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The Beauty of Holiness: Worshiping in Spirit and Truth

by Cindy Wallace on August 17, 2020

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that I will seek after:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.”
(Psalm 27:4)

In our study of the lessons pictured in the tabernacle we’re painting with a broad brush.  In reality, there are so many intricate details—beautiful details that point to Christ.  Everything from the kinds of materials used right down to the actual designs and colors that decorated the tabernacle inside and out were representations that pointed the Israelites to Christ—His divinity, His humanity, His life, his work, his suffering, His death…everything.  The purpose of this blog is to lay a foundation for gaining understanding about life in Christ.

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance.” (John 10:10)  That “life in abundance” Jesus came to give is found in the Holy Place.  Are you ready to enter in?  Are you willing to enter in?  You’re able by the blood of Christ.  Will you go all the way into a life of holiness, a life set apart for the glory of God?  Will you worship the Lord adorned in the beauty and splendor of His holiness?

*Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness
Worship the Lord in purity
We have joy and perfect rest
Clothed in His righteousness
Holy is He and holy we should be

Ours is the God of salvation
Faith and grace He imparts
We are called to a life separated
That springs from within a new heart
So as we wait for His coming
Like Him we would be
A servant to all, we will show them the way
Until His face we see

**Let the Beauty of Jesus be seen in me
All His wonderful passion and purity
O Thou Spirit Divine, all my being refine
Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.

Jesus taught us about the beauty of holiness in His conversation with the woman at the well. Once she perceived that He was no ordinary Jewish man, her question immediately turned to the subject of worship. “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” (John 4:20)  In His reply, Jesus revealed that the physical location of worship was not the issue.  He was leading her into a new revelation that true worship takes place in the spiritual, not the physical.

“Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father…But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.  God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24)

Looking at the Tabernacle, specifically the Holy Place, we discover the place of “spirit and truth.”

As we enter the Holy Place our attention is first drawn to the light glowing from the Golden Candlestick.  The candlestick had a single stick in the middle with three branches on each side.  Christ, represented by the center stick, is our source of light.   We, the branches, extend from Him and have our being in Him.  Just as the light of the lamps drew attention to the glory of the candlestick, so our light is to draw attention to the glory of Christ.  And just as the lamps on the Golden Candlestick required a continual flow of pure oil to keep them burning, so our lives require the continual filling of the Holy Spirit for our work and witness to bring glory to our Father in heaven.

Not only did the glow of the lamps draw attention to the glory of the candlestick, it enabled the priests to worship and serve intelligently because the Golden Candlestick directly cast its light across the room to the Table of Bread.  By “worship and serve intelligently” I mean the glow from the candlestick allowed the priests to see what they were doing so they knew how to perform their priestly service.  Without it they were unable to carry on their work.  What does that say about the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we serve God?  The prophet Zechariah received this word for Zerubbabel:  “ ‘Not by strength or by might, but by My spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.”  The hymn writer said it this way, “All is vain unless the Spirit of the Holy One comes down.”

The Golden Candlestick teaches us about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  The Holy Spirit indwells us; that means He lives in us continually just like the oil that flowed to keep the candles lit.  And just as light from the Candlestick shined on the Table of Bread, so the Holy Spirit illumines God’s Word and guides us into all truth so that we may worship and serve with understanding.  Without the Holy Spirit opening our eyes to see the truth of God’s Word we will never know or understand God, His purposes or His plans.  Sometimes the word for “Bread” is translated “showbread” which literally means “the bread of faces.”  It was also called, “the bread of the presence.”

“I am the bread of life…I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever.  The bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” (John 6:47-51)

Jesus promised two things as the Bread of Life:  satisfaction and fellowship

Satisfaction when He said, “I am the bread of life, no one who comes to Me will ever by hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever by thirsty again.” (John 6:35)  We’ve all heard bold promises made by TV advertisers, but no one has ever made as bold a promise as Jesus made when he said, No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry again…EVER!  That’s satisfaction!

Jesus also promised fellowship when He said, “The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood lives in Me, and I in him.” (John 6:56)  There is no closer fellowship than Christ in You and you in Christ, and it comes through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as we partake of the Word of God (which according to the first chapter of the book of John IS Jesus Christ).  Through the ministry of the Spirit and the Word of Christ we grow into maturity with a stature measured by the fullness of Christ. (Eph. 4:13)  Yes, even spiritually you are what you eat.  Do you now understand the term, “Bread of the Presence”?  Jesus, the Bread of Life is alive in us, ever present with us, and completely satisfying to us.  That’s the abundant life. That’s the life of one who worships in spirit and truth.  That's the beauty of holiness.

*The Beauty of Holiness by Cindy Wallace
(c) Copyright 1989 by Cindy Wallace
**The Beauty of Jesus by T.M. Jones


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