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The Everlasting Covenant

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    A People Called Out

    It was to this end that God called His people out of Egypt. They were “called out,” and so they constituted the church of the living God, for the Greek word which is rendered “church,” means literally “called out.” God calls people out from the world, that they may be a “spiritual house, a holy priesthood;” 41 Peter 2:5. and His presence in them makes them “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;” 51 Peter 2:9. and they “show forth” the praises of Him who hath called them out of darkness into His marvelous light, because He who dwells in them shines forth.EVCO 362.1

    That this was the object of God’s calling Israel out of Egypt is seen from His words in Exodus 19:3-6;—EVCO 362.2

    “And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say unto the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people, for all the earth is Mine; and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.”EVCO 362.3

    A Tabernacle Made with Hands.EVCO 363.1

    Yet while they were still encamped before Sinai, the Lord told Moses to direct the children of Israel to bring an offering of gold and silver and brass, acacia wood, and various kinds of skins, and fine linen, etc., and said: “And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” 1Exodus 25:8.EVCO 363.2

    What a strange thing that the Most High God, who dwelleth not in temples made with hands, should ask weak mortals to build Him a house, that He might dwell among them! Why was it?—The answer is plain; they were too high-minded, too self-sufficient, to give place to God, that he might dwell in their bodies, controlling every thought and act; for God dwells with the lowly; therefore since God would not cast them off, He manifested His presence among them in a marked manner, hoping at length to draw them wholly to Himself. If they had believed, they would not have needed this sanctuary, any more than Abraham did. The principal thing in it, and to contain which it was specially built, was the Law—the tables of testimony. But this law the children of Israel ought to have had within them, “written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.” In that case they would have had the witness in themselves; their own bodies would have been tabernacles of witness, and they would have been witnesses for God. As it was, however, the tabernacle of witness” 2Acts 7:44. was that built by Moses. The fact that this testimony was in that tabernacle instead of in them, made it a constant witness against them, a testimony to their unfaithfulness. What a pitiful thing it is when God can dwell among a people only by their building a house for Him!EVCO 363.3

    “Our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.” 1Hebrews 7:14. Yet as already noted, “when Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language, Judah was His sanctuary, and Israel His dominion.” The primary design was that all Israel should be His sanctuary even as now. The confining of the sanctuary service to the tribe of Levi was a standing reminder of the unfaithfulness of the people, which hindered them from receiving the fulness of God; and the raising up of Christ out of the tribe of Judah, was no new thing, but a manifestation of that which had been from the beginning.EVCO 364.1

    From the tabernacle built by hands some valuable lessons are to be learned, for God never directs anything to be done in vain. The jealous care which God has for His dwelling-place was one of the chief lessons, but there were many things that could not be taught by that building, for the simple reason that a dead thing can never show the activity of a living thing.EVCO 364.2

    God’s real dwelling-place moves of itself, impelled by His thought, while this house had to be carried by men. A stream of living water comes from God’s throne (Revelation 22.I) as was shown at Sinai; but nothing of the kind was seen in the tabernacle of Moses. The rightful place of God’s law, as the foundation of His throne, was indicated, and this is a thing which should not be overlooked, for it must be in every heart where God dwells. Jesus said, “Thy law is within My heart.” 2Psalm 40:8.EVCO 364.3

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