Having passed by the Brasen altar for salvation and the laver for forgiveness (daily cleansing) the Priest was now prepared to enter into the Holy Place where God dwelt.
It is in this Holy Place that the Priest could meet God and commune with Him.
For the believer, one who has passed by the Brasen altar and the laver, there is reserved precious privileges that only the Priests could have:
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:" 1 Peter 2:9
It is in this Holy Place that was found three pieces of furniture that have wonderful meaning and symbols in the Christian’s life.
I). The Table of Shewbread. Ex. 37:10-16, 25:23-30
A). Materials & Size:
1). Shittim wood covered with Gold (humanity & deity). Ex 25:23-24
2). 2x1x1½ cubits (3’x1½’x2¼’tall) Ex 37:10
1). The Border with 2 Crowns. This table had a ledge (border) with an inner and outer crown.
2). These crowns speak of the crowns of Jesus. He was once crowned with a crown of thorns, but will one day receive His crown: King of kings and Lord of lords.
3). This Border was intended to keep the shewbread on the table just as the saved are kept by the power of God safe in the hand of Jesus. (1 Pe 1:5, Jn 10:28-29).
*there is safety in fellowship with God!
4). This table had 4 rings of gold and staves for carrying it. We have the Word of God which must be carried to the 4 corners of the earth!
C). The Shewbread:
"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." John 6:35
1). It is at the fellowship table that we commune with God through His Word. We need more than physical food as Jesus said in Matt 4:4:
"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
2). Notice there were no chairs at this table. The priest had to eat standing or kneeling (due to size). This has 2 significance’s: 1). We should meet before God on our knees. 2). As we are fed we cannot sit back and enjoy the "good life" there is work to do. We are sustained for service!
II). The Golden Candlestick. Ex. 25:31-36; 36:17-24
A symbol of Testimony. Testimony of
the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life, of Jesus Christ the light and the
believer who bears that light.
A). Materials and Size:
1). Pure Solid Gold beaten into shape which speaks of the beaten and bruised Savior (Isa. 53:5,10).
2). It used pure beaten Olive Oil which speaks of the beaten Holy Spirit who is sometimes used and abused in our lives (Eph 4:30).
3). This was one of the more elaborate items in the Tabernacle. It had a center shaft with 3 branches on each side, making 7 lamps. Christ is the center (Jn 15:5) and we are the branches (Mt. 5:14).
4). It was decorated with bowls, knops and flowers. The branches differed from the main shaft. The branches had 3 bowls, 1 knop, & 1 flower each, but the main shaft had 4 of each and a knop under each branch. We are to be like Christ, yet He is altogether grander!
5). The illustration of the almond bowls etc. It has been said that the Hebrew word almond means wakeful or hastener because the almond tree is the first to awaken after the winter in early January. This also speaks of Christ who is "risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept." (1 Cor 15:20)
*the bowls (buds), flowers & the knops (almond) speak of the order of the risen Savior. After resurrection there was early evidence (bud) that He was risen (Mt 28:2), there was confirmation (flower- Jn 20:12) and there was many infallible proofs of resurrection (almond- Acts 1:3, 1Cor 15:1-8).
B). Symbol of the Holy Spirit, Jesus and our Testimony:
1). The Holy Spirit is the oil which is used in anointing and is burned for light.
a). the word "Christ" means anointed. The scriptures tell that Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit. (Isa. 61:1; Acts 10:38; Lu. 4:16-22)
b). the Holy Spirit is the light that teaches us and brings things to our remembrance. (Jn 14:26; 1 Jn2:27)
2). Jesus said "I am the light of the world" (Jn 9:5). In New Jerusalem Jesus will be the light (Rev. 21:23).
a). In Rev. 1:12,13,20 there are 7 golden candlesticks and the middle is Christ (the Son of man). These seven candlesticks are churches (ages) and Christ is what gives them union.
b). Notice that in the Holy Place there is no light except from this candlestick! In our life there should be no light but God’s light. We must force out the influence of the world or false light (Satan in transformed into an "angel of light" 2Cor.11:14).
3). The Testimony of the believer is a light in the world (Mt 5:13-16). Just as the shaft of the candlestick is different we will never be as bright as the Son, but the "church" is likened to the moon which reflects the light of the sun at night.
"That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Phil 2:15
III). The Altar of Incense. Ex. 30:1-11; 36:25-28
This altar is the place where man speaks to God,
whereas the table of shewbread is where God speaks to man and nourishes
him. However, this altar is consecrated with blood and the incense is
offered from a blood sprinkled basin suggesting that prayer is closely
linked to the shed blood of Jesus.
A). Materials and Size:
1). Shittim wood overlain with Gold. (Christ makes intercession in Heaven for believers on Earth) Heb7:25
2). 2x1x1 cubits (3’x1½’x1½’)
3). Horns represent power- there is power in prayer!
4). 4 rings and 2 staves for carrying this altar. Prayer can be carried with you wherever you go!
B). The Position of Prayer:
1). The altar stood "before the veil…before the mercy seat…where I will meet with thee" (Ex 30:6)
2). God has given us the gift of prayer that we might "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb 4:16).
3). This altar was the closest item and the closest place to the Holy of Holies. It is when we stand before God in prayer that we enter the throne and are closest to God!
C). The Incense: Ex 30:34-38
1). 4 ingredients: Stacte- natural gum of myrrh tree found by cutting the tree. Onycha- perfume from shell-fish. Galbanum- resinous, yellow-brown incense of unknown origin. Frankincense- resin of the Boswellia tree growing in India & Arabia. Smells like balsa and burns white.
2). For the believer we
are told that our prayers are kept like incense before God (Ps
141:1,2; Lu 1:10; Rev 5:8, 8:3,4).
John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.