The Tabernacle Plan
For centuries, men have observed, explored and wondered about the ancient pyramids. They have stood, silent monuments of the mysteries of the ages, never giving as much as a hint to their origin, their builders or their purpose. Men have exhausted their energies, intellects and finances in search of answers they hoped would enrich their understanding, and perhaps, even their souls, but so far, to no avail! There was another ancient structure in the same area that men sought after. Unlike the pyramids, we do have answers and understanding about this strange structure..and the explanations bring hope to men in spite of the fact it no longer exists today! What cryptic message did this unpretentious building have for humanity? How can something, non-existent today, still affect our souls in such a profound way? With these questions in mind, we embark upon the study of...The Tabernacle in the Wilderness
Based upon the book of Exodus, found in the Old Testament, it was authored by Moses ben Amran, of the sons of Levi, son of Jacob, grandson of Abraham, who is known as the father of the Hebrews. It was designed as a way for man to approach his God. Because of its curious design and unique structure, the Tabernacle was a most interesting building. Adding to the mystery was its odd color scheme, unusual building dimensions, and the cryptic design of its furnishings. Even from its inception, the stamp of uniqueness was upon it. Unlike any construction before, or since, this building spoke of the Supernatural, and prophetic messages were woven into the drapes, furniture and design at every level. Even the blueprints had a Supernatural thumbprint on them, because they didn't come from the drawing board of one of Pharaoh's engineers, but strangely enough, from an invisible Master Architect! According to Moses, it was God, Himself, who gave the detailed instructions for this structure, in an office located in the cleft of a rock on the side of Mt. Sinai, in the Egyptian desert .God's choice for a foreman for this huge project would never have measured up to todays' criteria, for Moses' resume was questionable..here he was, an antiquated shepherd, ( long past the age for social security), who had spent the last 40 years secluded in the desert, out of touch with the world. His character references would have sadly lacked, since he was a refuge from the law, having committed a murder 40 years before and fled the authorities. In spite of his past history and the bad press reports, God saw potential in Moses, and called him into a 40 day conference, revealing to him the heavenly blueprint, from which Moses would build a sanctuary; a place that would be the focal point of worship for the Jews for the next 500 years. It was also the blueprint of an approach to God for the Jews, and would become the plan of Salvation for the world.
In this study, we're going to explore the Tabernacle from 4 postures: Historically and Biblically, all our information is based on the books of the Old Testament: Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and various others that have references to certain rites and rituals within the structure. From a Prophetic and Spiritual posture, we will cover the entire floorplan, measurements, furnishings and accessories to seek out "types and shadows"(1) that disclose the prophetic plan of redemption in Messiah, Yeshua, (Jesus Christ). Even though this sanctuary was erected over 3400 years ago, the prophecy woven into its floorplan is relevant to man's salvation today. With this, we embark on our study of salvation through the Tabernacle plan. To lay a foundation for this study, we start with the book of Exodus, written by Moses, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. God appeared to Moses, ( Exodus 3 ), and he was appointed to become the leader of the Jews, to bring them deliverance from the bondage of their Egyptian rulers, whom they had been serving for over 200 years. ( they had lived in Egypt for 400 years, but the earlier part of their residence was not under bondage, but under more favorable circumstances.) God called Moses to bring the Jews into 2 new areas: (1) to take them from Egypt to the land of Canaan; and (2) to a level of a spiritual relationship with Jehovah, the God of their forefathers. After a miraculous deliverance from Pharaoh, and a Supernatural crossing of the Red Sea, ( Exodus 12-15 ), Moses led over 3 million people down the Sin peninsular, to the southern tip of the Sin valley. It was there that God called Moses to the top of the Sinai mountain, and secluded him for 40 days and nights, revealing to him the blueprint of the Tabernacle he was to build. It was there that Jehovah gave Moses the laws and ordinances that would govern the lifestyle of the Jews in every area of their lives...morals, health codes, ethics, dietary restrictions, culture, religious and spiritual laws. Ten of those laws were written, by God's own finger, on tablets of stone, and 613 laws were given as the "oral law", which, eventually, were recorded.Outline
Peninsular of Sinai, (sigh nign); in the Sin, (sign), valley; 1490 BCEII. BIBLICAL INFORMATION:
A.) Exodus 19-35 gives us 16 continuous chapters covering the building and furnishings of the Tabernacle with references to parts of the Tabernacle found in various other books also. In comparison with the account of the creation of the world, which is covered by only 2 chapters, we see how much more emphasis is placed on the Tabernacle, suggesting that, while the creation of the world deals with materialism, which is temporal, the Tabernacle deals with even greater issues..eternal life and Spiritual redemption.
B.) It was during these meetings with Moses that God gave him the laws that would dictate a holy and righteous lifestyle for the Jews, in hopes of making them a role model..a visual aid..for the world to see what blessings would come to a people who honored and served the One True God, Jehovah. These laws incorporated a system of lifestyle, praise and worship that became known as Judaism.
C.) The day commemorating the giving of the Law is called Shavuous, ( sha-voo- us), and falls 50 days after Passover. Once the Jews entered into Canaan and started observing the holy days appointed by the Lord, they observed this day by offering up two loaves of bread before the Lord to honor the harvest. It is also known as the Feast of weeks, celebrated for both the blessings of the Law and the harvest.
Under the anointing of God, the prophet Jeremiah prophesied a future time when God would make a another covenant with the Jews. In Jeremiah 31:31, we read " behold, the days cometh, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant...I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts, and will be their God.." The fulfillment of this prophecy came 1525 years after the original covenant,(the Law) was given to Moses. The fulfillment is recorded in the book of Acts, chapter 2, and happened as Jews gathered in the Temple from all over the then known world to commemorate Shavuous. In another upper room, probably in the same Temple area, followers of the Messiah had gathered to worship and wait for what they had been told was "the promise of the Father".( Acts 1:8: "and commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father"). Here they were, 2 separate groups of worshippers,( Messianic and non-Messianic Jews), both in prayer and praise unto the Father. God used that very setting,..that very hour..to shift His Law from stone to flesh! Pouring out His Spirit upon men in a way He had never done before, filling their inward parts , like a river flowing out of their bellies, welling up into their mouths, and out of their lips, as they vocalized what He was writing in their hearts!. ( Matthew expressed it as "..out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.") This was the day the Lord shifted the emphases from legal ritualism to Spiritual experience! As this experience began flooding their souls, and their verbal responses became " noised abroad", the other worshippers ran to see what this manifestation was all about. Confused, they wondered and questioned the sounds and actions of these Messianic believers as they joyfully praised God in this new way. Peter rose to the occasion, and explained what the Lord had done, pointing them to yet another prophet, Joel, ( 2:28 ), who confirmed, by another scriptural witness, that this was, indeed, the long awaiting outpouring of God's Spirit. This was the "new covenant", given to replace the former economy. No more sacrificial lamb's blood, because Messiah had become the final atonement, once, and for all. A new Shavuous...on the 50th day after Passover (.In Greek, the word for 50th, pentekostos, would become synonymous with the outpouring of the Holy Ghost with the manifestation of speaking in other tongues, as the Spirit gave utterance on that memorable first Shavuous when God fulfilled His prophecy.) Shavuous then became the Old Testament type and shadow of the New Testament's promise of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost., which the church, today, calls the Pentecostal experience. The New Testament church embraces both Jews and Gentiles, and brings them both into a unity of worship through baptism of the Holy Ghost. The 2 loaves of bread that were waved before the Lord are types of the harvest that would exist in these last days..a unity of Jews and Gentiles, worshipping together in the Spirit of the One True God.
D.) The Overall Layout of the Tabernacle clearly shows the atonement plan through types and shadows, even down to the most minute piece of furniture and accessories. Every tool and every dish was designed by the Master Builder to speak of Redemption. The tedious measurements and instructions found in Exodus and Leviticus can be pretty overwhelming to even the most ardent Bible student, and yet, within those facts and figures, lay deeply hidden truths. God dictated to Moses the size, color, and material for each piece of furniture, dish and tool. There wasn't any decision for Moses to make, for eveything in that Tabernacle spoke of Messiah and His Redemptive work on Calvary. Since salvation cannot be the work of man for himself, for salvation is of God, neither could the type and shadow be the work of man, lest he would boast of his own works.
E.) Various Biblical names used in reference to the Tabernacle: Tabernacle of the congregation; Tent of meeting; Tabernacle of testimony; Tabernacle of the Lord; Tabernacle of witness.III. Tabernacle History
A.) There were many attacks upon the Tabernacle, and at one time, the ark had been taken captive for over 40 years. When the Jews were in exile, the golden utensils and furniture were taken by their adversaries.
B.) Solomon is recorded as having built the first permanent Temple that used the floor plan of the Tabernacle.
C.) The Temple was attacked by adversarial armies twice, and twice restored: Once, by Zerubabbel, and again, restored by Herod. It was finally destroyed to the ground, as Yeshua had predicted, ( Matthew 24:2 ), never to be rebuilt until this day. Today, on the same property site that Solomon's Temple stood, is the Mosque of Omar, the holy Dome of the Moslems, and for years, has the focal point of the mid east crises.
Next: Tabernacle Outer Court Structure