The Tabernacle - 21
by Brad Scott
I have spent a long time on the tabernacle and its furnishings. I pray that I have presented some helpful insights into this structure. The mishkan in the wilderness is not some antiquated relic of the dark, fuzzy past. This building, and all its parts, is used in the New Testament to describe many truths. The two temples that followed the pattern of the Tabernacle are also referred to when describing the Messiah and His followers.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17Know ye not that ye are the temple of ’Elohiym, and that the Spirit of ’Elohiym dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of ’Elohiym, him shall ’Elohiym destroy; for the temple of ’Elohiym is holy, which temple ye are.
Some pretty harsh words. Do you think that our Father may hold his children responsible for knowing what He means by these words? Is it possible that YHVH may assume some prior knowledge of the temple or tabernacle? I think so. In verses 18-20 of this same chapter we have a distinct relationship between ignorance of the temple, foolishness, and worldy wisdom. Sha’ul, in no uncertain terms, is telling us that our physical behavior is determined by our understanding of the temple. How can we know what it means to defile ourselves if we have no knowledge of what it means to defile the temple? It is the word of ’Elohiym that determines what defilement is, not our ever changing religious culture. It is not "the church" and its yearly conventions that establishes what is clean or unclean, right or wrong, good or evil. It is not a "papal bull" that sets the standards for righteousness. In order for this earthly tabernacle to glorify ’Elohiym, it must do so according to His patterns and models.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom ye have of ’Elohiym, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price; therefore; glorify ’Elohiym in your body, and in your spirit, which are ’Elohiym's
The Messiah claimed that He was the temple in Yochanan (John) 2:20-21, and subsequently, His true bride is to follow him. Sha’ul exhorted us to follow him as he followed the Messiah (1 Corinthians 11:1). Sha’ul followed (pun intended) this statement by proclaiming praise to the brothers in admonishing them to remember (to do something on behalf of) and keep the ordinances (massor) as he delivered them. These ordinances were handed down to him from the Messiah, who received them from the Father. This is what inheritance is all about. YHVH has always expected His people to pass His ways down from one generation to the next.All the references to dwelling in the book of Hitgalut (Revelation) use the word for tabernacle (mishkan) (Hitgalut 7:15, 12:12, 13:6, 21:3). This brings me to a significant group of verses in Yesha’yahu (Isaiah).
Yesha’yahu 46:5-10To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be alike? They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it El. They fall down, yea they worship. They bear it upon the shoulder, they carry it, and set it in its place, and it standeth; from its place shall it not move; yea, one shall cry unto it, yet can it not answer, nor save him out of his trouble. Remember this, and show yourselves men; bring it again to mind O ye transgressors. Remember the former things of old; for I am ’Elohiym, and there is none else; I am ’Elohiym and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure;
YHVH speaks to the scattered house of Israel and asks them about the things they have done to represent or picture Him. The things that they have likened unto Him are inventions of man. YHVH is not chastening them for worshipping false gods, but rather for fashioning and inventing objects that are likened unto ’Elohiym. He follows His condemnation of man-made images with a reminder of the former things, the things of old, the ancient pictures that YHVH has chosen. He declares from the beginning, the end. In Hebrew this reads: magiyd mere'shiyt 'acheriyt. The word magiyd means to show, to declare, to warn or to heed. It literally says, "showing from the beginning, the end." YHVH has showed us from the beginning, the ancient times, pictures of the end. But His people, His disobedient people, have replaced these end time pictures with their own, which cannot save or deliver from trouble, neither are they a likeness of ’Elohiym. The true pictures of the Messiah, end time events, the nature and name of YHVH, the kingdom of ’Elohiym, and a host of other related truths, are found in the tabernacle, the Sabbath, the feasts of YHVH, His name, and the scriptural calendar. To change the calendar, the feasts, the tabernacle, His name, or the Sabbath is to change the essence of who we worship. This is why the mashiach tachat (the anti-christ) is known for changing the times and the seasons (Daniyy’el (Daniel) 7:25). Hasatan changes our image of the Father by changing the shadows that express the Father.
YHVH has shown us the way of salvation and His order by means of the tabernacle. The way of salvation is pictured by seven pieces of furniture all placed in a specific order as one approaches the presence of YHVH. There are two items in the court, the shadow of the physical body. These are the brazen altar, the place of whole sacrifice, and the lavar, the washing of the water of the word to cleanse your walk. Then we enter the Holy Place and see three details. The Holy Place symbolizes our minds and so contains two pictures of Torah which renews our minds, and is the precursor for physical and behavioral transformation. The menorah: the light of the world, and the table of shewbread: the life sustaining bread of life. The last detail before entering the Most Holy Place is the golden altar: the picture of prayer. The final destination contains the ark of the testimony and the mercy seat. The ark, containing the life giving word of YHVH, is protected and watched over by His enduring mercy. Is this not the process that we go through in order to be delivered from death? It is our court, or our body, that first receives the words of life. The gospel must be preached and we must have an ear to hear. Then our minds assimilate the material and we make a decision either to trust what we have heard or to reject what we have heard. When our ears have heard and our minds have responded, we ask or pray and YHVH always answers with a resounding "I will". YHVH then places His testimony and mercy in our hearts, or our spirit, and it becomes renewed and sanctified. Now the process of growth takes place in the way YHVH originally designed the tabernacle, from the inside out. The way of salvation is from the outside in. The way of growth and maturity is from the inside out. If we have the testimony of YHVH within us, then our minds take their instruction from the word of YHVH and not the world or any other source. If we have not His word in us, then our minds must take their instructions from somewhere else. Once the mind has been renewed and transformed then our bodies must obey. If I have 'made up my mind' to go swimming, my body cannot argue about it. If you truly believe, then you will truly do. If you are not doing, then you are not truly believing.
Yeshua‘ our Messiah was our example, as He led the way from the ark of the testimony to the eastern gate. Yeshua‘ was the faithful and true witness in Hitgalut 3:14. He restored the true witness of the ark of the covenant to His people. His blood was placed upon the horns of the altar of incense, and His ashes scattered upon the altar to be a sweet, acceptable fragrance unto YHVH on our behalf (Ephesians 5:2, 2 Corinthians 2:15). He taught us how to pray at that altar in Mattityahu (Matthew) 6:9-13. He was and is our menorah as He proclaimed in Yochanan 8:12 that He was the light of the world. Then He said to you and I in Mattityahu 5:14, "Ye are the light of the world". He is the word of YHVH, the living Torah and our sustenance in this world, as He is the bread of life (Yochanan 6:32-33). He became the lavar when He washed the disciples feet in Yochanan 13:1-10. Then came His final act of His walk from the ark to the altar. He finishes by offering himself wholly on a tree of judgment.
The tabernacle is a wonderful picture of the Messiah and ourselves. When we begin to see ourselves then we can, in turn, begin to appreciate the tabernacle. It is a symbiotic relationship.
For the next teaching, we will start a new category called Frequently Asked Questions. Scripture is clear that as we get closer to the coming of the Messiah, YHVH will be drawing His people back to His ways. He will be calling His bride out of Babylon. Many thousands of "Christians" are beginning to come back to their scriptural roots and leaving behind their man-made traditions and doctrines. It is my personal experience through many seminars and testimonies, that many of the house of Israel that are returning began their scriptural walk with a correct understanding of the seventh day. We need to have an answer for the hope that is within us. Be blessed!
Shalom Alecheim! ◊