The Tent of Meeting
‘THE TENT OF MEETING’
“God manifest in the flesh and Justified in the Spirit”
(1 Timothy 3:16)
Preached by: Carolyn Sissom
Sunday, June 22, 2008
‘GREAT IS THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS”; (1 Timothy 3:16) As I prepare the message tonight, I stand between two Offices, the Prophet and the Pastor. Since the call came some twenty years ago to Pastor, this has often been my challenge. Where is my duty tonight? I conclude my duty to the Lord is to “feed his sheep”. There is turmoil within my heart as I contemplate the visitation of the Glory of the Lord and the contrast of the sinful condition of this nation and the need for revival and repentance within the universal church body.
We are preparing for a tent revival in this church fellowship. I believe it will be another glorious visitation of the Lord’s presence as we seek Him for His Kingdom purposes for this hour. As in previous visitations of His Glory, there was both promotion and judgment. The fire that fell under the power of His Presence became wildfires I had to put out after the conference.
This week we have had amazing signs in the sky of a “heat burst” in Midland, Texas, an Amber Cloud over Katy, Texas and Wednesday evening a golden light filled the church. We ran outside to see the sky. There were two rainbows to the northeast, dark clouds to the south and a clear sky to the west. Sue Avery tells me they too have observed unusual cloud formations in Louisiana. Allen had a vision of clouds of fire over Houston. Bonnie took photos of the Amber Cloud.
I was reminded of the vision Ezekiel had in 8:1-4: “the hand of the Lord God fell there upon me. Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loin’s even downward fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the color of amber. He put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem to the door of the inner gate that looks toward the north. (Judgment)”
The Lord named our upcoming Tent of Meeting, “The Hand of the Lord was Strong upon me.” With each one of these visitations, Ezekiel prophesied judgment to the nations. He also prophesied of the return of the Shekinah Glory of the Lord through Jesus Christ to the gospel church.
The Shekinah Glory was first revealed to Moses in the Tent of Meeting in Exodus 40:33b-34: So Moses finished the work, Then a cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”
The Lord revealed His Glory in His Son, Jesus Christ. The same Cloud of Glory that covered the Tabernacle is the same Cloud of Glory that overshadowed Mary. (Lk. 1: 34-35). Jesus =Word=Light (like the fiery Cloud of the O.T.) The transfiguration parallels Mt. Sinai of the O.T. The Cloud again filled the Tabernacle of the Lord.
Many rejected the Lord Jesus Christ because the Word was housed in flesh and blood (John 1:14)—through His Body, the Church, Christ the Word still comes to men housed in flesh and blood; Thus, to partake of Christ is to be actively and submissively involved in the ministry of His Body, the church, on a local level.
“When Jesus was here on earth he so beautifully manifested the character of God through the ministration of the Spirit in His life, that God was “justified in the Spirit”. Because of the glorious accomplishment of the Cross, we are told that God was declared to be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus.”
1 Timothy 3: 16: Great is the mystery of Godliness…God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into Glory.
Romans 3:26: “To declare I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus.”
Verses 24-25: “being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”
“The victory of the Cross is sure and steadfast and unchangeable, totally justifying God the Righteous One and justifying sinners who believe in Jesus. But only as God is “Justified in the Spirit,” can that glorious victory of the Cross be revealed and manifested in the earth. For centuries preceding the Cross, God’s great and Holy Name has been blasphemed among the Gentiles.”(G.H.W.)
As I mentioned last week, “Never has God’s Name been blasphemed in the earth as it is this day in which we live. The Christian’s God is scoffed at, maligned, caricatured, and flaunted on the stage, misrepresented as One who cares nothing about sin and rebellion…” (G.H.W.) The special interest groups are sympathetic toward every evil cause that comes to the forefront these days in the name of human rights and political correctness. And to aggravate the matter still further, there are people in the Church who come to the front as champions of perversion…All in the Name of God! Many have glamorized these perversions to be crusades and even try to put God’s name on it. God has long born the reproach of a Name that is blasphemed among the nations. All this goes on in spite of the fact that God has been totally justified because of the work of the Cross!
God cares! And He is doing something about it! By the mighty operation of the Spirit of God abiding in His Temple in the earth. Once again God will be gloriously justified in the Spirit…”
“Beloved let us be assured that His Glory has come to His Temple once again in this hour, to purge and purify His people from the abominations that are committed in our midst. And His Word will go forth “even to the outer court”. There are those in the church who have gone no further than the altar and the sacrifice. Yet even these areas are going to see and behold His Glory when the House if filled with the Lord’s brightness. When His Glory comes to His people it will mean cleansing and purifying for the people of God who submit to His dealings…but it will not change the rebellious and obstinate of heart. Jesus has warned us, “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6:23”
There is a whole world out there that hates the Christian’s God. But can we really blame them? For the only concept they have of God comes from they see in God’s people. We are to love the Lord our God with our whole heart and our brother as ourselves. The Lord will bring forth a Holy Remnant out of the visitation of his burning judgment and Glory that will show fort a God of total righteousness, love, justice, mercy and truth in the earth. Christ will receive unto Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle or blemish. The Shekinah Glory of the Lord will return to that habitation. God will inhabit those people for Himself for which His heart has longed through times eternal.” (G.H.W.)
1 John 1:2-3: (“For the Word of Life was manifested and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ.”
- We are in fellowship With God, through Christ, and then with His Body.
- The word “fellowship” in Greek means “A joint-participation; involvement; comrade; communion; sharing with intimacy; partner; companion; associate”.
- The priests in the Tent of Meeting ate the Shewbread every Sabbath (fellowship of Rest), there was closeness around the table – this speaks of our communion with Christ and His Body. If a priest was out of his place, his toes might have been “stepped on” by another priest.
- The New testament church is gathered as priests (I Pet. 2:9) unto and around Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life (Psa. 89:7) – our fellowship is centered in His Person and not our doctrines; believers only really meet together as their spirits, minds, hearts, and voices blend unto the Biblical Christ.
kind of bible fellowship is exampled as follows:
- Working to hoard vs. working to give (fiancés, ministry, etc.) There is
Nothing worse than a stingy Christian.
- Competition vs. co-operation
- Discriminating vs. non-discriminating love – those who walk in the Kingdom do not choose whom they love.
- Seven-Fold Commitment to be a better brother:
- a. Honesty – No “phoniness, deception or manipulation” (Eph. 4:15) – give and take discipline.
b. Fellowship – in areas beyond Church (work; recreation; prayer; money)
c. Submission – Godly authority can only function if there is submission.
d. Loyalty – will not give or receive criticism of the Body of Christ.
e. Respect – trust; will not put “pressure” on others.
f. Sobriety – take one another seriously; listen in depth.
g. Acceptance – accept yourself; God has accepted us; everyone needs this.
- LOYALTY: The lat days will be marked by traitors and those who are loyal. God is loyal and loves a loyal people. We show our loyalty to Jesus as we show it to the brethren. Be loyal to those over us in the Lord. – even though true leadership will correct, say “no”, “cross” our will, and conflict:
a. Learn to love people as they are.
b. Learn to stand with leadership during times of accusation.
c. Learn to flow with things that are done differently than your way.
D. do not rebuke an elder. This is ministered by the Presbytery. Do not receive an accusation against an elder but before two or three witnesses. (1 Timothy 5:1)
Who are Elders: These oversee spiritual things. These are standing in the Office of the Five-Fold and are experienced and seasoned ministers of the Gospel. These are the Presbytery. 1 Timothy 3: 1-7. 5:1; Jas. 5:14;
Deacons handle the Temporal Things: 3:8-16:
- “Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
- Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
- And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of deacon, being found blameless.
- Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
- Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
- For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchases to themselves a good degree and great boldness sin the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
- These things write I unto you, hoping to come unto you shortly.
- But if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
- And without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness: God manifest in the flesh, and justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
The Five-Fold Ministry or the Hand Ministry:
- The Apostle – Governs = God’s authority – “one sent forth” – fully authorized.
The Lord Jesus Christ – the Chief Apostle
The Apostles of the lamb
The Many Apostles of the Spirit. (1 Cor. 15:0; Gal. 1:19; Acts 14:14; 1 Cor. 3: 5-8 4: 6-9; Rom 16:7; Phil. 2:25; etc.
- The Prophet – Guides - God’s Mouthpiece –
N.T. Prophets – foundation ministry with the apostle – Eph. 2:20
Higher level of Prophet: Predictive Word, Directive Word, Judgmental Word
- The Evangelist –Gathers - Edifier or exhorter – “proclaimer of good news”: works out of a local church under the covering of that Body and must submit his life and ministry to that local oversight. When sent out to other cities, he/she is either to gather to a local church or assist Elders in starting a new church.
- The Pastor – Guards - Shepherd; Feeder; governs by his ability to feed. Pours out his life for the sheep.
- The Teacher –Grounds - Greek is Pastor-Teacher – The teacher deepens the roots of the church, building on the foundation laid by apostles and prophets.
The five-fold ministry is the God-ordained pattern of Government and is the extension of the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ through the Church which will reveal the manifest Shekinah Glory of the Lord.
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries, Inc.
Scripture quotes from K.J.V. Quotes from Tent to Temple by: George H. Warnock and Tabernacle of Moses by: Kelly Varner.