TAU Tabernacle – How God is Rebuilding the Last Days Church
There has been a great renovation going on under the surface of the church in recent years, which will take God’s people beyond the limitations they have unknowingly built around themselves. At the end of December in 2003, the Lord spoke to me as he often does in an extended dream that clearly showed me these things. I would like to share what I saw with you as a way of encouraging you to break out of any outdated church mindset you may have and freeing you to go forward in the Spirit in these end times.
I will bless the Lord, Who has given me counsel; yes, my heart instructs me in night seasons.–Psalm 116:7
Let me first remind you that we live in a dispensation of revelation according to Acts 2:17, which is chiefly characterized by prophecy, visions and dreams, among other things. One of the saddest things I see in the church today is an inability to properly balance the use of these things to allow God have a greater voice among His people. One extreme is to manufacture spiritual manifestations to the point of overuse, while the other is to simply regulate them out of existence altogether.
I trust that you can rightly divide God’s Word when you hear it and not go to such extremes. It is a necessity for us to learn to be balanced so we can go where we are being led and get there safely. These are both exciting and dangerous times where the shakings of God will test every foundation and support of truth in the Christian life. You must be equal to them!
I speak from the perspective of the Apostolic and Prophetic foundations of the Church, even though I have served as a ‘Pastor’ for much of my ministry life. I do not always fully see the ramifications of what the Lord shows me or look for overwhelming agreement. It is simply part of my calling to speak into the heart and soul of God’s Church. So, if what you hear is not exactly your perception, just consider it in light of God’s Word and Spirit. I believe He is challenging and expanding all believers today, building us into a spiritual body that is greater than we have known before!
The Church in your hometown
As I was sleeping, I realized that I was entering my hometown of Kirksville, Missouri and coming into a part of the city where many of the wealthy and more successful people lived. This particular town is the home of Osteopathic medicine and has a mid-sized state college, so there is a considerable population of people with higher education. The neighborhood I drove into was where the homes of many of the ‘who’s who’ from those institutions were located.
As I considered those who lived there I suddenly noticed a large, elegant brick church that I had never noticed before. It struck me as odd that I had grown up there, yet had never noticed it. My mind ran to the surrounding streets and houses, many of which I had been in and around as a child with the friends and families who lived there. How weird that I hadn’t realized such a magnificent church structure that had grown there as well.
As I found myself almost wishing that I pastored a church like this one, I began to understand that the Lord was talking to me and giving me symbolic insight into the condition of His church. This is exactly what has happened to it. Almost overnight it has grown up in so many ways and taken a place of influence in our society that it did not have thirty years before when I was a child, or even twenty years earlier when I gave my life to Jesus and left home. In the real world, I had actually driven out of town at eighteen years old on the same highway this dream had me returning on! As we will see, this is the most critical aspect of the overall meaning.
Outside the Church…Money Madness
Next, I came closer to examine the structure of the building, when I noticed that it had an external, ‘drive-up’ area just off the street, for the quicker and more hassle free payment of tithes and offerings. I thought to myself, “This must be a mainline denominational church of some kind…what an ingenious idea!” At that point a lady I knew to be the pastor’s wife began to describe to me and my wife how this was the latest, greatest thing, happily explaining the details of its operation.
I realized after pondering this dream how this represented our monetary mindset in today’s church world. We have gone overboard with respect to our collecting and managing of money. As a pastor having this dream I initially thought this was a very interesting concept. In fact, it has become normal for all of us to think this way. Since God wants us to be taken care of, we simply reason that however we can streamline our operations through technology to match that belief is only intelligent.
I don’t fault anyone for thinking this way on a practical level, but a preoccupation with the world’s ways have taken the Church to a place that would be practically unrecognizable to members of the earliest churches. Give us another twenty or thirty years and we will have our churches represented on the stock exchange indexes with rolling adjustments for our parishioners to keep daily track of! It is not that we aren’t to excel in the area of finance, but rather that it isn’t what is truly important. It certainly isn’t what those approaching from the outside should run into first!
Modern ministry needs to rethink what faith in God really is and give itself again to things like prayer and the study of the Word, trusting Him to micromanage the flock. We have seriously institutionalized people when God’s goal has always been to deregulate them to a great degree. Money has to be secondary to the real issue of people. The great American Church business venture is not where God’s heart is at!
Inside the Church…Traditional Spirituality
The scene changed at this point in my dream and I found myself inside the church admiring the sanctuary. Again, it was elegant, large and well taken care of. It had many of the amenities that I would expect in this type of building, right down to the beautifully ornate stage with organ pipes on the back wall, a choir section and several steps across its front leading up to the pulpit.
Now the pastor himself was addressing me and rehearsing the storied history of this church. He fit the turn of the 21st century pastoral mold with his business class approach and expensive, conservative attire. What he told me clued me in on the specific type of church the Lord was showing me. He said that this was a ‘Foursquare’ church (a spirit-filled congregation, not the literal organization), which had been established by a particular pioneering type of man who had carved it out of nothing years before only to fall into a doctrinal error before having to be removed from ministry. The current leader was called in to take care of ‘righting the ship’ and had gone on to take the church to even higher levels still.
Doesn’t that sound like the general history of ministry over the last fifty years? The inference, though, was that we have gone down a road that looks good on the outside, but doesn’t measure up to its previous glory inside. We have settled for the world’s seal of approval in the place of the authentic spiritual life that created us. Error is what led to our downfall, but we have only compounded that by adding the error of building with the leadership methods of the world around us. The use of the term, “foursquare” by definition conveys the message that I was being given an open and honest, candid and direct assessment of the church today…from the truest perspective – God’s!
The Sign of our Time
As the conversation turned to the current leadership and more recent history of this local church, I found myself getting bored with the ‘vision casting’ of the pastor and wanting to take a further look behind the scenes. Suddenly I was exiting the building! When I did, to my amazement I discovered that what I had thought was just one building was actually a complex of three, which occupied all three sides of the intersection of two streets, coming together in a ‘T’ right where this church stood. As I looked across the street to one of the other structures, I suddenly noticed a large sign near the roofline, which spelled out the name of the place. Strangely, it read, “TAU Tabernacle.”
When God speaks to me in a dream, He usually throws in a direct message that sums up the counsel He is conveying. I have learned to never disregard such plain and obvious information. Like the association of the term “foursquare” earlier, the name of the church seemed senseless until I thought about it later. TAU was a word I was familiar with because it was part of the name of a local fraternity house in my hometown when I was growing up. I also knew that it was a Greek letter and probably had a deeper meaning that would help me unravel the meaning of my dream. I was right!
Not only was it a Greek letter, but a Hebrew one as well. In fact, it was even translated in my Bible exactly that way, as a heading for the final section (last 8 verses) of the 119th Psalm. TAU is the 22nd and final letter in the Hebrew alphabet and is used in that language to paint a picture of something that is symbolic or significant. When you study the history of this letter you will find that it has many facets of meaning to the Hebrew people. It is particularly descriptive of a covenant, the completion of something unfinished and a stamp or impression made into something. It speaks directly of the cross of Christ and the ending of things!
This sign was a ‘sign’ to me that God was showing me some important things about the current state of the Church. It was incomplete in its present state, in covenant with the world and stamped by all the wrong things but underneath it all there remains something that must resurface in order to fulfill its role as the ‘end-time’ church. The Holy Spirit is going to do a work in God’s people similar to what happened to me in this dream. Out of the church will come the Church Jesus has been building. A true “remnant” of real believers, which, according to the wording of Psalm 119:176, has, “gone astray like a lost sheep” and will yearn to be recovered by the Shepherd!
The light is about to start coming on inside the church in a way that will cause people to say, “I never noticed that church there before!” This is because it wasn’t really there in the spirit, so to speak! That is, it was not recognizable as what the church was meant to be. We have created it by wanting to be too much like the people who live in that kind of a neighborhood. Instead of being willing to forsake all and follow Jesus, we have forsaken Him without realizing it and are following something that it foreign and strange! The scary part of it all is that nobody knows it is strange because it is common and reputable! It seems good enough to those who are a part of it and to those like me who were inspecting it from the outside.
What I was being shown was that the outside of the modern (spirit-filled) church is a man-made veneer and as the dream went along I was realizing it more and more. Something inside me loved this place and yet something told me it was wrong! Now, though, I realized that printed on this sign was the crux of the matter. It has a reputation but is not carrying its cross. Ready or not, the time has come for change. Looking back, the decade that has transpired since I had this dream only reinforces its prophetic accuracy. Instead of the Christian revival so many predicted in America after 9/11, the statistics reveal we have experienced a great falling away. The church as we know it from an external glance is no longer attractive, but hollow and ineffective.
A Strange Invitation
There I stood, looking at the sign and carefully examining the entire campus before me. I couldn’t get over the fact that it was so big and striking, yet was right near all the places that I had explored as a child. I even thought of all the trouble I had gotten into in that neighborhood without ever even noticing this church. “What did all this mean?” I walked across the street thinking about everything and viewing the buildings from different perspectives. I took time in the dream to actually contemplate the dream!
This is when I noticed the front doors of the main building I had been in were now being opened with ushers at the door and people filtering in. A service was about to begin, so I went back across the intersection of the two streets, walked up the stairs and prepared to enter the sanctuary. I was greeted strangely by a suspicious usher who knew my name. “Mr. Veach, we have a reserved seat for you in the back of the auditorium,” the older gentleman said before I could respond. As bizarre as this sounded, I was almost relieved, although a bit perturbed that I was not sitting in a more appropriate, up front section for special guests. After all this was my dream and they were the ones with all the wrong perspectives here!
The Basement…The Foundation of Relationship
Instead, I smiled and nodded to the greeter as I entered the building. I knew who this doorkeeper really was. He creates the first impression and image for many churches today, as those inside carry on activities which placate the soul while seducing believers away from finding their call and fulfilling the heavenly mission that is often posted on the building! As I passed the open sanctuary doors, I knew instinctively what was happening in the service and it didn’t particularly interest me. Another soul driven display of singing, hand shaking and sermonizing. A little lip service and a lot of back scratching. Like many believers today, I passed the foyer altogether, but instead felt compelled to find the basement and see what was down there.
Finding a set of stairs, I quickly hurried down and was glad to soon be in the basement. It was more ‘concrete’ and stable and, as I looked around, it was quite noticeably a much more family environment. The basement in this church was representative of what is missing in the church today. It was a fully outfitted and magnificently kept multi-room apartment or house, perfect for hospitality and for keeping visiting guests or ministers. Being a modern pastor, the draw for me was a little strange at first, but looking back I understood that the relational or family aspect and foundation of the faith is often what is most noticeable missing into today’s church world. This was where the real heartbeat of this church should be.
Yet, for all of the ‘excitement’ going on upstairs, it was strikingly obvious that there was no one downstairs at all! Finally, sitting at bottom of those stairs, my thoughts began to absorb the point of this lesson I was being given. This was the most beautiful place in the entire church complex. It was God’s favorite place and yet it was unoccupied. Deep inside I really felt something of His love and longing for this peaceful setting where the spiritual foundation and real potential of God’s people could be appreciated and built upon. At this point I awoke, knowing that I had just been shown something significant.
What it all Means…Let God Stamp You!
That last part of my dream was the most substantial because it told me that there is something in the church that God can still work with. There were a lot of eye-opening negatives I saw, but this is the big positive. The Lord is looking through His tabernacle right now with the purpose of rebuilding its fallen breeches and setting it as it should be. We are going back to the basement…back to the essence of our nature, not as an organization, but as a BODY.
Now I know in some ways this sounds like the same old line that you hear in the church during the transition time between generations. I am not saying we are going back to some old way, I am saying that we are going deeper, to another level of true increase. It is a place of the treasure of the knowledge of God Himself and the reflection of that knowledge in our relationship with each other. This is the day of escape from the church that we have built for ourselves.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking your perceptions of God are necessarily the reality. Perceptions are changing just as mine were during this dream. Reality will come progressively into a new view. Be there when it does, so you can be a part of the impression the Lord is about to make on this world instead of allowing it to remain stamped by the form of society. Because of what the Church really is according to scripture we can be sure that God will be stamping the true church’s mark on more than just the world around it.
Much of the outward church is about to be swallowed up by its internal dimensions. Money and influence are about to flow like never before, but they won’t be sought after or cared about because of its relative insignificance in comparison with what we find in the ‘basement’ with God. I don’t know if He will be tearing down the old to build the new, or simply restoring many out of the old as He rebuilds it into something new. Either way get in, starting on the ground level.
This is our time! The sign of the times is this: TAU. Things are being brought to their fullness and made as they should be in the Lord’s eyes. The consummation of all things is just ahead of us, so let God mark you, your church and your ambitions so you will not only be ready when He comes, but so that you yourself will be a sign to the world that this is that time!
TAU; O Lord, listen to my cry; give me the discerning mind you promised. Listen to my prayer; rescue me as you promised…O Lord, I have longed for your rescue, and your instructions are my delight…I have wandered away like a lost sheep; came and find me, for I have not forgotten your commands.–Psalm 119:169-176