Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Exodus: New Direction New Life #13 The Tabernacle a Picture of Our Relationship with God

Exodus: New Direction New Life #13 The Tabernacle

Text:Ex 25-27; 30:1-31:18; 35:1-40:38,

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We want to look at the Tabernacle and use it as a model, not only of Israel’s coming Messiah for the Hebrews but also as a measure of our relationship with Jesus Christ as today.  We will look at the court yard and rooms of the Tabernacle and apply these to our walking with Jesus Christ.  Now I taught this as a Sunday Night Bible Study and it only took us 6 weeks to cover the same ground we are going to try to cover in about 40 minutes this morning. I just hope you folk don’t fall prisoner to my ambition. We’ll see where we are at along about 2 o’clock.
Let's begin with the Outer Court.

Salvation Seen in the Courtyard

Exodus 25:8-9 8  And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. 9  According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.


The Wall Exodus 27:9-10
Surrounding the tabernacle on all sides was a wall made of fine woven linen. It stood on posts made of acacia wood with bases of bronze and capitals of silver. The tabernacle court yard was 100 x 50 cubits or 150 x 75 ft. On the east side of the tabernacle was the gate, 20 cubits wide. 
The Gate: The fabric of the gate was different than that of the wall.  It was four different colored threads embroidered together to make one cloth. The colors used in the gate were blue, purple, scarlet and bright white. The gate was the only entrance into the courtyard and it always faced East.

The Altar Exodus 27:1-8 As you approach the tabernacle armed guards stand with orders to kill anyone who tries to enter anywhere but the gate and none were allowed to enter without the proper sacrifice. They must come to the sacrifice with a lamb, a dove or an ox in order to enter the court.
Standing just behind the entrance, imposing itself in the courtyard, would be the Brazen Altar.  The altar measured 5 x 5 x 3 cubits (7.5 ft. around by 4.5 ft high.)  It was constructed out of acacia wood overlaid with bronze.  It was a hollow box, with a solid bronze grate mounted halfway up on the inside.  Upon this altar your sacrifices would be offered to God.  This sacrifice must be without spot or blemish to be offered to God as an acknowledgment of sin or thanksgiving.
The offeror would bring his offering through the gate and then in the presence of the priest would lay his hands upon the animal’s head, signifying it as his offering for sin.  Then he would take a knife and slit the throat of the innocent animal. The blood that would flow from the wound would be collected and put upon the horns of the altar. 
The animal then would be cut into pieces and the pieces arranged upon the altar to be burnt.

The Laver Exodus 30:17-18
This was a large bronze basin filled with water. There are no dimensions given for the laver, though it would be quite large and probably near a scale to the altar. The laver was used by the priests who would wash themselves before they served God inside the tabernacle. 

The First Stage of Our Relationship With God

The Spiritual Wall: What do we see in the picture of the outer court? First as we consider the wall around the tabernacle we must understand that we are separated from God by our sin. Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
The Spiritual Gate: That there is only one way into the courtyard and we must enter in only the gate, which Jesus himself claimed in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved…”  

The Spiritual Altar: Once we enter, we must then come to the altar with our sacrifice for sin. Not a bull or a lamb but the One that those sacrifices pointed toward, the Lamb of God Jesus Christ. He is the sacrifice that God gave for our sin and we must put our faith in Him as the payment for our sin. John the Baptist pointed to Jesus in John 1:29  and cried out “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

The Spiritual Laver: We must also come to laver which represents the cleansing of forgiveness through Jesus shed blood and there we must be washed clean, white as snow by the blood of the Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:7  … the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
The Outer Court to us represents salvation, forgiveness and cleansing in Jesus Christ through His death on the Cross and our accepting that death as a gift from God to reconcile us with Himself.
Outside the Courtyard we cut off from God, we are helpless in our sin, we are under the judgment of our Creator as those who have turned their back upon the death of His Son who was given for us. Inside the Courtyard we are saved! We are cleansed! We are forgiven and we are in fellowship with God the Father.

Illustration: Are you Washed in the Blood

I and most of you grew up singing a song that to someone outside the church must have seem  unthinkable.
Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

The song just like salvation is unfathomable from man’s view point, what are they talking about? But once inside you understand exactly what the song is about because you have experienced it in your soul. You have found Salvation by grace through faith and you have been washed in the blood. It makes no sense to a lost world anymore than how a tent in the wilderness could have the glory of God standing above it, but to us we see God’s Son and we find salvation.

Let move quickly to the next room in the tabernacle.


Sanctification Lived in Holy Place

If you were a priest you would next come to the Holy Place.
Inside there are three articles of furniture. As all the things in the tabernacle, from the smallest hook to the largest altar, they represent the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

We see the Table of Shew or Presence bread Exodus 25:25-30
The table of shewbread was gold covered and measured 3 feet long by 1 1/2 feet wide by 2' 3" high. Along the edge of the table top were two rims, the top one designed as a crown.  Upon the table would be placed in two rows 12 loaves of bread.  The bread represented the 12 tribes of Israel and they were to be place in the presence of God from one Sabbath until the next.  At the time the old bread was removed and the fresh loaves placed on the table.  Upon each row of bread frankincense was to be placed probably in one of the golden vessels which were used in the carrying and handling of the bread and incense.  The frankincense was burnt upon the altar of incense when the bread was changed.

The Golden Lampstand Exodus 25:31-34
If we looked directly across the room from the table of shewbread to the south side of the Holy Room we would see the golden lampstand.  The lampstand stood 2 ft 6 in high, 3ft 6 in wide and weighed 94 pounds. It was beaten into the shape of almond branches from a single piece of solid gold. There was a central stem with 6 branches growing out from the center.  At the end of each branch there was a gold cup in the shape of an almond.  This cup held the oil which was made from freshly pressed olives. The oil was to be supplied directly from the people and was to be fresh and from the first pressing of the olive.

The lampstand illuminated the Holy Place.  It allowed the priest to be able to do the work which he had been appointed by God to do.  To the nation of Israel it was a reminder that God would lead them and guide them through the darkness of the wilderness.

The Altar of Incense Exodus 30:1-8
It was 1 1/2 feet square and 3 feet high.  It had a rim all around the top edge and at each corner there was a horn.  The altar was placed directly in front of the veil which separated the Holy Room from the Most Holy Room or the Holiest of Holies.    The fire for the altar of incense had to come from coals taken off the Brazen Altar in the courtyard.  The incense which was burned here was restricted to only here.  Nowhere else in all the camp of Israel could it be burned.  The Bible says the odor of the incense filled the tabernacle area and was "well pleasing to God." 

On the High Day of Atonement, Yom Kippor, blood from the sacrifice was placed upon the horns of the altar of incense by the priest on His way into the Most Holy Place.

The Second Stage of Relationship with God is Sanctification

After salvation begins our growth as a child of God.
The application of this growth is seen in the articles of furniture in the Holy Place.
The Spiritual Table: In the table of show or presence bread with grow by walking in the presence of Jesus Christ. His Holy Spirit a constant reminder that he is with us at all times.
How strong and bold we become when we realize God is with us.

Romans 8:31-37 31  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

The Spiritual Lampstand: In the Lampstand we grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Just as the oil provided light to the tabernacle so also Jesus provides light in our life. Through Him we see what we are, where we are and where we are going. Jesus said, in John 5:39  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
The Spiritual Altar of Incense: In the altar of incense we see your relationship with Christ grow though prayer. It is only through the intercession of Christ on our behalf that we were saved and that we continue to grow in the grace of God. It is through our offered prayers that we can continue our growth in Christ.
Philippians 4:6  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Illustration: What all preaching comes down to
You know what we see in the Holy Place really comes down to the same tried and true message that any good preacher will exhort his flock to do Sunday after Sunday. Walk with Jesus, read of him in your Bible and pray.  You might hear it as go to church, read the Bible and pray but what it comes down to is what we see in the Holy Place, growing in the grace that began in the outer court and is now applied to every aspect of our lives in a deepening relationship to Jesus our Savior.

Only final place is left to us in the Tabernacle and it is the place of full surrender.


Full Surrender In the Most Holy Place

Submission Shines in the Most Holy Place

The Veil  Exodus 26:31-33
If you were the High Priest of Israel once a year you would enter into the Holiest of Holies. This smallest room was just past the altar of Incense and behind a thick veil that divide the two rooms. The veil stretched from wall to wall and floor to ceiling.   It contained the same colors as the gate, these colors red, blue, white and gold once again all point to Jesus.  Different from the outer gate though was the embroidery work of the veil, for woven into the fabric were intricate, and cunning embroidery of cherubim, angels that stood at the entrance of the Garden of Eden and attend the Throne room of God.

The Room
The Most Holy Place measured 15' by 15' by 15'.  The boards which made up its walls were acacia wood covered over in gold. They were fastened together with rings and rods to form a solid wall.  The pillars of the most holy were also covered with solid gold. Entering into the Most Holy Place would be like walking into a room with walls of gold and a ceiling filled with angels. The tabernacle and later the temple were meant to be representations of heaven, and this room was the representation of the throne room of God. Gold representing the presence of deity and the presence of angels would be everywhere.

The Ark  Exodus 25:1-22 
The Ark of the Covenant stood in the center of the Most Holy Place. It was the most significant piece of furniture in all the tabernacle.  It measured 2 1/2 cubits long, 1 1/2 cubits wide and deep.  It was a box constructed from acacia wood overlaid inside and outside with pure gold.  Along the top edge of the ark a crown would go around the box forming a raised rim.  A gold ring was fastened to each corner of the ark and a gold overlaid pole would be inserted there for carrying the ark.  On top of the ark the mercy seat was placed.  This would be the exact dimensions to form a lid upon the top of the ark.  It was constructed of solid gold not overlaid wood.  Two figures of cherubim, one on each end, knelt on top of the mercy seat.  They faced each other with their wings spreading up and over the mercy seat itself.  Inside the ark, God instructed Moses to place three items, the ten commandments, Aaron's rod and a pot of manna.

The Censor  Leviticus 16:12
In addition to the things that stayed inside the Most Holy Place, there was an article that entered into the room with the priest.  This was a censer used to carry live coals from the Brazen Altar into the Most Holy Place, once inside the high priest would pour finely ground incense upon the coals in the censer.  This was to cover the mercy seat with smoke from the incense.  Aaron would then sprinkle the blood from the offering of atonement upon the mercy seat.

The Third Stage in My Relationship With God is Full Surrender

To enter into this stage of maturity and to walk with God at this level, there are 5 aspects of God that I must be be aware of in my relationship with God.
God’s Person, God’s Power, God’s Priest, God’s Pardon, and God’s Presence

First, God's Person.
 In the Ark of the Covenant God told Moses to place the tablets of stone that contained the Ten Commandments of God toward His people.  These were not the entire code of law, but a compacted, intensified summary of what the full law would spell out in detail.  They also were a revelation of God's attributes and character to the Israelites. Through the Ten Commandments they would begin to see who God was.

 If I am to ever walk closely with God, I must know who God truly is.  This knowledge is first glimpsed through the law where I see the Holiness and righteousness of God, but to see the Love and Grace of God, I must know the Son of God who came to earth to give us the full picture the complete portrait of God in Heaven. If we are to know more of God then we must know more of Jesus Christ.

 Paul's in  Philippians 3:8-10 8  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Secondly, next know God's Power.
 God's power was symbolized in the ark by the pot of manna. Jesus tells us that the manna was a symbol of Himself.  He was the true bread of life. John 6:32-33 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.. 

The passage in John 6 followed Jesus multiplying the loaves and fishes for the multitude.  What does the New Testament event share with God's provision of manna in the Old Testament?  In both the Old Testament manna and the New Testament loaves and fishes, God was providing for those who followed him. His power was demonstrated in provision.

 Notice how Paul reveals this in Philippians 4:11-13.   Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. That is truly knowing the power of God!

Thirdly, Know God's Priest.
 Aaron's rod was also kept inside the Ark. This rod was a proof that Aaron and his sons were the family through which God would establish His priests.  The rod was an undeniable token of God's will for Aaron to be the mediator of the tabernacle sacrifices.

To us as Christians who would enter into the Most Holy Room in our relationship with God, there must be a preeminent concept of Jesus as our High Priest, the mediator of the New Covenant written not on stone this time but upon our hearts. This reality is vital for it brings us to a total dependence upon Jesus as our only means of approaching, dwelling  and growing with God.  This first occurs at salvation but should continue with each day of life, finding through Christ more and more of God's love, grace and peace.  I will not have more of God by any of my own abilities, but only as I trust more, lean more, and cling more to Jesus, as my high priest.  

Fourthly, Seek God's Pardon.
 One cannot come to the Most Holy Place without touching on the action that took place here once a year.  It was upon the Day of Atonement the Aaron would come with the censor and the blood and as the smoke of the incense filled the room he would sprinkle blood from the Brazen Altar upon the mercy seat and then upon the ground before the mercy seat.  This is the vivid picture of Jesus pouring out His own life's blood upon the cross before God, that we might receive His righteousness and be reconciled to God.  A forgiveness which by it's very nature is so powerful and so complete that it could never be undone nor redone. Once you have found the grace of God you can never lose it anymore than Jesus would once again be put to shame on the Cross. Hebrews 7:25 says, "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

 In the Most Holy Place a Christian knows that He does not leave forgiveness and mercy after being saved.  Forgiveness is a daily, hourly event of turning from sin and self and to the one who shed His blood for us.  The Christian, at this level of relationship with God, yearns to dwell with "clean hands and a pure conscience" in the presence of God's holiness, therefore he constantly and sincerely seeks forgiveness. 

God's Presence
 The most outstanding characteristic of the Most Holy Place was not the gold, the intricate workmanship of the furniture nor the vail and its embroidered angels, it was of course the presence of God, which dwelt above the mercy seat and between the cherubim.  It was God's presence in the room that made it the Most Holy Place.  In Him it was a place of reverence, a place of power and a place of wonder in the majesty of the most high God. Most Holy Place Christians are those who have come to a place in their Christian life in which they truly grasp the spiritual reality of the presence of God in their daily existence.  This is not a manifestation of the Shekinah glory, nor is it a mystical experience or vision, it is the clear and powerful acceptance of God's presence through the Holy Spirit in our hearts and the change that such an existence must make in us. 

 David reflects on this in Psalm 139:1-24 1 O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. 2  Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. 3  Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. 4  For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. 5  Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. 6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. 7  Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8  If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 11  If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. 12  Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. 13  For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. 14  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. 17  How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! 18  If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. … 23  Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

This is the presence of God and it is a hallmark of a Most Holy Room Saint. They realize that the presence of God was not left in a tent in the wilderness but through the grace of God, the sacrifice of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit, that presence is with us at all times and we are constantly walking with God.


The Most Holy Place is an ideal, a goal a place where the mature believer who has experienced God seeks to enter and stay.
This is not completely possibly until we sit in the real throne room of Heaven with the Father, Son and Spirit for all eternity, yet if the slightest taste or the smallest touch of God's presence here on earth can transport us even for a moment into this Most Holy Place, then we long, as a man in the desert thirsts for water, to experience the fullness of God in every aspect of our lives until we do dwell with Him in that tabernacle made without hands.

"Experiencing God" by J.I. Packer.
"Not many of us, I think, would ever naturally say that we have known God. The words imply a definiteness and matter-of-factness of experience to which most of us, if we are honest, have to admit that we are still strangers. We claim, perhaps, to have a testimony, and can rattle off our conversion story with the best of them; we say that we know God- this, after all, is what we are expected to say; but would it occur to us to say, without hesitation, and with reference to particular events in our personal history, that we have known God? I doubt it, for I suspect that with most of us experience of God has never become so vivid as that."
Yet, for the Most Holy Room Christian it is this "vivid experience" of God that they strive for in their relationship with God.


Where are you today?
Do you stand outside the tabernacle, outside of a relationship with Jesus Christ who came and died for you? Then for you the gate stands open, come in and find your sin forgiven and your soul made new in through the blood of Christ.

Or do you stand in the outer court, a child of God saved by Jesus our savior and you have been washed in the Blood? Then rejoice in your salvation, praise God for his grace and set your eyes upon the Holy Place.

And if you would stand in the Holy Place the remember you must be illuminated by His light, touched by His presence in you and guided by his intercession for you. You must seek to see him in the word, know him through prayer and walk in his presence.

Finally, would you this morning dare to stand in the Holy Place? Would you seek a relationship with God that goes beyond the normal, every week Sunday to Sunday experience of our Chrisitan life? The you must come to full surrend to God and then experiencing His love and presence in your life everyday?

Where ever you stand it must be your daily commitment to strive to grow in your relationship with God for only in then can we truly find all that He would be to us.
Finally, let me ask if there are any here who stand outside the walls of the tabernacle? Any who have not go in at the gate, any who have not made Christ their sacrifice for sin? I pray that you will see in your heart a separation from God as real as those who stood outside the gates of the tabernacle in the wilderness. That you will understand you are apart from God, lost in your sin and one day will be eternally separated from Him. Please it’s time, go in at the gate, bring with you the Jesus Christ the lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world and you will find the gate and God’s love, open wide.

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