This Jewish Prayer Shawl is a type and shadow of the Tabernacle. In fact, word “Tallit” in Hebrew means “Little Tent”. The Hebrew word for tent is translated “Tal”, adding the adverb “Lit” means little. The actual word “Tallit” means “to cover”. This symbolizes our being covered in God’s Presence.
Tallit (the Prayer Shawl) the corner fringes on this ritual garment remind the wearer of all the commandments in the Torah. The (tall-EET) or tallis (TALL-us) is a large rectangular shawl made of wool, cotton or synthetic fibers. In each of the four corners of the shawl are strings tied in a particular pattern, called tzitzit. The origin of the is biblical; the practice is prescribed in Numbers 15. The precept is to put these strings on the four corners of one’s garment — in ancient tradition, with a single strand of blue as well–as a reminder of the duties and obligations of a Jew. Since we no longer wear four-cornered garments, the tallit is worn specifically to fulll the biblical precept.
The Bible does not command wearing of a unique prayer shawl or tallit. Instead, it presumes that people wore a garment of some type to cover themselves and instructs the Children of Israel to attach fringes (????? tzitzit) to the corners of these (Numbers 15:38), repeating the commandment in terms that they should “make thee twisted cords upon the four corners of thy covering, wherewith thou coverest thyself” (Deuteronomy 22:12). These passages do not specify tying particular types or numbers of knots in the fringes. The exact customs regarding the tying of the tzitzit and the format of the tallit are of post-biblical, rabbinic origin and, though the Talmud discusses these matters, slightly different traditions have developed in different communities. However the Bible is specific as to the purpose of these tzitzit, stating that “it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye go not about after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go astray; that ye may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy unto your God”.
Traditionally, men wear a tallit during morning services; in non-Orthodox synagogues, many women also wear a tallit. In some Orthodox congregations, only married men wear a tallit.
To put on the tallit, many will first unfolt it and hold in both hands so the ATARAHis facing them. One may see people gathering the tzitzit in their left hand and kissing them when the paragraph from the referring to them is recited.
Before putting on the prayer shawl, it is customary to say the following blessing:
Baruch atah adonai Eloheinu melech ha olam Asher kidishanu b’mitzvotav Vitzivanu l’hitatef b’tzitzit.
“Blessed are you Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe Who has sanctifieed us with your mitzvot And commanded us to wrap ourselves in tzitzit.”
After reciting the blessing, the person will throw the Tallit over his shoulders like a cape and then position it on his shoulders. After it is positioned, then they will bring their hands together in front of their face briefly and cover their head with the Tallit for a moment of private meditation. Then the Tallit is adjusted on the shoulders.
TWO TYPES OF TALLIT (or Talliot)
Tallit katan – The Tallit katan descends from the Sephardic tradition. Some believe Jesus wore this kind of Tallit. It is a large rectangular cloth with a hole in the middle, worn over the head and under the outer garments. They wear it all during their waking hours, never take it off. Many Orthodox Jews wear this type of Tallit to this day.
Tallit Gadol – This is more of a Prayer Shawl that is draped around the shoulders. This type of Tallit is worn around the shoulders only during the times of prayer and while in service at Synagogue. This comes from the Ashkenazi tradition.
TALLIT IN LIFE CYCLES:
BIRTH – Eight days after birth the male child is circumcised, this is called the “BRIS” or BRIT MILAH. As part of the circumcision rite, the father will wrap his baby son in his Tallit for a few moments and prays for his baby. In doing this, the father is symbolically wrapping the baby in the Word of God and the protective covering of “Hashem” (Adonai). The father then announces the name of his son and holds him on his lap throughout the ceremony as a sign that he will guide, protect and love his son. This is a sign that the Name of God (not the father’s name) will live throughout the generations. There is a similar ceremony for baby girls 80 days after birth. They also are dedicated to God.
BAR/BAT MITZVAH– The Tallit is presented to the young girl or boy as they reach the age of 12, the age of manhood or womanhood. The new adult will then read publicly from the Word of God wearing his/her new Tallit. The new adult is now taking on the responsibility of following the Word of God by becoming the son or daughter of the Commandments. The child is now recognized as an adult and is responsible for his or her words and actions in the community.
TALLIT IN MARRIAGE– The Tallit is again used in marriage. It is place on poles and creates a canopy over the couple, calling it the “Chuppah”. The man and woman come together as husband & wife – one flesh – under the protection of God. Marriage represents the completion of the Image of God. Marriage also reflects our walk with Messiah, a foreshadow of Christ and His Bride. When the man & woman bond together in marriage, it is no longer “him” and “her”, it is about them as a couple. As the couple stands under the Tallit, or the Chuppah, they stand together as a three-strand cord with the Lord. This is the beginning of a New Creation, their “oneness” with each other with God. The Lord’s powerful will stands between this New Creation called marriage and the couple must realize the Lord will lead them, guide them and protect them.
TALLIT IN DEATH AN BURIAL – The man or the woman is to be buried with their Tallit only if they spent their lives walking with the Lord. When the Tallit is used in burial, we remember that this is a sign of holiness and sanctification. In life, the wearer of the Tallit is known to be one who is set apart for God.
PRAYER CLOSET – When a person covers himself with this prayer shawl, he shuts out the world.
Matthew 6:5-6 – “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by others. Amen, I tell you, they have their reward to the full! But YOU….when you pray, go into your inner room and when you have shut your door, pray to the Father Who sees you in secret, shall reward you.”
Some of the versions use the words “…..go into your CLOSET….”
We have to realize that in ancient Israel there was no such things as “closets”. In fact, in most houses, they might have had only one room, not an “inner room”. So what did Jesus mean when He said that?
The “inner chamber” is the Tallit. Whenever someone had their Tallits over their heads, the other family members knew enough not to bother them. They knew they were praying. The one wearing the Tallit had “gone into his inner chamber and closed the door”.
Every observant Jew prayed 3 times a day:
Morning Prayer – Shacharit
Afternoon Prayer – Mincha
Evening Prayer – Maariv
Jesus was an observant Jew Who practiced every one of the jewish customs and observed every one of the Feasts.
This morning I was meditating on Jesus, His early morning prayers, which was called the “Shacharit”. “Very early, while it was still night, Yeshua got up, left and went away to a place in the wilderness, and there He was praying.” Mark 1:35
So here Jesus our Lord and our Messiah, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords is praying early in the morning under this “tent”. Not only did He pray in the early mornings, Jesus prayed 3 times a day! Can you imagine the Glory that filled that Tallit? The anointing this piece of cloth carried?
READ: Exodus 33:7-11
Now if the Glory was so heavy upon Moses as He met with the Lord face-to-face under a tent…..so much so that Joshua wouldn’t leave even after the prayer was over…..what was in Jesus’ Tent?
READ:Matthew 9:20-22, Matthew 14:35-36
The people KNEW Jesus was their Messiah. Jesus is the Promised One.
Malachi 3:20: But to you, who fear My Name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will break out leaping like calves released from the stall”.
Every observant Jew knew in this Scripture the Sun of Righteousness refers to their Messiah. Also, every observant Jew knows the “Tzitzit” on the 4 corners of their garments always are called the “Wings”.
Every common person KNEW Jesus is Messiah. Even though the religious elite and the Levitical priesthood never recognized Him….they did. The common people did.
There is still so much more, but it is my goal for you to get a glimpse of this thing we call the “Prayer Shawl”, the Tallit. Get a picture of Jesus wearing this Prayer Shawl around His shoulders and on His head during prayer. Then get a glimpse of the crowds of people clamoring all over Jesus, wanting to just touch this Prayer Shawl, especially the 4 corners of the garment.
Jesus’ Prayer Shawl is available to all of us, in Spirit. We can also come running to Him and beg to touch the “hem of His garment”, His Prayer Shawl. Healing is still in His Wings. We can touch Him….even today.
‘“Adonai spoke to Moses, saying, “ you will also make a basin of bronze with a bronze stand for washing. You are to place it between the Tent of Meeting and the Altar and put water in in it.
Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and their feet there. Whenever they go into the Tent of Meeting or come near to the altar to minister, to present an offering made b fire in smoke to Adonai, they are to wash with water so that they do not die. They are to wash their hands and their feet, so that they do not die. It is to be an eternal statute for them, to him and to his offspring through their generations.” ( Exodus 30:17-21 TLV
Going through the Tabernacle is a progression. This is a progressive walk toward a deeper intimacy with God. This is a time where we prepare to have face-to-face communion with the Living God.
It was here at the bronze laver that the priests washed their hands and feet before entering into and coming out of the holy place. The laver was made from the bronze mirrors of the women and The word “laver” means a bath or wash basin containing water for the purpose of washing. The Jewish priests were commanded to continually wash their hands and feet during tabernacle service.
The ancient Jewish Mikvah came from the Laver. In every Jewish community there was a Mikvah, a place of physical and spiritual cleansing. The Mikvah had to be a place of running or flowing water. Not stagnant. John the Baptist, when he was calling out in the wilderness, “baptizing” people in the Jordan River, in a sense he was calling the people of Israel back to the Laver, back to the place of cleansing. This was to be a time of preparation for the “Kingdom of God is at hand”. Yeshua, Jesus was about to come on the scene and John was to herald His coming in Elijah-like fashion.
Today, most churches practice baptism, through immersion or sprinkling. This was taken from the Jewish Mikvahs. The Jewish people were very aware of their need for a cleansing before they met with their God. They went to their Mikvahs in preparation for any major life event such as their marriage, to end their mourning after a death of a loved one, etc. Women entered the Mikvahs after each menstrual cycle and after the birth of their babies.
“Although the term “baptism” is not used to describe the Jewish rituals, the purification rites in Jewish law and tradition, called t’vilah, have some similarity to baptism, and the two have been linked. The t’vilah is the act of immersion in natural sourced water, called a mikvah. In the Jewish Bible and other Jewish texts, immersion in water for ritual purification was established for restoration to a condition of “ritual purity” in specific circumstances.” (Wikipedia Dictionary)
The laver was placed between the door of the Holy Place and the altar.
(1) It came after the altar (sacrifice first). The appointed priest, as he entered the gate of the outer court, faced the altar, where he made a sacrifice for himself like any other Israelite. Once beyond the altar he was ready to act as a serving priest and so at the laver he prepared himself for the further service of God. He could then minister at the altar or in the Holy Place because he washed at the laver.
The altar always came first for the priest. Salvation and then service. God was approached by way of the blood and the water.
(2) It came before the door (wash before entering). Within the door of the Holy Place were vessels that represented God Himself. No priest dare enter with any trace of uncleanness. “Be holy as I am holy” was commanded to the priests.
(3) It came after leaving the Holy Place (wash before going out). In the outer court everything was bronze. Inside the Holy Place everything was gold. As the priest came out of Gods Presence and back into service he washed at the laver, filled with water for the continual cleansing of the priests as they ministered in the work of the Lord.
The Bronze Laver is a place of:
Forgiveness of sin
Read Zechariah 3 and put yourself in the place of Joshua, the high priest. As a called kingdom of priests, this incredible picture is available to all of us, no matter how long we’ve served the Lord. We have to come to the place of realization that we cannot enter into the fullness of intimacy until we submit ourselves to a cleansing through repentance. None of us have “arrived” yet. We all sin, this is part of us as an imperfect people living in a fallen world. “All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God”, no matter where we are in our walk with the Lord. This life is a journey and none of us have reached our final destination.
The Bronze Laver is a type and shadow of our daily need to continually come to the Lord God Adonai and submit to the washing, the cleansing of our sins. I see this also as a type of “beauty treatments”, similar to what Esther submitted herself to in preparation to meet her king. Just as Esther went through a year of preparation to meet with her King, so we must go through a season of preparation throughout our lives so we can meet the King of Kings.
Here we are, at the Bronze Laver and we’re very conscious that there is nothing, absolutely nothing we can give the Lord. Here we are, and it’s just us. No titles. No responsibilities. No achievements. No pride. No self-exaltation. It’s just “me”…..facing GOD! We suddenly realize we can’t give the Lord anything, nothing at all. It all came from the Lord in the first place, what can we give Him? We can’t do enough good works, we can’t be “good” enough. None of that matters.
And as we gaze into the Laver, we start to notice all of the dirt clinging to us. Imperfection. In light of the Most Perfect God. We are painfully aware at how imperfect we are. Yet the Lord calls us into perfection. (Matthew 5:48) How can that happen? How can we become “perfect” when we see such blatant imperfection in us?
As we go to the Laver in our prayer, we suddenly become acutely conscious of our sinfulness, the filth of our sin. Especially after we’ve been walking with the Lord for many years, if we honestly peer into our reflection in the Bronze Laver, we then began to notice our religious ways and our religious attitudes. None of that pleases the Lord. Religion kills. Only an intimate relationship with the Lord will bring us life and life everlasting. If we’ve been walking with the Lord for many years, we slowly start to believe that there is little sin in us, little that needs repenting of. But after our taking a close look at ourselves, honestly scrutinize our walk, we began to see the pride, possibly even arrogance in us. We become sensitive to the fact that we’ve become harsh and judgmental towards others, especially toward those who we don’t think are “saved”.
“Therefore, since we have these promises, loved ones, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of body and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God”. 2 Corinthians 7:1
Just as with the Altar of Sacrifice, we come to the realization that we can’t skip over this step before we enter into intimacy with the Lord in the Holy Place, the Bridal Chamber. We cannot bypass the purging and the cleansing we need here. We cannot, we must not go to meet our Beloved looking like this. The Lord is waiting for us, waiting for His beloved bride to make herself ready to meet her Beloved One.
As we see our filth, we become acutely aware that we cannot enter into the Holy Place to meet with the Great I AM looking the way we do. We can’t bear it. Our flesh couldn’t bear it. We cannot contain the Glory of God in our filth.
We become aware that we cannot do this cleansing ourselves. It’s too much! How can all of that’s in us be gotten rid of? As we come to the realization of all that’s inside us that displeases our Lord, a sense of futility pervades us. It all seems so hopeless! But then the Lord gently reminds us again of Zechariah 3. Joshua, the high priest did not cleanse himself even though he was covered from head-to-foot in dung. The Lord commanded His angels to wash him! The Lord commanded His angels to gently and non-judgmentally remove all of Joshua’s filthy dung laden garments and wash him, cleanse him from the filth of his sin. Then the Lord commanded His angels to dress Joshua with HIS clothing and crown his head with a new Turban! This is so amazing! Here we are, in a place of deep shame because of the depth of the sin we suddenly realize we’ve been carrying. We thought we may have been clean, but there’s so much filth in us that the filth of our sin overwhelms us. But then, just as we are about to despair, the Lord commands His angels to wash us and dress us! The Lord covers us in such beautiful garments!
The angels take off filthy garments we’re wearing, such as:
Then, as we’re stripped bare of these things, the Lord dresses us with rich beautiful garments such as:
The Lord takes off filth covering us such as:
Greed, which is idolatry.
Then He dresses us with beautiful garments such as:
Bearing one another
Forgiving one another
We are to wear the beauty of the Peace of God, the Shalom. (Colossians 3:5-15)
Because of the beautiful robes that are provided for us, we can now enter in. We are now allowed to enter into the Inner Chamber. But it’s not because of “our” righteousness, it’s because of HIM. We have to put on and wear the King’s Robes, the King’s garments before we can enter in.None of this comes from us, none of this comes from our flesh or our own spirits. All of this comes from God.
All we are called to do is give the Lord our everything: our pain, our sorrow, our unforgiveness. We are to give the Lord our dreams, our hopes, our aspirations, our accomplishments, even our ministry and our very lives. All that we have and hold great value to are just cheap trinkets. Nothing we can do will impress God. All of this is just junk, tarnished, filthy costume jewelry compared to the beauty and the vastness of the Lord God. We are called to just yield ourselves us, give Him everything. All of it belongs to the Lord anyway!
The beautiful robes of righteousness cover our humanity, it covers our frailty. These rich robes even cover our flesh, our sinfulness. They cover the dirt and filth that is still embedded in us and not yet washed or burned off. All of that will come later. We notice that the more often we enter into the Tabernacle, the cleaner, the purer we become. We become more equipped, strengthened with every trip we make into the Holy Place. We gradually become grateful for the Laver, we learn to embrace that place of scrubbing and washing.
What an incredible sense to suddenly realize that we can now go in! We now have the freedom to enter in! If you’ve never experienced the freedom and joy of being washed in the cleansing flow of the Lord, you can. Just yield yourself. Lean into Jesus. Give Him your all and let Him sort out all of the junk.
Tabernacle Prayer is a place of slowly entering into intimacy with the Lord. There is a step-by-step process that we must go through so we can have the ability to meet face-to-face with the Lord of all Creation, the King of the Universe. As we follow this Tabernacle Prayer, Holy Spirit draws us, sifts through us, and prepares us to meet with the King. I keep getting a picture of the book of Esther, all of the processes she had to go through in order to meet with the king. So it is with each and every one of us. Too often in our prayers we barge into the Throne Room of God covered in our “stuff”, the filth of this world. We disrespect the One Who we want to have conversation with. Of course the Lord is our Heavenly Father and we as His children can and should go to Him each and every moment of our lives, no matter where we’ve been or what we’ve done. He is our Father, standing at the window looking for us to come up the hill, just as the father looked for his prodigal son in the Gospels.
But there is a protocol to follow before we can truly enter into the fullness of the Throne Room of God. Our study and prayer through the Tabernacle on Monday nights is bringing us into a fuller understanding of this protocol. As we follow these steps, we find our hearts, souls and spirits are being prepared. No longer do we find ourselves barging in. We are becoming more sensitive to the vastness and the magnificence of Who God is. As we follow these steps, we find ourselves being molded, changed, conformed to HIS image and not to the world or even the “church” image of what we may believe a Christian should look and act like.
The Outer Court, as with Esther, is a place of preparation. This is a place where we must learn to submit ourselves to the Lord’s “beauty treatments”. Adonai wants us purified, cleansed, changed from the inside out and dressed in HIS robes of righteousness, not our own “clothing” of works.
The Tabernacle Prayer will make you much more sensitive to the all that had to be done so you can have the ability to enter into HIS Presence. Tabernacle Prayer will open your eyes even more fully to the Word of God. Nuances of Scripture will suddenly take on a greater meaning as you pray through the Tabernacle continually.
The Altar of Sacrifice –
Or the Brazen Altar is a place of redemption, a place of salvation. Suddenly our senses are assaulted with the cost of what was paid for the invitation to invite us in. We cannot go any further until we come to the realization that we have permission to be here only through the Blood. We want to turn our heads away and not look at this violently bloody place, but as we gaze upon it, we suddenly see the LOVE; the vastness of the Mighty Love Adonai has for each of us. Adonai gave His all for us. All HE asks of us is to say yes. Yeshua Jesus loves us so much that He willingly went to the Cross. Yeshua became that Sacrificial Lamb for once and for all……for me!! For you!!
We can go no further except through the Cross. We can’t go around it. We can’t sidestep it. We have to go through it. There is no other way. There is no other door. We can’t make it pretty. We can’t make it tidy. We have to receive the Blood. We have to receive the entire Price that was paid for us. Otherwise we are never able to enter in.
“The Living Bread I give you is My Body, which I will offer as sacrifice….” John 6:51B TPT
Jesus is our Sacrificial Lamb. Over 2,000 years ago it had to be only the “kohanim”, the Levitical Priests who could put this Lamb to death. It was the priests who stirred up the crowds to shout out to Pontius Pilate: “His blood be upon us and upon our children!” (Matthew 27:25) In a sense, they all, as we have to, receive the Blood of Jesus our Sacrificial Lamb as the price for the penalty of our sins – though at the time they didn’t even know what they were saying. It had to be only the priests who had the authority to accuse and condemn Yeshua Jesus to death; this was part of their priestly function in their sacrifice of the Lamb. And, the Lamb’s Blood had to be sprinkled upon the people. They had to receive His Blood; we have to receive the Sacrificial Lamb’s Blood for the propitiation of our sin. Their own condemnation was put upon Jesus, theirs and our Sacrificial Lamb.
Here at the Altar we are set free.
We can sing our praises to Adonai because of what He has done for us. How HE has set us free, healed us from our many sins and raised us up! But it is here we suddenly take in the full measure of that He did for us. We stand aghast! The price HE paid was not a cheap “I grant you freedom” and You strike the gavel, costing You nothing. This price was so much more. This price cost You great suffering. This price cost You death, the cruelest death ever known. You, the Innocent One, through Your death declared us innocent, though we are the guilty ones. And, in order for us to receive this Price, the full measure of this Price we must embrace the Cross. We have to recognize the Grace offered to us is not cheap. It has a price and the price was paid 2,000 years ago. We have to reconcile ourselves to the fact that in order to receive the Prize, we must embrace the Cross.
As we embrace the Cross, we suddenly see and begin to recognize the cost for our freedom. The price that was paid so that we can be free. Jesus gave His all so that we can receive all.
The Altar is a Continual Place
Going to this Altar is a continual service. It’s not just a one-time “salvation” and you’re done with it.
“The fire on the Altar is to be kept burning on it, it must not go out….” Leviticus 6:5
We are to go to this Altar continually. Daily.
This is the largest Altar in the Tabernacle. This is the only place where we “give” something. There are 5 different offerings on this Altar, it’s not just the Sacrificial Lamb. We are commanded to give 5 different offerings:
Consecration of self
Our things, our “stuff”
This Altar is a place of unburdening.
I hear the Lord gently whisper to us:
“Lay your burden down…”
What is burdening us?
Lay your burdens down. All that which weighs you down. The Lord wants YOU, not your “stuff”. The Lord’s identity is in us, not in our titles, our responsibilities, our roles as parents, spouses, or the type of work we do. Even the talents or skills we have is not our identity.
We have to come to terms with the question:
Who ARE we?
The Lord wants us to see ourselves as how HE sees us, not as how we perceive ourselves. The Lord God Adonai loves us to the very core of our beings. The Lord God Adonai loves our uniqueness, not because of what we do. He loves us because of who we are. God’s Love runs deep, much deeper than what any man, woman or child can touch. God’s love runs right into the very core of who we are. We don’t have to perform. We don’t have to self-discipline. We don’t have to do anything to earn God’s love. Because we can’t earn it. God’s Love is always there. The Lord is always for us, never against us.
Lay your “stuff” down. Just as we are born naked and not having anything, we can only go to meet with our Lord face-to-face with nothing, naked and empty handed. It is here where we suddenly discovered the Lord is not impressed with all of our accomplishments, all of our good works. The Lord is also not at all disgusted or repelled by our many sins. Yet, no matter what we’re carrying…..no matter if it’s good or bad, we must learn to unpack ourselves. We must learn to lay all of our burdens down. No matter what they are, or what they look like.
Over 20 years ago as I was praying, I was taken up into an open vision. I was suddenly on the outskirts of the Courts of Heaven, in the Throne Room of God. I saw HIM…..so Majestic…..so Magnificent…..so incredibly awesome! HE was seated on the Throne and the 24 elders were seated around HIM. HE was so incredibly magnificent I couldn’t even say His Name! Suddenly HE turned His head and saw me. HE stared fixedly at my face. I was awestruck. He noticed me! He sees me! This was more incredible than an earthly king, or president or well-known celebrity who suddenly takes notice of someone. HE IS THE KING OF KINGS!!! HE IS LORD OF LORDS!! And…..HE sees me! Then HE lifted up His arm, pointed His finger right at me. Slowly He motioned to me; He beckoned me to come closer to Him. Even to come and sit on the Throne with Him. W-O-W!!!! I was astounded! An overwhelming desire came over me. I so wanted to be with Him, even to sit with HIM!!! So, I began to run toward HIM with all my might.
But as I started to run, hands stopped me. Voices told me I couldn’t go to HIM looking like I did. I looked down and saw I was covered in filth. Mud and dirt were all over my clothes, all over me. Not only that, I was carrying bags and bags and bags. I had huge backpacks on my back and all were weighing me down. They all were filled with cheap trinkets, but until that moment I considered them to be my treasures. I was ashamed at how filthy dirty I was, also how burdened down I was with my junk. Then…..I suddenly realized all of these filthy dirty bags and backpacks that I considered my “treasures” were not my sin, they were my GOOD WORKS!! What could I give Him? All of that is just trash. I’ve done a lot of great things in ministry, and I have to say I’m proud of my accomplishments. But all of that is just trash. I can’t present them, any of them to HIM Who I couldn’t even say His Name.
I have to leave that all at the Altar. ALL of it. I can’t take any of that into the Inner Chamber. I’m not allowed to take any of that into the Courts of Heaven. I can’t take my title, I can’t take my ministry, I can’t take any of my accomplishments. All of that has to stay here at this burning Altar. Some of that may still be waiting for me after I return, but I cannot take any of it in. Some of it might even have to go through the purging fire and be refined. But I have to let it go. I have to let it all go.
At this Burning Altar we all have to let go of our stuff. We have to let go of our past, our sin, our pain, our suffering, and also our accomplishments, our pride…..everything! At this Altar we have to learn to unpack ourselves, hold on to nothing.
The Altar of Sacrifice is also a place of great healing
We have to come to terms with the fact that there is a huge flow of healing that takes place at this Altar. There is healing throughout the Tabernacle, but most of the healing begins here. As we embrace the Cross and learn to lay down all of our stuff, all of our everything, then and only then is Holy Spirit allowed to come in with His great healing. Where there is pain in our hearts, where there is unforgiveness in our hearts, where there is even pride in our hearts, there is no room for healing. In the process of our letting go and emptying ourselves at this Altar, then Holy Spirit is finally able to enter in and bring a great depth of healing into us. This isn’t just healing of our broken hearts. This is also great healing of our broken bodies. Much of the time sickness is just an outward manifestation of what’s going on inside us.
So, I encourage you: go to the Altar today. Unburden yourself. Surrender yourself completely to Jesus. Then take the Blood that flows freely at this Altar and receive your healing today.
The Altar of Sacrifice is the largest altar in the entire Tabernacle. Every other altar can fit inside. There was a continual fire on this Altar that was initially started by the Lord God Adonai, but the priests are responsible to keep the fire going. So it is with us. When we come to the Lord, when we fully surrender ourselves to the Lord, His Fire is ignited inside us. But it is up to us to keep the fire continually going. (Leviticus 6:6). The position of the Altar of Sacrifice must be noted, it is the first piece of furniture, the first altar that is just inside the door. This reflects the beginning of our walk with the Lord, but it also is a place where we must go continually, even daily.
There are five different offerings on this Altar:
Consecration of self
Consecration of our “things”
This is the largest altar in the Tabernacle, the only place where we “give” something or “do” something.
There are 5 different offerings on this Altar, not just the Sacrificial Lamb.
At this Altar, I hear the Holy Spirit gently whisper this to us:
“Lay your burdens down”.
What IS burdening us?
Lay everything down, all that which weighs us down. The LORD wants us. The LORD’s identity is in us, not in our titles, our responsibilities, our roles as parent, spouse, type of work we do or the talents we possess.
Who ARE we?
The LORD wants us to see ourselves as HE sees us. HE loves us to the very core of our beings. HE loves our uniqueness, not because what we do, but because of who we are. GOD’s love runs right into the very core of who we are. We don’t have to perform. We don’t have to do anything in order to “earn” GOD’s love. HIS Love is always there. Always for us, never against us.
From Kevin Connor – Tabernacle of Moses
The ancient Hebrew word for ALTAR has 2 meanings:
Lifted up, high,ascending
Place of slaughter
Place of sacrifice
From the root word Zabach (zaw-bakh) which means to kill, to slaughter.
The Sacrificial System
In pre-Israeli and Israeli days, whenever a covenant was made between 2 parties an animal (or something) was slaughtered and the 2 parties sat down to share a meal from it.
Today we receive Jesus’ sacrificial death on the Cross and we take Communion as part of our covenant-keeping promise.
God commanded the stones on this Altar be undressed (or uncut) stones because the human working will defile it.
We had nothing to do with Jesus’ death on the Cross. Jesus was our “uncut Stone”, as well as our Sacrifice. I Kings 18:31.
Anointing of the Altar
Exodus 30:28-29, 40:10
This type of anointing is a type of CONSECRATION.
CONSECRATION: To make or declare something sacred, dedicate formally to a religious or Divine purpose.
I Corinthians 6:11
I Peter 1:14-16
IMPORTANT NUMBERS AT THE ALTAR OF SACRIFICE
Two specifics numbers are connected with the Altar of Sacrifice.
It was to be 5 cubits square and 3 cubits high.
3 cubits speak of the Godhead, the Trinity. Also, we are created in the image of God, therefore we also are “triune” or tri-part beings. We identify with God’s Trinity through our “triuneness”.
5 cubits width & length – 5 speaks of God’s Grace. In fact, the number 5 is prominent throughout the Tabernacle. The whole Tabernacle concept is built out of God’s Grace to fallen man.
Bronze is an alloy metal, a mixing of 2 parts. Copper is mixed with another material to create the bronze. It could be copper and zinc, or copper and another metal.
Bronze is mostly copper, but the other elements added to it make it harder. The invention of bronze dates back to 3500 years. It could have possibly been a newer metal the Israelites learned from the Egyptians, who learned it from the Sumerians.
There was no bottom or base to the Altar of Sacrifice, just a grate. That way the ashes could fall through to the ground and easily raked up.
FIRE ON THE ALTAR.
The fire must be continual – the priest’s duty was to never allow the fire to go out. Leviticus 6:5-6.
God’s Holy Nature
Fire is the way to remove sin – Hebrews 12:29 (God is an all-consuming fire).
Fire is used for purification – Numbers 31:21-23
Fire is used to reveal.
Exodus 3:3 (Burning Bush)
Exodus 19:18 (people declare obedience)
Fire is used to transfigures.
Malachi 3:2-3 (Refiner’s fire)
II Corinthians 3:18
God LIT (started) the Fire – Leviticus 9:24
The fire was originally sovereignly lit, but now we are commissioned and are responsible to keep the fire going.
The Fire fell supernaturally.
II Samuel 24
II Chronicles 7:1-3
I Kings 18:38-39
What was the Fire for?
Consume the Sacrifice
Reconciliation to God
Paying the price for our sins
Glory of God manifested
The Altar of Sacrifice was the largest altar in the Tabernacle. Continual fire was to be on this Altar, it must never go out.
The Altar was a place of ugliness
Ugliness of sin
Ugliness of shame
The Altar of Sacrifice was in the must public place in all of the Tabernacle
It was right inside the front door
Our eyes and our senses are accosted by this sight:
The cries of the innocent lambs as they are being slaughtered.
The sight of their blood flowing.
The lambs were “our” lambs. The ones we let into our homes and our children played with.
The first thing we see is what the cost is for inviting us in. We cannot go any further until we come to the realization we have permission to come into this place, but only through the blood. It’s only the blood that gives us permission to have face-to-face encounters with the Eternal Living God. It’s only the blood that can pay the price for our sins. But then we see that our beloved dear Jesus willingly poured out HIS Blood because of the LOVE, the vast amount of love He has for us. For each one of us. HE gave His all to us. And all we have to do is say “yes” and accept it. Jesus loves us so much that He willingly went to the Cross. HE became that Sacrificial Lamb for once and for all…..for me! For you! We can go no further, except through the Cross.
our eyes are immediately assaulted by the sacrifice, the ugly, bloody picture of sacrifice. This is not a place of beauty, there is no beauty at this altar. The picture is gruesome, it’s ghastly. Blood is continually running from this altar. Most of us would want to turn our heads, avert our eyes, look away from this scene of horror. We would prefer not to think about the Price that was paid so we can enter in. We want to get away from this, just as we would prefer to skip over the chapters describing Jesus’ crucifixion in the Gospels. We don’t want to dwell on it. We would prefer to concentrate on the pretty things – such as God’s love for us, God strengthens and empowers us. We would prefer to see the results, not the process of how it came to us. But if we don’t truly get a revelation of this gruesome altar, we will never know or understand the depth of God’s love for us.
Again and again, as we daily revisit this place, this Altar of Sacrifice we are continually reminded of the price Jesus paid for us. This was the cost of our salvation. Jesus gave His all so that He can be with us. There was nothing, absolutely nothing Jesus held back from us. Oh the Price Jesus paid! Who am I to hold anything back from Him?
Then it suddenly dawns on us, we realize – that we must go through the Altar of Sacrifice, not around it. Never around it. We have to be like “firewalkers”. We must walk through the pain, the blood and the gore. Jesus did all of this…..for me! For you! We can’t even begin to understand this, unable to wrap our minds around it. This is too much. But as we walk through the Altar of Sacrifice, all of the junk, all of the crud that clings to us begins to burn off us. We are now being set free! We now learn to praise Him for the Blood. We no longer see the old hymns about the Blood as some outdated Pentecostal songs, these songs become us. The Blood that Jesus shed for each one of us. The Blood that was shed for me! And….we praise Him because we didn’t have to “do” anything except accept Him, accept His Blood! Oh dear sweet Jesus. You gave up Your crown and Your throne. You came to earth to be mocked, ridiculed, interrogated, and beaten. Then You were crucified. All just so we can LIVE! All that so we may SEE! I sing my praises to You because of what You’ve done for me. How You set me free, healed me and cleansed me and raised me up. Here I suddenly take in the full measure of what You’ve done. The price You paid! What it cost You to set me free! I stand aghast. The price You paid was not a cheap “I grant you freedom” and You strike the gavel declaring my innocence, costing You nothing. The price was so much more! The price cost You suffering. The price cost You death; the cruelest kind of death ever known. Yet You are innocent! Through Your death You declare me, the guilty one “innocent” – though I am guilty. In order for me to receive the price, fullness of price I must embrace the Cross. I have to recognize that the Grace offered to me is not cheap. The Grace has a price and the price was paid 2,000 years ago. I’m so unable to pay this price. But I must embrace the price that was paid for me. I will never understand Your love for me until I understand the Altar of Sacrifice.
Until I understand the Cross.
This was a place of sacrifice
Five offerings were presented on this Altar:
Burnt – wholly consecrated to Father’s Will (Leviticus 1:5-7)
Meal – Perfection through suffering (Leviticus 2:8-9)
Peace – Reconciliation in ALL relationships (Leviticus 3:5)
Sin – Deals with the nature (root) of sin (Leviticus 4:10)
Trespass – Acts of sin against God and man (Leviticus 5:10)
Even though there is absolutely nothing we can do to win the Lord’s love for us, we are still required to pour out all that we have. We offer the Lord our best: our tithes, our offerings, and especially our hearts and our very lives. At this Altar of Sacrifice, this is the only place where we are required to give. This is a place where we give not just our best, but also our “worst”. What are we holding on to? We give the Lord all of that:
We begin to see ourselves as a set-apart people, holy and pleasing to God.
This is a place of unburdening.
We lay our burdens at the Altar and as we do this, slow realization begins to set in: we are now free! We’ve been set free! No longer do we have to carry around or on us. Heavy burdens such as family or work responsibilities, sickness, pain, sins, failings and shortcomings that we had experienced in the past are all taken from our shoulders, our backs and laid here at this Altar. Even our shame and regrets: Regrets of bad decisions. Abuse, name-calling, etc. Hatred. Unforgiveness. All of these burdens are laid at the Altar. As we let them go, we are set free!
This is a place where we lay down all our junk here at the Altar. We unburden ourselves from all of the crud of this world that is now clinging to us. We lay down our hurts, our pain, our unfulfilled dreams. We lay down our unforgiveness, our bitterness, our anger. We also lay down our accomplishments, our responsibilities, even our titles. This is a place where we are no longer called “Reverend, Senator, Governor, or even Mr. or Mrs”. We lay down our roles as managers, CEOs, directors, doctors, lawyers, nurses, office workers, blue collar workers, even husbands, wives, parents. We can only come to this place alone, as ourselves. The Lord isn’t impressed with our accomplishments. The Lord doesn’t want us to “work” for Him. He wants our hearts. He wants us.
One morning, as I was praying I had a vision: I was in the Throne Room of the Great I AM. The One Who is so holy, so magnificent, so fully of glory that I couldn’t even say His name! All I could do was just stare. Suddenly HE turned His head and looked right at me. HE then stretched out HIS arm, pointed at me and beckoned me to come. I was astounded! Who? ME??? I was so amazed. But then I desperately wanted to go to HIM. It seemed like nothing could stop me! I started to run to HIM as fast as I could go. But then hands stopped me. I was told I could not go to HIM looking like this. I needed a cleansing. I needed to let go. I looked down and saw that I looked like a “shopping bag lady”. My body and my clothes were covered with filth. I was carrying bags and bags of junk: backpacks, shopping bags, so much stuff! I was told I had to let them go. But they were my treasures! They were my accomplishments! They were my good works! I wanted to give them to HIM, the Great I AM! But I suddenly realized they were just stinky junk. I suddenly realized there was absolutely nothing that I could give HIM, nothing! All HE wants is me. All HE wants is my heart.
He whom the Son has set free is free indeed!
PLACE OF HEALING
This is a place of not just salvation, but also a place of healing, deliverance, redemption. Because Jesus gave His all, we are now able to embrace all of HIM. We are now able to go to this place to re
The curtain was torn. The curtain has now been torn from top to bottom. We ALL now free access to the Holy of Holies!
No holding back
No more forbidding anyone from entering in.
“If then God gave the same Gift to them (the Gentiles) as He gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who am I to stand in Christ’s way?” Acts 11:17
Man no longer has the choice of who’s capable of entering into the Holy of Holies face-to-face encounters with the Living God. The Blood of Jesus flowed down on top of the Mercy Seat and tore the curtain. From then on, all Gentiles were included. I am included! The Blood is for us! The Blood was poured out for each one of us! The Blood does not and will never reject us.
We are part of the “ALL”! Little ole me! Little ole you! Jesus’ Blood bought me. Jesus’ Blood bought you.
The Blood is on the doorposts of our houses – the doorposts of the houses of our hearts and our souls.
The Death Angel will not come near us because the blood of the Eternal Sacrificial Lamb is on our doorposts.
No death. No sickness.
HIS Blood washes me clean.
HIS Blood heals me!
HIS Blood saves me.
This is a gruesome bloody place, but this also is a place of Restoration. A Place of Healing. A Place of my knowing who I am in Christ.
What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!
Ohhh precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow!
No other fount I know
Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!
I find it so fascinating that the Lord provides a way out of His own wrath! He provided His own Son to suffer the Wrath that was meant for us, that was meant for me.
What is wrath?
Wrath: Anger. Intense negative emotion. It involves a strong uncomfortable and hostil response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit – I fix my eyes on HIM. I focus on HIM. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, I died. I died to my flesh. I died to my sin. My life is now hidden in Christ. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, I can now come in. I am accepted in the Beloved.
I hear the Lord calling us to come into the Tabernacle and bring with us all of our unanswered questions, all of our shortcomings, all of our failures, all of our pain.
Here we are, standing at the Altar of Sacrifice and we are called to unburden ourselves. We are to take off all of our filty dirty shopping bags, all of our grimy backpacks. All filled with junk: our sins, our wrongdoings, our fleshly desires. But also in these bags are included our past accomplishments, all of our ministries, all of our hopes, our dreams, our treasures. All of that we have to leave at this Altar. Everything. We have to let them go.
But then, what is so amazing: when we come back from the Holy of Holies, we find all of our treasures are still there at the Altar of Sacrifice waiting for us. But this time they’re different. They’re beautiful, they’re shiny, they sparkle. What’s different about them? They’ve been passed through the Fire!!
All of the filth, the dirt, the junk of selfishness, pride and fleshly desires have been burned off. Even our claims to ownership has all been burned off. They never belonged to us in the first place. All of it, every bit of it belongs to God. All of it.
Make a courtyard for the tabernacle. The south side shall be a hundred cubits long and is to have curtains of finely twisted linen, with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases and with silver hooks and bands on the posts. The north side shall also be a hundred cubits long and is to have curtains, with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases and with silver hooks and bands on the posts.
“The west end of the courtyard shall be fifty cubits wide and have curtains, with ten posts and ten bases. On the east end, toward the sunrise, the courtyard shall also be fifty cubits wide. Curtains fifteen cubits long are to be on one side of the entrance, with three posts and three bases, and curtains fifteen cubits long are to be on the other side, with three posts and three bases.” (Exodus 27:9-15, NIV)
“This translates to an area 75 feet wide by 150 feet long. The tabernacle, including the courtyard fence and all the other elements, could be packed and easily moved when the Jews traveled from place to place. The fence set the holy ground of the tabernacle apart from the rest of the camp. No one could casually approach the holy place or wander into the courtyard.
Linen was a valuable cloth made from the flax plant, widely cultivated in Egypt. Workers stripped long, thin fibers from inside the stems of the plant, spun them into thread, then wove the thread into fabric on looms. Because of the intense labor involved, linen was mostly worn by rich people. This fabric was so delicate; it could be pulled through a man’s signet ring. Egyptians bleached linen or dyed it bright colors. Linen was also used in narrow strips to wrap mummies.
The linen of the courtyard fence was white. Various commentaries note the contrast between the dust of the wilderness and the striking white linen wall wrapping the grounds of the tabernacle, the meeting place with God. This fence foreshadowed a much later event in Israel when a linen shroud was wrapped around the crucified corpse of Jesus Christ, who is sometimes called the “perfect tabernacle.” Jack Zavada
The fenced-in Tabernacle grounds at 75 feet by 150 feet are about the size of a city lot. The white linen was about 300 feet long by 7.5 feet high. It surrounded the Outer Court, where all people had access. The greater number actions of praise and worship took place within the Outer Court. Yet this is the lowest stage of spiritual communion, yet it stands for whatever was the most fundamental and most important. From this place the Altar of Sacrifice (redemption) and the Brazen Altar (repentance) were widely visible and was the absolute center of the sacrificial system.
“Blessed is the one You choose and bring near to dwell in Your courts! We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your House – Your holy temple”. Psalm 65:4
“For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else”. Psalm 84:11
As we enter into the Outer Court through the Gate of the Tabernacle, we see the fence from the inside, the white linen fence. When I meditated on this, I suddenly had a flash. The fence is there to close us in, not keep us out. There is a gate to the Tabernacle and everyone is welcome to come in.
The fence is a type and shadow of the Tallit, the Jewish prayer shawl. We all know but we don’t think about is the fact that Jesus wore a tallit. Just like any good Jew, Jesus wore His tallit all of the time as a reminder of living a lifestyle of prayer, and His tzitzit, the fringes hung out just as we see how orthodox and Hassidic Jews wear their tallits today. We are familiar with what happened to the woman with the issue of blood in Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34 and Luke 8:43-48. This woman had the audacity to reach through the pressing crowd and grab onto the fringe of Jesus’ Tallit, the tzitzit of His Tallit so she can be healed! But this woman wasn’t the only person who touched the tzitzit of Jesus’ tallit for healing. Many did this, read Matthew 14:34-36, Mark 6:56.
In Mosaic law, the Lord instructed His people regarding the corners of their garments, they were instructed to make fringes or tassels to hang from the corners of their garments (Numbers 15:37-41). It doesn’t make sense to us because of our own culture, how we wear our clothes today. Our garments no longer have “corners” like the outer cloaks of the ancient Middle Eastern people. They wore as an outer garment a large piece of cloth with a hole in the middle for their heads. After putting it on they would tie it around their waist with a piece of twine, cloth or leather. The ancient Middle Eastern people would mark the corners of their outer garments as part of their identity. The Lord, when He called the children of Israel to be His own, called them to place tassels on the corners of their outer garments to mark them as His own people. The children of Israel were to take on the LORD’S identity from now on. No longer were they to identify themselves as slaves of the Egyptians, they are now entering into their own destiny as a kingdom of priests, serving the Great I AM. (Exodus 19:6)
Remember the story of Ruth? In Ruth 3:9, this woman asked Boaz to “extend the borders of his garment and cover her”. What Ruth was asking of Boaz was she wanted to be one of his people, one of God’s people. She was requesting for herself to be identified with him.
In Ezekiel 16:8 the Lord used a word picture of spreading His garment over His people to cover their nakedness. He was reclaiming His people.
When David cut off the corner of Saul’s garment in I Samuel 24:5, what he did was cut off one of the fringes from Saul’s Tallit. Today we might wonder why David’s heart was pierced. We think, “big deal! He just cut off a piece of Saul’s robe. What’s so terrible about that?” We don’t understand that what David did was that he defaced Saul’s identity and his divinely authorized kingship.
Today, because they no longer wear long robes with 4 corners, over the years the Tallit was constructed. This prayer shawl with its fringes is a symbol of their covenant with the Lord. The Lord has extended His garment to cover them / cover us with His grace.
The Prayer Shawl is symbolic of the Tabernacle.
Whenever the prayer shawl is properly used, the face is covered. This is symbolic of being closed in with the Lord. We wear the prayer shawl to “close us in” away from the distractions of the world so we can spend that time communing with the Great I AM.
Around the Tabernacle was a long white linen fence. The fence around the Tabernacle was a type of Tallit. The fence was not there to keep out. The fence was there to keep us in. The linen fence of course couldn’t keep anyone or anything out. It was made of linen fabric and that fabric could easily tear if someone wanted to get in badly enough. Linen is an expensively made delicate fabric
The Lord wants to cover us with His presence.
Genesis 3:8-11 relates how Adam & Eve suddenly realized they were naked, and they became ashamed and hid from the Lord. The reason why they suddenly realized they were naked was because of their sin they lost the covering of God’s Presence. Without His covering, they were naked! Up to that point, Adam & Eve were “covered” by the Lord’s Tallit. Then, as we know the Lord slaughtered animals to cover them. They only can be “covered” through the shedding of innocent blood.
This is a picture of the Tabernacle. The entire Tabernacle: Outer Court and Inner Court are surrounded by the white linen fence. That is a picture of the Lord’s covering. In a sense, the fence is a shadow of the covering of the Lord’s Presence as what Adam & Eve had before they sinned. Just inside the Gate there is the Altar of Sacrifice, where the shedding of innocent blood was performed daily. That, as we know is a type & shadow of the price Jesus paid on the cross at Calvary. As we enter into the Lord’s covering, we cannot go any further until we see the Cross. We must accept the Cross and the price Jesus paid so that we can enter in.
WHAT THE TALLIT, THE FENCE DOES FOR US:
The Tallit, the fence covers our eyes so we won’t be distracted by the world (Psalm 101:3).
The Tallit, the fence covers us, protects us from prying eyes as we enter into the Lord’s Presence.
The Tallit, the fence protects at that moment from caring about other’s opinions of us.
The Tallit, the fence protects us from physical harm or danger (Psalm 91).
The Tallit, the fence protects us from exposure to the world and feeling like we are at another’s mercy.
As we remain in the center of the Lord’s will, we are safe. The safest place we can be, whether we are in the midst of war, or in a far-off jungle, whether we live in a dangerous neighborhood, or whether we live in prosperity in a nice middle class home; the safest place we can be in right in the center of God’s will. It doesn’t matter where we are. We can be confident of the Lord’s protection. We can rest in the Lord, “like a weaned child resting against his mother” (Psalm 131:2).
Right now, if you’re in a place of victory, go in and shut the door. Go into the Tabernacle and have a “praise party”. Go in and rejoice with the Lover of your soul. Sing and dance wildly! The Lord loves it when you crazily and loudly praise Him. Cut loose and praise the One Who created you and gives you victory!
Right now, if you are in a place of confusion or distress, if your spirit is restless and unsettled and you don’t know where to go or who to turn to, I encourage you to go inside the Tabernacle. Go inside and gaze at the linen fence. The Lord is here. Go in, shut the door. Put your head in the Lord’s lap and weep, cry out and travail. You are safe in this place. You have the Lord’s permission to emote. Shut yourself in. Turn off the TV, computer, cell phones. Shut out all external noises and go in.
Right, if you’re in the doldrums, just barely living your everyday life, go into the Tabernacle. Shut the door. Listen for His voice. The Lord wants to speak to you. The Lord wants to share His secrets with you. Go in and sit before your Lord and your God. Wrap your prayer shawl around your face, remove all distractions, go in and meet the Lover of your soul.