Understanding The Bible
Return to Syllabus
W. W. Rugh,
Bible Institute of Philadelphia
40 Page Printed Devotional Guide
1st Edition 1912
|The Occasion of the Giving of the Tabernacle|
|Purpose of the Tabernacle|
|Description of the Tabernacle|
Christ in the
CHRIST IN THE TABERNACLE
The Occasion of the Giving of the Tabernacle
As Moses stood on Mount Sinai, waiting to receive the law whose only verdict for
sinner is death, his heart was thrilled with unspeakable joy as he heard the
fathomless love which overflowed from the heart of Jehovah, when He said: "Let
me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them." Exodus 25:8.
Why should the holy, the righteous God, the God of truth, wish to dwell in the midst of a sinful, ignorant, idolatrous, stiff-necked, rebellious, and uncircumcised nation, the fewest of all people, who were dancing about the golden calf, even while the Lord was speaking to Moses about the Tabernacle? Exodus 32:9; Deuteronomy 7:7; Acts 7:51.
Because Jehovah loved them He wished to dwell in their midst. His heart of love could only be satisfied by bringing the objects of His love into His presence, there to know and enjoy a life of abiding fellowship with Him in service for others.
Who but the One who is love could speak such a word revealing a love that passeth knowledge! Ephesians 3:19; 1 John 4:16.
What a wonderful foreshadowing of the consummation of God's eternal purpose of redemption, when "the tabernacle of God shall be with men, and He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself shall be with them and be their God." Revelation 21:3.
Exodus 25:8 is thus a key verse, opening to us not only the ultimate purpose of God's great plan of redemption, but unlocking for us the typical teaching of the Tabernacle concerning that wondrous plan.
Oh what grace that Jehovah should tell Moses all about the Tabernacle before He handed him the two tables of the law, which could only reveal sin and bring death upon the sinner. Exodus 31:18; Romans 3:20; 6:23; Ezekiel 18:4.
Purpose of the Tabernacle
For Israel, the Tabernacle was instituted for the purpose of revealing through
lessons God's whole plan of redemption for every believing Israelite. Every part
Tabernacle and all its appointed ministries were to Israel a symbol, a testimony
coming Christ and His blessed work of redemption. Through these things, "by
faith they saw
Him who is invisible." Acts 7:44; Hebrews 11:27.
For us, the Holy Spirit has recorded the things concerning the Tabernacle to illustrate the work of redemption which has been accomplished for us by our Lord Jesus Christ. To us these things are types, or figures of the person and work of Christ. Without a knowledge of the Tabernacle and its typical meaning, very much of what the New Testament tells us of Christ and His work is but little understood. What could we understand of the priestly ministry of our blessed Lord, if we were not told about the priestly office and service of Aaron and his sons in the Tabernacle and the Temple?
The types of the Old
Testament are the Kindergarten part of the Bible, the spirit given object
lessons for babes in Christ. The woeful ignorance of most Christians concerning
Christ and His work as revealed in the New Testament is a terrible testimony
that many pastors and teachers have not used the God appointed means and method
of instructing babes in Christ.
ďAll scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine (teaching, R. V.) for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16.
"Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." Romans 15:4.
Description of the Tabernacle
When the Lord told Moses how to build the Tabernacle, He described its parts
from within outward. He began with the Ark, and concluded with the Gate, except
for the description of the Golden Altar and the Laver given in connection with
the priestly ministry in chapter 30. Exodus 25:10; 27:16.
Why should the Lord give the description in this order, when we apprehend the truth of the Tabernacle from without inward? If we would understand the meaning of these shadows, we begin to study the Gate and the hangings of the Court, and proceed inward to the Ark.
The purpose of God, we believe, in describing the Tabernacle in the order given is to reveal His grace in coming out from where He dwelt in the most holy place and opening a way for every believing Israelite to come into His presence. It was not possible for Israel, a sinful people, to approach a holy God acceptably in any way of their own which they could devise.
If they would come into His presence at all, Jehovah must come out and open the way for them to come in, yes He must bring them In Himself.
What a foreshadowing of our Father's love in sending His only begotten Son from His own bosom to bring us into that place of blessed and abiding fellowship with Himself. John 1:18; 17:24.
Since Adam and Eve sinned, and thus separated themselves from the presence and fellowship of the Lord God, neither they nor their children have been able to restore themselves to that place of favor and fellowship, nor has any of them sought to do so, but God Himself, through Jesus Christ, is always the Seeker and the Savior. Genesis 3:8; 9, Luke 15:4, 8; 19:10.
Not only what the Lord has told us about the Tabernacle, but the very order of revelation is Inspired by the Holy Spirit, and so throughout His word.
Typical Teaching of the Tabernacle
Exodus 25 to 31
The Tabernacle as a Whole
Jehovah designed His own sanctuary and set it up in the midst of Israel's camp as His dwelling place, meeting place, and revealing place.
From His Tent, canopied by the Cloud, and enclosed by the Court with its hangings of fine twined linen, the Redeemer of Israel looked eastward upon the tents of the priests, the family of Aaron, encamped immediately in front of the Tabernacle to guard it as the sacred dwelling place of the Holy One of Israel, and also to minister in it, as worshippers, in behalf of the congregation of Israel. Eastward in the rear of the priests' camp was the camp of Judah, the tribes of Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. Numbers 3:38, 39; 2:1-9.
On His right hand, to the south, the Kohathites pitched their tents that they might be near to minister. As one of the families of the tribe of Levi, separated unto Jehovah for the service of the Tabernacle instead of all the firstborn of Israel, they had the charge of the vessels of the sanctuary. Exodus 32:25-29; Numbers 3:5-20, 27-32. South of the Kohathites was the camp of Reuben, the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad.
In the rear of the Tabernacle, to the west, was the camp of the Gershonites, the family of Levites who had the charge of the Tent and its coverings, and the hangings of the Court, with the Gate and the Door. Numbers 3:21-26. West of the Gershonites was the camp of Ephraim, the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin, descendants of Jacob and Rachel.
North of the Tabernacle were the tents of the Merarites, who had the charge of the boards, bars, pillars, sockets, pins, and cords of the Tabernacle. Numbers 3:33-37. To the north of the Merarites was the camp of Dan, the tribes of Dan, Asher, and Napthali. Num. 2:25-31.
With what unsearchable wisdom and marvelous grace the Lord grouped His people about Himself as worshipers, workers, and warriors. The worshipers, the priests, and the workers, the Levites were encamped close about the Tabernacle to minister in and to care
for Jehovah's Tent. The camps of the warriors were outside the camps of the worshipers and workers to guard them.
How glad we are that the Holy Spirit has told us so much about these groups of Israelites, for every one of His redeemed ones now are worshipers, workers, and warriors, and all these things were written for us. If we have learned to enter His blessed presence as worshipers, we may live there a life of service for others, and clad with the whole armor of God we may be victorious warriors. I Peter 2:5, 9; Ephesians 2:10; 6:10-18.
As the God of Israel, the Tabernacle was for Jehovah a sanctuary, a place set apart, a holy place, the dwelling of Him who is absolutely and eternally holy. It is in His sanctuary we may understand His way and obtain help from Him. Palms 73:16, 17; 20:2; 96:6.
As the Leader of His people, the Tabernacle was Jehovah's pavilion, in which His redeemed ones might hide in the day of trouble. Psalms 27:5; Colossians 3:3.
As the King of Israel, Jehovah was enthroned in the Tabernacle as His palace. From the glorious King, who dwelt in between the cherubim over the Mercy-seat, Moses and the high priest received the statutes for Israel. Isaiah 43:15; Psalms 80:1; 99:1; Exodus 25:22.
As the Father of His people, the Tabernacle was the house of the Lord, in which His children might enjoy fellowship with Him. Deuteronomy 32:6; I Chronicles 29:10; Ps. 27:4.
Thus Jehovah dwelt in the midst of the people whom He had redeemed and brought near to Himself. His presence, manifest in the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, guided and protected them, and illuminated their pathway all through their wilderness journey from Egypt to Canaan. Psalms 78:14, Nehemiah 9:18, 19.
The Hangings of the Court.
The Court, or open space about the Tabernacle, was enclosed by hangings of fine twined linen supported by pillars of brass, which rested upon sockets of brass. These pillars were ornamented on top with chapiters of silver, under which were the hooks and fillets of silver which held up the hangings of linen. Ex. 38:17. These hangings of linen, five cubits, or about eight feet high, (the "cubit," the measure of the forearm, was 20 or more inches long) completely surrounded the Court, except for the hanging called the Gate to the east end or front of the Court.
These hangings of fine twined, or closely woven linen, shut out from the presence of the Lord every Israelite, great and small, rich and poor, learned and unlearned.
It was the desire and purpose of the Lord to bring His people Israel, whom He loved, into His presence, there to have fellowship with Himself. Why shut them out? Why not open up the Court all about His dwelling place, that all might come into His presence in their own way?
Ah, that is just why Jehovah shut Israel out from His Tent, that they might not come into His presence in any way but His way, a way that would make them acceptable to Him. He shut them out because He is a holy God, and they were a sinful people. Some in the camp of Israel may have esteemed themselves to be quite wise and good, and much better than their neighbors. But in God's sight, morally, there was no difference. He loved the weakest child as much as the mightiest warrior, and as a God of truth and justice He must deal the same with each of them, for all had sinned. Whatever may have been the standing of the people with reference to one another, before Jehovah they all had the same standing, they were all shut out by the hangings of fine twined linen, and could only come into His presence in His way, the way whereby all their sins and uncleanness might be judged and put away.
The fine twined linen to us is typical of the righteousness of God. In Revelation 19:8 we are told that "the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints." This is true when the saints have the linen on, but the linen about God's dwelling place is typical of God's righteousness.
The Holy Spirit in telling us of God's ways with every man according to the Gospel, declares that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, "for (or because) therein is revealed the righteousness of God." Romans 1:16, 17.
For God to reveal His righteousness, means for Him, as a holy God, to deal with every man according to His holy law. This He must do, for righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. Psalms 89:14; 97:2 R. V.
Now for the God of absolute truth and holiness to deal with sinful man according to His holy law, apart from Christ, would be to exclude every man forever from His holy presence. This is just what the Spirit reveals to us in Romans 1:18 to 3:18. Just the moment God speaks of revealing His righteousness, instantly all the unrighteousness of man is revealed, for what can a sinner do to satisfy the claims of a holy God?
Here the Spirit reveals how the heathen, the wicked Idolaters are without excuse before a holy God, because they have a knowledge of His eternal power and Godhead through His work of creation, and refusing this knowledge are given up of God to do everything that is vile and evil.
These verses declare that the learned Gentiles, the civilized people, are also without excuse before God, because they have an enlightened conscience, as well as a knowledge of God through His work of creation. "To him therefore that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17.
Romans 2:17 to 3:9.
The religious Jews, or religious Gentiles, who know about God through His word, but who obey not the Gospel, are without excuse before God. The more light or knowledge about God which men have, the greater will be their condemnation, if that knowledge is not received by faith. Matthew 11:20-24; 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 9.
Romans 3:10-20 is God's verdict concerning every one who has not come to Him through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. "All under sin," "none righteous, no, not one," and according to His holy law "all the world" is guilty before a holy God, and therefore all excluded from His presence, where is fullness of joy. Psalms 16:11.
Just as the fine twined linen about the Tabernacle shut the people of Israel out from the blessed presence of the Lord, so the revelation of God's righteousness excludes from His presence forever every one who does not come to Him through Jesus Christ.
The brass pillars and brass sockets which held up the hangings of linen speak to us typically of judgment. We shall see later how the Lord judged all the sins of all the people at the brazen altar, and judged the uncleanness of the priests at the brazen laver. These things alone would suggest the significance of the brass, but the Holy Spirit has given us a key verse in Revelation 1:15, where we are told that the feet of Christ, as the Judge, are "like unto burnished brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace." R. V.
Under His feet, burnished like brass as He suffered as our Substitute, must be put everything in the universe which is not in harmony with the mind and will of God. 1 Corinthians 15:25-28; 1 Peter 2:21-24.
The silver chapiters, hooks and fillets, which helped to hold up the linen hangings, were made of the silver atonement money obtained from the men of war in Israel, who were numbered at Mount Sinai before the Tabernacle was built. Ex. 30-11-16; 38:9-31; Num. 1, 2.
This silver of the Tabernacle is typical of the precious blood of Christ, by which we have been redeemed. I Peter 1:18, 19.
For us, the meaning of the linen hangings of the Court, supported by the brass and silver is this, that God's righteousness was fully revealed on Calvary, when God judged the sins of all the world through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. Romans 3:21, 22; Hebrews 9:26.
The law and the prophets witnessed to the righteousness of God, but His righteousness could only be fully revealed through faith of Jesus Christ, when He by faith laid down His life for us, receiving in Himself the stroke of God's wrath due us as rebels against God. Romans 3:21, 22; Hebrews 12:2; Romans 5:8-10; Isaiah 53:5.
The wrath of God, the expression of His holiness with reference to sin, was fully revealed when He turned His face away from His own dear Son, as He hung upon the cross in our place, and for God's wrath to abide upon a sinner who will not believe in Jesus Christ, means for that one to be eternally separated from Him who is love. John 3:36.
The ornaments of silver, the chapiters which adorned the brass posts, tell us of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, though He was rich, for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9. R. V.
What an ornament grace is and how it adorns all His ways with and for us. May His love for others so fill the hearts of all His own, that like the silver chapiters, it may be seen above all else in our lives.
The only opening through the hangings of the Court of the Tabernacle was the hanging made of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen, which hung at the east end of the Court. It was twenty cubits long and five cubits high, and was supported by four brass pillars with their brass sockets, and silver chapiters, hooks and fillets. Exodus 27:16.
Under this Gate, any or all the people of Israel might approach into the Court of Jehovah, who dwelt in their midst.
Though God is fundamentally, absolutely, and eternally holy and righteous in all His ways. He is also the God of infinite compassion, the God of love and mercy, the God of all grace. It was His love that opened the Gate and said "Come unto Me," to Israel and to us. Matthew 11:28.
For us, the Gate is a type of Christ as the Way, the only way that God has opened for man to come to the Father. John 14:6.
The Gate was made of four colors, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen.
The blue, the color of the atmospheric heavens encircling the earth, is typical of Christ as the heavenly One, the Son of God who is in the bosom of the Father, who came down from the Father's bosom that He might bring us into the place from which He came. John 1:18; 14:3; 17:23, 24; 20:31.
The purple is the royal color, the color of kings' garments, and is typical of Christ as the royal One, the King of Israel, as revealed in Matthew's gospel. Matthew 1:1; 2:2.
The scarlet, the color of blood, typifies the suffering, sorrowing, sympathizing Savior seeking and saving the lost, as revealed in Luke's gospel. Luke 19:10.
The fine linen, ever a type of righteousness, Revelation 19:8, in the Gate is typical of Christ as the righteous, faithful Servant of God's grace, as revealed in Mark's gospel. Mark 10:45.
The Gate upheld by its four pillars of brass is thus a type of Christ as He is revealed through the four gospel writers.
From this we learn that no man can come to the Father without a knowledge of the historical Christ who came to earth and actually accomplished the work of redemption. John 17:3; Acts 4:12.
But how could a sinful people come acceptably under this Gate into the Court of the Holy One of Israel? Only as sinners, could they come, confessing that they were guilty before God, by bringing their trespass-offerings or sin-offerings. The sinner who sought acceptance before God because he had reformed, or "turned over a new leaf," or because of his good works, found that his bloodless meal-offering, like Cain's, was not accepted. Genesis 4:3-7; Leviticus 2.
The first step God-ward which the sinful Israelite might take was thus to acknowledge that he was a sinner by coming under the Gate with his sin-offering. If he obtained favor through the acceptance of his sin-offering, then he might offer a thank offering, which was either a peace-offering, a meal-offering, or a burnt-offering. Leviticus 1, 2, 3.
The first acceptable step, therefore, which a sinner can take toward God, is to repent, to acknowledge, or to confess that he is a sinner, dead in trespasses and in sins. Matthew 21:28-32; Luke 7:29, 30; Ephesians 2:1, 4.
Repentance means a change of mind, with reference to sin, self, and God. It is an act of faith, the result of a conviction inwrought by the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the gospel. John 16:7-11; Romans 10:9-18. True repentance affects the mind, the heart or the emotions, and the will of man. The Holy Spirit through the gospel causes men to think of God, of themselves, and of their sins which separate them from God, and thus He causes them to feel their lost condition and also to be sorry for their sins. At the same time, the Spirit seeks to persuade men by the word that God loves them and longs to forgive them for Christ's sake, if they will only acknowledge their guilt and turn from their sins to God. Psalms 32:1-5; Isaiah 55:7; I Thessalonians 1:9. When a sinner yields to the convicting and constraining powers of the Holy Spirit, and, falling before God as a
sinner, cries like the publican, "Oh God, be merciful to me, the sinner," he will quickly learn what it is to be saved by grace through faith. Luke 18:13, 14. R. V.
The Brazen Altar.
The Brazen Altar, or Altar of Burnt-offering, was made of heavy boards of shittim or acacia wood five cubits square and three cubits high, and overlaid with heavy plates of brass. To this covering of brass was added other plates of brass made from the censers of the men who sought the priesthood in the rebellion of Koran, Dathan, and Abiram. Numbers 16:32-40.
A grating or network of brass was placed in the midst, or halfway up the Altar on the inside, and held firmly in place by the rings of brass which were caught through the corners.
The horns on the four corners of the Altar, made of the same piece with the altar, were overlaid with brass.
The covering of the Altar on the march was a purple cloth, upon which were placed all the vessels of the Altar, and over it all was spread a covering of badger skins. Then they put the staves into the rings so it could be borne by the Levites, the sons of Kohath. Numbers 4:13, 14.
The position of the Altar was within the Gate of the
Court before the Door of the Tabernacle. Exodus 40:6.
Upon the Brazen Altar the Lord consumed the whole burnt-offerings, a part of the meal-offerings, the fat of the peace-offerings, the fat of the sin-offerings, the fat of the trespass-offerings, and parts of other special offerings.
When the Tabernacle was first set up by Moses, and Aaron and his sons consecrated unto their ministry as priests, then fire came out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the Altar the burnt-offering and the fat. Leviticus 9:24. This fire was to be kept burning continually, except when the people of Israel were on the march, and then they carried live coals in the fire pans. Leviticus 6:8-13.
At this Altar the Lord thus met the people as they came under the Gate, and judged them and their sins. As a holy God, He dealt with them according to His holy law, but not on the ground of law but on the ground of grace, for His love provided a substitute to be judged instead of the sinning Israelite. Had Jehovah dealt with them on the ground of law, no Innocent lamb without blemish would have received the stroke of God's wrath, but the guilty sinner himself would have paid the penalty of his sin.
When an Israelite came to the Altar with a trespass-offering, or a sin-offering, according to the word of His grace, the death of the offering answered for the death of the guilty Israelite, and the acceptance of the offering meant the acceptance and forgiveness of the one for whom the sacrifice was offered. Leviticus 4 and 5.
Jehovah witnessed of His acceptance of a sin-offering or trespass-offering by consuming the fat on the Altar with the burnt-offering. The result of the sinner who believed the testimony of the ascending smoke was that his heart was filled with peace and joy, in the assurance that he was delivered from the penalty and guilt of his sins. Romans 5:1.
The Brazen Altar was one of the most important vessels of the Tabernacle. Apart from its use there could be no acceptable approach into the holy presence of the Holy One of Israel. It was called "an Altar most holy," and "whosoever toucheth the Altar shall be holy." Exodus 29:37 R. V.; Matthew 23:19.
For us this Altar with all its appointed ministry is full of typical significance. Every student of the word of God easily discerns that all the offerings are type of Christ, but what is the Altar Itself a type of? The key to interpreting its typical meaning, we believe, is this. The Altar was so built that it could endure the devouring fire of God's wrath. The proof of this was the fact that, about 490 years after it was built by Bezalel, Solomon offered a thousand burnt-offerings upon it. II Chronicles 1:5, 6.
As such a vessel it is a type of Christ as the only One who was humanly and divinely able to bear the wrath of God against sin and the sinner. The shittim wood, Which grew In the dry barren desert about Sinai, is typical of Christ as a man, who grew up before God as "a root out of a dry ground." Isaiah 53:2. There was nothing in this sinful world to nourish the One who took upon Himself the likeness of a man. Romans 8:3; Philippians 2:5-8. But Jesus ate "butter and honey that he might know to refuse the evil and choose the good." Isaiah 7:15. He fed upon the solid part of the word of God for nourishment, and being sweeter than honey to His taste it satisfied His heart. Hebrews 5:13, 14; Psalms 119:103; 81:16.
But overlaying the boards were the heavy plates of brass, which made the Altar a vessel abundantly able to endure the consuming fire. This brass suggests to us the ability which Christ had to "endure the cross." This power to endure God's righteous judgment against sin and the sinner was not human, but divine. Jesus was God manifest in the flesh. God Incarnate. John 1:14; I Timothy 3:16. "In Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." Colossians 2:9; 1:19. He was filled with all the fullness of the Father, and of the Holy Spirit. He had the mind of the Father, the love of the Father, and the faith of the Father.
Filled with the faith of God, Jesus was divinely able to endure the consuming fire of God's wrath, which was visited upon Him on the cross. Hebrews 12:2, 29; 10:27, 31; Deuteronomy 4:24; 9:3; Isaiah 33:14.
The Altar is thus a type of our blessed Lord. He is the Altar, He is the bleeding Lamb, and He is the High Priest offering up the Lamb. He is "all and in all" to us. Colossians 3:11.
God's work of righteousness, in judging sinful Israel through His appointed substitutes at the Altar, is typical of just what He did on Calvary for every one who will believe His precious word.
When no one could
produce any righteousness acceptable to God, when all were shut out from the
presence of God, and every mouth stopped, God manifested His righteousness by
dealing with every man according to His holy law. But praise His name. He did
not deal with us on the ground of law, but on the ground of grace, for His love
provided a Substitute to be judged in our place, who by faith laid down His life
for us. Romans 3:21, 22.
Because of His love for us, Jesus was willing to be separated from the Father's presence, that all who believe might come into the presence of our Father and dwell there. This separation of Christ from the Father was what broke His heart and wrung from His lips the heart broken cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Psalms 22:1; Matthew 27:46.
The death of Christ for us delivers every sinner who believes from the penalty of our sins, and God's acceptance of Him as the One who died for us delivers us from our guiltiness before God, for the acceptance of the offering meant the acceptance of the one for whom the sacrifice was offered. The proof to us that God accepted Christ as our Substitute is that He was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, and that He ascended to the right hand of the Majesty on High. Romans 6:4; Hebrews 1:3.
By believing God's declaration concerning the death and resurrection of Christ we are justified, or declared righteous before God. Romans 4:25; 5:1.
The measure of the Altar, five cubits long, and five cubits broad suggests typically the thought of responsibility which Christ fulfilled toward God and toward man, for He kept both tables of the law.
It was four-square, which speaks to us of weakness, for four is the earth number, but the horns are symbols of power. Daniel 8:3-7. Christ was "crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God." 2 Corinthians 13:4.
But the blood sprinkled horns certainly foreshadow the wonderful power of the finished work of Christ, the work wrought for us on the cross, which is so fully and clearly typified by the offering up of the sacrifices on the Altar.
They tell us of the joyful message of what Another has done for us, which has power to save from the penalty, guilt and power of sin, and from the power of Satan, every one who will believe it. Romans 1:16; 3:24; 6:6; 11; 1 John 1:7; Ephesians 6:10-18; Revelation 12:11.
Three cubits high typifies the work of the Trinity on the cross. The Father was on Calvary offering up His Son in the power of the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 5:19; Hebrews 9:14.
The offerings consumed upon the grate in the center or heart of the Altar suggests the fact that Christ made His soul an offering for sin. "He poured out His soul unto death." Isaiah 53:10-12.
The purple covering reminds us of the tact that it was the King of the Jews who was crucified for us, while the badger skin covering, which protected the Altar and its vessels on the march, typifies the humiliation of Christ, His humility which protected Him from all the defiling things of earth. Isaiah 53:2, last clause; Philippians 2:8; 1 Peter 5:5, 6.
It was Jehovah Himself, the covenant making and covenant keeping God of redemption, who opened the Gate, under which sin-cursed Israel might take the first step toward Him. Then in righteousness and grace He met them at the Brazen Altar, and there judged and put away all their sins, so that they might come acceptably into His presence.
On Calvary God met us and righteously judged all of our sins, and reconciled us unto Himself, having made peace through the blood of Christ's cross, so that every believer may come acceptably into His holy presence. Much more than that, the result, for every believer, of God's work of righteousness is peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever. Psalms 85:10; Colossians 1:20; Isaiah 32.17.
The Offerings. Leviticus 1-7.
The only ground of forgiveness and acceptance for Israel before God was acceptable offerings. The five kinds of offerings all pointed typically to the Christ, the sum and fulfillment of them all. Hebrews 10:1-17. He is the offering that God provided, through whom sinful man is forgiven and accepted in the Father's holy presence. John 1:29; 14:6.
The Burnt Offering, willingly and wholly offered unto God for the acceptance of the offerer, is typical of Christ, who so delighted in doing God's will that He obeyed the Father absolutely, perfectly, pleasing Him in all things in His life, and then becoming obedient unto death for us. John 8:29; Galatians 1:4; Philippians 2:8; John 3:16. Christ's perfect obedience, and therefore perfect holiness, is the perfect basis for God's acceptance of His death for us, and thus of our acceptance in Him. The acceptance of all other sacrifices depended upon the acceptance of the Whole Burnt Offering. The ascending smoke of the consumed Burnt Offering was the testimony that God accepted the offering. So the resurrection and ascension of Christ is the eternal proof of God's acceptance of Him, and of every believer in Him. Ephesians 1:6; 2:6.
The Meat Offering, of fine flour, ground between the upper and nether mill-stones, was the food of the priests and their families, after a handful, anointed with oil, was offered unto God. It typifies Christ anointed with the Spirit, loving, living, and dying for man by the hand of lawless men, yet according to the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God. Acts 10:38; Ephesians 5:26; Acts. 2:23. Christ as the Meat Offering, meets the demand of God against man, because of man's lack of love toward his fellowmen, and becomes also the one to supply that need in the believer's heart by filling us with His love for others. 2 Corinthians 5:14.
The Peace Offering was eaten by the Levites after the fat, the food of the offering for God, had been burned on the altar with the Burnt Offering. This offering is a type of Christ as the One who reconciled us to God, by giving to God that which satisfied and delights God, and which satisfies Christ, the Priest, and the Offerer, and thus satisfies us In Him. The Peace Offering depended upon the Whole Burnt Offering for its acceptance, but it was a crowning result of Christ satisfying God's claim against us by bearing our sins and being made sin for US. Ephesians 5:2; 1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:21.
The Sin Offering was a sacrifice atoning for the sins committed ignorantly, and is typical of Christ bearing the judgment of God against man's sinful nature. Ephesians 2:3. The sinful nature inherited from the first Adam was judged in the death of the Second Adam, as the Head of the new race of which every believer is a member. 1 Corinthians 15:41-45; Romans 5:12-8:39; 2 Corinthians 5:17. But He who was made sin for us was made unto us sanctification and redemption also, for in Him not only was our sinful nature judged, thus delivering us from the power of sin, but His own divine nature is imparted to every believer, and thus power to please God realized in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Peter 1:4; Romans 8:13.
The Trespass Offering was a sacrifice atoning for known sins, and is typical of Christ as the One who bore in His own body the penalty of man's sinful acts, words, deeds, and thoughts. Romans 5:6; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4. By His act of faith in laying down His life for us. He made it possible for God to manifest his righteousness, in dealing with man's sins in such a way that He maintains His holy character and government, and at the same time justifies every sinner who believes that Christ died for his sins. Oh, what holiness and love, what truth and grace, what righteousness and peace kissed each other on the cross, and all for me. Psalms 85:10.
Exodus 30:17-21; 38:8. The Laver was a polished brass
vessel made of the looklngglasses, or mirrors, of the women who assembled at the
door of the tabernacle of the congregation, a tent erected by Moses for a place
of worship until the Tabernacle proper was built.
The form and measurements of the Laver are not given, but it was so constructed that it was convenient for the priests to wash their hands and their feet thereat.
Its position in the Court of the Tabernacle was between the Brazen Altar and the Tabernacle. Exodus 40:7.
Its use was to reveal uncleanness, as a mirror, and to hold water for cleansing. Here the high priest and priests were bathed before they were enrobed and set apart for priestly service. Exodus 29:4. Here also they washed their hands and feet often every day, that their ministry at the Altar and in the Holy Place might be acceptable to the Lord. Any omission of this washing at the Laver meant death. Exodus 30:20, 21.
For us, the typical meaning of the Laver is not hard to
find. In Ephesians 5:25, 26, we read that "Christ loved the Church, and gave
Himself for it that He might sanctify it, cleansing it with the washing of the
water by the word." Roth.
"Washing" is the translation of the Greek word for Laver, so that here we learn that the Laver is a type of the word of God whereby believers are sanctified, or cleansed.
The same word "washing" is used in Titus 3:5, and refers to regeneration by the word.
What a help these two verses are to us. From them we learn that believers are regenerated and sanctified by the "water of the word." The "water" of John 3:5 is the word of God, the gospel which is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Romans 1:16; I John 5:6-8.
But the Laver, as a vessel made without measure, is also a figure of the Holy Spirit, given to Christ and to His Church "without measure." John 3:34, R. V.
The Holy Spirit regenerates and sanctifies believers by the word of God. 2 Thessalonians 2:13; John 17:17.
When we believe with our hearts the blessed gospel, the Holy Spirit imparts to us a new life, even the life of the risen Christ in whom We believe. Romans 10:10; Colossians 3:4; John 3:36; 6:47.
The ceremonial bathing of the priests at the Laver seems clearly to suggest the work of regeneration wrought in every true believer by the word and the Spirit, once and forever. Exodus 29:4; Titus 3:5.
But the daily washing of the hands and the feet of the priests foreshadows the sanctification, or cleansing of believers, as to our service and walk, by His word and Spirit. Psalms 24:3, 4; 119:9; John 13:10; 15:3; 17:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; I Peter 1:2.
The hands suggest the thought of service. Ecclesiastes 9:10; Palms 90:17; Colossians 3:17, 23; 1 Corinthians 10:31.
The feet suggest to us the thought of our walk, our dally life, as believers. Ephesians 2:10; 4:1, 17; 5:2, 8, 15; Colossians 2:6; 2 Corinthians 5:7.
As His children, who are saved by grace through faith, if we grieve our Father by thought, word, or deed, in our daily walk or service, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9. This is the daily sanctification or cleansing by His word and Spirit, which God has provided for every one of His children, in order that we may live in abiding fellowship with our Father and with His Son in the most holy place. The least thing which grieves Him and brings condemnation to our hearts can Instantly be forgiven and cleansed if confessed to God. Thus and thus only may abiding fellowship be enjoyed. I John 1:7; 2:28; 3:21, 22.
As priests unto God, it is our wonderful and blessed privilege to come boldly into the presence of our Father, there to live for others a life of service.
All the people of Israel might come under the Gate to the Brazen Altar, but only the high priest and priests could enter into the presence of Jehovah within the Tabernacle, and this they did only as those who were separated from among the people to minister before God in behalf of the people. Exodus 28:1; Hebrews 5:1.
Oh how blessed, to find from His word that every blood washed believer, though but a new born babe in Christ, is a holy and a royal priest unto God. I Peter 2:1-5, 9; Revelation 1:5, 6; 5:9, 10.
Every sinner who will may come to the Cross, may believe in the finished work of Christ, and thus be saved. Then, as saved ones, God has a service for every one. Ephesians 2:8-10. Indeed this is God's blessed purpose in redemption, to have a people who delight to live in His blessed presence a life of service for others. We are saved to serve. Ephesians 2:10; Hebrews 9:15; 1 Thessalonians 1:9.
This service is to witness of our risen Lord, and a part of this ministry, and the principal part is the prayer life in the presence of our Father, where, as priests, we have fellowship with our faithful High Priest in a life of intercession. Hebrews 7:25; Ephesians 6:18.
At the Laver, the priests were bathed all over (Exodus 29:4), an act which ceremonially separated them unto God, and in part prepared them for priestly service. While this act foreshadows regeneration by the word and Spirit (Titus 3:5), it seems clearly to typify much more than that. The Laver and the water both being types of the Holy Spirit, the bathing of the priests prefigures the sanctification or separation of the Holy Spirit, the thing so absolutely necessary as the preparation for our service as witnesses of Christ. Luke 24:49; Acts 1:5, 8.
Only believers who yield themselves wholly to the Lord, like the whole burnt-offering, to be wholly consumed in doing His will, may know what it is to be anointed by the Holy Spirit, and thus empowered for priestly service. Leviticus 8:9; Romans 12:1; 8:26, 27. More than that, only believers whose life and service are continually sanctified by God's word and Spirit may enjoy a life of fellowship with our High Priest in intercession for others. Psalms 24:3, 4; I John 3:21, 22.
Oh that all of His own might enjoy the fullness of God's thought for us, as those who are saved to serve.
Exodus 26:36, 37. Chapter 26 of Exodus describes the Tabernacle proper, God's dwelling in the midst of His people. Since we apprehend the truth in the reverse order from that in which the Holy Spirit has described the Tabernacle, we will begin this chapter with the study of the Door.
The material of which the Door was made was the same as that of the Gate, blue, purple, scarlet and fine twined linen.
It hung, at the east end. or entrance of the Tabernacle, upon five pillars of shittim wood, which were overlaid with gold, and which rested upon five sockets of brass. This was the only brass used in the Tabernacle proper.
For us the Door is clearly a shadow of Him who said "I am the Door." John 10:7.
The key verse which opens up to us the typical meaning of the Tabernacle is Hebrews 9:24. Here we learn that the Holy Places are figures of heaven, where Christ is now appearing in God's presence for us. The Door is, therefore, a type of Christ where He is now.
The Gate represents the historical Christ as revealed in the four Gospels, but the Door, upheld by five pillars, is typical of the risen and glorified Christ, as revealed through the five writers of the Epistles, Paul, Peter, James, John and Jude. 2 Corinthians 5:16.
Christ, as the Door, is the One through whom we have "access
into this grace wherein we stand." Romans 5:2; Ephesians 2:18.
Only as our minds and hearts are occupied with the person of our glorious Lord, may we enter into the realization of the place of favor and of the blessings which God has given us in Christ.
Very many of God's own dear ones seem to have taken but few steps God-ward. They have come under the Gate, or repented of their sins, and have come to the Brazen Altar, or believed that Christ died for their sins, thus realizing forgiveness.
But they have not yielded themselves unto God, as His redeemed ones, to come into His presence as priests, who are sanctified, or set apart and cleansed for service. When we yield ourselves unto God, then He separates us by His Holy Spirit, and in the fullness of His Spirit we are sanctified by His word. Then the Holy Spirit begins to reveal to us our living Savior and Lord, and the things that are ours in Him. Oh how our minds and hearts are then set upon the things which are above, where Christ is. Colossians 3:1-2. Then we begin to seek the things which are unseen and eternal, not the things of earth. 2 Corinthians 4:18. Then we begin to remember His precious word, to hide it in our hearts that we may not sin against the One who is all in all to us, the One who is "altogether lovely." Then too we begin to enjoy "the hidden life," a life of conscious fellowship with Him, a life of separation from the world and from sin. Colossians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 7:1. Much more than that, as our hearts are occupied with our risen Lord, we will enjoy "the power of His resurrection." Philippians 3:10.
The brass sockets, the foundation for the pillars upholding the Door, suggest to us the self-judgment so essential to enjoying a life of abiding fellowship with our Lord. Romans 8:13; 1 Corinthians 11:28-32. They also suggest the judgment of our works as believers, which is yet future and will take place in heaven when the Lord comes for His church. 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 3:9-15.
Exodus 26:31-35. The Veil was a hanging of blue, purple,
scarlet, and fine twined linen, with the figures of the Cherubim embroidered
upon it. It hung upon four pillars of shittim wood, which were overlaid with
gold, and rested upon four sockets of silver. It separated the Most Holy Place
from the Holy Place, shutting the priests out from the presence of Jehovah, and
shut in His glory, which was revealed alone to the high priest once a year.
The Veil of the Temple was rent in twain from top to bottom when Christ died on the cross. Matthew 27:51.
For us the Veil is typical of "the flesh" of Christ. Hebrews 10:20.
The body of flesh in which Jesus dwelt was the veil which shut in His glory as the only begotten Son of God. John 1:14.
On the mount of transfiguration the veil became transparent, and the glory within shone through. Matthew 17:1-8; 2 Peter 1:16-18.
When the flesh of Christ was rent on Calvary, the Veil of the Temple was rent, so that now, as priests, we may come boldly into the presence of our Father, into the Most Holy Place, and there behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:16; 10:19, 20; 2 Corinthians 4:6.
The Cherubim, types of us as one with Christ (see section on Cherubim) were rent when the Veil was rent. We were crucified with Christ, and until we know what it is to be "dead unto sin," we will not be made "alive unto God." Romans 6.
Ex. 26:15-30. Forty-eight Boards of shittim wood
"standing up," made the walls of the Tabernacle on the north and south sides,
and the west end.
Two silver sockets, weighing about 100 pounds each, made a foundation for each Board to rest upon.
Two tenons, like hands, at the bottom of each Board set in the silver sockets, thus keeping each Board firmly in place on its foundation.
Five bars of shittim wood, overlaid with gold, kept the Boards in their proper position with reference to each other.
The middle bar, in the midst of the Boards, passed through from end to end. This bar was probably invisible, passing through the middle of each Board, from edge to edge. The four outer bars passed through rings of gold.
A covering of gold overlaid each Board and bar, thus hiding the knots and cross-grains.
For us the typical meaning of the Boards is discovered in the Spirit given verses of Eph. 2:21, 22, "a building fitly framed together," that "groweth into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God in the Spirit."
From these verses we learn that the Boards, as a part of God's dwelling, "a building fitly framed together," are typical of the Church, God's dwelling place, "a habitation of God in the Spirit." 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; 2 Corinthians 6:16; John 14:23.
Every word of God has significance, because His word has been Inspired by the Holy Spirit, therefore, when the Spirit speaks twice of the Boards "standing up," we ought to give heed. Exodus 26:15; 36:20. The same blessed Spirit declares, that, as believers who are justified through faith in Christ, we also have "access by faith into this grace wherein we stand." Romans 5:2.
From these verses we learn that the Boards foreshadow our standing before God in Christ, in heaven.
The cutting down of the Boards, as to their natural standing, typifies what God wrought for us in Christ, when he crucified the old man, and buried him together with Christ. Romans 6:6, 4.
The fitting of the Boards for their place in the Tabernacle, by making each the same length, the same width, the same thickness, and overlaying each with gold, foreshadows what God did for us when He made us meet, or fit, to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. Colossians 1:12. This God did when He quickened us together with Christ, and raised us up together with Him. Ephesians 2:5, 6.
The setting up of each Board in its proper position is a most wonderful illustration of what God wrought for us in Christ when He made us to sit together with Him in the heavenly places, when He made us accepted in the Beloved. Exodus 40:1, 18; Ephesians 2:6; 1:6.
The putting in of the bars typifies what God did for us in Christ, when He "set the members each one of them in the body, even as It pleased Him." 1 Corinthians 12:18; Eph. 4:4.
The middle or invisible bar is a figure of the one Spirit
by whom we were all baptized into one body. 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 3:6.
The four outer bars suggest to us how God "tempered the body together," or "caused the several parts to combine into one organic structure," "that there might be no disunion in the body, but that all the members might entertain the same anxious care for one another's welfare." 1 Corinthians 12:24-25; Ephesians 4:11-16. Our standing before God in Christ, with relation to each other, is manifest as we "walk worthily of the calling wherewith we were called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:1-3. R. V.
The foundation of silver, on which the Boards rested, was made of the ransom, or atonement, money obtained from the men of war, who were numbered at mount Sinai. Exodus 30:11-16.
To us the silver is typical of "the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot," by which we have been redeemed. 1 Peter 1:18, 19; Acts. 20:28. The only ground of our acceptance before a holy God is the precious blood of Christ, which cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John 1:7; Romans 3:21-26.
The two tenons, or hands, which held the Boards securely on the foundation, are typical of the hand of our Savior, and the hand of our Father, which hold, securely and forever, every true believer upon the Foundation, which is Christ and His finished work. John 10:27-29; Col. 3:3. These are the loving, faithful, and mighty hands that keep every child of God in the place of favor before God, into which we were brought through the finished work of Christ. 1 John 5:18.
The two silver sockets under each Board picture the death and resurrection of Christ, the only Foundation for our salvation. Romans 5:24; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.
The one hundred silver sockets foreshadow the multiplied, the perfect responsibility of Christ to uphold us in our standing before God. How blessedly He is able to save to the uttermost, completely, or evermore, them that come unto God through Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25.
Ten cubits, the height of the Boards, reveals the fact that we are responsible "to walk worthily of the calling wherewith we were called," to walk "as becometh saints," to "walk as children of light." Ephesians 4:1; 5:2, 3, 8. We are not to do this or that, in order to become saints, or in order to become children of light. Ephesians 1 to 3 reveal the glorious fact that God has blessed the Church in Christ, has made us one with Him and in Him, as members of His body. His bride, and Eph. 4 to 6 tell us how we ought to live because of this standing which God has given us in Christ.
The equal height, width, and thickness of the Boards sweetly proclaim the precious truth that every believer has the same standing before God, for every member of Christ's body is accepted and blessed before God even as He is, for we are complete in Him, who is the Head of all principality and power. Ephesians 1:3, 6, 22, 23; Colossians 2:10.
Like the people of Israel, shut out from the presence of God by the hangings of linen about the Court, we were all excluded from the presence of the holy God, because we had all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23.
There was no difference as to our standing before God, as sinners, (Hid every one who comes to God must come, and does come, through
Jesus Christ, therefore there is no difference in our standing before God as saints.
The covering of gold on the Boards is typical of the divine glory that is ours in Christ, for when God glorified His Son, He glorified us in Him. John 17:1, 5, 24; Acts 3:13; Romans 8:30.
So many of God's dear ones do not understand the difference between the standing and the state of believers, and therefore are living under the law, praying for mercy and blessing which are already theirs in Christ.
Our standing is what God has done for us in Christ, justified us, sanctified us, glorified us. Romans 8:29, 30; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Hebrews 10:10, 14.
Our state is what God works in us by His Spirit and word, as we believe and obey Him. Ephesians 3:14-20; Philippians 2:13; Colossians 1:29.
Our standing is what God has made us in Christ, sons of God, kings, priests, heirs, joint-heirs, members of the bride of Christ. Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 1:5, R. V.; Revelation 1:6; Romans 8:17; 7:4; Ephesians 5:30-32.
Our state is how we are living day by day, whether as sons, enjoying fellowship in life and service with our Lord, or as babes knowing only that our sins are forgiven and that we are born again. 1 John 2:12-17. Living as kings and priests, a life of victory over Satan, sin, and self, in unceasing prayer and labor for others, or as bondslaves of evil habits and evil dispositions, controlled by Satan, a wretched, prayerless, powerless, selfish, and self-centered life, which reveals nothing of Christ but only self, and is a blessing to no one. Romans 6, 7, 8; Galatians 2:20. Living as heirs, and joint-heirs, asking and receiving what we ask for out of the unsearchable riches which are ours in Him, or living like beggars who ask and ask, and go away hungry and empty. 1 John 3:21, 22; 5:14, 15; James. 1:6, 7; 4:3. Living as members of His bride beloved by Him, and our hearts enraptured with Him who is "altogether lovely," so that more and more His beauty and loveliness are manifest through us, or complaining, criticizing, finding fault because the way is hard, the food He gives us for our souls is dry and tasteless, and "He does not love us very much, or He would not permit such evil things to come upon us." Song of Songs 5:10-16; Numbers 21:4, 5; Psalms 77:9, 10. How few seem to enjoy their marriage relationship with our risen Lord. Romans 7:4; Galatians 5:22, 23.
Our standing is where God has placed us in Christ, "far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion," and all things in subjection. Ephesians 1:18-23. R. V.
Our state, at best here, is a wrestling against principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the host of wicked spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-18. Many dear ones know no better state than a conflict with the lusts of the flesh, because not yielded to God nor filled with His spirit. 1 Peter 2:11.
Our standing is how God loves us in Christ, which is just the same as His love for Christ, a love that is eternal, infinite, and unchangeable from which nothing can separate us. John 17:23; Ephesians 1:3-6; Romans 8:28-39; John 13:1; James 1:17.
Our state is how we love God, which depends upon our knowledge of His great love for us, and our knowledge is so Imperfect at best. 1 John 4:19; Ephesians 3:19; 1 John 3:1.
Our standing is how God knows us in Christ. Philippians 3:12; 2 Corinthians 13:12.
Our state is
how much we have grown in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18; 1:1-11.
Our standing is the goal, the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14; Ephesians 1:18.
Our state is how far we have run in the race to win the goal, or the prize. Philippians 3:12, 13.
Our standing is "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Ephesians 4:13. A revelation of this measure is given in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; Colossians 3:12, 13; James. 3:17.
Our state is just how high we have grown up in all things in Christ. Ephesians 4:14-16.
Our standing is just as perfect as Christ in all His purity and loveliness before God.
Our state, alas! how unlike Him is the holiest saint on earth, therefore "this one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind," all past attainments, I stretch forward to the things which are before, "confident of this very thing that He who began a good work in me will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 3:13; 1:6. R. V.
A tent, made of eleven curtains of goats' hair each four cubits wide and thirty
cubits long, covered the Tabernacle. These eleven curtains were bound together
in two large curtains, five curtains in one, and six curtains in the other,
which were coupled together as one, by fifty clasps of brass.
A covering of rains' skins dyed red was placed over the goats' hair tent, and above and over all was the covering of badgers' skins, or sealskins.
For us, the typical meaning of these coverings is discovered in the key verse given in John 1:14, "and, the Word became flesh, and dwelt (or tabernacled) among us." Christ was God incarnate. He was God dwelling in a tabernacle of flesh. God manifest in the flesh, for "in Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." John 2:19, 21; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 1 Timothy 3:16; Colossians 2:9.
The outer covering of dark brown dirty looking badgers' skins, which protected all of the Tabernacle from the defiling elements without, foreshadows the humiliation of Christ, of whom we read that "when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire him." Isaiah 53:2.
This does not speak of Christ's personal appearance, but of His great humiliation in leaving His place in glory with the Father, as One who was equal with the Father, Himself the Creator of the universe, and in taking upon Himself "the likeness of sinful flesh," becoming a worm of the dust. John 17:5; Romans 8:3; Philippians 2:5-8.
The humility of Christ, His absolute subjection to the mind and will of God, in being willing to take the lowest place on God's footstool, in order to save others, protected Him from everything that was defiling here on earth. John 6:38; Galatians 1:4.
The delight which Jesus found in doing His Father's will was the yoke which kept Him continually, as the meek and lowly Ox, in God's way. Psalms 40:8; John 8:29; Matthew 11:29, 30.
If, like Him, we are
girded with humility, delighting to do His will in living for others, we will
not only be protected from the defiling things about us, but we will find rest
unto our souls, for His "yoke Is easy and His burden is light." Matthew 11:29,
30; 1 Peter 5:5, R. V.
The rams' skins dyed red at once suggests to us the object of Christ's humiliation, to offer Himself as a sacrifice for sin. Philippians 2:8; Heb. 9:26; Gen. 22:13. This was the, consummation of a life of faith and obedience. Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 2:8. His absolute devotion unto God even unto death, made it possible for Jesus to say, "It is finished." John 19:30.
Paul, filled with the same Spirit, said "I count not my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." Acts 20:24. At the close of his life, by the grace of God, He could say "I have finished my course." 1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Timothy 4:7.
What Paul did, by the grace of God, in finishing his course, as, a bond-slave of Jesus Christ, every believer can do.
The tent, or covering of goats' hair reminds us of the result of Christ's death for us, the purification of sins. Upon the head of the scapegoat, all the sins of the children of Israel were laid on the great day of atonement, and borne away "into a land not inhabited," a land where there would be no one to call them to remembrance. Leviticus 16:21, 22.
The result for us, of the finished work of Christ, is that all our sins have been judged and put away, so that our Father "remembers them no more." Hebrews 1:3; 10:17; Psalms 103:12.
Ex. 26:1-6. Ten
curtains of fine twined linen, blue, purple, and scarlet, with Cherubim,
made the Tabernacle proper.
The one measure of every curtain was twenty-eight cubits long and four cubits wide. They were coupled together in two large curtains of five each.
Fifty clasps of gold fastened in the fifty loops of blue on one edge of each of the large curtains, coupled the curtains together as one Tabernacle.
The Holy Place, God's dwelling place, was made by hanging these ten curtains, thus fastened together, over the Boards.
For us, the typical meaning of these curtains is found by turning to the key verses in Hebrews 8:5; 9:24. Here we learn that these Holy Places are figures of the true Tabernacle, or heaven, where Christ, as our great High Priest is appearing in the presence of God for us.
The material of which the curtains were made, the fine linen, blue, purple, and scarlet, foreshadows Christ as the Righteous One, the Heavenly One, the Royal One, and the One who Suffered. But it is Christ "as He is" in heaven, who is pictured to us in these curtains.
The figures of the Cherubim embroidered in the curtains typify our union with Christ in heaven, the glorious result of His humbling Himself and becoming obedient unto death. Not simply cleansing from sin, but oneness with Him in glory are the blessed results of His finished work on Calvary. Hebrews 2:9-11; Romans 7:4; Colossians 2:13; Ephesians 2:13-16.
The fifty clasps of gold and loops of blue which bound the Tabernacle together as one, speak to us typically of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Sonship, the Spirit of the glorified Christ, which was poured out upon the Church on Pentecost, the fiftieth day. It is this blessed Spirit of our risen
Lord which binds us together as one in Christ In heaven, which oneness we now enjoy as we live "in the Spirit." Hallelujah! Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 4:4-6; 5:26; Ephesians 2:18; 3:16; 1 Peter 4:14; John 17:21-33.
Our standing before God in Christ in the heavenlies is beautifully foreshadowed by the ten curtains of the Tabernacle.
"Every curtain of one measure," like the Boards of equal length, typifies the equal standing of every believer before God in Christ. Ephesians 4:13; Romans 8:29. A difference in rewards for service, there will be in heaven, but no difference as to standing before God. He loves every one of us alike, just as much .as He does Jesus Christ, in whom He has accepted us. John 17:23; Eph. 1:6.
What marks the difference in God's children here is our love for Him, the proof of which is our obedience to His word and Spirit. The result of the marked difference here will make a marked difference in rewards for service, at the coming of our Lord. Matthew 25:14-23; Luke 19:15-19.
The fine linen, with the Cherubim, typifies our oneness with Christ as righteous ones, as holy ones before God, for He was made unto us righteousness. 1 Corinthians 1:30.
The blue, with the Cherubim, is typical of our union with the Heavenly One, with whom we have been made to sit in the heavenly places. Ephesians 2:6.
The purple, with the Cherubim, illustrates our oneness with Him who is to rule over all the work of God's hands, for in Him we have been made kings unto God. Psalms 8:4-8; Revelation 1:6.
The scarlet, with the Cherubim, foreshadows "the fellowship of His sufferings," which is for us in Him. Philippians 3:10; 1 Peter 2:20, 23.
He was perfected through suffering, Hebrews 2:10; 5:8, 9. Suffering precedes glory, and we are partakers of Christ's sufferings that we may rejoice with exceeding joy at the revelation of His glory. Romans 8:17; 2 Corinthians 4:17, 18; 1 Peter 4:12-19.
Nothing which we do as believers affects our standing, or our standing is not affected by our state. But oh how the knowledge of our standing affects our state. Our state is to be conformed to our standing, for it is God's purpose to conform every believer to the image of His son. Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2.
The first thing needed for priestly ministry in the Holy Place was light, for
all natural light was shut out of that sacred place.
To give this light a candlestick was beaten out of a talent of pure gold, estimated to have been worth from $25,000 to $50,000.
Of one piece with the main stem were the six branches.
Golden ornaments of knops, flowers, and fruit like almonds adorned the stem and branches, and made a bowl on the ends of the stem and branches for the seven golden lamps.
Pure olive oil, beaten for the light, was burned in the lamps continually. Leviticus 24:1-4.
The trimming of the wicks with the golden snuffers, and the refilling of the lamps with oil was a ministry performed by the high priest every morning, when he burned incense on the Golden Altar. Exodus 30:8.
To reveal the beauty and glory of the Candlestick was one particular use of the lamps. Exodus 25:37.
A blue cloth and a badger's skin covering protected the Candlestick on the march. Numbers 4:9, 10.
All was to be made according to the heavenly pattern, and was a pattern of heavenly things. Exodus 25:40; Hebrews 8:5.
For us, the typical meaning of the Candlestick is easily discovered through Hebrews 9:24.
The Holy Places, from which all natural light was excluded, are typical of the glorious places, where "they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light." Revelation 22:5.
The Candlestick is, therefore, a dim shadow of our glorious Lord, who is the light and glory of heaven, as well as the light of the world. Revelation 21:22, 23; John 8:12.
"The beating" of the gold suggests to us the suffering which preceded the glory, for "the Lamb is the light thereof." Revelation 21:23; Romans 8:17.
But the Candlestick is not a type of Christ alone, but of "the Christ," or Christ and His Church, for the lamps which revealed the beauty of the Candlestick pre-figure those who "show forth the praise of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light," those who show forth the praise of His glory. 1 Peter 2:9; Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14.
The Church, as the witness of Christ, the company of redeemed ones through whom the fullness of His glory is to be revealed in heaven, as well as now, is what the lamps typify. Revelation 1:20; 2:2, 9, 13, 19; 3:1, 8, 15.
Our oneness with Christ in glory, as light bearers, is typified by the branches. They were one with the main stem, and were beaten out of the same piece of pure gold.
We were crucified together with Christ, and we were also raised and seated together with Him, or glorified with Him. Romans 6:6; 8:30; Eph. 2:5, 6.
This is our standing before God, and reveals in a wonderful way the grace and glory manifest toward us in Christ, that the Church of Christ should be one with Him now and throughout all the ages to come, to reveal the grace and glory of God. John 17:22; Ephesians 2:7; 3:8-10, 21.
"The power of His resurrection," manifest "in newness of life," are the ornaments which adorn us as one with Him in glory, as light bearers. Philippians 3:10; Romans 6:4.
This is the typical significance of the knops (probably buds), flowers, and bowls like almonds, for the almond is the first tree to manifest new life in the spring.
The oil for the light, or for anointing priests and kings, is always a type of the Holy Spirit, the great Illuminator, who reveals Christ to us, and empowers us for service that Christ may be revealed through us. 1 Sam. 16:13; John 16:14; Acts 1:8; 10:38; Matthew 25:4; I John 2:27.
The light of the lamps was dependent upon the faithful ministry of the high priest, in refilling them with oil and in trimming the wicks each morning with the golden snuffers, while he burned incense on the Golden Altar.
What a picture of Christ, our faithful High Priest, keeping His Church filled with the Holy Spirit, and putting away all our past experiences, as He ever lives to make Intercession for us. John 16:7; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25.
Most of His children understand how absolutely necessary it Is to be filled, and refilled by the Holy Spirit, If we would behold Christ in His word and manifest Him in our lives, but very few seem to apprehend the truth foreshadowed by the trimming of the wicks. As the wicks were burned, in order to illuminate the Holy Place and reveal the glorious Candlestick, a crust formed on the ends of the wicks, which, if not trimmed off, would soon cause a bad odor instead of a bright light.
The blessed experiences, which are ours as we are filled with the Holy Spirit and used as witnesses of Christ, must be forgotten, if we would continue to behold Him and reveal Him. It is not the work of the Holy Spirit to keep our hearts and minds occupied with our feelings, however blessed they may be. Imagine a wife thinking only of the feelings of joy and delight which she finds in doing kind things for her husband. If her heart and mind are not occupied with him, she will not have any feeling of joy in serving him.
The Holy Spirit keeps those who are living by faith in the heavenly places so occupied with our glorious Lord that feelings are not thought of, though peace that passeth all understanding guards our hearts and thoughts in Christ Jesus, and joy unspeakable fills our hearts to overflowing. Philippians 4:6, 7; 1 Peter 1:8; Philippians 3:13.
An eye single to the glory of Christ will be ours if we are enjoying our place in glory as revealed in the Candlestick. Matthew 6:22; 1 Corinthians 10:31; I Peter 4:11. Then we will know what it is to be separated from the defiling things of the world, while as citizens of heaven we humbly serve as bond-slaves here. Philippians 3:20, 21. This is the typical meaning of the coverings of blue and badgers' skins which protected the Candlestick on the march.
Food, as well as light, was needed by Jehovah's priests who ministered in
His presence, therefore He set a Table for them in His Sanctuary.
His Table was made of shittim wood, two cubits long, a cubit wide, and a cubit and a half high, and overlaid with pure gold, hence the name 'pure Table.'
Two crowns of gold about it, with a hand-breadth of gold between, adorned the Table, and kept the small vessels and the loaves in place.
Twelve loaves of shewbread, or presence bread, baked out of fine flour, were placed fresh upon the pure Table every Sabbath day, and the others were eaten by the high priest and priests in the Holy Place. Leviticus 24:5-9.
Coverings of blue, scarlet, and badgers' skins protected the Table and the bread, as Israel journeyed. Numbers 4:7-8.
For us, the Table and bread foreshadow the provision our Father's love has made to nourish His priests in His presence today.
The two crowns of gold help up to discover the typical meaning of the Table, for they suggest at once the One whom we now see "crowned with glory and honor." Hebrews 2:9.
The shittim wood typifies Christ's humanity, the One "who was made a little lower than the angels," while the pure gold is typical of His divine and heavenly glory, the glorified Son of Man.
The twelve loaves, no doubt, like the twelve stones on the breast plate of the high priest, refer to the twelve tribes of Israel. In the continual shewbread, the memorial of Israel's acceptance before Jehovah, the whole nation was represented before the Lord. Leviticus 24:8. He saw them as He sees the Church now, not as they were in themselves, but in Christ, representatively.
The loaves, made of the fine flour, with the sweet-smelling frankincense upon them, resemble the meat-offering of Leviticus 2, which is typical of Christ presenting Himself to God as food for man. It is Christ living and dying for others, but all as unto God, not to please men. But the loaves represent typically the Church in Christ, as upheld in the presence of God in heaven, by the One now crowned with glory and honor.
The security of the loaves, kept in place on the Table by the crowns and the handbreadth of gold, reveal typically the precious truth that, as His redeemed ones, we are kept acceptably in the presence of God by the hand of Christ, and by the hand of Him who crowned Jesus with glory and honor. John 10:27-29.
The glory and honor given to Jesus Christ, are His as the One who was perfected through sufferings, that He might bring many sons unto glory. Hebrews 2:9, 10.
Our glorified and honored Savior ever lives to keep in the place of acceptance, those whom God has accepted in Him, that is His Church. Ephesians 1:6; Hebrews 7:25.
What our Lord is and what He has done for us, gives us our standing before God; and what He is and is doing for us now in glory, maintains us in that standing.
The eating of the shewbread, by the priests in the Holy Place, typifies the experience which we enjoy, as we live in fellowship, In the Spirit, with our Lord where He is, and realize, In the full assurance of faith, the blessed way we are upheld in Him and by Him before our Father.
What food for our hearts to realize that our standing before God changes not, because the One in whom we are accepted, is the One whom God has glorified above all, and honored above every being in the universe. Ephesians 1:18-22; Philippians 2:8-11.
Priests thus nourished by His word and work have strength to serve before the Lord in behalf of others. Such dear ones are not trying to serve the Lord in their own poor weak way, hoping that in the end they may be saved by their faithfulness, but, assured from God's word that they are saved by His grace, and kept by His faithfulness, they can live, as becometh priests, a life of blessed service for others in His presence. Ephesians 2:8-10.
When Israel journeyed in the wilderness, the loaves were placed on a blue cloth on the Table, and then covered with a scarlet cloth and over that a covering of badgers' skins.
As heavenly people, who are yet in a place of testing, we overcome the evil one by the blood of the Lamb, and are protected from defilement in our walk by our humility, our absolute subjection' to, and dependence upon, God. Revelation 12:11; 1 Peter 5:5-7.
The Golden Altar.
34-38. That His priests might worship Him acceptably, Jehovah commanded
Moses to make an Altar to burn incense upon.
It was made of shittim wood, a cubit long, a cubit wide, and two cubits high, and overlaid with pure gold.
A crown of gold, and four horns adorned the top of the Altar. Upon the horns, once a year, the high priest sprinkled the blood of the sin-offering.
The position of the Altar before the Veil makes it before the Ark, or throne of God, now that the Veil is rent. Rev. 8:3.
Perpetual incense was burned upon the Golden Altar by the high priest, but no strange incense, nor burnt-offering, nor meal-offering, nor drink-offering, was to be offered upon it.
A covering of blue and badgers' skins protected the Altar and its vessels on the march. Num. 4:11, 12.
How simple, yet how necessary was every piece of furniture in Jehovah's Sanctuary. A Candlestick for light, a Table for food, and an Altar for worship. What a pattern for every home where He dwells today! Alas, how many profess His name who have not an Altar for worshipping the Lord.
For us, the typical application of the Golden Altar, and the incense offered upon it, is made very plain in His word.
The Altar overlaid with gold and crowned with gold, is clearly a type of our blessed Lord, now crowned with glory and honor. Hebrews 2:9.
David understood the symbolical meaning of the incense, for he wrote: -- "Let my prayer be set forth as the incense before thee." Psalms 141:2.
The Holy Spirit very sweetly uses type and anti-type in Luke 1:10;
Rev. 5:8; 8:4.
The Altar represents the glorious person of Christ, and the offering of the perpetual incense by the high priest typifies His ever living Intercession in our behalf, as our holy High Priest. Hebrews 7:25-28.
A cloud of incense must cover the Mercy-seat on the great day of atonement, before the high priest, as the representative of Israel, could acceptably sprinkle the blood upon the Mercy-seat. Leviticus 16:12-15.
Before Christ, our High Priest, entered with His own blood into the presence of God for us. He covered the Mercy-seat with the cloud of incense, by His intercessory prayer of John 17. Surely types are as exact as mathematics.
The blood on the horns tells us that Christ's intercessory work has power before God, because He gave Himself for our sins according to the will of God. Galatians 1:4.
His plea has power before God for us, because our High Priest is "holy, harmless, undented, separate from sinners, made higher than the heavens, offered Himself for our sins, and as a Son, perfected forever-more, He was appointed a High Priest by the oath of God." Hebrews 7:26-28.
Though Israel, as a nation and as individuals, were accepted in the acceptance of their offerings, yet the high priestly ministry was necessary that their acceptance might be maintained before God, and that the people might realize the same in their heart experience.
Our faithful and merciful High Priest ever lives to maintain us in our standing before God, and to bring our state up to our standing, or to help us to realize experimentally what we are positionally before our Father. Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25.
Just as the offering up of the sacrifices on the Brazen Altar pointed to Christ and His work on Calvary, so the high priestly ministry at the Golden Altar symbolized the ministry of our great High Priest before God in heaven. Hebrews 9:26, 24.
Christ, as our Advocate, picks us up, and restores our fellowship with our Father and Himself, if we stumble and fall. 1 John 2:1, 2.
But Christ, as our Intercessor, ever lives to keep us "in the name" of the Father, or to maintain our standing as children of God, John 17:9-11; to keep us out of the evil in the world, John 17:14-16; to sanctify us by His word, John 17:17-19; to give us one mind and heart as witness of Him, John 17:20, 21; Philippians 2:4; 4:2; to perfect us in love for one another, as one in Him, that the world may know that the Father loves us as He loves His only begotten Son, John 17:22, 23; to bring us into the realization of our position in Christ in glory, John 17:24; and to reveal the Father's love to us that we might have the same love for Christ that our Father has. John 17:26.
The power of His unceasing intercession is enjoyed only as we live, by faith in the Spirit, in fellowship with Him where He is. 1 John 1:7.
Associated with the high priest, in his holy ministry of intercession, was a family of priests, who burned incense before Jehovah. Leviticus 10:1; Luke 1:8, 9.
How wonderful is the privilege His grace has given to every believer today, that, as holy and royal priests, we may approach boldly the throne of grace to find mercy and grace to help in time of need. 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Hebrews 4:15, 16.
The highest and holiest service to which God has called any of His redeemed ones, is the priestly ministry of intercession, in fellowship with our great High Priest. But this is a service which God has for every blood bought, blood washed believer. Revelation 1:6.
He called some to be apostles; some, prophets; some, evangelists; some, pastors; and some, teachers. But, praise His name, He has called every child of His to come into His holy presence as a priest. Ephesians 4:11.
As priests, we have nothing to do with maintaining the standing of believers, for our position before God is altogether the result of the finished work of Christ, and is unchanged because of what Jesus is, and is doing for us. But, oh how graciously God hears and answers our prayers in behalf of other believers that they may realize the blessings God has given us in Christ. Ephesians 1:16-19; 3:14-21; Colossians 1:9-17.
As we live in the heavenlies with Christ, clad with the whole armor of God, He will use us in a world-wide ministry as priests. Ephesians 6:18.
The ministry of prayer is most important in the sight of God, for He waits upon the prayers of His people for the fulfillment of His purposes in every age. The "silence in heaven about the space of half an hour" is God waiting for the prayers of His saints, to which is added the "much incense" of Christ, as the "angel priest." Revelation 8:1-5.
God waits upon the prayers of His people for two reasons at least. First, because He has called every one saved by grace, to be co-laborers with Christ, as well as joint heirs. 1 Corinthians 3:9; Ephesians 2:10; Romans 8:17. Second, God works according to our faith, and does whatever we ask, as far as our requests are in harmony with His will. 1 John 3:21, 22; 5:14, 15.
This holy service as priests is not acceptable before God, unless rendered in the power of the Holy Spirit, for the incense was not acceptable, if offered with strange, or common fire. It must be burned with a live coal from off the Brazen Altar, a fire kindled by the Lord and typical of the Holy Spirit. Leviticus 9:24; 10:1, 2; 16:12; Romans 8:26, 27. The Lord does not use us in any service, unless we are yielded to Him and filled with His Holy Spirit, and prayers that are 'said' and 'read,' in the energy of the flesh, are no more acceptable to God than the incense of Nadab and Abihu.
The sweet spices, with frankincense typify the kind of prayers that are acceptable before God and effectual in behalf of men. They are the fervent heart cries, which overflow from hearts in touch with the heart of our Father, and our Lord, in the fullness of the Spirit. James 5:16. To the three sweet spices was added the frankincense, which is typical of the acceptableness of Christ's blessed person and work. Ephesians 5:2. Therefore, in the Spirit, as priests, we come into the presence of our Father in the name of our Lord Jesus. John 16:22, 23; Colossians 3:17.
The Ark was made of shittim wood, two cubits and a half long, a cubit and a half
wide, and a cubit and a half high.
Pure gold overlaid it within and without, and a crown of gold adorned the top and held the Mercy-seat in place.
The Ark was the only piece of furniture in the Most Holy Place, unless it was the golden Censer. Hebrews 9:3, 4.
It was used as a chest in which to keep the second tables of the law. The first two tables of the law were broken by Moses when he came down from the mount with them. Exodus 32:19. Then the Lord gave him a special command to make an Ark in which to keep the second tables. Deuteronomy 10:1-5.
Staves of shittim wood overlaid with gold were placed In the four rings of gold, on the sides of the Ark, for the Levites or priests to bear it. While the Ark was in the Tabernacle, the staves were not to be taken from it, but when it was placed In the Temple, a permanent dwelling place for Jehovah, they were removed. 1 Kings 8:8.
To cover the Ark was the first duty of the high priest, when the Cloud was taken up from above the Tabernacle. He first covered it with the Veil, then with a covering of badgers' skins, and over it all a cloth of blue. Numbers 4:5, 6.
For us, the use of the Ark suggests its typical significance.
As the vessel in which the law was kept, it Is a type of Christ in whose heart the law of God was written and who kept it perfectly In letter and in spirit. Psalms 40:8; Matthew 5:17.
Jesus, as the Son of Man under the law, fulfilled perfectly the claims of the law toward God and toward man, for He loved God with all His heart, soul, strength, and mind and His neighbor as Himself. Luke 10:27; Romans 13:8-10.
Of every man under the law, except Christ, it may truthfully be said that they "received the law, and kept it not." Acts 7:53; Romans 3:10-20.
Made of the shittim wood and overlaid within and without with gold, the Ark foreshadows the humanity and the divinity of our Lord, the One who was and is "God manifest in the flesh." 1 Timothy 3:16.
The law was written in His heart, because the word of God dwelt in Him richly, and the Father and the Holy Spirit dwelt in Him in all their fullness. Colossians 2:9; 3:16.
To keep the law, meant for Jesus to do just what His heart prompted Him to do, and so for us, in whose hearts the law of God is written. Hebrews 10:16. Filled with His Spirit, and His word dwelling in us richly, we desire to do only those things that please Him. John 8:29.
The crown of gold refers to Christ now crowned with glory, and the coverings tell us of the historical Christ in His walk here on earth. As the Heavenly, Royal, Righteous, and Suffering One, typified by the Veil, He was protected from earthly defilement by His humility, the badgers' skins. But He always said and did those things which proved that He was the Lord from heaven, typified by the cloth of blue. 1 Corinthians 15:47.
Exodus 25:17, 21,
22. The Mercy-seat was a lid of pure gold made to cover the Ark, and thus to
cover the law within. Exodus 26:34; 30:6; Leviticus 16:13.
The blood of the bullock and goat was sprinkled upon the Mercy-seat by the high priest, once a year, on the great day of atonement. Leviticus 16:14, 15.
Above the Mercy-seat, between the Cherubim, Jehovah manifested His presence in the Most Holy Place. The Mercy-seat was thus His Throne, "the throne of grace." Hebrews 4:16.
For us, the Holy Spirit has given the key to the typical meaning of the Mercy-seat in Hebrews 9:5 and Romans 3:25. The same Greek word translated "Mercy-seat" in Hebrews 9:5, is translated "propitiation" in Romans 3:25. Therefore, Christ is the One whom God has set forth as a Mercy-seat.
Christ, as the Mercy-seat, is the One who has covered the law, or satisfied all of its claims. The law demanded of every man perfect obedience, or death.
First, as the covering of pure gold, He satisfied all of the claims of the law against Himself, as a man under the law, by perfectly obeying it. Galatians 4:4.
Second, the blood on the Mercy-seat tells us that Christ by His death satisfied the demand of the law against every sinner who will believe God's word. Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23, 5:6.
For Israel, their sins were "passed over," as well as the sins of every believer previous to the death of Christ, because of the blood-sprinkled Mercy-seat; but they were actually forgiven when laid upon Christ. His death was the anti-type, the fulfillment of all the Old Testament types of atonement for sin.
It was of the utmost importance for Israel to have the law covered by the Mercy-seat, for if uncovered, the wrath of the law was visited upon a sinful people. An illustration of such an awful visitation of wrath, because of the uncovered law, is when the men of Beth-shemesh lifted up the Mercy-seat and looked into the Ark upon the holy law, which could only bring death to the sinner. I Samuel 6:19, 20; Romans 4:15.
Oh what mercy toward us as sinners, that Christ has satisfied fully, freely, and forever every claim of the holy law of a holy God against us. Hebrews 10:1-17.
Because God has righteously judged all of our sins through the death of Christ, He can proclaim eternal forgiveness to all them that obey Him, for the kind of faith that saves is the kind that obeys. Hebrews 5:9; 9:11, 12; James 2:14-26.
"Grace reigns through righteousness," and Christ in the presence of God, as the One who died for us, is the One through whom God deals with every sinner who will believe His word. Romans 3:24.
God looked not upon weak, helpless, and sinful Israel, but His eyes were continually upon the blood-sprinkled Mercy-seat; therefore, He could commune with the high priest, and thus with Israel as a nation through their representative.
Through Christ, as the Mercy-seat, God can be a Just God and
a Savior, because every claim of His holy law against us is righteously satisfied. Isaiah 45:21; Romans 3:26.
The publican's prayer, "God be merciful to me, a sinner," is literally "Oh God! be propitiated (Mercy-seated) to me, the sinner."
What a prayer was this! In substance it was, "Oh God! do not look at me, the sinner, but look at the Mercy-seat; the blood is there atoning for my sin." There was confession, humiliation, repentance, faith, and "that man went down to his house justified." Luke 18:14.
The two Cherubim, on the two ends of the Mercy-seat, were beaten work, of one
piece of gold with the Mercy-seat.
The faces of the Cherubim were toward one another, and toward the Mercy-seat, and their wings covered the Mercy-seat.
Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, the Savior, dwelt in between the Cherubim, over the Mercy-seat.
For us, the key is not always easily found, which unlocks some of the priceless treasures in His word. Some gold nuggets are found on the surface, but these only indicate where the rich vein of pure gold lies, which is only opened up to the diligent digger.
The description of the appearance of the Cherubim is given in Ezekiel 1 and 10. From Ezekiel 10:20, we learn that the Living-Creatures and the Cherubim are the same. In Revelation 4 and 5, we read of four Beasts," or Living creatures, like those seen by Ezekiel.
The key verses, which help us to know the typical significance of these Living Creatures, or Cherubim, are Revelation 5:8-10. From these verses we learn that the four Living Creatures, with the four and twenty Elders, represent symbolically, or typically His redeemed ones in glory, every blood-washed believer, every member of the Church of Christ, those who have been made kings and priests unto God. Revelation 1:4-6.
The oneness of the Cherubim with the Mercy-seat typifies, oh so sweetly, our oneness with Christ in the glory which is now His at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
The Cherubim were not fastened on the Mercy-seat, but were "of one piece with it." Oh how wonderful! When God glorified His own dear Son, who loved us and gave Himself for us, He glorified His Church, His Bride, in Him. Romans 8:30; John 17:5, 22, 24. The exaltation of Christ, the Head, exalted the Body also. Ephesians 1:18-23; 2:1-6; Colossians 1:9-18; 2:9-12.
What marvelous grace, what matchless glory, that God should give us such a standing in Christ.
Beaten out of the same piece of gold, one with Him in suffering, as well as one with Him in glory. Romans 8:17.
One with Him in death, and one with Him in life. Romans 6:8.
One with Him in weakness, and one with Him in power. 2 Corinthians 13:4; 12:9, 10.
One with Him in poverty, and one with Him in riches. 2 Corinthians 8:9; Ephesians 3:8; Romans 8:17.
The faces of the Cherubim toward one another, foreshadow our attitude toward each other in glory, now enjoyed by all who live In His presence in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. This love for each other in Him is none other than His own love for us. John 13:34;
Romans 15:1-3; Philippians 2:1-5; 2:19-21.
Selfishness, self-exaltation, and every manifestation of the self life is the result of sin, and began with Satan, who said in his heart, "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will make myself like the Most High." Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:11-17; 2 Thessalonians 2:4.
The faces of the Cherubim "toward the Mercy-seat," suggests that our hearts and minds will be occupied with our dear Lord above all else in heaven. His will, His pleasure, His glory will be the supreme ambition of our whole being, and is now, if our hearts are yielded to Him. 2 Corinthians 5:9; Colossians 1:10, 18.
Enthroned between the Cherubim was the One who said, "Let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them." Exodus 25:8. From thence He communed with the high priest, and from thence He ruled over Israel by revealing His will to the high priest.
"He that dwelleth
in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the
Almighty." Psalms 91:1.
This secret place, in the presence of the Most Holy One in the Most Holy Place, is the place where our Father covers us with His pinions, where He guards us from all evil, where He gives us victory over the enemy, where He answers our prayers, where He honors us, where He satisfies us, and where He shows us His salvation. Psalms 91.
The Living Creatures of Ezekiel 1 and Revelation 4 and 5, and the Seraphim of Isaiah 6, are intimately associated with the One on the throne. What pictures the Holy Spirit has given us thus of the joint-rule of Christ and His Church, those who are one with Him in life, those who are to be conformed to the image of His glory. Romans 8:29.
A priest was
one separated unto God from among the people of Israel to minister in the
presence of God in behalf of the people. Exodus 28:1; Hebrews 5:1.
Until the law was given, the head of each family was a priest, a representative of the family before God. Genesis 8:20; 12:8; 14:18; 26:25; 35:1-7, Exodus 2:16; 3:1; 16:1, 12; Job 1:5; 42:7-10.
In sovereign grace, Jehovah purposed to make Israel, as a nation, "a kingdom of priests." Exodus 19:6. But their sad failure in placing themselves under the law, which they kept not, hindered the fulfillment of that gracious purpose, which will yet be fulfilled in the Millennial age, when Israel, as a nation, shall be named the priests of Jehovah, and men shall call them ministers of our God. Isaiah 61:6, 9.
In great mercy, the Lord separated the family of Aaron unto Himself to represent the nation in His presence, at the same time making it possible for every Israelite to become a priest unto God by taking the Nazerite vow. Numbers 6; 1 Samuel 1:1, 11.
During this age, while God's purpose concerning the Kingdom is held in abeyance. God has, in infinite grace, made every believer a priest unto God, made us "a kingdom of priests," the anti-type of Israel's priests. 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6. R. V.
What Israel obtained not by works we have obtained by grace, through faith. Romans 9:30-32.
The clothing and consecration of the high priest and priests made them ceremonially, and typically what they were not actually.
Only as a type of the One in whom he was accepted before God, could the high priest approach acceptable into the presence of the Holy One of Israel in the Most Holy Place.
Oh what grace God manifested toward Israel in accepting them through their representatives, the high priest and priests, and they were accepted in their person and work only because of the One who was to come.
The garments of glory and beauty that sanctified the high priest, foreshadow the personal glory and beauty of such a High Priest as "became us." Exodus 28; Hebrews 7:26.
The coat of linen typifies the eternal, unchangeable holiness of Christ, the Righteous One, in whose person and through whose work alone we are accepted before God, our Father. Exodus 28:39; 1 John 2:1.
The holy crown, a plate of pure gold, on which was engraven "Holiness to the Lord," was fastened with a lace of blue to the linen mitre, or turban. Without this special head dress, the high priest was not accepted before the Lord, either in his person, or in His service.
Clothing, in scripture, symbolizes the outer life, or conduct, which is but the manifestation of the inner life. Colossians 3:12, 13; 1 Peter 3:1-7; Revelation 19:8.
The clothing of the high priest typifies just what Jesus Christ, our heavenly High Priest, is actually in His inner life before God, which life is ever manifest in all His words and works.
The high priest's head dress is, therefore, but a faint shadow of the divine and heavenly purity and holiness of every thought of our holy High Priest, for every thought of His is in absolute obedience to the mind and will of God. 2 Corinthians 10:5; James 3:17.
The robe of the ephod, all of blue, is a type of our heavenly High Priest, the One "made higher than the heavens," in whom we have been exalted far above all principality and power. Exodus 28:31, 32; Hebrews 7:26; Ephesians 1:19-23.
The golden bells and pomegranates on the robe suggest the words and works, the doing and teaching of Christ, which make His Priestly ministry so acceptable before God. John 14:10; Acts 1:1.
We are to be like Him in this, for, if we would approach God acceptably, and witness before men acceptably, our preaching and practice must go together. "Faith without works is dead." James 2:14-26. "Faith alone justifies, but the faith which justifies is not alone." The kind of faith which justifies is the kind that works to help others to know God. It does not do to sing "I'll go where you want me to go," and then go where you please, not where He sends.
The ephod, made of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen, tells us that the historical Christ revealed in the Gospels, the One who accomplished our redemption, is now glorified and representing us before God. Exodus 28:5-14.
Just as the high priest in the Tabernacle bore the names of the tribes of Israel on His shoulders on the two onyx stones before the Lord, so our High Priest is continually upholding us before our Father. Hebrews 7:25.
The shoulders which bear government of the universe are the shoulders upon which the lost sheep are laid, and brought safely home. Isaiah 9:6; Luke 15:3-7. Upon His shoulders, He bears our burdens as well as us. Psalms 68:19, R. V.; 1 Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:6.
The breastplate of judgment fastened to the ephod, had engraven upon its twelve stones the names of the tribes of Israel. Within the breastplate were the Urim and Thummim, two stones whose names mean "lights" and "perfections." Exodus 28:15-30.
Ineffaceably engraven upon the heart of our merciful and faithful High Priest are the names of all His redeemed. In love, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, He bore God's judgment against us as sinners, and now He bears the judgment of our walk and service as believers. Hebrews 9:26, 24.
The same immeasurable, unfathomable love of Christ, which led Him to lay down His life for us when we were His enemies, now moves His heart to pick us up and to restore us to fellowship, if we stumble and fall. Luke 23:34; Romans 5:8-10; 8:35-39; 1 John 1:9; 2:1, 2; Psalms 23:3.
The girdle of linen, and the curious girdle, which bound the high priest's garments close about him, prepared him for his blessed ministry. Exodus 28:28, 39. They typify the girdles of righteousness and faithfulness, which qualify our High Priest for His glorious ministry before our Father. Isaiah 11:5.
The priests, associated with the high priest, were clothed in linen coats, with linen girdles, linen breeches, and linen headtires. Exodus 28:40-43. All this speaks to us of the holy life so necessary to come into God's holy presence with favor. Psalms 24:3, 4.
Oh how wonderful and glorious it will be, when, in reality, we are conformed to the image of our glorious High Priest, in whom we now stand complete and perfect before our heavenly Father.
While we wait that blessed time, we rejoice with joy unspeakable that our priestly ministry is holy and acceptable before God, because of what Jesus is, and is doing for us.
Exodus 29. The consecration of the high priest and priests was an important ceremony separating them unto, and qualifying them for the service to which God called them.
is typical of what God has done for us, and will do in us to separate us unto,
and qualify us for the priestly ministry of intercession and of offering up the
sacrifice of praise to God. Hebrews 13:15, 16.
First, the priests were bathed at the Laver, and then clothed In their priestly garments. Exodus 29:4, 8, 9.
A bullock for a sin-offering, and a ram for a burnt-offering was then offered for them at the Brazen Altar. Exodus 29:10-18.
Then, Moses killed the ram of consecration, and applied its blood to the priests' right ear, right thumb, and great toe of the right foot. Part of the blood was sprinkled upon their garments. Exodus 29:19-21.
The anointing' oil was then sprinkled upon the high priest and priests and upon their garments. Exodus 29:21.
The fat of the ram of consecration, with a loaf of bread, an oiled cake and a wafer, were put upon the hands of the priests and waved before the Lord, and then burned on the Brazen Altar. Exodus 29:22-25.
A portion of the ram of consecration was then eaten by the priests. Exodus 29:26-34.
This consecration service lasted seven days, perfect consecration of Jehovah's priests that they might minister unto Him in behalf of the people. Exodus 29:35.
From Exodus 29:36, it seems that no part of the consecration service was repeated after the first day except the offering of the sin-offering, and a lamb morning and evening for a burnt-offering. Exodus 29:36-46.
For us these things are full of meaning. Though every believer, by the new birth, is a holy and royal priest unto God, as to our standing before God in Christ, yet, as to experience, or state, every believer must be hallowed in the way typically set forth in Exodus 29, if we would approach boldly the throne of grace in the most Holy Place. Hebrews 4: 16; 10:19, 20.
To be made experimentally holy for priestly service, we need first of all to be sanctified by the Holy Spirit, as typified by bathing the priests at the Laver. Acts 1:5, 8. As the water of the Laver cleansed the body of the priests, thus making them ceremonially clean, so the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, received by faith when a believer yields himself to the Lord for service, cleanses the heart from an evil conscience. Hebrews 10: 22; Ephesians 5:26.
With the fullness of the Holy Spirit, we begin to realize the fullness of the abundant life that is ours in Christ. This new and holy life within will then become manifest in our words and works, as typified by the priests' holy garments of glory and beauty. Romans 6:4; Colossians 3:1-3.
In the fullness of the Holy Spirit we will fully realize the cleansing and delivering power of the blood of Christ, as typified by the sin offering. 1 John 1:7; Revelation 12:11; Romans 5:6; 6:6.
Fully assured by faith that we are accepted of God in His acceptance of the Beloved, we will yield our whole being to God as a living sacrifice, as typified in the whole burnt-offering. Ephesians 1:6; Romans 12:1, 2.
Through the Holy Spirit we will then enjoy the cleansing, sanctifying power of the blood in every faculty of our being through which we receive knowledge, as typified by putting the blood upon the right ear of the priests. Our ears are then quickened to hear the voice of God, as He speaks to us by His word and by His Spirit. Our eyes are then opened to behold wondrous things out of His law, even the glorious person and wonderful work of Christ, the Creator and Redeemer. Then too we may behold the unseen and eternal things of God. Ephesians 1:17-19; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:18; John 10:27.
By His Spirit, too, we will realize the sanctifying power of the blood of Christ in our service and walk, as typified by putting the blood on the right thumb and on the great toe of the right foot of the priests.
Saved to serve, we will live to help others to know our blessed Lord, and we will walk as becometh saints. 1 John 3:16; Ephesians 5:2, 3.
But more than this is necessary to divinely qualify priests for their holy ministry.
The holy anointing oil must be put upon the priests and upon their garments, which typifies the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Though filled with the Holy Spirit from the time He was conceived, yet Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit, at His baptism, to do the service for which He was sent of the Father. Matthew 3:16.
All of His wonderful words were spoken in the power of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 61:1, 2; Luke 4:14-22; Acts 1:1, 2.
All of His mighty works were done in the power of the Holy Spirit. Acts 10:38; Hebrews 9:14.
The anointing with the Holy Spirit is not a work of the Spirit, but it is the blessed Holy Spirit Himself coming to dwell in us as believers. John 14:16, 17; Romans 8:9.
Previously He fitted for His glorious presence, the house that was yielded to Him, and now, as the Anointing, He personally dwells in us as the sole owner and ruler of the house. 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.
As the Anointing He quickens our bodies for service, and mortifies the deeds of the body, that Christ and not self may be manifest through us. Romans 8:11, 13. He leads us, as sons of God, into a life of abiding fellowship with our Father and His Son, where He uses us in the ministry of intercession. Romans 8:14-16, 26, 27. Oh how blessed!
As anointed ones we are taught by the Holy Spirit, helped to understand God's word and works, and also helped to walk in God's way according to His word. John 14:26; 16:13-15; 1 John 2:20, 27.
At once our hands will be filled, like the priests, for the Holy Spirit will use us to minister unto God in His presence, in behalf of others.
While we minister He will nourish us by revealing Christ to us, as typified by the priests eating the ram of consecration.
If we are thus perfectly, or wholly, consecrated to God as priests, our lives will ever be like the lamb of the continual burnt-offering, a living sacrifice holy, acceptable unto God, which is our spiritual service. Exodus 29:38-46; Romans 12:1.
Jehovah's Master Workman
Exodus 31. Before Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the plan of the Tabernacle and with the law, the Lord appointed Bezalel as a master workman to build the Tabernacle. To assist him, He appointed Oholiab, and every wisehearted one in Israel.
Definite and clear
commands were then given concerning the rest of the Sabbath, that Israel might
be distinguished from the nations as God's peculiar people.
The Church, typified by the Tabernacle as God's dwelling, is being built by the Holy Spirit, God's Master Workman. 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:5-7. The Holy Spirit does this glorious work by the aid of the word of God, and by the aid of every wise-hearted and willing hearted believer. Isaiah 55:11.
As co-workers with the Lord, used by the Holy Spirit to help build God's house, His Church, we are to cease from our own works, that God may work in us, for us, and through us the fulfillment His plan, and thus have us enjoy His rest. 1 Corinthians 3:9-16; Hebrews 4:9, 10; 1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 3:6.
Israel's Folly and Jehovah's Favor
Exodus 32. To
save idolatrous Israel from the wrath of the uncovered law, Moses interceded for
them in the presence of Jehovah, before he descended from the mount, and then he
broke the tables of the law as he came down from His presence.
Then Moses called for all who were on the Lord's side to come out to him, and all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him, and turned away God's wrath from guilty Israel by slaying about three thousand men. Numbers 25:10-13.
The heart cry of Moses, as an intercessor, for Jehovah to forgive the sin of Israel, or blot out his name, because typical of Christ, resulted in God dealing with Israel on the ground of grace and not law. Luke 23:34; Romans 9:3.
What clear foreshadowings of God's grace manifest toward us through Jesus Christ, who as our Mediator has stood between us and God and was willing to be forsaken of God, that He might deliver us from God's wrath toward us as sinners. Psalms 22:1; Matthew 27:46; Romans 5:6-9.
If, like the Levites we will separate ourselves unto the Lord, we may turn away His wrath from many as messengers of grace and not law. Romans 1:16.
Exodus 33. Because of Israel's sin, however, Jehovah said that His presence should not go with Moses, but that He would send an angel to guide them and bring them into the promised land. But the intercession of Moses prevailed, and the Lord went with them,
The presence of the Lord in the wilderness was more to be desired than all the wealth of a land flowing with milk and honey, without His presence. "In His presence" is fullness of joy.
Exodus 34. For Moses to behold the glory that was passing away resulted in a shining face. How much more to behold the glory of God revealed in the face of Jesus Christ, which glory is abiding. 2 Corinthians 3:7 to 4:6.
The Making of the
Exodus 35 to 39
Every willing-hearted Israelite had a blessed part in furnishing the material for the Tabernacle, and every wise-hearted worker had part in making it, under the direction of Bezalel and Oholiab.
Every part of the Tabernacle was made according to the heavenly and divine pattern, that it might please Him who planned it and who was about to dwell in it.
Every willing-hearted and wise-hearted child of God today may have part in building God's house, His Church, as guided and used by the Holy Spirit and the word of God.
Every part of God's building is being fashioned according to the heavenly pattern, for every member of His Church is being conformed to the image of His Son. Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18.
The Setting Up of the Tabernacle
Exodus 40. When the parts of the Tabernacle were all fitted for their places, Moses, a type of Christ, set it up, putting every part in its proper place. Then the cloud, the symbol of God's presence and glory, filled the Tabernacle.
The Lord Jesus Christ, and not men, is adding to the Church daily those who are being saved. Act 2:47. As every member occupies God's appointed place in His house, as a yielded vessel, His Holy Spirit fills the house and manifests His glorious presence.
But, when the Lord, by His Spirit and word has called out and completed the Church, His body, He will place each member in God's appointed place in glory, and His own glorious presence will forever fill it.
"0 Christ! We'll spend eternal days
Within the marvelous range,
Of Thy glad presence and shall praise.
Perfection's wondrous change
From glory unto glory, though,
Because Thy love so well we know
'Twill not to us be strange."
"For Thou hast made the attractiveness
And bliss of heaven to be,
That ours the gladness limitless,
Of always seeing Thee!
Surely! For we're Thy very own,
Flesh of Thy flesh, bone of Thy bone;
And Thy delight; e'en we."
How to Use the Word of God
We may use His precious word as:
A Mirror to show us what we are by nature, and what we may be by grace. James 1:21-22; 2 Corinthians 3:18.
A Laver to cleanse us from any defilement in walk or service Psalms 119:9; Ephesians 5:26; 1 John 1:9.
A Lamp to guide our feet in God's way. He has given us two guides to reveal His way to us and to help us to walk in it, His word and His Spirit. Psalms 119:105; 2 Peter 1:19; John 16:13; Romans 8:14;Galatians 5:16-18, 22-25.
Meat to nourish and build up the new man within. 1 Peter 2:1, 2; Matthew 4:4; Hebrews 5:12-14.
Honey to satisfy our hearts. Psalms 19:7-10; 119:103; 81:16; Ezekiel 2:8-10; 3:1-3.
Gold to enrich us in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. 2 Peter 1:1-11; Psalms 19:10; Proverbs 8:10; 2:1-8; Hosea 4:6.
A Sword to give us victory over Satan. Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8, 9.
A Fire and a Hammer to equip us as workers to convict and to break stony hearts, and
to warm and build up believers. Jeremiah 23:29; Luke 24:32; 1 Peter 2:5; 4:8.
Seed to beget souls.
Matthew 13:1-32; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23; Psalms 126:6
By W. W. RUGH, Associate
Dean, Bible Institute of Pennsylvania
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