Exodus 25: The Tabernacle
Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle
and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you. ( Exodus 25: 8,9)
Notice 3 words in the above scripture: sanctuary, dwell and tabernacle. Sanctuary is a
consecrated place, a place set apart for worship of God. Tabernacle is a resident and referred
to a shepherds hut or tent or even an animals den or lair. Dwell means to live, meet or stay.
How important is teaching on the tabernacle and its furnishings? Consider the weight God gives
it in comparison to creation. God gives only 10 words to describe the creation of the universe
in Genesis 1:1; and in the same chapter stars are only given 5 words- He made the stars
also. Yet this tent in the desert with its 6 furnishings is given over 50 chapters and numerous
verses in Exodus, Deuteronomy, Numbers, Leviticus and Hebrews in the New Testament. The
description and instructions are in very clearly defined details as God tells Moses to follow this
Why is this structure and its contents so important? Because it speaks of salvation, the glory
of God, the Lord Jesus Christ and His shed blood, more precious than silver and gold. It also
reveals what is the great desire of God which is to dwell among His people. And in doing so, it
shows us the pattern of how we are to enter into that personal, intimate relationship. It is this
relationship that from the very beginning in the Garden of Eden, God has initiated and created
The construction of the tabernacle begins from the inside out. God starts with the Holy of
Holies, a place where the mercy seat was located. It was in this most sacred place behind the
veil, the high priest entered once a year with the sacrificial blood to be sprinkled on the mercy
seat for the atonement of the peoples sins.
This is also where the process of salvation begins with us- from the inside out. Starting in the
heart, the center of mankind, we shall see how we enter into an intimate relationship with Holy
God. The story of the Bible is how sinful, mortal mankind can enter into an intimate relationship
with a Holy, Immortal God. We will discover how this incredible, seemingly impossible
relationship can be made possible through the ministry of reconciliation.
So here is the invitation of this study and of the truth that so many of us do not consider our
highest privilege: Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence (boldness), so that
we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need. ( Hebrews 4: 16) Did you get
that invitation? You and I can enter into the Holy of Holies boldly, confidently to receive mercy
and find grace to help us in our time of need. Is there anything in this world or in our life that
could be greater?
Who in their right mind would turn down an invitation to enter into the very throne room
of heaven? We must realize what this privilege has cost. It required the sacrifice of the Only
Begotten Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. The resurrected Lord Jesus told Mary at the empty
tomb that Resurrection Sunday, I am going to my Father and YOUR FATHER. Holy God is my
Father. He loves me and you and calls us His Treasure. For surely where your treasure is there
will your heart be also. We will see in this story hopefully, fresh again how great is the love the
Father has lavished on us. For we love Him, because He first loved us. Everything we are and
everything we do should flow out of this relationship with Him.
But take note of Gods instruction: God can only meet with us if we follow His pattern, His plan.
God will meet with His people, the Israelites in the wilderness in this tabernacle, just as He once
met daily with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. But in order to meet with Him, there must
Look at 2 Corinthians 5: 17-21 : Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the
old has gone, and the new has come. All of this is from God who reconciled us to Himself
through Christ and gave us the ministry of recon reconciliation, that God was reconciling the
world to himself in Christ, not counting mens sins against them. (We are therefore Christs
ambassadors, as though God was making His appeal through us.) We implore you on Christs
behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might
become the righteousness of God.
Do you understand what has taken place when you are saved? You are a new creation by an act
of God, who is Creator of all things. You can begin again because you have been born again.
Here are four characteristics of this new creation:
1. New morality- as defined by Gods Word. This is what He has done here in Exodus, God
has given them His Word, His instructions of this new morality. It is what He does for
us today, when we get saved we have a new code of conduct and morality defined by
2. New Mind- we are to no longer be conformed in our thinking by the world, but have
our minds transformed by the renewing with the Word of God. The mind is the filter for
our heart. Our goal is to think on things above. To so transform our mind, the Word of
God acts as a filter, dissecting every thought that enters our mind and taking captive any
thought that opposes the Word of God.
3. New mandate- new agenda , a new purpose. I now begin to understand why I exist.
For my purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. The purpose driven life is to
carry out the 2 greatest commandments: to love God with all my heart and to love
my neighbor as myself. This will result in : worship in spirit and truth, evangelism,
discipleship, fellowship and ministry.
4. New Master- as His bondservant I live for Him, not myself. Sin is no longer my master. I
renounce sin, self and satan. My pledge of allegiance is to my King.
Who you are controlled by is who yield yourself to obey. Sin is no longer your master. You do
not have to yield to sin which leads to death, you can yield to righteousness which leads to life.
So let us look at the story so far from Genesis and the Garden of Eden to this place in the
wilderness. Act 1 on the Gospel is played out in the Old Testament. Act 2 of the Gospel takes
place in the New Testament, in the life and times of the Lord Jesus Christ the crucifixion, the
resurrection, the ascension, the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. We are living
in the midst of the final Act 3 of the Gospel and as such are to be His Ambassadors with the
message of reconciliation. The curtain on Act 3 will come down and we do not know exactly
when that will be- but signs around us tell it could be soon.
Let us look back at the Fall in the Garden and the results of that fall. Act 1, Genesis 3: 8- God
curses the serpent and announces the judgments on Adam and Eve. The serpent is cursed and
shall crawl on his belly and eat dust. There will be enmity between the offspring of the serpent
and the offspring of the woman. For the first time after sin and death enter the world we see
the two classes of mankind- the offspring of the serpent and the offspring of the woman. I take
these two classes to be the lost and the redeemed. In John 8, Jesus tells the Pharisees , you
belong to your father, the devil and you want to carry out his desires.
God tells the serpent, the seed of the woman will crush his head. God then tells Eve she will
bear children and God would greatly increase your pains. Pains- plural. Not just physical pain
of childbirth, but mothers suffer greater sorrow over their children than father.
Adam has the ground cursed. He will be involved in painful toil and by the sweat of his brow will
he produce his food and there will be thorns and thistles. Thorns are representative of sins. For
like sins- they embed themselves in the flesh. We must remember the ram that God provided
in place of Isaac was caught in the thorns by his horns. Our Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God had his
head caught in a crown of thorns, our sins as it were embedded in His flesh. And it is interesting
that Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 asked the Lord three times to remove a thorn. The Lord refused
to do so saying: My grace is sufficient and my power is made perfect in weakness.
Grace was perfected the day the Lord wore a crown of thorns for you and me. Do you see what
happened when sin entered the world- death entered, hardship, fear and shame. But a plan
had already been formulated in anticipation of this fall. The plan of salvation we are told- was
laid before the foundation of the earth.
But in the meanwhile, and it does get mean, life is difficult. The Lord Jesus told us in this
world we would have trouble, but He had overcome the world. Peter said we should not
even consider it strange when we encounter fiery trials. Life is about problems and learning
how to deal with them. Now do you see why it is so important we understand the meaning of
the tabernacle? For it is in learning how we can enter into the throne room of heaven with
confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our times of need.
You are worthy , our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all
things, and by your will they were created and have their being. ( Rev. 4: 11)
God did not create us because He needed us- He created us because He wanted us. Look at
the beginning at Adam and Eve. They lived in a perfect place, the Garden of Eden, a paradise.
Perfect in every way. No sickness, no storms, no stress, no bills, no children.
So where did sin come from? Where it always comes from- the heart. The heart is deceitful
above all things and desperately wicked! In fact, the enemys favorite lie to whisper in our ears-
is follow your heart.
Now what does this have to do with the tabernacle, you must be wondering? You see God
wants to prepare a place to dwell with you. Your body will become the temple of the Holy
Spirit, and your heart that innermost part of being- will be His Holy of Holies. God wants your
heart- all of it, not part of it our WHOLE HEART. He is telling us- make a sanctuary for Me and
I will dwell with you.
So follow the story of the Bible thus far in a quick overview:
*After the Fall, Adam and Eve are banished from the Garden of Eden and death has now
entered the world. Guilt produced fear and shame. The Lord Jesus despised shame and died to
rid us of it.
*Cain and Abel are just a precursor of the horrible things to come, as we read of the first
murder. Can you imagine the devastation, the grief in the home of Adam and Eve? Not only had
their son, Abel been murdered, it was committed by their other son, Cain.
By Genesis 6 God has decided to destroy the earth and mankind with the exception of Noah
and his family- 8 souls who will survive.
*Next comes the Tower of Babel. Gods had instructed Noah and his sons to multiply and fill
the earth. Man has decided to not follow Gods command, but follow their deceitful, wicked
hearts and stay on the plains of Shinar where they build the Tower of Babel. Man wants to
make a name for himself, while God wants a people called by His Name. As a result God
scattered the people and gave them different languages.
(Today, I think God is allowing man to develop one language and build a new high tech Tower of
Babel with computers which allow them to do almost anything their mind conceives and their
heart desires and they are developing one language again. All of this I believe is in anticipation
of setting the stage for the last scene of Act 3 of the Gospel when the Anti-Christ steps on the
After the Tower of Babel we are introduced to Abraham and the beginning of the nation of
Israel through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The journey to Mount Moriah where Abraham is
instructed to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice is a turning point. Abraham is kept from sacrificing
Isaac for God sees He has Abrahams whole heart- withholding not even his own son from God.
And Abraham tells Isaac- God, Himself, will provide a lamb for the burnt offering. And in the
Gospel of John, we hear John the Baptist tell John and Andrew the Lord Jesus is the Lamb of
God who takes away the sin of the world.
What we must remember about the sacrifice of the Lamb of God is this: God provided not just a
sacrifice for us- He supplied a sacrifice INSTEAD OF US.
So far in the story- from of Genesis to Exodus 25, God has been preparing the hearts of the
people to make a place for Him to dwell among them.
So also in our lives, God has been preparing a place in our lives in which to dwell. The Holy of
Holies is patterned after what is in heaven, as we will see in our study.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote: That God may grant you to be strengthened with
might through His Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ MAY DWELL IN YOUR HEARTS,
through faith. ( Ephesians 3:16,17)
Understanding the tabernacles truths will help us to better understand what is without
question the most remarkable Christian doctrine which is that Jesus Christ Himself through the
Holy Spirit actually enters in our hearts, settles down and dwells with us- lives with us in the
How does this happen? Jesus told us and his disciples: If a man loves me and keeps my word,
my Father will love him, and We will come to him/her and make our HOME WITH HIM. ( John
Now here is what is interesting at we look at those last hours before the cross. Jesus said He
was going to prepare a place for them, so that where I am you may be also. ( John 14) How
could the Lord make his home with them – if He was leaving them?
They found out on the Day of Pentecost, when the Spirit of the Living Christ was given to
the Church and each believer. Now they understood, God did not dwell in Herods temple
in Jerusalem- nor in any temple made with hands. God would through the miracle of the
outpoured Spirit dwell in the human heart.
The body of the believer had become the temple of the Holy Spirit, the heart the Holy of Holies
the home of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, Behold I stand at the door and knock; and if any one hears my voice and open the
door, I will come in to him and eat with him and he with Me. ( Rev. 3:20)
Gods instructions for construction the tabernacle begin with the inside to the place where God
would dwell- the Holy of Holies. This is where He begins with us- with our hearts as He knocks
on the door of our hearts.
We will see in the lessons to follow- the preparations necessary to enter into the Holy of Holies
in the tabernacle and we will see how- we, who were once outside can enter this Holy of Holies
It is an amazing story about an amazing God- whose greatest desire is to dwell among His
people. My prayer is that through this study, Christ may settle down and dwell in your heart by