THE OLD TESTAMENT HOUSE OF THE LORD: SIX (EXCERPT OF THE TABERNACLE OF THE CONGREGATION)
Copyright © 2013 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
“The Old Testament House of the Lord: Six” is taken from The Tabernacle of the Congregation, copyright © 2011 Trumpet Ministries
Table of Contents
Four Major Types of Redemption
There are four major types in the Scripture of God’s plan of redemption through Christ. Redemption is restoring to the rightful owners of what was stolen from them, or what they forfeited for some reason, or what was taken from them by force.
The natural right of mankind is to be in God’s image, to be in union with God, to be fruitful, and to have rulership over God’s handiwork. These original rights were taken from mankind by evil, unclean spiritual forces in the heavenlies. Through Christ, God has set in operation a complete plan that will totally redeem His obedient children and restore all that was taken from them by the ancient adversary, who seeks their ruin.
The four great types of redemption, or salvation, are as follows:
- The seven days of creation described in Genesis, Chapter One.
- The journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the land of promise.
- The Tabernacle of the Congregation.
- The feasts of the Lord listed in Leviticus, Chapter 23.
Each of the four types of redemption has seven aspects, seven being the number that symbolizes the fullness of the plan of redemption. It should be kept in mind as we study the seven aspects of redemption that they do not represent levels of attainment, such as grades of progress through school. Rather, they are seven facets of the one salvation in Christ.
Time and sequence are not the main considerations. Growth in Christ is somewhat like an ascending spiral in that we keep coming back to the same aspect of grace but at an increasingly mature plane of growth and achievement.
The seven days of creation are an important symbolic portrayal of the redemption that is in Christ as well as being a factual record of the creation of the material universe. The days may have been twenty-four hour periods, or seven minutes, given the power of God. On the other hand, the seven days of creation may have little reference to time as we know it. God’s days are periods of significant accomplishment. A day with the Lord is as a thousand years. God is quite able to work independently of time.
The first of the types is the days of creation. The days of creation were seven in number:
- Day one—the creating of light, the dividing of the light from the darkness, and the naming of the light and the darkness.
- Day two—the placing of a firmament in the midst of the waters, and the use of the firmament to divide the waters that were under the firmament from the waters that were above the firmament.
- Day three—the pulling back of the waters under the firmament to allow dry land to appear, the naming of the land and the waters under the firmament, and the creating of vegetation on the dry land.
- Day four—the creating of the sun, moon and stars in the firmament to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and night, to divide the light from the darkness, the day from the night, and for signs.
- Day five—the creating of fish in the water, and birds to fly in the firmament.
- Day six—the creating of animal life on the earth, and of man in the image of God, male and female, and the assigning to mankind of fruitfulness, and of dominion over all the works of God’s hands.
- Day seven—the ending of God’s work, and His rest.
The second of the four major types of redemption is the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the land of promise.
There were seven episodes during the pilgrimage of the children of Israel:
- The Passover, and the judgment on the gods of Egypt.
- The passage through the Red Sea.
- The safe arrival on the east bank of the Red Sea, and the beginning of life in the wilderness.
- The giving of the Law on Sinai, the ordinances, and the directions for the construction of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
- The organizing of Israel into an army, and skirmishes under the leadership of Moses.
- The crossing of the Jordan, and the battle against the inhabitants of Canaan.
- Rest in the land of milk and honey.
The third of the major types of redemption is the seven articles of furniture of the Tabernacle of the Congregation. These seven were carried by the Kohathite Levites while Israel was on the march.
- Altar of Burnt Offering.
- Table of Showbread.
- Altar of Incense.
- Ark of the Covenant.
- The Mercy Seat, the Cherubim, and He who dwelled between the Cherubim.
The fourth of the four major types of redemption is the seven Levitical convocations, or feasts of the Lord as they are sometimes called (Leviticus, Chapter 23):
- Unleavened Bread.
- Day of Atonement.
We see, then, four great types of God’s plan of redemption. The number four is symbolic of the communication of the knowledge and Glory of God to mankind—the bringing of light. Each of the four types is divided into seven dimensions, seven being the number of God’s work of redemption, or salvation.
There are seven dimensions of the one plan of salvation in Christ. We shall see later that the seven have been grouped by the Lord into three platforms of salvation and three aspects of the establishment of the Kingdom of God on the earth. But for now, let us look at each of the seven separately.
By grouping the four types together you will see that each of the types has something unique to reveal about a particular aspect of redemption, and also the four types have much in common.
Before we start with the seven dimensions, or aspects, of salvation, we might note that the unredeemed human being is graphically illustrated in Genesis 1:1,2 (“without form and void”), and also by the condition of bondage of the Israelites in Egypt. Chaos and Egyptian slavery are types of the unsaved person.
The “heavens and the earth” are present in each person, to speak in a figure, but the person is “without form and void” and he or she lives in spiritual darkness. The unsaved person is in a chaotic condition of spirit, soul and body, being one mass of confused elements. Slavery to the Pharaoh in Egypt is another type of the unredeemed person.
This is the way it was before Christ came into our lives. We were in personal chaos, at least in the spirit realm. We were in slavery to the powers of darkness. But then the Lord Jesus Christ came to us with His perfect program of redemption for spirit, soul, and body.
Phase One. Taking the first element of each of the four types, we have as follows: the creating of light, the dividing of the light from the darkness, the naming of the light and the darkness; the Passover, and the judgment on the gods of Egypt; the Altar of Burnt Offering; and the feast of Passover. Do you see how we have placed together the first aspect of each of the four types of redemption?
The points that stand out are the division between light and darkness; judgment on the gods of the world; the blood of the Lamb as our protection from judgment; and the making of an atonement for our sinful condition through the shedding of blood.
The first step, then, in the plan of redemption, is the bringing to us the consciousness of the existence of good and evil, light and darkness. God makes us aware that we are to come out of the world, out of the land in which we have been held in slavery.
For the first time in our lives, perhaps, we learn that we are dwelling in spiritual darkness. Immediately God makes provision for us through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary. This marks the first step in our journey toward complete redemption.
Phase Two. The placing of a firmament in the midst of the waters, and the use of the firmament to divide the waters under the firmament from the waters above the firmament; the exodus from Egypt and the passing through the Red Sea; the Laver; and the feast of Unleavened Bread.
The main elements are the separation of the lower and upper waters by the firmament of heaven; passing through the Red Sea; the washing of the priests in the bronze Laver; and the removal of leaven from the bread of the children of Israel.
Phase Two portrays the various concepts involved as we descend into water baptism. Our first personality is assigned by faith to the death of Christ on the cross. Heaven enters us, as it were, and divides between our natural, soulish life (the waters under the firmament), and our born-again spiritual nature (the waters above the firmament—the waters of spiritual life and blessing in the Presence of God).
The body of the Christian is dead because of sin but his life is hidden with Christ in God. The redeemed person is divided into the natural man and the spiritual man, which is not true of the unredeemed person.
We leave Egypt, the world, in water baptism, putting away the filth of the flesh that we may be separated unto the Lord God and received of Him. The old leaven of malice and wickedness is thrown out and the new bread of sincerity and truth is brought in.
Phase Three. The pulling back of the waters under the firmament to allow dry land to appear, the naming of the land and the waters under the firmament, and the creating of vegetation on the dry land; the safe arrival of Israel on the eastern bank of the Red Sea and the beginning of life in the wilderness; the Table of Showbread; and the feast of Firstfruits.
The main thoughts are the appearing of the land and vegetation; the beginning of life in the wilderness; the twelve loaves of the Presence together with the drink offering of strong wine; and the offering to the priest of the first sheaf of the barley harvest.
These speak to us of coming up out of the waters of baptism. We now enter resurrection life in the Lord Jesus Christ and it is a wilderness of trials to us. The dry land is the emergence of the Life of Christ in us, the waters of our soulish life pulling back enough that Christ can be revealed. Also, the vegetables and fruit indicate that the first signs of Christian behavior have appeared.
The twelve loaves of the showbread [bread of the Presence] and the accompanying drink offering speak of the Communion table and the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are born again into the Kingdom of God, and our new life is sustained through feeding on the body and blood of Christ. We now are free to choose to live righteously, no longer being under the authority of “Pharaoh.”
The authority of darkness was judged at the Passover, and the legions of Hell were drowned in the Red Sea as we came up out of the waters of baptism. They could not follow us through those waters because the waters of baptism represent the death of Christ on the cross, and emerging from the waters signifies our sharing in the resurrection of Christ.
The waving of the barley sheaves in the feast of Firstfruits reminds us that when we are born again a firstfruits of our personality, our reborn inner nature, ascends to the right hand of God in Christ. This is the first reaping of our personality, and because the firstfruits is holy our entire personality is holy to the Lord.
The first three phases speak of what we term “salvation.” We are saved through the blood, baptized in water, born again, and partake of the Lord’s table. We are made one with the death and resurrection of Christ, being raised to sit in heavenly places together with Him. We are accepted of God through the reconciling authority of the blood of Christ. We begin to think, speak and act like a Christian.
Phase Four. The fourth aspect of the plan of redemption is of special significance in that four is halfway between one and seven. In all three scriptural orderings of the seven furnishings of the Tabernacle, the Lampstand is always number four.
In the seven Levitical feasts, Pentecost was observed by itself apart from any of the other six observances. It is at Pentecost, or at the Lampstand if you will, that we begin to grow past the aspects of redemption that are limited to our personal benefit, our salvation from destruction, and move into the areas of grace in which we become the servant of the Lord.
After we move past number four, in the typology of Scripture, we grow beyond what merely is of benefit to us and press into the areas of redemption that fulfill the purposes of God in creating mankind.
Some of the purposes of God in creating mankind are as follows:
- The creation of a bride for the Lamb (Revelation 21:9).
- The creation of a living temple for God (Ephesians 2:22).
- The creation of the Body of Christ, the Servant of the Lord (Isaiah 42:1; I Corinthians 12:12).
- The creation of a vehicle for the end-time revival (Isaiah 60:1,2).
- The creation of people who can restore Paradise on the earth (Romans 8:21).
- The creation of a royal priesthood (I Peter 2:9).
- The creation of witnesses of God (Isaiah 43:10).
- The creation of sons of God (Revelation 21:7).
- The creation of brothers of Christ (Romans 8:29).
- The creation of overcomers of the accuser (Revelation 12:11).
- The creation of governors for the saved nations (Revelation 2:26,27).
- The creation of judges of men and angels (I Corinthians 6:2,3).
- The creation of a wall of defense around the Glory of God (Revelation 21:14).
- The creation of the revelation of Himself—God in Christ in the saints (Revelation 3:12).
- The creation of nations of saved people to serve as an inheritance for the Lamb and His Wife (Revelation 21:24).
Taking the fourth element of each of the four major types of redemption we have as follows: the creating of the sun, moon and stars in the firmament of heaven to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and night, to divide the light from the darkness and the day from the night, and for signs; the giving of the Law on Sinai with the Levitical statutes and ordinances, and the directions for the construction of the Tabernacle of the Congregation; the solid-gold Lampstand with its seven lamps; and the feast of Pentecost.
The main elements are the creating of the sun, moon and stars; the Law from Sinai and the design and construction of the Tabernacle of the Congregation; the Lampstand; and the waving of the two loaves of wheat (the feast of Pentecost) signaling the end of the wheat harvest.
Here we find the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Church, and on us as individuals; also, our baptism into the Body of Christ. We begin to understand that the Head and Body of Christ, the Servant of the Lord (Isaiah, Chapter 42) will show the light of the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord to the farthest reaches of the earth.
The two leavened wave loaves of the feast of Weeks (Pentecost) speak to us of the double portion of God’s Spirit that will be poured on the earth in the days to come.
The Lord Himself has sworn that the knowledge of the Glory of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. The Glory of God and of the Lamb will light the new Jerusalem so the holy city will have no need of the sun or moon.
It must have been the Glory of God and the Lamb that lighted the heaven and the earth at the beginning, for there were no sun, moon or stars during the first three evenings and mornings of the creation.
When discussing the four major types of redemption we are not suggesting that these elements did not exist exactly as recorded in the Scripture. The history of the creation found in the first chapter of Genesis, for example, is accurate in every detail.
What we are claiming, however, is that all these real things and people of the Scripture have symbolic meaning for God’s plan of salvation in Christ. They were written for our admonition on whom the end of the age has come and were freely used by Christ and the Apostles as symbols and illustrations having to do with the Church of Christ.
Jesus Himself is the “Lamb” who was slain before the creation of the world, and all persons, circumstances and things in the Scriptures have reference to Him and to the redemption that is in Him, by Him and through Him. Christ retains all preeminence forever, ages without end.
The sun, of the fourth day of creation, represents Christ Himself. The moon is the Church. The stars are the saints of all ages whose lives have guided Christians throughout the long night that is the beginning of the Day of the Lord.
The heaven was an empty blue vault prior to the fourth day of creation. So it is that before we receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit we do not have the insight into the spirit realm that comes with the baptism.
Up to heaven we go for the fourth day of creation. Back down to earth we come for the remaining days; for they speak to us, among other things, of the setting up of the Kingdom of God on the earth.
Phase Five. The creating of fish in the water and birds to fly in the firmament; the organizing of Israel into an army, and skirmishes under the leadership of Moses; the Altar of Incense; and the Blowing of Trumpets.
The points that stand out are the beginning of animal life in the waters under the firmament, and the creating of birds to fly in the firmament; organizing for spiritual warfare; perfume from the burning of incense; and the festival of Trumpets announcing the first day of the new agricultural year.
The fifth aspect of the plan of redemption should be of great interest to us because it is the next step after the Pentecostal, or charismatic experience. The creation of fish symbolizes the soul-winning activities that should follow the baptism with the Holy Spirit. We are to receive power to bear witness of Christ after the Holy Spirit comes upon us. We become fishers of men.
It is not being stated here that every Christian has the same type of ministry, for the Scripture teaches that the Holy Spirit provides a variety of ministries and gifts in the Body of Christ. There are many kinds of “fish.” Each of us has a part in the revelation of Christ through the Holy Spirit. We share what we have.
The appearing of birds reminds us that after we are born again our new nature is seated with Christ at the right hand of the Father. Our life from now on consists of heavenly preparations for an earthly Kingdom, just as birds fly between the earth and the heaven.
The creation of birds symbolizes also the angelic activity that becomes increasingly pronounced as we grow toward maturity. Angels participated in the ministry of Jesus and the Apostles, were active throughout the events described in the Book of Acts, and will be prominent as we approach the end of the age, as revealed in Revelation.
The fifth day of creation is a backdrop for the crowning work of God—the creating of mankind in the image of God.
The fifth day is the beginning of serving God in the earth, and also the concept of getting ready for the conflict of the ages and entering the land of promise. This is the last experience we will have under the ministry of Moses, so to speak, for we are getting ready for a change in the style of leadership.
The Altar of Incense (the fifth of the seven pieces of Tabernacle furniture) is related in spiritual significance to the blowing of Trumpets (the fifth of the seven feasts of the Lord), as we may observe in Revelation 8:2-6. It is the time of entrance into the Day of the Lord and of war against the enemies of God.
The holy perfume that arises to God from the incense is the blending of the Person of Christ through the Holy Spirit with the prayers of all saints. It is the contact of humans with Almighty God, through Christ, rising in unprecedented power and anointing in the days just before the return of Christ, that will move the Father to command the seven angels to sound their trumpets. The seventh angel will announce the return of Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords to take over His rightful place as ruler of the kingdoms of the world.
Phase Six. The creating of animal life on the earth, and of man in the image of God, male and female, and of the assigning of fruitfulness and dominion to man; the crossing of the Jordan River and the battles against the inhabitants of Canaan; the Ark of the Covenant; and the Day of Atonement.
The principal elements are the appearance of animal life on earth, and then man, male and female, in the image of God; warfare against the inhabitants of the land of promise; the Ark; and the sprinkling of the blood of reconciliation upon and before the Mercy Seat.
A little thought will reveal that the works of God during the first five days of creation were for the purpose of bringing about the creation of man in God’s image on the sixth day.
The Day of Atonement was the most critical of the seven feasts of the Lord, because the decision was made on this day whether or not God would accept His people, Israel. Access to the Ark of the Covenant and the covering Mercy Seat was available to Israel only on the Day of Atonement.
The purpose of the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, and of the multitude of trials they experienced in the wilderness, was to bring them into rest in the land of promise. Israel was not called of God to leave Egypt and dwell in the scorching Sinai desert. Israel was called of God to settle permanently in a well-watered land, there to enjoy the Lord in the abundance of peace and material abundance.
We see, therefore, that the sixth aspect of the four major types of redemption brings into view the purpose of God and the climax of salvation. We have been sealed by the Holy Spirit to the day of redemption, of salvation, that is yet ahead of us.
In the sense in which we are now speaking, we haven’t been fully redeemed as yet. We have been sealed. God has put His mark on us so when sin and righteousness come to maturity in the last days, and the wrath of God (which has been kept in reserve since the time of the rebellion in Heaven) is poured on the rebellious and disobedient, we shall not be destroyed but shall be saved to enter the fullness of eternal life.
We have been “saved” by accepting the Lord Jesus. But the fullness of salvation is yet ahead of us, just as the days of creation looked toward the sixth day; the pilgrimage of the Israelites looked toward the invasion of the land of promise; the furnishings of the Tabernacle looked toward the Ark of the Covenant; and the feasts of the Lord looked toward the solemn Day of Atonement—the day when God either accepted or rejected the priesthood, the Tabernacle, and the twelve tribes of Israel.
In order for the Church to realize the fullness of the Glory of God, and to serve as the light of the world, we first shall have to go to war with Christ against all who oppose Him as King of kings and Lord of lords. The Ark of the Covenant represents the Glory of God that will return to the earth with the Lord Jesus Christ and establish the rule of the Kingdom of God.
Christ will see the travail of His soul and be satisfied, as the Spirit of God extends redemption to the farthest reaches of our planet. Christ will receive the nations for His inheritance and the ends of the earth for His possession. All the sin of the earth will be led away (not only the guilt of the sin, but the sin itself), just as the scapegoat was led out of the camp and left in the land of separation (Leviticus, Chapter 16).
Salvation is deliverance from both the guilt and the power of sin.
It is during the sixth aspect of salvation that we reach the fullness of redemption, of reconciliation to God. During the Millennial Jubilee, the thousand-year Kingdom Age that is to come, the authority of the blood of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit will flow to every saved person of the nations of the earth.
All the peoples of the earth will be touched with the Life of Christ. The entire earth will be brought under the personal rule of Christ and will learn righteousness. The Church will mature into the Wife of the Lamb. The prayer of Christ in John, Chapter 17 will be answered to the smallest detail.
Before the new heaven and the new earth are created and brought into view, the work of redemption will be finished in every respect.
We are not teaching that every person ultimately will be redeemed. Hell is as real as Heaven and we know of no indication that the Lake of Fire is redemptive. If we refuse the gentle Savior we will face the wrath of the fiercest of emperors. To believe otherwise is to reject the Word of God.
The firstfruits of the Bride, God’s remnant, is now coming into the spiritual fulfillment of the blowing of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement. It is a time of the most intense conflict as the Holy Spirit prepares the Church of Christ for the total overthrow of all the works of darkness. It is the day of victory! Perfect victory is ahead. Christ is coming as King over the nations of the earth.
God’s people who are at “Pentecost,” so to speak, must listen to the Holy Spirit as He teaches us how to fight in the spirit realm. We now are preparing to bring judgment and liberation to the earth. We are nearing the redemption of the creation, the conquest of the power of sin and death. The death on the cross and the resurrection of Christ are the basis for total victory over the enemy.
The Blowing of Trumpets, the fifth feast, announces the Day of Atonement, which is the sixth feast. The trumpets herald the Day of Atonement, the Day of the Lord.
In the kingdom-wide interpretation of the feasts of the Lord, the celebration of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24) portrays the sounding of the seven trumpets of God (Revelation, Chapter Eight). At the sounding of the last of the seven trumpets, the kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdom of our Lord and His Christ. It is the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with His saints to destroy rebellious spirits and their sins out of the earth. This coming is the spiritual fulfillment of the Day of Atonement.
On the sixth day of creation man was made in the image of God. Man was not created as an independent entity but male and female. Christ has chosen to be Male with reference to His Bride so not only He but she also will be in the glorious image of the invisible God. Christ and His Bride are one. All that He is, she inherits.
The battles against the cities of Canaan portray in type our struggle in the Spirit against our fleshly nature, the devil and his hordes, and the spirit of the age in which we live. We must overcome, through the Holy Spirit, every spirit, every circumstance, every thing, every desire that stands between us and perfect reconciliation to the will of God.
It is God’s will in Christ that we overcome every hindrance to our perfect rest in God. We are to be in the image of Christ in spirit, soul and body. We are to be perfectly obedient to the will of God, giving thanks to Him for all situations. We are to become the dwelling place of the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit.
The Ark of the Covenant, the sixth of the furnishings of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, portrays Christ—Head and Body. It is perfect Man. The three elements within the Ark speak of the character that is formed in the Servant of the Lord. When we have been completed as an integral part of the Ark of the Covenant, the Glory of God will rest upon us.
If we remain faithful to Christ through every trial we will receive authority and power over the nations and the entire material creation. The sons of God are destined to serve God in His Presence and to govern the works of His hands (Hebrews 2:8).
When the victory of holiness, righteousness, and obedience has been won by the saints of God it will spread to the whole earth until sin has been destroyed from every part of God’s creation.
The Day of Atonement is the day of reconciliation to God of all that has been alienated from Him through wickedness, treachery, deceit, perversity, and every other sin.
It appears that the thousand-year Kingdom Age, the “third day” in which Christ “walks,” is the period when mankind finally will be made in God’s image and the warfare of Jerusalem will be finished in the spiritual and physical realms.
Phase Seven. The ending of God’s work, and His rest; rest in the land of milk and honey; the Mercy Seat, covering cherubim, and He who dwelled between the cherubim; the feast of Tabernacles.
The main elements are the completion of God’s efforts, His rest and joyous contemplation of His handiwork; possession of the land of abundance of good things; the solid-gold Atonement Cover (Mercy Seat) and He who dwells between the Cherubim of Glory; and the completion of the harvesting of all things grown in the earth, as celebrated in the feast of Tabernacles.
The end of a successful battle against sin and rebellion is rest, peace, and the possession of good things and circumstances. In the days to come there will be battles until every rebellious spirit is destroyed out of me and you, out of the heavenlies, and out of the entire earth. Sin will be conquered in all persons everywhere. The result will be children of God who are in His image.
Quietness, peace, and perfect rest and joy will prevail throughout the creation of God. The presence of Satan brings unrest, striving, tension, pressure, sickness, weakness, confusion, disorganization, heartache, worry, frantic activity, despair, gloom, pessimism, and every other evil work. But the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
The rule of Christ will result in righteous conduct on the part of the inhabitants of the earth. Righteous conduct on the part of the inhabitants of the earth will bring peace. Peace will bring joy—the joy of the Lord. This is the kingdom that is coming. The only manner in which peace can be brought into the earth is by means of Christ’s rule with the rod of the iron of God’s strength.
It is God’s will that the meek inherit the earth, and so they shall. Yet a little while and the King will return. This time He will not be the helpless baby of the manger, the boy asking questions in the Temple, or the meek and lowly Lamb that men can abuse as they will. Christ is coming as the Lion of Judah, as King of kings and Lord of lords, to destroy out of the earth all who oppose Him.
The entire realm of nature—people, animals, the vegetable and mineral creation—everything will be reconciled to God during the thousand-year Jubilee. Every crop God has sown in the earth will bear fruit, and the fruit will be harvested and processed by the Lord Jesus.
The seventh aspect of the plan of redemption is described in Revelation, Chapters 21 and 22. We see the Wife of the Lamb, the new Jerusalem, coming to rest on a great high mountain of the new earth. She is perfect in every detail and the Throne of God and of the Lamb is in her.
The new Jerusalem is the Church, the holy city, the center of government for the whole earth. It is the dwelling place of God, the light of the world. God has finished His work and is now at rest. The descent of the holy city marks the end of the plan of redemption, the restoration of every particle of inheritance that has been tricked, stolen, taken by violence, or otherwise wrested from Adam and Eve and their descendants.
After the celebration of the seven days of Tabernacles, to speak symbolically, the “eighth day” will begin. It appears to us that when the new heaven and the new earth are brought into view, and the holy city descends to the earth, every creature having found his assigned place in God’s economy, there then will be a period of unimaginable rejoicing over what God has brought forth; of giving glory and praise to Him because of His endless love and mercy; of taking in all the sights, sounds, feelings and other experiences of the new creation.
There will be nothing lost except those spirits and people who have rebelled against Christ. Every person and every thing of the creation that we have known and cherished, and that is worthy of the Kingdom of God, will be brought forward in a glorified state, because God knows every detail concerning each of us.
How long will it take you to praise God for His almighty goodness when you stand in your place and see what God has done in keeping intact all you hold dear? Will you ever have time enough to give Him your love and praise?
The rejoicing will continue as long as is necessary for every soul to rejoice in God’s goodness and to give thanks to Him for all He has accomplished in us and for us, as typified by the seven days of the feast of Tabernacles.
There was an eighth day of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:36). The eighth day symbolizes the first day of the week of eternity, the week that has no end. After we all have had the opportunity to love and praise God and Christ for their goodness to us, and for the astonishing wisdom, power and love that has brought into being the reconciliation of the creation to God, we shall pass into the eighth day, the first day of eternity and settle down to our endless life of serving God and Christ forever.
We have just described the kingdom-wide fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles. There is a personal fulfillment of Tabernacles at hand for the Church of Christ. After we have been reconciled to God by the blood of the cross, by the overcoming of sin through the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit, and by our obedience to God during problems and sufferings, continuing each day in obedience to the Word of God, then God and Christ will come to us and take up their abode with us to a much greater extent than we have experienced thus far (John 14:23).
Christ dwells in our heart when we first receive salvation. Christ is formed in us as we continue being ministered to and ministering to others.
But there is coming to each victorious Christian a far greater indwelling of the Father and the Son, the indwelling typified by the feast of Tabernacles. In that day the Lord will be dwelling in the Church just as the Father dwells in Christ.
The Father and the Son are coming to dwell eternally in us. This is a personal coming, not the visible second coming of the Lord to the earth.
The Lord Jesus will return to the earth exactly as promised, descending just as He ascended—in the sight of all people. The second coming of the Lord to the earth is for the purpose of setting up His Kingdom on the earth, to assume the rulership of the nations of the earth.
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7).
The coming of our Lord in that day will not be primarily to the Church, although the Church will rise from the earth in transformed bodies to meet the Lord in the air. The Lord Jesus will be coming to the earth, appearing to the world in and with His saints.
When Christ who is our life appears from Heaven we shall appear with Him. The second coming of Christ will be the kingdom-wide fulfillment of the feasts of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, and the completion of the personal fulfillment of Tabernacles in the saints in that they will receive the redemption of their bodies.
However, before that great Day of the Lord arrives there will be an inner tabernacling of God and Christ in the saints. In order for such tabernacling to occur, we Christians must come to a more perfect reconciliation to God than has been true of us. That reconciliation is in process now as the Holy Spirit begins to deal with us concerning the sins of our flesh, and as God brings us into tribulation that works an ever-deepening righteousness, holiness and obedience in us (I Peter 4:1,2).
The saints will experience a personal fulfillment of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement (Day of Reconciliation), and Tabernacles before these three feasts are fulfilled throughout the world in the kingdom-wide manifestation.
The tares of wickedness are coming to maturity in our day. The personal fulfillment of the last three feasts of the Lord represent the coming to maturity of the wheat of righteousness. Whoever would survive and bear fruit during the age of moral horrors that is on the horizon must enter the spiritual fulfillment of the last three feasts. Apart from an increase in the Presence of God none of us will be able to stand during the days that are ahead.
The resurrection and ascension of the Church to meet Christ in the air is part of the kingdom-wide fulfillment of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement. It will occur at the second coming of Christ, the Day of Christ. It is a climactic expression of the work of redemption that has preceded it.
What is important now is the preaching of the Kingdom of God to the ends of the earth, accompanied by mighty signs and wonders, in preparation for the return of Christ to the earth. Occurring simultaneously with the great end-time witness of the Church is the perfecting of the reconciliation of God’s saints to Himself, and the dwelling of the saints with the Father and the Son in individual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles (John 17:21-23).
The fact that God could so perfectly portray His plan of salvation by means of these complicated and vast undertakings, such as the seven days of creation, the journey of several million people through the wilderness, the Tabernacle of the Congregation and its history, and the seven feasts of the Lord, reveals the absolute knowledge, wisdom, authority and power of God Almighty.
Truly, God is God. All persons, events, and objects are always and forever in His perfect control.
We have outlined the four types of redemption. We trust that the Holy Spirit will make this knowledge a blessing to you as you follow the Lord Jesus Christ in daily discipleship. This is our prayer for you.
Five Areas of Interpretation of the Tabernacle
At the beginning of our discussion of the Tabernacle of the Congregation we stated that there are at least six areas of study associated with the Tabernacle.
- The physical description of the parts, furnishings and details of the Tabernacle.
- The Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- The history of the Christian Church.
- The redemption of the believer.
- The Body of Christ.
- The Kingdom of God.
We have finished the physical description, adding a bit of the spiritual symbolism, and hope you now have in mind what we are speaking of when we refer to various aspects of the Tabernacle. We followed this with a brief history, and then gave an outline of the fulfillment in the Kingdom of God of the Tabernacle and of the other three major types of redemption.
We may be ready to go on to five interpretations of the Tabernacle: The Lord Jesus Christ Himself; the history of the Christian Church; the redemption of the believer; the perfecting of the Body of Christ; and the setting up of the Kingdom of God on the earth.
We will present an overview of the five areas of interpretation, and then discuss each in more detail.
1. The Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Tabernacle of the Congregation is one grand illustration of the Lord Jesus Christ and His work of redemption. From the bronze Altar of Burnt Offering to the golden Mercy Seat, the Tabernacle reveals Christ as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world; as the great High Priest who fulfills all the requirements of God; and as the coming King of kings who one day will rule over the nations of the earth. Christ is demonstrated to be All in all.
2. The history of the Christian Church. The order in which the Tabernacle and the priesthood are first presented in the Book of Exodus seems to reveal in symbolic form a general history of the manner in which the Christian Church was instituted in the earth, and takes us on through the glorious ministry of the Church during the ages to come.
3. The redemption of the believer. Here we find the spiritual pilgrimage of the Christian from his beginning in total chaos of spirit, soul, and body all the way through to his transformation into the image of Christ in spirit, soul and body; to his becoming the Temple of God; and to his receiving, through Christ, abundant fruitfulness and dominion over the works of God’s hands.
The redemption of the believer follows the order of the seven furnishings of the Tabernacle, beginning with the Altar of Burnt Offering and finishing with the Mercy Seat and Him who dwells between the Cherubim of Glory.
4. The Body of Christ. The Christian Church starts out as small and large collections of believers: some very devout and fervent; some indifferent but who still attend church; some of one doctrinal persuasion and some of another.
When God has finished with the Christian Church it will be the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, the Wife of the Lamb. The Church will be absolutely holy, absolutely in unity, perfect and complete to the last detail. The Church will be as Eve from Heaven, built on the body and blood of Christ, having the Glory of God, loved by the Father with the same love He has for His firstborn Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is God’s will that the Body of Christ be built up in the day in which we are living. It is certain that the Church of Christ will attain much more maturity in the future than it has today; otherwise the prayer of Christ in John, Chapter 17 would never be answered.
It is our point of view that the Church, the Body of Christ, the Wife of the Lamb, will make spiritual progress during the age to come. The thousand-year Kingdom Age is the sixth day of creation, to speak symbolically, and it is during the sixth day that man is made in God’s image—male and female.
The Divine Man is the Lord Jesus Christ, who is in the image of the Father and who was made perfect through suffering.
The heavenly Eve, the perfect helpmate for the heavenly Adam, is being formed now on the body and blood of her Lord. Do we see her ready now? Not nearly! But we know from the Scripture that she will be mature one day, for she will descend from Heaven in perfection (Revelation, Chapters 21 and 22).
It is our understanding that the Church, the Body of Christ, the Wife of the Lamb, will be formed and perfected over a period of “three days.” The “third day” is the thousand-year Kingdom Age. The Kingdom Age, in some respects, may not prove to be as drastic a change for us as we once had supposed.
It is not true that the saints will be taken to live in Heaven while Satan inherits the earth. This is not scriptural.
There will be the fierce battle of Armageddon, the war between Christ and His saints and the devil and his forces. Then Christ shall take over the rule of the nations of the world and shall exercise His will with and through the saints. But the flow of Christian teaching and the developing of the Church will continue without interruption, although greatly enhanced by the absence of the devil and by the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the earth.
The expression of the authority and power of the redemption made on the cross of Calvary will be increased many times over, and the laws of the Kingdom of God will be taught to every nation in a greater way than ever before (Isaiah 2:2-4; Micah 4:1-4).
In Luke 13:32 we find these words:
And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
We find the same thought expressed in Hosea 6:2,3:
After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we will live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
It appears that Christ, in Luke, was referring primarily to the fact that He would cast out devils and heal people for a period of time, and then He would be crucified and resurrected. We believe there also is a symbolic meaning. It seems the Kingdom Age will be the “third day” of Luke 13:32 and Hosea 6:2, and that Christ will raise us up on that day and we will go on to perfection. Since we are His Body, He uses the expression, “I shall be perfected,” referring to His Body.
The coming of Christ signals our redemption, and so we lift up our heads. He, our Redeemer, will come to bring us salvation and glory and we shall reign with Him on the earth.
Then shall the nations of the earth be blessed and every person will have his Divine inheritance restored to him. It is the thousand-year Jubilee, the Day of Atonement, of redemption, of salvation. It is the last step before the coming of the Sabbath day rest of God, which is the new heaven and the new earth, and the descending of the Tabernacle of God to be among men forever.
5. The Kingdom of God. The plan of redemption and the perfecting of the Body of Christ follow the order of the Tabernacle furnishings, from the Altar of Burnt Offering to the Mercy Seat and to Him who dwells between the Cherubim of Glory. It appears, however, that the setting up of the Kingdom of God in the earth reverses this order. It begins with Him who dwells between the cherubim and proceeds out to the Altar of Burnt Offering.
Have you ever noticed that God is economical? He makes full use of every scrap of material. He never wastes anything and commands us to gather up the fragments that nothing be lost. He uses one set of types and shadows to symbolize several different (although related) spiritual realities.
The setting up of the Kingdom of God in the earth has three major dimensions, phases, levels, however one wishes to think of them. The three aspects are important very significant and may be observed in the design of the Tabernacle of the Congregation commencing with the Holy of Holies, moving to the Holy Place, and finally to the Courtyard of the Tabernacle.
The Kingdom of God is the keeping of the laws of God—the laws that were described by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. The Kingdom of God is the doing of the will of God, particularly in the earth.
The first stage of the setting up of the Kingdom of God in the earth is portrayed by the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle. This is the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to the earth the first time. Christ came as the King of the Kingdom, announcing the laws of the Kingdom. Then He died, and by His death paid the price for the Kingdom, wresting from the enemy every bit of authority over the creation.
The second stage of the setting up of the Kingdom of God in the earth is portrayed by the Holy Place of the Tabernacle. The Holy Place represents the Church, the Body of Christ. It is God’s will that the Church keep the laws of the Kingdom of God, be a helpmate for the Lord Jesus Christ, and teach the laws of the Kingdom to the nations of the earth.
Thus far in history the Church (with some notable individual exceptions) has been unable to accomplish the will of God. The laws of the Kingdom of God are not, generally speaking, being observed by God’s people. The Church is a very imperfect helpmate for the Lord Jesus. The Church, in numerous instances, has been more occupied with serving its own interests that it has with teaching by doctrine and example the laws of the Kingdom of God to the nations of the earth.
God cannot be prevented from carrying out His will and so we know the Church is moving toward better things.
At the present time God Almighty is sending the Holy Spirit for the purpose of building the Body of Christ. There is being formed in the Church the Divine Nature and Substance of Christ. The Nature of Christ causes us to judge and overcome sin and to obey God through fiery trials. The victorious saints shall rule with Christ and shall help all Christian people enter the perfect will of God.
Praise the Lord for those who are strong in the Lord and who help us to know God better and to do His will more perfectly! (Hebrews 12:12,13; Romans 15:1,2).
As soon as the Church begins to keep the laws of the Kingdom of God, or perhaps we should say while the Church is growing in the ability to act righteously, the Church will be preparing itself to bring the laws and blessings of God to the third stage of the Kingdom of God—the Courtyard of the Tabernacle, representing the nations of saved peoples of the earth.
The day finally will come, as we observe in Revelation, Chapters 21 and 22, when the Church is established on a high mountain, shedding forth the glorious light of Christ to the nations of the earth. The saved people on the earth will then be walking in the laws of the Kingdom of God with the blessing of God on each individual.
So far in our study of the Tabernacle of the Congregation we have discussed the physical details of the Tabernacle; we have mentioned some of the meanings of these symbols, or types as they are sometimes termed; and we have indicated that we will examine the interpretation of the Tabernacle along five lines:
- As Christ Himself.
- As the history of the Church.
- As the progress of the plan of redemption in the life of the believer.
- As the perfecting of the Body of Christ.
- As the setting up of the Kingdom of God on the earth.
We are ready now to go on to the first area of interpretation, which is the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(“The Old Testament House of the Lord: Six”, 3704-1)