Bible Topics In The Christian Library

INTRODUCTION: "Who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain" (Hebrews 8:5)

This passage, as part of the great study of the book of Hebrews, teaches that there is a pattern for the work of the people of God. In years past this would have been considered an "article of faith" among Christians. But in recent years men have arisen who have ridiculed the contention that there is a pattern for work and worship in the church. They claim that there is No Pattern found in the New Testament for the church. This has become such a problem recently that brother Goebel Music penned a massive work, Behold The Pattern, just to answer the contention of many of the liberals among us. What does the Bible say concerning the pattern?



A. Some verses which explicitly teach the concept of a pattern.
1. Exodus 25:9 - "According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.

2. Exodus 25:40 - "And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.

a. Both passages in Exodus use the same Hebrew word for pattern. It literally means, "structure; by implication. a model, resemblance:--figure, form, likeness, pattern, similitude."
3. Numbers 8:4 - "Now this workmanship of the lampstand was hammered gold; from its shaft to its flowers it was hammered work. According to the pattern which the LORD had shown Moses, so he made the lampstand."
a. The word for pattern here literally means, "a view (the act of seeing); also an appearance (the thing seen), pattern, to see, seem, sight, visage, vision." 
4. Joshua 22:28 - "Therefore we said that it will be, when they say this to us or to our generations in time to come, that we may say, 'Here is the replica of the altar of the LORD which our fathers made, though not for burnt offerings nor for sacrifices; but it is a witness between you and us.'
a. Same Hebrew word as in Exodus.
B. Three example of the pattern concept in the Old Testament.
1. Noah and the building of the Ark. (Genesis 6:13-16) Notice all the details concerning the building of the Ark.
a. The ark would be made out of gopher wood.

b. Rooms would be made in it.

c. It would be sealed with pitch both within and without.

d. There were exact measurements - three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high.

e. There would be a single window with a single door. There would also be three stories.

f. The instructions were exact, clear, and constituted a pattern for Noah to use in the building of the ark.

g. What was the result? "Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he." (Genesis 6:22)

2. In Exodus chapter 25 and following God instructed Moses concerning the building of the tabernacle. In short-
a. In verse nine and forty we are reminded that it is according to the pattern shown on the Mount.

b. God give directions as to the colors to be used.

c. In verses 10-22 God gives exact instructions concerning the Ark of the Covenant. It tells the materials to be used- gold and shittim wood. It gives exact details of the cherubim on the top of the Ark. 

d. Beginning with verse 23 we read of exact instruction concerning the table for shewbread, the candlesticks, and all the other utensils.

3. In Joshua chapter six God instructs Joshua as to how to take the city of Jericho.
a. Each day the men of war would march around the city wall once for six day. Seven priests would also carry the ark. 

b. On day seven the men and priest would march around the city seven time and then the priests were to blow a long blast on their ram's horns.

c. Verse twenty tells us that the people did all of these things. What happened? The city walls fell flat.

A. Use of the Greek word tupos in the New Testament.
1. It's definition.
a. "A die (as struck), i.e. (by implication.) a stamp or scar; by anal. a shape, i.e. a statue, (fig.) style or resemblance; spec. a sampler ("type"), i.e. a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning):--en- (ex-) ample, fashion, figure, form, manner, pattern, print.
2. We gather from this definition that it denotes an exact image to be copied, an exact model to be imitated, an example that would serve as a warning, a pattern to be copied.

It's use in the English language.

a. Example.
1. 1 Corinthians 10:6 - Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.

2. 1 Corinthians 10:11 - Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

3. Philippians 3:17 - Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.

4. 1 Thessalonians 1:7 - so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe.

5. 2 Thessalonians 3:9 - not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.

6. 1 Timothy 4:12 - Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

7. 1 Peter 5:3 - nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

b. Type (Figure - KJV)
1. Romans 5:14 - Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
c. Form.
1. Romans 6:17 - But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
d. Pattern.
1. Titus 2:7 - "In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,"

2. Hebrews 8:5 - "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 showed to thee in the mount."

3. Acts 7:44 - "Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as He appointed, instructing Moses to make it according to the pattern that he had seen,

B. Use of the Greek word hupodeigma in the New Testament.
1. "A sign suggestive of anything, delineation of a thing, representation, figure, copy 2) an example: for imitation 2a) of the thing to be imitated 2b) for a warning, of a thing to be shunned." 
a. Example.
1. John 13:15 - "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

2. Hebrews 4:11 - Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.

3. Hebrews 8:5 - who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."

4. James 5:10 - My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience.

5. 2 Peter 2:6 - and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;

b. Copies (Pattern- KJV).
1. Hebrews 9:23 - Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
A. Christians are bound to pass on the truth received by the apostles from Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
1. Matthew 28:18-20
a. Notice that the apostles were commanded to teach what Jesus had taught them and those disciples in turn would do the same thing.
2. 2 Timothy 2:2 - And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
a. Notice there were things (truths) that Paul had taught to Timothy which Timothy was required to pass on to others.
3. Both these passages teach that there are truths that the apostles had received, these same truths were to be taught to the next generation of disciples.
B. Christians are not to look to the words of men over the words delivered from God.
1. 1 Corinthians 4:6 - Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.
a. If they were to think of the words of men above that which is written by Paul and other inspired men, then that teaches that there are certain particulars that are being taught. Paul says that they are binding.
C. Christians will be judged by the words of Christ.
1. John 12:48 - "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him; the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

2. If the words of Christ are to judge us, then there are particulars that are binding.

D. Christians are to not either go beyond or change the truth of God's word.
1. 2 John 9-11 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 - If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 1 - for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
b. 2 John 9-11 teaches that we will not have the blessings of God if we do not abide in the doctrine of Christ. If there is no pattern there is no doctrine to not abide in. 
2. Revelation 22:18-19 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 - and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
a. Revelation 22:19-19 teaches, specifically about the book of Revelation and in general about all inspired words, that we cannot either add to or take away from the word. If there is no pattern, then how could we be commanded to not add or take away from the word.
A. It makes it necessary for faithful brethren to cut the ties of fellowship with the erring brother.
1. Romans 16:17 - Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.
B. It cuts us off from the blessings of Almighty God.
1. Galatians 1:6-9 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 - which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8- But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9- As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

2. If one does not continue in the gospel that Paul had given to them the would be cut off from God. This teaches 1) Paul taught a pattern for their adherence, and 2) That strict adherence was necessary for Christians to receive the continued blessings of God, and 3) That abandonment of the pattern meant a loss of salvation.

C. Not continuing in the pattern will cause men to be deceived by false doctrine.
1. Ephesians 4:14-15 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15- but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Christ;

2. Notice several important facts. 1) The potential of being deceived by false doctrine necessarily implied that there is a true pattern for religion, 2) One is deceived when he abandons the pattern God has given, and 3) Continuing in "the truth" guarantees being pleasing to Christ.

CONCLUSION: We have proved several important principles in this study.
A. There was a pattern for God's people under the Old Law.

B. There is a pattern for God's people today.

C. We are not pleasing to God today if we stray from the pattern given in the New Testament for the church of our Lord.

Let us search the word of God for the pattern that He has given to us. "Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you" (1 Timothy 4:16).

1. Prepared for the Second Annual Twin States Lectureship in Princeton, WV - "Studies in Hebrews, The Exalted Christ" Delivered on 5/13/95.

Copyright 1999 by Grady Scott may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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