Dr. John E. Roberts THD
There is a Divine purpose of the Tabernacle and we with any sense of hearing God will learn from these and gain momentum in our understanding of some of the reasons why the Tabernacle was given, and furthermore intended. We must grasp the essential reality that within the center or the focal point of the Tabernacle was a room or place (part, section, or compartment) that was the Holiest of ALL that God’s very presence and Shekinah glory dwelt. In fact, it was here that God communicated with man, literally dwelling in the midst (middle) of His people Israel. Just as He is doing within the Body of Christ corporately and now individually, His presence fills all and is in all. We discover this Truth that Christ lives and indwells within the BELIEVER! Remember, the SCHOOLMASTER brings us TO CHRIST (pattern again), and Jesus fulfilled the pattern (TABERNACLE) and is now dwelling within us! (Christ IN YOU – THE HOPE OF GLORY) In the Tabernacle God dwelt within this place called the Holy of Hollies, for the Scripture says, “Where two or three are gathered in MY NAME, THERE I AM in the midst of them – Mt 18:20).
Within the key verse that embraces the Tabernacle describes the purpose of the same, and is found in Exodus25:8 and 29:46-47, LET THEM MAKE ME (1 God by the way) a Sanctuary that I may dwell among them. This verse is KEY, and the main thought and purpose that identifies the main reason why and God’s desire for having it made in the first place. If God’s desire is to dwell in the midst of His people, then there must be an ATONEMENT made that allows for this to happen. Although the blood of Bulls and goats and lambs only pushed off sin, Jesus came and FULFILED IT! The tabernacle is the shadow of what God was doing THROUGH CHRIST! It is a DWELLING PLACE! We are now that DWELLING PLACE!
However to make this understood regarding the Divine Purpose of the Tabernacle, then we need to go a little deeper. First God made the EARTH to be a dwelling place for MAN and we see this thru Genesis chap’s 1 -2. Scientists spend lifetimes studying and exploring this dwelling place, and the mysteries and the wonders of it. However, greater than that is the mysteries and wonders that are within the ETERNAL TABERNACLE in the Heavenly where God dwells, and the Tabernacle of Moses is a model of that very understanding. Externally when we look and gaze upon the Tabernacle all we see is skin, wood, and other things that create mystery into why and what, but the passage of Scripture that we started with in the first lesson referencing Proverbs 25:2, we are searching out the deep things, and the Tabernacle is a DEPTH that if we being the disciples (students) that God desires us to be, then we will search it out and discover the reality behind the type and shadow of the Tabernacle. We need and must need to place value on what God was providing and showing through the understanding of His dwelling place?
Since it is God’s desire to dwell among, and ultimately in His people, we recognize His sincerity when He tells Moses “BUILD IT ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN THAT I HAVE SHOWN YOU”. This must have some details to follow, or it will not be a SHADOW of what is to or WHO it is to come? What God did in the Old Covenant or details in it is perfected or consummated in the New Covenant, because if you will remember John saying, that the WORD BECAME FLESH..This is in direct relation to the Tabernacle and all that surrounded it. God was manifesting Himself all throughout the journey of humanity.
(1 Chronicles 17:5 KJV) “For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another.”
This is a pattern. God goes from one place (tent) to another place (tent) to another place (tabernacle) to another (?). God started in the Garden (TENT), he dwelt with man as He walked and talked with man (Adam aka tent), and moved to another tent which was that of the Abraham in covenant relationship (Old Covenant what we consider Old Testament). He displayed that covenant through the next move and that from tent to a TABERNACLE, and then to another? That final tent or another was none other than Jesus who was God in the flesh dwelling WITH us. So God went from dwelling WITH man to being AMONG man (Tabernacle shadowing Jesus) to dwelling IN man by that being the Holy Spirit IN US who testifies of CHRIST! So here is the pattern of this transition: 1. God dwelt with man before sin’s entrance in the Garden of Eden (WITH). 2. God walked and talked with NOAH and the Patriarchs in their times (WITH). 3. God appeared to Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob manifesting His Covenant (WITH). 4. God dwelt in the TABERNACLE OF MOSES in the Holy of Hollies (AMONG). 5. God dwelt in the revelation of the Tabernacle of David (AMONG).
6. God dwelt further in the Temple of Solomon (AMONG). 7. GOD’s ULTIMATE DWELING AMONG MAN WHEN HE CAME IN THE FLESH IN AND THRU JESUS, ULTIMATELY DISPLAYING THE GODHEAD BODILY - EMMANUEL (AMONG). 8. GOD NOW DWELLS IN HIS PEOPLE THAT CALL HIM BY NAME (IN).
We can clearly see that God has had His eye on DWELLING IN MAN BUT HE DID IT FIRST WITH, AMONG, AND THEN IN MAN! God’s desire is and always has, and always will be to dwell with, and in us! He has dwelt WITH man, AMONG man, and finally and ultimately IN man. The fellowship between God and man is His desire. It has been His purpose and plan the whole time. In order to obtain that goal, not just to dwell WITH man (Garden of Eden), but to dwell IN man, and to do so there had to be a plan of redemption! However, God since He is Holy cannot dwell with imperfection, so in order to counterbalance that GOD CAME DOWN ONCE AGAIN and became the WORD made flesh DWELLING (TABERNACLE) among us. It has to be on His terms, on His grounds, and this is why the Word says to BE HOLY AS HE IS HOLY (1 Peter 1:15-16).
In order to see the dominancy of the Tabernacle to portrait Christ (from glory to glory) we must take a look at several things that played an essential part in not only the construction of the Tabernacle, but also in the aspects of its requirements to assemble it. In particular, there were seven requirements necessary for the building or constructing of it. The dwelling place of God was to be built: 1. By FREEWILL OFFERRINGS. Ex 25:2 – Bear in mind that this is the EXODUS of the people of God from bondage under the house of the Egyptians. Remember that it was the final plague that demonstrated their release, and instituted the Passover Lamb. Certainly this is symbolic to that of Christ as our sacrificial Passover Lamb of God. Therefore, this FREEWILL OFFERRING was the kind that which God was interested in. Keep in mind that it was from the Egyptians that the Children of Israel that came the materials that were used to help make the Tabernacle of Moses. Serving God comes at a price, and the FREEWILL OFFERRING speaks to that price paying. God didn’t bless the people with all that gold and spoil to make them rich, but to pay a price? God had blessed them that they might bless Him, and then He would ultimately return that blessing by giving them land that was promised that they didn’t make nor fields they didn’t sew? Once again, God is interested in dwelling places is putting it lightly. 2.
By a people STIRRED UP, Ex 35: 21-36:2 – Likewise should every Saint of God be stirred up, too.
3. By a people made WILLING, Ex 35:5-29 – Likewise we need to be a people of God made willing. 4. By a free hearted people, Ex 36:3 – Likewise the condition of our heart’s certainly counts. 5. By the wisdom of God, Ex 36:1-8 – Remember that the wisdom of God is foolishness to the world.
6. By and only through according to the pattern, Ex 25:40; 26:30; 27:8 – God still leads us by what we see! Jesus said He does nothing but what He SEE’s the Father DO! Likewise we must maintain the integrity of SEEING what the SPIRIT SHOWS US. Yes we will make some mistakes along the way, but when HE SHOWS US THE PATTERN, it is up to us to follow it!
THE BUILDERS of the Tabernacle were also very important. There were two individuals involved. The first man involved in the building of the Tabernacle was Bezaleel (Ex 31:1-5; 35:30-35). Paying close attention to understanding this man and his character we find that he was a man:
1. Filled with the Spirit of God with a vision of God’s plan in his heart (Ex 35:34). 2. Filled with wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. 3. Was a skilled craftsman or workman.
We see that even in the meaning of his name that he was by Divine purpose set apart. When God takes the time to make mention of someone in His Word BY NAME, there is a reason spiritually speaking of something to understand. When He declares a place or makes mention of names in Scripture it is usually followed along with the meaning and the reason why it is mentioned? Therefore, we can recognize that by design Bezaleel had the very Hand of God upon his life to serve the very purpose of God by understanding the meaning of his name. If we interpret the meaning of the name we interpret the spiritual hidden truth behind that name, and the message that God is seeking to convey. Let’s read,
(Exodus 31:2 KJV) “See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:” Bezaleel means “ in the shadow of God” or “God is my protection”. Then there is the name of his father made mention that means “light” or “splendor” (Uri). Then we see that even the grandfather is made mention of as well. Hur means “noble, whiteness, or free”. In fact, God goes one step further that says that he was from the tribe of Judah. Judah as most of us all know means “praise”. Now to reconsider this passage with the understanding of the significance regarding the names mentioned we cannot help but grasp what ½ of the two man team it will take to bring about the very presence of God to dwell AMONG His people. God alone who is worthy of our PRAISE (JUDAH), (Keeping it in order from generation to generation ) starting from the first generation mentioned his grandfather “HUR” which causes us to remember that Jesus was anointed to set people free. Jesus IS TRUTH, and as such knowing the TRUTH is able to set men free, and it will take nobility to do so; it will take a King to make one WHITE as snow and FREE at the same time. Hur begat URI which tells us that NOBILITY of THE KING sets us free making us WHITE OR PURE or CLEAN through the reality of LIGHT or SPLENDOR. Hur begat Uri, begat BEZALEEL thus tells us that NOBILITY that is WHITE AND FREE MANIFESTING LIGHT WILL SHOW US HIMSELF
THROUGH OR “IN THE SHADOW OF GOD who is also GOD IS MY PROTECTION! PRAISE GOD! AND THIS IS JUST ONE HALF OF THE ONE’S GOD CALLED TO ASSIST MOSES IN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTING THE TABERNACLE? We will cover why two and what this speaks of after describing the second man.
The other man involved in the constructing of the Tabernacle (the earthly blueprint of the heavenly one) was Aholiab (Ex 31:6, 35:34-35). As well as a skilled man full of wisdom, he was the son of Ahisamech who was of the tribe of DAN. There were no other names mentioned and this is for a Divine purpose when we consider the representation of the meaning of the names. Ahisamech means “brother of support” and Aholiab means “tabernacle or tent of my father”. Dan (of the tribe of Israel) means “judge”. The combination of this half of the builders of the Tabernacle (remember a natural representation in the earth of the spiritual truth in the eternal) gives us a plethora of understanding into the reality that is behind this representation of the eternal Tabernacle and ultimately Jesus, who was GOD IN THE FLESH. God is going to build a habitation in and thru man, and to do so every detail has to be followed, and every specific Kingdom Truth must be adhered to in order to make HIS PRESENTATION REAL AND TRUE! Keep in mind that God told Moses to build it ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN THAT GOD SHOWED MOSES. When we give consideration to the second man to help build it, we find God’s representation thru Aholiab (tabernacle or tent of my father) that Jesus was the focus who would be this living fulfillment of the representation by being the TABERNACLE OF HIS FATHER. It is also Jesus who builds a LIVING TABERNACLE (CHURCH) for the Father to dwell IN, and become the habitation for God and man to become one (John 17). Jesus is also a SON of a “BROTHER OF SUPPORT” which points to the ministry of the Holy Spirit Who is called to bring us support or help. This man and his father was of the tribe of Dan (JUDGE) that speaks to us of another aspect of the Holy Spirit’s role not only in the Earth, (HOLY SPIRIT = GOD = FATHER = JESUS or Father (1) times Jesus (1) times Holy Spirit (1) = ONE GOD or 1 x 1 x 1 = 1), but it also speaks to us of God being Judge.
The Above diagram should express to us why it was so important to God for Moses to be obedient to the building of the Tabernacle according to the pattern as God showed him. WE MUST BEAR IN MIND THAT GOD WAS THE DIVINE ARCHITECT OF THE TABERNACLE OF MOSES, BECAUSE HE IS THE DIVINE ARCHITECT OF THE ETERNAL TABERNACLE.
When we look into the Tabernacle of Moses we can see all sorts of representation of Christ, and likely so because that is exactly what it is a shadow of what to come… CHRIST! Therefore, we can see the cross as well all throughout the setting of it when we gaze deeply and more heavily into it. In fact, consider the way in which the children of Israel would encamp round about it. When the Israelites would do so, they
would encamp in order according to their tribe. Their encampment was also Divinely inspired and directed by God, too. We recognize God would talk about them as a camp? This word is very important because it is a military term, and speaks to us of a truth as Israel as the “ARMIES OF THE LORD”. Under the leadership of the COMANDER IN CHIEF (GOD) as long as they would adhere and obey the WORD OF THE LORD there would be victory in the camp. We too are also in this ARMIES OF THE LORD when we look towards one of the terms we are called as in Revelation 20:9 referred to as,” …the camp of the saints…” under the Leadership of Jesus the Christ. We are referred to as this ARMY as well in 2 Timothy 2:3-4 & Ephesians 6:12. We must realize that if God is going to have an army, then there must be an order to things. Therefore, God does not do things haphazardly or recklessly. In fact, when we look deeply into the way that the Children of Israel would ENCAMP round about the Tabernacle, it was done so IN ORDER according to the WORD of the Lord directed. Here is how it would happen:
The first thing we notice is that the Tabernacle was set in the MDST of the camp (Numb 2:17, 3:5-10). When we consider the New Covenant Children of God (CAMP), this speaks to us of how that Jesus Christ is in the MIDST of the SAINTS, and everyone in the family of God is to ENCAMP ROUND ABOUT HIM IN ORDER. In fact, when we consider this encampment and the presentation of the TABERNACLE namely Jesus, we see another enriching catalyst into the reality of how Jesus lived. There were twelve tribes that Israel was divided into. When they set up camp the twelve tribes travelled along the representation of Christ. When Jesus travelled the twelve disciples travelled along with the manifestation of the JESUS TABERNACLE and ENCAMPED around HIM.
The twelve tribes had an order that they followed each and every time that they set up camp. The camp was divided into four groups, and they were directed and positioned according to how God had them to do so, and in each group there were three tribes respectfully. Here are the four groupings according to Scripture: (They would also encamp under a standard)
ON THE EAST SIDE: Under the standard of the LION there was the tribe of JUDAH (meaning PRAISE), ISSACHAR (meaning there is recompense), and ZEBULON (meaning to dwell). When you consider the LION standard on the EAST SIDE (THE SUN RISES IN THE EAST – and according to
Scripture regarding the second coming of Christ He shall come: (Mat 24:27) “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”) It is on the east side that we find PRAISE, RECOMPENSE, AND A DWELLING PLACE! REMEMBER THAT GOD DESIRES A DWELLING PLACE!
ON THE SOUTH SIDE: Under the standard of MAN were the three tribes of RUEBEN (meaning to behold a Son – aka Jesus!), SIMEON (meaning to hear), and GAD (meaning a fortune). This is on the SOUTH SIDE. It is understood from the perspective view as God would sit in the Holy of Holies looking towards MAN (under the standard of MAN) this speaks to us as the right hand
or the AUTHORITY that is in GOD! Remember how God was IN CHRIST reconciling the world unto HIMSELF, (2 Corinthians 5:19 KJV) “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” The south side or AUTHORITY (right hand) reveals to us the validation of this verse in 2 Cor. UNDER THE STANDARD OF MAN, and from this side comes RUEBEN (Behold a SON), One who HEAR’S (SIMEON) the cry of MAN to be RECONCILED unto and given God’s FORTUNE (GAD). It also reveals Christ and the redemption God had in mind all the time. ON THE WEST SIDE: Under the standard of the OX was the tribe of EPHRAIM (meaning a covering, or bandage), MANNESSEH (meaning causing to forget), and BENJAMIN (meaning son of (the) right hand). Bear in mind that his is under the standard of the OX or BULL. What is so interesting regarding this STANDARD is that an OX or BULL represents STRENGTH, but
these were the smallest of the tribes and from the WEST is where the presence of GOD REST. To the outside world that looks like the weakest part of the ARMIES of GOD as they encamped around the Tabernacle, but this was the absolute closest to the very presence of God and the STRENGTH is not found in the numbers as what we see on the outside, but what truly exuist on the inside. In fact, it is here in the WEST which represents the direction of the ocean side or the sea side of that land. It is in the WEST that we discover the vastness of the great seas. When you look at the phrase “On the west side” it is the single Hebrew word yam and is translated sea: - In particular the red sea (24 times), the word sea (278 times), seacoast (5 times), seas (27 times), and seashore (10 times). When you look at the ocean, can you fathom the depth or the vastness of its’ composition and what all is in it? Can you understand the hidden realities that are in its’ truth? The sea has magnitude, force, strength, and the OX or BULL does as well, but it is all located in the WEST side where GOD RESTS! Finally, ON THE NORTH SIDE: Under the standard of the EAGLE we find that the tribes of DAN (meaning JUDGE), ASHER (meaning to go straight, go on, advance: and is
often translated bless, to bless, or blessings – It is also means happy one), NAPHTALI (meaning to twist: - and also translated elsewhere as crooked (1 time), cunning (1 time), show yourself astute (2 times), and wrestled (1 time). This is all found in the NORTH SIDE which when translated means to hide, or treasure up. When we consider the entirety of the
encampment in the NORTH we discover under the standard of the EAGLE, this causes us to understand that from the NORTH (to hide or treasuring up) are the blessings found in God that go straight, go on, and advanced. No wonder it is a happy one that is found there. We also find in the north that there is a twisting or a cunning; it is a place where show yourself astute or of good judgment and wise. It is in this place that judgment is given. Judgment is often thought of as something bad, but in the Kingdom of God it is quite the opposite. It is bringing to a par the right from the wrong, and balancing everything against the Truth that is in Christ! All of this is located in the place that are treasured up or made to hide. When we look deeper into this we discover some other grand truths within the encampment. In the East the Armies totaled 186,000. On the West the tribes totaled 108,100 of the Armies of the Lord. On the South the Armies totaled 151,450. On the North the Armies totaled 157,000. The ARMIES of The LORD tallied 603,550. It would also be very important to note that the four faces of Ezekial’s vision were the four standards as described above, and also we see this in Revelation chapters 4 and 5. We
can also see the cross as they encamped round about the Tabernacle of Moses. You can see this in the diagram below.
In the New Covenant the fulfillment of God’s Camp in the Saint’s of God are clearly seen in the relationship one with another all because we are found in Christ, and CHRIST IS FOUND ON THE CROSS! We can see the OUTLINE OR SHADOW of the CROSS within the ENCAMPMENT of the CHILDREN of GOD. All that is found in God from each of the four directions is understood in their names. We understand that the relationship between God and Man is found in the cross. When the CHIRLDREN OF GOD ENCAMPED AROUND THE TABERNACLE THEY ALSO SHADOWED ALL THAT IS FOUND IN THE FOUR DIRECTIONS WHICH DETAIL THE CROSS. Note that there are twelve tribes, and there were twelve disciples. They rest in four directions, and the testimony of the twelve is found in four gospels.
We can even see the cross within the placement of the Tabernacle furnishings (seven pieces of furniture). The following diagram displays this idea.
THE DIVINE MESSAGE OF THE CROSSIS MOST EVIDENT! God’s entire dwelling desire has in it the very reality of the CROSS! Therefore, the dwelling of God is grasped with His people today, understood by and in the relationship of what God did in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, and doing it in and thru the cross. Read the following Scriptures: 1 Cor. 1:17-18; Gal. 5:11; Col 2:14; Eph 2:6; Col. 1:20; Heb 12:2; Phil 2:8
It also took NINE MONTHS for the Tabernacle to be complete (Hebrews Encyclopedia). Jesus was on the cross for NINE HOURS. A woman grows a child in her body for nine months (gestation period). What does this tell us? God was showing us an outline, shadowing Christ who was to come. The Tabernacle was a shadow of this and God thru Moses and the men God chose to complete it, and it took nine months to do so. God was birthing the representation of Jesus in the Earth thru and with the Tabernacle. Jesus was likewise birthing the Church in the Earth and ultimately bringing us to the reconciliation and relationship of the dwelling place with and in GOD as He desired!
End of Lesson two
Paul described the Law and that which pertained to the Tabernacle of Moses as being the schoolmaster that brings us to Christ. Come study th...