Is it possible that a structure that was built on the earth, could be a representation of something that already exists in heaven? Is it possible that this building was created in such a way that it precisely represented the work and ministry of Jesus; 2,000 years before He was born? This is the claim by one of the most astute scholars of the first century. Saul of Tarsus, later known as Paul, describes the Tabernacle that was built in the desert, during the time that Israel was making their journey from Egypt to Canaan, as a precise representation of the “true tabernacle that was built in heaven” (Hebrews 8:1-5).
Every color, article in the Tabernacle, purpose of service, and intent of this building, was to show us the meaning of Jesus arrival here on earth. This is the subject of this chapter. The details of this part of the book are precise and require a fair amount of time to learn and understand. By the time that you finish this chapter you will understand the purpose of Jesus presence here on earth in a way that you have never known before.
As is true of all the prophecies of the Messiah, we must approach these verse of scripture with the understanding that everything that is written in the Bible is there for the purpose of introducing us to the Savior of the world. Zechariah begins this chapter by his prophecy of “The Branch,” the Messiah, who will build the fourth temple that will exist on the earth—during the one thousand year reign of His kingdom here on earth.
Zechariah 6:12-13 Then speak to him, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: ‘Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the LORD; Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.’ ”
New Testament Fulfillment:
Hebrews 8:1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens…
The true purpose of the Temple and the Tabernacle:
The Aramaic Targum, the Jerusalem Talmud, and the Midrash—all regard this verse from Zechariah 6:12-13 as Messianic. Zechariah is describing the Messiah in His returning to earth, to build the final Millennial temple in Jerusalem and reign over the whole earth.
This temple of the Messiah’s reign is not the temple described in the Book of Revelation chapter 11, that will be built during the first three years of the seven-year Tribulation period.
See the chapter: “Rebuild the Temple,” for a description of all four Temples that will be built.
Revelation 11:1-2 Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. 2 But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.”
The temple that Zechariah is describing is not the temple that exists in Heaven.
Revelation 11:19 Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.
Paul describes the Temple in heaven as the original: the model from where God gave the specific details to Moses for how the Tabernacle and the Temple on earth should be built.
Hebrews 8:1-5 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. 4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
When the Lord gave instructions to Moses on how the Tabernacle should be built, He told him to make certain that he followed the specifications, exactly as he had been given them on Mount Sinai. The Tabernacle that would be erected in the desert, as well as the Temple that Solomon built later in Jerusalem; are exact replicas of the true Tabernacle that exists in Heaven.
Exodus 25:40 40 And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.
John saw this temple in heaven in the above verse from Revelation Chapter 11:9. “…Then the temple of God was opened in heaven…”
When the Messiah builds the final Temple during His reign on earth, it will also be an exact copy of the Temple that exists in heaven.
Every measurement, every color, every article in the Tabernacle; represents the work and ministry of Jesus in securing our salvation.
Hebrews 9:1 Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary.
In other words, the tent in the desert, called the Tabernacle; was a part of the First Covenant that the Lord made with the people of Israel. The word Covenant means an agreement or a promise. The first agreement that the Lord made with the people of Israel contained Ordinances. An Ordinance is a law or rule.
If the people kept the rules, then they were acceptable to Him.
If they refused the rules or ignored the rules, they were not acceptable to God.
The individual parts of the Tabernacle explain what the future work of the Messiah is all about. Hebrews Chapter 9, takes us step by step through the various parts of the Tabernacle and describes what each room, and the articles within the Tabernacle, represent in the work and ministry of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 9:2-5 For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; 3 and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, 4 which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; 5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
Paul said, at the time he wrote this letter to the Hebrew Christians in Jerusalem, that he was not going to speak in detail, concerning the Tabernacle. In this Prophecy of the Messiah, we are going to speak in great detail, concerning the meaning for each part of the Tabernacle.
The Tabernacle was intended by God as a portable place of worship while Israel traveled through the desert. Once the Lord brought the people into the land where they would live forever, they would build a permanent place of worship called the Temple. The Temple fulfills essentially the same function as the Tabernacle, in its purpose, except that it is made from stone instead of cloth and boards.
We should remember where the people of Israel were when they built the Tabernacle—the desert:
• A place without water, without food, without shelter
• A difficult and lonely place
• A place that can fill you with fear and desperation
If you understand that the Tabernacle and the Temple were a picture of Jesus, then you start to see the reason why we would spend so much time studying a tent in the desert.
The Desert represents many of the things that we go through in our life that are difficult.
• All of us know what it is like to spend time in the desert.
• All of us have suffered through difficulties and trials.
• We all understand what it is like to be lonely, desperate, and scared.
There have been times when we have all felt thirsty for something more; hungry for something that can fill up the empty place deep within our heart.
In this lonely, desolate desert; the Lord ordered the people to build this unusual Tabernacle.
Another name for Tabernacle is Sanctuary.
In the lonely, desolate and difficult deserts of our life, there is a Sanctuary available to us. We will learn that Jesus is the intended sanctuary that this structure represents. Jesus is our dwelling place, where we are safe and secure; a place where the Lord will provide everything that we need.
John 14:1-6 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me 2 In My Father’s house are many houses (dwelling places); if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
What is Jesus saying? Even as this Tabernacle was a place of sanctuary for the people going through the desert; even as Jesus told Thomas and the other disciples that He was going to prepare a place for us; this Tabernacle is a love letter to every person, detailing the Grace and Mercy of God.
The Lord is a place of refuge. He is with us in the Desert. He is the home that we can live-in, forever; safe and secure—as He provides for us and blesses us in every way.
Knowing that these things are true, we move on to find out what this portable place of worship means today. In order to correctly understand the Tabernacle, we must first understand the people who would worship here and the circumstances that they had found themselves in when God asked them to build this structure.
The Bible describes more than two million people departing Egypt under extremely harsh and unpredictable conditions as they entered the desert. How were two million people going to find enough food, water, and shelter, and live in an environment that had none of these things?
The immense size of this forty-year camping trip would take up twelve square miles.
According to the Quartermaster of the United States Army, the magnitude of daily provisions—necessary to feed, water, and provide shelter for a group of people this large, would be an immense undertaking. In order to help us understand the tremendous resources that would be needed, we will use a familiar unit of measurement that we are all acquainted with—the Freight train.
We have all seen the long line of cars attached to three or four heavily laboring and soot spouting locomotives, along the highway—that are pulling a trail of box cars, sometimes up to a mile long.
Imagine the following number of freight cars that would be required to meet the daily needs of two million people.
It would take more than 1,500 Tons of food per day to feed 2 million people. This would require 2 Freight trains that were over one mile long, with more than 100 freight cars, per train, just to hold the necessary food for a mass of people this large—every day.
The water that it would take to quench the thirst and take care of the necessities of two million people in the desert would require 11 million gallons per day. This would require 18 additional 100-car freight trains. That is 1,800 tanker cars filled with water, every single day.
Where did they get wood to start the fires needed to cook their food each day, out in the desert? The deserts of Sinai do not have many trees or shrubs. It would take 4,000 tons of wood each day to meet this need. Add two more 100-car trains, just to supply the necessary wood to cook their food.
This is a total of twenty-two, 100-car freight trains, needed to supply all of the needs of two million people every day for forty years.
Where did this massive supply of food, water, and firewood come from in the middle of a desolate desert? God supplied every need for His people, every single day. This is why you should not worry about how God is going to take care of your needs. All you have to do is trust Him.
When this hoard of people packed up their camp and departed for the next destination, if the people walked in a line that had 50 people across, the entire line of two million people, would stretch for over 40 miles!
In the midst of this logistical nightmare, the Lord gave Moses the description for building their “Portable Place of Worship” called the Tabernacle.
From the beginning, it was the Lord’s intention to lead His people by these impossible circumstances, to a place where He would allow them to prosper and live forever, if they would only trust Him. When God told Moses to build the Tabernacle, He warned him to build it with very specific and detailed dimensions. The reason for this precision was that this Tabernacle was going to symbolize what the Messiah’s work and ministry would represent when He came, 1,400 years later. As we go through each part of the Tabernacle, you will be amazed at how this structure seems to represent what Jesus has accomplished for us in our salvation. First, we will take a few minutes to become acquainted with the components and rooms of the Tabernacle.
Though the Lord was so good and provided everything that the people needed, under the most difficult and impossible circumstances possible, despite His care, the people began to complain against the Lord and questioned His goodness. In response, He sent venomous snakes that bit the people. Moses was told to erect a pole with a brass snake wrapped around it. If the people would only look up at the brass snake, they would be instantly healed.
Numbers 21:9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.
Later, Jesus referred to this serpent on a Pole, as it was lifted up for the salvation of all those who had sinned against God, as a representation of the sacrifice that He would make for our sins.
John 3:14 (Jesus Speaking) “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up…”
John 12:31-32 “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32 And I, if I am lifted up (Crucified) from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”
Even as the people were saved from death in the simple act of looking up at the serpent on a pole, so also are all those who simply look to Jesus on the Cross for their salvation. See the chapter: Serpent on a Pole
Moses received the precise instructions, regarding how to build the Tabernacle, directly from the Lord. The construction of this amazing place of worship shows us a view of Jesus’ sacrifice, that those who first took part in the Tabernacle, could never have imagined.
The First Part or Inner Court:
Hebrews 9:2 For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread…
The Tabernacle has two rooms within it. Verse 2, The First Part, where the Lampstand, Table, and Showbread are located. The following diagram shows the Tabernacle from above, with the first part highlighted in red.
This section of the Tabernacle is also called The Inner Court. It is an area located just before you go into the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant is located.
Inside of this Inner Court, there are three pieces of furniture:
1. The Lampstand
2. The Table of incense
3. The Table of Showbread
Just past the first part—the inner court, we go through the veil—into the Holy Place. Within this room, we find the golden censer and the ark of the covenant, where the ten commandments, the pot of manna from the desert, and Aaron’s rod, are located.
Hebrews 9:3 and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, 4 which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; 5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
The Second Veil is a large curtain that separates the Inner Court from the Holy of Holies.
The Veil that separates the inner court from the Holy Place is indicated by the Red Line in the drawing above. This veil looks similar to the illustration below. When Jesus died, this veil was supernaturally torn from top to bottom, by God. The tearing of this veil signified that the separation between God and all people was at an end. Any person who approaches God, through Jesus Christ can now come directly into His presence.
Inside the Holy of Holies, we find the articles that verses 3 and 4 refer to:
The Golden Censer
The Ark of the Covenant
Inside of the Ark of the Covenant we see: the Pot that contained the Manna from the Desert, which the people ate every day, the Rod or Staff of Aaron the High Priest, and the Tablets of the Covenant otherwise known as The 10 Commandments. Over the top of the box called, “The Ark of the Covenant,” there are two Angels or Cherubim.
Each one of these individual Rooms in the Tabernacle have a very special meaning for us.
• The entire outer part of the Tabernacle represents EARTH.
• The Inner Court represents HEAVEN.
• The Holy of Holies represents THE THRONE of GOD.
In the Outer court we also see:
1. The Laver, where the Priests washed themselves before entering the Inner Court.
2. The Altar, where the animals were sacrificed.
3. One entrance into the Tabernacle.
As we come to the Tabernacle, we are approaching God by “one door,” the only method that He has designed for us to allow fellowship with Him.
We are coming to the Tabernacle with an animal because of our sin and our desire to have that sin atoned for. We want our guilt removed and taken away, so we can worship the Lord with a clear conscience. All of us are aware of our failures and how they weigh heavy on our heart and mind. The sacrifices that were made daily in the Tabernacle, were a method to take away the guilt that we feel for our sins. As we bring our animal to the priest, he takes our hand and places it on the head of the lamb, transferring our guilt to the innocent substitute—who will bear our sins and then die for us. The principle that God is establishing here: In order for sins to be forgiven, a penalty must be paid. There must be a death for the one who sins.
Examining the Tabernacle together at once, we can understand what each element of the structure—the rooms and the articles that are contained in the rooms—signify for us when we apply their meaning to our own life. Remember that the items of the Tabernacle tell the story of what Jesus has accomplished for us.
As you approached the Tabernacle, there was only one reason that you would come to this place: You have sinned, and you want your sin removed. Those who came to the Tabernacle were desiring that their guilt would be taken away so that they could continue in fellowship and communion with God.
As you arrived at the Tabernacle, the first thing you would notice is that there was only One Way into the Tabernacle—just One door to get inside.
Inside the innermost part of the Tabernacle is the Holy of Holies, where The Lord dwells.
Your goal is to reside in the place where God dwells. The problem is that you cannot go into the presence of God because you are a sinner, and He is Holy.
You Bring a Sacrifice to the One Door of the Tabernacle. There is just “one way” into the place where our sins can be forgiven. You come with the sacrifice that will bear your sins, and you are met immediately by the priest who will help you bring your sacrifice to God.
The Bible describes Jesus as the sacrifice which takes away our sins. Jesus said that He is “the Door” and “the way.” Jesus said that no one comes into the presence of God without going through Him.
John 10:9 “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved…”
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
You must bring your sacrifice to the Priest. He will offer it to the Lord for you, as he acts as a Mediator between you and God.
In the Book of Hebrews, Jesus is described as our Great High Priest. Jesus is not only the Priest, He also became the Sacrifice. We must meet Jesus at the entrance of God’s presence, because He is the only Mediator that God will accept. No person could go into the inner court or the Holy of Holies without first going through the one door and by first making a sacrifice for their sins.
As soon as you come through the One Door, immediately in front of you is the Altar for the Sacrifice. It is here that a person must make their sacrifice, before admittance into the inner court.
I wonder if anyone ever came to the Tabernacle and complained: “I don’t like it very much that there is only one way into this place. You priests are sure narrow-minded.” This is a common objection by many who discover that the New Testament Gospels declare that Jesus is the only way into heaven.
The fact that there is just one way, is clearly illustrated by the one door and the specific requirement for a sacrifice at the door to the Tabernacle—before entrance into the presence of God. The principle established by the Old Testament Tabernacle, “one mediator” between God and man, who is—the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.
The priest inspects your sacrifice at the door to make sure that it is without defect, and is a male.
Exodus 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year…
1 Peter 1:18-19 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
If Jesus would become the sacrifice for our sins, He had to be Perfect—without any trace of sin, whatsoever. If Jesus had sinned even once during His entire life, He would have been disqualified as a sacrifice for our sins.
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
John 8:46 Jesus said…“Which of you convicts Me of sin?”
A sinless requirement
The principle of a perfect sacrifice being required by the law of God, makes it impossible that any other person, other than Jesus—or any religious organization, church, rite, or ritual—could qualify to remove our sins and grant us access to God.
Since all other people who have been born on the earth are sinners, they cannot be our Savior; according to the principle established here in the Old Testament. If Jesus had not been born of a virgin, He would have inherited the sin nature that we have all inherited from Adam. He would have been disqualified as our perfect sacrifice. When someone wrongly claims that Jesus was not born of a virgin, what they are really saying is that He could not be the Savior of the world. The testimony of those who knew Jesus His entire life was that He was sinless. See the chapter: Virgin Birth
As we come to the priest at the entrance to the Tabernacle, with our sacrifice, without defect, we come to the first article inside in the compound—the altar. The priest would instruct you to lay your hands on the head of the animal that you have brought for your sacrifice. You will be transferring your guilt and sins into the innocent animal who will take the penalty for your sins, and die.
When a person comes to Jesus for the forgiveness of his sins, he must also lay his hands on Jesus. This is to say—make the appeal to Jesus personally for the forgiveness of sins. By placing faith in the sacrifice that Jesus has made for us on the cross, we are transferring our sins and guilt to Him. The death that Jesus died was of such great value, because He is the Son of God and eternal, His sacrifice was sufficient to pay for the sins of every person who has been born on the earth.
Notice that the Altar where the sacrifice for sins has taken place in the outer court of the Tabernacle, representing “Earth.”
This Altar is constructed of Bronze. At each corner, there was a Horn that was used to bind the sacrifice to the altar. The cross that Jesus was crucified upon was the altar that His life was offered upon. He was bound to the cross by nails and ropes, even as the sacrifices that were brought to the Tabernacle were bound to the brass altar by ropes, tied to the four horns.
The Old Testament defines the Horn as “power.”
1 Samuel 2:1-10 And Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the LORD; My horn (Power) is exalted in the LORD. 2 No one is holy like the LORD, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God. 4 The bows of the mighty men are broken 6 The LORD kills and makes alive; 7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich; 8 He raises the poor from the dust. 9 He will guard the feet of His saints, 10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken in pieces; The LORD will judge the ends of the earth.”
It is very interesting that in the context that Hannah uses to define the horn as power, she makes reference to “the LORD who kills and also makes alive.”
It is implied here that the power of Jesus’ cross was sufficient to remove all of our sins. It was this same power that God exercised in sacrificing Jesus for us, that He also used in raising Him from the dead. This is the same power that gives eternal life to all those who believe that His sacrifice paid for their sins, as they personally receive Him as their Savior—by faith.
The next article in the outer court of the Tabernacle is the “Laver.”
Having made our sacrifice upon the Bronze Altar, we come to the Bronze Laver.
No one today knows what the exact size of the Laver was; because the Bible doesn’t tell us. It was most likely very close in size to the Altar, as you can see in the Illustration showing both together in the Tabernacle. Only the Priests washed themselves in this large bowl filled with pure water—after they shed the blood of the sacrifice upon the Altar.
Jesus said that those who have believed in Him and have accepted the sacrifice that He has made for us on the Cross, are washed from their sins by His blood. As a result of this, we are now His “kings and priests.”
Revelation 1:5-6 and from Jesus Christ… To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
When Jesus returns to the earth at the end of the 7-year Tribulation, as the Book of Revelation Chapter 19 describes, He is bringing, with Him all those He has redeemed. Jesus is coming to the earth to reign as King of kings, for 1,000 years; over a kingdom of righteousness. All those who have received Jesus as their Savior, before He returns to earth for us—at the Rapture; will be returning with Him at the end of the seven-year Tribulation. We will be returning to earth to reign as kings and minister as priests to the people who come out of the Tribulation period and will live on the earth during the thousand year reign of Christ on the earth.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…
Revelation 5:10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.
The people who have brought their Lamb to the Bronze Altar; their sins have been cleansed. As a result of having the debt for our sins paid, and removed, we are now ready to be washed by the “water of His Word.”
Ephesians 5:25-26 as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word…
A daily need to be cleansed
Although all of our sins have been forgiven, we still come into contact every day with the filth of the world. Living on the earth affects us drastically and greatly influences our language, our attitudes, and our actions. We need to be washed daily by the word of God as it cleanses our hearts and minds from the garbage we come into contact with in this world—as well as the sins we will continue to commit ourselves.
All of our record of sin was cleansed by Jesus sacrifice for us—our hearts and minds are cleansed by His word as we continue to read and meditate upon what He has said.
1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
Every time we expose our mind to the word of God, it has a cleansing effect upon us. Often, when we begin to read through the Word, we can feel a change occurring in our attitudes, our emotions, and a softening of our heart.
The Brass laver is of great importance to every believer in understanding the work of Jesus, as He has washed us from our sins at the cross and continues to wash us, daily, by His word.
First, at the moment we confess our sins to God and believed upon Jesus as our Savior, He justifies us before God. The word justified means “Just-as-if-I-had never sinned.” The Blood of Jesus’ sacrifice has washed away every trace of our sins as if they never existed.
Second, at the moment of salvation, we were also sanctified; meaning that we were “set apart” to belong to the Lord forever. When we surrender our life to the Lordship of Jesus, we become His Possession. I really like the thought of belonging to Jesus, because I know how well He takes care of those who belong to Him.
Ephesians 1:14 …He has purchased us to be his own people. (NLT)
Once we believe in Jesus, God sets us apart for Himself. This is the act of Sanctification. What is seldom understood by many Christians, is that Sanctification is initial—as well as, ongoing. His part is to make us His own; and once this happens, we are His forever. Our part is to make ourselves-His, in a process that lasts throughout our entire life. We are further set-apart for the Lord by our daily choices. Whatever we choose to say or do, listen to, look at, or turn away from; either draws us closer to the Lord or takes us farther from Him.
Sanctification and Holiness are synonymous terms that are often used interchangeably. When we choose to live holy and righteous lives by our choices, then we become set-apart for Him to a greater degree. We should not, however, fail to understand that what makes us holy in the first place is the sacrifice that Jesus has completed for our sins.
Finally, holiness, sanctification, justification, and the entire plan of salvation, have absolutely nothing to do with any works of righteousness that we do ourselves. From beginning to end, the work of salvation rests upon the Lord. There are no good works that a human being can perform that would ever cause God to receive us. His response to our need for salvation originates in His mercy. He saves us, not for the things we can do, but for the things He has already done. Jesus died for us because there was no other solution to our estrangement from God. If Jesus had not voluntarily come to earth and made His life a sacrifice for us, we would all been lost for eternity.
Despite Jesus’ perfect sacrifice that has given the rights of eternal life to every person, most of the world will not receive Him and be saved.
What we observe in the first two items at the entrance of the Tabernacle, speak of our need. First, there is only one way in. Second, a sacrifice must be made; a death must occur to pay for our sins. Third, we are washed initially from our sins and continue—daily to be washed of our sins, as we choose righteousness and confess our sins.
This process of Sanctification will not be fully accomplished until our life here on earth is complete, and we go home to be with the Lord. Every day, we must set ourselves apart for Jesus. We make decisions hour by hour that either speak of our desire to belong to the Lord or our longing to belong to this world. We make many good decisions that please the Lord, but we also choose wrong words or actions that are not pleasing to our Lord. Thankfully, when we fail, He does not stop loving us nor abandon us. Jesus is faithful—even when we are unfaithful to Him. He is very patient towards us and understands our frame—that we are made from the weak and unstable elements of earth. The entire process of being fully set apart for the Lord is a daily step-by-step process, where we draw closer and closer to the Lord; as we reject the things of this world and the desires of our flesh.
When Jesus departed the upper room where He had conducted the Last Supper with the disciples, He went towards the Garden of Gethsemane, just before they arrested and Crucified Him.
On the way to Gethsemane, Jesus stopped at a vineyard in the Kidron Valley, where he spoke the Parable of the Vine and the Branches.
John 15:1-5 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
This is a principle that many Christians fail to understand and never really grow into:
There are three positions that we have available to us once we go to the Altar and have our sins atoned for and are washed in the Brass Laver.
1. The Penalty of sin: We are Justified by the sacrifice that Jesus has made for us on the Cross. There no longer remains any penalty that we must pay for our sins, as Jesus has fully paid all that God requires.
2. The Power of sin: No longer does sin have the ability to kill us eternally and condemn us presently. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
3. The Presence of sin: The Altar, the Laver, the sacrifice and the washing; enable us to live Holy lives, apart from the presence of sin. Sadly, many Christians do not choose this manner of living.
Jesus did not save us—only for eternal life; He also redeemed us so that we would live Holy lives, set apart from sin. He has made us vessels of honor to be used by Him for all of His good purposes. He cannot, however, use any of us until we determine to live our lives apart from the presence of sin. We accomplish this under the power of His Holy Spirit—coupled with our own determined will to live a Holy life. The Lord will not force us to use clean words, have clean thoughts, or conduct ourselves in a righteous way. These are choices that we must make, every day of our life.
The priests came to the Brass Laver to be washed by the water, before they could come into the “Inner Court,” where they had fellowship with the Lord. They could not enter into fellowship with God until they were cleansed. They could not be used by the Lord until they were Cleansed.
We are washed and cleansed—subsequent to our initial salvation, each day, by two acts:
Daily repentance of sin
Daily meditation on the word of God
Washed by Confession
1 John 1:7-9 But if we walk in the light (absence of sin) as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Fellowship with God is only possible when we are willing to admit, every day, that we sin against the Lord in our words, thoughts, and actions. Thankfully, the promise of 1 John 1:9 is that if we will confess our daily sins to the Lord in prayer, our fellowship with the Lord will be unending.
Washed by the Word, Walking in Holiness
The Book of Ephesians Chapter 5 presents us with a wonderful encouragement and instruction in how to walk in a life of Holiness. There are certain things to do and certain things to avoid. At the end of the chapter, Paul reminds us that it is by meditating on verses, such as these—found in the word of God, that we are “Washed by the Word,” and are enabled to walk in Holiness.
1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;
4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),
10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,
20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
The Brass Laver represents something very important for us:
If we are really serious about our relationship with Jesus, we need to daily confess our sins, walk in obedience, and daily meditate on His word. These are not legalistic commands that will condemn us if we fail to do them. They are wonderful words of encouragement that instruct us in how to actually live a life; set-apart and be fully sanctified for Jesus.
ONE: Justified. Positionally, all those in Jesus are already Sanctified in that they belong to the Lord, and nothing can separate us from Him.
TWO: Sanctified. Positionally, all those in Jesus are also “In the Process” of being Sanctified. Daily we must determine to walk in obedience to the Lord by separating ourselves from sin.
THREE: Glorified. Positionally, we are promised that this Sanctification process, where we will be “Perfect Forever,” is coming soon. At the Rapture, our full Sanctification will be complete. We will be permanently delivered from the penalty, presence, and power of sin.
As followers of Jesus, we can make two mistakes in regards to our Sanctification:
1. We do not determine ahead of time that we will walk in obedience to Jesus, every day; by separating ourselves from sin.
2. When we fail to be obedient and fall into sin; we condemn ourselves rather than confess the sin and move on.
Remember Number TWO: Positionally, we are “In the Process” of completing our Sanctification. We will not achieve number THREE: perfection—until Jesus removes us from this world.
Daily, we place our bodies on the Altar as living sacrifices, Holy and acceptable to the Lord. Dying to ourselves—we learn to live for Jesus.
Having died on the Brass Altar, being cleansed by the Brass Laver, we can enter into the Inner Court and experience wonderful and unending fellowship with the Lord.
The Laver is a place where the priests must wash themselves before they can enter the inner court of the Tabernacle. The clear statement that the laver makes in the work of salvation, is by its representation in the washing of the believers from their sins. Having brought the sacrifice to the Altar, the sinner can now be washed and made ready to enter the place of fellowship with God. This fellowship occurs inside the inner court.
The inner court represents “heaven.” It is here that we can come before God and have wonderful fellowship. Without the shedding of blood, without the washing away of our sins, this fellowship is impossible for us. God cannot have fellowship with sin. Now that Jesus has washed away our sins by His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead, our sins are fully-paid. We can now enter the inner court and have fellowship with God, any time we desire.
We came through one door; Jesus. As we passed through this one door, we walked through the three colors that are in the fabric of the door: Red, Blue, and Purple.
Red represents the Blood that was shed, the sacrifice for our sins.
Blue represents the Righteousness of Jesus, who is without sin.
Purple represents the Royalty of Jesus, as King of all kings.
The illustration here is clear: We are coming through one door, the one way into the presence of God. As we pass through Jesus as the one door, we are passing through His Blood, His Righteousness, and His Royalty.
We have completed the sacrifice for our sins. We have been washed. We can now enter the inner court and have fellowship with God.
What do we find in the inner court?
The Table of Incense
The Table of the Showbread
The Golden Lampstand
These three items represent parts of the new fellowship that we have with God—now that we have made our sacrifice for sins and have been washed in the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice. These three items also represent the continuing ministry of Jesus in our life.
Table of the Showbread (Fellowship)
The Table of Showbread was made of Acacia wood, overlaid with 24 Carat Gold.
At three feet long and just about one and a half feet wide, this small table has two stacks of bread—at six loaves each, side by side. Located just inside, and to the right of the inner court, this bread represents the twelve Tribes of Israel—all present. By their complete number, this signifies that “fellowship” is possible. We should notice that it takes all twelve in order for this communion to be occur. You and I must be present together with other believers in order for Fellowship to take place.
Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
The spiritual meaning of the Bread
Various places in the New Testament, Jesus refers to Himself as “the Bread of Life.”
John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life…”
When the Pharisees spoke of Moses, who provided bread for the children of Israel as they made their journey through the desert, Jesus informed these men that it was His Father who provided this bread. This bread represented Jesus—the bread which came down from heaven.
John 6:31-35 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” 32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” 35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”
The twelve loaves on the Table of Showbread were replenished every week with a fresh supply. Jesus said that if we would follow Him, He would give us an unlimited supply of Himself—the Bread of Life—anytime we have a need.
As we come into the inner court of the Temple and we see the bread on the table, we are reminded that Jesus is our Bread of Life. It is in this inner court where we come together with the Lord and other believers, that we are able to enjoy sweet fellowship.
The Lampstand (Light)
Made from a single piece of solid Gold that weighed about 90 pounds, the value of the Lampstand, by gold content alone—would be in excess of two million, one hundred and sixty thousand dollars.
The Lampstand was the only source of light in the Inner Court. No other light source could be used—not even the natural light from the sun could come into the Inner Court. This is an illustration of how Jesus should be the only source of light in our life. We should not bring in any man-made light or any natural light source from the earth; only the light of Jesus is to illuminate our life. Light is defined by the New Testament as Jesus—the source of wisdom and eternal life. Only Jesus and the sacrifice which He has made for us should fill our hearts. The man-made religions of the world, the philosophies of men, the traditions of the church—none of these things have any valid claim to grant us eternal life; except the completed redemption that Jesus has purchased for us on the cross.
John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
The Lampstand was made of one piece of solid Gold that was “beaten” into seven receptacles that held the light. Gold represents God, seven represents completion, light represents revelation and truth. The light of truth that comes from Jesus is perfect, and it is complete. The fact that the lampstand was beaten is illustrative of Jesus who was “beaten” for us.
Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, by His stripes we are healed.
In the Book of Revelation, Jesus warned the church of Ephesus that He would not remain in a church that was devoid of Love. He warned these believers that if they did not “repent” and come back to their first love (Him), He would “remove their ‘lampstand’ from its place.” In a church without a sincere and fervent love for Jesus, He will not remain there.
Using the lampstand as an example of His presence, Jesus promised to remove Himself from any church without a genuine love for Him that is manifested in the love that they have for each other.
Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
The Lampstand was in the form of a tree. In the Garden of Eden and later during the Millennial reign of Jesus, we see a Tree of Life. As Jesus is the “Light of the world,” He is also the “light which gives life to every man.”
John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
John 1: That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
In the inner court we find the Bread of Life and the Light of Life. These items representing Jesus, and the fact that we are able to have fellowship with the Lord by a living and growing relationship with Him.
The Altar of Incense (Prayer)
At just one and a half feet by one and a half feet—square, the Altar of Incense was made from “Acacia wood” that was overlaid with beaten 24 carat gold. Gold in the Bible always represents God. The Acacia tree represents the humanity of Jesus. In this simple structure for the burning of incense, we see the dual nature of Jesus as both God and Man.
The Altar of Incense had a “Crown of Gold” around its edge. This Crown represents Jesus as King and God.
The Altar of Incense itself represents our prayers before God.
Psalms 141:2 Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
It is interesting that Jesus told us to pray to the Father—in the name of the Son. The Altar of Incense represents our prayers that rise to God, with the Altar itself being a picture of Jesus and His dual nature as a man who intercedes for us before God.
One of the ingredients of this incense was “salt.” In the Old Testament, salt was used for two purposes: to preserve and to season, as it gives flavor.
Matthew 5:13 You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.
Those who rightly follow Jesus are to have a preserving effect on this world of sin. By our righteous words and manner of living—when those who do not know God or see our good works—they will be ashamed and restrain their filthy words and actions.
Our sincere and loving relationship with Jesus—as well as other believers, is a very attractive attribute to those who observe us. As people who do not know the Lord, see how greatly we love Him and the manner in which we love each other, a thirst is created and they are attracted to Jesus.
Psalms 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
John 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
If we are as loving, graceful, and merciful as the Lord—whom we claim to follow, then those who come into contact with us will be attracted to Jesus by our good nature—which we have received from the Lord. As seasoning makes food taste good, we make the taste of Jesus interesting and desirable when people observe in us the very nature and behavior of Jesus, by our love, graciousness, and mercy.
1 Peter 3:1 …even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by (behavior) 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
A person who claims to be a follower of Jesus should walk and talk in the same way that Jesus spoke and acted. If we live in the same manner as our Lord, then our speech and actions will have a preserving effect upon the world and attract people to Jesus. We should have a life, and speak such words of Grace, that we create “thirst” in other people; as they see us loving Jesus and following Him with all of our heart.
A personal application for these three articles of the Inner Court:
All three pieces of furniture the inner court are present today in the actual Tabernacle that is in Heaven. The Lord told Moses to make certain that the Tabernacle he built was according to the precise instructions that He gave. The reason: This earthly Tabernacle was “an exact copy of the true Tabernacle that was in Heaven.”
Hebrews 8:5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
Today, Jesus exists as our High Priest in heaven; ministering in the Inner court of the true Temple.
The Lampstand: He is your daily light, as you seek wisdom from Him, guidance, direction, and understanding.
The Bread: Jesus is the source of all of your satisfaction, purpose, and fulfillment. He is our Bread of life.
The Incense: Jesus carries your prayers to the Father as He also prays daily for you, interceding on your behalf.
The veil of separation:
Finally, what lies between the Table of Showbread, Table of Incense, the Golden Lampstand, and the Holy of Holies, is the Veil. This curtain was the width of a man’s hand across his palm, about four inches thick. From ground to ceiling, the veil was nearly forty-five feet tall. This barrier between the inner court and the Holy Place, acted as a visible barrier between God and all human beings. No person, other than the High Priest; could enter into the Holy place while the presence of God occupied—within.
Hebrews 9:7 But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance…
Any other person who attempted an approach into the presence of God, without their sin being atoned, would ensure their certain death. There were only a few who tested this law and died.
Leviticus 10:1-2 Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. 2 So fire went out from the LORD and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
When Jesus died and paid the penalty for all of our sins, He removed the barrier that separated us from God. At the moment of Jesus’ death, the testimony of those who were in Jerusalem at the time of His crucifixion, wrote that the veil in the Temple—separating the inner court from the Holy place—was torn in two from top to bottom.
Matthew 27:51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split…
Mark 15:38 Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
Luke 23:45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two.
Prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection, there existed a separation between God and man. After Jesus completed His sacrifice for our sins, God tore the veil in the Temple, signifying that there was no longer a barrier between us and our God. Those who receive Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as the payment for their sins, they have the assurance that they may enter into the presence of God at any time.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
When the high priest came into the Holy place once a year, he was required to bring blood to make atonement for the sins of all the people. If the high priest had failed to f,offer a sacrifice for his own sins, first, before coming into the Holy Place, he would immediately be struck dead by God.
The Book of Lamentations describes the reason that we are not all instantly consumed by the glory of God; “because His compassions fail not.”
Lamentations 3:22 Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.
Any person who approached God—without their sins being atoned, were instantly consumed by the light of God’s presence.
This was the purpose of Hebrews Chapter 9—to illustrate the Holiness of God and the great need of man to have his sins cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, who takes away the sins of the world. This must take place before any person could enter into the presence of God.
This Inner Court, that represents Heaven, is where we find Jesus interceding for us. It is here that we can find fellowship with God; since Jesus has fully paid for all of our sins.
The veil of separation does not exist between God and man any longer:
Ephesians 2:13-14 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation…
Before this veil was torn in two as a result of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, the High priest came only once a year, to bring the blood of a sacrifice. He placed this blood on the Mercy Seat between the two cherubim with their wings outstretched towards each other.
The Blood was Sprinkled seven times, which is the number of completion. This made it possible for the Lord to show mercy to the nation of Israel. By sprinkling the blood seven times, the people understood that their forgiveness was complete.
Next, the High Priest selected two goats of equal color, size, and value from the congregation of Israel. Lots were cast to determine which of the two goats would be killed. The High Priest took a tongue-shaped piece of scarlet cloth and tied it to the horn of one of the Goats that would be killed. A second Scarlet cloth was tied to the horn of the second Goat called the “Azazel” or “Scapegoat.” The Scapegoat would be turned to face all of the people that were waiting outside the Tabernacle. As the second piece of Scarlet cloth is tied to the horn of the second goat, the Priest was transferring the sins of the people to the Scapegoat.
The first Goat is killed as a sin offering. His blood was sprinkled seven times over the Golden Mercy Seat, in the same way that the blood of a bull was sprinkled. The Blood of the goat was mixed with the blood of the bull and then sprinkled over the Brass Altar seven times to cleanse it.
Outside of the Tabernacle, the people of Israel were patiently waiting and praying that the High Priest would appear before them. Would the Lord accept the sacrifice that was being made for their sins? If the Lord did not accept their sacrifice, would He kill the High Priest in the Holy of Holies? Along the bottom of the High Priest’s garments were a row of bells. If the sound of the bells would cease, the people knew that the Lord had struck down the Priest and their sacrifice was not acceptable.
Would the Lord be Merciful, or would he bring Judgment? It all depended on their obedience to keep the law of the sacrifice that the Lord had instituted. If they brought the proper sacrifice and offered it in the correct way, confessing their sins sincerely, then the Lord would always accept their offering and forgive their sins. Their forgiveness was not determined by the mood of the Lord, but by the obedience of the people to do what God had commanded.
As the High Priest parted the Veil that separated the Inner Court from the Holy of Holies, he would have his hands raised to the Lord, symbolizing that the sacrifice that he had made for the people had been accepted by God. The people would raise their voice in one chorus in great shouts of joy.
Quickly, the High Priest would move to the Scapegoat, place his blood-soaked hands on his head, transferring the sins of the people to the Scapegoat. The High Priest would confess every possible sin that he could think of, that might have been committed during the past year. The Scapegoat was led out into the Desert to a distance of about 12 miles from the tabernacle.
The Priest would take the Scarlet cloth from the goat’s horn and tear it in half, placing one half of the cloth on the goat’s horn and taking the other half back to the camp of Israel.
The Goat was pushed from a cliff to its death.
If the sacrifice made by the Priest was fully acceptable to God—when the priest arrived back at the Camp of Israel, the torn piece of cloth from the Goat’s horn would have turned from Scarlet to Pure White!
Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool…”
According to Jewish tradition, after Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday—the exact day that Daniel had predicted Jesus would arrive, and the nation rejected Him as the Messiah—the Crimson half of the cloth from the Scapegoat did not turn from Crimson to White. This continued during the entire forty years, after Israel had rejected Jesus as their Savior. Titus came to Jerusalem in 70 A.D., with the Roman army and destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the Temple; killing over two million Jews. The remaining Jews were dispersed all over the world. This estrangement from their own land lasted until May 1948, when—according to Ezekiel’s prophecy, Israel will go back into their own land again in the last days before Messiah returns again.
According to the Jerusalem Talmud:
“Forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the western light went out, the crimson thread remained crimson, and the lot for the Lord always came up in the left hand. They would close the gates of the Temple by night and get up in the morning and find them wide open.”
A similar notation is found in the Babylonian Talmud:
“Our rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot [‘For the Lord’] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-colored strap become white; nor did the western most light shine; and the doors of the Hekel [Temple] would open by themselves.”
From the Altar of Sacrifice where our sins have been paid and removed, to the Laver of washing where we are cleansed and ready for fellowship with the Lord—we now enter the Inner Court of the Tabernacle.
How Jesus is revealed in the coverings of the Tabernacle
As we enter the Tabernacle and look up at the roof which covers the structure, we notice that it does not have a single cover but four separate coverings.
An amazing fact is that each one of these four covers speak of Jesus and the work of ministry He completed for us.
Previously, we learned that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; each wrote from a different viewpoint, describing what Jesus has accomplished.
Matthew wrote to the Jews, describing how Jesus was their promised “Lion of the Tribe of Judah,” as He came to them as their King.
Mark presented Jesus as a “Servant” who came to offer up His life for every person.
Luke the Physician—presented Jesus as a “Man,” describing how God had come to us in a form that we could understand; becoming one of us, identifying with us, then dying for us.
John presents Jesus as “God” in Human flesh. Jesus is the Creator of everything that exists, who humbled Himself and left heaven—set aside His Glory and Power to become our sacrifice on the Cross.
In the similar fashion, these four coverings over the top of the tabernacle show us the same four views of Jesus that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John present.
The outer cover of the Tabernacle that was seen from outside, represents Jesus’ outer appearance, as a Man.
In the same way that Luke presents Jesus: a human being who is like us. Luke describes Jesus as The Son of Man: Jesus is familiar with all of our struggles.
This outer covering of the Tabernacle was made from either Badger Skin or Dolphin skin, the exact translation of the Hebrew makes either possible. From the exterior appearance, the Tough badger skin was not very attractive, but it served as a waterproof protective layer that guarded the Tabernacle contents from the elements of the desert sun, rain, and wind.
Isaiah said of Jesus:
Isaiah 53:2 (Jesus) …He has no attractiveness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
There was nothing physically attractive about Jesus’ appearance. If you passed Him on the street, you would probably never know that He was different or distinct from any other man; although He was really the Creator of the Universe. Jesus physical appearance is not what draws us to Him; it is His Love, His grace, the way in which He spoke to people—knowing us as no other could. People had the distinct feeling that Jesus knew everything about them in a deep and intimate way—apart from condemnation.
Early one morning, after Peter had been out all night fishing and had caught nothing, Jesus asked Peter to take his boat back out onto the lake once again. When Peter let out his nets, they became full to overflowing with fish.
Luke 5:8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!
Peter realized that Jesus was no ordinary human being, although from His outward appearance, He looked like any other man. Within the body of Jesus lived a power so astonishing that His true nature was perceived as incomprehensible. At the words, “universe be,” a microscopic seed of infinitely compressed matter exploded into a conglomeration of gases and dust that have been expanding into Galaxies, Stars, and Planets, for billions of years.
Those who were in the presence of Jesus had the distinct feeling that He was gazing into their soul and remembering the moment that He created them. Knowing every cell of your body and seeing what you were going to be in eternity, His eyes of love and compassion overwhelmed each heart, and brought those who were near Him to their knees. Kings and Princes were in awe of Him, the humble and the poor were awestruck by His kindness and immensity of heart.
This was and is—no ordinary man. He was then, and He is forever—the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Mighty Creator and Sustainer of all life.
Whatever Jesus looked like, it was the eternal God dwelling within—that caused every person He met to stand in awe of Him. Once He took the body of a human being at Bethlehem, He will remain a man forever.
The above picture was painted by myself using the image that was generated by the “Shroud of Turin” as my model. In my opinion, this may be a close representation of what Jesus really looks like, if in fact the Shroud of Turin should be proven to be the burial cloth that covered Jesus when He burst forth from the tomb—resurrected from the dead. See the chapter: The Resurrection
Isaiah’s description of Jesus as the Messiah, characterizes Him as plain, ordinary, and possessing no remarkable external features.
The Badger skin, outer covering of the Tabernacle, represents Jesus in His outward appearance—plain, simple, with no special features other than it was extremely durable and a protective shelter from storms and wind. Those who cover themselves with Jesus find that He is an ever-present sanctuary from all the tempests of life. Jesus covers our sins, takes away our guilt, cares for us and walks with us through every storm we go through.
Psalms 27:5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock
Jesus came to be our protection and shelter from all of life’s pain and difficulties. However, He cannot come and cover you unless you ask Him. If a person will find eternal salvation, they must search and ask God for it. As Jesus asked the blind man “what do you want me to do for you,” The impaired man was required to ask Jesus for His sight. God will not force anyone to receive His gift of eternal life. Each one of us must reach a place where we agree with God that we are a sinner—in need of a Savior, and believe that God is able to provide what is required for us.
The sacrifice that Jesus has completed upon the cross is sufficient to remove the sins of every person—while its power to accomplish this act is limited by the will of those to whom it belongs.
“And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” —Acts 16:30-31
“Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” —Acts 8:37
The next covering, moving inward—inside the four coverings of the Tabernacle, we come to the “Ram’s Skin.”
One of the interesting things about this covering is that is was dyed blood Red.
Of course, a ram’s skin is not normally red. In order to make the skin this color, it must be stained red. I find it interesting that this is precisely what happened to Jesus when He allowed evil men to lash Him with the scourge, punch His face, shove a crown of thorns onto His scalp, pierce His hands and feet, and thrust a spear into His side. The red from His Blood is our covering and the instrument whereby we are cleansed from all our sins.
Jesus literally poured out His blood to cleanse us from every single trace of sin that we have committed. When John was at the Jordan river baptizing and Jesus came to Him, John said this of Jesus:
John 1:29 … “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Isaiah wrote about Jesus prophetically, 700 years before He was born:
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on (Jesus) the iniquity of us all. 7 Jesus was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; Jesus was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth
In the Book of Revelation, John saw Jesus in Heaven sitting on the throne of God and said:
Revelation 5:6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne …stood a Lamb as though it had been slain.
The Apostle John wrote:
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Regardless of the sins that you have committed, the blood which Jesus shed during His scourging and crucifixion, was sufficient to remove all your guilt.
According to the Bible, Jesus was beaten so severely that He was no longer recognizable as a human being.
Isaiah 52:14 Many were amazed when they saw him—beaten and bloodied, so disfigured one would scarcely know he was a human being (Robinson)
Jesus said Himself:
Matthew 26:28 “…for this is my blood, …It is poured out to forgive the sins of many.”
The Ram’s Skin—the second of the four coverings of the Tabernacle, dyed Blood red—represents Jesus’ blood that has cleansed us from all our sins, forever. If we will only come humbly before the Lord, honestly, and sincerely and repent from all our sins, He will cleanse us completely and grant us eternal life. Our forgiveness is based solely upon the blood that He has shed for us on the cross.
This second layer of Ram’s skin dyed Red symbolizes Mark’s presentation of Jesus to us, as “The Servant” who laid down His life for all of us.
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
In the amazing story of Abraham and his son Isaac, in Genesis Chapter 22, where the Lord tells Abraham to take his only son Isaac up to the mountain and offer him as a burnt offering, we see the sacrifice of Jesus, the Son of God, for us.
Genesis 22:2 Then The Lord said, “Abraham, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you…”
Genesis 22 shows us a Father with His only Son who is being offered as a sacrifice. It took three days for Abraham to get to the mountain where Isaac would be offered. In the mind of Abraham, his son was already dead before they arrived at the place of sacrifice. Before the heavens or the earth were created—in the mind of the Father—His only Son was already our sacrifice.
Revelation 13:8 Jesus is….the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Genesis 22:4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off.
Abraham was told by the Lord that Isaac would be the son through whom He would give Abraham “so many descendants that he would be unable to count them.” How could this happen if Abraham sacrificed Isaac and ended his life? It is clear that Abraham believed that God would resurrect Isaac from the dead in order to fulfill His promise. See the chapter: Abraham’s son
Abraham believed in the resurrection of an only son as the fulfillment of God’s promises. This is exactly what our present hope is today. We believe in the resurrection of God’s only Son as the way in which He will fulfill all of His promises to us. Our salvation rests upon the resurrection of the Son of God who loved us and gave His life for us.
When Abraham and Isaac arrive at the mountain—Isaac, who is about 32 years old, asks his father, who is over 100 years old: Father where is the Lamb for the sacrifice. Abraham’s replies: God will provide for Himself the Lamb for the sacrifice…
Genesis 22:7-28 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.
It would have been very easy for Isaac to overpower his aging father. Instead, Isaac submits to his father’s will and allows him to take Isaac to the mountain to be made a sacrifice. Abraham lays the wood for the sacrifice on the back of His son.
Genesis 22:6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son…
As Isaac submits to the will of his father, Jesus will also submit Himself to the Father to become our servant and lay down His life for all of us. We remember that John describes the moment when the wood for the sacrifice was placed on the back of God’s only Son. Jesus carried the wooden cross up the same hill that Abraham brought his son, to be offered as our sacrifice.
John 19:16-17 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away. 17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha…
As we look up at the Tabernacle and see the Ram’s Skin dyed Red, we realize that this covering is speaking of Jesus and the tremendous sacrifice that He made for us. Jesus allowed His Blood to be poured out for our sins, when He made His life an offering for us. Remember that this Tabernacle was constructed according to God’s instructions—1,400 years before Jesus arrived to fulfill the meaning and purpose of this structure.
The Next layer in the Tabernacle is the Woven goat’s hair covering:
In the yearly sacrifice that were conducted by the High Priest, for the sins of the people, there are two goats: One is killed at the Altar; a second, called the Scapegoat, is sent out into the wilderness, bearing the sins of the people.
As we discussed previously, when the Scapegoat was sent out into the wilderness, he had a piece of Scarlet or red cloth on one of his horns.
When the Priest was on his way back to Jerusalem, having taken the Scapegoat into the wilderness—if the Lord had fully forgiven Israel’s sins, the red piece of cloth would turn snow white. This third covering in the Tabernacle is figurative of these two goats.
Jesus was crucified outside of the city of Jerusalem, where His blood cleansed the stain of our sins and made us perfect. By this third covering, the Lord is making three statements to us:
“I want to forgive all of your sins.”
“I will forget all of your sins.”
“I will make you perfect by the sacrifice of my Son.”
Micah 7:19 …You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea.
And he has Posted a sign there: “No Fishing.”
The fourth and final covering of the Tabernacle is the one that you would see as you Looked up, while inside the Tabernacle’s Inner Court or Holy of Holies.
It is not an accident that this last covering of the Tabernacle is covered with Cherubim or Angels. In the Book of Revelation, when John was taken to heaven, the first thing he saw was the throne of God and the four Cherubim right next to the throne of God.
Revelation 4:2-7 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 6 Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.
Image by Rob Robinson
When Ezekiel saw this throne room in heaven described by John, he also saw four Cherubim next to throne of God.
Ezekiel 1:10 As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle.
Each of these 4 faces represented the four gospels of Jesus Christ and the four views of His ministry to the world. The four coverings inside the Tabernacle also represented the same works that Jesus accomplished in His sacrifice for us.
When Zechariah wrote this prophecy, he did not realize that the Temple the Messiah was going to build, contained such great illustrations of the work and ministry of the Messiah.
Zechariah 6:12-13 Then speak to him, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: ‘Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the LORD; Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both. ’ ”
It is humanly impossible that the writers of the four gospels, the writers of the Old Testament prophecies, Moses who built the Tabernacle, and those who assembled the sixty-six books of the Bible, conspired together, to place the exact four ministries that Jesus would later fulfill, in the details of the Tabernacle. Perhaps at this point, you can see why I was so excited to assemble these amazing facts together in one book and show the world that Jesus is the one that we have all waited for. The One who can change our broken lives of misery and heartache—into eternal lives of everlasting peace and the fulness of all joy.
The illustrations of Jesus life, death, and resurrection, that are observed in the details of the Tabernacle, are an incredible and compelling pieces of evidence. These facts confirm that the Bible’s claim that God is the true author of the sixty-six books of the Bible, is true.
 The Expositor’s Bible Commentary on Zechariah chapter 6, verses 12-13.
 Levy, the Tabernacle pp14
 Pearls from the Prophets By Greg S. Pettys, Roger Alan Dennis, Page 301
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 Original art by Rob Robinson
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 2013 Gold Price: 90 pounds X 16 ounces = 1,440 ounces X $1,500 per ounce = $2,160,000.00
 Job 22:25 Yes, the Almighty will be your gold…
Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
Gold, as symbolized by Revelation 3:18 is understood as God, who makes the believer righteous. Although salvation cannot be purchased, the idea here is not that a person must buy his way to God, but that he would realize that a relationship with God is free—as God has freely given His Son as our sacrifice for sins. Figuratively, when we receive Jesus as our Savior, we “buy” the Gold which Jesus describes here that makes us right before God.
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 The Scapegoat by William Holman Hunt, 1827-1910, Public Domain
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 Jacob Neusner, The Yerushalmi, p.156-157). [the Temple was destroyed in CE. http://www3.telus.net/public/kstam/en/temple/details/evidence.htm
 Soncino version, Yoma 39b http://www3.telus.net/public/kstam/en/temple/details/evidence.htm
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 Mark 10:51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.”
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 Graphic Illustration by Rob Robinson
 Graphic Chart by Rob Robinson