In Every Place

For Yahweh has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place: “This is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread. Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy. There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for My anointed. His enemies I will clothe with shame, but on Him His crown will shine. (Psalm 132:13-18)

According to Yahshua,1 the Messiah, this Psalm must be fulfilled, for it speaks of Him.2 There must be an eternal dwelling place for Yahweh (God) in which He provides for His people, where everyone’s needs are met, where there is a holy priesthood full of mirth and revelation, and who are victorious over His enemies. Where is this happening?
The temple, Levitical priesthood, and prescribed sacrifices and offerings of the Old Covenant were all physical types that looked forward to their spiritual fulfillment in the New Covenant. Every detail of their intricate design and prescribed order was of great significance, beginning with the choice of location for priestly service, as Deuteronomy 12 lays the foundation for the spiritual life of God’s people:

These are the statutes and rules that you shall be careful to do in the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. You shall tear down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and burn their Asherim with fire. You shall chop down the carved images of their gods and destroy their name out of that place. You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way.
But you shall seek the place that the LORD your God will choose out of all your tribes to put his name and make his habitation there. There you shall go, and there you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, your vow offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. And there you shall eat before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your households, in all that you undertake, in which the LORD your God has blessed you.
You shall not do according to all that we are doing here today, everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes, for you have not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance that the LORD your God is giving you. But when you go over the Jordan and live in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all your enemies around, so that you live in safety, then to the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to the LORD. And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your male servants and your female servants, and the Levite that is within your towns, since he has no portion or inheritance with you.

In the Old Covenant there was only that one place (verses 5, 11, 13) where God would dwell by His Spirit. There and there alone could Yahweh be worshipped in all that He commanded them, in burnt offerings and sacrifices, tithes and heave offerings from their hand, and all the choice offerings which they vowed to Yahweh. And there they could rejoice before Yahweh their God, with all their sons and daughters (verse 12).
But there was a solemn warning following this promise:

Take care that you do not offer your burnt offerings at any place that you see, but at the place that the LORD will choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I am commanding you.

Ultimately that one place that Yahweh chose was Jerusalem, in the tribe of Benjamin, which David captured for Yahweh’s dwelling place, to build for Him a temple where offerings could be offered up to His name by the Levitical priesthood who ministered before Yahweh on behalf of the whole nation. Only there, in that place, would Israel’s offerings be acceptable to Him. If they were obedient, it would go well with them:

Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God.

But it did not go well with them. Rather than driving out God’s enemies who worshiped their gods “on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree” (verse 2), thus enjoying rest from their enemies (verse 10), it was repeatedly and tragically recorded that they built for themselves high places to worship the gods of the nations “under every green tree.”3 Just as Deuteronomy 12:8 solemnly warned them against, “everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes,” the very last word in the book of Judges describes them doing,4 and the books of Kings and Chronicles only continue the sad story of their apostate condition.
Malachi, the last prophet of the Old Testament, pronounced the fall of Old Israel,5 which John the Baptist echoed 400 years later, laying the ax to the root of that dead tree.6 But Malachi also prophesied of the restoration of a new, spiritual priesthood that would offer acceptable sacrifices in prescribed places7 where Yahweh’s name would be made great outside the borders of physical Israel,8 even to the ends of the earth.9
The spiritual life and priesthood of Psalm 132, fulfilling the prophecies of Malachi, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc., began to happen for a short time in the first century,10 but it did not endure. One by one, in every place,11 their light went out and the lampstands were removed.12 Rather than learning from the lessons of Old Israel, as Paul exhorted them,13 they also became proud and fell,14 to the point that Deuteronomy 12:8 exactly depicts Christianity today.
Does it seem impossible to you that Christianity could fall and be cut off? If so, then there are many warnings in the New Testament that you have not taken seriously, or considered the consequences of ignoring. For example:

…but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are His house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and the rejoicing of our hope firm to the end. (Hebrews 3:6)
…for we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end. (Hebrews 3:14)

The word “if” indicates a condition. “To the end” means to the end of the age (to its accomplishment or fulfillment). “Confidence” in Hebrews 3:6 means “outspokenness” in the Holy Spirit, such as Paul assumed was every person’s right,15 and such as comes from a good conscience.16 That confidence produced lively celebrations of their faith, their “common salvation,”17 with merrymaking, singing, dancing, praising, and speaking. A “partaker” in Hebrews 3:14 is a joint participant, a partner, a companion, sharing in fellowship with Him18 and with one another daily:19

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:12-13)

So according to Hebrews 3:6 and 13 we can know for certain that that house has fallen.20 Just as Israel of old fell,21 so did the first church, failing to obey Hebrews 3:13, or 10:24, or 12:15, proving that Hebrews 3:12 had come upon them.

For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. (Hebrews 10:26-27)

The deceitfulness of sin hardens the heart of believers,22 resulting in their departure from the living God. This is the way the early New Testament church fell. Unbelief is caused by a hardened heart, which is caused by deceitfulness of sin. The result is apostasy —departing from the apostles’ teaching and fellowship,23 which is tantamount to departing from the living God. When there are no apostles, there is no community,24 and when there is no community, there is no church, no constant caring, no encouragement daily — daily, daily.25 Being partakers of Messiah requires a continuance in faith which comes by hearing from one another the very utterance of God26 in the daily gatherings (spiritual sacrifices).27 When or where there is no daily or constant caring, encouragement, there is no community of believers28 where grace, abundant grace, is upon them all.29
Paul’s last word in his letter to the church in Ephesus was, “Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.”30 Forty years later,31 their love for Messiah was no longer fervent.32 They had ceased doing the deeds they did at first.33 Their light went out.34

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. (Revelation 2:4)

In Revelation 2:4, it is made clear that the church in Ephasus had died — because their love died. Don’t be surprised — churches can die.

A Place of Rest

Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, “They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.” So I swore in My wrath, “They shall not enter My rest.” (Hebrews 3:10-11; Psalm 95:8-11)

There is a place of quiet and rest near to the heart of God,35 but grumbling, complaining, and unbelief destroy this place of rest.36

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down to the edge of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the LORD has commanded the blessing, life everlasting. (Psalm 133:1-3)

If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. (John 12:26)

— in that place, can eternal life dwell. Where brothers dwell together in unity, there (the only place) is where eternal life is.
In Deuteronomy 12:5 we see only one place where God dwelt. Now in the New Covenant relationship He dwells in every place37 where His name is being made great by His disciples who live together in unity,38 loving one another just as He loved them.39 His dwelling place is without division.40 There is where everyone holds fast to their confidence because they obey His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight,41 because He is their King, the High Priest over their house.42
In every place such as this, Messiah dwells by His Spirit in those who serve Him where He is:43

If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. (John 12:26)

That is what it means to be His Body, the Church — a corporeal44 (not ethereal45) expression of His life, lived before all in every place where He causes His name to dwell.46

  • 1. Yahshua is the Hebrew name of the Son of God; see The Name Above all Names for more about this name.
  • 2. Luke 24:44
  • 3. 1 Kings 14:22-23; 2 Kings 16:3-4; 17:9-10; etc.
  • 4. Judges 21:25
  • 5. Malachi 1:10
  • 6. Matthew 3:10; Luke 3:9
  • 7. Malachi 1:11
  • 8. Malachi 1:5
  • 9. Isaiah 49:6
  • 10. Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37
  • 11. 1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Timothy 2:8
  • 12. Revelation 2:4-5
  • 13. 1 Corinthians 10:1-12
  • 14. Romans 11:21-22
  • 15. 1 Corinthians 14:26
  • 16. 1 John 3:21
  • 17. Jude 1:3
  • 18. Philippians 3:10-11
  • 19. See also: Acts 2:46; 5:42; 6:1; James 2:15-16; 1 John 1:7
  • 20. Revelation 18:2
  • 21. Matthew 21:43
  • 22. Hebrews 3:7-8,12
  • 23. Acts 2:42
  • 24. Ephesians 4:11-16
  • 25. Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-35
  • 26. Hebrews 3:6; 1 Peter 4:11
  • 27. Hebrews 3:13; 13:15
  • 28. John 13:34-35; 1 John 3:14-24
  • 29. Acts 4:32-35
  • 30. Ephesians 6:24
  • 31. Revelation 2
  • 32. 1 Peter 1:8,22; 1 Corinthians 16:22
  • 33. Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37
  • 34. Revelation 2:5
  • 35. Numbers 10:33; Psalm 132:13-18; Isaiah 11:10
  • 36. Hebrews 3:7-15; Isaiah 28:12
  • 37. Malachi 1:11
  • 38. John 17:23
  • 39. John 13:34-34; 1 John 3:14-18
  • 40. 1 Corinthians 1:2,10-13; Matthew 12:25; 1 Timothy 2:8
  • 41. 1 John 3:21-22, not Deuteronomy 12:8
  • 42. Hebrews 10:19-23
  • 43. Ephesians 2:21-22
  • 44. corporeal — having material or physical form or substance.
  • 45. ethereal — characterized by insubstantiality; as impalpable or intangible as air.
  • 46. See also the article, “Where, Oh, Where Can it Be?”

The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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