GATES, CURTAINS AND DOORS:
Steps to Entering into the Fullness of God’s Presence
There were 3 curtains in the Tabernacle:
- Entrance to the Outer Court
- Entrance to the Inner Court / Holy Place
- Entrance to the Holy of Holies
Could this represent 3 major types of believers? Or our going through 3 different steps in our faith walk?
- Christians saved by Grace (Outer Court)
- Disciples desiring greater intimacy with the Lord
- Those who have gone in and are familiar with the Secret Place
KELLY VARNER: 3 levels of Christian maturity based on the 3 entrances to the Tabernacle:
There were 3 different lights:
- Outer Court – Natural Light (sun)
- Inner Court – Holy Spirit Light (Golden Lampstand)
- Holy of Holies – Light of God (Shekinah Light)
Doors, gates and veils mark or delineate a separation. There is a process that has to be done so we can enter in. We also don’t go in unless we are first invited.
The entrance to the Outer Gate is always open. Everyone is welcomed to enter in. Many go in and out and actually never experience true salvation (though some may think they do). If one says he/she is saved but there is no actual change in their lives, they may not be. Many come in through the Outer Gate, get caught up in the praise and thanksgiving. They may even “dance” with us, but when they face the Altar of Sacrifice, they leave. The Lord wants and calls for a change in all of us. We must allow ourselves to be changed, be transformed.
- We must be teachable.
- We must be moldable.
No matter where we are, we must allow the Lord to probe us, we must learn to let go. There is a preparation process and we must allow ourselves to be prepared.
The Bride must make herself ready. Revelation 19:7
No matter where we are in our walk with the Lord, we always have the freedom of choice. We can choose now how far we go with God. As we submit ourselves at the Altar of Sacrifice, and decide to go no farther, we are saved. Our salvation is not jeopardized if we choose to go no further. At the Altar of Sacrifice we ALL are saved. No question. But….the Lord is wooing us closer! All of this is available to us, right here, right now. All of God is available to us….right here, right now. We don’t have to wait until we die and go to heaven to have the ability to experience the fullness of God’s Presence.
The Tabernacle is a “portal” into God. Into God’s Presence. I challenge you right now: How much of God do you want? Right here, right now? You don’t have to wait until you die to meet with the Great I AM. You can meet the LORD even now. Even here. But in order to do this, we have to allow ourselves to be molded, transformed. We may have to let go of some things. In fact, we have to let go of EVERYTHING.
Sh’ma: “Here oh Israel, the Lord your God is One. You must love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, with ALL your mind, and with ALL your soul”.
All of God is available to all of us. But we have to choose. In the Old Testament, in the Tanakh, only the priests were allowed to go further into God. But at the sacrificial death of Jesus, the veil had been ripped. We all now have the capability of our entering in, both Jew & Gentile, both man & woman. No matter who we are, how old or young we are, no matter where we came from or what we did in the past. We all now can go in. Through the Blood of Jesus, we all now have free access to God:
- ALL of us can have dreams and visions.
- ALL of us can have incredible encounters with God.
- ALL of us can see the angelic.
- ALL of us can “do the stuff”:
- Preach the Gospel
- Heal the sick
- Cast out demons
- Raise the dead
In fact, we are commanded to do this in Mark 16:15-18. This is not for a special “few”, who have been “anointed” to do this. This is for all of us. We all are commanded to do this. But I know that I am incapable of doing any of this in my own flesh. In fact, I can’t do any of that without the “power”, or the anointing of God. So….where do we get this? How much do we want to be obedient to God? How much of God do we want? We have to want it. We have to want God so badly that we’re willing to lay our “stuff” down, lay everything down to follow after Him. We have to lay it all down, lay down:
- Our preconceived ideas
- Our assumptions
- Our pride
- Our theology
- The way we identify ourselves
- Our careers, our jobs
- Even our loved ones.
Like the question Jesus asked Simon Peter 3 times: “Do you LOVE Me?”, this question is asked of us. How much do we love God? How much of God do we want? Are we willing to go through the doors, curtains and veils in order to get to God? Do we want God more than any of this? What’s holding us back?
- Fear – of the unknown, of our being identified as “slightly off”, or “crazy”?
- Desire – for that what the world has to offer?
- Familiarity – for that what is comfortable?
All 3 doors are available to us. We can go through them at any time and at any season in our lives. We can choose to linger in the Outer Court until we die, or we could go into the Inner Chamber. Or we can go all the way into the Holy of Holies. We can also go in and come out at will, at any time or any season.These doors get smaller, narrower as we pass through. It gets tighter, a tight fit going through these doors. We can’t take our “stuff” with us as we enter in.
The Blood from the Sacrificial Lamb had to be carried through every door, brought into all 3 places:
- Outer Court at the Altar of Sacrifice
- Inner Chamber / Holy Place
- Holy of Holies
The Lamb was slaughtered and offered up on the Altar of Sacrifice in the Outer Court.
ALTAR OF SACRIFICE
Everyone had to slaughter the Lamb; everyone had to receive the Blood. There were no exceptions. If you entered the Outer Gate, you had to be redeemed, bought back from the slavery of sin into the Kingdom of God. We all have to accept what Jesus did on the Cross for each one of us, or we are not part of the Kingdom of God. We have to receive Jesus’ offered Blood on the Cross for our redemption or we are not truly redeemed. We are not truly the children of God.
Everyone has to come here for salvation. There is no question. You can’t go any further unless you take and appropriate the Sacrificial Lamb of God to yourself. As in the days of the Tanakh, everyone has to come here, at least once. They were required to come here at least once a year.
Everyone can enter into the Outer Court. Everyone can enjoy the Presence of God if they are willing. But they are not truly part of God’s Kingdom – they are not saved from eternal death and hell unless they first receive the Blood of the Lamb. Once they we accept and receive what Jesus had done for them on the Cross then and only then are their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. We all have to first ask for, and then receive the Blood of Christ as our redemption. No one is unwillingly redeemed.
The is still Outer Court, we haven’t yet gone into the Holy Place. But not all go to this place. We are drawn to the Cleansing, but not all hear the call or respond to it. This is a Priestly Place, a place available only to those who long for and are willing to go deeper into God. This is a place of preparation for those who want to go into the Inner Chamber and minister to God. This is a place of humility, a place where pride and the flesh are killed. Being cleansed, allowing ourselves to be cleansed is a humbling place. It’s a place where pride and independence have to die. This is a place of preparation to enter through the Narrow Door.
In order to enter into this place we have to see ourselves differently. We have to let go of our ordinariness and see ourselves as part of the Royal Priesthood. We must begin to identify ourselves as a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS.
- Kings & priests look different.
- Kings & priests act different
- Kings & priest see different.
- Kings & priests dress different.
Have you ever met someone and you’ve noticed change in the way they carry themselves from before? They could have spent some time in the Inner Chamber. They carry themselves with a greater authority, a greater assurance. They know who they are in Christ and no one in this world can label them differently. They start to see themselves and identify themselves through God’s eyes. You know it’s not fleshly pride; there is some sort of an assurance about them.
Not everyone is willing to submit to this. Many come, but when they see what it costs to have the ability to enter into the Holy Place, they may walk away. Some people come and come and come and keep coming, only to leave at a certain time. But they keep coming back. Eventually they will finally come to a place of yieldedness so they too can enter in.
We who have gone in must not discourage those. Even if the stink of their flesh offends us. We are called to LOVE THEM!!
INNER CHAMBER / HOLY PLACE
When we enter here, we mistakenly think that finally we’ve finally arrived! But in actuality, we haven’t. This is only the 2nd step, still only an outer room.
The Blood of the Sacrificial Lamb is brought here not once but twice a day. The priest brings the Blood and pours it twice daily on the Altar of Incense: the place of Worship and Intercession. Both worship and intercession are ministries that never “glorify” us. They totally glorify the Lord. Just as the Inner Chamber is a place where no one can see what’s going on, the ministries of worship and intercession are not seen nor acknowledged in most churches.
Every other ministry is totally Outer Court ministry:
- Raising the Dead.
The ministries of worship and intercession are not valued because they are hidden: eyes off us and eyes onto God. There is nothing about us. It’s all about God. Others shouldn’t and can’t see us when we’re here doing this. No pride and the world doesn’t value this. This is why we must go through the Preparation Process. We must yield to the cleansing, the stripping off, the purging and the “redressing”, the whole re-identification process. None of the worship and the Intercession can be properly done without the cleansing and redressing process.
We must also be filled with Holy Spirit, the Light of God. We cannot see the LIGHT when our eyes are covered with dirty lenses. We cannot properly nourish our spiritual bodies if are filled with the “junk food” of this world. We have to go in clean, re-identified and dressed in Kingdom Garments.
And….we have to go in hungry.
Have you ever noticed after you spent a season of fasting that there is an increased hunger for more of God? Our spirits are sharpened and cleansed; our awareness of our need for God is greatly increased. The Inner Chamber is not “junk food” Christianity. This is not a “shake it & bake it” place where we just go for the thrills and chills and then go home. We cannot enter into this place unrepentant and stinking of the world & our flesh. This is not a place of pride, a place to be noticed. We have to experience death, know death, and even embrace death: death to our flesh, to our ideas of who we think we are, and allow ourselves to be re-identified with Christ.
This is a place where we have to be ok with our not being noticed. No one needs to know we are here…..except GOD!
But this is also a place of incredible anointing and incredible authority in the Kingdom-realm. This is where the Lord wants us to be. HE notices we are here and all of this pleases the Lord. Wouldn’t you rather be famous in God’s eyes than in man’s eyes?
HOLY OF HOLIES
Again the Blood of the Lamb is brought here, poured out on the Mercy Seat. But it is done here only once a year, on the Day of Atonement – Yom Kippur. This is also only done by the High Priest.
- This is a special place.
- This is a unique place.
Only a very few have truly been able to enter into this place. Also, they are not who you think they are. Most likely they were never known as famous prophets, apostles or evangelists or pastors or teachers. These people may have humble women who spend their lives pouring out in prayer and intercession. They may have experienced translations and miracles that are so beyond our comprehension that others could call them “crazy” or a little “off”.
I have to confess that I’ve not yet been here yet, though I want to. I can’t teach on that what I have yet to know or experience. But this is a place where we can aim for.
Are you willing to enter into the Holy of Holies? Are you willing to go in to the fullness of God and all that He has for you? There is only one way in, there is only one process to enter in. We cannot and must not bypass any other place in the Tabernacle so we can meet with the GREAT I AM. This is a journey into the Presence of God. We cannot skip any step.