The Divine Pattern of the Cross
In the article Divine Pattern – key to the Law, I noted two principles of the Divine Pattern
Source (1 Cor 8:6)
Channel (1 Cor 8:6)
“dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see:” 1 Tim 6:16,
“No man hath seen God at any time.” 1 John 4:12
“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:” Col 1:15
“Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person” Heb 1:2-4
In the persons of the Father and Son we have an invisible source manifested through a visible channel. This pattern is repeated in many places. Here are two examples we previously considered.
“…We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Heb 8:1,2
“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” Ex 25:8-9
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. Heb 8:5
Access to heaven before Christ was manifested was through the visible earthly Sanctuary as a channel for the invisible heavenly. After Christ came, the Believer in Christ is the visible earthly Sanctuary living by the Spirit of Christ mediated to us from the heavenly Sanctuary.
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” John. 16:7
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” 1 Cor 6:19
Every believer is an ambassador for Christ, the visible representative of Christ who is in heaven now invisible to human sight. Christ reaches unbelievers through believers.
Is there instruction in this divine pattern reflected in the cross of Christ? We know that when Christ came to this world and died that His death was visibly manifested to the universe. Yet was this the source of the cross?
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
The source of the cross occurred from the foundation of the world. Not in type, not in symbol but in reality. How can this be so? Note carefully the tense provided in Isaiah 53 written 700 years before Christ
Isa 53:3-5 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (4) Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (5) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
In 700 BC Christ is despised and He is rejected. He is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. In 700 BC Christ had already borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. In 700 BC He was already bruised for our transgressions. In 700 BC Christ had already received the stripes by which we were healed. Notice how this occurred
Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
The iniquity of the world was laid upon His Son from the foundation of the world. In order for Adam and Eve to continue to live, Christ had to bear the curse of disobedience and He has borne it from the foundation of the world and He bears that curse even now. Notice the past tense moving to the present tense
Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
The Son of God was oppressed and afflicted from the foundation of the world and every single day He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, for the Scripture says:
Heb 6:6 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.
The visible manifestation of the cross was once for all time, but the invisible source of the cross is crucified afresh every day by the enmity that dwells in the natural man. As Paul stated clearly to the Galatians
Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Note the words of E.J Waggoner on this verse
Jesus was set forth before the Galatians, when Paul preached to them, as openly crucified before their eyes. So vivid was the presentation, that they could actually see Christ crucified. It was not skilful word-painting on the part of Paul, nor imagination on the part of the Galatians, for then it would have been only deception. No; it was an actual fact; Christ was there, crucified, before their eyes, and Paul by the Spirit enabled them to see Him. We know that it was not Paul's skill in making beautiful word pictures that enabled them to fancy that they saw the crucifixion, for elsewhere Paul says that he determined  to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and that he purposely and carefully refrained from using the wisdom of words, for fear that he should make the cross of Christ without effect. 1Cor.1:17,18; 2:1-4. The experience of the Galatians in this matter was not peculiar to them. The cross of Christ is a present thing. The expression, "Come to the cross," is not an empty form of words, but an invitation that can be literally complied with. Christ is crucified before us, and each blade of grass, each leaf in the forest, reveals the fact. E.J Waggoner, The Glad Tidings, (1900) Page 99,100
The cross of Christ is ever present. Christ invisible to human sight in heaven bears the curse of sin and daily Christ is visibly crucified afresh in the sinful lives of the entire human race.
1 Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Yet let us go deeper into this glory of the cross. Is the source of the cross found in Christ alone? Did not Christ inherit all things from His Father? Is not the Father the source of all things and indeed the source of the cross of His Son? Notice that even the revelation of Christ revealed in the book of Revelation was given to Him by His Father.
Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him,
If we study carefully the story of Abraham we will find the source of the Cross
Gen 15:12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.
Before the promised seed could be revealed, a decision had to be made.
Said the angel, "Think ye that the Father yielded up His dearly beloved Son without a struggle? No, no." It was even a struggle with the God of heaven, whether to let guilty man perish, or to give His darling Son to die for them. EW 127
Here is the source of the cross. It is the struggle of the Father to yield up His darling Son. The seed of self-sacrificing love is found in the heart of the Father and manifested in His Son.
The earth was dark through misapprehension of God. That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan's deceptive power was to be broken. This could not be done by force. The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God's government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. Only by love is love awakened. To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan. This work only one Being in all the universe could do. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known. DA 22
John 3:16 points to the source of the cross. It is stated clearly:
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The Father’s gift of the Son is the source of the cross. The horror of a great darkness fell upon the Father as He chose to save us through the death of His Son. Again we note, that Christ was not blissfully sitting in heaven until the manifestation of the cross, No, He bore our sins and carried our sorrows from the foundation of the world. The selfless love of the Father was revealed in the selfless love of the Son to carry our sins.
Isa 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
Christ took the enmity of man into Himself and carried it all the days of old, yet Christ is the image of the invisible God and God is the source of all things, therefore the Father took this affliction upon Himself as He is the one revealed in Isaiah 63
Isa 63:7 I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.
So in the manifestation of the Cross of Christ we see as it were the Cross of the Father. The Father gave up Him who was most precious to Him. The Father endured a horror of a great darkness in order to provide a lamb. The seed of Isaac was not manifested until after the horror of darkness experienced by Abraham. We can take this further in the story of Adam and Eve. Eve could not be manifested until Adam went to sleep. We know that Adam and Eve were created after the Rebellion in Heaven and therefore the cross already existed and the story of the cross is revealed in the creation of Adam and Eve.
Yet we can take this a step further regarding the source of the cross and its manifestation. Note carefully the words of Paul:
Rom 10:15-18 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? (17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (18) But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
Paul in speaking of the preaching of the gospel quotes from Psalm 19.
Psa 19:1-4 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. (2) Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. (3) There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. (4) Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
In speaking of the gospel of Christ Paul states
Rom 1:16-20 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (17) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (18) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (19) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
The power of God unto Salvation is revealed from the creation of the world. In the very creation of this world is the story of the gospel expressed. I would encourage you to read the book by E.J Waggoner called The Gospel in Creation for an expansion of this theme. Remember that sin existed before the creation of this world and therefore the creation of this world reveals the saving power of God.
Note carefully the words of Paul:
2 Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, [source] hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. [channel]
The light of the cross finds its source in the heart of the Father and was manifested in the face of Jesus Christ. This principle of the cross is so vital to understand. The divine pattern tells us that the manifestation of the cross is not the source of the cross. The manifestation of Christ on the cross is a visible channel that leads us to the invisible source.
With this thought in mind, we are ready to consider some aspects of the everlasting gospel. A.T Jones speaking says:
The great trouble with the Jews from the beginning unto the end was in having the Lord so far away that even the things which God had given to signify His perfect nearness were taken and used as the tokens of His being far away. Sacrifices, offerings, the tabernacle, the temple, its services, all those things were used by the Jewish teachers and the great mass of the people in such a way that all that these services meant to them was that they pointed to Christ away off yonder somewhere. It was understood that these things meant the Messiah, but it was the Messiah afar off. And they must make themselves good so as to bring Him near, and these things were looked to as having virtue in themselves and so as able to give righteousness.
I am not certain whether Seventh-day Adventists have got beyond the idea of those things back there, that they signified Christ afar off. I am not saying now that Seventh-day Adventists think that Christ is now away off. But I am afraid that they have not gotten away from the idea, when they look at the sanctuary and its services, the sacrifices and offerings, that that was intended to teach them of Christ away off yonder somewhere. So it is said that these things all pointed to Christ.These things did all point to Christ, that is the truth. But it was Christ near and not far off. God intended that all these things should point to Christ living in their hearts, not 1800 years away, not as far off as heaven is from the earth, but pointing to Christ in their living experience from day to day. When we get fast hold of that idea and then study the sanctuary, the sacrifices, the offerings, in short, the gospel as it is in Leviticus--then we shall see that that meant Christ a living, present Saviour to them day by day and we shall also see that He is that to us today also.
There is gospel, there is Christian experience, for us today in Leviticus, in Deuteronomy, in Genesis, in Exodus, and in the whole Bible. But when we read those passages and say that those sacrifices and offerings all pointed to Christ afar off from the Jews and expect that the Jews were to look through these services away off yonder to Christ to come sometime--when we read those scriptures and look at them that way, then we are reading those scriptures precisely as the Jews did and we are standing precisely where they did at that time in those scriptures.
That will never do. No. We are not to look at the sanctuary with its furniture and paraphernalia standing as God placed it, with God's presence therein, and think that signified to them that they were to learn by it that God dwelt only in the sanctuary in heaven. When we look at it that way, then we are ready to think that that is about as near as He is to us, because that is as near as we have had Him come to them. For if we look at it for them in that way, then if we had been there in their places, how would we have looked at it for ourselves? In the same way, and this shows that had we been there we would have been precisely as they were. A.T Jones, Sermon 25, General Conference Bulletin. 1895.
You will notice in our table above I mentioned a divine pattern relation with the heavenly and earthly sanctuary. With the knowledge that Christ was slain from the foundation of the world, and Christ bore our iniquities all the days of old, then it is certain that the heavenly sanctuary and its services were indeed the reality that was manifested in the sanctuary on earth. The gospel of the sanctuary revealed to Moses pointed to a present reality in heaven not simply to a future reality at the manifestation of Christ on earth. I repeat, the source of the cross is from the foundation of the world.
Returning again to A.T Jones
There too was a priesthood of the earthly temple on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. There was a priesthood of the sanctuary at Shiloh in the wilderness. That, it is true, represented the priesthood of Christ, but did that represent any priesthood of Christ before A. D. 1? Shall we say that that represented a priesthood of Christ that was afar off? No. That priesthood in Jerusalem, in the sanctuary in the wilderness, represented a priesthood that was already in existence after the order of Melchisedek? Thou shalt be a priest forever after the order of Melchisedek? No, No. "Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedek." Was not Melchisedek a priest in the days of Abraham? and is not the priesthood of Christ forever after the order of Melchisedek? Do you not see, then, that this whole system of services given to Israel was to teach them the presence of the Christ then and there for the present salvation of their souls and not for the salvation of their souls eighteen hundred years or two thousand years or four thousand years away? Surely, surely, it is so.
O, it has always been Satan's deception and has always been the working of his power to get men, all men, to think that Christ is as far away as it is possible to put Him. The farther away men put Christ, even those who profess to believe in Him, the better the devil is satisfied. And then he will stir up the enmity that is in the natural heart and set it to work in building up ceremonialism and putting this in the place of Christ. A.T Jones, Sermon 25, General Conference Bulletin. 1895.
I make the point that if there was not a living reality, a living source behind the system of the sanctuary, priesthood and sacrifices and these things are a source in themselves then God is chargeable with creating ceremonialism – a form of worship without substance – for the children of Israel. Read carefully sermons 24 and 25 from A.T Jones in the 1895 General Conference Bulletins and you will see a beautiful expansion of this very point. Christ was not far off in 1500BC, He was near, right there with the Israelites.
Rom 10:5-8 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. (6) But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) (7) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) (8) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
The reality of the Word – Christ Jesus the Lord – was present in the days of Moses.
Deu 30:11-14 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. (12) It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? (13) Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? (14) But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
Christ was indeed slain from the foundation of the world and therefore Christ was available and present for every believer who offered sacrifices and offerings to God. As long as the believer recognised that the offerings made were not the source of salvation but rather a visible channel for the invisible heavenly reality.
The Divine Pattern of Father and Son reveal to us that we must never seek to merge the source and the channel. The Father is the invisible source and the Son is the visible channel. This pattern is repeated in the heavenly and earthly sanctuary. It is repeated in the priesthood of Christ and the priesthood of Aaron. Aaron was simply a channel for the true priesthood of Christ. As long as the source is distinct from the channel there will be no danger of corruption. But if the idea emerges that the channel is also the source then the whole system is destroyed. This is exactly what we see with the Trinity teaching. The Son of God is made the same as the Father and they are merged into one God. In forming a 3 in 1 God, the reality of the Father and Son is lost. This is also the sad fact if we think that Aaron was the source of priesthood for Israel. Did not the Melchizedek priesthood exist in the days of Aaron?
Satan tempted the Jews to shift the channel of the Sanctuary and its services to become the source of the plan of salvation. The channel became an end in itself and therefore became a means of salvation rather than a channel into a heavenly reality. By exalting the channel of the gospel to be the source, the Jews turned the whole system into a yoke of bondage, a meaningless round of rites and ceremonies because that which was designed as a channel was made the source. That which was the form was made the very substance. That which was the letter was blasphemously presented as the Spirit. Thus the book of Hebrews seeks to re-establish the true source that was obscured and replaced by the Jewish leadership.
Yet there is a danger for us as Christians if we view this incorrectly. If we believe that there was not a living reality present in the times of Abraham and Moses; if we confess that the cross did not take place until 4000 years after creation then we by default consign the whole Jewish system to a round of ceremonies that had not a present reality, rather they point to something a far off in the future. The practise of anything that is not a present reality is a farce and is the very seed of ceremonialism. If we believe that the Cross of Christ was only a single event 2000 years ago then not only is the cross a far off from Moses and Abraham but it is also far off from us. The only safeguard against ceremonialism is an ever present Cross, an ever present Saviour. The key to the cross is the divine pattern of source and channel. The invisible source at the foundation of the world and the visible channel through which Christ was manifested when He came to earth.
See how many Christians take pilgrimages to Israel and walk the Stations of the Cross and kiss the feet of lifeless saints carved in stone. Is this ceremonialism so far removed from Seventh-day Adventists? What of this weekly attendance to church to sing three hymns and hear a sermon? Is not much of this a form without substance? Unless Christ is set forth amongst us crucified and presently bearing our griefs and carrying our sorrows then we are doomed to repeat the ceremonialism of the Israelites. If we look back 2000 years only for the cross then we are far from the Cross.
What of the boast of Protestants that they stand in Christ alone? They stand in an event from 2000 years ago. Christ in reality is far off. They draw nigh to Christ with their lips yet their hearts are far from Him. Do Protestants engage in ceremonialism? Certainly! Dancing and jumping to loud music, whipping up the flesh into a trance like state, falling on the ground slain by a spirit. Is this not a meaningless round of rites and ceremonies, for in all this expression, Christ crucified is 2000 years away and only Christ risen is worshipped as a present reality. Does such worship bring meaningful change and victory over sin in the life? Without death there can be no life. Without the present reality of the cross, the worship of the risen Christ is merely the offering of Cain – no slain lamb is present only things living are offered.
The source of the cross comes from the heart of the Father. Christ has borne our sins from the foundation of the world until this very day. Isaiah 53 is an ever present reality. He is now despised, He is now rejected, He is now wounded all around this globe the enmity of man against Christ and His Father is manifested. Throughout human history the cross is an ever present reality. Yet this is only a reality in the light of the Divine pattern of source and channel and invisible and visible.