The following passage of Scripture has been much on my heart of late.
Now a summary of the things being spoken of is, we have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the greatness in the heavens; a minister of the holies, and of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man (Heb. 8.1).
This is from my Interlinear Bible; the King James Version has, “a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle…” But the original Greek has, simply, “a minister of the holies,” that is, of the holy things, or holy places.” I think the context lends itself to holy things, that is, the holy duties of the priest relative to the things of the tabernacle—his ministry relative to the brazen altar and the laver, the table of showbread, the lampstand, and the golden altar of incense, and the ark of the covenant.
What is the true tabernacle? It’s that Tabernacle you and I are part of—Christ Himself, the Dwelling Place of God. The old tabernacle in the wilderness was but a type of the true tabernacle. Aaron ministered in that one; Christ Himself is the High Priest in this Tabernacle. He is the Minister, ministering about the holy things of the Tabernacle. We catch a glimpse of this in The Revelation, where John saw One walking in the midst of the seven golden lampstands—our great High Priest trimming the lampstands.
The Lord Jesus Christ, then, is the Minister of the true Tabernacle. How can this be so? He is in Heaven, and we are here in the earth. But—and this is the most wondrous of truths, and utterly astonishing to me, as I wrote last time—by the Holy Spirit here in the earth, Christ Himself is present here in the true tabernacle ministering about the holy things of God. For Jesus told His disciples when He was about to leave them, “I will not leave you comfortless (orphans), I will come to you.” And He was speaking of the coming of the Comforter, the Spirit of truth.
Sometimes when I consider this momentous truth I feel like one asleep in the dust being awakened by fits and starts. I am barely conscious to this reality. I awaken for a moment and the revelation is so wondrous I can scarcely take it in… and I sink back into sleep. Why can’t I stay awake? Then I am awakened again… and am struck with wonder again. This truth is so overwhelming in its beauty, so rich with reality… you mean this is what God has for us? It’s too much for me to take in. By comparison my present experience is so puny; I feel I am too far behind.
But this has been quickened to my heart again the last few days… and I must trust Him who is awake to continue to awaken me. And I know He will. I am anticipating a greater consciousness of this Minister of the holy things in the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man. I almost said awareness, but consciousness is the better word, because it’s by the Holy Spirit in us that we are made one with this Minister of the holy things. It’s by the Holy Spirit that we are made conscious of Christ Himself—that we are One with Him.
For where two or three are gathered (that is, have been gathered) together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them (Mt. 18.20).
How is Jesus in the midst? Not invisibly, somehow. He is in the midst of those gathered in His Name because of the Holy Spirit in them. The High Priest of the true tabernacle is in the midst of the tabernacle because of the Holy Spirit in those who are part of this Tabernacle. Oh for eyes to see Him, then—that it is He Himself who is ministering in the midst of those who are gathered in His Name.
In fact Christ Himself is the only valid Minister in the tabernacle. Only what He Himself is doing is sanctioned by God. How attentive, then, you and I must be—how sanctified unto Christ—that our ministry and involvement in this Tabernacle be His very own involvement. Think of that, beloved. Even at this moment the High Priest of the true tabernacle is ministering therein. What is He doing? I say to you, only as the Holy Spirit in you and me communicates to us that knowledge, that awareness—that consciousness—are we able to minister in this Tabernacle in any valid way. All else is futile, even counterproductive. What He is doing, this alone must be our own doing.
The writer of Hebrews calls us “holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling” (Heb. 3.1). He is talking of the heavenly priesthood. And notice the word partakers there. In other words, there is only one calling—Christ’s calling—of which we are partakers. He is the apostle and high priest of our confession; only as we partake of His calling are we functioning acceptably before God in His Tabernacle.
And so this must be more and more our cry and prayer—oh, to become more conscious of this Great High Priest who is ministering in the true Tabernacle while at the same time being seated at the right hand of the Throne of God. How can He be there and here at the same time?
Again, because of the Holy Spirit.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Oh for the scales to fall from our eyes! The Holy Spirit in the earth and the Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven… they are one.
Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.