I hope everyone is already in the middle of a great weekend!
It’s the perfect day and Brother Thomas Patrick is taking us on a Bible field trip. He’s our Minister and guide and has some interesting sights to point out from our Christian history that will help secure our salvation.
Brother Patrick is giving a tour of the Tabernacle in Exodus. He’s teaching its relevance to our lives today and including a visual presentation that brings it alive for our spiritual purpose.As he takes us through each compartment, pay particular attention to how the pieces and details of each section match up perfectly with every step of being saved. The Tabernacle is a model of God’s complete plan of salvation from beginning to end—the one that has never changed throughout the entire Bible. Like God, it remains the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Take a moment during your visit to stop and really look at it. What a magnificent and divine work of art from God.
Our earnest pursuit is to overcome and be with the Lord, so we appreciate how God meticulously designed the Tabernacle and how plainly it lays out our salvation, outlines our daily progress, and guarantees our reality of entering heaven.
SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE
So many views exist about how to be saved—from fiercely religious to overly humanistic—causing so much confusion about salvation that some just go the other way.
Tune all that out for a moment and bring a blank slate.
During our walk through the tabernacle, Brother Patrick will point out the processes and progress God required for the children of Israel to enter into each section. For them, so much was tangible. For us, it’s a blueprint for all the phases of being saved, which is supported by His Word.
God’s plan of salvation has endured every age—it surpasses all time, religions, philosophies, and opinions. This replica is our key and common possession as God’s people. We don’t argue that the Tabernacle required sacrifice, or that God’s specifications were not extensive and precise.
It was where the Lord dwelled in their midst, after all.
IT’S OKAY TO STARE
Have you ever looked at one of those autostereograms where there is a 3D image hidden in another picture (or in a bunch of dots)? In order to view that 3D image, you stare at it until all of a sudden, it takes shape. When you see it, you’re blown away.
Keep studying and looking at the Tabernacle until you see the whole plan of salvation come together in front of your eyes. It’s so extraordinary once you see it, that (like when your brain translates an autostereogram from a flat picture to 3D), you want someone else to see it, too.
We’re almost there, but before we go into the tabernacle, let me remind you…
When the cloud abode over the Tabernacle, the children of Israel pitched their tents and set up camp—whether it was two days, a month, or a year, they stayed put. As soon as the cloud was taken up from the Tabernacle, they journeyed with it.
They moved… as in they picked up everything they owned—lock, stock, and barrel—plus the entire Tabernacle and followed the cloud. (Numbers 9:17-22)
The parallels between the literal pilgrimage of the children of Israel and our figurative pilgrimage today are worth mentioning because God hasn’t changed and He does everything for a reason. The Israelites literally moved through the compartments of the tabernacle; we spiritually must go through the same compartments if we want to be saved.
Be sure to check out the Tabernacle for yourself in Exodus, and as always, we welcome you to come by and hear more (there is so much more). In the meantime, enjoy its architectural beauty and take full advantage of this opportunity to get salvation right.
So, here we go!! We’ll meet Brother Patrick in the Outer Courtyard where there are new beginnings and promise.
1) THE OUTER COURT
The Tabernacle shows God’s complete plan of salvation. In a recent study of the Tabernacle, we discussed several things. Not only the things that pertain to salvation, but also how God showed, through the nation of Israel, the sense of family, community, discipline, order, and the pattern of heavenly things.
We can see in the outer court of the Tabernacle that it is a picture of our initial conversion—a place where the flesh is sacrificed in the process of being taught and washed in the Word of God.
THE BRAZEN ALTER: THE FLESH IS SACRIFICED
The altar was made of wood from the acacia tree and overlaid with bronze (usually symbolic of judgment on sin in the Bible), measuring 7.5 feet on all four sides and 4.5 feet deep. Four horns projected from the top four corners and a bronze grating was inside to hold the animal.
The altar was the place for burning animal sacrifices. It showed the Israelites that the first step for sinful man to approach a Holy God was to be cleansed by the blood of an innocent creature. For a sin offering, a person had to bring an animal–a male without blemish or defect from the flock or herd–to the priest at the Tabernacle gate.
“And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.“ Leviticus 1:4
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Leviticus 17:11
“ And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22
THE LAVER: WASHED IN THE WORD OF GOD
The laver, or basin, was a large bowl filled with water located halfway between the Brazen Alter and the Holy Place. Although God did not give specific measurements for the Laver, it was to be made entirely of bronze. The priests were to wash their hands and their feet in it before entering the Holy Place.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22
2) THE INNER COURT
As we move into the inner court, also called the Holy Place, the first thing we notice is that it is not on the same level as the outer court. We actually have to step up to go in to the Holy Place.
As we enter, we can see on the left, the Golden Candlesticks which represent the seven spirits of God. On the right, we have a Table of Showbread that represents the unleavened Word of God.
After washing their hands and feet at the Laver, the priests could enter the Holy Place, which was the first room in the tent of the Tabernacle. There were three pieces of furniture in the Holy Place: the Golden Candlesticks, the Table of Showbread, and the Golden Altar of Incense.
THE SEVEN GOLDEN CANDLESTICKS
The Seven Golden Candlesticks provide complete illumination by The Sevenfold Light, also meaning understanding.
The Menorah, also called the Golden Lamp Stand or Candlestick, stood at the left side of the Holy Place. It was hammered out of one piece of pure gold. Like the Laver, there were no specific instructions about the size of the Menorah, but the fact that it was fashioned out of one piece of pure gold would have limited its size.
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually. Without the vail of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from the evening unto the morning before the Lord continually: it shall be a statute for ever in your generations.” Leviticus 24:1-3
THE TABLE OF SHOWBREAD
The Table of Showbread represents the unleavened Word of God—the bread that we eat of today, which is the truth of the Word of God.
The table of showbread was a small table made of acacia wood and overlaid with pure gold. It measured 3 feet by 1.5 feet and was 2 feet, 3 inches high. It stood on the right side of the Holy Place across from the lamp stand and held 12 loaves of bread, representing the 12 tribes of Israel.
The priests baked the bread with fine flour and it remained on the table before the Lord for a week; every Sabbath day the priests would remove it and eat it in the Holy Place, then put fresh bread on the table. Only priests could eat the bread, and it could only be eaten in the Holy Place, because it was Holy.
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.” John 6:35, 49-50
“And unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened tempered with oil, and wafers unleavened anointed with oil: of wheaten flour shalt thou make them.” Exodus 29:2
THE GOLDEN ALTAR OF INCENSE
As we walk into the Inner Court—the Holy Place—right in front of us is the Golden Altar of Incense. This Golden Altar of Incense represents our prayers in this day.
The Golden Altar of Incense, which is not to be confused with the Brazen Altar, sat in front of the curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. This altar was smaller than the Brazen Altar. It was a square with each side measuring 1.5 feet and was 3 feet high. It was made of acacia wood and overlaid with pure gold. Four horns protruded from the four corners of the altar.
The incense was a symbol of the prayers and intercession of the people going up to God as a sweet fragrance.
God wanted His dwelling to be a place where people could approach Him and pray to Him.
3) THE HOLY OF HOLIES
And last, but not least, the Holiest of all, the third compartment of the Tabernacle called the Holy of Holies.
The Holy of Holies is where God dwelled.
In this compartment is the Ark of the Covenant, also called the Mercy Seat.
This third level represents a perfect overcomer at the end of the process of salvation when they have overcome their life.
This is what we are striving for.
The Ark of the Covenant comprises a wooden box overlaid with gold called the Ark of the Covenant. The lid of the box is solid gold. On top, the Two Golden Cherubims face one another with wings stretched out toward each another.
This place is also called the Mercy Seat.
In Exodus 25:22 the Lord told Moses,
“And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.”
We hope you gained some insight and will begin to envision your own salvation according to God’s plan as seen in the Tabernacle. There is so much to learn about the Tabernacle, salvation, and the Lord. His Word is rich and full of everything we need for life—here and after. For that very reason, God has always provided His people with a Ministry to light the way.
“And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.” Acts 8: 30-31
We have entered in through the straight gate and are headed to one day dwell permanently in the Holy of Holies!