I read this post by Don Atkin and thought I would reblog it here. You can go over to Don’s blog here and read this post along with a ton of other good stuff. Enjoy!
I am stretching the application of the term “groupies” to mean those believers who identify with one another in particular aspects, cultures and belief systems that tend to denominate them from others by their language. It is not my intention to judge or be harsh in any way. We all can identify with this tendency.
My purpose is to bring awareness so that we might be carefully inclusive rather than carelessly exclusive. We must become even more aware that our homespun criteria can disqualify others who have been qualified by God.
The tabernacle of Moses was divided into three parts—the Outer Court, the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. Two significant furnishings in the Outer Court were the Bronze Altar and the Bronze Laver. Three significant furnishings in the Holy Place were the Golden Candlestick, the Golden Table of Showbread and the Golden Altar of Incense. The Mercy Seat was found in the Holy of Holies, just below the Ark of the Covenant.
The furnishings in the Outer Court represent salvation through the cross (Bronze Altar) and the washing of water with the word (Bronze Laver). In the Holy Place, the Golden Candlestick represents the illumination of Christ by the Holy Spirit, the Golden Table of Showbread represents the various gifts among the priesthood of all believers, and the Golden Altar represents worship and prayer. It is through worship and prayer (not to be misunderstood or limited to a religious service or tradition) that we find and enjoy our relationship with God. And, it is at the Mercy Seat that we experientially abide in His presence as He abides in us.
It should be easy to connect the dots, understanding the connection between Passover and the Outer Court, between Pentecost and the Holy Place, and Tabernacles and the Holy of Holies.
Some of our beloved brothers and sisters have never proceeded beyond the Outer Court. Nevertheless, they are parts of the household of God. Others have not moved from the Golden Candlestick to the Golden Table of Showbread. Still others have skipped past the Table, moving directly from the Candlestick to the Altar, never being fitly joined into functional expressions of the church.
I am writing to you, little children (in the Outer Court) because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake. I am writing to you, fathers (in the Holy of Holies), because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men (in the Holy Place), because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
Let’s realize that all who are born again followers of Jesus Christ, a new creation, are parts of the family of God. Let’s be careful to use language that reflects these truths rather than religious dialects that, in effect, divide us.