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THE TABERNACLE PRIESTHOOD AND OFFERINGS OF ISRAEL-WHITEFIELD-1884

THE TABERNACLE PRIESTHOOD AND OFFERINGS OF ISRAEL-WHITEFIELD-1884

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AN EXCELLENT TREATISE ON THE OLD TESTAMENT TABERNACLE, WHICH FINDS IT’S FULFILLMENT IN THE TRUE TABERNACLE, WHICH IS JESUS CHRIST.
AN EXCELLENT TREATISE ON THE OLD TESTAMENT TABERNACLE, WHICH FINDS IT’S FULFILLMENT IN THE TRUE TABERNACLE, WHICH IS JESUS CHRIST.

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10/22/2013

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shall, God

willing, speak more

particularly in another

chapter.

This

four-square room in which the ark

stood, and

into which no

light ever entered save that of the

shekinah, is a

picture of heaven itself. "And the

city lieth

four-square, and the

length is as

large as the

124

The Tabernacle.

breadth. The

length and the breadth and the

height

of it are

equal. And I saw no

temple therein : for

the Lord God

Almighty and the Lamb are the

temple

of it. And the

city had no need of the

sun, neither

of the

moon, to shine in it : for the

glory of God did

lighten it, and the Lamb was the

light thereof"

(Rev.

xxi. 1

6, 22, 23).
We observe that

during the wilderness

journey the

staves were never to be taken out of the ark.

"

The

staves shall be in the

rings of the ark

; they shall not

be taken from it

"

(Ex. xxv. I

5 ). Thus the

striking

feature the ark

presented was readiness ever

ready

to move. No

delay was to take

place through the

staves

having to be

put in. So is it with

Christ, the true

Ark. He is

always ready. No

delay there. What

ever

step we take, there is a Christ to

go with us.

Whatever need to be

supplied, a full Christ

ready to

supply it.

Waiting is the word written on all human

systems and all

earthly friends.

They keep the

poor

paralytic

"

thirty and

eight years." This is the mark

of

everything under heaven. But the ark has

always

the staves in it. Jesus is

always ready to

supply

every need, to

wipe every tear, to fill

up every gap,

to

go with us

through the trackless

desert, or down

into the cold floods of

Jordan, the river of death.

Precious Saviour ! so

free, so

full, so

ready !

"

Who

is like unto Thee ? "

When the wilderness

journey had

ended, and the

temporary tabernacle

gave way to the

permanent

temple, the staves were taken out of the ark. Israel s

wanderings had all ended then.

They were at home.

So will it be in heaven. There our

journeyings will

The Ark.

125

have ended. The staves will be taken out of the ark.
We shall be

"

for ever with the Lord."

"

For ever with the Lord !

Amen, so let it be !

Life from the dead is in that word,

"Tis

immortality.

"

Here in the

body pent,
Absent from Him I

roam,

Yet

nightly pitch my moving tent

A day s march nearer home."

In Solomon s

temple the ark contained no

manna,

nor

yet the

budding rod. This was the wilderness

food and the wilderness

priesthood. Both of these

things were associated with sin. Israel s

murmurings

brought the one

; Israel s rebellion drew forth the

other. Now the wilderness has ended.

"

The former

things have

passed away." Sin shall have no remem

brances there.

Nothing to remind of sin there. No

mediator for sin needed there.

Nothing to embitter.

Sin shall

only be remembered as a

forgiven thing.

There

every memory shall

praise Him.

"

They shall

hunger no

more, neither thirst

any more ; neither

shall the sun

light on them, nor

any heat. For the
Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed

them, and shall lead them unto

living fountains of

waters : and God shall

wipe away all tears from their

eyes" (Rev. vii.

16, 17).

An ark is

frequently mentioned in

Scripture, and in

every case as

presenting a beautiful

type of Christ.

The

family of God were borne

safely in an ark when

judgment and death covered the world. The

great

deliverer of Israel was

preserved from death in an

126

The Tabernacle.

ark borne on the troubled waters of the Nile. In

every case it

presents us with a shadow of that sal

vation and eternal life in Jesus Christ.

"

He that

believeth on the Son hath

everlasting life : and he

that believeth not the Son shall not see

life, but the

wrath of God abideth on him "

(John iii.

36).

One reference to the ark in the

history of Israel

is

exceedingly solemn and

eminently practical. It

occurs in the Book of Joshua.

"

And it came to

pass after three

days, that the officers went

through

the host

; and

they commanded the

people, saying,
When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord

your God, and the

priests the Levites

bearing it, then

ye shall remove from

your place, and

go after it.

Yet there shall be a

space between

you and

it, about

two thousand cubits

by measure : come not near unto

it, that

ye may know the

way by which

ye must

go :

for

ye have not

passed this

way heretofore "

(Joshua

iii.

2-4).

Reader, observe the

spiritual import of these words.

Israel was on their

way to the

promised land. To

reach it

they had to

pass through the Jordan.

They

had not

passed that

way heretofore. It was a new

and untrodden

path.

We, like

them, are on our

way to God. Death rolls

between that land and the wilderness

through which

we are

passing. They had

nearly finished their

journey.

They stood on the banks of the Jordan. And

surely

it is so with us. There is but a

step between us and

death. We may be

always said to be at the

very

banks of the Jordan.

Or, if we

prefer to take it as

the

coming of our

precious Lord, then

surely it is

nigh,

The Ark.

127

even at the

very doors. Of both the one event and

the other it

may be

truly said,

"

Ye have not

passed

this

way heretofore." It is an untrodden

path.

How shall we

prepare to meet it ?

Exactly as Israel

here. Mark what was said to them before

they came

to the Jordan :

"

Whenye see the ark of the covenant

of the Lord

your God, and the

priests the Levites

bearing it, then

ye shall remove

from your place, and

go after it"

Yes, that is the

way to be

ready for the

Lord, to remove from our

place, and

go after it. It

is to have the

eye always on the look-out

; to see

what time and which

way the Lord will

go ; to be

always going from our

place after it

going from self

to

Christ, from our own

plans, our own

ways, our own

pleasures, our own

thoughts,

"

after it"

It is to have

the whole

soul, the whole

life, and

everything of which

life is made

up, in a

spirit of entire

subjection to the

will and

way of Christ. It is that all

things may rest

upon Him, and the first

question asked in

everything,

"

Which way is the ark

going ?

"

"

Which

way would

the Lord have me

go ? "

"

Lord, what wilt Thou have

me do ?

"

This is to be a true Israelite

"

an Israelite

indeed."

Many an Israelite

might have been

engaged

in some

deeply important matter, in some

place he

could not

easily leave. It

might have involved

loss,

or

shame, or ruin. Still the command admitted of

no

compromise :

"

When ye see the ark of the

covenant of the Lord

your God ....

ye shall remove

from

your place, and

go after it."

What was its

meaning ? It was this :

"

Ye are not

your own; "

"

ye

are

bought with a

price ;

"

"

Whatsoever

ye do in word

or

deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus."

It

128

The Tabernacle.

was

Jesus, Jesus

Himself, Jesus

only. "To me to

live is Christ."

And mark another truth in these words in Joshua.

There was to be "a

space

"

between them and the

ark, of

"

two thousand cubits

;

"

and it is

added,

"

Come not near unto

it, that

ye may know the

way

by which

ye must

go." Why was this ? The ark was

but a small

chest, but it meant

great things, even

Christ.

Every eye of the

moving mass of

people

was to see

it, and to

follow it. Therefore was it

needful that there should be the

"

space," for had it

been close to those in

front, those in the rear could

not have seen it. God will have

every eye on Jesus.

He will have His dear Son in advance of

us, and so

before us that He

may be

clearly seen.

And what was the

only thing that could make Israel

mistake the

way ? Mark it, reader, and learn the

lesson well.

"

Come not near unto

it, that

ye may

know the

way."

If

only one

person, and that

person

a little

child, had been close

up to the

ark, it would

have hidden it from the whole

congregation. Oh,

it is self that hides Christ !

Yes, self, self, self ! It

is a little

thing will hide Jesus from the

eye of the

soul, and make it miss

"

the

way !

"

You need not

break the

glass of the

telescope to shut out the

sight

of that distant

star; the breath of a child

upon it

will do it

just as well.

Oh, it is a little

thing in the

soul that will hide

Jesus, and this little

thing is

always

something of the flesh !

And it is

j ust as He is

hidden

"

the

way "

is dark.

Reader, mark it well.

Keep Jesus before

you. Keep the

eye on Him.

Beware of the little

things which come between

your

The Ark.

129

soul and Him. Let not the breath of the

world, or

the

flesh, or the

devil, obscure the

brightness of the

"

morning star "

to

your view.

"

Come not near unto

it, that

ye may know the

way by which

ye must

go."

It is

deeply interesting to mark the occasion on

which the ark was

brought to its final

resting-place.
We find it recorded in 2 Chron. v. in connection with

I

Kings viii. The enemies of David and Solomon

had all been

destroyed. After seven

years of labour

the house of the Lord had been erected in Jerusalem.

The feast of tabernacles had arrived when Israel had

to

appear before the

Lord, rejoicing in all the fulness

of His

blessings to them. The fruits of the land had

been

gathered in, the corn-floors and

wine-presses

were full, and

joy was written on

every countenance.

At this time

they had to dwell seven

days in booths

to recall to mind the

blessings they had received at

the hand of the Lord all the

way through which

they

had

passed. This feast was the last of the

year, held

at its clos%.

They recalled to

memory the blood which

had redeemed them from

Egypt, and the tender

mercy and

loving-kindness they had

experienced all

their

journey through. Then it was that the ark was

brought into its final

resting-place in the house of

God.

Surely this is

prophetic !

In the

passage to which

we have referred

(Rev. vii.

917)the

picture is

brought

before us. There are the branches of

palms in the

hands memorials of the wilderness

journey through

which the redeemed had

passed. There are the

hosts assembled before the Lord in the

heavenly

courts to recount His mercies how He has saved

I

130

The Tabernacle.

them, and how

they have washed their robes in the

blood of the Lamb. And the elder who asks who

and what

they are is reminded that

they have come

up from the wilderness to

keep the

heavenly feast of

tabernacles

"

They shall

hunger no more, neither

thirst

any more, neither shall the sun

light on them,

nor

any heat

These were the wilderness memories

from which

they had come

up, but which were now

left for ever behind. The ark is now in the

temple of

God. The

rejoicing hosts are all

around, praising and

recounting the Lord s mercies. Jesus is there. His

people are

gathered round.

Everlasting joy is on

their heads.

"

The former

things have

passed away."

The Church has

exchanged her weeds of widowhood

for her bridal attire.

Reader, may we look out for that blessed hour !

may our

lamps be trimmed and our

"

lights burning,
and we ourselves as men who wait for their Lord !

"

"

Even so, come, Lord Jesus."

CHAPTER XII.

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