Christian Universe TM
The Tabernacle Of God
September 14, 2008
Once a firm foundation is laid for the Christian life, one must build upon that foundation that is Jesus Christ. Each Christian is a temple for the Holy Spirit of God, as is the church collectively.
The Tabernacle Of God
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to the Pleasant Ridge, Tennessee, Church of Christ on 09-14-2008
The book of Hebrews was written specifically for the benefit of those Hebrews, the Israelites, the offspring of Israel, or Jacob. Few had come to the Lord, and among them, many had turned away from Christ and gone back to the Law of Moses and the practices of the old tabernacle, later carried on in the temple at Jerusalem.
With the coming of Jesus Christ, the son of God, this all changed. In 70 AD, the Romans, under first Vespasian, and later, his son, Titus, destroyed the temple in Jerusalem. It has been gone for close to 2000 years. This was not an accident.
Hebrews 9:6: "Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
7: But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
8: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
9: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
10: Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
11: But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12: Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
13: For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15: And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance."
The temple in Jerusalem was done away with forever, and was replaced with another. Our high priest is Jesus Christ, who purified us by becoming our perfect sacrifice.
1 Peter 1:14: "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16: Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
17: And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
18: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19: But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"
Christians are called to be holy. We are travelers here upon the earth, passing through. We are bought with the blood of Jesus, and belong to Him, and to God, His Father.
John 4:21 "Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
The ten tribes of Israel had Samaria as their capital, and worshipped in the holy mountain. Judah--the Jews--comprised of Benjamin and Judah, had their capital in Jerusalem. However, Jesus stated that this was all changing. No longer would worship be done in that holy mountain or in Jerusalem, but all men were to worship God in spirit and in truth. This worship takes place inside our bodies, from where we worship and serve God without interruption. We take that temple wherever we go.
Romans 12:1 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
3. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
God gave us life. We are His. Jesus has redeemed us, reconciled us to God, bought us back. We are to dedicate our lives as living sacrifices to God. It is a reasonable service.
1 Peter 2:1: "Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
2: As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
3: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
4: To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
5: Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
6: Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7: Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8: And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
9: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
10: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
11: Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
12: Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation."
Christians become a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people reflecting the righteousness and holiness of God. As such, we have an obligation to reject fleshly lusts, to live a godly life before our fellow man. Hopefully, some will see and turn to God.
As priests to God, where is our temple? We have seen that the temple in Jerusalem is not more. God is done with it. Any attempts to build it back are a rejection of God"TMs truths.
2 Corinthians 5:1: "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2: For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
3: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
4: For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
5: Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
6: Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
7: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
8: We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
9: Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
Our body is a tabernacle, a temporary place of worship. From within this body, we serve and worship God daily. In doing so, we put sin from us that we may be accepted by God.
John 2:19: "Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
20: Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
21: But he spake of the temple of his body."
The body of the righteous is a temple to God Almighty, wherein we worship and serve Him, as Jesus declared.
1 Corinthians 3:11: "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12: Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13: Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14: If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15: If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
16: Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17: If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."
1 Corinthians 6:17: "But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
18: Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
19: 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?
20: For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
Ephesians 2:13: "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14: For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15: Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16: And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18: For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19: Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20: And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21: In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
If you are not a Christian, you are not in the royal priesthood"”your body is not a cleansed and pure temple wherein to worship God. In order to worship and serve God, you need to become a member of the body of Christ, bought and paid for by the precious blood of the pure Lamb of God. Become a living stone in that holy temple.