Christ in the Tabernacle

The Person and Work of Jesus Christ
revealed in Types of the Tabernacle, or, the Tabernacle Types
by: W.W. Rugh

Introduction

Foreword
Christ in the Tabernacle, a booklet suggesting in brief and simple manner the typical teaching concerning the person and work of Jesus Christ, was first printed in 1912. That edition of ten thousand copies is exhausted, having gone far and wide with the blessing of God, for which we praise Him.

The continued demand for the booklet has constrained us to have this second edition issued, we trust the same may be graciously blessed of the One whose glory alone we seek.
- - W.W. Rugh, Founder and Associate Dean of the Bible Institute of Pennsylvania, 1418 North 16th St., Philadelphia, Pa. [Note: This school would later become Philadelphia College of Bible. The address above is no longer accurate. The date of the second edition is unknown.]

Christ in the Tabernacle

The Occasion of the Giving of the Tabernacle

As Moses stood on Mount Sinai, waiting to receive the law whose only verdict for the sinner is death, his heart was thrilled with unspeakable joy as he heard the words of fathomless love which overflowed from the heart of Jehovah, when He said: ''Let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.'' Ex 25:8

Why should the holy, the righteous God, the God of truth, wish to dwell in the midst of a sinful, ignorant, idolatrous, stiffnecked, rebellious, and uncircumcised nation, the fewest of all people, who were dancing about the golden calf, even while the Lord was speaking to Moses about the Tabernacle? Ex 32:9; Deu 7:7; Acts 7:51

Because Jehovah loved them He wished to dwell in their midst. His heart of love could only be satisfied by bringing the objects of His love into His presence, there to know and enjoy a life of abiding fellowship with Him in service for others.

Who but the One who is love could speak such a word revealing a love that passeth knowledge! Eph 3:19; 1Joh 4:16

What a wonderful foreshadowing of the consummation of God's eternal purpose of redemption, when ''the tabernacle of God shall be with men, and He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself shall be with them and be their God.'' Rev 21:3

Ex 25:8 is thus a key verse, opening to us not only the ultimate purpose of God's great plan of redemption, but unlocking for us the typical teaching of the Tabernacle concerning that wondrous plan.

Oh, what grace that Jehovah should tell Moses all about the Tabernacle before He handed him the two tables of the Law, which could only reveal sin and bring death upon the sinner. Ex 31:18; Rom 3:20; 6:23; Eze 18:4

Purpose of the Tabernacle

For Israel, the Tabernacle was instituted for the purpose of revealing through object lessons God's whole plan of redemption for every believing Israelite. Every part of the Tabernacle and all its appointed ministries were to Israel a symbol, a testimony of the coming Christ and His blessed work of redemption. Through these things, ''by faith they saw Him who is invisible.'' Acts 7:44; Heb 11:27

For us, the Holy Spirit has recorded the things concerning the Tabernacle to illustrate the work of redemption which has been accomplished for us by our Lord Jesus Christ. To us these things are types, or figures of the person and work of Christ. Without a knowledge of the Tabernacle and its typical meaning, very much of what the New Testament tells us of Christ and His work is but little understood. What could we understand of the priestly ministry of our blessed Lord, if we were not told about the priestly office and service of Aaron and his sons in the Tabernacle and the Temple?

The types of the Old Testament are the Kindergarten part of the Bible, the spirit given object lessons for babes in Christ. The woeful ignorance of most Christians concerning Christ and His work as revealed in the New Testament is a terrible testimony that many pastors and teachers have not used the God appointed means and method of instructing babes in Christ.

''All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine (teaching [RV]) for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.'' 2Tim 3:16

''Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.'' Rom 15:4

Description of the Tabernacle

When the Lord told Moses how to build the Tabernacle, He described its parts from within outward. He began with the Ark, and concluded with the Gate, except for the description of the Golden Altar and the Laver, given in connection with the priestly ministry in chapter 30. Ex 25:10; 27:16

Why should the Lord give the description in this order, when we apprehend the truth of the Tabernacle from without inward? If we would understand the meaning of these shadows, we begin to study the Gate and the hangings of the Court, and proceed inward to the Ark.

The purpose of God, we believe, in describing the Tabernacle in the order given is to reveal His grace in coming out from where He dwelt in the most holy place and opening a way for every believing Israelite to come into His presence. It was not possible for Israel, a sinful people, to approach a holy God acceptably in any way of their own which they could devise.

If they would come into His presence at all, Jehovah must come out and open the way for them to come in, yes He must bring them in Himself.

What a foreshadowing of our Father's love in sending His only begotten Son from His own bosom to bring us into that place of blessed and abiding fellowship with Himself. Joh 1:18; 17:24

Since Adam and Eve sinned, and thus separated themselves from the presence and fellowship of the Lord God, neither they nor their children have been able to restore themselves to that place of favor and fellowship, nor has any of them sought to do so, but God Himself, through Jesus Christ, is always the Seeker and the Saviour. Gen 3:8,9; Luke 15:4,8; 19:10

Not only what the Lord has told us about the Tabernacle, but the very order of revelation is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and so throughout His word.

Proceed to the next section of this study: 1 - The Tabernacle as a Whole

Return to the Table of Contents for this study on the Tabernacle.

Notes:
  1. The abbreviation "RV", used throughout this study, refers to the 'Revised Version' of the Bible.
  2. The bold text emphasis is in the original publication.

This study can be accessed under Book Notes at Exodus chapter 25.
Go to The Book opening page.