ReNEWed COVENANT Ministry
SABBATH BIBLE STUDY
Compiled by JS LOWTHER
(continuation from: A Community of Election and Order)
The Sanctuary and the State
Honor (value) thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which YHWH thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head,
and honor the face of the old man/ Presbyter (πρεσβυτερων),
and fear thy God: I am YHWH.
(G4245 Presbyter: (elderly); older, old one)
Num_7:1 And it came to pass on the day that Moses had fully set up the tabernacle, and had anointed it, and sanctified it, and all the instruments thereof, both the altar and all the vessels thereof, and had anointed them, and sanctified them;
Num 7:2 That the princes of Israel, heads of the house of their fathers, who were the princes of the tribes, and were over them that were numbered, offered:
Num 7:3 And they brought their offering before the LORD, six covered wagons, and twelve oxen; a wagon for two of the princes, and for each one an ox: and they brought them before the tabernacle.
Because in this history of the applied Law we can see the Sanctuary working with the Episcopate government as it was selected from the Elders or Presbytery in the Numbering or Oversight process of the whole of the people, and here we see also the function of the Princes starting the system with their offerings in a worshipful orderly fashion.
These men were the bearers of the offering of the people as they brought the sacrifices, freewill offerings and gift of the their whole tribe as they have orderly given to ever ones respective Head of house, Head of Family, Head of kindred and Head of Tribe all heads of State and of Government with in the Church Calling. And at this point in history we see the harmony of this order as it is a testimony to the eternal truth of God’s Law.
Let us see a later example of this system at a functional point in Israel’s government, yet at a tattered point in the Nation’s history B.C. 726-698 at this time much apostasy from the true Sanctuary worship had occurred:
God had already punished Israel several time by scattering them by use of the Heathen armies, Northern Israel who had followed the State ordained sanctuary and replaced the Called of God / the Church with the call of the King Jeroboam who also took unto himself the right of Law, by ordaining (like Aaron in Ex 32) New times for the festivals, another golden calf the addition to Aaron’s Heresy the ordination of Priests of the lowest of the people that were not of the son’s of Levi. The Nation of N. Israel who followed this heretical system of worship had been rightly punished and banished from the Promised Land as a collective people in fulfillment of the curses of the law, most having been carried into Assyria and Medo-Persia and eventually to people the continent of Europe and Eurasia, this captivity only left a few diverse people of various tribes without formal government in the land that was once N. Israel.
N. Israel and her abandoned people were likened in that day to today’s European Nations , as well as Europa’s sons and Daughters: America, Australia and s. Africa as we see them as destroyed Nations in terms of Government. individual families are struggling, from the cohesive nuclear families to those extended families we see little to no unity of those people binding together as one man, and worship by any lawful standard is ignorant.
Even the Church that was after the Reformation that was Reborn in Europe suffers this very day like the people of the time after the captivities of N. Israel and Judah.
While I know I stand as a voice alone in the wilderness on this issue, I stand of Scripture Alone in saying Europa’s Reformed children are vanquished for 1 primary reason: their lack of faith in the Law of God as it was delivered to Moses in revelation of the Grace and truth that comes by Jesus Christ Alone. On this Mater of defining Church Government from the Law and not from the New Testament Scripture and reason only, and by abandoning Church Government as a family institution of faith in conjunction with a Christian Sanctuary as part of a ceremonial law system so named by the dictates of man and not God. To hasty were our Reformed Fathers in abandoning parts of the law of God and relegating them to allegorical principles as to avoid any similarity to the Roman Catholic Church had become an Chink in the Christian armor of the Church.
The armor of God as it protected the Nations of Kindred Europe was exposed to the enemies of God’s Church as they saw the way to allure even the very Elect by means of pride, knowingly or not. Pride, because this nakedness seen under the chink of the Armor of abandoning parts of God’s word as found in his law was even acknowledged and defended with the arm of men in traditional creations, like the use of a dagger rather than by a more ardent use of the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God in defending and offending the opponents of Christ’s Church. So proudly was this Chink aloud to be seen from a distance, those weaker soldiers whose helmet and shield were their only defense eventually became struck and refused to dislodge this fiery dart of the Devil, but rather continued the battle bravely unto their wounds purified in the style of combat we as we have this day.
Sin is a chink in every Christian’s armor, but that chink must be protected by full use of the shield of Faith and the Sword of the Sprit which is the word of God, and that was not done, and it remains undone to our posterities detriment to this day.
It is for this reason I have studied this subject and make it available to my Christian soldiers to consider… you may think this issue is on the back burner of things to do as Christians, but I warn you, this is the putrefying wound of the body.
Turn with me to:
2Ch_30:1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel.
2Ch 30:2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month.
2Ch 30:3 For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.
2Ch 30:4 And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation.
2Ch 30:5 So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written.
2Ch 30:6 So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.
2Ch 30:7 And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see.
2Ch 30:8 Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.
2Ch 30:9 For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.
2Ch 30:10 So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.
2Ch 30:11 Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.
2Ch 30:12 Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the LORD.
2Ch 30:13 And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation. …
2Ch 30:18 For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good LORD pardon every one
2Ch 30:19 That prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.
2Ch 30:20 And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.
2Ch 30:21 And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the LORD.
2Ch 30:22 And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the LORD: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to the LORD God of their fathers.
2Ch 30:23 And the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days: and they kept other seven days with gladness.
2Ch 30:24 For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the congregation a thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep: and a great number of priests sanctified themselves.
2Ch_30:25 And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced.
ABP LXX 2Ch 30:25 And [5was glad 1all 2the 3assemblyG1577 ἐκκλησία 4of Judah], and the priests, and the Levites, and all the assemblyG1577 ἐκκλησία G3588 coming from Israel, and the foreignersG4339 G3588 coming from the land of Israel, and the ones dwelling Judah.
2Ch 30:26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem.
2Ch 30:27 Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling place, even unto heaven.
This section of Israel’s history should make it clear that the church the Ecclesia the called out came to the calling of the assembly, particularly on the 3 times of the year.
This should also cause us to understand the ‘the Sanctuary’ as not being the old testament equivalent of the ‘Church’ because it is a physical representation of a religious in institution, and the ‘representatives’, the ‘public’ or ‘people’ as the ‘state’ because they are non-religious, but rather we have a clear point being made in this reading of the LXX that the Church were those who came to worship and those who heard the call in worship and responded to it, and within that calling certain heads of State as we have identifying as the lawful heads of unites of families : 10-1000’s are the natural familial leaders of the nation as a related ethnic people.
The Sanctuary has its function in leading in worship, preaching and teaching repentance to conform the people to the terms of the Covenant by Faith according to the Law of that Covenant.
The Priests and Levites have but one primary function regardless of time and circumstance: to call the people to repentance by the power of teaching, and in the aid of Judgment when nescassary, but not to rule anyone of the people out side of their own family order.
The Levites and the priests are recognized in God’s Law as ‘the Sanctuary’, they are to focus upon the theology of holiness and teach it to the people staring with there own order from the high-priest or the head of the tribe of Levi down to the regular Levite born into a particular function given to him by God according to the Law of Moses to be applied in the course and order he is appointed to by his families lot.
The Levites did not live in the temple as some fancy mistakenly, only but one month out of the year did a Levite of the lowest task, such as a door keeper, serve in his course in the temple and eat of the temple’s offerings and sacrifices as it was given to him from those priest who ministered to the altar as it is written in the Law of Moses.
But when an individual Levite was not engaged in this service in the sanctuary proper, doing whatever his job was, he was importantly paired as an Officer within a certain gate of one of the cities of the tribes of Israel.
As a matter of fact, one of the first laws to govern justice, in giving what we call sanctuary, in the sense of a safe haven for one who had caused an accidental death, is in the Levitical cities of refuge:
Deu_19:2 Thou shalt separate three cities for thee in the midst of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it. Deu 19:3 Thou shalt prepare thee a way, and divide the coasts of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee thither. and Num_35:6 .
The fulfillment of this and the naming of the first Levitical cities of refuge were recorded in:
Jos_20:9 These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation.
Jos 21:1 Then came near the heads of the fathers of the Levites unto Eleazar the priest, and unto Joshua the son of Nun, and unto the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel;
Jos 21:2 And they spake unto them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, saying, The LORD commanded by the hand of Moses to give us cities to dwell in, with the suburbs thereof for our cattle.
Jos 21:3 And the children of Israel gave unto the Levites out of their inheritance, at the commandment of the LORD, these cities and their suburbs.
This is one of the most fascinating things I had discovered in my studies of God’s Law, was the Justice and systematic workings of all matters pertaining to the establishment of the Land as it is connected to the Nation. An in this case, from the time we first hear of the cities of refuge in Exodus 21:13, we see that it is for the cause of protecting innocent blood, one who kills accidentally that the whole roadway system and division of Israel is established, and it is this place where every Levite finds his more permanent home or inheritance with in a tribe of Israel. (formally the statement concerning Levi that they have “no inheritance” is in reference to a tribal allotment, it is for this cause we read verses like this:
Deu_12:12 And ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God, ye and your sons, and your daughters, and your men-servants and your maid-servants, and the Levite that is at your gates; because he has no portion or inheritance with you.
As not every Levite or every Israelite from every city or suburb would be present in Jerusalem or Shiloh for every holy convocation: that is Sabbath, New Moon or Feast
Laws speak on this wise:
Deu_12:19 Take heed to thyself that thou do not desert the Levite all the time that thou livest upon the earth.
Deu 12:20 And if the Lord thy God shall enlarge thy borders, as he said to thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh; if thy soul should desire to eat flesh, thou shalt eat flesh according to all the desire of thy soul.
Deu 12:21 And if the place be far from thee, which the Lord thy God shall choose for himself, that his name be called upon it, then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock which God shall have given thee, even as I commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy cities according to the desire of thy soul.
And so no excuse which exists as to why a people in their respective places with their respective Levites would not keep the Feasts and the holy convocations in worship, even if there is no way to get to the Sanctuary at those times, whereby only certain offerings and sacrifices were totally banned from this local ‘altar’ so to speak as would be carried by the Elder and his Officer and those men who would have need to appear before the Lord YHWH at the Sanctuary, retaining it as the capital of federal worship to be appeared before no less than 3 times in a year: at the times of the Feast of unleavened bread, the feast of weeks and the feast of tabernacles with the other needed representatives of the families and kindred’s of the tribe for the giving of the sacrifices and offerings, for general worship in holy convocation, and for the appointed time of appointed ‘Judges and Officers’ according to :
Deu_16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:
Deu 16:17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.
Deu_16:18 Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment.
This Law teaches us the uttermost importance of the festivals and a unified calendar on a national level as it not only pertains to government and its conventions, but as it pertains to government and it’s worship at Holy Convocations, where in we read in scripture how the Sabbath and holy convocations are the times of the high worship, where are the feast week will also serve as times of convention in some capacity determined by the priest hood and heads of state, perhaps the princes of the tribes.
We see this type of use being instrumental in the Reforming and re-covenanting of the righteous kings of Judah: Josiah, Hezekiah, well as in the building of the temple under Ezra and Nehemiah where in the Holy Days and feasts are used to gather the people to teach them the Law which brings about repentance by force of the Gospel, particularly.
So it is seen by reading biblical history, that even after the king of Israel was taken of the son’s of David there existed a separation of the Sanctuary from the Church State, while both are members to the church, the called out of the Nation to hear the word of the Lord pertains only to those of faith.
Before moving on, I want to point something out on this level of separation that the Levites within individual gates would help the people and the Overseer or Episcope with, regardless of his rank 10, 50, 100, 1000 as a judge working right beside his Officer or grammatas Levite to properly give the LORD YHWH his due from the people and is thus a matter of worship to be noticed as an example:
The Overseer’s job was to Judge the people numbered to his unite, enumerate those same people’s offerings and gifts, which must eventually go to the Sanctuary and not to the local altar of the Levitical city.
But it was the Levites job to help the Overseer in judgment and to call the people to repentance by the teaching of the Law’s justice and goodness, and Sanctification, as the assayer of all things holy to appear before the Sanctuary, as it would be there that the people :
Deu 12:6-8 … shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks: And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God…
(see also Lev_23:38; Num_29:39)
So it was the Overseer and Officer local Levite that would be involved in this aspect of accounting for this worship as it relates to a matter of holy judgment.
The Overseer’s job was in this to unify his unit, to unite his community and assure that it can interact with the National whole on covenantal / federal matters, but these aspects of sanctification are not his vested responsibility, rather the Local Levites are vested with this responsibly foremost, while the Head of the unite is concerned with his families worship and is working with the Levite but also to check the Levite’s power and the Levite is working with the Head of the unite but to also to check the Head’s power .
A good example where this balance of power can be seen is in the judgment of holy worship:
An Overseer may inquire of the Presbytery of his Unite as to why a offering was not given, and it may reveal poverty, by a poor harvest of grain, oil, wine or a bad breeding year for cattle or poultry, but it could also reveal rebellion against the law of God and against YHWH himself, by either a poor work ethic within the family or of outright rebellion.
In the event of poverty the matter will be judged and satisfied by an alternative offering the law allows such as :
Lev_5:5 And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing:
Lev 5:6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.
Lev 5:7 And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the LORD; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering.
Lev 5:11 But if he be not able to bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, then he that sinned shall bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put any frankincense thereon: for it is a sin offering.
These are the types of matters in judgment of holy worship that will be adjudicated by the Judge and the Officer Levite together if needs be, to determine what the sinner is capable of offering without destroying his livelihood, as well in regards to tithe we have the same logic as offered by the law.
It is important to remember that the order of Overseeing Headship is the mechanism of accountability in Israel: that is that the Overseer has the God ordained Headship as the Father and the Elder of his unit and he utilizes the Levitical Order as to aid in his understanding of Law in all matters of judgment for worship, punishment, and warfare.
The fathers as Head of families sends his numbered contributions from his family to the Overseer of 10’s, which is then sent to the Overseer of 50, and then to the Overseer of 100, then to the Overseer of 1000 and of all is presented by the Prince of the tribe who will offer the collection from the people to the Priests who stands in those days in the Sanctuary (as was seen in Num_7:1-3) who will distribute it and present it to the LORD.
No differently than we read of the offering system, do we understand the matter of legal adjudication, with the exception that judgment is only sought at a higher level according to Deu 17:8 “If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment” “between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within thy gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the LORD thy God shall choose;
Deu 17:9 And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment:
Deu 17:10 And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee:
Deu 17:11 According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left.
Deu 17:12 And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.
Deu 17:13 And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.
And here is where the force of appeal and tough federal Government is seen in the biblical model, is in the legislative power given to the priests the Levites and unto the judge that shall be in those days.
It is at this point where the total determination of a matter is appealed to by the Heads of the people and turned over to the absolute unchecked authority of the High Priest in Council with the Levites of the case, presumably of the local city appealed from. We know this because the word λειτουργειν G3008 is used to exclusively in the LXX of the Law for the officiating son of Aaron.
Yet we also see a place for the king made in this absolute authority in appeal in the next verses when Israel seeks a lawful king of YHWH from among their brethren.
Yet as it is originally established and seemingly preferred by God, local Judgment by Headship and oversight to punish unrepentant sin by the fiery law and sword of God.