The Tabernacle, its Spiritual Significance, Part 19
The Three “Barriers”
In the Tabernacle picture there are four distinctive “conditions of being”, 1) the “Camp or un-
justified condition”, 2) the “Courtyard or tentatively justified condition”, 3) the “Holy or spirit
begotten condition”, and lastly 4) the “Most Holy or spirit born condition”, each of these conditions
separated from each other by a “barrier”, in this case the three “entrances” curtains, the “Gate”, the
“Door”, and the “Vail”.
You will also note that each of these conditions is represented by the typical individuals who occupied
these conditions (viz. the Israelites, i.e. the people in general, the Levites, and the Priests), as well as by
use of certain materials (cloth, wood, metal and etc.) each of which symbolically depicts the nature and
condition of the beings found in each of these four conditions. For example those found within the
courtyard or tentatively justified conditions (typified by the Levites) are distinguished from those found
outside in the “camp condition” or un-justified condition (typified by the people) by the wooden posts
residing within the curtain walls, within “the wall of faith”. The curtain walls more specifically the
entrance curtain being the “barrier” or means of separation between the two conditions. In the courtyard
copper is used to depict justification and/or human perfection, and so we should expect to see these
posts completely covered in copper, however this is not the case, instead they consist merely of bare
wood. This bare wood depicts the corruptible nature of the justified within; nevertheless being set in
copper sockets represents justification and thus their standing as that of perfect human beings.
The same principle applies to the next two “conditions” viz. the “Holy”, and the “Most Holy” conditions,
each of which is likewise separated one from another by a curtain wall or “barrier” (in this case the two
“vails”). The difference between these two conditions of being and that of the courtyard condition is
likewise depicted by the materials in which they consist, in this case the walls and pillars located behind
both of these “barriers” are covered in gold, gold being a symbol of the spirit nature more specifically
the divine nature.
However the most important aspect we wish to get across here is that these various “barriers” not only
distinguished one condition from that of the next, but likewise they act as blinds preventing those in one
condition to perceive those things which hidden from their view or perception within the next or
With this in mind it should become all too apparent that as the posts in the courtyard were hidden
behind or within the curtain walls, the curtains acting as a barrier between the un-justified and the
tentatively justified conditions, so too with regards to the pillars of the Tabernacle, they likewise are
hidden behind curtain walls.
The First and Second Vails likewise act as barriers separating one condition from another as depicted in
the pillars upon which they hung. The first Vail separating those in the courtyard (the natural man) from
those in the Holy (the spiritual man), and lastly the Second Vail separates those in the Holy from those in
the Most Holy or spirit born condition.
Thus any illustration of the Tabernacle which depicts those things which are supposed to be
hidden in one particular condition (things which distinguish that particular nature from that of
the others) as being visible to the view of those in the preceding condition in anyway is wholly
in violation to the precepts upon which the Tabernacle is established.
The LORD Himself set precedent in this matter when he established the rules governing all the “Holy
things” associated with the Tabernacle. When the children of Israel journeyed from one point to another
all the holy things with the exception of the copper Laver were covered and hidden from their view. These
same items when uncovered were likewise hidden from their sight when the Tabernacle was erected by
the white linen curtain which surrounded the enclosure. Only the Levites who worked in the service of the
Tabernacle had access to the holy items which were contained within the courtyard. This typifies the
separation of the first two conditions, those in the “camp” or un-justified condition and those in
the “courtyard” or tentatively justified condition.
These same rules apply equally well to those in the “courtyard” or tentatively justified condition and
those in the “Holy” or fully justified condition. However this separation involves more than merely the
nature of one’s justification, but likewise and more importantly the nature of one’s being. Those in the
first condition are still human, “natural men”, while those in the second condition, the spirit begotten
have undergone a change of nature and are now considered “new creatures”, although at present only
in possession of the “new mind”, not the new spirit body.
If you recall although the Levites were permitted within the Tabernacle proper when it was being erected
to carry the various items of furnishings in, those items were nevertheless concealed from their sight by
their various coverings, it was not until they had left the enclosure and the First Vail was hung that the
priests would go in and uncover the furnishings. Likewise the LORD established a law that upon penalty
of death the Levites who worked in the courtyard were not to even try to get a glance at what was
hidden in the Tabernacle when the priests entered or exited the enclosure. This typifies the separation
of the second two conditions, the courtyard condition and the “Holy” or spirit begotten
And lastly the Second Vail acted as a separation between the last two conditions, the “Holy” or
spirit begotten condition and the “Most Holy” or spirit born condition. Here too the LORD
established a precedent in that only the High Priests were allowed entry into the “Most Holy” and only
once a year on the Day of Atonement, and only after following strict instructions before entering. The
under-priests were not permitted to enter the Most Holy at all.
From the following it should become all to apparent just how important a part the “Pillars” play in the
tabernacle picture. They were not simply elaborately ornamented posts upon which the curtains were
hung for they served both a practical and a symbolic purpose. Remember every detail of the Tabernacle
was carefully laid out by the Great Architect, every board, every socket, curtain and pillar nothing involved
with the tabernacle was merely an ornamentation nor was it placed haphazardly.
The Courtyard Pillars* (at the present time) represent the faith justified, (believers) standing inside
the wall of faith, The bare wood represents their corruptible nature nevertheless their being set in
copper sockets represents justification and thus their standing as that of perfect human beings. These
individuals reside within the courtyard or tentatively justified condition.
The “Door” posts (or Pillars) represent the spirit begotten, “new creatures in Christ Jesus” residing
within the “Holy” behind the First Vail, the vail of consecration and the death of the human will. These
pillars were covered in gold symbolic of the divine nature. Their being set in sockets of copper
represented how "we have this treasure [the divine nature] in earthen vessels" (2 Cor 4:7); i.e.,
our new nature is still based upon, and rests in, our justified humanity (the copper sockets).
The Pillars of the “Most Holy” represent the spirit born, the faithful overcomers. Residing beyond
the Second Vail (the death of the flesh) these have proven themselves to be “faithful until death” and
have as such received the crown of life, the divine nature, glory, honor, immortality (Rev 2:10). These
pillars were likewise covered in Gold, but no longer set in copper—no longer dependent on any human
condition—they were in sockets of silver (reality, truth, verity) seeming to say to us, When you come
inside this vail, you will be perfect—really and truly new creatures.
The correct positioning of these pillars is crucial to their true spiritual meaning and to the
Tabernacle as a whole.
*Note: The height of the pillars of the court and the tabernacle are given, however no specific diameter is
given nor is it directly stated whether they were square or circular in shape. Nevertheless it seems
reasonable based upon the measurements given for the tabernacle that the pillars were most likely about
½ cubit in diameter (similar to an 8 x 8 posts), the pillars of the courtyard possibly ¼ cubit each (a 4 x 4
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