Three Realms of the Tabernacle

God reveals Himself to us in different measures of His life. These planes of relationship, spheres of life and levels of experience in God by the Spirit are different heavens that we go through. When the Lord is revealed in us in a deeper measure and a fuller dimension of His life and we experience Him in it, we ascend in Him to a higher heaven. But there is a realm of His fullness which lies beyond all heavens! For “He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things” (Eph. 4:10).

These heavens of the different experiences of our spiritual progression are relayed to us by the parts of the tabernacle. Three parts are distinguished: the outer court, the holy place and the most holy place. As the earthly tabernacle was made according to a pattern and was a copy of the heavenly (Heb. 8:5), these three parts signify three spiritual experiences and realms of progression in Him.

As one approaches Moses’ tabernacle the first part one encounters is the outer court. We find two objects here: the altar of offering and the laver, both made of brass. All burnt offerings of the sanctuary were burned on the altar. The animal offering burned on the altar had to be a male without blemish. The purpose of the offering was for the atonement of sin (Lev. 1:4). The ultimate fulfillment of this offering was carried out by our Lord Jesus, the Lamb without blemish, who presented Himself a sin offering (2 Cor. 5:21).

The laver was for the washing of the hands and feet of the priests before they entered the sanctuary. The laver was symbolic of sanctification and cleansing by the “washing of water by the word” (Eph. 6:26) and the “washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Tit. 3:5). Thus Jesus Said: “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).

The outer court with the altar of offering and the laver represent our initial salvation experience where we are drawn by God to appropriate the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is made unto us righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30) and we are made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21). His word quickened within us by the Spirit sanctifies us and we receive the imputed righteousness of Christ.

The illumination of this realm is also important to consider since the only sources of light in the outer court were the sun and moon (both created things). The sun’s setting in the outer court signifies the presence of darkness. Thus the outer court was a realm of variability between light and darkness, day and night, flesh and spirit. There are many in Christendom today who dwell in the outer court experience. They have experienced the Lord Jesus as their savior but they have yet to press into a deeper revelation and experience of the gifts and workings of the Holy Spirit.

As we move now into the sanctuary we enter the holy place where we find: the table of showbread, the candlestick, and the altar of incense. The holy place represents the second realm in our spiritual experience – the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The candlestick was the only source of illumination here. The priests had to continually fill the candlestick with oil to ensure the light kept going. This priestly service is synonymous with the service of the five-fold ministry who through the anointing (oil) minister (provide illumination) in this realm. It is an in-part realm for the very reason that the illumination of the candlestick was dim, it was an in-part understanding. It also required the continual effort of men to keep it burning. The same was true of the showbread, where the bread (spiritual sustenance) was continually provided, again requiring the priests’ effort and service in replacing the perishable bread (unlike the golden pot of manna in the most holy place).

The holy place signifies the realm of Pentecost with its ministry of pastors, evangelists, prophets, apostles, and teachers. This is also the gift realm, where healings, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith gifts of healings, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues and interpretation of tongues are prominent. Many see these as the heights of spiritual attainment. We too, while in Pentecost, held fasts and prayers for revivals to come and for the Spirit to pour out gifts. We did not know then that God had a higher plane and a fuller dimension of His life and glory He wanted us to experience and impart to creation. It transcended any revival (temporary awakening) of the candlestick realm.

The altar of incense in the holy place represents the prayers and intercession of the saints going up to God. But this too ceases as God draws us into a deeper life of communion with Him. For there is a life of prayer without ceasing, where we ourselves, in our state of being, become the Lord’s prayer, one in spirit and mind – the manifestation of Father’s will on earth. Jesus said when you pray, “Enter into thy closet”? (Matt. 6:6). The word “closet” in the original Greek is ‘tameion’ which means “secret chamber” or “storeroom”. To the Hebrew mind there was one notable place that was a secret chamber: it was that inmost court of the tabernacle, where God dwelt, and which was known as the most holy place. It is here we enter the closet of our spirit and shut the doors of all outward influence.

Paul assures us that “we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away” (1 Cor. 13:9-10). It was not just the in-part gifts that were to be done away, but it was God’s purpose for those apprehended first-fruits to press on from every experience the in-part realm of the holy place entailed. But for the in-part to be done away the perfect has to come. A perfect order, a perfect realm, a perfect life.

The most holy is this perfect realm that we are called to boldly enter now and not some day in heaven. Neither is this a new church program or a new sermon series. It is a new dimension of life. “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way…” (Heb. 10:19-20). It is by His life (blood), that life which is progressively unveiled within us that we can enter the most holy. As we enter this realm, we experience Christ within our spirit in a fuller measure of His life.

All the previous locations of the tabernacle and each respective object are spiritual attainments individualy experienced. When appropriated in our lives they propel us to enter the most holy place to attain perfection.

In previous blogs we’ve seen the great spiritual significance of the items on the most holy; of the ark, the mercy seat, the cherubim, of the pure gold, the golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod, and the tablets of the covenant – all attributes of the realm of fullness. The word of the Lord: “You shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48) is a promise for every overcoming son of God. He meant it. It is a word that has gone forth from His mouth and it will achieve its intended aim. He will perfect that which concerns you. But when?

The writer of the Hebrew encourages us to leave the elementary principles of Christ (the outer court & holy place experiences), and to move on to perfection (Heb. 6:1). Father is now drawing us unto a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13). It is here in the most holy place that we are growing up into Him who is the head—Christ.

This realm of the most holy is one that the church system has relegated to a one-day heaven. Perfection is no longer the aim of their ministry. They refute this program of God because for the Adamic mind, perfection is not possible here on earth. But Christ is perfection. It is Him we are putting on. To reject perfection is to reject His complete lordship over our life. It is to reject the very ministry of Paul who labored that Christ would be birthed in the saints (Gal. 4:19). It is to reject that ministry that strived to have all come to the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13). Paul preached Christ, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that he may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus (Col. 1:28).

But the church system sees perfection as impossibility because they are attempting to conform Adam into Christ. This is indeed impossible. Perfection is Christ in all His fullness birthed and unveiled out from our inner most being of our spirit (most holy place) to swallow the realms of the soul (holy place) and our body (outer court).

The most holy is the realm of perfect illumination without shadow of turning. It is in the most holy that the Shekina glory of God provides illumination. John saw the holy Jerusalem (the bride) descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God (Rev. 21:11). “The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light” (Rev. 21:23). The glory that illuminates the most holy place shall indeed be unveiled in a people (soul and body) extending even to the ends of the earth until the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord (Num. 14:20). Amen!

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