July 15th, 1956 @ 8:15 AM
Dr. W. A. Criswell
7-15-56 8:15 a.m.
This morning we are going to visit the tabernacle of the ancient congregation, and it is going to be on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. Anywhere in the world, in any nation, in any continent, anywhere in the world that a Jew proposes to have any contact, or any loyalty, or any relationship with the religion of his forefathers, he will manifest it on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. All the other fasts, all the other feasts, all the other meetings, all the other relationships he may absolutely disregard. He may eat pork, ham, bacon; he may never attend a synagogue service; he may pay no attention to the law, clean, unclean, ceremonial, moral; he may have absolutely no contact and no relationship with his religion at any other time or any other place; but if he is at all a Jew, there is one time in the year that he will observe an all day fast and will attend services, and that is on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.
Now, we are going back, way, way, back, we are going back to fifteen hundred years before Christ, and we are going to visit the tabernacle. We are going to see the religion that Moses instituted at the hand of God. We are going to go inside of the tabernacle, we are going to look at it, then we are going to watch the high priest and the congregation as they assemble for worship on this most holy of all the high days of the ancient Hebrew year.
Now, we start off with this tabernacle. In the eighth chapter of the Book of Hebrews, the author of the Book of Hebrews quotes God as saying, “As Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for,” then he quotes God, “See, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed unto thee in the mount.” That’s Hebrews 8:5. The Lord God in heaven gave to Moses a pattern of the exact detail of everything that was to be made in the tabernacle. Now, when the author of the eighth chapter of Hebrews wrote that, he was quoting from the Book of Exodus, the twenty-fifth chapter and the fortieth verse: “And when God said all these things, God said, And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount” [Exodus 25:40]. And in the thirty-ninth chapter of the Book of Exodus, the people brought to Moses everything that they had made. “And they brought,” beginning at the thirty-third verse,
And they brought the tabernacle unto Moses, with the tent, and all the furniture, his taches, his boards, his bars, his pillars, his sockets, the covering of the rams’ skins dyed red, the badgers’ skins, the veil . . . the ark . . . the mercy seat, the table . . . the showbread, the candlestick, the lamps . . . the vessels . . . the golden altar . . . the brazen altar . . . the hangings of the court . . . the cloths of service . . . According to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work. And Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the Lord had commanded, even so had they done it: and the Lord blessed them.
There was a pattern that God had in heaven, and He told Moses what that pattern was and mandated Moses that he do it exactly as God had said. So Moses made everything just exactly and meticulously according to what God had said. They did not know then why God said, “Just so and just so”; it took fourteen and fifteen hundred years for it to appear what God meant when He gave the people that pattern. But they did it just exactly according to the pattern that God gave them.
May I digress here just a minute to show you how God will frequently do a thing like that? God will have something in heaven, some pattern, some idea, He will have something in mind in heaven, and He will give it to a man in earth, and He will say to that man, “Now you do this exactly as I tell you how.” The man himself does not know the meaning, but it appears later, after maybe the man is dead, after he may be dead two thousand years. I’ll give you an illustration of that: baptism is one of them. John the Baptist came in the wilderness of Judea, preaching and baptizing his converts [Matthew 3:1-6]. The first time that anybody ever saw anybody else take anybody and submerge them in water was when John the Baptist did it. There were many ablutions, many washings, many immersions in the old Jewish religion; but in every instance, the man washed himself, he bathed himself, he immersed himself. But the first time that one man ever took another man and immersed him, baptized him, was when John the son of Zechariah did it. And therefore they called him Ioannes ho baptistés, John the one who baptizes. First time the world had ever seen anything like that. So there came an official committee from the Sanhedrin, from Jerusalem, and they said, “What is this new rite that you are instituting? And where did you get it? [John 1:19-25] And John the Baptist said, “He that sent me to baptize, the Lord God in heaven that sent me to baptize [John 1:33], He said unto me, ”God gave the pattern of baptism to John the Baptist, and he baptized just exactly according to the pattern that God gave him [John 1:31].
Now what did that baptism mean? John didn’t know. All John knew about it was that it was a signifying, a signification, that a man had repented of his sins and was looking toward the coming of the Messiah [Mark 1:3-4]; that’s all John knew. But when finally it came to be known what the pattern was, what it meant, what did it mean? It meant the burial and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It meant our burial to the world and our resurrection to a new life in Him. It meant the expression of our faith and of our hope, that if we die and are buried in the heart of the earth, we believe that the power of God shall raise us again, and we shall live in His sight [Romans 6:3-8]. John didn’t know that. John died before any of that was ever manifest. But God did. The pattern of it was given to John from heaven [John 1:31-33], and it was only later that its full substance and its full meaning came to be known [Romans 6:3-8].
Now that’s exactly what God did here in the Old Testament. He gave to Moses a pattern of a thing, and Moses did it exactly according to what God said [Exodus 25:40, 39:42]. And then in these after years, long, long time after, did the full meaning of all of those things come to pass in the person and atonement and testimony of Jesus Christ [Matthew 5:17].
The thing for us—may I parenthesize again before going on? The thing for us is to do it just like God says. “Yea, but preacher I don’t understand.” He never said, “Do you understand?” The thing to do is to take it just like God says. “But I don’t see how it could be that way.” But that’s not the point. God never said, “You are to know how it is to be that way.” We are to take it just like God says it: word for word, dot for dot, tittle for tittle, promise for promise, sentence by sentence, chapter by chapter, book by book, the whole thing just like God said it. And then some of these days, the full meaning of what God has done and what He means and the great purposes that lie back of it will be lucid and clear. We’ll understand it all by and by. But in the meantime, we’re to do it exactly as God says. So here in the Bible, “And they made all of these things according to all that the Lord commanded Moses. And Moses did look upon the work, and, behold, it had been done as the Lord had commanded, so had they done it: and Moses blessed them” [Exodus 39:42-43].
Now, this tabernacle and the things that are in it are going to be little things, small things; a whole lot smaller than most of us would have realized. So here’s the tabernacle set up now; its curtains: curtains on the outside, curtains on the inside, all of it is curtain. And we go inside, and this is how big it is: it is one hundred cubits this way and fifty cubits that way [Exodus 27:18]. Actually, it is two fifty-cubit squares. A cubit is eighteen inches, about the length from here to there, or there. How much is eighteen inches? From the tip of your finger to your elbow, that was the ancient cubit, about eighteen inches. So a hundred cubits would be, it was a hundred fifty feet this way, and it was fifty feet this…and it was seventy-five feet this way. It was a hundred cubits this way, that’s a hundred fifty feet; and fifty cubits that way, that’s seventy-five feet. So when you walked into the court of the tabernacle—not the temple now, the temple was much bigger—but the tabernacle, the one that God gave to Moses, it was a hundred fifty feet this way and seventy-five feet this way.
Then, when you walked in from the east, as I said: here is the burnt offering altar, then there’s the laver, then here is the tabernacle itself. Now this is the size of the tabernacle: the size of the tabernacle itself, it was thirty cubits this way and ten cubits that way [Exodus 26:1-28]. Thirty cubits this way, that’d be forty-five feet, it was forty-five feet this way, and it was fifteen feet that way [Exodus 26:1-28]. Then, when you went on the inside of the tabernacle the front part of the first room—the first room, the front of it—was twice as big as the back room. The Holy Place and the Holy of Holies; the Holy Place was twenty cubits this way and ten cubits that way. That’d be, twenty-cubits [Exodus 26:1-28], it was thirty feet this way and [fifteen] feet that way. Then the inside, the Holy of Holies was ten cubits by ten cubits; it was fifteen feet this way and fifteen feet that way.
Now let’s go through that again to be sure I’ve got it right. It’s twenty cubits this way and ten that way; twenty, that’s thirty feet this way and fifteen feet that way, thirty feet by fifteen feet, that’s the Holy Place. Then the Holy of Holies was square: it was ten cubits by ten cubits; it is fifteen feet by fifteen feet. All of it was thirty cubits by ten cubits. The first part was twenty cubits by ten cubits; the last part was ten by ten, fifteen feet by fifteen feet. So you can see it was relatively small, just a small section of this house here could be encompassed in it.
Now when you went on the inside—and I have written down the dimensions of these—when you went on the inside, the furniture on the inside was this: in the Holy of Holies, there was one thing; beyond that veil there was one thing and that was the ark of the covenant, the ark of the testimony [Exodus 26:33-34]; it was called the ark of the testimony because on the inside of it were the two tables of stone, the Law of Moses [Exodus 25:16], called the ark of the testimony of God, the covenant of God, the ark of the covenant [Joshua 3:6]. Now this is the size of the ark of the covenant: it was two and one half cubits long. Now let’s look upon it as this desk here, this pulpit stand. It was two and one half cubits long; that’s three feet, nine inches long. It was three feet, nine inches long. How long is that? Dean says this is about three feet long here. So add about nine inches; it was three feet, nine inches long. It was one and one half cubits wide; that’s two feet, three inches wide, about like that. And then it was one and one half cubits tall; it was two feet, three inches tall. Now that’s how big the ark of the covenant was: it was three feet, nine inches this way, two feet, three inches this way, and two feet, three inches high. It was very small.
Now the lid of the ark was called the mercy seat [Exodus 25:17]. And the mercy seat, the rest of the ark was made out of wood overlaid with pure gold, but the mercy seat, the lid of the ark, was made of pure gold [Exodus 25:17]. The lid was solid gold and on top of the lid were two cherubim, one on this side, one on this side [Exodus 25:18]. I presume they’d be about that tall, about that tall. And they looked down upon the ark, on the lid of the ark which was called the mercy seat, and their two wings covered the ark; the two this way and the two that way [Exodus 25:18-20]. And those cherubim were of pure gold [Exodus 25:18]. So you can see about from this desk the size of the ark of the covenant, under the lid, if you lifted up the lid, inside: the two tables of stone [Exodus 25:21]—the solid pure gold lid and the solid pure gold cherubim, with their wings overshadowing it and looking full upon it. Now that is the place where God said He would meet the children of Israel: at the mercy seat, above the ark of the covenant, in the Holy of Holies [Exodus 25:22].
Now come out of the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies was fifteen feet square. Come out of the Holy of Holies, and you have that first curtained room, which was thirty feet by fifteen feet [Exodus 26:1-28]. Now when you walked into the room, coming from the east, on your right side was the table of showbread; on the north side was the table of showbread. And here is how big that table is: it was made out of wood, covered with pure gold; it was two cubits this way, it was three feet this way, it was one cubit this way [Exodus 25:23-24], it was one and one half cubits this way, and it was one and one half cubits that way, it was two feet, three inches high. So the table of showbread was two feet, three inches high; it was one and one half inches, one and one half feet, eighteen inches, it was eighteen inches broad, and it was three feet long. It was three feet by eighteen inches by two feet, three inches [Exodus 25:23-24]. It was a very small table; one you could easily pick up in your hands. And it was overlaid with pure gold. Now that little table—it was much smaller than this—that little table held up the showbread. The showbread was [twelve] loaves baked with unleavened meal; and it was changed every week [Leviticus 24:5-8], and there were two stacks of, they would look like pancakes to us because they were flat and round, there were six cakes on this side, and six cakes on that side, or loaves as you would call them. And they were changed every week. Now that’s the size of the table.
Now the lampstand. I could not find any dimensions of the lampstand, except this: that the lampstand was made out of pure gold, and it was beaten out of one talent of silver, one talent of gold [Exodus 25:31]. Now a talent is the amount of weight that a man could carry. That’s the reason that the monetary value of a talent will change. A talent of silver would be worth one thing. A talent of gold would be worth another thing. For a talent was a weight, an amount; and the talent was the amount that an ordinary man could carry. So the seven-branched candlestick was the size that it would be if you took the amount of gold that a man could carry, an ordinary man could carry. How much could he carry? A hundred pounds of it? Well let’s say a hundred pounds, just to be a round number. It was made out of a hundred pounds of gold and beaten out of pure, hundred pounds of gold. Now gold is very, very heavy, so I would think a hundred pounds of gold would be just about that big, just about that big. So they took about that much gold, gold I say is very heavy, and they beat it and beat it until finally it shaped up into a seven-branched candlestick. That is it had a center rod, it had a center rod, and then one, a branch stuck out on each side, one, and then one more, and then one more. There were three of those—do you see that in your mind?—there were three of those, one, then above it, two, then above it, three, and then the center one, and so that made on top of it one, two, three, four, five, six, then the one in the center made seven; so there were seven lamps up there [Exodus 25:31-32]. And on the top of each one of the branches was a bowl [Exodus 25:33]. And on the inside of the bowl, they poured olive oil; and the lamp burned with olive oil [Exodus 27:20]. A candlestick, a candle was not invented until, oh, thousands of years after this. They never heard of a candle in the old Greek day, or the old Roman day, or the Babylonian day, or the Ninevite day, or in this day; but all of it was oil. So that seven- branched candlestick held up the bowls of oil, and the lamp burned [Exodus 27:20]; and that was on the left side, it was on the south side.
Now there is one other article of furniture on the inside, and that’s the golden altar of incense [Exodus 30:1]. It was made out of gold, overlaid with pure gold; it was made out of wood, overlaid with pure gold [Exodus 30:3]. And this is the size of the incense altar: it was one cubit by one cubit by two cubits [Exodus 30:2]. The incense altar was two cubits high, it was three feet high. How high is three feet? That? All right, it’s about as high as that. It’s three feet high, and it’s eighteen inches square; it was one cubit square, one and one half feet square. And it was overlaid with pure gold.
Now may I say a word about the veil? The veil was made out of fine twined linen, and it had cunning work of cherubim interwoven into the curtain [Exodus 26:31-32]. And it curtained off, it was the veil, and it curtained off the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies [Exodus 26:33]. When you walked into the tabernacle, why, you saw the showbread table, the seven-branched lampstand, the golden altar of incense in the middle, then you saw that curtain, then beyond the curtain, that square Holy of Holies, where the ark of the testimony, the ark of the covenant, the mercy seat and the cherubim were located [Exodus 26:34].
Now just a brief word about the symbolism of those things; then we’re going to the high priest and the Day of Atonement. This is the symbolism of those things, the pattern of which God gave to Moses on the mount [Exodus 25:40]. The ark of the covenant with its tables of stone represent the meeting place of God with His people on the ground of atonement [Exodus 26:34]. No priest, no anybody, could approach that sacred and holy place except by blood, by the sprinkling of blood. And we’ll see that in a moment. This is where God is, the righteous God, the holy God, the moral God, the God of the Ten Commandments, the God of judgment, the God who says, “He that transgresseth My law shall be cut off from My people; and that without recourse, without remedy, without appeal. He must die” [Hebrews 10:28]. That’s the great, holy God who is beyond the veil [Exodus 25:22; Isaiah 37:16]. And the only way that we can meet God is on the grounds of atonement [Hebrews 9:22]. At the heart of God is the great moral law of the Ten Commandments [Exodus 20:1-17]; and there is no man that has not transgressed those commandments, either in thought or word or in deed. “We all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” [Romans 3:23]. “There is none righteous, no, not one” [Romans 3:10]. “There is none that doeth good” [Romans 3:12]. No man is perfect; we all are a sinful people. And the only way that God can be approached is on the grounds of atonement, by the shedding of blood [Hebrews 9:22].
Now on the outside of that Holy of Holies, in the Holy Place, this side of the veil, there is the showbread [Exodus 25:30, 40:4]. Each tribe of Israel was represented by an unleavened cake, unleavened bread [Leviticus 24:5-8]. That bread represents, first, the gratitude, the offering of the people for the staff of life, the sustaining of life. Manna from heaven comes from God [Exodus 16:15]. The bread that we eat no less comes from God. Unless God quickened the little germ of life in the wheat seed, unless God sent His sunshine, unless God sent the rain, unless God made it fruit, we would starve to death. It is a recognition that the staff of life lies in the hands of God, and this is a tribute: bread comes from God. Now the other is, it is a signification of our feasting upon the bread of heaven, which is Jesus Christ [John 6:41, 51]. The gift of God is the bread of life that we break, and that we eat in Jesus: His body, the sacrifice of His life [Matthew 26:26; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 11:24]. And we observe that every time we have the memorial of the breaking of bread and the Lord’s Supper. Now that’s what the [showbread] table, and that’s what the showbread meant [Exodus 25:30].
Now the lampstand [Exodus 25:31]: the lampstand is the light of the Holy Spirit. Oil is always in the Bible a type of the Spirit of God; and the lamp burns from the oil. And the light of the Holy Spirit is in our hearts, and in our homes, and in our lives, and in this church; and He is here this morning. And it also is a signification of the light of Jesus, who is the light of the world [John 8:12], and of His people who are also the light of the world [Matthew 5:14].
Now, the golden altar of incense [Exodus 30:1-3, 40:5], is a representation of the prayers of the saints, the prayers of God’s children as they go up to heaven [Revelation 5:8]. And as the smoke and the sweet incense is wafted up, and rises up, so the prayers of God’s children rise up to heaven [Revelation 8:4].
And then finally, the veil [Exodus 26:31-33]: the veil is a representation of the—I don’t know what to call it but a veil—of the shutting out, of the curtain that lies between us and God. God is beyond the veil, God is beyond the heavens—should I say—God is beyond the mortality of this life and of these eyes; and the veil is a representation that we are on this side, and the great holy God is on the other side [Exodus 26:33]. All of that was from heaven, and the Lord said to Moses, “Moses, see that you do it exactly as I tell you” [Exodus 25:9, 40].
All right, now we have visited the tabernacle. We’ve gone inside of it, we’ve looked everywhere. Now let’s come outside, and the first personage that we will see is the high priest [Exodus 28:1-43]. How is he dressed? This is the way the high priest is dressed. On his head is a beautiful mitre, m-i-t-r-e, a headdress, a priestly headdress rising up. And on the forefront of the headdress, right here, is a golden plate; and on that golden plate is written, “Holiness Unto The Lord” [Exodus 28:36]. One of the most beautiful prophecies, I think, in all God’s Word is this one in Zechariah 14:20, when it says that, “On the horses, on the bells of the horses, and the pots in the Lord’s house, and the bowls, yea, every pot in Jerusalem shall be, Holiness Unto The Lord.” Everything some day is going to have that on it, and it’s going to be, “holiness unto the Lord”; that plate that was on the headdress of the high priest [Exodus 28:36]. Then on the outside he wore the robe of the ephod [Exodus 28:4]. It was a sleeveless tunic of a thing, and it was made out of solid blue. Then underneath he wore the ephod, or ephod, he wore the ephod of the high priest that was made out of purple and scarlet and blue and gold [Exodus 28:6]. And then here on his breast, he wore a golden breastplate that is a square of a span [Exodus 28:4, 15-16]. Now my understanding of a “span” is that it’s the width of a man’s hand like that. That is a span. So this breastplate that the high priest wore was a square, and it was a span square; so it was that square, about that big square. And on that breastplate were twelve stones; and they were arranged in four rows, three; three stones, four rows. And on each one of those stones was engraved the name of a tribe in Israel [Exodus 28:17-21]. Then in a little place—and this is the most mysterious of anything that I could find in the Bible—in a place, in a little pocket, in a little satchel somewhere there were two mystic stones called the Urim and the Thummim; and they were placed in that breastplate somewhere—maybe back of it in a little pocket—the two mystic stones by which Israel could inquire of the will of God. And the Bible says, as I read it this week, the Bible says that the Urim and the Thummim were to be worn upon the heart of Aaron [Exodus 28:30], on that breastplate with the twelve beautiful gems [Exodus 28:15-21]. So the high priest is dressed in what the Bible calls his “robes of glory and beauty” [Exodus 28:2]. Now that’s the way he’s dressed when you go to see him, and that’s the way he’s dressed as he walks in and out before the people. Around the hem of his garment is a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, alternately all around the hem. And when he walks, you could hear him. And God said he did that so that when the high priest goes into the Holy of Holies, you could hear him and hear him come out [Exodus 28:33-35].
A pomegranate, if you go into our chapel, as I face the congregation from the pulpit stand, the window closest to the front on my right has a pomegranate in it. A pomegranate is a type of the resurrection. And I would think it to be a type of the resurrection because it is full of seeds which gives life, which springs up again. You go look at it some time in our chapel, the pomegranate that’s in that chapel window.
All right, now the Day of Atonement. The Day of Atonement comes, Yom Kippur comes, and the high priest is instructed to take off all of his raiment, all of his robes of beauty and of glory, and in their place, in place of the scarlet, and purple, and gold, and gems, and Urim, and Thummim, and mitre, and breastplate, and bells, and pomegranates, all of that’s taken away, and in its place, he dresses with three pieces of clothing, all of it wholly of linen. He has on a headdress, his mitre made out of linen; he has a covering—the Bible calls them “breeches”—he has on pants, he has on breeches made out of linen; and he has on an outer robe made out of linen, and that’s all [Leviticus 16:4]. And there is brought to him a bullock and a ram for him. And there is brought to him two goats and a ram [Leviticus 16:5]. And, the high priest slays the bullock, which is for him; and he catches its blood, and he goes into the Holy of Holies, and there he makes atonement for himself [Leviticus 16:6]. He’s going to approach God now in behalf of all the people [Leviticus 16:15-19]. And he slays his offering, his sacrifice, and takes its blood and goes beyond the veil [Leviticus 16:1-5], the only time that anyone ever enters the Holy of Holies, and that on this Day of Atonement—all of this is the sixteenth chapter of the Book of Leviticus—on the Day of Atonement, on Yom Kippur, and he goes inside, and there he makes atonement for himself; he sprinkles the blood on the mercy seat, there in the Holy of Holies [Leviticus 16:15-19].
Then he comes back out, and he takes the two goats, one of them is going to be for the people, and the other is going to be a scapegoat; he’s going to send it out into the wilderness [Leviticus 16:7-10]. And there at the door of the tabernacle, Aaron casts lots [Leviticus 16:8]. One of those goats is going to be sacrificed for the people, and the other goat is going to be taken way out and sent away into the wilderness, called the scapegoat [Leviticus 16:6-10]. So the high priest casts lots, and one lot is for the people, and the other lot is for the scapegoat. Then Aaron takes the goat on which the lot has been cast for the people, and he puts his hands over that goat, the head of that goat, and he confesses over the head of that goat all of the sins of the people, all the congregation [Leviticus 16:20-22]. Then he slays that goat, and he catches its blood; and he goes once again into the Holy of Holies, and there he sprinkles the blood on the mercy seat before the Lord, and there he makes intercession in behalf of the people that they die not for their sins [Leviticus 16:11-14]. Then he comes back out, and he takes the scapegoat, the other goat, and he gives it into the hands of a fit man—that’s what the Bible says “a fit man” [Leviticus 16:21]—a chosen man, and that chosen man takes the scapegoat way out, way out, way, way, way out and away into the wilderness; and there he drives it away, out into the wilderness [Leviticus 16:22]. Then they come back, and they take the bodies of the animals that they have slain, and they take them outside of the camp, and there they burn their bodies in a place outside the camp [Leviticus 16:27]. That’s the ritual and the order of the Day of Atonement [Leviticus 16:1-34].
Now, what does that mean? God said to Moses, “You do this thing just exactly as I tell you. According to the pattern that I have given you on the mount, you do it exactly as I have told you” [Exodus 25:40]. Now, what does all that mean? We know what it meant. After these thousands of years, it came to be, came to pass, it came to be openly seen what it meant. Those two goats, one is to be slain and its blood brought before the mercy seat of the Lord [Leviticus 16:15]; that’s the shedding of blood [Leviticus 17:11; Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 9:22]. And the other scapegoat taken out into the wilderness and driven away [Leviticus 16:20-21], that’s the sign that our sins which are confessed over the head of the goat that dies, they are taken away, they are separated as far as the east is from the west [Psalm 103:12]. How do you know and how are you sure of all that? Because God says it in His Word. In the ninth chapter of the Book of Hebrews, beginning at the [sixth] verse, the great preacher there takes that Day of Atonement, and this is what he says:
Into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
But into the second, into the Holy of Holies, went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the sins of the people:
The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest, while as yet the first tabernacle was yet standing:
Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of the revelation of Christ.
But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
—the tabernacle is in heaven—
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The man there, the author of Hebrews, says that all of that type and all of that picture back there on that Day of Atonement in the tabernacle, it signified the offering of the blood of Christ before the Holy of Holies of that other tabernacle, the Holy of Holies which is the place of God in heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ offered His blood in atonement for the sins of all of the people [Hebrews 10:4-14]. And our Savior has gone inside of the veil; He has gone inside of that Holy of Holies, there to offer the atonement of His own love, and sacrifice, and blood, and life, for the sins of the people [Hebrews 6:19-20].
And He is still inside, He is still beyond the veil, He is still within that Holy of Holies [Revelation 11:15-19]; and when He comes out, our full redemption will be complete [Romans 8:23]. When He comes out, that will be resurrection day [Daniel 12:2; John 5:25]; that will be glory day; that will be millennium day [Revelation 20:6]; that will be heaven’s day; that will be triumph day, when our High Priest comes out beyond the veil [Hebrews 6:19-20]. He won’t be the High Priest anymore then, He will be our King [Revelation 19:16], He will be our Lord, He will be our Sovereign, He will be our visible Savior [1 John 3:2]; just now He is our Intercessor [Romans 8:34], He is our High Priest [Hebrews 4:14-16]. He is making atonement for our sins [Romans 3:5; 1 John 2:2]; He is beyond the veil, He is in the Holy of Holies [Revelation 11:15-19], but some of these days He is coming out again, glorious day of triumph [Revelation 19:11-16]. Then we’ll all be changed, perfect, holy, celestial, sublime, like Him [1 Corinthians 15:51; 1 John 3:2]. That’s heaven’s great and final day [John 16:22-23]. And that’s what all of that meant. “Do it just exactly as I tell you” [Exodus 25:40], says God, “you don’t understand”; but God knew, and when finally it came to be seen, that was what it meant.
Well, we must stop and sing our song. Mr. Souther, let’s sing our song. And while we sing our song, somebody you give your heart to Jesus, or come into the fellowship of His church. While we make this appeal, you come and stand by me, while we stand and while we sing.
THE TABERNACLE Dr. W. A. Criswell
1. Ark of testimony (covenant)
2. Table of showbread
4. Incense altar
1. Ark – God meets with His people on the grounds of atonement
2. Showbread – gratitude for the support of life
3. Lampstand – Holy Spirit, Jesus the light of the world, people of God
4. Altar of incense – prayer
5. Veil – curtain between man and God
III. High priest
1. Robes of glory and beauty
2. Robe of the Ephod
3. Ephod – colors of the sanctuary
4. Breastplate – Urim and Thummim
IV. Meaning Hebrews 9:7-14