1. A tent, a shepherd’s dwelling place and
2. A temple, a place of worship
At once, we see in reference to the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, which God gave Moses, a dwelling place of God, and also a meeting place between God and man.
Acts 7:48, “the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands.”
Since God does not dwell in temples made with men’s hands, and He told Solomon to build Him a house, then, at the most, it could only be a TYPE of His true dwelling place WHICH IS THE HUMAN BEING – that everlasting house, for an everlasting God.
JESUS, in speaking to the Jews in John 2:19-21,
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.”
Jesus here describes His body as the temple not made with men’s hands.
The tabernacle in the wilderness, therefore, is the blueprint or type of this Great Temple, the human being: The Third Temple.
The plan of this tabernacle in the wilderness was given to Moses by God with the charge: “And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.” Exodus 25:40. It contains within its three sections SEVEN PIECES OF FURNITURE, which represent the seven stages of development through which God is taking His people. These seven progressive works of grace, therefore, are being manifested in three different bodies on earth.
1. The Church
2. The Body of Christ
3. The Human Being
The word Church comes from the Greek “EKKLESIA.” “Ek” means “out of,” and “klesis” means “a calling.” “Kaleo” means “to call.” Therefore, church means a called out group. In this book, we will study the progression of the Church through its seven stages to the final completion of all that is called Church.
THE BODY OF CHRIST
In dealing with the Body of Christ, we see it as the epitome of all bodies. It claims ascendancy over all that is called a body or organization. The human body is the greatest organization in our realm, but the Body of Christ will supersede this greatness, being itself comprised of many human beings.
THE HUMAN BEING
This section will deal with the human body as the TEMPLE of the Living God. I Corinthians 6:19 says “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
In the realm of the human being as the temple of the living God, man makes a leap into God when the symbolic meanings of the Tabernacle are being worked within his being – spirit, soul and body, in reality. In this study, we shall see the struggle in the soul between the forces of heaven and those of hell to possess the prize, man’s soul, and the METAMORPHOSIS of man either into a heavenly being or into a demonic creature of wrath.
It therefore transpires that the human being at the very height of his development, as shown in the lesson from the Tabernacle, will give up his life in order to be absorbed into a higher life form, the MYSTICAL BODY OF CHRIST.
Instead of being a whole, he becomes a part. Even at the height of his wholeness or perfection, he pours out all his goodness which he received of God for one great ACHIEVEMENT, “the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14.
We need to note at this point that the Church as a division of the Tabernacle is represented by the outer court which compasses and envelops the other two divisions.
The second division, THE BODY OF CHRIST, is represented by the holy place, which is also a part of the church.
The third and final representation of the HUMAN DWELLING PLACE AND MEETING PLACE OF GOD AND MAN, the human body, is represented by the holy of holies. This is the reason why a human life is such a precious thing to God, and should be to us.
The seven divisions are distributed under the three headings as follows:
The Church (The Outer Court):
a. The Brazen Altar (brass altar)
b. The Brazen Laver (brass basin)
The Body of Christ (The Holy Place):
a. The Candlestick (lampstand)
b. The Table of Shewbread (the dining table for the priests)
c. The Golden Altar of Incense
The Human Body (The Holy of Holies):
a. The Mercy Seat (the cover of the ark, made of pure beaten gold)
b. The Ark of the Covenant
From this chart, one can readily draw the inference that the duty of the church is to lead the man to the fiery Altar of sacrifice and to the watery grave, the Laver, for washing and cleansing. Beyond this, the work is on the inside of the believer’s own heart, where the work of the Candlestick or Lampstand (Holy Ghost), the Table of Shewbread (Christ-life), and the Golden Altar of Incense (total separation unto God of one’s whole human and spiritual life) takes place.
The third stage of development in the human soul, as depicted by the Mercy Seat and the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle, brings man out of himself and into the nature of the Father. It is the third experience and the end of all flesh (carnality).
From this third experience, man comes to be like Jesus in His natural body. He walks and lives in flesh and blood, yet without sin. Then afterwards in a resurrected body – human, eating if he wants to, but Godlike enough to come through the wall or disappear at will. This is the experience Paul describes in 1st Corinthians 15:51-53.
Romans 8:29 bears that fact out that we shall be like Jesus, not only spiritually, but physically also. It must be, that one day soon, the Lord will truly answer our prayer, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth (our being), as it is in heaven.”
“For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:29.
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed… For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” 1st Corinthians 15:51-53.
SOME WILL NOT DIE
Some of the people alive today will never see death, if it is as late as we think. Nevertheless, whether we see death or not, if we belong to God during the THOUSAND YEARS of the last trumpet or message of life, we shall be changed from mortals to immortals.
There will be no PHYSICAL rapture which will take us off the earth to another planet, BUT there will be a spiritual lifting up or change. We will be enraptured out of mortality into immortality, in which case no fire on earth could burn us. We will have to be here to reign and rule with Christ over somebody, not just over the ashes of those who have been burnt to cinders. A further explanation will be given later on in the book.
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