Continuing with what has been on my heart the last while—this verse in Hebrews again:
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).
If we as God’s people were to become more conscious of this reality it would revolutionize the way we do church. For, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the minister of the holy things in the true tabernacle (or temple) of God. It’s ingrained in us to think of the pastor as the main minister of a church. But this concept is a falling away from the biblical model. The true model is one of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself being the primary minister in the church. He is seated at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, but by the Holy Spirit He is present right here in our midst—the great High Priest ministering about the holy things of God. Pastors (shepherds) indeed have a vital place in the church, but not as the centre of ministry. They are just one among many ministries the Lord has ordained in a kingdom of priests each one of whom is to be involved in the church—vitally involved.
How then can I, an ordinary Christian, become vital? As I said last time, by becoming conscious of Jesus Christ Himself, the Minister of the holy things in His tabernacle. What I see Him doing I do; that becomes my authority and power to function in His church, because it is actually His own ministry.
And–this is a very great challenge–liberty must be given in the assembly for this High Priest to minister through whom He chooses.
How we need to be more conscious of Him, then–this great High Priest ministering about the holy things of God in the true tabernacle. He is clothed in white linen down to the foot—white linen, symbolic of rest; His is a ministry that is not His own works and strivings; the things He does, His righteous works, are the rest of the Spirit. And so as we become conscious of Him, the same grace that empowers Him begins to lay hold of us, and we too cease from our own works; we abide in His rest, doing only what we see Him doing. No matter how trying the situation we are in, or how difficult, our own labours will not resolve it; we must surrender all, and trust that the One clad in the priestly robe of white linen is at the same time seated at the right hand of the Majesty in the Heavens with all power in heaven and earth. He is able to accomplish, and shall accomplish, what nothing else can accomplish. He shall accomplish all.
He has upon Him, over the white linen garment, the robe of blue and the ephod; He has upon His shoulders (the place of strength) and upon His breastplate (the place of love and affection) the names of His people; He bears their cause before the Throne of Grace; He has in that breastplate the Urim and Thummim of perfect light as to the Father’s will for them, and has power to carry out that will.
He wears upon His head a turban of the same white linen wrapt round and round—for His thoughts are not the toiling and spinning of a labouring mind, but the mind of the Spirit, which is life and peace.
Crowning it all is the golden plate with the words, Holiness unto the LORD.
And the anointing oil upon His head drips down to the skirts of His garments… even to the foot.
And—awaken us, Lord—all this is to be operative not just way up in Heaven, but right here in our midst in the true tabernacle because of the Holy Spirit. In the Holy Spirit we ourselves become vitally conscious of all this, are joined to this High Priest in the expression of all this, are partakers of this character and light and power. At least this is God’s intention for us in the New Covenant.
So we must not stop short of this till it is reality in our experience. We must not settle for less.
Take this wondrous mystery—of Christ our High Priest being right here in our midst by the Holy Spirit in you and me—a step further. This great High Priest reveals Himself to you in a certain way, and to me in another way. It is your consciousness of what He is doing that governs your participation in His priestly ministry in His tabernacle; my consciousness of Him governs my participation. Thus we become a kingdom of priests each one with a unique expression of the High Priest Himself. At times He may reveal Himself to us in the same way, and we find ourselves praying together, or ministering together… as He Himself prays and ministers. Our consciousness of Christ—what we see Him doing, hear Him saying—governs our participation in His ministry. And because it is He Himself who is ministering in all we say and do, we discover ourselves in perfect harmony with one another—a body perfectly coordinated by the Head.
I anticipate that this Great King Priest of ours is about to reveal Himself in the Holy Spirit such that you and I will become more and more conscious of Him, and of what He is doing—more aware, actually, that we are one with Him.
At that day ye shall know that I am in the Father, and ye in Me, and I in you (Jn. 14.20).
What day? The day of the coming of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Oh, the wonder of this! By the Holy Spirit in us we are one with Him. For the Holy Spirit is one with Him. “I will not leave you comfortless,” He said. “I… will come to you.” You say, I have the Holy Spirit but I don’t have what you are talking about. Yes, and neither do I. But the Day of the coming of the Comforter is not over yet. Before this Day is over you and I are going to be fully awakened and conscious of this unity—that we are one with the Son of God, this Great High Priest of the true tabernacle. This consciousness will become the inspiration and empowering of all we say and do.
And what we do will actually be His own doing…
…Just as Christ Himself said, “I do only those things which I see My Father do.” He was one with His Father; in all He did, He was just doing what His Father was doing. He was conscious of His Father; He knew what His Father was doing. In fact He said that it was the Father who dwelt in Him that was doing the works (Jn. 14.10).
Can you envision yourself saying the same thing—that the thing you just did… it was actually the Son of God who dwells in you who did that? This is what the Holy Spirit in you and me is all about. The Holy Spirit here in the earth does what He sees the Son doing in Heaven; He speaks what He hears the Son speaking, and nothing else. He reveals the Son of God in you and me; He makes us one with the Son.
He shall not speak of (from) Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak, and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify Me, for He shall receive of Mine, and shew it unto you (Jn. 16.13,14).
“He shall glorify Me…” How we long to see Him glorified in the earth again! And we shall see it. In fact shall be part of it. For the Holy Spirit is committed to this cause.
There is nothing more wondrous, more precious, more holy, more beautiful, more awesome, more meaningful, more filled with purpose, than this—that when Jesus Christ ascended to the Father, He received the Promise of the Father—the Holy Spirit—in a dimension and empowering that enabled Him to send that Spirit into our hearts, thus making us one with Himself.
Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.