Grace and Truth

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Jesus and the Brazen Laver

bronze-laver-priestFollowing on from Jesus Christ and the Brazen Altar, we will now look at the Brazen Laver. As we have been discovering in this series, every item of furniture in the Tabernacle of Moses was a type or a shadow of the reality that is now available to us in Jesus Christ.

The Brazen Laver is a wonderful picture of two things:

  • the Word of God; and
  • sanctification, (or separation)

 

The Laver was Made From Bronze Mirrors

“He made the laver of bronze and its base of bronze, from the bronze mirrors of the serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.” Exodus 38:8

Mirrors in those days were made from highly polished bronze, not glass. Bronze is always a picture of judgment in the Tabernacle. And wow – what a picture it is. Imagine moving forward from the Brazen Altar, where the blood of an innocent animal has been shed for your sins, to the Brazen Laver where you now wash your feet and hands. As you do so, you are confronted with your reflection in both the water of the Laver and the bronze mirrors holding the water.

…. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;  for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25 (emphasis mine).

 

The Word of God ExposesthVT2OSNBU

Once you are at the Laver you cannot escape the confrontation of your own reflection.

You are exposed.

This is exactly what the Word of God does. As we read, study and meditate on it we behold ourselves as in a mirror. We are exposed for who we truly are and we cannot hide from it because it is “alive and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword…” (Hebrews 4:12)

We see where we fall short of the standard of God’s Word and we are convicted and pierced by it “even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”. (Hebrews 4:12)

This work of the Sword of the Spirit is so close, so intimate, even to the division of joints and marrow. The marrow is inside the bone-joint. How sharp is that Sword and how dextrously is it handled by the Spirit that it exposes those hidden, secrets places in our souls that contain even our innermost intents of the heart!

The priest in the Tabernacle would cut up the sacrifice for the offering with a sharp knife. This is God’s intention for us. That He would be able to work in us in order to conform us to the image of His Son through the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God). He wants to expose and cut away all that is soulish and instead fill us with the life of the Spirit.

 

Justification Vs Sanctification

Once we have been to the Brazen Altar, a type of the cross of Jesus Christ, we are justified before God.

“We were reconciled to God by the death of His Son” (Romans 5:10).

rickeyminor.orgWe are saved by blood and delivered from condemnation at the Altar.

Whilst the Brazen Altar is a picture of our justification, the Brazen Laver is a picture of our sanctification. This is the second aspect of salvation and it is to do with separation.

The penalty for sin is dealt with at the Altar, the cleansing from sin at the Laver.

 

The Word of God Cleanses

Just as “Aaron and his sons…wash(ed) their hands and their feet in water from (the Brazen Laver)” (Exodus 30:19), so too the Word of God cleanses us.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word” Ephesians 5:26

As the priests came into the Tabernacle their feet would have been dusty. Their hands would have needed cleansing after their work. The Brazen Laver had two washing basins, one for the hands and one for the feet.

  • Hands speak to us of our service for God.
  • Feet of our walk with God.

Daily we need to be washed by the water of the Word of God. Even though we are saved, as we go about life in this sinful world we pick up dust and dirt along the way. In order to fellowship with the Lord and come into His presence we need to be separated unto Him daily by the cleansing of the Word. The Laver shows us that whilst sin has been dealt with once for all at the cross, we need to come daily confessing our sins so that we may be cleansed from any defilement of the world.

 

The Word of God Brings us to Maturity

The Laver also speaks to us of going on to maturity in Christ. At the Altar we have been born again, but at the Laver we grow as we look into the mirror of the Word of God. Those heart-motives and intentions that were exposed by the mirror of the Word are also cleansed away by the water of the Word.

We must remember that the priests regularly came to the Laver to wash. We are now “a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9) and we too must come regularly to the Word of God to be convicted, cleansed and sanctified.

The Word of God is integral to maintaining our life in Christ. The Brazen Laver could not be avoided in the Tabernacle on the way into the Holy Place.  The priests were required to stop there and take the time in order to be convicted, cleansed and set apart. So too must we take the time to spend with our wonderful Saviour in feeding on His Word.

God bless! 🙂

 


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Jesus and the Outer Court of the Tabernacle

The Outer Court (or Court of the Tabernacle) points to Jesus

source: ferrelljenkins.wordpress.com

source: ferrelljenkins.wordpress.com

Christ, just as does every part of the Tabernacle of Moses.  In this post we will see the beautiful picture of the holiness and the redemption of Jesus Christ in the walls and gate of the Outer Court.

Exodus 27:9-18

You shall also make the court of the tabernacle. For the south side there shall be hangings for the court made of fine woven linen, one hundred cubits long for one side. 10 And its twenty pillars and their twenty sockets shall be bronze. The hooks of the pillars and their bands shall be silver. 11 Likewise along the length of the north side there shall be hangings one hundred cubits long, with its twenty pillars and their twenty sockets of bronze, and the hooks of the pillars and their bands of silver.

12 “And along the width of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits, with their ten pillars and their ten sockets. 13 The width of the court on the east side shall be fifty cubits. 14 The hangings on one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and their three sockets. 15 And on the other side shall be hangings of fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and their three sockets.

16 “For the gate of the court there shall be a screen twenty cubits long, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver. It shall have four pillars and four sockets. 17 All the pillars around the court shall have bands of silver; their hooks shall be of silver and their sockets of bronze. 18 The length of the court shall be one hundred cubits, the width fifty throughout, and the height five cubits, made of fine woven linen, and its sockets of bronze.

The Materials of the Outer Court

As we saw in Jesus and the Tabernacle Materials every item used in the construction of the Tabernacle had a divine purpose and meaning:

  • The walls of the Outer Court were made from hangings of fine woven linen = the Righteousness of Christ
  • Its 20 pillars and 20 sockets for the pillars were made of bronze = judgment against sin
  • The hooks and bands of the pillars were made of silver = redemption

The Outer Court is a picture of Christ. Christ came in His righteousness as our redemption. He took our place, as a substitutionary atonement in God’s judgment against sin.

The Outer Court and the Law of God.

source: signature9.com

source: signature9.com

The Outer Court is also a picture of the Law of God. The Tabernacle was surrounded by a wall of fine linen hangings. This wall kept the Holy of Holies, where God’s Shekinah Glory dwelt, separate from the outside world. Each person upon approaching God’s dwelling place, the Tabernacle, was confronted by this huge 7.5 foot-high wall of fine linen.

As we know, fine linen speaks to us of righteousness. At the front of the Tabernacle an individual was confronted with the wall of the holy standard of God’s righteousness upon their approach to Him. How could they enter this holy and righteous place? How could they scale this wall of righteousness? How could they get to a holy God?

The Bible says “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear” Isaiah 59:2

The sinner is separated from the holiness of God because of the defilement of his sin. The fact is, the sinner cannot approach a holy God in his own righteousness. The Bible says that:

“…we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;” Isaiah 64:6

Just as each person was confronted with the wall of God’s righteousness at the Tabernacle, so this is true of today as well. Each sinner needs to be confronted with God’s holy bible-cover-pagerighteousness – His Law, the 10 commandments, to see that he cannot measure up to God’s standards of holiness. God is perfectly good, perfectly Holy, perfectly righteous. But we are not.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

Once we are confronted with His righteousness we see that there is no way to scale the wall into His righteousness. There is no way we can get in on our own.

We are lost, without hope.

But…the Outer Court had a Gate.

The GATE

source: poliges.com

source: poliges.com

“For the gate of the court there shall be a screen twenty cubits long, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, made by a weaver…”

God, in His marvelous grace, has of course made a way into His presence.

But…. there is only ONE way. And that is through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

An individual could only enter the Outer Court through one gate on the east side of the Tabernacle.

The walls were so high that anyone trying to climb over them could have plunged to their death. This speaks of the sinner trying to work his way, or climb his way, up to God. It doesn’t work, for we will never be good or holy enough to meet God’s standards. The way of the flesh only leads to death.

“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.” John 10:1

But there was this gate and it was the way, the only way, into the presence of God, into Life. The gate had a screen woven of blue, purple and scarlet thread as well as fine linen.

Jesus Himself said: “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved…” John 10:9 (NIV)

The gate, of course, speaks to us of Christ:

  • The fine linen= His righteousness,
  • The colours = His heavenly nature (blue), His royalty (purple) and His sacrifice (red).
source: catechismway.blogspot.com

source: catechismway.blogspot.com

We see that there is only one way into the presence of a Holy God, and that is through the gate, the Person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Just as none could enter the Tabernacle and approach God from any other way except through the gate, so it is the same today. No one can approach God any other way than through Jesus Christ.

We come through Him, we come through the Gate.

Going through the gate we enter through Him. We come through His righteousness (linen), His heavenly nature (blue), His Kingship (purple) and His sacrifice (scarlet).

Then when a person was in the Outer Court of the Tabernacle they too were separated from the world. This speaks of the holiness of God and the separation of man from the world unto Him.

Upon entering through the Gate, immediately the individual is met with the Brazen Altar.

Next post:   Jesus and the Brazen Altar

Previous post: Jesus and the Tabernacle Materials


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Jesus and the Tabernacle Materials

source: templestudy.com

source: templestudy.com

Firstly it is important to note that it is possible to study the Tabernacle in 2 ways:

  1. God unto man: From the Holy of Holies out to the Outer Court.  This is the path of Sovereign grace
  2. Man unto God: From the Outer court into the Holy of Holies. This is the walk of faith

 

source: tabernacleofmoses.org

source: tabernacleofmoses.org

The first approach, God unto man, shows that unless God first comes to man, man can in no way approach God and stand in His holy presence. This is the order of Sovereign grace – where God comes out from His throne in Heaven to earth to meet the sinner in redeeming love.

However we will study it the second way – man’s walk of faith unto God. “As man comes to God he must begin at the Gate, accept the Blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. From there on he progresses step by step, line upon line, until he comes to the ultimate, the full Glory of God, as seen in the Most Holy Place.” (KJ Conner)

 

The Materials Used in the Construction of the Tabernacle

Nothing is by accident, coincidence or haphazard with God. He is ordered and everything has a definite purpose. Everything in His Word is there for a reason. Even the materials used in the construction of the Tabernacle communicate to us His eternal truths.

As we saw at the end of The Tabernacle of Moses and the Cross the materials used in the Tabernacle were willingly offered to God by the children of Israel:

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering. And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.” Exodus 25:1-9

Each material used speaks to us something important. As we look at each, something becomes apparent :

They all represent something about Jesus Christ and His atonement and point forward to Him.

Let us take a look at each material used:

Material Represents
Gold Deity, divine nature of Christ
Silver Redemption (the atonement of Christ, the money paid to Judas to betray Him, who is the ransom for us)
Brass Judgment against sin
Precious stones The gifts of the Holy Spirit, the preciousness of God’s own people
Fine linen Righteousness
Shittim (acacia) wood The Humanity of Christ
Oil The Holy Spirit
Spices Used in the anointing oil and the incense: represent Christ and His nature and the imparting of Christ’s nature to the believer. The incense represents prayer (See Jesus and Incense for more info on this)
Blue Heavenly/divine nature – like the colour of the heavens
Purple Royalty, Kingship – this was the most precious colour in ancient times
Scarlet Sacrifice – the colour of blood
Goats’ hair Atonement for sin – ie. a goat died to provide its hair
Rams skins Atonement for sin – ie. a ram died to provide its skin
Badgers’ skins The humanity or the outward appearance of Christ; atonement


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The Tabernacle of Moses and the Cross

Continued from The Tabernacle of Moses and Jesus

The Tabernacle’s Position

Israel was a large group of people, divided into 12 different tribes. As God is a God of order, this large group of people had to be arranged orderly. God set up the camp as follows:

  • The Tabernacle was in the midst of the camp (Numbers 2:17)
  • On the East side the tribes of Judah, Issachar and Zebulon camped
  • On the West side the tribes of Ephraim, Mannasseh and Benjamin camped
  • On the North side the tribes of Dan, Asher and Naphtali camped
  • On the South side the tribes of Rueben, Simeon and Gad camped

Many experts believe that the view from heaven as God looked upon the camp was in the shape of a cross.

Chuck Missler explains: “The tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun–collectively called the Camp of Judah–had to encamp east of the Levites. This poses a technical problem.  Notice that if the breadth of their camp was larger than that of the Levites, the excess would be southeast or northeast, not east. Therefore, their camp could only be as wide as the Levites, and they then had to extend eastward to obtain whatever space they required.

The camps of Reuben, Ephraim, and Dan had the same constraint on the south, west, and north, respectively. The length of each leg would be proportional to total in each camp.

If we assemble what we can infer from the Torah account, we can imagine what the camp of Israel looked like from above: the tabernacle and the Levites in the center, surrounded by the four faces of the tribal standards, and each of the four camps of Judah, Ephraim, Reuben, and Dan, stretching out in the four cardinal directions.”

Source:http://www.ldolphin.org/camp.html

 

God should be in the midst of the camp, in the midst of His people. Where Christ is in the centre of a believer’s life, or of a Church, then there is divine order. We see that God’s dealing with His people is always on the basis of the cross of Jesus Christ.

 

The Construction of the Tabernacle

The Tabernacle took nine months to build. It was built from materials which the Israelites willingly offered unto the Lord.

Christ was nine months in the womb of Mary. Mary willingly offered her life to God for His purposes.

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering. And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.” Exodus 25:1-9

We see that when we willingly give to God our lives then He will use it for His purposes and bring forth divine life.

God bless!


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The Tabernacle of Moses and Jesus

source: templestudy.com

source: templestudy.com

God gave Moses a divine plan in building the Tabernacle :

“According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so shall you make it.” Exodus 25:9

Moses was required to build the tabernacle exactly to the plan which God gave Him.

“They served in a system of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. For when Moses was getting ready to build the Tabernacle, God gave him this warning: “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.”” Hebrews 8:5

It was divided into three different areas within it.

source: tabernacleofmoses.org

source: tabernacleofmoses.org

There was the Holy of Holies, the Holy Place and the Outer court.

Each area had its own pieces of furniture. The furniture was also to be made exactly to the pattern that God gave Moses.

 

The Purpose of the Tabernacle

When Moses was on the mountain with God, God said to him:

“…let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8

The purpose of the Tabernacle was for God to dwell among His people, in order to guide them and to bless and provide for them.

God has always desired fellowship with man. We see this with God’s dealings with Adam and Eve, with Israel and with the followers of Christ – His Church. In fact the Tabernacle of Moses points ultimately to Jesus Christ as it is a picture of God dwelling amongst man.

In John 1:14 we read:

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The word “dwelt” here literally means to “pitch a tent”. It is from the Greek word skenoo

“…This word skene (tent) is the very word used in the New Testament to refer to the tabernacle of God used by Israel in their early worship of God. If you remember, the tabernacle was a wooden structure with a tent pitched over the top. In the Greek New Testament therefore, the word translated “tabernacle” is skene — “the tent” (Acts 7:44; Hebrews 8:2, 5, and chapter 9). Hence, when the glory of God descended to the earth to take up residence in the midst of Israel as described in Exodus 40:34-38, it could be said that God “pitched His tent” among men. The writer of the book of Hebrews calls it “the true tent [skene] that the Lord set up” (Hebrews 8:2). The glory of God went camping with Israel as Israel wandered in the wilderness.” (source: http://www.awordfromtheword.org/dwelt)

When Jesus became a Man and dwelt among us, it was the ultimate fulfillment of the Tabernacle of Moses. Here was God not only dwelling amongst human beings, but God dwelling in human flesh Himself. How merciful that God would take on human flesh to bring about fellowship with man again!

And now, as believers in Christ, God Himself dwells (tabernacles) in us. By His Holy Spirit God now dwells not only with man, but inside of man. The incredible kindness and mercy of God!

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? ” 1 Corinthians 6:19 

The Tabernacle of Moses shows us many things:

  • That God desires fellowship with His people;
  • That God always is the one to initiate fellowship between Him and man;
  • That God has a plan to bring that fellowship about;
  • That God clearly shows man how to have fellowship with Him
  • That man must approach God in the way in which God appoints;
  • That the tabernacle points to Christ dwelling with and in man and
  • That Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of the tabernacle

 

Blessings in Christ! 

 

Next…The Tabernacle of Moses and the Cross

 


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Holy Fire vs Profane Fire

” A fire shall always be burning on the altar, it shall never go out.” Leviticus 6:13

This verse jumped out at me the other day as I was reading that most mis-understood of books, Leviticus. I’d like to share with you what God brought to my heart.

Leviticus 6:8-13 is the record of the law of the burnt offering. This is Old Covenant stuff yes, but the principle presented here is eternal, and is recorded for our benefit.

God is here setting forth His commands to the priest, Aaron and his sons. All believers are now priests unto God under the New Covenant, so there is something here for us.

“And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it, is shall not be put out. And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order on it; and he shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings.” Leviticus 6:12

Two points here:
1. God requires that the fire on the altar never goes out
2. God requires that the priest shall keep the fire burning by bring wood every morning

Where does the fire come from? It is a divine fire, lit by God Himself.

“…Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people and fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.” Leviticus 9:23, 24

The fire must be lit by God to be holy. God will never accept our self-effort, it is a “profane fire” to Him. The fire must be initiated by Him and comes from Him alone. We see on the Day of Pentecost the fire of God settling upon each of those in the Upper Room (Acts 2:3). This was fire sent by God, as John the Baptist had prophesied “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance but He who is coming after me is mightier than I… He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” Matthew 3:11.

All of our fleshly works must be consumed. Look at what happened to Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu when they offered the “fire” of their own self-effort…

“Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it and offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.” Leviticus 10:1, 2

So we see that God will never accept fire, or works, initiated by man. However God does require man to play his part too.
Whilst the fire is initiated by God, God gives the responsibility to maintain the fire to man. God will never do for us what He expects us to do ourselves. So He commands the priests to keep the fire burning, to not let it die out.

How do we keep it burning continually? Well God even tells us how to do that…
“And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning…” Leviticus 6:13
Praying and spending time with the Lord, in His Word daily keeps the fire burning.

“…and lay the burnt offering in order on it…” Leviticus 6:14. How?
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” Romans 12:1

“You never have to advertise a fire. Everyone comes running when there’s a fire.
Likewise, if your church is on fire, you will not have to advertise it. The community will already know it.” Leonard Ravenhill

Be blessed!