El Bethel The House of the Lord Part 2
by Joanne Panettieri
Editor - Kingdom Iconoclast
How do we approach God and join this assembly?
Because God is Holy, before we can approach him we must first be consecrated. The people had to be consecrated for 2 days and wash and the priests had to wash first and then change their clothes. When God sends Jacob back to Bethel he also must consecrate himself.
Gen: 35:1 God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” 2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. 3 Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” 4 So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears. Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree that was near Shechem. 5 And as they journeyed, a terror from God fell upon the cities that were around them, so that they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. 6 And Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him, 7 and there he built an altar and called the place El-bethel, because there God had revealed himself to him when he fled from his brother.”
The changing of clothes in scripture is a type of putting off the old man and taking on the new nature of Christ. Before we can approach God we must take off our old nature and be “born from above”. There is a consecration, (a setting apart for holy purposes) and then a change of clothes.
Ex 19: 14 After Moses had gone down the mountain to the people, he consecrated them, and they washed their clothes. 15 Then he said to the people, "Prepare yourselves for the third day.
In the book of Zechariah the High Priest Joshua also has to change his garments:
Zech 3: 3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes." Then he said to Joshua, "See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you." 5 Then I said, "Put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by. 6 The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua: 7 "This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here. 8 "'Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. “
Jesus becomes the dwelling place of God on Earth.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt (to fix one's tabernacle, have one's tabernacle, abide (or live) in a tabernacle (or tent), tabernacle, to dwell ) among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
God’s dwelling was never intended to be a building made by the hands of men is evident throughout scripture. In the book of Acts Paul, the apostle, tells us: “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man” Acts 17: 24
The tabernacle in the wilderness was a TENT, not a building, that housed the Ark of the Covenant. This was pointing to the fact that the presence of God would dwell in the physical bodies of his believers, which were temporary dwellings.
The Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle of Moses is where the presence of God dwelt as a pillar of fire and pillar of cloud. The Tabernacle of Moses was portable and easily taken down and moved as the pillar of fire and cloud moved throughout the desert.
From there the Tabernacle of Moses stood in Shiloh and then on Mount Gibeon. After David returned the Ark of the Covenant from captivity he did not place it back in the Tabernacle of Moses, but he erected a new tabernacle on Mount Zion and placed the ark there. Both of these tabernacles stood side by side at the same time. God was saying through this that the presence of God had moved from Moses Tabernacle to David’s on Mount Zion. David’s Tabernacle was pointing the to gathering together of all nations in Messiah, fulfilling the promise God gave to Abraham that through his seed (Jesus) all nations on earth would be blessed.
Acts 15: 16
After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, 17 that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name,
says the Lord, who makes these things 18 known from of old.’
After the Tabernacle of David is built Mount Zion then becomes the place of God’s assembly:
Psalm 74: 2 Remember your congregation, (gathering, assembly) which you have purchased of old, which you have redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage!
Remember Mount Zion, where you have dwelt.
Even though God already had a dwelling for his presence on Mt. Zion, David desires to build God a permanent dwelling.
Psalm 132:1 Remember, O Lord, in David's favor,
all the hardships he endured,
2 how he swore to the Lord
and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
3 “I will not enter my house
or get into my bed,
4 I will not give sleep to my eyes
or slumber to my eyelids,
5 until I find a place for the Lord,
a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
God would not give David permission to build his temple, because David was a man of war. God told David that his son, Solomon (peace) would build his house. Solomon is a type of God’s Son, Jesus, building His house. When Solomon’s temple was dedicated the Glory and presence of God fell on the congregation.
2 Chron 7: 1-3 “When Solomon had ended his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD's house. When all the children of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the LORD upon the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the earth on the pavement, and worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, "For he is good, for his steadfast love endures for ever." Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the LORD.”
During their captivity the Jews worshiped in synagogues, and later when they returned the second temple was built by Ezra and Zarubbabel. The prophet Haggai prophecies about the glory of the second temple and the Glory of the Temple that the Messiah will build.
Hag 2:3 ‘Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes? 4 Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts, 5 according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. 6 For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. 7 And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. 9 The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’”
The shaking that the prophet refers to was the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians. “Yet once more” refers to the destruction of the Second Temple, built by Herod that would be destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans. This is the temple that stood during the life of Jesus. By the time of Herod’s temple the ark was missing and no long housed in the temple. The Jewish people were worshipping in a temple devoid of the presence of God.
“There is no doubt that the Letter to the Hebrews was a supreme effort to get Christian believers detached from an earthly form of Christianity, and attached to Christ in heaven. That effort had as one of its strong reasons the fact that a great shaking was foretold, foreseen, and imminent. That shaking was to be in two parts, an earlier and a latter; an entirely earthly, and later an earthly and heavenly combined. The effect of the shaking, and, indeed, the purpose of it, would be to test everything as to abiding values. The former and earthly shaking was Jewish, but it had all the elements in principle and type of the latter.
In the destruction of Jerusalem - toward which the Letter pointed - the whole earth was shaken so far as Jewry was concerned. The Temple, as the focal point of that whole world, crashed even with the ground. The priesthood, as gathered up in the high-priestly order, passed away. The temple service ended, and the nation ceased to be an integrated and unified people.
What remained after the shaking was just that, and that only, which was Christ in a spiritual and heavenly way: Christ in heaven, and here by His Spirit, the gathering point, or occasion of assembling; Christ in heaven the High Priest and Sacrifice; the order of God's house here a purely spiritual and heavenly one - not formal, arranged, imposed, imitated, or material. Order grows out of life, and if that life is Divine, and unchecked, Divine order will be spontaneous.” 3
1. “THE GOAL OF THE CHURCH” From: It Is Time for a Reformation of Christian Thinking Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
3. “Things Which Will Be Shaken” by T. Austin-Sparks http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/002090.html
4. “THE GOAL OF THE CHURCH” From: It Is Time for a Reformation of Christian Thinking Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved