【Bible Study】Exodus 27: This is the design of God. We just need to follow the instructions

Bible Study: Exodus

Stop asking why and just follow the instructions

Good morning everyone. Today, look at Exodus chapter 27, especially when they were trying to build the altars, the tabernacle and all the items required in the tabernacle. When most people read this part of the Bible, they start to ask what it is and why it is.

You will surely be stuck when you start to ask what it is and why it is. It is the design of God. It is the design from God, and there is no such thing as "what it is" and "why it is", simply because God does not tell us why. He tells us to do it this way, and it looks like this. But why doest it look like this? Why do you design in this way? If you want to zoom into those things, you will get confused about Exodus and all other words of God.

If we want to follow, we will follow; if we do not want to follow, we start to ask why. The moment we read this, we will surely get into something we think otherwise. But God never tells us why. But why do we need to find out why? This is a problem.

I can tell you that it is the design of God. The church is the design of God. And it's supposed to be like this. If we build it according to what God has shared with us, using such material, the exact kind of measurement, the exact design, and the shape. That's what we follow. You and I are humans, and humans are supposed to know about what humans know.

I have met some guys who asked, "if God created a human being, but who created God? "Oh my God! I said, " look at your brain. You can't even master the knowledge of a human being. How could you master the knowledge of God?" Not just you and I are not supposed to ask why. I believe when Moses went up to the mountain and listened to what God instructed him, and he was a smart guy, he never asked why.

Develop a system to follow instructions

Many years ago, I employed a Christian, a brother, who needed a job. That was why I offered him the job. And after a couple of months, his superior came to my office and started to complain about him. I asked the superior to tell me straightforwardly what the problem was, he reported to me, "this guy did not follow instructions. " So I want to ask why he didn't follow the instructions.

So, I summoned him to my office and asked why he did not follow the instructions. Then the young man looked at me and said, "Why should I follow?" Oh my God! Many times, people ask why. They always have ten thousand reasons not to follow instructions. if you do not know how to follow instructions, you will go astray.

A parent asked me if he should send his daughter to an Army training camp, where all kinds of tough training were available for young kids, such as climbing mountains. I said, " yes, please ! If you have money, let your children participate in this program ." He asked me why.

There was a simple reason. Kids were supposed to be trained from a young age to follow instructions. The Army does not listen to "why", and the Army is where you are trained to follow instructions. If you do not know how to follow instructions, you will suffer. So if you do not have a complete system, you cannot follow instructions.

Follow God's instructions to build a church and you will see the glory of God

So building a Tabernacle is a complete piece of art, an entire piece of engineering design. You need to build the tabernacle, the Ark of Covenant, the altar and the table, the lampstand, the curtain, and the courtyard. If you follow God's instructions, then the glory of God will pour into this tabernacle.

Do you want to build a church with the glory of Almighty God? Yes. But the problem is that we have to follow the instructions. Whether you understand why or not, just follow the instructions, and you build it according to what was revealed by God. That was God's design.

If you were to behave like the young man, one of my staff, asking why he should follow the instructions, then God would look at you and say, "Wow, you are really a smart guy. You want to know why like a young kid who asks ten thousand questions about complicated engineering jobs."

If you follow instructions, one day, you will understand why. If you do not, then you will not be able to understand. For the young people who are still in school, you have to listen to what I'm about to say. If you want to learn well in school, you want to do well and be a top student, you learn from the textbook and understand what they are saying without asking too much why. Do not redevelop your own things, and you have to follow what is taught in this subject, especially in the textbook.

For example, when you learn mathematics, you will need to digest what the subject is trying to teach you. If you do not follow the instructions specified in the textbook, then you are not able to learn well. Because those kids who learn well are those kids who follow, they do not think otherwise. They are trying to figure out what the book is trying to tell you.

This is the same thing that is described in Exodus chapter 27. It is difficult for us to give it a topic.

Build an altar of acacia wood, three cubits high; it is square, five cubits long and five cubits wide.Make a horn at each of the four corners, so that the horns and the altar are of one piece, and overlay the altar with bronze. Make all its utensils of bronze—its pots to remove the ashes, and its shovels, sprinkling bowls, meat forks and firepans. (Exodus 27:1-3 )

That's how you did it. But how do we give it a topic?

Smart people are those who follow instructions

Today, let me share with you that this chapter's topic is God's design and we just follow the instructions. God asked people to build a Tabernacle according to His design. These are God's designs. If you build a church, you follow God's design. If you are a designer, I will follow you to build it, follow what you design. If you buy a house and ask the contractor to renovate the house according to your design and when you come to the house, you realise that this is not your design. Then the contractor says, "I did not follow your instructions, I just do what I want." Are you going to be angry? I'm sure you're. Are you going to stay in the house? No, I don't think you would want to stay in a house which is not in your design. And I don't think you would want to pay the contractor, as he did not follow the plan or design and you are the owner.

God is the owner of the tabernacle God says, "I prefer to stay in a place like this." They say, "no, I just do what I want to build a Tabernacle. And this is the tabernacle you are going to say. If you don't want to stay, so be it." God will laugh at us. We need God! You and I need God! The Army of God came out of Egypt! The most important factor was to follow the instructions of God so God would be able to go with us, to be among us.

If you have listened to all kinds of sermons and Bible study teachings, you will surely find a lot of "their own designs", the design of the Pastor, not the design of God. It is not a revelation from God. It is somehow a redesign that hasn't completely obey to the words of God.

Therefore, you need to understand the design of God, not to understand why. You need to understand all the utensils you were going to make, how the curtain looked, and the material used. Then you build one. If you look at the individual item without seeing the complete picture, you will get into trouble. You need to form a big picture, and you will not be able to assemble all the items in your own way. Do you understand what I'm saying? You need to have a system to understand the complete design of the tabernacle. You got to understand the entire design of God. If the design of God is like this, then we follow. I have repeated it many times.

If you know how to follow instructions, I can assure you that you will become a top student in the class by following instructions given by the subject such as mathematics or physics. They tell you what the knowledge of the subject should look like. You will surely be a top student if you understand the instructions.

Do you understand how to follow instructions? Then you will surely understand how to be a top student. Earlier I was training a group of students to do programming. You know, the programming language we use is Javascript. We use MySQL database, and Javascript, we use Vuetify, and we use Vue.JS and all these sorts of things. Basically what I taught is how to use it. The instructions, are to follow the manual and to use it to build something you want. Are you with me? Follow instructions, on how to use it, how to do it, and how to build things according to the way the developer of the tools intended. If you think otherwise, you will have problems. You will not be able to learn. Once you have a complete picture, and once you can follow instructions, you will surely rank on top.

I know many of us have gone through general education, tertiary education, and high school, university. You have gone through so many years of education. How do you study? If you study in the way, I ask a question like this. "Build an altar out of acacia wood." Why acacia wood?" Then you will surely be stuck. Three cubits high. Why? For it to be a square. Why? And five cubits wide. "Why a square, and not another shape?" If we learn something this way, I guarantee you will be the student underneath. Do not ask these types of questions. If you ask these types of questions, you will surely get yourself into trouble, into the way of problems, and you cannot understand the subject. So when we read the Bible, "Three cubits high, five cubits wide, a square..." That's it! God designed it.

When we do Javascript, it is supposed to be this way, this method, this function, this variable, you name it this way, a comma, colon, and that is about it. So we are engineers. Engineers follow instructions. We will be smart people when we know how to follow instructions. Do not challenge by asking "Why acacia wood? Why bronze? Why a hanging curtain? Why fifty base?" You will get yourself into trouble. Knowing how to follow instructions is something very important.

Learn from those above you

From a young age, I envied those people who were born into families whose fathers were highly educated, very knowledgeable, the whole house was full of books, etc. I liked to go to my classmates' houses and study together because their whole family, the sisters, and the parents, all wanted to learn. In my house, a lot of people go in and out every new year, and during the Chinese New Year, people come and go. But somehow, I didn't like that. I preferred to study. So I hid in the house of my classmates and studied together. I was hungry for instructions from people in a higher position. If they could share their knowledge and experiences, that would be a blessing for me. I always looked up to the people above me. I hoped I could get guidance from them. Years later, I would get a job, and I still looked up to those who were more knowledgeable, who could share their experiences, and if they told me to read a book, I would do it.

I liked to follow instructions from more professional people. For example, the principal, the college president, is a Ph.D. He held a Ph.D. degree. I wanted to enroll in the Ph.D. program. When the principal heard of this, he said, "Come over. Do you want to take on the Ph.D. program? Don't do that. Don't waste your time." Waste my time? But it is a Doctor Degree, you get to put Doctor in front of your name. "That is no use. Concentrate on what you do." So I took his advice, and followed what he said, because he is higher up, with more skill. I am just an engineer on the ground, and he is a principal. I wondered why he said it. There must be some sense. So I followed. I did not analyze that much. And years later, fortunately, I did not go for the Ph.D. program. And I told others, but some people listened while others did not.

I came to know Jesus Christ. I came to know God, and I liked to follow his instruction. Let me tell you, if you can follow the instructions of God, you will be on top, not underneath. you will be the head and not the tail. Are you with me? The problem is that the people have their ideas. If learning mathematics and have their ideas, they will have problems. Or physics, you will have problems. You are supposed to learn what physics is teaching you, and what kind of instructions in the textbook, you have to know what they say, not what you think. Building a church as well.

Let God's glory fill the church

A few years ago, I started to build a church. I observed the church I attended I read Bible a lot, but the pastor they sometimes spoke otherwise. What they spoke was not the word of God. It was otherwise. They interpreted the Bible in a way, that I didn't know what to do. I wanted to be a good church member. I did not omit a single church session. They spoke about those things, but I read the Bible on my own. At the end of the day, I decided to set up a church on my own. I looked at these things, and thought, I have to follow instructions and listen to God and what he has revealed to us. If you build a church like this, the glory of God will fill up the church. And I was hungry for the glory of God.

I followed instructions. So do not ask these types of questions. Come to chapter 27. The complete tabernacle's design was revealed. The Holy, the Holy of Holies, the tabernacle, the courtyard, the basin, the utensils, and all are done. We need to have a complete system; otherwise, we will have problems getting it confused, and problems assembling it. Sometimes we will follow instructions and get them wrong, but if we do not follow instructions, we will not have a tabernacle at all. Maybe you can make a tabernacle of your own. If you have your idea, that will be silly. If you have the concept of God and dissect what he is trying to say, and build a church accordingly, the glory of the Almighty God will fill up the place. Do you want to have that? If you do, follow instructions.

Develop engineering thinking skills

People have their ideas, and if they are stubborn, they will swallow a lot of their results. I want our church members to have thoughts about engineers. Engineers have to follow principles. I do not want to train you to be artists or philosophers. I want to teach all of us to be engineers, to understand and to follow. Engineering is a wonderful practice. The whole tabernacle is a wonderful design from God, and you will follow. There is a lot of engineering work. Do you want to build this? You have to build the tools to produce those things.

Later on, when I read other books of the Bible, I realized that God is the engineer, the designer, and God is the scientist, He is a mathematician. You must understand that when studying maths or engineering, you need to know God. God is the master behind everything. So from now on don't ask such kind of question, "why it's 5 cubits". God designed it and we need to follow him. Some people may ask: Why did God design like this. Some people will ask Jesus to show them the Father in heaven. Then Jesus wondered what a silly question it was.

Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Don't you believe that I am in the Father and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work." (John 14:9, NIV)

If you follow the teachings of Christ, then you will know what the father looks like. Our Lord Jesus already revealed many things. For example, your household is your enemy. A lot of people do not understand this word. Let me explain this to you. If you want to move forward in the spiritual world, your enemy will surface in your family. The enemy of your spiritual life will barrier things within your family, and your family will attach to you and pull you backward. You want to move forward, and someone will bring you back. It is not someone on the street who doesn't have much influence. It is your wife, husband, children, father, or mother. If they are not happy, you will be bothered. That's why Jesus said that your household is your enemy.

How many people followed him? Jesus said that you have to leave your family and follow him. But a lot of people teach otherwise; they say you have to look after your family first. That means you can leave God. They don't have to leave anything but God? What an amazing sermon! God is so nice, he will not be so calculative about this. He will not bother if you leave him. He will not be angry with you. But in the end, if you leave him, you will have a problem.

If God said,

"Keep the lamps burning before the Lord from evening till morning" (Exodus 27:21, NIV)

Then you have to keep it burning. That's why the New Testament tells us to keep the lamp burning and to have a sufficient amount of oil.

If you follow God's instructions, you will be an amazing person

If we learn and follow the instructions of God, we will be on top and not underneath. If we can follow God's commands, we can become amazing people. Remember, do not go by your own idea, but by the word of God. Often I realize that people do not follow the word of God. They have their ideas. When they share with me, they say, "To be honest." Why be honest? Because they are picky with others and think the things people did are wrong. I usually will ask them not to be honest and tell me what they want to say.

Is chapter 27 difficult for you to understand? If it is, it's because you just don't want to follow instructions. If you read the whole chapter, you can see that God gave the detailed design of the curtains, the courtyard, etc. Which part is difficult to understand? You just have to build according to God's design. God was not just testing Moses, but also testing all the Israelites to see whether they could follow what God commanded. If they can not even follow such simple things, how can they follow harder things?

Listen to what I am saying, following instructions is a wonderful characteristic of all successful people. If you do not want to follow instructions and do everything on your own, you will not get anywhere. So I like to make the pastoral staff learn and figure out how to follow instructions. Learning is just following instructions. You must have the ability to learn to build a tabernacle or a church. You and I will follow the instructions and build a church, and the glory of God will fall among us.

You have probably heard me say "follow instructions" many times already. The Commandments are the instructions. It tells you what to do and what not to do. Deuteronomy is about a set of instructions, and Exodus is about a set of instructions on how to build a glorious tabernacle. If you build a church with your ideas, the glory of God will never be seen. Do not say that the church is supposed to be like this. The church is supposed to have the glory of God.

God's instructions are very near us which are in our mouth and heart

My brothers and sisters, obey or disobey? How much have you obeyed? How many instructions have you disobeyed? Do you have your ideas? Are they right? No, most of the time it is just their opinion.

Not too long time ago, a young man was about to commit suicide. I pulled him out of the situation. One day, he went into my office and sat in the chair in front of my table. I asked him what was up. Then he said, "Pastor, you are supposed to do this! You're supposed to be like this. Then you will be a good pastor!" Oh My God! He came to teach me how to be a pastor. Then I asked him, "where did you get this from?" He said he got all of this from a book, which is called "How to be a pastor." I asked, "Wow, you are telling me how to be a pastor. Have you put what you read into practice and proved it works?" "No, I didn't". Then I asked him: "how do you know it's correct? Has it been proven?" "I don't know." Then I knew it was just an opinion of his.

Today, there are plenty of opinions, but the word of God is so rare. There are so many opinions on how to do things, but instructions from God are very scarce and hard to find. **Let's concentrate on the word of God. If we follow the word of God, we will flourish and be blessed. Our life will be full of blessings and full of the presence of Almighty God; even the instructions he gave us are challenging to follow. But if we really want to follow, it's not so that difficult. Moses wrote this and gave it to the Israelites. Then the Israelites thought that Moses's instructions were difficult. No, God's instructions are very near us; God's word is in our mouth and our your heart and we can obey and follow it.

I hope all of us start to understand that the design of God is wonderful. Do not alter the design of God. If you want to make some customization, you should be very careful. In the doctrine of Destiny (Mingding), we follow the example of Jesus Christ. Whatever Jesus did, we want to do exactly as he did. This is what how we should think.

May the Lord bless you. See you next week!

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