The days predicted in 1 Tim. 4:1, 2 Tim. 4:3-4 are upon us. The Bible as God’s revelation to man has now a different and much more dangerous class of enemies than the open and avowed infidel of the past. The faith of the masses in the Bible is being undermined by the persistent attacks of men, who profess to teach it. And from press and pulpit, pernicious errors are going forth, like smoke from the pit, to darken men’s minds and fit them for the reception of the Antichrist.

In view of this, the best service which can be rendered to the Lord’s people, to enable them to stand against this rising tide of error, is to unfold Christ, as He is brought before us, in the very section of the Word, which is most despised by the Modernist! Indeed we believe the place it gets is due to ignorance of its teaching.

The reverent believer sees hundreds of proofs of the Divine authorship of the Bible, which are hidden from the eyes of those who imagine that education and brains are the sole requirement for to understand and expound it. It is well for us to remember what we have in 1 Cor. 2:14. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

The natural man is one who has not been born again, and therefore has not the Holy Spirit indwelling him. Such an one may have great natural gifts, aided by all the learning which the Universities can give, and yet he is utterly incompetent to understand and teach God’s Word. A blind man, would be just as successful in lecturing on colours as an unsaved man on the things of God.

To know the Word of God is our best safeguard in these days. And by knowing we do not mean just knowing its letter. The Scribes and Pharisees knew the letter, but they did not know Christ. And their very knowledge made them all the better helpers of Herod, who wished to destroy Christ (Matt. 2:4-6).

The subject with which we shall be occupied in these addresses is one peculiarly suited to the times. In no section of the Word do we find such a wealth of typical teaching about the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. And when we see that, we can appreciate better the words of our Lord in John 5:45, “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me.”

How fully he wrote of Christ, will, I think, become more evident as we take up the series of types which we find in the Tabernacle.

Written 1500 years before Christ came, we find from the gate of the court to the ark and mercy seat, all is aglow with sublime foreshadowings of our blessed Lord in His varied glories, as Redeemer, Priest and coming King. And to see the perfect agreement between the type and the antitype, between the figure and the fact, will strengthen the child of God to stand amid the apostasy, which is sweeping over Christendom.

Holy Vessels Before The Tabernacle. Why?

Before taking up any part of the Tabernacle, we wish to call attention to some things which are rather striking. God first speaks of the golden vessels, and then of the Tabernacle. Now with men it is first the house then the furniture. They don’t get the furniture and build the house to suit it. Rather do they build the house and get furniture suitable for the house. Why has God adopted the order we find here, that is so different to man’s order? The Tabernacle not only brings Christ before us, it also brings the Church before us. And God is gathering out the Church, that in it and through it He may unfold the varied glories of His Son, as we see from Eph. 3:8-10.

Thus as we look at the Tabernacle as a picture of the Church, and at the vessels as a picture of Christ, we can understand why the vessels get first place, reminding us of that word, “That in all things He might have the pre-eminence.” Col. 1:18.

More Said About The Tabernacle Than About Creation.

There is another point which is very suggestive, and it is this:—God gives us the account of the Creation of this world in less than two chapters, and yet the instructions for the making of a small building like the Tabernacle take up eleven chapters. Looking at it from our point of view, we would think that the work of creation was of far more importance than the building of the Tabernacle. But mighty though the work of creation was, it was simply, as it were, the erection of a stage upon which was to be wrought a far mightier work. That was the wondrous work of redemption. And as in a theatre, the actor is more than the stage, so the One who performed that mighty work, is infinitely more glorious than the stage on which He performed it. The painting of the encampment gives us a view of the Tabernacle sitting within the court enclosure, which was 100 cubits, or about 175 feet from east to west, and 50 cubits, or 87½ feet north to south.

The Tabernacle proper was towards the western end of the Court. It was 30 cubits or about 52 feet long, 10 cubits or 17½ feet wide, 10 cubits or 17½ feet high. It was divided into two compartments. The larger of the two is called the Holy Place, the smaller, the Most Holy Place. In the larger, we have the Golden Altar, the Golden Lampstand, and the Golden Table; while in the smaller or the Holiest, we have but the Ark and Mercy-Seat. When the Tabernacle was pitched, it did not look just as our picture represents it. The picture is arranged so that we get a view of the two curtains and coverings. But when the Tabernacle was erected, the only covering visible, save a width of the goats’ hair curtain above the door, was the outer covering of badgers’ skins. The first set of curtains were fine twined linen, blue, purple and scarlet. Over these were the Goats’ hair curtains. On top of these again were the rams’ skins dyed red. And over all was a covering of badgers’ skins. Then over the Tabernacle, while it was at rest, there was “The Cloud,” a symbol of the Divine Presence, resting on the rear end of the Tabernacle, and like a vast umbrella overshadowing the camp. That cloud was ever present. When they were to journey, it arose off the top of the Tabernacle and went in the direction that God meant them to travel, and when they came to their camping ground, the cloud stopped, thus always showing them the direction, just how far they were to go, and when they were to encamp. The Court was formed of 60 pillars of shittim wood supporting the linen curtain wall. Around the Tabernacle, immediately outside this wall, there were the three Levitical families, the Kohathites, Gershonites, and Merarites.

Then encamped near the gate, were Moses and Aaron, and Aaron’s sons. Thus the first line around the Tabernacle was the priestly tribe. Then outside this again, three tribes on each quarter, the twelve tribes, making a very pretty sight—one that drew from Balaam those very poetic words in Numbers, chapters 22, 23, and 24.

The Tabernacle was a comparatively small building. It was designed to be a place where God could dwell with and meet Israel in the person of their High Priest. So it was not an auditorium, as such a place for the assembling of God’s people now would be.

The Way Of Approach And What It Teaches.

The Approach to the Tabernacle contains most important teaching, bringing out just what man needs in order to fit him for God’s presence. Close by the gate, was the Brazen Altar. Between it and the Tabernacle, about midway, was the Brazen Laver. Thus those who came to God were met first by that which must form the title of any sinner in coming to God. The Altar speaks of the Cross work of our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, His work accomplished on earth. Then the Laver, which speaks of the unfinished work of the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven.

It is not our purpose now to give you our reasons for using these remarkable types, as indeed typifying the Lord Jesus Christ in His various offices. We hope to deal with them each in their turn, and then the Word will carry conviction to the minds and hearts of God’s people, that they do so set forth His glory. One little word suggests this; that is the last clause of the 9th verse of the 29th Psalm. Speaking of this very building, for the Temple proper was not then built (and so what is called the Temple in the 29th Psalm is the Tabernacle), that verse says, “Every whit of it uttereth His glory.” “Every whit of it”—not merely those beautiful vessels that are inside. One might say, “Of course they will utter His glory,” but the Tabernacle as it stands as a whole, blessedly speaks forth the Glories of Christ. We shall see that there is not a part of it, from the Ark and Mercy-Seat where God began, right out to the gate, but utters His glory. And some of these things, away far out from the centre, right in the very Court wall, in a most blessed way proclaim that glory. Now if there is any part of it that, naturally speaking, you might pass as not being very interesting, it would just be this wall and this gate. It will be far more interesting, no doubt, when we get to the building itself, but the gate and the wall, each in its measure, proclaim in most blessed language Christ’s glory.

In beginning with the gate, we begin where God ended in His instructions to Moses as to the making of this Tabernacle. He begins with the Ark and Mercy-Seat, and works from these out, until we come to the Laver and the Brazen Altar, and then to the Gate. We begin, we say where God left off, and this is very suggestive. It is the very thing, which by the grace of God, we would keep prominently before the minds of both saved and unsaved. God expects us to begin where He ended. On that Cross of shame, Jehovah-Jesus cried out, “It is finished.” With that finished work, some of us began many years ago. We began to rejoice in the knowledge of sins forgiven, to rejoice before Him as sinners saved by sovereign grace. We did not begin to work for salvation. All was finished—finished.