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Friday, July 18, 2014

The Tabernacle - Part I

The Tabernacle

Exodus 25:9 According to all that I show you, the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments of it, even so you shall make it.

The Tabernacle of God was a mobile place of worship and meeting place with God.

Jeremiah 17:12 A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary.

The Tabernacle was to be a house of Peace so there is no iron in it's making (a military metal). The Tabernacle was a sign of God's Presence, protection and guidance. It is His resting place with His people. Where He went, they would go. Where He stopped, they would stop. It was a palace for their King (God was their King and Leader) and a place of worship for their God. It was the highest proof of God's grace and mercy towards the Israelites. It was the place where the people could come to make their petitions and from where God issued His responses and commands.

Let's look at the Tabernacle in more detail. The Tabernacle was mobile so it was a tent with curtain walls around the Outer Court.

Exodus 26:1,2 And you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined bleached linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet. You shall make them with cherubs, of the work of a cunning workman. The length of one curtain shall be twenty-eight cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits. And every one of the curtains shall have one measure.

The Tabernacle is measured in cubits which is the measure from the elbow to the tips of the fingers or the measure from the elbow to the root of the hand. Therefore we can't be exact on the measurements. Let's start with the curtains of the Outer Court. They were 7 1/2 - 8 1/2 ft high. The curtain fence covered a rectangle that was 150-175 ft long by 75-87 1/2 ft long. This curtain fence was held up by poles, or pillars, made of acacia (or shittim) wood which was a wood that did not rot. Rather it got harder as it aged. The pillars of support were outfitted with sockets of bronze and caps of pure silver. Wood always symbolizes humanity. Righteous humanity is where God rests on earth today. And we are only righteous through Jesus Christ. We are now the temples of the Holy Spirit.

The curtains were to obscure the Tabernacle from general view and protect it from common entrance. God arranged for one entrance, through a gate on the East side of the compound. Those who came upon the encampment of Israel in the Wilderness would have seen the white Tabernacle curtains in the center of the camp. They would have stood out against the drab colors of sand and the dark colors of the tents of the people. It represented holiness to all who saw it. It was impossible to see inside the Tabernacle from the camp outside: the white linen curtains made a separation between the outside world and the beauty in the Tabernacle. The Gospel of Salvation should shine as a light to the world. But there is separation between the world and the beauty of a relationship with God. Our sins separate us from God. The only way to enter into the presence of God is to go through the prescribed gate, Jesus Christ. We cannot enter any way we choose. All religions DO NOT lead to the same God and salvation. Only belief in Jesus Christ leads to God and salvation. Only Jesus can forgive us of our sins and lead us to a relationship with our Father God. For the unholy, the curtains excluded them from relationship with God. For those who enter through the prescribed gate (salvation through Jesus Christ), the curtains represent protection, shelter, a shield, a defense and glory.

The curtains were made of white, blue, scarlet and purple linen with figures called cherubim worked in the design. From the outside the curtains were white and from the inside you had the colors and cherubim. The colors are white for purity, blue for heavenly or deity, purple for royalty and scarlet for humanity (the blood of Christ). To get the purple color, the Hebrews mixed blue and scarlet together. (Christ is perfect God and genuine man.) The four colors are like the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) that are woven together to present a complete picture of Jesus. The cherubim are angelic beings that represent the righteous government of God, and are the executers of God's righteous judgement. (Ezekiel 1: 5-10)

The curtains had loops all down the sides and they were hooked together with golden clasps. There was not to be any pulling apart so people could enter just any where. There was only one entrance and that was the gate on the East side. Just as there is no way to salvation except through Jesus Christ. God provided one way to salvation and it's through Jesus Christ.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.

The curtains enclosed a courtyard and the Tabernacle proper. The courtyard is also known as the Tent of the Congregation. The courtyard had only one entrance called the East gate. It was about 30 ft long, beautiful and inviting. Made of blue, purple, scarlet.

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.” (John 10:9)

All Jewish worshippers could come to the gate of the Outer Court to bring a sacrifice to atone for their sins and it was their appointed place of assembly. Jesus is accessible to all who seek Him. The Outer Court was open to the sun and had natural light. The flooring was the sand of the desert. Christ is "a Root out of a dry ground" (Isa. 53:2, referring to Jesus being born a Jew). But although the floor of the Court was the sand of the wilderness, yet it was a sacred enclosure, holy ground. Christ was a human man born a Jew, but He was also God and born of God. He was God-man. Jesus is our sacrifice for our sins. He is our atonement for our sins. All are welcome and invited to enter but they must enter through faith in Jesus Christ. With the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to open the door, none are turned away.

Read my other posts on The Tabernacle.

The Tabernacle - Part II

The Tabernacle
In the prior 2 devotions I studied the Tabernacle enclosure and the Brazen Altar and the Brazen Laver. (See blog entries below.) We are now ready to look at the Tabernacle proper or the Tent. This Tent was only of two rooms.

I am only pulling out the verses that I will be referring to in order to keep this blog entry short. It would be good to read all of Exodus 26.

Exodus 26:1 And you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined bleached linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet. You shall make them with cherubs, of the work of a cunning workman.

Exodus 26:7 And you shall make curtains of goats' hair to be a tent over the tabernacle. You shall make eleven curtains.

Exodus 26:14 And you shall make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering above of dugong skins.

Exodus 26:15 And you shall make boards for the tabernacle of acacia-wood standing up.

Exodus 26:18 And you shall make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards on the south side southward.

Exodus 26:20 And for the second side of the tabernacle on the north side shall be twenty boards,

Exodus 26:22-24 And for the sides of the tabernacle westward you shall make six boards. And you shall make two boards for the corners of the tabernacle in the sides. And they shall be coupled together beneath, and they shall be coupled together above the head of it to one ring. So it shall be for them both. They shall be for the two corners.

Exodus 26:25-30 And there shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets, two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. And you shall make bars of acacia-wood, five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle; and five bars for the side of the tabernacle, for the two sides westward. And the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall reach from end to end. And you shall overlay the boards with gold, and you shall make their rings of gold, housings for the bars. And you shall overlay the bars with gold. And you shall rear up the tabernacle according to the pattern of it which was shown you in the mountain.

The framework or trellis for the tent of the Tabernacle was to be made of acacia (or shittim) wood. I have described this wood previously and that wood always represented humanity while gold represents deity. Jesus Christ is the support and He was a son of man and the Son of God.

The height of these boards were about 10 cubits or 15 feet. Twenty boards made up one of the long sides of the Tabernacle making it about 45 ft long. The short ends of the Tabernacle were made up of would have been about 15 feet with the rear wall being made of 8 boards. These gold overlaid boards were laid in sockets of silver on the bottom. They were clasped together with 96 sockets of silver and gold tenons. There were also 5 long horizontal bars slipped in gold rings to stabilize the Tabernacle.

Over the Tabernacle were placed the tent curtains. There were 4 layers of curtains. The first layer which would have been seen from the inside was made up of woven linen in blue, purple, and scarlet threads with the designs of cherubim. We have discussed before that the cherubim are angelic beings that represent God's righteous judgement and government and they are His enforcers. We also discussed the symbolism of the colors with blue signifying the heavenly or deity, purple represents royalty and scarlet represents humanity because it is the color of blood. Scarlet is also the color of glory! The purity of white, the deity of blue, the royalty of purple and the humanity and glory of scarlet represent Jesus Christ.

There were 10 of these linen curtains. These curtains were coupled together in fives, giving a total length of forty-two feet and a width of sixty feet, which would not only reach across the Tabernacle, which was fifteen feet in width, but would overlap its sides. The two sets of five white curtains were linked together by fifty loops of blue on each curtain, which were fastened with fifty clasps of gold, to make one solid piece. The loops and clasps show that the love and obedience of Christ are what hold it all together. If Jesus had not loved us and loved His Father enough to sacrifice Himself for us...If Jesus had not been obedient to His Father, EVEN UNTO DEATH...we would have been forever lost.

When the Priests entered the Tabernacle tent and looked up, they would see this magnificent covering. They would be reminded of God's glory, His mercy, His righteousness.

The further outward you moved from God's Presence, the less valuable the materials were. So the next curtain was made of 11 curtains of goat's hair looped together with bronze clasps. The covering of goats hair spoke of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice as in the scapegoat that carried away the sins of the nation in the wilderness.

Scape Goat
Leviticus 16:7-10 And he shall take the two he-goats and present them before Jehovah at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots on the two he-goats; one lot for Jehovah and the other lot for a complete removal. And Aaron shall bring the goat on which Jehovah's lot fell, and offer it for a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell to be the complete removal shall be presented alive before Jehovah, to make an atonement with him, to let him go for a complete removal into the wilderness.

Leviticus 16:15 Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering that is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil. And he shall do with that blood as he did with the blood of the young bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy-seat and before the mercy-seat.

Leviticus:20-22 And when he has made an end of reconciling the sanctuary and the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the sins of the sons of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send away by the hand of a chosen man into the wilderness. And the goat shall bear on him all their sins to a land in which no one lives. And he shall let the goat go in the wilderness.

Next came the first water tight covering which was red dyed ram skins. Rams were used for sacrifice, as in the account with Abraham and Isaac, and the red always represents blood for the atonement. For example:

Leviticus 5:15 If a soul commits a trespass and sins through ignorance in the holy things of Jehovah, then he shall bring for his trespass to Jehovah a ram without blemish out of the flock, together with an amount set by you, by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering.

And, finally, the covering of badger (or dugong) skins. The Hebrew word for badger skins 'tachash' may refer to a badger or a Dugong or Sea Cow or Porpoise. These are aquatic mammals. Their skin would have been waterproof. Once again, in the tabernacle coverings there was a progression from the more beautiful to the less attractive. The final cover of skins was far from beautiful. You can't help but imagine what someone must have thought to see this unattractive tent as the focal point for the worship of Yahweh. But these skins prove that Jesus had no special looks to attract others. Jesus was a normal Israelite man with nothing especially attractive about Him that would make us think he was the King of kings. He was humble in character.

Isa 53:2-3 "For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; he was despised, and we did not esteem Him."

From the outside, Jesus might not have looked like a King, but the more you learn about Him, the more beautiful He is. To those who are standing on the outside looking in...little do they realize how precious our Savior is, how beautiful He is to us, who are saved! In fact, when He was crucified He was described as having a face so marred by brutality that He was barely recognizable as a man and yet, it was by that precious blood we are saved! It is by His love and His obedience that we are covered and brought safely into the presence of God.

Read my other posts on The Tabernacle.

Tabernacle - Outer Court

Outer Court of the Tabernacle

Yesterday we studied about the Tabernacle's Outer Court curtains, pillars and gate. What was in the compound? There were two items in the Outer Court before the Priests went into the Tabernacle proper, the tent of worship.

(If you will read the entry below this one, you will see the beginning of this study.)

As you came in through the gate, you were in the Outer Court. This Outer Court only had the natural light for lighting. The first thing you would encounter was the Brazen Altar.

The Brazen Altar

Exodus 27:1-8 And you shall make an altar of acacia-wood, five cubits long and five cubits broad. The altar shall be square. And the height of it shall be three cubits. And you shall make the horns of it upon the four corners of it. Its horns shall be of the same, and you shall overlay it with bronze. And you shall make its pans to receive its ashes, and its shovels, and its basins, and its flesh-hooks, and its fire-pans. All the vessels of it you shall make of bronze. And you shall make for it a grating, a network of bronze. And upon the net you shall make four bronze rings in the four corners of it. And you shall put it under the ledge of the altar beneath, so that the net may be even to the midst of the altar. And you shall make staves for the altar, staves of acacia-wood, and overlay them with bronze. And the staves shall be put into the rings, and the staves shall be upon the two sides of the altar, to carry it. You shall make it hollow with boards; as it was shown you in the mountain, so shall they make it.

The largest piece of equipment, furniture, in the Tabernacle is the Brazen Altar and was also known as the Altar of Burnt Offering. It was made of acacia (or shittim) wood overlaid with bronze (or brass). It had 4 horns on the corners. It had a grate of bronze set beneath the rim of the altar. It had rings on it and poles were used to pick it up and move it. A holy fire was kept burning in it at all times. God supernaturally lit the fire the first time and it was never to go out.

Leviticus 9:22-24 And Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people, and blessed them, and came down from offering the sin offering and the burnt offering and peace offerings. And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out and blessed the people. And the glory of Jehovah appeared to all the people. And there came a fire out from before Jehovah, and burned up the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. And all the people saw and shouted and fell on their faces.

It was to this altar that an Israelite would come with his chosen sacrifice. The Priest would take the sacrifice to the altar and sacrifice it.

The wood symbolizes humanity. The bronze (or brass) symbolizes judgement. The wood overlaid with brass symbolizes that our sin-bearer (Jesus Christ) can endure God's righteous judgement against sin. The brass (or bronze) on the altar protected it from the heat of the fire and prevented it from being burnt up. It was at the altar that the price was paid for sin.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jesus was the sinless human who was sacrificed for our sins. He is the righteous God of judgement. Christ passed through the fires of God’s judgement without being consumed. He saves, because He is able to endure. It is at the altar that God's hatred for sin is revealed in judgement. But it is here that God's mercy is shown because He provided His very Son to take righteous judgement on our behalf.

As I've said before, Jesus is God man. You see, Jesus had to be a human in order to pay God for the human acts of sin that had separated us from God. And, yet, there will never be a human that is not born sinless. So Jesus also had to be God in order to be sinless. He was human from Mary's side. His mother was a human being. He was God from God's side. God conceived Jesus in Mary's womb. Only a human could pay for sin because it was a human, Adam and Eve, who had sinned to start with and passed down the sin in every human being born afterwards. Only God could be born and live a sinless life. That is why He is called the Son of God and the Son of Man.

Note this description of Jesus in Revelation,
Rev 1:13-18 And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands. And in the midst of the seven lampstands I saw One like the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and tied around the breast with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And His eyes were like a flame of fire. And His feet were like burnished brass having been fired in a furnace. And His voice was like the sound of many waters. And He had seven stars in His right hand, and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword. And His face was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying to me, Do not fear, I am the First and the Last, and the Living One, and I became dead, and behold, I am alive for ever and ever, Amen. And I have the keys of hell and of death.

The Priest walked up an incline with the sacrifice to the edge of the altar and would tie the sacrifice to the horns where it would be sacrificed. Horns always represented strength.

Psa 118:27 God is Jehovah, who gives light to us. Tie the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.

Christ did not have to be tied down or forced to be our sacrifice. He voluntarily submitted Himself to be sacrificed on our behalf. At any time He could have called down an army of angels to save Himself but He didn't. He went as a lamb to slaughter. He gave His life for us and to pay for our sins, to make atonement, to pay the price, to redeem us, to recieve the judgement upon Himself.

1 Peter 2:21-24 For you were not called to this? For Christ also suffered on our behalf, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps, He who did no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth, who when He was reviled did not revile in return. When He suffered, He did not threaten, but gave Himself up to Him who judges righteously. He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that dying to sins, we might live to righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed.

The Laver
The Laver was another piece of the Tabernacle furniture. It was a round bronze (or brass) basin.

Exodus 30:17-21 And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying, You shall also make a laver of bronze and its foot also of bronze, for washing. And you shall put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar. And you shall put water in it, for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet there. When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water so that they do not die. Or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to Jehovah, they shall wash their hands and their feet, so that they do not die. And it shall be a statute forever to them, to him and to his seed throughout their generations.

Exodus 38:8 And he made the laver of bronze, and its base bronze, out of the mirrors of serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

The Lord directed Moses to use the mirrors that women gave him to make the Laver. Back in those days they didn't have the glass mirrors of today. They had made mirrors of highly polished metal. These were made of bronze (or brass). A laver is a large basin that was used for washing. It was highly polished with a mirror like finish. As the priest looked into the laver he saw himself and then was told to wash himself. He ceremonially washed his hands and his feet.

Whereas the Brazen Altar was indicative of the fire of judgement, the Laver was indicative of the washing by water. Only the priests could use this basin. Water is a symbol of washing, refreshing, cleansing, life (for without water there is no life). At the brazen altar, sins were dealt with and now, the laver is for priestly purification, cleansing. The Laver symbolizes the need of cleansing from the guilt of sin in everyday life even after we are saved by Christ's sacrifice. We are saved but we are still human beings with a persistent evil human nature. So we are saved but we still sin. We have a need to approach the laver, to look at our spiritual selves and to wash once again. What is our mirror? What shows us our sin? What convicts us of our sin? The Bible.

Ephesians 5:25-27 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 as the glorious church, without spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Psalm 119:9 With what shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Hebrews 4:12 For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

James 1:22-25 But become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man studying his natural face in a mirror. For he studied himself and went his way, and immediately he forgot what he was like. But whoever looks into the perfect Law of liberty and continues in it, he is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work. This one shall be blessed in his doing.

When we read the Bible, the Word of God, we are naturally convicted of our sins. We realize that we are sinners and that we need cleansing. The Word is like a mirror of our souls. If you have read the Picture of Dorian Grey you will remember that Dorian Grey never aged or looked dissipated. Rather, his portrait showed the passage of time. In fact, as he practised more and more wickedness, he remained young and vital and yet his portrait grew hideous. It became so hideous, full of horror, that he had it locked in an upstairs room and kept covered. He could barely stand to look at it because it mirrored his soul. He visually saw his own vileness, wickedness, sinfulness. Finally he could stand it no longer. It's a wonderful book. But, back to the Laver. It symbolizes the Word of God that mirrors the condition of our soul. We see our true image in it's mirrored surface. We see our need of cleansing. We should approach the Laver daily. We should daily read the Word and take a look at the condition of our soul. If we find sin then we should wash ourselves clean with the blood of Christ.

Remember that Christ died for us to save us from our sins and to present us righteous and clean before God. In order for us to approach God, we must be saved (the Brazen Altar) and we must continually wash ourselves in the Laver. The sacrifice at the Brazen Altar was done FOR us but the washing in the Laver is done BY us. In order to have communion or fellowship with God we must be free of offense. We can go to the Laver and look carefully at ourselves to see if there by any sin (go to the Bible and read it with yourself in mind and see if it applies to you) and then humbly ask Jesus to wash you once again. We have no need for a total washing as that was done at the Brazen Altar, but specific washing by our Priest and Servant, Jesus. Remember the story of the foot washing?

John 13:4-15 He rose up from supper and laid aside His garments. And He took a towel and girded Himself. After that He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, Lord, do You wash my feet? Jesus answered and said to him, You do not know what I do now, but you shall know hereafter. Peter said to Him, You shall never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me. Simon Peter said to Him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and head. Jesus said to him, He who is bathed has no need except to wash his feet, but is clean every whit. And you are clean, but not all. For He knew who would betray Him. Therefore He said, You are not all clean. So after He had washed their feet and had taken His garments and had reclined again, He said to them, Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me the Teacher, and Lord, and you say well, for I AM. If then I, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

Jesus is our gate to a relationship with God, He is our protection, He is our Tabernacle, He is our Sacrifice and our High Priest, He is the furniture of the Tabernacle. Jesus is everything! He washes away failures in our actions and failures in our walk (hands and feet).

Hebrews 10:19-22 Therefore, brothers, having boldness to enter into the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He has consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies having been washed with pure water.

We will go inside the Tabernacle proper in my next devotion.

Read more of my posts on The Tabernacle.

The Tabernacle - Inner Court

Inside the Tabernacle Tent

Do you notice how the Tabernacle furniture is arranged? Yes, in a cross shape!

In the previous studies I went over the construction and symbolism of the Tabernacle fence, the Outer Court and the exterior of the Tabernacle tent. See blog entries below
Only the Priests were allowed inside the Inner Court.

Inside the Tabernacle there are only two rooms. The first and larger of the two rooms is the Inner Court, aka Holy Place. Then there is a veil and the second room is the smaller room called the Holy of Holies, the Most Holy Place. Therefore the inside of the Tabernacle and it's furniture were for a place of communion or fellowship with God.

Today we will look at the Inner Court, the Holy Place and examine it's furniture. You will remember that, in examining the exterior of the Tabernacle we said that the first curtain over the Tabernacle tent was the one see from inside. It constituted the interior ceiling of the Tabernacle. It was made of fine linen and woven or embroidered with figures of cherubim in blue, scarlet, purple. See previous blog entry for symbolism of the colors and cherubim.

We also know, from a previous study in a prior blog entry, that the walls were made of acacia boards overlaid in gold set in sockets of silver. See previous blog entry for symbolism of the walls.

Can you imagine the splendor and magnificence of the gold walls and the colorful ceiling?

What are the 3 items of furniture in this room? A golden Lampstand, a golden Table of Shewbread, and a golden Altar of Incense.

The Lampstand (aka The Candlestick)

Exodus 25:31-40 And you shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand shall be made of beaten work; its shaft, and its branches, its cups, its knobs, and its blossoms, shall be from it. And six branches shall come out of the sides of it-- three branches of the lampstand out of the one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side. Three almond-like cups on the one branch, with knob and blossom; and three almond-like cups on the one branch, with knob and blossom, so for the six branches, those going out of the lampstand. And in the lampstand shall be four almond-like cups, with their knobs and their blossoms; and a knob under two branches of it, and a knob under two branches of it, and a knob under two branches of it, according to the six branches, those going out of the lampstand. Their knobs and their branches shall be of it, all of it one beaten work of pure gold. And you shall make the seven lamps of it. And one shall light the lamps of it, so that they may give light on its face. And the tongs of it, and its pans shall be of pure gold. One shall make it of a talent of pure gold, with all these vessels. And see that you make them after their pattern, which was shown you in the mountain.

Once you go past the entrance curtain and into the Inner Court (aka Holy Place) there is no natural light. The only light comes from this large lampstand that is fueled with pure olive oil (which burns without smoking) and wicks. It was made of pure hammered (or beaten) gold. To get pure gold they melted it 7 times, each time skimming out the impurities. The #7 always represents perfection, total purity and completeness. There are 7 items of furniture in the Tabernacle.

1. Brazen Altar
2. Brazen Laver
3. Golden Lampstand
4. Table of Shewbread
5. Altar of Incense
6. Ark of the Covenant
7. Mercy Seat lid of the Ark of the Covenant

This Lampstand was to have a shaft with 3 branches on one side and 3 branches on the other side leading to 7 total lights. The sevenfold radiance of the Lampstand speaks of Christ as the "brightness of God’s glory" (Heb. 1:3). Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, the Spirit of Christ to us. The Holy Spirit prepares us for salvation. Once we are saved the Holy Spirit resides in us in order to mature our newly born spirits. He says that the Holy Spirit will convict the World (the work of preparing and wooing people to accept the gift of salvation) and to teach the saved the things of God and remind us of them. We can also be "baptized" in the Holy Spirit which is a separate experience that means we ask God to completely fill us with His Spirit in such a way that we lose control and God takes control. The evidence of this infilling is speaking in tongues but there are other gifts that the Holy Spirit can use, through us, such as healing, prophesying, words of wisdom, etc. When we are letting the Spirit use us to accomplish His Work, these gifts are a natural result. They are not gifts that we can summon up or conjure up like magic. We are only vessels that the Holy Spirit uses. The more broken and humble the vessel, the more the Spirit can and will use. Pride and arrogance is a sure way to lose that power. The Holy Spirit is seen as "seven Spirits which are before His throne" in Revelation 1:4. In Revelation 3:1 Christ is spoken of as "He that hath the seven Spirits of God."

Almond blossoms with almond fruit
Each shaft was to end with a bowl made to look like almond blossoms with ornamental knobs that represent almonds (the fruit of the almond tree) and may have been used to adjust the wicks. The olive oil flowed through the shaft through the branches and up to the almond blossom where the wick was kept trimmed and lit.

Olive tree and olives

"As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world" (John 9:5)

The world rejected the "Light of the World", Jesus Christ. He was crucified by wicked hands because the world esteemed Him not. Now the Light dwells in the Holy Place (aka Inner Court) in God's presence. Praise God, we, who are saved, can enter the figurative Tabernacle and enjoy the Light of Christ. But woe to those who reject Him.

"the way of the wicked is as darkness" (Proverbs 4:19)

The "beaten gold" here speaks of a suffering Christ who is now glorified. Christ's work on the cross was prophesied in Isaiah 53 approximately 700 years before Jesus was born.

For He comes up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground; He has no form nor majesty that we should see Him, nor an appearance that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected of men; a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as it were a hiding of faces from Him, He being despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was on Him; and with His stripes we ourselves are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, each one to his own way; and Jehovah has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted; yet He opened not His mouth. He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before its shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of My people He was stricken. And He put His grave with the wicked, and with a rich one in His death; although He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it pleased Jehovah to crush Him; to grieve Him; that He should put forth His soul as a guilt-offering. He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the will of Jehovah shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the fruit of the travail of His soul. He shall be fully satisfied. By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify for many; and He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide to Him with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He has poured out His soul to death; and He was counted among the transgressors; and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for transgressors.

The pure olive oil represents the Holy Spirit. The Lampstand represents Christ as the root and we are the branches.

John 15:1-5 I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away. And every one that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean through the Word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered. And they gather and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done to you. In this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you shall be My disciples.

The almond blossom bowls and the almond knob represent the flowering and fruit bearing. If we have the Holy Spirit flowing through us then there should be a natural result, a fruit. What kind of fruit would occur if someone has the Holy Spirit flowing through them?

Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Why did God designate the bowls and knobs to look like an almond blossom instead of an apple or pear tree? Because an almond tree is the first of the fruit trees to blossom after winter. Like Crocuses they herald the advent of Spring. They represent the Resurrection of Christ. Just like trees and bushes and flowers have to die in the Winter and then come back in the Spring...Jesus Christ had to die for us and yet He rose again! And with Him, we, who are saved, will also be resurrected to live forever with Him!

The Lampstand was placed in the South side of the Inner Court which represents warmth, light, radiance and blessing.
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Table of the Shewbread

Exodus 25:23-30 You shall also make a table of acacia-wood, its length two cubits, and its breadth a cubit, and its height a cubit and a half. And you shall overlay it with pure gold, and make to this a crown of gold all around. And you shall make to it a border of a hand's breadth round about. And you shall make a golden crown to the border of it, all around. And you shall make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet of it. The rings shall be adjoining the border as housings for the staves to carry the table. And you shall make the staves of acacia-wood and overlay them with gold, so that the table may be carried with them. And you shall make its dishes, and its spoons, and its pitchers, and its sacrificial cups with which a drink-offering is made. You shall make them of pure gold. And you shall set upon the table Bread of the Presence before Me always.

Leviticus 24:5-9 And you shall take fine flour and bake twelve cakes of it. Two-tenth parts shall be in one cake. And you shall set them in two rows, six on a row, on the pure table before Jehovah. And you shall put pure frankincense on each row, so that it may be on the bread for a memorial, a fire offering to Jehovah. Every sabbath he shall set it in order before Jehovah forever, from the sons of Israel by an everlasting covenant. And it shall be Aaron's and his sons'. And they shall eat it in the holy place, for it is most holy to him of the fire offerings of Jehovah, by a never-ending statute.

This is another symbol of communion and fellowship with God. The Table of Fellowship.

Psalm 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies

John 6:32, 33 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world'

John 6:51, 52 "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us His flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you"

It was made of acacia (or shittim wood) overlaid with gold which unites the humanity and deity of Christ. It was to have a crown around the edge to protect the cakes and Frankincense from getting knocked off. This represents our King Jesus who protects His people so that none are lost.

This shewbread consisted of twelve perforated loaves or cakes, made of fine flour; baked, and placed in two rows upon the Table, on which pure frankincense on top of each stack for a memorial. Jesus was pierced by the nails and the spear. The 12 loaves represented the 12 Tribes of Israel. The loaves were all the same size and were equally divided into 2 stacks which indicated that the tribes were equally important to God. There was not partiality. The loaves remained before the Lord for seven days, when they were removed and eaten by Aaron and his sons, in the holy place. The bread was before the face of God always, and represents its acceptableness to Him, and foreshadowed the person of Christ as the One in whom the Father considered His delight.

1 Cor. 10:16, 17 "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we brake, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread".

The Altar of Incense

Exodus 30:1-9 And you shall make an altar to burn incense upon. You shall make it of acacia-wood. A cubit shall be its length, and a cubit its breadth. It shall be square. And two cubits shall be the height of it, its horns from itself. And you shall overlay it with pure gold, its top, and its sides all around, and its horns. And you shall make to it a crown of gold all around. And you shall make two golden rings to it under the crown of it, by the two corners of it, upon the two sides of it you shall make it. And they shall be housings for the staves to bear it with. And you shall make the staves of acacia-wood and overlay them with gold. And you shall put it before the veil that is by the ark of the testimony, in front of the mercy-seat that is beside the testimony, where I will meet with you. And Aaron shall burn sweet incense on it every morning; when he dresses the lamps he shall burn it. And when Aaron lights the lamps at evening, he shall burn it, a perpetual incense before Jehovah throughout your generations. You shall offer no strange incense on it, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meal offering. Neither shall you pour drink offering on it.

The Altar of Incense (aka the Golden Altar) was set directly in front of the Veil and the High Priest had to pass it to get to the Veil and then into the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant and Mercy Seat were. The golden altar was used for burning incense, which twice every day was offered by the priest after he had tended the wick and oil on the holy lamps. Its horns were also sprinkled with the blood of the sin offering. The incense was burnt on pieces of hot coal, which the priest removed in a censer or fire pan from the Brazen Altar in the courtyard. A censer apparently was a shallow bowl or pan with a handle on it.

This Golden Altar speaks of Christ Himself, and the incense was a figure both of His intercession and the praises which He presents to God. Through Jesus we pray to the Father and praise the Father. The smoke from the incense also represents our prayers and praises through Jesus. Jesus is always before God on our behalf acting as our High Priest, presenting us to the Father, making intercession for us.

Leviticus 16:12, 13 and Numbers 16:46 say the fire on which the incense was laid had been taken from off the brazen-altar, where the sin-offering was consumed,

‘Yea, the sparrow hath found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even Thine altars O Lord of Hosts, my King and my God’ (Ps. 84:3).

Both altars are mentioned and form the solid and abiding rest for our poor and needy soul.

The incense was sacred, for tabernacle service only and if anyone manufactured any for his personal or family use it meant the death-penalty for his presumption (30:28). Only the priests of the seed of Aaron were allowed to handle it. Poured out on burning coals the incense produced a sweet aroma in the Holy Place. It was the offering of the person whose sins had been forgiven by blood and who then went on to express the fragrance of love and worship, which was most pleasing to God

Exo 30:34-38 And Jehovah said to Moses, Take to yourself sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; sweet spices with pure frankincense, a part of each one. And you shall make it a perfume, an incense according to the art of the perfumer, salted, pure and holy. And you shall beat some of it very small, and put it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you. And the perfume which you shall make, you shall not make any for yourselves according to the way it is made. It shall be holy to you for Jehovah. Whoever shall make any like that, to smell of it, shall even be cut off from his people.


Frankincense is tapped from the very scraggly but hardy Boswellia tree through slashing the bark and allowing the exuded resins to bleed out and harden. These hardened resins are called tears. Frankincense was lavishly used in the Jewish Tabernacle (and later the Temple). In Matthew 2:11, gold, frankincense and myrrh were among the gifts given to Jesus by the wisemen from out of the east.

Frankincense trees and resin

Onycha: Onycha is the operculum of a mollusk found in the Red Sea. It was used in ancient incense and perfume formulas as a fixative to help amplify the overall fragrance of a compound or formula. This needs to be ground into very fine powder and be used in proper ratios to have the desired affect.

Stacte: There are many different interpretations about what plant or tree Stacte is. We believe it is Storax or Styrax. This is a gum resin, but can also be obtained periodically in a powder form the bark of the tree. The gum resin has a chemical type smell. Again it is typically used as a fixative in a fragrance compound or formula. When blended correctly it will create a interesting balsamic aroma.

Galbanum: Galbanum is a gum resin obtained from a large perennial herb that contains resin ducts. The resin is collected by making incisions at the base of the plant. Galbanum resin often has plant particles, stems and twigs in it. It has a very strong green, turpentine scent. Again it is used mainly as a fixative.

Notice that all the incense ingredients were hammered, beaten, gathered by piercing the bark or flower stem. All of this represents Jesus, who was beaten, pierced, crushed for our sins. This incense was described as precious (valuable), sweet, pure and holy. All which describe our Savior.
This incense was to be kept burning perpetually which represents that Christ is eternally before God, the Father, on our behalf.

Rev 8:3-4 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. And he was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand.

Read more of my posts on TheTabernacle.

The Tabernacle - The Holy of Holies

The Veil
Exo 26:31-34 And you shall make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined bleached linen of embroidered work. It shall be made with cherubs. And you shall hang it upon four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold. Their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver. And you shall hang up the veil under the clasps, that you may bring the ark of the testimony in there within the veil. And the veil shall divide for you between the holy place and the Holy of Holies. And you shall put the mercy-seat upon the ark of the testimony in the Holy of Holies.

This veil was between the Holy Place (aka Inner Court) and the Holy of Holies which contained the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat. The light from the lampstand, on the side of the Holy Place (aka Inner Court), shining upon it would reveal how beautiful it was. It was woven or embroidered with cherubim. The word "Cherubim" is plural for cherub and they do not resemble the sappy little fat babies with wings on Valentine's cards. We will look at Cherubim a little farther down. One side of the Veil was seen by human eyes, as the Levites ministered in the Sanctuary; the other side was beheld only by Jehovah. The object of a veil is to hide because sinful man cannot come near a holy God. It symbolized how far fallen man was from God. We are separated from our Creator, our God, our King because of our sins. How can we, sinners, get to God? Only through Jesus Christ! His work on the cross saved us from our sins if we will only accept His gift. We can have a brand new spirit (born again) and the Holy Spirit residing in us to teach us the way. We don't have to be separated from God any more!

Mat 27:50-51 And crying again with a loud voice, Jesus released His spirit. And, behold! The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And the earth quaked, and the rocks were sheared,

Hebrews 10:19-20 Therefore, brothers, having boldness to enter into the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He has consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, His flesh;

The perfect Manhood of Christ exhibited the only humanity which can approach God and live in His presence. The perfect Manhood of Christ exhibited the only humanity which can dwell in the blazing light of His manifested glory. Men might admire the beauty of the Veil; as men may today admire the human character of Christ and His teachings. And yet, the more perfect the Man, the more man realizes that we cannot ever be that perfect. Even though God had a dwelling place with His People at the Tabernacle, He was still separated from His People by the Veil. Jehovah gave instructions as to how Israel’s high priests might go behind the Veil into the Holy of Holies, and that was, by the blood of sacrifice (Lev. 16:19). The only way for sinful man to go to God was by sacrifice and that through the High Priest only. The common man nor the other priests could enter into this part of the Tabernacle. And if the High Priest entered in a way that was not prescribed by God, He would die on the spot. There were little bells on the hem of his High Priestly garment that would tinkle as long as he was still moving. He also wore a rope so that if the other priests heard the bells stop tinkling they could pull out the body of the High Priest without going behind the Veil into the Holy of Holies.

Exodus 28:31-35 And you shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue. And there shall be a hole in the top of it, in its middle; a binding shall be all around its mouth, of woven work. It shall be like the mouth of a corselet; it may not be torn. And on its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue, and purple, and scarlet, all around its hem. And bells of gold shall be amidst them all around. There shall be a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe all around. And it shall be on Aaron to serve. And his sound shall be heard when he goes in to the holy place before Jehovah, and when he comes out, so that he will not die.

The blood sacrifices that the High Priest made only foreshadowed the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. There was need of a veil until His Work was completed. His death, His blood, has opened up the way to His presence. The perfect sacrifice had now been made and those who are saved now have access to the Father. We have no need for the Veil any more!

Let's take a deeper look at Cherubim. The first time they are mentioned is in Genesis when God banishes Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. He places a cherub at the entrance with a flaming sword to keep them out. The reason God did this was so that Adam and Eve would not eat of the Tree of Life and live forever in their sin. He wanted mankind to be saved and restored to a relationship with Him. Sin brings death but, through death, those who are saved through Jesus Christ, can live again for eternity with God. But if Adam and Eve had eaten of the Tree of Life they would live forever in their sin and not have the chance to be set free from sin and an earthly body of death. So, even though God's discipline seemed harsh in banishing them from the Garden of Eden, it was really an act of mercy and love. The Cherub guarded it, not against, but for man, against the time when man will be fit to enjoy it and never lose it.
Here, on the Veil, these cherubim taught the same lesson; sinful man, cannot approach the holy God! And, yet, God's mercy provides a better way through Jesus Christ. Although it looked like God was harsh and we would never be accepted, it really was to remind us that, although He was holy and unapproachable, He would provide a way through the sacrifice of His Son. What mercy! What love! What grace!

"The purpose of God has now been accomplished. The Corn of wheat, having fallen into the ground and died, now bringeth forth much fruit (John 12:24). The Blood has been shed, the Sacrifice has been offered, the Veil has been rent; and Christ, an the Forerunner of His people, has passed into the Holiest. We then may draw near. Because Christ received the wages of sin which were due us, we share the reward which was due Him. We may boldly enter in. By faith we have unhindered access into the Heavenly Sanctuary. Every barrier haying been removed, the believing worshipper may, with perfect liberty, draw near to the Throne of Grace. Then 'let us draw near, with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience' (Heb. 10:22)." - Gleanings in Exodus, Providence Baptist Ministries

There is a good description of Cherubim in Ezekiel 1. I encourage you to read this chapter thoroughly. Don't skip it!

Ezekiel 1:1 Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.
Eze 1:2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity,
Eze 1:3 the word of Jehovah came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of Jehovah was there upon him.
Eze 1:4 And I looked, and, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, a great cloud, with a fire infolding itself, and a brightness round about it, and out of the midst thereof as it were glowing metal, out of the midst of the fire.
Eze 1:5 And out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man.
Eze 1:6 And every one had four faces, and every one of them had four wings.
Eze 1:7 And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot; and they sparkled like burnished brass.
Eze 1:8 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings thus:
Eze 1:9 their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward.
Eze 1:10 As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and they four had the face of a lion on the right side; and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four had also the face of an eagle.
Eze 1:11 And their faces and their wings were separate above; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.
Eze 1:12 And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; they turned not when they went.
Eze 1:13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches: the fire went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.
Eze 1:14 And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.
Eze 1:15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold, one wheel upon the earth beside the living creatures, for each of the four faces thereof.
Eze 1:16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto a beryl: and they four had one likeness; and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel within a wheel.
Eze 1:17 When they went, they went in their four directions: they turned not when they went.
Eze 1:18 As for their rims, they were high and dreadful; and they four had their rims full of eyes round about.
Eze 1:19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.
Eze 1:20 Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went; thither was the spirit to go: and the wheels were lifted up beside them; for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
Eze 1:21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up beside them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
Eze 1:22 And over the head of the living creature there was the likeness of a firmament, like the terrible crystal to look upon, stretched forth over their heads above.
Eze 1:23 And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two which covered on this side, and every one had two which covered on that side, their bodies.
Eze 1:24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a noise of tumult like the noise of a host: when they stood, they let down their wings.
Eze 1:25 And there was a voice above the firmament that was over their heads: when they stood, they let down their wings.
Eze 1:26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was a likeness as the appearance of a man upon it above.
Eze 1:27 And I saw as it were glowing metal, as the appearance of fire within it round about, from the appearance of his loins and upward; and from the appearance of his loins and downward I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness round about him.
Eze 1:28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Jehovah. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

The ox form represents tame animals, of which he is chief; the lion represents wild animals; the eagle represents birds; man, representing the head of all. The 4 faces could also represent the 4 Gospels: Matthew the Lion, Mark the Ox, Luke the Man, and John the Eagle. It also could show that God's glory shines on all 4 corners of the earth. Then there is this interpretation:

(1) kingly righteousness with hatred of evil, as "the lion springing terribly on the victim";
(2) laborious diligence in duty, as the "ox bound to the soil";
(3) human sympathy, as "the man";
(4) sublime contemplation of heavenly things, as "the eagle."

But, who are we to ascertain the heavenly things? It could be one or some or all of these, OR none. These heavenly beings were created by God to do His Will. The wings suggest the rapidity with which they perform His Will and Commands. Angels are "round about the throne," but the living creatures, Cherubim, occupy the innermost circle next it and Him. They are referred to as "the living creatures" 30 times in the Bible. They are full of life, zeal, and ceaseless untiring motion.

Revelation 4:5-11 And out of the throne came lightnings and thunderings and voices. And seven lamps of fire were burning in front of the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. And a sea of glass was in front of the throne, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind. And the first living creature was like a lion, and the second living creature like a calf, and the third living creature had the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. And each one of the four living creatures had six wings about him, and within being full of eyes. And they had no rest day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty, who was and is and is to come. And whenever the living creatures gave glory and honor and thanks to Him who sat on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fell down before the One sitting on the throne. And they worshiped Him who lives for ever and ever, and threw their crowns before the throne, saying, O Lord, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because You created all things, and for Your will they are and were created.

Revelation 5:8-14 And when [Jesus] had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one having harps and golden vials full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the book and to open its seals, for You were slain and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation. And You made us kings and priests to our God, and we will reign over the earth. And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, and the living creatures and the elders. And the number of them was myriads and myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a great voice, Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing. And I heard every creature which is in the Heaven and on the earth, and under the earth, and those that are in the sea, and all who are in them, saying, Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him sitting on the throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever. And the four living creatures said, Amen. And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped the One living forever and ever.

The Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat

Exodus 25:10-22 And they shall make an ark of acacia-wood. Two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide and a cubit and a half high. And you shall overlay it with pure gold. You shall overlay it inside and out, and shall make on it a crown of gold all around. And you shall cast four rings of gold for it, and shall put it on its four feet. And two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it. And you shall make staves of acacia-wood, and overlay them with gold. And you shall put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, so that the ark may be carried with them. And the staves shall be in the rings of the ark. They shall not be taken from it. And you shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give you. And you shall make a mercy-seat of pure gold. Two and a half cubits shall be the length of it, and a cubit and a half the breadth of it. And you shall make two cherubs of gold; of beaten work you shall make them, in the two ends of the mercy-seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end. From the mercy-seat you shall make the cherubs, on the two ends of it. And the cherubs shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy-seat with their wings, and their faces each toward the other; toward the mercy-seat shall the cherubs' faces be. And you shall put the mercy-seat above, upon the ark. And in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. And I will meet with you there, and I will talk with you from above the mercy-seat, from between the two cherubs on the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give you in commandment to the sons of Israel.

Hebrews 9:1-15 Then truly the first tabernacle had also ordinances of divine service and an earthly sanctuary. For the first tabernacle was prepared, in which was both the lampstand, and the table, and the setting out of the loaves, which is called Holies. And after the second veil was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies, having a golden altar of incense, and the ark of the covenant overlaid all around with gold, in which was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. And over it were the cherubs of glory overshadowing the mercy-seat (about which we cannot now speak piece by piece. Now when these things were ordained in this way, the priests always went into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But once in the year into the second the high priest goes alone, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the errors of the people) the Holy Spirit signifying by this that the way into the Holiest of all was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. For it was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices that could not make him who did the service perfect as regards the conscience, which stood only in meats and drinks, and different kinds of washings and fleshly ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But when Christ had become a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building nor by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered once for all into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ (who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God) purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause He is the Mediator of the new covenant, so that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, those who are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

The Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat are mentioned separately in the Old Testament although they are united in one with the Mercy Seat being the lid to the Ark. The Mercy Seat was the throne of God on earth. In Heaven, His Throne was attended by Cherubim and so, He directed the same for the Mercy Seat. This was the place that God met with the High Priest, the representative of His People. It symbolized His Presence among His people.

The Ark of the Covenant was called by several names:

The Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of Testimony
The Ark of the Lord
The Ark of God
The Ark of our Lord God
The Holy Ark
The Ark of Thy Strength

It was made of accacia (or shittim) wood overlaid with gold, the two natures of our Lord: the human and the Divine. The accacia tree has 3 characteristics that make it particularly effective to symbolize Christ. "First it is a tree that can thrive in a very dry soil. Second, it has very long, sharp thorns. Third, it is the tree from which is obtained the gum arabic so largely used in medicinal preparations, which is procured simply by piercing the tree at nightfall, and that which oozes out is, without any preparation, the gum-arabic of commerce. To the spiritual mind these facts are sweetly suggestive of Him who, in a dry and thirsty land, where surely there was naught to sustain His spirit, was in the constant freshness of communion with God, for other than an earthly stream sustained Him. Though indeed crowned now with glory, a crown of thorns was all this world had for Him. And we remember too that it was He who was pierced for us in that blackest night of guilt, when the blood flowed forth from His side, to be the only balm for the troubled soul and sin-burdened conscience" (Mr. C. H. Bright).

The contents of the Ark of the Covenant were Moses' Tablets of Stone with the Ten Commandments written by God, a pot of the heavenly food called manna, and Aaron's (the first High Priest) rod that budded with almond blooms and even yielded almonds.

The manna was the food which God gave to Israel while they were moving from the the slavery of Egypt to the Promised Land. It foreshadowed Christ as the Bread of life, the food of His pilgrim people. The Manna was the grace of God meeting the need of His people in the wilderness. Jesus is the golden pot, pure and holy, that could hold the grace of God for His needy people.

The rod that blossomed is in Numbers 17. The people began complaining and questioning why was Aaron so special that only he could be the High Priest and his descendants the priests. So God instructed Moses to take rods (straight branches cut from trees) from each of the 12 Tribes. One was Aaron's rod as the rod from the Levite tribe. He placed them before the Ark of the Covenant overnight. The next morning, only Aaron's rod developed almond blossoms and even almonds. The matter was taken out of the hands of man and was to be decided by God alone. The question of the priesthood was determined solely by God. Those rods were dead limbs. They had been cut off from the trees. The mighty power of the living God intervened, a miracle was wrought, the dead rod became alive, and resurrection-life and fruit appeared. Man may rebel against God and complain. They may seek other ways to salvation and claim other "gods" are the way to life eternal. But Jesus was put to death. He was dead! And God raised Him from the dead, gave Him life and we are His fruit! The disciples entering the empty sepulcher and beholding the signs that Christ had risen from the dead is the same as Moses entering the Holy of Holies and seeing Aaron's flowering rod. Moses bringing out the rods and showing them to the people (v. 9), is like the resurrection of Christ established before many witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:6).

The tablets of stone with the Ten Commandments written by the finger of God were also placed in the Ark of the Covenant. God gave Moses the first set of the Ten Commandments but when Moses descended from the Mount to see the Israelites cavorting in festivities around the idol they made, the golden calf, He dashed the stone tablets to the ground. Later, God gave Moses a second set. It is this set that is in the Ark of the Covenant. The first set being dashed represents how sinful man cannot keep God's commandments. But God's plan is never thwarted despite what man does. So He gave Moses a second set. Christ has answered every requirement of God’s law for His people. Christ's has the Law of God in His Heart and He fulfilled all the Law. The Law was given so that mankind would know that it is impossible for us to keep it. We have an evil nature and we cannot be holy. But Christ could keep it and was holy and He fulfilled the Law. He was the perfect sacrifice.

This part of the Tabernacle was dark. There was no natural light from the sun, there was no light from a lampstand. It was only lighted by the very presence of God. You see, when someone first enters the Outer Court they must be saved at the Brazen Altar with the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We have a new spirit, newly born and have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. But we are babes in Christ. We still walk by our own natural inclinations and intelligence. Represented by the natural light of the sun in the Outer Court. But the Holy Spirit in us has the job of growing and maturing and teaching our spirit. Just as our human body grows up, so our spirit man should grow up. We should not remain a child. Unfortunately, many Christians remain walking around in the Outer Court like babies in a playpen. We don't realize that there is more! So much more! So next we approach the Brazen Laver and, through repentance, we wash ourselves in the blood of Jesus. Then, saved and cleansed, we go into the next stage of our spiritual life...the Inner Court or Holy Place. It is here that we begin to recieve light from the Bible though the work of the Holy Spirit. It is illumined to us and the Holy Spirit helps us begin to understand it. "The Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path." We aren't just reading the Bible but we study the Word and get something out of it. It begins to change our life. We also partake in the Lord's Supper at the Table of the Shewbread. I don't mean just eating the little cracker and drinking the little plastic cup of grape juice. I mean you really partake. It becomes very real to you and a precious ceremony because it reminds you of your Savior, Jesus Christ. We do it reverently. We also begin spending time in prayer and worship as represented by the Altar of Incense. Many Christians stay here. They are satisfied to go no further. They are afraid to go further. Or maybe they don't know there is more. So much more! But we can go behind the Veil and into the Holy of Holies, the Most Holy Place and commune with God, our Father. We can fall before Him and let the love flow freely from our heart to His and recieve His love. Our gratitude, our humble thanks, our love and worship that flows more from the heart rather than from the lips. This is the place where we recieve His touch, His Love. I can't describe it! It may knock you off your feet or it may be a quiet revelation but it is here that you worship because it's is all that is left in your heart. The more He touches you, the more you can't help but worship. It flows so naturally. You know that you've connected with God. It's an experience that you desire and you thirst for more. It's all you want! It is so wonderful that you hate it when your body gets tired, or the telephone rings, or the church service is over, or you have to pick up the kids at school. And it makes me long for the day when I will no longer be bound on earth by a body, with a schedule, and work to do. One day I will be able to worship Him without getting tired, hungry or weak. I will be able to bask in His love without a clock or schedule. I will be able to love Him and recieve His love without having to worry if dinner is done or the dogs need to go out. It's so wonderful that I thirst and hunger for that time! I don't want anyone to mourne over my death because it just means that I have been released to go be with my Father and to worship and love Him for eternity and in everything I do! It's what I want with my whole heart!
Read my other posts on The Tabernacle.


For this study on the Tabernacle, I drew from several sources: The Bible, Easton's Bible Dictionary, Fausset's Bible Dictionary, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Smith's Bible Dictionary, Matthew Henry's Commentary, Jamison, Faucet, Brown Commentary, Adam Clark's Commentary, John Gill's Exposition of the Bible all through esword. I also did some research on the Internet. I found one really good site that really taught me a lot! http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Gleanings_Exodus/exodus.htm

Sunday, July 13, 2014

New Spice Rack

I've really struggled to find a spice system that works for us. I've tried several different ways but it hasn't worked for us. But I think I may have finally got it right. I bought some different size Mason jars. I found some white plastic coated wire shelves at Lowe's for $19@. My husband put up a piece of luan on the wall behind a door in our pantry hallway. I painted it bright white to match the walls. Then he screwed the wire shelves on the luan. This is the result!

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