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 (Manna 18)
Enlarge The Place of Thy Tent
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            “Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thy habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; for thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the tell; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles and make the desolate cities to be inhabited” (Is 54:2-3).

When the Israelites left Egypt and came to the wilderness, God commanded Moses to make 1-lini a tabernacle so that He might dwell among them. This marked the beginning of the tabernacle of God (Ex 25: 1-9). The tabernacle was also known as the tent of meeting (Ex 40:34), the place of worship of the Israelites.

Alter the Israelites entered the promised land, Canaan, King David led the people to gather materials for the building of God’s temple. However, King David did not build the temple. I us son. Solomon, spent seven years building the temple of God (I Chron 29:1-5; 1 Kgs 6:1, 23). When Solomon dedicated the temple to the Lord the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord, signifying that God was pleased with the dedication (I Kgs -11, 63).

This glorious temple was burnt down by the Babylonians later on because the kings, the priests, and the people went against God and so God allowed the Babylonians to set foot on the holy land and destroy the people. The remnant were taken captives into Babylon (2 Chron 36: 14-21). After seventy years of captivity, the prophecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled. God inspired Cyrus, king of Persia, to issue a decree allowing the Israelites to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple on the old site (2 Chron 36:22-23; Ezra 3:1-3).

The temple prefigures the church. The church is called “the true tabernacle” (Heb 8:1-2, 5) and “the holy temple of the Lord” (Eph -22). The construction, destruction and rebuilding of the temple in the Old Testament foreshadows of the development of the church in the New Testament. The true church established by the apostles through the Holy Spirit deteriorated after the death of the apostles (Rev 2 and 3). The church became corrupt. The Romans took over the church. Martin Luther tried to restore the fallen church but failed. It was not the time. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven (Eccl 3:1). But now the time has come. The downpour of the Holy Spirit of the latter rain started in the east. God is rebuilding His Church (Amos ; Joel , 28-32; Rev 7:2-8; Is 2:2-3).

All God’s children should return to Jerusalem, the true church (Gal ). and respond to Isaiah’s call to enlarge the tabernacle to all parts of the world (Ezra 1:3).

The word of the Lord said to Zerubbabel, “Not by might, nor by power, hut by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zech 4:6). By the Spirit of God the Israelites were able to accomplish the rebuilding of the physical temple. The spiritual temple set up by the apostles was also by the help of the Holy Spirit. Today. when we preach the gospel, set up the tabernacle of God in all parts of the world, we have also to rely on the Holy Spirit (Ac 1:8; Phil ).

On the day of Pentecost the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter preached a sermon and 3.000 people repented. believed and were baptized. Many of them then offered their entire possessions to the church (Ac 2:1-12, 37-47).

Peter, John and others, filled with the Holy Spirit, were not afraid of the threats of the authorities. They continued to testify for the Lord (Ac 4:8-20).

The Lord wrought many miracles through the hands of the apostles and those who were moved to believe were added to the fold daily (Ac -16).

Philip. the evangelist, healed many who were demon possessed and baptized even more unto the Lord (8:4-13). The Lord also directed him to meet an Ethiopian eunuch and through him the gospel was brought to Africa (-39).

While at Paphos Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, chided Elymas the sorcerer who was trying to obstruct Sergius Paulus, deputy of the county. from believing the word of God. The sorcerer became blind immediately. When the deputy saw what happened he believed (13:1-12).

The Lord said. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I am in him; the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without me ye can do nothing” (Jn 15:5). The apostles were able to do things beyond human capability because they had the presence of the Lord. To enlarge the tabernacle, we need spiritual power. We must with one accord pray for this power.


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