This morning I was enlightened and impressed to see that in Psa. 84 there’s a secret revelation of the enjoyment of Christ as the fulfillment of the type of the tabernacle so that we, His believers and the members of His Body, may be incorporated into Him to become the reality and consummation of the tabernacle. Wow!
If we read the Bible carefully we can see that God desires to gain a dwelling place among men; He doesn’t want merely a “tent” in which He dwells in, but He desires to dwell in His people and be expressed through His people.
In Exodus we see the tabernacle, which can be seen as a type here, as a reality in the New Testament, and as a consummation in Rev. 21-22. First, Moses received the pattern of the tabernacle on the mountain with God, and then the tabernacle was built and constructed according to God’s instructions; when the tabernacle was erected, God’s glory descended upon it – and this is how the book of Exodus ends.
In the New Testament the Lord Jesus came as the Word of God who became flesh, and He tabernacled among us to express God and manifest Him to us (John 1:14). Christ is the embodiment, expression, definition, and explanation of God, and in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; as the individual Christ, He was the tabernacle of God with man.
Through His death and resurrection, Christ was enlarged to be the Body of Christ which includes all the members of His Body; now we are part of God’s temple, and in the church is where God is manifested today.
The Lord desires to gain and recover a pure church life in which Christ is everything to us and only He is manifested and expressed through us, so that He may have a dwelling place among man.
The consummation of the tabernacle, as seen by John in Rev. 21-22, is the New Jerusalem, where God will tabernacle with us, and He Himself is our temple for us to dwell in. Hallelujah! God desires to gain a dwelling place, as seen in type in Exodus, in reality in the New Testament, and in consummation in Revelation.
The Secret Revelation of the Enjoyment of Christ in the House of God (Psa. 84)
The intrinsic content of Psalm 84 is the secret revelation concerning the enjoyment of Christ as the incarnated Triune God, the God-man. The center of this secret revelation is the house of God (vv. 4, 10), typified by the tabernacle (Exo. 40:2-8) and the temple (1 Kings 6:1-3; 8:3-11). Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God (Col. 2:9) is the fulfillment of the types of the tabernacle and the temple. This fulfillment commenced in His incarnation as the individual Christ (John 1:14; 2:21) and will continue until it consummates in the New Jerusalem as the corporate Christ, the great God-man (Rev. 21:2-3, 22)….The enjoyment of Christ as the incarnated Triune God in God’s house is portrayed by the arrangement of the tabernacle and its furnishings. (Psa. 84:1, footnote 1, Recovery Version Bible)
In Psa. 84 we see the love and affection that the psalmist has for the house of God; this deeper love and sweeter experience of the house of God comes after the experience of God’s dealing and stripping, and is recovered by the experience of God as our unique portion and by Christ’s being given the unique position (see Psa. 73:17, 25-26; 80:15, 17; Col. 1:17b, 18b).
In the previous psalms we see many experiences of dealings and stripping, and in Psa. 84 we see a higher love and appreciation of the tabernacle. This typifies our seeing and appreciation of the church, which is at different levels.
When we fist came into the church life, we had one kind of appreciation; the church was so fresh and new, it was so exciting…and we were in a honeymoon, everything was so sweet!
But as we go on in the church life, things change, we may get offended by some saints; once we through that all brothers are heroes and all sisters are angels, but after a while all heroes and angels are gone, and we may see only “scorpions” and “snakes”, and we may have bitterness and disappointment.
God takes us through many experiences in the church life so that He may deal with us and strip us; His purpose in dealing with us as His holy people is that we would be emptied of everything to receive only God as our gain and be rebuilt with the Divine Trinity to become God’s masterpiece, fulfilling God’s eternal economy for His expression (John 10:13; Eph. 3:9-11; 2:10).
We are easily offended and stumbled because we still live a life centered on our self; but little by little we realize that Christ is our center, He is the preeminent One in the church, and we simply give Him the first place.
Then the sky opens to us, and we experience the sweetness in God’s house; it is not that the environment has changed but our inward condition has changed, and we love the church life because of Christ even in a sweeter and deeper way, like never before.
God is faithful, on His side, to take away all our idols and to lead us into His economy for us to enjoy Christ, so that He may have a recovery purely and wholly of the person of Christ (1 Cor. 1:9; 1 John 5:21; cf. Jer. 2:13; Lam. 3:22-24).
He is a jealous God; He doesn’t want us to have any idols, so He is faithful to us by removing all the idols. God arranges all things to lead us into the enjoyment of Christ; He knows that we may love other things apart from Him, so He is faithful to strip away all the things that we may treasure more than Him, so that we may treasure Christ the most and love Him with our whole heart.
Thank You Lord for being faithful to take away all our idols and to lead us into Your economy so that we may enjoy Christ and focus only on Him. Have Your way, Lord, to empty us from everything so that we may receive only God as our gain and be rebuilt with the Divine Trinity to become the masterpiece of God. Lord, bring us further, deeper, and higher in our enjoyment of Christ in the house of God. May the church life become sweeter and deeper to us as we go on in the enjoyment of Christ in the tabernacle of God!
Having the Enjoyment of Christ as the Incarnated Triune God, the Reality of the Tabernacle
Psa. 84 has an intrinsic content, which is not merely the psalmist’s love for God’s house but the secret revelation concerning the enjoyment of Christ as the incarnated Triune God, the God-man (Col. 2:9; 1:12). There’s a secret revelation in this chapter, which is not so obvious; what we see in this chapter is the enjoyment of Christ as the reality of the tabernacle.
Intrinsically the tabernacle is the incarnated Triune God, the God-man Jesus Christ; the tabernacle is not just a structure, a tent, but a Person, the incarnated Triune God as the embodiment of the Triune God.
The center of this secret revelation is the house of God (Psa. 84:4, 10a), typified by the tabernacle (Exo. 40:2-8) and by the temple (1 Kings 6:1-3; 8:3-11). Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God is the fulfillment of the types of the tabernacle and the temple: He is the tabernacle of God with man, and He is the temple of God.
The fulfillment of these types commenced in Christ’s incarnation as the individual Christ (John 1:14; 2:21) and will continue (1 Tim. 3:15-16) until it consummates in the New Jerusalem as the corporate Christ, the great God-man (Rev. 21:2-3, 22).
The incarnation of God was not just a one-time event that took place 2000 years ago; the incarnation of God is still going on – God is still being manifested in the flesh! Incarnation commenced on the day Christ was born as a man, and now this incarnation continues, since Christ as the life-giving Spirit enters into all His believers to make them His enlargement, the increase of God’s incarnation.
Today the Body of Christ is the extension of Christ’s incarnation; Christ embodied God, and today we as His believers with the life-giving Spirit living within us – we embody the Triune God!
Every time we preach the gospel and someone believes into the Lord, God’s incarnation continues. Christ has many goings forth from eternity, from the times of ages (Micah 5:2); He continues today to go forth as the Spirit to enter into all His believers, and He is being duplicated and reproduced in us as the corporate God-man! Hallelujah!
The New Testament – from Matthew through Revelation – covers the entire span of the incarnation of the Triune God, being a record of the divine incarnation. Today we can enjoy Christ as the incarnated Triune God in God’s house as portrayed by the arrangement of the tabernacle and its furnishings.
The tabernacle is the incarnated Triune God, and all the items in the tabernacle are descriptions of the many aspects of Christ. The altar of the burnt offering typifies the crucified Christ. The laver typifies Christ as the Spirit to wash us, the washing of regeneration.
The table of the bread of the presence typifies Christ as our enjoyment, Christ as the bread of life. The lampstand typifies Christ as the shining light. The incense altar typifies Christ in His ascension to be our acceptance as a fragrant incense.
The ark in the Holy of Holies typifies Christ as the testimony of God. In the tabernacle God is located, and He is entrable, contactable, and enjoyable!
We don’t have to go to heaven to find God: we can come to the tabernacle and experience Him at the altar, the laver, the table with the bread of the presence, the lampstand, the incense altar, and the ark; here we enjoy all the different aspects of the incarnated God.
The tabernacle is not for us to merely understand mentally and comprehend how it is made but to enjoy and subjectively experience. The way we participate in the tabernacle is by having the enjoyment of Christ as the incarnated Triune God, the reality of the tabernacle.
Lord, bring us into the full enjoyment of Christ as the incarnated Triune God, the reality of the tabernacle. We want to participate in the tabernacle by enjoying Christ as the reality of all the furnishings and the arrangement in the tabernacle so that we may become the manifestation of God in the flesh, part of Christ’s goings forth from eternity! Increase our enjoyment of Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God so that we may become in reality the corporate embodiment of God today, the church as the reality of the tabernacle!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother James L. for this week, and Christ and the Church Revealed and Typified in the Psalms, ch. 14 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Exodus (part 4, 2016 Summer Training), week 40 / msg. 4, The Three Tabernacles.
- Hymns on this topic:
# How lovely are Thy dwelling places; / My soul longs for the courts of the Lord. / My heart and my flesh, / They sing for joy to the living God; / You are my King and my God. (Scripture Song)
# How lovely is Thy dwelling-place! / Within Thy courts I long to be; / Thy presence, Lord, my spirit craves, / For this my heart cries out to Thee. (Hymns #851)
# Thou art the tabernacle too, / God’s holy dwelling place; / Incarnate in the flesh Thou art, / And full of truth and grace. (Hymns #194)
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