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A right apprehension of the lesson of the tabernacle--a right interpretation of this structural parable--goes far to enlighten the mind as to the true attitude of man before God. This speaking parable invites worship on the basis of Divine choice only, and the choice exercised only where there is the right and obedient mind' "humble and contrite of heart, broken in spirit, trembling at his word" It, therefore, condemns all "natural religion", so-called: and places the religions that tribes and nations have invented for themselves where Paul placed them when he said, "God in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways"; and winked at these times of ignorance (Acts 14:16; 17:30).
There can truly be no such thing as natural religion when religion is seen as the institution of reconciliation or re-binding (religion) which God has appointed for the restoration of condemned sinners to His favour. They are all "alienated from him by wicked works", and how can people in that position dictate to God the terms of their reconciliation? God has been pleased to make advances: it is those advances that sinners must receive and adjust themselves to.
The nature of them is indicated in this Mosaic parable. There stands the tabernacle in the midst of its court--formed by the white curtains of righteousness. Righteousness is that only which God considers right. People not in harmony with this--who neither know nor conform to His revealed will--are by the sheer necessity of things outside the encampment of reconciliation, which He has set up in the earth in Christ.
Even when they see this and want to enter, circumcision is required. In the case of the Jew after the flesh, circumcision of the flesh was the sufficient part in the shadow of things. But in the substance of all this shadow, there must be circumcision of heart' the cutting off of "the desires of the flesh and of the mind" as the rule of life--and the recognition of God's choice, God's appointment, God's invitation, God himself--as the only basis of approach' "circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ" (Col. 2:11).
Law of Moses Ch 16