GOD has a Plan to connect with each one of us personally. In fact, everything in the Bible points to this relationship, because everything in the Bible points directly to Jesus!
In this Study we’ll discover how GOD’s design for the Tabernacle is both a picture of Who Jesus Is, but also a beautiful pathway we can use to connect with Him in our personal prayer life.
LUKE 24:27 NLT
Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
Everything in the Text points to Jesus, and He fulfills every facet of GOD’s Word within Himself
Because Jesus Is the Living Word
The Outer Court
Outer Court Prayer Posture:
PSALM 100:4 NLT
Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.
Praise and Thanksgiving are our initial approach to GOD
Praise Him for Who He Is
Thank Him for what He’s already done
The Brazen Altar – The Cross
Provides: Payment for Sin
Salvation through repentance
Healing from sin
Provision of Salvation
GALATIANS 3:13-14 NLT
But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Through Christ Jesus, GOD has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.
The Brazen Laver (The Sea) – Water Baptism
Provides: Cleansing from Sin
Redemption through New Birth
Washing of our body, soul and spirit
New Identity in Christ
The Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
GALATIANS 3:26-29 NLT
For you are all children of GOD through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothe. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and GOD’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.
The Holy Place (Inner Court)
Menorah Prayer Posture:
Seek the Holy Spirit
ACTS 1:8 NLT
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Holy Spirit Baptism accomplishes three things:
How to receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit:
ACTS 2:38-39 NLT
“Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to GOD, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the LORD our GOD.”
The Menorah – The Holy Spirit
The Menorah has seven lights (candlesticks) which remind us that seven is the number of GOD—He made the world in seven days, and He also set up seven feasts for His people to celebrate throughout the year.
The Seven Feasts, and how they point to Jesus:
— Passover —
Passover is when GOD brought deliverance to His people from the bondage of Egypt by sacrificing a perfect lamb
Jesus is the Lamb of GOD
Jesus died on the cross on the actual Passover date to bring us Spiritual freedom
— Unleavened Bread —
On this day GOD’s people were to only eat bread that wouldn’t rise while they prayed for GOD to “bring fruit out of the ground that which they most needed”
Jesus was in the tomb on this day
All of Jerusalem was praying that night that GOD would “bring out of the ground that which they most needed”
Jesus’s death and resurrection was the answer to the prayers of Unleaven Bread!
— First Fruits —
First Fruits occurred three days after Passover. In this festival, GOD’s people were to bring to Him the first thing out of the ground from the spring harvest
Jesus is called the First Fruit of resurrection
He actually resurrected on the day of First Fruits
— Pentecost —
Pentecost is 50 days after First fruits, and was a celebration the 50 days after Passover when Moses came down and gave the 10 Commandments to GOD’s people
Fifty days after Jesus’ death, the Holy Spirit was poured out for the first time
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the empowerment we need to stay in relationship with Jesus, and to accomplish His Mission
— Trumpets —
This was a time of blowing the Shofar
Trumpets were often used as a celebration of the returning king
Jesus said that He will one day return to earth as King with the sounds of trumpets
— Atonement —
This was the day the priest went into The Holy Place and put his hands on a scapegoat to take the consequences of our wrong doing
The goat would then be released into the wilderness as a symbol that the people had escaped punishment
Jesus is our scapegoat and great High Priest!
He took all the sins of humanity into Himself (He became sin)
At His death, the Veil of Separation in the Temple was torn from top to bottom
Now we call all can freely go into the Holy of Holies (relationship with GOD)
— Tabernacles(the middle candle) —
This feast was a longing for GOD’s Light to come and dwell (or tabernacle) among his people
GOD said it was to be a day of rejoicing and celebration among the people
This feast was in the fall, a time when “shepherds are out in their fields by night”
Tabernacles was a celebration of GOD’s Light coming to the world
Jesus is the Light of the world
Jesus was born on the day of Tabernacles
The angels reference this festival when they tell the shepherds that this is a time of great joy for all people
John tells us that Jesus Is the Word made flesh that came to dwell (or tabernacle) among us
Connections to Jesus:
ISAIAH 11:1-2 NLT
Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
The Seven Characteristics (Spirits) of the LORD:
The Spirit of the LORD (Ruach – the Breath or Wind of GOD)
Might (Strength, Power, Ability) (Ephesians 3:14-19)
Knowledge (Ephesians 1:17-23)
Fear (Respect and awe) for the LORD
The Gifts of the Spirit
1 CORINTHIANS 12:7-11 NLT
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faithto another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discernwhether a message is from the Spirit of GOD or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpretwhat is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
The 9 Primary Spiritual Gifts:
The Purpose of these Gifts: (1 Corinthians 14)
1-7 — To minister (serve) the Body
8 — For personal edification
9 — To remove confusion in a gathering where there are unbelievers
Table of Shewbread Prayer Posture:
PSALM 119:105 NLT
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
Ask Jesus to guide your steps
PSALM 37:23 NLT
The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
Ask Jesus to light the path of your life
PSALM 119:133 NLT
Guide my steps by your word, so I will not be overcome by evil.
Pray the Word
Seek fresh Illumination of the Word
Knowledge – Intimacy with Jesus
Understanding – Illumination and Revelation
Table of Shewbread – The Word
12 cakes of bread, arranged in two rows of six
Each cake represented one of the 12 tribes of Israel
LEVITICUS 24:5-8 NLT
“You must bake twelve flat loaves of bread from choice flour, using four quarts of flour for each loaf. Place the bread before the LORD on the pure gold table, and arrange the loaves in two stacks, with six loaves in each stack. Put some pure frankincense near each stack to serve as a representative offering, a special gift presented to the LORD. Every Sabbath day this bread must be laid out before the LORD as a gift from the Israelites; it is an ongoing expression of the eternal covenant. The loaves of bread will belong to Aaron and his descendants, who must eat them in a sacred place, for they are most holy. It is the permanent right of the priests to claim this portion of the special gifts presented to the LORD.”
The Bread was a physical representation of an Eternal Covenant between GOD and His people
The Bread was set out each Sabbath
This was the designated day of worship
The Bread was baked and decorated from offerings given by each tribe
The offering was freely given by each member of each tribe
Their offering was each family’s way to personally participate in the Covenant with GOD
The Bread was given to the priests as their food, and the frankincense was given as their provision
GOD didn’t allow them to work a trade other than serving Himself and serving the people
There are no chairs or benches in the Holy Place
Those who minister in this space are to serve continually (without rest – GOD provided them with strength)
As long as they were serving in their Divine Call their strength never ran out
The Bread is an example of tithes and offerings being used to financially support those in ministry to a congregation
As long as the people remained in Covenant with GOD,
the people GOD chose to serve them would be able to remain in position of servitude
This was a direct benefit to the people
The Bread is also an early example of celebrating Communion
As the priests would gather together to eat the Bread they became one in service and spirit
As the priests served the people, the entire nation (community) became one with GOD
Literal – The Bread of the Face
Because it was set out before the Face (or Presence) of GOD
Common – The Bread of Presence
When you’re in the LORD’s Presence every need is met… continually
PSALM 23:1 NLT
The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
Connections to Jesus:
Jesus chose 12 disciples to walk in daily community with Him
Each disciple represented one of the 12 tribes of Israel
They were the ones chosen to carry the Good News (the Bread of Life) to the world
Every day the disciples remained in the Presence of GOD as they walked with Jesus
Community – Sustaining relationship
John 6:35 – Jesus calls Himself the Bread of Life (“if you eat this Bread you’ll have Eternal Life”)
The very nature of bread is to provide physical sustenance
As you eat it and digest bread it becomes a part of you
The very Nature of the Word of GOD is to provide Spiritual Sustenance
As you eat this Book, it becomes part of you, and your character is changed to be like Him (Ezekiel 3:1)
Jesus takes us firmly by the hand and leads into a radical life-change (Romans 2:3-4 MSG)
Jesus is the Word (John 1:1-15)
JOHN 1:14 NLT
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.
And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
The Word is a Lamp that guides (Psalm 119:105-112)
The Word is the Bread of Life that fills and sustains (John 6:25-59)
The Shewbread points to Jesus as the Eternal Bread that will never run out
Jesus provides us with Eternal Community (Communion) with GOD
In the Tabernacle the job of the priests was continual, because the Bread was never allowed to run out…
they had to serve continually because their work was never completed
Jesus sacrificed Himself as the Completed Work!
His sacrifice was fully effective and fully completed
In the Tabernacle the priests could never sit because their work was never finished
Jesus cried out, “It is finished!” because the Work was finally completed
Then, we see that He is seated at the right hand of GOD
This isn’t a separate throne (or seat), but rather an indication that
Jesus embodies the totality of all GOD’s Authority and Power, bodily (Colossians 2:9)
The Right Hand – The Seat of Power
All Power is in the man, Jesus Christ!
Altar of Incense Prayer Posture:
HEBREWS 4:14-16 NLT
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of GOD, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious GOD. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Be bold, joyful, exuberant, lively…
you’ve been set free by His completed work!
Proclaim His greatness, His glory, His majesty, His works, His faithfulness (1 Chronicles 23-31)
Praise Him for salvation (Isaiah 12)
Worship Jesus for Who He Is
Use His Covenant Names:
YHWH (Adonai or Jehovah)
YHWH – (of Himself) I AM – (from us) GOD Is
Jesus – GOD Is my I AM
YHWH-M’Kaddesh – GOD Is the One Who Sanctifies
Jesus – GOD Is my Sanctification
YHWH-Jireh – GOD Is the One Who Provides
Jesus – GOD Is my Provision
YHWH-Shalom – GOD Is Peace
Jesus – GOD Is my Peace
YHWH-Rophe – GOD Is the One Who Heals
Jesus – GOD Is my Healer
YHWH-Nissi – GOD Is our Banner
Jesus – GOD Is my Banner
YHWH-Rohi – GOD Is our Shepherd
Jesus – GOD Is my Shepherd
YHWH-T’sidkenu – GOD Is our Righteousness
Jesus – GOD Is makes me Righteous
YHWH-Sabahoth – GOD Is the LORD of Hosts
Jesus – The Fullness of Divinity, the LORD Almighty
YHWH-Shammah – GOD Is the LORD Who Is Here
Jesus – I AM Here
Altar of Incense – Worship
The Altar of Incense (The Golden Altar)
EXODUS 30:1-10 NLT
“Then make another altar of acacia wood for burning incense.Make it 18 inches square and 36 inches high, with horns at the corners carved from the same piece of wood as the altar itself.Overlay the top, sides, and horns of the altar with pure gold, and run a gold molding around the entire altar.Make two gold rings, and attach them on opposite sides of the altar below the gold molding to hold the carrying poles.Make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.Place the incense altar just outside the inner curtain that shields the Ark of the Covenant, in front of the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—that covers the tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant. I will meet with you there.
“Every morning when Aaron maintains the lamps, he must burn fragrant incense on the altar.And each evening when he lights the lamps, he must again burn incense in the LORD’s presence. This must be done from generation to generation. Do not offer any unholy incense on this altar, or any burnt offerings, grain offerings, or liquid offerings.
“Once a year Aaron must purify the altar by smearing its horns with blood from the offering made to purify the people from their sin. This will be a regular, annual event from generation to generation, for this is the LORD’s most holy altar.”
This is the last station before entering into the Holy of Holies
This Altar was positioned directly in line with the Brazen Altar and Brazen Laver, just outside the Veil leading into the Holy of Holies
Worship is always our pathway into deepest relationship with GOD
The High Priests were commanded to never offer unholy incense on this Altar
GOD was very specific in they kind of offering He would accept as worship (Exodus 30:34-38):
The holy, worship incense was a mixture of three rich and rare spices, blended with frankincense,
then beaten into a fine powder, and then salt is added
It was forbidden by GOD for the people to use the formula for anything personal…
it could only be used in worship to Him
Rich and rare spices- Unidentifiable today
The indication is that pure worship always contains an element that is unidentifiable in human reasoning
Frankincense – A white oil in its purist form
The word literally means pure, and indicates a purity of actions, ways (or lifestyle)
Salt – A preservation agent, that is also used to eradicated impurities
The incense would be poured out onto burning coals in the base of the altar, producing a sweet aroma
The offering of a person who’s sins had just been cleansed were the most attractive to the Presence of GOD
2 CORINTHIANS 2:15a NLT
Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to GOD…
What attracts GOD?
The fragrance of our sin, burning up in the fires of His Holiness!
The Altar was to be kept burning at all times
Worship can never stop… it’s how we stay pure
Connections to Jesus:
1 TIMOTHY 2:5 NLT
There is one GOD and one Mediator who can reconcile GOD and humanity—the man Christ Jesus.
The life, prayers, sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus are constantly between us and the Holiness of GOD,
mediating every mistake, every struggle, every weakness on our behalf
There’s no other person who could ever mediate our salvation, except the One Who saved us…
Jesus Christ, Himself (the man Who Is GOD!)
The four horns of the Altar represent the Four Gospels that describe in detail the Life of Jesus
Each Gospel presents Jesus in a different way, indicating a completely different reason to worship Him (Ezekiel 1:6, Revelation 4:6-8)
Matthew – The Lion of the Tribe of Judah
A King (1 Timothy 6:15)
Mark – An Ox Who carries our burdens
A Servant (Matthew 20:28)
Luke – A Man Who Is in relationship with us
A Friend (Proverbs 18:24)
John – An Eagle Who soars above our reality
The Mighty GOD in Christ (Isaiah 9:6)
The four horns also point to the four corners of the globe
which is where Jesus commissioned every believer to carry His Good News (Acts 1:8)
Jerusalem – My city
Judea – My state
Samaria – My nation
The ends of the earth – My world
The Holy of Holies
Holy of Holies Prayer Posture:
Ask for Mercy
Present your sins as an offering of worship
Stand between the Presence and Holiness of GOD and realize His Mercy!
Seek the Glory of GOD
Invite His Presence and His Holiness into your life
Invite His Word to shape your life
Invite Him to rest the Weight of His Identity on you
Spiritual Family (church)
The Ark of the Covenant was carried by the Levites
Pray for those who carry the Good News:
Intercede for Governmental Officials:
Intercede for Missionaries:
Intercede for those who do ministry in Spiritual high places:
Unreached people groups
Intercede for Spiritual focus:
Your lost family and friends
The Mercy Seat – The Mercy of GOD
EXODUS 25:17-22 NLT
“You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. Two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth. And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end. Of one piece with the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends.The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be.And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.”
The Cherubim – The Presence and Holiness of GOD
The Cherubim were carved images that were covered in gold, to represent the Glory of GOD
Each Cherubim had four faces (Ezekiel 1:5-10):
The Cherubim were continually facing each other over the Mercy Seat
To come face-to-face with GOD sin has to stand between His Presence and His Holiness
As the sinner stands in the midst of Who GOD Is,
the wrath and judgement of GOD are appeased by the blood that’s been sprinkled onto the Mercy Seat
The Shekinah – The Presence of the Word of GOD (GOD’s Glory)
Glory(Kabod) – The Weight of Who GOD Is (the weight of His Identity)
GOD’s Word Is His Identity, because we can’t separate GOD from His Word
GOD’s Presence Is His Identity, because we can’t separate GOD from His Presence
His Presence and His Word are His Glory – the Weight of Who He Is!
Connection to Jesus:
ROMANS 3:23-26 ESV
But now the righteousness of GOD has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of GOD through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of GOD, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom GOD put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show GOD’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Mercy Seat – Hilastrion (Greek)
Vs 25 – whom GOD put forward as a propitiation by his blood
Jesus Is our Mercy Seat!
A Seat indicates rest
All Mercy, Propitiation, Forgiveness, Grace rests in Jesus!
The life, sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus constant rest between a Holy GOD and sinful man… continually providing Mercy!
Tabernacle – The sins of the nation were atoned for a year when the blood was sprinkled onto the Mercy Seat
Jesus – The sins of all humanity were atoned by the blood Jesus shed on the cross!
Paul is literally saying that GOD put Jesus (the man, the life, the sacrifice, the resurrection) as a Mercy Seat
1 JOHN 2:2 NLT
[Jesus] himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
PSALM 99:1 NLT
The LORD is king!
Let the nations tremble!
He sits on his throne between the cherubim.
Let the whole earth quake!
LORD = Jehovah (YHWH – GOD Is) = Jesus
The Shekinah – The Presence of the Word of GOD (GOD’s Glory)
HEBREWS 1:1-3a NLT
Long ago GOD spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. GOD promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates GOD’S own glory and expresses the very character of GOD, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command.
Jesus (the Word) is the physical manifestation of the Shekinah (the Presence) of GOD
Jesus (the Word) is the Glory of GOD!
Jesus literally radiates the Weight of Who GOD Is
And He sustains everything by the Power of His Word!