Tabernacle Prayer – ALTAR OF SACRIFICE

TABERNACLE PRAYER

Altar of Sacrifice – Consecration

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:

  1. Consecration of self
  2. Consecration of our “things”
  3. Reconciliation
  4. Forgiveness
  5. Cleansing

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?

  • Sin
  • Responsibilities
  • Unkept promises
  • Family
  • Ministry

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

MIZBEACH (miz–bay-akh)

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
  • Leviticus 8:10-11

This type of anointing is a type of CONSECRATION.

CONSECRATION:  To make or declare something sacred, dedicate formally to a religious or Divine purpose.

  • Leviticus 20:7
  • Joshua 3:5
  • 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

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)
  • Isaiah 6:4-6
  • Ezekiel 1:4

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.

  1. Romans 12:1-2
  2. Ephesians 5:1
  3. Leviticus 1:9

The Fire fell supernaturally.

  • Leviticus 9:22-24
  • 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:

  1. Burnt – wholly consecrated to Father’s Will (Leviticus 1:5-7)
  2. Meal – Perfection through suffering (Leviticus 2:8-9)
  3. Peace – Reconciliation in ALL relationships (Leviticus 3:5)
  4. Sin – Deals with the nature (root) of sin (Leviticus 4:10)
  5. 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:

  • Our sin
  • Our iniquity
  • Our pain
  • Our forgiveness
  • Our consecration

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 restrictions
  • 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.

  • Exodus 12:13
  • Matthew 27:50-54

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!

 

Romans 5:9

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.

Colossians 3:2-3

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.

And all of it had to pass through the Fire.

 

Going through the Fence

TABERNACLE PRAYER

Into the Outer Court Fence

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.

He’s waiting for you!

TABERNACLE PRAYER – Cohanim or Priesthood

Tabernacle Prayer – INSIDE THE GATE

When I was in Israel 11 years ago, I found this wonderful book called “A House of Prayer For All Nations” by Rabbi Chaim Richman, who runs the Temple Institute. He’s not a believer in Jesus, in fact he’s an orthodox Jewish leader.  One of the things he wrote in this book, which captured my heart:  “For the Jew, nearness to God is the truest, the highest, the only conception of what ‘goodness’ really is.  Without this aspect to his life, without this Godly relationship which uplifts his physical existence and imbues his life with a sense of connection to the Divine, he feels himself to be….devoid of that which makes him into a human being.”

As we’ve been praying through the Tabernacle, I found in this book a small snapshot of the daily morning Temple ritual, especially at daybreak.  According to Rabbi Richman, at every daybreak as the Levites would open the gates (which always faced east), the p

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riests would blow their trumpets and “….the Levitical choir stood atop the platform located in the Outer Court facing the outer altar…..and sang the song for that particular day…..”  Each day a different psalm was sung and during the holy days there were other more specific psalms sung.  The order of the daily songs has a deep significance, and there is a mystical connection which each song had for the particular day it was sung.  Although the Levites sang upon many occasions in the Holy Temple, one of their most important and basic musical tasks was the daily song. Each day, the Levite choir stood atop the platform located in the Court of Israel facing the outer altar, just inside the Nikanor Gates, and sung a special song for that particular day. On the Festivals and New Moon, different songs were sung. All of these songs, with their instrumental arrangements, were performed while the morning and evening wine libations were poured out on the altar by the officiating priests. Thus the Levites accompanied the Divine service of the priests with a service of their own. They complimented each other; in many ways, the Levitical songs were as important a Temple function as the priestly service of the sacrifices itself, for the one could not function without the other. Each day, during the wine libation, the overseer of the choir stood atop one of the horns of the altar and signaled to the Levites “with a kerchief in his hand” to begin their song. At three points in their song, they would pause, when the priests would sound the silver trumpets and all the people in the court prostrated themselves before the Presence of G-d.  The order of the daily songs have a deep significance, and there is a mystical connection which each song had for the particular day it was sung. The Oral Tradition has preserved the listing of the Levitical songs that were sung each day in the Holy Temple, and various commentators and sages have explained some of the connections which can be seen between these songs and the days of the week..” (Based on Tamid 7:4)

Following is the daily psalm for each day:  

  1. Sunday – Psalm 24 (“The earth is the Lords & fulness thereof”…..the first day of creation)
  2. Monday – Psalm 48 (“Great is the Lord, greatly to be praised in the city of our God… ” this day when the waters were divided, and land appeared)
  3. Tuesday – Psalm 82 (“God stands in the congregation of the mighty…..”  upon this land judges stand to render decisions)
  4. Wednesday Psalm 94 (“Oh Lord God to whom vengeance belongs….” this was the day when sun & moon were created)
  5. Thursday – Psalm 81 (“Sing aloud unto God our strength….” living createures were created on this day)
  6. Friday – Psalm 93 (“The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty…..” man was created on this day)
  7. Saturday (Shabbat) – Psalm 92  (” Psalm or Song for the Sabbath Day”….the day which complete Sabbath tranquility, for everlasting life)

Can you imagine living in Jerusalem during that time, see the doors of the temple suddenly opened wide at sunrise, the sun hitting the gold walls inside the temple?  There would be a blazing light of Glory that blasted over the city.  Then the sound of hundreds of shofars announcing the beginning of the new day, followed by the Levitical choir proclaiming their praises to God.  This is the beginning of a new day!  What an incredible sight and sound!

When I visited the Temple Institute, I was struck by all of the Temple paintings that hung on their walls.  I was taken aback because I saw all of that as a foreshadowing when our Messiah returns again, His feet touching the Temple Mount in victory and in glory!  What an amazing powerful picture!

Today as we pray using the Tabernacle or Temple format of prayer, let’s close our eyes, enter through the Gates with a song of thanksgiving and praise.  Let’s picture that Glorious Day when our Messiah will return once again.  Can you hear the thousands of trumpets heralding Jesus’ arrival?

This morning as I was seeing that picture, I Peter 2:9 came to my thoughts:
“But you are a chosen people, a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praise of the One Who called you out of darness into Hi marvelous light”.

I looked up the Scripture and found other cross-references:

Exodus 19:6
“So as for you, you will be to Me a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS and a holy nation….”

Revelation 1:6
“….and made us a KINGDOM, PRIESTS to his God and Father – to Him be glory and pwoer forever!  Amen!”

We all today as, we’ve fully surrendered ourselves to the Lord, we’ve been born again into a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS!  Can you imagine yourself part of that powerful holy Levitical choir blowing your trumpets at daybreak, singing praises to the One Who created you?  I believe this is a small picture of eternity in heaven.  What an incredible sound!  What a joyous sound!  But then a question came to my mind: what is a “priest”?  Not how we are familiar with or what we see around us.  We are called into the “priesthood of believers”, I wondered what that looked like?  I went online, found a Hebrew dictionary and looked up the word “Cohen” or “Cohanim”.  This is what I found, which was quite interesting:

This is whatt the Abarim Publications Hebrew Dictionary said:

  • Cohen (singular)
  • Cohanim (plural)

The original word “priest” or cohanim is a noun which means “minister” or servant, denoting someone who either served a person or a god or maintained their dwellings.  The word “cohen” in Hebrew was also used to describe the Egyptian Potiphera (Genesis 41:45).  Certain Philistines were also called “cohanim” (I Samuel 6:2 and 2 Kings 10:19).  The first time the word cohen occurs is in Genesis 14:18 where it is ascribed to Melchezedek, who would be a type of Messiah who is to come.  Although in Exodus 19:6 the whole of Israel is called a “memelekot kohanim” – a kingdom of priests – the priestly caste of Israel was supposed to be filled by the sons of Aaron (Exodus 29:9).  However, by the time of David, the people from Judah could become priests as well (2 Samuel 8:18).  The noun Kohen or Cohen comes from the unused root KHN.  The verb Kahan derives from Kohen and it means to minister in a priest’s office or function.

So, a Cohen, or Cohanim, or a kingdom of priests serve in these priestly functions:

  1. One who is an ambassador.  One who represents God here on earth.
  2. One who prays for others.
  3. One who shares or reminds others of the awesome holiness of God.

We, the “wild olive branch grafted into the root” are called to be a kingdom of priests.

Lord, as we contemplate this, give us a greater revelation of our priesthood and our priesthood?
Show how to become more honorable, more powerful priests as we repesent You here on earth?
Teach us how to minister, how to serve others, especially how to pray for those who are lost and dying?
Teach how to be a Kingdom of Priests to glorify You in every way?  Amen.

Tabernacle Prayer – THE GATE

Tabernacle Prayer:
GO THROUGH THE GATE

This is the Outer Gate, the door that faces east. To get to this gate, you have go through the Tribe of Judah (Praise). You walk through praise and thanksgiving. You will also have to walk through the High Priest’s camp (Moses & Aaron). You must walk in our priestly office of prayer and intercession.

This Gate is the only door in. There is no other gate. There is no other door. The only way we can fully enter into the Manifest Presence of God is through the Gate of praise, thanksgiving and prayer. There is no other way. This is a place of humility, not a place of pride. This is also a place of decision. We can call ourselves “Christian”, we can call ourselves “believers”, but if we rarely enter through this Gate, how much of us has truly been surrendered to the Holy, Righteous, Eternal God?

This Gate is a beautiful Gate, a colorful Gate. The colors are red, blue and purple. Scarlet represents the Blood of Jesus. It also represents our humanity. The word “Adam” in Hebrew means “out of the Red Earth”. Red is the color of our flesh, our weakness, our humanity. Blue is the color of Heaven. Red is the color of flesh, that which is temporal.  Blue is the color of all that what is Eternal. Both red and blue are primary colors and mixed together, a secondary color unfolds. It is the color “purple”, which is the color of Royalty. The Lord is calling us to become co-heirs, co-rulers with Him. The Lord is calling us to a holy “wrestle”. The Lord wants to change us, transform us from “Jacobs” (liar, deceiver, manipulator) to ISRAEL, co-heirs, co-rulers “Prince with God”.

The Gate is held up by 4 pillars. The pillars are named Matthew (Lion), Mark (Ox), Luke (Man) and John (Lion). As we enter through this beautiful Gate we remember all the stories in these 4 Gospels, the wonder and the majesty of the One who was sent as a Gift to us.

This Gate is a welcoming Gate, a beckoning Gate. Daily we must make the decision to go through this Gate. Daily we must make the decision to follow Jesus, follow the Lamb. As we approach the Gate, we may begin to feel a longing, an ache to enter in. There is a part of us that longs, yearns to be in God’s Presence. The Lord created us that way. Just as we long to be near those who we love, there is a longing deep within us that aches to be with the Lord. Daily we must make the choice. We have to make the decision and then walk through the Gate. The Gate could be a decision to spend the first waking moments with the Lord. We could make the decision to follow that loving voice deep within us, leading us, guiding us deeper into His Presence. We must make that choice, or we will miss it. We may miss God, our encounter with the Eternal, all-encompassing omnipotent God.

Today Lord, I choose to walk through the Gate. I choose today to walk through the door. I want to enter into Your Presence. I hear Your voice welcoming me in. Just as the Father was waiting, waiting waiting for his prodigal son to return home again, I see You at the top of the hill, at the Gate waiting for me to enter into Your Presence. You are waiting at the Gate……for me! For us! I hear You say:
“Return to Me.
Return to Me, My child.
Awake oh sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.

I have much to teach you. Return to ME My beloved one.”

Acts 3:1-10
“Now all the people saw him walking and praising God. They began to realize he was the one who used to sit begging for the Tzedakah at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple and they were filled with wonder astonishment over what had happened to him”.

I read this Scripture as I was “entering” into the Tabernacle Gate in prayer one morning. I started wondering, how many of us sit outside the Gate begging for crumbs where inside is the rich fullness of God’s Manifest Presence? There is everything we have longed for or long desired – and even beyond our wildest imaginations? Yet it remains inside the Gate. And yet we don’t enter in. Why don’t we enter in?

“You will show me the Path of Life,
In Your Presence is fullness of Joy,
At Your Right Hand
Are Pleasures forevermore” Psalm 16:11 NKJV

All we have to do is go through the Gate. We know and we acknowledge that in the LORD there is fullness, joy, healing, and restoration. Yet we still sit outside the Gate, never daring to enter in.

Or….

We enter into the Outer Court, but never into the fullness of God.

Why?

Too many of us have been rejected, neglected or ignored. Some of us have been abused. All of us have been lied to. Others told us that we have to “clean ourselves up” or stop sinning in order to enter through that Gate. We’ve been told we are not “worthy” to enter in. We aren’t “good enough”. We’ve been lied to by the enemy of our souls. We think and believe the lies of satan who mocks us, ridicules us. He tells us we aren’t “good enough” because of this weakness or that addiction. We are led to believe that we must meet certain requirements, or certain criteria before we can enter through the Gate, that Beautiful Gate. We are made to believe the Lord doesn’t want to have anything to do with us because of the filth of our sin. So, we continue to sit outside the Gate begging for crumbs when there are treasures inside. We don’t feel “good enough”.

Or….we are too sick or too weak to enter in. We don’t have the strength to get up and walk in. We are in pain, we are crippled, we lost our ability to walk. Life has bashed us over the head, life has beaten us up. Severe losses came our way and we’re filled with pain.  We may be filled with sickness and our bodies are literally consuming us in pain.   We suffer outside the Gate, not having the strength to enter in.

Then there are those of us who pass by the weak ones, ignoring those who are begging outside the Gate. Or, we give them our “crumbs” as we pass by. Our crumbs may come in the form of a little prayer, a “blessing bag”, or maybe even a hot meal. But do we ever bring them in through the Gate? Do we ever proclaim to them: “Silver and gold have I none, but one thing I do have: RISE UP AND WALK”. Do we take the time to minister to someone who can’t find the strength to enter into the Gate? Truly minister to them? Do we ever take the time to pour ourselves into someone in need, even to the point of carrying them inside the Gate?

Jesus is knocking on the door. “Behold I stand at the door and knock” (Revelation 3:20). He’s on the inside of the Tabernacle, beckoning us to come in. He’s calling us to come in. He’s welcoming us in. It’s time to go through the Gate. We don’t have to be “good enough”. We don’t have to look a certain way or act a certain way. The Lord embraces us, even in the stink of our sin. He wants us, He’s looking for us. We don’t even have to repent. All we are required to do is make the decision to enter in, and then go in. Sin and all. Filth and all. Pain and all. Even crippling pain. Even the crippling pain of anger, bitterness and hostility. Even anger and bitterness at God.  Even in unbelief.  Even if we are struggling with what all of this is about and are unable to wrap our minds around it.  We walk through the Gate, not sure, not understanding what we’re walking into.  Yet we hear Jesus’ knock on the door and His welcoming voice calling us in.  And we make the decision to enter in.

Today, make it your decision to walk through the Gate. Stop whatever you’re doing, or wherever you’re going. Take a side trip. Take the time to walk through the Gate. See what pleasant surprises are waiting for you inside the Gate!

“You will show me the Path of Life,
In Your Presence is fullness of Joy,
At Your Right Hand
Are Pleasures forevermore” Psalm 16:11 NKJV

TABERNACLE PRAYER: how, why and location

TABERNACLE PRAYER

History of Tabernacle Prayer
Over 50 years ago, Dr. Yongghi Cho was praying before he was to start teaching at a pastors’ conference in the country of Formosa.  As he was praying, the Lord revealed the Tabernacle to him in a way he never saw before.  The Lord showed him how to use the Tabernacle as a prayer pattern or a prayer model.  Dr. Cho then began praying the way he heard and saw.  He said his whole prayer life dramatically changed.  He prays 3-5 hours a day and has seen many marvelous answers to prayer.  Today he’s now retired, but for most of his ministry he founded and pastored the world’s largest church in South Korea.  Yoido Full Gospel Church has a membership of over 4 million meeting in over 20 satellite churches, 160 branch churches, and over 300 prayer houses.  Dr. Cho attributes almost all of this to prayer, especially the “Tabernacle” format of prayer.

What is Tabernacle Prayer?
Very simply put, Tabernacle Prayer is a prayer model that uses each of the different stations in the Tabernacle as a prayer focus or prayer guide.  Each of the 6 stations represent a different aspect in our walk and our relationship with the Lord.  When we follow the pattern of the Tabernacle, we are drawn deeper and closer into a more intimate relationship with the Lord.  All prayer is wonderful, there are many ways and many different prayer patterns that can be used.  The difference between the Tabernacle and other forms of prayer is that as we follow the Tabernacle Prayer, we become more aware of the Lord’s Presence in every moment of our lives.  We also become more aware of what is keeping us from fully entering into the Lord’s Presence in a deeper, richer and fuller way.  Tabernacle Prayer has a unique way of transforming our minds, binding us even more closely into God.

 Why Study the Tabernacle?
The Tabernacle is the first House of Prayer, and the original design came directly from the mouth of God. (Exodus 26)  If this came directly from the Lord, shouldn’t we study it, study the design?  Shouldn’t we study the purpose of this original House of Prayer?  I have a sense this pattern, since it came directly from the mouth of God, might be something we as a body of believers should pay more attention to.  There is much to glean from this.  Most churches don’t teach on the Tabernacle.  If they do, it’s presented just as a “history lesson” from the Old Testament, not as a pattern filled with types and shadows that we can utilize today.

The God we serve is a specific God.  The Lord has a specific plan to reveal Himself.  Through studying and praying through the Tabernacle, we gain a more comprehensive understanding on the character and nature of God, and how we can enter more fully into intimacy within His Presence.  What the Lord is revealing to us is that the Tabernacle, this original House of Prayer should be studied further.  We at House of Good Hope are called by the Lord to use this as our prayer model as we spend time in prayer.

 Overview of the Tabernacle

See where it is positioned:
The location on where the Lord called the Tabernacle to be positioned was right in the middle of the camp with the children of Israel surrounding it.

This speaks of:

  • God wanting to dwell among us (John 1:14)
  • In a sense, the Lord has “set up camp” right in the middle of Israel’s camps

In other pagan cultures, their temples or places of worship was at a distance from where they lived.  Some have household gods, but they were always in a separate place, they were “venerated”.   The whole perspective was the people had to go “up” to a high and holy, unreachable god.  But our Lord from the very beginning wants to dwell among us!

Jesus, God in the 2nd Person, set aside His divinity and He dwelt among us…..He TABERNACLED with us.

The Lord is in the MIDST of us!  The Lord desires to be involved in our everyday lives.  He’s here with us, every day of the week, every moment of the day.  We don’t just meet with the Lord periodically, whether its once a week in our houses of worship or in our daily devotional times.  He is Yahweh Shammah:  the God Who is there.  He dwells among us, the Lord has His “tent” set up right next to ours.  He wants intimate relationship with us, 24/7.  He is LORD and He is not about to be “shoved into a box”.  He is God of our everyday, not just our spiritual lives.

I marvel at how specific the Lord is as I look on the setting of the Tabernacle location.

LOCATION OF TRIBES
The Lord has been talking to us at House of Good Hope about DIVINE ORDER.  The Lord positions each of us exactly where He wants us to be.  The positions we hold, whether we are high level leaders or we hold what we consider “low-level jobs”; we are there exactly at that moment in time according to the Lord’s specific agenda.  If we are “smack-dab in the center of God’s will”, the Lord positions us to places where we could potentially be extremely powerful and effective.  The Lord can (and does) anoint our words that can potentially be flaming arrows piercing the hearts of those around us…..if we are in the center of God’s will.  It doesn’t matter where we are or what kind of job we hold.  All we are called to do is yield ourselves to the Lord Jesus and allow HIM to position us exactly where we are called to be.

Every person who was part of Israel was strategically placed in exactly the right place where the Lord called them to be.  If they weren’t, they were immediately eliminated.  (Korah).  The children of Israel were separated by tribes and they camped around the Tabernacle in 4 specific locations according to the Lord, 3 tribes on each side.  The location of each tribe was specifically chosen by God. All of this paints a picture of heaven.

The Tabernacle is God’s design for HIS House of Prayer and each person in HIS house was was called to live in a specific location, wherever they camped.

The Lord chose heads for each grouping of 3 tribes: Judah on the east, Benjamin on the west, Reuben on the north, and Dan on the south.  Interesting how their tribes played out over the years.  A son of Judah became king and his children inherited the dynasty, with Jesus born into the tribe of Judah.  Benjamin were the only tribes that survived, the other 10 were lost.  Saul, Israel’s first king was from the tribe of Benjamin.  Also, their flags or banners, as they flew over their camps, were visions that both Ezekiel and John saw when they were translated into heaven: Ox, Lion, Eagle, and Man.

  • The Gate was opposite of Judah – PRAISE. We had to go through Judah (Praise) in order to get in the door.
  • The Golden Candlestick was facing Reuben. His banner was Man.
  • The Table of Showbread was facing Dan. His banner was the Eagle.
  • The Holy of HOLIES was facing Benjamin. His banner was the Ox.

What does all that mean?

What does Heaven look like?
Is the a portrayal of the Tabernacle is the portrayal of positions in heaven?  I have a sense this is a picture of what goes on in heaven: The Throne of God in the middle with His people camped out surrounding Him.

Construction of the tabernacle
the tabernacle was constructed by two different workman. They were anointed and filled with the Holy Spirit, the first one ever mentioned in the Bible who were filled with the Holy Spirit. The names of these two workmen are found in Exodus 31:1-6. The names of the two workmen were Bezalel and Oholiab. Bezalal means in the shadow of God or God is my protection. Oholiab Means tabernacle or 10th of my father.  Ahisamach means brother becomes the habitation of God by the Spirit of God.

Bezalel what is the third generation down from HUR, Who came out of Egypt. If you remember, Hur held Moses’ hands up when Joshua was fighting against their enemies. He was from the tribe of Judah which means praise the measurements of the tabernacle.

WHO WERE THE BUILDERS?
THE LORD’S CALLING: Exodus 31:1-6

  • Bezalel
  • Aholiab

There is a “Law of First Mention” in the Bible, which I believe in.  This is the first time mentioned in the Bible of anyone being “filled with the Spirit”.  Bezalel & Aholiab were master craftsmen the Lord put in charge of building the Tabernacle.  These men were handpicked by God to build the Tabernacle, it was given to no one else.  He who the Lord calls, the Lord equips.  These men were equipped through the infilling of Holy Spirit: the Ruach haKodesh.

BEZALEL: the name means “in the shadow of God”, or “God is my provision”.  Bezalel was a descendent of Hur, the 3rd generation down.  Hur was the first generation man who came out of Egypt, one of the men who held Moses’ arms up during the battle Joshua and the children of Israel fought against the Amelekites..  Exodus 17:12.  Hur, and Bezalel were from the tribe of Judah (Praise).

AHOLIAB: His name means “Tabernacle or Tent of my Father”.  His father’s name was Ahisamach from the tribe of Dan. Ahisamach means “brother of strength”.

THE UNIQUE GIFTINGS OF AHOLIAB

1.) He was spiritually sensitive to God and responded heartily to the Lord’s call.

2.) Aholiab was called of God to be a “master builder.” He was a designer or “inventer of designs” able to perform every kind of work.

3.) Even as the Lord called or chose Moses and Aaron for the work that they did. God selects men and women to be artisans, or craftsmen or craftswomen for His specific purpose. 4.) Aholiab was both a faber, a master in metal, stone, and woodwork. Because God does not use the general term for “mason,” here, it appears that the reference to stone carving is more to the specialized work, such as that of the breastplate of the High Priest. The Tabernacle, Hebrew “ohel, tent; ‘ohel mo’ed, tent of meeting; ‘ohel ha-‘eduth, tent of the testimony; mishkan, dwelling; mishkan ha- ‘eduth, dwelling of the testimony; mishkan ‘ohel, dwelling of the tent,” was made in such a way that it was a portable sanctuary, which could be moved as the Israelites traveled, with the entrances being made of linen.  (Aholiab was a man known of God)

1.) The Lord knows the heart of every man, woman and child. God called him Aholiab by name. He knows where you live and work, just as Yeshua appeared in Acts 9 to instruct Saul of Tarsus to go to Strait Street to the house of a tanner. Aholiab was a sanctified man, consecrated to the work of the Lord, and the Spirit of God came upon both him and Bezalel. Consecrated men are not to be left to themselves, to labor in the ability that they have within themselves or to act out of their own ideas and personal dictates. The Spirit of God came upon him. Why? There was a God given pattern to be carried out. Even the most devoted people, devoted to the cause of Yeshua haMashiach/Jesus Christ cannot do the Lord’s work out of themselves, without the moment by moment anointing of the Spirit of the Lord. Each facet of our lives in the Lord are just that strategic.

The white curtains surrounding the Tabernacle tells us to “keep out, keep out, keep out”.

The colorful Door or Gate attracts us to come in, and there is only one Door we can enter in.  There’s no back door, no side door.  We can’t dig under the fence.  There is only one way in and one way out: through the Gate that faces east.

The Gate faces east, where the sun rises. Also, no matter where you were in the camp, you could see, possibly even smell the Shekinah Glory that was released from the Holy of Holies. Exodus 13:21 “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night”. This describes the Shekinah.  It was there before the Tabernacle was built, but when Moses gave the blueprint for the Tabernacle to be built, the Shekinah dwelt there.

Exodus 40:34 “Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the Glory of the LORD filled the Tabernacle.”

 

 

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