THE OLD TESTAMENT HOUSE OF THE LORD: SIXTEEN (EXCERPT OF THE TABERNACLE OF THE CONGREGATION)
Copyright © 2013 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
(“The Old Testament House of the Lord: Sixteen” is taken from The Tabernacle of the Congregation, copyright © 2011 Trumpet Ministries)
The Setting up of the Kingdom of God
Table of Contents
The Relationship Between the Church and the Kingdom
The Seven Furnishings
Mercy Seat (Lid of Atonement)
Ark of the Covenant
Altar of Incense
Table of Showbread
Altar of Burnt Offering
The Tabernacle of David
Set up on the Earth
The Setting Up of the Kingdom of God
The setting up of the Kingdom of God appears to be typified by the seven furnishings of the Tabernacle in the reverse order of what we have been studying.
- Mercy Seat (Atonement Cover).
- Ark of the Covenant.
- Altar of Incense.
- Table of Showbread.
- Altar of Burnt Offering.
If we study the seven pieces of furniture in the above order we seem to see the historical plan for setting up the Kingdom of God in the earth. It is the kingdom-wide interpretation of the Tabernacle.
In our book thus far we have discussed the physical description of the Tabernacle, and then the interpretation as the Person and work of Christ; the interpretation as the history of the Christian Church; the interpretation as the redemption of the believer; and the interpretation as the perfecting of the Body of Christ.
Now we have come to the Tabernacle as portraying the setting up of the Kingdom of God on the earth.
The Christian Church is the beginning, the firstfruits of the Kingdom of God. Jesus came preaching the Kingdom of God. Jesus used the term kingdom over one hundred times in the four Gospel accounts. He only mentioned the word church three times. The writings of the Apostles, on the other hand, have mainly to do with the Church, the Body of Christ; although the Apostles referred frequently to the Kingdom of God.
The Relationship Between the Church and the Kingdom
The relationship between the Church of Christ and the Kingdom of God is this: the Church has the keys of the Kingdom. The Church is the called-out Wife of the Lamb and the nobility of the Kingdom. Through the Church, God will set up the remainder of His Kingdom, His rulership in the earth.
God’s main purpose in the earth at this time is the calling out and building of His Church, the Body of Christ. When Jesus comes, Christ, Head and Body, will go forth in the fullness of the Holy Spirit of God to set up the Kingdom of God throughout the entire earth. Then the Church will reign over the saved peoples of the earth to the ages of ages (Daniel 7:27).
The Kingdom of God is the doing of God’s will in the earth. “Your kingdom come, Your will be done in the earth.” “The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
We are permitted to come to God through the legal device of ascribed righteousness. But the Kingdom of God is actual righteousness and holiness of personality and behavior plus stern obedience to the Father in Heaven.
The laws and ways of the Kingdom of God were announced by Jesus, as recorded in the four Gospels. The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew, Chapters Five through Seven, is a particularly rich source of the laws of the Kingdom of God. Jesus taught us to be forgiving; to do good to all; to seek righteousness; to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves.
Jesus taught us to respond in generosity and kindness to demands made on us. He told us to “turn the other cheek” if we were struck.
The condition of the world today is such that people are moving away from keeping the laws of the Kingdom of God rather than toward keeping them. The world may be further from the Kingdom of God today than it was in the days of Christ. Has Jesus been defeated? Has God given the world to the wicked?
Not at all! We see the Church. The Church is the hope of bringing the Kingdom of God to the earth. The Church is the means by which God will install His laws, His Kingdom in the earth. God’s laws will be established here and there is no power that can prevent it.
First, God sent Christ. Jesus kept the laws of the Kingdom of God perfectly in the earth, two thousand years ago. Today the ministries of the Church are in travail to bring forth Christ in the saints of the Lord. Through the grace of God in Christ, especially through the working of the Holy Spirit, the Christians are learning how to keep the laws of the Kingdom of God, and to keep them now—in this present life.
God’s laws are impossible to keep by our own wisdom and strength. Through the good that is in Christ, especially in His body and blood, we are increasingly able to overcome the evil in the world—the evil that is becoming in these days more wicked and vile than ever before. There is goodness in Christ through which the saints are enabled to overcome the evil in the world.
In the meantime, we Christians are having a difficult time keeping God’s righteous and holy laws. While we know of the laws of the Kingdom, the keeping of these laws is so high above us that “turning the other cheek” has become a Christian joke. The laws of the Kingdom are never a joke with true saints, the sincere disciples of the Lord Jesus. In the present hour the Holy Spirit is guiding the Lord’s people into the holy and righteous conduct of the Kingdom of God.
When persecution and tribulation come upon the Church, many Christians who are leading lukewarm spiritual lives are brought closer to the Lord through their suffering. When we are brought closer to Jesus, He begins to teach us and to help us concerning doing the will of the Father.
When Jesus appears in the clouds of the heaven there will be a great company of His saints who will appear with Him, ready to bring judgment and deliverance into the Christian assemblies and then into the earth. “The Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints.” The Lord Jesus and His victorious saints, His “mighty men” to use a term from the reign of King David, will rule the peoples of the earth with the iron of God’s strength.
Throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age the Church of Christ will be nourished by the Lord and will grow strong in His righteous ways (Malachi 4:2,3). The people will learn righteousness and peace (Isaiah 2:3). During the Kingdom Age the laws of the Kingdom of God will be learned and observed throughout the earth.
During the new heaven and earth rule of Christ the servants of the Lord, whose home will be the new Jerusalem, will reign as kings and priests. The laws of the Kingdom of God will be kept on earth and in the heavens forever, ages without end.
We can understand from this that the relationship between the Church of Christ and the Kingdom of God is that the Kingdom of God will be set up on the earth by means of the Church. The Church is God’s means for establishing the Kingdom of God and is itself the beginning and governing body of the Kingdom of God.
The Tabernacle of the Congregation reveals the interventions of God in world history from the time Christ hung on the cross, as portrayed by the blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat, all the way to the moment when the holy city becomes the Most Holy Place on the earth and the Throne of God and of the Lamb are established on the earth forever.
The bronze Altar of Burnt Offering standing in the Courtyard informs us that one day the entire universe will be reconciled to God through Christ. This is the kingdom-wide interpretation of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
The Seven Furnishings
Can picture yourself standing at the gate of the Courtyard of the Tabernacle? Can you then imagine the Tabernacle, with its seven furnishings remaining in place, rising up toward you and standing on its feet?
Can you visualize the Tabernacle as a Man covered by the Glory of God; the Ark of the Covenant as His head; the Altar of Incense as His voice; the Lampstand as His right hand; the Table of Showbread as His left hand; the Laver as His loins; and the Altar of Burnt Offering as His feet?
If you can picture such a Man, you have in mind an image of Christ—Head and Body. Christ is the Servant of the Lord, the Anointed Deliverer, who will serve as the King and Priest of God throughout the Kingdom-Age Jubilee. This is Christ who is to come.
Mercy Seat (Lid of Atonement)
The Kingdom of God began in eternity with the Glory of God. The plan for setting up the rule of the Almighty was drawn up in detail before the heavens and the earth were created. The Lamb of God was slain from the creation of the world and the saints were called, justified, and glorified in Him.
Christ is the Word of God by whom all things and personages were created. He is the Glory of God, the Word from the beginning. The plan of redemption was perfected before the serpent spoke to Eve.
Ark of the Covenant
Christ came to earth. The Word was made flesh. The Cornerstone of the eternal Temple of God was laid. The point of reference from which all else is measured was established forever by means of Christ’s atoning death and victorious resurrection. The fullness of the Glory of God, and of the Mercy Seat, abides on Him. He is the King, the Beginning and the Ending, the “All Things” of the Kingdom of God.
It is true also Christ is calling to Himself the Christian saints who, we believe, will share with Him as the counterpart of the Ark of the Covenant. There was wood in the Ark, symbolizing humanity. The saints will be revealed with Christ at His appearing (Romans 8:17-19; Colossians 3:4). The revelation of the saints with Christ was foreshadowed in the transfiguration of Christ in the midst of His five servants (Matthew 17:1-3).
The fulfillment of the Ark of the Covenant, that is, the first appearing of Christ and the subsequent spiritual birth and development of the victorious saints, is the first stage in setting up the Kingdom of God on the earth. This is the Most Holy Place. The laws of the Kingdom are observed here with the greatest of care, through the wisdom and power of God.
Altar of Incense
The Altar of Incense symbolizes the voice of Christ—Head and Body. As Christ ministers in the earth He continually is stating His deepest feelings and needs to His Father. From the mouth of the Lord’s Servant comes prayer—prayer inspired by the Holy Spirit, with the Person of Christ thoroughly mixed into every part.
There comes forth intercession, praise, thanksgiving, worship, and every other aspect of our communion with God. The voice of Christ is a trumpet that reminds God of the needs at hand and of what God’s Word has said about meeting that need. The Lord’s Servant knows the Scriptures.
As the Spirit of intercession, spiritual battle, worship, and supplication comes upon the Church in great strength and holiness in the last days, the sound will come before the Face of the Father as a pleasing fragrance. The Bride will cry, “Come, Lord Jesus!” So holy and anointed will be the end-time call that it will bring back the Lamb with an irresistible force—the force of His love for His Bride.
Heaven no longer will be able to hold Him. He will be drawn back to the earth. The return of the Lord Jesus with His “mighty men” is the next step in setting up the Kingdom of God on the earth.
After the Lord Jesus returns, the Holy Spirit will come into the earth through the saints in such glory and to such an extent that the spiritual atmosphere of the entire planet will be changed. Many of the writings of the Prophets of Israel speak of the outpouring of God’s Spirit in the days to come. The Kingdom Age will be a Pentecost of Pentecosts. The Holy Spirit will be given without measure. The Glory of the Lord will cover the earth. Healing and salvation will flow as a River of Life that cannot be crossed (Ezekiel 47:5).
One of the most important aspects of the Kingdom Age will be the overwhelming Presence of the Holy Spirit. The Glory will provide impetus for the establishing of the Kingdom of God—the laws of God—in people. Not only will the Church as a whole begin to practice the laws of the Kingdom, but the saved peoples of the earth will learn from the Church how to obey God.
Although the Kingdom Age will not be as perfect an expression of the rule of God in Christ as will be true of the new heaven and earth reign of Christ, yet the laws of the Kingdom of Heaven will be in far greater observance than they are today (Isaiah 2:4).
Table of Showbread
The Table of Showbread represents the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The body and blood of Christ are given to the Church to eat and drink and are the life of the Church. The more we eat and drink of Him the more we live by Him as He lives by the Father.
The Wife of the Lamb is created from the Substance of the Lord Jesus, from His body and blood. The Church eats the Lamb. By so doing the Church becomes the Wife of the Lamb.
The only eternal life in the world is the Life of Christ Himself. There is no other eternal life. As the Church goes out to minister in the earth it brings eternal life to the people who will receive Christ. That life is in the Church from eating His body and drinking His blood.
When the Church brings the Word of God to a person, or prays for his healing and deliverance, or counsels him to receive the atonement and make his peace with God, if the person receives, then he partakes of the Life that is of Christ coming through the Church.
When an individual refuses to obey a member of the true Church the blessing of God will not remain on him.
For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. (Isaiah 60:12)
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,” the Scripture states. Again, in the first Psalm, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season.”
And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine. (Ezekiel 47:12)
It is true today. It will be true during the Kingdom Age. It will be true throughout eternity in the new heaven and earth. The only eternal life in the world is now, and forever will be, in the Person of Christ. People with needs, whether those needs be for their spirit, their soul, or their body, must come to the Lord Jesus for life and healing.
Christ is the Tree of Life, and by partaking of Christ the Church becomes the Tree of Life growing along the banks of the River of Life. Everyone who thirsts can come and drink the waters without payment. In the Church is the Bread from Heaven and the true drink of God. The more we partake of Christ the more Divine nourishment we possess to give to the spiritually thirsty and hungry people of the world.
When we come to the Laver we pass out into the sunlight of the Courtyard of the Tabernacle. The fenced Courtyard represents the nations of saved peoples of the earth. While the Church is being brought into perfect reconciliation to the heavenly Bridegroom, Christ, the Church also is bringing the Life of Christ to the nations of the earth. The Laver, in the kingdom-wide interpretation, represents the cleansing of the earth. It is the ministry of the Church to rebuke, to exhort, to warn the peoples of the earth that God shall judge and destroy the filthy practices of sin.
The Church is the light of the world, the salt of the earth. Through the Word of God in the Church, and the example of Christian conduct, the nations of the earth learn righteousness. However, in the days in which we are living the testimony of the Church is weak as pertaining to godly living.
The churches, in many instances, have a form of godliness but are unable to influence the conduct of people. The message from Heaven that was given to the shepherds at the time of the birth of Jesus is mocked by the lust, violence, and idolatry that are making our earth a cesspool of lawlessness.
At the present time we are moving into the most powerful testimony ever to occur in the history of the Church. The Holy Spirit is beginning to bring to the Church a dispensation of works of wisdom and power without precedent so the members of the Body of Christ may bring to the peoples of the earth the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. At the same time, all kinds of sin continue to mature as a foul vine covering the earth with spiritual darkness. The accompanying filth, violence, and judgment of God will cause people to turn either to God or to Satan.
Living “on the fence,” being neither for nor against God, will no longer be possible. Many souls, unfortunately, will make their choice for evil in the days to come, forfeiting their birthright as children of God. Their end will be the Lake of Fire with the devil and his angels.
However, those who choose to come out from the wickedness of the present evil age, despising the cost to themselves, will be saved by the authority and power of Christ.
Because of the revival of which we are speaking, the laws of the Kingdom of God will enter the earth with terrific force. The people who decide to serve God will be taught by the Holy Spirit to love one another and to observe the righteous ways of the Kingdom. They will be filled with Christ, the result being an expression in their life of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control.
At the coming of our Lord, Christ, every bit of power and authority of the wicked one will be destroyed. Then the laws of the Kingdom of God will spread throughout the entire earth. The waters of the Laver, to speak in a figure, will wash every man, woman, boy, and girl whom the Lord is saving.
Through His Church the Lord God will cleanse the inhabitants of the earth from their sins. He will give each person a bath in the water of the Word of God. Then He will anoint each with the oil of the Holy Spirit and put some of the holy perfume of the fragrance of Christ on him. The redeemed nations will dwell with God on the earth and be entirely acceptable to Him as His children (Matthew 25:34; Revelation 21:24).
Altar of Burnt Offering
The bronze Altar of Burnt Offering represents our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross making an atonement for sin through His blood. If He is lifted up on the cross He will draw all men to Himself.
At the four corners of the top of the Altar of Burnt Offering were four horns. The four horns pointed toward the ends of the earth, toward the four points of the compass. The Gospel of the Kingdom is to go out to the north, south, east, and west until every person has had an opportunity to be reconciled to God through the blood of the cross.
God has made provision for the redemption of every man, woman, boy, and girl on earth. But a person must hear the Gospel and see the power of God if he or she is to receive the Kingdom of God.
Now is the time in which to prepare ourselves for the greatest move of God in history, and to listen carefully to the Holy Spirit of God so we may give completely of our personality to Christ each day. The Gospel of power must go forth throughout the earth before Jesus returns.
It is our belief that during the thousand-year Jubilee to come, the saints will go forth in the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit, bringing judgment, deliverance, and restoration to the nations of the earth. They will rule with Christ over all of the saved kingdoms and nations.
During the Kingdom Age the principalities of darkness will be bound, and people will be able to receive the good news of the Kingdom of God without having to be persecuted or killed for their faith. The earth will be cleansed from sin (the Laver), and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, will be lifted up as the King of kings and Lord of lords (the bronze Altar of Burnt Offering). The kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdom of our Lord and His Christ.
The entire Body of Christ at that time will grow up as “calves of the stall,” drinking the fullness of the Holy Spirit of God, feasting on the Life of Christ, coming into a state of perfect reconciliation and oneness with God in Christ, being healed of every imperfection of spirit, soul, and body. The Church will be employed throughout the Kingdom Age as the rulers, priests, and teachers of the peoples of the earth.
Down through the centuries since the crucifixion of Christ, millions of people have spiritually beheld the Lamb of God and have received His sacrifice as the atonement for their sins. Now also, in our day, it is time for Divine revival to take place throughout the earth, throughout all nations poor and rich, small and large, and every type of government. There are no exceptions with God. Every person must have a chance to see the power of the resurrected Christ and to hear the Good News of the coming Kingdom of Heaven, from the great cities of the wealthy nations to the caravans of the desert areas.
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14)
Then shall the end come! The end of the rule of the kingdom of darkness. The end of the rule of men apart from God. The end of the curse. The end of all sin and lawlessness, sickness, anguish, famine, violence, lust, sorcery, covetousness. We look for a new world wherein dwells righteousness.
First, earth-wide revival. Then, the overcoming of the Christian witness and the maturing of sin. Next, the return of our Lord Jesus Christ bringing the fullness of resurrection power to the saints and the terrible vengeance of the Lord God upon sin and sinners—angelic and human.
After that, the earth-wide reign of Christ and His saints—the Kingdom-Age Jubilee. Then shall the realm of nature break forth into singing and all nations of the saved will have their inheritance as children of God restored to them. Then will be the marriage of the Lamb, the perfect reconciliation of each Christian with God in Christ.
The Tabernacle of David
After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. (Acts 15:16,17)
The holy Ark of the Covenant, as we have studied, was located in the Most Holy Place. It was hidden from the Holy Place by the Veil.
But a terrible thing happened during the time of Samuel. The two wicked sons of Eli the priest, Hophni and Phinehas, were in charge of the Ark when the Tabernacle was at Shiloh. At the request of the elders of Israel, Hophni and Phinehas removed the Ark from the Most Holy Place and carried it to a site named Ebenezer where the armies of Israel were engaged in battle against the Philistines. During the conflict the Ark of the Covenant was captured by the Philistines.
The extent of the tragedy of the loss of the Ark of the Covenant can hardly be grasped. The Glory of Israel had departed. The Ark never again was restored to the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
We will not at this time describe the route that the Ark followed as it journeyed through the land of the Philistines, bringing destruction on its captors. The chiefs of the Philistines finally admitted defeat and sent the Ark back to Israel. It is an interesting narrative, filled with spiritual significance.
After many years had transpired, David found it in his heart to bring the Ark to Zion, David’s own city. David erected a tent to cover the Ark (I Chronicles 15:1). The Ark was brought in amid tremendous rejoicing in the charge of the priests and Levites. As usual, David’s heart directed him to do what was lawful and pleasing to the Lord. Meanwhile, the Tabernacle of the Congregation, minus the Ark, remained at the high place of Gibeon (I Chronicles 16:39,40).
David placed the Ark in a tent in Zion. Zion was a small city built on a hill within the larger city of Jerusalem. The tent that housed the Ark was termed the Tabernacle of David. The Tabernacle of David is referred to in Amos 9:11 and Acts 15:16. We see from these two passages that God has promised to build again the Tabernacle of David in a context of marvelous restoration and Divine Glory and blessing on His people.
The Ark never was returned to the Tabernacle of the Congregation. But in the reign of Solomon, the Ark, and the Tabernacle of the Congregation with its holy vessels, were placed in Solomon’s Temple (I Kings 8:1-9). The Ark was empty except for the two tables of stone, the Ten Commandments, at the time it was placed inside the Temple (I Kings 8:9). This fact reveals to us that when all things have been concluded, at the time of the new heaven and earth reign of Christ, the implements of redemption will be removed. Only the holy moral law of God will remain throughout eternity.
It appears that the loss of the Ark from the Tabernacle of the Congregation, with the accompanying loss of the Glory of God to Israel, its long journey and return finally to Zion, and the placing of both the Ark and the Tabernacle of the Congregation in the Temple of Solomon, are all a Divine portrayal of the history of the Christian Church, including events yet ahead of us.
The Glory of God manifested in the first Apostles of Christ was lost to the Christian Church through the inability of people to walk in the Spirit of God. The elders of the Church attempted to build the Kingdom of God by means of fleshly wisdom and effort rather than by the Holy Spirit. The Church’s ability to serve as God’s royal priesthood was lost, symbolized by the broken neck of Eli (I Samuel 4:18).
The Christian Church since the first century has been characterized by a lack of power and revelation rather than by the fullness of the Glory of God in Christ. Yet, it is God’s will that all who are in His holy Son, Christ, walk in the fullness of God’s Presence.
We have indicated already how essential it is that the spiritual counterparts of all the elements of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, from the bronze Altar of Burnt Offering to the Altar of Incense be restored. The shed blood of the Altar of Burnt Offering, the washing of the Laver, the Substance of Christ of the Table of Showbread, the Holy Spirit-filled prayer and praise of the Altar of Incense—all are necessary for the development of the Church, and must be fully restored and operating in the fullness of Divine Glory in order for Christ to be formed in the Church.
We do not say that each local assembly will have all the ministries of the Body of Christ. The Spirit gives gifts and ministries to the Body, not to the local churches. We know of no passage that states the Spirit gives gifts to the local assembly. The gifts and ministries are given to the one Body of Christ. The result of placing too much emphasis on the local body of believers is a little kingdom that tends to cut itself off from the remainder of the Church. A local body of believers then becomes like a small denomination.
It is our conviction that in our day the Gospel of Christ is to be proclaimed in tremendous power, with signs following, at home, abroad, and to the ends of the earth, until every person has seen and heard the Lord’s program of redemption and is aware of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God and the judgment of the living and the dead.
But what of the rebuilding of the Tabernacle of David, mentioned by Amos and James? It may be recalled that the Ark was never again joined to the Tabernacle of the Congregation until both the Ark and the Tabernacle were placed in Solomon’s Temple. What does the separation of the Ark from the Tabernacle signify in prophetic symbolism?
God is doing a work in our day that is contemporary with the glorious restoration and evangelism mentioned above, and dependent on it and related to it. The contemporary work of which we are speaking may be considered separately from the restoration and evangelism, just as David’s Tabernacle was separate from the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
This current separate work is the full development of the Presence of Christ in His victorious saints, in a firstfruits of the entire Church. Concurrently with and as part of the worldwide revival of Gospel power God is developing a firstfruits unto Christ (Revelation, Chapter 14), a desire in the hearts of numerous Christians to be totally obedient to God’s purposes in Christ. These are the conquering saints, mentioned several times in the Book of Revelation.
We believe Christian people who, through the virtue of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, overcome the world, the adversary, and their own fleshly nature, are the fulfillment of David’s Tabernacle.
We see the blessing of God coming today on every assembly of Christians that will make an effort to seek the Lord. Yet the blessings that are coming on the churches are not always resulting in the restoration of holy and righteous personality and behavior, which is the fruit of genuine moral re-creation and total consecration to God’s will. The churches, in some instances, may be remaining at the “high place at Gibeon,” speaking symbolically of the current mixture of Divine restoration and fleshly church activities (I Chronicles 16:39).
When we are speaking of victorious saints, overcomers, Christian people who will take up their cross and follow Christ to the extent that the Scripture commands, we are not suggesting an elitist group. Being a victorious saint, an overcomer, an inheritor of all the promises of God in Christ, is readily available to each Christian, as shown by Jesus’ words in the second and third chapters of Revelation.
You, dear reader, are welcome and invited to set the knowing of Jesus as the supreme goal of your life. His power is sufficient to bring you up from the lowest pit to the throne of Glory. Your part is to choose to accept the fullness of Christ. His part is to accomplish His fullness in you. The only obstacle that can keep you from being a full overcomer is the wall of your own unbelief and disobedience (Hebrews 3:19).
As we look about us we can see the calling and choosing of God in Christ. Some Christians have a nature that is aflame with the desire to seek Christ with a whole heart. Such will receive the fullness of His Presence (the Tabernacle of David) at His glorious appearing. They are the firstfruits of the earth, and will be unveiled in the sight of the creation at the return of Christ (Romans, Chapter Eight).
When Jesus returns He will rule all nations with a rod of iron, and the victorious saints will share His throne of authority and power with Him. Through the saints will be accomplished the restoration of God’s Glory described in Isaiah, Chapters 60 and 61; Daniel, Chapter Seven; and John, Chapter 17. The fullness of the Glory of God will come to whoever will take up his cross each day and follow Christ.
The Tabernacle of David contained the Ark of the Covenant, in which were the two tables of stone, the Ten Commandments. Each Christian who will give his personality to the Holy Spirit in the day in which we are living will be fashioned into the “Ark of the Covenant,” so to speak. His entire personality will be converted into the express moral image of Christ.
It is the Lord’s will that the moral law be inscribed on the tables of our heart. We must say the eternal “yes” to God. If we do, from then on every moment of our time will be used by the Lord to teach, to refine, to perfect, to transform us according to His design. His specifications for His temple are exceedingly exact (notice the amount of measuring of Ezekiel’s temple—Ezekiel, Chapter 40; also, Revelation 11:1; 21:17).
You too can enter total discipleship. Now, as you read these words, say, “Lord Jesus, this is what I desire—to enter completely into Your purposes with no part of my personality held back from You.”
Say it, and mean it with all your heart. Then watch and pray as our Lord, to your never-ending delight, re-creates your entire personality. There will be some trouble and suffering along the way, but that is part of the process of redemption. The results are worth your trouble and suffering (Romans 8:18; II Corinthians 4:17).
Keep one fact firmly in your mind. Your transformation into the image of Christ, and all the resulting glory and blessing, are not dependent on anything in you—your wisdom, strength, education, popularity, history of successes or failures. Your total victory is not dependent on any thing, any circumstance, any person other than Christ.
Your part is to rest in Christ. It is the power and glory of Christ—nothing else—that takes you from a frail creature of the dust and exalts you to the throne of Glory. Rest in Him. The victory is His. “All things are possible to him (or her) who believes.”
The process of redemption will have been completed in you when you are in Christ’s image in spirit, soul, and body; when you are completely indwelt by the fullness of the Godhead; and when you are fully anointed with the Holy Spirit for total dedication to Him in the building of His Kingdom on the earth.
Is such glory and blessing for you? Step forward in faith, hope, and trust. You have nothing to lose but your sin and disobedience. You have Christ to gain.
The Christians who are victorious in Christ are the fulfillment of David’s Tabernacle. They are dwelling places for the Ark of the Covenant. In fact, they are the Ark of the Covenant, the dwelling place of the Glory of God. Each strong Christian must assist weaker believers until the entire Kingdom of God has been perfected and established eternally on the earth. This will occur when the new Jerusalem comes down from God out of the new sky and is founded on a high mountain of the new earth.
The victorious saints will rule in Christ during the Kingdom Age. The Book of Revelation emphasizes this point. It appears from Isaiah, Malachi, and the other Prophets, that the Church of Christ will be perfected during the Kingdom Age. To our knowledge, the Scriptures do not state that Christ is coming for a perfect church. However, it is certain that eventually the Church will be made perfect by the Lord (Ephesians 5:27). A remnant of the Church will be approaching perfection by the time of the coming of the Lord.
The “male son” of the twelfth chapter of Revelation represents the development of Christ in the members of the Body of Christ. The “woman” of Revelation, Chapter 12 is the Church. The Church is the fulfillment of the Holy Place of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. The travail of the heavenly woman is the travail of the Church to form Christ in each member of the Body of Christ.
Those who choose to do so may press forward to the full image and total indwelling and anointing. The believers will perform the same, and greater works, as Jesus prophesied in John 14:12. They finally will overcome “the accuser of our brothers” by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony, and by loving not their life to the death.
According to the Book of Revelation the victorious saints will inherit all things, including the Throne of God. Every member of the Christian churches is invited to inherit all things in Christ. When Christ is formed in us He always is caught up immediately to the Throne of God. He always inherits every promise of the Scripture for they are addressed primarily to Him. He—Jesus Christ—is the only true Israel, the Servant of the Lord. We are nothing apart from Him, but through Him we are the Seed of Abraham and heirs of God.
The creating of a victorious saint is a unique operation involving the Lord and one believer. Never has the Holy Spirit written “to them who overcome.” Overcoming is always singular, personal. It is always “to him who overcomes.”
Each overcomer receives a white stone of acceptance in the ranks of the chosen, and no one knows the name on the stone except the Christian receiving it. The new name is given to the new creation. The stone and the name are unique to him receiving it and compose a further bond between the Lord and His servant. There are some matters that are to be kept in confidence between Christ and His saints.
Special revelations from the Lord must be worked out in our own heart with Christ. We should always maintain a teachable spirit toward the Lord and toward people. We are not to make room in our heart for a spirit of pride or for an independence that alienates us from our fellow Christians.
We shall make many mistakes so there is no basis for our becoming spiritually proud. We can be assisted by all the folk in the churches, and by unsaved people as well. We are to keep firmly in mind that we are self-centered creatures—worms in the sight of God. We are full of problems and shortcomings of every description.
We must be careful about describing our personal “revelations.” Remember what happened to Joseph! Remember also God loves each of us with an exceedingly great love and will make our discipleship a success if we will allow Him to do so.
We understand that two dimension of spiritual life are working at the same time in God’s people. One dimension is the coming of the double portion of the anointing of the Holy Spirit for the purpose of bringing the witness of the resurrection of Christ to every person on earth.
The end-time double anointing for witnessing is portrayed by the two witnesses of Revelation, Chapter 12. The double anointing can be seen also in the two wave loaves of the feast of Pentecost (Leviticus 23:17). The two olive trees shown to Zechariah speak of the fullness of the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Zechariah 4:3). They reveal to us that the Temple of Lord will be built “not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).
We understand, then, that a fullness of anointing for Christian witnessing is even now coming on the disciples of the Lord Jesus in these last days of time.
The second dimension of spiritual life is the development of the fullness of Christ in the Christians, a preparation for their reigning eternally with Christ throughout the ages to come. Both of these dimensions, the Gospel witness and the transformation into the image of Christ in spirit, soul, and body, can work in your life if you will seek the Lord Jesus with all your heart.
Perhaps the two witnesses of Revelation, Chapter 11 portray the power and revelation of the end-time Gospel ministry, while the “male son” of Revelation, Chapter 12 signifies the development of the fullness of Christ in the Christians.
It appears also the Body of Christ will be brought to maturity during the Kingdom Age. Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when He said, “Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected” (Luke 13:32; see also Hosea 6:1-3).
It may be that Jesus was looking forward prophetically to two thousand years of Gospel ministry and power, and then to a thousand-year Kingdom Age during which His Bride would be brought to perfection in preparation for her glorious descent from the sky as the holy Jerusalem, the fullness of God’s Glory to the ages of ages (Revelation 21:9,10).
The above is our understanding of the fulfillment of the Tabernacle of the Congregation and of the Tabernacle of David. The Tabernacle of David speaks of a remnant of the entire Bride, a company of victorious saints who will appear with the Lord at His coming.
The remainder of the Church (as symbolized by the Tabernacle of the Congregation minus the Ark) on the high place of Gibeon will not be perfect in Christ until the end of the Kingdom Age. Then the two groups, the remnant and the remainder of the Church, will be joined together as one holy city, the new Jerusalem, and will come down to the earth from God out of Heaven.
Let the prophets judge whether or not what we are teaching is correct. To Christ be all glory forever.
Set Up On the Earth
The pattern of the Tabernacle, which also was the pattern for Solomon’s Temple that followed, is an indication of the nature and structure of the Kingdom of God that now is being created and that will be established on the earth when Jesus returns. It may be remembered that the Tabernacle was walled in by a rectangular fence of fine twisted linen.
And thou shalt make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen of an hundred cubits long for one side: And the twenty pillars thereof and their twenty sockets shall be of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver. (Exodus 27:9,10)
The pattern, which includes the Most Holy Place, then the Holy Place, then the Courtyard, points toward degrees of holiness and nearness to the Presence of Christ There are those who choose to live in the fullness of His Presence and who will “see his face.” They shall reign forever.
As one moves toward the “Courtyard,” so to speak, there are nations of saved people ruled by kings (Revelation 21:24-26).
The description of the Kingdom of God set forth in the Book of Revelation reveals that the victorious saints will dwell forever in the fullness of God’s Glory, are coheirs with Christ, and will sit with Him on His throne. The Book of Revelation states also there are untold numbers of people who will be living on the new earth and who will recognize the supreme rulership of the new Jerusalem, which is the Wife of the Lamb (“the nations of them which are saved”—Revelation 21:24,26).
When God has finished perfecting and arranging the members of His Church, the Body of Christ, the fullness of Him who fills all in all, then the Church will be set up as the Tabernacle of God on the new earth (Revelation 21:3).
When we Christians make the spirit Paradise (Heaven) the focus of our attention we miss the Divine purpose. God’s attention is centered on the earth. God is establishing His Kingdom on the earth.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. (Daniel 2:35)
“Filled the whole earth.”
The “stone” is Christ, and the “great mountain” is the Kingdom of God that shall prevail over all other political institutions on the earth.
And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. (Daniel 7:27)
The preceding passage describes the time to come when Jesus and the saints rule on the earth. Their rulership on the earth is the rule of the Kingdom of God.
The latter chapters of Revelation speak of the reign of Christ and His saints on the present earth and also on the new earth.
And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:15,16)
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of Heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (Revelation 21:2,3)
(“The Old Testament House of the Lord: Sixteen”, 3448-1)