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Summary: This is part 2 of ’fruit and the fig tree’. Jesus is looking for fruit: of character (part 1) and His presence going to the gentiles (part 2). This sermon looks at the tearing of the temple curtain as a) us having access to God’s presence b)God’s presenc

The presence of God. WBC 15 Aug 2004 am.

Readings: Ex 26:31-35, 1KI 6:14, -19, MK 11:15-17, MT 27:50-51

We go in – we have access

In the OT- God is presented as omnipresent and loving

- but not incredibly accessible

o only to the few. Mainly in a ‘national sense’

 = because of His holiness

o High priest could only enter the MHP once a year

 After lots of ceremonies, blood

 Even then = risky. Vines around ankles

So, someone like David stands out dramatically as ‘ a man after God’s own heart’ as He saw and understood God’s desire to be ‘accessible’.

In the temple there was a 2ft thick curtain separating God’s presence from the Holy Place

- torn in 2. From top to bottom… God to man.

o So that we may go in

“But how big was that gap in the curtain, Daddy?” A little girl asked. “Big enough for anyone and everyone to get through”

We have access to God. The way to Him is open

HEB 10:19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

We have access- to God and to heaven

This has implications for us:

Wherever you are-you have access to heaven…God…Jesus

- whether you feel it or not

Access to the Kingdom of God. God’s reign. His resources.

- Lk 17:21 ‘the kingdom of heaven is in the midst of you… among you”

- Lots in eph 2:18 about us having access… the barrier being destroyed….

o Access to all the blessings of God in heaven described in ch 1 (v3ff “praise be to the God..”

o In fact- though we are down here on earth- we are seen as ‘seated in heavenly places’ (eph 2:6)

 That’s the kind of access we have. 100%. There all the time

In fact it- the presence of God is no longer found in temples etc- but He comes to live in US! We are the temples of the HS!

2 cor 6:16For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."

We have access to God’s presence, just like Jesus did

- -Spontaneously prays “Father, I thank you that you hear me. You always hear me”

This is so important! Because we must believe God on this…and act as fact

- doubts keep you out (psychologically, not spiritually or actually)

- so many of us are robbed of things because of the lies and doubts sown by the devil (liar and accuser) and others

It has huge implications for others, as well

- it means that wherever we… you go… you take heaven with you

o God’s presence! Seriously!

“there is a place where heaven touches earth- and we are that place” Simon Oliver

You see the fullness of what this means in

- Lk 4: Jesus’ ministry begins and wherever He walks heaven grows. Signs of the kingdom

- And then the 12 and 72 – LK 10:8 "When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, `The kingdom of God is near you.

- Wherever they are there is the presence of God… the Kingdom

It’s the same with you. Workplace, school, play, shopping:

- you take God and heaven with you

o because that is the access in which you now stand (Roms 5:2)

- dramatic? No- NORMAL! And TRUE! (that’s what you must grasp)

Illustr: Me and exorcisms of poltergeist.

I understood this right from the start (maybe better, then!) Ibiza and brothel

Let me build on this, and God’s plan…

God goes out- invading space

Think of the ark of the covenant (a box)…..

.. and the tabernacle ( a rectangular tent)….

…. And the temple (a stone rectangular building)…

= fascinating! Although God is omnipresent and working everywhere

- His revealed presence is ‘constrained’… almost ‘concealed’

The veil was torn in two- and it not only lets us in

- but it lets God out. Into the fullness of His plans

- > and it’s not out into the church (as many understand it)

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