tabernacle of moses, a Prophetic Teaching prophetic teaching on tabernacle
by John Robert Lucas
 
Images of the tabernacle of Moses

Tabernacle of Moses: Prophetic Teaching

Chapter 5
Progress in the Tabernacle

                God shows us a picture of our journey towards this “more excellent way” when we observe the Tabernacle of Moses. This was the tabernacle that was built in the wilderness after God delivered His people from Egypt. We journey into the tabernacle as the priest of God. The day you accepted Jesus Christ into your heart and decided to follow Him, you at that instant found yourself in the tabernacle of God – IN CHRIST. White walls that represented the “Righteousness of God in Christ” surrounded the tabernacle. You are the righteousness in Christ Jesus as the New Testament declares, whether you act like it or not does not change this fact, however, following the “more excellent way” of God will cause you to walk in this fact. Why is it a reality and yet so hard to walk in? Because our inner man (spirit man) became righteous by faith in Jesus even though the soul man was still quite the same as the day before. The soul man still knew little of God’s way, of God’s mind and how to yield to that which is within. Christ made his home in our heart yet there are many areas of that home we have not allowed Him into, let alone allowed Him to become master of those areas.

The Tabernacle is composed of the Outer Court, The Inner Court (Also called the Holy Place), and the Most Holy Place (Also called the Holy of Holies). The Holy Place and the Holy of Holies are both covered under the same tent, which is called the Tent of Testimony or Tent of the Congregation. This symbolizes those who abide in the Inner Courts of God who will become a true testimony with true unity in brotherly love. Inside this TENT is where God wants every part of your life! There cannot remain one area that stays undealt with, for God’s word goes forth to bring all areas into subjection. Every area of your life must become a testimony. Every area of your life must reflect the unity we have with walking with God in His garden – in a relationship that we have chosen even though we were tempted to choose the things that separate us from relationship.

No matter where we are today in our spiritual WALK, no matter what court we are in, we should progress to this “more excellent way”. We should not be content to abide outside of the tabernacle where the world congregates. We also should not be content to remain in the Outer Court of the tabernacle. The Outer Court should be viewed only as a “passing through” area. When we enter the Holy Place, we see the great veil that divides us from the Holy of Holies. The Holy Place is somewhat glorious; the Holy Place will bring you to a place of unity and testimony, yet we know that behind the veil is where we see God – FACE TO FACE. The veil was torn when Jesus died and yet we act like it is there. We know that we are not separated from God in the spirit and yet our mind seems so earthly. Our walk still seems so unlike the walk of Jesus in Love, Power and Wisdom. The Holy Place caused us great victory, the Truth set us free and yet we know we must proceed through this veil to the Holy of Holies. A revelation of WHO Jesus is - will bring you behind the veil. Seeing the plan of the Father concerning His Son and the church - will cause you to continually abide beyond the veil. A life that abides in the Holy of Holies is a life that walks in FULLY RIPENED FRUIT - HABITUALLY. Walking in total obedience to the will of God and His Word will mature you to become edible fruit. This is a fruit that shall be permanent. Defining the difference between these courts will be given in a multiple amount of pictures throughout this book, especially the difference between the Outer Court and the Holy of Holies. There is a much greater contrast between these two areas of service to God because one symbolizes a baby who ALWAYS NEEDS and the other represents a father that ALWAYS GIVES.

Paul continues this teaching about the “more excellent way” in the chapter that is commonly called “THE LOVE CHAPTER” (1 Corinthians Chapter 13). The priests who entered into the tabernacle wore a priestly skirt. At the bottom fringes were bells and pomegranates. The bells represent the gifts of the Spirit and the pomegranates represent the fruit of the Spirit. Both the gifts and the fruit represent the manifestations of the Spirit; but the fruit of Love is the greater. God wants us to be a testimony in Love that reveals His power. The natural man will sometimes pick and choose the manifestation, however, the spiritual man receives from His Father all good things and it is the spiritual man that will abide in the life of Jesus that causes growth.

God is Love. We are taught a “more excellent way”, which is a walk of life where we exhibit to the world the God on the inside of us and more specifically - His Love NATURE. A temptation may come to pursue the “more excellent way” of love and to refuse His gifts. It is the gifts however that edifies us – to love. Love without gifts; will cause a lack of the power of God that is required of us. Why do we need power? Power is a characteristic of the nature of God. Jesus is called Power in 1 Corinthians and the next time the world sees Him - it will be in Power! Paul writes in 1 Corinthians that the kingdom of God consists of Power and not just mere words. The gifts of the Spirit exercise His power and cause us to be heard of the world; even as the world heard it in the New Testament when the POWERFUL WORKS of Jesus and the apostles got the attention of the world and turned it upside down. Jesus said that the greater works would be seen in the church.

2 Cor 4:7

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Excellency” literally means – BEYOND MEASURE! Jesus Who is Love – Who is Power - is in us and we are in Him. Jesus is the treasure of 2 Cor 4:7 and we must choose Him in regard to manifesting His love and His Power. We must choose to exhibit Jesus to the world – in gifts that can cause a miracle in another’s life and in sacrificial love that shows compassion – BEYOND MEASURE.

On the other hand if we possess gifts without love, it is like having bells without the pomegranate fruit on the bottom of the priestly skirt. It will clang and it will grieve God when we try to enter behind the veil and the world will hear a sound of reproach. Both gifts and love are written about in 1 Corinthians, one right after the other and both gifts and love are REQUIRED for the “more excellent way”. Gifts are NOT the more excellent way but God ordained that they would help GET you there. We sometimes see gifts demonstrated and think the vessel that God used is spiritual, the gifts make NO ONE SPIRITUAL, - they only make him fortunate. Fortunate that he found FAVOR with God - UNMERITED! However they will help both him and others GET to a place of spiritual maturity, to a place of Love - God's very Own Nature.

Exod 28:34-35

A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about. And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the Holy Place before the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not.

With the bells on our skirts as God’s priest in this day, we enter His holiness not casting away fruit or gifts. We do not neglect that gift within and we choose to stay abiding in the vine that causeth growth. Today’s priest shall go forth from God’s Holiest with Life. Many in today’s church have refused gifts for usually two reasons. First, men taught us so, these men were used by the enemy to EXCLUDE us from that, which fulfills the unity of the body and its edification. Secondly, many witnessed or were the victim of an abuse of a gift and because of the hurt decided to reject it categorically. When we are hurt we protect that hurt by disallowing FUTURE HURTS. However, we must choose God’s way and proceed past false doctrines and hurts.

      Some of us CHOOSE to live in the Outer Court (not much past our starting point).

      Others choose to walk and abide in the Holy Place and are HEARD of God.

      But God has an inheritance in store for those who will allow the Light of His Presence to fill the eyes of their HEART – IN THE HOLY OF HOLIES.

A walk that consists of this “more excellent way” must be chosen. It is a choice that commits to the plan of God no matter what the cost. It is a hope that stays in Christ Jesus even though other Christians and ministers are content with a “less excellent way”.

The Light of the Holy of Holies

      The only light in the Holy of Holies is God Himself. Jesus says, “I am the Light of the world”.

Ephesians 1:18

{I pray that} the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, (NAS)

My heart cry for you is that your eyes will be flooded with Light and that you will be changed by the Truth - that you may see and experience the Person of Jesus. What is your heart cry? What hope are you clinging to this day? Is it to see Jesus and His desired calling for you? I pray that we may see Jesus and no longer dwell in an Outer Court that is filled solely with natural light. That we may instead see Him Who calls Himself the Light of the world, that we may see Him Who is called Wisdom.

      Paul says the Wisdom of God is a mystery.

      It is a secret to be revealed.

      To who?

1 Cor 2:10

For to us God revealed {them} through the Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

1 Cor 2:14

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

      Do you want to see His mysteries?

      Then you must spiritually discern them! You must SEE the SON!

These mysteries or secrets are hid in Christ. Every mystery that is revealed is simply an unveiling of Jesus to you in a personal relationship. All the plans of the Father are in the Son. This particular message is an unveiling of just part of the Father's plan, a revealing of just part of the “brightness of Jesus’ image”.

God is revealing His plan concerning our place of maturity. There WILL be a last generation of believers that will abide in this maturity, which is represented by the Holy of Holies. We have probably begun the last forty-year generation that shall end in a people that abide in God's Power and God's Love - in completion. This is the HOPE that you are called to in Ephesians 1:18. Our hope must always stay centered in Him Who redeemed us.

God uses the tabernacle of Moses to give us an analogy of His plans and to reveal to us the PERSON of Jesus Christ. God gives us a more descriptive analogy of His plans represented by the Temple of Solomon. Whereas the tabernacle pointed more to the Son of God, the revelation of the Temple of Solomon points more to the body of the Son of God – The Church.

Every one in the body of Christ is in the Lord's eyes - His temple. Jesus is the Headstone of this temple and He is also the foundation upon which it is built. He is both the beginning and the ending of this building project that shall erect the great House of God. Every stone laid upon Jesus, Who is the Foundation, must be rightly fitted to conform to His image. God is building a temple and He will not REST until the temple is finished and full of Glory. Jesus is the Headstone of a COMPLETELY BUILT TEMPLE. Jesus is the Head of a MATURE body. Jesus is the branch of a vine FULL of fruit. God started this work and He fully intends to have it finished. Even as Zerubbabel was the governor of the rebuilt Temple of God, Jesus is our Governor today in this building project. When God is in complete control of us, He becomes our Governor. Jesus must become in us the Governor that we surrender our will to, this is a dedicating of our lives to Him Who must control this great project.

Zech 4:7-9

Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.

Zerubbabel was an Old Testament temple builder. As our life abides in Christ, we also are God’s Zerubbabel for this hour. We are God’s temple builders when we allow “Jesus the Governor” to have His way in HOW and WHERE to lay the stones and mortar. A temple builder is a minister of God who edifies the brethren in Christ. They do not operate on their own authority. They minister on the authority of the Name of Jesus, even as Jesus said:

John 12:49-50

"For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. "And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak." (NKJ)

This scripture is one of the most important truths given to us who believe, it sets the stage for all that we must learn, it is the place we must by His grace get to. This is simply a place where we are only speaking with our lips what we have heard from God. We are speaking only on His initiative to speak, on His authority. We only DO because He has decided already that we do anything. We DO because we SEE Him DOING!

John 5:19-20

Jesus therefore answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless {it is} something He sees the Father doing; for whatever {the Father} does, these things the Son also does in like manner. "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and greater works than these will He show Him, that you may marvel. (NAS)

Adam acted on his own authority; those who follow Jesus are those who act on Jesus’ authority. It takes all the dealings of life to submit to this Way of God. This is what the project of God consists of – His ability which builds through you to others. We can study man and know all about the inner workings of a man, how he thinks, his personality, his life’s history and yet we are unable to speak one word that can edify Him unto eternal life, even by quoting scripture to him. There is none of us who are intelligent enough to help another, nor are we able to rescue him from the pit, but if the Spirit gives you just one word, He is the One Who changes that man unto life eternal. In your past, when you truly ministered life to another, it was only because you learned it from the Spirit and by the Spirit’s prompting you shared it with another – it resulted in building. God’s desire is that all our words become life.

Also notice that Jesus said that the greater works were about to be performed. Was it because Jesus wanted greater works? Was it because Jesus knew how to release the greater works? Not at all, Jesus tells us that He simply waits on the Father to show Him. If the Father is doing the works then Jesus does them and if the Father does greater works then Jesus does even greater works. Before Jesus’ ministry time there were no works performed by Jesus towards the people. Why? BECAUSE THE FATHER WAS NOT DOING THEM! Meditate on that. No matter how much revelation you have, no matter what your past is, no matter how holy your walk is – you can only do what the Father is doing. If God is not doing miracles, you cannot do one miracle in His Name. The same is true with any work of God. You can manufacture a work and it may look like God to others – but no secret shall be concealed. On the positive side, if God is doing a great work and you SEE HIM DOING IT – it shall be done through you at that point. Faith at that point is not a “shot in the dark”; instead it is performing works from SEEING GOD DOING. I am not saying that all that are used in gifts have “seen God doing” but I am saying that the greater works will be seen when we “see God doing”. This is the more excellent way of maturity. This is an intimate place of covenant where God wants us.

The main point is on “seeing” as we progress. Are we close enough to God to see what He is doing? Jesus had a lifestyle of relationship with His Father. Is your lifestyle considered a relationship with Jesus? Many things will crowd out relationship, but only relationship will get you to a place of seeing. We many times want someone to lay hands upon us so that we can receive a gift imparted to us. We want a special word prophesied over us concerning the greater works God will perform through us. This has its place but it will never happen no matter how many “impartations” or “prophesied words” you receive until you SEE HIM DOING. To see you must be close, to see you must be intimate.

Temples of God

The Bible gives a view of different temples. A temple is a HABITATION OF GOD among men. Much of the church is focused on current or future revivals, but God's plan is focused on us becoming His habitation. Revival is defined as that which causes the building up of that habitation. Revival is not the end or completion to building it. When revival occurs it is not finished by any means and many times it relates to the foundational activity in this building project. Where man focuses on revival, God focuses on laying down your life. Where man focuses on stirring up the inner man via signs and wonders, God focuses on habitually overflowing with the gifts and fruit from a life that has matured. God focuses on you becoming a habitation from the revival that brought His visitation.

different temples OVERVIEW:

The Temple in Heaven - This is that Temple in heaven, in reality, it is that which is eternal. It is the original and the pattern for all other temples on the earth. Earthly temples are but a shadow of this one.

The Tabernacle in the Wilderness - This is the tabernacle that Moses built while the Israelites wandered in the wilderness and it continued some years in the Promised Land. The tabernacle pointed to the more permanent stone habitation.

The Tabernacle of David - This was a pitched tent in Mount Zion for the ark of the Lord until Solomon erected the actual building.

The Temple of Solomon - Our main focus is on this temple which is properly called the "House of the Lord" in scripture. This temple thrived at a time when Israel was in its prime.

The Temple of Zerubbabel - This temple is the rebuilt temple after the seventy year Babylonian captivity. Restoration is the key element. This temple closes out the Old Testament period.

The Temple of Herod - The temple after it was defiled and plundered and then cleansed and restored, except there was no ark as Solomon’s Temple had. This was the temple that was erected in Jesus’ day.

The Temple of God in Christ - In John 2:19-21 Jesus refers to Himself as the True Temple of God. The fullness of the Godhead bodily dwells in Him.

The Temple of the Holy Spirit - The church, defined as those who are born again by the Holy Spirit and have taken up their cross to follow Jesus, are individually and corporately referred to as the temple of God. These are those who abide in Him - Who is the True Temple, and they are joined to Him. This body of ours is the outward expression of that Glory within. We are spiritually - "a temple", and we also have a physical temple.

2 Cor 5:1-4

1      For we know that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens.

2      For verily in this we groan, longing to be clothed upon with our habitation which is from heaven:

3      if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

4      For indeed we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened; not for that we would be unclothed, but that we would be clothed upon, that what is mortal may be swallowed up of life.

On the inside of every one of us there is a groaning - to unclothe ourselves of this earthly temple of our physical body and put on our glorified, our redemptive body. A hope, an inward desire to have this tabernacle exchanged for the heavenly one. To discard this weakly, this deteriorating body and obtain one attached to the Perfect Head - Jesus. You can't get more intimate than that; we shall be joined together with Jesus in body. There is a health that God has reserved for us here, but there is also a decay that reminds us that this is the temporary house. We should never groan for this physical body to be perfect - here! We groan for the one reserved for us when we have finished our course.

Other temples in the Bible are worth mentioning. The “Temple of Ezekiel's vision”, and the “Temple of Revelation”. There are many debates as to what these signify, but their base meaning can be found in the Temple of God in Christ and the church. The Bible also mentions the “temple of the antichrist” and temples of idolatry.

Wheat and Tares

We should keep in mind the principle, that in end times things will get lighter and darker at the same time. As the temple of God is being completed, Satan's own building project is going on to completion as well.

 As the wheat grows up to maturity and is ready for harvest, so are the tares grown up to maturity and ready for their harvest.

      One harvest for righteousness and one harvest for wickedness.

      One observation to make about wheat and tares is that they “grow together” and they look similar until they fully mature.

      The tares are uprooted; then the wheat is harvested and gathered together and bundled as ONE.

No doubt this is a picture of those who are cast into the lake of fire (tares) and those who are joined to the Lord Jesus (wheat), however these pictures do not have exclusive meaning for this certain event. We will observe many pictures in the scripture that have application for truth you can walk in today as well as a more final and complete truth reserved for a future event. Concerning wheat and tares we will observe in our OWN HEARTS, places that have been dealt with by the Holy Spirit and have become wheat, yet the areas that have not been dealt with remain as tares which are destined to be burned. God is the separator even as He separates the wheat and the tares in your own heart; He is also faithful and longsuffering to do the same in the lives around you.

As you mature in Christ, these areas we call tares will become obvious to you – for the purpose of uprooting! When you look back to the first days of your salvation in Christ Jesus you can recall different areas of your life that were not pleasing to God, they were tares, by God’s grace we saw them and uprooted them. But as you grew in Christ some of these tares grew up along with the wheat and even matured. I recall how I grew in Christ and God matured wheat in my heart, great strides in the spirit were made, and yet at the same time I had a tare in the form of a “critical spirit” that matured as well. My critical spirit continually found fault with others in the body, but God continually matured other areas of my life concerning Jesus - He still allowed the wheat to grow up. This is what confounds most of us in our walk, we observe our life maturing so we think all is well but the whole time there is the “tare in our heart” that stays undealt with and matures as well as the “wheat in our heart” matures. God will bring us to a place in our maturity where the tare must be dealt with, now you recognize it, now is the day to uproot that tare. I finally saw my critical spirit and laid my heart on God’s holy altar to be divided, burned, and uprooted.

James 3:9-18

9      With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness.

10     Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

11     Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?

12     My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

13     Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

14     But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.

15     Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.

16     For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17     But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

18     Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. (NIV)

Wheat and tares represent today’s church and ministry that are a MIXTURE. In the last days God is by His Spirit - UN-MIXING! If your tares are growing – you must possess God’s wisdom and humility and then demonstrate deeds of wheat. This scripture in James addresses the confusion of the problem in our heart and the problems in the heart of other Christians that disappoint us. “This should not be”, but they are a Christian reality. It is a contradiction that God will not allow to exist in the last day’s church. It will be dealt with by the methods that God has ordained. Our first step is to receive this heavenly Wisdom that can only come through humility. Religious pride, selfish pride or ministry pride will always exchange this type of wisdom for human wisdom that is independent from the authority of God.

Verse 17 gives you the yielding of God’s wisdom so that we can tell the difference between His wisdom and our unspiritual wisdom. It is first pure; this enables us to SEE GOD. If we see God then the result is a seven-fold characteristic that demonstrates real wisdom. The first is peace. Why does God’s wisdom come with peace? Peace is the opposite of bitter division. Selfish ambition that you manifest will divide and alienate others from God’s righteousness. Peace that comes from His wisdom will join together those who are separated from God’s righteousness. Finally, the tares are uprooted through this spiritual wisdom and it will be replaced by sowings of peace resulting in “wheat of righteousness”.

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