THE COURT OF THE TABERNACLE
"And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it." Exodus 25:8-9.
In the first 2,000 years (The Outer Court) of God's program of reproducing Himself within the earth, the pattern that He gave man was embodied in Noah's Ark. Noah died 2,006 years after Adam's sin.
In the second 2,000 years (The Holy Place), the pattern of God's salvation was embodied in the TABERNACLE which God gave Moses. This is the reason that it was so imperative that Moses build according to the pattern.
In the third 2,000 years (The Holy of Holies), which is now ending, the pattern lies in man, the prototype of which is Jesus Christ.
When the first ark - Noah's ark - had saved the nucleus of humanity from the waters of tribulation, then it fulfilled the purpose for which God had made it, and therefore was cast aside. But the Tabernacle which Moses made in the Wilderness has its final fulfillment in us. Therefore, before we cast it away, we should have all the types and emblems which it portrayed fulfilled in us. At this time, we shall be the true TABERNACLE OF GOD, and His everlasting dwelling place. This is the reason we are studying the tabernacle. It will assist us to readily spot any false doctrine, so many of which have been imposed upon us. The Christian church is, in some cases, guilty of accepting paganism in the name of Christianity. The interpretation and revelation of the Tabernacle is therefore very important to the person who is going on to perfection.
THE THREE PARTS OF THE TABERNACLE
The Tabernacle is divided into three parts: the Outer Court, the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. The same pattern exists in the heavenlies. God has made all things in threes. This readily proves man three partite, God three partite, heaven three partite and even the atom to be in three parts. The three parts of the atom, being also three partite within themselves, making an infinity within as vast as the infinity of the universe.
The court of the tabernacle was 100 cubits long and 50 cubits wide. These figures must not be tampered with, neither should they be changed into feet, except for the understanding of approximately how long the court was. Whether a cubit was 18" or 12" would not matter in this study, because it is the SYMBOLIC meaning of the length which means something to us. This would be 300 cubits in perimeter - the number of Gideon's army. Symbolically, it is the number of the sons of God.
"And the Lord shut him in." Genesis 7:16. These words were used concerning Noah and his family and the animals which were shut in by God in the ark before the deluge fell upon the earth.
The enclosure called the court of the tabernacle is the beginning of the "shutting in" of men by God, just as the caterpillar is shut in, in order to enter into its metamorphosis to bring forth a beautiful butterfly. This is the picture the Bible gives when God commanded Moses to erect the enclosure for the tabernacle.
BRASS PILLARS, PEGS
Brass here is a type of judgment, justice and force. The pegs and posts of the tabernacle court are made of brass with brass sockets in the ground, and each one is five cubits high. The number five here represents the ministry as living stones which God is using to build His courts. This is the ministry He has placed in the earth to both shut out the ungodly, and shut in God's people. Being made of brass only makes the analogy stronger, showing that there is no other way of being in Christ, and eventually MAN WILL BE THE JUDGMENT OF MAN. Man will also judge angels, for even as God sends the rain upon the just and the unjust alike, all men have equal opportunity to either be of God or of the Devil. If, then, some excel in godliness, they become the judgment of others. If also angels had a greater opportunity, and better reason to have overcome the Devil and they did not, then MAN WILL BE THEIR PARAGON OF JUDGMENT.
The measurement of the court in its perimeter is 300 cubits. This signifies that the walls around us are God in His fulness, manifested through the witness of Christ by the Word and the Spirit. This is arrived at by the number three as the first figure, which represents the fulness of God. Zoro, or zero, is the seed. This, repeated twice, is the witness of the Spirit and the Word.
These hangings, in all their types, represent THE FLESH, and their HOOKS are of silver, which represents redemption. Thus we see the hangings, representing the flesh (which on one side face the outside world, and on the other the inside), are a specially treated fine twined linen, and are kept in place by the REDEMPTIVE POWER OF GOD. The hangings are ONE HUNDRED cubits by FIFTY cubits in the length and breadth. One hundred speaks of the testimony of Jesus (God our salvation). Fifty speaks of the Ministry of Christ, which brings us to the JUBILEE (50th year), or the time in Israel when the captives are set free and all debts are forgiven. Reference is made to this in Luke 4:17-19.
Jesus, in Mark 6:40, made them "sit down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties." There was indeed symbolic meaning to the hundreds and the fifties. JESUS, WHILE HE WAS ON EARTH, PRACTICED DIVINE ORDER IN ITS PERFECTION. Noah's son, Japheth, was 100 years old when the flood came.
The construction, therefore, of the Tabernacle, and every detail pertaining to it, was in perfect unison with DIVINE ORDER, and represents the plan of God for this church which must now enter into GOD'S PERFECT ORDER.
The hangings were made of needlework by hand. There is mention of handwork (we do not think they had machines in those days, though it is not impossible that they might have had some crude form of machinery for the weaving of cloth). Nevertheless, handwork was definitely mentioned, which speaks of the WORK OF THE MINISTRY which God ordained.
FINE TWINED LINEN
The walls of the Court were made of fine twined linen handwork. Symbolically, this means that purity is the defense of the church. The devil cannot stand purity, and purity is an offense to evil men. We find that the true church does not ask evil men to leave. They cannot stand to be around her. The whole fence, except the gate, was made of fine twined linen.
The work of this ministry will perfect God's work within men. Ephesians 4:13. The different color threads show the different works of the Spirit which will be woven to make the kind of flesh that will withstand the outside world, and keep in the glory of the inside of the Court.
Blue Thread = The anointing
The gate had four pillars, which signify tribulation and an end to man, through which we enter into God. Exodus 27:16-17. The gate signifies the place where man reenters into God. Man was cast out of this place of close relationship with God when Adam sinned in the garden. We see here a close reference to this gate and the gate of the Garden of Eden. The reader should understand that all these things, though they were natural happenings, do have a spiritual meaning to us in Christ Jesus.
Genesis 3:24 "So He drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the Garden of Eden cherubims, and a FLAMING SWORD which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
The way INTO LIFE IS THROUGH FIRE or tribulation. The scripture did not say that the intention of the flaming sword was to prevent man partaking of the tree of life, BUT RATHER it implied that if he should enter into life, he would have to pass through FIRE and the CHERUBIMS. We find these same emblems in the tabernacle on the veil which separates the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. We will deal here with the fire, and later with the cherubims.
FIRE IS THE INSTRUMENT OF CHANGE
Fire changes every substance to which it is applied by speeding up the velocity of its atoms, and changing its consistency. Thus in the spiritual, God uses the word fire very freely in the scriptures, depicting the agent of change. The gate of the Tabernacle has, written in its symbolism, FOUR PILLARS OF BRASS - tribulation and judgment to flesh, and, in a sense, CONDEMNATION to the life form which enters through its portals.
This means to be changed into the likeness of God by the work of justice and mercy and love.
While the four pillars in the gate speak of testing and tribulation and change, the ten pillars of the east side of the tabernacle court speak of divine government. God is here showing that although all the different forms of government might be outside, that within the portals of His court, there must be DIVINE GOVERNMENT.
The TWENTY PILLARS on the length of the court speak also of TRIBULATION, as twenty is the number of JACOB'S trouble. Tribulation is the only means by which God is going to purge sin out of His people once and for all.