What each one carries
Based on “UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU CARRY” – Pr Joubert Montalti 28.09.2020
When God gave guidance on the obligations of each tribe, the Levites (from the tribe of Levi) were in charge of sacred services. There were 3 families from the Levi tribe: Gerson (Gersonites), Coate (Coatites) and Merari (Merarites). These families should not carry out work in the field, but should dedicate themselves entirely to the work of the Tent of God’s presence.
4The service of the Kohathites in the Tent is to take care of the most holy things.
15When the camp is disarmed, the descendants of Kohath will come to pick up the sacred objects only after Aaron and his sons have finished covering the Tent and all its objects. The Coate family group should not touch the sacred objects; if they do, they will die.
– These are the things of the Tent that the group of families of Coate must take.
24The service of the Gersonites is to work at the Tent and carry loads. 25They will take the Tent, the covers inside and outside, the covering of fine skins and the curtain of the entrance. 26The curtains of the patio, the curtain of the patio door that surrounds the Tent and the altar, their ropes and all the objects they need for their work will also be taken.
[the Merarites] 31What they will have to take, according to their service at the Tent, is the following: the boards, cables, columns and bases of the Tent; 32the columns of the courtyard around the Tent, its bases, stakes and ropes, with all its objects and everything that belongs to its service. Give each man a list of the things he must take.
Meraritas – basic structures, essentials of the tent.
Gersonites – utensils, ornaments and equipment.
Coatitas – the holy and sacred things.
Regardless of which family brought what, let’s focus on the following: someone brought the structure and someone else brought the utensils and ornaments. Up to this point, there was simply a tent. Only when someone brought the holy things did that tent become something special, because the presence of God was there!
The church can be understood as something similar to the tent of the presence of God and, as such, it also has three categories of objects that are important:
1- The tent must have a structure; the church needs to have a place where we meet. This place may even be outdoors, but it needs to be something determined, organized by someone or some group so that we can go there and congregate. This structure also includes the orientation of the church. This means which events, what these events will be like, who should do what in each function necessary for the event, which may be worship, word study, intercessory prayers, parties etc. This whole structure is important, but it is not essential. This structure is necessary to fulfill the church’s purpose, which is to worship God, spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and contribute to saving people.
2- The tent must have its utensils and ornaments; the church needs to have its ministries. Someone or some group needs to organize the praise, the technical part, the cleaning, the preaching etc. There are these groups that do this in almost all churches. And not only restricted to worship, because as we have seen, the structure of the church also includes the events that it promotes outside the building we call “church”. Note that these utensils and ornaments are important and make the church more complete, however, they are not essential. It is possible to have a church without a worship group. It is less pleasant, but not impossible. It is possible even a church without the preacher (the one who carries the message in the pulpit), because we can all read the Bible. In fact, in the revival of the church in the last century there was not even a service, just a place where Christians knew that going there they would meet other Christians. They went at any time and stayed there, together, praying. Sometimes someone, taken by the Holy Spirit, said some things and was silent again. Sometimes it even occurred to the organizer of that place (by discernment of spirit) to remove a supposed “preacher” from the place who was there to magnify himself!
About Azusa Street revival: taken from wikipedia
No musical instruments were used. They were not necessary. No chorus of angels was heard by some in the spirit. No offers were collected. No announcements were written to announce the meetings. No ecclesiastical organization was behind this. Everyone who is in contact with God as soon as he enters the meetings realizes that the Holy Spirit is the leader.
3- The tent must receive the holy objects; the church needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit, the presence of God! In Moses’ day, the presence of God was represented by the presence of the Ark of the Covenant. When the ark was placed inside the tent by the porters and after they left, Aaron and his sons entered the place and removed the covers of the ark. Purification rituals were performed and the people could begin to bring their sacrifices to the tabernacle services. Today in the church the presence of God is the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit is brought by us, for He dwells in us!
“The structure will only work if the presence of God is being manifested within it!”
Pr Joubert Montalti
This is the essential part of the church. We who are children of God and bring his spirit! Because if the “praisers” are not filled with the Holy Spirit, they will be just singers and the praise will be just music. Without the presence of God, the celebration service becomes a simple gathering. Without the presence of God, baptism becomes a dip. Without the presence of God, a feast to celebrate the blessings received and thank God for them becomes a feast to satisfy the desire of the flesh.
Brothers, the big difference is in the presence of God, it is not in the structure, nor in the ornaments, it is in each one of us!
Some buildings that were once churches full of worshipers are now empty. Despite everything working perfectly, well organized and shining, these churches have lost the presence of God.
With fewer believers, churches are offered for sale in France
Because of disuse, churches in the Netherlands have turned into cafes, museums and even bars
Brothers, are you finding this comparison interesting?
Let’s go a little deeper …
1On the day that Moses finished setting up the Holy Tent, he anointed it and dedicated it to the service of God, along with all the objects in the Tent and the altar. 2Then the heads of the family groups, who were leaders of the tribes of the people of Israel, the same men who were taking care of counting the people, 3 brought their offerings to God the Lord, that is, six covered wagons and twelve oxen. Each two chiefs offered a cart, and each of them, an ox; and put everything in front of the tent. 4The Lord said to Moses,
5 – Receive the carts and oxen to be used for the service of the Tent; and give these offerings to the Levites, each according to the service he does.
6Then Moses gave the Levites wagons and oxen. 7 To the descendants of Gérson he gave two carts and four oxen, according to the service they were doing. 8 To the descendants of Merari, also according to their service, Moses gave four carts and eight oxen. This service was conducted by Itamar, son of the priest Aaron. 9But Moses did not give the descendants of Coate neither carts nor oxen, since the sacred objects they cared for had to be carried on their shoulders.
This excerpt brings one more interesting point. Those in charge of the structures and utensils received help. They were given oxen and carts to take the materials for which they were responsible. However, those who carried the sacred objects did not receive oxen or carts, as they should carry such objects on their shoulders!
Today the Holy Spirit dwells in us. In each of us. As in the old testament, today the sacred “object” is still carried on the shoulders of those responsible for it. And that’s how it should be.
The worship group may seek to have a better microphone, better speakers, etc. but you must always remember that the presence of God is not carried in this equipment.
The preacher can and should prepare well, use slides and bring the preaching on a tablet, but he must be aware that this structure does not work without the essentials that must be on his shoulders: the Holy Spirit!
And now the most important. What I would like us to take as an apprenticeship today: each one of us who comes here and sits down to hear the praise (and praise together) and hear the word of God must also bring the Holy Spirit within him. For without this presence within us it can be the best organized service, with the most talented worshipers and within the most beautiful church that we will continue to feel empty!
Let us pray:
Father, thank you for this teaching. Engrave in our hearts the lesson that your presence is what really matters. Help us to make each task a worship of the Lord. Help us, Father, to carry your Holy Spirit within us! Amen.