The following is the hidden message in the Temple of God and the Tabernacle (the movable Temple carried by the traveling Israelis before the time of Solomon. To sum it up, Jesus is the Temple and Tabernacle. Everything that was ordered by Moses concerning the Temple/Tabernacle was a reflection of Yahweh God, or Jesus Christ. Every bowl, every curtain every object is a picture of Jesus Christ. We think you will find these articles very educational and a pleasure to discover!
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The Tabernacle was a structure built by the children of Israel under the supervision of Moses, around 1450 B.C. The layout of the Tabernacle and the materials of its construction were specified in great detail to Moses by God at Mount Sinai, a few weeks after the children of Israel had left hundreds of years of slavery in Egypt (the Exodus). The Tabernacle was a portable construction, made by wise, skilful workmen and transported by one tribe (the Levites) through the 40 years in the desert wilderness and on into the land of Canaan.
The purpose of the following pages is:
- to describe the layout, structure and furnishings of the Tabernacle
- to relate these pictures from the book of Exodus (the second book of the Bible) to the Lord Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
The first five books of the Bible were written down by Moses; they are called the Torah, the Hebrew word for 'law'. Jesus said He had come not to abolish the law, but to fulfil it (Matthew 5:17).
John, one of Jesus' disciples, tells us that "the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). The word 'truth' here is alethia in Greek, meaning 'reality'. The 'truth' John speaks of is Jesus Christ as the Word, who was God and who became flesh and tabernacled among us (John 1:1,14). (The Greek word sometimes translated as 'dwelt' here is more literally translated 'tabernacled').
Therefore, the Tabernacle is a picture, a foreshadow of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the book of Exodus, when God dictates to Moses the detailed design of the Tabernacle (some 1450 years before the birth of Jesus), He speaks forth a description of just who and what the coming Messiah (the Christ) would be.
Use the mouse to click on items in the Plan of the Tabernacle, then you'll see for yourself. Why not start by looking at the curtains of the Outer Court that surround the Tabernacle?
Curtains of the Outer Court (Exodus 27:9-19)
If you had suddenly come across the children of Israel in the desert wilderness, you would have seen a spralling camp of over two million people, probably not unlike the refugee camps in Rwanda, though perhaps more orderly. The tents were probably black and brown, set in contrast with the sandy and rocky colours of the desert.
In the centre of their camp, you would see the white linen curtains of the Tabernacle's Outer Court, approximately 46 metres long (c. 150 feet), 23 metres wide (c. 75 feet) and 2.3 metres tall (c. 7.5 feet). It was so noticeable against the surrounding rather drab colours of the camp and wilderness. It was impossible to see inside the Tabernacle from the camp outside: the tall, white, fine twined linen curtains made a separation between the outside world and the beauty that was contained in the Tabernacle.
In the Bible, white linen signifies righteousness (Revelation 19:8). God in His nature is right and just. He therefore expects us, His created people, to act rightly and justly: this is what righteousness means. Psalm 92:15 tells us the Lord is upright and there is no unrighteousness in Him. Psalm 45:7 predicts that the Anointed One (the Messiah, the Christ) will love righteousness and hate wickedness.
Because God is righteous, we find that the Levites, who God called to be priests to serve Him in the Tabernacle, were instructed to wear fine white linen garments (Exodus 28:39-43).
Likewise, in the New Testament, Revelation 19:6-9 speaks of the "wife of the Lamb" (the bride of Christ), who is seen clothed in fine white linen. The "wife of the Lamb" is a corporate bride, composed of all those people who have accepted God's saving invitation to be joined to Him at this marriage feast and have prepared themselves (as seen by their garments): they are all dressed in fine white linen, as were the priests of the Tabernacle; Revelation 19:8 informs us that the fine linen is their righteous acts.