THE WAY INTO GOD’S TABERNACLE
Although the terms used in the Gospel of John are deep and profound, Christians have lowered the significance of these terms because of the way they commonly use them. For example, in John 14:6 the Lord Jesus says, “I am the way.” A number of Christian speakers have given messages on Christ as the way, emphasizing that He is the way to deal with persons and matters in our daily life. Some of these messages point out that if you do not know how to deal with your husband or wife, Christ is the way. Do you want to know how to discipline your children? Christ is the way. Do you want to know how to get along with others at work? Christ is the way. Not only have I heard messages like this, but in the past I also gave messages saying that Christ is the way to take care of various matters in our daily life. But I have come to realize that this understanding of the Lord’s word in John 14:6 is too low. In this verse the Lord is not saying that He is the way for us to deal with our husband or wife or with our children. Rather, He is the way for us to enter into God through Christ as the offerings. How profound this is! How can we enter into God’s tabernacle? Christ is the way. How can we have the forgiveness of sins and deal with indwelling sin, that we may participate in the enjoyment of God? Christ is the way.
It is common for Christians to say that Christ is the way for us to go to heaven. According to this understanding of John 14:6, the Lord Jesus is saying that apart from Him there is no way to heaven. But this understanding is far from adequate. Here the Lord Jesus is not saying that He is the way for sinners to go to heaven. Instead, He is telling us that He is the way for us, God’s creatures who have been redeemed by His blood, to enter into God. How marvelous that Christ is the way for us to enter into God and also to dwell in God! He is the way for us to take God as our dwelling, and He is also the way for us to become God’s dwelling. How profound this is!
A WELL AND A MOUNTAIN
I can testify that I appreciate very much the messages on John 4 in this series on the fulfillment of the tabernacle and offerings in the writings of John. When we were on chapter four, we saw the two traditional signs in John 4: Jacob’s well and Mount Gerizim. Jacob’s well signifies that nothing traditional can satisfy the thirst in human life. Our thirst can be quenched only by the living Person of Christ. Mount Gerizim signifies mixture in worship. The traditional well cannot satisfy us in our human life, and the traditional mountain cannot satisfy God in the matter of worship. Therefore, in our experience we need to have the living Son of God as the divine gift given to us to satisfy the thirst in our living, and we need the worship of the divine Spirit by our human spirit, with Christ as the reality of the offerings, to satisfy God. If we have both these matters, we shall have a life that is fully satisfied by Christ, and in our church life we shall have a worship that will fully satisfy God. Instead of tradition, we shall have a human life in which we are satisfied and a worship that satisfies the Father. I hope that all the saints will see the significance of the two signs in John 4. What is revealed in chapter five concerning signs is even more profound than what is revealed in chapter four.
We have seen that in John 1 there are six signs: the Word, the tabernacle, the Lamb, the Dove, the stone, and the house of God. In chapter two there are two signs: the changing of water into wine and the raising up of the destroyed temple. These signs indicate the changing of death into life for the purpose of raising up the house of God. These two chapters have laid the foundation for a proper understanding of the remainder of this Gospel.
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 16, by Witness Lee)