God delivered the Jewish people from slavery and led them to the land He had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Fifty days into that journey God called Moses, their leader, to meet Him on Mount Sinai.
During these days of journey God had revealed His mighty power by turning bitter water sweet; defeating the Amalekites, a much stronger enemy; and providing water from a rock for the million and half people.
Almighty God was seeking something very special when He called Moses to the mountain and spoke to Him, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the children of Israel: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians… Now, therefore, if you will faithfully obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be M special possession out of all the nations… And you will be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation… Go the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow… and be ready for the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people on Mount Sinai” (Exodus 19:3-11 MEV).
3 Things Every Christian Should Know About the Tabernacle
1. Almighty God had revealed Himself to the Jewish people by His mighty power. Now, He wanted to reveal Himself by speaking to them “face to face” (Deuteronomy 5:4).
He did come down on the mountain and speak to all of the people, giving them the Ten Commandments for the first time.
- His presence was like a great earthquake.
There was fire and smoke with the sound a great trumpet. It was terrifying! The Children of Israel backed away from the mountain and commanded Moses, “You speak to us and we will listen but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.”
Moses responded, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, so that the fear of Him may be before you so that you do not sin” (Exodus 20:19-20 MEV).
But the people remained at a distance and would not come close to God.
Following that encounter the Almighty gave Moses instructions and a blueprint for building a tabernacle. The tent structure of The Tabernacle contained the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies.
It was surrounded by a fenced area containing a brass altar for burnt sacrifices and a large brass basin for the priests to wash themselves before entering the Holy Place.
- The Tabernacle was located at the very center of the Israelite camp with all the private dwellings facing toward The Tabernacle.
The presence of God that came down on the mountain to speak with the Children of Israel dwelt in the Holy of Holies above the gold Ark of Covenant and Mercy Seat.
- His presence was visible to the people as a pillar of smoke in the day time and a pillar of fire at night.
God’s very presence and glory dwelt in the middle of the camp. His glorious presence is what led them each step they took on their journey to the Land of Promise.
When the glory of God lifted from the Holy of Holies and moved to a new location, Israel followed His lead and moved the camp to that location.
- God spoke to the prophet Malachi, “For I am the Lord, I do not change.”
James affirmed the immutability of God when he wrote, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17 NKJV).
The writer of Psalms 102 also gives confirmation, “But You, O Lord, shall endure forever enthroned and Your reputation to all generations… but You are the same, and Your years shall have no end” (102:12, 27 MEV).
God does not change and His desire for a face to face relationship with His people does not change.
2. The pattern and religious order established in the Tabernacle of Moses and in the Temple of Solomon were only a pattern or a model representing the true heart of God.
His original design of mankind was a face to face relationship and His glory filling their life. That is still His great desire. He wants to dwell in the heart of a person and have a face to face relationship.
- This was the stunning revelation Jesus Christ made to His followers on the night of His betrayal.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (John 14:15-20 NKJV).
- The Apostle Paul emphasized this truth to the believers at Corinth.
The temple of God is no longer a tent structure; nor is it made of wood and nails or brick and mortar. The temple of God is what Heavenly Father originally designed, the human body.
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you” (1Corinthians 3:16 NKJV)?
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV).
Heavenly Father does not want to be the Almighty God far off and distant from those He loves. His original design was dwelling in them and fellowshipping with them face to face.
- Sin defiled that relationship and separated mankind from Almighty God.
He personally bridged that gap through Jesus Christ, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9).
He paid the ransom for sin and reconciled mankind to Heavenly Father.
When a person will humble to Him and repent of their sin, their heart is washed and cleansed. Almighty God removes their sin “as far as the east if from the west” (Psalm 103:12); He makes a divine fiat declaring them to be the righteousness of Jesus Christ, holy and acceptable to Him (Romans 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
This amazing work of God makes that person a “new creation” and restores their human body to be the temple of the Living God.
- The Holy Spirit takes up dwelling in them and fills their life with the glory of Almighty God.
They are now prepared to be in a face to face relationship with the Almighty.
3. The glory of God no longer dwells in the Holy of Holies of an earthly tabernacle or temple. It dwells in the hearts of men.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit. And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, seeing the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces, as in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord… For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, the excellency of the power being from God and not from ourselves” (2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:6-7 MEV).
This is the mystery hidden through the ages from the fall of Adam and Eve until the resurrection of Jesus Christ from dead.
“It is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).