Category Archives: Tabernacle / Temple

The Ark of the Covenant

ark_7899c“Especially the presence of the ‘Kherubhim‘ [cherubim] upon the ark in the most holy place gives a majestic expression to the majesty-side of the divine holiness. These Kherubhim are throne attendants of God, not ‘angels’ in the specific sense of the word, for the angels go on errands and carry messages, whereas the Kherubhim cannot leave the immediate neighborhood pf the throne, where they have to give expression to the royal majesty of Jehovah, both by their presence and and their unceasing praise (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8, 9).” ( Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology, p. 167).

“Accordingly the mercy seat is the place where the atonement is made. It is the place where punishment is carried out (represented by the substitutionary animal’s blood) and where cleansing occurs by means of the blood. God’s presence is above the mercy seat, and there he accepts the twofold atonement.” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, p. 488).

Quotes used in the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church, OPC.

peace_2935c“The church is not an aggregate of diverse people, but individuals united to each other in their union with Jesus Christ. . . . Christ builds from living stones, sinners who are resistant material, difficult to shape, reluctant to fit with other living stones. Yet Christ continues to build – for he means to come himself, by his Spirit, to dwell among us as his house and temple (1 Cor. 3:16-17). He wants to be able to point to the church in the world and say: ‘See, that is what I can do. See my wisdom, power and love’ (cf. [Eph.] 3:10)!” (Sinclair B. Ferguson, Let’s Study Ephesians, p. 73).

“The Courtyard was new evidence of the fact that, although the Lord dwelled among Israel, the Israelites could not freely approach Him. (Cf. 39:9-20; Pss. 100:4; 116:17-19.) The work of Christ has removed this restriction; the Lord now dwells in the hearts of his people. We are privileged above the Israel of the Old Covenant: besides the approach to the Lord’s throne through prayer and ‘falling asleep in the Lord’ (cf. 1 Cor. 15:18), which was also open to the Israelites, we no longer have a courtyard beyond which the vast majority of the Israelites could not approach, and which they were not always able or allowed to enter.” (W. H. Grispen, Exodus, pp. 259-260).

Quotes used in the Reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC.

The Altar: Where God Meets with His People

vines_6114c“[T]hat which is represented as yielding delight to Jehovah is the surrender of man’s life in consecration of obedience. In this sense, therefore, we must understand the burning upon the altar. . . . Although expiation cannot be made by man himself, and consecration by the grace of God can be subjectively inwrought into the life of man, yet we also know of an active consecratory obedience offered to God on behalf of sinners by Christ. Our Lord employs ritual language, when affirming that He sanctifies Himself for them (i.e., for the suffering of His death) (John 17:19). And Paul does the same, when, speaking of Christ’s active obedience, he says; ‘Christ also loved us, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for an odor of a sweet smell’ (Eph. 5:2).” (Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology, pp. 186-187).

 

Quote is used in the reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC.

The Table of Presence

table-sm“Still another application of the idea of the presence of Jehovah in the tabernacle appears in this, that it is the place where the people offer their worship to God. It is the palace of the King in which the people render Him homage. This feature belongs more particularly to the ‘holy place,’ where it is symbolized in the three pieces of furniture there placed, the altar of incense, the table of the bread of the Face (i.e., the Deity in revelation) and the lampholder.” (Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology, p. 168).
“. . . we are not ‘Spiritual’ in the biblical sense except as the use of our bodies is characterized by conscious, intelligent, consecrated devotion to the service of God.” (John Murray, Commentary on Romans, Vol. 2, p. 112).

Quotes used in the reflection for Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC

The Golden Lampstand

Ex2721“. . . the ‘tree of life’ itself probably was the model for the lampstand placed directly outside the holy of holies in Israel’s temple: it looked like a small tree trunk with seven protruding branches, three on one side, and three on the other, and one branch going straight up from the trunk in the middle.” “Israel’s tabernacle and temple were a miniature model of God’s huge cosmic temple that was to dominate the heavens and earth at the end of time. That is, the temple was a symbolic model pointing not merely to the present cosmos but also to the new heaven and earth that would be perfectly filled with God’s presence.” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, pages 619 & 627).

Quotes from the reflection for July 23, 2017.

Building a Tabernacle for God

Ex2508“[T]he tabernacle . . . is the place where the people offer their worship to God. It is the palace of the King in which people render Him homage.” (Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology, p. 168).
“How do we first experience God’s tabernacling presence? We do so by believing in Christ, that he died for our sins and rose from the dead, and reigns as the Lord God. God’s Spirit comes into us and dwells in us in a way similar to the way that God dwelled on his throne in the sanctuary of Eden and Israel’s temple. . . . God’s presence will become increasingly manifest to us as we grow by grace in our belief in Christ and and his word and by obeying it. . . . Believers are images of God in his temple who are to reflect his presence and glorious attributes in their thinking, character, speech, and actions.”
“[T]he task of the church in being God’s temple, so filled with his presence, is to expand the temple of his presence and fill the earth with that glorious presence until God finally accomplishes this goal completely at the end of time. This is the church’s common, unified mission. May we, by God’s grace, unite around this goal.” (G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology, pp. 646 & 648).

Quotes from the reflection for June 25, 2017 at Trinity Presbyterian Church, OPC