“Tabernacle of the Old Testament – Part 1″
We are beginning a Wednesday night training series called the Tabernacle and the Priesthood of the Old Testament taught by Sandy Tiso. This past Wednesday, Sandy brought the first teaching on Moses’ tabernacle in Exodus 25. According to Exodus 25, God gave Moses a heavenly blueprint by which he was to build the tabernacle. The first revelation or truth that we see about God in this teaching is that God’s kingdom is not to be built in “any old way you want.” There is a divine order to God’s kingdom. God demands that whatever we build on earth be patterned after the righteous order that comes from heaven. The second revelation that we see in Exodus 25 is that God is into the finite details when it comes to this heavenly pattern. Each part of the tabernacle, right down to the furniture and furnishings, were built a specific way. Each piece of furniture had significance. Even the materials used to build the furniture had significance. For instance, gold symbolized deity. Silver symbolized redemption. Bronze symbolized judgment against the sinfulness of mankind. Everything had to be built with the proper materials and according to the specified way in order to represent the King of glory accurately on the earth.
The next thing we see about the tabernacle in Exodus 25 is that there was a wall around it, and the wall was made of white linen. Why? Because God was trying to teach the children of Israel about boundaries. He was trying to show them the difference between the holy and the unholy, what was acceptable and what was not acceptable to Him. For instance, there was only one gate, or entrance, into the tabernacle and it was located on the east side of the courtyard. Why did God have it built this way? Because He wanted to show them that there was only ONE way to enter the tabernacle. Symbolically this represented that there was only one way to enter the kingdom of God and that was through Jesus Christ and the cross. As a side note–everything in the Bible points to Jesus, even the tabernacle. Everything in the Old Testament prophesies or points the way to Jesus’ coming and His work here on earth. Even in Moses’ day, God was trying to teach Israel that there was a coming Messiah who would save them all. In our day, God is still saying to a immoral culture that believes “all truth is relative and there are many ways to salvation” that Jesus is still the ONLY WAY TO SALVATION!
The next thing we see about the tabernacle is that it was lined with different types of curtains. The outer curtains were made of badger’s skin and the inner curtains were made of fine linen. The badger’s skin was rough and tough and undesirable to the touch; however, the fine linens were made of beautiful colors such as purple, blue and red and were woven with cherubim. Why the disparity? Because God was trying to teach Israel that difference between human nature and His nature. He was saying that human nature was rough and tough and undesirable. His nature, though, was kingly and heavenly and to be desired. Also, if you look at the placement of the curtains, the badger’s skin was on the outside of the tabernacle and the fine linen was on the inside. This symbolized that the closer we get to God the more we lose ourself and our fallen human nature is swallowed up by His divine nature. The curtains also prophesied of the man, Jesus Christ. On the outside, we would look like us–a common human being with flesh and everything that goes with it. But on the inside, He was the King of kings and the Lord of lords, the Savior and King of the entire world. He was full of the glory and the power of His Father’s majesty, reign, and rule.
The next thing we notice about the tabernacle is the pillars that held it up. There were 60 pillars in all. The number 60 is significant because there was 60 men or generations total in the bloodline of Jesus Christ from Adam to Jesus. The pillars once again prophesied of Jesus and His coming to earth. Also, there were specifically 5 pillars inside the tabernacle and 4 pillars in the courtyard. The 5 pillars represent the fivefold ministry of Ephesians 4:11-12 that hold up The Church. Those pillars are crucial to the operation of The Church and her mission in the earth. The 4 pillars represent the four gospels that go out to the four corners of the earth.
The next thing we see about the tabernacle is that boards also held the tabernacle in place. The boards were made of acacia wood overlaid with pure gold. The boards prophesied of Jesus Christ. The wood represented the humanity of Jesus (He was 100% man), and the gold represented the deity of Jesus (He was 100% God). The wood was also perfect and incorruptible. This represented the sinlessness of Christ. The wood had to be perfectly cut, sanded, and planed in order for all the boards to fit together perfectly. Not only did this represent the perfection of the heavenly pattern, it also represented the perfecting that happens in the life of the believer as God prunes us, sands us, and prepares us for His perfect work. In Exodus 26:17, God also commanded Moses to make two tenons in each board for binding one board to another. The tenons were like fingers that fitted the boards together, and they represent that we, as the Body of Christ, are jointly fitted together. We need one another and we can’t operate effectively without each other.
There were also three parts to the tabernacle: the outer court, the inner court, and the holy of holies. Everything in the outer court was made of brass. Brass speaks of the flesh and that which we try to accomplish by the work of the flesh. The inner court or the holy place speaks of the eternal. This is where we receive supernatural revelation and learn eternal truths. The closer we get to the holy of holies, the more eternal truth we receive from God. The three parts of the tabernacle also represent an ascending into the eternal. We all understand that we are human beings and we live or dwell in the earth realm. However, what many of us in the Body of Christ do not understand is that we also dwell in the heavenlies, or the eternal realm. We were created for heaven, and heaven was created for us. When we access the eternal, we are like a fish swimming in water. It was what we were designed to do and it was where we were designed to dwell. As a matter of fact, the separation between the earth realm and heaven’s realm is not very thick. Earth was actually created as a representation of heaven; some even think that earth is a part of heaven. If you read our blog post on “Passing Through Heaven’s Veil,” you will see that it is a very thin veil that separates the two. The art is learning how to cross through that veil to abide on the other side. Moses’ tabernacle gives us a great illustration of what this looks like in the spirit realm. The closer we get to the eternal, the less flesh there is, the less of this world we see, and the more of God we embrace. We “leave the world behind” as it were and we “camp out” with God and the angels. It is a tremendous experience once you learn how to do it, and there is so much to learn on the other side of the veil.
To hear more of Sandy’s teaching on The Tabernacle, tune into our podcast on iTunes or wait for us to post the link to the audio message on our website. We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s post on the tabernacle.