The Tabernacle was a tent located within the Outer Court. It was 45 feet long, 15 feet wide and 15 feet high. Four curtains serve as the roof and walls of the tabernacle. The innermost curtain is made of fine linen. Four curtains serve as the roof and outer covering of the walls of the tabernacle:
(2) (Model of the Tabernacle)
- The innermost curtain is made of fine linen (represents Jesus has become our righteousness)
- This is covered by a curtain of black goat’s hair (Jesus became our sin - our scapegoat)
- Then a curtain of ram’s skin that has been dyed red (Jesus shed His blood for our Sin - our substitute)
- The outermost curtain is made from the skin of a marine animal (perhaps a Dolphin) and serves to protect the tabernacle from the harsh desert climate (Jesus our provision for all needs including protection)
These curtains prevented any natural light from entering the Holy Place. Furthermore, only the priests were allowed to enter the Holy Place. Remember, all Christians are called to be priests unto God serving under the Great High Priest, our Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:6 .Hebrews 2:17). Two rooms are contained within the Tabernacle: the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (aka, the Holy of Holies).
THE HOLY PLACE
The Holy Place represents the SOUL of man. The soul (1) of man consists of our mind, emotions and will. It is the first room entered and is 30 feet by 15 feet. It contains three pieces of furniture that are attended to by the priests daily: the Golden Lampstand, the Table of Showbread, and the Golden Altar of Incense. These three pieces of furniture represent three phases of growth in the lives of a Holy Spirit led Christian. This room is only entered by Christians that have laid down their life to God at the Bronze Altar and have rid themselves of a lifestyle of sinful desires (1) (not that they never sin but rather they do not live to sin 1 John 1:8. 1 John 3:6) by the cleansing of the Word of God at the Bronze Laver (i.e., they are Phase I Christians (1)).
Recall, in the Outer Court the natural illumination of the Sun represented man’s natural ability to understand God. This is where all Christians begin after having accepted the Lord Jesus by faith alone. Flesh or carnal Christians are those that remain in the Outer Court, living like natural man, with little discernable difference between them and the world (1 Corinthians 3:1-3). Consequently, they do not believe it is possible to understand the ways of God and live a life devoid of God’s character and power (1 Corinthians 2:9-16). They are full of self: self-pity, selfish, self-seeking, self-interests, self-motivated, etc. A Christian in this condition cannot understand deeper spiritual truths (1 Corinthians 3:2. Hebrews 5:12-14).
Again, the lost people of the world that have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord will have entered the Outer Court via the narrow gate called “The Way” (Matthew 7:13,14). There they were to offer their bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1) and die to self at the Bronze Altar (Matt 16:24,25) then start the process of removing sinful desires from their lives at the Bronze Laver (John 17:17. 2 Peter 1:4). Once they have laid down their life and chosen to give up a lifestyle of sinful desires then they will gain entrance to the Holy Place via the door called “The Truth.” That is, Christians that DO choose a selfless life will enter into their calling to be Priests unto God (Revelation 1:6) and will be ushered into the Holy Place. The Bible calls the Christians that enter here spiritual men juxtaposed to men of flesh (i.e., the Christians that remain in the outer court) (1 Corinthians 3:1-3. Hebrews 5:12-14) .
THE GOLDEN LAMPSTAND
As we enter the Holy Place we see on our left along the South side of the tabernacle stands a lampstand (menorah) beaten and formed out of one piece of pure gold. Therefore, it is the the only piece of furniture in the Tabernacle that is solid gold. It consists of an upright shaft with three branches extending from each side with a lamp atop each branch for a total of seven lamps (Exodus 25:31-40). The central shaft and branches are decorated with golden almonds and flowers (Exodus 37:17-24). The seven lamps provide the only light in the Holy Place and burn continuously with pure olive oil supplied by the priests (Exodus 27:20). The oil represents the Holy Spirit (compare Luke 4:18 with Hebrews 1:9). The almonds represent God watching over His word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:11,12). The pure gold represents the holiness of God.
The Golden Lampstand is symbolic of the illumination of our MIND by God. Therefore, the message for us today is that we must have the illumination of the Word of God by the Holy Spirit in order to approach God in deeper intimacy (that is to enter the Holy of Holies – the most Holy Place). What the Holy Spirit illuminates us with is the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ – He is the WORD (John 1:1) and Jesus is the true LIGHT! (John 8:12. John 12:46. John 1:4. John 1:9. 2 Corinthians 4:6. 1 Timothy 6:15,16). We begin the process of being transformed into Christ-likeness by the renewing of our minds via the Word of God (Romans 12:2). That is, we attain the mind of Christ! (1 Corinthians 2:9-16).
The Golden Lampstand also symbolically represents the time in our spiritual journey when the Holy Spirit, who has been within us (1) since the New Birth, comes upon us (1) (i.e., He anoints us). We then begin to demonstrate the power of God through prayer in undoing the plans of the enemy and receiving God’s blessings. We discover the gifts of the Spirit operating in our life with the result that we experience the “all things are possible” of the Bible (Philippians 4:13. John 14:12). Others take notice and come to us for prayer; they are amazed at the anointing in our teaching and/or preaching, our boldness in the faith, etc. We have become a Phase II Christian (1) (i.e., experiencing the power of Jesus’ resurrection - Philippians 3:10).
Unfortunately in this phase we might think that God has given us His power to fulfill our plans! Furthermore, we might think that God’s power and our ability make a good team (i.e., we think God is fortunate to have us on His team). Therefore, God does not leave those that begin to operate in the power of the Gospel in this phase for too long. We must learn that it is God alone! (1 Timothy 1:17). This lesson will start to be learned at the Table of Showbread.
To be continued (1)…
- The Tabernacle of Moses Series:
(1) Left click on underlined phrase to open another article in a different tab with more explanation.
(2) The model of the Tabernacle housed at Glencairn Museum is remarkable for several reasons. It was built over a ten-year period, beginning in 1921, and was designed to be part of an educational program for the children at Bryn Athyn Church School. it was crafted with extraordinary reverence through the efforts of an entire school of little children (Luke 18:16,17). First, the children were prepared with a yearlong series of special worship services, during which they learned about the Tabernacle's structure and significance. At these services the children were asked to bring one piece of precious jewelry each, as a donation from their families to help fund the project. The process was intended to reenact the donations given by the Israelite families for the original Tabernacle (Exodus 35:20-29). Children in all eight grades worked on the project and, because it took a total of ten years to complete, many of the children participated over the span of their education. While the children worked hard at making various parts of the Tabernacle model, it is clear that teachers or hired professional craftsmen created much of the final product. The gold lampstand and other metal work, for instance, were created by an expert goldsmith under the supervision of Fred J. Cooper. Thorsten Sigstedt, a sculptor, carved the figures of the priests and Levites. And the curtains woven with cherubim had to be made by an altar-cloth company in Stockholm, as theirs was the only loom that could weave with real gold thread.