THE GREATER MORE PERFECT TABERNACLE
Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews therefore said, "It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?" But He was speaking of the temple of His body. John 2:19-21 (NAS)
The Jewish leadership of that time was blind and deaf to understand the words of Jesus, just as it is to this day with most spiritual leadership. They see spiritual things with the natural eye and annualize it as false doctrine and call those messengers heretics who bring forth the true revelation. They did this to Jesus, to Paul and they will do this to anyone who receives revelation from heaven because they cannot see heavenly things for they are spiritually undiscerning.
When Jesus spoke these words He was telling them in essence, “You are going to destroy My earthly body, the Temple of God. But you will not be able to destroy His glory, My Father is going to raise Me from the dead with a new body which has God’s glory [presence and power] built into it and it will never die nor will the glory leave it!” The glory of God had long ago left the earthly temple in Jerusalem back in Ezekiel’s day when the glory lifted off the Ark of the Covenant. Now the very glory of God Himself was standing right in their midst and they could not even recognize Him. They did not know the day of their visitation and their temple was left empty and desolate!
Sad to say, but that is how it is in most churches today. If the Holy Spirit where to manifest in most Sunday morning services He would be asked to leave because He was not dignified enough for them. They do not want messy services that they are not in control of. When God’s glory shows up anywhere we must be willing to move with Him or we will miss the blessing that He has for His people and ourselves.
The glory of God is the person of Jesus Christ. When we deny access to the presence of the Holy Spirit’s working through us we are in essence telling God to write over our lives and the church, “Ichabod,” the glory has departed. We must make place for “The Dove” which is the glory of God to rest in our midst by inviting Him and giving Him permission to move in any way that He wants to.
It was very offensive to the Jews when Jesus said that He would raise up a new temple in three days. Their miss understanding brought great loss to them and to their followers. Had they understood the prophetic language of Jesus and humbled themselves to the glory of God they would have been brought in the greatest outpouring of God in their times. Many did receive Him as the glory of God, but most did not because the leadership of the day would not relinquish their power to His Lordship. Just think how low God had to come to meet us where we are and yet most people will not even humble themselves at all to spend time with Him. How God’s heart must break over us!
The Jewish leadership of the day was jealous of Him; He was a threat to their kingdom and money supply. They wanted to do away with Him not knowing that they would be doing away with their own kingdom and nation. Had they bowed their knee they would have become the greatest leaders of the Church Age as the Apostle Paul had become. Oh what we miss because of our foolish thinking and not obeying Him. Why do we think we know better than God?
The temple that God had raised up [His spiritual body] and is still rising up [us] is not just the physical body that Jesus has, but is His spiritual body of people made in His likeness. We are the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands.
But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Heb 9:11(NKJV)
God is in the process of building this temple with His people to become His eternal throne on the earth. Jesus is and will always be the throne or authority of God because Jesus said, ALL AUTHORITY HAS BEEN GIVEN UNTO ME! “…Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” (Eph 2:20-22 NAS). When we the temple, the dwelling of God are completely finished and gathered together as one we will carry the glory of God [the authority of the throne] into all area’s and walks of life, to make His presence known in all nations. “…And he will become a glorious throne to his father's house” Isa 22:23 (NKJV). We are the greater more perfect tabernacle of God in heaven and earth. We are the carriers of His glory for all men to find the Father through; we are the body of Jesus that He is raising up with powerful signs, miracles, and wonders. We are the temple, the throne of the living God in the earth, for this is what man was made to be from the beginning but lost it in the fall. But Jesus got it back for all people who will follow Him and do the will of the Father.
"Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the LORD, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices." Zech 6:13 (NAS)
Think for a minute on what a temple or tabernacle is. It means, a residence or a dwelling place. The tabernacle of Moses was aflame with the life and presence of God because He lived there and where He is, His throne of authority is! No person would dare draw near unless God called and anointed him to do so. We are the greater tabernacle that God lives in, if we will pay the price of seeking and following Him with our whole heart we will become a part of the finished temple that He will manifest His glory in and through.
Most believers know that they are the temple of God, but most do not realize what they are even saying. We do not grasp, that when God was in the house it was a fearful thing to behold His glory and power that even caused Moses to tremble.
And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them. -- "He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. Rev 21:2-3,7 (NAS)
The Bible uses different terms or names to give us understanding to what we are called to inherit. We the church are called to be a temple, a bride, a city, and a son.
A temple means that we are carriers of the glory of God, which is the weightiness of His divine presence. Presence means, the state or fact of being present, immediate proximity in time or space. In other words when God is in the house!
A bride means that we have heart to heart intimacy with the One we love.
A city means that we are one in unity for a common cause, to be God’s community [common-unity] with people.
A son carries the authority and the likeness of the Father Who gave it.
We the church are a city, the New Jerusalem that has the eternal life of God in us and because of this we will be new every day in the life of God. We are a bride that is prepared for her Husband to be His helpmate throughout eternity. We are a tabernacle [dwelling place] that is filled with the glory of the Father in which He manifests His presence in all nations. We are a son that inherits all things from the Father and manifests His power and authority to bring change in the earth by removing all sin and death.
Jesus said in three days He would raise up a new temple, we are living in the third day, we are the temple that God is raising! We are now living in the third millennial day when His temple will manifest His glory once again as Jesus did for all men to experience His presence and be saved, delivered, and healed from their past sin and future judgment.
Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary. For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All… Heb 9:1-3 (NKJV)
Our earthly body is the first sanctuary that we do service in, but our spirit man is the heavenly or spiritual temple that the glory of God enters. If we are the temple of the Lord, this means that WE are now the Holy of Holies where the very Shekinah glory of God dwells. We are the spiritual temple that Jesus died and sprinkled His blood on so that the Father through the Holy Spirit could dwell in us. We are the greater and more perfect tabernacle of God not made with hands. We as the people of God are first changed into the image and likeness of Jesus, then we are to change the world and all of creation into the likeness of Jesus. Not by might, nor by power, but by God’s Holy Spirit will the people be changed and do what He has called them to. When the church and the nations see how God has manifested His glory and changed us into His image they will cry out to Him to change them also.
When the highway of holiness will be completed many backslidden believers will be changed into His likeness very quickly just as we have been because we can point them to the way we have come. For two thousand years God has been having people lay the highway of holiness through their life experiences with Him and we have been shown the way to the Father much quicker then it took them. Soon the highway of God, the golden street of glory will be manifested for whosoever will come on it to be changed as we have been through trials and tribulations. I also believe this is the city of God, the bride of Christ, sonship, and the temple of God. He did not have this city built just for a few chosen people, but for all the nations to find salvation through it.
“And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). (Rev 21:24, 25).
But in order for us to be the finished temple of God and for Him to dwell in us every day manifesting His presence we must perform the daily divine service in the Holy Place to enter in the Holy of Holies. We must keep the lights on! The priests had to keep oil in the lampstand [the ten virgins needed oil for light in Matthew 25]. This means for us to stay filled with the Holy Spirit by spending time with Him soaking everyday by asking Him to fill us and to overflow to others through our lives. The priests of old had to keep fresh bread on the table each day, meaning, for us to receive the word of God through anyway that the Lord would choose to speak to us through His word, a book, CD or another person. The priests of old had to keep the fire going in the golden altar to burn incense on it, which is a type of praise and worship to God through our prayers for others and ourselves.
What this all means is, we have a lot of work to do by keeping our temple prepared and clean for the Lord of glory to come and tabernacle with us in our own heart. This is why so many Christians are feeling empty and dry because they will not maintain their temple by spending time with God and asking for His blood to cleanse them every day. Then they wonder why they are so burdened down with the weight of life when they could give all their cares to Him in His presence and enjoy life the way it was meant to be lived!
He entered the Holiest Place once and for all. And he entered not by means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of his own blood, thus setting people free forever. Heb 9:12 (CJB)
Jesus entered our hearts with His blood to set us free forever from all sin and shame so that we may come and spend time with Him and become like Him in the process. What we behold we become like and when we behold His glory on the inside of ourselves we will become more like Him every day whether it seems like it or not. The life of God that is within us is the power that makes us into new creatures in Christ and the more time we spend in His presence the more we are changed.
For the Messiah has entered a Holiest Place which is not man-made and merely a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, in order to appear now on our behalf in the very presence of God. Heb 9:24 (CJB)
Jesus has entered our holiest place of all, our spirit man, which has been made only for God to dwell in. This is why it is a great travesty for a person to have Jesus in their heart and to live life unto themselves rather than live to know God more. And because Jesus dwells in the presence of the Father He now has the right to have all authority in and through us because of the sacrifice of His cross. We are no longer our own to do as we wish.
I saw no Temple in the city, for Adonai, God of heaven’s armies, is its Temple, as is the Lamb. The city has no need for the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s Shekinah gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. Rev 21:22-23 (CJB)
The overcoming church is the city, the New Jerusalem, the bride, the sons of God, and the temple of God which He has been building into a spiritual dwelling place for Himself to be glorified in for two thousand years. He will manifest His glorious presence and power through the bride of Christ throughout all eternity. I can see very clearly, millions of people around the world that have been changed into the very likeness of Jesus and they are carrying His power and glory into the nations to do the greater works of Jesus.
Let me give you a small testimony of what happen to us in India 2014. We had gone there for a pastor’s conference and it broke out into revival within two days and there was not enough room for all the people to enter the building and they had to sit people outside because God began to manifest His glory through signs and wonders that got the attention of many people. People were save, filled with the Holy Spirit, healed, delivered from demons, some laughed, some cried, and some danced all in one service. All praise and honor to Jesus for touching so many!
Now just think what would happen if we were fully manifesting God’s glory and presence with people being raised from the dead, limbs growing out and being seen on live TV and the internet through all the earth? What would happen is a pandemonium! Get ready it is about to happen like a spiritual tsunami hitting the earth and the nations will turn to the Lord in a few days. Get prepared my brethren because God is going to anoint you to do the greater works of Christ in this new day we are coming into now. Remember that we are the temple and are made to house God, He is making us His eternal habitation as we come together as one temple to exhibit His glory and character into all the known and unknown places of the universe.
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Rev 22:1 (NKJV)
The city of God can be clearly seen in the last two books of Revelation for us to see and understand what we are called to be if we will finish this life as an overcomer. God has written this for us so that we could run for the prize of our high calling. The city of God is the throne of God in the earth and the eternal life of God will flow into all nations from it. “And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, [the city] and His servants shall serve Him” Rev 22:3 (NKJV). What this means for us is, that we His people are kings that rule and reign with Christ. “…To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Rev 1:5-6) NKJV.
If the average Christian who is just going to church on Sunday knew who they were called to be in Christ and get a glimpse of the riches of Christ’s calling and love they would run after Him with all their heart. Run after God because you love Him, but if you must seek God just for His blessing He will give that to you in your lifetime but you will miss out on the greatest blessing of the eternal God, to sit next to Him and His great glory on His throne of love. Press on He will make it well worth your effort!