Sun am 24 March 2019 – Johan Esterhuizen
John 14:6; John 3:3; Numbers 22-24; John 1:1; Is. 28:16; Matt. 16:17; 1 Pet. 3:21; Ps. 119:9,11; Eph. 2:6; Luke 21:28; Ps. 121:1-2; Luke 4:17-19; Is. 61:1; Is. 11:2; John 6:66, 6:56; Rev. 1:4, 4:5, 5:6; Eph. 4:4-6; John 16:13; (Heb. 9:3-4); Gal. 2:20; John 13:34; Luke 10:27; Matt. 22:37-40; Acts 15:16
When I look at the tabernacle, I come up with these words: hidden, concealed, revelation. Why say ‘hidden’ and ‘concealed’? There was only one door to enter the tabernacle. Often the tabernacle is presented from an aerial view, but if you were standing before it, you would just see high curtains with one gate. When you are in the outer court, there is only one door to enter into the holy place. When you were in the holy place and wanted to go the Most Holy, there was only one veil – only one way! Each of these, the gate, the door and the veil, was covered with four different colours. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). The only way to salvation is through Christ Jesus. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
As you came into the tabernacle, the first experience was the brazen altar – that spoke of salvation. Number 4 in the tabernacle is an important number. It speaks of the earth. There are four points in a compass: north, south, east and west. The twelve tribes of Israel were camped in such a way that there were three tribes on each side of the tabernacle. The tribes encamped around the tabernacle in the form of a gigantic cross. There was an awesome presence of God over that camp.
Judah was on the east, Ephraim on the west, Rueben on the south and Dan on the north. Each of these tribes had a banner: Judah’s was a lion, Ephraim’s an ox, Rueben’s a man and Dan’s an eagle. There are four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These gospels show the life of Christ from different perspectives. Matthew presents Jesus as King – the purple colour – giving the genealogy to King David. Mark portrays Jesus as servant – the scarlet gospel. He describes Jesus washing the feet of the people and there is no genealogy as you are not interested in the genealogy of a servant. Luke presents Christ as a perfect man – the white gospel – providing a genealogy right back to Adam.
In the gospel of John, Christ is portrayed as the Son of God. John presents no genealogy, but states: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1). Isaiah 28 mentions the corner stone, a tried and proved stone, a precious stone, a sure stone (Is. 28:16). The tabernacle is a study of God’s plan for man, of redemption, of resurrection, of a coming King! The tabernacle is a tremendous, detailed revelation of the Son of God
The brazen altar was where the sacrifices were made. That speaks to us of salvation, and it comes by revelation (Matt. 16:17). There was the laver for washing and cleansing. This speaks to us of a child of God being cleansed with the water of the word. Baptism does not save – baptism is the answer of a good conscience toward God (1 Pet. 3:21). (Ps. 119:9, 11). Being saved and born again, we have to carry on in the new life. We see the door into the tabernacle. As you come in, you see the items inside, but nothing on the ground. As I considered this, the Holy Spirit dropped in my heart that we are seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Eph. 2:6). What are you looking at the ground for? Look up, your redemption draws nigh (Luke 21:28, Ps. 121:1-2).
Israel was a nation of slaves and God anointed Bezaleel from the tribe of Judah and Aholiab from the tribe of Dan to do the highly-skilled work for the tabernacle (Ex. 31). The lampstand was made from gold, not moulded but beaten into shape. There was the central branch, and 3 branches on each side. Each branch had a flower, a bud and the fruit of an almond: 3 on each of the 3 branches i.e. 9 on each side. This is the ministry of the Holy Spirit. No ministry could take place in the holy place without the lamp burning because there were four coverings and it was dark. Why nine on each side? There are nine fruits of the Spirit and nine gifts of the Spirit. The time is coming that we do not limit the gifts and the fruits of the Spirit to the sanctuary and to the gathering together of God’s saints alone. We have to express God’s love out there, the love of Christ. We have to be salt and light out there – the gifts of the Spirit must work in our lives.
Jesus was lead into the desert to be tempted by the devil and came back filled with the Holy Spirit. First of all He is baptised in the Jordan and the Holy Spirit descends upon Him. He stands in the synagogue and reads from Isaiah (Luke 4:17-19). Notice the Spirit of the Lord (Is. 61:1) is represented by the central shaft. Then, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord (Is. 11:2).
We read of the seven Spirits who are before the throne of God (Rev. 1:4) and seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God (Rev. 4:5). And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth (Rev. 5:6). So we have lamps, horns and eyes which are the seven Spirits. But we know there is one Lord, one baptism, one faith, one Spirit (Eph. 4:4-6). These seven Spirits stands for the seven manifestations of the Spirit. The seven horns speak of ruling power. The seven lamps speak of illumination. The seven eyes speak of all-seeing. Jesus said, “when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13a). That speaks to us of illumination – the lamps. He will tell you things to come (John 16:13b) – the eyes, all-seeing. He will bring glory to the name of Jesus (John 16:14) – the horns, ruling power. The Spirit-filled life of people who walk in illumination, they live in power and they can see beyond mankind, seeing beyond demonic deceptions. When you are filled with the Spirit, you will be able to see, you will be able to rule, you will be able to understand – you will know.
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding illuminates (the seven lamps). The Spirit of counsel and might speaks of ruling power (the seven horns). The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord: (seven eyes) seeing beyond mankind. The results: He will lead you into all truth, He will tell you of things to come and He will bring glory to the Name of Jesus. See how it fits in. Then look at the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. Lamps (illumination): the words of wisdom, the words of knowledge, the discerning of spirits; ruling power: the gift of prophecy, the gift of tongues, the interpretation of tongues. Then the gift of healing, the gift of miracles and the gift of faith.
We come to the table of showbread which had the 12 loaves representing the 12 tribes. It is also interesting that we had 12 apostles; it is an important number in ministry. There is also the altar of incense. In 1517 Martin Luther put his thesis on the door and the reformation started: the just shall live by faith (Rom. 1:17). Out of that a denomination of Lutherans started a big move. Later on the Wesley started to preach and there was a great move towards holiness – this is the laver, the cleansing. The Baptists came and the baptism. So we had denominations forming. Then there was an outpour of the Holy Spirit in Azusa Street in 1905 and various other revivals all over stemming out of the Pentecostal movement. The Lutherans persecuted the Methodists; the Methodists persecuted the Baptists and the Baptists the Pentecostals. There was always this division. Today, there are people sitting here from all over. There is an acceptance of Christians throughout. This took place at the table of showbread: the Charismatic outpour in 1948 where the glossolalia (speaking in tongues) became more palatable and more acceptable. In the Catholic churches, the Presbyterian churches, various churches, there was an outpour of the Spirit of God and there came a unity.
Now we stand at the altar of incense which speaks to us of worship and intercession – a sweet aroma in the nostrils of God. When you study the tabernacle in the Old Testament, you will see very clearly this division: the outer court with the brazen and the laver, the inner court with the lampstand, the table of showbread and the altar of incense, and then the Holy of Holies. In Hebrews 9 you discover that the menorah and table of showbread are in the holy place, but the altar of incense is in the Holy of Holies. On the Day of Atonement, they would take the altar of incense and put it in the Most Holy Place. On the Day of Atonement Christ was crucified and the veil was rent – there is an open door. There is no longer a veil, but the Church is standing at the entrance to the Most Holy Place. In the Most Holy Place there was the Ark of the Covenant and the mercy seat. Inside the Ark of the Covenant was Aaron’s rod which budded, the pot of manna and the Ten Commandments (the law that was broken). I believe in these days, because the veil has been rent and God has brought His Church through revelation to each of these stations, the time has come that oneness will reach the body of Christ – we will be one. We will be worshipping God. There are new songs coming. God is about to reveal something incredible.
The rod of Aaron that budded speaks about resurrection life (Gal. 2:20). The pot of manna speaks of fresh bread – the word of God on a daily basis. We will live and eat the word of God – the law of God. Many people say the law of God has been done away with. It never has. Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34), and “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt. 22:37-40). The first four of the Ten Commandments have to do with our relationship with God. The other six commandments deal with our relationship with others. I believe these things are going to be revived. Healing comes to the house of God first.
If we view the tabernacle from this aspect of revelation, then it is not just typology. “After this I will return and will restore the tabernacle of David” (Acts 15:16) – not the tabernacle of Moses. David brought the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem and they placed it in a tent called the tabernacle of David. All that was inside the tabernacle of David was the Ark of the Covenant with the three articles inside of it. I believe that is where the Church is standing. God is going to restore the tabernacle of David that was broken down. The veil is rent; the revelation has been given to the body of Christ. We understand a lot of things, but now we are going to enter into what God has called us to, the manifestation of the Spirit of God.