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by Dr Surya Kumar Daimari  
11/27/2014 / Bible Studies

Continued..from Ch-II, Part-3
Sacrifice in the Old Testament Sanctuaries:

Today's Topic: The Purpose and Typical Significance of the Tabernacle:

God had a purpose in instituting the tabernacle for His people. The tabernacle was a vivid portrayal of heavenly reality of God's holiness and His presence among His people but apart from their sinfulness. His people are sinful and cannot enter His Holy presence except the high priest only once in a year on the Day of Atonement but not without the blood. The tabernacle was a real demonstration of God's grace.
The Typology:
(1) The whole pattern of the tabernacle has a great typical significance in the NT, for it is the typology of Christ.
(a) The high priest stood for the whole of Israel. But he was also a type of Christ. Christ as our high priest took the blood of His sacrifice and sprinkled it over the broken law that we might be regarded as perfect before God (Heb 9:11-15; 10:19). And the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Heb 10:10 I Pet 1:19; 1:30
(b) The Lord's goat and Azazel:
The two goats which the High Priest brought before the Lord as sin offering on the Day of Atonement represented Christ. Both goats were called an atonement. The High Priest cast lots over them, one lot marked for the Lord and the other for Azazel. The Lord's goat was slain and the blood of the goat was sprinkled sevenfold upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. The High Priest now laid his hands upon the goat for Azazel and confessed over it all the sins of the people after which it was sent into uninhabited wilderness bearing the iniquity of the nation of Israel. Azazel, translated as "scape goat" was an abstract noun meaning "dismissal" or "complete removal". The goat was called in Heb. "Azazel" meaning" the removing goat". Both goats were looked upon as one offering which again represented the atonement work of Christ. The first goat by its death symbolized atonement for sins; the other, by confessing over it symbolized their complete removal.
(See "the wonder of mercy seat" in page 105)
2) The Tabernacle was also a typical of the church -- a habitation of God through the Spirit. Eph 2:19-22
"The outer part of the Sanctuary, the Holy Place, speaks to us of the earthly vocation of the church. The inner part, or Most Holy place, tells us of the heavenly vocation of the same church. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ has that double service. We have to do some work upon earth, and at the same time we have to fulfill a heavenly vocation. "says Bakht 1#
3) It was a typical of every individual believer" a temple of the Holy Spirit." I Cor 6:19; II Cor 6:16
4) The Tabernacle was a principal bridge between the OT and the incarnation of Jesus.
"The word was made flesh, and dwelt (tabernacled) among us" Jn 1:14
5) The Breastplate:
The breastplate was called, "the breastplate of judgment." It was because, it served primarily for bearing the two precious stones, the Urim and the Thummim upon the heart of Aaron (Ex 28:30). The Heb word "Urim" (plural form of 'ur') means lights. Urim is a precious blue stone which denotes righteousness. Here 'light' also denotes the righteousness of God. The world "Thummim" comes from Heb word "tummim" which signifies the meaning of perfectness.
The High Priest in the tabernacle represents Jesus Christ. The Urim and Thummim were upon the heart of Aaron, it means that Urim and Thummim are also upon the heart of Jesus Christ. It means that Christ is the true light and the righteousness, the perfect one.
In the book of Revelation (21:14-18) we have seen the precious stones again. John the apostle has a vision of the Holy city, which has twelve foundations. On these foundations there are written the names of Twelve Apostles and these precious stones are found in these foundations.
6. The Curtains:
There were altogether ten curtains for the inner covering of the tabernacle (Ex 26:1-6), a veil in front of the Most Holy Place (Vs 31-33). There were also hangings for the door of the tent and for the door of the court (Vs 16-17). The curtains were of "-------blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen." (Ex 25-4)
Blue: It is a heavenly color representing a heavenly vocation and a heavenly service.
Purple: a royal color representing the kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ref Jn 19:2-3)

Scarlet- it speaks of the cleansing of sins which receive by the blood of Jesus is 1:18
Fine twined linen- This speaks of the righteousness of the saints Rev 19:8 cf Is 61:10
A very unusual thing happened in the temple of Jerusalem on the day when Christ died on the cross of Calvary. "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent." Mt 27:50, 51
"It was the veil between the holy place and the most holy place that was torn from the top to the bottom". God's law, written with His own finger, had once been in that most holy place. If a person transgressed sinned against God, broke the law of God- the penalty was death. But Christ had paid the penalty and the veil was miraculously torn from top to bottom, so there was nothing to separate the two compartments." 2# Says Lewis D Morris.
7. The Covering:
There were three kinds of covering that covered the tabernacle. Ex 25: 4-5
1) Covering woven of "goat's hair".
The whole covering was made of eleven curtains joined together. They covered right over the tabernacle and reached down at the sides and back.
2) Covering of ram's skin dyed red. Ex 26:14
It was the whole skin that covered the whole tent of the tabernacle. One could see only the red where it hung down outside.
3) The covering of badgers' skins
It covered the whole Sanctuary.
It is interesting to note that God had to kill animals to cover the naked body of our first parents with skins as clothing. Here also we have seen that animals are killed to cover the whole tabernacle with skins dyed red with blood. This covering certainly is a type of the provision God has made for us to cover our sins with the blood of Jesus.
See Ps 85; 32:1
Rom 4:7, 8; I Pet 4:8
Pr 10:12
The Furniture in the Tabernacle.
1) The altars in the Tabernacle:
The Lord God Himself gave Moses the instructions to build two altars.
(i) The brazen altar of burnt offering located in the courtyard.
(ii) The altar of incense in the holy place.
(i) The brazen altars:
The altar was made of acacia wood. The size was-
3 cubits high, i.e. 1. 3 metres (41/2 ft)
5 cubits long, i.e. 2.3 m (71/2 ft)
5 cubits wide, i.e., 2.3 m (71/2 ft)
The altar had horns on its upper four corners. The altar was covered with bronze. All the utensils were made of bronze its pots to remove the ashes, and its shovels sprinkling bowls meat forks and fire pans. The altar was equipped with a grating of bronze which had four bronze rings, one at each corner. Poles of acacia wood were made covered with bronze. The poles were inserted into the rings so that the altar could be transported. This bronze altar was placed just inside the main entrance of the courtyard. Upon this altar were sacrificed the animal and cereal offering of Israel (Ex 40:6, 29).
(ii) The altar of incense or the golden altar.
The altar was made of acacia wood. It was covered pure gold and placed in the holy place in the tabernacle just before the curtain of the holy of holies. It measured one and one half feet square by three feet high. There were four horns, one horn each on its upper four corners. Like that of the bronze altar there were rings through which poles of acacia wood covered with gold were slipped for covering the altar. Only once a year the High Priest made atonement by placing the blood of the lamb upon its horns. (Ex 30:1-10; 40:5, 26, 27)
In Palestine, the archeologists have excavated many objects as altars. Interestingly, the use of altar of burnt offering and incense was widespread among the pagan and non Israelite which was not completely different from the altars built for the tabernacle. The only difference was that Israelite's function in worship was in line with the concept of the covenant relationship between Jehovah, their God and themselves.

Symbolical representations of Altars in the NT.

Altar has been used in NT to give spiritual sense. The golden altar is symbolic of intercessory prayer (Rev 8:3-5) and also of judgment in Rev 9:13 cf Rev 14:18; 16:7
Heb 13:10 says, 'We have an altar" which refers to the altar of Christ, where Christ offered Himself as a living sacrifice to "sanctify the people with his own blood" (v12). In the NT, the altar is generally recognized to be the cross i.e., the sacrifice of Christ.
Other references in the NT
Acts 17:23; I Cor 9:13; 10:18; Rev 8:3;
Rev 9:13; Rom 11:3
1. The Horns of Altar:
The horns (qcren) on the altar received the blood of the Sacrifice. Even the blood of the sin offering was applied on the horns of the golden altar of incense on the Day of Atonement (Ex 30:10). Why? The horn (of animal) is symbolic of one's dignity, power or strength. The tribe of Joseph has been described with the horns of the wild OX (unicorn) signifying strength to conquered (Deut 33:17). In the altar of incense it would mean that our God is a God of power and strength who only is able to save us from all sins.

2.The Lamp-stand:
The description of lamp-stand is found in Ex 25:31-48 "Make a lamp-stand of pure gold and hammer it out, base and shaft; its flower like cups, buds and blossoms shall be of one piece with it. Six branches are to extend from the sides and lamp-stand three on one side and three on the other. Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches extending from the lamp- stand. And on the lamp-stand there are to be four cups shaped like almost flowers with buds and blossoms, one bud shall be under the first pair of branches pair, and a third bud under the third pair- six branches in all. The buds and branches shall be of one piece with the lamp-stand, hammered out of pure gold. Then make it its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it. "Ex 25:31-37 (NIV)
These seven lamps on these seven lamp-stands in one were burning day and night in the Sanctuary. What do these seven lamp-stands in one and seven lamps represent?
They represent the light of God, the glory of God. Zechariah also had a vision of a golden candlestick with seven lamps with seven channels to the lights being fed continually with oil from two living olive trees. Zech. 4
In the NT, in His letters to the seven churches Jesus said that the seven lamp-stands represent the seven churches. The light represents Christ Himself. He said." I am the light of the world" (Jn 9:5). He also said, "You are the light of the world" (Mt 5:14).
The olive oil speaks of God's Spirit (the Holy Spirit) which keeps the lights burning in darkness. We the children of God are to shine in darkness as the lights of Christ burning day and night with the living oil i.e. The Holy Spirit.

3.Oil in the lamp-stand
"Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olive for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning." Ex 25:20 cf Zech 4:2, 3.
In Gen 8:11 and Ps 52:8, the olive tree speaks of God's mercy and grace. The oil speaks of the Spirit of God.

4.The table of showbread:
(Num 4:7; II CHR 29:18; Ex 25; 23-30; 37:10-16)
The table of showbread was placed in the holy place just at the right side of the entrance to the holy of holies facing the lamp-stand (Ex 40:22).
The table was made of acacia wood overlaid with pure gold. It was two cubits (3ft i.e. 0.9 cm) long, one cubit wide (11/2 ft i.e. 0.5 cm) and one and a half cubits high (21/4 ft i.e. 0.7). The top of the table was placed upon a frame and there was a "crown" or molding of gold around it which projected above the top to keep articles from falling off. There were four gold rings for the table fastened to the four corners. The rings were put close to the rim to hold the poles used in carrying the table. The poles for carrying the table were made of acacia wood and were overlaid with gold. All the articles for the table were made from pure gold- its plates, dishes, bowls and its pitchers for pouring out of the drink offerings.
Bread made of fine wheat floor (unleavened) baked in 12 loaves each containing one fifth ephod of flour was placed on the table. These loaves or cakes were replaced with fresh in the Sanctuary. The Levites were the responsible persons to prepare the loaves. Incense was added to each pile of cakes in bowls, "for a memorial, each of cakes in bowls, "for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the Lord."
Lev 24:5-9
The showbread is also called the "bread of faces". The literal meaning of the bread of faces is "bread of the presence" (Num 4:7, RSV). It is very significant that it symbolized the never ending presence of God.

The Typological Significance in the NT:
The table of showbread reminds us of the table of our Lord, the Holy Communion. In the holy Sanctuary, only the priests partook the Holy Communion. But in the NT, every believer in Christ is entitled to partake in the Holy Communion which was instituted by Jesus Himself. The bread represents the" bread of life", the Christ Himself. For Christ Jesus said,
"For the bread of God is he who," V 51
Comes down form heaven and gives
Life to the world" Jn 6:33
"I am the bread of life" V 6:33 see V48
"I am the bread that came
Down from heaven" V41
"I am the living bread that
Came down from heaven" V51
The bread represented the body of Jesus Christ. And whoever eats it becomes a part of the spiritual life. Jesus said.
"I tell you the truth, unless you eat
The flesh of the Son of Man and drink
His blood, you have no life in you" Jn 6:53
"whoever eats my flesh and drinks my
Blood has eternal life ----- "V 6:53
This is a striking statement which is very significant. However to "eat" Jesus means to appropriate His life by faith. It means that we have to receive Him as our personal Savior by faith and receive His forgiveness of sin.
5.The Ark of the Covenant:
The ark was made of acacia wood which was two and half cubit (31/4 ft i.e., 1.1 m) long and a cubit and a half (21/4 ft, i.e. 0.7) overlaid with gold both inside and out. There was a gold molding around it. It had a ring of gold at each corner or foot through which poles were passed to carry it. The ark had covering. It was made of pure gold. On the ends of the lid between these cherubim that the "shekinah glory" rested. See Ex 25:2 cf Ex 40:34-35; Lev 16:2
The ark (aron) has been designated with various names such as
1. The ark (Ex 25:14)
2. The ark of Jehovah (I Sam 4:6, ASV)
3. The ark of God (Elohim), I Sam 4:18
4. The ark of the covenant, Josh 3:6
5. The ark of the testimony, Ex 25:22
Within the ark were kept the following-
(i) The two tablets of stone The Ten Commandments.
(ii) A golden pot of miraculously preserved manna.
And (iii) Aaron's rod that budded.
The Typological Significances:
The ark is the Symbol of the presence of God. In I Sam 4:4; II Sam 6:2 (cf Jer 3:16) the ark has been spoken of as "the throne of God." It was a sign to the Israelite of God's presence with them, and was also the place where God revealed to his people through the priests, which was his will for them.
The Ark of the Covenant had occupied a special place in the life of the Israelite all throughout their history. It had served as a real need in the early days of Israel's history. The ark served as a living guide to Israel in the wilderness (Ex 10:33-36). The ark played a prominent role in the story of the capture of Jericho (Josh 6-7).
The power of the ark can be seen in the curses it brought upon the Philistines (I Sam 5)
And also upon Uzziah (II Sam 6:7). The ark in the sanctuary is called as "The ark of the covenant "and also as" the ark of the testimony", because, it contained the law of God or the covenant of God, i.e., the Ten Commandments. Ex 25:21; Num 4:5; Josh 4:16
In the NT, we have the mention of Noah's Ark in I Pet 3:20 where God had preserved the lives of Noah's family and animals form the devastating flood. In Rev 11:19 we have seen the "ark of his covenant' in the temple of God in heaven.
"And the temple of God in heaven.
Heaven, and there was seen in his temple
The ark of his testament------"
This ark of covenant in the tabernacle was a symbol of God's providence of eternal security for His people.

The Hidden Things in the Ark of the Covenant:
1.Manna in the golden pot.
2. Aaron's rod that budded and
3. The tables of the Covenant.
Heb 9:4; also see Ex 16:33; Num 17:10; Ex 25:16

1. Manna in the Golden Pot:
In Ex 16, we have the story of manna which was given to the children of Israel. The Heb word 'manna' has been translated as a question "what is it?" in verse 15 (ASV and RSV). Evidently, the Israelite nick named it as "whatness" or colloquially as "Whatdyacallit" because of its mysterious quality as a divine bread.
Manna is described to have been small, round and white. It fell from the sky early in the morning, "thin flakes like frost on the ground appeard on the desert floor", Ex 16:14 (NIV). When the Israelite saw it, they said to each other, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them,
"It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded. Each one is to gather as much as he needs. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent", Ex 16:16 (NIV).
Left overnight ordinarily, "it was full of maggot, and began to smell" Ex 16:20 (NIV).
"bred worms, and became foul" verse 20 (ASV).
Manna was to be gathered daily early in the morning, because it melted in the hot sun. They had to gather an omer (about a half peck) per person. On the sixth day they gathered twice as much to preserve it for the Sabbath. Manna was not provided on the Sabbath. It is interesting to note that the preserved manna for the Sabbath did not breed worms or become foul over the Sabbath. Manna tested like "wafers made with honey" Ex16:31
Or "butter cakes" Num 11:8
It look like a coriander seed and like a gum resin in color. It was ground before baking. The Lord provided manna to the Israelite in the wilderness for forty (40) years- Ex 16:32-35
The Israelites were commanded to preserve manna in a pot as a memorial of the continuing miraculous provision of the Lord for the generations to come. When the tabernacle was built, a golden pot of manna was placed in the ark of the Covenant in the holy of holies. Heb9:4
The Typical Significance of Manna:
"Manna" is the typical representation of Christ Himself as the Bread of Life. The words of the Lord Jesus Himself warrant this conclusion.
"Then Jesus said unto them, verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not the bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread fro heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world". Jn 6:32-33
"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life.." Jn 6:35
"I am the bread, which came down from heaven" Jn 6:41
"Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven" Jn 6: 49-51
" he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever." Jn 6:58
There is a reference to "Hidden manna" in Rev 2:17. In His letter to Ephesus, Jesus said, ".to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna.." Rev 2:17
This hidden manna is spoken of with a reference to that in the Ark of the Covenant in the Sanctuary. Manna was their daily bread in the wilderness which the Israelites had to gather every day in the morning. In the same way, the Lord Jesus Christ has become our daily bread in a spiritual sense, the heavenly bread, the bread of eternal life.

The Golden Pot:
The gold in the Bible is a symbol of the divine nature. The golden vessel represents every individual in Christ, purified (sanctified) through His blood.
The word "vessel" is often used of a person in Christ to be used for His glory.
Acts 9:15; Rom 9:21
I Thess 4:4
Rom 9:23 speaks of vessel of mercy
Rev 2:27
In the O.T.,
Ps 2:9; 31:12
Jer 18:4 Vessel marred in the hand of the potter
Jer 25:34; 48:11
2.Aaron's Rod that Budded:
"We are told in Num 17 that Aaron's rod budded and blossomed and brought forth almonds, and it remained in that condition in the Ark when the elders of Israel had murmured against Moses and Aaron and had questioned their authority (Num 16:1-2)God had confirmed by this miracle of the blossoming into life of the dead rod that He had ordained them to the position which they held, and that they acted. It is only by divine resurrection power that people can become God's servants." 3#Says Singh Bakht.
So Aaron's rod symbolizes the authority that God has delegated to His own servants.

3. The Two Tables of Covenant:
The two tables of stone upon which Moses wrote the ten commandments (Ex 13:18) as instructed by God Himself were preserved in the ark. They are also called "the Testimony" in Ex 40:20
The original tables were broken when Moses was carrying them down the mountain. When Moses saw that the congregation of Israel worshipping an idol, he smashed those tables of stone in anger. God called Moses second time on the Mount and instructed him to write the commandments and put them into the Ark.

1# Bakht Sing, God's Dwelling Place, P103; Gospel Literature Service, Bombay

2# Morris D Lewis,
Finding God Through the Sanctuary, P 69
The Quiet Hour I NC
Rod lands' California 92373

3# Bakht Singh,
God,s Dwelling Place, P 128
Gospel Literature Service, Bombay.

To be continued.

Name of the Author of this article: Dr. Surya Kumar Daimari, MA,M.Ed, PGDTE,D.Min.(Doctor of Ministry)
The author is a freelance writer.
Book published: The Names of the Believers in the Bible in Types and Symbols .

Article Source: WRITERS

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