This is our last week in the Crystallization-Study of Exodus, and the topic we are enjoying is, The Erecting of the Tabernacle and the Tabernacle, the Cloud, and the Glory being a Full Type of the Triune God (based on Exo. 40, the last chapter of Exodus, where we see the desire of God’s heart fulfilled).
When we are further reconciled to God and enter into God, our journey doesn’t stop there; we enter into the depths of God, and we are led into the heart’s desire of God.
When we are reconciled to God to the point that we are in God, we don’t merely have some light concerning the desire of God’s heart but the Spirit of the Son brings us INTO the desire of God’s heart; in Christ, the Son, we are in God’s being, and He brings us into what God desires.
God urgently needs us to be brought into the desire of His heart so that His heart’s desire may become our heart’s desire. When we see what is in God’s heart, what is His thought, feeling, will, intention, yearning, and longing, the desire of His heart becomes the desire of our heart, so that our heart would become a duplication of His heart in every possible way.
In Exodus 34 we see different degrees of fellowship that God’s people have with Him: the vast majority are at the foot of the mountain waiting a word from God through Moses, the elders and Joshua were midway on the mountain seeing the vision of the God and Israel, and Moses was on the peak of the mountain God’s glory where he saw the desire of God’s heart.
The desire of God’s heart is summarized in Exo. 25:8, Let them make a sanctuary for Me that I may dwell in their midst. God doesn’t want to remain in heavens or on the top of the mountain: He desires to dwell among His people, and for this He needs His people to build Him a sanctuary.
This sanctuary is according to God’s specific instructions, according to the blueprint shown to Moses on the mountain, with no human interference, opinion, desire, or advice.
In Exodus we see the revelation of the pattern of the tabernacle, beginning with the ark and all the other furnishings, then we see the priesthood with the priestly garments, and then the building of the tabernacle with its furnishings, issuing from the serving ones entering into the Sabbath rest and being energized by God to build by the grace, wisdom, knowledge, and skill coming from God.
Finally, in Exo. 39:2, the tabernacle was fully prepared with all the furnishings, and the work of the tabernacle was presented to, examined by, and blessed by Moses; Moses represents Christ (and His apostles), and he examined everything in detail to see if it is according to the pattern.
The result was that, when the tabernacle was erected as God instructed, God’s glory filled the tabernacle and the cloud covered the tent of meeting. God’s heart’s desire has been fulfilled, and He could descend to dwell among His people in glory.
The Desire of God’s Heart is Fulfilled when His Glory Fills the Tabernacle, the Church
In Exo. 40:34-38 we see how, after the tabernacle was erected according to God’s specific instructions, the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and the glory of Jehovah filled the tabernacle. After it was set up and anointed, God Himself came in two aspects: as a cloud covering the tent of meeting and as glory filling the tabernacle.
The same structure – the tabernacle – is both the tabernacle and the tent of meeting. With respect to man, the tabernacle was the tent of meeting; the tent of meeting is more outward, external, related to God’s interest and to His move.
With respect to God, it was the tabernacle, which is related to God’s testimony (Exo. 38:21). For us it is a tent of meeting, the place where we come to meet God, the place for God’s move on earth; for God it is the tabernacle of testimony, the corporate expression of God in the enlarged and expanded Christ as God’s definition and explanation.
In Exo. 40 we see the consummation of all God has been doing and speaking to His people, and of all He has taken His people through: the sanctuary of God is erected, and God’s glory filled the tabernacle and the cloud covered the tent of meeting.
Later when the temple was erected, the same kind of visitation took place: the glory of God filled the temple.
When Christ as the real tabernacle of God came, He expressed God in His human living, and through His death and resurrection He expanded and enlarged the tabernacle of God for us all believers in Christ to be part of the church, the tabernacle of God with man.
And today there’s glory to God in the church! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
The cloud is the exterior part of God’s glory; it is real and necessary, and it can be seen by all. However, the glory of God is inward and is deeper, and we all need to be in God to enveloped by the glory of GOd so that we may become in full the testimony of God and the testimony of Jesus.
The term “tabernacle” in the Bible refers to something deep concerning God and His testimony; the term “tent of meeting” refers mainly as the place of meeting between God and man, but the tabernacle is related to God’s testimony.
The Lord spoke to Moses out of the tent of meeting (Lev. 1:1) – this is wonderful, but not as wonderful as His speaking in the tabernacle. This is why God wants us to experience all the aspects of Christ as the reality of the furnishings of the tabernacle until we enter into the Holy of Holies and we are fully reconciled to God, so that He may speak to us face to face and infuse us with the desire of God’s heart.
When the tabernacle was erected, He obtained the desire of His heart: He had a sanctuary and dwelling place in the midst of His people.
When today we are fully reconciled to God and built up together in God, we become the fulfillment of God’s heart desire, the tabernacle of God as His dwelling place, and His glory can be manifested in the church!
Lord Jesus, we are here for the desire of God’s heart. Bring us deeper into You until we are enveloped in God and the desire of His heart becomes the desire of our heart. Amen, Lord, make our heart a duplication of Your heart in every possible way! We are willing to release You from all limitations and hold nothing back – come in among us and manifest Your glory in the church! Lord, make the church life today the tabernacle of God filled with God’s glory and covered with the cloud, for all to see God manifested in the flesh!
God’s Intention is the have the Ark of Testimony in the Tabernacle of the Testimony
The first item of the furniture to be put into the tabernacle was the Ark, indicating that the Ark was the central item of the tabernacle and its furniture (see Exo. 40:3, 20-21).
There were many other important furnishings in the tabernacle such as the altar and laver in the outer court, the table of the bread of the Presence, the lampstand, and the incense altar, but the first item that was put in the tabernacle was the Ark of the Testimony.
The entire book of Exodus shows that God’s intention is to have the Ark of testimony in the tabernacle of testimony.
The book of Exodus reveals that God’s intention is to have the ark. This ark is the Ark of Testimony, and this causes the tabernacle to become the Tabernacle of the Testimony. What God wants is the Ark of the Testimony in the Tabernacle of the Testimony. We, however, may want nothing more than our own salvation. Because we care for our salvation, we may not have any thought concerning God’s testimony. Our salvation is at the altar, but God’s testimony is at the Ark. Most of today’s Christians do not have any idea about God’s testimony. They are mainly concerned with their salvation. If you were to talk with them about other matters in the Word of God, they may say, “Does this have something to do with my salvation? Will this determine whether I go to heaven?”…Today’s Christians do not have much thought regarding God’s testimony. Witness Lee, Life-Study of Exodus, msg. 184
It is a fact that most believers focus only on their own spiritual progress and benefit, but God desires the ark of testimony in the tabernacle of testimony, tha tis, Christ as the embodiment of God in and with the church as the corporate expression of Christ.
This is what God wants, and this is what He will ultimately obtain. Eventually, the ark in the tabernacle will consummate in an eternal tabernacle, the New Jerusalem, with the Ark, the redeeming Christ, as the center (see Rev. 21:2-3; 22:1).
For eternity we will live one with God having Christ as God’s embodiment and expression among us to make us the corporate expression and manifestation of God in the universe. God’s eternal goal is to have the New Jerusalem as the ultimate fulfillment of the tabernacle and the Ark.
In this age, the age of the church, God must have the reality of the ark with the tabernacle in miniature, in all the local churches.
In the local churches the saints are all at various stages of the development and growth in life, and God is working in all our lives to obtain His heart’s desire – the Ark of Testimony in the Tabernacle of testimony, that is, Christ as the embodiment of God in the church as the corporate expression of God.
Lord Jesus, we want to touch and enter the desire of God’s heart until we are intrinsically changed forever so that we live and breathe for God to have a corporate expression on earth with Christ in the church. We want that our life and service would contribute to the fulfillment of the desire of Your heart. Grow in us and bring us on with You and into You until Christ as the embodiment of God will be fully manifested and expressed in and with the church. Amen, Lord, to God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever, amen!
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 Life-study of Exodus, msg. 184 (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:
# God’s economy and goal / According to His heart’s desire / Are to build Himself into our being / And to build us into His being / In order to mingle His divinity with our humanity / Into one entity (one entity)— / The Body of Christ, / Which consummates the New Jerusalem. (Song on God’s economy)
# Christ is the very Word of God, / He is God’s explanation true; / God’s full embodiment is He / And God’s own image brings to view…. / The Church is Christ’s expression full, / In her Christ dwelleth bodily; / She is His duplication true, / And man in her Himself may see. (Hymns #818)
# Lord Jesus, take me, break me; I’d hold nothing back from Thee; / Fill me till it is no more I that live; / That by Your resurrection life, we would Your testimony be. / We would be the church You long for, testimony of Jesus on the earth. / O Lord, Your dear bride are we, loving You so crazily, / Fill us wholly, live Yourself exclusively; / Lord, by Your resurrection power, make us fully one with Thee, / As Your shining golden lampstands, Fulfilling Your heart’s desire today. (prayer song to the Lord)
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