TABERNACLED AMONG US
The tent of meeting brings God to the earth. God is no longer in the heavens; He is here in the tent of meeting. Christ enlarged as the tent of meeting brings God to the earth. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:1, 14). The word “dwelt” in Greek means “tabernacled.” The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. He as the Word was God, and one day this Word became flesh to tabernacle among us and bring God from heaven to earth in the tent of meeting. Today God is in the tent of meeting. This is clearly seen in 1 Corinthians 14 where people coming into the tent of meeting of the local church say “that God is among you indeed” (v. 25, ASV). God today is in the tent of meeting, and this tent of meeting is just Christ enlarged. Christ enlarged brings God to the earth.
CHRIST AS THE OFFERINGS
But this is only one part. Christ is not only the tent of meeting; He is also all the offerings. He is the tabernacle, and He is also all the offerings. The tabernacle brings God to man, and the offerings bring man to God. This is not one-way traffic, but coming and going in two ways. Christ comes as the tabernacle, and Christ goes as the offering. Christ comes to us with God, and Christ goes back to God with us. In other words, by His coming He brings God to us, and by His going He brings us to God.
We are sinful, but Christ as the tabernacle has brought God to us. We also need Christ as the offerings to bring us to God. The shekinah glory of God is in the tent of meeting, but how can we approach it? We need the offerings. Christ as the offerings brings us to God.
As the tabernacle, Christ is the means by which God is joined to us. However, the tabernacle cannot be mingled with us, but only joined to us. But Christ as the offerings can be mingled with us. All the offerings are to be eaten and assimilated by us. By assimilation, the food is mingled with us. The offerings are so that Christ can be mingled with us. By this we have more subjective experiences of Christ. Christ is not merely joined to us, but mingled and blended with us. He said in John 6:57, “he who eats Me shall also live because of Me.” We become what we eat. After eating a chicken, the chicken becomes a part of us. In Leviticus, nearly all the offerings are good for eating. Whatever we offer to God is God’s food as well as our food. This is the way that Christ brings us to God.
A PRESENT TO GOD
God is now in the tent of meeting, but we need to present Christ as all the offerings that we may contact God. The word “offer” according to Darby’s New Translation should be “present.” We need to present Christ to God as all kinds of presents. Christ as the offering is a kind of present to God. We need to present to God the burnt offering present, the meal offering present, the peace offering present, the sin offering present, and the trespass offering present.
However, if we are going to present something, we must first possess it. We must pay the price and get whatever we need in a proper way. This is our problem. Many times we come to the meetings without any present for God. This is why we need to labor on Christ all the day long in order to have some good produce. Then we can bring something to present to God as a present. It is not that God is demanding something from us. He only desires that we would give Him a present of Christ. If we are only fulfilling a demand, it is not so pleasing, but if we offer a present, how sweet and pleasant it is to God. God has no requirements for us in the tent of meeting. He only wants us to present Him with something of Christ. Christ is the only present that God desires.
Today God is seeking the true worshippers who worship Him in spirit and in reality (John 4:24). Christ is the reality of all the presents that we must present to Him. Therefore, we must feed on Christ all the time. We must eat Him in order to have Him mingled with us. Then we are one with Christ, and He becomes the very present that we present to God. This will satisfy God and it will also satisfy us. Then we will see the richness and the fullness of the tent of meeting. This is exactly what the church life in the meetings should be like.
(Christ as the Reality, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)