Perhaps the most beautiful construct on the face of the earth – is this wonderful God-crafted thing called the Body – a metaphor and mystery not mentioned in the Old Testament – and revealed only through Paul’s letters.
David caught a far-away glimpse of this stunning reality in Psalm 48 – Beautiful in situation, joy of the whole earth, is Mt. Zion at the side of the north, the city of the great King (Psalm 48:2).
Today, some know her as the Bride, others call it the Church, some dare say Zion…
Regardless the Body was in the mind of God before the foundations of the earth – and in the fullness of time, God sent His Son to establish the Kingdom – and raise here on earth a people of God called the Body of Christ.
God has always relished the idea of a people. He created Adam to bring forth a people after the image of God; He called out Abraham to form a nation. He drew Jacob aside to send forth Israel. He anointed David to rule over a people – and He sent the Son of David to forever live in the midst of a people.
God has also relished the idea of tabernacling. It is a wonderful old habit of His.
To tabernacle – is to pitch tent. His desire to dwell with man is evident from Genesis to Revelation.3:20
It started in Genesis – as you hear him walking though the garden – a sound familiar to Adam and Eve before and after the fall. In the book of Exodus you see His Shekinah dwell among a people. In Exodus 24 – Moses and 72 others are invited up the mountain to eat and drink with Him.
In John.1:14 we see Christ enter history. He pitched tent in weak flesh – and then – in what is the turning point of our story, the veil in the temple tears – and God once and for all – moves out of a building and into a people.
He has forever pitched tent in a people – called the Body of Christ, a royal holy nation, New Jerusalem, the Bride, the church, Zion, the one new Man – or simply a people of God.
But why this focus on tabernacling or pitching tent amongst a people on earth?
Time and time again God makes His intent clear –
“But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” Habakkuk 2:14.
But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord…Numbers 14:21;
Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen -Psalm 72:19
And one called to another and said:“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” Isaiah 6:3
It is the Father’s profound desire is to fill – as in furnish, confirm and complete – the earth with His glory.
His glory is His magnificence, His unadulterated goodness, His worth, His weight, His nature, His character, His power, His unfathomable, inexhaustible, infinite splendour all wrapped up in this one word “kabod”.
What we fail to realize is that the precursor to the establishment of God’s glory in the earth – is the re-building of the Temple.
You see it first with Adam. God prepared a temple called the earth over 5 days – and then on the sixth day, He sets up His image, His “tselem”, a representative of the Original, a carrier of His glory – in this temple.
We see the motif being repeated in the wilderness. The temple or “tent of meeting” is built according to divine pattern and as prescribed offerings are brought before the altar, the glory of God manifests.
And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24 And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces. Leviticus 9:23,24.
Again, in I Kings 8:10 we see the glory of God fill the temple that Solomon built.
And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a 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 filled the house of the Lord.
Nearly a thousand years later, Solomon’s temple was superseded by a new temple – Christ – in whom the glory of God tabernacled.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6
When the temple is built according to God’s design and order – it is able to contain God’s glory.
In Exodus 25:9 and Exodus 25:40 we see that the pattern precedes the glory of God filling the temple.
Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.
And see that you make them after the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain. Exodus 25:9,40.
Once the temple is built according to divine pattern, the glory of God fills, seals and validates the pattern of building – as we see in Exodus 40:17, 34, 35.
In the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was erected. Exodus 40:17
Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 And 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. Exodus 40:34,35
The glory then becomes the indicator or testifier that the house or the temple is built accurately according to revealed divine blueprints.