Photo courtesy of promiselandjourney.org
In Hebrew tabernacle is “Mishkan” and it means “dwelling place”. The tabernacle was the place of God’s presence, His meeting place with man. The layout of the tabernacle and its courtyard (outer court) illustrates God’s presence and His prescribed manner in which man can approach Him. Just as there was only one “tabernacle” and way to approach God in the wilderness, there is only one way to approach God now and that is through His Son, Yeshua.
In Hebrews 9:23, 24 it states that the tabernacle was a “copy” of heavenly things and work of Yeshua .
In John 14: 21-23 it states that God wants to dwell with us, or tabernacle within us, through the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh). Just as in Exodus with the tabernacle, God wants to dwell and reveal Himself to us. God will not reveal Himself to us through His Spirit until we have repented and are obedient and faithful. We will do these things after repentance because we love Him and desire an intimate relationship with Him.
The tabernacle outlay and furniture as well as every other aspect of the tabernacle structure, reveal the work of Yeshua. In this series I will primarily discuss the aspects of the fence, door and the furniture. The tabernacle shows us the pattern of how we must approach God (YHVH) and come into fellowship with Him. By studying this we will see how we can be cleansed and separated and thus be able to approach God, thru Yeshua, and have a relationship with Him which would otherwise have been impossible.
There were three parts to the tabernacle.
The outer court which was an open area where the sacrifices were carried out.
The Holy Place where only the priests could go to perform their daily tasks.
The Most Holy Place (Holy of Holies) where only the High Priest was allowed to go once per year on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).
The Holy Place and the Most Holy Place made up the inner court of the tabernacle.
The inner court of the tabernacle consisted of a tent-like structure covered by rug-like coverings for a roof, which kept out the rain, sun etc and was separated from the external courtyard (the outer court). Within the inner court, The Most Holy Place (Holy of Holies) was separated from the Holy Place by a heavy curtain (veil). It is within the Most Holy Place that the presence of God dwelt.
Restricted Access existed in the tabernacle
… Anyone could come to the door of the tabernacle.
… Only those bringing a sacrifice could come into the tabernacle to offer their sacrifice at the brazen
altar, which was the first piece of furniture. There the priests would offer up their offering, but only
after the person bringing the offering had lain their own hands upon the animal and killed it.
… All the priests went as far as the “brass laver”, on a daily basis
… One chosen priest, entered the Holy Place on a daily basis to attend to the menorah, the table of
showbread, and to offer incense upon the altar of incense.
… The High Priest is the only one who could enter the Most Holy Place and that was only once a year at
By the time I have finished this series you should be able to see how this restricted access shows us a pattern of our approach to a closeness and intimacy with Messiah.
Scripture Readings Needed for Understanding
Exodus (Sh’mot) 25:1 - 27:21, Exodus 30:1-10 and 17-21, Exodus 37:1 - 38:20, Exodus 40:1-38 Key Scripture reading: Exodus 25:1-9
Within this tabernacle are spiritual mysteries for His dwelling with His people. We will notice that every piece was made according to HIS INSTRUCTION. This does not go without meaning for us. He is a God of detail, just as He was when He taught Noah how to build the ark.
The first thing we must encounter is the fence that surrounded the outer and inner courts of the tabernacle. This fence was approximately 75 ft wide, 150 ft long, 7.5 ft. high (originally measured in cubits). They say that the average height of the ancient Hebrew man was around 5’3”. With the fence being 7.5 feet high there is NO WAY that anyone could just PEEK over the fence, to see what was going on inside. If you wanted to commune with God then you had to do what was necessary to go inside the fence through the one and only door.
…..the fence symbolizes “separation”. There is always a separation between God and sin. There is a “sin barrier” that will eternally separate mankind from God’s presence. Sin will keep out anything offensive to God. Sin cannot exist in the presence of God just as light and darkness cannot exist together. The fence was to keep outside those who were not willing to come to God HIS WAY!
…..the fence was made of white linen curtains held up by pillars. What a beautiful sight this must have been shimmering in the sun, against the backdrop of desert sand. “White linen” in scripture always represents righteousness, holiness, purity, cleanliness, and innocence. In Exodus 28:39-43 we see that the priests wore white linen garments because they had to be cleansed before they came into the presence of God in the tabernacle; according to His prescribed methods. In Rev. 19:8 we see that the Bride is wearing fine linen, pure and white, which “is the righteous acts of the saints.” There are numerous other scriptures which show the meaning of white linen.
…….Those outside the white fence, just like those outside Messiah, are separated from God due to sin.
Those within the fence have done what was necessary to approach God and to be in His presence.
……. A person could not just wander into the tabernacle from any direction. There was only one “door” that was present to enter into the tabernacle. The tabernacle (and the temple later) faced east. So, a person had to enter from the east, thru the one door, and proceed toward the west.
There is only “one door”. Now Yeshua is the door to God. All roads do not lead to God. You cannot approach God on your own terms. Yeshua is the only way. NO COMPROMISE!! Please see John 14:6, John 10: 1-9, Matthew 7:13-14, and Acts 4:12.
To begin our approach to God we must enter the only gate or door (John 10:9), which is Yeshua (Jesus)!!!!