Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Ong Guek Ju, Principal of Tung Ling Bible School, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 3 Feb 2019.
A Place to Go
We are God’s chosen people.
“But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” (1 Peter 2:9)
“Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, 'Look, here it is! ' or, 'There it is! ' For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst."”
The Kingdom of God is in us. We are to align ourselves to the Kingdom of God. One thing we definitely like to know is where we should go. Abraham trusted God to help him get to the Promised Land.
“Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, a good distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the LORD would go out to the tent of meeting which was outside the camp. And it came about, whenever Moses went out to the tent, that all the people would arise and stand, each at the entrance of his tent, and gaze after Moses until he entered the tent. Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the LORD would speak with Moses. When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent. Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.” (Exodus 33:7-11 NASB)
The Tent of Meeting is precursor to the Tabernacle of Moses.
1. Tent of the Meeting is the place.
The Hebrew word of the Tent of Meeting is called "O-hel-mo’ed".
The more we spend time with God, the more we become like Him. As we spend more time with God, our inner being will be aligned with the Kingdom of God, and our actions will be according to His ways.
2. The Tent of Meeting was a place outside the Camp.
What are we doing to discipline ourselves to follow God? When the tent was first put up, Moses put it outside the camp and Moses was often asked to represent the people to come before God. The camp had to be outside as God is holy and the people were sinners and unholy; and were not following God wholeheartedly.
“Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.” (Hebrews 13:12)
“In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.” (Isaiah 6:1)
God wants to draw near to us.
3. The Tent of Meeting is a place to inquire of the Lord.
In the Kingdom of God all of us worship. We can come before God boldly and ask God. Sometimes we ask someone to pray for us and expect them to deliver us the message from God, whereby we should be able to hear from God ourselves. We need to learn to tune in to God.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13)
“'Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.'” (Jeremiah 33:3)
Ask of the Lord. Nothing is impossible for God. For many years Tung Ling did not have a permanent place. The staff often prayed together for a place and one day during prayer, one of the staff had a vision that they saw a school with a swimming pool. Although it seems an uphill feat, they continue to pray and believe. In 2018, they found a place and moved in. When they moved in, although they were short of $1.5 million, Pastor Ong received a message that once they moved in, their debts will be cleared. Tung Ling Bible School was debt free after moving to a new place when a single donor gave a donation of $1.5 million.
Exodus 33:11 - meeting face to face as one speaks to a friend
We are the friends of God. There are three things we observe when we are with good friends.
· Friends would speak to each other.
· Friends would enjoy talking to each other.
· Friends do not keep track of time when they are together.
David shared in the Book of Psalms about what it means to be in God's presence.
“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His temple.” (Psalms 27:4)
God is raising kingdom people for His kingdom. All of us have different assignments, so don't worry when we are called to serve in a different area than our friends.
4. The Tent of Meeting was a place of renewal and rest.
In God's presence there is a place of renewal and rest. In the tent we are:-
Taught – Renewal of Mind
Know – Act according to His purpose
Favour – Sense His presence
Presence – Restfulness
Our beliefs will shape who we are.
5. A place of His lingering presence.
The Tent of Meeting it is also the place where the lingering presence of God is felt. When we are in the presence of someone with strong perfume, even when the person leaves, the smell may still linger for a while in the room. The more we seek God, the more we will sense His lingering presence. Even our lives will be a pleasing sacrifice and fragrance to God the more we walk with God.
“For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;” (2 Corinthians 2:15)