As we enter The Gate and accept forgiveness for our sins at the brazen altar we then come to the laver. As the priests came into the Tabernacle their feet would have been dusty. Their hands would have needed cleansing after their very bloody work. The Brazen Laver had two washing basins, one for the hands and one for the feet.
In God’s Kingdom Grace is always coupled with Truth! The Bronze Altar is about justification and the Bronze Laver is about sanctification.
Exodus 38:8 He made the laver of bronze and its base of bronze, from the bronze mirrors of the serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. ASV
Mirrors in those days were made from highly polished bronze, not glass. Imagine moving forward from the Brazen Altar, where the blood of an innocent animal has been shed for your sins, to the Brazen Laver where you now wash your feet and hands. As you do so, you are confronted with your reflection in both the water of the Laver and the bronze mirrors holding the water.
The Word of God exposes. Once you are at the Laver you are confronted with your reflection. You are exposed. This is exactly what the Word of God does. As we read, study and meditate on it we behold ourselves as in a mirror. James 1speaks of how being a hearer of the word without being a doer of the word makes you like one who looks in the mirror but walks away and forgets what they’ve just seen. It is our priestly privilege before God to grow deeper in the revelation of Christ as revealed in God’s Word.
2 Cor 7:1 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. NIV
As we grow in our understanding of God’s Word we must beware of the devil’s efforts to ensnare us in pride. Accomplishments lead to judgments when we lack humility. Relational accomplishments can lead to relational judgments causing us to secretly harbor feelings about people who haven’t found a husband or a wife. These feelings can easily show up in conversations with others as gossip. Personal health accomplishments can easily become judgments about others who struggle in this area.
It makes sense that when we seem to master an area in our lives that the temptation of an attitude of supremacy can creep in. This can very easily begin to happen in our spiritual lives. When we establish a strong and faithful pattern of reading our Bibles it becomes very natural to think others who don’t are simply immature and they need to be more like us. The truth is we all need to be more like Jesus and the more judgmental you become the less you are like him even in the place of great accomplishment!
Jesus is the gate standing between the things of God in the outer court and the world. His desire is to let us in not hold us out. Equally so our desire should never be to hold anybody out but rather to let them in!
When you’ve heard the voice of God you have heard the voice of Love. To be ministers of God is to be ministers of Love.
The spiritually immature person lets their emotional reaction determine their spiritual response. Learning to see people through the eyes of God’s love is vitally important to our ability to be God’s expression to the world around us. When you think of a political figure who stands in opposition to your political views do you allow your emotional reaction to determine your spiritual response?
Zacchaeus was a hated tax collector in Jesus’ day. Rather than embracing the cultural hate Jesus shocked society by loving Zacchaeus and even going to his home to convince him God was for him. This impacted him deeply and we read all about his changed life in Luke 19.
Jesus grew up in a culture where Samaritans were despised, considered to be unclean and even called dogs by the Jews. The Samaritan Woman at the well was shocked that this Jew would even talk to her. Jesus loved her and then he dignified her only addressing her sin after she knew he was for her.
There are a lot of people today who have hateful attitudes yet think they’re spiritually mature. Jesus is absolutely in love with all of us trying to help us see the truth about his love for humanity. For God so loved the world…
In our brokenness it is easy to find love, grace and compassion for others. We embrace and perpetuate a deeper state of brokenness when we purpose to be inconvenienced for the purposes of God. Getting into the Word, praying, gathering as the church, fasting and praying, loving, serving and giving are all avenues to selflessly surrender to the love and the life of Christ.
Sacrificially make some time this week to pray through the Tabernacle focusing in on the Laver and evaluating the 10 Commandments as revealed in our prayer focus.
GP2RL:Pray through the tabernacle this week asking God to activate the anointing in your life.
DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR COMMUNITY GROUP LEADERS
1. What was something that stood out to you from Sunday’s message?
As we enter the outer court the first stop is the Brazen Altar where sacrifices for our sins are made. The very common response to our guilty conscience as we move closer to God is to try to clean ourselves up in an effort to feel better about how God feels about us. This is a violation of God’s plan to draw us in to his loving presence.
The first stop after entering “The Gate” is not the laver where we rinse and cleanse but rather it’s the altar where we receive God’s grace and mercy. After we embrace God’s forgiveness of our sins then we move to a place of cleansing and purifying. It is important to note that this isn’t to be done from a perspective of guilt but rather a response to God’s grace.
2. Share a situation when you felt obligated in some way to a behavior or an action that you did not enjoy.
3. Share a situation when you felt an obligation to something you did enjoy.
Religion demands legalistic expression without providing a relational experience. Jesus came to change this order completely addressing the deeper desires of humanity where we find great joy in knowing, loving and serving God as our Father! God has always been like Jesus but it wasn’t until Jesus came that mankind could see it.
Ps 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. NIV
Through an authentic relationship our spiritual disciplines become habits of grace. This is why the Bible says it is grace that teaches us to say no to ungodliness.
Titus 2:11-13 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright & godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God & Savior, Jesus Christ. NIV
4. Share a time when somebody you had great respect for demonstrated how he or she was proud of you.
As you read through the Tabernacle Prayer this week do so from the realization that God is not unhappy with you. In fact, God is as pleased with you as He is with Jesus because you are in Christ. Let’s press in to his presence with joy!
TABERNACLE PRAYER - CHO
Father I desire to pray today, so I come to your mountain right NOW -- seeking You. I cry out for your anointing today! Anoint me, Lord! Only through more anointing can I carry out my work according to your will for me and only by your anointing can I fulfill your plan for my life. It was you who commanded Moses to build the tabernacle in the wilderness. Lord, you dwelt there and met your people there. The Tabernacle is the only place the Israelites worshipped. It illustrates your pattern of worship. The Tabernacle holds the sequence of entering God’s presence and more effectively activating our anointing! I desire more today. I thank you for the tabernacle model through Moses, in Jesus, and in Heaven. I thank you for the Courtyard – where the Brazen Altar and the Laver are. I thank you for the Holy Place – where the Candlesticks are, as well as the Table of Showbread and the Altar of Incense. I thank you for the Holy of Holies – where the Arc of the Covenant and your Mercy Seat reside. Today – according to your Word – I am a priest in your temple, my body. My spirit is as the Holy of Holies. My mind is as the Holy Place. My physical body is as the Courtyard. Come, Lord Jesus! Work through my spirit, through my mind, through my body. I directly worship you, Lord, through the temple of my body, my mind and my spirit. I am a priest unto the Lord.
Jesus, you are the High Priest of Heaven. Teach me my priestly duties today. Teach me according to your ordained pattern of approaching God.
THE BRAZEN ALTAR
In my imagination I come to temple of the Holy Spirit. I see the Tabernacle Courtyard in my mind. I see the Brazen Altar. I remember the different offerings presented at the Brazen Altar: sin, trespass, burnt, thanks, reconciliation. These foretold the sacrifice of Jesus Christ at Calvary. I recognize the tremendous cost of sin.
CONFIDENCE - I believe the Cross of Jesus Christ replaces the Brazen Altar for me today. The blood of Jesus Christ replaces the blood of animals for me – one sacrifice for all time through Jesus Christ. My sin is forgiven – I am declared righteous through the cross. No guilt and shame for me today; I have a clean slate.
I will enjoy the Glory of God today. The Shekinah Glory is in me.
Lord, through your shed blood you conquered the world and the devil. Give me sanctification and fullness of the Holy Spirit through the blood of Jesus. Any hold that the world or the devil has on me is canceled and broken right now in Jesus’s name! Because of the blood, I am free!
You hung on the cross and took my infirmities – I am healed. Sickness is illegal in me. I am healed today! By the stripes Jesus endured in the courtyard of Pilate I am healed!
Through the Cross – through your blood – I am redeemed from the curse.
You hung on a cross so the Abrahamic blessing would be mine. I am a blessed person! I am no longer under the curse. I am under the blessing of Christ today – in my home, work, ministry and family. There is no poverty – no curse for me. You became poor for me so that I can be rich in Jesus Christ. In Christ I am redeemed completely from any negative thinking. No cloudy thinking for me today – only clarity on my freedom from the curse and freedom from poverty. This is a major blessing of the blood of Christ.
I am redeemed from death and hell. Through His death on the cross, resurrection and ascension, I am spiritually with Jesus according to Scripture. I see His redeeming grace flowing to me now.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that my mind is renewed in you as I pray this way, claiming these truths, worshipping you. Thank you for renewing me from a mind that was clouded with lies and negative thoughts. I have nothing to do with the filthy things of the world. I reject the lie. I cut off every tie with the dark side in Jesus’ Name.
Lord, Clarify my vision of myself as an adopted child of God, a member of your family of priests. Make me aware of my new identity – a new person in you, a new creation through the blood of Jesus Christ. I have no more identity crisis. I have a clear identity in Jesus Christ!
I will not accept the devil’s messages sent to me today. My mind is no longer victimized by the devil’s lies. I am a NEW CREATURE, a NEW CREATION. I AM HOLY, I am SANCTIFIED, I am BLESSED; the GLORY OF GOD IS MINE! Everyday that I renew my mind, I confirm and affirm my new identity. I worship Jesus and His sacrifice for me.
Through the Blood of Jesus I am:
• Adopted into your family as a child of God.
• Ordained as a priest in your royal priesthood.
The Blood has delivered me:
• From sin to RIGHTEOUSNESS.
• From the world and the devil to the HOLY SPIRIT & the THRONE OF GOD.
• From sickness to HEALTH & HEALING.
• From a cursed mindset of poverty to GOD’S BLESSINGS THE ABRAHAMIC BLESSING.
I get to experience GOD’S GLORY every day. I discard my cloudy identity of the past and receive a CLEAR IDENTITY in Jesus Christ today! All this happens through the cross and the blood of Jesus Christ. I worship Jesus at the Brazen Altar in the Courtyard of the Tabernacle.
Lord, I invite you, Expose Sin In Me
This is the place I clean my conscience daily like taking a bath or shower. The priests wash their hands, feet and face at the Laver. It is a mirror. Before going into the Holy Place, I look at myself in the Laver. I evaluate my heart as I reflect on the 10 commandments pursuing a clear conscience. I can’t drag my guilty conscience into your presence. You won’t allow it.
Commandment 1 – Do I worship any other Gods? Do I put myself (self worship) ahead of (worship of Jesus)?
There is only one God, in three persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Forgive me, Lord, for dishonoring you by entertaining other gods.
Commandment 2 – Do I bow to any idols? Have I placed my role as husband, father, career person ahead of my role as a priest unto the Lord? Am I giving the first fruits of my day to something else? Am I worshiping graven images of money or power?
Forgive me for dishonoring you by worshipping idols.
Commandment 3 – Do I call God’s name in vain – any of God’s names?
Forgive me for dishonoring you by taking any of your names in vain.
Commandment 4 – Do I honor God by keeping the Sabbath Holy? Am I paying tithes and keeping the Sabbath before expecting blessing from Lord?
Forgive me for dishonoring your Sabbath commandment. Teach me your ways!
Commandment 5 - Do I honor my parents or blame my parents for my problems? Do I dishonor those you put in authority over me – pastors, government leaders, school board, etc.? Do I gossip about them?
Forgive us, Father, for our negative cultural influence that disrespects our parents and dishonors you. May I be free from that influence! Forgive me for dishonoring my parents and any in authority over me. I bring honor to you today. Forgive me for dishonoring you, my Father in heaven.
Commandment 6 - Do I kill by hating? In what ways am I programming my mind or the minds of my children to hate or be angry or hold prejudice against anyone?
I forgive others right now. I release all offenses. I repent of any angry words spoken. Forgive me for dishonoring you through angry words and hatred. O Lord, deliver me from an angry, bitter heart. Only you can do this. I have failed in controlling anger that rises up in me. Only you can give me the grace to have victory over this.
Commandment 7 - Do I commit adultery or entertain lustful thoughts?
Forgive me for dishonoring you by being sexually impure. Cleanse me and make me holy! Give me the fear of the Lord. Help me to walk softly before you. Deliver me from the idolatry of the female form. Deliver me from unhealthy appetites.
Commandment 8 - Am I stealing -- from You, Lord, or anyone? Am I squandering or misusing your gifts to me? Am I dishonest in my work, taking anything without paying for it or without permission?
Forgive me for poor stewardship, for stealing or squandering time, talents, treasures from you, Lord. Forgive me for my dishonest gains and give me grace to return or restore what I have taken wrongly. Make me a good steward of your temple, my body, and all these things you’ve given me to manage as a priest in your temple.
Commandment 9 - Am I witnessing falsely?
Forgive me for lying. Forgive me for being a false witness of Jesus. Forgive me for believing false ideas and vain philosophies. I want to be a true witness of Jesus Christ. Forgive me for dishonoring you by trusting false things. Give me the way, the truth, and the life in Jesus Christ!
Commandment 10 – Am I coveting? Am I coveting things you don’t want me to have –my neighbor’s house, car, reputation, wife, children, lifestyle? Covetousness is the first sin – the downfall of Eve and Adam that caused their disobedience. Am I coveting anything? Am I coveting my lifestyle?
All blessings are from the Lord. I am grateful for my (spouse), my children, my home, my career.
All abundance is from you, Lord. You are the source of all blessings and abundance. Forgive me for dishonoring you by wanting anything outside of your will for me. God, you are a good God – an abundant God. You have a desire to bless me more than I do! I release my time; I release my money so you can make open space in my life. I want to receive your abundance and blessing! Your will be done. Make open spaces in my life.
All this happens through the cross and the blood of Jesus Christ.
I worship Jesus at the Laver in the Courtyard of the Tabernacle.
THE HOLY PLACE
I open the curtain and walk into the Holy Place. There I see the candlesticks, symbolic of the Holy Spirit, the sevenfold Spirit of God: wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear of the Lord, holiness.
Holy Spirit, I welcome a deeper more intimate relationship with you today. Through your anointing give me your wisdom. Help me to solve all the problems I face through your wisdom.
Give me your understanding so that I may understand the deep truths of God, and I may live those truths and pass them on to my children.
Give me counsel so that I will follow your narrow path. If it pleases you, allow me to advise others how to solve their problems.
Give me tremendous might so that I might be used by you to heal the hearts and lives of others and defeat the devil. You are the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Holy Spirit, increase my knowledge of the Bible. Give me a keen fear of the Lord so that I walk very softly before you and not commit any sin. Give me holiness though your presence, O Lord!
Holy Spirit you are a person, not a genie. The Father worked in the forefront during the Old Testament and Jesus worked in the New; I live in the Age of the Holy Spirit.
I don’t want to catch quail with my bare hands. I want your wind to blow the quail into my camp. I want to depend on you, Holy Spirit, not my own strength.
You are a Holy Person with a will and emotions. Forgive me for treating you impersonally. You should be welcomed, loved, caressed, adored, worshipped. You are my senior partner. You are my Lord. I depend upon you. Let’s go Holy Spirit. Thank you for your anointing. Let’s work together. I will follow you.
THE TABLE OF SHOWBREAD
The Showbread is the symbol of the Word of God.
Thank you for your Logos word and your Rhema word. Thank you for the written word and the inspired Word of God. All the 7,000+ promises of God are written in the scriptures. The Logos written word is potentially mine. Rhema is inspired word made alive in my heart today for a specific application.
Give me Lord, your specific word – your Rhema Word – for my life today. Give me this day my daily bread. I must wait on you, Lord, today – if I want to get your inspired Word.
Knowledge can become a kind of false faith. I want true faith from you today, Lord! Operating on knowledge alone can be disobeying you. I want to obey you in all things today.
Naming and claiming promises my finger lands on in scripture is a dangerous business. Waiting on you, Lord, for Rhema is the way of the mature disciple.
Jesus, you spoke of this truth when you said: Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the MOUTH of God. (Matt. 4:4)
THE ALTAR OF INCENSE
Father, you are omnipotent. You can do anything and I will believe you. Give me perfect faith in Jesus Christ.
I CHOOSE by exercising my free will today. I choose to believe YOU! I reject fear and doubt. I will never choose either of them.
I trust you. I trust your Word. I trust you, Holy Spirit. You are always with me. You will never leave me or forsake me. John 14:20 says, you are in me! That’s where you live. Make yourself very real to me today! (When you come to this place pause for a few moments to simply praise God, singing in the Spirit or praying as the Lord leads you.)
John 14:20 At that time [when that day comes] you will know [for yourselves] that I am in My Father, and you [are] in Me, and I [am] in you.
John 14:21 The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]
THE HOLY OF HOLIES – ARK OF THE COVENANT
I enter with faith and confidence into the Holy of Holies. I see the blood of Jesus Christ sprinkled on the Mercy seat. It is finished! All my debts have been paid off – paid in full. I am free, free from bondage to sin of any kind.
Through the Blood I have the impartation of the righteousness of Jesus Christ! I am God’s righteousness in Christ. I come into the presence of God without feeling any condemnation because of what Christ has already accomplished for me.
The blood is the answer – it is the final solution for me.
I praise you, Father, for the wonderful, incredible blessing of righteousness imparted to me, your servant, through your Son, Jesus Christ.
Thank you, Lord, that the devil is my defeated enemy through the Blood of Christ. I will not bow to the fear of the roaring lion. He is bluffing and he is defeated.
The Commandments in the Ark
Christ’s blood annuls the power of the law that would make me work for righteousness. The law is my mirror now, not my master. It helps me to clean my face, my conscience. The law does not condemn me.
Christ is my Lord. His blood is the final, finished work that redeems me. The law shows me how to please God and helps me understand when I have grieved and disobeyed God – but it is not my condemner. The blood has changed that forever for me as a New Testament Christian.
No works, no achievements are required for my salvation: only to believe – only faith in the finished work of the Cross.
Thank you, Father, that the blood of Jesus is my deliverance from sin. The blood is my impartation of Christ’s righteousness. The blood brings freedom from fear of Satan. The blood is my freedom from the law of the Old Testament. The blood is my freedom from human works to achieve right standing with you, O Lord!
Eph 2:8-10 For it is by free grace [God’s unmerited favor] that you are saved through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of your own doing, it is the gift of God; it is not because of works [the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. For we are God’s own workmanship, recreated in Christ Jesus that we may do those good works which God planned beforehand for us, that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
Prayer In The Holy of Holies:
As you are standing in God’s presence begin to pray personal requests. Pray for those closest to you and work out from there.
It is in God’s presence that our hearts have been prepared to have our prayers answered and our petitions heart. Bring them humbly before the Lord with faith and confidence that he hears you and will answer your prayers.