The Sacrifices and the Tabernacle of David

     In the Friday eve. Mar. 10,2000 prayer meeting we discussed the number and type of sacrifices that were offered as preparation for establishing the Ark on Mt. Zion and the Presence of God there. We saw that there was no sin offering but the whole burnt offering and the peace offerings were the named offerings. This led to our discussion on New Covenant sacrifices and how these animal sacrifices are just a type and shadow of the reality. We concluded that without sacrifice there can be no manifested Presence. This leads us to one of the great problems of the modern church. The prosperity teachers have set sacrifice as the means of being blest and of receiving more and more so that sacrifice is the means to greater abundance. In other words sacrifice doesn’t cost anything but pays off as God returns to you for your faithfulness.
     2 SAM 6:13] And so it was, that when the bearers of the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling.
      2 SAM 6:17] So they brought in the ark of the LORD and set it in its place inside the tent which David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
     David said 2 SAM 24:24] However, the king said to Araunah, "No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.
     Sacrifice that returns more than what was given is not a sacrifice but an investment. Too much of our message is related to investment rather than sacrifice and too much is related to prosperity and money. The message of investing into the Kingdom or the church or into various ministries uses as bait the thought of return on investment. God will bless you so much that giving will not cost you anything but will be your means of getting more, so you can sow more.
     Sacrifice that returns nothing but is a great loss to the giver is not a popular theme today. However, the “sacrifice” of the Old Covenant is in reality a type and shadow of the reality of the New Covenant. In the “whole burnt offering” the sacrifice was a total loss to the giver. He could expect nothing back because it was a sacrifice that was completely burned up.
     PSA 51:16] For Thou dost not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; Thou art not pleased with burnt offering. [17] The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.
     PS 50:7 "Hear, O My people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you; I am God, your God. [8] "I do not reprove you for your sacrifices, And your burnt offerings are continually before Me. [9] "I shall take no young bull out of your house, Nor male goats out of your folds. [10] "For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills. [11] "I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine. [12] "If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all it contains. [13] "Shall I eat the flesh of bulls, Or drink the blood of male goats? [14] "Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High; [15] And call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me."
     These prophetic Psalms are looking forward to the reality of the true sacrifice. Under the Old Covenant a dozen sacrifices could be offered, but the one who offered them would not be changed in his own personal life. Either outwardly or inwardly. Several Psalms gives us insight into what God was after “in” the sacrifice but could not be provided “by” the sacrifice.
     The total loss connected to the “whole burnt offering” in the New Covenant is a complete sacrifice of our “self” to God. That refers to every aspect and characteristic of “self” given to God as a sacrifice that cannot be retrieved. If you “SOW SELF” as a sacrifice you don’t get back more “SELF”. Sowing seed is quite different that sowing sacrifice even though some try to make it the same thing. In sacrifice you don’t expect to get anything back. To sow flesh, to get back more flesh, is counter productive.
     To more clearly understand “sacrifice” and the “whole burnt offering” it is necessary to see that each of us has an inward life and each of us has an outward life. When we begin, “the inward life” is nearly all flesh and is manifested as “SELF”.
     It is in this “self” that we experience a great diversity of weaknesses, defects, sins, distress, conflicts with others and resistance to God. If out of the heart the mouth speaks then what is of the “self” comes out of the mouth. This is quite evident in all of us. We may acknowledge it as “flesh” but it is the manifestation of “self”. Self is the engine that drives the flesh. Now, even though our sins are forgiven and we have received a new nature and our spirit is alive and anointed with the Holy Spirit, the “prime mover” of our life is still “SELF”. This “self” has great power even to split churches and destroy ministries. “Self” can destroy building projects and short circuit the outreach ministries and cause the whole church function to come to a stand still. Is it any wonder that God’s first project is to crucify this “inward life of self”?.
     Even though “self” refuses to acknowledge her [or his] innumerable frailties or even try to understand her [or his] wretchedness, there is still a deep cry from within the “new man” for radical change. This is the ‘beginning’ of another process where God attempts to wean us away from the babyhood of “self” and to rebuild a new inward man in the likeness of Jesus Christ.
     It is in this process that we need all the “POWER” that was promised that would accompany the infilling of the Holy Spirit. The reason is that flesh cannot cast out flesh and self cannot crucify self. A lot of confusion about spiritual growth could be avoided if we just understood that “growth” involves the crucifixion of the “self life” rather that a new teaching about spiritual things. Someone who is 100% self-centered can learn all the doctrines about spiritual life but still be controlled by the “self life”.
     Another great problem is that because of God’s eternal purpose He will not infringe upon our self-will or “free will”. Unless we discover our wretchedness and bankruptcy we will continue in our “Christian life” from a total self-centered viewpoint and not cry out to God for deliverance.
     The great problem is how to convince “self” to sacrifice itself upon the altar of God. This “sacrifice” is the whole burnt offering. Perhaps we can see at this point why the peace offering was offered with the whole burnt offering. There can be no continuing peace with God as long as the self life is on the throne of our hearts and insists upon ruling.
     If we related the “Restoration or rebuilding of the Tabernacle of David” to the restoration or rebuilding the inward life of man for the “dwelling of the Presence and Glory of God” we could understand why this “self life” must be offered as a whole burnt offering to God. It is the “SELF” that is the enemy of the new inward life that must become one with God. Because “self” is full of “self pity” and it’s overwhelming desire is to preserve “self” it sets out to preserve “self” at all costs. The “self directed” soul will always be at odds with the “spirit directed soul”. “SELF” is primarily interested in “self” and therefore turns everything inward upon itself.
     God’s dealings are directed to decrease the influence of “SELF” and reduce “SELF” to ashes. This is NOT a destruction of “the soul” but of the “SELF” that controls the soul. The “soul” cannot have “A CLEAR [SINGLE] EYE” as long as self is in control. LUKE 11:34] "The lamp of your body is your eye; when your eye is clear [focused], your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness.    
     Without the predominance of “self”, the soul can be more neutral or submitted to the new spirit of man. If the new spirit of man is anointed and under the influence of the Holy Spirit it will have at least some input into the soul. From this small beginning a whole new process begins. As long as self is the king and dictator of the soul very little progress can be made in the inward life.
     At this stage of the Christian life, when self is still king, even though the “inward life” is real it has such a tiny influence that the person is still referred to as a babe or carnal. When “self-will” is the ruler and power of our life we are helpless to function in the spiritual realm. Self always has “good ideas” and a “better way” but they will generally be at odds with the Spirit of God. The self-willed “prophet” or self-driven “apostle” is as carnal as a new believer.
     The conclusion we come to is that “self” is not easily converted and exercises as much control as is permitted it until the personal cross deals severely with it. Self is not “converted so that it may remain” but the “conversion” is to ashes as a sacrifice to God. The cross becomes it’s altar. The way we can recognize “the strength of self” is that self always tries to take center stage and force everything to revolve around itself. The sacrificing of self “to self” is a common mistake. Until the sacrifice is wholly to God and to nothing else it will not be fatally dealt with. This is probably why we see so many slow and drawn out “conversions”. Self just makes it’s consecration to “itself” and for it’s own benefit but uses the name of Jesus in the process. “Self” then is confident and can testify that it has made the consecration offering so now “self” can enter into the Holy Place life and ministry. “Self” can testify that it has consecrated itself so many times and nothing has happened so why should “I” do it one more time?
     The “sacrifice of self” requires many trials, sufferings, fire, the removal of fat etc. But the result of saving “self” is the loss of all things spiritual. If we save our “life” [self] we will surely lose it.
     Seeking “a deeper walk with the Lord” while nurturing the self life is a common mistake. The final journey in the wilderness is to weaken and finally crucify the self life. To come to the edge of Canaan and say we think we should send in spies to check out the land of promise was a fatal mistake. However, we do exactly the same thing. “The WE think” is generally against the revealed will of God. “The Promise” can only be entered on the other side of the desert wilderness. The wilderness is the place God has designed for us to lose our “self-sufficiency” and come into 100% reliance upon God for everything.
     When we can approach the borders of the Kingdom and without thought for our personal benefit and expecting nothing but to be in obedience to God, we may pass over. Even if God appears to be light-years away and we may feel insecure about our way, we press on in faith knowing the will of God. It is at the border that our true discipleship is revealed and our true commitment to Christ as King is tested. Jericho is easier when the commitment is fresh but Ai is lost in the confidence of victory.  
     In the doctrine of the “third dimension of grace” we could say the deliverance from Egypt is first dimension. The wilderness journey is the second dimension of grace and Canaan is the third dimension. The third dimension contains the promise. Naming and claiming the promise in the wilderness is a waste of time. Also the “promise” is preceded with battles of obedience and submission to God’s word. It is self that robs us of the promise even though we may blame the devil. It was “SELF” that caused the defeat at Ai. “SELF” lusted after the Babylonian garment right in the midst of victory. “SELF” cannot be trusted. But we can always hear it cry out “WHY, Oh God have You treated us like this?”
     In my own experience I can say that “the cross” has always been experienced with great confusion, uncertainty, bitterness and a sense that I did everything right but now I am suffering for it. I expect that if that was not the case it would not be “the cross”. It is these kind of reactions that reveal the self life and the need for the cross. But for the soul to be released, the “self life” must be crucified. Waiting for “self” to commit suicide will be a long wait.  
     In these times of confusion if we call for the Urim and Thummin the culprit will be revealed. Urim = Light and Thummin = Perfection. The light to come to perfection. It seems that the Urim and Thummin must be called for continually because so many imperfections persist. It is when we are sure that the defects of the inward person has been severely dealt with and crucified that they seem to reappear even more ugly than before. Temper, hasty words, questionable actions and reactions, rebellious thoughts, irresponsible conduct, and I will get even attitudes seem to rise up out of nowhere.
     Practicing Christian character seems to elude us simply because “SELF” was acting out something that was a lie. Since the new inward man was too weak to act, the “SELF” acts in hypocrisy. It is little wonder that the church is a hospital for sick and wounded souls. One sick soul can wound a hundred others and the pew “beds” are full of helpless cases. Even though the sick soul {“SELF”} may not act out of voluntary meanness and may not be conscious of defects, the wounds are still real in the victims. Everybody who does not “consent” to the crucifying process will remain the rest of their life under the “possession of SELF”.
     When we are in the “process of crucifixion” we will see our defects constantly, temptations will be ever present, ugliness, wretchedness and spiritual poverty will be like plagues upon us. Then God’s little helpers will come to criticize, complain, rebuke, speak of the defects, ridicule and conclude that you have lost the anointing.
     God is working His purpose out and you are actually gaining ground if you can survive. It is always good to consider the alternative of living under the Pharaoh of “SELF” the rest of your life. The plagues are meant for the Egyptians and not for the new inward man. Once in a while we hear a testimony of God crushing the self life in one giant blow but I have not seen the reality of that in 30 years. It always seems to be a process. To find a soul that is suffering these “corrections” with calmness and faith and understanding is very rare. Few can really be comforted during this time because they don’t believe anyone really understands and they think these fiery trials are unique to only them. They feel that all these things that are happening are undeserved and they are being singled out for suffering. God must be angry with them or just picking on them. Few can see these things as eternal blessings.
     It is those who once loved the Lord and wanted His best and desired to go on in the high calling that now seem to be waiting on God who has disappeared. He at one time considered himself mature with a strong inner life but now has seen the inward life crumble and disappear. That is because “the strong inner life” was rooted in self-will and self-confidence. When the “SELF” is exposed the “inward life” seems to disappear. To resist God at this point will delay the process but to cry out to God to stop will mean slavery to “self” and an ongoing bondage.
     Even true consecration must be tested by the hand of God upon us. Thank God it is His hand and not the enemy. Our confidence must be that God knows exactly what He is doing.    
      ISA 28:23 Give ear and hear my voice, Listen and hear my words. [24] Does the farmer plow continually to plant seed? Does he continually turn and harrow the ground? [25] Does he not level its surface, And sow dill and scatter cummin, And plant wheat in rows, Barley in its place, and rye within its area?
     ISA 28:26] For his God instructs and teaches him properly. [27] For dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge, Nor is the cartwheel driven over cummin; But dill is beaten out with a rod, and cummin with a club. [28] Grain for bread is crushed, Indeed, he does not continue to thresh it forever. Because the wheel of his cart and his horses eventually damage it, He does not thresh it longer. [29] This also comes from the LORD of hosts, Who has made His counsel wonderful and His wisdom great.
     This crushing, threshing and beating will not continue one second longer than is absolutely necessary to prepare us for God’s Eternal Purpose. When the plow of God runs up your back it will not continue forever. As soon as the fallow ground is broken up and the soil can receive the seed of the Kingdom the plowing and harrowing will stop. God in His infinite wisdom knows exactly how to bring forth fruit from a “self filled” life. If we want to be part of the Lord’s harvest we must endure the preparation. However, once the crop comes to maturity we can look forward to the threshing before the firstfruits can be brought into His barns. The confusion comes when the wheel of His cart and His horses hoofs travel up our back during the harvest.
     RO 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
     1PE 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; [13] but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation. [14] If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
     ACTS 14:22] strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God."
     Even though the self-centered seem to be happy and prosper and live in victory, at the revelation of Christ and His glory all things will be revealed.  Why else will it be necessary for Him to wipe away every tear from the eyes of those in heaven? They may discover what they could have had through their cross! By preserving their self life they lost eternal blessings. Even though they have escaped Hell they find that heaven is a big place.