The Camp--The Court--The Tabernacle--The Brazen Altar--The
Laver-- The Table--The Lampstand--The Golden Altar--The Mercy
Seat and Ark--The Gate--The First Veil--The Second Veil--The
Significance of These and Their Antitypes.
Tabernacle which God commanded the people of Israel to construct
in the Wilderness of Sin, and in connection with which all their
religious services and ceremonies were instituted, was, the
Apostle Paul assures us, a shadow of good things to come. (`Heb.
8:5; 10:1`; `Col. 2:17`)
In fact, the whole nation of Israel, as well as its laws and
its religious services and ceremonies, was typical. This being
true, our understanding of the plan and work of salvation now
in progress, as well as their future development, cannot fail
to be greatly enlightened by a careful study of those "shadows"
which the Israelites, for our edification, were caused to repeat
year by year continually until the Gospel age introduced their
antitypes--the realities. `1 Pet. 1:11`;
is not simply to gain a historical knowledge of the Jewish forms,
ceremonies and worship that we come to the investigation
<PAGE 12> of this subject, but that we may
be edified by understanding the substance from an examination
of the shadow--as God designed in arranging it.
shall fail to attach sufficient weight and importance to the
shadow unless we realize how carefully God guided and directed
all of its details. First, he took Moses up into the mount and
gave him an illustration of the manner in which things were
to be made; Secondly, he charged him to be careful of every
particular--"See, saith he, that thou make all things according
to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount." (`Heb.
8:5`; `Exod. 25:40`) So,
too, with all the minutiae of the service: every jot and tittle
had to be exactly performed in the type, because it illustrated
something greater and more important to come afterward. And
in order that these shadows might all be exactly performed,
and that the people might not become careless, the usual penalty
for any violation was death. For instances see
`Exod. 28:43`; `Num. 4:15,20;
17:13`; `2 Sam. 6:6,7`;
God's care in making the "shadow" should not only
give us confidence in its correctness, that not one jot or tittle
of it shall fail until all be fulfilled (`Matt.
5:18`), but should also awaken in us so great an interest
in God's plan as would lead us to examine closely and search
carefully for the meaning of those shadows. And this, with God's
promised blessing, we now purpose to do, assured that among
those who are truly God's consecrated ones--his children begotten
of his Spirit--"he that seeketh findeth; and to him that
knocketh, it shall be opened."
The Tabernacle's Construction
directions given to Moses for the construction of the Tabernacle
may be found in `Exod. 25 to 27`,
and the account of the performance of the work, in
`Exod. 35 to 40`. Briefly stated, the Tabernacle was
a house constructed of a
<PAGE 13> series of boards of shittim (acacia)
wood, "overlaid" or plated with gold, set on end into
sockets of silver, and firmly fastened together by bars of the
same wood, also covered with gold.
structure was 15 feet wide, 15 feet high and 45 feet long, and
open at the front or east end. It was covered by a large white
linen cloth, interwoven with figures of cherubim, in blue, purple
and scarlet. The open end, or front of the structure, was closed
by a curtain of similar material to the covering cloth, called
the "Door," or first veil. Another cloth of
the same material, similarly woven with figures of cherubim,
called the "Veil" (or second veil), was hung so that
it divided the Tabernacle into two apartments. The first or
larger apartment, 15 feet wide and 30 feet long, was called
The second or rear apartment, 15 feet wide and 15 feet long,
was called the "Most Holy." These two apartments constituted
the Tabernacle proper; and a tent was erected over them for
shelter. It was made of a covering of cashmere cloth or goat
hair, another of ram skins dyed red, and another of seal skins
(mistranslated badger skins).
"Most Holy," or "Sanctuary," is also sometimes
called the "Holy place"--place in italics.
Instances, `Lev. 16:17,20,23`. In
referring to these apartments, we will call them, severally,
the "Court," "The Holy" and "The Most
lack of appreciation of the interest of Christians in these
typical pictures and of the necessity for uniform exactness,
on the part of the translators of Leviticus, must have been
the cause of the varied translations which have so aided in
confusing the student.
The Holy Court or Holy Place
Tabernacle was surrounded by a yard, or "Court," toward
the rear of which it stood. This court, 75 feet wide and 150
feet long, was formed by a fence of linen curtains, suspended
from silver hooks, set in the tops of wooden posts 7 1/2 feet
high, which were set in heavy sockets of copper (mistranslated
brass), and braced, like the tent which covered the Tabernacle,
with cords and pins. This enclosure was all holy ground, and
was therefore called the "Holy Place"--also the "Court
of the Tabernacle." Its opening, like the door of the Tabernacle,
was towards the east, and was called the "Gate." This
"Gate" was of white linen, interwoven with blue, purple
will be noticed that the three entrance passages, viz., the
"Gate" into the "Court," the "Door"
into the "Holy" and the "Veil" into the
"Most Holy," were of the same material and colors.
Outside the Tabernacle and its "Court" was the "Camp"
of Israel surrounding it on all sides at a respectful distance.
THE BRAZEN ALTAR
furniture of the "Court" consisted of but two main
pieces: the "Brazen Altar" and the "Laver"--with
their respective implements.
inside the gate, and immediately in front of it, stood the "Brazen
Altar." This altar was made of wood and covered with copper,
and was 7 1/2 feet square and 4 1/2 feet high. Various utensils
belonged to its service--fire pans (called censers), for carrying
the fire to the "Incense Altar," basins to receive
the blood, flesh hooks, shovels, etc.
between the "Brazen Altar" and the door of the Tabernacle,
was the "Laver." It was made of polished copper, and
was a receptacle for water; at it the priests washed before
entering the Tabernacle.
furniture of the Tabernacle consisted of a "Table,"
a "Candlestick" and an "Incense Altar" in
the "Holy," and the "Ark of the Testimony"
in the "Most Holy."
THE TABLE OF SHEW-BREAD
the Tabernacle, in the first apartment, the "Holy,"
on the right (north), stood the Table of "Shewbread"--
a wooden table overlaid with gold; and upon it were placed twelve
cakes of unleavened bread in two piles, with frankincense on
top of each pile. (`Lev. 24:6,7`)
This bread was proper for the priests only to eat: it was holy,
and was renewed every seventh or Sabbath day.
the "Table of Shew-bread" stood the "Candlestick,"
made of pure gold, beaten work (hammered out), having seven
branches, and in each branch a lamp. It was the only light in
the "Holy"; for, as we have seen, the natural light
was obscured by the walls and curtains, and there were no windows.
Its seven lamps were cared for, trimmed, supplied with oil,
etc., by the High Priest himself,
<PAGE 17> who at such times was to offer
incense at the Golden Altar.
GOLDEN ALTAR, THE INSCENSE ALTAR
on, close up to the "Veil," stood a small altar, of
wood covered with gold, called the "Golden Altar"
or "Incense Altar." It had no fire upon it except
what the priests brought in the censers which they set in the
top of this "Golden Altar," and then crumbled the
incense upon it, causing it to give forth a fragrant smoke or
perfume, which, filling the "Holy," penetrated also
beyond the "second veil" into the Most Holy or Holy
THE ARK OF THE TESTIMONY
the "Veil," in the "Most Holy," there was
but one piece of furniture--the "Ark." It was a rectangular
box made of wood overlaid with gold, having a lid or cover of
pure gold called the Propitiatory or "Mercy Seat."
Upon it (and of the same piece), were two cherubs of gold--beaten
work. Within this "Ark" (under the Propitiatory) were
placed the golden bowl of manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and
the two tables of the Law. (`Heb. 9:4`)
Upon the Propitiatory a supernatural light appeared, shining
out between the cherubim, representing the Divine presence.
This was the only light in the "Most Holy."
is noticeable that all the furniture inside the Tabernacle
<PAGE 18> was of gold, or covered with gold,
while in the "Court" everything was of copper. Wood,
which was the base covered with these metals, was used, we believe,
to make the articles of lighter weight, more easily portable,
than if of solid metal. This was an important consideration
when they traveled. The vessels of the Temple, representative
of the same things, were of solid metals. (`1
Kings 7:47-50`) These two metals, gold and copper, were
used, we think, to represent two different natures--copper representing
the human nature in its perfection, a little lower than
the angelic nature; and gold representing the divine
nature, far above angels, principalities and powers. As gold
and copper are much alike in their appearance, yet different
in quality, so the human nature is an image and likeness of
the divine, adapted to earthly conditions. It will be noticed
that the arrangement of
The Camp, Court and Tabernacle thus distinctly separated and
differentiated into three general divisions, represent three
distinct classes blessed by the atonement; and the two parts
of the Tabernacle represent two conditions of one of these classes.
Camp" represented the condition of the world
of mankind in sin, needing atonement and desiring it and its
blessings, however indistinctly it analyzes its cravings and
groanings. In the type the "Camp" was the nation of
Israel at large, which was separated from all holy things by
the curtain of white linen, representing to those within a wall
of faith, but to those without a wall of unbelief which hindered
their view of and access to the holy things within. There was
only one gateway to enter the "Holy Place" or "Court";
the type thus testifying that there is but one way of access
to God--one "gate"--Jesus. "I am the way,...no
man cometh unto the Father but by me." "I am the door."
`John 14:6; 10:9`
Court," represented the condition of Justification,
entered through faith in Christ, the "gate." Into
this "Court" only Levites (typical of justified believers)
were allowed to come, during the Atonement Day. These had access
to the "Brazen Altar" and to the "Laver,"
and did service in the "Court," but had no right as
merely Levites (believers) to go into the Tabernacle; no, nor
even to look into it. (`Num. 4:19,20`)
In the "Court" all things were of copper, to indicate
that the class admitted there were justified men. The
"Court" did not represent the condition of the spiritual
class during the Gospel age, though the priests, in sacrificing
and washing, used it also.
Tabernacle" building, with its two parts, represented
the two conditions of all who undergo a change of nature
from human to spiritual. The first apartment, the "Holy,"
represented the condition of all those who (as Levites--justified
believers) have consecrated their human nature to death, that
they might become partakers of the divine nature (`2
Pet. 1:4`), having been begotten of the Spirit. Its second
apartment, the "Holy of Holies," beyond the "Veil"--
death--represented the condition of the faithful "overcomers"
who will attain to the divine nature. These, after having completed
their consecration in death, will be fully changed, born
from the dead in the First Resurrection, to the divine nature
and organism. No human being, be he ever so full of faith, be
he washed from every sin, and in God's sight justified freely
from all things and reckoned perfect, can have any place or
privilege in the spiritual things represented in the interiors
of the Tabernacle and Temple. He cannot even look into spiritual
things, in the sense of appreciating them. But, during the Gospel
age, such are "called" to consecrate and sacrifice
their human nature in God's service, and to inherit instead
the spiritual nature--as members of the Body of Christ. "The
natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit...neither
can he know
<PAGE 20> them, because they are spiritually
discerned." `1 Cor. 2:14`
fact that all things in the Tabernacle were made of gold,
representative of the divine nature, implies that it represented
the condition of such only as are called to the divine nature.
Only those of the Levites who were consecrated to the work of
sacrificing (the Priests) had access to the Tabernacle; so only
those of the household of faith who are consecrated to sacrifice,
even unto death, enter the divine conditions represented in
"Court," the justified human condition, is entered
by faith only; but while we must retain the faith that justifies,
we must do more, if we would experience a change of nature and
become "new creatures," "partakers of the heavenly
calling," to be "partakers of the divine nature."
Entering the "Holy," therefore, implies our full consecration
to the Lord's service, our begetting of the spirit and our start
in the race for the prize of the divine nature-- the terms of
which are, faithfulness to our vow, crucifying the justified
flesh, presenting our human wills and bodies living sacrifices
to God; no longer to seek human pleasure, honor, praise, etc.,
but to be dead to these and alive to the heavenly impulses.
Yet, into this condition, also, we still come through Christ
Jesus our Lord, who not only opened for us the "Gate"
of justification through faith in his blood, but who also opened
the "Door" (the first veil) into the Tabernacle, "a
new way of life," as spirit beings, through and beyond
the second veil, by the sacrifice of our justified flesh.
the two apartments of the Tabernacle, the "Holy" and
the "Most Holy," represented two phases or stages
of the new life to which we are begotten by the holy Spirit.
"Holy" represented the present condition of
<PAGE 21> of God through the Word of Truth.
(`Jas. 1:18`) These, as heavenly
minded "new creatures," though still "in the
flesh," have their real (inner) life and walk with God
within the first veil of consecration, and beyond the intellectual
sight of the world and the unconsecrated believers. These enjoy
the inner light of the "golden candlestick," while
others are in "outer darkness"; these eat of special
spiritual food, represented in the unleavened "bread of
presence," and offer incense at the golden altar, acceptable
through Christ Jesus.
"Most Holy" represented the perfected condition
of those new creatures who, faithful unto death, gain the great
prize of our high calling through a share in the first resurrection.
(`Rev. 20:6`) Then, beyond both
veils--the fleshly mind and the fleshly body--they will possess
glorious spiritual bodies as well as spiritual minds. They will
be like their Leader and Forerunner beyond the veil, who, having
entered as our Redeemer, hath consecrated for us this
new and living way--or new way of life.
`Heb. 10:20`; `1 John 3:2`
spiritual-minded creature in the "Holy" by faith
looks forward through the rent "Veil" into the "Most
Holy," catching glimpses of the glory, honor and immortality
beyond the flesh; which hope is as an anchor to the soul, sure
and steadfast, entering into that which is beyond the veil.
`Heb. 6:19; 10:20`
see, then, that justification by faith, our first step toward
holiness, brings us into a condition of "peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ." (`Rom.
5:1`) When our sins are forgiven, or reckonedly covered
with Christ's righteousness, we are a step nearer to God, but
still human--in the "Court." If we would attain
the prize of the high calling which is of God in Christ Jesus,
and enter through the "Holy" into the "Most Holy,"
we must follow
In the Footsteps of Jesus, our Leader and Head--"the
High Priest of our profession" [i.e., the High Priest
of our order of priesthood] the "royal priesthood."
`Heb. 3:1`; `1 Peter 2:9`--
By faith in Christ's ransom-sacrifice, represented in the Brazen
Altar, we enter the "Gate" to the "Court"--the
veil of unbelief and sin is passed. This step is one which our
Lord Jesus never took, because not being of Adamic stock, but
holy, harmless, separate from sinners, he never was outside
the Court condition.
Renouncing our justified human wills, and all our human aspirations
and hopes, we pass the first veil, or veil of human-mindedness--counting
the human will as dead; henceforth consulting not it, but the
will of God only. We now find ourselves as "new creatures"
in the "Holy"--in the first of the "Heavenlies"
or Holies (`Eph. 2:6`--Diaglott),
and begin to be enlightened by the "Golden Candlestick"
(God's Word) respecting spiritual things--"the deep things
of God," and to be refreshed and strengthened daily with
the truth, as represented in the "shew-bread," lawful
for only the Priests to eat. (`Matt. 12:4`)
And thus enlightened and strengthened, we should daily offer
up sacrifices at the "Golden Altar," acceptable to
God through Jesus Christ--a sweet perfume to our Father.
`1 Pet. 2:5`2
all the saints, all the consecrated, are in a "heavenly"
or "holy" condition now--"seated [at rest
and in communion] with Christ in [the first of these] heavenly
places," but not yet entered into the "holiest of
all." No, another veil must first be passed. As the passing
of the preceding veil represented the death of the HUMAN
will, so the passing of the second veil represented the
death of the HUMAN body; and
<PAGE 23> both are requisite to complete
our "sacrifice." Both fleshly mind and fleshly
body must be left behind before we can enter into the "holiest
of all"--perfected as partakers of the divine nature and
its spirit conditions: for flesh and blood cannot inherit the
Kingdom of God. (`1 Cor. 15:50`)
Compare `John 3:5,8,13`.
these thoughts before our minds, respecting the three conditions
represented by these three places, "Camp," "Court"
and "Tabernacle," in our next study we will note particularly
the three classes which come under these conditions; viz., the
Unbelieving World, Justified Believers and the Saints or Consecrated
Believers, typified respectively by Israelites, Levites and
"What lone mysterious abode is this,
Surrounded by a wall of spotless white;
By day an altar in the wilderness,
A silent watcher on the plain by night?
"Who dwells within its consecrated veil,
To secular and alien feet denied?
Who answers when the priest, white-robed and pale,
Sprinkles the blood by 'bulls and goats' supplied?
"Think you that He of name omnipotent
Required for naught these oft-repeated rites,
Or gratified mere vanity by scent
Of incense, broidered robes and altar-lights?
"Nay, verily! The curious tapestries,
The vessels wrought of silver, copper, gold,
The ceremonious modes of sacrifice,
All 'better things' of Gospel times foretold.
"And happy he whose reverent gaze discerns
What 'types and shadows' could but dimly trace:
His offering on the golden altar burns,
He solves the mysteries of the 'holy place.'
"Upon the blood-stained mercy-seat he reads
Atonement sealed by him who went before,
And from the open heavens the Father speeds
The riches of his love and grace to outpour."