The Tabernacle of God Is With Men

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’ Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’ And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.’”

Revelation 21:1-8 NKJV

The day that Jesus returns is the day we will leave this heaven and this earth to enter the new heaven and the new earth.

We are currently waiting for Jesus. He is not slow in His coming as some people think, rather He said He is coming soon. People may not understand these words at present, but those words are for certain. He is coming soon.

Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega. The First and the Last.” His beginning and His end are in accordance. He fulfills everything He planned without the slightest error. He already spoke of all that He planned, hence His words are being fulfilled. His beginning and end agree. They are in agreement. This is possible for Him because He is everlasting.

None of us can say that we are the first and the last. We are always different. Our beginning and end are different. Every day is not like today. Our start and finish do not agree which is why He gives us a new chance to start again and again. I have been noticing every New Year’s day, that my start and finish is never the same. However, with God, He surely fulfils what He said.

It is written that on the day Jesus returns, we will see a new and a new earth. We will see the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven. What does this mean? Finally, the promises of God will be fulfilled. To whom did He first reveal this promise? He formally made an agreement with Abraham. And we confirm that the promise is being fulfilled. In verse 3 it says, “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men’.” When we read this we are reminded of the words God spoke to Moses. In Exodus 29:45, He told Moses to build the tabernacle. For what? So that He may dwell among them. At the sight of this very promise made to Moses being fulfilled, the people shout and the angels shout. God’s tabernacle is with men! It is marvellous.

It is not just a tent pitched on the earth, but the true reality will be revealed. So the tabernacle of God is with men. Thus, that which was promised to Moses is fulfilled. And all the people are in awe of it.

After that it says, “And He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.” When you hear this, who else comes to your mind? We go further back and see that the promise made to Abraham is fulfilled. “I will be with them, and they will be My people.” This is the fulfillment of a promise already made by God to Abraham in Genesis 17:8.

And what does He do by being with them? He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. They will never happen again. Finally, a time of happiness will begin and we will be with God.

For this, if we want to gain this, we are told to overcome it. Thus verse 7 says, “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” “I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” This is the promise fulfilled in Jesus Christ in the New Testament times. What was first promised to Abraham, and that which was given as a covenant to Moses was fulfilled when God sent His Son. When we see the New Jerusalem in heaven, this will be completely fulfilled. We will be in awe when we behold that sight – that God is in our midst, dwelling among us, that His tabernacle is in the midst of man and that we are truly the sons of God. The angels will envy us while we behold that glory. Those who fail to enter that glory will be weeping and gnashing their teeth.

This great glory was not originally prepared for man but for God’s Son. If God had prepared all the glory of heaven for man, it probably would not be something so good as this. Do you know? Because man is easy to please. He does not need to give something big to man. People are pleased by simply being taken to a nice restaurant and fed a good meal. You just give them a good-sized apartment and they will not wish for anything more. Just give them a car and they will be happy. People talk about the five blessings. Healthy teeth, long life, children’s prosperity, health and so on. These things will all fade away and yet people are happy with just that. But when the devil showed Jesus all the splendor of the world and told Him to worship him, Jesus was not satisfied by them even slightly. He was not happy with what was offered to Him.

Hence, it is impossible to make the Son of God happy with the things of the earth, whatever it might be. So if heaven was made by God to please His Son, if the Almighty God used all His angels to make that heaven, what kind of place would heaven be? We think the universe is vast, but compared to heaven, the universe is nothing but a tiny dot. Heaven is a place of spectacular glory.

On this earth, there are so many various kinds and species of animals that still many animals are yet to be discovered. In the deep sea are many organisms which humans have never seen. They are in the deepest depths of the sea where sunlight does not even penetrate. We might think that those organisms are probably not even worth looking at since they cannot be seen anyway. Yet, there are truly marvelous and wonderful creatures living there, some of which emit light themselves. In the deep forest are beautiful flowers which have never been seen by the human eyes. Some flowers are said to bloom once every thousands of years. Those flowers are not even seen by humans and they bloom and fall somewhere on earth. We might think they are useless. But why are they there? They are so diverse. The Bible says that all these are shadows.

In heaven, how diverse and colorful will it be? People mistakenly assume that heaven is a clear and invisible world where spirits just float around. But in heaven, our lives will be more defined and there will be greater diversity. Even though we think there is a diverse species of animals on earth, heaven is filled with angels adorned with designs humans have never ever imagined. If there are let’s say, hundreds of thousands of animal species, the angels in heaven will be much more diverse and fill heaven like the clouds. They fill heaven like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. So how spectacular and marvellous will that glory be! An astonishing world that man can never possibly imagine is waiting there.

If you watch baseball on TV it is not as exciting as is it. But when you go to the game in person, it is a cathartic feeling just being there. And when your team hits a home run, there is great excitement as the crowds all stand and cheer. Also when people all dressed in red gathered in front of the City Hall to watch the soccer game and cheer for Korea, the atmosphere was incredible.

The angels densely fill heaven and a countless number of saints will surround Jesus and cry out, “Holy! Holy!” On that day the excitement and awe will be overwhelmingly great. That was prepared for Jesus and we are being allowed to partake in His glory.

Indeed we have received this happiness as a bonus. It is for this hope that we fervently lead our faith life right now because we are going to partake in that glory.

To partake in that glory is our greatest happiness but there is something even greater. Let’s turn to Ephesians 1. Ephesians 1:11-12.

“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.”

Here it says that we obtained an inheritance being predestined according to His purpose. We obtained an inheritance. Some translations say we became the inheritance. But here it says we obtained an inheritance.

We received an inheritance in Jesus. As I said before, we became the inheritance. We have not only obtained it but become the inheritance in Him.

We ourselves are the inheritance. God gave His Son everything beautiful and glorious. But which of them would please Jesus and glorify Him above all? That is why the angels were made in heaven. If the angels did not exist, Jesus would be all alone in that vast heaven, so how can be glorified? The Blue House might be a great place, but if the president is there all by himself, what fun is that? The president is honoured there because there are people that attend to him. So what was said about the angels? They were called glorious angels. Angels of glory. If you carefully read the Bible, the words glory and angel always accompany each other. For example, “When He comes in His Father’s glory with His angels” or “when He comes with His glorious angels.” When Moses finished putting up the tabernacle, God’s glory filled it and who was there? The angel of Jehovah.

So angels bring glory to God. They are the ones who glorify God. Who managed all the glorious things that God was going to inherit to His Son? It was an angel. The angel did. Of course, God planned and prepared everything, but the angels are the ones who specifically participated in building everything and bringing glory to Him.

So the angels are the ones who possess enough glory to glorify God. But would Jesus be satisfied by those angels? In Genesis 2, God spoke to Adam saying that He will provide him with a helper because it did not seem good that he was alone. So God brought the animals to him one after another. Can you imagine how lonely Adam would’ve been in Eden? When Adam saw the animals in front of him, let’s say he saw a dog, he could have said, “I won’t be bored anymore. Thank You!” and lived with those animals. These days many people say that a dog is better than a husband. So some people get divorced and live with a dog instead. They no longer call them pets. Pets are what people have for their enjoyment like a hobby. But nowadays they call them companions. Companion animals. This is as if God said, “I will make a companion for Adam.” Perhaps he could’ve said of the dog, “This is my beloved one,” but he was not content with the dog. Though all other animals were brought to him, a dragon, a chicken, a sheep and a donkey, they could not satisfy him at all.

However, when he saw the one made from his own bone and flesh, he was satisfied and said, “The flesh of my flesh and bone of my bones.” He probably shed blood when the bone was taken out of him. He chose the one that was made from his own bone and flesh, for whom he shed blood. It is possible that the woman was not as appealing in appearance as some of the animals. However, because she was taken from Adam’s own blood and flesh, he was satisfied with her and came to love her above all.

In this way, although God created all the angels in heaven for Jesus, what is there for Him to look at and rejoice over? Would He say, “Ah this is the inheritance God gave me?” Would He speak of the angels, “You are My companion?” They might minister to Him and serve Him, but they cannot be the inheritance that will take place in His heart eternally. But when He looks upon the souls who have been purchased with God’s blood and fed with His flesh, Jesus says, “These are My inheritance.” He says of them, “These are My truly beloved ones whom God gave Me.”

So we get to share in the inheritance with Jesus Christ, but moreover, we ourselves are the inheritance that God gave Jesus Christ. Just as He said, “I will not lose any of the ones the Father gave me. I will raise them on the last day,” we will ultimately become Jesus’ inheritance and live in heaven as the eternally loved ones of Jesus.

We are more than just beings who want to share the glory with Jesus in heaven, for we are the ones who please Him and receive His love. Hence it says “Hephzibah and Beulah,” which means ‘you are my beloved wife,’ ‘you are my joy.’ These words are used in the moment of utmost joy by a man and a woman who are in love. Jesus regards us as His joy. In the Book of Song of Songs expresses the joy that a man experiences on account of his beloved wife. That is what will be fulfilled.

Similarly, He loved us so that He prepared heaven for us so that we could partake in His glory. But not only that, Jesus regards us as the ones He is most pleased with.

If we receive such love, it is obvious as to what we should do on the earth and how we should live. God knew this in advance and promised Abraham about it. In fact, He knew of this from the eternity past and promised about it. Surely God fulfils what He plans. Jesus will return and that day will come upon us soon.

So we do not have to go somewhere and wait for Him there; we just do our best where we are. It is written that for some it will be the day, for some it will be night and for some it will be morning when that day arrives. Thus, some will be asleep, others might be in the field working, and still others grinding a mill when the Lord returns.

Truly the blessing promised to Abraham is this fulfilled and after that is not the end, but rather the beginning. In regard to that day when this begins, the Bible does not speak much about it. He is leaving it to us to imagine about it. We can have unlimited expectations about it. These things are hidden. Only the beginning is mentioned slightly, but truly the life that will open up on that day is beyond man’s imagination no matter how much we were to exaggerate or even make up, for the glory that awaits us is beyond fathomable. We need to be filled with the faith of looking unto that heaven, for then we will be able to keep doing our work on earth, even if it is not recognized by others. One of the hardest things, especially in the church, is when you did all the work but somebody else gets the credit. It can be disappointing.

But how come we can bear and overcome all those things? Actually, that is a good thing that people do not acknowledge us on earth. Our reward is getting stored up in heaven one by one. This happened to me quite often. I do all the work, I do all the planning, yet in the end, somebody else receives the credit for it or recognition for the achievement. It can be disappointing, but I do not feel that way. I do not try to clarify the situation but instead feel joyful about it, knowing that my reward is being stored up in heaven. It is better that the truth is hidden. Whenever such things happen, I wonder why I am so blessed. Why does my work get hidden? I feel joyful. Rather than getting all the credit on earth, it is getting stored up in heaven for later. So when your work is unnoticed, do not get upset about it. Rather, rejoice and look forward to the greater glory in heaven.

So we would be able to pray like this. Lord, help us that we can work on the earth but our work be hidden. Help us to overcome when my work does get hidden. Furthermore, let us be completely hidden. All of our works get hidden and only its fruits be evident beautifully.

Let us pray that we can have hope in heaven.

Father God, thank You for letting us set our hopes in heaven. Let us always be happy with the heavenly happiness, joyful with the heavenly joy and use the heavenly power on earth. May the many hardships we encounter on earth become nothing to us compared to the glory of heaven. Help us to open up our hearts wide and have a big heart to be those of the same scale and possess the great glory of heaven. Thank You God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sermon by Pastor Ki-Taek Lee
The Director of Sungrak Mission Center
Sermon on January 8, 2013
Translated by Sungrak Mission Center English Team