"I am the vine, you are the branches"
The Abundant Life
The Abundant Life, Part 2
"I came to bring life and that life abundantly" (John 10:10).
In our last newsletter we saw that the Tabernacle represents the abundant life in God. We are going to continue our journey where we left off in the Holy Place and continue on into the Holy of Holies. We want to remember that even though the Tabernacle does not exist any longer, the heavenly Tabernacle does.
Let's begin with the Menorah. The Menorah was the only light source in the Tabernacle. Like all the objects in the Tabernacle it represents Messiah, who is the Light of The World. 1 John 1:5 tells us that God is light and there is no darkness in Him. So the Tabernacle which represents God should not be in darkness either. We who are believers should walk in the light (1 John 1:7) and we should be light (Matthew 5:14-16). The Menorah sat opposite the table of Showbread which represented the Bread of Life. Together we see a picture of the Word of God. The Word is the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) who was made flesh and came down to dwell among us (John 1:14). God's word is a lamp unto our feet (Psalm 119:105). God's Word lights up our path so that when we obey God's Word, it keeps us from falling or stumbling. His Word Guides us to Him, our eternal home (Revelation 21:1), our inheritance (Ephesians 1:11-17), our great reward (Genesis 15:1).
Because we are to be the light to the world, we should want to have that light in us and through us in abundance. We should want to have God's word hidden in our heart (Psalm 119:11), for out of the mouth the heart speaks. Luke 6:45 tells us, "For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." Notice that it says, "Out of the abundance of the heart one speaks." If we want the abundant life, then we want to have God's Word in abundance in our hearts and in our mouths so that when we speak we speak light and we speak life.
The Menorah was a seven branch candelabra which was filled with pure olive oil. The Levitical priests maintained it so that it burned continually night and day. The olive oil represents the Holy Spirit and His anointing. Olive oil was used to anoint the Kings and the Prophets and the High Priest. Messiah was called the Anointed One, and He fulfills all three of these roles. We should want to be anointed with oil of the Menorah, God's word, and we should want that anointing and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives in abundance.
You see here again, God's word and the Holy Spirit are one. Ephesians 6:17 tells us that the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. It makes sense that the Table of Showbread and the Menorah should be placed together, for they both represent the Word of God along with the Holy Spirit, which is our Helper as we walk according to God's Word. Now we can have the abundance of God's table, we can eat and drink and receive a double portion, and our cup can overflow. We can have His light in us and through us, and we can be anointed to overflowing and filled with the Holy Spirit. God wants us totally, not just part of us, and we should want all of Him. This is what the abundant life is all about: that Yeshua came to give us life and we can have that life abundantly.
The Altar of Incense.
As we move on, we come to the Altar of Incense. This was place right in front of the entrance of the Holy of Holies. This golden altar was used to burn incense--not just any incense, but a special blend that was given to Moses by God: "And the LORD said to Moses: ‘Take sweet spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, and pure frankincense with these sweet spices; there shall be equal amounts of each. You shall make of these an incense, a compound according to the art of the perfumer, salted, pure, and holy. And you shall beat some of it very fine, and put some of it before the Testimony in the tabernacle of meeting where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you. But as for the incense which you shall make, you shall not make any for yourselves, according to its composition. It shall be to you holy for the LORD. Whoever makes any like it, to smell it, he shall be cut off from his people'" (Exodus 30:34-38).
Coals from the burnt offering were put on the altar to give off this sweet aroma which went straight up to God. This altar represents the Prayers of the saints.
Psalm 141:2 tells us, "May my prayer be counted as incense before You; The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering."
Revelation 8:4 says, "And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel's hand."
The Incense altar also represents Messiah, who is our intercessor. Hebrews 7:25 says, "Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them."
2 Corinthians 2:15 says, "For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved." Messiah is our example when it comes to prayer. We see many times that He went off to pray to His Father (Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16), even in the Garden before His death (Luke 22:41), and we see Him praying at the last supper when He prayed for His disciples and for those who would follow after them (John 17:6-26).
So much is written about prayer and praying. We are told to bring our prayers before God. Philippians 4:6 tells us, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." We are never supposed to stop praying.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us, "Pray without ceasing." Our prayers are as praise.
Hebrews 13:15 says, "Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name." Our whole life is one prayer before God.
Ephesians 5:19-20 says, "Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father."
Colossians 3:17 tells us, "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father." Since prayer is so important to the believer's walk with God, then we must understand prayer. We are told to never stop praying, and we see that our whole life is an offering to God as a sweet aroma.
You can't get any more of an abundant life than in prayer, but because it is the last stop, as it were, before coming into the Holy of Holies or the presence of God, then we must use all that came before and apply it to prayer. We must come in the Name of Yeshua, who is the door to the tabernacle, we must draw near by His sacrifice, the altar of slaughter, washed in His blood, and cleansed at the laver which will require us to reflect and repent. 2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us, "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?" Again, 1 Corinthians 11:28 tells us, "Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup." Now, you may say that this refers to communion, but I say, is not prayer communion with God?
We must eat of the Bread of Life, and drink from the well of salvation, the Word of God, at the Table of Showbread. We must be filled with the Light of the Word, anointed and filled with the Holy Spirit at the Menorah, and then we must come to the altar with praise and thanksgiving, lifting up holy hands, bringing our prayers and supplications before God. But that is not the end of prayer. Yes, we cry out to God; yes, we make our requests before God, but prayer does not end there. When we ask, we must ask believing. Matthew 21:22 says, "And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." James 1:6-8 likewise tells us, "But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do."
And when we pray, we must stand in faith. Ephesians 6:13 tells us, "Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm." The adversary, the devil, will do all he can to bring doubt by lying to you, saying, "God does not hear you, He will not answer your prayer, you are not worthy." But we must stand on the Word of God and continue to feast at the table of God and let the light of His word keep us from falling into his trap, and we must keep asking and seeking and knocking till we get the answer. Matthew 7:7 says, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Holy Of Holies
When we enter into the Holy of Holies, it is the most holiest place in heaven. This is the throneroom of God. We must come with a hush. When the Bible tells us that we can come with a boldness, this is taken out of context. Yes, we can come. Yes we can enter in with a boldness and a confidence, but that is our position because of Messiah: we have the right to come because of Him. But we must remember that this holy place can never become a common place. Ephesians 3:12, in the Berean Study Bible, says, "In Him and through faith in Him we may enter God's presence with boldness and confidence." And again Hebrews 4:16 tells us, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." But we must keep in mind 1 Peter 1:16: "You must be holy because I am holy."
Let us come into God's presence as the end of our walk through the tabernacle and let us bathe in the holiness of God. You cannot get any more of the abundant life than this, just sitting at the feet of our Master Yeshua, gazing upon his holiness.