The Throne of Law

Big quotes, and a few minor comments, on R. J. Rushdoony’s The Throne of Law.

Exodus 25:1-11. The throne of Law. Exodus 25:1-11. “And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, ‘Speak unto the children of Israel that they bring me an offering of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, And blue, and purple,and scarlet , and fine linen, and goats’ hair, And rams’ skins dyed red , and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood, Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it. And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about.”

In Exodus chapters 25 through 31, and again in chapters 36-39 we have the law given and the directions given the building of the tabernacle. Now tabernacle literally means tent. It was the tent of meeting the sanctuary, these are various terms given to it. It is emphasised as of central importance in the law. And we have indeed, a great many chapters given to it. A dozen or so chapters. It is important in Biblical law for reasons we tend to neglect. And nowadays either we are subjected to fanciful interpretations of the significance of the tabernacle or it is entirely passed over.

Either fancy fantasies or simply ignorance and irrelevance.

It reminds me of the Christian treatment of the book of Revelations.

Now as we analyze the meaning of the tabernacle we must see first of all that the pattern of the tabernacle was given by God. In other words, a blueprint. The directions, the materials to be used, were all prescribed by God….

Second we cannot understand the significance of the tabernacle unless we see that it is the palace of the king. The palace of the king. The king is God. King of Israel. The tabernacle, because it was a large and a very ornate tent, required a considerable amount of work for the assembly and the disassembly and the carrying thereof. At that time, because they were in the wilderness journeying, God dwelt among them even as they did in a tent. His tent was the royal tent. When they were finally settled. King David desired to build God a permanent palace. Temple literally means, “House of God” or “Palace of God”. But God, while giving the pattern and the materials to David, specified that it was his son, a man of peace, who was to erect it. We are repeatedly told in the New Testament that this was to be by pattern. The house of God was of God’s design. It was His palace.

God builds His house… and He didn’t ask for a permanent palace, or a temple. It was a man, David, who did that.

And now the temple made with human hands has laid smashed on the earth for 2000 years. God’s spirit now resides elsewhere: first in the Christ, and then flowing from the Father and the Son into His people, who are now temples as well.

Living palaces, where God resides.

Now, the fact that the tabernacle was the palace of God is not a new fact although, unfortunately it is a relatively unknown one in our day. Not too many years ago this was still the standard statement as we read, for example, in Vase’s {?} Biblical Theology. If you go back to the last century, {?} Baron, at great lengths, deals with the tabernacle as God’s palace and the temple then later as the permanent Palace of God. But in the past generation or two we have had the ecclesiastical approach applied to the Bible, that is the churchly approach reducing religion to the church. But the reduction of religion to the church is a modern heresy because religion as the Bible declares it, speaks concerning every area of life. concerning church, state, school, work, agriculture, war, peace, the home and family, everything. It is total. And the reduction of religion to worship and the church is therefore a modern heresy.

God is not a fan of temple worship, to put it mildly.

Or at least, not a fan of today’s temples.

The kingdom of God is far faster than the legitimate domain of the church and the clergy.

Now the fact that the tabernacle was not the place of worship primarily is obvious from the fact that only thrice yearly was attendance required. And then only the males of Israel, the heads of households. Now obviously it was not primarily a place of worship because this would be to limit worship to three times a year and for the men only who are the heads of households. The three feasts {?} for which they were to go up are called holy convocations. But the word holy does not limit itself to worship. In fact, the primary reference of the word “holy” is to God. Holiness refers, therefore, primarily to God in all His ways and in all His dealings.

There is what God commands.

And then, there is what men in high positions demand.

The secondary meaning of holy is all things done in the Lord’s name and to His glory and according to His word. Holiness, therefore, is not equivalent to worship. A home, a family that is fully dedicated to God is holy in all its operations. But all its operations are not worship. Worship, therefore, was not the primary function of the tabernacle. The place of worship in the Old Testament was in the home. The father functioned as the priest. It was his jurisdiction to lead the family week by week in worship on the Sabbath. This may come as a surprise to you, but this was not too remote a thing to America in that there are many peoples still living for whom this was the routine pattern. For example, throughout the West in ranching country in most of Texas, churches were many many miles away. And until the advent of the automobile, people did not get to church. It was something that was rarely done but they still had regular weekly worship in the home conducted by the father. This was routine and normal. So it was in the Old Testament, worship was local. It was centrally and essentially in the home. There was only one tabernacle and it was the palace of the King. It was not the worship center. Fourth, this means, therefore, that the tabernacle or the temple had or have no counterpart in the church.

Seeing how powerless and impotent the church is – a rightful reward for their ‘service’ to God – some form of broad-based home worship looks to be the way to go.

The tool are there, but its going to take some time – and lots of work – to organize and to multiply.

We cannot see the church as a continuation of the temple or the tabernacle. There is no comparison between the two. With the death of Christ, the work of the tabernacle or temple an earthly palace of God was ended. The veil of the temple was rent in twain. The new temple was Jesus Christ who declared himself to be the true temple of God. He ascended into heaven and Hebrews declares that there is the true sanctuary of the true throne. The earthly sanctuary was the temple or palace of God among His people, His covenant people. But now that palace is in heaven, the throne is there. It is true that believers are spoken of as temples of the Holy Ghost. And the Church is spoken of, that is all believers everywhere, as a spiritual body as the temple or house of God. But this is in a secondary sense. Hebrews makes it clear that the true temple, the sanctuary is now in heaven. And hence it is that Jesus Christ commanded his disciples declaring, “All power, all authority, all kingship,” in other words, “in heaven and in earth is now Mine, given unto Me. Go ye, therefore, unto all nations, and make disciples of them.” The command was therefore given for imperialism. Christ as King commands his disciples to go out and command the earth, to bring it under godly law and order. To go forth and convert men and nations to the true King, Jesus Christ. The throne is in heaven and all the world is summoned into the kingdom by the great commission.

Imperialism by preachers, on behalf of Christ, is better than imperialism by soldiers, corporate officers, or Party officials… on behalf of themselves.

But the preachers had better be sure that they are working for Christ, and not for the glory of a mortal man or some human society… such as an institutional church or denomination.

And it’s particular taste for power.

It is the Body of Christ that needs to grow. Not the Power of Certain Men.

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