No person living today ever saw the Tabernacle which the children of Israel raised up in the wilderness. The Tabernacle was constructed exactly according to the pattern God had given to His servant Moses on the mount. Although we never saw the Tabernacle we know exactly what it looked like because the detailed directions for its construction as given to Moses are found in the book of Exodus. Exodus 25 to 27 and Exodus 35 to 40. I never saw the tabernacle but because the plans for its construction were so detailed a number of models have been made. I saw one at Br. Gerald Herzigs home in Florida and a beautiful large detailed model in Israel at Emek Ha Shalom: Also down the road 30 miles or so from the Bible House there is a kind of replica where they sell all kinds of tabernacle related items to tourists I bought a beautiful print there that showed the Tabernacle setting within the curtains of the court surrounded by the camp of Israel. Later Sr. Lucille Hardy, who paints, made me an oil painting from the print which I have on the wall of my study.
The best source for information, of course, is the wonderful book “Tabernacle Shadows of Better Sacrifices” which I have been frantically restudying ever since I received this assignment.
The last time Sr. Mary and I visited Israel, we had made arrangements to worship with some of the many “fellowships”, the congregations of Jewish Christians. We took lots of booklets and tracts which we passed out at their meetings, but the special gift we gave to as many of their leaders as we could find was a copy of Tabernacle Shadows.
It just seems this book would be “a helping hand” to any Jew who would honestly be trying to find the connection between Judaism and Christianity.
The Apostle Paul assures us, the whole nation of Israel, as well as its laws and its religious services and ceremonies were as hey says, a picture of shadow of things to come. The events of the Jewish Age type or picture many events of the Gospel Age.
Moses, the deliverer of his people pictured our Lord Jesus as the great deliverer of the whole world of mankind. The escape from Egypt and the wilderness journey to the promised land picture Jesus leading us through the world of sin to the long promised Kingdom.
Ever board. every curtain, every piece of furniture in the Tabernacle, if carefully studied will help give us a better understand of the Plan of God.
The Tabernacle was like a house, without windows, constructed of a series of boards of shitten wood, overlaid or plated with gold, set on end of into sockets of silver, and firmly fastened together by bars of the same wood, also covered with gold.
This structure was 10 cubits wide, 10 cubits high, and 30 cubits long, the sacred cubit of the tabernacle was 25 inches so the tabernacle was really about 20 feet high, 20 feet wide, 60 ft. long, and open at the front or east end. The entire structure was covered by a large white linen cloth, interwoven with figures of cherubim, in blue, purple and scarlet. The open end or front was closed by a curtain of the same material and was called the “Door” or 1st Vail. Another cloth of the same material, similarly woven with the figure of cherubim called the 2nd Vail was hung so that it divided the Tabernacle into two rooms. The first or larger apartment was called the “Holy”. These two apartments constituted the Tabernacle; then this beautiful gold building had a tent erected over it for a shelter. It was made of a covering of cashmere cloth or goat hair. Another of ram skins dyed red and another of seal skins.
It has been a curious matter to some that the glory and beauty of the tabernacle, it’s golden walls, its golden and beautifully engraved furniture, and its Vail of curious work were so completely covered and hidden from view of the people; even the sunlight from without being exluded, its only light being the Lamp in the Holy and the Shekinah glory in the Most Holy.
But this is perfectly in keeping with Gods purpose. As god covered the type and hid its beauty under curtains and rough, unsightly skins, so the glories and beauties of spiritual things are seen only by those who enter the consecrated condition.
The “Holy” represented the condition of those begotten of God through the Word of Truth. These as heavenly minded “new creatures,” had their real life and walk with God within the first Vail, the Vail of consecration, and beyond the intellectual sight of the world and the unconsecrated believers. They enjoyed the inner light of the “golden candlestick.” while others are in “outer darkness”; these ate of special spiritual food represented in the unleavened bread and offered incense at the golden alter, acceptable through Christ Jesus.
The only way the faith justified could pass the first Vail was to renounce their justified human wills and all their human aspirations and hopes, counting the human will as dead: henceforth consulting not it but the will of God only.
In the “Holy” the “new creatures” were enlightened by the “golden candlestick” Gods Word respecting spiritual things, “the deep things of God,” and to be refreshed and strengthened daily with the truth, as represented in the “shew-bread,” lawful for only the Priests to eat. And thus enlightened and strengthened they daily offered up *sacrifices at the “golden Alter,” acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, a sweet perfume to our Father. 1 Peter 2:5 [Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.] Not Spiritual sacrifices but human rights. Privileges, life, time, talents, worldly goods are their sacrifice.
There are many religious people in the world who believe that “Jesus Saves,” yet the biggest share of them have no idea how this comes about. The divine mechanics that makes our Lords sacrifice the center point of Gods Grand Plan of Salvation completely eludes them. They are able to understand the surface truths of Gods Word but they cannot discern the deeper spiritual truths of the Word.
The Tabernacle lessons show us why this is. They are brethren in justification, of “the household of faith” but not fully consecrated brethren in Christ.
The church nominal has always included both the justified and the consecrated classes as well as the hypocrites (the actors). In the Apostle Paul letters certain parts were addressed, to the justified class who had not fully consecrated. Thus he writes to the Galations that “They that are Christs have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts” He seems to imply that only some of them had complied with the Gospel call to sacrifice fleshly, earthly interests.
In the same way he addressed the Romans 12:1 [I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.] All who in heart renounce sin and accepts Gods grace in Christ are justified freely by faith in Jesus and God has declared himself willing to accept their consecrations. Consecration to death is still acceptable, but during the next age, the age to come wherein dwelleth righteousness, the consecration of the restitutionists will be to life.
It seems evident that even in the early churches the larger proportion of the brethren were justified believers but had not fully consecrated.
Looking back at the type in the Law we find there were 8580 Levites (who were represented the justified believers) appointed in the typical service, while there were only five Priests (representing the consecrated) Numbers 4:46-48 [All those that were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the chief of Israel numbered, after their families, and after the house of their fathers, 47 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that came to do the service of the ministry, and the service of the burden in the tabernacle of the congregation, 48 Even those that were numbered of them, were eight thousand and five hundred and fourscore.] Exodus 28:1 [And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.]
It seems quite evident that the Lord did not make a misstatement when he said, the “royal priesthood would be a “little flock.””
The fact that we see believers who are trying to put away their sins is not of itself evidence of their being consecrated; for those justified by faith as well as the consecrated should practice “circumcision of the heart” putting away the sins of the flesh. All this is symbolized in the Laver of water in the “Court” at which both priests and Levites washed. This cleaning should be from both sin and error.
Nor is a spirit of meekness, gentleness, benevolence and morality always indicative of consecration to God. There are still in this world many people who are not religious at all who have partially survived the wreck of the fall of man, these are good people but these natural qualities frequently pass as proofs of full consecration.
Even when we see believers practicing self-denial in some good work of political or moral reform, that is not an evidence of consecration to God. Though it is an evidence of consecration to a work.
Consecration to God says, any work, anywhere anytime; “I delight to do thy will, O God”; thy will, in thy way, be done. Consecration to God, then, will ensure a searching of His plan revealed His Word, that we may be able to spend and be spent for Him and in His service, in harmony with His arranged and revealed plan.
Marvel not, then, that so few have ever seen the glorious beauties, within the tabernacle: only t he priests could see them. We may know of them only as we hear them described. We have never seen the hidden light and beauty; never eaten of the “bread of presence;” never offered the acceptable incense at the “Golden Altar”. No: to enjoy these they must pass the Vail, the doorway into the “Holy” into entire consecration to God in sacrifice during the Gospel Age.
The furniture of the “Holy” consisted of a “Table”, a “Candlestick” and an “Incense Alter.” Each of these items had a special significance during the Gospel Age and each has an application at the present time.
The first compartment of the Tabernacle, in the “Holy” on the right stood the table of Shew bread, a wooden table overlaid with gold; and upon it was placed twelve cakes of unleavened bread in two piles. Six in each pile, with frankincense on top of each pile.
This bread was for the priests to eat, it was only for the priests. It was holy and was renewed every seventh or Sabbath day.
It is the table of the consecrated believers at which others “had no right to eat”(Hebrews 13:10 [We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.]) During the Gospel Age the truly consecrated were the Royal Priesthood and the eating typified the feeding, strengthening and enlightening all who entered the covenanted spiritual condition. They helped each other. The Bride of Christ was to make herself ready. The work of blessing the world will follow during the next age.
Question. If the Y.W. and the C E C do not eat the shewbread, how do they understand the deep thing?
Not all Bible Truth nor even all spiritual truth is meant by the shewbread. The shewbread could be eaten only by the priests and therefor typifies something that they only could appropriate to themselves, and this is everything involved in the Sarah Covenant promises, the promises given to the Christ class alone. These promises are the antitypified shewbread. Eating the shewbread does not mean to understand all the deep things: it means to appropriate to oneself, to make their own, the promises of the Sara Covenant. And since these are made alone to the antitypical priests, the Christ class, none but the Christ class can really claim them.
Therefore neither the Youthful Worthies nor any others of the non-priestly classes, can eat the antitypical shewbread. The Sarah Covenant consists of promises to the Divine class and is not part of the Oath-bound Covenant under which the Ancient Worthies, the Youthful Worthies and the Consecrated Campers are developed. That these classes understand the deep things is due to the fact they are consecrated; and the consecrated have always been privileged to understand, and always will be privileged to understand the truth as due. The Ancient Worthies were privileged to understand all the truth due in their days: and the restitution class as they consecrate, and they will all have to consecrate will understand all of the Bible as it becomes due for them.
The Golden Candlestick or lampstand, which stood opposite the Golden Table and gave light to all in the “Holy” was of gold, pure gold, all of one piece hammered out. It had seven branches, each of which hep a lamp, making seven lamps in all, perfect or complete number.
This represented the complete church, from the Head, Jesus, to and including the last member of the “Little Flock”, that God has taken out from among men to be partakers of the divine nature, the pure gold. Yes; the candlestick represented the entire Church of the First-born, the true Church, whose names are written in heaven, the true light bearers, the Royal Priesthood.
Light has ever been symbolic of that which brings joy and gladness, while night and darkness has been associated with ignorance and its accompanying misery.
The first recorded words of God are “Let there be light” As God is the source and fountain of all life and love, so is He the source of all light. To us He manifests Himself through His Word. Not the written Word alone, but its author Jesus, “The Word of God.” “This is the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”
The character of God is described by, the beloved John 1: “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” James calls Him the “Father of lights with whom there is no variableness. Neither shadow of turning.” Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Of his followers he says, “Ye are the light of the world.”
The golden lampstand in the “Holy” beautifully symbolizes Christ as the hpe of our fallen race. It stood where there was no other light. Christ is the light of life. It had seven branches typifying perfection, or as seven is a symbol of that which is complete and entire, it represents Christ as the embodiment of light, not only the truth, but the whole truth, the fullness of God.
The form of its workmanship was beautiful, a fruit and a flower, a fruit and a flower following successively, representing the truth church as both beautiful and fruitful from first to last. The oil for the lamps was symbolic of the holy spirit, and its light represented holy enlightenment, the spirit of the truth. Its light was for the benefit of the priests only, and represented the spirit or mind of God given to enlighten the Church in the deep things of God which were entirely hidden from the natural man, even thought he be a justified believer. None but the truly consecrated the “Royal Priesthood,” are permitted to see into this deeper light, hidden in the “Holy.”
During the Gospel Age, the Word is the lamp and the Church is the lampstand and they would be privileged to understand the plan of God: but it would not always be so.
During the Millennium, when the secret features of Gods plan will have been carried out, all the consecrated will understand everything except the operation of the spirit of begetal, now God is treating the faithful “between the Age of consecrations” in the same way. Hence this transitional period is more like the Millennium than the Gospel Age in this respect.
This change of operation began in 1881 with the ending of the general call; for from that time on the Lord gave all the faithful consecrators for whom no crowns were available on understanding of all deep things, except an appreciative understanding of the operation of the Spirit of begetal in the heart.
Close up to the “Vail” that separated the “Holy” from the “Most Holy,” stood a small altar of wood covered with gold, called the “Golden Altar” or “Incense Altar.” It had no fire upon it except what the priest brought in the censers which he set on top of this “Golden Altar,” It had no fire upon it except what the priest brought in the censers which he set on the top of this “Golden Altar,” and this crumbled the incense upon it, causing it to give forth a sweet smelling smoke like a perfume, which filling the “Holy,” penetrated also beyond the “Second Vail”, into the “Most Holy.”
This sweet incense, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ was the willing sacrifice of the priests: their praises, their willing obedience, all things whatsoever they do to the glory of God.
As the High Priest, our Lord Jesus was ordained to offer sacrifice, and that was the particular feature of calling while on earth, so likewise was it the calling of all who would walk in his footsteps, they were ordained to offer gifts and sacrifice to God.
Jesus offered himself a human sacrifice for sin, it was for this reason it was necessary that he should leave the spiritual condition in which he had previously existed and should take upon him human conditions. “He became a man,” that by the grace of God might taste death for every man.
Adam was not a spirit beings when he sinned. Hence Gods sentence was not against a spirit being but it was against a human being, “Dust thou art and unto dust shall thou return.” It was necessary that the Lord Jesus should become the man Christ Jesus; that as by a man came death so also by man should come the resurrection of the dead.
As Jesus willingly laid down his perfect human nature, his perfect body, his perfect mind, and all his rights as a sinless human being, so were his footstep followers to sacrifice their justified human natures, their justified flesh which was reckoned perfect and acceptable by God.
Those who thus offered incense acceptable to God come very close to the Father, up close to the “Vail” which separated the “Holy” from the “Most Holy;” and if they have requests they may be presented with the incense. The prayers of the priests of God are effectual.
Jesus kept the incense continually burning, and could say “I know that thou hearest me always” So the under-priests, the members of his Body, were always heard if they continued to offer the incense of faith, love and obedience to God. Admittance into the Holy during the Gospel Age required the faith-justified, of that Age, to make a full consecration to do the will of God.
The faith-justified of this transitional period, also invited to present themselves to the Lord, not as living sacrifices, but as faithful, obedient children willing to surrender their wills and to do, to the best of their ability, the will of God.
These consecrated classes are able to understand the truth as it comes due: therefore they should be able to see that the “High Calling” has ended. The door to the Holy is closed: this is meat in due season.
Although we have never see the hidden light and beauty of the Golden Candlestick, we have been spiritually enlightened. This will continue to be true as the “bright shining” increases.
We have never eaten the shew bread, but we have been privileged to taste the good word of God. The wonderful harvest truths and light of the Epiphany have been opened to us.
Only the Priests could offer acceptable incense at the Golden Altar but our prayers, our praises, our faith and our willing obedience is acceptable to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In the Gospel Age picture the nation of Israel typified the whole world of mankind separated from the Tabernacle and the Court by a fence of linen curtains and therefore unable to see the religious service and ceremonies being conducted within! The great majority of the world of mankind, past and present, can’t see either. They know nothing of Gods’ plan: They don’t even know a sacrifice has been made and accepted on their behalf, a sacrifice that grantees a resurrection for all.
Only the consecrated are privileged to walk in the light of Present Truth. My dear brethren, you are indeed a special people.