2 Corinthians (Program #34) – A New Creation in Christ Becoming God’s Righteousness (1)
By the end of chapter 4 in 2 Corinthians the apostle Paul was very matured in the Christian life. His being has been largely transformed to the extend that regardless of his outward circumstances he remained in the peace and rest of the Lord’s presence. Realizing that through the Spirit within him God was working through all things to form him and shape him according to His eternal plan.
Listen to his testimony in verse 16 and 17, “Therefore we do not lose heart; but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For our momentary lightness of affliction works out for us, more and more surpassingly, an eternal weight of glory,”
Surely this is the testimony of one who is longing to meet the Lord. Yet one thing remain in Paul’s spiritual journey is, as we will see in 2 Corinthians chapter 5, his longing to have his earthly body or tabernacle replaced with a heavenly one.
2 Corinthians (Program #13) – The Ministers of the New Covenant (6)
At the beginning of chapter 5 in 2 Corinthians Paul the apostle speaks in a strange way.
1 “For we know that if our earthly tabernacle dwelling is taken down, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens.”
Well, we may consider that we have understand this at least in parts. But listen to:
2 “For also in this we groan, longing to be clothed upon with our dwelling place from heaven,”
3 “If indeed, being clothed, we will not be found naked.”
Actually what Paul is expressing here is his deep longing and desire to be raptured.
Rapture, is a topic today that fascinating millions today even unbelievers are intrigued by this topic as we’ve seen by the tremendous popularity of recent series of novels on this subject.
But what is most often missed by Christians considering rapture it that it’s linked not just to our initially salvation but much more to our growth and maturity in the divine life. For as we grow and mature, our longing for this day deepens as we can clearly seen in Paul’s words.
4 “For also, we who are in this tabernacle groan, being burdened, in that we do not desire to be unclothed, but clothed upon, that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.“
Psalms (Program #30) - The Psalmist’s Love for the House of God with Christ
Psalms 84 is a lovely expression of the Psalmist’s intense love and longing for God’s house. “How lovely are Your tabernacle.” he writes. “Oh Jehovah of hosts, my soul longs even faints for the cores of Jehovah.” As this wonderful Psalm develops it becomes clear just what it is regarding God’s house that draws him so. For it’s here, in God’s habitation which in His time was the tabernacle but today we realizes it’s the church that we find Christ. It is Him that we long for and desire above all else. Of course, this Psalm also shows us that on the way to God’s house, the journey brings us through many stations, like a valley of weeping and eventually to the two altars that reside in the tabernacle,.
Psalms (Program #26) - Christ as the Center of God’s Move on the Earth
Did you know that the book of Psalms actually contains 150 different Psalms in all? So many poetic and prophetic utterances. Of course, as we have seen, some of these Psalms have a very high and profound content expressing the divine thought revealing Christ in brilliant detail. Others are not so high. In fact some are very low in the thought that they convey. Bit by bit as we read and study this book, we can learn to cultivate a taste for the high peaks contain in the Psalms. Perhaps the highest peak of all in the divine revelation of Christ in the book of Psalms is found in Psalms 68. This oft quoted Psalm actually begins with a quotation of its own. David the Psalmist quotes Moses from Numbers chapter 10 “as he sets out with the completed tabernacle to lead the children of Israel away from Sinai and ultimately into the good land of Canaan with the ultimate destination being Zion in the midst of Jerusalem and the cloud of Jehovah was over them by day when they set out from the camp”, Moses writes in Numbers 10. “And when the Ark set out, Moses said, Rise up, O Jehovah, and let Your enemies be scattered; And let those who hate You flee before You.”
Psalms (Program #15) – The Enjoyment in the House of God
In the Old Testament, God dwelt among His people in the tabernacle and later in the temple. The tabernacle was the place that God and man could meet. And in this meeting place God found His delight, His enjoyment. The New Testament began with this expression in John chapter 1 “And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.” Of course, we all realize now that this refers to Christ in His incarnation. But the deeper realization is that Christ became the tabernacle, the House, the very place where God and man could meet and eventually mutually enjoy one another. The book of Psalms unveils the same lovely portrait of the enjoyment of both God and man in the House of God as we will see in today’s program.
1 & 2 Samuel (Program #23) – The History Concerning David (10)
In 2 Samuel, David becomes secure and well established as the one king over all the tribes of Israel. As king, he’s prosperous, respected, loved, and secure from his enemies, even admired by the surrounding nations. In this situation, David’s true heart is clearly manifest. What he desires to do is to do something for God, even to build God a dwelling place in Israel. But having such a one on this earth whose heart was fully one on its own, Jehovah responds to David’s expression of wanting to do something for Him in a most surprising way.
Listen to this passage from 2 Samuel 7:
“Thus says Jehovah, Is it you who will build Me a house for Me to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house, since the day I brought the children of Israel up out of Egypt to this day; but I went about in a tent and in a tabernacle. more…
Once God’s people were properly arranged according to their families and rated around the perimeter of the tabernacle, God’s presence overshadow them as a visible cloud. His presence also filled the Ark of the Covenant within the tabernacle. These two items provided guidance and leading to the children of Israel. When the cloud was taken up, the people prepared to load up the tabernacle and their personal possessions to follow the cloud in a general way as their guide. But it was the tiny Ark that became their particular leading, leading them through the treacherous wilderness and finding the appropriate resting places. A forty-year journey under the guidance of the cloud and the leading of the Ark
Numbers (Program #10) – Being Formed into an Army (11)
Inserted in the record of Numbers where Jehovah formed and set His army is the account of His divine provision for the people. This was not the material provision of food and water. That had already been accomplished. This was the provision of two necessary items. For the people to approach Him, God provided several different offerings. But from God to His people, He provided the holy anointing oil. A marvelous compound that was to be spread or painted to all of the holy utensils even onto the tabernacle itself. This ointment is so rich in its symbolism yet it is nearly ignored completely by readers and even many ministers of God’s word. We will spend the next half hour to see it, to appreciate it and by the Lord’s mercy even to experience it.
Numbers (Program #9) – Being Formed into an Army (10)
If you ask most people, they will tell you that God dwells in heavens. Well, while this is surely the case, the Bible tells us again and again that He is the God of heaven and earth. So while from eternity, He has dwelt in heavens. The Bible reveals His goal even His desire is to dwell on earth with man. Old Testament books like Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers give us a very sweet picture of His earthly dwelling place, which at that time was in the tabernacle.
Numbers (Program #4) – Being Formed into an Army (3 – 4)
After the children of Israel escaped the tyranny of Egypt and built a tabernacle in the wilderness according to the plan God showed Moses, the Lord set about forming an army to protect His testimony and fight against His enemies. Members of each of the various tribes were called to serve in this army, saved one, the tribe of Levite. To them it was given not to fight directly but to serve God in the tabernacle in a holy service and ministry. Today God’s people are still called upon to war against His enemy and to fight to protect His testimony on the earth. Just as in ancient time, God needs His people to minister and serve Him in His dwelling place on earth. Another wonderful picture of a New Testament reality awaits us today from the Old Testament book of Numbers.