Christ in the Tabernacle
Typical Teaching of the Tabernacle
- 9 - The Boards -
Ex 26:15-30. Forty-eight Boards of shittim wood ''standing up'' made the walls of the Tabernacle on the north and south sides, and the west end.
Two silver sockets, weighing about 100 pounds each, made a foundation for each Board to rest upon.
Two tenons, like hands, at the bottom of each Board set in the silver sockets, thus keeping each Board firmly in place on its foundation.
Five bars of shittim wood, overlaid with gold, kept the Boards in their proper position with reference to each other.
The middle bar, in the midst of the Boards, passed through from end to end. This bar was probably invisible, passing through the middle of each Board, from edge to edge. The four outer bars passed through rings of gold.
A covering of gold overlaid each Board and bar, thus hiding the knots and cross-grains.
For us, the typical meaning of the Boards is discovered in the Spirit given verses of Eph 2:21,22, ''a building fitly framed together'' that ''groweth into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.''
From these verses we learn that the Boards, as a part of God's dwelling, ''a building fitly framed together,'' are typical of the Church, God's dwelling place, ''a habitation of God in the Spirit.'' 1Cor 6:19,20; 2Cor 6:16; Joh 14:23
Every word of God has significance, because His word has been inspired by the Holy Spirit, therefore, when the Spirit speaks twice of the Boards ''standing up,'' we ought to give heed. (Ex 26:15; 36:20) The same blesed Spirit declares, that, as believers who are justified through faith in Christ, we also have ''access by faith into this grace wherein we stand.'' Rom 5:2
From these verses we learn that the Boards foreshadow our standing before God in Christ, in heaven.
The cutting down of the Boards, as to their natural standing [when they were trees], typifies what God wrought for us in Christ, when he crucified the old man, and buried him together with Christ. Rom 6:6,4
The fitting of the Boards for their place in the Tabernacle, by making each the same length, the same width, the same thickness, and overlaying each with gold, foreshadows what God did for us when He made us ''meet'', or fit, to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. (Col 1:12) This God did when He quickened us [ie., made us alive] together with Christ, and raised us up together with Him. Eph 2:5,6
The setting up of each Board in its proper position is a most wonderful illustration of what God wrought for us in Christ when He made us to sit together with Him in the heavenly places, when He made us accepted in the Beloved. Ex 40:1,2,18; Eph 2:6; 1:6
The putting in of the bars typifies what God did for us in Christ, when He ''set the members each one of them in the body, even as it pleased Him.'' 1Cor 12:18; Eph 4:4
The middle or invisible bar is a figure of the one Spirit by whom we were all baptized into one body. 1Cor 12:13; Eph 3:6
The four outer bars suggest to us how God ''tempered the body together,'' or ''caused the several parts to combine into one organic structure,'' ''that there might be no disunion in the body, but that all the members might entertain the same anxious care for one another's welfare.'' (1Cor 12:24-25; Eph 4:11-16) Our standing before God in Christ, with relation to each other, is manifest as we ''walk worthily of the calling wherewith we were called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.'' Eph 4:1-3 [RV]
The foundation of silver, on which the Boards rested, was made of the ransom, or atonement, money obtained from the men of war, who were numbered at mount Sinai. Ex 30:11-16
To us, the silver is typical of the ''precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot,'' by which we have been redeemed. (1Pet 1:18,19; Acts 20:28) The only ground of our acceptance before a holy God is the precious blood of Christ, which cleanseth us from all sin. 1Joh 1:7; Rom 3:21-26
The two tenons, or hands, which held the Boards securely on the foundation, are typical of the hand of our Saviour, and the hand of our Father, which hold, securely and forever, every true believer upon the Foundation, which is Christ and His finished work. (Joh 10:27-29; Col 3:3) These are the loving, faithful, and mighty hands that keep every child of God in the place of favor before God, into which we were brought through the finished work of Christ. 1Joh 5:18
The two silver sockets under each Board picture the death and resurrection of Christ, the only Foundation for our salvation. Rom 3:24; 1Cor 15:3,4
The one hundred silver sockets foreshadow the multiplied, the perfect responsibility of Christ to uphold us in our standing before God. How blessedly He is able to save to the uttermost, completely, or evermore, them that come unto God through Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them. Heb 7:25
Ten cubits, the height of the Boards, reveals the fact that we are responsible ''to walk worthily of the calling wherewith we were called,'' to walk ''as becometh saints,'' ''to walk as children of the light.'' (Eph 4:1; 5:2,3,8) We are not to do this or that, in order to become saints, or in order to become children of light. Ephesians ch. 1 to 3 reveal the glorious fact that God has blessed the Church in Christ, has made us one with Him and in Him, as members of His body, His bride, and Ephesians ch. 4 to 6 tell us how we ought to live because of this standing which God has given us in Christ.
The equal height, width, and thickness of the Boards sweetly proclaim the precious truth that every believer has the same standing before God, for every member of Christ's body is accepted and blessed before God even as He is, for we are complete in Him, who is the Head of all principality and power. Eph 1:3,6,22,23; Col 2:10
Like the people of Israel, shut out from the presence of God by the hangings of linen about the Court, we were all excluded from the presence of the holy God, because we had all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Rom 3:23
There was no difference as to our standing before God, as sinners, and every one who comes to God must come, and does come, through Jesus Christ, therefore there is no difference in our standing before God as saints.
The covering of gold on the Boards is typical of the divine glory that is ours in Christ, for when God glorified His Son, He glorified us in Him. Joh 17:1,5,24; Acts 3:13; Rom 8:30
So many of God's dear ones do not understand the difference between the standing and the state of believers, and therefore are living under the Law, praying for mercy and blessing which are already theirs in Christ.
- Our standing is what God has done for us in Christ, justified us, sanctified us, glorified us. Rom 8:29,30; 1Cor 1:30; Heb 10:10,14
- Our state is what God works in us by His Spirit and word, as we believe and obey Him. Eph 3:14-20; Php 2:13; Col 1:29
- Our standing is what God has made us in Christ, sons of God, kings, priests, heirs, joint-heirs, members of the bride of Christ. Gal 3:26; Eph 1:5 [RV]; Rev 1:6; Rom 8:17; 7:4; Eph 5:30-32
- Our state is how we are living day by day, whether as sons, enjoying fellowship in life and service with our Lord, or as babes knowing only that our sins are forgiven and that we are born again. (1Joh 2:12-17)
- Living as kings and priests, a life of victory over Satan, sin, and self, in unceasing prayer and labor for others, or as bondslaves of evil habits and evil dispositions, controlled by Satan, a wretched, prayerless, powerless, selfish, and self-centered life, which reveals nothing of Christ but only of self, and is a blessing to no one. (Rom ch. 6, 7, 8; Gal 2:20)
- Living as heirs, and joint-heirs, asking and receiving what we ask for out of the unsearchable riches which are ours in Him, or living like beggars who ask and ask, and go away hungry and empty. (1Joh 3:21,22; 5:14,15; Jam 1:6,7; 4:3)
- Living as members of His bride beloved by Him, and our hearts enraptured with Him who is ''altogether lovely,'' so that more and more His beauty and loveliness are manifest through us, or complaining, criticising, finding fault because the way is hard, the food He gives us for our souls is dry and tasteless, and ''He does not love us very much, or He would not permit such evil things to come upon us.'' (Song of Songs 5:10-16; Num 21:4,5; Psa 77:9,10) How few seem to enjoy their marriage relationship with our risen Lord. Rom 7:4; Gal 5:22,23
- Our standing is where God has placed us in Christ, ''far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion,'' and all things in subjection [to Him]. Eph 1:18-23 [RV]
- Our state, at best here, is a wrestling against principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the host of wicked spirits in the heavenly places. (Eph 6:10-18) Many dear ones know no better state than a conflict with the lusts of the flesh, because [they are] not yielded to God nor filled with His Spirit. 1Pet 2:11
- Our standing is how God loves us in Christ, which is just the same as His love for Christ, a love that is eternal, infinite, and unchangeable, from which nothing can separate us. Joh 17:23; Eph 1:3-6; Rom 8:28-39; Joh 13:1; Jam 1:17
- Our state is how we love God, which depends upon our knowledge of His great love for us, and our knowledge is so imperfect at best. 1Joh 4:19; Eph 3:19; 1Joh 3:1
- Our standing is how God knows us in Christ. Php 3:12; 1Cor 13:12
- Our state is how much we have grown in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 2Pet 3:18; 1:1-11
- Our standing is the goal, the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Php 3:14; Eph 1:18
- Our state is how far we have run in the race to win the goal, or the prize. Php 3:12,13
- Our standing is ''the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.'' (Eph 4:13) A revelation of this measure is given in 1Cor 13:4-7; Col 3:12,13; Jam 3:17
- Our state is just how high we have grown up in all things in Christ. Eph 4:14-16
- Our standing is just as perfect as Christ in all His purity and loveliness before God.
- Our state, alas! how unlike Him is the holiest saint on earth, therefore ''this one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind,'' all past attainments, I stretch forward to the things which are before, ''confident of this very thing that He who began a good work in me will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.'' Php 3:13; 1:6 [RV]
Proceed to the next section of this study: 10 - The Coverings
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