"God's Pattern" February 7, 2018

     The old prophet spoke in this manner: “Thus saith the Lord, stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls, but they said, we will not walk therein.”

     God’s people had strayed from the way of righteousness into idolatry and wickedness, and He called them back to the former paths of the covenant and the Law of Moses. Which was not the Law of Moses, but God’s law given through or by Moses.

     Likewise, the church must always examine itself to see if it has strayed from the paths of the Spirit’s power and the righteousness proclaimed in the New Testament. The full blessing of God will be enjoyed only by those who ask, seek and knock for His best and who are committed to live according to the pattern set forth in the New Testament.

     The Apostle Luke in recording the testimony and preaching of Stephen in Acts 7:44 recorded the following: “Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion (pattern) that he had seen.” God has always had a divine pattern to be followed by His people. God had a pattern for Moses that served as the standard under the old covenant. In Exodus 12, God gave Moses specific instructions for the original Passover in Egypt, which became a pattern for all subsequent generations of Israelites to follow. In Exodus 20, God gave Moses the Ten Commandments as the pattern and moral standard for all subsequent generations. As the pattern and moral standard for all subsequent. In Exodus 25, God instructed Moses to erect a tabernacle as a copy and shadow of heavenly things and the redemption that God planned to accomplish in the Lord Jesus Christ upon earth. Moses carefully made the tabernacle and all its furnishings “…after the pattern…” that God had fashioned in wisdom (Exodus 25:9).  I agree, that just assuredly as God has a pattern for the tabernacle under the old covenant, He has a pattern for His church under the New Testament. The New Testament apostles did not arbitrarily decide how the church was to be fashioned. It was the Father and the Son through what the Holy Spirit recorded in the gospels. The book of Acts, the epistles and the letters to the seven churches in (Revelations 2-3), who established the apostolic pattern for the church.

     Tragically, after the first century the church began to depart (however gradually) from divine revelation and modify God’s heavenly pattern by accommodating itself culturally and organizationally according to human, earthly ideas. This has resulted in a proliferation of man-made patterns for the church.

     Here I stand, if the church of Jesus Christ is to experience again the full plan, power and presence of God she must turn from her own ways and embrace the New Testament apostolic pattern as God’s timeless standard for His church.

     So what’s up with the big screens, the laser lights, the fog, the rock atmosphere, the dancers, the dark auditoriums, the preachers in torn jeans, the singers in sinful tight pants – why so much dance and body movements? Do we really expect the Holy Spirit of God to mix with that? I believe all of that is man’s doing – not of God.

~ Pastor John