Housing His Glory
Jun 12, 2007
Joshua was of the tribe of Ephraim. Because he was also a type of Christ, it seems like a biblical discrepancy that Joshua was not of Judah, as was Jesus. But Caleb was of Judah, and Joshua of Ephraim. These two were both types of Christ, and in that sense, Jesus came the first time to fulfill the Caleb type, while He comes the second time as the type of Joshua.
Hence, Jesus was born into the tribe of Judah the first time, but He comes through Joseph/Ephraim the second time. In this way He is able to claim both of the mandates inherent in the original Birthright.
When Joshua led Israel into Canaan, he set up the tabernacle of Moses in Shiloh, a town of Ephraim (Joshua 18:1). It is interesting that they named the new town Shiloh, because no doubt they had in mind the prophecy of Jacob in Gen. 49:10,
"The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples."
So the first round of fulfillment was at Shiloh. This was where the people were to gather for the feasts. This was where the Ark was placed. This was where God put His name. However, by the time a few centuries had passed, the priesthood there became corrupted during the high priesthood of Eli, whose sons were stealing the offerings and committing fornication with the women (1 Sam. 2:16, 22).
So God caused them to take the Ark into battle against the Philistines in order to remove it from that place. The Philistines captured it, and it was said that "the glory is departed from Israel" (1 Sam. 4:22). They returned the Ark after seven months (1 Sam. 6:1), but it was never again set up at Shiloh, nor even in the territory of the tribe of Ephraim. In Psalm 78 we read that the people had provoked God with graven images, and that this is the reason why God held Shiloh and its priests accountable.
" (59) When God heard, He was filled with wrath, and greatly abhorred Israel; (60) So that He abandoned the dwelling place at Shiloh, the tent which He had pitched among men, (61)And gave up His strength [i.e., the Ark] to captivity, and His glory into the hand of the adversary. . . (67) He also rejected the tent of Joseph, and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, but chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loved. (68) And He built His sanctuary like the heights, like the earth which He has founded forever."
We see here that Israel (and specifically Ephraim-Joseph) was held to account as distinct from Judah. The glory of God was removed from Ephraim-Joseph-Israel and moved to Jerusalem in Judah in the time of King David. This is how Israel as a governmental entity (nation) ceased to be "chosen." God then "chose" Judah to bear His glory and moved His presence to Jerusalem.
Ultimately, this is what being "chosen" is all about. The New Testament uses the term "The Elect." It is about bearing (or manifesting) His glory.
Two centuries later, the priests in Jerusalem had become as corrupt and hypocritical as in the days of Eli at Shiloh. And so God told Jeremiah in Jer. 7:12-15,
" (12) But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. (13) And now, because you have done all these things, declares the Lord, and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you, but you did not answer, (14)therefore, I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. (15) And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, all the offspring of Ephraim."
Ephraim had not only lost the glory of God, but they had also been divorced from God (Jer. 3:8) and cast off into the land of Assyria a century earlier. And now God threatened to "cast out" Judah even as He did with Ephraim.
Even as the glory departed from Shiloh in Ephraim, the prophet Ezekiel saw the glory of God depart from Jerusalem in Judah (Ez. 10:18; 11:23). Ezekiel saw the glory depart as far as the Mount of Olives. However, the glory could not complete its departure until after Jesus Christ had come to do His work. When He ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:9-12), the departure was complete.
This occurred on the 40th day after His resurrection (Acts 1:3). Ten days later was the day of Pentecost, when the glory returned. It did not return to the physical temple, nor to Judah, nor to Israel. It came to indwell the bodies of believers. This is the new Temple wherein God now dwells, for Paul says in 1 Cor. 3:16,
"Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"
Paul was referring to us as individual temples. But he also tells us in Eph. 2:20-22 that the believersas a body are a corporate Temple of God. In that sense, as 1 Peter 2:5 says, we are "living stones" in that corporate Temple.
When we view the progression of the places where the glory of God has rested, we see that He has lived in more than one place. First He lived in Shiloh, then in Jerusalem, and now in a new Temple made of living stones. He never returned to Shiloh, and He will never return to an old temple in Jerusalem either, for He forsook that old place "as Shiloh."
Obviously, Christian Zionists disagree with plain Scripture here, choosing to interpret it in a way that contradicts itself. They think God is going to downgrade His residence from a house of Living Stones to a house made of dead stones and dead wood. The fact is, God has upgraded His place of residence and has no intention to returning to His previous address in the lawless neighborhood of Jerusalem.
The point of this is to show that God gave Ephraim-Israel the first opportunity to bear His glory. When they failed, He gave Judah the second opportunity. They failed as well. Both nations (made up of physical, genealogical tribes from Adam and Abraham) failed to manifest His glory. The flesh itself failed. The First Adam was simply incapable of fulfilling the requirements of being "Chosen."
But God had planned from the beginning that the first Adam would fail. Even so, Adam, Israel, and Judah all had to prove themselves to be failures, so that no one could come back later and say, "Well, if we had just been given a chance, we could have succeeded." In fact, even the Philistines had the opportunity to have the Ark of His glory, but they soon realized that they were in way over their heads.
So after the Cross, beginning with the fulfillment of Pentecost in Acts 2, God's presence moved into the Church, which, as I have said, was the continuation of the legitimate Kingdom of Judah. From then on, those with physical circumcision were NOT Jews (Rom. 2:28), but those with the inner circumcision of the heart ARE Jews (Rom. 2:29), that is, Judahites.
Later, John says in Rev. 3:9,
"Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who SAY that they are Jews, and ARE NOT, but lie--behold, I will make them to come and bow down at your feet, and to know that I have loved you."
(See also Rev. 2:9.) One's physical connection to Adam, Abraham, Israel, or Judah is now no longer that which makes one "chosen." Being "chosen" to house His glory is now determined by one's relationship with Jesus Christ.
Dr. Stephen Jones