Where the Glory Dwells

Getting closer to God takes place in our lives when we move past our sin sacrificing and washing. Each and every believer must enter through the doorway of Christ (John 10:9), who sacrificed His life (Romans 5:8) and washes us clean in the water of His Word (Ephesians 5:26). We are to recognize and engage in these tasks daily, as we take up our cross. (Luke 9:23) Walking through the process of our Tabernacle exploration, we have discovered that God is very specific about how He wanted the construction of the Tabernacle, which stands as a replica of His Tabernacle in heaven. 

The Lord specified a white fence around the courtyard, teaching the separation between sinful humanity and a holy God. In the fence there was one gate, showing there is only one way to approach God, Jesus Christ the Righteous. After entering the gate, the first object encountered was the brazen altar, which teaches a sacrifice for sin is required if a person is to have a relationship with God. Continuing past the brazen altar, we came to the laver, in which the priests washed their hands and feet before serving the Lord. The laver teaches us that to worship or serve God, we must not only be saved but also cleansed daily from all sin. Thus, Jesus reminds Pete and all of us today in John 13:10~…Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean…(NIV). We cannot escape living in a sin-cursed and fallen world.

Therefore, the Tabernacle reminds us of the process we go through to draw ever closer to God. With the gate facing east and the rising of the sun, we continue moving westward from the laver, ever closer, to the Tabernacle proper. The Tabernacle is where the Lord dwells sitting on His throne. This term Tabernacle often refers to the fence, outer court, and tent altogether. Thus, we distinguish this labeling it the Tabernacle proper. Exodus 29:45~Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. (ESV) When the Lord says dwell, He is saying that He will Tabernacle among His people and this tent will be His dwelling place.

Today, have you made your heart and life a dwelling place for Jesus. I want to encourage you to take some time as you pray about how to live, the way you react to people, and the areas of your life that have come in contact with a dirty world. Ask God to help you become more like Him and respond to the things He asks you to do. Know that as you do these things, you will be drawing closer to God.



The Last 3

In the Tabernacle, the priests used water for cleaning. God still requires cleansing of us today but not through the use of water. Rather, He now requires the application of something else. The cleansing process listed in the New Testament is called sanctification, This is a lifelong process of becoming more and more like Jesus, our sinless Savior. Listen as Jesus explains the process of cleansing as He prays in John 17:17~Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. (NIV) 

Old Testament priests were cleansed by the application of water; today we are cleansed by the application of God’s Word. The Bible calls this being doers of the word James 1:22~Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (NIV) And though we know very little about the construction of the laver because no dimensions or details or are given. However, we do know the materials from which it is made. According to Exodus 38:8~He made the basin of bronze and its stand of bronze, from the mirrors of the ministering women who ministered in the entrance of the tent of meeting. (ESV)

Ancient mirrors were made of polished bronze or copper, not silvered glass-like modern mirrors. It is no accident God commanded the laver be made from mirrors because in the New Testament the Word of God is compared to a mirror. A mirror is something we use to see how we look on the outside to people. The Bible is a different kind of mirror because it reveals how we look on the inside to God. That’s why we must let the Bible read our lives, as we read it. James 1:23-24~Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. (NIV) 

Juxtaposed against that statement, James says when we look at God’s perfect law, He gives the believer liberty and freedom because of Jesus Christ. James 1:25~But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it–not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. (NIV) Saints, it is in doing what God has asked of each one of us that we find His blessing. As we read the Bible, the Holy Spirit uses it to bring to our attention anything that soils our soul. The Bible first exposes our sin as we read it; then it cleanses us as we apply it to our lives. Hebrews 4:12~For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (NIV) 

So, have you washed in the Laver of Christ? When sin is revealed to us through reading or listening to God’s Word, we must take advantage of the New Testament laver which comes to us in the form of a promise found in 1 John 1:9~If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (NIV) As you head out into the wide world around you, know that everyone who enters into the presence of the Lord must enter by the precious blood of Jesus that washes us clean. So, again, I ask you, are you clean before God our Heavenly Father? If not, wash yourself in the water of His word. (Ephesians 5:26)



Everyday

As we return to our discussion this week about being cleared at the Lavar, we are not talking about salvation again, but a cleansing of our lives in specific areas for our current sins. So, when Peter asks Jesus to wash him all over, John 13:10~Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you. (NIV) I know that Saturday night is bath night for many of you, but our Lord is telling us to bathe every day. Listen to how Jesus explains being cleansed in John 15:3~You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. (NIV) 

When we take a bath and are clean all over, throughout the day, we may touch raw meat while cooking; perhaps we weeded in the garden and get some dirt on our hands, we might pick-up a dusty package off the porch, and what we have need of is washing our hands. The acceptance of Jesus’ words makes us spiritually clean all over. When we trust in His words, we are saved. When we sin after our initial salvation experience, we don’t need to be saved again; we just need to ask forgiveness for our specific sins. These fellas haven’t slid out the back door and walked away from Jesus.

Like the priests who served in the Tabernacle, once we’ve been saved and cleansed all over, we only need to maintain our spiritual cleanliness to serve God. When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He was saying to them that He was into towels and not titles. Jesus was illustrating for them that being a leader, that being great in the Kingdom of heaven was about serving. That is such a wonderful picture of the Christian life. Forgiven of all our sins at salvation, but because we live in a dirty sin-cursed and fallen world, we need to wash our hands and feet. 

Spiritually speaking, the way we wash our hands and feet is in the word of God. We must utilize the means of cleansing that God has provided us. For the priests, they were in constant contact with dirt. Remember the Tabernacle is a tent. Any campers? Many of you have been tent camping, and what is the number one rule? Wipe your feet! The problem with camping is dirt. Inconsiderate campers track in dirt that gets between your toes and in your sleeping bag. Ugh! Said Charlie Brown. The Tabernacle and all the ground surrounding it in the courtyard were dirt. They lived in a dirty world, but to serve God, they had to be clean. In much the same way, we live in a morally dirty world, and God demands that we be clean to enter into His presence and to serve Him.

Before you head out into our sin-cursed and fallen world, take a few moments and wash in the water of the word. If you do not have a daily Bible reading plan then try one of these. Read 2020 (https://cogpublications.org/read-2020/), the One Year Bible (https://oneyearbibleonline.com) or just check out the app store.