Exodus Message #52 Ed Miller Jan. 12, 2022 Dedication of the Tabernacle

Listen to audio above while following along with the transcript below (also available to download in Word at www.biblestudyministriesinc.com)

As we prepare to see the Lord in His Word again, let me just share this verse that has been meaning a lot to me recently.  Proverbs 14:18, “The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.”  Many people think that in the Bible God pictures old age as the setting sun, that it begins with youth in the morning and then meridian and then shadow length and then night comes and we’re with the Lord.  That may be a picture, but in God’s picture old age is not like the setting sun.  It’s like the rising sun; it grows brighter and brighter until that perfect day.  Here we are, another year the Lord has given us, and the infinite possibilities of union with Jesus this year.  It’s very exciting and it should grow brighter and brighter.  So, let’s just commit our time to the Lord, and then we’ll look in His Word. 

Father, thank You for giving us this precious Book.  That You for the indwelling Holy Spirit whose pleasure and ministry it is to point us to the Lord Jesus, the Living Word.  We pray as we study Your Word that we would really behold the Lord Jesus in a living and fresh way.  We thank You, Lord, that we can trust Your Holy Spirit to guide us on, and we commit this lesson unto You, and just pray that You would protect Your people from anything that is just flesh and blood and not from You.  We thank You that we can commit this time to You, and we do it in the matchless name of our Lord Jesus.  Amen.

Let me review just a little bit of our walk-through.  We’re still in the book of Exodus, and I think there will be one more study in Exodus, and then I believe that the Lord is leading us to look at 1 Peter.  So, I’ll encourage you to read that wonderful book. 

In our walk-through with Ezekiel we contemplated the spiritual significance of the different parts of the tabernacle.  We looked at the candlestick and the table and the golden altar of incense and the beautiful veil, and so on.  For the past couple of sessions, it seems like a last year, we’ve been meditating on that beautiful veil that separated the holy place from the holy of holies.  Because of the truth of Hebrews 9:7, “Into the second only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.”  In the picture that veil could only be passed through one day a year.  So, we spent a little time focusing on that one day.  That one day is called the Day of Atonement.  On that day symbolically the high priest became holy.  It was only a symbol.  Aaron was far in the natural from being holy, but he was allowed, and was qualified through that ceremony to go through that veil and into the holy of holies.  Our hearts were crying out as we read that record, “Is there some clue?  Show us the way.  We want to go into the holy of holies, and we want to be in the presence of the Lord,” and perhaps we thought that what qualified Aaron, maybe that would qualify us, so we’ll follow his steps, and perhaps if we go through the ceremonies he went through and spiritual disciplines that were commanded by the Lord, perhaps then we’ll find the way, the secret passage through the veil and into the holy of holies.

You remember what we discovered.  Hebrews 10:19&20, “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is His flesh.”  The way we were looking for was called, “the new and living way.”  According to that verse the veil pictured Him, the veil, that is His flesh, His humanity.  So, we discovered that the way was not a way at all.  It wasn’t a path.  It wasn’t a map.  It wasn’t a formula.  It wasn’t some kind of a recipe that God had.  It wasn’t a program.  We discovered the way into the presence of God is a Person.  It’s the Lord Jesus Himself.  John 14:6, “Jesus said, ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”  You remember when our Lord Jesus died what happened to the picture, the veil.  Matthew 27:50, “Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His Spirit, and behold the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  The earth shook and the rocks were split, and tombs were open, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.  Coming out of the tomb after His resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many.”

The picture, the veil, was rent in two, and when that was rent in two the entire economy, the entire Old Testament system was torn in two and put to an end.  What God has put together, let no man pull asunder. What God has torn asunder, let no man put together.  The old covenant, the pictures are gone. 

We spent a little time rejoicing at the three results that were pictured on that day of atonement, access into the presence of God.  Even though that wasn’t a Saturday, that day was labeled a Sabbath Day, rest, and then Jubilee.  Let me read Leviticus 25:9&10, “You shall sound a ram’s horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month.  On the Day of Atonement, you shall sound a horn through all your land; you shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants.  It shall be a Jubilee for you.  Each of you shall return to his own property; each shall return to his own family.”  That day of Jubilee that was given on the Day of Atonement announced freedom and liberty and emancipation.  It was on that fiftieth year after seven sabbatical years, picturing rest.  We closed last time and homed in on that Jubilee, liberty from bondage, liberty from want, and liberty from vanity.  So, we ended that.

At this point in our study, I’m going to dismiss our good friend the imaginary Ezekiel, our priest/guide.  We thank him for his help in our little tour, but now we need to return to the book of Exodus, to the history.  We’ve come to the final chapter in the book of Exodus, chapter 40, and we’re calling this, “the consecration of the tabernacle,” or the “dedication of the tabernacle.”  Before we look at that I really want to back up in our study and remind you where we are in the history.  We went far beyond the history in the last ten lessons, so we need to back up again to the actual history.  What I mean by that is that we’ve been studying the tabernacle.  We went through the outer court and the holy place, looked at the furniture, saw the veil come down, and so on, looked at the priests and their garments, their ministry, but as far as the history is concerned the tabernacle that we explored hadn’t even been erected yet.  We’ve been walking through a tabernacle that, as far as the history goes, didn’t even exist yet.  There was no tabernacle.  We flew over it, but it wasn’t there.  We walked through it, but it wasn’t there.  We had the blueprint that God gave on Mt. Sinai to Moses.  So, our priest/guide anticipated what it would be when it was finished, when it was erected, but actually it wasn’t set up until Exodus 40, the last chapter. 

So, in the history, if I can take you back, we’re still at Mt. Sinai.  Moses and Israel arrived at Mt. Sinai three months after they left Egypt.  Exodus 40 is about eleven months later.  So, they’ve been at this mountain for about a year.  They started gathering material and working on the tabernacle on about the fifth month, or sixth month.  In other words, it took about six months to complete this tabernacle.  Exodus 40:2, “On the first day of the first month you shall set up the tabernacle of the tent of meetings.”  That is in the second year, first day of the first month in the second year.  Even though we had that fly-over and that slower walk-through, as far as history is concerned that couldn’t have happened, because they didn’t have the tabernacle yet.  So, if you can set aside what we’ve looked at and back up with me, I want to return to the history.  We’re at Mt. Sinai and God had given the commands concerning the tabernacle and according to the record they spelled it out.

On your sheet I’ve just given you a series of Bible verses all clustered together, but each one has the same quote.  If you go in your Bible you’ll see that each verse says, “Just as the Lord commanded.”  Exodus 39:1, “Just as the Lord commanded.”  They made the garments for the priests.  Exodus 39:5, “Just as the Lord commanded.”  Exodus 39:21, “Just as the Lord commanded.”  Verse 26, verse 29, verse 31, verse 32, “Just as the Lord commanded.”  Exodus 40:23, 25, 27, 29, 32, they obeyed the Lord; they did just as He commanded.  Exodus 40:33, “He erected the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and hung up the veil for the gateway of the court.  Thus, Moses finished the work.”  They obeyed; they did everything, and now it’s finished.  Exodus 40:17, “In the first month, the second year on the first day of the month the tabernacle was erected.”

Before we get into the dedication or the consecration of that tabernacle, I want to remind my heart and yours what we know so well, but I will never tire of reminding you.  If we miss this, we miss God’s heart.  Exodus 25:8, “Let them construct a sanctuary for me, that I may dwell among them.”  The whole goal of this completed tabernacle; it was a house made out of skin, and God always desired to live in a house made out of skin, to fill that skin with His glory, to establish His throne in that house of skin, to find there a place where He could rest, where He could reign and manifest Himself through that tabernacle.  We are that tabernacle.  1 Corinthians 6:19, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God.  You are not your own.  You’ve been bought with a price.  Therefore, glorify God in your body.”  You, me, as individuals are the temple of the Lord.  What is true for the individual is also true for the group corporately, we are His temple.  Listen to Ephesians 2:19, “You are no longer strangers and aliens.  You are fellow citizens with the saints, and you are God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you, also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”  So, I am His temple; you are His temple; we are His temple.  So, all that’s pictured in this tabernacle is that God wants to dwell in His people.

All the truth of redemption, I reminded you, were somewhere pictured in that tabernacle.  Since the tabernacle is the dwelling of Christ, all the truths of redemption are in Him, of course, obviously.  To the degree that He lives in us, all the truths of redemption will be in us.  That’s where we’re headed; this house, this tabernacle, this tent filled with Christ, and all the truths of redemption—that’s the goal.  Exodus has been moving toward that goal.

In picture form Exodus spells out the spiritual process by which God will come and fulfill His heart and enter in and fill His temple.  So, here we are at Mt. Sinai.  The journey toward the Promised Land has been halted, but now it’s about to be continued, and the tabernacle now complete must be consecrated before He’ll fill it.  Even though it’s complete, it needs to be consecrated.  And Exodus 40 that tabernacle is finally completed.  The outer court has been set up with its high walls and all the linen walls and the two pieces of furniture, the brazen altar and the brazen laver of cleansing, the holy place has been established with its veils, its doors, its walls, it coverings, all of the furniture, the candlestick, the table, the golden altar of incense, the beautiful veil hanging between the holy place and the holy of holies.  The holy of holies has been erected, and the contents are in the ark, the Ten Commandments, the manna, the budding rod of Aaron—the whole tabernacle is finished, but what do we find?  It’s empty.  It’s finished, but the Lord is not dwelling in it.  That was His heart.  He said, “I’ve made this so that I could dwell in it and live in it and abide in it and rest in it and reign from it and manifest through it.”  When we get to Exodus 40 everything is in order except that it’s an empty tabernacle.  The purpose of God’s heart needs to now come to a completion. 

That brings us to the heart of what I want to share this morning.  I’m calling it the dedication of the temple, or more accurately, the consecration of the temple. God is going to settle down in His temple after it’s consecrated, after its dedicated.  Now I’m not saying by saying that, that the Lord is not in every Christian.  I just want to make that clear.  In one sense He dwells in every Christian whether they are consecrated or not.  That’s a truth all its own, and we’re no going to get in there now, but in the sense of satisfying God’s heart and fulfilling His purpose, the glory of God will fill a consecrated temple and Exodus 40 tells us how to be consecrated.  That’s what we want to look at.  May God help us with this!

This chapter is the record of God filling His consecrated temple.  Before I show you all that God pictured there in consecration, let me just discuss consecration and what exactly it is.  Is there a difference between dedication and consecration?  Ultimately both words mean to be set aside exclusively for the Lord.  I believe there is this little nuance, that dedication is the act of setting aside, and consecration describes what happens.  For example, I dedicate myself to the Lord; I am a consecrated Christian.  So, there’s a relationship, but they’re very close. 

When I pastored a church in Rhode Island, someone made a special table to be used as the communion table, and he said, “I want to dedicate it for that purpose.”  So, when we had a church gathering, fellowship supper, we didn’t bring that table out and put chairs around it.  That was dedicated for one purpose, and that was to hold the elements as we remembered the Lord’s death.  I had a friend visit me in Rhode Island, and he played the violin.  He was a master at the violin.  Me, not being that spiritual, I wanted him to use it as a fiddle.  So, I was so impressed with his playing, I said, “Play ‘Turkey in the Straw’.”  Well, he said to me, “I can’t.  I’ve dedicated this violin to the Lord.  I can’t play “Turkey in the Straw” for you.”

In the tabernacle there were cups and bowls and spoons and many other things.  The spoons were for incense, not stirring coffee, not eating soup.  The censor was to carry the coals from one altar to another; it was dedicated for that purpose.  Some of the bowls we use to catch the blood of the victim, the animal victim, and was used only for that, dedicated for that purpose.  Dedication is more the act of giving the animal or the bird or the flour or the first fruits or my first-born child, and so on; I dedicate it to the Lord.  Consecration is what remains after I’ve dedicated, after the dedication is done.

Another illustration: in 1963 I gave my Lillian an engagement ring.  I wanted to dedicate myself to her.  It wasn’t a ring box; it was a powder box.  I tried to camouflage this ring, so I put it in a powder box.   I dedicated it, but it was in a box, and it wasn’t on her finger.  When she took that ring out of the box and allowed me to put it on her finger, now she is consecrated; she’s mine, exclusively mine, everybody stay away, she belongs to me.

So, the Lord wants to fill His temple with Himself, but first He wants us dedicated, so that He can fill a consecrated house.  I don’t know if you are familiar with Miss Frances Havergal, the poet.  Oh, my, I think of all the Christian hymns, she has written more consecrated hymns than any I know.  She died so young in her early forties, but she was a wonderful minister of the Lord.  She said her favorite title for Christ was, “master”, because she could submit to Him.  That was her whole life.  She wrote that wonderful hymn, “Take My Life and Let it Be Consecrated , Lord to Thee.”  Fanny Crosby also wrote wonderful hymns of consecration.  I don’t know if you are familiar with the song, “Draw Me Nearer,” but you probably know it better by the first line, “I am Thine, Oh Lord.”  In the second verse she said, “Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord, by the power of grace divine,” and she touched that aspect of consecration that says that He’s got to do it.  I can’t do it, “Consecrate me, Lord.”  I can dedicate, but the Lord has to consecrate; He has to do that.  If I’m truly dedicating myself, and He accepts that dedication, then it’s consecrated.

There’s actually a verse that ties this together.  Leviticus 21:13, “The consecration of the anointing oil of his God is on him; I am the Lord.”  I love that, consecration of the anointing oil.  Later in the study we’ll look a little closer at the anointing oil, but just to say, I can’t dedicate, and I can’t consecrate apart from the consecrating oil of the Holy Spirit.  He enables me to give myself.  I think I share one time my testimony.  I tried so hard so often and so many times to give myself to the Lord.  It seemed like I gave it and then the next minute I’m just as messed up as I ever was.  Then one day I discovered as I was reading these pictures that the worshipper brought the gift to the high priest, and the high priest brought it to the altar.  When I saw that I said, “Lord, You dedicate me.  I’m sick and tired of trying and failing.”  I gave it to Jesus to dedicate, and I haven’t struggled since.  The Lord does it.  He’s the One that consecrates and dedicates.

That’s enough background.  The pattern of the tabernacle has been followed, and the tabernacle has been built and it’s finished and it’s about to be dedicated to the Lord.  Now, as God enables, I’d like to look at Exodus 40 and show what God emphasizes in order that He will fill His house.  May God give His light!  I say again that the pattern has been followed, the donations and offerings have already been made, the artisans have their work, the seamstresses and the embroiderers have made these beautiful veils and curtains, and there it sits with its court, with its furniture, with its tabernacles, with its priests, with their garments, with all of the commands, waiting for the glory of the Lord to fill it.  Again, what good is a completed house if God is not in it and God is not filling it?

The first thing we read is Exodus 40:3, “You shall place the ark of testimony there, and you shall screen the ark with the veil.”  The first act of consecration is to make sure, make certain that the ark, the throne, the Lordship is in its proper place.  That’s number one.  The ark is in the shape of a throne, and it’s the heart of the tabernacle.  They kept having every time the cloud moved, to disassemble the tabernacle and carry it, and then when they reassembled it, this was the order; the ark was always central and first.  Many lessons ago when we began our discussion of the tabernacle, I pointed out the truth that before God gave one command concerning the tabernacle, He commanded them to construct the ark, the piece of furniture. Usually, we build a building and put the furniture in: not God.  God takes the ark and says, “Now the building must be built around that piece of furniture.”  The Lordship of Christ is preeminent.  That’s the beginning, and that’s how you started. 

Are you a Christian; have you received Christ? Listen to Colossians 2:6, “Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.”  That’s how you started, as Christ Jesus, the Lord.  When you got saved and received Christ you didn’t receive a church, you didn’t receive a doctrine, you didn’t receive a program, and in one sense you didn’t even receive a Bible.  You got a new Bible, but that’s not what you received.  You received a Person, Christ Jesus the Lord, and around that He has been building His tabernacle, and it always begins with Him, a King, because He’s not going to fill in this special way His tabernacle until the ark is in its proper place.

I’m not saying what I used to say, and I’ve heard many say, “Make Christ Lord of your life.”  You can’t make Christ Lord; He’s Lord already.  I can’t make Him Lord.  You can’t make Him Lord.  He was declared the Son of God and Lord by the resurrection from the dead, but we must acknowledge Him as Lord.  We must acknowledge His rightful place in the center of our being.  When we do, that’s the first step in Him filling us with His glory.  So, dedication and consecration begin with the acknowledging of the ark in its rightful place.  If you don’t begin there, it’s a vain dream that your life will ever be filled with the glory of God in a way that pleases Him, and in a way that He can manifest Himself.

There’s a second emphasis in this dedication of the temple, and it’s verses 9-16, and pay attention to the word, “anointing.”  “’Then You shall take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle and all that’s in it, and consecrate it and all its furniture, and it shall be holy.  You shall anoint the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils and consecrate the altar.  The altar shall be most holy.  You shall anoint the laver and its stand and consecrate it, and then bring Aaron and his sons to the doorway of the tent of meeting, and wash them with water and put the holy garments on Aaron, and anoint him and consecrate him, that he may minister as a priest to Me.  You shall bring his sons and put tunics on them.  You shall anoint them, even as you’ve anointed their father, that they minister as priests to me.  Their anointing will qualify them for a perpetual priesthood throughout their generation.’  Thus, Moses did according to all the Lord commanded him, and so he did.”

In this dedication of the temple we read of oil, oil, oil; everywhere everything is anointed with oil.  I’m not going to take time to prove it to you now but trust me on this.  In the Bible that anointing oil is a picture of God the Holy Spirit.  It’s very clear in the Bible.  Everything had to be anointed with oil: the furniture, the tent, all of the furnishing, all the utensils, the priests, their garments, a hundred percent everything had to be anointed with oil, and that symbolic act of anointing with oil is in the New Testament expression, “sanctification.”  What was anointed, what was set apart, what was covered with oil was God taking possession.  I need to dedicate, so He consecrates, the Lordship of Christ in its proper place, and I need to turn everything over to the possession of the Holy Spirit, everything is anointed and drenched with oil.  Things once that were used for secular purposes, “Turkey in the Straw”, now dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ for His glory, for His purpose.  Before the tabernacle would be occupied by the Lord in the way of fulfilling, so He fills us, and He’s in and we’re out, before that can take place, the ark has to be in its rightful place, and the Holy Spirit has to be in possession of every part. 

Your heart knows this.  Your heart sees this to be true.  It’s wonderfully illustrated here.  Everything about the tabernacle was hallowed, consecrated, devoted exclusively to the Lord.  It no longer belonged to the people.  It didn’t belong to those who provided the materials.  The tabernacle didn’t belong to the artisans who made it.  It didn’t belong to Moses.  It didn’t belong to Aaron, and it didn’t belong to Aaron’s sons.  It belonged to the Lord.  He had to have possession.  Aaron didn’t belong to Aaron. He’s God’s man.  I don’t belong to me.  You don’t belong to you.  You’ve been purchased with a price.  You belong to the Lord.  So, everything was set apart: the building, the furnishings, utensils, every board and every curtain, the people, the priests, the garments, everything in the possession of the Holy Spirit.  And so, God wants to fill His tabernacle; that was His heart, “Build it; I want to live there, and I want dwell there and I want to abide there, and I want to rest there,” but first make sure the throne is in its rightful place, that He’s Lord of all.  Make sure the Holy Spirit has possession of every part and there’s no part of your life or mine that is not wet with the oil of the Holy Spirit.  That’s the kind of a place He wants to fill.  That’s the kind of a place that will serve His heart and purpose.

Once again, I’m not tired of reminding my heart or yours, let’s read it.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Do you not know your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God.  You’re not your own.  You’ve been bought with a price.  Therefore, glorify God in your body.”  Now the ark is in its place, the Holy Spirit has taken possession.  It’s a wonderful picture.

Before I actually show you the Lord coming in, I want to expand a little bit on the oil.  I want to say a little bit more about that.  Exodus 40 there is an interesting section that has to do with Aaron and his family.  You remember that Aaron and his family were a special family chosen from the tribe of Levi to minister unto the Lord directly.  Some of the Levites later we’ll see ministered to the house, but these were to minister to the Lord.  Exodus 28:3, “Speak to all the skillful persons who’ve I’ve endowed with the Spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister as a priest to Me.”  Exodus 29:44, “I will consecrate Aaron and his sons to minister as priest to Me.”  In the vision of the ideal temple Ezekiel gives us a spiritual temple, but the same thing is true.  Ezekiel 44:15&16, “’The Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the sons of Israel went astray from Me, shall come near to Me to minister to Me; and they shall stand before Me to offer Me the fat and the blood,’ declares the Lord God.  ‘They shall enter My sanctuary; they shall come near to My table to minister to Me and keep My charge.’”

Here is something interesting about Aaron and his sons when it comes to the anointing.  Exodus 40:15, “… and you shall anoint them even as you have anointed their father, that they may minister as priests to Me…”  Here’s the difference between Aaron and the Levites, or his sons.  If Aaron died, his son would take over as priest, but the anointing that was on Aaron wouldn’t help his son.  His son needed his own anointing.  So, the successor needed to be reanointed.  After Aaron died Eleazer, his son, became the high priest.  Leviticus 16:32, “So the priest who is anointed shall serve as priest in his father’s place.”  But that’s different for the sons.  Let me show you what I mean.  Exodus 40:15, “…and you shall anoint them even as you have anointed their father, that they may minister as priests to Me; and their anointing will qualify them for a perpetual priesthood throughout their generations.”  That’s a strange verse.  In other words, every succeeding high priest, his son had to be reanointed, but the anointing at the dedication for all the others lasted for every generation. The next generation didn’t have to get reanointed.

By this regulation I think God is picturing two things.  You need to remember that these are pictures, and there is reality.  I think there are two realities.  I think the fact that every son has to be reanointed, I think is the reality, and I’ve heard someone express it this way, “God has no grandchildren.”  He only has children, and we have to become a child of God.  Aaron dies, and so his sons need to also have that anointing.

We had an experience of this is our own life, when my firstborn son, David, was in High School, and he came back one day very distressed.  He came to us in tears.  His faith had been challenged by a classmate.  The classmate accused him of not having faith but just believing what his parents believed, and he said, “As I thought about that I wonder if I have my faith as an heirloom from God.”  It was a great crisis in his life, and he said, “You can’t help me with this, because you caused the problem.  So, you can’t help me,” but God by his grace brought another brother into his life.  I said, “Where are you going to start?”  He said, “Is there a God.”  Wow!  After all that training, he’s going to begin there!  But he got the anointing on his own.  He was anointed and is saved and living now in wonderful fellowship with the Lord Jesus.

But what about the Levitical sons of Aaron?  Why did one anointing count for every generation?  Remember that this is a picture, the dedicating of the temple, God filling the temple.  If that’s a picture, what’s the reality?  The answer is Pentecost, when the people are gathered and the Holy Spirit comes down and anoints the church, the hundred and twenty who were in that upper room.  Peter quoting Job explained what happened.  Acts 2:17, ‘“It shall be in the last days,’ God said, ‘I’ll pour forth My Spirit on all mankind.’”  When God the Holy Spirit baptized that group, that baptism was once for all time.  We’re in the month when our brother celebrated his spiritual birthday this month.  At the end of the month on January 29, 1958, that’s when, I like to say it this way, “The Lord accepted me as His own personal son, and He received me, and I came to know Jesus as my Savior,” but that night, January 29, I entered into an anointing that had taken place 2,000 years ago.  I didn’t need a new Pentecost.  I entered into that baptism, and I became part of the body, the church, his people that had been baptized one time for all, and I didn’t have to be baptized.  Both are true.  I need to accept Christ personally, but I can’t choose the family that I’m born into.  So, there is much confusion these days, I know, about the Holy Spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  That’s a subject all its own.

Let me just give you this much to simplify it.  When you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, you were baptized with the Holy Spirit.  When you are clean, you are filled with the Holy Spirit.  When God calls you to a special service or ministry, you are anointed with the unction of the Holy Spirit.  Now, it’s more than that, but I’m going to leave it there in terms of the tabernacle.

Let’s get back to Exodus 40.  The tabernacle is complete.  The ark is in its proper place.  The Holy Spirit has taken possession of every part, and everything has been handed over to Him, and now it’s ready to be filled.  If there’s no ark in its proper place, there’s no filling.  If there’s no possession by the Holy Spirit, there’s no filling.  It’s an awesome building, even apart from that, made by skillful workmen, filled with gold and silver, and other precious metals, wood covered in gold.  It’s a great building.  You could stand there and the redeemed could stand around it and admire it and sing songs about it, but what good is it if its not filled with the Lord Himself.  He instituted it, and now the Lord is in His proper place, the Holy Spirit has possession of every part.  Exodus 40:34, “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.  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.”  

We read this sort of la, la, la.  Don’t forget that Moses had been eighty days on the top of Mt. Sinai in the cloud in the presence of the Lord, and many thousands of angels, as well.  Moses had been in the cleft of the rock when he prayed that the Lord would show His glory.  Moses had seen the glory of the Lord.  This was different.  When this glory filled the temple Moses was driven out.  Can’t imagine what that day was like!  A few minutes before it was an empty building, and now it’s filled and flooded with the presence of the Lord and the glory of the Lord.  God had come in and man had gone out.  He finally had His heart, His house made out of skin.  The thing that made this tabernacle so attractive wasn’t the gold and the silver and the cunning handiwork of the artisan, all the gifts and the skills that were poured into the fabrication of that building.  It wasn’t that.  The glory in the house of skin is that God was pleased to come in to live, to abide, to dwell and to fill that consecrated tent with Himself. 

From this point on, as Ezekiel our priest-guide taught us, when Israelite sinners came to be represented by the priests and they brought the sacrifice, they weren’t going into a temple, a place.  They were going into the presence of the Lord.  On the Day of Atonement when Aaron, the high priest, came from the blood sprinkled mercy seat, he wasn’t leaving a building to bless the people.  He was coming out from the presence of the Lord.  The Lord was in that place.  It was no longer a God far off.  Now a God made nigh, a God indwelling.  Friends in Christ.  You were once an empty building.  I think it’s healthy to remember that now and then.  We were once an empty building, but somewhere along the way you were instructed what it means to have the ark in its proper place, and you yielded to the Lordship of Christ.  Somewhere along the way someone taught you, or God Himself taught you that you had to learn that the Holy Spirit had to take possession of every part.  To such a tabernacle He comes and fills it with Himself.  If you have not been consecrated like that, if He is not Lord of all, if He doesn’t possess every part, then we can talk about this, and you can write it in a notebook, but only those who are consecrated know the experience of having the glory of the Lord come down and fill us. 

I want to look at one more concept as we get ready to close.  I won’t finish.  We have one more lesson next week, I think.  One more, I’m quite sure.  Anyway, Exodus 40:34&35, “The cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.  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.”  I want you to notice that there are two lights present here.  In verse 34 the cloud that covered the tabernacle was the cloud that they were used to seeing.  They were guided by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night that led them across the Red Sea, that lead them into the wilderness, that lead them to Mt. Sinai, that pillar of fire. 

Since their sin with the golden calf, you remember that the pillar of fire departed from them and settled on a tent that Moses had set up outside the camp.  Exodus 33:9, “Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud of descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord would speak with Moses.  When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent.  Thus, the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend.”  But now that cloud that was over Moses’ tent comes over the completed temple, the consecrated temple, and it settles on the top, and the glory fills inside. That second light was not on the tabernacle, but in the tabernacle, as we saw in Exodus 40.  The light within drove Moses out.  That was a wonderful filling.

I want to say a few words about the light within and the light without, because both are true, and I want us to see the spiritual significance of each.  The light within is called, “the glory of God.”  We know it to be the God of glory.  It’s the same thing, the presence of the Lord.  This is a light that is the fullness of God.  We can’t take it all in.  All of God lives in you.  You don’t know all of God, but He lives in you.  All of God lives in me, but I don’t know all of God, but all of God lives in me.  Verse 35, “Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it.”  This is the light, picture form, that drives man out.  It’s what we call the exchanged life, He’s in and we’re out.  It’s the Lord, He fills us, and we reckon ourselves dead.  We read the same kind of thing when Solomon dedicated the temple.  2 Chronicles 7:1&2, “Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house.  The priests could not enter the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house.” 

I’ll have more to say about the glory within in our final lesson, but I want to say this much now.  This is the exchanged life, the indwelling presence of the Lord, and anticipates the reality.  Remember this is just a picture.  When Jesus died on the cross an amazing thing took place.  Notice in Exodus 40:10, “You shall anoint the altar of burnt offering, all of its utensils, consecrate the altar, the altar shall be most holy.”  Please pay attention to that expression, “most holy,” because that’s the same expression as holy of holies, most holy, the holy place, most holy.  Exodus 30:10, “Aaron shall make atonement on its horns once a year.  He shall make atonement with the blood of the sin offering of atonement once a year.”  That’s the altar of incense.  It is most holy.  It’s called the holy of holies.  Exodus 30:28, “The altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the laver and its stand.  You shall also consecrate them, that they may be most holy.”  They’re called the holy of holies.  Zachariah 14:20&21, the prophet pictures the end of all this, “In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses holy to the Lord, the cooking pots in the Lord;s house will be like bulls before the altar.  Every cooking pot in Jerusalem, in Judah will be holy to the Lord.”  Everything is holy.  Exodus 30:36, speaking about the incense, “You shall beat it very fine, put part of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting where I will meet with you.  It shall be most holy.”  The holy of holies.  In the book of Leviticus there are five offerings mentioned, and each of them are called most holies, the holy of holies.  How does that anticipate what happened on the cross when He rent the veil, when Jesus died, when that veil came down that was separating the holy place from the holy of holies, the whole sanctuary became a holy of holies.

Lillian drives me nuts.  She looks at all these building things, “Property Brothers” and they’re building, “Tear down that wall.  That should not be a kitchen and a dining room.  Make it a big kitchen.”  When the wall comes down, everything became the holy of holies.  The whole tabernacle is now called, “the holy of holies.”  There’s nothing secular anymore.  It’s all spiritual.  You aren’t more spiritual being at a Bible study than at a Little League game watching your son or grandson or great grandson play ball.  Everything is holy of holies since the veil came down.

Deuteronomy 18:1&2, “The Levitical priests, the whole tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the Lords’ offerings by fire and His portion.  They shall have no inheritance among their countrymen; the Lord is their inheritance.”  The indwelling Christ fills His tabernacle, and everything becomes the holy of holies.  It doesn’t matter any more if I’m golfing, if I’m fishing, if I’m shopping, if I’m going to school, if I’m going to work, if I’m reading my Bible, praying, fellowshipping with God’s people, He is my life and there is no more division because He lives in me.  Everywhere I go and everything I touch is holy, holy to the Lord.  It’s all His.  This was all pictured in that wonderful shadow.

So, the light on the inside is the exchanged life; God is in and we’re out.  I had planned to discuss the light on the outside, but I’m going to wait, because I don’t want to rush that, and I want us to see what the difference is.  Why is there a light in here and a light out there, and it’s all Him?  We’ll look at that next time.  The message this morning is simply this, that the Lord wants to fill His consecrated house.  It’s got to be consecrated.  Don’t answer out loud.  I don’t want to see your hand, just before the Lord.  Have you ever so dedicated yourself that the ark is in its rightful place?  He’s Lord of all.  Have you ever come to the place where the Holy Spirit now has possession of everything, and everything is anointed with oil, everything, and my whole life has become a holy of holies?  That’s the house He’ll fill.  That’s the house that will know His glory, and when we get to the other light, that will be manifest through us. 

Heavenly Father, thank You for this great chapter on the consecration of the tabernacle.  Lord, we just want You to Your rightful place in our lives, and we want the Holy Spirit to have possession of every detail of our lives.  Thank You for tearing down that old veil, that we might have every part of our life be a holy of holies.  Work these things in us, we ask in the matchless name of our Lord Jesus.  Amen.