Parasha #19

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 Parashah #19: T’rumah (Contribution)

(Exodus 25:1 – 27:19)

Additional Readings:
1 Kin. 5:26(12)-6:13; Heb. 8:1-6; 9:23-24; 10:1

Previous parashah recap – God gave the Israelites about 53 laws out of the 613 commandments. These laws included the treatment of parents, slaves, and foreigners, as well as other people’s property.

  • In this Parashah, the Lord commands Moses to take up a free will offering from the people of Israel in order to build a sanctuary in the wilderness. This sanctuary (called the Mishkan) was meant to be a visible reminder for the people of God’s holy Presence that dwelt among them.

  • The offerings that the people were asked to bring included precious metals and stones, fine linens, animal skins, wood, oil for the lamps, and fragrant spices for the incense.

  • The Lord instructed Moses to take an offering only from those who gave willingly and from their heart (also see 2 Cor. 9:7 and Pro. 22:8 in the Septuagint).

  • Because of our sinful nature, we tend to be selfish and seek to receive; but the Bible tells us that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Act. 20:35). The truth of the matter is that when we give, especially toward the work of the Lord, we receive back so much more than what we have given (Luk. 6:38).

  • The Israelites were to make a Sanctuary for God’s Presence, as well as all of its furnishings. They were not to be made according to any design they imagined, but only according to God’s specific blueprint, which God showed Moses on the mountain. This wilderness Sanctuary was a copy of the actual Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony in Heaven (Rev. 15:5).

    So what we have here is a replica of heavenly things, of the heavenly temple/house of the Lord. In Joh. 2:19-21 we are told that Jesus’ own personal physical body is the temple of God. Likewise, we are told in 1 Cor. 6:19 that our own personal body is a temple for the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. So it is important to realise that whatever we read about the temple also applies to us and our physical bodies. Finally, in 1 Cor. 12:12-27 we are told explicitly that we are all members of the body of Christ. As the congregation of called out people, also known as “the church”, we are the bricks that make up the spiritual body of Christ.

  • So as we read on, we see a 3-fold representation:

    1. The earthly representation of what’s in heaven;

    2. The spiritual representation of the body of Christ; each element symbolizing an aspect of the church;

    3. A physical representation of our own personal body; each element symbolizing an aspect of our being.

  • As we go through the details of the tabernacle I want to remind everyone that my teaching is the sum of teachings from past and/or present teachers that I have put together to try to bring the fullness of what the Word says, and it’s as I do this, that more understanding comes.

  • So, the tabernacle is divided into 3 main sections:

    1. The Holy of Holies (also known as the Most/especially Holy Place);

    2. The Holy Place;

    3. The Courtyard.

  • Understanding the symbolism used (Sol. 1:10-11):

    1. Gold signifies/typifies God the Father in His golden nature – we also are to be refined as gold in order to be pure, Christ-like, and perfect as the Father in heaven is perfect;

    2. Silver signifies/typifies God the Son in His all-inclusive redemption – we are redeemed from all our wrongdoing, and as we move from glory to glory we transform back into the likeness of God (the way we were originally meant to be);

    3. The string of beads/jewels signify/typifies God the Spirit in His transformation. The jewels shine to reflect God’s glory, the same as polished brass – we have to be transformed through the work of the spirit within us. In the tabernacle, when it speaks about brass it refers to the action of the Holy Spirit.

  • Each of these places in the temple is separated from each other by a very thick veil. The one separating the Most Holy Place from the Holy Place was hand sewn by the work of a skilled artisan (which means that the Cherub design on it could be seen only from one side), the one separating the Holy Place from the Courtyard was woven (the cherub designs were therefore seen from both sides).

    This is important because it shows that there are angels either guarding one way or both ways (in; or in and out). It is important to note that the Most Holy Place and The Holy Place are of one piece, and form the inner part of the tabernacle, separated only by a veil.

  • Each of these places hold some important symbolism:

    1. The Most Holy Place represents where the Spirit resides in the church; that is in the midst of the people gathered in Yeshua’s name. In a human, this is where the human spirit resides;

    2. The Holy Place is where all the priests gather together to do their duties. So this is the congregation of the true believers. In a human, this represents the area of the soul. The soul and spirit are joined, separated only by a veil. Scripture says that to separate them we need the word (Heb 4:12);

    3. The Courtyard is where all believers dwell; the true ones, the new converts, the worldly Christians, the wolves in sheep’s clothing, the hypocrites, those who seek the truth, and those who don’t. In a human person, this represents their own flesh/body.

  • The 2 parts of the tabernacle are held together by massive wooden boards standing uprightly, being anchored to the ground by silver studs. These represent the pillars of the church; the ones who have been set by the Lord to lead the congregation. They are anchored by Christ who is the foundation of the tabernacle (the silver).

  • Then we are told about the sheets covering the whole tabernacle, 3 layers to be exact:

    1. The first layer is linen of different colours, which represent purity, sinlessness, and royalty. This is the inside layer, which cannot be seen from outside. It is our job to be clean, pure, without stain or wrinkle, free of demons, bad behaviors, etc. as a church and personally. It’s also our job to be adorned with Christ. The Cherubim were sewn into the linen, meaning that our protection from God is invisible to the outside. The spirit and soul are layered with spirits that cannot be seen from outside. From a godly perspective they are there to keep the spirit and soul pure, intact, restored etc. From a satanic perspective they are the spirits that are there to destroy you;

    2. The second layer was made of goat’s hair. There was a type of goat (Arabian) that had long hair which was very strong, and for a long time in history it was nearly matching silk in terms of price due to its beauty and resistance. Likewise, we as a church and as individuals, need to be beautiful in behavior and spirit, having love, and being able to endure to the end;

    3. The last layer was to be made of tanned ram’s skin of red colour (not dyed but having been chosen for their natural reddish colour). There is no 4th covering of fine leather (CJB) or badgers’ skin (KJV), for the badgers’ weren’t living there at all. What is described here is that they had to have this last layer coloured in a blood-like colour. The reddish ram’s skin speaks of strength through suffering, covered by the blood of the lamb.

  • All the crossbars are pertaining to the different ministries of the saints; to help the standing boards/pillars to stand straight and not fall (the work of helpers, administration, etc. as in 1 Cor. 12:28) It represents the ability to help one another and to be able to rely on each other.

  • All the type of fasteners indicate what part of the Godhead is holding things together (according to what they are made of – gold, silver or brass = Father, Son or Spirit).

  • Finally, we have the Courtyard, an enclosed area with tapestries and screens held together by silver (Christ). Interestingly this enclosure was made with lots of small holes, which meant that anyone outside could see what was happening inside and vice versa.

    Unbelievers can see what is happening in the congregations and in the churches even if they don’t go in, for they can see the fruits of the people coming from there.

  • Now let’s go into the inside details (Exo. 25:10) – After a quick mention of the high priest’s breastplate and garment (v.7) we are led into the building of the tabernacle. There we are first told about the furnishing of the first major component.

  • The Ark of the Covenant – it was made out of acacia wood (incorruptible wood in the Septuagint) covered with gold. In it, the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments were to be laid. Here we have the notion of God through the incorruptibleness covered by the purity of gold; having the Law as the foundation, represented by the tablets of the 10 commandments. Added to the ark later, was a pot containing mana by which the Hebrews were fed in the desert. This symbolizes the heavenly nourishment for our spirit as we read the word of God (eating the body of Christ which is like bread). Also added, was the budding rod of Aaron, symbolizing everlasting life. So the Ark itself is founded on the Law, through which we can get understanding of all things and enjoy everlasting life, each being gifts from God, but also God Himself.

  • Upon the Ark’s cover and over the mercy seat were placed two golden cherubim. From above the cover and between these two cherubim God spoke with Moses. Other Scriptures speak of this as God’s throne (2 Sam. 6:2; Isa. 37:16).

    When King Hezekiah prayed, he addressed Yahweh as the One enthroned above the cherubim, referring to the mercy seat on the Ark of the Covenant (Isa. 37:16).

  • We may notice that the “law” formed the foundation of the Ark, but communication with God came forth from the mercy seat. Our relationship with God is always filtered through His mercy (as a congregation and as an individual). But what exactly is the mercy seat? In Hebrew it is called the kapporet, from the word kapparah, which means atonement.  The root of this term is kaphar, meaning to cover. The mercy seat was a golden cover to the Ark of the Covenant, but it represents the atonement that God gives us through His mercy.

  • What are cherubim – Although popular modern folklore represents cherubim as chubby naked babies who have small wings with which to fly, the Bible describes them differently. They first appear in Genesis as mighty angelic beings with flaming swords. They guarded the entrance of the Garden of Eden and the way to the Tree of Life after Adam and Eve had been banished (Gen. 3:24). Cherubim are winged angelic beings who attend to God. The prophet Ezekiel described the images of cherubim that he saw in his visions as having multiple faces and wings, and the hands of a man (Eze. chapters 1 and 10). He described the sound of their wings as being like the sound of the Almighty when He speaks. Ezekiel also named them living creatures, which is how they are referred to in the book of Revelation. Lucifer was a Cherub (Eze. 28:12-19; Isa. 14:12-19). They are meant to cover and protect.

  • The Ark was a furnishing for the Holy of Holies/Most Holy place in the tabernacle, where the High Priest could communicate with God once a year. But now that Jesus has died for us, as we plead His blood our sins are covered and we can go into the Most Holy place at any time. Before entering the Most Holy Place, the high priest would have to wash himself thoroughly and put on special clean clothing designed and cleaned for this one special event. Once inside, he would burn incense so that the smoke would cover his eyes and form a barrier to seeing God directly. Then he would sprinkle the blood of a sacrificial animal on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant to atone for the sins of his people as well as his own personal sins.

    But why was there a veil and such elaborate precautions undertaken by the High Priest before entering the Holy of Holies? It is because God’s eyes are too pure to look upon sin (Hab. 1:13). This emphasises that we cannot take God’s holiness lightly, nor carelessly enters into His Presence.

  • Mat. 27:51; Mar. 15:38; Luk. 22:45 – At the death of Jesus, the veil itself was rent from top to bottom. This has 2 significations:

    1. When Hebrew people lose someone close to them, they rend their garments from top to bottom to show their grief. That’s exactly what the Father did when His son was crucified;

    2. It opened the way for those who recognize Jesus’ sacrifice, to boldly enter and pray to the Father;

      Heb. 10:18-21 – To be able to boldly enter like this, is through the communion – His flesh – where we put to death our old man and our own flesh. This is important, for no one can go in without having sacrificed his flesh on the cross. If your own worldly desires are in the way, that veil is still intact for you and your way to enter the presence of God is blocked.

  • The meaning of the 2 veils between the Holy of Holies and the Holy place; and between the Holy Place and the Courtyard – The mere believer couldn’t enter into the Holy place, only the priests could. To enter in, we are to put our flesh into the fire of the burning altar as a living sacrifice to be refined by fire. We are to wash ourselves clean and become dead to the world, which happens through baptism and the washing by the word at the laver/basin in the Courtyard. As long as we’re not dead to the world and aren’t washing ourselves clean, there is no entrance into the Holy Place.

    1. The first veil is about dealing with the flesh; that’s what the old testament is all about, to put the flesh under subjection;

    2. The second veil is there to stop the priests from going onward. Only the High Priest could go onward. This represents the Christ-like people, for Yeshua the Messiah is our eternal High Priest. So this 2nd veil is for those who have put the soul under subjection and walk in the Spirit. For the Holy Place represents the soul. And it has 3 elements, of which only 2 are presented in this Parashah:

      • The table for the showbread;

      • The menorah (the candelabra/lampstand) with 7 branches.

  • The table for the bread of presentation was to be made out of incorruptible wood and covered with gold. A rim had to be set atop of it to circle the table, and a molding of gold had to be added to the top of the rim. This was meant to be the showbread table. We are told in chapter 26 that this table was to be placed in the Holy place (the Most Holy place having only the Ark in it). This table represents our will. It is the first element to put into subjection. As a congregation it works the same, we are to be of one mind, encouraging one another to get through.

  • The menorah/lampstand with 7 branches, held seven lamps. Each branch of the menorah had to be shaped to look like tree branches with leaves, petals and blossom-like looks. The cups held oil for the lamp while the other parts were decorative and made to look like almonds (which means to hasten/quicken in Hebrew). The holy spirit has a quickening effect. If we count all the pieces to make this candelabra, there are exactly 70 of them. But they are all made together, beaten into shape as one element (not separately made and assembled).

  • Both the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place were in the dark. In the Holy of Holies, the only light was Divine. In the holy Place, the light was artificial. Jesus is the light of the world and the church is meant to shine His light (it’s not a direct light, but a representation – artificial light). This is done with the help of 7 spirits/angels over 7 churches (Rev. chapters 1-3). That light within our soul represents our intellect and is the second thing we need to put into subjection. Like the 7 spirits of God, it is likewise divided in 7 parts which are still one because all are made together.

  • Isa. 11:2-3 – The following are the 7 spirits to the churches; what they look like in a person; and also which ‘motivation/personality type’ they link with , the latter based on Rom. 12:6-8:

    1. Spirit of the Lord – personal ego; human understanding of spiritual things (either of occultism or God depending on the person’s faith) – Motivation: Insight;

    2. Spirit of wisdom – human wisdom; common sense; craftsman skills – Motivation: Server;

    3. Spirit of understanding – capacity to mentally grasp things and explain them – Motivation: Teacher;

    4. Spirit of counsel – ability to help and encourage others – Motivation: Exhorter;

    5. Spirit of power – capacity to put things into action/motion – Motivation: Contributor;

    6. Spirit of knowledge – ability to retain what’s learnt; memory; knowing where things go – Motivation: Facilitator;

    7. Spirit of the fear (reverence) of the Lord – obedience; respect; love for others – Motivation: Mercy.

  • We should be asking the Lord for all these spirits, not only that they may be present in ourselves, but also within the congregation. Each aspect of these spirits can also operate in a bad/opposite way to the examples given above (as in the ‘pollutions’ of each motivation/personality type).

  • I do think that the posts and specific numbers of attaching devices and also the numbers of sheets are important, and have meaning, but I don’t know, I haven’t been given understanding as to what they represent at this point in time (I can correlate the 50 gold attaching devices to the Jubilee years put in place by the Father and the 40 silver pins to the periods of testing set in motion and won through the Son, but that is as far as I go).

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