ENTERING GODS PRESENCE INTIMACY WITH THE ALMIGHTY
EXODUS 24-40 “ENTERING GOD’S PRESENCE”
The tabernacle which God instructed Moses to construct is a powerful lesson for us this morning. This morning, we can learn an enormous amount about how God wants us to enter His presence. Then tonight, we can learn how to stay in His presence. So ENTERING THE PRESENCE OF GOD
This morning we are going on a journey into the presence of God. We enter God’s presence by way of His Tabernacle, God’s tent of Meeting. As we examine this incredible structure, we will see how every point of the God’s Tabernacle points to Jesus.
Of what possible importance could an old, dusty animal skin tent in the midst of a Nomadic, wandering migration of people camping across the Sinai’s trackless desert have in this ultra modern 21st century life in which we live? Can a tent constructed 35 dim centuries ago give any light to the dark, sin stained path we often must tread? Join me as we look at the tent and its meaning and find strength in Christ for our lives today.
Camp of Israel was at least 81 square miles just for 600,000 fighting men and their families! That is the equivalent of a square park containing solid rows of tents from Lewis on the West to Elm Street in BA on the east, from 21st street in the north to 101st street in the south. That would put us today in the tabernacle in the center of the camp! The Exodus march at 5 people wide would have stretched 225 miles long. If they traveled 50 wide they would have been 22.5 miles. For a missions note, our world of 6 billion would be @ 100 wide 45,000 miles long!
WILDERNESS WANDERINGS ISRAEL MOSES TO FEED THREE MILLION PEOPLE WOULD TAKE 1300 BOX CARS OF FOOD EACH DAY OR A TRAIN 9 1/2 MILES LONG!
If we were to top a hill in the Wilderness of the Sinai peninsula 3,400 years ago we would first see one of the largest encampments of people ever on the planet. There were 600,000 families who came out of Egypt. With 5 per family that is 3 million folks. With just a normal camp site it would take 81 square miles of territory for this many people.
That would equal from Lewis on the West to Elm on the East, from 31st on the North to 121st on the South. So on a lookout spot we would see an huge encampment.
Then we would see it, the TABERNACLE. In the center of the Camp, with smoke slowly rising from the altar, and with the 12 Tribes in an ordered arrangement around it around. Looking intently we would note a long, black, unattractive tent of porpoise skins. But when we traveled through the loud, smelling and busy camp nd made it to the Tabernacle we would find a much different sight.
• When we came inside, we would find ourselves surrounded by shining gold:
• looking up to the curtained roof, we see the wings of the cherubim woven in; blue and purple and scarlet and fine twined linen.
• The light of the golden candlestick would softly shine and reveal all the beauty within.
So it is with Christ Himself. The natural man, beholding Him, sees no beauty that he should desire Him. But to those who know the Lord Jesus Christ, His beauty satisfieth their souls.
Going back outside, if we were to draw a straight line from the center of the Tabernacle’s Gate of Entrance to the Mercy Seat in the center of the Holy of Holies, we would see a picture of salvation and God’s wonderful plan for us. You go through the Altar, through the Laver, through the Door; you pass the Table of Showbread on your right hand and the Golden Lampstand on your left; through the Altar of Incense, through the Veil, to the Ark, covered by the Mercy Seat, in the Holy of Holies. This is the true Pilgrim’s Progress from the camp outside to the immediate presence of God.
Old Testament Worship centered on the Tabernacle and then the Temple. Divinely designed liturgy was carried on for 1,500 nearly unbroken years in the way Moses was told by God to do it on Mt. Sinai.
The epicenter of that worship was the Holy Place. In the front half of it stood the Altar of Incense, Golden Lampstand and Table of Showbread. A curtain divided the room. This curtain was actually a finely woven rug 4 inches thick, 60 feet high and 40 feet wide. Massive and towering and declaring one clear message STAY OUT. No natural light ever penetrated its dark depths. Even the light of the ever-burning Lampstand never reached behind the veil.
In better times the Shekinah Glory of the Presence of God made the Holiest of Holies behind the veil brighter than noonday. In all of Israel’s history probably no more than 50 men had ever gone into the holy of Holies. David never went in, Daniel and Jeremiah never went in. Only the High Priest and then only once a year.
Inside that room was a box covered with gold, containing the stone tablets of the Law, a pot of manna and Aaron’s Rod that budded. Above that Ark of the Covenant stood two golden cherubim with wings shielding the mercy seat. Their faces gazing downward forever focusing upon the blood.
When that day came for the High Priest to pass behind that veil. He was wearing bells on the hem of his garment to let the other priests know he was still alive as he was inside; garbed carefully in the God directed robes and priestly garments. With trembling hands cradling a basin of blood, veiled by a cloud of smoking incense burning in a pot he carried – the High Priest would enter.
Sprinkling the blood on that mercy seat on behalf of all the people of God and hastening out. Why? The only purpose of the Veil was to keep people out of the Holy Presence of God. God was saying I AM HOLY. YOU ARE NOT. STAY OUT!
On the day Christ died can you imagine the scene those officiating priests must have beheld? They came in to trim the lamps, pour a handful of incense over the fire on the altar and change the bread on the Table. Then perhaps at that very moment Christ touched the Veil.
With an unearthly sound that massive curtain was violently torn from top to bottom. Aghast, as for the first time in nearly 1,500 years common people looked upon the ark and the mercy seat and God’s throne of grace and mercy. As God said ANYONE WHO WISHES MAY COME IN NOW. YOU ARE WELCOME ANYTIME. Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (KJV) Aren’t you glad we live on this side of Calvary?
How can we enter boldly? Because of Jesus!
STAND WITH ME TO READ JOHN 1:14-18
The Tabernacle teaches us so much about the wonders of our Matchless God. Here are just a few of the lessons about the Lord.
THE TABERNACLE IS GOD’S PORTRAIT OF CHRIST “TENTING” JOHN 1:14 AMONG US
1. THE TABERNACLE: GOD WANTS US LIVING IN HIS PRESENCE.
2. THE BRAZEN ALTAR: GOD WANTS US APPROACHING HIS HOLINESS (The Doctrine of Satisfaction)
3. THE LAVER OF BRASS: GOD WANTS US CLEANSING OUR SINS (The Doctrine of Sanctification) The Three Entrances (McGee)
4. THE GOLDEN LAMPSTAND: GOD WANTS US WALKING IN HIS LIGHT
5. THE TABLE OF SHOWBREAD: GOD WANTS US NOURISHED BY OUR SAVIOR
6. THE ALTAR OF INCENSE (30:1-10, 34-38) : GOD WANTS US PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT
7. THE VEIL WHICH WAS RENT: GOD WANTS US ENTERING HIS PRESENCE WITH BOLDNESS
8. THE ARK OF THE COVENANT: TRUSTING HIS PROMISES
9. THE MERCY SEAT: RESTING IN HIS SACRIFICE
Now, for our lesson on entering the Presence of God this morning, I call these –
SEVEN KEYS TO THE HEART OF GOD
1. GOD DESIRES TO MEET WITH SINNERS. Exodus 25:22 “And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel. Exodus 29:42-43 “This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet you to speak with you.43 “And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by My glory. NOW HE MEETS US IN JESUS 2 Corinthians 5:19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
2. GOD DESIRES TO REVEAL HIMSELF TO SINNERS. Exodus 29:46 “And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them up out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them. I am the Lord their God. NOW HE REVEALS HIMSELF IN JESUS John 14:7-9 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
3. GOD DESIRES TO DWELL WITH SINNERS. Exodus 25:8 “And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. Exodus 29:45-46 “I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God.46 “And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them up out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them. I am the Lord their God. NOW HE DWELLS IN US THROUGH JESUS Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
4. GOD DESIRES TO SPEAK WITH SINNERS. Exodus 29:42 “This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet you to speak with you. Leviticus 1:1Now the Lord called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying, NOW HE SPEAKS TO US THROUGH THE WORD OF JESUS John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 8:43 “Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 47 “He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.” Hebrews 1:2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
5. GOD DESIRES TO ACCEPT SINNERS. Leviticus 1:4 ‘Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. NOW HE ACCEPTS US IN JESUS. Ephesians 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.
6. GOD DESIRES TO FORGIVE SINNERS. Leviticus 4:20 ‘And he shall do with the bull as he did with the bull as a sin offering; thus he shall do with it. So the priest shall make atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. 26 ‘And he shall burn all its fat on the altar, like the fat of the sacrifice of the peace offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him. 31 ‘He shall remove all its fat, as fat is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering; and the priest shall burn it on the altar for a sweet aroma to the Lord. So the priest shall make atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him. 35 ‘He shall remove all its fat, as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering. Then the priest shall burn it on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire to the Lord. So the priest shall make atonement for his sin that he has committed, and it shall be forgiven him. NOW HE FORGIVES US THROUGH THE SACRIFICE OF JESUS. Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
7. GOD DESIRES TO RECEIVE WORSHIP FROM SINNERS. Exodus 23:15 “You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); Exodus 28:38 “So it shall be on Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things which the children of Israel hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord. NOW HE RECEIVES OUR WORSHIP IN JESUS. Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
So that is what God desires. How did He make a way possible for sinners like us to Stay in His presence?
LET’S TOUR THE TENT
The Physical dimensions of the Tabernacle are: its Size – 172 feet X 86 feet or 14,792 square feet which is what the first floor of our new education wing measures. The innermost room of this Tent was the Holy of Holies – 15 feet square the “Holiest spot on earth”. Outside was the Holy Place – 30 feet long X 15 feet wide. So the Holy meeting place of God was 675 square feet. About the size of a medium one bedroom apartment.
The building Materials were made up of Precious metals:Gold – 2,500 pounds or 16 million dollars at $400 per ounce. Silver – 9,000 pounds or 1.4 million dollars at $9 per ounce. And Bronze – 6,000 pounds
THESE WERE ALSO SYMBOLIC MATERIALS: Wood – Humanity of Christ Silver – Redemption money Gold – Royalty of Christ
THERE WERE ALSO PARTS MADE OF FABRIC AND SKINS Linen fence like the law kept men out Colors: White – perfection; Blue – heavenly; Scarlet – sacrifice; Purple – royalty skins: Badger – lit. “porpoise” abundant in the Nile area, Valuable for shoe leather in rocky area, but sacrificed for God’s house.
THERE WERE ARTICLES PLACED IN SPECIAL LOCATIONS BY GOD IN HIS TABERNACLE:
In the Courtyard – laver, altar burnt offering
In the Holy Place – incense, table, showered, candelabra
In the Holiest of All – Ark, veil
TONIGHT WE WILL EXPERIENCE THE 9 STEPS INTO GOD’S INTIMATE PRESENCE
1. DISCOVERING THE TABERNACLE: GOD WANTS US LIVING IN HIS PRESENCE.
2. DISCOVERING THE BRAZEN ALTAR: GOD WANTS US APPROACHING HIS HOLINESS (The Doctrine of Satisfaction)
3. DISCOVERING THE LAVER OF BRASS: GOD WANTS US CLEANSING OUR SINS (The Doctrine of Sanctification)
4. DISCOVERING THE GOLDEN LAMPSTAND: GOD WANTS US WALKING IN HIS LIGHT
5. DISCOVERING THE TABLE OF SHOWBREAD: GOD WANTS US NOURISHED BY OUR SAVIOR
6. DISCOVERING THE ALTAR OF INCENSE (30:1-10, 34-38) : GOD WANTS US PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT
7. DISCOVERING THE VEIL WHICH WAS RENT: GOD WANTS US ENTERING HIS PRESENCE WITH BOLDNESS
8. DISCOVERING THE ARK OF THE COVENANT: TRUSTING HIS PROMISES
9. THE MERCY SEAT: RESTING IN HIS SACRIFICE
9milesx9mile s area 81 sq ft mile 27,878,400 lot 30,000 campsite 3,750 sites 2,250,000,0 00 exodus 3 million familes 600,000