#4  “The Tabernacle” Series




TEXTS:       Ex. 40:22-28;   25:23-30;   30:6-10;   Lev. 24:1-9


INTRO:       We are now ready to enter the tabernacle itself, and the building was divided into 2 rooms – the “Holy Place” and the “Most Holy Place  The first room called the Holy Place had 3 items in it ... this room has a wonderful message from God to us!


This room speaks from God the following message:  "YOU CAN BE SAVED! … and enjoy fellowship with God!"


How different this message is from the message we get from the world ... while God says through the Holy Place, "YOU ARE WORTH SAVING," the message we get from the world is "YOU STINK!"


I've finally figured out what the basic message of the world is by the commercials aired on TV, radio, and in print – and it is very simply "YOU STINK!"


a.   Your breath ... hence toothpastes & mouthwashes to solve the problem

b.   Your body ... hence colognes & perfumes

c.   Your feet ... thus odor eaters & other sprays

d.   Your underarms ... thus roll-ons

e.   Your bathroom ... thus disinfectants & flowery sprays

f.    Your clothes … thus detergents that add "outdoor" freshness

g.   Your dog's breath ... thus treats that clean their teeth and freshen their mouths

h.   Your cat's litter box ... thus every time they scratch fresh scents are released

i.    Your refrigerator ... thus baking soda to eliminate odors

j.    Your carpet ... thus carpet powders in various scents

k.   Your closets ... thus "stick-ups" in various scents

l.    Your insurance company … your credit card company … your phone company, etc.

m.  We even now have garbage bags that are scented to help kill the odor!


While the world is constantly telling us that "WE STINK," God through the Holy Place is saying "WE CAN BE SAVED AND ENJOY FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM!"


PROP. SENT:   God's Word teaches us through the "Holy Place" that God desires fellowship with us and that all we need is provided for us through Christ!


I.   PROVISIONS OF LIFE     Ex. 40:22-23   Lev. 24:5-9   Ex. 25:23-30


A.   Sustaining Life     Ex. 40:22-23;   25:23-30;   Lev. 24:5-9

1.   The first of the three items we find in the Holy Place is the TABLE on the north side of the room:

a.   On it are several items:

(1.   12 cakes of bread, set in two rows of six each; one for each tribe of Israel.

(2.   A small amount of incense placed along each row … a memorial portion.

(3.   Perhaps some gold dishes and a pitcher (Ex. 25:29)

b.   The table and all the items were made of gold or were covered with gold sheeting.

c.   The bread was set out as "daily bread" ... Jesus may have had this in mind in the "Lord's prayer."

2.   The 12 cakes of bread were to represent a gift to God from the 12 tribes ... to recognize the fact that God sustained His people.  Later in the day it was eaten by the priests as their portion for being God's representatives.

3.   Bread was the main course in eastern cultures unlike our meat dish of today ... thus it symbolized the very foundation of man's basic needs!

a.   It thus became a symbol of God's care for His people ... God provided their "daily bread" ... and they acknowledged this by giving each day these cakes of bread to God's servants.

b.   These also were reminders of God's daily provision of manna in the wilderness; God's providing their life in the desert!

c.   The bottom line, God sustains them physically ... as He still does for His people!


B.   Spiritual Life     Jn. 6:35;   Lk. 4:4

1.   Jesus in John's gospel says He is the "BREAD OF LIFE" ... the greatest symbol of this bread is the fact that Jesus sustains our spiritual life!

2.   Hence the symbolism of the bread in communion services ... Jesus is the ultimate bread of life!

3.   Bread being the main dish also echoes Jesus Words in Luke 4:4 "Man shall not live by bread alone ... but by every Word of God!"

a.   The "main dish" for our soul is God's Word!

b.   You will be an anemic Christian if you don't consume the Word of God!  It is the main dish for our spiritual sustenance!


ILLUS:      Hetty Green was once the richest woman in AMERICA; at death she had about $100,000,000!  Yet, she lived like a beggar, afraid to waste HER money, her security was in having it ... and keeping it!  She padded herself in winter with newspapers to keep warm; resold her morning newspaper after she read it.  she sorted white rags from colored rags in the attic of one of her warehouses because the junk man paid a penny more a pound for white rags.  She had great investments in New York, but lived in cheap run down lodging houses instead of bUying a home ... then she didn't have to pay taxes, she did this under assumed names.  On her death bed at 81 her nurses were not permitted to wear uniforms or Hetty would not have died in peace if she knew they were real nurses that cost a lot of money.  Yet, all this money did not sustain her ... physically or spiritually.  the ONLY REAL "BREAD" IS JESUS! – SOURCE UNKNOWN


4.   Though this table stood only 2½ feet tall it was a powerful testimony of a God who provides for all our needs, physically and spiritually when we enter into fellowship with Him!

5.   There were no chairs in the Holy Place!  You can’t serve sitting down!


II.  PRODUCTION OF LIGHT    Ex. 40:24-25   Lev. 24:1-4


A.   Source of Light     Ex. 40:24-25    Lev. 24:1-4

1.   Opposite the table on the south side of the Holy Place was the Golden Candlestick, this was the only source of light during evening!

a.   The 7 bowls of this lamp stand were fed oil for the source of burning.

b.   It was the light from this lamp stand that illuminated everything in the room, the light cast itself upon the bread revealing its presence ... like the Holy Spirit that sheds light on the Word of God today!  Bread was not eaten in darkness!

2.   The source for the continual burning was pressed olive oil.

a.   This is still true ... in order for a "pure" fuel, pressing was necessary!

b.   Some of the purest spiritual characteristics come to us only when we are pressed!

c.   The resulting oil from pressing was oil that burned so cleanly that it did not give off any smoke; the oil was filtered for impurities!  The Word of God serves as the filter for us ... then the purity of God's Spirit fuels our spiritual life!

3.   Oil is often the symbol of the Holy Spirit ... even the purity of it here!  It was the fuel source for the light ... it had to be applied to give off the light however!

a.   This light was only available to those on the inside!

b.   This is also true spiritually ... once we enter into a relationship with Christ we "see" clearly the truth of God and His Word, the light can only be seen on the inside!

c.   Being the only source of light to the priest we also understand that the Holy Spirit is the only source of light for revealing spiritual realities ... "No man cometh to the Father save the Spirit draw him!"

d.   Jesus told His disciples that when the Holy Spirit came He would reveal all things to them.

e.   It is the Holy Spirit that reveals to us just how dark our lives were without Christ!


B.   Shining Lights    Jn. 8:12   Matt. 5:14

1.   While Jesus states that He is the light of the world ... it was in the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus ministered.

2.   In Matt. 5:14 Jesus states that He sends us out to be "LIGHTS" into the world!

a.   We are to let our light shine ... can only be done in the power of the Holy Spirit!

b.   The light of our life in Christ may help to dispel the darkness around us ... others will want to enter into the "light" or they may be repelled to continue in darkness.

3.   Without this light the priest would have to minister in darkness or leave the place of fellowship with God!

4.   The light was to be always lit during darkness ... the job of the priests, the fire was tended morning and night, there was to be no darkness in God's presence!

5.   If we do not tend to our light in this dark world men and women will be lost in darkness:


ILLUS:      At one of the large iron works in Sheffield, England a young man ACCIDENTALLY fell onto a red-hot armor plate.  When he was rolled off the plate by his fellow workers, they discovered all of one side of his body was burned to the bone.  As some of the men who helped him off began shouting for someone to get a doctor the suffering young man cried out, "Never mind the doctor!  Is there anyone here who can tell me how to get saved?  My soul has been neglected, and I'm dying without God.  who can help me?"  300 men were around him, but not one man would speak up to answer him how to get saved.  After 20 minutes of untold agony he died as he had lived, without God!  One man who saw this accident and heard the cries of the dying young man was a Christian who had fallen back into a sinful life ... he had failed to tend his lamp and the light was not showing ... he had gone back into darkness and failed to help a dying youth see the light of God's salvation!  How's your light showing? – SOURCE UNKNOWN


III.  PRAYERFULNESS OF LIFE    Ex. 40:26-28;   30:6-10


A.   Steady Lifeline     Ex. 40:26-28;   30:6-10

1.   The incense used was a mixture given by God Himself ... it gave off a sweet aroma, it was to be burned in the morning on the altar of incense in this Holy Place, and it was to be burned at night, day in and day out, continually for all generations!

a.   It was here that God said, "I will meet with you."

b.   The incense was the symbol of prayer offered unto God!

2.   The ingredients were given by God, much as Jesus shared with His disciples the ingredients we are to have in our prayers by the "Lord's Prayer."

3.   Prayer given with the right mixture is as a sweet aroma unto God!

4.   It was the burning of this incense that made contact with God ... it ascended up to heaven much the same way that prayer offered "up" to God puts us into contact with God!

5.   This was the actual "contact point"… and so is prayer today!  It is in prayer that God "meets with us."  (30:6b)

6.   The importance of offering this incense up morning and night demonstrates the importance of prayer more than once a day!

7.   This became the "LIFELINE" to God.


ILLUS:       On a commuter flight from Portland, Maine to Boston, a man named Henry Dempsey, the pilot, heard an unusual noise near the rear of the small aircraft.  He turned the controls over to his co-pilot and went back to check it out.  As he reached the tail section, the plane hit an air pocket, tossing him against the rear door.  He quickly discovered the source of the mysterious noise ... the door had not been properly latched prior to takeoff, and it flew open as he was tossed into it ... instantly he was sucked out of the jet.  The co-pilot seeing the red light that indicated an open door, radioed the nearest airport, requesting permission to make an emergency landing.  He reported that the pilot had been sucked out of the plane, and so he requested a helicopter search of that area of the ocean.  After the plane landed they found Henry Dempsey ... holding onto the outdoor ladder of the aircraft!!  Somehow he had caught the ladder, held on for 10 minutes as the plane flew 200 miles an hour at an altitude of 4,000 feet, and then landing, kept his head from hitting the runway, which was a mere twelve inches away!  It took airport personnel several minutes to pry Dempsey's fingers from the ladder ... this is like prayer, our holding onto God  when things in life get turbulent you may not like holding on in prayer but have you considered the alternative to NOT holding on? – SOURCE UNKNOWN


B.   Spirit's Lessons    1 Thess. 5:17;   James 4:2-3;   Matt. 6:5-13

1.   Paul encourages the church in Thessalonica to "pray without ceasing" ... much like the continual offering of incense.

2.   James states that some prayers are not answered because they are prayed with improper ingredients ... much like the careful mixture given by God for this incense.

3.   Jesus offers us the basic ingredients to a sweet aroma of prayer ... it is found in His instructions to His disciples about prayer, and even a sample prayer is given to follow!

4.   The Holy Place was the place of meeting God for fellowship; finding 3 important clues; Illumination, Provision, and Contact with God!  No wonder it was called the HOLY PLACE!

a.   We too can meet God in a Holy Place ... the same 3 ingredients are still there!

b.   When is the last time you entered the HOLY PLACE?


CONCLUSION:    The Holy Place contained everything needed for the priest to fellowship with God.  In it were physical sustenance and spiritual sustenance ... and the means to speak to God.  God makes all things necessary for us to enjoy His fellowship, it was a daily ex­perience ... is yours?