Behold The Pattern   Hebrews 8:1-5


    28Therefore said we, that it shall be, when they should so say to us or to our generations in time to come, that we may say again, Behold the pattern of the altar of the LORD, which our fathers made, not for burnt offerings, nor for sacrifices; but it is a witness between us and you.  Joshua 22:28


 “In our world today, there are as many different,   diverse, discrepant and distinct ideas about the Bible, what it means, and how man is to us it as I have ever observed. Some of these ideas are prevalent  among us today, that is, the Body of Christ is not exempt from the multifarious and mixed thoughts. There  are those today, who hold that the Bible is not for man, that it is not a revelation from God, therefore there is no model for us today….  These would have us believe that we must uplift, update and upgrade our teachings and make them relevant for man today.”    (Behold the Pattern Goebel Music pp46)


The religious world for the most part claim that there is no pattern to be found: Regarding the church or worship. If I like it, God will accept it.  This has become such a problem that one brother, Goebel Music, has penned a massive work, to answer the contention of many of among us.     Behold The Pattern!


Does the Bible contain patterns examples and if so, does God require these be followed today?  Did God require a pattern be followed in the construction of the tabernacle, the temple the instruments of worship? Does God now have a pattern for the Church and worship itself? To what was the Hebrew writer addressing when he penned in  Hebrews 8:5 “See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount”.


What does the Old Testament say regarding a pattern? We read in Exodus 25:8-9 – “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. 9According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it”.   It was “according to” that Moses molded the Tabernacle. “according to” was the pattern used.  It is interesting to look at this phrase in both the Old and New Testaments. “Noah did “according to” all that God commanded”. (Gen 6:22; Gen. 7;5).


 Israel did “according to” the word of Moses”. Ex 12:35 “Jehovah spoke unto Moses saying “according to” all that I have commanded thee”  Ex. 31:1   When this chapter comes to a conclusion,  God has finished the many details about the tabernacle right down to the candlesticks, and states:  Exodus 25:40 “And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount ”.   Regardless of the multitude of instructions, and rigid specifications we find this statement in Exodus 40:16  Thus did Moses: according to all that the LORD commanded him, so did he”.


In  Numbers 8:1-4 the following account:

1And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2Speak unto Aaron, and say unto him, When thou lightest the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light over against the candlestick. 3And Aaron did so; he lighted the lamps thereof over against the candlestick, as the LORD commanded Moses. 4And this work of the candlestick was of beaten gold, unto the shaft thereof, unto the flowers thereof, was beaten work according unto  the pattern which the LORD had showed Moses, so he made the candlestick”. The  Hebrew word for pattern here [mar' eh] literally means, "a view -the act of seeing; also an appearance (a thing seen), pattern, to see, seem, sight, visage, vision."


 Another familiar example of the pattern concept in the Old Testament. In Gen 6:13-16 we read:

13And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. 15And this is how thou shalt make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. 16A light shalt thou make to the ark, and to a cubit shalt thou finish it upward; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.”


It was “according to” that Noah built the Ark.   According to the minute instructions.   Notice the details concerning  the building of the Ark. The ark would be made out of gopher wood. Rooms would be made in it. It would be sealed with pitch both within and without.   There were exact measurements - 300 hundred cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. There would be a single window with a single door. There would also be three stories.  The instructions given to Moses by God were exact and clear, constituting a pattern for Noah to use in construction of Ark


Notice Noah’s response to God commands: “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he”.                               Genesis 6:22..   The Hebrew writer tells us   Hebrews 11:6-7, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 7By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith”.


God had a pattern in the Old Testament, and God has a pattern in the New Testament as well.   Men today do not see the value of the Old Testament  please notice Romans 15:4, where the apostle writes:

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that through patience and through comfort of the scriptures we might have hope”.


If this passage cannot help up learn the value and importance of the Old Testament, I doubt I could show one better.  Take notice to the things found here:  Things written aforetime” certainly refers to the Old Testament. These things are called scripture (John 5:39)  They were “written for our learning” The Old Testament gives us the most vivid examples (1 Cor. 10:6-11).   I seriously doubt if a man could possibly understand the New Testament without knowledge of the Old Testament. Consider the types and antitypes.  Things written aforetime give us hope” I challenge you to read again that great chapter of faith Hebrews 11, and see if the faithfulness of those Old Testament characters do not give you great hope.


Turn with me to 1 Cor. 10:6-11

6Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9Neither let us make trial of the Lord, as some of them made trial, and perished by the serpents. 10Neither murmur ye, as some of them murmured, and perished by the destroyer. 11Now these things happened unto them by way of example; and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.


Twice in this great passage a pattern is spoken of  verse 6 “6Now these things were our examples” This is the Greek word [tuvpo" tupos].  This is the same word used in Acts 7:44 where according to AT Robertson writes:  “The pattern the very word used in Exodus 25;40 and quoted by Stephen in Acts 7:44 “44Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as He appointed, instructing Moses to make it according to the pattern [tupos]  that he had seen.  1 Corinthians 10:6-11,  declare the experiences of the children of Israel  throughout the 40 years of wilderness wanderings are a pattern to us, that we should not come short as did they.


 “According to” was the pattern in the Old and  continues to be a pattern in the New Testament.   I found this phrase some 133 times in 126 verse in the American Standard Version New Testament. This phrase was found in every book with the exception 1 Thessalonians and Jude.    according to” the law of Moses,   according to” the law of the Lord  according to” the commandment, “according to” the pattern  Hebrews 8:5 ,  according to  the “figure,  the fashion, the pattern”  that he had seen  Acts 7:44.   AT Robertson points out the very word used by Stephen in Acts 7:44 and is also employed by the Hebrew writer in Hebrews 8:5 from Exodus 25:40 .  The word here is (tupos)  and translates the Hebrew word .[tab-neeth']. The Septuagint, Exodus 25:40,  is directly quoted in both Hebrews 8:5 and Acts 7:44 


 “According To” is still the pattern in Acts 3:22

22For Moses truly said unto the fathers,  A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. 23And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.


Some other important passages which teach us that there is a pattern in the New Testament. Christians are bound to pass on  truths received by the apostles from Jesus and the Holy Spirit.


Matthew 28:18-20

18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


2 Timothy 2:1-2

1Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also


Both these passages teach that there are truths that the apostles had received, these  same truths are to be taught to the next generation of disciples.   Also Christians are to not either go beyond or change the truth of God's word. 2 John 9-11

9Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.


This passage teaches that we must not transgress, [go beyond  [proavgw ] pronounced.. pro agō.   If there were no pattern, no example,  there is no doctrine to abide in, or that we might go beyond.   


Revelation 22:18-19

18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 


Revelation 22:18-19 teaches, specifically about the book of Revelation  but  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.    See also  Proverbs 30:6  and    Deuteronomy  4:2


Christians will be judged by the words of Christ.   John 12:47-48

47And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.


 Beloved if the words of Christ are to judge us, then there are particulars of His words that are binding. “Behold the pattern!”


Are we pleasing to God today when we stray from the pattern concerning WORSHIP?  Jesus gives us the principle for all worship in  John 4:23-24

23But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.


The pages of the New Testament give us the pattern.    Behold the Pattern!


Acts 2:42-47  we see the first instance of a New Testament congregation worshipping God according to the New Testament pattern.

42And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  47Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.


As we glean the pages of the New Testament, we find the example of worship in practice.   They came together to sing praises unto God, unaccompanied by the use of instruments that were later added for the enjoyment of the people not Almighty God. Colossians 3:16,17..   They gave of their means on the 1st day,  1Cor. 16:1,2  They assembled upon the 1st day of the week to break the bread and commemorate the Lord's death and resurrection. Acts 20:7   1 Cor 11:23 ff

Behold the Pattern!


Beloved if I didn't get but one thing from our lesson it would be  “God is a God of examples  and patterns”.   In the Old Testament these patterns, these examples given  called for strict adherence to and solemn warnings, "Do just as I have showed you, don't vary from the pattern. "   The New Testament if filled with patterns and examples as well,  and the Hebrew writer warns Hebrews 8:5

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 [tuvpo"] showed to thee in the mount”  a reference and quote from Exodus 25:40


here was a pattern for God's people under the Old Law and  there is a pattern for God's people today.  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. 

See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern  [tupos]  showed to thee


God has given us a pattern and a form concerning how man is to be saved.  And no man may be saved today by any other plan, pattern than that given. In Romans 6:16 -18

16Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  18Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness”.

The word (form)  in the passage is the Greek word “tupos” that we have been studying. The meaning is again:  “the mark of a stroke or blow, imprint, a figure, pattern or example. We began looking for something that these Romans did that Paul says was a form of doctrine.  


In Romans chapter 1 and verse 16,17 Paul tells these same people

16For 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. 17For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written,  The just shall live by faith.


Well they obeyed the gospel of Christ, now is there a form in the gospel that we can see, recognize, and obey?  What is the gospel? And we read in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

1Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.   3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:


We turn to Romans chapter 6 now and we find what these had done in obeying the gospel. (Romans 6:3-7) hear it.

3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. (NKJV)


The facts of the gospel are concerning the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)  In our obedience to the gospel, we die with Christ in repentance, we are buried in baptism,  we  are resurrected as was our Lord, from baptism to walk in newness of life. This is the new birth.  (2 Corinthians 5:17, John 3:3-5)  this is the pattern God has given and illustrated over and over for us in the book of Acts.  Have you done this?



Ron Cope Minister churches of Christ


phone:  (678)617-9658