Thursday, January 27, 2011

An aim toward apostolic arrangement

arranged for presence

When everything had been arranged like this...” Heb 9:6. God gave Moses specific instruction to build a place where His presence could dwell and live among His people. In His sovereign wisdom, He prescribed the arrangement and established the process to bring it to fulfillment. Prior to the specific arrangement of the tabernacle furnishings the glory could not rest because the work was not finished.

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Throughout all their journeys whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the sons of Israel would set out; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day when it was taken up. For throughout all their journeys, the cloud of the LORD was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel. Ex. 40:34-38

Having the tabernacle, or house, arranged and in order creates a context for blessing. God could now fill and occupy the completed arrangement. Through obedience he entered into a finished work (a rest). Moses did everything as the Lord had commanded him. In Ex. 40:33 the last statement tells us, “and so Moses finished the work.” Similar language is mention in Hebrews. “...and on the seventh day God rested from all his work. Heb.4:4 His resting from what he had arranged was the result of the finished work. God, in his six days of arranging creation, set an order in motion. The stage was set, the table was laid.

a new order

Now we are the tabernacle, the house, God wants to rest upon. Just as the pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night rested on the finished arrangement of the tabernacle, even so Jesus, who is the Apostle and High Priest of our faith, declared it is finished.

John 19:30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

That Spirit has now settled on the heads of living tabernacles! "They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them." Acts 2:3 That "resting" of fire on the heads of obedient followers signified His accomplished work. He set another stage of creation in order--the birth of the Spirit people.

the way is opened

Remember the regulations for worship in the old covenant? "When everything had been arranged like this", the priest entered and worship could now happen. Worship involving sacrifices, but now a heavenly arrangement of a perfect sacrifice gave the forgiven people of the earth the right to become sons of God. Christ obtain eternal redemption, through the eternal Spirit, by offering himself as a sacrifice once and for all through the shedding of His blood. The way into the Most Holy Place was now opened. Worship could now happen in Spirit and truth, not to perform sacrifice, but to celebrate with thanksgiving for the sacrifice set them free from the old system of powerless animal blood and sin. With the conscience of the worshiper now cleansed from the guilt of sin, he can serve the living God.

time for rearranging

The arrangement of the current Christian culture doesn't have the capacity or enough runway to adequately illustrate the face of Christ in the church. We need to have a rearranging of our spiritual values our actions and words to create the culture of the kingdom. Unfortunately, we have depicted an image of God to the world by our current arrangement that's not in sync with heaven's image. It's time to put the puzzle on the table, set aside the old order, and properly arrange the pieces the way He has prescribed it. Then the face of Christ will be revealed to the world through us: His Bride. Without an apostolic arrangement our meetings, services and worship at times remain earth bound; we fail to enter into the Most Holy Place. Much of what we do is "shadow" practice. We practice setting the table over and over again, but never sit down to have the purpose of the arrangement. The meal of His Presence.

Hebrews 10:8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

We don't have a framework for the reality that is here now. The Son says, "Here I am." Quite frankly that scares us and we would rather set the tables than sit down and communion with the King. We miss the bottom line which is Christ and eternity. We want the blessing on earth because that is as far as our range of vision can see. The current arrangement in most churches lacks the framework to hold to the set of values defined by the apostles. The last verse in Hebrews 9 tells us of Christ's return a second time to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him. There is a lot of values and life to be expressed in that phrase “waiting for Him.”

1 comment:

  1. "Much of what we do is "shadow" practice. We practice setting the table over and over again, but never sit down to have the purpose of the arrangement. The meal of His Presence."

    I think that's an astoundingly accurate description of things.

    As for me, I long to feast from the table He's laid before me.