Power for Today Prophetic Ministries

"Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with

Me by sacrifice" (Psalm 50:5)

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"Sanctify them by Thy truth; Thy word is truth" (John 17:17)

Restoration of the Tabernacle

We are living in the days of fulfillment of God's plan for His creation. The church is standing on the threshold of its divine destiny in God. It is time for every believer to recognize what the Lord is doing in the midst of the earth and to begin to seek the Lord until he/she has obtained the high prize of their calling in Christ. There is a higher place in God to which we must go up lest we fall short of His glory.

"Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses' hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him" (Exodus 34:29).

The Lord came down to the Israelites on Mount Sinai in the wilderness. Moses entered into the cloud and went up the mountain into the Lord's presence. As Moses sat in His presence speaking with the Lord, His glory rested upon Moses in such a way that it became manifest on his person so that when Moses came down from the mountain the Israelites could see the manifestation of God's glory shining on his face. The Israelites could not stand to look at Moses with the glory of the Lord on him so he had to put a veil over his face. The reason the Israelites could not stand to look at Moses was that the glory of God exposed their sinfulness.

"You have set our iniquities before You, Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance" (Psalm 90:8).

The light of God's presence will always expose sin and darkness. When Isaiah saw a vision of the Lord in His holiness he could only fall on his face in brokenness and humility. In fact you will find the same response of man to the manifest presence of God throughout the scriptures. The manifestation of God's glory exposes sin and leads us to repentance and thus transformation if we will respond properly in humility. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 3:18 that as we behold the glory of the Lord as in a mirror we are transfigured into His image from glory to glory.

Our purpose in this life, individually and corporately, is to reveal God's glory to the nations so that they might turn to the Lord and be saved.

"Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising" (Isaiah 60:1-3).

Like Moses, we too are to be so clothed with the glory of the Lord that the nations and kings would see His manifest presence. Gentiles would come to the brightness of Christ in us. In fact, Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 3:8-11 that the dispensation of the Holy Spirit was given that God's glory in us would make the glory of Moses seem like a shadow in comparison. But like Moses, in order to have the glory of God manifest in us requires that we enter into the presence of God and abide before Him until we are clothed from on high.

God has made a means to abide in the midst of His people in all of His glory so that we could have communion and fellowship with Him and be clothed with His glory. The means He has given to us is Jesus Christ formed in us as His earthly temple. God gave a pattern for this work to the Israelites. Moses came down from Mount Sinai with a blueprint from God for building a tabernacle for the shekineh presence of God to abide in the midst of Israel.

"They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: "See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain" (Hebrews 8:5).

Moses was to follow the pattern of God exactly to build the tabernacle. When finished, the Lord promised to dwell in the midst of Israel over the mercy seat within the Holy of Holies. Everything about the tabernacle was to reflect or foreshadow the work of Christ that would allow us to come into the presence of God and sit at His mercy seat. If we look at the tabernacle and the way it was to be set up, we can get a picture of God's pattern for us to be glorified in His presence.

"And it came to pass in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was raised up. So Moses raised up the tabernacle, fastened its sockets, set up its boards, put in its bars, and raised up its pillars. And he spread out the tent over the tabernacle and put the covering of the tent on top of it, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He took the Testimony and put it into the ark, inserted the poles through the rings of the ark, and put the mercy seat on top of the ark. And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, hung up the veil of the covering, and partitioned off the ark of the Testimony, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He put the table in the tabernacle of meeting, on the north side of the tabernacle, outside the veil; and he set the bread in order upon it before the LORD, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He put the lampstand in the tabernacle of meeting, across from the table, on the south side of the tabernacle; and he lit the lamps before the LORD, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He put the gold altar in the tabernacle of meeting in front of the veil; and he burned sweet incense on it, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He hung up the screen at the door of the tabernacle. And he put the altar of burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, and offered upon it the burnt offering and the grain offering, as the LORD had commanded Moses. He set the laver between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar, and put water there for washing; and Moses, Aaron, and his sons would wash their hands and their feet with water from it. Whenever they went into the tabernacle of meeting, and when they came near the altar, they washed, as the LORD had commanded Moses. And he raised up the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and hung up the screen of the court gate. So Moses finished the work. Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle" (Exodus 40:17-35).

When the tabernacle was set up according to the pattern of the Lord, the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle and the cloud of His presence rested upon it. Now we are the tabernacle of the Lord and God's purpose is to fill us with His glory. Haggai said that, "‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts" (Haggai 2:9). This is the mystery of the church — it is Christ in us, the hope of glory.

"The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:26,27).

When we are truly filled with the manifest glory of God we will become lights to the nations drawing kings and Gentiles to the brightness of Christ in us. In so doing we will fulfill the Feast of Tabernacles by bringing in the harvest of God. But to have the fullness of God's presence and glory requires that we follow the pattern of God for His tabernacle as given to Moses.

If you look carefully at the layout of the tabernacle you will find that it creates a cross leading into the Holy of Holies. This is why it was so important that each item be placed exactly according to the pattern from God. It is only through the cross of Christ that we are able to enter the Holy of Holies into the shekineh presence of God.

The first station of the tabernacle was the bronze altar that was positioned on the east side of the tabernacle. The bronze altar represents our reconciliation through forgiveness of sin. When we repent, His atoning blood restores us to fellowship with God.

From the bronze altar you go straight ahead to the laver that represents our purification and sanctification. After the blood of atonement is put on the bronze altar for salvation the next step is cleansing and consecration to make us holy. No one was allowed into the Holy place until they washed in the laver. Jesus comes as our Sanctifier to deliver us from the nature of sin within and to resurrect us into the newness of life in union with Him.

Once clean, the priest could now enter into the Holy place. The first place he came to was the golden lampstand on the south side of the tabernacle. This represents the Holy Spirit that was also a separate station in God's pattern of the cross. Here we are filled with the Holy Spirit and power to be God's witnesses.

When we receive the Holy Spirit we can now go to the table of showbread. This represents the word of God. The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth as He breaks open the bread of the word. We are to live by every word that comes from the Lord.

The last station of the cross is the altar of incense. This represents worship and prayer. Revelation tells us that the prayers of the saints go up as incense before the Lord.

All of these stations of the cross lead us to the Holy of Holies and the mercy seat of God's presence and glory. But unless we follow exactly the pattern of God we cannot enter into the Holy of Holies. Each station of the cross must be fulfilled in us according to the pattern set out by God. We must begin at the bronze altar to become God's own special people. Without being justified we cannot begin our journey towards God. We must then be cleansed from our sinful self. Like the Israelites, once the Lord gets us out of Egypt He must then get Egypt out of us before we can enter into the promised land so that we do not defile the land. It is here that we are brought into divine union with Christ by putting off the old man and putting on the new man, partaking of His divine nature. Once we are clothed with Christ, we are now ready to enter into the Holy place to receive of His Holy Spirit and be empowered from on high. God anoints us with His gifts and power to serve Him. The Holy Spirit takes us to the table of showbread where He can now lead us and guide us into all truth. He opens the word to our understanding that our minds might be renewed according to the word of God and the new man of Christ might be renewed in knowledge (see Romans 12:2 and Colossians 3:10). Now that we have the Spirit and the Truth we can go to the altar of incense where we worship God in Spirit and in Truth. All of this prepares us to now enter into the Holy of Holies to sit at His feet and be clothed with His glory.

When the priesthood was first established, this pattern of the tabernacle was fulfilled by Aaron and his sons.

"And this is what you shall do to them to hallow them for ministering to Me as priests: Take one young bull and two rams without blemish, and unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil (you shall make them of wheat flour). You shall put them in one basket and bring them in the basket, with the bull and the two rams. And Aaron and his sons you shall bring to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and you shall wash them with water. Then you shall take the garments, put the tunic on Aaron, and the robe of the ephod, the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the intricately woven band of the ephod. You shall put the turban on his head, and put the holy crown on the turban. And you shall take the anointing oil, pour it on his head, and anoint him. Then you shall bring his sons and put tunics on them. And you shall gird them with sashes, Aaron and his sons, and put the hats on them. The priesthood shall be theirs for a perpetual statute. So you shall consecrate Aaron and his sons" (Exodus 29:1-9).

God had already chosen Israel for Himself and brought them out of Egypt. Notice now how the Lord established the priesthood. The first step was purification by the washing of water in the laver. This washing was a complete washing from head to toe. This represented the cleansing of sanctification so that the priests would be able to enter the Holy Place without defilement. Notice what Jesus said about His church:

"Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [ that she might be holy and faultless]" (Ephesians 5:25-27 Amplified).

It's interesting to note that the laver was made from the mirrors of the women who served at the tent of meeting (see Exodus 38:8). James tells us that we are to look into the word of God as into a mirror (see James 1:23-25). Paul then tells us that, "And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another" (2 Corinthians 3:18 Amplified).

Once clean, the priests were then dressed in the holy garments. This represents the positive side of sanctification that is being brought into the newness of life in union with Christ. Once we put off the old man of corruption we can now put on the new man of righteousness and holiness. The turban had a gold band across the front that said, "Holy to the Lord." Paul describes this process for the saints of God: "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27).  Paul gives further clarification in Colossians and Ephesians:

"Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him" (Colossians 3:9,10).

"That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:22- 24).

Our God is a holy God and we are therefore commanded to be holy even as He is holy. God cannot dwell in the midst of sin and the corruption of carnal man. Until we are made holy by the blood of Christ we cannot have the abiding presence of God in all of His shekineh glory.

Once the priests were washed from sin and clothed with Christ, they were then anointed with the oil of the Holy Spirit. God gives His Holy Spirit to those who obey Him: meaning we must be first free from the carnal man about which Paul tells us, "the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be" (Romans 8:7). Do you ever wonder why there seems to be so much flakiness among ‘Spirit-filled' Christians? It is because we have gone after the gifts of the Holy Spirit without first being cleansed from the carnal man.

Once the priests had been cleansed and clothed with Christ they could now minister to God in the Holy Place. They tended to the lampstand, the showbread and the altar of incense and once a year the high priest would enter into the Holy of Holies to the mercy seat of God's presence.

We must remember that the tabernacle, the priesthood, and all of the rituals in the law were given to Israel as a pattern and foreshadowing of the work of Christ. Jesus came to fulfill every part of the tabernacle and priesthood for us. This means that in order to properly serve the Lord as His priests we must also follow the same pattern of the tabernacle as fulfilled in Christ so that we can enter into the Holy of Holies and the presence of God to be clothed with His glory. The book of Hebrews was written for us so we could see how this pattern was fulfilled in Christ. When we don't follow the pattern of God we don't obtain the glory of God. This is exactly why we don't see the presence and power of God in the midst of the church today. Most of the church is still ministering out in the outer court of carnality and have not entered into the inner place of God's presence.

Now, this is the most interesting part of this article. As most of us realize, we have already seen the feasts of Passover (salvation) and Pentecost (baptism of the Holy Spirit) fulfilled in the church. But the Israelites were given three feasts that they were required to attend yearly. The third feast was Tabernacles. It was this feast that typified the time of the former and latter rains for the fulfillment of the year-end harvest. When viewed from a Christian standpoint, Tabernacles represents the end time harvest that completes God's plan for creation. In order for the church to fulfill this last feast, it must first obtain the former and latter rains and become the vessels of God's glory as lights to the nations. The former rain has already come in the form of the Holy Spirit outpouring. What we need now is the latter rain that Hosea 6:3 tells us is the Lord Himself. This is why Paul prayed for the Galatian church that Christ be formed in them. When we have the fullness of the Spirit and the fullness of Christ in us as the hope of glory, we will reveal the glory of God with such a brilliance that kings and Gentiles will be drawn to His brightness, thus fulfilling the harvest of God.

Isn't it interesting that this feast is called Tabernacles. I believe it is because it is based on the fulfillment of the tabernacle in us through the cross of Christ. We must be saved, sanctified, filled with the Holy Spirit, partakers of the word, and worshipers in Spirit and truth so that we can enter into the Holy of Holies by the blood of the Lamb to be clothed with His glory. It is coming into that perfect man, a perfect union with Christ where we no longer live but Christ now lives in us in all of His fullness.

What is far more interesting is what has been taking place historically to restore the tabernacle to the body of Christ. God has been restoring His tabernacle in the same pattern as it was given to Moses. Martin Luther (1403-1546) was raised up by God to restore the brazen altar to the church. He brought back the emphasis of justification by faith to the church. Then the Lord raised up John Wesley (1703-1791) to restore the laver. He brought back the emphasis of sanctification and holiness to the church. Next, the Lord raised up Charles Parham and William Seymour who were used to restore the golden lampstand. The result was the Azuza Street Revival in 1906 that emphasized the filling of the Holy Spirit. This led to numerous ministries of healing, miracles and prophecy throughout the early years of the twentieth century. In 1970's we saw the Charismatic movement raised up. This brought a restoration of the table of showbread. The emphasis was every believer becoming a student of the word of God. And now, for the last decade or so we have seen a restoration of the altar of incense. The primary emphasis within the body of Christ has been intercession, prayer, and worship. All of these taken together make up the tabernacle and they have been restored in the same pattern given to Moses by God.

Now notice the time span between each segment of restoration. We have about three hundred years between Luther and Wesley; less than two hundred years between Wesley and Azuza Street; less than seventy years between Azuza Street and the Charismatic movement; and less than twenty years between the Charismatic movement and the restoration of worship and prayer. And all of this is leading to the Holy of Holies and the shekineh glory of God being restored to the body of Christ! You can draw your own conclusions but I believe the time is here and it is high time for the church to embrace the cross of Jesus Christ and become the true sons and daughters of God for the manifestation of His glory. Let the church arise for the Light has come!

"Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising" (Isaiah 60:1-3).