Reading: Exodus 25:8-9; 40:34-35; Isaiah 6:1; 2 Chron. 7:1; Acts
2:1-3; Ephes. 1:4-6,11-12; 2:21-22; Hebrews 3:1-6.
The governing thought in these passages is that of eternal purpose.
Then we are led by that thought to something which includes many
other things, and affects many other things, but which
comprehensively is the Sanctuary of God or God's House.
Creation began outside this world. There was a created order which
was heavenly, and then there came the created order of this "Kosmos"
(something bigger than the earth), and God's intention was that the
creation should come to a knowledge of Him and have fellowship with
Him. God is revealed as desiring fellowship with His creation. All
God's great thoughts are gathered into this idea of a Sanctuary in
which He may dwell. That governs things from eternity, and the
creative activities of God were with that end in view.
We know what transpired. Foreign elements which excluded Him came
into His creation.
An Elect Line
Then God laid His hand upon a chosen line.
The book of Genesis gives us that elect line in individuals, who
themselves are not perfect, but who were raised up to express some
feature that is of God, and when all the men are put together you
have a collection of features which, when brought to perfection,
show us one Man, Jesus Christ. So that the Lord was foreshadowing a
perfect Man by a certain number of features which were represented
by a number of men.
Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, are imperfect men, but
there is some feature in them which is of God. For instance, Abraham
was a man of faith, and God is the God of the man of faith.
So God shows us step by step in the features which these men
embodied what will ultimately be the character of a vessel in which
The Lord Jesus is the full embodiment of those excellencies brought
to perfection. God is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in
a way in which He could never be the God and Father of any other
An Elect Race
In Exodus you have an elect people. Although poor specimens in
themselves, they represent corporately those principles of their
A Priestly Sanctuary
Then God says, "Let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among
them". This is the realm of types and figures. God did not, even
with Israel, get His sanctuary in the way in which He first thought
of dwelling among men.
When Moses had made all things according to the pattern, the glory
of Jehovah filled the tabernacle.
God's sanctuary is intended to be a priestly sanctuary, and
priestliness in the House of God is a very widely, and richly, and
fully-developed truth in the Word of God.
A Kingly House
You pass into the kingly period, and you have the temple. This also
is made according to a pattern in revelation, and when perfected you
have, in the presence of the king, the glory of Jehovah filling the
A Prophetic Ministry
With Isaiah you see the Lord high and lifted up, seated upon a
throne, His train filling the temple. This is God's speaking in and
through man as related to the House of God. When God fills His
House, He is known in His House by representation; He speaks. That
is the prophetic principle.
A State of Things According to God's Thought
We pass over to the New Testament, and look at Acts 2. Here is a
company of believers, standing on the ground of Christ crucified,
buried, risen, exalted and the glory of the Lord fills the House.
Pentecost is the counterpart of these things that we have in the Old
Testament. Here you have the House of God really coming into
realisation. God is there in glory, power, love, fellowship - shall
we say, in eating and drinking, because that is a feature of the
House. Moses went up into the mount with Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and
seventy of the elders, "and they did eat and drink in the mount".
The kingly feature comes in at Hebron where David was made king, and
it says that they did eat and drink together three days. Pentecost
was a real feast time, and was certainly marked by fellowship. It
was because God was in the midst.
The last picture of the Church in the New Testament is the New
Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, having the glory of
In between Pentecost and that last scene in the book of Revelation
you have "Hebrews", in which this declaration is made: "...whose
house are we..." The believers form the House of God.
"...Christ as a Son over God's house, whose house are we, if we hold
fast". God's dwelling in a house is conditional. He cannot dwell in
a house where man dwells.
When the tabernacle was completed and the glory of Jehovah filled
it, Moses could not go in.
When the glory of the Lord filled the temple, the priests could not
When the Holy Ghost came at Pentecost, Ananias and Sapphira could
not come in.
The heavenly purpose is the sanctuary, but seeing now that this
sanctuary can only be realised through redemption, the sanctuary
must embody redemptive features. So in Ephesians there are two
things: (1) The thought of the eternal, counsels of God which
maintain the heavenly line: (2) Redemption through His Blood which
is a dip down in order to get back to God's heavenly line.
God's eternal purpose, related to a sanctuary, foreshadowed in the
Old Testament, realised in some measure in the New Testament, has
yet to be perfected and completed. Everything since the fall is
working to exclude God from His creation. Principalities and powers,
the world rulers, the spiritual hosts of wickedness, are set against
the Lord having a place. He is brought in by there being that which
corresponds to His thought in which He can take up His residence.
'Wheresoever two or three are gathered into my name, there am I in
the midst...' Two or three gathered in the Name of Jesus are
gathered into the values represented by that Name, and God in Christ
is manifested in that sanctuary. God's thought as to dwelling is not
a limited thing. Solomon's prayer was for Israel, but also related
to "the stranger which is not of thy people..." "My house shall be
called a house of prayer for all peoples". The House of God
ultimately is to be universal.
Divine Order in the House
The House of God is that in which Divine order obtains, about which
we shall speak later.
Divine Worship in the House
The House of God is that in which Divine worship goes on, in which
the "worth-ship" is brought back to God. Pharaoh set the children of
Israel to build him cities, to bring the "worth-ship" of
their lives to him. Satan sought to get Jesus to give the
"worth-ship" to him. That shows how intensely Satan's heart is set
upon being the object of universal worship.
The Lord Jesus God's Sanctuary
"Destroy this sanctuary and in three days I will raise it up." "This
is my beloved Son, in whom (not only with whom) I am well pleased".
At last God has one in whom He can be pleased. There never had been
a man like that before. Jesus is set forth as a wonderful revelation
of what God's House is, ordered according to heaven, in which God is
worshipped. We mark Him, watch Him, and learn what God's eternal
thought is, and then - wonder of wonders! - we are told that we are temples of the Holy Ghost individually, and
then that we are builded together for a habitation of God in the
Spirit. This, of course, can only be as Christ, God's sanctuary,
dwells in our hearts, and He becomes the vessel of the Holy Ghost