For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:1-8) KJV
A. Skenos- Tabernacle
1) a tabernacle, a tent
2) metaph. of the human body, in which the soul dwells as in a tent, and which is taken down at death
B. In this life, we must realize we are just sojourners, pilgrims headed for a city whose builder and maker is God. 11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (2 Peter 2:11-12) We cannot entangle ourselves in the traps of the system around us because we are just passing through.
C. Even so we are painfully aware that this present body or tent in which we dwell is inadequate for what is coming and what has been deposited (the Holy Spirit) in us. Death is offensive to us, when a loved one passes it’s painful and causes grief, and just as stark as this is to a baby being born, their is death at work in our bodies even now and it causes us to cry out for a real transformation. We join in with the Apostle Paul crying out 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:24-25)
D. This body, tabernacle, has imperfections, blemishes, and limitations, yet God has chosen to move into it by His Spirit preparing us for the House He has for us. 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. (John 14:23)
II. David’s Tabernacle
1 So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God.2 And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord.39 and Zadok the priest and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the Lord at the high place that was at Gibeon,40 to offer burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar of burnt offering regularly morning and evening, andto do according to all that is written in the Law of the Lord which He commanded Israel; (I Chronicles 16:1-2, 39-40)
A. We realize that David’s understanding of the ark of God’s presence was needful for the prosperity and blessing of the entire nation. His revelation transcended the accepted practice and prescription of the day. He moved the Ark right into the middle of the city from which the rule of the nation would be exercised. He did not bring the Tabernacle of Meeting that Moses was instructed to build in the wilderness which was patterned after that which was in heaven and ultimately was the prototype of the temple that Solomon built. As a result, God’s blessing fell on the nation and night and day prayer took place on Mount Zion within the Tabernacle that David built for the Presence of God.
B. It’s this revelation that Acts 15 taps into when the Apostles report back to the leaders in Jerusalem about the Gentiles coming to faith in Christ “13 And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, listen to me:14 Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:16 After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up;17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the Lord who does all these things.18 Known to God from eternity are all His works.” (Acts 15:13-18) James was quoting from the Prophet Amos 11 On that day I will raise up The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, And repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, And rebuild it as in the days of old;12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, And all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the Lord who does this thing. (Amos 9:11-12)
C. Night and Day worship unhindered by religious rules and prescription is the Desire and Reality of His True Church. 18 For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest,19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore.20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, I am exceedingly afraidand trembling.)22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:18-24)
III. The Tabernacle of God
A. His desire is for us is to realize that the Ark of His presence is within us. He has come to live in us. It’s a guarantee of what is to come. We as the chosen are being built together to form a habitation corporately. How then shall we live? With expectancy and faith-walking we should make room and allow for His Presence and Leadership preeminence in our lives.
B. Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God (Revelation 21:1-3)