Graphic Representations of Methodism from the Old Testament can be seen in
Exodus chapter 12 with Justification and the sacrifice with the Passover. Like theAltar in the Tabernacle.
Another Graphic Representation of baptism, purification, and sanctification, is seen in Exodus chapter 14 when Moses parted the Red Sea and the people of Israel passed through the Red Sea with a wall of water on both sides and the Egyptian army behind them. Try to Imagine walking on the ground after God moved the water to the left and to the right, with the love the people had for God along with the wonderment for the experience of deliverance. Sanctifying Grace provides a straight and narrow path for the Christian to pass through life with difficulties on every side but the peace of God moving through with a light leading the way. Like the Laver or Basin in the Tabernacle.
Another Graphic Representation in the realm of Perfecting Grace is seen in Exodus chapter 16 with Manna from Heaven. Like the Table of Presence or Shewbread in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle.
Next we read in Exodus chapter 19 the Holy presence and the Glory of the LORD on Mt. Sinai. This is like the Holiness and presence we see in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle. Also in the Tabernacle we see the ShekinahGlory of the LORD, and in the Wesleyan tradition we are taught of the glorifying grace of God.
So from Exodus 12 through Exodus 19 a perspective of methodism that parallels the spirituality of moving through the Tabernacle and the spirituality of moving through the Methodist Society small groups.
Again Hebrews Ch 8 v 5 presents the Tabernacle as a shadow and copy of what is in heaven, and so we see in heaven Revelations Ch 4 v 6 before the throne a sea of glass which reminds us of the laver in front of the Holy Place. Also, Rev Ch 4 v 5 reveals the seven lamps in front of the throne like the lamp stand in the tabernacle in front of the Most Holy Place. If you can picture the Shekinah Glory coming down to the Tabernacle and the lampstand with 7 flames and the laver / basin with water and the bronze mirrors in it, then it is easy to see a pattern emerging.
Here in one written testimony a contemporary of many of the great methodist society members from 1771 into the 1820's. You can read of prevenient grace page 31, convicting grace page 32, justifying grace page 33, sanctifying grace page 325, perfect love, page 170,
Carvosso speaks of the class meeting page 34, band meeting page 117, select band page 170, love feast page 125. Carvosso was a methodist class-leader for about 60 years.
Floorplan of the Tabernacle (not to scale)
A wonderful resource you can view:
Methodism, Moses & Methodist Societies
The Methodism of Moses
Wesley would start people in a class meeting (coed), with their prevenient grace, after they received justifying grace he would move them to a band meeting (gender specific), to grow in sanctifying grace, after they were sanctified he would move them to a select society (coed) later referred to as a perfect love circle.
This way of spiritually moving through a methodist society matches the spiritual progression of the priest through the Tabernacle Moses was instructed to construct. The tabernacle was a shadow of the spiritual progression seen in heaven. Hebrews 8:5
Hebrews Ch 8 v 5 we read the tabernacle was a copy and shadow of what was in heaven.
Jesus provides the way to God,
there is a method to this, ( Methodism )
Wesley taught about Methodism: "We aver, it is the one, old religion: as old as the Reformation, as old as Christianity, as old as Moses, as old as Adam." January 5, 1761
"A Methodist, one that lives according to the method laid down in the Bible. " John Wesley The Complete English Dictionary 1753
When you put Wesley's statement about Methodism with his definition of "a methodist", then it is easy to see Moses as the first Methodist, because he wrote the first five books of the Bible.
What was the Methodism of Moses ?