Bible as Whole in Christ

KGD-02   NR3-11   TAB-29    XAS-15



Seeing the Bible as Whole in Christ

Please open to John 5:39 and 46. Always remember to really grasp God’s Word we must see that all of it speaks of Christ.

Now turn with me to Exodus 24:16, the revelation of the Tabernacle was so sacred, so powerful, so vital to God that He made Moses stand for 6 days and didn’t speak until the 7th day to him.

Now look at Exodus 25:9 where God showed Moses a pattern in the Heavenly Tabernacle, and then starts with the furniture. Most people fit furniture into the house; God built the tent around the furniture! Note from Ark outward is how God thinks of the Tabernacle.

Now note Exodus 27:1 the Brazen Altar that speaks of Christ’s Cross is the tallest piece of furniture in the Tabernacle. For God forbid that I should glory Paul said, in anything but Christ’s Cross.

The Tabernacle is God”s photo journal documenting salvation. It is not an after thought, it is His premeditated explanation of what Jesus would do perfectly on the Cross. The Tabernacle is the clearest portrait of Christ and His redemption to be found in any part of the Old Testament. While God only uses one verse to record Creation (Genesis 1:1), and two chapters (Genesis 1-2) to explain it, He takes 15 chapters (Exodus 25-40) to explain the construction of the Tabernacle and 27 more to describe it in action (Leviticus). This task was so important that God did not depend on the ingenuity of craftsmen to follow a blueprint, He actually came into them through His Spirit (Exodus 31:1-6) and guided each step of their work.

Before God sent a Person named Jesus Christ, He sent a picture called the Tabernacle.

The Tabernacle is a photo album of the most detailed explanation of salvation in the Old Testament. The Tabernacle is the ABCs of Christian Doctrine, it is a systematic Theology that Paul actually uses in Romans to explain salvation. In the Old Testament the Tabernacle is the dwelling place of God. In the New Testament the Church becomes the dwelling place of God.

Before the Cross, before Christ came, God established ceremonies to typify, shadow, and explain the Cross. The observant would clearly see that sin must be dealt with before God could be approached. Fellowship with God was only possible when the sin problem was settled. That was the message of sacrifice and the meeting place called the Tabernacle.

Now on this side of the Cross, the meaning of the death of Christ to God, and the effects of Christ’s death upon us who believe is most clearly taught in the Tabernacle. Even the New Testament has to revert to the Tabernacle to explain Christ’s work (Romans 3; Hebrews 8-9).

The Cross of Christ is God’s 1st Aid plan for mankind, it is not His secondary or contingency plan. Christ was slain before the foundation of the world as God’s Lamb. The Death of Christ on the Cross was the plan and purpose of God from Eternity past, it was not an after thought brought forth and an emergency solution to the sin dilemma. So when we say that Christ and His Cross are set forth in the Tabernacle it is only a reflection of the grander truth that the death of Christ on the Cross 1900 years ago is part of God’s infinite plan. Before Golgotha, the Cross was God’s plan. Before Calvary, Christ’s death was God’s plan. So in the Old Testament Tabernacle God planned out every color, every thread, every article of furniture, and even every tent stake and all of them speak of Christ’s sacrifice.

The Tabernacle is God’s Portrait of Christ. In it we see the key doctrines of Salvation.

  • The Altar of Brass: The Doctrine of Satisfaction
  • The Laver of Brass: The Doctrine of Sanctification
  • The Three Entrances: The Doctrine of Worship
  • The Table of Showbread: The Doctrine of Worship
  • The Lamp stand of Gold: The Doctrine of Worship
  • The Altar of Gold: The Doctrine of Worship
  • The Veil Which Was Rent: The Doctrine of Incarnation
  • The Ark of Gold & Wood: The Doctrine of Christology
  • The Mercy-Seat of Gold: The Doctrine of Propitiation

“The tabernacle has no fewer than three meanings,

  • In the first place, the tabernacle is a type, a visible illustration, of that heavenly place in which God has His dwelling.
  • In the second place, the tabernacle is a type of Jesus Christ, who is the meeting-place between God and man.
  • And, in the third place, the tabernacle is a type of Christ in the Church—of the communion of Jesus with all believers” (Adolph Saphir).

The key to the Tabernacle, then, is Christ. In the volume of the Book it is written of Him. As a whole and in each of its parts the Tabernacle foreshadowed the person and work of the Lord Jesus. Each detail in it typified some aspect of His ministry or some excellency in His person. Proof of this is furnished in John 1:14: “And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us” (R. V. margin). The reference here is to the Divine incarnation and first advent of God’s Sea to this earth, and its language takes us back to the book of Exodus. Many and varied are the correspondences between the type and the anti-type. We take leave to quote from our comments on John 1:14.

  1. The order in which the Tabernacle and its contents are described is most significant. The first thing mentioned is the ark (25:10) and its covering—the mercy-seat (25:17), which was Jehovah’s throne in Israel’s midst. Then comes the table (25:23) and the candlestick (25:31), the curtains (26:1), and boards (26:15) of the Tabernacle proper, with the separating veil (26:31). Last comes the brazen altar (27:1) and the hangings of the court (27:9). Thus it will be seen that the order is from the interior to the exterior. It is the order of sovereign grace, God coming from His throne right to the outer door where the sinner was! How this reminds us of the Incarnation; the sinner in his sins could not go from earth to heaven, so God in the person of His Son came from heaven to earth, and died the Just for the unjust “that He might bring us to God (1 Pet. 3:18). Blessedly was this emphasized by Christ in His teaching—the Shepherd going after the lost sheep (Luke 15:4), the good Samaritan journeying to where the wounded traveler lay (Luke 10:33), etc.
  2. The second description of the Tabernacle, where we have the record of its manufacture and set up, there is a notable variation. Instead of beginning with the contents of the holy of holies where Jehovah dwelt, we have described the Tabernacle and curtains of the outer court, which the common people saw. Here the order is from without to within—the experimental order, the order in which Divine truth is apprehended by the soul. This same twofold order may be seen in the Epistles to the Romans and Ephesians. In Romans, the Holy Spirit begins with man’s sinfulness, guiltiness, and ruin; goes on to speak of God’s provision in Christ, and then closes the doctrinal section by showing us the redeemed sinner in the presence of God, from whom there is no separation. In Ephesians the Spirit begins with God’s eternal counsels, choosing us in Christ before the foundation of the world, and then treats of redemption and regeneration and the consequent privileges and responsibilities flowing therefrom. In Romans it is the sinner going in to God; in Ephesians, God coming out the sinner. Such is the double teaching in the twofold order of the description of the Tabernacle.
  3. The order of the pieces that made up the Tabernacle is fascinating. Marvelous is the progressive order of teaching in connection with the various objects in the Tabernacle.
  • At the brazen altar sin was judged, and by blood-shedding put away.
  • At the laver purification was effected.
  • In the holy place provision was made for prayer, food and illumination. In the holy of holies the glory of the enthroned King was displayed.
  • The same principle of progress is also to be seen in the increasing value of the sacred vessels. Those in the outer court were of wood and brass; whereas those in the inner compartments were of wood and gold. So too the various curtains grew richer in design and embellishment, the inner veil being the costliest and most elaborate.
  • Again, the outer court, being open, was illumined by natural light; the holy place was lit up by the light from the golden candlestick; but the holy of holies was radiated by the Shekinah glory of Jehovah.
  • Thus the journey from the outer court into the holy of holies was from sin to purification, and from grace to glory. How blessedly did this illustrate the truth that “the path of the Just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day” (Prov. 4:18).
  1. The Tabernacle was dictated completely by God. No less than seven times are we informed that Moses was commanded to make the Sanctuary after the pattern of it which was shown him in the Mount—see Exodus 25:9; 25:40; 26:30; 27:8; Numbers 8:4; Acts 7:44; Hebrews 8:5. Nothing was left to man’s wisdom, still less to “chance”; everything was to be in exact accordance with the Divine model. Does not this teach us that everything concerning Christ and His people has been wrought out according to the eternal purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will! May Divine grace enable us to rest there in perfect peace and Joyous worship. 

    Check Out All The Sermons In The Series

    You can find all the sermons and short clips from this series, Christ in all the Scriptures here.

    Looking To Study The Bible Like Dr. Barnett?

    Dr. Barnett has curated an Amazon page with a large collection of resources he uses in his study of God’s Word. You can check it out here.