December 24, 2011

"He Tabernacled Among Us..." : Part I

God’s First Tabernacle

In the beginning man is created…and man falls. God had no dwelling place on earth for what amounts to a real long time. Although He manifested Himself in visible forms and interacted with mankind, He had no earthly dwelling place until His chosen people come on the scene. God commands Moses to build a tent (a.k.a.: tabernacle) designed by God Himself. This simple tent would be God’s dwelling place in the world among His people. This tent/tabernacle would be God’s “house”. The Holy Spirit literally comes to the craftsmen who constructed it so that every part has its own significance given to it by God. Let me state that another way so that the underlying truth comes closer to the surface so it can be seen clearer. Every “individual” piece of God’s house is designed by God and has its own unique significance given to it by God to play a role in the house/dwelling. Just as God creates every individual in the Church with a unique role or gift to give to edify the body.

Without God in the Tabernacle/Temple it would’ve been just a dead “lifeless” dwelling place. An empty house…lights out, no one’s home! The Spirit of God comes and takes up residence. We know from the Bible that when God shows up at the party…he does it in style. BOOM! Booyah!

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Exodus 40:34-35

I don’t suppose it is an accident we see supernatural demonstrations in these places too.

God’s Second Tabernacle

At Solomon’s dedication of the Temple which amounts to God’s second house.

“When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.” 1 Kings 8:10-11

God’s Third Tabernacle

At Christ’s birth we actually see God Himself come in person in the form of Jesus.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” ~Luke 2:8-14

Jesus also refers to his body as a Tabernacle/Temple.

“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19

God’s Fourth Tabernacle

At Pentecost we see the Spirit return in power and authority to dwell among us permanently.

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. ~Acts 2:1-4

Wherever we see the presence of God enter our created order we see stirrings and powerful supernatural events. Why? Because the Kingdom of God is encroaching on the world and the proper order of things begin to manifest themselves to the glory of God. Things begin to revert back to a form or state of being that was before the fall of mankind. Wherever God rules in people’s hearts and comes in power…strange things are afoot. They are strange to us because we are so use to a fallen state that we know little else. We actually now live in an abnormal world. The way the world currently is, is not the way things were meant to be. When God comes close, things begin to normalize. This is why we truly see grace, peace and love where God reigns.

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