Monday, April 27, 2009

Paradise Returned: Part 2

* Please read the Introduction and Part 1 first.

The Tabernacle: The Model Of What Was To Come

In the tabernacle, there was only one gate that allowed entrance into it. There are far too many items with incredible meaning that lie within the tabernacle to name here, but of great significance to this article however is the veil. There were figures of cherubim embroidered onto it (Exodus 26). Cherubim, spirits or angels who serve God, were in the presence of God to demonstrate His almighty power and majesty. They also guard the throne of God. They are found all throughout the Word and I personally find them quite fascinating. These cherubim were also on the innermost layer of covering of the tent. If one looked upward, they would see the cherubim figures. The veil assured that no one just “stumbled into” God’s holy presence for it was not some casual affair. There was no question that the people of the time knew that the holy place was a sacred area where a separation existed between God and man. As most know, at the time the holy of holies could only be accessed once a year by the high priest (Hebrews 9:7). As Scripture tells us, this veil was torn the instant that Jesus died upon the cross (Matthew 27:51).

As the veil was torn, the Holy of Holies was exposed. The Holy of Holies is a representation of God’s dwelling place, which we now have access to through Christ. Through Jesus’ death, God ushered in a new era between He and all of mankind forever. God’s manifest presence dwelt among men in pillars of fire and cloud, burning bushes, chariots with flaming wheels. It was intense, I’m quite sure. But none experienced what we can today through Jesus, The Christ. God now chooses to indwell men. God’s glory and majesty have not changed but He has made Himself approachable via His Son. He sent The Christ down to earth as flesh in order to invite us to come in to the holy place. No longer do we need men to enter in on our behalf or rely upon leaders to tell us “thus saith the Lord”, for He now indwells us! He has made us His dwelling place!

Paul understood this as he said, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19

“Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:20-22

“For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.” 2 Corinthians 6:16

(Also read Hebrews 8:1-7.)

It is time for Believers to realize that God is not housed by temples and “church” buildings. He no longer chooses to dwell in sanctuaries and tabernacles made with human hands. It is time to grasp that the holy of holies, the actual presence of God is meant to now indwell His People. We have been sent a Great High Priest so that we don’t need anyone else to go in on our behalf. We should not be satisfied with walking around the outer court. It is time for us to return to the place of intimacy that the first Adam had before the fall. We should no longer be satisfied with looking at Eden’s gate from the outside. How do we get there? Can we even make it back to that beautiful place? How in the world do we gain access to such a relationship?


Nathan said...

So far so good. You asked, "How in the world do we gain access to such a relationship?"... I'm ready to hear what you think on this matter.

Amy said...

Amen!! Great post! I fully agree!

I especially liked: "No longer do we need men to enter in on our behalf or rely upon leaders to tell us “thus saith the Lord”, for He now indwells us! He has made us His dwelling place!"

~Amy :)

Joel Spencer said...

Nathan: Part 3 will be posted tomorrow (Wednesday).

Amy: It is so blatantly obvious to me that the Body still lives in the OT model, always relying on a mediator between them and God. It is a crucial error because it completely invalidates what Jesus was on the earth to accomplish. He is the High Priest. He alone became the Mediator between God and man.

NINA said...

Great blog. Just catching up. been reading two at a time because I have been busy. Just wanted to add that many may never enter this sacred place. It is a shame that Jesus died not only for our salvation but so that we can have access to this holy place. Yet many people may never make use of the full benefits of the cross and the saddest part is that they are content with it. It makes me think of my AAA membership. When I looked at the policy and saw everything that I never even knew that I had as well as the benefits I never made use of, I felt like I had been in a way wasting my money or at least not getting my money's worth. Yes the fact that if my car broke down I could call for road side assistance was more than enough and really why I started the policy. But when I saw all the other bonuses and discounts that I could have had if I had only accessed them I felt like maybe I had been giving away money that I could have used in these hard times. And since my car does not often break down, was the policy in fact in vain? Did Jesus pay the ultimate price for us to NOT access all of the benefits? Many have been taught that the holiest of holies is in fact still off limits and they still rely on the priests and the priests relationships with God. People see it as a hassle or too much for a 'simple' Christian to handle, but are in fact cheating themselves. In fact it is the denying yourself the access to this holy place that makes you a 'simple' Christian. On to part 3!

Joel Spencer said...

Nina: So true. The depth and width of salvation is ASTOUNDING! Most only see it as a pass that allows them access to heaven one day and have no understanding of the "benefits" in the here and now! My salvation has already come!!! I am not just "holding on" to meet my Saviour... I see Him every day!