberty; a hundred million pounds of stone, seemingly weightless, yet as heavy as the Empire State Building. This is a revolution in building: Gothic cathedrals.

Medieval glass builders construct a kaleidoscope of colors, from which they create enormous, intricately detailed stained glass windows like never before.  These walls of glass depict narratives from the Bible, like Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  At Notre Dame of Paris, perhaps the best-known Gothic cathedral, Stefaan van Liefferinge, a physicist turned art historian, uses a laser scanner to investigate.  He measures the height of the church’s two levels. Each measures 32.8 feet. But medieval builders used a different unit of measurement.  If you translate it in Royal feet, which is the medieval unit, then that would be about thirty Royal feet for the lower level, and thirty Royal feet for the higher level.  The combined height is 60 Royal feet. These figures, 30 and 60, are strangely familiar to van Liefferinge. At one of France’s oldest libraries, the Bibliotèque Mazarine, he searches a medieval book written by the priest in charge of building Notre Dame.   What we have here is a manuscript from the turn of the 12th century which is a text that was composed by the chancellor of Notre Dame, Peter Comestor.   Called the Historia Scholastica, the priest wrote this book during the cathedral’s construction. He fixates on a passage in the Old Testament: a detailed description of the Temple of Solomon, in Jerusalem, which the Bible refers to as God’s house on Earth. Here, van Liefferinge finds an intriguing clue.  (Translating from Latin): “It was thirty cubits high, up to the first floor, upon which a second dwelling was built up to the second floor, also of thirty cubits.  This manuscript reveals that, to the builders of Notre Dame, the dimensions of Solomon’s Temple were profoundly important: 30 cubits to the first level, and 60 cubits to the second level. These numbers are built into Notre Dame.

In an age when few people can read and write, stained glass windows become the multimedia stories of their day, the Bible written in light.  These vast spaces, surrounded by towering walls of colored light, lifted medieval minds out of the dirt and darkness of daily life, creating an otherworldly experience.  What would have impressed an ordinary visitor the most is the incredible size and scale. They would hear the Mass performed, experience all the sights the sounds, the aromas of incense.  People could really experience, vicariously, Heaven on Earth.  The purpose of these immense, sacred spaces was spiritual: to bring ordinary people closer to God.

More to come and God Bless You.

 

“The Love Of Christ Jesus”/Worship In The Earthly Tabernacle

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

“Worship In The Earthly Tabernacle”, Acts 9:1) Then verily the first Covenant had also ordinances of Divine Service, and a worldly Sanctuary.  2) For there was a Tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread; which is called the Sanctuary (or Holy).  3) And after the second veil, the Tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;  Exodus 40:3.  4) Which had the golden censer, and the Ark of the Covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the Covenant;  Exodus 25:16; Deuteronomy 10:2, 5.  5) And over it the Cherubims (Angels) of Glory shadowing the mercy seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.  Leviticus 16:2.  6) Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first Tabernacle, accomplishing the Service of God Daniel 8:11.  7) But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:  Exodus 30:10.  8) The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the Holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first Tabernacle was yet standing:  9) Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts, and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;  10) Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.  Leviticus 11:25; Ephesians 2:15. 

Quest Study Bible – v2-4, Tabernacle.  Read more about the Tabernacle in Exodus 25-27.  v4-5, Ark of the Covenant.  Read more about the Ark in Exodus 25:10-22.  v9, What good were sacrifices that didn’t clear the worshiper’s conscience?  The Old Testament sacrifices had value, even though they could not permanently relieve a person’s conscience.  First, the loss of life and blood pointed to the awful consequences of sin.  Second, the sacrifices underscored the Holiness and Justice of God.  Finally, the sacrifices affirmed the worshiper’s faith in the True God.  The Israelite’s sacrifices helped set them apart from their pagan neighbors as God’s people.

More to come and God Bless You.         

“The Love of Christ Jesus”/The High Priest of A New Covenant

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

<p>”The High Priest of A New Covenant”, Acts 8:1) Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum:  We have such an High Priest, Who is set on the right hand of the Majesty in the Heavens; Colossians 3:1. 2) A Minister of the Sanctuary, and of the True Tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. 3) For every High Priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this Man have somewhat also to offer. Ephesians 5:2. 4) For if He were on earth, He should not be a Priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5) Who serve unto the example and shadow of Heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the Tabernacle: for, See, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. Exodus 25:40; Numbers 8:4. 6) But now hath He obtained a more excellent Ministry, by how much also He is the Mediator of a better Covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7) For if that first Covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8) For finding fault with them He saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new Covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah: Jeremiah 31:33. 9) Not according to the Covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them our of the land of Egypt, because they continued not in My Covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10) For this is the Covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days, saith the Lord, I will put My Laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people: Genesis 17:7; Jeremiah 24:7. 11) And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 1John 2:27. 12) For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13) In that He saith, A New Covenant, He hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Bible Commentary – v1-6, The substance, or summary, of what had been declared was, that Christians had such a High Priest as they needed. He took upon Himself human nature, appeared on earth, and there gave Himself as a sacrifice to God for the sins of His people. We must not dare to approach God, or to present any thing to Him, but in and through Christ. In all obedience and worship, we should keep close to God’s Word, which is the only and perfect standard. Christ is the substance and end of the law of righteousness (*Old Testament). But the Covenant here referred to, was that made with Israel as a nation, securing temporal (limited) benefits to them. The promises of all spiritual blessings, and of Eternal Life, revealed in the Gospel and made sure through Christ, are of infinitely greater value. v7-13, The superior excellence of the Priesthood of Christ, above that of Aaron, is shown from that Covenant of Grace, of which Christ was Mediator. The law not only made all subject to it, liable to be condemned for the guilt of sin, but also was unable to remove that guilt, and clear the conscience from the sense and terror of it. Whereas by the Blood of Christ, a full remission of sins was provided, so that God would remember them no more. A plentiful outpouring of the Spirit of God will make the ministration of the Gospel so effectual, that there shall be a mighty increase and spreading of Christian knowledge in all persons. The pardon of sin will always be found to accompany the true knowledge of God. All worldly vanities, outward privileges, or mere notions of religion, will soon vanish away, and leave those who trust in them miserable for ever. Amen.

“It Is Well With My Soul”, Sovereign Grace Music. Beautiful!

“The Love of Christ Jesus”/Jesus Like Melchisedec

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

Still listening to Patti Labelle sing Gospel songs. Wonderful.

“Jesus Like Melchisedec”, Acts 7:11) If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,)  what further need was there that another Priest should rise after the Order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the Order of Aaron?  12) For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.  13) For He of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.  14) For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.  Isaiah 11:1.  15) And it is yet far more evident:  for that after the similitude (similarity) of Melchisedec there ariseth another Priest,  16) Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment but after the power of an endless life.  17) For He testifieth, Thou art a Priest for ever after the Order of Melchisedec.  Psalm 110:4.  18) For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.  19) For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better Hope did, by the which we draw nigh unto God.  Acts 13:39.  20) And inasmuch as not without an oath He was made Priest:  21) (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by Him that said unto Him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a Priest for ever after the Order of Melchisedec:)  22) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better Testament.  23) And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death;  24) But this Man, because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable Priesthood.  John 12:34.  25) Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost (evermore) that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make Intercession for them.  26) For such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the Heavens;  Ephesians 1:20.  27) Who needeth not daily as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s:  for this He did once, when He offered up Himself.  Romans 6:10.  28) For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity, but the Word of the Oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is Consecrated (Perfected) for Evermore.    

Matthew Henry’s Concise Bible Commentary – v11-25, The priesthood and law by which perfection could not come, have been done away; a Priest is risen, and a dispensation (a meting out) now set up, by which true Believers may be made perfect.  That there is such a change is plain.  The law which made the Levitical priesthood, showed that the priests were frail, dying creatures, not able to save their own lives, much less able to save the souls of those who came to them.  But the High Priest of our profession holds His Office by the power of endless life in Himself; to give spiritual and eternal life to all who rely upon His Sacrifice and Intercession.  This is the Believer’s safety and happiness, that this everlasting High Priest is able to save to the uttermost, in all times, in all cases.  v26-28, Observe the description of the Holiness of Christ.  No sin dwells in Him, though such dwells in the best of Christians.  He is harmless, free from all transgression; He did no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth.  He is undefiled.  None need be dismayed who come to God in the name of His Beloved Son.  Let them be assured that He will deliver them in the time of trial and suffering, in the time of prosperity (that it not separate us from Christ), in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment. 

Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v13, 14, He of whom these things are spoken is the Lord, who arose from another tribe –Judah.  According to the Law, the tribe of Judah had nothing to do with the priesthood.   The argument hinges on Psalm 110:4 and 5:6.  Amen.

More to come and God Bless You. 

“The Love of Christ Jesus”/Melchisedec The Priest

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

“Walk Around Heaven”, Patti Labelle.  Wonderful!

“Melchisedec The Priest”, Acts 7:1) For this Melchisedec, King of Salem, Priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;  2) To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of Righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of Peace;  3) Without father, without mother, without descent (pedigree), having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a Priest continually.  Genesis 14:18-20.  4) Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.  Genesis 14:20.  5) And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:  Numbers 18:21.  6) But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.  7) And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.  8) And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.  9) And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.  10) For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. 

Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v1, 2, The mention of Melchisedec recalls the author’s reference to this ancient Priest in 5:10, 11.  Melchisedec, was both a King and a Priest, a common combination in ancient times.  Salem was later renamed Jerusalem.  The name Melchisedec, means King of Righteousness.  The word Salem means peace.  The ideal king rules in righteousness, which assures peace (Isaiah 32:17).  v3, without father…mother…genealogy (descent):  Genesis, a book with many genealogies, has none for Melchisedec.  The author is not saying that Melchisedec was born without a father and mother, only that there is no record of his birth.  This description of Melchisedec prefigures the eternal Priesthood of Jesus.  Like Melchisedec, Jesus is both a King and a Priest.  v4-7, Melchisedec was great because Abraham gave him a tithe.  In the Greek text the word patriarch is emphatic.  The greatness of Abraham, the one who possessed the promises of God (v6), underscores the even greater rank of Melchisedec, the Priest of Righteousness. v8-10, Melchisedec was not only superior to Abraham, he was superior to the Levitical priesthood in two ways.  First, the Levitical priests were mortal–they died; and thus different priests represented the people at different times.  Melchisedec lives.  The Old Testament does not record his death (v3).  Second, in a sense; Levi paid tithes to Melchisedec through Abraham’s gift.  So to speak, indicates that Levi, who was not yet born, did not literally pay tithes.  However, because he descended from Abraham, he is counted as having paid tithes to Melchisedec as well.

More to come and God Bless You.     

“The Love of Christ Jesus”/The Certainty of God’s Promise

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

“The Certainty of God’s Promise”, Acts 6:13) For when God made promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, He sware by Himself,  Genesis 22:16.  14) Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.  15) And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the Promise.  16) For men verily swear by the greater:  and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.  Exodus 22:11.  17) Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath:  Job 23:13; James 1:17.   18) That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:  Isaiah 27:5.  19) Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereh into that within the veil;  Leviticus 16:15.   20) Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an High Priest for ever after the Order of Melchisedec. 

Quest Study Bible – v13, Why would God have to swear by Himself?  To reassure Abraham, God swore an oath to show His determination to fulfill His Promise (v14).  v13, If God swore an oath, should we?  Some oaths are wrong because they trivialize the things of God while trying to validate words that may be insincere (Mathew 5:34-37; James 5:12).  But some oaths can be good when they demonstrate the intensity of a sincere promise or vow to do something.  v18, Two immutable or unchanging things:  (1) God’s promise and (2) His Oath (v13).  They were originally given for Abraham’s benefit.  But Believers in Christ today have experienced the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham (v14)—because people of faith are themselves part of the fulfillment; they are the many descendants of Abraham (Galatians 3:29).  

Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v15, Abraham is an example of faith and patience in God’s promise (v12).  He waited 25 years from the time the promise was first made until Isaac, the promised son, was born (Genesis 12:4; 21:5). 

John Gill”s Exposition of the Bible – v19, Which [hope] we have as an anchor of the soul.  This world is as a sea; the Church in it, and so every believer, is as a ship; the port that is bound unto is Heaven; Christ is the pilot, and Hope is the anchor: an anchor is cast on a bottom, out of sight; but is of no service without a cable: and when cast aright, keeps the ship steady: so hope is cast on Christ; whence He is often called Hope itself, because He is the ground and foundation of it.  both sure and steadfast; Grace, firm and stable; by virtue of what it is fixed upon, the person, blood, and righteousness of Christ; and by the immutability, faithfulness, and power of God.  and which entereth into that within the veil;   the Holy of Holies, Heaven itself; in allusion to the veil which divided between the Holy and the Holy of Holies: the things within the veil, or in Heaven, which Hope fixes upon, are the person of Christ, who is entered there, and appears in the presence of God for His people.  v20, Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, Christ had a race to run, which lay in going about to heal diseases, in preaching the Gospel, in obeying the law, and in suffering death for His people; which race was run by Him with great swiftness, strength, and courage, with patience, cheerfulness, and joy, and is now ended; as appears from the accomplishment of Salvation, from His entrance into Heaven, and session at the right hand of God; from the Glorification of His human nature, and its everlasting freedom from the dominion of death: as a “forerunner”; Christ is the most excellent.  He has entered into Heaven first by His own blood; and has cleared the way and opened the Gates of Heaven for His people.  made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec;  means “King of Righteousness”.  He, Melchisedec, appears suddenly in Genesis 14:18 as “Priest of the Most High God.”  This unique Priesthood was later applied to Christ (Hebrews 5:6, 7).  Amen.  

“The Love of Christ Jesus”/Warning Against Falling Away, cont’d

A Christ Filled Life-Getting To Know Jesus

 “Warning Against Falling Away” cont’d, Acts 16:1) Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,  2) Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.  3) And this will we do, if God permit.  1Corinthians 4:19.  4) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,  5) And have tasted the Good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come,  6) If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.  Hebrews 10:29.  7) For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by (or for) whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:  8) But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.  9) But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.  10) for God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward His Name, in that ye have ministered to the Saints, and do minister.  Matthew 10:42.  11) And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:  Colossians 2:2.  12) That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 

John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible – v1, Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ The Gospel is the doctrine of Christ, and is so called, because Christ, as God, is the Author of it.  This is the easier part of the Gospel, called milk in the latter part of the preceding chapter. Let us go on to perfection:

Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v1-3, The author urges the readers of his letter to leave the basics and go on to perfection, meaning “maturity” .  He lists six items in three couplets that he calls the elementary principles of Christ;  (1) Repentance form dead works refers to a change of mind from the law of Moses (9:14), the Law was good but weak because of our sinful nature (Romans 8:3).  (2) What is needed for salvation is our faith directed toward God(3) Baptism refers to the New Testament (Baptism of Christ, John, and the Believers).  (4) In the Book of Acts, the laying on of hands was used to impart the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:17, 18; 19:6). And for ordination for ministry (Acts 6:6; 13:3).  (5) Resurrection from the dead refers to all people at the end times (Revelation 20:11-15).  (6) Eternal Judgment refers to the belief that everyone will be judged by the Great Judge.  Scripture indicates that there will be two judgments: one for Believers and one for unbelievers (Revelations 20:11-15). 

Matthew Henry’s Concise Bible Commentary – v4-8, The falling away here mentioned, is an open and avowed renouncing of Christ, from enmity of heart against Him, His cause, and people, by men approving in their minds the deeds of His murderers and all this after they have received the knowledge of the Truth and tasted some of its comforts.  Of these it is said, that it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance.   v9-12,   The works of love, done for the glory of Christ or done to His Saints for Christ’s sake are evident marks of a man’s salvation.  The hope here meant, is looking for good things promised, with love, desire, and valuing of them.  These promises of God may safely be depended upon; for it is impossible for God to lie.  Amen.

More to come and God Bless You.