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The Tabernacle and Court: What They Represent

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The Tabernacle and Court: What They Represent


The Mosaic Tabernacle-and-Court (and later, Solomonʼs Temple-and-Court) is the Divine Pattern; is the Way; is the Gospel; is Man. All of the essentials of Godʼs Creation, as well as of His Plan of Salvation, are represented in the Tabernacle-and-Court, with its implements, ordinances, and sacred feast days.

The Four Parts

The whole was made up of two primary parts: 1) the Tabernacle (Sanctuary), and 2) the Court. Each of these also consisted of two parts, making four areas in all. Man, the Gospel, the Plan of Salvation, and the Creation are likewise each divided into four corresponding parts. All manifest the same basic pattern.

1) The Uncovered Court and the Altar of Burnt Offering

The whole tabernacle-court complex was stretched out horizontally upon the face of the earth, befitting its earthly location. However, it can equally be understood if viewed as an upright structure, with the altar of sacrifice near its lowest point. The very lowest point would be the entrance gate.

The lower part of manʼs torso is the belly; below that is the base of the spine and the sex. This is the realm of manʼs most carnal desires: food and sex. If manʼs desires for these things are not disciplined, much evil results.

The court is surrounded by a wall, which encompasses the whole temple-court complex, just as the skin encompasses the body. Man, like the Creation, is limited; unlike the Creator, who is not limited.

The lowermost part of the court is completely uncovered, naked to view and to natureʼs light and weather. That is, it is directly influenced by the forces of the natural world, unprotected but for its wall. Upper parts of manʼs body are more fully protected by the rib cage and the skull, but the belly has no bony protection over it.


In the Creation, there are four realms: three heavens and one earth. The lowest of these, earth, is the realm of the flesh, the realm most susceptible to evil. It is the realm of the greatest testing, and the realm of the greatest potential rewards. That is why God incarnated in the man Jesus, so that a man might overcome and defeat all of the greatest evils found in the Creation, and thereby be accounted worthy to “ascend far above all the heavens” in His authority. Eph. 4:10 Those of us who follow in His Way “will judge angels” (1 Cor. 6:3), beings originally of a higher nature than our human nature.

A means has been provided for man to so overcome all of the evil desires of the flesh. It is represented by the Altar of Burnt Offering, upon which flesh and other foods were offered up to God. Such sacrifices were a type, a representation of what God requires of man to receive salvation from the consequences of the selfish desires of the flesh. Everyone seeking salvation must first commit to sacrificing every carnal desire that is contrary to Godʼs Commandments.

Evil desires always derive from the lowermost nature, because by definition, the lowest is farthest away from the Highest (One). Those who are farthest away from the Lord of Light are therefore, by definition, dwelling in the greatest darkness.

John 3:19 “And this is the condemnation, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the Light and does not come to the Light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”

Now, the last/lowermost of Godʼs Ten Commandments is this: “Thou shalt not covet…” Covetousness is therefore the root of all evil. The Fall of Man commenced when Eve coveted the forbidden fruit of Eden. The Fall of Lucifer commenced, not with pride, but with his coveting the authority and glory of the Most High:

Isaiah 14:13 “For you have said in your heart, ʻI will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God… 14 …I will be like the Most High.ʼ

Even the worst of sins, beginning with murder and adultery, find their root in some form of covetousness.


Salvation and the Passover


Salvation from the sins of our lowermost nature is found in type by the act which begins the entire Mosaic festival cycle: the Passover sacrifice. The original Passover, which commenced Godʼs final judgment of Egypt, and Israelʼs deliverance therefrom, was merely a type and shadow of the ultimate Passover sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus, as Son of God, was the Divine Man “through [whom] all things became/were made.” John 1:2 That is to say, the Creation as a whole takes its form from Man. But Jesus, as Son of Man, was also the ultimate Natural Man of the flesh:

Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

that is, He willingly offered up in sacrifice all of the desires of His flesh, providing us an example of the beginning of the Way of Salvation. Therefore,

Galatians 5:24 …those who are Christʼs crucify the flesh, with its passions and desires.

Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

This is the message of the Altar of Burnt Offering and its corresponding Passover festival. It is the first principle of the Gospel:

1) In order for oneʼs body to receive salvation and a resurrection unto holiness, one must first commit to sacrifice all of the fleshly appetites which are rooted in darkness and covetousness.

Only after such a commitment is made may one progress to the next stage of the Gospel, represented by 2) The Partly-Enclosed Court and the Laver. (To be described in the next blog.)



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