Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

Journey into the Intimate Presence of God.

 

The final part of the journey was like this.

After moving through the Holy Place in the Tabernacle I looked up and noticed the massive curtain, between where I was and the very intimate presence of God, called the Most Holy Place, had a long tear, wider at the top then the bottom. It obviously had been torn from the top to the bottom. (Matthew 27:51)

There was a very bright light shining through the gap.

I walked very carefully towards the gap in the curtain.

I knew on the other side was the Fire of God, the Shekinah Glory, covering the Almighty Creator, the Lord of All.

Isaiah had a vision in Isaiah chapter 6. “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above were seraphs, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another; “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His Glory.” At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.”

 

I knew of the vision so I was unsure of how to enter.

Then I heard a loud deep, yet loving voice, speak to me! “Alan come in, you are welcome! Come in boldly, My Son Jesus, who is your Saviour, has cleared the way”.

As I entered I was very conscious of the refining Fire of God but also the pure Love of God radiating towards me, a love that filled me with a fantastic sense of acceptance.

Next I was aware of the holiness and sensed my need to take off my shoes as Moses had as he was confronted with the Fire of God, the Shekinah Glory, at the Burning Bush.

So I went through the torn curtain and saw this Massive bright light seated on a high throne, the Shekinah Glory, the Fire of God.

I was about to bow in awe as I remembered my passed fallen nature, but then I realised I have been forgiven and cleansed, (1 John 1:9) and the strong Love I felt gave me confidence to stand.

Seated on The Fathers right hand was Jesus, dressed in white, beard and all, and a large welcoming smile on His face.

On the left side was something that is hard to explain. I knew there was a divine presence there pouring out love and friendship to me, but I could not see anything with my physical eyes. I just knew this was my friend the Holy Spirit.

Then I felt His presence flow inside and fill me yet He was surrounding me. There was no lowering of His external presence.

 

The love I felt was becoming overwhelming and I very nearly collapsed onto the ground, but Jesus said, “Come over and sit next to me!”

Not what I was expecting! Then I remembered, we as Christians are seated with Him in Heavenly Places (Ephesians 2:6). So I went and sat down. Wow, here I was seated in the very place Priests of old could only stand, and then only once per year. All because of what Jesus had achieved on our behalf.

As I settled my excitement I looked and saw massive great Angels standing all around. Thousands and thousands of heavenly bodies were behind them. Some standing and others were flying. All singing “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of His Glory.” The sound was so beautiful, echoing all around. There were other words sung but I cannot remember them all. But it was so beautiful.

 

While all this was happening, they were all standing or flying yet here I was sitting! Then I realised I was just a representative of all Christians still living on earth.

We all have the right, the authority, to sit in the Divine Presence.

 

I so often struggle with doubts and fears here on earth. What a waste of time and effort! I could have boldly entered into this fantastic place at any time. Why would anyone be afraid of this intimate experience?

 

What happened next was really exciting, and brought meaning and a climax to this journey into the Intimate Presence of God.

 

The experiences I saw next were of a personal nature and I am sure all others who enter the Divine Presence will have a different very personal experience.

But what I did hear was Jesus talking to the Father! Jesus was interceding and I was able to join in as The Master Intercessor prayed!

He was interceding out of His heart of compassion, contrition and desperation. His heart that pounded with the sufferings of others as though they were His own! (Idea from “The Lost Art of Intercession”, by James W. Goll.)

 

Here I was at the final destination, the culmination of the series of many lessons, the true reason for our existence, to be Priests in the presence of Christ and dwell in the Love the Heavenly Family has towards all people and to me as a representative.

To be invited right into the Fire of God for total renewal and provision.

It really was a time of Intimate fellowship and Intercession.

It is a Journey worth the effort.

 

For every individual the finish of his or her Journey will be different.

But we all need to travel the Journey.

 

But what is this journey? How does it start? What do we learn on the way?

 

Some may go straight there in a vision like Isaiah, but they will be aware of all that Jesus did for them to reach that intimate time.

 

However what is more important, the Journey or the Destination?

In the case of this article it is the Destination and all that unfolds there, for the Destination is the Fire of God with the Presence of the Most Holy Triune God and joining in Intercession with Jesus.

But the Journey and the lessons we learn on the way are also important.

 

A friend of mine said,”Life is a journey only if each day is also a destination of its own.

With that in mind the Journey we are about to take is a series of destinations we must stop at and learn from.

 

With all journeys we need to do some preparation.

We will start with the preparation of the man called Moses. We find him in the desert and the Almighty God confronts him.

First he sees the Shekinah of God, the Fire of God, in the Burning bush that was burning but not consumed.

As he is confronted with the Fire and Holiness of God, the voice says from the Bush, “take off your sandals you’re on Holy Ground.”

Finally God Himself, the great IAM, confronts him.

 

Moses is given the overwhelming task of leading God’s People out of Egypt into The Promised Land.

Moses has gone through a vigorous training over 80 years and although he still feels inadequate, we know from that experience he has been adequately prepared.

 

The provisions for the Journey must also be prepared.

The Egyptians provided these provisions!

The very people who had held them in slavery for 430 years became so desperate to see them go that they lavishly gave them items of gold and bronze, precious jewelry and all manner of animal skins etc. Items they would need in their journey in the wilderness.

The reasons for the Egyptians generosity are the plagues in Exodus chapters 7 to 12, showing the Supreme Power and Holiness of The Great I AM.

 

Next God’s People needed to be prepared.

This is the sad part; they had to learn there was a cost to their fulfilling their Journey. They had to learn they were a sinful bunch and the covering of this sin required a sacrifice.

Looking back, we can see that for us, the cost has been paid and the sin blotted out through the life and death of Jesus.

 

As it is the final Destination that I want to focus on, I will not detail all the trials and failures the Israelites went through.

 

All through our Journey we need to be conscious of God’s leading and presence.

And God’s people had this in the form of the Shekinah Glory. The same Shekinah Glory that Moses saw at the Burning Bush. Now this Shekinah Glory was to lead them in the wilderness, as a Cloud during the day and as a Fire at night.

 

After the miraculous passing through the Red Sea, God’s people arrived at Mount Sinai where the Shekinah Glory descended in the middle of thunder, lightening and thick cloud, Ex. 19:16-18 and 20:18-21.

This is possibly the greatest event in the Old Testament when The Almighty God wanted to meet personally with His people, and also perhaps the saddest event in the Old Testament because they became afraid and pulled back. Was it because of the outward experience of thunder and lightening or because they knew if they got too close they would die?

Probably a bit of both, but Moses said, “do not be afraid, God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning” (Ex. 20:20).

God wanted to meet with them in His Presence of Fire to transform them, not with a physical death but a redeeming spiritual renewal.

They were afraid of the Fire of God.

Lesson for us = do not be afraid of the Fire!

 

Later the Israelites failed the 40-day test!

The fear of God should have made them bow down to Him, but they backed off and when Moses did not appear after 40 days they turned from God and made their own golden calf showing the contamination of Egypt was still present.

The gold that was to be used for a most Holy expression was contaminated by their rebellion, their sinfulness.

 

They failed their preparation for the Journey.

But God still made a limited way, via the Tabernacle.

The Tabernacle in the Wilderness was built for the express purpose of creating a dwelling for the Almighty God.

All the requirements for this building would have been provided by the Egyptians and carried by the Israelites fro Egypt to the desert.

 

It was a special meeting place between The Almighty God and the children of Israel.

 

This is where we leave their journey and start our own journey into the Intimate Presence of God!

 

As Pastor Cho prays during “Praying the Temple Prayer”, 

It was You who commanded Moses to build the tabernacle in the wilderness. Lord, You dwelt there and met your people there. The Israelites only worshipped You in that tabernacle. The Tabernacle illustrates Your pattern of worship. It holds the sequence to draw close to You!”

 

So I am using this pattern for this Journey into the Intimate Presence of God and the Fire of God

Each step on the journey is a step of deeper levels of Holiness and the stricter the requirements.

Different writers give the items in the Tabernacle different meanings, so as we pass through on our individual journeys we may encounter differing experiences.

The following is my journey.

 

The Tabernacle was a portable tent surrounded by a 150 x 75 x 7-foot high fence.

 

It was only accessible though a single gate at the western end of the fence.

Inside the fence the Tabernacle proper was toward the eastern end of the enclosure. Between the Gate and the Tabernacle were a Brazen Altar and a Golden Laver.

The portable Tent of the Tabernacle was divided into two, the Holy Place and Holy of Holies.

 

For anyone to take the journey into the very Presence of God one needs to pass through the Gate in the Fence, past the Brazen Altar, Brass Laver, then into the Holy Place and finally into the Holy of Holies.

 

In the wilderness it was only the children of Israel were able to enter the Gate.

It does not matter how many times one went around the fence, there was only one gate.

Likewise it does not matter how many arguments one may put forward there is only one way into the Presence of The Almighty God, through Jesus Christ the Son of God.

 

On our Journey, only those who come via Jesus can enter. John 10:9 “...I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved.”

John 14:6 "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Psalm 100:4 – “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”

 

The Journey that once was impossible for ordinary people is now made available to all who are willing to start with Jesus.

 

So what is the Journey through the Tabernacle like?

 

Once through the gate one is confronted with the stench of burning flesh and the sight of blood being shed.

It is a stark reminder of the suffering of Christ, the shedding of His Blood for us on the Cross.

 

It was the Brazen Altar where lambs were killed to cover the sins of the people.

A reminder it was Jesus, the Lamb without blemish, who died for our Sin.

He experienced Shame, Separation and Suffering for us.

The cost of our sin was paid at Calvary.

Fortunately we can move on, knowing our sin is forgiven and we are free.

 

Next one comes to the Brazen Laver where the bloodied priests washed their hands and feet before going on into the Tabernacle itself.

 

The altar points to the death of Jesus, and the laver points to the life of Jesus. Blood speaks of a life taken and water speaks of life given. For us the water in the laver speaks of Jesus, the living Word of God that enters us and gives us eternal life. Jesus said that we are clean because of His Word and that the knowledge of God that comes through His Word is eternal life

 

Being cleansed at the laver, the priests could enter the Holy Place, the first room in the tent of the tabernacle. In the Holy Place were three pieces of furniture: the golden Lampstand, the table of showbread and the golden altar of incense.

 

The Golden Lampstand is the only source of light in the Holy Place with its 7 lamps. It is made of solid Gold and decorated with golden almonds and flowers. Each lamp is kept filled with pure olive oil, which represents The Holy Spirit.

The Gold represents the Holiness of God.

Pastor Cho during “Praying the Temple Prayer” points to the Golden Lampstand as the 7 lamps represent the Holy Spirit.  The seven-fold Spirit of God: wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear of the Lord and holiness. 

(Isaiah 11:2-3)

Following this idea in our journey we need to stop and contemplate the Person of The Holy Spirit and all He means to us.

We need to have an intimate relationship with Him and to seek His full Anointing upon our lives that we might receive from Him wisdom to face all the problems in our lives. Understanding that we might understand all the Truths of His Word.

Counsel to enable us to follow His paths for our lives and to guide others.

Might to enable us to be used to heal the sick and caste out evil.

Knowledge of the entire Bible and to have a keen Fear of the Lord at all times.

Resulting in pure Holiness through His presence in or lives.

This is the portion of our journey to learn and experience the reality of our need of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

 

Next in the dimly light area is the Table of Shewbread. A table of Acacia wood is overlaid with pure Gold.

On the Table are 12 loaves of bread, renewed every Sabbath, representing the 12 tribes of Israel. They were baked with the finest flour,

For us as Christians they represent Jesus is the Living Bread. John 6:48. “I am the bread of life”.

They represent our Relationship with Jesus.

Broken to eat, broken for us to take into our very beings, broken to nourish, broken to become a part of us, for our spiritual growth and development.

This is His Body broken for us to eat and for us to remember Him.

Also bread for us to share with others.

Bread to be multiplied and to feed the multitudes.

So we can carry His very Presence into the community we live in.

Showing His Love, His concern, His Healing Presence. John 15.

This is also the part of our journey when we seek to hear His specific Rhema for our lives. Where we learn that we do not live by Bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4).

 

The third item in this Holy Place is the Altar of Incense.

The Priests would refill this special mixture of incense morning and night so there was a continual sweet smelling smoke flowing up at all times.

The sweet smell would permeate outside reminding all those offering sacrifices, of prayers continually being carried up to the Almighty God.

Prayers making a sweet savour to God and represent the continuing intercession of our High Priest, Jesus, being made on our behalf.

 

Here we stop and voice our own praise and worship to our Father, for we are also called to be priests ministering to Him.

 

Passing through this Holy Place we grow a deeper desire for the very Presence of God and to bring others into His Presence.

It is in His Presence that His Love for the world is manifest.

To be just in His Presence and receiving the bountiful Love He has for His Creation.

 It is in His Presence that we find and experience our full significance and realise the depths of His Fatherly Love for us.

 

Before we make the way through the Veil to the Holy of Holies I want to make another trip through the Tabernacle.

Taking the following thoughts from James W Goll’s book “The Lost Art of Intercession” we see the items of the Tabernacle as God’s prophetic Church timetable.

 

The Reformation showed the truths shown at the brazen altar and the requirement of a blood sacrifice and justification, not by works, but by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ.

The Holiness Movement that brought cleansing and sanctification is portrayed at the brazen laver.

The Pentecostal outpouring and restoration of the Gifts of The Spirit is shown at the golden lampstand. The Holy Spirit, is highlighted by the 7 candlesticks and gold.

The Charismatic movement across the whole Body of Christ is shown as the loaves of bread, God’s Bread being Jesus Who was broken for us on The Cross.

Finally in the Holy Place is the Altar of Incense portraying the present movement of Prayer and Worship! Here we see the function of prayer and worship creating a sweet aroma rising heavenward. It is also coming closest to the Most Holy Place and the very heart of The Father.

 

Progressing with this line of thought, the next stage for the Church, on the other side of the torn veil, could be the whole church of kings and priests ministering directly to our Father in the Most Holy Place.

I am sure this will take place but when Isaiah had his vision, he first of all saw and heard the worship of the seraphs, and then he was confronted with the Holiness of God, his own sinfulness and the cleansing from the fire on the Altar.

We have all been waiting for the Fire of God to fall and I think it when we, as the Bride of Christ, finally pass through the Veil, torn open at the crucifiction, this is when we will be confronted with the Shekinah Glory of God, the Fire of God.

Then we will be purified, sanctified and empowered.

From this new state we will combine with out Saviour, High Priest and Chief Intercessor, Jesus, to Intercede for all of God’s lost creation.

Empowered by the Holy Spirit the renewed Church will be the true light that confronts the growing evil in these last days.

There will be great signs and wonders as the purified, sanctified and empowered Church moves out into the streets, away from the walls of buildings, witnessing and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom.

 

Revival will come, but only as we the Church, are confronted with the Fire of God in the Holy of Holies.

 

Again I realise the destination will be experienced in many individual ways.

 

My personal experience was like this.

I was seated with Jesus and I heard Jesus pleading to the Father for the very things I had been asking for, Jesus was really concerned and the Father was listening!

Then Jesus went through all my family one by one, pleading for things I did not know about but I recognised, as being things each individual would be facing.

As Jesus prayed, I agreed with Him. I followed praying as Jesus prayed.

Some times I could not keep up or I could not hear properly so I prayed along in tongues.

Then Jesus prayed for my Church, Pastors and their families, various outreaches and some individuals with special needs.

His prayers went on through the country of New Zealand, the Maori outreaches in various parts of our land, the Healing Rooms spreading to all parts and other prayer groups scattered to all areas especially different ethnic groups witnessing to their own people.

Then His prayers went to the Land of Israel, those Lands who were blessing Israel and also to those opposing Israel.

Special mention was Iran one of the main opponents of Israel. Here the tone changed, Jesus was praying a special prayer for the people and He spoke that judgment would come on the leaders! (Jeremiah 49:34-39).

It really was a strange experience hearing the concern Jesus had for all those different people.

Oh yes, I heard Jesus go through various indigenous people throughout the world.

 

The North American Indians and all their suffering though the years and other people groups going through years of suffering. He especially asked that the Father hear the cry of spilt blood, crying from the ground.

At this time I noticed that areas of past suffering were now areas where many were coming to know Christ and Iran was one of them!

Then of special interest to me was the blessings to come to the Maori people, areas where many had come to Jesus many years before, and then persecution and a turning away.

Restoration was on its way! Praise the Lord!

Wow, what a time!

 

The final question is, “Will we be afraid of the Fire?”

NO!

For the Fire of God will be seen as a Fire of Love!

Because, God is Love.

 

Now we have come this far we realise this not the final destination.

For our journey in the Eternal will never end!