The Pillar of Cloud

When the Lord led the people of Israel out of Egypt, he went before them in a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. (See Exodus 13:21-22) When the chariots of Egypt met up with the Israelites at the Red Sea, the cloud changed into position and stood between the Israelites and the Egyptians in such a way that the Egyptians were unable to come after the Israelites. (See Exodus 14:19-20) The Lord divided the waters of the Red Sea, and when Pharaoh’s soldiers tried to follow, the Lord looked through the pillar of cloud and “troubled the army of the Egyptians.” (Exodus 14:24) This cloud was the leading factor in the lives of the Israelites. It led them to Sinai. It was present when Israel tragically put herself under the Law, when the Israelites made and worshipped the golden calf, when the original tables of stone were broken by Moses, and during the building of the Tabernacle.

The High Priest

Exodus 28, Hebrews 7:24-25, Hebrews 8:1-2, 1 John 2:1-2

The Idea of a Priest

In the beginning, man acted as his own priest. An example of this can be seen through the story of Cain and Abel. Later in human history we find the father, head of the household, offering sacrifices to God. An example of this can be seen through Abraham. Still later, we find a man chosen of God to act as the high priest for the nation (Aaron). Finally, God chose Christ as priest for the whole world. Jesus said, “No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”

The Outer Court

Lesson 2

Read Exodus 25:1-9 and Exodus 27:9-15. (Background - Hebrews 9) 


The Outer Court

Size: 150 feet by 75 feet by 7 ½ feet.

The cost has been estimated at $1,500,000 before inflation.


The White Linen Fence

The white linen represents Jesus Christ in all His purity and absolute righteousness. [Describe His holiness] He did no sin. He knew no sin. In Him was no sin. The symbol extends beyond this however. The linen was made from flax, and flax is grown from the ground. There is a picture of His sinless humanity, and His earthly ministry. [Describe His humanity] He was the Mediator between God and man (God made flesh, etc. - See John 1).

The Tabernacle Structure

Exodus 26 – Lesson 4


The Tabernacle was constructed according to a Divine plan. God was the Architect and Moses, the General Contractor. There were many skilled workers used. Bezaleel was the foreman. This man was specially endowed with the Holy Spirit. Similarly, we are workers together with Christ in building His Church, but it is not so much working for the Lord as it is working with Him.

Note the measurements of the structure:

    - 45 feet long, 15 feet wide, and 15 feet high

    - The Holy Place was 30 feet long

    - The Holy of Holies was a perfect cube, 15 feet in all directions

(Note the smallness of the chamber). It is also interesting to note that the New Jerusalem is 1,500 miles cubed (See Revelation 21:16). 


The Ark of the Covenant

The Ark and the Mercy Seat were the most important of all the vessels of the Tabernacle. The Ark with the Mercy Seat was the throne of God. Shekinah Glory - God focused His divine presence throughout all the years the Tabernacle was in existence. This is why this innermost chamber was called the Holy of Holies.

The Mercy Seat

Exodus 25:17-22, Leviticus 16:2, Psalm 80:1 - The Mercy Seat and Cherubim were made from one solid piece of beaten gold. This speaks of Christ’s Deity and Glory being one. The only other article similarly constructed was the Golden Lamp Stand. Note the absence of wood. Humanity was not represented in any way. The place of mercy was wholly conceived and wrought by God.

The Inner Veil

Exodus 26:31-35, Matthew 27:50-51, Hebrews 10:20-21

In our study this morning we will look at the unrent veil and its place in the tabernacle. Furthermore, we will look at its physical characteristics (including the material, colors, and cherubim) and the pillars. Then secondly we will look at the rent veil and its symbolic meaning (it is a type of Christ’s death). We will also see its real significance: Man has access to the throne of God and God gives an invitation to come. The subject before us should stir our hearts, for the inner veil has special significance and is of utmost importance.


The Unrent Veil

We will consider this as it appeared in the tabernacle. This veil is a type of our Lord’s human body. Hebrews 10:20-21 says, “Through the veil, that is to say His flesh.” The unrent veil represents our Lord before crucifixion. We also see this veil as a barrier to the priests, who ministered in the Holy Place.

The high priest could only enter the Holy of Holies, behind the veil into God’s presence one day a year. Not a foot fall was heard for another full year. The one thing that prevented this was the unrent veil. This was true until Christ came in the flesh and finished His work. Before Christ’s death mankind was unable to approach a thrice-holy God, except through the high priest. Hebrews 9:7-8 says:

“But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.”  

The Importance of the Tabernacle

Read Exodus 25:1-9


In the Creation account, we see the creation of the stars of the universe occur in five words – “He made the stars also.” Interestingly enough, 50 chapters are given over to explain the Tabernacle and its function. This shows us something of the importance of the Tabernacle.

The great lesson of the tabernacle is that God came down to dwell with His people. From Genesis to Deuteronomy we have accounts of God visiting men. These visits culminated in God’s dwelling with men in the Tabernacle or tent. John picks up the same thought and uses the same word “tabernacled,” to describe God dwelling among men in the person of Christ. John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and tabernacled [or pitched His tent] among us.” The Tabernacle served as God’s dwelling place for 500 years among the children of Israel. The Temple superseded it, during the reign of Solomon.

Please note that God could not dwell among His people while they were in Egypt. They must be redeemed (1) by blood and (2) by power. They must be free from the shackles and sin of Egypt. Before God could fellowship with them in this unique way they had to be redeemed and sanctified. [Express practical truth here]

It is important to consider the symbolism of the Tabernacle. One must consider also the physical features of the Tabernacle. When considering some of these we will no doubt consider Hebrews, especially chapters 9-10. The remainder of the lesson is taken up with the materials and the measurements of the Tabernacle. These can be considered at a future reading.


Studies on the Tabernacle: The Golden Candlestick

Lesson 5

Exodus 25:31-40 and Exodus 27:20-21

In the Holy Place, there were three pieces of furniture: the table, the altar of incense, and the golden candlestick. We will discuss the golden candlestick first.

The Golden Candlestick

The golden candlestick was a very important item within the Holy Place. It was very costly. It was made of beaten gold. It was composed of the shaft and the branches. On the ends of the branches there were lamps. Then finally there was the oil for the lamps. It was in the light from the candlestick that the priest performed his duties before God. There was no natural light in the tabernacle.

Look now at the spiritual application. The buds and flowers = resurrection. The gold represents the deity of the Lord. No wood = humanity. Notice that the gold was beaten. It had endured punishment of the Savior. Isaiah wrote: “It pleased the Lord to bruise Him.” “He was bruised for our iniquities.” See Isaiah 53:5, 10. God did this to the Lord, not just for our salvation, but that He might bring the Church into existence; the birth of the Bride of Christ. Peter said, “Unto you who believe He is precious.”

The Furniture of the Outer Court

Exodus 27:1-8, Exodus 38:1-5, Exodus 30:17-21, and Exodus 38:8


There were two pieces of furniture in the outer court: the brazen altar and the brazen laver. The brazen altar was twice the height of the ark. When we think of an altar, we think of worship and sacrifice. An altar is a place of humiliation and submission for the Israelite. The altar provides the ministry of reconciliation.

This is what happened when we came to the Cross for salvation. We were humbled as sinners and we submitted to the Lamb of God, then we received salvation. We threw ourselves on the mercy of God. The atonement not only saves us, but also glorifies God. Immediately after our conversion, we hungered for spiritual food – God’s holy Word, which would equate with the laver. When the priests had sacrificed to God, their next appointment was the brazen laver. They could not serve apart from using the laver. The laver suggests separation and sanctification. 


The Brazen Altar

The altar reminds us of Hebrews 9:22, “without the shedding of blood.” There was no entrance to God’s presence except by blood. In this age, there is no entrance into the presence of God except through the sacrifice and blood of Christ. With this truth in view, it is significant that the altar was built foursquare. This suggests its sufficiency for Israel as they encamped on its four sides. In an even greater degree, it depicts the sacrifice of Christ, on the altar of the Cross, as sufficient to meet the need of the world. In virtue of this glorious truth, the risen triumphant Lord could say to His disciples, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” 

The Covering of the Tabernacle

Exodus 36:1-13


There were four layers of material that covered the tabernacle. The two inner layers were called “curtains.” The two outer layers were called “coverings.” Our study of these coverings will show that they eloquently speak of the glorious person and the victorious work of the Lord Jesus. Like the four Gospels, each covering is complete in itself, but when considered together, they give a full-orbed picture of the Lord.


The Inner Curtain

Let us consider the inner curtain: This set of curtains actually comprised the roof of the tabernacle. Only the priests who ministered in the Holy Place and in the Holy of Holies saw this indescribably beautiful curtain. Being made of fine twined linen, it spoke of the purity of Christ, and also typified His inner glory (note Luke’s presentation of Christ).

In the days of His flesh, most of the people only saw the badger skin (see Isaiah 53). His disciples, on occasion, were able to pierce through the outer coverings and see His divine glory. John 1:14 says, “We beheld His glory.” When Peter wrote his first letter 30 years after the ascension, he vividly recalls his experience on the mount of Transfiguration. “Beloved, we too can see Him in His majestic fullness and unsurpassed glory if we take advantage of our priesthood.”


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