Ryan W. Kepke
“…See, saith he, [that] thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount” - Hebrews 8:5.
Increasing are the pseudo sounds from preachers prating there is no Pattern given in the doctrine of Christ for the work, worship and daily living for His church. Attempting to cloud the issue, advocates for no pattern theology decry, “We must cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘I’ just perfectly or we will experience the just wrath of a vengeful God.” Again, many professing any allegiance to Jesus will opine, “It makes no difference what you believe (only you have to believe) as long as you are sincere.” Others of this ilk completely abandon the plea of the greatest religious movement since the first century to embrace a no rules and no regulation philosophy. Such statements pose a serious challenge to New Testament Christianity. In effect no-pattern babble denies there is a pattern to be found in the pages of the New Testament, which orders our work, worship and daily living for Jehovah. This was a philosophy of liberals in the nineteenth century with mechanical music and the missionary society. A host of others continue to plague the church for which Jesus died. No pattern philosophy is mirrored as it were, in the days of the judges: In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25). To imply or directly oppose the pattern principle teaches God has produced a book much too difficult for man. Thus, open your heart to your inner feelings, opinions, or inner impulses/nudges of the Spirit. False! The problem is not God’s inability to produce a book whereby man cannot know the truth (John 8:31, 32) rather, it is mans irresponsibility to study and take the pattern of Jehovah at His word. (2 Peter 3:15, 16; Ephesians 3:3, 4; 2 Timothy 2:15). By and large man has become fast food service (have-it-your-way-right-away) in nature (by choice) relative to the Almighty and spiritual things! (Acts 17:22 ASV). Is it not strange God allowing His Son to die to purchase that which would contain all the saved from Pentecost until the end of time, but give no clear pattern as to how it should operate?
1.a. A model or an original used as an archetype. b. A person or thing considered worthy of imitation. 2. A plan, diagram, or model to be followed in making things. (American Heritage Dictionary).
What Is A Pattern For?
When a builder or contractor begins to think about the construction of a building, he first obtains a blueprint to guide him. The reason is so the finished product will be exactly what the person for whom the building is being built wants. If the builder never looks at the blueprint while building the structure, this will bring about a great deal of displeasure to both the builder and owner. A pattern is to guide in duplication. To duplicate with exactness with the original and not with a copy. In this case, the copy would be denominationalism for denominationalism is sin (Matthew 15:13; 16:18; 1 Corinthians 1:10). So distinctive is pure unadulterated Christianity it is to be delivered, heard, and obeyed (Jude 3; Acts 24:24; 6:7). Christians are charged to strive for the faith of the Gospel (Philippians 1:27), continue in the faith (Acts 14:22), and to contend for the faith (Jude 3). Thus Christianity is an unchanging system of religious truth! For there is one faith! (Ephesians 4:5). Since division is condemned and unity the prayer of Jesus (1 Corinthians1:10; John 17:11-23), it follows a unified message results in a unified following (ibid.). The gospel and none other is God’s calling power (2 Thessalonians 2:14; John 6:44; Galatians 1:8 Colossians 3:15). It’s not that many see differently, we just hear different messages (Luke 8:18). Therefore different results which bear eternal consequences! (Matthew 7:13-21). Take heed how ye hear!
Old Testament Paradigms
Faithful preachers have contended through the centuries, God has a pattern for His followers in word and deed! There are several outstanding Old Testament examples which reveals the blueprint principle (Romans 15:4). Noah a uniquely righteous man in a totally corrupt age (Genesis 6:1, 2), when he was 480 years of age, was warned of God that the world would be destroyed by water (Hebrews 11:7). He was given the blueprint for building an ark. When the flood came after 120 years, Noah and his family were saved. Why? Noah followed the blueprint exactly! (Genesis 6:22). If Noah and family had not followed the blueprint instructions, he and his family as a result would have suffered the plight with the rest of the world (Genesis 7:23).
Moses was given instructions on Mount Sinai about the construction of the tabernacle and its furnishings. Moses was to make them after their pattern, which hath been showed thee in the mount (Exodus 25:40 cf. Hebrews 8:5; Acts 7:44). The original used in this case is TUPOS, which refers to the heavenly original, which Moses was to use as the model of his work. From this we learn the tabernacle was built by the command of God (Acts 7:44), and there is a heavenly standard men are to follow (Hebrews 8:5; 9:23). Paul to the beloved of God in Rome wrote, ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you (Romans 6:17). Thus the word form is TUPOS, a pattern. Arndt-Gringrich mirrors Romans 6:17 as “pattern of teaching” (p. 837). Thayer calls it the “teaching which embodies the sum and substance of religion,” and further speaks of tupos as “the pattern in conformity to which a thing must be made” (p. 632). Scholarship understands then, TUPOS as the divinely ordained pattern!
The church According To the Pattern
When considering anything that pertains to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), one must take God’s reed (Revelation 11:1), the Bible and measure by it. All denominations have an origin as to time and place for their existence. None have their origin, as does the true body of Christ (Romans 16:16; Acts 2:38). This church was built, purchased with blood and established by Jesus who reigns as King since the day of Pentecost AD 33 (Matthew 16:18; Acts 20:28; Acts 2). Seed produces after its kind (Genesis 1:11). The word is the seed of the kingdom (Luke 8:11). This seed is the law of the Spirit (Romans 8:2), the Gospel (Romans 1:16), the perfect law of liberty (James 1:25). Different seeds bring forth different plants! Some today are saying one can be taught wrong, understand nothing about the kingdom for which Jesus died and be baptized right. This is foreign to New Testament teaching. The theme of New Testament preaching is Christ, Him crucified and things concerning the kingdom (Acts 8:5, 12, 35; 9:20; 28:31; 1 Corinthians 2:2; et.al). The result of this preaching is one body of believers! (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:4). They obey the same form of doctrine, believed the same thing, and were of the same mind and judgment! (Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 1:10). A unified message today will produce the same as it did 1900 + years ago. Sadly many do not hear (Revelation 2:7). The New Testament pattern for church organization is made up of Elders or bishops which oversee to feed the flock (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2). Deacons to serve (1 Timothy 2:8-12). Evangelist or preachers to preach the word (2 Timothy 4:1-5). Members to assemble (Hebrews 10:25). No dignitaries and is autonomous in nature.
Conversion According To the Pattern
Conversion according to the pattern never involves a mourner’s bench and no faith only methods. Many false teachers would have us take a penknife and cut here and there from the “leaf.” [Pattern]. As noted previously God provided a pattern for man from the days of Old. Moses warned Israel, Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from it, that ye may keep the commandments of Jehovah your God which I command you (Deuteronomy 4:2). The features of the Law were typical, inferior and preparatory to the gospel (Hebrews 9:23; 8:6, 7; Galatians 3:24). It makes no sense God being concerned about men following His pattern in that which is inferior and be unconcerned about that which is superior – the New Covenant. Christ and the church was preached to the people (Acts 8:12). In every conversion according to the pattern, hearing the word of God, (Luke 8:18; Matthew 11:15; 13:9, 43), having faith (Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:6; John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 2:38; 2 Peter 3:9), confess the name of Christ (Acts 8:37; Romans 10:9, 10), immersion in water in order to obtain remission of sins is necessary (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21). Have you considered this seriously? Will you?
For those of us who are Christians, would we accept a house built by a builder who referred to his blueprint and followed it like we follow our blueprint for Christian living? I fear many would not (James 1:25). We should study daily to show forth Christ in us (Colossians 3:16). Have you ever stopped to think what kind of home we would have, church or community we would be if each of us followed our blueprint for Christian living? (2 Corinthians 13:5).
The New Testament teaches that we can all attain unto the unity of the faith (Ephesians 4:13). We must be able to identify it. It is absurd to command Christians to come together in unity if there is no pattern or identifying marks whereby we can learn of and obey. There is a divine pattern to go to, learn from and to put into practice. To follow it as it was intended, will not produce modern-day denominationalism rather, will continue to produce, as God patterned – Christians! With no hyphenations! God has given us both precept and example so there will be no mistakes in duplication. Let us be careful to build according to the pattern.
Please e-mail me (Ryan W. Kepke) if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
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