Thursday, January 20, 2005

From PLACE to PERSON

Under the first covenant that God had with man, God dwelt in "places". Consider the tabernacles, the temples or sanctuaries; the places of habitation.

Consider the Ark of the Covenant as recounted in Isaiah 6. Consider Abraham; everywhere he met God he made a pile of stones. These were indeed "monumental" encounters!

We learn of Moses and the Burning Bush in Exodus 3. God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."
The presence of God seemed scarce, and limited to certain places.

Yet even under the first covenant God yearned to show himself to his people. In Exodus 19 we read:

"And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai."


More revealing was the fact the the Children of Israel had no desire to see God. They sent Moses in their sted.

"And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was." Exodus 20.

Now consider the change that Jesus Christ made. Under the New Covenant God does not dwell in places made by man, but he dwells in us.
"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?" 1 Cor 6:19

The Book of Acts (Chapter 7) discusses the old covenant "places of God".

"Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David; Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. But Solomon built him an house. "As a side note, beware of those who want to restore the David worship in the "Holy of Holies." God CANNOT and WILL NOT be confined to a box in the tabernacle. Beware of the Latter Rain proponents of the Tabernacles of David or the third-wave mandate to establish "cities of habitation." Like Abraham, these want to make a pile of stones. God does not want your stones, he wants your heart.
For following those verses above, He declares:

"Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, 'Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?'"
Finally, great illumination on this subject is furnished by the writer of Hebrews, in Chapter 8.

Here we learn that Jesus, our high priest, is "A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man." The chapter goes on to describe the tabernacle of Moses as a feature of the old (first) covenant. It continues, "But now hath he (Jesus) obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises."
A careful study of the old testament reveals that, in those days, the Holy Spirit, which was fleeting at best, came and RESTED UPON (not WITHIN) the anointed prophets. Indeed, God has moved beyond PLACE into PERSON. He wants to place his Holy Spirit WITHIN you.

Today, the very Spirit of the Living God, can dwell within you, if you will receive Him and live a life that is pleasing to God.

"For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." 1 Timothy 1:12-14

Originally posted January 20, 2005

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