God breathed ‘ruach’ which means breath, air, spirit or wind, which is a part of Himself into man that was formed from dust to make him a living being, to live eternally with Him. This part of God creates a perpetual urge in man to remain in a close relationship with God while being on earth and even thereafter. Man therefore keeps attempting various ways to fulfill this desire. But is nirvana or moksha or heaven attained only after death and how does one attain this.
Relationship between Tabernacle/Temple design with way to heaven – The rich young rulercame to Lord Jesus and asked, ‘What must I do to enter heaven?’ (Luke 18:18-30). Right from the time sin caused separation of man with God the inner man, that part which essentially is part of Himself God breathed into man to make him a living being, craves for unity with God. ‘God has established His throne in heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all’ (Psalm 103:19). Before the process of creation on the earth started the earth ‘was formless and void’ (Genesis 1:1-2). Though the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters, since God had not established His presence it was all dark. It was only after the Word of God was spoken that His glory filled the earth and it became light (Genesis 1:4). God did not remove or overpower the darkness but separated it from His glory, and life could be started on the earth. Lord Jesus, the Living Word, is introduced as ‘the light of the world and in him is life’ (John 1:4).
God created a space on the earth to be with His creation and it, was named Garden of Eden. In the creation process there are three distinct separations made by God. First, God commanded ‘Let there be light’ and it was so and He separated light from darkness (Genesis 1:3-4). When light appeared on the earth how could darkness remain? It has been seen that large amount of dark energy is prevalent in the universe and this was separated from the light energy. Second, Second separation is of waters and sky was created to contain air for the created beings to breathe and live, for mankind cannot survive under water (Genesis 1:6-7). Third, separation of night from darkness -with the installation of sun, moon and the stars to mark days, months and years and seasons (Genesis 1:14).
After Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden, God posted Cherubs and a ‘flaming sword that turned every way’ to deny them access to the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:24). Thus mankind lost the way to the presence of God due to sin and in this God could visit man being Sovereign over everything but man could not. The Cherubs appear thereafter on the mercy seat covering the Ark in the holy of Holies in the Tabernacle with their wings covering the mercy seat (Exodus 25:10-20). Cherubs are also woven as a design in the curtains in the Holy area of the Tabernacle and on the curtain dividing the Most Holy area from the holy place inside the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:1-4 & 31-33).
The difference in the two cherubs is that in the Tabernacle they carry no sword and instead barring the movement of mankind into God’s presence they lead us into His presence. But these create three separations in the Tabernacle, the courtyard to the holy place, the holy place to the most holy place and mercy seat and the Ark. In the Tabernacle the cherubs lead us into the presence of God as opposed to preventing our approach to the Garden of Eden. The three separations relate to the creation process and God’s presence directly as one enters the Temple.
The outer courtyard of the Temple was accessible to all including non-Jews or Gentiles and entry into the Holy place was for the Levite priests to worship and offer incense on a daily basis. And into the most holy place the ‘Kohen Gadol’, the High Priest went in only once a year to offer and ‘sprinkle blood’ of the lamb on the mercy seat for atonement of his own and sins of all Israelites (Hebrews 9:7).
The first set of cherubs on the front curtain separating the courtyard and on the roof separated the one who entered from the sun, moon and the stars, the time and seasons as governed by them and brought him into an exclusive place for the only light there was from the ‘menorah’, the seven lamp light stand. This was the reverse journey of the creation process from the third separation backwards. The cherubs on the curtain separating the most holy place would lead the high priest into the next level where without separation of waters it was impossible to breathe and live. One could only enter in there with the sacrificial blood and not otherwise for it meant certain and immediate death. This was like the separation of waters to create the sky to allow the space getting filled with the breathing air. The high priest sprinkled the blood of the sacrificial offering on the mercy seat and the angel would then lead him into God’s presence. God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5) and legend has it that the light emitted from within the Ark would light up the most holy place, for the curtain separating this area from the holy place was about 4-6 inches thick that barred any other light entering thus separating Divine Light from darkness, the first stage of creation.
The cherubs led one from the outer natural and fallen world into the very presence of God and the light of His glory. God has also set eternity in the human heart to create awareness and longing for the eternal for man is made in the image and likeness of God (Ecclesiastes 3:11). God made man in His image and likeness and he has an awareness and an urge for, conceiving and enjoying the infinite, the immortal and the Divine. Mankind is designed to operate in the supernatural and the material, both realms, as it was in the Garden of Eden and as the Son of God did. Thus since God created man for Himself, our hearts remain restless till we find peace in Him and for this Lord Jesus gave ‘His peace to the believers’. The Tabernacle and the Temple design were given to Moses and King David, two men close to God’s heart, and it was to enable representative of man to be in God’s presence once a year.
Believers’ relationship with the Tabernacle – The evil spirit cried out to the Lord, ‘What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are – the Holy One of God!’ (Mark 1:24). It is ironic that demons and evil spirits recognized Lord Jesus and His authority over them being the Son of God but His own did not accept and receive Him as such. The assigned mission of the Savior Lord as decreed earlier in Genesis 1:15 was to ‘destroy the works of the devil’ or to ‘crush the head of the serpent’ (1 John 3:8). But why did God do this?
The most well known verse of the Bible is, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have life everlasting’ (John 3:16). The key points herein are ‘so loved’ which depicts the type of His unique love, the immeasurable quantity of the same and this love is at His own initiative not that we deserved it. The final point is of life everlasting which was defined at the time of creation itself. The warning from God was to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, ‘for the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die’ (Genesis 2:17). And this death was spiritual death of separation from God though Adam and Eve physically lived after being expelled from the Garden of Eden. The everlasting life through the Redeemer Son of God is restoration of that close relationship with God for ‘all who believed Him (Lord Jesus as Messiah) and accepted Him, he gave the right to become children of God’ (John 1:12). In this new relationship, on the Day of Pentecost the prophesy of Joel 2:28 was fulfilled and the Holy Spirit was ‘poured out on all people’ and the initiative of the cherubs to lead people into the presence was taken over by Him for Spirit gives life (John 6:33).
In adversity or otherwise one turns to Lord Jesus to accept His as Savior and this is at the urging of the Holy Spirit. Apostle Paul was told about the futility to ‘kick against the goads’ or to fight against God’s will Acts 26:4). God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4 & 1 Peter 1:20). Holy Spirit leads one to Lord Jesus and a restored spiritual life through being born again (John 3:3-7) and this is walking out of the natural to the spiritual reality of the holy area of the Tabernacle.
At baptism into Lord Jesus Christ we are baptized into His death and resurrected with Him into new life in Him or enter into a life in supernatural as well as natural realms like entry into the most holy place before the Ark with the cherubs (Romans 6:3). The final stage is being in the presence of God’s glory. Apostle Paul defines this as our body becoming ‘a temple of the Holy Spirit who is within you, whom you have (received as a gift) from God, and that you are not your own’ (1 Corinthians 6:19). The role of a believer then is to glorify God in and through his body. For this the Scripture command is, ‘And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father’ (Colossians 3:17). The authority and dominion given to Adam to dominate the earth and subdue it has been restored to a believer (Genesis 1:28) and this subduing is through making disciples and leading others into this ‘life of abundance’ from the deep darkness of sin (Matthew 28:19-20).
Heaven is where God is and He has set up His abode in us with the Holy Spirit establishing His kingdom within us. God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms for we are united with Him (Ephesians 1:3), even while living on earth, we are seated in heavenly places in Lord Jesus (Ephesians 2:6). Satan does not want us to live to our God ordained real potential even though Lord Jesus has blessed us ‘that he who believes on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and even greater works than these shall he do’ (John 14:12). The same Holy Spirit operates in us as He was in the Lord. But the real fact is, ‘As long as the heir is a child, he differs in no way from a slave’ (Galatians 4:1) and a believer who remains ignorant of his status in Lord Jesus will continue to be ruled by the forces of darkness around him. A believer’s commission is to make disciples and be a teacher whereas many still ‘need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food’ (Hebrews 5:12).
It is generally presumed that God desires mankind to stay with Him in heaven but the reality is different. ‘Adam and Eve heard the voice of God walking in the garden in the cool of the day’ and this walk appears to be of one enjoying a stroll in His place (Genesis 3:8). God created the Garden of Eden to dwell with man and it is only due to sin that God separated Himself from man but He did not abandon man. The Tabernacle, the Temple and the coming of the Son of God are indicators of God’s dwelling with man on earth. Apostle Paul confirms the second coming of the Lord starting first with raising of the dead and ‘after that we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (clouds). And so we will be with the Lord forever’ (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). The creation of ‘new heaven and the new earth’ with no sea is followed by the coming down of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem from heaven to the earth with the proclamation, ‘God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God’ (Revelation 21:1-5).
David after becoming King wanted to show favor to King Saul’s house for his friend Jonathan’s sake and Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan, who was lame in both feet, was brought from a place called Lo-debar. King David restored to him ‘all that belonged to Saul and his family’ and Mephibosheth was to always eat at the king’s table. Lo-debar in Hebrew means a place of no pasture, like being in the wilderness, isolation or desolation and the Savior Lord Jesus redeemed us from that same wilderness of sin and restored all dominion and authority with blessing to eat at His table being part of His family. As a precursor to eventual new earth and heaven coming down to earth, we are already living this as believers with the indwelling Holy Spirit in us and till that new creation change we now on leaving the earth go to be with the Lord in His house in heaven. Lord Jesus has already earmarked a place for us in His Father’s house and we are assured of our place with Him till eternity (John 14:1-2). We are to recognize who we are in Him and live our lives accordingly!
After clarifying the real status of John the Baptist also established the new life of a believer, ‘among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he’ (Luke 7:28). This is because God the Holy Spirit dwells in us, empowering and enlightening us every moment of our lives. But if despite all this someone still wants to live in denial God cannot be held responsible. Lord Jesus promised ‘I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son’ (John 14:13). But are our prayers aimed at glorifying God the Father?