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The Place Your God Shall Choose

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The Place Your God Shall Choose

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The Place Your God Shall Choose

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What are the places God has put His name and how does He designates any given place? Plus, how the present day Church of God fulfills this instruction to come before God in the the place He will choose.

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The Place Which The Lord Your God Shall Choose

God's instructions for the feast of Tabernacles appear in three places:

Leviticus 23 gives the responsibility of proclaiming the time of the biblical festivals to the priests. Numbers 29 itemizes specific sacrifices and offerings for each biblical festival. Deuteronomy 16  instructs where the biblical festivals are to be conducted

Deuteronomy 16:13-15 Deuteronomy 16:13-15 [13] You shall observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that you have gathered in your corn and your wine: [14] And you shall rejoice in your feast, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within your gates. [15] Seven days shall you keep a solemn feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD your God shall bless you in all your increase, and in all the works of your hands, therefore you shall surely rejoice.
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 for many this means Jerusalem. But, Jerusalem only became the place to keep the festival many centuries after these instructions were given. Jerusalem became the place around 960 BC. in the days of Solomon… But was rejected and destroyed in 70 AD.

Prophecies of the millennial rule of Christ tell us Jerusalem will be restored as the geographic center of God's government... but that is not NOW. Jerusalem is NOT the place for God’s people to keep the Feast of Tabernacles in this age.

Today we’ll review the places God has placed His name and how He designates any given place. We’ll finish with a quick look at how the present day Church of God fulfills this instruction to come before God in the the place He will choose.

The Purpose of Establishing A Place to Gather

God’s commands, statutes, or judgments  showing whether we will do what He says or not. But His instructions also have the effect of producing desired moral outcomes, attitudes and spiritual insights.

Purpose 1: To Separate His People From Evil Influences

Revelation 18:4 Revelation 18:4And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.
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, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 [14] Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? [15] And what concord has Christ with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? [16] And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [17] Why come out from among them, and be you separate, said the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. [18] And will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, said the Lord Almighty.
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[quick paraphrase]

The exodus of Israel from Egypt depicts this idea of worship as a form of separation. God did not say to Pharaoh "let my people go so they may be more prosperous and experience freedom". He said "let my people go so they may worship me in the wilderness [away from you]".

Exodus 7:16 Exodus 7:16And you shall say to him, The LORD God of the Hebrews has sent me to you, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, till now you would not hear.
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 Pharaoh refused and the river Nile was turned to blood. Then again in Exodus 8:1 Exodus 8:1And the LORD spoke to Moses, Go to Pharaoh, and say to him, Thus said the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
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 and again in Exodus 8:20 Exodus 8:20And the LORD said to Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; see, he comes forth to the water; and say to him, Thus said the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
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b the cycle repeats.

Exodus 8:25-28 Exodus 8:25-28 [25] And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go you, sacrifice to your God in the land. [26] And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God: see, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us? [27] We will go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, as he shall command us. [28] And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away: entreat for me.
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 Pharaoh seeks a compromise: OK, but don't go to the desert, worship your God here in Egypt. God will not accept that compromise, He wants His people to worship Him where He says. Pharaoh agrees but then deceitfully changes his decision.

The same demand and refusal repeats 3 more times Exodus 9:1 Exodus 9:1Then the LORD said to Moses, Go in to Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus said the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
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, then Exodus 9:13 Exodus 9:13And the LORD said to Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, Thus said the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
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 then Exodus 10:3 Exodus 10:3And Moses and Aaron came in to Pharaoh, and said to him, Thus said the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me.
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Exodus 10:8-12 Exodus 10:8-12 [8] And Moses and Aaron were brought again to Pharaoh: and he said to them, Go, serve the LORD your God: but who are they that shall go? [9] And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast to the LORD. [10] And he said to them, Let the LORD be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you. [11] Not so: go now you that are men, and serve the LORD; for that you did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence. [12] And the LORD said to Moses, Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up on the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail has left.
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 Pharaoh seeks another compromise: go but don't take your women and children. God will not accept the compromise, He wants everyone to gather for worship. Exodus 10:24-25 Exodus 10:24-25 [24] And Pharaoh called to Moses, and said, Go you, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you. [25] And Moses said, You must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.
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 Pharaoh seeks compromise: go but don't take your livestock. God will not accept the compromise, He wants them to bring sacrifices and offerings.

Next the first born of Egypt are struck down... Pharaoh tells them to go worship God.

God removed His people to the wilderness. A place where they could worship and learn from Him without distractions, interference, or worldly deceptions.

Likewise. the feast of Tabernacles pictures a time when the negative influences of Satan are gone.  We take a break from society to gather before Him to learn and to worship.

Purpose 2: To Keep People From Going Their Own Way

For forty years Israel worshiped God in the wilderness. God's presence in a pillar of fire lead them from place to place. Wherever the pillar stopped... there they would set up the tabernacle [tent of meeting] There God would be present within the camp.  

After 40 years in the wilderness it was time to enter the promised land. Instead of a tight centralized camp they would spread out over a large geographic area. Some new instructions would be needed… that is one of the purposes of the book of Deuteronomy. 

Deuteronomy 12:1-14 Deuteronomy 12:1-14 [1] These are the statutes and judgments, which you shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of your fathers gives you to possess it, all the days that you live on the earth. [2] You shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which you shall possess served their gods, on the high mountains, and on the hills, and under every green tree: [3] And you shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and you shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. [4] You shall not do so to the LORD your God. [5] But to the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even to his habitation shall you seek, and thither you shall come: [6] And thither you shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and of your flocks: [7] And there you shall eat before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice in all that you put your hand to, you and your households, wherein the LORD your God has blessed you. [8] You shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatever is right in his own eyes. [9] For you are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the LORD your God gives you. [10] But when you go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God gives you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety; [11] Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall you bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which you vow to the LORD: [12] And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; for as much as he has no part nor inheritance with you. [13] Take heed to yourself that you offer not your burnt offerings in every place that you see: [14] But in the place which the LORD shall choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.
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Leviticus 17:7 Leviticus 17:7And they shall no more offer their sacrifices to devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute for ever to them throughout their generations.
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 so they learn to worship God alone... and in the way He instructs…. by those He has appointed to teach

Likewise, the feast of tabernacles pictures a time when everyone will call upon God, and God alone, for instruction. And they will be answered with truth and not deception.

God Works Through Duly Ordained Human Leadership To Select Locations

Once Israel entered the promised land they would no longer have the pillar of fire showing where to pitch the tabernacle. Moving forward… God would work through chosen and designated servants to select locations for setting up the tabernacles and therefore the places where God would put His name.

Exodus 20:24 Exodus 20:24An altar of earth you shall make to me, and shall sacrifice thereon your burnt offerings, and your peace offerings, your sheep, and your oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come to you, and I will bless you.
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 God says wherever He causes His name to be placed He will come to them and bless them.

Joshua 4:19-20 Joshua 4:19-20 [19] And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho. [20] And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.
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  [MAP] the first location for tabernacle is a strategic choice made by Joshua. It established a base of operations from which Israel could spread out across the entire promised land.

Joshua 18:1 Joshua 18:1And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.
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 after a few years,  the tabernacle was moved to Shiloh in the center of the country [in the territory of Ephraim]. Another strategic location based on the circumstances of the moment.

 Shiloh remained the place of worship for Israel for several tumultuous centuries. There was oppression from Moab… from the Philistines… as well as anarchy and unfaithfulness among the 12 tribes. But Shiloh still grew into a thriving religious city with lots of attendant Levites. Over time the priesthood in Shiloh  became degenerate [remember the sons of Eli].

God was going to shake things up and withdraw His blessing from Shiloh.There would be:

  1. Upheaval in the priesthood - the line of Eleazar was going to be removed and the line of Ithamar [Aaron's younger son] became the line of the high priest.
  2. The Ark would be removed - the people took the ark from the tabernacle and tried to use it to gain victory over the Philistines. God had removed His blessing and the ark was lost.
  3. Change of leadership [and the honor containing the place where God's name would be] passed from Ephraim to Judah. This would be accomplished through the exaltation of David and his descendants Psalms 78:9-70 Psalms 78:9-70 [9] The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle. [10] They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; [11] And forgot his works, and his wonders that he had showed them. [12] Marvelous things did he in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. [13] He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap. [14] In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire. [15] He split the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths. [16] He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers. [17] And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness. [18] And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust. [19] Yes, they spoke against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? [20] Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people? [21] Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; [22] Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation: [23] Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, [24] And had rained down manna on them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. [25] Man did eat angels' food: he sent them meat to the full. [26] He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind. [27] He rained flesh also on them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea: [28] And he let it fall in the middle of their camp, round about their habitations. [29] So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire; [30] They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths, [31] The wrath of God came on them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel. [32] For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works. [33] Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble. [34] When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and inquired early after God. [35] And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. [36] Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied to him with their tongues. [37] For their heart was not right with him, neither were they steadfast in his covenant. [38] But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yes, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. [39] For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passes away, and comes not again. [40] How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! [41] Yes, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. [42] They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy. [43] How he had worked his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Zoan. [44] And had turned their rivers into blood; and their floods, that they could not drink. [45] He sent divers sorts of flies among them, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them. [46] He gave also their increase to the caterpillar, and their labor to the locust. [47] He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycomore trees with frost. [48] He gave up their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to hot thunderbolts. [49] He cast on them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them. [50] He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence; [51] And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham: [52] But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock. [53] And he led them on safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies. [54] And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased. [55] He cast out the heathen also before them, and divided them an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents. [56] Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies: [57] But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow. [58] For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images. [59] When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel: [60] So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men; [61] And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy's hand. [62] He gave his people over also to the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance. [63] The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage. [64] Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation. [65] Then the LORD awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouts by reason of wine. [66] And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach. [67] Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim: [68] But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved. [69] And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he has established for ever. [70] He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds:
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  4. Shiloh would be destroyed... possibly by Philistine invasions... not sure... Jeremiah 17:12-14 Jeremiah 17:12-14 [12] A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. [13] O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake you shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters. [14] Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for you are my praise.
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The Tabernacle on the Move

From Shiloh, the tabernacle was probably moved back to Gilgal. We assume this since It was there that Samuel offered sacrifice connected to the coronation of Saul 1 Samuel 10:8 1 Samuel 10:8And you shall go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down to you, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: seven days shall you tarry, till I come to you, and show you what you shall do.
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, 11-15.

Next, Saul moved the tabernacle to Nob just forth of Jerusalem 1 Samuel 21:1 1 Samuel 21:1Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said to him, Why are you alone, and no man with you?
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. we assume this since David goes there to find the high priest, the show bread he gets from the priest would have come from within the tabernacle etc. Saul finds out the priests in Nob have helped his rival David and kills all the priests and destroys Nob.

From there, King Saul moves the tabernacles to Gibeon [another strategic move to place the religious center  in the friendly territory of Benjamin. The tabernacle stayed there for the rest of Saul’s reign and all through the 40 year reign of David.

For at least 80 years the ark was still not in the tabernacle. The location of where God's name was situated was in flux. God was not blessing them… but, He was still accepting the sacrifices and worship offered in each of these various locations the appointed leaders had chosen for tactical and strategic reasons.

The Move to Jerusalem

1 Chronicles 16:39 1 Chronicles 16:39And Zadok the priest, and his brothers the priests, before the tabernacle of the LORD in the high place that was at Gibeon,
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 during his reign David brought the ark back to Jerusalem and erected a sort of tabernacles around it. Meanwhile, the true tabernacle was still in Gibeon and the priesthood was divided. The situation was a mess!

 At this point God intervenes to make His will known.

1 Chronicles 21:21-29 1 Chronicles 21:21-29 [21] And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshing floor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground. [22] Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshing floor, that I may build an altar therein to the LORD: you shall grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people. [23] And Ornan said to David, Take it to you, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: see, I give you the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all. [24] And king David said to Ornan, No; but I will truly buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is your for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. [25] So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. [26] And David built there an altar to the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called on the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire on the altar of burnt offering. [27] And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof. [28] At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there. [29] For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon.
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 the sword of the Lord that was against David in Gibeon but it would be put away in Jerusalem. A move to Jerusalem is God’s will. Yet, the tabernacle remained in Gibeon all during David's reign. The honor of bringing this transfer to pass would be given to Solomon.

2 Chronicles 1:3-6 2 Chronicles 1:3-6 [3] So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness. [4] But the ark of God had David brought up from Kirjathjearim to the place which David had prepared for it: for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem. [5] Moreover the brazen altar, that Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the LORD: and Solomon and the congregation sought to it. [6] And Solomon went up thither to the brazen altar before the LORD, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.
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 Solomon goes to Gibeon to seek God, that was still the official location even though the ark was in Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 5:2-5 2 Chronicles 5:2-5 [2] Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion. [3] Why all the men of Israel assembled themselves to the king in the feast which was in the seventh month. [4] And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark. [5] And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up.
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 Solomon formalizes the transfer from tabernacle to temple and establishing Jerusalem as the place where God's name would be. Verse 14 the cloud covering the glory of God fills the temple signifying God's presence and approval.

Notice that this transfer of where God's name will be placed is transacted during the Feast of Tabernacles 2 Chronicles 7:8-9 2 Chronicles 7:8-9 [8] Also at the same time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath to the river of Egypt. [9] And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days.
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Jerusalem remained the place of meeting for the remainder of Israel's history. Jeroboam and the kings of the north tried to move the feast and the place of worship back to the north but they were cursed and condemned by God. He did not approve of them deciding to keep the feast in a different location.

The Time of Jerusalem Ends

Later, Judah grossly violated the covenant and God allowed Jerusalem to be destroyed. He withdrew His name from the place before the temple was burned Ezekiel 10:18 Ezekiel 10:18Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim.
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After 70 years God allowed Judah to return and rebuild a temple in Jerusalem. The rebuilding  was accomplished by men like Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehemiah. God's approval of the project is given through  the prophets Haggai and Zechariah.

Note: There is no record of the cloud returning to restored temple... nor to the refurbished and expanded version of it built by Herod. God honored what was going on at the new facility, but He was not present in the temple until He came in the flesh through the person of Jesus Christ.

Once again, It is significant that Jesus first appearance in His temple to teach preach and proclaim the coming kingdom of God… occurred during the feast of tabernacles.

When Jesus wanted to keep the feast He went to Jerusalem. It was still the place where God's name was to be found. But because Jerusalem rejected the presence of Jesus Christ their king... Jerusalem would be rejected and would no longer be the place where God chose.

John 4:21 John 4:21Jesus said to her, Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
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 Jesus taught that moving forward Jerusalem would serve as a geographic location where God's name would be and where worshipers would gather. In Matthew 24:2 Matthew 24:2And Jesus said to them, See you not all these things? truly I say to you, There shall not be left here one stone on another, that shall not be thrown down.
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He also taught that the temple would be completely destroyed.  

History records this destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD.

The Presence of God in the Age of the Church

For the past 1,951 years Jerusalem has not been the place God has chosen to place His name. People [even within the Church of God] have tried to restore it to that status but all such efforts have failed.

During the Church age God's presence is within believers through the holy spirit. But that does not mean places of gathering are irrelevant.

1 Peter 2:4-5 1 Peter 2:4-5 [4] To whom coming, as to a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, [5] You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
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, Ephesians 2:20-22 Ephesians 2:20-22 [20] And are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; [21] In whom all the building fitly framed together grows to an holy temple in the Lord: [22] In whom you also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
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 the members of God's Church are stones fitted together and built up into a dwelling place for God. Collectively we are the present temple, or household of God. Currently, we are: 1) training to serve as priests under Christ when he returns, and 2) offering up spiritual sacrifices [which are lives patterned after Jesus Christ].

Christ is the head of that church and has appointed some to be administrative leaders Ephesians 4:11 Ephesians 4:11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
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, 1 Timothy 3:1 1 Timothy 3:1This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desires a good work.
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As it was in Israel God works through His appointed and ordained leaders to name the locations where His name will be and where His people should gather. The Church of God establishes and maintains locations for the observance of the feast of tabernacles with strategic and practical considerations: 

We select locations that provide a certain degree of separation from the hustle bustle world and its distractions... we try to balance that with places  with enough going on that families can have plenty of enjoyment and rejoicing. We also look for places that are large enough to accommodate big crowds, sites that have enough affordable housing for members who are not so wealthy.

At some point, God may want us to change our approach… but, I believe that God only intervenes when the situation and circumstances get out of control and need to be set straight. In the rare instances when God intervenes [His withdrawal of blessing]… often involves punishment.  So be careful what you wish for. 

Whether its Gilgal, or Nob, Shiloh, or Gibeon, or Panama City FL. Your responsibility is to appear before God at the appointed place. God will honor your personal desire and effort to appear before Him in the place He has chosen to place His name.

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