John 1:1,14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
Did the Apostles know as they walked with Jesus that Jesus was who He said He was? Paul said that God was manifested in the flesh. Matthew says, ‘You shall call His name Emmanuel.’
The word ‘Shama’ means ‘listen’ or ‘hear.’ ‘Hear, O Israel, our God is one.’
Deut 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:”
Deut 4:35 “Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him.”
Is 46:9 “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,”
Is 43:10 “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.”
In the beginning was God.
God was tabernacled among us, but what does that mean?
The time of Jesus was during the second temple era.
God originally met Moses on top of Mt. Sinai. At its summit was where the first covenant was given. This was where the Torah was given. Nobody else was allowed to go there. A little further down, the priests and Joshua were allowed to meet, a group of 70, was the second level. At the bottom was the congregation of Israel. This was how God originally met with Israel. He set up a plan of how to approach Him.
There were three levels of approaching God. The tabernacle plan was introduced by the way God chose to meet with them on Mt. Sinai. Later in Scripture, God moved from the top of the mountain and went into the tabernacle.
Ex 40:34 “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”
God went from the top of the mountain to a tent.
After Exodus is Leviticus which means, ‘He called.’
Lev 1:1 “And the Lord called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,”
God clothed Himself with a tent.
Deut 26:15 “Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey.”
God’s habitation was heaven, but what was He doing in a tent? God speaks to us through many different ways. I speak to God in heaven, not from the Ark of the Covenant. The Torah teaches that there are two habitations of the Lord, one in heaven and one in the tabernacle. Are there two gods? No. He inhabits both because He can. He’s God.
The teaching that Moses gave the jews and was reaffirmed in Hebrews is that there are multiple habitations of God. There is one God who has chosen to put His glory in various places. The Old Testament teaches that. The writer of Hebrews makes the connection between the two.
Heb 8:2 “A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.”
Just as the mountain had three areas, the tabernacle had three areas, the outer court, the inner court, and the Holy of Holies. That is the Tabernacle Plan of Moses. The writer of Hebrews said the Tabernacle Plan was a copy, a pattern, an example, of what he saw in heaven.
Heb 8:5 “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.”
God set up a better way of redemption, of speaking and dwelling with us. We beheld His glory when He tabernacled Himself in flesh.
The Old Testament and the Old Covenant was a type and shadow of Jesus, Himself. This was to remove sin and to be in the presence of God.
David wanted to build a ‘house’ for God. However, Solomon built the temple, set up the same way as the tabernacle.
So, Jesus walked with the glory of God. He was the only one ever on earth to have the glory of God inside of Him. He was 100% human because He was the sacrifice. He was also the priest to do the sacrifice. It’s all Him. He’s the tabernacle, the priest, and the sacrifice. God never left heaven and dwelt in the body of Jesus Christ.
Col 2:8-9 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”
God became a tabernacle and walked among us, but He never left His throne in heaven. God was in cloth, yet He never stopped being God in heaven.
He can be wherever He wants to be. He could be in a box (the ark). But, they didn’t pray to a box, they prayed to God in heaven.
1 Kings 8:10-11, 27 “And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11 So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord. 27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?”
Nothing can contain God, but He chooses to dwell in the house. The universe doesn’t contain God, God contains the universe.
Jonah was swallowed by a great fish. He was there three days. He tried to pray towards Jerusalem because that’s where the temple was. This was all about the glory of God. There is one creator and savior and shepherd. There was a manifestation in that temple. He never left the throne.
We’ve got one God and one mediator, still the same one God. He had a plan and slowly unveiled it until Jesus was manifested in the flesh.
Ezekiel saw a throne in heaven.
Psalm 5:7 “But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.”
Mat 12:6 “But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.”
God moved. He moved from the burning bush to the mountain, from the mountain to the tabernacle, from the tabernacle to the temple, from the temple to the body of Jesus.
Micah 5:2 “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
Isa 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
God was contained in the flesh of a man—Jesus.
Daniel was written in Hebrew, then Aramaic, then back to Hebrew. He had a different audience in mind for the middle portion. It’s possible that he was writing to the Jews in those chapters. The first six chapters are the stories, the second six are about his dreams. Chap 7 is a hinge chapter. It starts in Aramaic and ends in Hebrew. A lot of understanding Daniel happens in chapter 7. This talks about what to bow down to and what not to bow to (chap 1-6). All of this was about worship and compromising worship. Chap 7 was a vision of Messiah.
Dan 7:13-14 “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”
Daniel didn’t worship the wrong God, but here, this man will be bowed down to, this is the Messiah. The teachings of Daniel and Isaiah were in Paul.
How could we pollute what the original apostles understood? There is one God and He can manifest Himself anywhere.
The Feast of Tabernacles was where the Jews would remember wandering the desert. They lived in booths for a week.
John 7:37-39 “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”
This was called the ‘joys of drawing water.’
Isa 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
When a siege happened there was so much famine people were willing to buy poop from a dove. King Hezekiah didn’t want that to happen. So, he dug a tunnel to find water. They dug about 1/3 of a mile and opened up an underground flow of water. The water came from the virgin’s fount and ended at the Messiah. This was their salvation.
Jacob blessed his sons. He said Judah was blessed and from him the Messiah would come.
During the feast the water was mixed with oil and wine. The water was poured out in silence. At that moment, Jesus couldn’t keep silence. He said, ‘Come unto Me and drink!’ Jesus was God tabernacled in flesh. His name means salvation.
Isa 12:1-5 “And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. 2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. 3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. 4 And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. 5 Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.”
It is the same voice that spoke in that procession. There is only one Lord.
Stop looking for natural things on earth. The Kingdom of Heaven is tabernacled in His people. If the devil had known what Jesus was going to do, he never would’ve allowed Him to die. The glory of God was poured out into many others and the devil can’t destroy them all.
You are not God. When Jesus said, ‘greater works than these…’ He meant that His Spirit would be in you. Pentecost was a celebration of the giving of the first law. The second Pentecost was to put the law in people’s hearts. Jesus put fire on our heads, He filled us with His Spirit. You are the tabernacle of the Lord.
We are living in the era of the time of when the Lord will wrap everything up. Understand who Jesus is. We are not saved by OUR works. We ARE saved by works, but not our own. We are saved by what Jesus did. We must connect ourselves with that work.
Rom 10:9-13 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you call Jesus the same Jehovah that saved the Jews back in the old testament, you’ve got a chance. Healings are still coming from the body of Jesus Christ. Acceptance still comes from Jesus Christ. His body is still alive and well in the earth and the glory of God is still in the temple.
Jesus, the true God, is tabernacled in you. If you have Jesus, you’ve got that greater. He has moved from the mountain to your flesh. He has become our salvation. You can call on His name. Everything that is Him is at your disposal.
More Questions for Personal or Group Study:
- What really spoke to you in this sermon?
- What does it mean to you to have Jesus be ‘tabernacled’ in you?
- Read 1 Cor 3:16-17. What are the dangers of ‘defiling the temple’? What are the blessings of being His temple?
- How can you encourage someone else with the words from this sermon?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.