The Tabernacle, it's Spiritual significance, Part 1

In this examination of the Tabernacle we will be taking a look at the spiritual significance of the
Tabernacle, a point often overlooked and/or totally misunderstood by many students of the tabernacle
both those secular (non-believer) and professing Christians alike.

Specifically we want to know,

1) Why all the various components of this structure were designed and composed of the
materials they were, and

2) Why they were specifically placed where they were.

Note: We will not be examining every aspect of the furnishings (i.e. their dimensions, the various
elements of their construction, and etc.) as this is covered under “
The Tabernacle its Construction
and Furnishings”, but here will only briefly discuss each item as our chief concerned is centered on the
materials of which each item is constructed, and its particular placement in the Tabernacle layout.

“The Tabernacle is the
key to the divine plan, which alone explains the “mystery” of this Gospel
age, which is the church and her special call to the privileges of sacrifice now and the privileges
of glory by and by." (
R 4434)

In our examination we will be comparing several other views of the Tabernacle found throughout the
Internet and elsewhere so as to distinguish between the correct or acceptable view and those who have
erred in their presentation of the Tabernacle. There are in fact many depictions of the Tabernacle to be
found some which are slightly off while others are found to be in gross error. We should of course expect
this as like stated many students of the tabernacle (not all of whom are religious) are worldly or natural
men, and as the scriptures state,

“The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him:
neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor 2:14

“Many (natural men, many of them good men, honest men, learned men) have undertaken to interpret
"the things of the Spirit of God"
, which are only discernable to those guided by His spirit and thus
they become blind guides, leading multitudes into error, and filling their minds with erroneous conjectures
the vain imaginings of men). Unfortunately the children of this world and the children of the kingdom of
God too frequently are joined together at the same table. The effect always tends to bring in worldliness
i.e. worldly mindedness, worldly thoughts, opinions and interpretations) giving the worldly (the
naturally) minded a measure of self-assurance concerning spiritual things, things which in truth they have
little to no real understanding.”

Nevertheless as our Lord attempted to explain to Nichodemus (a natural man, a religious and learned
man) so too we should like to at least make the same effort even though we know we should fare no
better. For as the Master stated to Nichodemus,

“I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won't believe our
John 3:11

Yet to those begotten of the Father’s spirit he states,

“Blessed are the eyes (the eyes of your understanding), which see the things you see, for I tell
you that many
prophets (men of great learning) and kings (likewise many great and honorable men)
have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it
(no matter how much they’ve looked into
), and to hear what you hear (what you are able to perceive or comprehend), and have not heard
Luke 10:23, 24

Once again,

“The Tabernacle which God commanded the people of Israel to construct in the Wilderness of Sin, and in
connection with which all their religious services and ceremonies were instituted, was, the Apostle Paul
assures us,
a shadow of good things to come. (Heb 8:5; 10:1; Col. 2:17) This being true, our
understanding of the plan and work of salvation now in progress, as well as their (
i.e. Natural Israel’s)
future development, cannot fail to be greatly enlightened by a careful study of those "
shadows" which
the Israelites, for our edification, were caused to repeat year by year continually until the Gospel age
introduced their antitypes--the realities.
1 Pet 1:11; Heb 10:1-3

It is not simply to gain a historical knowledge of the Jewish forms, ceremonies and worship that we come
to the investigation of this subject, but that we may be edified by understanding the
substance (the
reality or antitype
) from an examination of the shadow, as God designed in arranging it.

Realizing God's care in making the "
shadow" (his exactness in its construction and insistence that
every minute detail associated with its services be exactly performed upon penalty of death
should not only give us confidence in its correctness, that not one jot or title of it shall fail until all be
fulfilled (
Matt 5:18), but should also awaken in us so great an interest in God's plan as would lead us to
examine closely and search carefully for the meaning of those shadows.”

The Tabernacle was a house constructed of a series of boards of shittim (acacia) wood, "
overlaid" or
plated with gold, set on end into sockets of silver, and firmly fastened together by bars of the same
wood, also covered with gold. It consisted of two chambers the first upon entering was designated the
Holy” and the second beyond a veil which divided the two chambers was designated the “Most Holy
together these two compartments constituted the Tabernacle proper. This structure as a whole was
covered first by a large white linen cloth, interwoven with figures of cherubim, in blue, purple and scarlet,
followed by three additional coverings one of goats hair, another dyed red of rams skins, and the last of
seal skins.

“The Tabernacle was surrounded by a yard, or "
Court," toward the rear of which it stood. This court, 75
feet wide and 150 feet long was formed by a fence of linen curtains…This enclosure was all holy ground,
and was therefore called the "
Holy Place"--also the "Court of the Tabernacle" (Bible Students simply
refer to it as the “
courtyard). Its opening, like the door of the Tabernacle, was towards the east, and
was called the "
Gate" or “Entrance Curtain” This "Gate" was of white linen, interwoven with blue, purple
and scarlet.”

Excerpts taken from
Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices”, Pages 11-14

In our next post we shall begin by taking a look at several versions of the Tabernacle courtyard to
determine which views coincides with the spiritual lessons the Lord would have us learn from the
tabernacles layout and various appointments.

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