The Shekinah Glory (The Tabernacle)

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The Shekinah Glory

The Shekinah Glory

The Presence of the Lord would fill

the holy of holies
.

Exod 40:34-35 Then the cloud covered

the tabernacle
of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
And

Moses
was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud
rested above it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.


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When
the glory of the Lord came down and filled the tabernacle for the first time it
must have been an awesome spectacle to behold. God was truly pleased with His
people, not because of their goodness but because their sins were covered and
they were hid in Christ who was to come someday. I believe

the high priest
sensed a sweetness when he encountered the Presence of the
Lord in the holy of holies. The etymology of the dwelling or presence of God is
the Hebrew word Sh’cheenah or as we pronounce it Shekinah. The term
Shekinah was many times used interchangeably with the word God. In the Jewish
mind it always spoke of the fact that He “dwelt in” or “rested upon”
those who merited His favor, whether an individual, a community, or the entire
Jewish people.

Scholars have always seen a striking connection between the concept of the
Shekinah and the idea of Logos “The Word” which Philo introduced into
Jewish philosophical thinking. Of course a much greater emphasis was placed upon
the word Logos when the apostle John introduced his gospel account of the life
of Jesus with these suggestive words:

John 1:1-2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and
the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

In the Jewish Targums, which were popular interpretations or paraphrases of
the Old Testament Scripture, there was a tendency to avoid anthropomorphic
terms. Therefore the Word was introduced as a mediating factor between God and
the world. In particular the chasm between the Divine and human is bridged over
by the use of such terms as the Hebrew word memra (“word”) and
shekinah
(“glory”). “The memra proceeds from God, and is His messenger in
Nature and history.”

Scholars also see the similarities between Shekinah (God’s “Presence”), The
Holy Spirit of God (Heb. Ruach Elohim; Gr. Pneuma Hagion), and the
Hebrew Bat Kol (“The Daughter of the Voice,” or God’s Voice). Any attempt to
draw a substantial difference between these words have never been satisfactorily
established and thus they are often used interchangeably.


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Jewish Tradition

Shechinah

According to Jewish tradition the radiance of the Shechinah,
with its untold blessings, “rests” upon all those who are pious and righteous.
According to ancient Rabbis the Shekinah appears in the midst of at least a
minyan of worshipers when they pray in congregation, and of two or more Jews
when they engage in the study of Torah, or on a man when he recites the Shema.
The Shekinah is said also to rest upon the chaste, the benevolent, and the
hospitable, and upon husband and wife when they live in peace and harmony. The
ancient Rabbis also said that the Shekinah appeared before Moses at the burning
bush, rested upon the Tabernacle in the Wilderness on the day of its dedication,
and in the holy of holies in the Temple at Jerusalem, and it has illuminated the
bliss of the righteous (Heb. tzaddikim) in the world-to-come ever since.

The Talmudic Sages conceived of the Shekinah as a spiritual
essence of indescribable beauty and exalting effect. It was generally spoken of
as brilliant light or radiance and when it approached it was announced by a
tinkling sound of like an ethereal bell. One interesting Jewish legend even
described the dying Moses as being lovingly enfolded in the “wings” of the
Shekinah.

It is said that, “Wherever the Jewish people go the
Shechinah follows.”

Bat Kol

It is interesting to examine the tradition of the Bat Kol
which was the voice of God that proclaimed His will and intention, His judgments
and His promises, His warnings and His commands to various people, communities,
and sometimes to all of Israel. Jewish tradition always spoke of the Bat Kol.
When the Torah was given at Sinai the Bible says,

Deut 4:12 “And the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of
the fire. You heard the sound of the words, but saw no form; you only heard a
voice.”

The Bat Kal mysteriously sounded at extraordinary times and
this was mentioned in Jewish tradition. For example there is one account that
indicates that at the very instant when God took away the soul of Moses with a
kiss, the bat Kal rang out over the Israelite camp with the lament, “Moses is
dead! Moses is dead!” It also is recognized to have given warnings or passed
judgement upon evildoers as recorded in the book of Daniel:


Dan
4:28-32 At the end of the twelve months King Nebuchadnezzar
was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. The king spoke, saying, “Is not
this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power
and for the honor of my majesty?” While the word was still in the king’s mouth,
a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom
has departed from you! And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling
shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen;
and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in
the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”

The Bat Kol was said to have been heard by the Rabbinic Sages
when they had very important decisions to make. The Talmud makes mention that at
various times a Bat Kol wound make an announcement during the great assembly
known as the Sanhedrin.

There are many instances in the New Testament of the Bat Kol
with Jesus and His apostles. John the apostle who wrote the Book of Revelation
said:

Rev 1:10-18 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I
heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the
Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it
to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to
Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” Then I turned to see the
voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and
in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a
garment down to

the feet
and girded about the chest with a golden band. . . And when I saw
Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me,
“Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. “I am He who lives, and was
dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and
of Death.”

The Bat Kol is represented in Jewish tradition by the symbol
of the dove.

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There was a difference between the temple of God which was the structure
itself and the temple of God which was the dwelling place. When Jesus was
accusing the Jewish authorities He said, “You have made My Fathers house into a
den of thieves,” and by saying “My Father” they knew He was claiming Messianic
authority over the temple, and so they said, ” what sign do you show us seeing
that you do these things?” and notice what He said:

John 2:19-21 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and
in three days I will raise it up.” Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six
years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was
speaking of the temple of His body.

They were looking at the physical structure (Heb. Mikdash) of the temple but
He said, “Destroy this temple” He used the word in Hebrew ‘Mishkan’ which was
the word used in the Old Testament of the Presence that lit the holy of holies
on Yom Kippur in the tabernacle or temple. Jesus said I am the temple (Mishkan)
of God. When the glory (Heb. Sh’chinah) would come down like a tornado or funnel
right through the roof of the holy of holies and the Presence would manifest on
the

mercy seat
between the

cherubim
after the blood was sprinkled, that was the mishkan. That Presence
was what Jesus said dwelt within Him. And in fact Paul said about the church,
“Know ye not that you are the temple
(Mishkan) of God?”
We, as the body of Christ, have the same Presence dwelling within us. God
doesn’t dwell in buildings now but within His people. Rmans 10 says that If you
confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Yaweh and believe in your heart
that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. It’s that easy. At that
point you become the Mishkan of God. When God said, “Let them make Me a
sanctuary, that I may dwell among them,”
He literally said ‘in’ them.
God’s ultimate goal has always been to dwell within His people (Jer. 31:31-33)
and to put His Spirit within us. When you accept Jesus you become the Mishkan of
God.

It is interesting that when the children of Israel had experienced the glory of
the Lord coming down they praised the Lord and sensed His goodness and His
mercy.

2 Chr 7:2-3 “And

the priests
could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the
LORD had filled the LORD’S house. When all the children of Israel saw how the
fire came down, and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed their faces
to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the LORD, saying: “For
He is good, for His mercy endures forever.”

The Presence of the Lord is always a pleasant thing and never something to be
afraid of for the believer in Christ. When the Spirit came upon Jesus He came in
the form of a dove which was a symbol of affection and caressing in Israel. When
Isaiah saw the throne of God and the King in all His glory (Is. 6) he was
terrified and expected death at any moment but when a sacrifice is made and the
blood is present, the lovingkindness and mercy of the Lord are also present and
the people of God are compelled to speak out:

“Truly the Lord is good, for His lovingkindness endures forever.”

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The Tabernacle of Moses in Ancient Israel

THE TABERNACLE OF ANCIENT ISRAEL


The Bronze Altar


The Bronze Laver


The Golden Lampstand



The Cherubim


The Tabernacle of Moses in the Wilderness


The Cherubim


The Golden Table of Shewbread


The Golden Altar of Incense


The Ark of the Covenant

“And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among (in) them”
– Exodus 25:8

The Purpose and Heart
of the Law
– A Devotional Message


Blood
Atonement
– A Bible Study

The Tabernacle of Ancient Israel was a sanctuary which was given in a vision
to Moses as a pattern and constructed by the children of Israel. God’s promise
was that He would dwell within the Holy of Holies above the Mercy Seat of the
Ark of the Covenant.

Why Study the Tabernacle?

A) 50 Chapters Mention The Tabernacle

Because at least 50 chapters (13-Ex, 18-Lev, 13-Num, 2-Deut, 4-Heb) in the
Bible tell of the construction, the ritual, the priesthood, the carrying of the
tabernacle, and the meaning of it all. Also many other places in Scripture speak
in figurative language concerning the tabernacle. In many Bible studies this
subject is overlooked and considered insignificant.

B) The Tearing of the Veil

God Himself
thought so much of the importance of the type, as shown by the tearing of the
veil:

Matt 27:50-51 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up
His spirit. Then, behold,

the veil
of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth
quaked, and the rocks were split,

If we don’t understand the meaning in Scripture of

the holy of holies
and the veil we miss out on extremely significant
information concerning exactly what Christ’s death meant to sinful mankind.

C) The Tabernacle is a Type of Christ:

Remember what the Word says, “all Scripture is given by inspiration
(God-breathed) of God…”
When we look at the Bible we must remember
that it is completely God-breathed. When we look at each Word we must remember
that every Word is specifically God-breathed. That was the view of Christ when
it came to the Scriptures, that was the view of the apostles, and that must be
our view. This is the very Word of God. It doesn’t just contain the Word of God,
or just point to religious experience, this is the Word of God.

Is it any wonder then that each and every detail and Word about the
tabernacle has spiritual significance? As we look to the tabernacle structure
itself and its unique pieces of redemptive furniture there is great symbolism
and typology found in them. Remember, everything was a finger pointing to the
Messiah. The tabernacle, as a type, designed specifically and in detail by God,
would point to the character and aspects of the ministry of Christ. The more we
become familiar with the tabernacle the more we become familiar with Christ and
all that He means to us. What a great reason to become familiar with the
Scriptures concerning the tabernacle.

Heb 10:20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through
the veil, that is, His flesh,

Col 2:17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of
Christ.

Jn 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His
glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

D) It is a Representation of the True Tabernacle in
Heaven:

The Lord wants us to be aware of His nature and character. Even the angels
don’t fully understand the nature and character of God but they learn from
watching His dealings with His church (Eph 3). Things are really happening in
the heavenly dimension and the Lord wants to reveal to us what took place in
heaven after the resurrection of Christ. There is a real tabernacle in the
heavenlies and Christ really appeared before the throne of heaven as the Lamb of
God (Rev 5). There is no doubt that some of these things are a mystery but the
more we draw close to God and His Word the more He draws close to us.

Heb 9:11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come,
with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not
of this creation.

E) The Presence Within the Holy of Holies Dwells
Within the Believer in Jesus:

Jesus said I am the temple (Mishkan) of God. When the glory (Heb. Sh’chinah)
would come down like a tornado or funnel right through the roof of the holy of
holies and the Presence would manifest on the

mercy seat
between the

cherubim
after the blood was sprinkled, that was the mishkan. That Presence
was what Jesus said dwelt within Him. And in fact Paul said about the church,
“Know ye not that you are the temple (Mishkan) of God?” We, as the body of
Christ, have the same Presence dwelling within us. God doesn’t dwell in
buildings now but within His people.

1 Cor 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit
who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

F) Its teaching covers in type almost all of
New Testament truth.

The study of the tabernacle is so rich in meaning to the Christian and so
pregnant with Messianic significance that we can spend a lifetime in the study
of it and only begin to understand the riches and the depth of truth that lies
within the study of the tabernacle.

Rom 15:4 “Whatever things that were written before were written for our
learning.”

G) Studying the Tabernacle will absolutely strengthen
our faith in the Bible.

Be assured that anyone who has delved into the wonderful details of the
tabernacle will confess that the Bible is more than just a book. No man could
have thought of this. The Bible is the Word of God.

“all Scripture is given by inspiration of God…”

The Tabernacle

Bible History Online

© Bible History Online (https://www.bible-history.com)

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