1. Have you ever wondered why God made man in His own image and likeness? [Genesis 1:26-28] God made us in His image, to fashion us into LIVING TABERNACLES for His everlasting habitation. How He intended to do it was the MYSTERY of all ages “… but now is made manifest to his saints: … which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory” [Colossians 1:26-27] At the appointed time, God was manifest in Jesus Christ to DWELL WITH US as precursor to DWELL IN US and “FILL ALL THINGS” with Himself [Ephesians 4:10] God’s ETERNAL AGENDA to DWELL IN MAN was activated when He breathed on Adam and Adam became a LIVING SOUL, capable of FELLOWSHIP with God [Genesis 2:7] God’s FELLOWSHIP with Adam and Eve was interrupted by SIN and their upgrade to LIVING TABERNACLES was stalled, but not aborted. In Enoch, God found a man to proceed with His AGENDA. The FELLOWSHIP was successful, as “… ENOCH WALKED WITH GOD: and he was not; for GOD TOOK HIM” [Genesis 5:24] The PATTERN of FELLOWSHIP by “WALKING” with God was extended to Abraham, when God said: “… I am the Almighty God; WALK BEFORE ME, and be thou perfect” [Genesis 17:1] The FELLOWSHIP was enlarged to include Abraham’s descendants and sealed with an “… EVERLASTING COVENANT to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee” [Genesis 17:7]
2. When God brought descendants of Abraham out of Egypt, the PATTERN of FELLOWSHIP was replicated when God said to Moses: “And let them MAKE ME A SANCTUARY; that I MAY DWELL AMONG THEM. According to all that I shew thee, after the PATTERN OF THE TABERNACLE …” [Exodus 25:8-9] Beloved, there are no temples in heaven, “… the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it” [Revelation 21:22] The PATTERN was the replica of God WALKING in FELLOWSHIP with man to fulfil His AGENDA. The TABERNACLE was Jesus Christ DWELLING WITH ISRAEL in the wilderness, as the Bible says: “… they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and THAT ROCK WAS CHRIST. But with many of them GOD WAS NOT WELL PLEASED: for they were overthrown in the wilderness” [1 Corinthians 10:4-5] God turned a routine two-week trek from Goshen to Canaan into a 40-year odyssey of FELLOWSHIP to PURGE Israel of more than 400 years of spiritual and material defilement in Egypt and forge them into LIVING TABERNACLES [Deuteronomy 8:2] That generation proved unreliable and shut the door against themselves when they irreverently said to Moses: “… Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die” [Exodus 20:19] Jesus Christ was the TABERNACLE in that generation but they shut their hearts against Him. The same error is replicated today wherever men revere what the pastor says, above the WORD of God.
3. The TABERNACLE in the wilderness was a MODEL made by skilled artisans, the ORIGINAL came down from heaven to reconcile us to God’s AGENDA, as it is written: “… GOD WAS IN CHRIST, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them…” [2 Corinthians 5:19] Jesus Christ is the LIVING TABERNACLE and through Him and in Him, we have access to a “NEW and LIVING WAY, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh” [Hebrews 10:20] The “NEW and LIVING WAY” is the LIVING TABERNACLE and PROTOTYPE of God’s spiritual habitation [1 Peter 2:5] The LIVING TABERNACLE has THREE COURTS, as the former, which are REVELATIONS of Jesus Christ as it is written: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” [John 14:6] The WAY corresponds to the OUTER COURT where burnt sacrifices of animals were offered to God. The NEW WAY demands LIVING SACRIFICES and abhors the blood and smoke of dead animals. The NEW WAY requires that you“… present your bodies a LIVING SACRIFICE, holy, acceptable unto God…” [Romans 12:1] We are required to relinquish our WILL as Jesus Christ did and be “… BURIED WITH HIM BY BAPTISM UNTO DEATH: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE” [Romans 6:4]
4. The TABERNACLE in the wilderness had a SECOND CHAMBER, “… wherein was the CANDLESTICK, and the TABLE, and the SHEWBREAD; which is called the SANCTUARY” [Hebrews 9:2] Whereas only priests had access to that SANCTUARY, every LIVING SACRIFICE offered to God through Jesus Christ is welcome in the LIVING SANCTUARY. The SHEWBREAD represented Jesus Christ as the BREAD OF LIFE. The CANDLESTICK symbolized spiritual illumination that comes from knowing who God is. The SHEWBREAD and CANDLESTICK describe the intimate FELLOWSHIP we experience with Jesus Christ when we know God’s PERSONAL IDENTITY and He DWELLS WITH US in the “… SPIRIT OF TRUTH; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he DWELLETH WITH YOU, and shall be in you” [John 14:17] The SPIRIT OF TRUTH is the Spirit of Christ DWELLING WITH US to deepen our FELLOWSHIP with God and lead us beyond the veil into the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies had a “… golden censer, and the ark of the covenant, …” wherein only the High Priest entered once a year [Hebrews 9:4] The GOLDEN CENSER personified the aroma of the SACRIFICE of Jesus Christ in those who live by FAITH in Him. The ARK OF THE COVENANT illustrated God’s ETERNAL AGREEMENT to pour His LIFE into man. The MYSTERY of all ages is perfected when God pour His LIFE in us by the Holy Ghost and we are “… sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” [Ephesians 1:13]
5. Thus, said the Lord Jesus Christ: “… If a man LOVE ME, he will KEEP MY WORDS: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and MAKE OUR ABODE IN HIM” [John 14:23] Beloved, God IS IN OUR CHURCH is not the same as God IS IN ME. Let every man examine himself; am I a LIVING TABERNACLE or a RE-BRANDED SINNER? Remember, “… CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of glory” [Colossians 1:26-27] It does not matter what any man is called or does in the name of the Lord, if Christ does not DWELL IN HIM, he shall be damned at the appearance of the Lord. I challenge you to PRESS FORWARD every day to be filled with the LIFE of God. If you are not BORN AGAIN, I plead with you to seek the Lord today with genuine repentance and accept Him as God and your redeemer. Keep His commandments and He shall perfect His ETERNAL AGENDA in you, amen.