Our Journey To True Worship
BY: JACKIE CAPORASO
APRIL 4, 2009
MESSAGE No. 193
A NEW IDENTITY
THE OIL AND THE BREAD
BREAD OF LIFE
RECIPE FOR THIS BREAD
THE SEVEN BRANCH LAMPSTAND
THE WORD IN JOSEPH
THE MYSTERY OF THE LAMPSTANDS
THE ALTAR OF INCENSE
A NEW IDENTITY
“He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” (Rev. 2:17)
When I was thirty years old, the Spirit began to move upon my darkness and I began to question my identity. Certainly I knew who I was in the flesh, but my mind could not wrap itself around the fact that I was part of this unfathomable universe and I began to panic. Who was I and what was my purpose here? I felt that my person was all alone with no direction and I needed to know that I belonged and was very much a part of it all.
It was not long after this experience that I was led to the Bible and to a Sunday School class where I was taught the Book of Hebrews. This was forty-nine years ago but it was then that I recognized my Savior and began to follow Him through my spiritual journey.
Our walk through the Tabernacle brings us step by step to the place where we know Him more and more and in so doing we take on our new identity. Even though, in spirit, we were with Him in the beginning, we find that the reason we were sent to this realm was to pick up our new identity. When John, by the Spirit, wrote of the new name written on a white stone, he was speaking of a new nature. This new nature gives us a “new identity” as a new kind of creation of God in Christ. When we come through our mother’s womb, we receive our earthly identity. We enter a world of darkness. We leave behind the “spirit” identity that we had in Christ before the foundation of the world, and we pick up our earthly “Adamic” identity in a world (mind and soul) that has no light or knowledge of God.
We begin a walk through this life in these bodies (tabernacles) and affirm our earthly identity. It is when we answer the call of the deep that we begin our walk through God’s order, His Tabernacle. It is then that we begin to be renewed in our minds and take on the mind of Christ so that our new identity begins to emerge.
This new identity is not revealed to the world or even to those around us. It is a new identity that no man knows except him who receives it. When God reveals His sons, then the world will see Him fully but not before. This new identity is not like our first identity, nor is it the one we had from our mother’s womb. Although it has components of the two; it is a totally new creation in Christ.
THE OIL AND THE BREAD
When we enter the Holy Place, we find ourselves in a strange room; everything in this place is unfamiliar. This is a place hid from view under layers of goat skins, ram skins dyed red and badger skins, but inside are treasures like we have never seen. These skins represent the slain natures of the Adam man. Among them, is the covering of the Lamb of God who shed His blood for us – the ram skins dyed red. Safely beneath these layers we find the place that He has prepared in order to lead our redeemed souls to the Father and to true worship in spirit and in truth.
Only the priests could enter (Aaron and his sons) to do the service in the Holy Place. So it is when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit that Jesus, the High Priest of our profession, leads us to this place and we enter as priests of God.
Before we turned our lives to Jesus, our soul was an area of raw emotions and fears of the future. But now we are entering this new area within us and we find that our Lord has made it all new. We are instantly faced with three pieces of furnishings but our eyes are drawn to the one that majestically dominates the room. It is a tall impressive lampstand of pure gold in the shape of a seven-branch candlestick.
Its seven branches make it look like a “candlestick” but we quickly notice that instead of candles each branch holds a little oil lamp. The seven together illuminate the entire room with a warm glow that warms the heart. This is our new light. As we will see a little later, it is the light of the entire church that now surrounds us.
Directly on the other side of the lampstand, we see the little golden table lined with twelve neatly stacked loaves of fresh baked bread. The glow of the light and the aroma of the room give a sense of well-being; we are in the right place. At the far end of the room hangs a magnificent veil, woven of blue and purple and scarlet yarn, and fine linen thread. It is woven with an artistic design of cherubim and it divides this room from another room at the end of the Tabernacle.
The Altar of Incense stands tall in front of that veil and completes the furnishings of this room. There are no chairs to sit down or any such thing, only these three items and the veil.
The door into the Holy Place is where we met our Lord as Holy Spirit Baptizer. This is a vital step in our moving toward true worship. It is at the Door that we are introduced to the gifts of the Spirit and that we begin to understand spiritual realities. It is with the gifts that He begins to build our faith in God’s power so that we find the strength to continue our journey.
The gifts are wonderful and we appreciate them. They certainly build our faith, but they do nothing to change the nature of our hearts and minds and to effect our transformation into the image of the Son. Our transformation begins as we walk with the Holy Spirit daily to do the service in the Holy Place (our redeemed souls).
All the furnishings in the Holy Place work together to advance and support our growth into Christ. If we partake of the Bread of life without the understanding or light of the Spirit, we will not be able to assimilate the nourishment of the Bread. If all we have is the light and no Bread, His life will not be formed in us; we will have a lot of revelation but no substance.
Some have a lot of light (revelation), but if it is not worked into their daily lives, they have no Bread and Christ is not formed in them. Some have a lot of Bread (word experience) but without the light of understanding what is happening to them, they get discouraged and fall off. It is as these two work together that we are changed from glory to glory and that we move toward the next altar. We will not reach the Altar of Incense without these two first working in our lives.
BREAD OF LIFE
Jesus told the Jews of that day, “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (John 6:48-51)
As priest of God, we are called to bring the fresh bread to the little table each day. Jesus stands at the door of our redeemed souls and knocks. When we hear the knock and let Him in, we are bringing the Bread to the Table. He shares Himself with us and we sup with Him. This Bread is the living Word that He speaks in our lives. It is the Word that comes from the Spirit to our souls and takes us through whatever we need to go through that day. Bread is a daily experience. It is brought in fresh daily to the table.
As priests of God we now have access to this Bread of life and we are responsible to bring it to the Table. We need to keep in mind that this Bread is not found by much studying of the Bible. This is what the Pharisees of Jesus’ day were doing. He told them, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me, but you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” (John 5:39-40)
The bread that we bring fresh daily is the Word that He whispers in our hearing ear through our daily experiences. This is the communion that our Lord desires with us. Communion speaks of “friendship restored.” In Adam we were disconnected from hearing the voice of God. This communion table speaks of the sweet fellowship that we find with Him again. He wants a heart to heart talk with us each day. This is our service to the little golden Table of Showbread.
Twelve loaves of this freshly baked bread is brought in and neatly stacked daily. It is never the old musty bread of someone else’s revelation; it is the vibrant Christ life that we share with Him through our NOW experiences. Although all our past experiences serve to form the Christ in us, it is what we go through today that is the fresh-baked bread of life that we bring to the Table.
Twelve is the number of God’s kingdom. This Bread is the Word of the Kingdom; it has nothing to do with the world’s prophecies that are floating in some Christian circles today. Words that are causing people to hoard food and guns have never been from the Lord and are still not from the Lord today. This kind of prophesying is as old moldy bread.
We know that the systems of this world are falling. We know that evil men are committing violent acts. But we also know that we are safe in “The secret place of the Most High.” We know that we abide under His shadow (shade) and that He is our refuge and our fortress. We trust Him and we have no need to run away from the storm and hide; we are hidden in the middle of the storm.
We are not afraid of “…the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day. Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked.” (Psa. 91:5-8) This is God’s word for all of us today.
The Bread of this Table is called the Show or Shewbread. To “shew” is to “declare.” Jesus the Bread of Life, declares the Father to us. He is that Word that declares the nature of the Father. It is also called the Bread of Presence. It is the Word that comes from the Spirit- His very presence.
RECIPE FOR THIS BREAD
Yes, God gave them the recipe. “And you shall take fine flour and bake twelve cakes with it. Two tenths of an ephah shall be in each cake.” (Lev. 24:5) Jesus spoke of Himself as the “Grain of wheat or corn that falls into the ground and dies.” Indeed the wheat is the Word of Life that has been crushed to fine flour. It is not just coarse flour; it is grain that has been crushed to fine powder.
Our Lord is this Grain of wheat. He put on the garment of flesh and went through every possible trial known to man until the grain was crushed to fine flour. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15) Indeed, we go through the grindstone of this life but He has given us His Spirit to withstand and conquer the most difficult trials, even as He has.
There were twelve loaves, neatly stacked on the Table. Twelve is the number of God’s kingdom or God’s governmental perfection. The twelve loaves also represented the twelve tribes of Israel. This bread spoke of their communion restored through the Law. When Solomon built the magnificent temple at Jerusalem, he set ten Tables of Showbread making it one hundred and twenty loaves. This was pointing to us and the Bread of Life that came in the form of His Spirit to fill the one hundred and twenty disciples that were assembled in the Upper Room.
As the Lord unfolds the meaning of these symbols to us, we find that the twelve loaves take on an even broader significance. Twelve speaks of the foundation truths that were laid by the twelve apostles of the Lamb and all His apostles since. The twelve loaves speak of the fullness of the Body of Christ gathered together under God.
Each cake was of two-tenths of flour. Two-tens speak of the two tables of the Law of Moses that Jesus fulfilled. “And you shall put pure frankincense on each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, an offering made by fire to the Lord.” (Lev. 24:7)
Frankincense was one of the gifts that the wise men brought to Bethlehem for the new-born Jesus. It represents the anointing that enables us to grow in the Christ who in turn takes us to our daily cross; frankincense is the anointing unto our death. We must keep in mind that the old Adam nature will never be willing or able to lay down on the cross.
It is the Christ who takes on the Adam nature within Himself and lays Himself and the old Adam on the cross. Then He rises from the dead and Adam stays on the cross. This is the way it was for Jesus the Christ and this is the way it is for each member of His body.
The bread is for a memorial. It is a covenant bread. Jesus gave His body and His blood to seal the New Covenant between the Father and the Son and the entire Body of Christ.
“And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in the Holy Place…” This is the bread of the priesthood. When we enter the Holy Place we are “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected of men, but chosen by God and precious, you also as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (I Pet. 2:4-5) Only Aaron and his sons could enter to do the service in the Holy Place, and only as we are baptized and led by His Holy Spirit are we able to come into this place.
Our Holy Place is our redeemed soul where we now meet with Him by the Spirit. This is no longer the “outer cleansing” of our minds, it is now the partaking of His life within our soul. In the Holy Place it is no longer our intellect memorizing Scriptures and going to the Book to direct our lives, here we begin to hear His voice and feed our souls in Spirit and in truth.
THE SEVEN BRANCH LAMPSTAND
One lamp dominates the room. It stands majestically tall over the little Table of Showbread. It is called a “Candlestick” but has no candles. It is a very tall lampstand with seven branches, each branch holding a little oil lamp. It weighs one talent or one-hundred-and-twenty-five pounds, and is made from one solid piece of pure hand-beaten gold. According to Sheffield in England, it would be impossible to duplicate it today. Every utensil for the lamp, tongs, snuffers etc… were also a beaten work, and so is the olive oil used to burn in the lamps. Is it any wonder that it represents Christ and His church, all of beaten work.
Candles burn by self-consumption but these lamps burn by the constant supply of oil. This lampstand has no measurements; it is infinite and eternal. It is the pure Light of truth that is shed abroad in our hearts by God’s Holy Spirit.
When John heard the voice speaking to him on the Isle of Patmos, he said, “Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands, One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.” (Rev. 1:12-13)
John saw these seven branches held together by a center trunk all of ornate gold. These lampstands were alive, and the center was as the Son of Man! The voice that John was hearing issued from these lampstands!
What John was seeing was the entire priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The garment was down to the feet, denoting that the entire body was covered. The priesthood was girded about the chest with a golden band. They had a new heart and a new identity. They had the compassion of Christ for they had suffered with Him and now their heart was bound in the gold of God’s nature.
The hair of the Son of Man was like the wool of a lamb and as white as snow. What a picture of Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God who has fulfilled all of God’s will without sin. He is the Head of this body that is made perfect through suffering with Him.
His eyes were like a flame of fire. Today we have electricity for light, but in Bible days, the night could only be lit by fire. The Word tells us that His Word is a Light unto our path. Indeed the light we walk by comes from the vision that He imparts to us. “Without a vision, the people perish.” Fire also burns all the wood, hay and stubble. It purifies the gold and makes it fine gold. Carnality has no part of the vision of this Man. “His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters.” (Vs.15) Jesus is the High Priest of this priesthood formed by the Spirit and not organized by man. The feet are those of the company who are prepared to stomp on the last enemy, even death and the grave, and place them under His (their) feet.
This is why we walk through the fires of this furnace of earth. The Christ in us is the pure anointed One who takes us through the refining fires. “The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” (Psa.12:6)
When we think of the Word or of words we think of spoken syllables that communicate ideas and information to us. It is only when we experience the reality of their meaning that they become life to us. For instance, if I speak of my experience the day that I hit a coal truck on my bicycle, I relate to you a true experience in my personal life. Because I lived through the experience, the words I use are more than words to me, they are part of my actual life.
If someone writes about me, that is not life, it is a story or just words. However, if the words witness to your spirit because you have gone through a similar situation, the words have become life to you. Jesus said that the Words He speaks are Spirit and life. When He spoke of His Father, He was not just relating a story, He had been with the Father and He and the Father were one.
THE WORD IN JOSEPH
God sent Joseph to this earth with a very specific mission. Of all the Old Testament characters, Joseph is the perfect type of Jesus Christ. The Word that God placed in Joseph was coming to his understanding through his dreams. It was because of the Word in Joseph that his brothers sold him down to Egypt where he experienced the humiliation and pain as well as the glory of that Word. Joseph became that Word. “He (God) sent a man before them – Joseph – who was sold as a slave. They hurt his feet with fetters, He laid in irons. Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him.” (Psa. 105:17-19)
Joseph was the vehicle for the Word. The Word became flesh in Joseph when his brothers came against him. They thought they wanted to kill Joseph, but in reality they wanted to kill the Christ. If anyone comes against our person just because of who we are today, they are not coming against us, they are coming against the Christ in us.
God has always had a purpose for His people. He sent them Joseph who was “his word” through dreams. Joseph is a prophecy for the Body of Christ today. Because of the Word, Jesus was tried and tested by the religious order of His day. Those who follow Him are tried and tested in the same way. The same spirit that was in Joseph’s brothers was in the Jews who persecuted Jesus in His day. That same spirit is still in the religious order of our day, only under different names.
As we stand, the Word is no longer just syllables, it is life. This is why there are times when people are riled up just by our presence. We have no need to speak at all; our presence irritates them. The Christ within is a threat to the carnal, intellectual man without us uttering even a word.
And His voice as the sound of many waters! Water speaks of the Spirit that flows in the earth. There are many streams of God’s Spirit flowing through His people in the earth. It would be a great error to think that we are the only stream of God’s Word in the earth; indeed there are many waters. As the Word flows through our earth, we are His word. Soon, God will manifest His sons; He will declare them in the heavens and display them in the earth.
The bodies of resurrection transcend the realm of earth. At this time, by the Spirit, we see and hear things that are from above. But then we will see Him as He is, in His body of resurrection, we will be like Him. “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (I John 3:2) Indeed, the vision that John saw is the complete Body of Christ in resurrection life.
THE MYSTERY OF THE LAMPSTANDS
Jesus explains, “The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.” (Rev. 1:20)
The seven stars in His right hand and the golden lampstands are a mystery. This means that it cannot be intellectually interpreted or understood. It is only when the Holy Spirit reveals it that we are able to grasp the meaning. The seven stars are the angels of the churches. The seven churches are all of God’s called out people. The angels are the messengers or the messages that they teach.
Those who have received the anointing for preaching or teaching are “angels” of the churches. They are the five ministries that the Lord gave to His church when he ascended. “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…” (Eph. 4:11-12)
True ministries have been actively at work in the earth. There are counterfeit ministries who have made a mockery of the true. They have made a profession and a money-making machine out of what should be the true church, but these are not the ones seen in John’s vision; they are not the stars in His hand. They are angels of light who deceive the people. “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” (II Cor. 11:14)
True ministries are established by the Lord Himself. The seal of their ministry is that they hear directly from the Spirit; this is why they are called the angels of the church. They do not need to hear from men, they are connected to the heavens or spirit realm. The churches, or the called out people who glean from these angels are the true church of the Lord.
The golden lamps are the complete church. It sheds the light of the word of the Spirit (oil) through the angels of the church, and illuminates the entire Holy Place. It is the Light to our redeemed souls. The purpose of the lamps is to reveal spiritual realities and lead us to the true Bridegroom. For a time, we may think that these ministries are the Bridegroom and we cling to them for every word of life. But in time, these ministries must turn the people over to the true Bridegroom (the Christ within each one).
It is our daily service at the Table of Showbread with the illumination of the golden lamps that trains us to worship our Father in Spirit and in truth. It is the constant light that the angels of the Church shed upon us that opens our understanding to the things that are happening to us and around us. It takes that daily light for us to enter the rest of God, knowing that He has a purpose in all these thing
That which was a mystery is now unfolding into reality in our lives. We see it all clearly as we partake daily of the fresh bread or living Word along with the illumination that the angels shed upon us. This equips us to go through whatever God has chosen for us, and overcome it with a spring in our step and joy in our heart.
THE ALTAR OF INCENSE
The third piece of furnishing, in this small concealed room, is called “The Altar of Incense.” It is the smallest, as well as the tallest piece of furnishing in the room. It points to our highest service. As all the furnishings in this room, it is overlaid with gold.
We could never do the service to the Altar of Incense without first stopping at the Altar of Burnt Offering and at the Laver. Then we have to do service at the Table of Showbread by the Light of the lampstands before we can approach the sacred little Altar that stands tall against the exquisite veil.
This is not an altar to burn flesh upon. It is not to offer up the works of the flesh; it is for a pure worship sacrifice unto our God. The Altar has four horns, one on each corner. The prophet Habakkuk saw the Lord as “…His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power. Before him went pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet. He stood, and measured the earth; he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting.” (Hab. 3:3b-6 KJV)
When the sacrifice is laid upon the Altar of Incense, God’s power is released in the earth and touches every area. This is the time of our transformation and the time when men’s systems must fall. It is the time when Christ who has been our hope of glory hid within, is now made manifest to us and to the world.
The sacrifice that is laid upon that altar is not like any other, and it may not be what we have assumed for so long. Recently, I had a dream that shed some light on this Altar. In the dream “I had been traveling up a very rugged mountain. I had walked up narrow and steep mountain paths and now I find myself on top of the mountain. As I looked around I see that I am surrounded by many mountains. They are all lower than the one I stand on and most of them are very weird looking and even scary. I know that each mountain represents a nation or at least a city and that I have to go down to one of them. Then I see that a brother that I have known for years, but have not seen in a long time, is standing on the mountain with me. He has also traveled up the mountain although by another path. Now we both together had to go down the path to the right mountain. I looked at several paths but then he pointed to one where in the far distance he could see an American flag. I looked and saw the flag and agreed that this was the one to take.”
As I pondered this word for a couple of days, I knew that the city or nation with the American flag, spoke of the land of the free. However, spiritually this speaks of freedom over sin and death and this is the last lap of our journey. The brother with me stands for the Word that He represents. As I thought about that, I recalled a specific word on his heart that he once shared with me. At the time, I had rejected that word for lack of understanding, but now the Spirit quickened it to me in such a powerful way and I knew that it was the answer to my dream.
I also knew that this was the answer to the sacrifice of the Altar of Incense. Our walk in the Lord has been difficult in many ways but it has been an upward walk in the Spirit. He has revealed to us by the Spirit, all the things that He has prepared for those who love Him. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” (I Cor. 2:9-10) As we climbed the mountain of God‘s kingdom, He has revealed to us the glory that is set before us. He has also revealed the man of flesh that is at enmity with God and opposes Him in our carnal nature continually. The Spirit is now revealing that we are coming to the top of the mountain. The right path down leads to the land of freedom over sin, death and the grave. This is the last enemy that must be conquered.
Our Lord Jesus conquered this enemy at Calvary, but when we accepted Him as Savior of our own soul, He came to dwell within each one with the sole purpose of leading each individually, down the same path that He had once walked. There are many paths, or doctrines that are offered to us at this time, but only one leads to freedom over death and the grave. Many of these doctrines, mountains, are weird and even scary. I have heard of a few myself.
There is one that takes the teaching of Paul that we are “transformed by the renewing of our minds,” and tries to work it out by the power of positive thinking or some kind of “self mental effort.” There is one that sounds very sophisticated and intelligent as it explains the new spiritual DNAs or the workings of the pituitary glands. These are all weird nations around us, but the one we must take has to do with the Christ within.
For years we have debated the “death to self” message. Paul affirmed that “he dies daily,” and Jesus told the rich young ruler to take up his cross daily and follow Him. So we know that each day we need to deny the old “self” and yield to the Christ. This is a daily exercise that must not be neglected. However when we have done all these things and come to the top of the mountain, it is no longer “I that lives… but Christ.” We have nothing left but Christ in us and we in Christ to offer. Christ is the offering that rents the veil and brings us into the Holy of Holies. Indeed many prayers of the saints fill the censer, but above all, the offering that must be on that Altar is the Christ… It is when we are in full union with Him that we are offered up on this Altar for our “transformation.” Only The Christ man can accomplish this. The carnal man is and always will be an enmity with God. It is from that place in Him that the coals from the Altar touch our lips and our words are a sweet savor unto our God.
It is also from that place IN HIM that we die His death and are raised into Him in resurrection. It is when this takes place that the veil of our flesh is rent and that we see Him as He is… because we are like Him. More on this later.
Because of His love,
THE TABERNACLE, MSG. No. 193-T [Jackie Caporaso] 4-4-09 1