A Brief Study of the Tabernacle

By Ellsworth A. Archer


     In conclusion, there are a few things to which I wish especially to call your attention. Notice that there was just one way into the court of the tabernacle; one altar at which to offer sacrifices; one layer where the priests could wash; one way into the Holy Place, and one way into the Most Holy Place. So there is just one way to God, and that is through Jesus Christ. "There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12).

     When Jesus was crucified on Calvary there were a number of unusual things took place. Darkness covered the face of the earth; the earth quaked, rocks were rent, graves were opened and some who slept therein came forth. But the thing that concerns our study of the tabernacle was that the wail of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, thus showing that it was not done by an earthly or human force, but by an eternal or divine power.

     What does the rending of the vail mean spiritually? It means that in His atonement Christ not only opened the way into the Holy Place but into the Most Holy Place for each one individually. It is not necessary to come through some priest or prophet, or to go to some special place or temple; and we need not, as did the high priest, enter but once a year; but we can all- every one-go directly to God through Jesus Christ, at all times and in all places.

     There are two other things in connection with the tabernacle which are worthy of consideration. One is the fire without the camp where all the refuse and waste were carried and burned. The second was the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night which went before the tabernacle and overshadowed it when it was not moving. (Ex. 1321, 22; Nu. 9:15). These were for protection and guidance. When the pillar of cloud lifted the Children of Israel followed it wherever it led them until it rested again. (Ex. 40:36-38, Nu. 9:17-23.) The pillar of fire by night gave them light, and these pillars departed not from them. (Ex: 13:21, 22; 40:38.) When they were at rest the cloud stood above the tabernacle, and served as a shed for the people from the hot sun in the desert. When Jehovah wished to communicate his will to Moses the cloud stood "over the door of the tabernacle." (Ex. 33:9-11; Nu.12:5; Deut. 31:15.) There were also timed when the cloud stood between Israel and their enemies, thus giving the victory to the host of Israel (Ex. 14:19, 20.) there any lesson in these pills for us? Methinks so.

     Israel did not need to worry about where they were going next, when they were going to start, or how long they would travel each day. Jehovah had this all planned for them, and all they had to do was to watch the pillar of cloud and follow where it led.

     O, what a lesson! Why should we worry as to our lives, our work, our future, when our Heavenly Father has promised that if we will love, obey and follow Him He will direct us in all of our ways and lead us where He would have us go just as surely as the cloud and fire led Israel.

     In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths! (Prow 3:6)

     He will direct by His Holy Spirit through His word.

     And thins ears shall hear a word behind then saying, This is the way, walk yea in it. (Is. 30:21a.)

     Do not fear to follow His leading, His guidance, for be assured that where He leads you may safely follow.

"He leadeth me, and I will clasp more closely

That pierced hand so kind, so firm, so dear:

And in sweet trusting confidence I follow,

And fear no danger while my Guide is near."

     And know for a surety that if we do follow Him He will lead to the very best in life for each one. He will be with us and lead us safely through life, down to the valley of death; yes, and through the valley up into the mansion prepared for those who love and serve Him.