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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Sanctuary of God
Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established. (Exodus 15:17)
God will dwell only in Christ—nowhere else. God in Christ will dwell in His fullness only in the believer who has been re-created completely—spirit, soul, and body. "Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).
If God is to dwell in us we must "come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing" (II Corinthians 6:17). It is not possible that we can find rest in God, or He can find rest in us, until every particle of our animal nature has been dealt with.
The "wood" must be covered with "gold" (Exodus 25:11). We are being made the "Ark of the Covenant," and the "wood" of our personality must be enclosed in the "gold" of the Divine Nature.
Notice, in Exodus 15:17, the mention of the "Sanctuary" that the Lord has established and in which he intends to dwell.
In the twenty-fifth chapter of Exodus there is another early reference to God's desire to have a dwelling place in the earth.
And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. (Exodus 25:8)
Heaven is the Throne of God and the earth is the footstool of God. God desires a house in which he can live and move and have His Being. He is seeking a fellowship of persons who are in His image and who can serve as His dwelling place—a house through which He can extend Himself to all His creation; a resting place in which the throne and footstool are brought together.
To illustrate and emphasize His desire for a holy dwelling place, God directed Moses to build a tabernacle according to precise specifications. "See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount" (Hebrews 8:5).
Did God Almighty actually dwell between the cherubim in that tent? He did indeed and His Glory could be seen. Moses went in to the Most Holy Place and talked to God as a friend; not as a prophet who sees visions and proclaims the burden of the Word of the Lord, but as a personal friend—face to face.
Although at a later date God came down in glory during the dedication of the Temple of Solomon, it is possible that His continuing Presence was manifest more powerfully in the Tabernacle of the Congregation than was true of the larger, more impressive Temple of Solomon.
The Tabernacle of the Congregation was the house of God until the two wicked sons of Eli carried the Ark of the Covenant into battle and it was captured by the Philistines. This occurred after Israel had settled in the land of promise.
All the time that Israel was wandering around in the desert between Kadesh-barnea and Elath, the Glory of God dwelled between the wings of the golden cherubim in the Most Holy Place.
As difficult as it is for us to understand, God actually dwelled in the Tabernacle of the Congregation. The term "house of God" was no mere figure of speech as is true of church buildings today.
The Tabernacle of the Congregation was God's House, and if you dared to go through the entrances and approach the holy vessels you would breathe your last breath quickly, even though God's throne was termed the "Mercy Seat" (literally, Atonement Lid or Lid of Reconciliation). (from The Temple of God)