May the Risen One, who drew near to the two weary travelers on the Emmaus road, and, " beginning in Moses, expounded to them in all the Scriptures, the things concerning Himself," draw near to us and reveal Himself, while we meditate on these various portions of His Word. So shall our heart burn within us, and we shall go on with quickened step toward our home.
You may ask why study the Tabernacle. It helps us to understand the New Testament. The New Testament was written to a people who understood the Old Testament.
God devoted two chapters to the subject of creation. He devoted no less than fifty chapters to the Tabernacle, the offerings and the feasts celebrated in it. Exodus - 13; Numbers - 13; Leviticus - 18; Deuteronomy - 2; Hebrews - 4. This tells us something of its' importance.
The Lord tells us that we are to grow, but most of what is feed to the church is milk because the Church is not committed enough to digest more. Most of the Church does not grow much past salvation. Only if you have a hunger, will you seek for a deeper understanding of the Scriptures. This study will help you to understand the Bible.
Hebrews 5:12 (NASB) For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
Hebrews 6:1 (NASB) Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
2 of instruction about washings, and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
3 And this we shall do, if God permits.
We must know that God is the Holy One. He is the Unbeginning One. He is His own source, the I Am. We get our life from Him. We are because He is.
In the beginning Adam and Eve were given the opportunity to be dependent on Him, but they chose otherwise. They wanted to be independent of God. Today each of us is given the same opportunity to choose.
God answers to no one. This may be frightening until you realize that he is incapable of evil. He is Absolute Good. He is the standard by which all is judged. He says what is right. His saying it doesn't make it so - He only says it because it is so.
He is the absolute Right One and because of this He is totally opposed to sin.
It is not a matter of degrees with God. Anything that is opposed to Him is wrong and He is opposed to sin and thereby must judge it.
All religion is based on the fact that man is trying to get right with God. Sacrifices are not unique to Judean religion. Man has always been trying to please God. People are always trying to appease His anger toward their wrongness.
The difference between Christianity and religion is that they bring to their God what they think will appease his anger toward their wrongness. Christians don't come to God. He comes to man. If man in his fallen state came to God, God would have to judge sin instantly and death would be the result.
Romans 6:23 (NASB) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Garden of Eden is where God met man. They dwelt together. Dwell, I am told comes from two Greek words which mean - down home. This relationship was destroyed by man's open rebellion to God. Once again God comes to dwell with man in this place called the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle is the picture of the way to God, a way which was instituted by God. God always takes the initiative. It is foreign to man's nature to seek God.
God provides the sacrifice that He requires, the appeasement for the wrong against Him. God has provided man with a pathway to Him. The pathway to God consisted of a meeting place. The Garden of Eden was the original meeting place. After the fall, they met God at a certain place - the gate, to offer their sacrifice. Now He said He would meet man in the Tabernacle. Not where we want, but where He said.
Next, there was a substitute. Man can never approach God without a substitute. Sin must be dealt with. He cannot sweep sin under the rug.
Thirdly, there must be a representative. Someone to represent me before God. We are given a way to come to God, but it is on God's terms, God's place, and in God's way.
The Tabernacle is a picture of man's approach to God.
Jesus said - No man comes to me except God draws Him. Man does not want to come to God.
John 6:44 (NASB) "No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
In the final fulfillment, Jesus is all of these. He is the place where God meets man. No man cometh to the Father but by Me. He is the substitute, the Lamb of God. He is our representative - our High Priest. In Him we approach God. To understand this we need to go back and study the Tabernacle.
We will be dealing with types and shadows. A small girl playing with dolls is a shadow of her raising children and having to care for babies. You can tell what the real will be like by looking at the shadow. When the real thing comes, we no longer need the shadow. Just as paper money was backed up by gold which is valuable, the Tabernacle is backed up by Jesus, The Priceless Gift.
Some commonly used types are:
Gold - Type of the Divine Glory of the Lord Jesus as Son of God - divinity.
Silver - Grace.
Brass - Judgment.
Blue - The color of the heavens.
Scarlet - The suffering servant, sacrifice.
Purple - The manifestation of the God -man, God manifest in the flesh; blue + red, royalty.
Fine linen - Righteousness.
Shittim wood - Humanity; Translated by the Septuagint, "incorruptible wood". The Lord Jesus, the incorruptible man.
Oil for the light - The Lord Jesus as the light, filled with the Spirit.
God called a people from the loins of Abraham who were a special people. They were special only because they carried the seed of Abraham. They were used by God to bring the Christ into humanity. They were pregnant with Messiah. Christ lived in them. We are special because Christ lives in us.
Isaac, the son of Abraham had two sons - Jacob and Esau. The promise was passed on through Jacob whose name was changed to Israel. Israel had twelve sons who became the twelve tribes - not exactly, Joseph was not included, but his two sons were.
Joseph was sold by his brothers who resented his being favored by his father. He eventually became second in command over Egypt under the Pharaoh after he interpreted Pharaoh's dream and stored grain for the upcoming famine.
Jacob sent Joseph's brothers to buy grain and after a reunion, Israel and his family, a total of about 70 people moved into Egypt. Years later after Joseph had died, there were so many Israelites that the Egyptians feared them and made them slaves.
Moses, who had been raised by Pharaoh's daughter, eventually lead the people out of Egypt - after the ten plagues. Our study picks up with Moses going up Mount Sinai to meet with God Who gives him the Law and a pattern for the Tabernacle.
The Tabernacle is the shadow, Jesus is the substance. When we get into this study and begin to see Jesus in everything, you might think that I am reading Jesus into things, but He showed the two apostles on the Emmaus road where the scriptures (the first five books of the Bible) spoke of Him. The Bible speaks of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation.
Luke 24:27 (NASB) And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
Wouldn't you like a tape of that bible study where the Living Word explained the Written Word.
The Tabernacle is an earthly pattern of a heavenly reality.
1 Corinthians 15:46 tells us the natural comes first and the spiritual.
1 Corinthians 15:46 (NASB) However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.
47 The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.
48 As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.
49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
2 Corinthians 4:18 (NASB) while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
This is a biblical principal - natural, then spiritual. We will study the natural and compare it to the spiritual.
We are born in the likeness of Adam, the natural man. We are born-again in the likeness of Christ, the spiritual man.
Romans 1:20 (NASB) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
Our bodies are temporal. We live in tents - temporary dwellings and we are not put too much emphasis on the bodies, but on the eternal. We should remain mobile and not set down roots which could hamper moving as God leads.
Exodus 25:8 (NASB) "And let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.
Hebrews 8:5 (NASB) who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, "SEE," He says, "THAT YOU MAKE all things ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN."
Hebrews 9:8 (NASB) The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed, while the outer tabernacle is still standing,
9 which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience,
10 since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation.
The people were delivered from Egypt and came to Mount Sinai. At Mount Sinai, the law was given, but the pattern for the Tabernacle was also given. The Tabernacle represents grace because the only way to approach God was through unmerited grace. So on the mount, both law and grace were given. The law which we could not keep showed that it was impossible to approach God on our own and the Tabernacle showed how we could.
When the law was given, there were earthquakes and thunder and lightening which scared the people. When grace was fulfilled on the cross (Jesus died), the same thing happened.
When Israel came to Mount Sinai, God called Moses and the leaders (70 elders) up the mount. He cut a covenant with them. Somehow - they were in His presence and were not killed. They ate with God and then went down the mountain. Moses then went back up for 40 days and 40 nights. When he came down this time, they had built a golden calf and were having orgies.
Exodus 32:24 (NASB) "And I said to them, 'Whoever has any gold, let them tear it off.' So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf."
The people heard the voice of God at Sinai and it scared them so much that they asked God to speak to them through Moses. God said, if you won't come to Me, I'll come to you and He gave Moses the pattern of the Tabernacle.
As they wandered through the wilderness, God was in the midst of them. They could approach Him in the prescribed manner.
The Tabernacle was not pretty from the outside. All you saw was the skins of animals - but on the inside everything was beautiful. Everything was overlaid with gold.
The scripture said about Jesus - there is no beauty in Him that we should desire Him. (Isaiah 53:2) He looked ordinary, but He was the meeting place of God and man - All glorious within.
Isaiah 53:2 (NASB) For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
The Tabernacle is the place where God meets sinners. You couldn't meet Him just anywhere, it had to be in the Tabernacle. Now God meets sinners in Jesus Christ. (John 14:7)
John 14:7 (NASB) "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him."
John 10:30 (NASB) "I and the Father are one."
God speaks to us in only one place - Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 1:1 (NASB) God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,
2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
The Tabernacle was a place where sins were covered over, but sins are forgiven in Jesus Christ.
Let's see where the material for the Tabernacle came from.
Exodus 30:12 (NASB) "When you take a census of the sons of Israel to number them, then each one of them shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD, when you number them, that there may be no plague among them when you number them.
13 "This is what everyone who is numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as a contribution to the LORD.
14 "Everyone who is numbered, from twenty years old and over, shall give the contribution to the LORD.
15 "The rich shall not pay more, and the poor shall not pay less than the half shekel, when you give the contribution to the LORD to make atonement for yourselves.
16 "And you shall take the atonement money from the sons of Israel, and shall give it for the service of the tent of meeting, that it may be a memorial for the sons of Israel before the LORD, to make atonement for yourselves."
The people belonged to the Lord. When Moses numbered the people, he was saying they belonged to him. They had to pay God atonement money so that they would not be cursed with a plague.
The Tabernacle had to be built by free will offerings.
Exodus 35:29 (NASB) The Israelites, all the men and women, whose heart moved them to bring material for all the work, which the LORD had commanded through Moses to be done, brought a freewill offering to the LORD.
Exodus 36:3 (NASB) And they received from Moses all the contributions which the sons of Israel had brought to perform the work in the construction of the sanctuary. And they still continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning.
Exodus 36:5 (NASB) and they said to Moses, "The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the LORD commanded us to perform."
When the Hebrews left Egypt, they spoiled them. Not to keep for themselves, but to give to God to build the Tabernacle. When God makes us prosperous, it is not for us to horde it to ourselves, but to give as He directs. When Israel left Egypt the Egyptians knew that they were going to worship their God. The Egyptians worshipped many Gods and gave wealth to the Israelites so that the Israelite God would bless them.. This was actual payment for their years of slavery.
The whole of the materials of which the Tabernacle was built were the free-will offerings of the people of God. No stranger or alien's gold was allowed to adorn the dwelling-place of Israel's God.
An unconverted sinner's gifts are not accepted by the Lord, nor ought they to be mingled with the offerings of the saints. Christendom has deeply sinned in this. The world supports the nominal Church, and wealthy worldlings are it's pillars. Ill-gotten gain, extorted from carnal men and sanctified in the Name of God, is used to build religious temples in which the pride and vanity of man may be displayed. With such sacrifices God is not well pleased; They savor of the offerings of Cain, and from God they have no respect.
The people brought so much that Moses had to bid them cease. "For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.
Exodus 36:6 (NASB) So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation was circulated throughout the camp, saying, "Let neither man nor woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary." Thus the people were restrained from bringing any more.
7 For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it.
This is quiet a change from today with the TV. evangelists begging for money. Could it be that the Spirit of God is telling people that there is something wrong with today's religion? I believe that this is the reason that some ministers have began manipulating people with tears or gimmicks to finance their so called ministries.
God stirred up the hearts of the people.
Exodus 35:21 (NASB) And everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the LORD'S contribution for the work of the tent of meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments.
We need to be stirred up. We need to see things as God sees them. The Tabernacle was built by a people who were made willing. We need to have willing hearts.
The Tabernacle was built by the wisdom of God. You cannot build the Tabernacle only from the directions given in the bible. If you do, you will have to assume many things. The wisdom of God was needed then and is needed now. We are His Tabernacle and we cannot build ourselves. He leads us into situations that help us grow and using His wisdom, He is building His church, - the Tabernacle. He has given us His Spirit.
He sets people where he wants them and gives the gifts that He wants to give. It has nothing to do with us. The gift says nothing about the recipient, but it says everything about the one who gave the gift.
Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, with Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan as his assistant was selected to have immediate charge of the building of the Tabernacle.
Exodus 31:2 (NASB) "See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.
Exodus 31:6 (NASB) "And behold, I Myself have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and in the hearts of all who are skillful I have put skill, that they may make all that I have commanded you:
Exodus 40:2 (NASB) "On the first day of the first month you shall set up the tabernacle of the tent of meeting.
Exodus 40:17 (NASB) Now it came about in the first month (Nisan) of the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was erected.
Exodus 19:1 (NASB) In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai.
Numbers 9:1 (NASB) Thus the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying,
It took approximately nine months to build the Tabernacle.
Jesus was in the womb of Mary for nine months. He is 100% man and 100% God. All of the God-head dwells in Him bodily.
Colossians 2:9 (NASB) For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form,
It was built according to the divine pattern. Jesus is the divine pattern. When you sew, you always go back to the pattern. If you don't you will get off a little. That is why you can't pattern yourself after a person. That person will be lacking. You must always go back to the real pattern - Jesus.
Hebrews 8:5 (NASB) who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, "SEE," He says, "THAT YOU MAKE all things ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN."
The Tabernacle proper was approximately 15 ft. by 45 ft.. It is estimated that it was made of 3 tons of gold, 5 tons of silver, 4 tons of brass, an assortment of jewels, woods, and fine tapestries. It was portable. Some say it's approximate value would be around $10,000,000.00. It was constructed by slaves and financed by their captors. The pattern was received by Moses in the third month after they came out of Egypt.
There was a court yard around it with a fence (linen) to separate it from the tribes. There was only one gate for entry on the east end. Jesus said - "I am the door to the sheep fold and anyone who tries to get in any other way is a thief and a robber.
John 10:1 (NASB) "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.
2 "But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.
The first piece of furniture you came to in the courtyard was a Brazen Altar. Next was the Laver. The door to the Tabernacle Proper was next. The Tabernacle was divided into two rooms. The Holy Place had the Table of Showbread, Altar of Incense and the Golden Lamp Stand. The Veil divided the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place. In the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant. Inside the Ark were the tablets of the Law, a pot of Manna, and the rod of Aaron that budded. Over the Ark were two Cheribum. It was here that God came.
Just as the Tabernacle was a dwelling place for God consisting of three areas or rooms, so too the believers as the dwelling place of the Spirit is a Trinity in unity. The redeemed person is composed of body, soul and spirit. The body corresponds to the court of the Tabernacle. It is the outer, the visible part of our personality. It is the place of sacrifice (Romans 12:1). The soul answers to the Holy Place and is the place of worship and fellowship with other believers, feeding about the Table, walking in the light, interceding for others. Finally, the spirit of the believer is the inner Holy of Holies, the deepest, hidden life of perfection, individual, personal communion with God beneath the blood.
The Tabernacle is not only a picture of the Lord Jesus, and the believer, but it is a complete picture of the plan of salvation. It consists of seven steps:
1. As sinners on the outside we must enter through the door and stop first at the Brazen Altar. The Altar is the Cross, the starting point of our experience of salvation.
2. Next comes separation and daily cleansing at the Laver.
3. We enter into the fellowship of the Word at the Table of Showbread.
4. We learn to walk in the light of the Golden Lampstand.
5. Then and then only comes power in prayer at the Altar of Incense.
6. We are then ready to enter the Holy of Holies to the highest service of the Tabernacle, personal power and communion in our most innermost life.
7. Thus we reach perfect rest and peace at the blood-sprinkled Mercy Seat in the presence of the Father.
John saw the real Tabernacle. The substance behind that which Moses had built.
Revelation 11:19 (NASB) And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.
Hebrews 9:24 (NASB) For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
In the Old Testament the New lies hid; In the New Testament, the Old lies open.
We are the finished work of God. We are the Living Temple that God made from living stones. He will be worshipped in this living temple. No longer do we go to a collapsible tent.
1 Corinthians 3:16 (NASB) Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
The term church is an eklesia which means "called out". Not buildings as most people think.
We are the habitation of God. No longer do we go to a priest because we are the priest that ministers inside the living temple. The only sacrifice we have now is the praise from our lips for what He has done and who He is.
God said man cannot approach Me, but I'll come to man. He made the way that man can approach Him, He designated the place and the offering and He chose the representative. Jesus is the place that God has chosen. Jesus is the offering. Jesus is the representative.
Now we can come into the presence of God. We can show the glory of God every place we go.
In Genesis, man lived in the presence of God and had all his needs met. There was a stream of living water flowing from the garden. In Revelation, we return to living in the presence of God.
The order of sacrifice called for the killing of many animals. After a while, the odor must have been terrible. It looks like God could have devised a nicer way, but when you think about it - sin is not nice - it is terrible.
The blood of goats and bulls could not take away sin.
Hebrews 10:4 (NASB) For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
How can an amoral creature take the place of a moral creature? The animals were not willing, but Jesus did it willingly.
Sin has been dealt with and we can walk out into the presence of God in Christ knowing that sin has dealt with. No more poor wretch that I am syndrome. Of course we are not worthy. We couldn't do it, so He did it for us. God's wrath has been satisfied. That is what the Tabernacle is all about, the satisfying of God's holy wrath.
God has revealed Himself in the Tabernacle, the feasts, the offerings, the law, and the priesthood and Jesus is the fulfillment of all of them.
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.