Harry Holland - Brief Notes on the Tabernacle - Theodore

Brass - a type of God's judgment, always just.

Silver - a type of redemption, the redemption price of the first-born in Israel.


There were three million people in this camp when they left Egypt.  There were six hundred thousand men, over twenty years of age.  If we multiply that number by five, for the women and children, it would give us an estimate of how many people were in that camp.  Every one of those people had to be in fellowship with what God had established, had to be in fellowship with everything inside that outer court.


Hebrews 9 - this was a worldly sanctuary, but a divine service.  Revelation 3:12, "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God."  God wants pillars today, just as He did in that day.  The only way to be a pillar is to live a life of overcoming.  Every pillar was standing in line, and holding up the curtain or righteousness.  The curtains of the outer court were of fine twined linen.  White linen is the righteousness of the saints.  All of God's testimony was surrounded by that white linen curtain.  God wasn't teaching those people anything different in those days than what He wants to teach His people today.  We can hold up this curtain of righteousness before the world; this is God's testimony to those on the outside.

There was the door at the east end of the outer court.  No sacrifice could be brought inside unless it came through that only door, and that door was Christ.   Jesus said, "I am the door."  The blue stood for the heavenly, a type of the canopy of Heaven.  Purple was a type of the kingly and priestly side.  Scarlet was a type of the suffering, and shed blood side, of Christ.  Those steps were clearly seen in Jesus, and made Him different to other people.  The door was hanging on four pillars, and those pillars were standing in sockets of brass, standing under redemption.  It is impossible for anyone to be in God's testimony and not be standing under and upon redemption, and it is impossible for anyone to be in His testimony and not be willing to stand on His judgment.  When the priest came in this door, the first thing he saw was the altar.  It was the brazen altar, the altar of burnt offering.  The grate was down about half way, it was around two feet deep, down to the grate....7 1/2 feet by 7 1/2 feet and 4 1/2 feet high, was a very large fireplace, if anyone ever asks you the size of it.  The altar would remind the priest, every day, of sacrifice.  The only way we can come in, morning or evening is through His own Son, the Door.


Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun camped on the east side.  When the cloud moved, that was God's way of telling His people to move on.  When they moved, everything that was carried on the shoulders was carried by the Kohathites. They encamped in about fifty-four different places in their journey.  The first sacrifice offered every single day of the year, regardless of anything, was a lamb, and it had to be without blemish and without spot.  It is through His suffering and death that it is possible for us to come to Him as our Great High Priest.  The last thing at night that they offered on that altar was a lamb.


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n the 12th chapter of Exodus, when God gave the Passover Feast through Moses, He said they were to take the lamb out from the sheep or from the goats.  The Lamb stood for the perfect divinity of Christ.  Taking it from the goats, without a blemish or spot, was a type of the perfect humanity of Christ, from the cradle right to the time of His sufferings on Calvary.  Whenever Israel had a true priest, prophet, and king, things went well in Israel.  But when they were wrong, everything went wrong because of wrong leadership.


The laver - we would call it a wash-stand in our language - was made out of the brazen looking-glasses of the women.  All mirrors in that day, and for a long time afterwards, were made of polished metal.  The priests washed their hands and feet at the laver before they touched any sacrifice.  The fire never went out on the altar, and they carried fire with them when they moved.  The brazen laver speaks of the necessity of cleansing, and taking clean steps.  Jesus washed His disciples' feet, and taught His Heavenly Bride to take clean steps in His absence.  It was the application of the truth that He spoke that enabled people to take clean steps nineteen hundred years ago, and the same enables us, in our day, to take clean steps, too.  Our High Priest never defiled His feet in any of His walking, nor His hands either.  We have a true High Priest, and Prophet, and King, and if we follow Him, there can be no wrong leadership as far as we ourselves are concerned.  Our Great High Priest is holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners (Hebrews 7:26) made higher than the heavens.  Our High Priest never went wrong.


What was the difference between the ministry of the priesthood and the prophets of the Old Testament?  There was one great difference.  The prophet got God's message and brought it to the people and ministered from God to the people.  The priest ministered for the people to God - he brought the cause of the people before God, and offered the sacrifice that God demanded - when the priesthood was right, things went well in Israel.  That priest was a type and picture of our Great High Priest.  He came down from Heaven bringing us God's perfect message, and that has never changed.  The altar speaks of sacrifice and the laver of cleansing.


The covering of the tabernacle - the last covering that went over the tabernacle is spoken of in the King James Version as badgers' skins.  I read in history that there was no such animal in Palestine in the Bible days. In the margin it always says, "Read sealskin."


The tabernacle was 45 feet long, and 15 feet wide, and it lasted over 500 years.  It was 40 years with the children of Israel and Moses in the wilderness, through the years of the judges, through the reign of Saul and David.  Solomon built the temple.  The curtain was 45 feet by 60 feet.  The rain could not get through that roof.


We read of Jesus saying that no man puts new wine in old bottles.  The bottles in Bible days were goatskin bottles.  When the goat was killed, the inwards were taken out through the neck, after the head of the animal had been taken off.  Then the skin was turned inside out.  When they made new wine, they always put it into new bottles.  "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature - a new man."  The wine in the bottle is talking about the inside.  The patch on the garment is talking about the outside.  Those rams' skins dyed red speak to us of the suffering side, the Lamb of God side.  There were a lot of sheep that had to give their lives and had bled, died and suffered to make a covering 60 feet by 45 feet.  A lot of sheep had suffered, but it was the suffering of Jesus, the Lamb of God, that has made us acceptable.  The next covering was of goats' hair.  There was one curtain of that, which was doubled back over, and its covering was over the blue, purple and scarlet, and fine twined linen covering.  The outside curtain was no different than the one on the door of the way into the Holy Place.
Every morning, when the priest washed his hands and feet, that lamb was put upon the Altar--he took fire off the altar of burnt offering and brought it into the Holy Place and put it on the altar of incense, and he burnt incense there every morning.  That altar was only eighteen inches square.  There was a golden crown work around the altar, and there were four horns on it, all overlaid with gold.  This gold is a type of the divine side.  It was a divine service; the gold speaks of divinity, as the silver speaks of redemption, and the brass of God's judgment.  Blood was not put upon this altar every day.  Only twice every year, the blood was put upon the horns of this altar.  Incense is always a type of prayer.  The altar of burnt offering was the heaviest piece of furniture.  It would take several men to carry it, and I am sure they would change off often.

There were several bowls to the candlestick.  Every morning the priest had to snuff out those lights, fill the bowls with fresh oil, and clean the lamps.  That had to be done every morning.  There were the seven lamps that brought light to the tabernacle in the dark hours.  The Bible tells us that the shape of their bowls was like almonds.  The candlestick always stood on the south side.  There were lots of the vessels that were used for keeping a supply of oil.  They were always filled with pure oil of olive.

Then, there was the table of shewbread.  When David fled from Saul, he asked the high priest, Ahimelech, for bread and Ahimelech had nothing, only consecrated bread.  David said, "It is common now, anyway."  David knew there had to be twelve loaves of fresh bread put upon the table every Jewish Sabbath day.  When David said that the bread was common now anyway, he had no reference to the newest bread which was upon the table, but to the bread that had been on the table, and had been taken off to be used by the priesthood.  He was not speaking about the bread that was then on the table.

On the first day of the week, where do we get oil, if we are His true church? He wants us to hold up His light in the world, because the seven candlesticks were the seven churches in Asia, and if we will hold up the light God will hold up our hands in the world.  The high priest put oil in those lamps every morning.  He burned incense on the altar every morning.  What do we get out of that? Incense is always a type of prayer.  Where do we get bread?  We get it from our High Priest.  He said, "I am the true bread that came down from Heaven." Jesus spoke in John 6, "Except ye eat My flesh and drink My blood, ye have no life in you."  The 63rd verse of John 6 is the key verse of that chapter, and if you don't interpret that chapter by the 63rd verse, you will never know what Jesus meant when He said, "I am the living bread that came down from Heaven."  What does verse 63 say?  "It is the sprit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." That truth was taught in the synagogue at Capernaum.  John 6 was spoken at least one year, and it might have been two years, before the Passover when Jesus was crucified.  In verse 63, He said, "The flesh profiteth nothing, the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and life, and if you don't eat and drink of the spirit of life that is in me, you have no life in you." That is the interpretation of the whole chapter.  Peter got that - he said, "Thou hast the words of eternal life."

The holy place was 30 feet by 15 feet, and in it there was the table, the candlestick, and the altar of incense. Incense always stands for prayer.  True prayer is the best way to get in touch with the living God that I know of.  Jesus taught His disciples to pray, and what to pray for.

The pillars were made of shittim wood overlaid with gold.  The hooks were of gold, and that is where the curtain, or door of the holy place, was.  The pillars of the holy place were exactly twice as high as those of the outer court.  "James, John, and Peter, who seemeth to be pillars..." Galatians 2:9.  Those men had the priestly and kingly marks of Christ in their lives.

There was a veil between the holy place, and the most holy place.  This most holy place was a type of heaven itself.  Jesus went into the very presence of God, with His own blood, which He shed for the sins of all people. The veil was of blue, purple and scarlet, looped and attached together, and was a curtain over the entrance in the most holy place.  The ark and the mercy-seat above the ark were in the most holy place.  There was nothing in the ark but the Ten Commandments, written on both sides of the two tables of stone.  God wants to write on your heart and on your mind.  Those commandments were written by the finger of God.  The box part of that piece of furniture is the Ark of the Covenant, and the lid part is the mercy seat.  Those cherubim were looking down at the commandments of God through the mercy-seat.  No person could ever face truth if there was no mercy. God's mercy enables us to face truth.  No person ever went inside the veil at any time, only the high priest on the tenth day of the seventh month, according to Leviticus 16, on the Day of Atonement.  Fifteen times in Leviticus 16 the word "Atonement" is used.  There is no remission of sins apart from the shedding of blood - see Hebrews 9:22. We need to be careful how we read Hebrews 9. Notice that the writer in verse 5 said, "Of which we cannot now speak particularly."  We are just given a general look at it.  This book of Hebrews was written to people that knew all about that covenant.  The gold pot that had the manna was kept in the most holy place; there was also Aaron's rod that budded.

On the tenth day of the seventh month, the high priest took fire off the altar of burnt offering. After he had washed and put on the priestly garments, he brought the fire inside this veil, and I believe that this was the veil that typified the one in the temple that was rent in twain when Jesus died on the cross.  The high priest was to take a censor of burning coals of fire, and sweet incense inside the veil.  He was to take the blood of the bullock inside the most holy place, and sprinkle it seven times upon the mercy seat with his hand, and before the mercy seat he sprinkled it seven times.   The blood of that bullock was for the sins of the priesthood.  Then, when he had done that, he went out and got the blood of the goat and brought it inside, and did the same thing with the blood of the goat, and that blood was for the sins of the people.  The high priest just did that once very year.  The other goat was called the “scapegoat”.  This word comes from the Hebrew, which means "one that beareth away." The blood of the first goat, brought in and sprinkled on the mercy seat, was a type of Jesus dying for the sins of the world.  The live goat was taken, the high priest put his two hands on the head of it and he confessed and laid upon the head of the goat, and then a fit man came and led him out into the wilderness.  This is a type of the wilderness of God's forgetfulness, and all those sins were cast behind God's back, like it tells about in Isaiah.  Then, the high priest washed himself and came into the camp. That high priest is a type of Jesus as our Great High Priest, and the blood of the bullock was a type of His sacrifice for His priesthood and house, the New Testament priesthood, which is His church.  The blood of the goat was a type of His perfect humanity and His sacrifice and shed blood for the sins of the people.  The goat, upon whose head the high priest confessed all the sins of Israel, was then led away by a fit man into the wilderness.  That fit man is to us a picture of Christ.  Jesus was the only man fit to bear away our sins into the wilderness of God's forgetfulness; He was the only one fit to do it.  All this was a type of Christ and His finished work of redemption - a type of His going into the presence of God.  Without the shedding of blood, there could be no remission of sins, in Moses' day.  He took the blood of calves and goats and the ashes of the heifer, and sprinkled all the people and the vessels used in the service of the tabernacle.  If you and I want to be a vessel God can use, we must come under the shed blood of Christ.  There is no other way.  The bodies of the beasts brought in on the Day of Atonement were taken out and burned in a clean place.  That was a type of Jesus, who went outside the camp and suffered outside the camp in a clean place. How could He suffer inside the camp?  There was no clean place inside the camp - the very best in Phariseeism was unclean.  Let us therefore go outside the gate, and follow Him.  There is no clean place inside the camp of the religious world today". He was speaking about the whole religious world - there was no clean place in it where Jesus could have suffered.  Phariseeism was bad; Sadduceeism was worse.  The Pharisees were the fundamentalists of that day; the Sadducees were the materialists of that day.

Every one of those boards we were speaking about had to be twenty-seven inches wide and 15 feet long. At least a foot of that board had to be down into the ground.  They typify the fact that we stand on redemption ground. Those boards would have to be sixteen inch boards.  There would be twenty boards on each side, forty-eight boards altogether.  You would have to have a three-foot tree.  The boards were overlaid with gold, a type of being clothed with divine nature.  What provision is made to keep the boards in line when they are standing on redemption ground?  They have to carry quite a load.  They have to depend on the silver sockets; they have to depend upon redemption.  The staves went through golden rings - a ring is an endless thing.  The redemption and salvation that we stand upon are endless - something that holds us together.  That is what the prodigal got -a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet.  We have to begin with faith - it is impossible to begin without faith.  If we are standing on redemption ground with faith, then faith brings a living hope, and that is a wonderful thing.  Then comes charity which never faileth.  Charity didn't fail in the lion's den; charity didn't fail in the iron furnace; charity didn't fail in the upper room.  Charity is the divine love of God. True natural love is only a type and shadow of divine love.  The next one is truth, and the next righteousness; divine truth and divine righteousness, and they run through the endless divinity of God and through hope and faith.  If you take away those five: faith, hope, charity, truth, and righteousness--then those boards could not stand on redemption ground.  God has made tremendous provision so that we can stand in line one with another.  God wants natural material, taken out of this forest of humanity, that He can put His love and His finger upon.  Read Jeremiah 31:31-34.