FROM THE TABERNACLE TO THE TEMPLE
Old Testament characters, furniture and accounts have meanings which symbolically and prophetically have present day application to us as New Testament Christians today:
Romans 15:4 MKJV: for whatever things were written before were written for our learning, so that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
In fact, details of the application of New Testament principles are hidden in the Old Testament.
Colossians 2:3 MKJV: in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Luke 24:27 MKJV: and beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Hebrews 10:1 NIV: The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.
Colossians 2:16-17 NIV: Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. (17) These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
This is particularly true of the Tabernacle of Moses and the Temple of Solomon.
The tabernacle was a temporary mobile dwelling place used for the worship of God by Israel during the 40 wilderness years and 447 years in the Promised Land (1 Kings. 6:1).
The temple was to be the permanent dwelling place of God in the Old Testament (of course in the New Testament God’s permanent dwelling place is His church; 2 Cor. 6:16-18).
Consequently, the Tabernacle typifies our experience as God’s dwelling place with a deposit: down payment anointing limited in measure with which the Holy Spirit ministers gifts through us in a transient manner as He wills. This is what we receive when we get born-again and filled with the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 1:13-14 AMP: In Him you also who have heard the Word of Truth, the glad tidings (Gospel) of your salvation, and have believed in and adhered to and relied on Him, were stamped with the seal of the long-promised Holy Spirit. (14) That [Spirit] is the guarantee of our inheritance [the firstfruits, the pledge and foretaste, the down payment on our heritage], in anticipation of its full redemption and our acquiring [complete] possession of it–to the praise of His glory.
Ephesians 4:7 MKJV: But to every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:11 ESV: All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as He wills.
The Temple, on the other hand, typifies our experience as God’s dwelling place with a permanent anointing without measure like the Lord Jesus had:
John 1:32-33 MKJV: and John bore record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from Heaven like a dove, and He abode on Him. (33) And I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water, that One said to me, Upon whom you shall see the Spirit descending, and remaining upon Him, He is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.
John 3:34 AMP: For since He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God [proclaims God’s own message], God does not give Him His Spirit sparingly or by measure, but boundless is the gift God makes of His Spirit! [Deut. 18:18.]
How then do we make the transition from being a ‘tabernacle’ to becoming a ‘temple’?
To understand how to do this, we need to understand 2 fundamental differences between the tabernacle and the temple:
1. The Tabernacle had no foundation: it was a mobile tent.
2. The quality and quantity of the materials used to make the temple were superior to that used to make the tabernacle: in particular, the tabernacle was made from reeds (wood), cloth and animal skins; the temple was made with hewed stones.
The symbolic prophetic meanings of these two differences give us great spiritual insight into how to grow from a ‘tabernacle’ into a ‘temple’.
A ‘tabernacle’ is a born-again Christian filled with the Holy Spirit who speaks in tongues (Act. 2:4) and so can operate in the gifts of the spirit as the Holy Spirit wills (1 Cor. 12:11). However, he does not yet have revelation knowledge (2 Cor. 4:6, Eph. 1.16-23) of the hope of his calling: the perfection and fullness of Christ; the riches of the glory of the inheritance of the Spirit without measure: the understanding, wisdom and instruction of how to operate in the fullness of Christ with the anointing without measure; the exceeding greatness of the resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead and gave him victory over all wicked spirits in heavenly places: how to release the power of the Spirit without measure to destroy all the works of the devil (1 Jn. 3:8).
The ‘tabernacle’ is a ‘reed’ like Simon: unstable and easily bent; he must become a stable ‘rock’ like Peter who has revelation knowledge and so the gates of hell cannot prevail against him.
John 1:42 ESV: He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).
Luke 22:31-32 ESV: Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, (32) but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.
Matthew 16:16-19 ESV: Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (17) And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. (18) And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (19) I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
A ‘temple’ is a ‘rock’ with revelation knowledge of perfection and fullness of Christ and has begun to operate the anointing without measure firstly by a ‘borrowed’ anointing and later by inheriting the anointing without measure by spiritual growth.
Individual ‘reeds’ make up corporate ‘tabernacles’, while individual ‘rocks’ make up corporate ‘temples’.
In our article next week, we will see in more detail how to grow individually from a ‘reed’ to a ‘rock’ and corporately and from a ‘tabernacle’ to a ‘temple’.