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The Living Sanctuary
June 15, 2008
Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
Iíve been teaching on the Tabernacle of Moses, on how to enter the Holy of Holies and establish Godís presence in your life. I see some churches seeking to light the fires of revival and others seeking to somehow renew their sanctuaries in order to be more inviting. I see people hungering for the living God. It has turned my thoughts to sanctuaries.
What do you think of when you think of a sanctuary? Iíve had different responses-- a turtle, a wildlife habitat, the spa, a quiet place in the woods, a place of beauty and peace, a place to be alone.
Sanctuaries, like all architectural structures, communicate a message, a silent sermon. In 1 Corinthians 4 Paul likens believers to being Godís temple (holy place) with himself as apostle laying the foundation of Jesus Christ and others building on that foundation. He exhorts believers to build with materials like gold, silver, and precious stones rather than wood, hay, and stubble. I have noticed that we seek to dress our sanctuaries, our temples, our tabernacles, with a signature style, clothing them with colors, selecting what will best reflect the character of the soul, as it were, of their inhabitants. We think of what makes us comfortable, but do we think of what makes God comfortable? Do we think of materials that are durable, incorruptible, and reflective of God?
The Holy Spirit calls His own to reflect Jesus in the sanctuary of the soul as He makes for Himself a holy habitation, a temple, a dwelling place where He is comfortable and which glorifies Jesus the King, the Savior, the One true God. Yes, we are to set our hearts and our souls to seek the Lord our God, to arise and build the sanctuary of the Lord God, a house that is to be built to the Name of the Lord. (1 Chronicles 22.19)
The sanctuary. We must yield ourselves unto the Lord and enter this holy place with a desire to serve the Lord (2 Chronicles 30.8). Help and strength come from the sanctuary (Psalm 20.2). In it we see Godís power and glory, His goings, even the goings of God the King (Psalm 63.2, 68.24). In the sanctuary we understand the destiny of the wicked (Psalm 73.17). Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary (Psalm 96.6). In the firmament of His power, in His sanctuary, we are to praise God, lift up our hands, and bless the Covenant Lord (Psalm 134.2, 150.1). Indeed with the psalmist we can say:
Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; who is so great
as our God? (Psalm 77.13)
God makes the place of His feet glorious (Isaiah 60.13), for a glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of the sanctuary (Jeremiah 17.12).
God provided in the old covenant ordinances of divine service and an earthly sanctuary. This earthly sanctuary had an outer court, the holy place, and the Holy of Holies. It was a copy of the true sanctuary/tabernacle in heaven. (Hebrews 9) Everything about it pointed to Christ and to His.
Christ came as High Priest after the order of Melchizedek with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands.
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with
God and the Word was God
Öand the Word became flesh and tabernacled/dwelt among us. (John 1.1, 14)
Jesus Christ with His own blood entered the Most Holy Place of the true tabernacle in heaven, mediating a new covenant, sprinkling and purifying with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of ministry. He entered into heaven itself to appear in the presence of God for us, putting away sin, that which separates us from God, by the sacrifice of Himself, offering Himself for us. (Hebrews 9)
In demonstration of His holiness, God put boundaries on who may enter His holy place, e.g., Ezekiel 44.4-9; Psalm 24.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD?
Or who shall stand in His holy place?
He that hath clean hands and a pure heart;
Who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive the blessings from the LORD,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Jesus Christ is the Way; He is the Gate into the Outer Court. Jesus is the Door inviting one into the holy place, into the place of truth. Jesus is the Veil and the One who rent the Veil that we may enter the Holy of Holies in the heavenly sanctuary and find life. And we, who by faith have been bought with the price of Christís Blood, likewise become the living tabernacle, the temple, the place where God dwells. (1 Corinthians 3.16, 17) We become the living sanctuary.
Are you a place where the Holy Spirit is comfortable; a house of prayer where God communicates with you? A sanctuary and temple of service and ministry to Him? What does your sanctuary say? Can you say with Isaiah 61.10:
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord. My soul shall
be joyful in my God,
for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation.
He has covered me with the robe
of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself
with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Like the Levites, we need the clothing of service, cloths of blue and purple and scarlet, to do service in the holy placeÖholy garments of fine linen to minister in the priestís office (Exodus 35.19, Exodus 39.1, Leviticus 16.32). Being properly dressed helps to give us liberty as we approach God to serve Him, to communicate with Him, to worship Him. Clothed with Christ, we enter the Holy of Holies, the heavenly sanctuary, and beholding Him, we become what we behold. We become the Sanctuary of the Spirit, vessels of ministry.
Because of Christ, those clothed with shame, violence, and pride can throw out the old and receive new garments. We receive garments of praise, fine linen, robes of righteousness, the clothing of salvation, strength, power from on high, a full array of armor. All these and more have we received as God has clothed us with Christ. We can discard anger and put on true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4). We can put on as the elect of God, holy and beloved, tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, forbearing, and forgiveness (Colossians 3). Everywhere we walk we are to speak peace, bless, and look to the welfare of that which is around us.
As a living sanctuary, every believer can make the Holy Spirit more comfortable and most free by allowing a few renovations:
1. Desire and prepare your heart for the fire of repentance, renewal, restoration, and revival. (1 Chronicles 28.10)
2. Consider your ways. (Haggai 1.5-7; Ezekiel 37.26, 44.9; Nehemiah 1)
3. Allow God to bring you in and plant you in the mountain of His inheritance, in His dwelling place, in the sanctuary which His hands have established. (Exodus 15.17)
4. Reverence as a sanctuary yourself (1 Corinthians 6.15-20), your church (Ephesians 2.19-22), Godís people, and Godís heavenly sanctuary to which you now have access by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 8, 9) so as not to defile such or profane Godís holy name. (Leviticus 20.3, 26.2)
5. Earnestly desire to be clothed upon with your house which is from heaven. (2 Corinthians 5.2, 4; Luke 12.28; 1 Peter 1.22)
6. Check and evaluate the condition of the vessels of ministry, offerings, altar, clothes, and all that is involved in the work of the service of the sanctuary. (Exodus 36.3; Numbers 3.31, 4.16, 18.5; 2 Chron. 30.8; Neh. 2, Col. 3)
7. Cleanse the sanctuary through confession, repentance, and the washing of the water of the word. (Ezekiel 45.18; Ephesians 4; Hebrews 9.14; 1 John 1)
8. Determine to BE the tabernacle of God, the sanctuary of the Spirit, the dwelling place of ChristÖhome to the Word, a house of prayer, a vessel of ministry sanctified and holy unto the Lord, a place where the Holy Spirit is comfortable and most free.
9. Pray and agree with God as to the renovations needed in the place where God is worshipped.
10. Yield to the work and to the grace of the Holy Spirit. Yield to the Word, to Christ, to the will of the Father.
Letís give GodÖFather, Son, and Holy SpiritÖone heart, one home, where He is comfortable and most free. Our own. The Word who tabernacled among us now abides within every believer. As Christ dwells in heaven, so also the Spirit of Christ indwells us. Properly dressed, with sin removed, we can enter within the veil through Christ. There, we will hear the heart and voice of God. There we will come to value what He values. Then, we will do whatever He says, go wherever He sends us. He is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.
And to those seeking to light the fires of revival, history tells us: first, certain of Godís people humbled themselves before Him, allowing themselves to be sanctuaries for the Spirit of God; secondly, these men and women prayed under the moving of the Spirit for repentance, return, restoration, and renewal to sweep across an assembly, a city, a land, a nation, an ethnic group; thirdly, God moved when, where, and with whom He chose.
Pastor Jim and I thank you for your continued support of MCM. This month MCM celebrates 15 years of serving Christ. God has blessed and blesses all those who have joined us as we carry the gospel of Christ around the world and across backyard fences. Through Craighouse®, the Barnabas Project, evangelism, home visitation ministry, media ministry, conferences, small group ministry, field trips, world missions, mercy ministries, books, and more, MCM goes ďin His Name, for His glory, by His grace.Ē Thousands of families have been blessed through the Barnabas Project in South Florida. 26 ministries have been given support from MCM tithes. Twenty-eight people have participated in 34 mission trips to 63 nations on all seven continents. Numberless people have been healed, delivered, and saved, and many trained up in spiritual warfare. Look at God!
A team is preparing to go into Israel, Egypt, and Jordan in the Fall. We have the call, the commission, the commandments (our orders), and Godís commitment. More on the call can be found in the prophetic section. We have received about one-half of the funds we need. Please continue your generous support and help us go!
People are being touched by Godís grace, by His gospel. Their lives are being transformed as God heals them, sets them free, and saves them to the uttermost. The Holy Spirit is faithful to minister as the Living Spirit, the living waters, the living fire, the living breath, the Spirit of Life. Craighouse® is a hiding place, a sanctuary where the Holy Spirit is comfortable; and His people there are living sanctuaries in process.
Our new Monday night thing for those overcoming addictions and bondages is growing! The anointing has never been stronger during Friday night worship and time for ministry of the Holy Spirit. Check out www.craighouse.org for details and www.marycraig.org for more Bible teachings.
A living sanctuary,
P.S. Order books from our Catalog section using PayPal. Worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays. Grow and flourish in small group ministry at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. McNab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Log on to www.craighouse.org for a map and more events and Bible studies. Reach MCM at 954-491-7270. Send in your prayer requests. Mary Craig Ministries, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Federal ID 65-0429517.
Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve Him day and night in His temple.
And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.
They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat;
for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will
shepherd them to living fountains of waters.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
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