Exodus Types: 6f. The Tabernacle In the Wilderness, A Manifold Type of Christ and His Church

The altar of incense was situated just in front of the veil separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. The Ark and God’s presence were on the other side of the veil. The veil of the Tabernacle is a type of Christ’s humanity. "And thou shalt make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet,; and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubim shall it be made" (Exodus 26:31). The blue is a symbol of Christ’s deity, the purple, His royalty; the scarlet, His death; the white linen, His sinlessness; and the cherubim suggest His heavenly origin. The purpose of the veil was to separate the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place. The approach into God’s presence was limited in those days. Christ by His incarnation and death has made a way for us into the presence of God. "By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh" (Hebrews 10:20). Here we are told the veil is a symbol of Christ’s flesh, i.e., His humanity. But His humanity without His death could not have opened the way into God’s presence. The rending of the veil in the Temple when Christ died symbolizes the opening of the way into the Holy of Holies for us. "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" (Matthew 27:50, 51). The veil in Herod’s Temple was a strong fabric four inches thick and sixty feet high. Hebrews 10:19 gives the spiritual significance of this great event: "Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus." Thus the death of Christ has opened the way into God’s very presence for every believer in Jesus. The Holy of Holies is a type of Heaven. Hebrews 9:24 teaches us this: "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." The Holy of Holies was a perfect cube, and therefore a type of the New Jerusalem. This room was ten cubits or fifteen feet each way. The Temple of Solomon was twice these dimensions. And John sees the New Jerusalem as a cube. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs [1500 miles]. "The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal" (Revelation 21:16). The Holy of Holies was a room where the color gold predominated, and therefore, is a type of the New Jerusalem. Brass predominated in the Tabernacle courtyard, but in the Holy of Holies the side walls were of gold, the Ark of the Covenant was gold, the cherubim gold. This is true of Heaven. "And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass" (Revelation 21:18). The Holy of Holies had as its only source of light the Shekinah glory of God’s presence, and is therefore a type of the New Jerusalem. "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof" (Revelation 21:23). God’s presence and Christ’s presence do away with all need for any other system of lighting. The Ark of the Covenant was the place in the Tabernacle where God’s presence was manifested. "So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubim" (I Sam. 4:4). "Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubim, shine forth" (Psalm 80:1). It is clear from these Scriptures that the presence of the Lord shone forth from between the two cherubim of the Ark of the Covenant. Here was the place where His presence was manifested. The mercy seat, or the lid of the Ark, and the most sacred place in the Tabernacle, was a type of God’s throne. "The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubim; let the earth be moved" (Psalm 99:1) "And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof" (Exodus 25:17). The mercy seat was not of wood covered over with gold like much of the Tabernacle furniture was, but was rather a slab of pure gold as long and as wide as the Ark. Thus the mercy seat was represented to be God’s throne, and the rest of the Ark His footstool. "And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark" (Exodus 25:22). The mercy seat is a type of Heavens "throne of grace" because blood was sprinkled upon it as atonement for sin. "Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat" (Leviticus 16:15). Once a year, on the Day of Atonement the high priest sprinkled blood on the mercy seat. The cherubim were heavenly beings with outstretched wings, looking toward the mercy seat where the blood was sprinkled. As guardians of righteousness (cf. Genesis 3:24), they were satisfied since judgment had fallen upon a substitute, and thus the sinner was forgiven. The meaning of the term mercy seat is "propitiatory," or "a place of propitiation," or "a place of atonement" or "covering over of sins." Thus it was a place where sin was atoned for or covered over. In Old Testament times sin was covered over, but on the cross sin was done away. "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God" (Romans 3:24, 25). Atonement through Christ’s blood was made known by Christ in Heaven. "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us" (Hebrews 9:24). Thus the mercy seat is a type of God’s throne of grace. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). The tables of the law inside the Ark are a type of God’s law written on the hearts of believers. "And the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was . . . the tables of the covenant" (Hebrews 9:4). The prophet Jeremiah foretold a day when Israel would have these tables of the law, not just kept inside the Ark, but rather written on the hearts of the people. "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people" (Jeremiah 31:33). The New Testament application of this truth is given in Hebrews 10:16: "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them." Actually, the law was kept underneath the blood-sprinkled mercy seat. When a person trusts Christ and loves Him, he keeps God’s laws out of sheer love for him. The pot of manna inside the Ark is a type of God’s provision for the needs of Christians. "Wherein was the golden pot that had manna" (Hebrews 9:4). This was a reminder that God provided for the Israelites all during their wilderness journeys, and is a type of God’s providing for us today. "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matthew 6:11). "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). A special promise of "hidden manna" was promised to overcomers in Revelation 2:17: "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna." Aaron’s rod that budded, laid up in the Ark, is a type fruitful service for God’s servants. "And Aaron’s rod the budded" (Hebrews 9:4). This rod, which overnight blossomed and bore almonds in order to vindicate the priesthood of Aaron, pictures fruitful service for God among Christian workers by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. (See section on "Aaron’s Rod That Budded" in "Types in Numbers.") "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear mud fruit; so shall ye be my disciples" (John 15:8). [Old Testament Types - FHW]

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