HOW THE BODY, THE ARMY, AND
THE DWELLING PLACE OF GOD CAME INTO BEING
Scripture Reading: Rev. 2:7, 17; 3:20; Ezek. 1:1, 27; 37:1-12, 14, 26-28; 47:1-12; 48:30-35
THE IMPORTANCE OF EATING
In three of the last seven epistles written by the Lord to the churches in the book of Revelation, He talks about the matter of eating as a reward to the overcomers. The eating of the tree of life is mentioned first and then the eating of the manna. In the first epistle He talks about eating the tree of life (2:7), which was mentioned at the very beginning of the divine revelation in Genesis 2. In the third epistle the Lord talks about eating the hidden manna (2:17). Manna was first revealed in Exodus 16. In the last epistle the Lord concludes by saying that He stands at the door and knocks. Whoever is willing to open the door to let the Lord come in, the Lord will dine with that person (3:20). These seven epistles open and close with the matter of eating.
We have seen clearly from the Scriptures that eating transforms us. This can be realized even with our physical eating of food. If a person does not eat for three days, he will look weak and pale. But once he eats a few good meals, his appearance will be transformed. He will be shining instead of pale and strong instead of weak. We are transformed by eating. If you eat beef day after day, you will begin to have the odor of beef. You will have the odor of a cow because you have eaten so much cow. Eating transforms.
Previously, we have seen that eating is the turning point from the outer court of the tabernacle into the Holy Place. In the outer court of the tabernacle at the altar are all the offerings. We can enjoy Christ’s redemption through these offerings. After enjoying the redemptive aspect of the offerings, the priests had to eat most of the offerings. The eating started with the offerings in the outer court. 
By eating the offerings the priests were turned into the tabernacle. In the Holy Place of the tabernacle was the table of the bread of the Presence. The priests were to eat the bread in the Holy Place (Lev. 24:5-9). According to the mentioning of the items within the tabernacle, the table of the bread of the Presence was the first item on the north, and on the south was the lampstand (Exo. 26:35). The life we enjoy in the bread issues in the light of the lampstand. The eating of the bread is the enjoyment of life, and this life is the light of men (John 1:4), the light of life (8:12). Next in the tabernacle was the incense altar. The sweetness of Christ follows the enlightening.
In the outer court the first item is redemption, that is, justification by faith through the blood. Based upon this justification through redemption, you are entitled to enjoy the eating of all the offerings, which are the different aspects of Christ. Through Christ’s redemption you are entitled and have the ground to enjoy Christ as your portion. You have to eat of Him. Thus, eating is the last item in the outer court, but the first item in the Holy Place. At the table of the bread of the Presence, the priest continues to eat.
In the Holy of Holies the first item within the Ark was the hidden manna. Also within the Ark were the enlightening law, matching the lampstand, and the sprouting, budding rod of Aaron, signifying our experience of Christ in His resurrection as our acceptance by God and matching the sweetness of the incense (Heb. 9:3-4). Either in the Holy Place or in the Holy of Holies, eating is the main item in our pursuit of the Lord.
Eating transforms us into precious material for God’s building. With the tabernacle are the wooden boards overlaid with gold based upon the silver sockets (Exo. 26:15-25, 29-30). This means that by eating Christ, based upon His redemption signified by the silver sockets, we will be transformed, overlaid with the divine nature, which is the gold. By eating Christ based upon His redemption, something divine will be wrought into us and upon us. Eventually, there will be a tabernacle built up with wood and gold mingled together. This mingling is accomplished by eating. Wood signifies us, and gold signifies God. How could God become a part of us? How could we be in the nature of God? How could the nature of God overlay us? It is by our eating Him.
Eating involves three things. First, eating means to take something into us. Second, without eating we cannot exist. I may have  life, but I need to eat to maintain this life. Third, whatever I take in is what I live by, and what I take in will be digested by me and become my very constituent, my very element. What I eat becomes a part of me. In John 6 the Lord told us that He is the bread of life (v. 35) and that the one who eats Him will live because of Him (v. 57).
The entire Bible reveals to us one central thing—God’s intention is to work Himself into us. First Corinthians 6:17 says, “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” God’s intention is to make Himself one with us. This is something so marvelous. No human mind could ever imagine that such a thing could happen in the universe, that is, that the Creator and almighty God intends to make Himself one with us. There is only one way that God can be one with us. God can work Himself into us to be one with us by the way of eating. God presented Himself to man as the tree of life immediately after man’s creation. God as the tree of life is for eating. Not only in Genesis 2 but also in Revelation 2, we are told to eat of the tree of life.
The tree of life is the Triune God—the Father embodied in the Son and the Son realized as the Spirit. The tree of life is the very Triune God embodied and realized. The Father is the very source, and all the fullness of this source dwells in the Son. The Son is the embodiment of the source, and the Son is realized as the Spirit. The Spirit comes into us with all the fullness of the source that we may enjoy Him and take Him as food. This is the central thought of the entire Scriptures. The Scriptures open with the tree of life and close with the tree of life. What we take into us is what we live by. What we take into us is digested by us and becomes our very constituent, our very element. What has been taken into us will become one with us and will become us. We need to learn to feed on the Triune God and to enjoy Him all day long. Out of this eating comes the tabernacle.
After the tabernacle was the temple, which also was the issue of eating. The six books in the Old Testament from 1 Samuel to 2 Chronicles give us a full record of the building of the temple. If you read these books carefully, you will see that the temple was a product of the enjoyment of all the produce of the good land of Canaan. The good land of Canaan typifies the all-inclusive, resurrected, and ascended Christ. The middle portion of the good land was offered to God in Ezekiel as a heave offering (48:8-12), typifying Christ resurrected and lifted up, ascended to the heavens. The  land of Canaan was an elevated land, high above sea level, signifying the resurrected and ascended Christ. God has brought us into this land and has put us into Christ. Now we are living in this land. Now we are living in Christ, walking in Christ, and even laboring on Christ. Day by day we labor on this good land, on Christ. Then we have the produce of Christ not only to enjoy privately but also to enjoy publicly and corporately with God by offering this surplus of the produce of the good land to God. It was through this that the temple was built, which is a type of the church. The temple was the issue of the enjoyment of all the produce of the good land, typifying how the church comes into existence by our enjoyment of Christ.