Introduction to the Tabernacle in the Wilderness

Tabernacle Class
Mar 6, 2020



Introduction to The Tabernacle Study

Next 4 weeks will be a dialogue between I as a Gentile believer and pastor and 
Rabbi Stew Lieberman as a Messianic Jewish Pastor.

Where are we coming from?
   Both of us believe that the Body of Messiah is being drawn together by the Holy Spirit to an expression of unity that Paul refers to as "the One New Man."
Key scriptures here are in Ephesians 2

After the section on our salvation in vss 1-10 Paul turns to our unity - and here he has directly in view, the unity between Jewish believers and Gentile believers.

It comes to a head in v. 14 with his phrase ONE NEW MAN.
This is the presupposition that both Rabbi Stew and I are coming from and the reality we are pursuing together.

For this reason, we will be engaged in a dialogue over the next few weeks about the roots of our Gentile, specifically Anglican worship, in the worship of the Tabernacle that God was the architect of in the wilderness after the Passover event.

We will look at the directions and instructions for the building of it in some detail over the next four weeks and on the last Friday night we will have a final, experiential worship service ( a kind of instructed worship experience) that combines the symbols of the Tabernacle and the common symbols in our weekly worship.

Our hope is that you will both connect more deeply with your own worship experience and come to an understanding of the historic depth and roots we have in the ancient Jewish worship of the Tabernacle that was proscribed by God for His People.

The Study of Typology

Typology is the use of objects, numbers, colors, materials, furniture, layout and design, etc. to communicate and illustrate truth.  Truth here that is in view is no less than Jesus, the Christ - Yeshua, ha Maschiach.  

I will be referring to a typological study called, "Seeing CHRIST in the TABERNACLE" by Ervin H. Hershberger. A small, locally printed volume that outlines the many ways in which Christ Jesus can be seen to be prefigured in the worship of the Tabernacle of Israel.  Some of the symbology and typology is directly from scripture while others are from context and usage.  At any point, we do not use typology to create doctrine, but only to illustrate that which is created by Scripture itself.  

With that said I want to share some typological keys that need to be held onto for your understanding as we go forward:

Keys are meanings of specific items, colors, materials, etc.

Materials and Colors:
Gold -- The diety and glory of Jesus Christ
Silver -- Atonement (Ex. 30:13-16)
Brass -- Judgement (Lev. 26:19; Nu. 21:8-9; Dt 28:23)
Blue  --  The Heavenly One (color of the atmosphere)
Purple - The Royal One (the color of royalty)
Scarlet - The Suffering Servant (the color of atoning blood)
Fine Linen - The Righteousness granted by God (Rev 19:8)
Goat's Hair - The Original Sin of Man (Rom 5:12) and the
                            Sin Offering (Isa. 53:10; 2 Cor 5:21)
Ram's Skin dyed Red -  Consecration - obedience unto
Badgers' skin - Unlimited Protection in Christ (??)
Shittim wood -  Incorruptible Humanity of Christ
Oil  --  The Holy Spirit - Anointing
Sweet Spices --  The fragrance of Jesus life
The Veil --  The flesh of Jesus, broken and torn for us

Numbers and Measures

ONE         Unity
TWO         Fellowship, Union with Christ; Two as witnesses.
THREE     Trinity, Triune God
FOUR        Earth (4 winds, 4 corners of earth, elements of
                                 earth, wind, fire, and water.)
FIVE           Grace
SIX             Number of Man - Short of perfection (Ro 3:23)
SEVEN       Number of God - Perfection (seven or seventh
                     appears 549 times in the Bible)
EIGHT        New Beginnings (eighth day = new week)
NINE           Spiritual Fruits; Beatitutes
                   (9 is self-repeating... 9 multiplied by any number,
                   then added together always ends as 9! 
                   e.g. 3x9=27; 2+7=9 or 546x9=4914; 4+9+1+4=18;
                   1+8=9... try it)
TEN          Responsibility on earth;  completeness
ELEVEN   Human failure; Confusion; Judgement
TWELVE   Number of earthly government (12 tribes; 12 
FORTY      Testing;  Probation  (Jonah 3:4;  Luke 4:2)
FIFTY         Jubilee Year (Lev. 25:8-17)


Where half-cubits are measured, each half-cubit is a single unit:   1 1/2 cubits = three half cubits (three = Trinity)
           2 1/2 cubits = five half cubits  (five = grace)

Also,  baking, beating, bruising, burning, crushing, piercing
            and roasting remind us of suffering  (Ex 39:3;
             Ex 12:9)  See Isaiah 53 for many of these forms.


It is interesting to note that God uses two chapters to detail the creation of the world and the whole universe from nothing!!  He uses FIFTY chapters to detail the making and the worship of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness! 
(13 chapter in Exodus; 18 chapters in Leviticus;  
13 chapters in Numbers; 2 chapters in Deuteronomy and 
 4 chapters in Hebrews).

God gave Moses the pattern during the 40 days on the mountain of God and repeated many time the exacting nature of the instructions and details (cf: Ex 25:9, 40;
Ex 27:8; Nu 8:4; Acts 7:44; Heb 8:5)

God provided all the materials for the building of the Tabernacle from the slave-holders in Egypt as He set His people free!  Ex 3:21-22 and 12:35-36.  In fact, they were told to "borrow" items from Egyptians, that they were never going to return!  They were borrowing what was eventually going to be given to God and the craftsmen for the building of God's dwelling:  A crucial principle we hold to today is God's ultimate ownership of everything (1 Cor 6:19).  God was teaching the nation of Israel as they went from bondage, to hold possessions loosely and to give willingly
(Ex 25:1-9; 35:5-9, 21,22, 29)  In fact the nation of Israel learned this so well that they eventually had to be restrained from their giving to the Tabernacle (Ex 36:5-6)!

Names in the Bible

God selection of workmen for the building of the Tabernacle is significant.
Bezaleel (under God's shadow) is from the tribe of Judah 
(praise) who led the procession behind the Tabernacle when it (the pillar of cloud & fire) moved from place to place in the wilderness.  Aholiab (tent of the Father) was from the tribe of Dan (God has judged) that brought up the rear of the procession of tribes.  Those two were put together as co-laborers in the work of building - the First and the Last together - Alpha and Omega, Author and finisher;  sound familiar?

Needless to say, TYPOLOGICAL studies of the Old Testament can be very revealing, illustrating what has happened in Christ as a fore-shadowing.  But we never want to make the typology the "thing" - because if we're true to the study, then Christ will always remain the "thing" which it is all about.

Next week we will start in the Holy of Holies, looking at the Ark of the Covenant, the Mercy Seat and their role in our worship.  I hope that you are able to come back over the weeks we have before Holy Week.  All that we are going to hear will deepen and confirm our faith in Jesus, the Messiah and the pattern of worship we have inherited from our Jewish roots in the Old Testament and the worship of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness.

Fr. Phil+

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