At the end of Exodus everything is coming to a consummation, a conclusion: God finished giving Moses the instructions for the building of the tabernacle, He selected two master builders and some wise in heart to build up the tabernacle, and everything was done – Moses inspected it, approved it, anointed it, and blessed it.
Now, when the tabernacle was erected according to God’s specific instructions, something amazing happened: the glory of Jehovah filled the tabernacle within and the cloud covered the tent of meeting without. Wow!
God was fully pleased and satisfied. God’s heart’s desire is to have a dwelling place not just in the heavens or on the mountain but among His people; for this, He wants His people to build and become His sanctuary, and this is what happened in type in Exodus 40.
The desire of God’s heart is to have a dwelling place on earth with His people, a sanctuary where He can dwell, rest, and be expressed; when His people Israel erected the tabernacle according to the revelation God showed Moses on the mountain, God was satisfied and His glory was manifested.
Hallelujah, today in the church life we have the real tabernacle of God – Christ as the embodiment of God lives in us and is expressed through us for God’s rest and satisfaction among His people.
The same tabernacle was, on the human side, a “tent of meeting” for God to meet with man and be with man, and on God’s side, a “tabernacle” for God to rest, dwell, and be expressed. Today the church is for God to rest, dwell, and be expressed through, and at the same time the church is for God to have a move and outward expression of what He is doing within man.
May we be those who learn to cooperate with the Lord for the fulfillment of His heart’s desire; when His heart’s desire is fulfilled, we are happy, God is at rest, and His glory is manifested in and through the church.
The Tabernacle, the Cloud, and the Glory in Exo. 40 are a Full Type of the Triune God
When the tabernacle was completed, inspected, approved, and blessed by Moses according to the instructions God gave him, the cloud descended to cover it, and the glory of God entered to fill it. When the tabernacle was erected, it became a living tabernacle, having God’s glory and His covering (see Exo. 40).
This whole picture with these three elements shows us the Triune God in type: the tabernacle is a type of Christ, the cloud is a type of the Spirit, and the glory is a type of God expressed.
John 1:14a says, “The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.” Therefore, the type of the tabernacle was fulfilled in Christ, the second of the Trinity, God the Son incarnated. According to 1 Corinthians 10:1-2 and 12:13, the cloud that descended and covered the tabernacle is a type of the Holy Spirit, the third of the Trinity. That the descending cloud typifies the Spirit is also confirmed by John 1:32, which says, “ John testified, saying, I beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He abode upon Him.” John saw the Spirit descending upon Christ, who was identified as the fulfillment of the tabernacle in verse 14 of the same chapter. Furthermore, verse 14b says, “We beheld His glory.” This glory corresponds to the glory that filled the tabernacle. Thus, the picture of the tabernacle covered by the descending cloud and filled with the glory of Jehovah in Exodus 40 was fulfilled in Christ in John 1. (Witness Lee, The Divine Trinity as Revealed in the Holy Word, p. 46)
Christ, the second of the Divine Trinity, came to be God incarnated, God tabernacling among man; He is the reality of the tabernacle – He is the Word becoming flesh to tabernacle among us, and we beheld His glory (John 1:14).
Furthermore, just as the cloud led the children of Israel in the wilderness, so the Spirit leads us; the cloud descending on the tent of meeting is a type of the Holy Spirit, the third of the Divine Trinity.
The Spirit descended upon Christ after He was baptized by John the Baptist; he testified that he saw the Spirit descending as a dove upon Him (John 1:32). Furthermore, Christ as the tabernacle of God with the Spirit upon Him had glory from the Father, which His disciples beheld; this glory is the glory that filled the tabernacle.
When we read John 1 we can see the fulfillment of the type in Exodus 40: Christ as the fulfillment of the tabernacle, the covering Spirit is the fulfillment of the cloud covering the tabernacle, and the glory is filling the tabernacle.
This is a vision of the living Trinity; it is not a mere doctrine, analogy, or typology – it is the living Trinity being revealed! When we see a vision of the Divine Trinity as portrayed in Exo. 40 and fulfilled in John 1, we will be besides ourselves: we will be filled with joy!
Because the tabernacle is a type of Christ, the cloud represents the Spirit, and the glory is God Himself expressed, the picture of the tabernacle covered by the cloud and filled with glory embodies the Triune God in figure (Exo. 40:34-35).
Lord, show us a vision of the living Trinity as portrayed in the tabernacle filled with God’s glory and covered by the cloud. Save us from merely knowing the doctrine of the Triune God: may we see a vision of the living Divine Trinity, the Father with His glory, Christ as the embodiment and expression of the Father, and the Spirit covering and being one with Christ for the full expression of the Triune God. Hallelujah, our Triune God is living, active, and real, and He is in us for His expression in the church!
How Amazing it is that the Triune God is Embodied and Expressed Through the Church!
The Bible doesn’t say how the people of Israel reacted to seeing the cloud covering the tent of meeting and the glory filling the tabernacle, but they must have been amazed and filled with joy! On His side, God was definitely happy, pleased, and satisfied: never before had the Triune God been embodied on earth!
The embodiment of the Triune God was God’s goal throughout Genesis and Exodus (Gen. 1:26), but only when the tabernacle was erected and God’s glory filled it and the cloud covered it that God obtained His embodiment, at least in type, among His people!
The tabernacle covered by the cloud and filled with glory was a great blessing to the children of Israel, but today we have the reality of what they only had in figure! Wow, Hallelujah!
We need to see a vision, a clear vista, of the embodiment of the Triune God in all the saints in the local churches. It is amazing to realize that the Triune God is embodied and expressed in His glory through the church! When we see God being embodied and expressed in the church meetings, we may tell Him,
Lord, we praise You and we rejoice with You in Your happiness! We love You and we love to see You happy when You are expressed and embodied in Your people in the church! Lord, Your joy is our joy, and when You are delighted we are full of joy too! We are so happy for You, and we are happy to see You expressed, manifested, and embodied in the local churches! Praise the Lord, the Triune God is embodied and expressed throughout the earth in all the local churches!
The Lord promised us He won’t leave us orphans but He will prepare a place for us and bring us where He is (John 14:2-3).
This place is the Body of Christ, and through His death and resurrection He brought us into the Father’s house, the vine of the Son, and the child of the Spirit – the Triune God Himself, so that just as the Father is in the Son, the Son is in the Father, and the Spirit is in the Son with the Father, so we as His believers may be in the Son and in the Father (John 14:10-11, 16-18, 20, 26; 15:1, 4-5, 16, 26).
We are not mere Christians living a life according to God’s word – we are members of God’s household, branches in Christ the vine, and believers in the Triune God by our organic union with Him, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son and through the church.
The Father strengthens us into our inner man through the Spirit so that Christ may make His home in our heart through faith, so that we may be filled unto all the fullness of God and express God: we as the church, the Body of Christ, become the embodiment and expression of the Triune God (Eph. 2:18-22; 3:16-21)!
Furthermore, there is one Body, and the Body is mingled with the Father of all, the One Lord (the Son), and the one Spirit for God’s corporate expression in humanity (Eph. 4:4-6).
May the Lord open our eyes to see that we have the reality of the Triune God being embodied and expressed in His glory through and in the church!
Lord, open our eyes to see that what the people of Israel had in type with the tabernacle, the glory, and the cloud, we now have in reality in the local churches! Hallelujah, the local churches are the embodiment of the Triune God for His expression in humanity on earth. Everything that is happening to us in the local churches is so that the Triune God may be embodied and expressed through us! Lord, before the temple is rebuilt and before Antichrist is manifested, gain Your embodiment and expression in many local churches shining as Your lampstands throughout Europe!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Ron K. for this week, and, The Divine Trinity as Revealed in the Holy Word, pp. 46-48 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Exodus (part 4, 2016 Summer Training), msg. 12 (week 48 in the HWMR), The Erecting of the Tabernacle and the Tabernacle, the Cloud, and the Glory Being a Full Type of the Triune God.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Thou art the tabernacle too, / God’s holy dwelling place; / Incarnate in the flesh Thou art, / And full of truth and grace. / God’s glory we behold in Thee, / Thou art the Word divine; / Thy words and deeds of love and light / Do God in life define. (Hymns #194)
# Oh mystery of mysteries— / Lord, Thou in me and I in Thee! / The church, Thy tabernacle, we; / Our temple, Thou eternally… / Lord, Thou art me and I am Thee, / As lovers coinhering, we; / Soon then shall come eternity / When God and man dwell mutually. (Song on God expressed in us)
# God in Christ, embodied, / As God’s lampstand, He / Has become the Spirit, / The reality. / Spirit as the lampstand / Has been multiplied; / Many local churches, / Now are realized! / See the local churches, / ’Midst the earth’s dark night; / Burning in the Spirit, / Shining forth with Christ. (Hymns #1259)
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