Tabernacle set up at Sinai.
Summary: After approx. one year (Ex.40.2) (1st Abib), the tabernacle was finally complete and set up at Sinai before departing on the wilderness walk to the Promised land (Nu.l0.36).
The law (Leviticus) was given prior to their departure instructing the priests in sacrifice, atonement and Holiness without which 'it is impossible to please God' (Lev, 1 1. 44,45, Hb.l2.l4).
In all this is a type and shadow of the marriage of the Lamb at Sinai; and the preparation for the march of the Rainbowed Angel through the wilderness to Zion (Deut. 33.2, Pslm.68.4-6, 17, Hbk 3), to take up the inheritance promised (Lk.l9, GaI.3).
The saints will stand up (anastasis) at the resurrection: and the approved become the dwelling place (tabernacle - shakan) of Yahweh, which they have been mentally and morally in their probation. Now they are united with the Bridegroom whose return they have agonised for.
Therefore the setting up of the tabernacle was a joyous occasion marking the consummation of diligent faithful labours. This was shown by the glory of Yahweh in a cloud, filling the tabernacle (shekinah glory) (Lev. 40.34),'itself a foreshadowing of Yahweh manifest in a glorified multitude at Sinai. *
1 And Yahweh spake unto Moses, saying,
2 On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation.
Command to rear up the tabernacle. The first year of Abib (v.2) marked the beginning of the Jewish new year (spring time), which customarily was marked by the blowing of trumpets (Nu. I0.10). As Bro Thomas says the Apocalypse of Christ is an affair of trumpets. It was a new beginning in Israel's national affairs, when Yahweh would dwell in the midst of them in his Holy Courts, this arrangement being established at Shiloh (bringer of peace and tranquility), once they entered into the land, and would have continued, until Shiloh was destroyed by the Philistines because of their Apostasy (1 Sam.4, Jer.7).
A glorious new beginning is foreshadowed for this earth when Yahweh (Christ) will dwell amongst men, and be King over the whole earth (Pslm; 93-100, Zech.14.9) "Yahweh reigneth." This new beginning or world revolution will begin when the Lord returns, his glorious Apocalypse, and gathers his saints unto him, and after a jubilee of wars will open the Kingdom amidst a grand festive blowing of trumpets (Ezk 43) to commence his thousand years reign of peace on earth and good will towards men. *
We are impressed with the compactness of the Tabernacle. It was all separate pieces easily taken apart for removal, and yet full provision was made for knitting and bonding it together firmly that it should be a unity, one Tabernacle. Bonding, linking, stabilizing, joining together is a prominent feature throughout all its construction. We can readily see in natural things that the more firmly anything is bound together the stronger it is, the more it can withstand, the more it can accomplish; but do we perceive the importance, the absolute necessity of this in spiritual things?
Bro Growcott - God Enthroned in the Ecclesia and in Our Lives
3 And thou shalt put therein the ark of the testimony, and cover the ark with the vail.
The various furnishings are instructed to be brought in commencing with the ark and cherubim in the Most Holy, significative of the enthronement of Christ and his saints in Zion (Is.4-12, Rev.4, Rev.11.19, Is.24.23}. *
4 And thou shalt bring in the table, and set in order the things that are to be set in order upon it; and thou shalt bring in the candlestick, and light the lamps thereof.
The golden lampstand was to be kept burning with the pure oil, renewed twice a day (Ex 27:20-21,Lev:24.2); symbolic of an ecclesia radiating the light of Yahweh's word in its purity not impurity (Rev.2-3). *
5 And thou shalt set the altar of gold for the incense before the ark of the testimony, and put the hanging of the door to the tabernacle.
6 And thou shalt set the altar of the burnt offering before the door of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation.
The brazen Altar set for the principle of Yahweh in Sacrificial manifestation, or flesh crucified with its lusts and affections, and dedication to Yahweh (Lev. l). Or as David said,
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,: a broken and contrite heart, O God thou wilt not despise, " (Pslm.51.17).
Christ was all the altar offerings, as well as his own altar and priest (Hb.10.5-10). *
9 And thou shalt take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle, and all that is therein, and shalt hallow it, and all the vessels thereof: and it shall be holy.
10 And thou shalt anoint the altar of the burnt offering, and all his vessels, and sanctify the altar: and it shall be an altar most holy.
11 And thou shalt anoint the laver and his foot, and sanctify it.
Using the Anointing oil (Ex.30), the tabernacle and everything in it was to be anointed and this Constituted holy or most holy in a figurative and ceremonial sense. This was an anointing or Christing by the Spirit, fundamental before the courts and their contents could be acceptable to Yahweh and brought into practical use as a centre of divine worship in Israel.
Without the anointing there could be no Redeemer, no Christ, no Messiah, no hope. The Spirit created Jesus (Lk. 1.26-27), as Yahweh's firstborn the second Adam, born of a woman, he was anointed with the Spirit at his baptism without measure, at the commencement of his public office (Mtt.3. 13-17), and glorified by the Spirit following his resurrection.
On top of all this he was anointed with the Spirit Word (Isa.11.1-5, Lk.2. 40,52), of quick understanding: so he was wiser than the ancients and possessed more and deeper understanding than all his teachers (Psa 119;92-103).
He was thus constituted "the divine Logos made flesh'', or God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim 3.16). He told Nicodemus that except a man be born of water and the spirit he could not enter the Kingdom of God (Jhn3. 5,6).
There must be a spiritual rebirth in a person if they would get the Kingdom. *
12 And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and wash them with water.
13 And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.
Aaron was to be anointed first, then his sons (1 Cor. 15.23). Aaron was to put on the holy garments (divine character), before his anointing, and then the holy anointing oil poured out upon his head (Lev. 8, Pslm. 133, Jhn. 17). This would begin his ordination as the High Priest, pointing forward to the great Melchizadek High Priest".
Yahoshua Messiah, who would officiate as such in the Kingdom Age (Ezk. 45-46) (the Prince). But who also serves in that capacity now, at Yahweh's right hand, as intercessor and, Mediator of the New Covenant, made sure by his own shed blood, or obedience unto death (Hb. 2. 14-18).
The oil ran down to the skirts of his garments, the whole man (Deut. 6. 4.8), but also signifying the incorporating of his faithful and loyal servants who cut off the flesh; not gratify it at every available occasion (Isa. 6. 1-3); better to go in maimed rather than, with soiled, polluted hands and feet or offending eye (Mtt. 18. 6-9). *
13 And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.
Aaron was forbidden to enter the most holy place of the tabernacle without being adorned and glorified with garments of splendour and holiness, and therefore styled "holy garments."
Nor was he permitted to enter even when habited with these, unless he had been previously baptised, upon pain of death. The law said,
"he shall wash his flesh in water and so put them on."
He was not permitted to officiate as high priest in his ordinary attire. He must "put off" and "put on" the holy linen robe; and had he put this on without bathing his flesh in water and proceeded to officiate, this unbaptised high priest of Israel would have been struck with death.
When legally invested and arrayed, the Aaronic high priests were "holiness to Yahweh," and the representatives of the Holy and Just One in his character and priestly office; though oftentimes, as in the case of Caiaphas, by practice of unjust and wicked men.
The symbolism relative to the high priest was the "righteousness" to be fulfilled by Jesus before he could enter upon his functions by "the power of an endless life" as high priest, first over the household of God, and afterwards over the twelve tribes of Israel.
The Christadelphian, Nov 1873
20 And he took and put the testimony into the ark, and set the staves on the ark, and put the mercy seat above upon the ark:
A "Place of Mercy." Here was where the Shekinah-glory of God's presence dwelt, and before which the High Priest approached in reverence once each year.
Truly it was hidden in the deep recesses of the Tabernacle, far beyond where any ordinary Israelite dare tread. Truly it was only once a year approached, and only then by one specially-chosen, specially-prepared, specially-equipped man. This befitted the Law's position and purpose and dispensation.
But it was there. All Israel knew it was there. All Israel knew, or could have known and realized, that all the Law, all the elaborate Tabernacle arrangements, pointed inward to the Mercy-Seat of pure gold, the Ark of safety and covenant-relationship, the Glory foreshadowing the Redeemed of the Lord-and in and through, and over all: the marvellous, radiant effulgence of the indwelling presence of God.
Bro Growcott - The spirit of Christ in the Law of Moses
27 And he burnt sweet incense thereon; as Yahweh commanded Moses.
"Is Prayer to Christ Scriptural?"
The Mosaic Law is "the patterns of things in the heavens"-"the form of the knowledge and the truth." Hence the Aaronic high priesthood and its ordinances were typical, or representative, of the Melchizedec. Would it have been in conformity with scriptural propriety for Israel to have offered prayer to Aaron?
No; the people in the courts without prayed to Him who dwelleth between the Cherubim, while the high priest entered within the veil with blood and incense, and stood before the Ark of the Covenant in presence of the Shekinah.
He returned with blessing, but it was blessing from the glory of Yahweh. Now the Lord Jesus is high priest over the house of God, which is composed of those who embrace and hold fast to the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope to the end.
These are his priestly household, all of whom "call upon his name" on becoming members of it. Thus they are "in his name," and being in his name, when they pray they pray in his name, and when they praise they praise in his name, and whatsoever they do religiously they do in his name to the glory of God the Father.
When they pray they do not pray to their high priest, but they pray with him as their "advocate with the Father." When they call upon his name, as Paul did in obedience to the exhortation of Ananias, who said to him,
"Be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord,"
the attention of the High Priest is fixed upon them. A union is then established between him and them, and he undertakes for them with the Father. His ears are open to their prayers, and he bears their names and petitions before his Father's throne. This is according to the Mosaic representation. Thus the faithful go to the Father by him; for he is
"the way, the truth, and the life: and no man cometh to the Father but by him."
All prayers, then, ascending from the children of the covenant, ascend to the Father as sweet odors from Christ. He is the golden censer in which the incense is deposited. He the censer; the prayers of his brethren, and only theirs, the incense fuming around the priest after the Order of Melchizedec. The arrangement is very beautiful, both in type and antitype; but so much more so in the antitype, as the reality transcends its shadow.
Jesus prayed to the Father, and was heard in the days of his flesh, for his circumspection or obedience, in all things. He needed not to approach the Father in any other name than his own. He prayed to God, and he instructs his people to do the same. They dwell in him, and he dwells in them by faith-Christ in them the hope of glory. As incarnations of Christ, they pray to Him whom Christ prayed to. This is scriptural, in type and substance-in form and precept. So let us be therewith content.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Nov 1855
33 And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses [the type of Yahoshua] finished the work.
This is the implementation of the commands, and reminds us that those are Christ's who love him and keep his commandments, and will not follow a stranger (false shepherd) (Jhn.10.4,5,14,27, Jhn 15.10, 17).
Faith without works is as a body without spirit, so there must be a doing of the Truth as well as knowing (Jms;1.22-27; Jms 2.17-26). We would exhort everybody to examine themselves closely to see whether they are doers of the truth, obeying Christ's commandments, or in fact engaged in an elaborate performance of self deception and strong delusion or self justification (2 Thess.2.7-10).
The 3 courts are set up and all the holy things in their correct places and positions according to the pattern. "So Moses finished the work." Christ comes to finish the work. The work or purpose of Yahweh in Christ is still unfinished and has to be completed and consummated, necessitating his Apocalypse in power and glory to take his Bride (Rev. 19,20) and go forth to possess by conquest the earth and subdue all his enemies who resist Christ's rule (Ezk.38,39,Rev 18,19, Dan.7). See the Servant prophecies (lsa.40-53), his reward is with him and his work before him. *
Every true son and daughter of the Lord God Almighty is a miniature tabernacle or temple, as saith Paul, "Ye are the temple of the living God. If any man defile the temple of God, him will God destroy".
Our minds should be a holy place lined with the gold of a tried faith, in which the one Christ-sacrifice for sins is continually offered, and the smoke of grateful incense, kindled by the fire of the altar, continually ascending, while deeply secreted in the innermost ark of the heart is the law of God in its remembrance, the scriptures in their affectionate study, the institutions of divine appointment in continual reverence, and the bread of God in its continual eating.
Thus shall we be the sons of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, misunderstood by all, hated by many, despised and rejected of men, persevering in a bitter probation that will end at last in life and light and joy everlasting, when "the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people . . . and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away".
Law of Moses Ch 11
34 Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of Yahweh filled the tabernacle.
Then will the glory of Yahweh be seen in a cloud of witnesses filling the Temple (Ezk. 43. 1-7, Is.4).
38 For the cloud of Yahweh was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.
At night, the cloud which was visible without the former, appeared like a blaze of fire, but in the day, it towered aloft as a pillar of cloud. Darkness and fire were frequent accompaniments of the divine presence; indeed, always so upon great occasions.
The presence of the Lord upon Mount Sinai was a magnificent and terrible example; and when Jesus expired in blood, Judea was veiled in darkness, and God looked upon it.
With the exception of the thunder, the earthquake, the tempest, and the flashing lightning, God's communing with Moses, and after him with the high priests, were conducted from between the cherubim, as upon Sinai -- "the Lord descended upon it in fire and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and God answered him by a voice" (Exod. 19:18, 19); so that the thick darkness became luminous and indicated His presence.
Elpis Israel 1.5.