In Exodus 25, God describes the Tabernacle. God always starts from the inside going out, but we will begin from the outside going in. When people come to a relationship with Christ, many times there are outward things which do not conform to the bible. If you give Him time, Jesus will change this. We don't like to wait, we skin them. This can be compared to the snake which grows a new skin on the inside. The outer skin begins to dry up and itch. The snake rubs itself on things until this old skin is removed. This is possible only because he had a new skin underneath.
We go to a new Christian before he has grown a new skin and try to remove the old one. This can be fatal. You must let Jesus develop the new skin and then the old will fall away.
The Tabernacle is the shadow of which Jesus is the reality. Everything in the Tabernacle is a picture of Jesus Christ. The purpose for studying the shadow is to learn about the reality.
Once we see the reality behind the shadow, we don't go back to the shadow except to amplify the reality. The purpose of studying the Tabernacle is to emphasize the reality behind the shadow.
When god spoke to the people at Mount Sinai, they became scared. They asked Moses to ask God not to speak directly to them anymore. God gave the Tabernacle as a place where He could dwell with the people without scaring them.
Hebrews 10:1 (NASB) For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near.
2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?
The law was only a shadow of good things to come.
Hebrews 9:11 (NASB) But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation;
12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
In the Tabernacle, God wanted to teach His people that He was going to dwell in the midst of them. It never was that we should come to God, but that He would come to us. The Tabernacle was also God's way to teach the people of His holiness and their sinfulness. He used the Tabernacle to teach His people the only way of salvation. The Ten commandments which were given to Moses were actually ten living words. When Moses came down the mountain with the ten commandments, he found the people worshipping the golden calf. He then threw down and broke the stone tablets. This was symbolic of the law being broken while he was still up the mountain.
Moses then went back up the mountain a second time and received a second set of the commandments.
Exodus 33:7 (NASB) Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, a good distance from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And it came about, that everyone who sought the LORD would go out to the tent of meeting which was outside the camp.
8 And it came about, whenever Moses went out to the tent, that all the people would arise and stand, each at the entrance of his tent, and gaze after Moses until he entered the tent.
9 And it came about, whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the LORD would speak with Moses.
10 When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent.
11 Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.
The Tabernacle was in more or less the center of the camp. God gave specific instructions as the where each tribe should camp. The camp was estimated to be 12 miles across.
Numbers 2:2 (NASB) "The sons of Israel shall camp, each by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers' households; they shall camp around the tent of meeting at a distance.
The tribe of Levi was divided into three families, under his three sons; Gershon, Hohath, and Merari.
Each had his own separate place of encampment around the Tabernacle, and to each was committed a peculiar charge and burden. The Merarites, who encamped on the north, watched over, erected, and carried all the solid framework of the building, the pillars of the surrounding courts, together with the sockets of silver and brass.
The Gershonites pitched towards the west, and had under their care the curtains, hangings, and coverings of the Tabernacle and court, which they also bore on the journeys. The Kohathites, whose camp was on the south, were allotted the charge and carriage of the holy vessels. Thus was all distributed among these three families of Levites, and the burden of one was kept distinct from that of the other.
Under the standard of the lion of the tribe of Judah were the tribes of Judah, Zebulan, and Izzicar on the east side. To the west were Ephram, Manassa, and Bejamin under the banner of Ephram which was an ox. To the north were Dan, Asher, and Naphtali under the banner of Dan which was an eagle. To the south were Rueben, Simeon and Gad under the banner of Rueben which was a man. The banner of the leading tribe was used.
Ezekiel saw the vision of the Cherubam, the protective angelic beings. As they turned, a wheel within a wheel, they had the face of an ox, a man, an eagle, and a lion. Their faces never turned, but which ever way you turned, they had a face in that direction..
Ezekiel 1:4 (NASB) And as I looked, behold, a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire.
5 And within it there were figures resembling four living beings. And this was their appearance: they had human form.
6 Each of them had four faces and four wings.
7 And their legs were straight and their feet were like a calf's hoof, and they gleamed like burnished bronze.
8 Under their wings on their four sides were human hands. As for the faces and wings of the four of them,
9 their wings touched one another; their faces did not turn when they moved, each went straight forward.
10 As for the form of their faces, each had the face of a man, all four had the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and all four had the face of an eagle.
11 Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above; each had two touching another being, and two covering their bodies.
12 And each went straight forward; wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go, without turning as they went.
13 In the midst of the living beings there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches darting back and forth among the living beings. The fire was bright, and lightning was flashing from the fire.
14 And the living beings ran to and fro like bolts of lightning.
15 Now as I looked at the living beings, behold, there was one wheel on the earth beside the living beings, for each of the four of them.
16 The appearance of the wheels and their workmanship was like sparkling beryl, and all four of them had the same form, their appearance and workmanship being as if one wheel were within another.
17 Whenever they moved, they moved in any of their four directions, without turning as they moved.
18 As for their rims they were lofty and awesome, and the rims of all four of them were full of eyes round about.
19 And whenever the living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. And whenever the living beings rose from the earth, the wheels rose also.
20 Wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go in that direction. And the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.
21 Whenever those went, these went; and whenever those stood still, these stood still. And whenever those rose from the earth, the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings was in the wheels.
The gospels also correspond to these four faces. The gospel of Matthew tells us primarily of the kingship of Jesus. Mark writes about the Servant, Luke tells us of the humanity of Jesus, and the book of John proclaims His deity.
The largest tribes were camped on the east and west sides of the Tabernacle and the smaller tribes were camped on the north and south sides of the Tabernacle. That meant that when God looked down, he saw the cross.
If you draw straight lines through all of the furniture in the Tabernacle, you will end up with a cross.
Paul said, "God forbid that I should glory in anything but the cross of Jesus Christ." We are crucified to the world and the world is crucified to us. Death is a serious thing. It is that which strips away all the superfluous, that which is not important. You will discover as Jesus said to Mary that there only a few things that are important and really only one. Death brings us face to face with that. What we used to count as gain, we count as garbage. The world holds nothing for us.
Until we reach that point, we are like children trying to keep one foot in the world and one foot in the kingdom and we quickly find out that this is impossible. It is an absolute thing. Either you are or you aren't in the kingdom.
The camp was situated so that God was always in the midst of His people. The Church is the present day Tabernacle of God.
Jesus said, "Where two or more of you are gathered in the My Name, there I AM in the midst of them." God is forever in the midst of His people.
We are a new species. We don't try to be like Jesus. After we go to the cross in Jesus Christ, we are a new creation. God looks at us and sees Christ. Man cannot pull himself up his bootstraps. There is nothing good within us. Jesus took this nothing good and made it a new creation.
God showed Moses something in heaven that he could only make a scale model of on earth. He was told to follow the pattern given to him.
When we go to the book of Revelations, John sees the real thing. The book of Revelations is the book of ultimates.
Revelation 1:13 (NASB) and in the middle of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His breast with a golden girdle.
14 And His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire;
15 and His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been caused to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters.
The symbol of authority of an Arab chief is his spear. When he gets ready to move, he just picks up his spear and starts walking. The people see this and pack up their things and start following. When he gets where he wants to go, he pitches his spear in the ground and his servants put up his tent and then his people camp around him.
This is a copy of how God did it and how He does it today. He won't consult with you before He moves on. You see Him moving and follow and set your camp around His presence.
God was pillar of cloud during the day and a pillow of fire at night. When the people saw God begin to move, they would blow a trumpet and shout, "Let God arise and His enemies be scattered, and they would break camp.
The tribes of Judah went first. The word Judah means Praise. When Jehoshaphat was threatened, he went to God. God instructed him to send out the choir first. Praise went first and God fought the battle.
Moses and the priest camped around the Tabernacle, right next to the Tabernacle. To get to the Tabernacle, you had to go through Judah. You enter into His gates with praise (Judah). This is a kind of pun.
When you have problems, compare them to God. Don't look at them through your eyes, but look at them as God would look at them. You will praise when you do this. Praise reminds you that God is bigger than anything we come against.
Continue with the teaching about the Outer Court.