(We) have come to Mount Zion...
"How lovely are Thy dwelling places, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God...
How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee."
"How blessed is the one whom Thou dost choose, and bring near to Thee,
To dwell in Thy courts.
We will be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house,
Thy holy temple."
"Let us go into His dwelling place;
Let us worship at His footstool.
Arise, O Lord, to Thy resting place;
Thou and the ark of Thy strength.
Let Thy priest be clothed with righteousness;
And let Thy godly ones sing for joy...
For the Lord has chosen Zion;
He has desired it for His habitation.
This is My resting place forever;
Here I will dwell for I have desired it.
I will abundantly bless her provision;
I will satisfy her needed with bread.
Her priests also I will clothe with salvation;
And her godly ones will sing aloud for joy."
Psalm 132:7-9, 13-16
Ponder these Scriptures:
"God in her palaces has made Himself known as a stronghold."
"One thing I have asked from the Lord, that shall I seek;
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty (Lit. delightfulness) of the Lord,
And to meditate (Lit. inquire) in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle (or shelter);
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me;
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices of shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes I will sing praises to the Lord."
"The righteous man will sprout like the palm tree,
He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Planted in the house of the Lord,
They will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still yield fruit in old age;
They shall be full of sap and very green,
To declare (or show forth) that the Lord is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him."
"How great is Thy goodness,
Which Thou hast stored for those who fear Thee,
Which Thou hast wrought for those who take refuge in Thee,
Before the sons of men!
Thou dost hide them in the secret place of Thy presence from the conspiracies of man;
Thou dost keep them secretly in a shelter (or pavilion) from the strife of tongues."
Psalm 31:19, 20
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, 'My refuge and my fortress,
My God in whom I trust!'
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper,
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and a bulwark...
You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.
For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place.
No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent (or dwelling).
For He will give His angels charge concerning you,
To guard you in all your ways.
They will bear you up in their hands,
Lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and cobra,
The young lion and the serpent (or dragon) you will trample down.
Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him,
I will set him securely on high because he has known My name.
He will call upon Me, and I will answer him,
I will be with him in trouble (or distress);
I will rescue him, and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And cause him to feast his eyes on My salvation."
Psalm 91:1-4, 8-16
The Perfect Protocol
"Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And His faithfulness to all generations."
Psalm 100:4, 5
"To Thee I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And call upon the name of the Lord...
Oh may it be in the presence of all His people,
In the courts of the Lord's house,
In the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!"
"Praise the Lord!
Praise the name of the Lord;
Praise Him, O servants of the Lord,
You who stand in the house of the Lord,
In the courts of the house of our God!"
Psalm 135:1, 2
"Behold, bless the Lord, all servants of the Lord,
Who serve (Lit. stand) by night in in the house of the Lord!
Lift up your hand to the sanctuary,
And bless the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion,
He who made heaven and earth."
The Perfect Apparel
"Worship the Lord in holy attire (or the splendor of holiness);
Tremble before Him all the earth.
Say among the nations,
'The Lord reigns...
He will judge the people with equity.'"
Psalm 96:9, 10
"I will rejoice greatly in the Lord,
My soul will exult in My God;
For He has clothed me with garments of salvation,
He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness..."
"Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts."
"For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ Jesus have clothed yourselves with Christ... And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise."
"...that in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old man... and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth."
"...put on the new self (lit. man) who is being renovated to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him..."
"Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature (or there is a new creation); the old things have passed away, behold new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ..."
2 Corinthians 5:17, 18
"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they might have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gate to the city."
"...we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven; inasmuch as we, having put it on, shall not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed, but to be clothed, in order that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge (or down payment.)"
2 Corinthians 4:18, 5:1-5
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, 'Behold the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell (or tabernacle) among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them... the first things have passed away.' And He who sits on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.' And He said, 'Write, for these words are faithful and true.' And He said to me, 'It is done... He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.'"
Revelation 21:1, 3, 5, 6
Remember "Appointed Times, a Closer Look"?
"...once more in a little while..."
He is restoring things to His plan and purpose in creation.
"'...Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and also the dry land. And I will shake all the nations, and the Desire of all nations will come with the wealth of all nations; and I will fill this house with glory,' says the Lord of hosts... 'The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former... and in this place I shall give peace...'"
Haggai 2:7, 9
And remember God's purpose for bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt?
"...And they shall know that I am the Lord their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them; I am the Lord their God."
"Listen to Me... all the remnant of the house of Israel...
Remember this and be assured;
Recall it to mind...
Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, 'My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure';
Calling a bird of prey from the east,
The man of His purpose from a far country.
Truly, I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass.
I have planned it, I will do it...
I bring near My righteousness, it is not far off;
And My salvation will not delay,
And I will grant salvation in Zion,
And My glory for Israel."
Isaiah 46:3, 4, 8-13
"O Lord, Thou art my God;
I will exalt Thee, I will give thanks to Thy name;
For Thou hast worked wonders,
Plans formed long ago with perfect faithfulness."
"Therefore, holy brethren, partaker of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High priest of our confession, being faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.
Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end."
"...the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God..."
"He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature..."
"And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse; and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He wages war..."
"The beast that you saw... and the ten horns... these will wage war against the Lamb and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful."
Revelation 17:8, 12, 14
"It is a trustworthy statement:
For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him;
If we endure, we shall also reign with Him;
If we shall deny Him, He also will deny us.
If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot not deny Himself."
2 Timothy 2:11-14
God Builds an Enduring House for the Faithful
"But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and My soul; and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed forever."
1 Samuel 2:35
"I have found David a man after My own heart who will do all My wills... David... served the the purpose of God in his own generation..."
Acts 13:22, 36
"Then David the king went in and sat before the Lord, and he said, 'Who am I, O Lord God and what is my house that Thou hast brought me this far... For Thou hast spoken also of the house of Thy servant concerning the distant future... For the sake of Thy word and according to Thine own heart, Thou hast done all this greatness to let Thy servant know...
Now therefore, O Lord God, the word that Thou has spoken concerning Thy servant and his house, confirm it forever, and do as Thou hast promised by saying, "The Lord of hosts is God over Israel"; and "May the house of Thy servant David be established before Thee." For Thou, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, hast made a revelation to Thy servant, saying, "I will build you a house..." And now, O Lord God, Thou art God, and Thy words are truth, and Thou has promised (or spoken) this good thing to Thy servant.'"
2 Samuel 7:18-20, 25-28
"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service..."
1 Timothy 1:12
"...the grace that was given to me from God, to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God..."
Consider to whom these letters were sent:
"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the holy ones who are at Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus..."
"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God and Timothy the brother; to the holy ones and faithful brethren..."
Colossians 1, 2
Consider Jesus' words to the churches:
To the Church in Smyrna:
"...Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life..."
To the Church in Pergamum:
"I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith, even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you where Satan dwells."
To the unfaithful:
"...a stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not prepare its heart,
And whose spirit was not faithful to God...
For their heart was not steadfast toward Him,
Nor were they faithful in His covenant."
Psalm 78:8, 37
"So He brought their days to an end in vanity,
And their years in sudden terror."
"True prayer begins at the heart of God, is made known to the hearts of men, is prayed back to God again and God answers... The will of God is the starting point; we voice it, God does it."
"Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven."
"Father forgive them..."
"Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit."
"Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will but Thine be done."
"...Help us, for You are our God."
"Lord, teach us to pray!"
(Handbook 3, Article 18)
Perfect Prayer and the Furnishings of the Tabernacle
"These are the appointed things of the dwelling place, the dwelling place of the testimony, as they were appointed according to the command of Moses, for the service of the Levites..."
The Holy of Holies:
The Ark of the Covenant
"And they shall construct an ark of acacia wood... And you shall overlay it with pure gold inside and out... And you shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give you..."
Exodus 25:10, 11, 16
The Mercy Seat and the Cherubim
"And you shall make a mercy seat of pure gold... And... two cherubim of gold, and make them of hammered work from the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub at one end and one cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at its two ends. And the cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and their faces to one another; the faces of the cherubim are to be toward the mercy seat.
And you shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony which I shall give you. And there I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel."
"And there I will meet with you... I will speak to you..."
"...when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say not of this creation... through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all having obtained eternal redemption."
Hebrews 9:11, 12
"Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God... one who has been tempted in all things, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in the time of need."
"And you shall make a veil of blue and purple and scarlet and fine twisted lines; it shall be made with cherubim, the work of a skillful workman... And you shall put up the veil... and bring in the ark of the testimony there within the veil, and the veil shall separate for you between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies."
Exodus 26:31, 33
"Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water."
The Holy Place:
"And you shall make a table of acacia wood... overlaid with gold rings for holders to carry the table. And you shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before Me at all times."
"Then you shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand and its base and its shaft are to be made of hammered work; its cups, it bulbs and its flowers shall be of one piece with it. And its branches shall go out from the sides... six branches going out. Then you shall make its lamps seven in number, and they shall raise up its lamps to shed light on the space in front of it."
"...I am the first and the last, the living One... and the seven lampstands are the seven churches."
Revelation 1:17, 18, 20;
"And you shall charge the sons of Israel, that they bring you clear oil of beaten olives for the light, to make a lamp to burn continually..."
"The kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were foolish, and five of them were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps... while the bridegroom was delaying..."
The Altar of Incense
"...you shall make an altar as a place for burning incense; you shall make it of acacia wood... its horns shall be of one piece with it. And you shall overlay it with gold... And you shall put the altar in front of the veil that is near the ark of the testimony, in front of the mercy seat that is over the ark of the testimony, where I will meet with you."
Exodus 30:1-3, 6
And Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it; he shall burn it every morning when he trims the lamps. And when Aaron trims the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense. There shall be perpetual incense on the altar before the Lord throughout your generations. You shall not offer any strange incense before the Lord on this altar..."
"O Lord, I call upon Thee; hasten to me!
Give ear to my voice when I call to Thee!
May my prayer be counted as incense before Thee;
The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering."
Psalm 141:1, 2
Incense and Perfect Prayer
"...Your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God."
"I looked, a behold a door standing open in heaven... and behold, a throne standing in heaven and One was sitting on the throne."
"And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book... And no one in heaven, or on earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, or look into it. I began to weep... and one of the elders said to me... 'The Root of David, has overcome as to open the book...'
And I saw in the middle of the throne... a Lamb standing, as if slain... And He came, and He took it out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. And When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one... golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints."
"And when He broke the seventh seal, there was silence for about a half hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God; and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him that he might give it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne."
Solomon and the Altar of Incense
His message to King Hiram:
"Behold, I am about to build a house for the name of the Lord my God dedicating it to Him, to burn fragrant incense before Him... And the house which I am about to build will be great, for greater is our God than all the gods. But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens cannot contain Him.
So who am I that I should build a house for Him, except to burn incense (offer up smoke) before Him."
2 Chronicles 2:4-6
"It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer...'"
"...Christ was faithful as a Son over His house, whose house we are..."