In his sermon titled, “God’s Terms of Engagement,” Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. studies 5 of the furnishings that were in the Tabernacle of Moses: the bronze altar, the bronze laver, the table of showbread, the lampstand, and the golden altar of incense.
“Each of these items is a symbol for something else,” said Bishop Blake, “and each of their actions represents a symbolic action.”
Based on Exodus 25, the sermon is a revelation into the wonders of the Bible, and how we can use it to make our lives fuller.
“Old Testament symbolism has a New Testament application,” continued Bishop Blake. “There are things in the spirit that we do through Christ Jesus that will take us into the very presence of God, and each phase is symbolized by something that was in the Tabernacle of Moses. Jesus is really what the tabernacle is all about.”
This sermon is based on the book, “Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence,” by Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. For more information, please see below.
“God’s terms of engagement is God’s provision; His standard.”
“The status of the people of God; relationship the people had with God, and God’s response to them, were related to how they would deal with – in sincerity – those items that were in the tabernacle.”
“If they, in a pure and sincere heart, dealt with those items in the tabernacle properly, it would enhance their relationship with almighty God.”
“The bronze altar, with its sacrifices, represented God’s selection of the acceptable price to be paid for sin, and God’s forgiveness…It represented the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made, once and for all, for our sins.”
“The bronze laver, in which the priests would wash themselves, represents moral and spiritual cleansing.”
“The table of showbread represented God’s people constantly before his presence offering themselves to Him.”
“By offering that which was most precious, they offered themselves and their lives to the Lord.”
“The Bible is filled with physical actions that we ought to take in relationship with God. God talks about behavior in worship, in moral life, in relationships with other people; in relationship to money, and so on.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“The candlestick in the tabernacle represented moral and spiritual light: the light that God and His people were to be in a dark and Godless world.”
“The golden altar of incense represented what God’s people and their worship were to God…a sweet aroma unto God.”
“The contents of the arc of the covenant were two stone tablets upon which the 10 Commandments were written; Aaron’s rod that budded, and a pot of manna.”
“The second set of tablets represented a second chance for the people.”
“[Aaron’s] rod …represented God bringing life out of death, and possibility out of impossibility.”
“The pot of manna represented God’s miraculous provision for His children.”
“The mercy seat on the arc represented the culmination and success of the process by which they’d been involved with the other items in the tabernacle.”
“What causes one place to be different from another place? But God said, ‘In that place I shall meet with you.’”
“You’ve got to take a bath or else when you come before me you’re going to die…Tell your neighbor, ‘It seems to me, God is serious about this!’”
“You better watch out for your own fire.”
“There is none other like Him in all the universe…God is Holy!” Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“If somebody tells you they’re jealous, you better believe them; and if they’re really tough, you really better believe them! And God is saying, ‘I’m jealous!’”
“There is none other like Him in all the universe…God is Holy!”
“God’s nature mandates that His praise be the highest praise.”
“Nobody or nothing should get the praise that we give to God.”
“Every one of us have some preferences for how we want to be treated…Now, I just need to stop right there. Some carnal minds will go off, and I won’t get you back!”
“If you’ve got a husband or a wife, make sure you know how they want to be treated, and within reasonable limits, treat them that way.”
“If you’re not married wait…your day will come.”
“The word of God tells us how God wants to be treated.”
“The Bible starts with the heart of man. It clearly teaches that it doesn’t start on the outside, it starts on the inside. And it starts with the heart.”
“So, no matter what else you do, no matter how you perform all the rites of worship…God says it starts with your heart.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“God says, ‘Treat me like I’m special.”
“Few things are more gratifying than to have somebody that you love praise you in a crowd.”
“There are few things that are more painful than to have someone criticize you in a crowd.”
“None of us would be happy with a loved one who gave us thoughts and not word, or words and no actions.”
“God expects good deeds. God expects good actions. God expects favor from those who say that they love Him.”
“Unless God can impact us on the level of the physical, He cannot impact us at the level of the spiritual.”
“The Bible is filled with physical actions that we ought to take in relationship with God. God talks about behavior in worship, in moral life, in relation with other people, in relationship to money, and so on.”
“We’re stimulated visually. We’re motivated visually. We’re motivated through our senses. The interaction of body and mind is such that they both stimulate one another.”
“But the body, spirit, and mind relationship is such that every mental and spiritual impulse carries with it a physical manifestation.”
“There are some things that happen on the inside that you cannot hide on the outside.”
“God expects good deeds. God expects good actions. God expects favor from those who say that they love Him.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“Soul rejoicing is at its best when it gets noisy.”
“David said, ‘Class dismissed! I’m going to praise the Lord!”
“The tabernacle was a tangible instrument of the worship and praise of almighty God.”
“God uses symbols.”
“The Lord’s supper that we celebrate on the first Sunday is symbolic. The bread represents His body; the juice represents His blood.”
“Baptism is a symbol. It’s symbolic of the burial of Jesus, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
“The cross is a symbol. It’s symbolic of our salvation.”
“Sometimes you don’t praise Him like you should, but when you have a symbol of the cross, a symbol of body a symbol of His blood you’re able to praise Him.”
“I know that the Lord has brought you from a mighty long way…Lift up your hands and praise Him.”
“God is so good to me.”
“He shows up when we worship Him. He shows up when we praise him. He shows up when we glorify Him. Come on and praise Him!”- Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“There are at least seven Hebrew words that tell us how to praise the lord. All of them mean praise, but each focuses on a different kind of behavior”
“He shows up when we worship Him. He shows up when we praise him. He shows up when we glorify Him. Come on and praise Him!”
“Worship is what you do, it’s not only what you feel, but it’s also what you say. It’s things, it’s places, it’s behavior, it’s conduct.”
“When you show up with the right stuff, show up in the right place, doing the right thing, with the right praise on your lips, God said, ‘I’m going to show up and bless you and take you higher than you’ve ever gone before.’”
“I wish somebody would praise him…Are there any true worshippers in the house today?”
“When the Holy Ghost shows up, you’ll move! When the Holy Ghost shows up, your body gets healed When the Holy Ghost shows up, your spirit gets blessed. When the Holy Ghost shows up, the power of the Lord is in the room!”
“Tell your neighbor, ‘The Holy Ghost is here right now!’”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Exodus 25:8, 21, Exodus 3:4, 29:29, 26:33, 30:18, Leviticus 10:1-2, Ex 34:14, Psalm 139:1,23, 1 Samuel 16:7, Leviticus 10:3, Romans 12:1, Jeremiah 20:9, Psalm 34:2, 2 Samuel 6:14, ps 50:14, Psalm 103:1, Psalm 22:3, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:2-3, John 4:24.
In Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake beautifully and poignantly illustrates to us the clear path to establishing a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Experiencing your divine encounter with God means following steps that will touch His heart. From Presiding Bishop Blake: “If you will follow these steps, then I can assure you that the experience you so desperately desire… will come!”