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"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways, says Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from the heavens, and does not return there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring out and bud, and give seeed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall My Word be, which goes out of My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall certainly do what I sent it to do. For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break out before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." (Isaiah 55:8-12).

It has been asked, “What is the importance of studying the Old Testament?” Since the Church has a New Covenant, “Why should we inquire into the Tabernacle in the Wilderness?” The answer to these questions is simple and straightforward. The Mosaic Covenant contains foundational teaching for the Church. Moreover, a part from an interpretation of the Mosaic Covenant the Scripture becomes insignificant and meaningless.

The writers of the New Testament continually looked to the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms to learn what the Lord was doing in their day. (Lu. 24:44; Joh. 1:45; Ac. 28:23; Ro. 3:21). This is because they understood that the ordinances, ceremonies and services found in the Old Covenant make up the foundation for all biblical truth. Thus, we need to study the “old” to comprehend the “new.” We must learn the balance produced by holding to both old and new things. (M’t. 13:51f). So often Christians throw out and fully replace the old with the new. I am certain that you have heard the old adage, “Don't throw out the baby with the bath water.” Let us not throw out the old lest we misinterpret the New Covenant. (Lu. 24:26f, 44ff; Psa. 40:6ff; Heb. 10:7; Gal. 3:24).

Remember. God wants to save all humanity. Furthermore, he wants to lead the whole human race into the full recognition of the truth. (Joh. 8:32; 1Ti. 2:4; 2Pe. 3:9). Now God will accomplish what he wants, because he is God, and because he works everything according to his will. (Eph. 1:9ff). “Let all the earth fear the Lord. Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. He spoke, and it was. He commanded, and it stood fast. The Lord brings the counsel of the heathen to nothing. He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.” (Ps. 33:8ff).

God Gave Us Five Object Lessons

Another reason for studying the Tabernacle of Moses is because it conceals important spiritual truth concerning God's purpose for the ages. God gave us five “Visual Aids” or “Object Lessons” within this covenant.

We find the first of these illustrations in the Law. It is here that we discover the moral, civil, and ceremonial codes for an abundant life. In the first covenant these were requirements that humanity had to obey. (Ex. 20; Deu. 30; Joh. 10:10). In the new covenant they are promises written on the heart and brought to our comprehension by the loving Creator. (Jer. 31:31ff; Heb. 8:6ff, 12:24).

Secondly, we see the Priesthood beginning with the Melkisdideck Priesthood Order which is typed in the Aaronic Priesthood, the High Priesthood, and the Levitical Priesthood. It is here that we discover that God established order to administer his kingdom in the earth. Therefore, let all things be done decently and in order. That is, let everything become generated through a well formed and a well orchestrated plan. (Ex. 28-30; 1Co. 14:40).

Thirdly, God gave us the Sacrificial System which embodies the Burnt Offerings, Meal Offerings, Peace Offerings, Sin Offerings, and Trespass Offerings. The Sacrifices declare the reconciliation of humanity. They also declare that sin has been canceled. This is made manifest through God’s loving benevolence and grace. (Lev. 1-7; Ro. 5:15ff; 1Co. 15:21ff; 2Co. 5:14ff, 18ff).

The fourth appreciable message comes by way of the three feast seasons of Israel. These seasonal convocations include the Feast of Passover, the Feast of Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles. Here we see a vivid portraying of the progression of our salvation and liberation through Christ Jesus the Lord (Lev. 23, Deu. 16).

Finally, we come to the fifth object lesson which is found in the Tabernacle of Moses. The construction of this portable place of worship contained the Outer Court, the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place. (Ex. 25-40). It is from this “Visual Aid” that we wish to share. Thus, we will place our concentration on the Tabernacle for this study.

The Word of God Has a Twofold Purpose

The goal of this study is to provide "seed for the sower,” as well as, “bread for the eater" (Deut. 8:3; Isa. 55:10; M’t. 4:4; Lu. 4:4, 8:11; 1Pe. 1:23). The prophet Isaiah tells us the word of God has a twofold purpose when it comes to humanity. It is first a seed for planting in the earth. Then it is bread for the hungry to eat. This is known as the “remnant seed principle.” In times of old, a farmer would save a remnant of his harvest to produce the seed he would use to sow for the next years crop. If he placed all his emphasis on the remanent seed and neglected the bread seed there would be little or no food in the house for that year. Moreover, placing the importance on seed for bread would result in an inadequate crop the following year. Some of the church emphasizes evangelism, or the sowing the seed of the kingdom to bring forth a harvest. While others magnify the need for more bread for the feeding of those that are hungry in the church. Now, either accentuation results in a famine and the obvious end of famine is death.

There is certainly a need for presenting God’s word as a feeding to the body of Christ in this hour. Yet, it is a famine for the hearing of God’s word that exists in much of the Church of the present day. It is not a famine due to the lack of God’s word, but a famine for the hearing the true word’s of the lord. This famine produces an instability in God’s people. They become wanderers, running to and fro seeking the word of the Lord. The apostle Paul told us that there would be some who will not receive the love of the truth and God would deliver them over to the delusion of groundless precepts. That is, God would turn them over to a strong delusion, or wandering, so that they should believe a falsehood. (Am. 8:11f; 1Th. 2:10f).

Moreover, a famine for hearing the word of God can be the consequence of an improper attitude of heart. Unteachableness causes the heart to wax cold and the ears to become dull of hearing. There is a sincere hunger needed to bring God’s people to the table of bread. So many spend a lifetime sitting at a table of empty dogmatic tradition. The very traditions that they hold become that which makes the word of God void and ineffective in their lives. (M’t. 15:6). Thus, Isaiah cried out to the people of God saying, “Why do you spend your substance for that which is not bread? Why do you labor for those things that do not satisfy?”

It is time for everyone who has tasted of the kingdom and of the good word of God to examine the results. Are you satisfied with the outcome of what you have heard? After tasting the good revelation of the kingdom are you still experiencing emptiness. Do you lack fulfillment or accomplishment? If so, it is time to recognize there is something more needed than knowledge or a new revelation. After all, the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. It is found in righteousness, peace, and joy in a spirit that is holy. (Ro. 14:16ff; 1Co. 4:20).

Many are sensing a lack in this hour, but it is not for the availability of God’s word, nor of revelation knowledge. It is something more than knowledge that is lacking. Remember. Knowledge puffs up. (1Co. 8:1). Many in this hour have settled for revelation knowledge, yet they are totally dissatisfied. “Revelation without activation produces no manifestation and results in stagnation.” Moreover, “Revelation without manifestation is mere information.” Thus, Isaiah says, “Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good. Let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come to me. Hear, and your soul will live.” (Isa. 55:2f). To the call to hear again the teaching of the Tabernacle some would say, “This is old manna.” “We do not need to study the Tabernacle again.” Let us once again ask, “What has your knowledge produced?” Jesus said, “He that received the seed of the kingdom into good ground is he that hears the word, and understands it. Moreover, he is fertile, and produces fruit, some an hundred, some sixty, some thirty times.” (M’t. 13:23). While knowledge puffs up, it is love that instructs and builds up. It is not possible to truly hear the word of the kingdom and not reproduced it in the earth? Those who think they know anything, but are unable to produce what they know in the lives of others really know nothing yet as they ought to know. Yet, if they love God they are known by him. (M’t. 7: ; 1Co. 8:1ff).

This brings us to the second purpose for presenting this teaching on the Tabernacle. Some have asked how they can learn to effectively present the truth of God's kingdom to others. Thus, this study has been prepared not only to feed the hungry, but to provide seed to the sower. That is, to equip a people to go forth weeping, bearing precious seed. “These will doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing the sheaves with them.” (Ps. 126:6 ; 2Th 3:1).

There are a few fundamental things we need to understand before embarking into this or any other study of types and shadows. First, it essential to comprehend the following threefold principle to maintain the needed balance for the study of typology. It is fundamentally critical to discover the harmony of God's Word, God’s Spirit and the human attitude. These three things ensure the discovery of the truth hidden in the shadows of the Old Testament.

Inevitably the first measure of accuracy is God's word or the Bible. “God's way is perfect.” Furthermore, “The word of the Lord is refined, as silver purified in a furnace of earth, seven times. He is a protector to all those that trust in him.” (2Sa. 22:31; Ps. 12:6, 18:30). We must never lose sight of the importance of the written word. Properly understood the Bible is its own commentary and interpreter. (2Ti. 2:15ff; 3:16f).

Next, it is crucial that we understand how we need the Holy Spirit as our primary Teacher. The foremost purpose for God giving the Spirit to the believer is so he might teach us all things. (Joh. 14:27; 1Co. 2:9ff). It is the “anointing” of the Holy Spirit that counteracts the deception of false teachers. (1Jo. 2:27). Moreover, God's Spirit enables one to see beyond the letter of the word. It is the letter of the Old Covenant that destroys and causes bondage. However, the spirit of the word enlivens and liberates us to walk in a godly manner. The intention of God is not to use the Holy Spirit to eliminate our need for human teachers, but to enable the believer to distinguish the truth of Christianity from the deceit of heretical propaganda.

Finally, one must have a proper attitude of heart, to guard themselves against deception and imbalance. We have all heard those who begin their revelatory declaration by saying, “God told me . . . This statement is not only very dangerous, but it can result in an unteachable heart. It is true that God may have spoken to them, but what if he did not say anything. They have then placed themselves in a unteachable position where they cannot be adjusted. That is, “If God said it who are you to say anything different.” This argument holds no weight if what someone believes does not have a biblical basis. (Ez. 22:28ff; John 7:18, 8:31f; 2Th. 2:9ff; 1Jo. 2:18ff).

Always remember, it is God's desire to lead the human race into the of truth. After all, it is knowing the truth that liberates us from every bondage, such as, the old man, flesh, sin, death and the devil. (Joh. 8:32; 1Ti. 2:4). The Psalmist tells us that the unfolding, or revealing, of God's word gives light and understanding to the simple. (Ps. 119:130). Solomon said, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.” (Pr. 25:2). While it is true that the secret things belong to the Lord our God. It is also true that those things God reveals belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. (De. 29:29). The Old Testament pattern of the Tabernacle contains much hidden reality of the kingdom of God. A study of this subject will help to unveil the truth concealed within it.

God Unveils Unseen Things in Things Made

The apostle Paul told the Church in Rome “The invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made” (Ro. 1:16ff). First God created the natural man to reveal the spiritual man. (Ge. 1:26ff; 2:7, 5:1f; Ro. 5:14; 1Co. 15:44ff; 2Co. 5:17; Gal 6:15f; Eph. 2:9f). Then he brought forth the natural seed of Israel to reveal the spiritual seed of Christ, both the head and the body (Ga. 3:16ff, 29, 6:15f; Ro 9:6ff; Eph. 1:2). Moreover, he established the covenant of circumcision in the flesh to reveal the spiritual operation of circumcision of the heart. (Ro. 2:28f; Col. 2:11f; Ph’l. 3:3). Next, God set forth the nation of Israel as the church in the wilderness, to proclaim the New Testament Church. (Ac. 7:38; 1Co. 12:12f, 27; Eph. 1:22f). Finally, God dwelled first in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness to reveal his spiritual tabernacle in mankind. (Joh. 1:1ff, 14; 1Co. 3:16; 2Co. 3:7, 6:16f; Eph. 2:19ff; 1Pe. 2:5; Re. 21:1ff).

Three Declares A Finished Work

Another principle for interpretation of types and shadows is seen in God’s use of three’s to bring all things to completion. One example seen in the natural realm is with the use of two straight lines. They can run parallel to one another, or intersect at a junction, but it takes a third line to make a complete enclosure or triangle. God built everything on the principle of three. Beginning with the atom which is made up of electrons, neutrons, and protons. Paul described the whole man as consisting of spirit, and soul and body. (1Th. 5:23). The book of Proverbs records that the wise man said that knowledge and purpose is written a triangular form. Simply meaning it is recorded in a threefold fashion, such as, in triplicate. (Pr. 22:20). An illustration of this is the three annual Feast Seasons of Israel. These fulfill the religious calendar year. It began with the Feast of Unleavened Bread, followed by the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost and concluded by the Feast of Tabernacles. (De. 16:16). Another sample of God’s use of three to show a complete institution is the Tabernacle structure which consists of the Outer Court, the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. (Ex. 40:33-34). Finally, the victory of Jesus the Lord is absolute. Every tongue will confess his lordship and every knee that is in the celestial, terrestrial, and subterranean realms will bow in complete submission. (Joh. 12:32f; 1Co. 15:28ff; Ph’l. 2:10).

Biblical History Embody Spiritual Truth

The next principle for digging out the reality hidden in types and shadows tells that historic events in the Bible embody spiritual truth. There are five basic areas where God hides these golden nuggets in the Bible.

The first hiding place is known as allegories of Bible history. The word allegory comes from the Greek word “allegoreo” which means to speak, not according to the primary sense of the word, but so the stated facts apply to illustrated principles. The allegorical meaning does not do away with the literal meaning of the narrative. Moreover, there can be more than one meaning to an allegory, yet only one literal meaning. An example of an allegory is given in Paul’s writing to the church in Galatia. He used the story of Abraham’s two sons and their mothers to depict the two covenants. (Gal. 4:22ff).

Next, we discover that God used riddles and “enigmas” to conceal the truth. In his letter to the church in Corinth, the apostle Paul says, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. Now we see in a mirror, dimly (enigma), but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” (1Co. 13:11ff). The word “dimly” comes from the Greek word “enigma.” It means to share by means of an obscure saying; a riddle, a paradox, a mystery, or a secret. (Ez. 17:2; 1Co. 13:12).

The third place God hides truth is in the shadows of the Old Covenant. The Greek word is “skia” and it describes a shade, a shadow, or a silhouette. That is a dark image or outline cast when an object blocks the light. The writer of the book of Hebrews said, “The law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.” (Col. 2:16f; Heb. 8:1ff, 10:1).

The parables or similitudes are the fourth place that God hides the truth. A parable is a fictitious narrative of common life conveying a moral. The word comes from the Greek word “parabole,” and means a similitude, such as, symbol. A coinciding word in the Hebrew language is “mashal,” which describes a brief, but weighty, adage, usually of a metaphorical nature. The translators of the Old Testament render this word proverb.

Finally, God uses types to conceal his truth. The words type, figures, examples, pattern in the King James Version all come from the Greek word “typos.” This word means a simile, or a representation of something real. It is the pattern, the prototype, or model of the original. Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. God said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” (Ro. 5:14; 1Co. 10:6, 11; Heb. 8:5).

There are a few things to remember when dealing with the truth hidden by any of these biblical methods. First true revelation does not come through the use of an active imagination, but by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, the truth becomes unveiled through proper application of the teachings, or doctrine of the Bible. Once again, revelation without activation produces mere information. Finally, the Bible is a spiritual book filled with the “deep things of God” that need spiritual interpretation. (1Co. 2:8ff). To properly interpret the spiritual truth out of the types, shadows, riddles and allegories of the Bible one must learn to interpret spiritual things with spiritual things. (1Co. 2:13). Those who search out the hidden reality of God’s purpose must also understand the New Covenant is not of the letter, but of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. (Ro. 8:2; 2Co. 3:5).

More to Come . . .

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