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Tabernacle of God

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examination of the tabernacle of God from Eden to Revelation

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Why is the tabernacle in heaven? Hasn’t the Mosaic system been removed and replaced by Christianity?

Eden

Pre-sin state was a place for God to dwell with man, a tabernacle – Gen 3:8
Genesis 3:8 ESV
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Remainder of Bible is to restore man to God, “Paradise Regained” – John Milton

Tabernacle

Tent home – Exo 25:8; 29:44-45 – dwelling place for God among His people, book of Exodus from chapter 25 describes tabernacle
Exodus 25:8 ESV
And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.
Exodus 29:44–45 ESV
I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar. Aaron also and his sons I will consecrate to serve me as priests. I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God.
Brought the people out of Egypt that God might dwell with them – Exo 29:46 – separated them from the world
Exodus 29:46 ESV
And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.
Glory of God filled the house – Exo 40:34-38 – as God moved in
Exodus 40:34–38 ESV
Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.

Solomon’s temple

Loses its temporary appearance – 2 Sam 7:1-2
2 Samuel 7:1–2 ESV
Now when the king lived in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.”
But that hurt Israel with its appearance of strength – Jer 7:4
Jeremiah 7:4 ESV
Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’
Glory as God moved in – 2 Chron 5:13b-14
2 Chronicles 5:11–14 ESV
And when the priests came out of the Holy Place (for all the priests who were present had consecrated themselves, without regard to their divisions, and all the Levitical singers, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, their sons and kinsmen, arrayed in fine linen, with cymbals, harps, and lyres, stood east of the altar with 120 priests who were trumpeters; and it was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord), and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the Lord, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever,” the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.
Not permanent – 2 Chron 7:19-22 – as God tells Solomon
2 Chronicles 7:19–22 ESV
“But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will pluck you up from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And at this house, which was exalted, everyone passing by will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’ Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore he has brought all this disaster on them.’ ”
God moved out because of idolatry – Ezek 10:4, 18; 11:22-23 – since Israel violated the covenant
Ezekiel 10:4 ESV
And the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub to the threshold of the house, and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the Lord.
Ezekiel 10:18 ESV
Then the glory of the Lord went out from the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim.
Ezekiel 11:22–23 ESV
Then the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them. And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain that is on the east side of the city.

Promise of re-establishment – Ezek 37:24-28

Ezekiel 37:24–28 ESV
“My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”
Not Zerubbabel’s temple, older men were sad at its construction – Ezra 3:12no cloud of glory
Ezra 3:12 ESV
But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy,
Not Herod’s temple, built by a half-Gentile for political reasons – Matt 24:1-2 – symbolizes the farce of 1st century Judaism
Matthew 24:1–2 ESV
Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
Jesus is the real tabernacle – John 2:19; 1:14 – having the glory of God
John 2:19 ESV
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
John 1:14 ESV
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

His church – reality

Temple of God – 1 Cor 3:16-17 – “you” is collective
1 Corinthians 3:16–17 ESV
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
The universal body of believers, but we must “come out” that God may dwell with us – 2 Cor 6:16-17
2 Corinthians 6:16–17 ESV
What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you,
Only priest can enter the temple – 1 Pet 2:9; Heb 10:19-22
1 Peter 2:9 ESV
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Hebrews 10:19–22 ESV
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Church is the fulfillment of prophecy – Ezek 40:5; Rev 21:1-4, 10-17
Revelation 21:1–4 ESV
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:10–17 ESV
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. He also measured its wall, 144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement.
Glory of God moves in – Ezek 43:1-5 – the reverse of the vision from 11:22-23
Ezekiel 43:1–5 ESV
Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. And the vision I saw was just like the vision that I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and just like the vision that I had seen by the Chebar canal. And I fell on my face. As the glory of the Lord entered the temple by the gate facing east, the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple.
All these physical tabernacles are designed to show us our reality – Heb 8:5
Hebrews 8:5 ESV
They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.”

Tabernacle of man

Heaven is not the ultimate tabernacle, that is backward – John 14:1-6
John 14:1–6 ESV
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
We will eternally be with God – 1 Thess 4:17; Phil 3:20
1 Thessalonians 4:17 ESV
Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
Philippians 3:20 ESV
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
We are the perfect tabernacle of God, prepared for Christ – Rev 19:7-8; 21:2.
Revelation 19:7–8 ESV
Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
Revelation 21:2 ESV
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
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