The Story of the Bible From Genesis to Revelation
Thy way, O Elohim, is in the Sanctuary (Heb. Kodesh). (Psalm 77:13)
The story of man, as recorded in the pages of Divine Scripture, begins in a garden and ends in a garden. In both of these paradises — the Garden of Eden and the heavenly New Jerusalem, man walks in intimate oneness with his Creator. Paradise was lost in the former and will be regained in the latter.
But between the two — between the books of Genesis and Revelation — is the saga of man’s separation from his loving Creator due to his prideful rebellion against YHVH’s Torah — his life-giving, fatherly and loving instructions in righteousness. Between Genesis and Revelation is the agonizing history of a Father reaching out in every conceivable manner to his prodigal children, urging them to repent of their sin, and to turn from the downward path that leads to spiritual darkness, separation and eternal death.
YHVH has a plan to redeem man — to save him; that plan is revealed in the Bible — the Word of Elohim. But the Bible is a big, complex and daunting book to most people. Deciphering this plan of salvation can be intimidating to those who do not have the keys to unlock the mysteries. Once the code is deciphered, however, and the plan unveiled, understanding the Book is a cinch. To understand the Tabernacle of Moses is to understand that plan. Though of divine origin, it is a simple layout and design. But its simplicity belies the true enigma of it. Even though the youngest child can understand the basic message of the tabernacle, within it’s linen veiled enclosure is to be found some of the deepest wisdom of the universe, for in it the mysteries of YHVH’s plan of redemption for mankind is revealed. In its furnishings and details one finds in code-form the seven-step plan of YHVH’s set-apart annual appointed times, as well as the seven steps of the biblical Hebraic wedding. These all reveal the steps every human must take to reverse the curse of death that fell upon Adam. They show man the way back to the Father and back to that garden paradise that man lost. Within the set-apart or holy sanctuary of the tabernacle is revealed the way of Elohim, the way of salvation and eternal life.
When Adam and Eve sinned, YHVH thrust them out of the paradise called Eden. They began to wander in search of redemption in a wilderness of separation brought on by their sin. From that point on, men continued to wander seeking redemption. Their wanderings took them further away from redemption and from YHVH the Redeemer, however. We pick this story up with the children of Israel who have left the Wilderness of Sin and begun to wander in the wilderness of Sinai in search of their destiny. After having revealed himself to them at their deepest point of despair, YHVH brought them to a mountain in the desert — Mount Sinai — and presented to them an alternative lifestyle — one that would give them hope and lead them to everlasting life replacing the hopelessness and uncertainty about their future. He then gave them a purpose and a destiny. YHVH gave them a job assignment. It was to build a tabernacle — a place of rest, healing, cleansing and intimate relationship with him. Whether they realized it or not, that simple tent was their future hope. It was the pathway back to paradise. Outside the tent was a hot, parched and gray wilderness full of serpents, scorpions and the dreaded heathen Amalekites. Inside was redemption, cleansing, life, food, leading to the glorious presence of the Elohim of Israel — a foreshadow of the New Jerusalem. David understood this when he said, “Thy way, O Elohim, is in the sanctuary” (Ps 77:13).
The story of the children of Israel is your story and mine. It is both an old and new story; it is a timeless one. The needs of humans and the message of redemption remain the same. Learn the pattern of the tabernacle, for in it you will find life! Together, let’s explore the Tabernacle of Moses containing YHVH’s template of salvation for mankind. In it is the revelation of our future and eternal destiny.
Welcome to the World of the Tabernacle of Moses
If you were the Creator of the universe, what means would you use to communicate with those that you had created through love in your likeness and image? In a remote way, it’s like a human standing over an anthill trying to communicate with the ants. How do you do it? Similarly, how does an all powerful, Spirit Being, loving Father in heaven relate to his mortal children who are but mere specks of dust without vaporizing them with his raw power? The difficulty is compounded when fearful humans don’t want to hear the voice of Elohim, which is what happened when YHVH Elohim’s voice thundered from Mount Sinai. The children of Israel begged him not to talk to them, lest they die. They asked the Almighty One to speak to them instead through Moses (Exod 20:19).
When man sinned at the tree of knowledge, and YHVH kicked them out of the Garden of Eden, direct communications between man and his Maker were hampered, if not all but cut off. However, Elohim had a plan to restore the loving relationship he had with man before the rebellion. But if men refuse to hear you when you speak, what are you do?
To be certain, the Almighty doesn’t lack for ways to communicate with men. Man is without excuse when it comes to hearing Elohim, for even the heaven’s declare the glory of the Creator and the plans he has for mankind. The visible things of this creation shout loudly about the spiritual mysteries heaven desires to reveal to its earthly subjects. Furthermore, from time to time over the millennia, Elohim has chosen to speak directly to some select servants through dreams, visions, signs, wonders, angels, and even once through a donkey! But how does he speak to a whole nation, if that nation is plugging its ears and refusing to hear its Master’s voice?
Enter into the picture the Tabernacle of Moses, which was literally a three-dimensional gospel message tract. It is the visual demonstration of the whole message of the Bible in a building — the blueprint of the plan of redemption of wayward man. It was a functioning masterpiece of artwork demonstrating the Father’s love for his people, of his desire to commune and to communicate with Israel — his treasured possession, those he had hand picked and called out from the 70 nations of the world. Not only did the tabernacle involve the sense of sight, but the other four senses as well: sound, smell, touch, and taste. It also engaged and even challenged the heart, emotions, mind and spirit of man. The Tabernacle of Moses was a vehicle for the Creator of the universe to communicate with man using a panoply of communicative devices all of which pointed to the coming Messiah, the Redeemer of mankind who would die for the sins of the world to restore man into a loving relationship with his ever-loving, gracious, and longsuffering Father in heaven.
This is the story of the tabernacle, which, in every way, resembles a theatrical play, even a pageant, containing costumed actors each performing his carefully choreographed role on cue. Even a child can comprehend the message of this play, yet it contains mysteries and truths so deep that only in eternity itself will they be revealed to those who have been initiated into higher spiritual levels through the tabernacle’s spiritual paradigms of which its rites and ceremonies were mere prophetic shadows of things to come. To understand it, is to understand the message of the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
Let’s now enter into this world of the Tabernacle of Moses. Welcome!
Why Study the Tabernacle (or Temple)?
- Elohim commanded his people to study it. In Ezekiel 43:10–11, YHVH tells Ezekiel to explain to his people the layout of the temple “that they may be ashamed of their iniquities [Torahlessness]” and presumably repent or return to a spiritual relationship with him.
- Elohim commanded his people to build the tabernacle (and latter the two temples in Jerusalem, see Exod 25:8; 29:43; 1 Chron 17:11–15); therefore, it must be important, and we should study it to understand its significance. After all, one-half of the Torah and one-third of the 613 Torah commandments deal with the Tabernacle of Moses, so it behooves us to understand its spiritual significance.
- Elohim’s name resided in the tabernacle (and later the temple, Deut 12:5–6), and it was his place of abiding on the earth (Exod 25:8).
- Both the tabernacle and first and second temples in Jerusalem were the spiritual centers for the nation of Israel. Elohim’s manifest presence was found within these physical structures, and this phenomenon powerfully unified the 12 tribes of Israel making them feel as though they were one nation under YHVH’s divine protection and guidance (Exod 40:34–38). The temple became the focal point for all worship for the entire nation (Ps 5:7). For example, it was the place where YHVH chose to place his name and where all Israelites were to gather three times each year at YHVH’s appointed times (Deut 12:5, 11, 21; 14:23, 24; 16:2, 6, 11; 26:2).
- The tabernacle (temple) was a monument to Elohim’s sovereignty. It was the place where he dwelt and where men come to commune with the Sovereign King and Creator (Exod 25:8; Pss 26:8; 27:4; 65:4; 92:13–15).
- It was a place to renew Israel’s covenant with Elohim. When the Israelites came to the temple to give their offerings, to make sacrifices and to commune with YHVH during his appointed times, they were doing so out of obedience to the covenants he had made with them. In so doing, they were renewing that covenantal relationship with him.
- The tabernacle and temples were the places where atonement for sin was made through the sacrifices that were offered there. These all pointed to the coming Messiah—Yeshua, who was condemned and beaten on the same spot where the temple in Jerusalem was located, then crucified on the spot where the altar of the red heifer was located a little distance away from the temple.
- The prophet Isaiah predicted that the coming Messiah would be like a sanctuary or like the Tabernacle of Moses, and Yeshua declared that he was that sanctuary or temple (Isa 8:14 cp. John 2:21–22). This can be taken to mean that Yeshua in himself completely fulfilled the tabernacle’s role—that it all pointed to him and was fulfilled in his life, death, burial, resurrection and his role as our Great High Priest in heaven. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews makes this important point. This is perhaps the most important reason to study the Tabernacle of Moses.
- Psalms 77:13 states, “Your way, O Elohim, is in the sanctuary; Who is so great a El as our Elohim?” What better reason to study the tabernacle than to learn the ways of Elohim?
The Benefits of Studying About the Tabernacle?
- It teaches us how to properly approach a holy Elohim through turning from or repenting of sin (Ezek 14:6).
- It reveals YHVH’s plan of redemption. In the Tabernacle of Moses we find revealed the seven steps of YHVH’s plan of redemption or salvation for mankind. In reality, the tabernacle is laid out and reads like a giant gospel tract. It is the ultimate gospel tract that all Christians need to read, and all Bible teachers need to study, learn about and then to teach to their people.
- It teaches us about the priesthood of Messiah (Heb 7:26–28).
- It helps us to understand the kingdom of Elohim, which is an essential element of the gospel message (Mark 1:15). Yeshua will rule the earth during the Millennium from his temple in Jerusalem (Zech 14:4, 8–9, 11; Rev 20:6; Matt 6:9–10; Ezek 44:23 cp. 2 Cor 6:17), which will undoubtedly be patterned after the Tabernacle of Moses and Ezekiel’s temple.
- The tabernacle teaches us how to order our lives. Even as the morning and evening sacrifices were conducted in an orderly manner following certain protocols, this teaches us how to order our daily lives around our devotions to Elohim. The biblical feasts (the weekly and annual sabbaths) also revolved around the tabernacle, even as our lives should revolve around these feasts that help lead us into the presence of and relationship with Elohim as represented by the tabernacle.
- It helps us to recognize and avoid idolatry and all manner of abominable and worldly practices because it teaches us the importance of holiness when approaching a holy Elohim. Holiness is important because throughout Scripture, YHVH instructs his people to be holy as he is holy, and that without holiness NO ONE WILL SEE ELOHIM (Heb 12:14).
- It teaches us to be conscious about dwelling (living our lives as if we were) in the very presence or courtyard or throne room of Elohim.
- Everything in the tabernacle (and temple) pointed to Yeshua’s atoning death on the cross for our sins, and his work as our Great Heavenly High Priest Advocate, who is presently at the right hand of the Father in heaven. It reveals to us the gospel message in an active and pictorial way. All these things are for our learning and admonition (1 Cor 10:11; Rom 15:4).
Major Themes of the Tabernacle/Mishkan
- Going from a state of being or profane or polluted to the kadosh or set-apart, from darkness to light, and disobedience to obedience.
- Progressive separation from the ungodly things of this world and refinement of the individual leading to purity and perfection.
- Growing in progressive intimacy and fellowship with the Father through our relationship with Yeshua the Messiah.
- The revelation of the steps of the biblical wedding ceremony and the marriage of YHVH to his people.
- The seven steps of spiritual growth and reconciliation to the Father as epitomized by the seven annual appointed times or festivals (or moedim).