The Tabernacle in Type
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

From chapters 25-31 of the book of Exodus, we have the blueprint of the Tabernacle as God gave it to Moses when he was spending forty days and forty nights on Mount Sinai. Then there was the unhappy situation that is described in chapters 32-34 and a discussion of the sin of the nation of Israel. From chapters 35-40, we find a description of how the Israelites built the Tabernacle according to the pattern.

When God gave the pattern for the Tabernacle, He began with the Most Holy Place and the Ark of the Covenant and proceeded to the outer courts of the Tabernacle. But when the people began to build, they began at the outer court and built to the Most Holy Place. The reason for that lay in that interlude of sin to which we have referred. Before the sin was committed, they were out of fellowship; and the only way they could get back into fellowship was by means of the blood sacrifice. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission for sin (Hebrews 9:22).

We have told you that the Tabernacle is presented in the Word of God in a threefold way. It is presented first as a literal building, an ordinary building. The Tabernacle itself was no larger than a good-sized family room or den in a modern home; it was 15 x 45 feet. The purpose of the Tabernacle was not to serve as a meeting place for the people; it was a place where the people gathered on the outside, and the priest went inside and offered sacrifices for the sins of the people and brought about complete fellowship with God.

As each part of the building had a special significance, so did each of the six pieces of furniture have a special significance. In this very literal building were six literal pieces of furniture. Beginning in the innermost room, there was the Ark of the Covenant, upon which was the mercy seat. In the outer room, which was separated from the inner room by a veil, there were the table of shewbread, the seven-branched candlestick, and the golden altar of incense. Outside the building, in the courtyard itself, there was a brazen laver where the priests washed in preparation for their sacrifice, and there was a brazen altar upon which the sacrifice itself was offered once each year or according to specific feast days which God ordained as He mentioned the various parts of the Tabernacle.

The Light of God's Glory

We want now to look at how the literal Tabernacle is presented in a threefold typical manner in the New Testament. Turn, please, to the Gospel of John, chapter 1:

John 1

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2The same was in the beginning with God.
3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Notice in verse 5, “the darkness comprehended it not.” That is not a suggestion that people who live in sin do not understand the light, though that is very largely true; it is a statement that darkness cannot suppress the light; the light of the glory of God will shine forth no matter what the Devil might do. It is very important for you to realize that because of what we will find in these succeeding verses:

John 1

6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

Let us pause for a moment and recognize what that verse is actually saying. That verse does not say that that Light lights every man that comes into the world. If you should interpret it that way, then you would be falling in line with the teaching of many liberalists that every man has a spark of divinity within him and all he needs to do is to fan that spark of divinity into a flame and thus become a born-again individual. What the verse actually says in the original text is that the Light (Jesus Christ) has already come into the world. He is the Light of the world.

John 1

10He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14And the Word was made 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.

Notice verse 14 again:

John 1

14And the Word [that is a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ; Word is capitalized] was made flesh [that is a reference to the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ] , and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Notice the phrase, “dwelt among us.” What does the word “dwelt” signify? Turn with me to chapter 17 of the Gospel according to Matthew, which is a record of what is commonly referred to as the transfiguration scene:

Matthew 17

1And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
2And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
3And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
4Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

Stop there, because our purpose is not to study this transfiguration scene; we have turned here only for purposes of illustration. Notice the word “tabernacle.” That is the noun form of the Greek word which is translated “dwelt” in John, chapter 1, verse 14. In Matthew 17, you have the noun; in John, chapter 1, you have the verb. You might read John, chapter 1, verse 14, “And the word was made flesh, and tabernacled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

A Type of Christ

The first thing I would like to suggest is that the literal Tabernacle in the Old Testament is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ; as the Tabernacle was the dwelling place of God in the Old Testament, the Lord Jesus Christ was the dwelling place of God in the New Testament, in the Gospel Age. You will remember that the Tabernacle was overshadowed by a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day. The Shekinah glory came down and hovered over the mercy seat, as we will see as we continue our study of the Tabernacle.

The Tabernacle was replaced by the temple, a permanent structure, and when Solomon finished it, he prayed his prayer of dedication. The glory of God came down and hovered over the temple. It remained there until the condition of the nation of Israel, many hundreds of years later, was such that God could no longer own them as His people. If you read of the end of the temple in the book of Ezekiel, you will read that the cloud of the glory of God arose from the altar in the innermost room of the temple and went and dwelt over the east gate of the temple. It tarried there as though it were hesitant to leave. It moved from the east gate of the temple and rested upon the mountain and then disappeared completely.

Listen carefully: The glory of God was not manifested again on the earth from the time it left the Temple, as it was reported in the book of Ezekiel, until the time when the Lord Jesus Christ came. There was not a Tabernacle on the earth from the time when the glory of God left the temple and “Ichabod” was written above its door (God had departed), until the Lord Jesus Christ came. The space between the Old and the New Testaments, time-element-wise, is the five hundred silent years; God did not speak from the time when His glory left the temple until the time when the Lord Jesus Christ came.

So you see how God's dwelling is described in the Word of God. He dwelt first in the Tabernacle after he said to Moses, “Make me a dwelling place.” Then He dwelt in the temple that David was forbidden to build and Solomon was granted permission to build. Then He dwelt in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. So the Tabernacle in the Old Testament is typical of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who was God incarnate.

The Perfect Representation of God's Glory

I have given you one verse of Scripture to verify that, but those who do not understand the typical teaching of the Word of God might question that we have a right to interpret verse 14 of John, chapter 1, in this fashion. So I suggest that we turn to chapter 9 of the book of Hebrews. The epistle to the Hebrews is just that; it is a letter written to the Jewish nation. So we would expect it to be full of references to Old Testament history and Old Testament experiences. We could expect it to be full of special messages for the Jewish nation, and that it is. The writer of the book of Hebrews, in chapter 9, begins to talk about the Tabernacle. Notice verse 2:

Hebrews 9

2For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
3And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
4Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
5And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.

Paul is doing here what a lot of us do when we try to preach and teach the Word. We realize that we are limited for time; we do not have time to talk about everything. Paul refers to the Tabernacle and its furniture; but he says, “I will not talk about it in detail. I am merely mentioning the Tabernacle because I want to make a point.” In verse 6, he begins to make that point when he says:

Hebrews 9

6Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
7But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
8The Holy Ghost this signifying [or, ”the Holy Ghost thus illustrating,” or ”the Holy Ghost thus picturing,” or ”the Holy Ghost thus presenting typically”] , that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
9Which was a figure [type, illustration, picture, sign] for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
10Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances [the word ”carnal” could be ”fleshly”; it does not mean there was anything evil related to these sacrifices; it simply means they were related to the flesh–fleshly ordinances, the flesh of animals, etc]. , imposed on them until the time of reformation.

Now notice verse 11:

Hebrews 9

11But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
13For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

You see in verse 11 a reference to the fact that Christ was the perfect Tabernacle. The Tabernacle in the Old Testament fell short because it was made by human hands, but Christ was the perfect Tabernacle, the perfect representation of the glory of God upon the earth.

All the truths that we will discover as related to the Tabernacle in the Old Testament should be related to the Lord Jesus Christ of the New Testament. In other words, when we begin our actual study of the Tabernacle–we are now just in the introduction–we will see in the foundation of the Tabernacle, in the curtains of the Tabernacle, in the furniture of the Tabernacle, pictures of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Someone might be inclined to say, “Have we any right to be so particular in studying the Tabernacle in this fashion? Isn't there a danger of overdrawing the picture? Isn't there a danger of letting your imagination run away with you? Isn't there a danger of reading into the Word of God something that isn't there?” Well, that danger always exists, but it need not be feared if we adhere closely to the Word of God.

Truth Illustrated By Furniture

I would like to give you a sampling of how the furniture of the Tabernacle illustrates precious truths concerning the life of Christ. We will only mention them; we will be looking at them in detail as we study these things individually. Turn, please, to chapter 10 of the book of Hebrews. In verse 18, we have a summary of what has gone before:

Hebrews 10

18Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

That is, when an offering has been accepted for sin, you do not need to go around looking for another one. We need to learn a lesson from that. You know, there are any number of people who confess their sin and then wonder whether God has forgiven them. That is dishonoring to the Lord. There are any number of people who confess their sin and beg God to forgive them. That is dishonoring to the Lord. There are any number of people who confess their sin and then go around saying, “I was a terrible sinner, and I did confess it, but my sin is so terrible that I don't suppose God will forgive me.” That is dishonoring to the Lord. The Word of God says that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).

That is exactly what the Spirit of God means here in verse 18 when He says that where there is remission for sins, you do not need any offering. That is the problem that exists in the Roman Catholic church today. Every Sunday morning when they have Mass, they offer the Lord Jesus Christ, His body and His blood, once again. They do not believe that it was done once and for all. This verse of Scripture says that where remission of sin is, there is no more offering for sin. What is it that keeps us from evil? What is it that brings a barrier between us and God? It is sin, is it not? If sin is taken care of, there is nothing that separates us from God, is there? Well, so says the Holy Spirit, in verse 19:

Hebrews 10

19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
21And having an high priest over the house of God;
22Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us stop our reading and notice in verse 20 the word “veil.” That is part of the Tabernacle. Do you remember what we read in the first part of chapter 9 of the book of Hebrews? This building, 15 x 45 feet was divided into two rooms. Two rooms were made possible by a veil that separated the Most Holy Place, where only the high priest could enter once a year, and the Holy Place, where any ordinary priest could enter as often as he wished to. There was another veil at the very entrance of the building itself through which no ordinary person who was not a priest dared to enter.

The emphasis is on the veil. The veil separated the Most Holy Place from the Holy Place. It separated the Holy Place from the outer court where the sinner stood. This passage of Scripture says that because of the blood of Jesus we have a right to enter in past the veil because the veil is no longer there. Notice what God says in verse 20:

Hebrews 10

20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

The veil in the Tabernacle was typical of the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ. When the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ was broken on the tree, when His side was pierced, the thing that kept man from God was forever removed and man had free access to the Lord. You will remember that when the Lord Jesus Christ died, the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom, and was never intended to indicate that the Holiest was open to every person.

This was a miracle. This veil in the temple was so closely woven that before it was hung, in order to test its strength, they attached a team of oxen on one end and a team on the other and whipped them in opposite directions to see if it could be torn, and it could not be. It was woven that closely; it was that tight. When the Lord Jesus Christ died, miraculously it was ripped from top to bottom to indicate that the veil no longer separated man from God. The Holy Spirit is saying in Hebrews, chapter 10, that that veil was the flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mercy Seat Illustrates Propitiation

Turn, please, to the first epistle of John, chapter 2, and notice another illustration of how the furniture in the Tabernacle is representative of the Lord Jesus Christ:

I John 2

1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not…

Let us pause a moment and think about what we have read. That is what God wants; He wants us not to sin. As I pointed out to you, the phrase, “little children,” means “little born-again ones.” If you are born-again, God does not want you to sin. That is God's standard. Let us not bring down the standard! He does not want us to sin, but He recognizes that we will. He knows our frame and remembers that we are but dust (Psalm 103:14), so John said:

I John 2

1…And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

Notice this verse:

I John 2

2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

As we pointed out, the word “sins” is not in the original text; that is why it is in italics. It is not a matter of “sins”; it is a matter of “sin.” The world is going to Hell because it rejects Jesus Christ. “Sins” are not related to the world. “Sin” is. “Sins” are related to Christians. The Lord Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sins. Yes, after we who are born again sin, He, our advocate, is our propitiation.

That is a big word, isn't it? What connection does it have with the Tabernacle? Turn with me to Hebrews, chapter 9, for a description of the Tabernacle with its various pieces of furniture:

Hebrews 9

2…the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread…
3And after the second veil, the tabernacle [ room ] which is called the Holiest of all;
4Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
5And over it the cherubims of glory [ notice ] shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.

Look at the word “mercyseat.” It is the same word in Greek that is translated “propitiation” in I John, chapter 2, verse 2. The mercy seat was the place where God said He would come down and meet man. The only person who could go into the Most Holy Place and stand before the mercy seat was the high priest. The Spirit of God says in I John, chapter 2, verse 2, that that mercy seat in the Old Testament Tabernacle was a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ, because just as God met man at the mercy seat in the Old Testament Tabernacle, God meets man today in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other meeting ground.

It may be very charitable of us to say we are headed for the same place; we are just going by different routes. But it isn't so. It is not Scriptural. We may all be headed for the same place as far as our desires are concerned, but we are not all going the same way. There is only one way to go. That is by the mercy seat. The mercy seat is the Lord Jesus Christ.

It may be very charitable of us to have our interfaith services and to give everyone a chance to express his faith or to pray, as some radio programs suggest, in your own particular way, according to your own particular faith; but the Bible says there is only one way to God, and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ. There is only one place where God will meet man, and that is at the mercy seat. As the mercy seat was a little old chest in the Tabernacle in the Old Testament, the mercy seat today is in the Lord Jesus Christ, for He came and tabernacled with us. This is just an indication of what we are talking about.

All Made One In Christ

The Tabernacle is presented in the New Testament as a type of the Lord Jesus Christ in two other ways. Turn, please, to the book of Ephesians, chapter 2, verse 11:

Ephesians 2

11Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

This describes the state of an unsaved man. He is without Christ. He has no hope. He is without God. In verse 13, a change has been wrought:

Ephesians 2

13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Let us think for a moment about what we have read. Before the Lord Jesus Christ died on the Cross, there were two classes of people–Jews and Gentiles. The Jews were so proud of their godly heritage that they spoke of themselves as having God and the Gentiles as not having God. They even practiced this belief. When Herod built the temple which replaced Solomon's temple but which was never recognized by God, Herod built on command of the Jews what was called “the court of the Gentiles.” The Gentiles were not allowed to go into the court where the Jews were. They stayed in the outer court; there was a middle wall that kept them from going in. Paul used that as an illustration. He said that when Jesus came, the middle wall was broken down and we were all made one in Christ Jesus.

His Habitation, the Body of Christ

Notice verse 19:

Ephesians 2

19Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Notice the last phrase of verse 22, “an habitation of God.” Is that not what God told Moses to do in the wilderness–to build Him a place to live? Is that not what the Lord Jesus Christ was–the dwelling place of God? Now a change has come about. The Lord Jesus Christ went back to Heaven. When He did, He ceased to be the Tabernacle on earth. God needed another dwelling place, and immediately upon the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, He set about building that habitation.

This has been the longest building program in the history of the universe. It has been two thousand years in the building and it is still going on. What am I talking about? I am talking about the building that is the Tabernacle of God. I am talking about the Church that is His Body.

The word “church” in the Word of God is never used in reference to a building. It is not Scriptural. We talk about the church at the corner of such and such an avenue. We ought to say, “the building where the Church meets,” because the word “church” is never applied to a building in the Bible. The only church that the Bible recognizes is a living organism made of living stones. Look at verse 20. The foundation of the building was made up of the apostles and the New Testament prophets; the cornerstone, the stone that holds all the others together, the keystone, is the Lord Jesus Christ. Each individual believer is a living stone in this holy Tabernacle, and each individual believer fitly grows together with other believers to make a building for God on the earth.

The Corporate Body

Turn, please, to the first epistle of Peter, chapter 2, verse 5:

I Peter 2

5Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
6Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

Notice verse 5: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house.” Each born-again believer is a living stone. I think building programs are all right when there is a necessity, but I think one of the greatest mistakes any Christian can make is to put his money needlessly into brick and mortar. I am not talking about a real need. Far more important is to put money into precious living stones out of which the true habitation of God is built.

Every time your money is used to bring a person to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, you have invested in this building program which has been going on for 2,000 years and which will not be completed until the Lord Jesus comes. When the last stone is put into place and His building is complete, then He will take this building out of this earth to Heaven to be His dwelling place. The Church as a whole, the corporate Body of Christ, is the dwelling place of God. The Tabernacle in the Old Testament prefigures that in the New.

The Individual as God's Habitation

Turn, please, to I Corinthians, chapter 6, for the third typical representation of the Tabernacle in the New Testament. A moment ago we were talking about the corporate body, all believers together making a habitation of God through the Spirit. It is a unique feature of the building, but a highly significant one, that not only are all believers together the habitation of God, but each individual believer is a habitation of God:

I Corinthians 6

19What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body…

The remaining part of that verse is not in the original text. I like to emphasize that because all too often we read, “and in your spirit, which are God's,” and we talk about some nebulous thing called “the spirit.” Your body is pretty tangible. You know what it is, don't you? You bathe it, and you dress it every morning. You are familiar with it. You know what to do with it. Well, that body with which you are so familiar is the dwelling place of God. It is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit if you are a born-again Christian. The Holy Spirit has come to take up residence in your body, and therefore your body becomes a very sacred thing.

Sacredness of the Body

Turn with me to II Corinthians, chapter 6, as I ask you a question: If you had been living in Old Testament times and worshiping at the Tabernacle we have been reading about, would you have entered that Tabernacle with a spirit of levity, or would you have recognized its sacredness? When you come to a building that is dedicated to the worship of God, do you enter that building in a spirit of levity or in a spirit of reverence? With that thought in mind, notice verse 14:

II Corinthians 6

14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

II Corinthians 7

1Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

I read the first verse of chapter 7 because it belongs with chapter 6. In the original text there are no chapter divisions. They are very helpful as the translators have put them in, but sometimes they come at rather odd places. That verse belongs to the subject under discussion. Do you see what God is saying in verse 16? You are the temple of God. Your body is the temple of God. What place would an idol have in the temple of God?

Necessity of Separation

Let us think forcefully. Suppose you were to go to whatever place you may worship on Sunday morning, and in place of the pulpit, there was a big, smiling Buddha. What would you think? You would say, “What in the world has happened here? What is that thing doing here?” Suppose I should appear on the scene and say, “What are you so excited about? That's Buddha. That is a lovely idol. It is part of the oldest religion in the world. What are you so excited about? There is much good in Buddhism. We ought to try to follow it,” I might say. You would say, “That is a nice idol, and Buddhism may be the oldest religion in the world, and there may be a lot of good things in it, but what connection has it with Christ?” You would be exactly right.

So, the Spirit of God says, if your body is the temple of God, if the Holy Spirit has come to live in your body, what right have you to have idols in the temple of God? What connection is there? There is none. The Tabernacle of the Old Testament is typical of you as a believer. God said to Moses, “Tell them to build a sanctuary, and I will dwell in that sanctuary.” He says to the believer in verse 16, “I will dwell in the believer and walk in the believer, and I will be their God and they shall be my people.”

If you are a born-again believer, you are a walking temple of the Lord, a testimony that must be maintained. That is why, in verse 17, the Spirit of God says, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” This is addressed to Christians. Notice what He said: “I will be a Father unto you. Ye shall be my sons and my daughters.”

Evidently some believers don't have the close relationship to God that other believers do, but He issues the challenge, and Paul takes up the challenge in verse 1 of chapter 7, saying, “Having therefore these promises, dearly Beloved.” What promises? The promises that God has given: “If you will come out from among them, and be separate, I will be a Father to you. Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh.”

Need for Cleansing

We need some cleansing. Is some of the filthiness of the flesh apparent in our lives? Let us cleanse ourselves from the filthiness of the spirit. Filthiness of the spirit is not as evident as filthiness of the flesh, but it needs cleansing just as badly.

In the old days, when I was growing up, and you didn't have running water with a nice hot water heater, you didn't take a bath every night. You might like to, but you didn't. Saturday night you filled up the washtub by the stove in the kitchen and you took a bath. Why did you do it? Because you were going somewhere. The same thing is true spiritually speaking. The reason we need to be cleansing ourselves from the filthiness of the flesh and the spirit is that we need to be in a position of perfect holiness in the fear of God, to bring holiness to maturity in our lives in the fear of God.


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