The TABERNACLE teaches us about GOD and “HIS HOUSE” …



the Holy Spirit has given us a detailed description of the Tabernacle, its structure, furniture, and priesthood. It is a fact worthy of our closest and fullest consideration that more space is devoted to an account of the Tabernacle than to any other single object or subject treated of in Holy Writ.

Its courts, its furniture, and its ritual are described with a surprising particularity of detail. Two chapters suffice for a record of God’s work in creating and fitting this earth for human habitation, whereas ten chapters are needed to tell us about the Tabernacle.

Truly God’s thoughts and ways are DIFFERENT from ours!

How sadly many of God’s own people have dishonored Him and His Word by their studied neglect of these chapters! Too many have seen in the Tabernacle, with its Divinely-appointed arrangements and services, only a ritual of the past – a record of Jewish manners and customs which have long since passed away and which have no meaning for or value to us.

But “ALL SCRIPTURE is given by INSPIRATION of GOD and is profitable” (2Tim 3:16). The Christian cannot neglect any portion of the Word without suffering loss: “whatsoever things were written aforetime (in the Old Testament) were written FOR OUR LEARNING” (Romrews 15:4).

Again and again in the New Testament the Holy Spirit makes figurative reference to the Tabernacle and its furniture, and much in the Epistle to the HEBREWS cannot be understood without reference to the contents of EXODUS and LEVITICUS.

“The TABERNACLE is one of the most important and instructive TYPES

Here is such a variety of truths, here is such a fullness and manifoldness of spiritual teaching, that our great difficulty is to combine all the various lessons and aspects which it presents.

The tabernacle has no fewer than THREE MEANINGS,

In the FIRST place, the TABERNACLE is a TYPE, a visible illustration, of that HEAVENLY PLACE in which GOD has HIS SWELLING.

In the SECOND place, the tabernacle is a TYPE of JESUS CHRIST, who is the MEETING-PLACE BETWEEN GOD and MAN

And, in the THIRD place, the tabernacle is a type of CHRIST in the CHURCH – of the COMMUNION of JESUS with all believers”

The first of these meanings is clearly stated in Hebrews 9:23-24: “It was, therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these (i.e. sprinklings of blood see Hebrews 9:21-22); but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

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 tabernacle was a symbol of God’s dwelling. There is a Sanctuary, wherein is the especial residence and manifestation of the PRESENCE of GOD

 The Tabernacle was God’s dwelling place. It was there, in the midst of Israel’s camp, that He took up His abode.

Between the Cherubim. upon the mercy-seat He made His throne. In the holy of holies He manifested His presence by means of the Shekinah glory. And during the thirty-three years that the Word tabernacled among men. God had His dwelling-place in Palestine. The holy of holies received fulfillment in the person of the Holy One of God.

The TABERNACLE was, therefore, the place where GOD MET with MAN.

It was termed “the Tent of Meeting.” If an Israelite desired to draw near unto Jehovah he had to come to the door of the Tabernacle. When giving instruction to Moses concerning the making of the Tabernacle and its furnishings, God said, “And thou shalt put the mercy-seat above upon the ark, and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, awl I will commune with thee” (Exo_25:21-22). How perfect is this lovely TYPE!

Christ is the meeting-place between God and man. No man cometh unto the Father but by Him (John 14:6). There is but one Mediator between God and men—the Man Christ Jesus (1Ti_2:5). He is the One who spans the gulf between Deity and humanity, because Himself both God and Man.

1. The Tabernacle had BUT ONE DOOR.

The outer court, with its solid walls of white curtains, was pierced by one gate only; telling us there is, but one way into the presence of the holy God.

How this reminds us of the words of that One who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by Me!” Access can be obtained only through Him who declared “I am the Door” (John 10:9).

Thus we see how fully and how perfectly the tabernacle of old foreshadowed the person of our blessed Lord, and why the Holy Spirit, when announcing the Incarnation, said, “And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.”

First, there is the tabernacle as it was originally planned in Heaven … then shown as a pattern to Moses on the Mount.

What did this adumbrate but Christ set forth from eternity in the counsels of the Godhead?

The great Sacrifice was no afterthought on the part of God. He was not taken by surprise, nor was His eternal purpose interfered with when Adam transgressed His commandment. The LAMB was “FOREORDAINED before the FOUNDATION of the world” (1 Peter 1:20)!

Then in Jehovah showing to Moses the pattern of the Tabernacle which was to be erected, we have PREFIGURED the successive TYPES and PROPHECIES which GOD GAVE to HIS PEOPLE before HIS SON became INCARNATE.

Just as Moses later built the Tabernacle according to the actual model which God had shown him during the forty days on the Mount, so Christ was born, lived and died, in exact accord with the prophetic plan which God gave during the forty centuries that preceded.

Second, in EXODUS chapters 32 and 33 we are introduced to a dark interval of rebellion, when Israel sinned grievously against their Divine Benefactor.

How accurately this depicts the fall and failure of man during the whole of the Old Testament period, and how it witnessed to the need of that redemption which God, in His marvelous grace, had prepared! “Christ had been already provided, but man must feel the need of the Divine salvation by the actual experience of sin.

all the time that man was rebelling against God, God’s remedy was waiting in that mount of grace” (Christ in the Tabernacle, by A. B. Simpson).

Despite Israel’s fearful transgression in the interval, the Tabernacle was erected; even so the fearful wickedness of men and all their countless abominations did not turn God from His purpose of mercy. When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son. Where SIN abounded, GRACE did much more abound.

the Ark contained evidence of man’s failure to live holy before God; … man rebelling against a loving and perfect God; … GOD is the Great PROVIDER, LEADER, and GIVER;FALLEN MAN is HOPELESSLY FLAWED and in DESPERATE NEED of a SAVIOR. ..

the Ark points to Jesus Christ the PROMISED Savior of the World

the anointing of the Holy Spirit is not an end in itself but rather the vehicle for bringing the presence of God … In the Old Testament, the priest first applied blood then oil (Leviticus 14:14-17). 

We must die to self before the life of God is demonstrated through us (Philippians 3:9-11). 

we first must lay down our lives, our self will, our plan for our lives at the Golden Altar of Incense and then we ushered into the Holy of Holies to experience intimacy or union with God (John 17:21-23)

we chose to enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with praise, but only God can choose to allow us into His precious presence for worship.

No amount of trying or crying will allow us into His presence.

There the Oil of Gladness – God the Holy Spirit (1) – will come upon us as we seek to obey Jesus (Hebrews 1:9).

empowered in God’s POWERHIS good works (John 15:7,8) and not our dead works HIS righteousness, not our self-righteous-ness








The Outer Court of the Tabernacle, as viewed by someone approaching it, would appear as a privacy FENCE fifty cubits made of fine white LINEN supported by BRONZE POSTS with bronze bases and SILVER CAPS on top (Exodus 27:9-15).

WHITE LINEN representing GOD’s high standard of PURITY or RIGHTeousness 

The curtain GATE on the East side is the ONLY entrance (Jesus – The Way) into the Outer Court of the Tabernacle.

One enters with THANKSgiving (i.e., singing songs for what He has done for us)

The OUTER Court represents the Body of MAN 

There were silver HOOKS on the posts for attaching the linen and bronze stakes for cords that would support the posts on both sides (Exodus 27:17-19).

The SILVER on the top of the posts represents there is a “price on our head” for REDEMPTION that must be paid (Numbers 18:16.Exodus 30:16) 

to escape the fiery JUDGMENT represented by the BRONZE post and base

the message of sin, righteousness, and judgment is conveyed to anyone approaching the Outer Court via the materials and construction of the Outer Court’s fence or wall

White is the color of purity, blue is the color of Heaven and divinity, purple the color of royalty, red the color of blood.

The Way” into the Tabernacle will be by ONE who is sinless and both God from Heaven and King who paid the price for our redemption with His pure and righteous blood 


Upon entering the Outer Court of the Tabernacle you would pass the BRAZEN (bronze) Altar 

FIVE (the number … the GRACE which is God’s unearned favor) … represented the cross of our Lord Jesus where He took the fiery judgment for our sin (Isaiah 53). 




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The curtain screen or entrance of the Holy Place is woven of the same color scheme as the entrance to the Outer Court.

That is white linen with blue, purple and red thread woven into them

FIVE (number for grace) posts or pillars that are used to support the linen screen at the entrance to the Holy Place.

posts of acacia wood covered with gold and with gold caps on top but with a bronze base






Leviticus outlines FIVE special Levitical fire offerings and sacrifices.

#1 – BURNT Offering sanctification of the whole man in self-surrender to the Lord even unto death.

#2 – MEAL Offering is the fruit of that sanctification.

Meal or Grain Offering – the only one that was NOT a BLOOD offering.

The Meal Offering – Hebrew korban minchah … literally “to give a present.”

the basic concept of a gift to gain the FAVOR of a SUPERIOR

Tribute of worship (“worth-ship”) to a divine overlord

#3 – PEACE, Fellowship or Communion OFFERING

The third Levitical offering is the Peace, Fellowship, or Communion Offering. Hebrew – zebach shlamim; literally “sacrifices of peaces.” 

PEACE Offeringsaving GRACE.

peace (shalom) had ethical considerations of completeness, wellness, prosperity, friendship, and happiness.

The peace offerings (shelamin) had RIGHT RELATIONS or HARMONY as their basic thought

#4 –SIN OfferingAMENDS for SIN.

The Sin Offering is for making amends for sin.

The SIN OFFERING (Leviticus 4:1-5:13)

The peace offerings (shelamin) had right relations or harmony as their basic thought

The basic purpose of the SIN Offering was to deal with the issue of mandatory offerings for sinS committed UN-intentionally. 

Hebrew – “to wander,” “to go wrong,” “to make a mistake,” “to commit error.”

SIN which arises from human infirmity or from the weakness of the flesh and blood; WAYWARD-ness

Hebrew sin is chata literally “to miss the mark.” 

The Sin Offering focuses on the sin itself …

#5 – TRESPASS Offering

for the RESTORATION of rights that had been VIOLATED.

the Trespass Offering focused on the PRACTICE of sin (i.e., sins) 

Two basic Hebrew: first “ASHAM” … guilt …a Trespass Offering, a Reparation Offering, or Guilt Offering.

Sin Offering … purification from sin and atonement for the guilt of sin.

Secondly, “MAAL”, which basically means “a VIOLATION” … an act of misappropriation or denial of that which is rightfully due to another …with the word “another” being God or man.

The emphasis of this offering is on the practice of sin (i.e., sinS of SELF) rather than the sin itself.

however, the Trespass Offering focused on the practice of sin with the emphasis on the harmful EFFECTS of sin upon OTHERS

Isaiah 53:10 states that the Messiah was to be a Trespass Offering … God will make Him an offering for sin. the Trespass Offering typifies Jesus the Messiah’s overpayment for the penalty of our trespasses against our Holy God. Atonement was made by the blood of the offering and the trespasser (mankind) was forgiven thus restoring fellowship between the offender (mankind) and the offended (God). 

the Trespass Offering covered the sins of which the offerer was unaware

This offering requires confession, COMPENSATION, and RESTITUTION for the wrong done.

It was an EXPIATION, making amends, reparation, or atonement of trespass claims of both God and man.

Unlike the Sin Offering the Trespass offering required restitution to the wronged party

The Book of Leviticus discussed this offering in TWO PARTS: FIRST sins or trespasses AGAINST GOD (Leviticus 5:14-19); and SECOND trespasses against MAN (Leviticus 6:1-7).

There are four salient lessons of the Trespass Offering:

  • that the offender must give complete satisfaction to the offended,
  • the concept that both satisfaction and compensation were essential
  • that sin defiles and this defilement has both spiritual and social connotations, and
  • in cases of sin that caused harm to others, restitution had to be made before making the offering. (This same principle is taught in Matthew 5:23,24; 6:12). 

There are SIX basic STEPS of the TRESPASS OFFERing:

  1. the offerer (i.e. the offender) presented the sacrifice (always a ram without blemish) and, in this presentation, had to estimate the proper value of the crime, while also estimating the value of the ram (Leviticus 5:15; 6:2–6),
  2. the offerer would then need to make restitution, which had to be made before the actual atonement (Leviticus 5:16; 6:5). As part of this restitution, he had to pay the full value of the deed plus a twenty percent fine. If the sin were against God, the twenty percent fine was paid to the priest; if it were against another person, it was paid to the offended, (5)
  3. the offerer would then carry out the atonement itself, in which the ram was offered up and the blood of the ram was shed (Leviticus 5:15, 18), 
  4. the blood of the ram was sprinkled on the sides of the Altar of Sacrifice by the priest (Leviticus 7:2), 
  5. the fat (i.e., the tail, entrails, two kidneys, and fat on their sinews, and liver) of the Ram was burned, but the smoke was NOT considered to produce a soothing aroma to God (i.e., our trespasses smell awful to God!) (Leviticus 7:3-5)
  6. the remainder of the sacrifice was eaten by the priests in a Holy Place as it was most holy (Leviticus 7:6).

The New Testament views ALL the old covenant SACRIFICES as TYPES of the DEATH of CHRIST … the significance of CHRIST’s death.

the five sacrifices bring out different aspects and significance of HIS ONE sacrificial DEATH on the CROSS. 

Jesus answered to God for our trespasses and paid OUR DEBT by HIS SHED BLOOD  

Lambs sacrificed every morning and evening – Jesus … ‘the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29).

JESUS died at the time of the evening sacrifice

The TABERNACLE of Moses – GOD’s Heavenly Pattern


The TABERNACLE (Holy of Holies)






the Holy Place …the Soul of man …

three items of furniture (i.e., Golden LampstandTable of ShowbreadGolden Altar of Incense  in the Holy Place represent the process that will lead to this Truth transformation … the curtain screen to the Holy Place symbolically represents Jesus as “The Truth” (John 14:6).

the Golden ALTAR of INCENSE – the curtain veil or entrance of the Most Holy Place (i.e., Holy of Holies) that is woven of the same color scheme as the entrance to the Outer Court and the Holy Place. 

CHERUBIM (God’s Honor Guard Angels – entering the Most Holy Place is to enter into the presence of God and you must be holy to enter … a new way has been made by Jesus’ death to enter into the Most Holy Place

The two Angels watching over the Mercy Seat, representing Jesus, a foreshadowing of the two Angels that would guard Jesus’ body, one at His head and one at His feet, so that it would not experience corruption or decay after the crucifixion (Acts 2:31. John 20:10-12)

The VEIL separating the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place is the spiritual heart of man 

The Mercy Seat, or Throne, was to be put upon the Ark of the Testimony within the veil, in the Most Holy Place … the lid of the ark

The judgment throne of the Invisible One, Israel’s King (Hebrews 9:5).

The Greek word for “mercy seat” used here is “hilasterion” meaning the place of appeasement … translated “propitiation” in Romans 3:25 meaning Jesus is our Mercy Seat! 

Consequentially, Jesus is both the “place of appeasement” and “that which appeases” or said another way, Jesus is both the “Mercy Seat” and the “Sinless Sacrificial Lamb!” Jesus fully “God” and fully “Man”.

Jesus, God Himself became the appeasing demanded by His holiness and justice (1 John 4:10).

God the Righteous Judge took upon Himself the penalty of the one whom He has judged guilty (i.e., man) so that man can have GRACE (i.e., unearned favor) in order to for God to show MERCY (i.e., provide whatever is needed to restore, heal, rescue, protect – save!).

God has paid the penalty for our sin at the cross of Calvary and based on this God’s mercy is extended to all. That is, the judgment seat has become a Mercy Seat! 

It was the throne of Mercy. Everything in the Law of Moses centered in that Mercy Seat. All the sacrifices had to do with that Mercy Seat within the veil. All the shedding of the blood of offerings had to do with that one chief sprinkling of blood upon the Mercy Seat. The Ark and the Mercy Seat within the Holy of Holies was the symbol of the coming Word-made-flesh, Jesus Christ. The “blood of sprinkling” was the symbol of the Lamb of God who bears away the world’s sin (Hebrews 9:11,12. Hebrews 9:22-26). MERCY!

The Ark was a box, or chest, overlaid with pure gold outside and inside.

Within the Ark was to be placed “The Testimony which I shall give you,” the Lord told Moses (Exodus 25:21) … the Tablets … The Ten Commandments), it contained a golden pot containing manna (Exodus 16:32-34) and Aaron’s rod that had budded (Numbers 17:1-11).

Aaron’s ROD and the container of MANNA, both symbols and reminders of God’s deliverance and provision 

The three things within the Ark represented man’s inability to do anything right without abiding in God … mankind’s rejection of God.

Rejection of God’s PROVISION …he golden pot of manna. 

Rejection of God-appointed LEADERSHIPAaron’s rod

Rejection of God’s LAW … the stone tablets.

The Testimony or Ten Commandments have been rebelled against from their very inception.

While Moses was on the mountain receiving them the Israelites made an idol of gold and worshipped it calling it God’s name – Yahweh!

This they broke the Law and Moses gave them an object lesson by breaking the tablets of stone on which were written the ten commandments … to understand our need for salvation

the ARK contained evidence of man’s FAILURE to live holy before God

evidence that FALLEN man is hopelessly FLAWED and in desperate need of a savior

the Ark points to Jesus Christ the Savior of the World that was, is, and shall ever be!

For a cover (or lid) over the Ark Moses was to make a “Mercy Seat” of solid pure gold, with Cherubims, one at each end facing each other, and all in one piece


The Tabernacle was a tent located within the Outer Court. 

It was 45 feet long, 15 feet wide and 15 feet high. 

Four curtains serve as the roof and walls of the tabernacle. 

The Tabernacle was a tent located within the Outer Court.  The innermost curtain is made of fine linen.  Four curtains serve as the roof and outer covering of the walls of the tabernacle:

(2) (Model of the Tabernacle)

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  • The innermost curtain is fine linen (represents Jesus has become our righteousness)
  • curtain cover of black goat’s hair (Jesus became our sin – our scapegoat)
  • ram’s skin that has been dyed red (Jesus shed His blood for our Sin – our substitute)
  • The outermost is skin of a marine animal (perhaps a Dolphin) and serves to protect the tabernacle from the harsh desert climate (Jesus our provision for all needs including protection)

These curtains prevented any natural light from entering the Holy Place. 

only the priests were allowed to enter the Holy Place.

Two rooms: the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (aka, the Holy of Holies).

These curtains prevented any natural light from entering the Holy Place.  Furthermore, only the priests were allowed to enter the Holy Place.

Two rooms are contained within the Tabernacle: the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (aka, the Holy of Holies).

The Mercy Seat … the center of all, within the Holiest of all, the throne of the God of glory and where God would speak … a place of covering and forgiving sin … over which rested the cloud and fire of God’s Presence.

Moses would go into the presence of God in the Holy of Holies and the presence of God … would permeate his body

He would then exit the Holy of Holies and share the presence of God with his people.

Moses would go into God’s presence to receive the power to “Bless them.

under the Law, no one except the High Priest could go into the Holy of Holies and then just once a year on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).  

There are TWO different ORDERS of PRIESTHOODS in the Old Covenant 

ALL Christians are called to be priests unto God serving under the Great High Priest, our Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:6; Hebrews 2:17).


Aaron’s rod and the container of manna, both symbols and reminders of God’s deliverance and provision 

detail each of the three priestly garments of the Old Testament.

Melchizedek (which means king of righteousness) appeared to Abraham blessing him and revealing himself as the king of Salem (Salem means Peace and is believed to be ancient Jerusalem (Psalms 76:2)) and the priest of the Highest God.

Putting those various names together, Melchizedek is a Priestly King of Righteousness and Peace … Jesus is the giver of righteousness that leads to peace with God the Father (Romans 5:1,2)

No genealogy was revealed for Melchizedek in the Old Covenant. Nevertheless, Melchizedek’s importance is revealed by father Abraham (Romans 4:16) giving him the tithe and receiving a blessing from him.

The second order of priesthood was from AARON:

Aaron, the older brother of Moses (Exodus 6:20) was chosen by God to be the first High Priest of this second-order of the priesthood.

the descendants of AARON were given the PRIESTHOOD, and the descendants of MOSES were considered the LEVITES that supported the priests in the daily operation and maintenance of the tabernacle.

What happened to the priesthood of the order of Aaron?

The priesthood of Aaron, a priesthood under the law that could not make lost humanity righteous, ENDED at the trial of Jesus and the Law as the way to righteousness at the crucifixion of Jesus.

The purpose of the priesthood was to REMOVE the OBSTACLE of sin (Isaiah 59:2) which kept man from God and to make a WAY of ACCESS for MAN to GOD

The Levitical priesthood and sacrifices could not do this in actuality but rather provided it in a figurative way pointing to the Messiah and His substitutionary death on the Cross.

The BLOOD of ANIMALS could NOT pay for SIN;

the BLOOD of JESUS the Messiah COULD 

JESUS’ BLOOD (the REALITY) replaced ANIMAL blood (the TYPE).

The Levitical system was perfect for the purpose for which it was instituted, that of POINTING TO The GREAT HIGH PRIEST, JESUS the MESSIAH 

the Aaronic High Priest was also a sinner living amongst sinners in need of Jesus the Great High Priest to MEDIATE salvation for themselves

under the Law, no one except the High Priest could go into the Holy of Holies and then just once a year on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).  

the anointing of the Holy Spirit is not an end in itself but rather the vehicle for bringing the presence of God …

we chose to enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with praise, but only God can choose to allow us into His precious presence for worship.

No amount of trying or crying will allow us into His presence.


BOTH “PROPIATION” (sacrifice) … “PROPITATORY” (“sacrific-er”)

EXPIATION (sacrifice) … EXPIATOR (the sacrifice-er)



Aaron’s sons were to wear holy garments (1) as priests unto God with Aaron wearing holy garments for “glory and beauty” as the High Priest

  • The High Priest’s year-round garment.
  • The High Priest’s Day of Atonement garment.
  • The Priest’s year-round garment.

The High Priest and Priests wore no shoes or sandals meaning they would walk barefoot which is the prerequisite for walking on holy ground (Exodus 3:5).

The first four articles of clothing were uniquely worn by the High Priest and the last four garments that were similar to those worn by the other Priests with the exception of the Sash which was unique for the “Golden Garment”:

  • Breastplate
  • Ephod (Vest or Apron)
  • Robe (Coat – Outer Garment)
  • Plate (Diadem or Crown)
  • Tunic (Long Shirt – Inner Garment)
  • Turban (Hat or Mitre)
  • Sash (Linen Belt or Girdle)
  • Undergarments (Short Pants)

Memorial Stones with the names of the Twelve Tribes of Israel … the sons of Israel (Jacob) according to the order of their birth … on the shoulders of the ephod

Spiritual Significance: These stones represented that all the names of God’s Special Treasure 

The most important garment worn by the High Priest is the ephod.

Its appearance can be likened to an apron; it was worn in back, on top of his other garments, and was fastened by a long belt in the front