Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 8
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND THE TABERNACLE
I just want to say that we hope the programs are a blessing to each of you. Please remember we are nondenominational; I’m not a pastor, so don’t address me as Reverend, Preacher or Doctor. I’m just a layman, and rancher and we just do this for the Lord without any compensation. We love to do it, and trust we are laying it up in glory. And in the process we trust we can bring people, who don’t know the Lord to a knowledge of Him. And we can help believers, come into a closer walk, and realize that this is an exciting Book. I was thinking the other evening, you can take all the great authors of the world, you could roll them all up into one and they can’t even come close to this one. And that is why I love to teach this oldBook as most of you know.
If you will come back with me where we left off in Exodus Chapter 35, the last verse. Moses has put the call out to the people for all the things that are needed. I have often said that, would to God that church people could respond today like the Israelites did here. Why, pastors would just be beside themselves wouldn’t they? They would actually have to tell their flock, “Hey, quit giving. We have more then we know what to do with.” But that is what happened here. It actually got to the place that Moses said, “Don’t bring anymore, we’ve got all we can handle.” Now Chapter 36:
“Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary,….”
Now, here we need to stop for a moment. Who is giving them the ability to perform these tasks? God does. Where do you get the ability to do what you do? God gave it to you. Never lose sight of that fact. Whatever you and I are, or ever hope to be, it is because of what God has done in and through each one of us. I have stressed over the years that every believer, I don’t care how untalented you think you are, God has a roll for you, He has given you a gift. I’ve seen people who thought they had no gift. But they used the gift tremendously, and never realized they were using it. And this is what happened here. God gave gifted people to bring about his work.
“And Moses call Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD put wisdom, even everyone whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it:”
Where does it have to start? With the heart. A question came up in one of my classes recently, the person said, “Les you are always saying that all God is looking for is to believe. How do I know that I have believed enough.” Have any of you wondered that? And it is a good question. Because lots of times people get the idea, “Well, if I just believe then I’m alright.” Most people, especially in our beloved nation believe in the historical fact that Christ lived, died, and maybe have a head knowledge that He also rose from the grave. But that is not believing. That is not what we are talking about. Believing doesn’t come from the head but from the heart.
We always point to this part of us (The Chest) and even the Bible speaks of the heart as in the chest area. We are not talking about that pumping organ, the organ that takes our blood and sends it down our arteries and veins, etc. When we talk about the heart, we are talking about that very central part of us that has a relationship with the spirit world. And it is in that area that God has to begin and finish His work. So when I talk about believing, trusting, having faith in the Gospel, I’m talking about the true heart belief. Not just a head knowledge. I’m sure most of you have heard the expression that many people will miss heaven by twelve inches and you say “What do you mean?” They had it in their head, but never got it in the heart. And there is something to that.
We must always be sure that we are believing, not just because we can give a mental assent to something. But because God has literally opened up our ability to believe these things, and trust our whole eternal destiny on it. If I couldn’t do that, I couldn’t sleep at night. I know enough about this Book to know there is an eternal doom coming for those who do not have that kind of a heart of faith. It is going to be awful for those that are lost, We can’t comprehend that. But for those of us who believe, and as it shows here, it begins in the heart. Now continuing on, if we are going to finish Exodus this lesson. Let’s hope so.
“And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning. And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary,…. And they spake unto Moses, saying, `The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work,…’ And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, `Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.’ So the people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.”
Oh, they were still going to bring more, but they had to tell them we have enough, we don’t need anymore. Now we are going to start the construction, with the things the people have brought. We will start with the linen curtains. The linen curtains are that which comprise what we would call today, the outer fence. The point I like to make is, that all the dimensions of this Tabernacle in the wilderness can all be divided by five. Everyone of them. Five in Scripture is the number of Grace.
So even as we are talking Law, yet the attribute of God, that even gives the Law to Israel, is Grace. What prompted God to bring them out of their slavery? His Grace. What prompted God to go seek Adam and Eve, after they had disobeyed? His Grace. So always keep this in mind. Grace is that one attribute of God that keeps Him dealing, even with the Nation of Israel, even after they made the golden calf, having gone into gross immorality. Why didn’t He destroy the nation? His Grace. Why does He come now and give them this whole system of worship? His Grace. The linen curtains, then, are going to be the outer fence. It will be 150 feet long, and 75 feet wide. It was made high enough that nobody could simply look in. So this outer fence was to keep all of this from view of the casual onlooker.
Another thing I want you to remember is that this Tabernacle was always set with the gate in the outer fence, facing east. I have put the names of the 12 Tribes up here on the board. and will name them for you. To the east, and the tribe that would always lead during their journeys, was Judah. Remember Reuben was the oldest and should have had that position, but Reuben sinned, and was an immoral person, who had a relationship with his father’s concubines. Consequently, God in his Sovereignty, brought Judah to the place that Reuben should have enjoyed. Another reason for Judah’s leadership is that Christ will come out of the tribe of Judah. So it says “that the scepter shall never leave Judah.” So on the east, and the nation will always move out in that direction, you have Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. Then on the south were the three tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad. On the west were Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin, and on the north were the three tribes of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali. And there are your twelve tribes.
Now, of course, Levi is not mentioned, but Levi picks up the territory that surrounds the tabernacle area. They are not listed as one of the 12 tribes, even as they go into the Nation of Israel. So the linen fence is all around the outside. The next one is the curtain of goat’s hair. And this is the rough sketch of this little tent, and this is the outer frame of it. The curtain of goat’s hair is going to be that first layer that fits over the main frame, which is made of Acacia wood covered with gold.
So this main frame made of wood, covered with gold, and then the first curtain that lays over the outside edge will be this goat’s hair. The next layer will be the Ram skins dyed red. That is in verse 19. And then the very top, or outer area, were the seal skins (badger was the word in the King James but it was a sea animal) to stand all the extreme weather of the Sinai. But I want to point out that it was not pretty in its appearance. And the reason I’m pointing that out, is all of these things are a picture of Christ Himself in one of His attributes as He pertains to us today. Now the goat’s hair, I think, will refer to the Scape Goat. Remember that term? That was when the High Priest would lay the sins of Israel upon it. The seal skins on the outer, that which could be seen if they could look over the fence as it was seen, was very plain. There was nothing beautiful about it. What does the Scriptures say about Jesus to the unsaved person? “There is no beauty, that we should behold him.” To the unbeliever, He has nothing that appeals to them. But when we come to the inside frame, they had linen curtains also hung. Hung with gold or silver hooks, it was a combination of blue, purple, and scarlet fine linen; and woven into it were likeness of cherubim.
Now, use your imagination. Can you begin to imagine how beautiful that must have been? This is fine twine as it is called, some of the best linen that craftsmen could create. Interwoven in all of these colors, and in that weaving were the likeness of these cherubs. and they were all through it. You see you have a complete opposite. From the outside, Christ has no beauty that we should behold him, but once we become involved in Christ, now what is He? He’s everything. He is beautiful. And only the believer can understand that. All that He is. And it’s the same way as they would come into the tent. They would not see or experience that beauty, until the priest would come inside. Now let’s keep moving on. Then we find that all of these parts of the outer fence and everything else is set in socket of brass, or silver and the other important thing I wanted to point out is in verse 35.
“And he made a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: with cherubims made he it of cunning work (Again this was intrinsic beauty).”
This vail separated the Holy of Holies from the main sanctuary. This part was only a third of the size of the sanctuary. The Sanctuary was 45 feet long and 15 feet wide. So the Holy of Holies was only 15 feet square. Now here is that vail. We are most acquainted with the vail, as it was in the Temple in Jesus’ day. And at the moment of His death, what happened to the vail? It was rent from top to bottom. Not from the bottom to the top. But from the top to the bottom and this signifies that no man had anything to do with it. It was an act of God. The vail pictured the very Body of Christ. The vail is what kept the presence of God from the priest, as they would practice their daily administrations. They would only come up to here. Only the High Priest, once a year could come in behind the vail.
We will be studying that when we come to the Day of Atonement. Now, let’s come to the Laver of cleansing. Here is someone who has given us his idea of the various furnishings, all made of wood, and covered with gold, except the Mercy Seat, which is in the Holy of Holies. It is pure beaten gold that formed these cherubim that sit up here as they overshadowed the Ark of the Covenant, which became the Mercy Seat. That was the piece of furniture that sat behind the vail. Someone asked me during a break, “Where is the Ark of the Covenant today?” Well, we know it has been gone ever since the Babylonian captivity, but there is nothing to indicate that the Babylonians took it with them, so turn back to Revelation Chapter 11. I think maybe others have had that same question. And these are the events taking place during the tribulation. Things are getting rough on the earth.
“And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament (another word for testament is covenant): and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”
Now, there are those who claim they know where the Ark of the Covenant is. And we are quite sure that Israel is going to frantically look for it. For when they get their Temple rebuilt they will need it. The Ark of Covenant as it was experienced back in the early days of Israel, was the very indication of the presence of God. Now we know that when Israel sets up their Temple in the next few years, the presence of God is not going to sit over it. It will be a man-made religion for the most part. It won’t be like it was back here in Exodus. Because Israel is so far from God today, there is no way God will manifest His presence with them in the very near future, but He will during the tribulation.
Coming into the next little room was the altar of incense on which they burned fresh incense everyday. That was in the middle. Then here on the south side of this sanctuary stood the golden candlesticks. And out between the actual tabernacle tent and the brazen altar, where they burned the sacrifices, was this laver of cleansing. When the priest would come in and begin his sacrifices here at the brazen altar, then he would have to stop at the laver of cleansing, which was filled with water. It was brass made of looking glass. Even today when you get dirty out in the garden, after you wash, how do you check up? With a mirror. The priest would come to this laver of cleansing, and it was not only a wash basin, but also a mirror. And then he could proceed on.
All of this is a scriptural lesson for all of us. So turn to John’s’ Gospel Chapter 13. Now there’s still quite a few among us who still practice foot washing. And I don’t condemn them for it. They will say, “Well, it is in the Bible,” but again they are, I feel, bringing something in from God dealing with Israel, into the Church, which is not necessarily instructed for the Church. We pick it up now this whole cleansing aspect. And remember they didn’t stop here and take a whole bath. They had to do that before they began their priestly ministry. But after they had stopped at the altar, and made their sacrifices, they would stop here and wash their hands and feet. Okay, now we pick it up here during Jesus’ earthly ministry. They are at the last Passover.
“He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter (and I’ve said over the years that Peter is always putting his foot in his mouth, and here he does it again.): and Peter saith unto him, `Lord, dost thou wash my feet?’ Jesus answered and said unto him, `What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.’ Peter saith unto him, `Thou shalt never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered him, `If I wash thee not (his feet), thou hast no part with me.’ Simon Peter saith unto him, `Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.'”
In other words, old Peter wanted Jesus to give him a bath. If we are going to do it part way, let’s do it all, he says.
“Jesus saith to him, `He that is washed (Do you see that? You have had your bath. The priest had had his bath, but what did he need? Just to wash his hands and feet.) needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.'” Who was left out? Judas. In the next verse:
“For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, `Ye are not all clean.'”
What was the setting? Remember the Jews of Jesus’ day did, primarily, their bathing in the central public bath house. We also know that the sanitation was not all that good, and the streets were filthy. So by the time they went from that public bath to the time they got home, their feet was filthy. So they needed foot washing. Oh, they had been saved, but they needed a daily cleansing. Now, quickly turn to Ephesians where we pick that same analogy out of the Jewish background, and we bring it into the Church age. And we have this same teaching, but on a different level. Paul writes:
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” He is talking about us believers, the members of the Body of Christ.
“That he might sanctify and cleanse it (not with the washing in a foot tub, or laver, but how?) with the washing of water by the word,”