Guest Post by R.P. Amos: 7 Meeting Places of God with His People

The Lord’s desires to be near His people.  “Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice” (Psa. 50:5).  There are 7 places in Scripture where God’s people as a whole habitually meet with Him.  Not just going to a service or a school to learn, but to meet Him.  Three are history from which we can learn. One is present of where we meet with God now.  Three are future of which it gets better.

1. MOSES’ TENT      “Moses…called it the Tabernacle of the congregation”

God had just judged Israel for its golden calf idolatry.  The sanctuary tabernacle with its holy places and altar had not been constructed yet.  Because the Lord was announcing He would not be in the midst of such a hard people, Moses took the tent where God met with him to talk, and moved it outside the corrupted camp of people.  God’s glory cloud then came to that tent (tabernacle) door and now; “every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation [meeting], which was without the camp.”  Now to meet with God, the people had to separate from the popular corrupted encampment and meet the Lord outside it where He was.  Meeting with the Lord would now have feet to it.

Now believers in Christ Jesus (He suffered outside the religious city gate) are told to “go forth therefore unto Him without the camp” [Christless corrupted religion], Heb. 13:13.

2. THE WILDERNESS TABERNACLE   “there I will meet with the children of Israel”

Once the portable tabernacle with its holy places had been pitched, God’s desire was to be in the midst of His people journeying home.  Now his people’s occupation was to “bring an offering [sacrifice] unto the Lord” at “the door of the tabernacle of the congregation [meeting]”.  It was first a place of bringing to God, not to get something.

Now the church is His spiritual house.  We are His holy priesthood that offers up to God (not for ourselves) spiritual sacrifices (praise, good works, charity, service) by Christ.

3. THE TEMPLE      “his habitation shall ye seek, and thither [there] thou shalt come”

Once Israel came into their land, God would choose a permanent place to reside among His people.  God eventually chose Jerusalem and had a permanent temple built by Solomon.  Now there was one holy city on earth where His presence was.  This one place was to be where His people could meet with Him.  All other places with names of other gods were to be destroyed.  Only His Name at His place was the only meeting place.

We learn in the church that God has placed His Name of “Lord” only on Jesus Christ.  All other names of identity are not to be taken by believers.  We are to gather in and call only upon the Name (authority and wisdom) of the exalted Lord Jesus Christ.

4. THE CHURCH    “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ when ye are gathered together”

When believers in Christ gather in His exalted Name and authority – Lord Jesus Christ, He promises to be in the midst of them by His Spirit.  So now in this age there is not one holy place on earth to come to but one holy Name to gather in, no matter where you might geographically be.  God’s Name has gone from Jerusalem to Jesus – the Lord.

So now “all that in every place that call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord” constitutes His house, the church.  He is where all believers in any locale on earth continually come together into one place – in the Lord Jesus’ Name.  So now we don’t just “go to church” or to Bible study or to meeting – but to meet-Him.

And it’s His very presence that forms the church’s character:  Glory to be given only to Him (“no flesh should glory in His presence”).  Holiness is to be pursued (separation from the false and not letting sin spread among believers).  Reverence to be present.  Praise led by the Lord Jesus in the midst of the church in the power of His Spirit (not some worship leader or team).  Plurality of gifts involved in a gathering delegated by Him (not one ordained man).  Headship order His way with man and woman having different roles.  Remembrance of the Lord and His death at His Supper is to be the focus (not a human performance).  Word of the Lord is to be heard by His sheep (not using the Bible to prove our ideas but using it to form our ideas).

5. THE MEETING IN THE AIR     “to meet the Lord in the air…ever be with the Lord”

As important as it is meet with the Lord in Spirit on earth, He desires to be physically with His bride-body forever.  And so there is coming a great gathering to the Lord Jesus Christ of every believer in Christ – dead or alive.  He will descend and somewhere in the air between heaven and earth, all will be caught up to meet Him in the air to be united.  And so will we be forever meeting with the Lord Jesus Himself whether in heaven above or the kingdom beneath.  As the hymn writer said: “where Jesus is, tis heaven there”.

6. THE KINGDOM TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM    “all nations shall flow unto it”

The Lord Jesus will return with His united bride to rule on the earth for the thousand-year kingdom.  Once the unrepentant sinner is removed and judged there will be peace, justice and good will toward men.  His headquarters and palace will be out of Jerusalem, Israel with the rebuilt house (temple) of God there also.  Because King Jesus will now be there the name of Jerusalem will be changed to ‘Jehovah Shammah’ – “the LORD is there”.

But since the Lord desires to meet with all believers the door will be open for all nations to come to worship and meet with Him to learn His ways and word.  This will not be a union of all religions coexisting with each other but a “religious unity” where all agree that Jesus is Lord and His Word is right to walk in.  The fruit will be the abolition of war and the military for in the love and the fear of the one Lord Jesus Christ all will be united.

7. THE NEW JERUSALEM  “God himself shall be with them”

Even in the eternal state of the new heaven and new earth where the New Jerusalem descends from heaven, God desires to be with His people.  There won’t be a physical temple there for now the Lord is the worship center as He Himself with the Lamb is living with His redeemed – the bride.  And the Lord in this city will be the gathering center as all the saved nations will come to meet with Him and have their kings bring their glory and honor unto it.  And the door is never shut for no night is there – continual access to meet and fellowship with God Himself and His Lamb – Jesus Christ!

Yes, God desires to be near and meet with His people in His way.  Do you?

{Some Scriptures for the seven meetings.  MOSES’ TENT – Exodus 33:1-17.   WILDERNESS TABERNACLE – Exo. 29:42,43 / Lev. 1:1-3 (Church – 1Pet. 2:5 / Heb. 13:15,16 / Philp. 4:18 / Rom. 12:1).  TEMPLE – Deut. 12:1-14 / 1Kings 11:36  (Church – Philp. 2:9-11 /1Cor. 1, 5:4).   CHURCH ASSEMBLY – 1Cor. 1:2, 3:16, 5:4, 14:23 / Matt. 18:20/1Cor. 1:29-31/2Cor. 6:14-7:1/Psa. 89.7/Heb. 12:28 /Heb. 2:12/1Cor. 14:23-31/1Cor:11:3, 14:34,35/1Cor. 11:16-26/2Tim. 2:15, 4:2.  IN THE AIR – 1Thess. 4:16-18.  KINGDOM ON EARTH – Rev. 17:14/Isa. 2:1-4 / Ezek. 48:35.  NEW JERUSALEM – Rev. 21}