The Tabernacle

The burden of the message on the three tabernacles (the type, the reality, and the consummation) centers on the experience of the believers in the tabernacle. The experience of it can be seen by the Psalmist’s experience in Psalm 84. The center of this Psalm is in verse 3:

At Your two altars even the sparrow has found a home;/ And the swallow, a nest for herself,/ Where she may lay her young, /O Jehovah of hosts, my King and my God.

The two altars refer to the bronze altar of burnt offering at the entrance in the outer court and the golden incense altar belonging to the Holy of Holies. These two altars have everything to do with our experience of the tabernacle.

The first altar, the bronze altar of burnt offering, was just inside the outer court. It signifies Christ crucified so that sinners may have an entrance into God’s dwelling place. It is at this altar that all of our problems before God are solved. We are redeemed, justified, reconciled, and accepted by God. It is through the daily experience of this Christ that we have the way to come to God boldly and enter into the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies to enjoy all the riches of God.

The second altar, the golden incense altar, was placed before the veil and belonged to the Holy of Holies. This altar signifies the ascended Christ. The Christ sitting at the right hand of God who today is interceding for us. His intercession gives us a deeper, fresher, richer experience of God. As we experience this Christ, we are daily, hourly, moment by moment, brought into a deeper more intimate fellowship with God until between us and God there is no more separation or distinction.

In Psalm 84:3 this type of experience is typified by the sparrow finding a refuge and the swallow building a nest. Our refuge is the cross of Christ. Our home is God Himself.

May the Lord have mercy on us that we would be able to experience these two altars that we might find our home and rest in God’s house.



The Secret Revelation

In Psalm 84 we see a loving seeker, one who has entered into a deeper and sweeter experience of the house of God through many sufferings and trials. This one has recovered God as his unique portion after giving Christ the unique position, the place of preeminence. In order for us to understand this secret revelation that we see in this Psalm, we need to know and understand what is the house of God.

In the Old Testament times, the house of God was the tabernacle and temple. Let us take a closer look at the tabernacle, for in so doing we will be able to enter into this same deeper and sweeter experience, just like the psalmist.

John 1:14 tells us: “And the word became flesh and tabernacled among us…” Christ, the incarnated Triune God (Col. 2:9) is the reality of the tabernacle. His becoming a man, was His coming to dwell among His people. His dying on the cross, thus accomplishing redemption, was His opening for us a new and living way to enter into God and dwell with God so that we also would become in Him the dwelling place of God.

So, this is an accomplished fact, but today we must continue to enter in order to not merely have the objective facts, but a subjective reality. In this way we would have those deeper and sweeter experiences. How do we enter? Through the two most important furnishings in the tabernacle, both of which are mentioned in Psalm 84: 3. “At Your two altars even the sparrow has found a home;/ And the swallow, a nest for herself,/ Where she may lay her young,/ O Jehovah of hosts, my King and my God.”

The burnt offering altar, the bronze altar, at the entrance of the tent of meeting, at which were offered the sacrifices for sin signify Christ’s redemption through which we are cleansed objectively and subjectively to have access to enter into God. It is here we become those “sparrows” and “swallows” and God becomes our refuge and rest. The second altar, the golden incense altar, which was within the Holy place and which belonged to the Holy of holies signifies our coming to God in prayer through the ascended Christ by whom we may enter into the Holy of holies, into the direct presence of God’s glory and to be under His direct infusing and speaking.

This way, from the bronze altar, through the lavar, into the Holy place, and through the golden incense altar into the Holy of holies are the highways to Zion mentioned in verse 5. These highways are the internal ways of our coming again and again to God. These highways to Zion are internal and highly subjective. They are a way wrought with sufferings and trails, in fact they are highways that go through the valley of Baca, that is the valley of weeping. When we are absolute for the Lord and for His house, immediately we find ourselves under the opposition and attack of the enemy. However, if our eyes remain set on Zion, the tears shed in the valley become springs because our being is filled by the Spirit. Thus these tears are the early rain, the blessing of the Spirit; eventually they become the manifestation of God’s glory.

What a precious revelation we have in Psalm 84 of the house of God. May we be like this loving seeker who longed and even fainted to be in God’s tabernacles. May the Lord have mercy on us that we may be those with the highways to Zion in our hearts and that through us the church may receive the blessing of the Spirit and God’s glory may be manifested to the entire earth.


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