A mighty moment occurs, the goal of all previous work: God comes to dwell with His people. The cloud, the symbol of God’s presence, takes possession of the tabernacle. What He later says to Ezekiel regarding the temple applies from now on to the tabernacle: “[This is] the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever” (Eze 43:7a7He said to me, “Son of man, [this is] the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever. And the house of Israel will not again defile My holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their harlotry and by the corpses of their kings when they die,). For the new temple this applies “forever”. For the tabernacle this applies until the moment the ark is captured by the Philistines. Then it is “Ichabod”, which means “the glory is gone” (1Sam 4:21-2221And she called the boy Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel,” because the ark of God was taken and because of her father-in-law and her husband.22She said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God was taken.”). The glory returns when Solomon finishes building the temple (1Kgs 8:10-1110It happened that when the priests came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the LORD,11so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.). However, the glory disappears again from the temple because of the sin of the people (Eze 8:44And behold, the glory of the God of Israel [was] there, like the appearance which I saw in the plain.; 9:33Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case.; 10:4,184Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub to the threshold of the temple, and the temple was filled with the cloud and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the LORD.18Then the glory of the LORD departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim.; 11:2323The glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city and stood over the mountain which is east of the city.).
But when the Lord Jesus is born, in Him the glory of God appears again on earth to dwell among His people: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:1414And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.). However, this glory was rejected in the rejection of the Lord Jesus.
After His resurrection and ascension, the glory of God came to dwell again on earth in the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. He dwells in this time in the church as a whole (Eph 2:21-2221in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord,22in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.; Acts 2:1-41When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.2And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.3And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.) and in the body of the individual believer (1Cor 6:1919Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?).