The TABERNACLE is the dwelling place of God among men. [Tabernacle — Heb：”mishkan” – Strongs#4908 = tabernacle, tent, dwelling place; Greek: “skene“– Strongs#4633 = tabernacle, tent, habitation].
The earthly TABERNACLE was ordered to be built according to the specifications of’ God. It was the holy place in which God would be present for the representative of the people, the high priest, to offer sacrifices on behalf of the sins of the people. Its construction is described in much detail. These details and its purposes are described in Exodus 25-40 and in Numbers 3, 4 and 7.
Along with the physical TABERNACE, God required specific clothing and purifications of Aaron and the subsequent high priests. The Lord gave these instructions to Moses on Mount Sinai. All of these things were to be statutes forever for Israel as long as it existed under the (Mosaic) Old covenant.
In the beginning of AD 31, Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, disputed with the unbelieving Jewish leaders, regarding Jesus Christ. Stephen spoke with power and gave a lengthy history of the Jews from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and to King David.
“44Our fathers had the TABERNACLE of witness in the wilderness, as He appointed, instructing Moses to make it according to the pattern that he had seen, 45which our fathers, having received it in turn, also brought with Joshua into the land possessed by the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers until the days of David, 4 6who found favor before God and asked to find a dwelling for the God of Jacob.” (Acts 7:44-46).
Stephen preached that God does not dwell in temples made with hands. He quoted the Prophet Isaiah: “49‘Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. What house will you build for Me?’ says the Lord, ‘Or what is the place of My rest? 50Has My hand not made all these things?’” (Acts 7:49-50; Isaiah 66:1-2).
Stephen rebuked the unbelieving Jewish leaders for resisting the Holy Spirit, as their fathers did, and for persecuting the prophets and killing those that God sent to them. They even betrayed and murdered Christ. In response to Stephen’s sermon, the unbelieving Jews were angry with him and they stoned Stephen to death (Acts 7:51-60).
In c. AD 63, the writer of Hebrews (Paul?), discussed the TABERNACLE. He said that Christ has obtained a more excellent ministry, a better covenant than the one under Moses. Not based upon a TABERNACLE made by hands with physical sacrifices, ceremonies, and laws. The better covenant is one in which God puts His laws in their minds and on their hearts. He was describing a covenant of grace from God, not based upon works (Heb. 8:6-10).
In the eternal New Covenant spiritual Kingdom, Christ is the TABERNACLE. He is the High Priest. With His own blood, He entered the Most Holy Place in heaven once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. Christ is the Mercy Seat also and the blood on it.
“13In that He says, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the FIRST OBSOLETE. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is READY TO VANISH AWAY.” (Heb. 8:13).
“11But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect TABERNACLE not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with HIS OWN BLOOD He entered the MOST HOLY PLACE once for all, having obtained eternal REDEMPTION.” (Heb. 9:11-12).
In AD 66-70, Christ returned at His second coming Parousia reunited and fully consummated the eternal New Covenant Kingdom (heavenly unseen realm and earthly seen realm in the Church. Eph. 1:10). All Christians live in the earthly seen realm (Church) of the reunited eternal Kingdom. They all “know the Lord” by faith. Christ has forgiven each one for their sins and will remember their sins no more (Heb. 8:11-12).
At His Parousia, Christ brought the heavenly New Jerusalem city down with Him. This is the eternal heavenly home in the unseen realm of the Kingdom for all born-again believers in the afterlife (past and future). God shall always be with them forever.
“2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the TABERNACLE OF GOD is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.’”(Rev. 21:2-3).
“22But I saw NO TEMPLE in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its TEMPLE. 23The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.” (Rev. 21:22-23).