“The Tabernacle its construction and furnishings”, Part 12

This is the work of the Kohathites:

They are to remove the ashes from the Brazen Altar and spread a purple cloth over it, then they
are to place on it all the utensils used for ministering at the altar, including the fire pans, meat
hooks, shovels and sprinkling bowls. Over it they are to spread a covering of hides of sea cows

seal skins) and put its poles in place.” (Num 4:13)

Whenever the camp of Israel travelled, each article of furniture, save that of the Laver, was
; and in every instance except that of the Ark of the Covenant, the outermost covering was of
seal skins (mistranslated “
Badger Skins”).

These seal skin coverings well represented our humanity —i.e., our flesh. They were as if to say
that as we journey through this world, our true relationship to God is quite different from that in which
the world recognizes us. God sees our faith, our obedience, and our sacrifice; and because of these he
accounts unto us the divine nature, so beautifully represented in the gold of which the candlestick, the
table of showbread, and the incense altar were made. The world, of course, sees only our flesh—the
rough, unsightly seal skins.” (
Notes on the Tabernacle”, Page 250)

The church is the body of Christ, which suffers with him in the sin-offering. Christ Jesus died as
ransom, but suffered as a sin-offering. In the former, the ransom, the Church does not
share; but to share in the latter she has been most graciously invited

Has she not been baptized into Christ’s death? “
That body is dead because it has been devoted to
God in connection with the sin-offering
.” (R5101) Does she not suffer with him that she may also
rein with him? Is she not a joint-sacrifice with her master? (
See F 439 and 456; Rom 6:3-5; Gal. 3:27;
Rom 8:17; 2 Tim 2:11, 12
) It is this doctrine of participation in the sin- offering that is particularly
typed in the tabernacle and its ritual.

The Atonement Day sin-offering consisted of two animals, a bullock and a goat. Both of these animals
were offered on the selfsame altar, by the selfsame priest, and their blood was carried in the selfsame
fashion through the Holy into the Most Holy and there sprinkled on and before the mercy seat, to
accomplish the atonement. The bullock represented Christ, and the goat, (i.e. the Lord’s goat)
represented the Church, his “
body.” The two animals really constituted one sin-offering, Jesus’ sin-
offering! The Church in the flesh is thus identified with Christ. She, as his “
body” is as truly Christ as he
the Head. Did not Jesus say to Saul of Tarsus, while the latter was on his way to Damascus to persecute
the Church, “
Saul, Saul, why persecutes thou ME?” Thus if we are truly one with Christ Jesus, we must
also be represented in the seals’ skin coverings of the tabernacle’s furnishings.” (
Our Wilderness
” Page 72)

Pastor Russell stated that the Altar of Burnt-Offering represented the ransom sacrifice of Christ Jesus
T22). This Altar we know was covered with a purple cloth and seals’ skins. And it is this that bears
testimony to the fact that Jesus’ contemporaries never did see or recognize that faithfulness unto death
for which in due time the Father rewarded him by way of exaltation to the royalty of the Kingdom.
(faithfulness) and red (unto death), when blended, yield purple (the color signifying royalty)

Phil 2:7-11
All that his contemporaries could see was his flesh (represented by the seals’ skins covering)
—that he was Joseph’s son, that he was a carpenter, that he came from the low-caste city of Nazareth!
they saw in him no “form or comeliness” nor “beauty” that they might desire him.” Isa 53:
(Notes on the Tabernacle”, Page 254,255)

Thus we understand the purple cloth to show forth the royal and kingly honor to which all those found
faithful unto death are to be ultimately exalted.
As the whole Christ (Head and body) has thus been
(2 Cor 4:11) and has suffered in the flesh, even so in due time they shall likewise be
glorified together

In our previous post we spoke of a “cover” for the Brazen Altar, this particular article was not a part of
the original design given to Moses on the Mount for the construction of the Altar, but was something
that was added later.

Now although the exact design or pattern for this “
covering” of the Altar is not clear, it is but reasonable
to conclude that its dimensions matched those of the top of the Altar.
It was a hammered work
consisting of plates constructed from the two hundred and fifty censers of the leaders of Korah
who were consumed by fire from the Lord when they along with the leaders of the tents of
Dathan and Abiram questioned the Lord’s appointment of who should be able to approach the
Lord to offer incense, who should be of the priesthood
. (Num 16:1-40)

Nor is it clear as to whether this “
covering”, which was to be a “memorial to the children of Israel” (a
reminder to them that the decision as to whom may approach him, is his alone), was to be placed upon
the altar whilst in the courtyard or while it was in transit. In considering the courtyard this seems highly
improbable seeing that there was fire upon the altar constantly and secondly seeing as none but the tribe
of the Levites were permitted entry into the courtyard, in what way would it serve as a memorial to the
remainder of the people?

Now to those who favor the idea that it must have been used while the altar was in transit from one
place to another we would ask the same question, that is if it were placed on the altar beneath the
coverings while in transit how then could it be seen as a memorial, a reminder to the people of the Lord’
s displeasure with those who would presume to approach him outside of the way in which he has
approved? (
The only way presently opened being by way of faith in Christ and in the ransom
followed by a full surrender or consecration of oneself to his will and to his service
.) The only
alternative is that it was placed upon the Altar prior to transport after the coverings were in place, just
something to think about.

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