The Progressions of God’s Dwelling in Man

In Genesis 2:7, we have a firm existential foundation for our first parents, in which Elohim formed man from the dust of the ground. On that special day which we read further on into Genesis, He took the dirt from the ground and formed Adam, and afterward, Jehovah formed the Spirit of man by breathing into his nostrils. Then what took place was more than an act of God, but a miracle of God. He had given to man, what is called the Ruach (Hebrew for spirit). He blew into the man’s nostrils and this word Ruach is Hebrew for Spirit. Elohim wanted His creation to be not only distinct from the animal world, but also separated from it. Another view Jehovah gave evidence to us that we are separated from the animal kingdom was the following. The act of the creation of the animal world was however different. He created the animals to possess an actual living soul dwelling inside of them; however, there is no such thing as a spirit residing inside of them. The soul of an animal is their entire characteristic, which is what we would call their make-up for their emotions. You will see that when God created man and blew into the man’s nostrils He gave the man a part of His spirit. Jehovah also gave our first parents a soul with the spirit. Moreover, this soul is the make-up for all human emotions. Their spirit that God gave the man and woman is a compartment for them and for us to commune with our creator and to worship Him.

Now since Lucifer had already fallen from his divine authority and his divine position, only one authority was transferred to Adam (Man-Ish) and Eve (Woman-Ishah). What do I mean about divine authority being transferred to our first parents? Satan at one time had a priestly function of being in charge of the worship music on earth. God created the Devil for music. In Ezekiel 28:13, “The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created.” In his book, The Invisible War, Donald Grey Barnhouse suggests Satan the cherub angel had a priestly function. “The wings of a cherub, you might recall, were outstretched on the top of the ark of the covenant. Confirming this interpretation is the expression ‘his sanctuaries,’ apparently a reference to worship (v.18).” This also points to the fact that Lucifer directed and orchestrated the worship of other angels. The cherub angel, Satan, received the worship of other angels underneath him and gave all the praise and worship to God in the third heavens. Now, God has given Adam and Eve, the authority of worship, since it was, transferred to our first parents because of Satan’s rebellion. Satan has however lost his divine position of ever being a worship leader ever again in God’s kingdom. This now explains the deceiver’s action of jealousy toward Adam and Eve. This is why Satan the cherub angel, lied both to Adam and Eve. The Serpents mind said if only I (serpent) can convince these new people to eat of the tree, The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad. Then I (serpent) cannot only ruin their relationship with the Creator, so then they can follow my ways, then God cannot dwell inside of them anymore, and their closeness with God would be damaged.

The Devil knew about this. That is why the deceiver lied to Eve and to Adam. Lucifer was quite successful. Here is the story that Moses writes down in Genesis 3:1-7, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the Garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.”

Before I explain in further detail, here is some important information to know. The Bible is not clear on how long Adam and Eve dwelled in the Garden of Eden before their fall. However, the Book of Jubilees has given us some clue of how long they resided in Paradise. Depending on how accurate the Book of Jubilees is, it records that Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden for seven years during the first week of the first jubilee. In the Garden of Eden (Gan-Eden), sin got a foothold on Adam and Eve, and God no longer dwelled “inside” of them. Instead, God dwelled “with” them. God knew in advance that their fall from grace would happen, but most importantly, Elohim still wanted to have fellowship with them and with humanity. After they had eaten of the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze. The man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. The Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” It is tragic that our first parents had lost the Garden of Eden and were expelled from that land because of their sins. It is tragic because they slowly pulled away from their relationship with God. The Lord had already known that they were to fall. Why did God stop dwelling “in” our first parents? He now had to dwell outside of them because of their evil intentions and ways. So the Lord decides to test them next. With His words of love, what does God say in response to their sin? “But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you’?” His response to Adam was incredible. It was not as if God did not know where Adam was. He did know! However, God was waiting for a response from Adam. Perhaps He was waiting to hear, “I still love you, My Adonai, and I still need you in my life.” Because God still yearned to commune with His creation, Adam and Eve, Elohim had constructed for man an eternal plan and a place to dwell in next.

As we progress further into God’s master plan, He still has a very important message to tell us. When YWHW commanded Moses and Aaron to build the tabernacle, there had to be certain measurements and a particular way of building the tabernacle for the Lord. For God says to them in Exodus 25:9: “In accordance with all that I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.” Therefore, the Lord God still had a burning desire in His heart and spirit to dwell with the people of Israel, for they had been in the desert for quite some time and would be for approximately forty years. During those trying years for the people of Israel, their God still wanted to be with them. He says in Exodus 25:8, “And have them make me a sanctuary, so that I may dwell among them.” Tabernacle means place of dwelling or sanctuary. Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve, the separation of sin between man and the Lord was great. He could no longer live inside of man. Therefore, God wanted a place of worship (a tabernacle) to dwell and commune with man.

It was Aaron and his sons who served as priests and high priests in the tabernacle, during the time of the forty years of wandering in the wilderness. In Exodus 40:11-15, God spoke to Moses and said, “Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting, and shall wash them with water, and put on Aaron the sacred vestments and you shall anoint him and consecrate him, so that he may serve me as priest. You shall bring his sons also and put tunics on them, and anoint them, as you anointed their father that they may serve me as priest: and their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood throughout all generations to come.”

The tabernacle consisted of two rooms. A beautiful veil separated each room. The first room was called the “Holy Place.” That is where the golden lampstand, the altar of incense, and the table of showbread were located. The second room was called the “Most Holy Place.” The Ark of the Covenant was stationed there. It was only the high priest that could go into the Most Holy Place (Holy of Holies). That happened once a year on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). If you remember, Moses entered the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord. He heard the voice speaking to him from the mercy seat, located between the two cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant. Another verse which speaks of God communing with man is Leviticus 16:2. “The Lord said to Moses: Tell your brother Aaron not to come just at any time into the sanctuary inside the curtain before the mercy seat that is upon the ark, or he will die for I appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.”

The physical presence of YHWH, would meet Moses, as well as the High Priest, between the two cherubim on the mercy seat. The book of Numbers 7:89 says: When Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, he would hear the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the Ark of the Covenant from between the two cherubim; thus it spoke to him. Another instance when God would speak to Moses, yet he could not enter into the “Tent of Meeting” is in Exodus 40:34-38, Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled upon it and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Whenever the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out on each stage of their journey; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, before the eyes of all the house of Israel at each stage of their journey.

Is this not awesome, can you imagine experiencing something like this in the Old and New Testament periods. How God yearns for them and for their relationship with their Creator, you see God loves us so much and desires us that we should want Him in our lives. There is a parallel description found in Matthew 23:37, ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! ‘How often have I desired together your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings.’ This is how strong God’s connection with us is, that He “desires us” No matter what our current situation we are in, even in our rebellion, God will still speak to us and will keep speaking to us until He gets through to us the importance of following Him. Because only through Elohim our Creator, will we find true rest and peace amongst turmoil in this world or in our daily life, that is why our Creator keeps on desiring us, since only through Him do we have contentment when He speaks to us in our situation or turmoil.

Next, an important place where God spoke to the children of Israel was inside Solomon’s temple. The story starts in 2 Samuel chapter 7:2 with King David. He says, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” The Lord God spoke with King David in 1 Chronicles 22:8. In that verse, He says to David, “You have shed much blood and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed so much blood in my sight on the earth.” Adonai had a better idea. Instead of using David, He decided to use his son, Solomon. Then further, in 1 Chronicles 22:6, David called for his son Solomon and charged him to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel. Through many wars, which King David fought in, it has made him disqualified in building a Temple for their God. David said to his son, “My son, I had planned to build a house to the name of the Lord my God. But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, I have shed too much blood.”

The shepherd and king had reigned over all of Israel for 40 years- 7 years in Hebron, and 33 years in Jerusalem. Before David’s death, they anointed Solomon as the Lord’s prince. In Chronicles 3:2, King Solomon began building the house of the Lord in Jerusalem on top of Mount Moriah, (where the current Temple Mount presently stands). The Lord had always spoken between the two cherubim on the mercy seat, and He spoke to King Solomon and the people in various ways. After the temple was built, “the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.” In chapter 6 verse 1, Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he would reside in thick darkness.” Another reference is in chapter 7 of 2 Chronicles. After King Solomon had ended his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests could not enter because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground. They worshipped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “For he is good for his steadfast love endures forever.”

These progressions of God continuing with humanity really are remarkable. Just like King Solomon praying and the Shekinah Glory of God manifesting itself in the temple, the Lord God can answer our prayers. However, it will not be in the same manner as Solomon. God can still answer our prayers through various means, though they will possibly be through dreams and visions or supernatural acts in our life. Elohim can also answer prayers that are big or small.

Another important aspect to all of this is when you first enter into “The Holy Place.” Standing next to the high priest is the “Altar of Incense.” You are probably wondering what The Altar of Incense is, and what its purpose is. “It is located in front of the curtain that is above the Ark of the Covenant, in front of the Mercy Seat that is over the covenant, where I will meet with you.” The priest daily and nightly kept The Altar of Incense, by going and placing divinely made incense on top of the altar. In addition, this specially made incense would make the smoke go straight up, for it was a sweet aroma made for God alone. The smoke rising up out of the incense would symbolize the prayers going up to God. This is why God made a separation of what is holy and what is profane. When someone was profane with what was holy, they were separated from their tribe and cast out permanently. This is why Exodus 30:9 clearly mentions: “You shall not offer unholy incense on it, or a burnt offering or a grain offering, and you shall not pour a drink offering on it.”
As the high priest offered incense, the smoke went straight up. Similarly, a person’s prayer goes straight up to God the father. In the book of Psalms chapter 141:2 David says, “Let my prayer be counted as incense before you and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.” In Addition, in the New Testament, John writes in chapter 5 of Revelation verse 8, “When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”

Remember what God said in Exodus 25:22. “There I will meet with you and from above the mercy seat.” It was a personal experience for Moses. He met with God face to face. Numbers 12:8 says, “With him I speak face to face clearly, not in riddles; and he beholds the form of the Lord.” When Jehovah speaks to us like He did with Moses, He will not reveal Himself physically to us, as He did with Moses. That is until Christ comes to bring us home or when He comes entering the Eastern Gate in Jerusalem. Our Creator will speak to us firmly but also lovingly about what we have been praying about. God reveals Himself to us through nature, prayer, praise and worship, and even through reading the Bible. For Him to act according to His will and to communicate to His children is an incredible thing to witness in our personal lives. This is called true love; the love He has for His children. Our Lord and Creator said that our bodies are a temple, and Paul agrees with God and says in 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?” This is why the Messiah stressed so much that we should take care of our bodies and why we should not mark our bodies, such as tattoos. Jesus Christ even gave us guidelines about not drinking blood or eating anything that could harm us. In addition, in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, Paul wrote down, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person.” I believe a good comparison can be found in Matthew 21:12, 13, “Then Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. He said to them, ‘It is written My house shall be called a house of prayer but you are making it a den of robbers.”

What it has to do with a man’s body is simple. God’s dwelling place was the temple and the people who were selling the doves inside the temple were defiling God’s sanctuary; hence, they were defiling the sanctity of God’s holy presence or the Shekinah Glory. In a way, the temple was a resemblance of the flesh of God while He resided over the Mercy Seat between the two cherubim. God’s temple is holy and you are that temple. That is why Jehovah showed us the difference between what is holy and what is profane so we do not defile ourselves. In Ezekiel, it explains in chapter 44:23, “They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.” This is why God gave all who follow Him a command. His commands are for our benefit and safety from things that are sinful. This is why it is so pertinent to follow our Shepherd, and to hear Him and follow Him wherever He may take us and whatever He may say to us. Darkness can have no fellowship with the light and in 2 Corinthians chapter 7:1, Paul mentions this important factor that ties all of this together. “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and of spirit, making holiness perfect in the fear of God.” The Bible says, “Be holy as I am Holy.” Those words that came from His mouth should echo in our spirits. If we have become defiled from any type of sin, we are no longer holy but have become profane and have become spiritually and physically soiled by our sins.

We need to repent of our wickedness and ask God to forgive us and purify us through His Blood; and of course, we need to do this with a true heart when we confess our unrighteousness to our righteous Savior. Since we are not our own, the Messiah had to die on the cross because of our unrighteousness. Jesus Christ’s blood atonement that He shed for our sins made it possible for Him to live inside of us. In addition, when we had accepted His salvation, our sins were totally covered, and we were made righteous before our Lord, Jesus Christ. So let us remember what Paul said in Hebrews 12:1, “Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us looking to Jesus.”

Michael Jones