The Land of Our Habitations

It is important to understand the writings of Moses. Jesus said, "Moses wrote of Me. If you believed Moses, you would believe Me. If you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words?" (John 5:40-47). So, you see, not only did Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John write about the Lord Jesus Christ but Moses did, too. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is there also. In fact, that is true for all of the Old Testament, so we are going to look at a few verses from the writings of Moses and see how they are speaking about the Gospel of Christ.

Numbers 15:1-2 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When you come into the land of your habitations, which I give to you...

The writings of Moses are filled with truths of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. The first thing catching my attention here is "the land of your habitations." What or where is the place of our habitations? As soon as I read this my mind went to John chapter fourteen. It is there that Jesus spoke of preparing a place of habitation for us.

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.

This entire chapter is concerning the place the Lord Jesus has prepared for us. He Himself is our habitation and, as we shall see, there are many abiding places in Him. Jesus begins by saying, "Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me." I am sure you know that the New Testament Scriptures were originally written in Greek and then they were translated into English. I am using the King James Version but what I am going to say about it is also true for the other translations. Often, the translators will translate certain portions of Scripture to make it more palatable to the natural mind and such is the case in this first verse. The actual translation of the Greek is not "Believe in God, believe also in Me." Rather it is, "Believe into God, believe also into Me." That did not make sense to the translators so they changed the "into" to "in." Their perception of Jesus was a man in heaven with His Father. One day He would return but until then He was separated from us. Many Christians are still of that opinion. But Jesus wants to be our habitation now. Therefore, He says, "Believe into God, believe also into Me."

John 14:2 In My Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

"Mansions" is not a good translation of the Greek. The Greek word is mone, and it is used in only one other place, which happens to be in verse 23 of this same chapter. There it is translated "abode." Some Bibles translate it as "rooms," which is better than mansions. That leads us to the following question: What is the Father's house that has these many rooms or abiding places? Paul answers that question in Ephesians 2:19-22: Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto a holy temple in the Lord: in whom you also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit. The Church, which is the Body of Christ, is God's house. It is where the Lord dwells and it is where the members of the Body of Christ dwell. There are many rooms or abiding places in the Body of Christ and your spiritual growth determines the level of your abiding place. Also it makes a difference whether you believe "in" Him or "into" Him. You can believe "in" Him when He is far away in heaven. But if you believe "into" Him, He is taken out of the future and you have been raised up together and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6).

John 14:2b-3 I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

Jesus could not prepare this place for us as Jesus the Nazarene; He had to become Spirit. Christ is no longer an individual but a many-membered Body. For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. I Corinthians 12:12. Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more. II Corinthians 5:16. Jesus also said, Yet a little while, and the world sees Me no more; but you see Me. Because I live, you shall live also. John 14:19.The place of our habitation in the Lord has been prepared. It is a matter of us moving into the place He has prepared for us. Many have moved into the prepared habitations, but many have not because they just can't believe it has already been prepared.

Before we go back to the fifteenth chapter of Numbers let's look at the literal translation of the Greek for this verse 3: If I go and prepare a place for you, again I come and will receive you to Myself. Notice that it is not "I will come again" future tense, but it is present tense, "again I come." The Greek word for "come" here is erchomai, which is only used in present tense and present tense continuous. It means He is coming now and will continue to come. He is not talking about coming again some time in the future as a man. He began His coming on the Day of Pentecost when His Spirit entered His disciples and His coming has continued since then. This is our opportunity to believe into Him. This is our opportunity for Him to be glorified in us. When He comes (erchomai) to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe...That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. II Thessalonians 1:10, 12. When you believe into Him He is also believing into you. Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27. Now we need to return to chapter 15 of Numbers.

Numbers 15:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say to them, When you come into the land of your habitations, which I give to you...

Two things I want us to see here. The Hebrew word "come" in the phrase "when you come into the land of your habitation" is an imperfect verb. That means you do not just come into your habitation and it is done. It is a continual coming. It is like in John 14; there are many rooms, many abiding places. That is why the word "habitations" here is plural. We move from room to room as we grow in the Lord. Then in the phrase "which I give to you" the verb is perfect tense, which means it has been given; it is a done deal. The habitations He has prepared for us is completed. It only remains for us to move into them and to keep moving from glory to glory. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. II Corinthians 3:18. Don't you love this? I do! Moses is saying the same thing in his writings that Jesus is teaching us in the Gospel of John.

Numbers 15:3 And will make an offering by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, or a sacrifice in performing a vow, or in a freewill offering, or in your solemn feasts, to make a sweet savor unto the Lord, of the herd, or of the flock.

How does this verse relate to New Testament teachings? We become the offering by fire. Our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:29. So we offer ourselves unto Him that His presence may burn out the dross of our human nature. This is what John the Baptist meant when he said: I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Matthew 3:11-12.

We must become the whole burnt offering and that points to Romans 12:1: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. The Greek word for "bodies" here is soma, which speaks of all that you are - body, soul, and spirit. So we present ourselves unto the Lord as a whole burnt offering and as a freewill offering. The Lord Jesus Christ is our solemn feasts, for we partake of Him; He is our manna from heaven. Whether we are an offering from the herd (I Corinthians 9:9-10) or from the flock (Psalm 100:3), we are made a sweet savor unto the Lord. We will look at one more verse in this chapter.

Numbers 15:13 All that are born of the country shall do these things after this manner, in offering an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord.

The country spoken of here is the "land of our habitations." Everyone that is born here is an offering made by fire, a sweet savor unto the Lord.

Copyright 2011 by Henry DuBose