The Tabernacle of Moses:
Feasts & Symbols
Bible students have long known that deep secrets of God are hidden in the Tabernacle of Moses. Concerning its construction, Moses was instructed by God to "make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount." (Heb 8:5) The pattern did not originate from this world and it conceals eternal symbols and truths. The feasts of Israel -- the key to prophecy -- the blueprint of God's redemption -- are integral to the design.
God commanded Israel in Ex 23:14, "Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year." The three feasts are Passover (Unleavened Bread), Pentecost and Tabernacles. Momentous events took place in history on the first two feasts. The Israelites came out of Egypt in a great deliverance at the parting of the Red Sea on Passover. God descended on Mount Sinai and gave Moses the Torah on Pentecost -- the day Israel officially became a covenant people.
The ultimate fulfillment of these two feasts came some 1,500 years later when God the Son died for the sins of the world as the Passover Lamb, and when God the Spirit came to inhabit the Church, the Body of Christ on Pentecost, 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus. Thus the spring feasts were first rehearsed at the Red Sea and Mount Sinai and subsequently fulfilled by the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit at the Crucifixion and the Outpouring.
What about the feast of Tabernacles?
Was it rehearsed four months after the giving of the Torah at the first Pentecost, during the month of Tishri -- the month when Tabernacles is celebrated? According to Jewish tradition, Moses came down from Mount Sinai on the Day of Atonement (Tishri 10) after he received the 10 Commandments the second time. After his final 40 days and nights, on the last day, i.e. the Day of Atonement, Moses was instructed by God to construct a temporary house of God, what has come to be known as the Tabernacle of Moses. Work began in earnest immediately with generous donations and gifts pouring in from the people who had just repented of the Golden Calf sin three months earlier. The Tabernacle of Moses was set up six months later on the 1st of Nisan (Ex 40:2) -- the start of the Hebrew sacred calendar.
The feast of Tabernacles was rehearsed on the day Moses received instruction to build the Tabernacle. It appeared to be a quiet event compared to the first two feasts. The apparent lack of drama belies its momentous import. For the first time since Adam the God of heaven and earth promised to come and dwell in a house made with hands (Acts 17:24). Indeed, the Ancient of Days expressed His desire to tabernacle (dwell) with the people He saved by a mighty hand. That desire turned into a command to Moses on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) -- the holiest day in the Hebrew calendar, the only day in a year when the high priest is allowed to enter into the Holy of Holies to atone for the sins of the people. Yom Kippur is central to the feast of Tabernacles which consists collectively of Trumpets, Yom Kippur and Tabernacles.
The nation of Israel retains the distinction of being the only people on Earth who were shown the pattern of the abode of the most high God. No room is left to human imagination concerning its design. As above, so below. What was privy only to the angelic hosts up until then was now revealed to mankind, albeit a scaled down version. The divine pattern was not only shown, but the Tabernacle was duly constructed and even more unthinkable, the One whom "the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain" (1 Kings 8:27) actually came and manifested His Shekinah glory in the midst of the people.
The feast of Tabernacles shall be ultimately fulfilled after the Church is raptured and the Millennial Kingdom dawns at the Second Coming of Jesus. Without question the feast of Tabernacles will be extremely important in the Millennium according to the prophet Zechariah (Zec 14:16, 18, 19). It will be celebrated globally by all nations of the earth year after year for a thousand years. If this is not the ultimate fulfillment of the feast, what is?
There is one slight problem to this view. The phrase 'the tabernacle of God' appears once only in the Bible in Rev 21:3. There it is recorded the tabernacle of God comes down from God out of heaven to earth, and God will dwell with his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. Clearly this will happen at the start of eternity at the end of the old world as we know it. Is this not a more fitting ultimate fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles?
The answer is no! A more perfect prophetic plan of the ages still lies hidden in the feasts of Israel waiting to be uncovered. A hidden feast which hitherto receives scant attention is the key to unlocking the secrets of God's eternal plan. The hidden feast is the eighth feast of Israel which falls on Tishri 22, the very last day of the annual feast cycle. Although many regard the 8th day as part of the 7-day feast of Tabernacles, (which is celebrated from Tishri 15 to Tishri 21), this is incorrect.
It is not scriptural for two reasons. 1) God plainly states in Lev 23:34, "The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD." 2) The distinctives of Tabernacles -- illumination, water-pouring and living in booths -- completely cease on the 8th day. The 8th day is not part of the feast of Tabernacles. Jewish tradition comports with this view. See link.
However, the 8th day is intimately linked with Tabernacles (Lev 23:36) since it is the 8th day counting from the first day of Tabernacles. Its closeness with Tabernacles is precisely the cause for confusion. It is worthwhile pointing out just as the four spring feasts are closely related, being feasts of firstfruits -- Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Pentecost, the four fall feasts are also closely related, being feasts of ingathering (Ex 23:16) -- Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles and the 8th Day.
Another proof that the 8th day is a separate feast is the Firstfruits-Pentecost parallel. Firstfruits is the 1st day of counting the omer while Pentecost is the 50th day from Firstfruits -- the culmination of counting the omer. Pentecost is also known as the feast of weeks. It falls on the start of the 8th week from Firstfruits. Notice the conspicuous EIGHT. See the table below for comparisons.
Firstfruits-Pentecost pair Tabernacles-8th Day pair Pentecost is counted from Firstfruits. The 8th day is counted from Tabernacles. Pentecost falls on the 8th week. The 8th day falls on the 8th day. Both are firstfruits feasts.
(as distinct from Passover & Unleavened Bread)
Both are Tabernacles feasts.
(as distinct from Trumpets and Day of Atonement)
Just as Pentecost is distinct from Firstfruits, the 8th day is distinct from Tabernacles. The above parallel breaks down if the 8th day is considered part of Tabernacles.
Intriguing Evidence for the 8th Day from Revelation 21 & 22
The Book of Revelation provides very intriguing evidence for the 8th day. It is written with 888 Greek words. (The Greek value of the name JESUS is 888.) It is the 8th and last letter penned by an elder, the Apostle John (first letter written by an elder is James). It is the only book of the Bible that provides graphic details on the start of the 8th millenium in Revelation 21 & 22.
It is no accident that the 8th day falls on Tishri 22. It is also by design the ultimate fulfillment of the 8th day is recorded in the 22nd chapter of Revelation. Let the readers verify that there are 22 piano keys to three octaves (8s). The name JESUS, 888, is three octaves! Is it any wonder the Book of Revelation is also the 22nd letter to the Church? (The first letter to the Church is Romans.)
Isn't it marvelous the Book of Revelation is both the 8th letter (by an elder) and the 22nd letter (to the Church)!? Coupled with the fact that the 8th millenium a.k.a. the 8th day, is described in Revelation 22, do they not all point to Tishri 22, the 8th day?
[Note: The Bible Wheel phenomenon validates that Jesus -- himself the Word of God (Re 19:13), is the author of the Bible. Since the number 22 is three 8s, i.e. 888 (Jesus), it comes as no surprise that each cycle of the Bible Wheel consists of 22 books, which also correspond to the 22 letters of the Hebrew language. Jesus, the Light of the World (John 8:12), is also hidden in the lampstand with its 22 almond-shaped bowls. The distribution of the bowls (7+7+7+1) confirm the three octaves represented by the number 22.]
The Trinity Connection
The 8th day not only unlocks the secrets of God's eternal plan, it also sheds light on the nature of the Triune God. The three distinctives of the feast of Tabernacles -- illumination, water-pouring and booth -- point to the Son, the Spirit and the Father! The 8th day is like the photo negative of Tabernacles since these three distinctives are completely absent on the 8th day. The reasons for the absence are revealed in Revelation 21 & 22!
The absence of booth (tabernacle or temple) is intimated in Rev 21:22, "And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it." The next verse plainly states that illumination is unnecessary, "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 is the light thereof." (Rev 21:23) The water-pouring ceremony pales in comparison to the "pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb." (Rev 22:1) It will be rendered unnecessary.
Note the three Trinity symbols: temple, light and water. These symbols appear in each of the above scriptures together with God and the Lamb. There are only eight such scriptures in the Bible and all appear in the Book of Revelation. These eight scriptures parallel the eight scriptures in Genesis 1 that contain "And God said, Let....". The eight unique scriptures in Genesis 1 are also huge clues to the three Trinity symbols and the eight feasts of Israel! They also prove the existence of the 8th feast and the lumping of the Firstfruits-Pentecost and Tabernacle-8th Day pairs since the phrase "And God said, Let...." appears twice on the third and sixth days of Creation. Ever wonder why the creative spoken word -- "And God said, Let....", was uttered eight times when there were only six days of Creation?
The Trinity-Feasts Connection
The three Trinity symbols are encoded in the Tabernacle of Moses in the most spectacular manner imaginable. Upon entering the gate of the court, the worshipper is greeted by the sight of the first tabernacle furniture, the burnt-offering altar -- the light symbol, which points to God the Son -- the Passover Lamb of God (1Cor 5:7). Between the Tabernacle (tent) and the burnt-offering altar is the laver (basin) -- the water symbol, which points to God the Spirit, who was poured out on Pentecost (Acts 2:17, 18).
Christ testified of himself, "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12), showing that his symbol is light. Christ spoke of the Holy Spirit as "rivers of living water" (John 7:38, 39), thus confirming the symbol of the Spirit as water.
Before the laver stood the Tabernacle that housed the ark. It represents the temple symbol, which points to God the Father. Symbols are shadows and types, but the substance is God. Re 21:22 plainly equates the temple to God and the Lamb. Since Jesus said in John 14:2, "In my Father's house are many mansions", and that "my Father is greater than I" (John 14:28), the temple is primarily the symbol of the Father.
Thus the three Trinity symbols stare us in the face as we enter through the outer gate into the court -- LIGHT (burnt-offering altar), WATER (laver) and TEMPLE (Tabernacle/tent).
These three symbols also point to the three main feasts of Israel: Passover (LIGHT), Pentecost (WATER) and Tabernacles (TEMPLE)!
Besides the three Trinity symbols, there is a fourth eternal symbol. Just as the 8th day is hidden in Tabernacles, the fourth symbol, THRONE, is hidden in the third symbol, TEMPLE. The tabernacle is made up of two rooms: the holy place and the most holy place (the Holy of Holies), separated by a veil.
The proof of the throne symbol comes from the last scripture containing God and the Lamb in Rev 22:3, "And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him."
Hidden in these four eternal symbols lie the secrets of God's plan for the ages. The Book of Revelation truly lives up to its name since the Triune God reveals themselves in its closing chapters as the ultimate reality. The Father is the TEMPLE (Rev 21:22). The Son, the image of God (2 Cor 4:4), radiates the glory of the Father as LIGHT (Rev 21:22, 23). The Spirit pours out blessings to the world as the pure river of WATER of life (Rev 22:1), proceeding from the THRONE of God (Rev 22:1, 3).
The throne symbol represents the kingdom of God while the three Trinity symbols represent the Triune God. The three feasts of Israel, pointed to by the Trinity symbols, cover the entire redemptive history spanning 7 millennia from Creation (First Genesis) to New Creation (Last Genesis). The 8th day of Tabernacles, pointed to by the throne symbol, ushers in eternity when all things shall be made NEW (Rev 21:5); appropriately so since the number eight symbolizes a new beginning. The 8th day is literally a new day -- the 8th Millennium.
Progressive Zoom-in Effect
Intriguingly as we enter through the door (first veil) into the Tabernacle proper, what lie before us are the same four eternal symbols! There appears to be a progressive zoom-in effect. Behind the door are three pieces of furniture in the holy place. The lampstand clearly represents LIGHT. It is not obvious that the table of shewbread represents WATER. Of the four eternal symbols, only water may be taken into the body and is considered food. In Scripture both bread and water are often mentioned together as life-sustaining essentials -- bread to satisfy hunger and water to quench thirst. Also placed on the table, besides the 12 loaves of shewbread, is the drink offering of wine -- a definite water symbol.
The shewbread and wine correspond to the bread and cup of Communion -- the flesh and blood of Christ. Listen to the words of Jesus in John 6:35, "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." As implied by this scripture, bread satisfies both hunger and thirst, not just hunger. The bread of life functions like manna -- the bread of angel (Ps 78:24-25). The latter, to be considered later, is clearly a water symbol. While the water content of normal bread is between 30 to 40%, manna is far higher since it can melt under the hot sun (Ex 16:21). Jesus declares that he is the manna from heaven, the bread of life (John 6:32, 33). With its intimate link with manna and the flesh and bood of Christ, the shewbread is not a contrived symbol of WATER.
The golden altar of incense represents the temple symbol since God said "My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer." (Mark 11:17) King Solomon instructed the Israelites to pray towards Jerusalem, more particularly towards the Temple -- the house of prayer (1 Kings 8:42, 44, 48), wherever they went. Jesus told a parable in Luke 18 that begins with these words, "Two men went up into the temple to pray." (v10) That is what a temple is for. It is a house of worship and prayer.
Just as the golden altar in heaven is set before the throne of God (Rev 8:3), the earthly golden altar in the Tabernacle was set "before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony." (Ex 30:6) The high priest, or priests or saints in Heaven, pray facing God directly in front of Him when they offer incense before Him at the golden altar.
The fourth symbol is unambiguously pointed to by the ark -- the THRONE of God. Its sight is hidden from view to the ministering high priest or priest standing in the holy place due to the veil separating the outer and inner rooms. This fact does not prevent the inclusion of the ark as pointing to the THRONE symbol despite its invisibility. The writer of the book of Hebrews provides a useful clue. Heb 9:3-4 had confused not a few scholars since the golden censer -- the incense firepan, is listed along with the ark as sacred objects within the veil in the Holy of Holies when it is supposed to be associated with the golden altar without the veil. The confusion is dispelled with the realization that the golden censer is a kind of 'extension' of the golden altar since the high priest brings it with him when he enters within the veil on Yom Kippur to pray for the forgiveness of sins of the nation. The high priest would place the golden censer before the ark, in between the staves, and burnt incense. Thus the golden censer functions like the golden altar. Both are placed directly before the THRONE of God -- the fourth symbol.
Third Progressive Zoom-in
Dare we even entertain the possibility that the zoom-in phenomenon may repeat itself the third time as we enter within the veil into the very presence of God? You bet!
We begin with the mysterious Shekinah -- the glory cloud that indicates the visible presence of God. The LIGHT symbol is undoubtedly pointed to by it. Fascinatingly the WATER symbol is also pointed to by it! In the wilderness the Israelites were led by the glory (LIGHT) cloud (WATER) which appeared as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, manifesting in dual modes. Both Ezekiel and John confirm the presence of rainbow when they saw the awesome sight of the everlasting God. Ezekiel's account is particularly revealing, "As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD." (Ezek 1:28) This is the glory cloud with both LIGHT and WATER attributes.
The Skekinah rests upon the mercy seat (Lev 16:2) between the cherubim. The mercy seat and the two cherubim are made of one piece. They point to the THRONE of God (Ps 99:1) -- the fourth symbol. The ark of the covenant points to the third symbol, TEMPLE. Observe that the three temple symbols thus far are cuboids, rectangular in shape: tabernacle proper, golden altar of incense and ark, with dimensions 30 x 10 x 10 cubits, 1 x 1 x 2 cubits, and 2.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 cubits respectively.
[Note: Although the altar of burnt offering is also a cuboid (5 x 5 x 3 cubits), its overall shape is not cuboidal since attached to it is an ascent ramp which forms an integral part of the altar.]
The ark is the heart and soul of the Tabernacle of Moses. It is by design that both the ark and tabernacle resemble in shape. Hence the ark is an appropriate symbol of TEMPLE. King David testifies to the raison d'etre of the temple in 1 Chron 28:2, "As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD."
The coupling of the symbols reminds us of the lumping of spring and fall feasts.
Feasts Eternal Symbols Passover & Pentecost Light & Water (Shekinah) Tabernacles & 8th Day Temple & Throne (Ark & Mercy Seat)
The FINAL Zoom-in
Can we expect the four eternal symbols to show up one more time, i.e. the fourth and final time? To arrive at the Holy of Holies from the outer court, we would have already passed through three entrances: the gate, the door and the veil. We have now come to the ark which is not a room with an entrance but a holy cabinet. Ah, but there are objects inside the ark which can only be accessed by opening the lid, i.e. the mercy seat.
The objects that we shall encounter in the ark are by far the most revealing typologically. We begin with manna, the water symbol noted earlier. According to Ex 16:14, they came with the morning dew (WATER) and appeared like frost (WATER). They melted (WATER) when the sun waxed hot (Ex 16:21). God told Moses in Ex 16:4, "I will rain bread from heaven for you." The Hebrew word used here for rain (WATER), 'matar' , is the same word used for the rain that caused Noah's Flood (Gen 7:4). The evidence that manna is pointed to by water is incontrovertible.
The other three objects in the ark are: Aaron's rod that budded, the Book of the Law, i.e. the Torah (Deu 31:26) and the 10 Commandments. The latter two are a natural pair since the 10 Commandments are 10 out of the 613 laws of the Torah. Isaiah provides a vital clue to the symbolic identities of the Torah and the two stone tablets. We read in Isa 2:3-4a, "And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people."
This prophecy will clearly be fulfilled during the Millennial Kingdom. It also foreshadows the ultimate fulfillment when Christ shall reign eternally at the start of the 8th Millennium. The 10 Commandments, the official law of a theocracy, is pointed to by the THRONE, symbolizing God's rule. According to Isaiah, all nations of the world shall go to Jerusalem, the house of God, i.e. TEMPLE, to learn of His ways by studying the Book of the Law, the Torah, for during the Millennial Kingdom "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." (Isa 11:9, Hab 2:14)
What do these three have in common: Tabernacle, Stone Tablets and the Book of the Law? In shape they appear cuboidal. Surely this is by design since in each of the four progressive zoom-ins, all furnishings and objects pointed to by both the TEMPLE and THRONE symbols appear cuboidal, proving the closeness of the two symbols.
Zoom-in TEMPLE Symbol THRONE Symbol Shape 1st Tabernacle Holy of Holies Cuboidal 2nd Golden Altar of Incense Ark (with Mercy Seat) Cuboidal 3rd Ark Mercy Seat Cuboidal 4th Book of the Law Stone Tablets Cuboidal
The last object, Aaron's rod that budded, is left with the LIGHT symbol to match. It is not a force-fit as it may first appear since Aaron's rod is almost like the Lampstand -- an obvious LIGHT symbol! Both share these common features: a central shaft with branches, almonds, flowers and buds! (Ex 25:33, Num 17:8)
The symbolic meaning of the almond rod is even more significant. There must be a good reason why Aaron's rod budded almond of all fruits. The almond blossoms in January. It is the first to bloom in the spring while other trees are still sleeping. It is the harbinger of spring -- the wakeful one. The Hebrew for "almond", shaqed, comes from the root, shaqad, meaning to be vigilant or awake, i.e. sleepless, hence to be on the lookout. Is this not required of the priest charged with trimming the Lampstand!?
The parable of the ten virgins (Mat 25) is a perfect illustration of the almond rod a.k.a. Lampstand. The fire goes out if one is not vigilant in trimming the lamp and refilling the oil. To keep the fire burning requires constant zeal (LIGHT). For this reason, to the lukewarm Laodiceans the Lord issued this warning, "be zealous therefore, and repent." (Rev 3:19)
Hence the almond rod signifies watchful, zealous and prompt service of the priesthood, appropriate characteristics of LIGHT. Light is service and works (Mat 5:16). The first vision given to Jeremiah proves the almond-zeal connection.
Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond [shaqed] tree. Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten [shaqad] my word to perform it.
There is a play on words here. The Hebrew for "almond", shaqed, is morphed into its Hebrew root word, shaqad, meaning hasten or watch. The idea is, the God who slumbereth not (Ps 121:3, 4), watches His word to perform it speedily -- the meaning of the almond rod. Does not Scripture say no less than three times "the zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform..." ? (2 Kings 19:31, Isa 9:7, Isa 37:32) Thus Aaron's almond rod points to the LIGHT symbol convincingly.
The Four Feasts of Israel
The four progressive zoom-ins left us speechless, awestruck by the wisdom of God! Perfection is clearly stamped upon it. More surprises are yet in store for us as we meditate on the contents of the holy cabinet. Note first the eight feasts of Israel are collapsible into four feasts. The four holy articles in the ark appear to point to the four feasts!
It is well known that the Torah and the first set of stone tablets were given on Pentecost at Mount Sinai. It is less well known the second and final set of stone tablets was brought to the people on the Day of Atonement (a Tabernacles feast) when Moses descended from the mount. The Torah and stone tablets (second set) point to Pentecost and Tabernacles respectively.
Aaron's rod points to Passover since it was instrumental in the 10 plagues and the parting of the Red Sea. Manna first fell on Iyyar 16, the first day of the week (Ex 16:1), the 32nd day counting from Nisan 14, the day the Israelites departed from Egypt. The first day of the week is the 8th Day -- pointed to by manna!
Ark content Feast association Remark Aaron's Almond Rod Passover
Aaron's rod instrumental in the 10 plagues
and Red Sea parting at Passover.
Torah Pentecost Torah given on Pentecost. Stone Tablets Tabernacles Stone tablets given on Yom Kippur. Manna 8th Day Manna fell on the 1st day of the week,
i.e. the 8th day.
Note the chronological order of the arrival of the four articles of the testimony: 1st month -- Aaron's Rod (LIGHT); 2nd month -- manna (WATER); 3rd month -- Torah (TEMPLE); 7th month -- stone tablets (THRONE). This is precisely the order the furnishings were laid out in the outer court of the Tabernacle of Moses: burnt-offering altar (LIGHT), laver (WATER), Tabernacle proper (TEMPLE) and the Holy of Holies (THRONE)!
Moreover, this is also the same order the four eternal symbols appear in Genesis chapter one!
Symbol Creation Environment Creation Population LIGHT Day 1: Light created (v3) Day 4: Sun, moon, stars (v14) WATER Day 2: Waters divided (v6) Day 5: Fish, birds (v20) TEMPLE Day 3: Land appeared (v9) Day 6: Land creatures (v24) THRONE Day 3: Eden/Vegetation (v11) Day 6: Man (v26)
The evidence of the four eternal symbols is overwhelming. Nature is replete with them! Man -- the crown of Creation, the viceroy of the King of the universe -- is pointed to by the THRONE symbol. He is in charge of three principal domains: air (LIGHT) , which includes the heavenlies (Eph 2:2), sea (WATER) and land (TEMPLE).
The Four Quadrilaterals
The table below summarizes the four progressive zoom-ins.
Symbol Outer Court
Holy of Holies
LIGHT Burnt-offering Altar Lampstand Shekinah Glory Aaron's rod WATER Laver Shewbread/Wine Shekinah Cloud Manna TEMPLE Tabernacle Incense Altar Ark Torah THRONE Holy of Holies Ark
(with Mercy Seat)
Mercy Seat Stone Tablets
Observe that the four domains (quadrilaterals) decrease in size from the outer court to the inner room. They consist of three rectangles and one square. The volumes of the four domains are most interesting. Between Moses and Jesus there were around 1,500 years. Is this number intimated by the area of the outer court linen fence which measures 1,500 square cubits? (See link.) The volume of the second domain, the Holy Place, is 2,000 cubic cubits (20x10x10). Is this pointing to the possible Church age of 2,000 years as many Bible students believe? The 1,000-year rule of Christ in the Millennial Kingdom is most definitely pointed to by the volume of the Holy of Holies measuring 1,000 cubic cubits (10x10x10). (See link.) This leaves the fourth domain, the ark, pointing to eternity, the 8th Day.
[Note: There were 8 persons (1 Pet 3:20) in Noah's ark! The dimensions of Noah's ark is 300 x 50 x 30 cubits -- also cuboidal in shape. Its volume is exactly 80,000 times the volume of the ark! The conspicuous EIGHT in both Noah's ark and the ark is linked to the 8th Day!]
The 4 Domains & 4 Feasts
The four domains (4 quadrilaterals) of the Tabernacle of Moses correspond to the four feasts of Israel and the 4 ages in God's eternal plan!
4 Domains 4 Feasts 4 Ages Outer Court Passover Passover Age (Moses to Jesus) Outer Room (Holy Place) Pentecost Pentecost Age (Church Age) Inner Room (Holy of Holies) Tabernacles Tabernacles Age (Millennial Age) Innermost Room (Ark) 8th Day The 8th Millennium (Eternity)
The first domain represents the Passover Age for Jesus is that prophet Moses wrote about (Deu 18:15). Between Moses and Jesus are two Passovers with a span of 1,500 years. Jesus wrapped up this age beautifully since he is the end of the Mosaic law (Rom 10:4). What began by Moses was completed by Jesus. The three temples (Tabernacle of Moses, King Solomon's Temple & King Herod's Temple) constructed during this dispensation foreshadowed Christ and found ultimate fulfillment in him since he said in John 2:19, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The meaning of this cryptic statement is cleared up by John couple of verses down, "But he spake of the temple of his body." (John 2:21)
The 1,500 years of preparation produced the Messiah who came as the Passover Lamb. This is the significance of the Passover Age.
The burnt-offering altar in the first domain is strong evidence of the Passover theme. The altar was located at the same spot in the Temple exactly where Isaac was supposed to be sacrificed on mount Moriah. Isaac is the perfect TYPE for the Passover Lamb (Gen 2:22) which was ultimately fulfilled by Jesus. Is there a more fitting furniture in the entire Tabernacle that represents Passover? It is appropriately placed in the first domain that represents the Passover Age.
The second domain represents the Pentecost Age. The Church is explicitly equated to the Lampstand by the Lord in Rev 1:20. Is it coincidence the Lampstand is housed in the Holy Place? Is it coincidence too Pentecost is also known as the Feast of Weeks (sevens) and that the seven-branched Lampstand is the only Tabernacle furniture prominently associated with seven? Physics informs us that the light coming from the Lampstand are seven frequencies in the visible spectrum. Another coincidence? Also telling is the table of Shewbread a.k.a. Communion table -- the bread and cup symbol that is most definitely Christian!
The Pentecost Age began with the Outpouring of the Spirit and will end with the rapture of the bride of Christ most likely on a future Pentecost. For 2,000 years since Christ, the Holy Spirit has been looking for a bride for Christ, preparing her for the wedding of the Lamb. Just as the Passover Age ended with the resurrection of the BODY of Christ, the Pentecost Age will end with the resurrection (rapture) of the Church -- the BODY of Christ! The coupling of the two spring feasts is flawless!
[Note: There are good reasons for believing in a Pentecost rapture not covered in this article. Christians will do well to ponder on the significance of the furniture in the Holy Place. They should remain in fellowship (table of Shewbread) with Christ while watching (Lampstand) and praying (incense altar) that they "be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:36) ]
The third domain represents the Tabernacles Age when the feast of Tabernacles will be celebrated by all nations of the world (Zec 14:16, 18, 19). The Shekinah glory will envelop Jerusalem for a 1,000 years never before seen by all peoples of the world since Creation. Isaiah describes it this way in Isa 4:5-6, "And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain." Appropriately, the Shekinah glory and cloud are the LIGHT and WATER symbols in the third domain. As the high priest only enters into the Holy of Holies once a year on Yom Kippur, the third domain parallels the Tabernacles Age perfectly since it is the Holy of Holies itself.
The Tabernacle of God will be with His people for an uninterrupted period of 1,000 years in the Millennial Kingdom. Moreover, the Shekinah glory will not depart throughout this period, unlike previously. Just as the spring feasts are closely related, the fall feasts show many similarities.
Tabernacles Age 8th Eternal Day All sinners judged and removed at the start. All sinners judged and removed for the last time at the start. Satan judged and bound for 1,000 years. He will be ABSENT and only loosed for a little season at the end of this age. (Rev 20:2-3) Satan judged and punished for the last time. He will be ABSENT for good in this eternal age. The Tabernacle of God is at the center of global rule. The Tabernacle of God is at the center of universal rule. The Tabernacle of God shines with the glory of God (Isa 4:5-6; 60:19-20). The Tabernacle of God shines with a greater glory of God (Rev 21:11). God tabernacles with His people (Eze 37:27). God tabernacles with His people (Rev 21:3). The people of God serves Him (Isa 10:20). The people of God serves Him (Rev 22:3).
The fourth domain represents the endless age to come -- the 8th Day. Examine first the volume of the ark. The total volume of the first three domains, 4,500 cubic cubits, is 800 times the volume of the ark which measures 5.625 cubic cubits (2.5x1.5x1.5)! The number 800 is the value of the (8+8+8)th Greek letter, OMEGA! The narrative on the 8th Day is recorded in the OMEGA chapters of the Bible, Revelation chapters 21 and 22. Even more intriguing, the total volume of the four domains is 801 times the ark volume. The number 801 is the Greek value of 'The Alpha and Omega' and 'The Creator' -- both referring to God. The symbology is perfect! The 1st (Alpha) day of the week is also the 8th (Omega) day. The 1st note of an octave is also the 8th note. Creation began on the 1st Millennial Day 6,000 years ago and New Creation will usher in the 8th Millennial Day at the start of eternity.
Eternity is implied by the ark from another angle. The first domain, the outer court, is accessed daily by the worshippers, Levites and priests. The second domain, the Holy Place, is accessed daily by the priests. The third domain, the Holy of Holies, is accessed once a year by the high priest. The fourth domain, the ark -- an enclosed cabinet, is not accessed by anyone at anytime, i.e. at no time -- a metaphor for eternity.
The contents of the ark prove beyond a shadow of doubt its 8th Day association. There is no LIGHT discernible from Aaron's rod while the other three LIGHT symbols exhibit clear light: burnt-offering altar, Lampstand and Shekinah glory. There is no WATER discernible from the golden pot of manna while water is clearly present in the other three WATER symbols: laver, shewbread and wine, and Shekinah cloud. The Book of the LAW is no TEMPLE while the other three TEMPLE symbols are clearly Tabernacle-related: Tabernacle proper, golden incense altar and ark. The Book of the Law need not be confined within the Tabernacle while the other three symbols cannot exist outside of the Tabernacle. Thus, amazingly the distinctives of the 8th Day -- no illumination, no water pouring and no booth -- are encoded in the fourth domain within the ark!
TEMPLE: BODY & TABERNACLE
The table below summarizes the awesome plan of God for the ages. Intriguingly, the blueprint may be viewed from three different perspectives -- 4 feasts, 4 eternal symbols or 4 temples. We will now explore the temple perspective. (Observe the coupling that exists between the spring and fall feasts.)
4 Domains Outer Court Holy Place Holy of Holies Ark 4 Symbols LIGHT WATER TEMPLE THRONE 4 Temples Temple of the Son
Temple of the Spirit
Temple of the Father
Temple of the
Coupling Body of Christ
Body of Christ
Tabernacle of God
Tabernacle of God
4 Feasts Passover Pentecost Tabernacles 8th Day
The story of God's redemption is encapsulated in four temples!
The 4 temples are divided into two categories: 1) Body of Christ 2) Tabernacle of God. The first category is not physical building. It is spiritual building (1 Pe 2:5) for it includes Jesus and his bride -- the Church. The second category is physical building and interestingly, the New Jerusalem -- the latter Tabernacle of God (4th Temple), is also Jesus' bride -- referred to in Rev 21:9 as "the bride, the Lamb's wife"! The 4 temples are grouped into two corresponding pairs: the first temple corresponds to the third temple, and the second temple corresponds to the fourth temple.
We seem to have entered holy ground here. The thoughts that follow should be contemplated with awe, reverence and humility. Note the intensional play on the VEIL -- the separator between the first two and last two domains, between the spiritual and physical categories. The former lies outside of the veil; the latter inside. The domains that lie without the veil are VEILED since the spiritual Temple is hidden -- Jesus and his bride do not appear as physical building outwardly. The domains that lie within the veil are UNVEILED since the Tabernacle of God will be an outward, open manifestation of His presence in all her glory.
Outer Court Holy Place V
Holy of Holies Ark Body of Christ
Body of Christ
Tabernacle of God
Tabernacle of God
Without the VEIL Within the VEIL VEILED UNVEILED
The bride theme of the 2nd and 4th domains reveals surprising, yet awesome truth. The Church is the bride of Christ, the body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Christ is the Head of the body. "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body." (Eph 5:23)
The VEILED category consists of ONLY ONE BODY -- not two, since the bride will be joined to the Bridegroom as ONE FLESH (Eph 5:30-31). Just as the BODY is ONE, there can only be ONE Tabernacle of God standing in eternity as all things of the old world shall pass away (Rev 21:1) and God will "make all things new." (Rev 21:5)
The Tabernacle of God (New J) in the 4th domain is also the bride, the Lamb's wife! The implication is astounding if the analogy of the 4 temples is pushed to its logical conclusion. To be consistent, the analogy implies the union of the Godhead -- Three Persons yet One -- the Trinity. But this is the central tenet of Christianity after all and familiar theology, except that this time the Triune God condescends to accept the bride into their fellowship (1 John 1:3)!
The first instance of union is seen in the Church -- for the Temple of the Holy Spirit is wedded to the Son -- the union of Two Persons in the Godhead. Did not Christ pray in John 17:23 concerning his disciples that "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one"? Note the order. The bride is joined to the Son as one flesh -- 'I in them'. However, since Jesus said, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30) -- 'thou in me', the bride by virtue of the bridegroom is privileged to "be partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4), too -- one with the Son who is one with the Father!
Now the bride theme in the 4th domain begins to make perfect sense in light of the foregoing. The Spirit, as bride, in the 2nd domain is joined to the Son in the 1st domain. Both the Spirit and the Son as ONE FLESH (bride) in the 4th domain is joined to the Father in the 3rd domain! The four domains are unified by the BODY and TABERNACLE themes!
Just as both the 2nd domain (Church) and 4th domain (New Jerusalem) refer to the bride, the Lamb's wife -- ONE BODY, the 1st and 3rd domains refer to the Son and the Father as ONE TABERNACLE (Rev 21:22).
Why the Symbol of the Passover is LIGHT, not WATER
This conundrum opens up a whole new area of inquiry. On appearance the most appropriate symbol of the Passover is WATER what with the parting of the Red Sea. The main evidence that Passover is pointed to by the LIGHT symbol is because Jesus, the Passover Lamb, was offered as the BURNT-OFFERING sacrifice (Gen 22:2; Heb 10:6-10). Another evidence is the pillar of FIRE that came between the Egyptians and the Israelites at the crossing of the Red Sea -- "And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night." (Ex 14:20)
LIGHT was before the people and darkness behind -- the same idea conveyed by Paul in Col 1:12-13, with regards to our passover at the point of conversion, from darkness to light -- when the destroyer (Ex 12:23), the angel of death, passed over and our new life in Christ began.
Genesis 1 offers intriguing proofs on the four feasts of Israel and the four eternal symbols. It offers supporting evidence that hints at the above intricate details. The parting of the Red Sea is clearly intimated in the second day of Creation when two bodies of waters were parted by the firmament, i.e. the region of the sky -- the LIGHT -- which was first created the day before. The emphasis is on the LIGHT -- the source behind the parting. The symbol of LIGHT points to Passover.
Can we detect Pentecost in the next creative spoken word, "And God said, Let ..."? Dry land appeared out of the lower body of waters, i.e. the sea, at the start of the third day of Creation. Is this not intimating Mount Sinai (Zion) as arising out of the WATER -- the birthing process? The Torah was given at Mount Sinai on Pentecost when Israel was born as a nation. WATER signifies birth or regeneration (Tit 3:5) since a person is BORN OF WATER (John 3:5). The dry land or earth is the stuff that made Adam and his descendents. The analogy is clear: The BODY of Christ was birthed at Pentecost when the Church was "born of water and of the Spirit" (John 3:5). The emphasis is on the WATER -- the source that gave rise to the dry land. The symbol of WATER points to Pentecost.
Later in the third day trees began to grow out of the dry land. This hints at the feast of Tabernacles since booths are made from branches and leaves. The idea of the Tabernacle is shelter and shade from the heat of the day -- God's provision of protection and refuge in His Kindgom. The emphasis is land, i.e. TEMPLE -- the source that gave rise to vegetation. The symbol of TEMPLE points to the feast of Tabernacles.
What about the THRONE, the fourth symbol? Amazingly, one can think of the Garden of Eden as coming out from the green vegetation. The THRONE of God was in the Garden of Eden. It was no doubt near the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil -- the two enigmatic trees out of the many trees. The latter idea -- few out of many, is similar to the two stone tablets (THRONE symbol) which are 10 laws out of the 613 laws of the Torah (TEMPLE symbol). The coupling between the two symbols is observed yet again here: the many trees point to Tabernacles (TEMPLE symbol) and the two trees point to the 8th Day (THRONE symbol). At the start of the 8th Millennium, the tree of life is seen once more (Rev 22:2) in Scripture, after its brief cameo appearance in the Garden of Eden recorded in Genesis chapter one 7,000 years earlier.
The Trinity Signature
The four eternal symbols concealed in Genesis and Revelation are related in a peculiar manner. The pattern, which is also found spectacularly in the 66 books of the Bible, appears to be a key signature of the Triune God.
Observe how the two sets of Trinity symbols relate. Given a set of three elements, there are exactly three distinct ways of pairing them: AB, BC & AC. That is precisely the Trinity signature! It exudes perfect harmony and unity and adds intriguing insights to the 4 ages pointed to by the 4 symbols.
- The Passover Age was fulfilled by Jesus, the LIGHT of the World (John 1:4-5, 8:12).
- LIGHT is the symbol of the Son.
- He was sent by the Father. (John 3:16, 17:25)
- The Father provided the Son as the Passover Lamb -- the burnt offering sacrifice (Gen 22:8, 10).
- The Father prepared a BODY for the Son (Heb 10:5).
- The BODY or TEMPLE is the symbol of the Father.
The above describes the first pair of symbols: LIGHT-TEMPLE. The first symbol is LIGHT and the last symbol is TEMPLE. The Son manifested in the symbol of the Father, TEMPLE.
- The Pentecost Age was fulfilled by the Spirit, who was poured out as Living WATER (John 7:38-39).
- WATER is the symbol of the Spirit.
- He was sent by the Son (John 15:26, 16:7).
- The Son provided the Spirit as the Comforter, the Spirit of truth (John 15:26).
- The words of Jesus (John 16:13-14) are ILLUMINED by the Spirit. The Spirit is the Seven Lamps of Fire burning before the throne of God (Rev 4:5).
- LIGHT is the symbol of the Son.
The above describes the second pair of symbols: WATER-LIGHT. The first symbol is WATER and the last symbol is LIGHT. The Spirit manifested in the symbol of the Son, LIGHT.
- The Tabernacles Age will be fulfilled by the Father as He will TABERNACLE with His people during the Millennial Kingdom (Eze 37:26-27).
- The TABERNACLE or TEMPLE is the symbol of the Father.
- The Holy Spirit comes in the form of the Shekinah cloud, manifesting the presence of the Father.
- The Spirit pours out the blessings of the Father by sending abundant RAIN (Zec 14:17-18) and inundating the world with the knowledge of God "for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the WATERS cover the sea." (Isa 11:9)
- WATER is the symbol of the Spirit.
The above describes the third pair of symbols: TEMPLE-WATER. The first symbol is TEMPLE and the last symbol is WATER. The Father manifested in the symbol of the Spirit, WATER.
- The Son whose symbol is LIGHT, ministers with the Father's symbol, TEMPLE.
- The Spirit whose symbol is WATER, ministers with the Son's symbol, LIGHT.
- The Father whose symbol is TEMPLE, ministers with the Spirit's symbol, WATER.
By joining the two sets of Trinity symbols shown below, an interesting pattern is formed. The number 888 (Greek gematria of JESUS) is hidden in the pattern!
Intrinsic in the name of Jesus (888) is the Trinity signature illustrated above. The Triune God is indeed the Alpha and the Omega -- the first(1st) is the last(8th) and the last(8th) is the first(1st).
The Number 1500
This number confirms the three redemptive ages. The volume of the outer court, 1,500 cubic cubits, shares the same value as the Greek gematria of LIGHT, 1500. (see link) Both the symbol and volume point to the Passover Age typified by the outer court which was fulfilled by Jesus whose symbol is LIGHT!
The average volume of the Holy Place (2,000 cubic cubits) and the Holy of Holies (1,000 cubic cubits) is also 1,500 cubic cubits. The Greek value for MOUNT ZION (Rev 14:1) is 1500 -- pointing to the Pentecost Age typified by the Holy Place! The Pentecost Age started with the giving of the Living Torah -- the Spirit, on Mount Zion (Gal 4:24-26) -- the New Jerusalem -- the bride of Christ! Thus, MOUNT ZION is the code word for the Church in the Pentecost Age. The gematria of this Hebrew phrase, "And he placed a law in Israel" (Ps 78:5) is also 1500 -- another evidence.
No other scripture describes the Tabernacles Age better than Ezek 37:27, "My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people." Unbelievably this scripture also has a value of 1500 -- the average volume of the two rooms of the Tabernacle!
Without doubt, the number 1500 is connected deeply with the Trinity. Bible numericist Bonnie Gaunt observed that the multiplicative gematria of the Tetragrammaton, YHVH, is 1500 (10x5x6x5)! YHVH is the awesome holy personal name of God. Another name of God -- YAH (first two letters of YHVH), has a value of 15, which is a hundredth of 1500 -- another significant connection.
The volume of Noah's ark is 450,000 cubic cubits, i.e. (1500 + 1500 + 1500) x 100 ! Its association with the number 1500 and the Trinity is clearly by design since there were THREE (TRINITY) stories in Noah's ark! As noted earlier, we can pack 80,000 arks of the covenant in Noah's ark. Surely it cannot be happenstance that the total volume of Noah's ark is also 100 times the combined volumes of the outer court and the Tabernacle, OR 150 times the volume of the Tabernacle alone (3,000 cubic cubits)!
The number 1500 has the signature of the two names of God -- YHVH and YAH. It confirms the three Trinity symbols (LIGHT, WATER, TEMPLE) and the three redemptive ages (PASSOVER, PENTECOST, TABERNACLES).
It seems incredible that each Person in the Godhead is represented by a divine geometric shape! This was a supernatural revelation given to Clay Cantrell in a vision in 1997. (see link) The three shapes that represent the Son, the Spirit and the Father are triangle, circle and square respectively. Can it be coincidence that the Trinity symbols conform to these three shapes?
- LIGHT, the symbol of the Son, is TRIANGULAR. A tongue of fire is triangular. The rays of light emitting from a light source are triangular.
- WATER, the symbol of the Spirit, is CIRCULAR. A drop of water is circular in shape.
- TEMPLE, the symbol of the Father, is CUBOIDAL (SQUARE or RECTANGULAR).
It turns out the furniture and objects in the Tabernacle of Moses also conform to these three shapes!
Symbol Outer Court
Holy of Holies
Gepmetric Shape LIGHT Burnt-offering Altar Lampstand Shekinah Glory Aaron's rod TRIANGULAR WATER Laver Shewbread/Wine Shekinah Cloud Manna CIRCULAR TEMPLE Tabernacle Incense Altar Ark Torah CUBOIDAL THRONE Holy of Holies Ark
(with Mercy Seat)
Mercy Seat Stone Tablets CUBOIDAL
Both the TEMPLE and THRONE symbols are CUBOIDAL -- a fact mentioned previously. The fourth symbol, THRONE, is of the same shape as the third symbol, TEMPLE -- the Father's symbol, since the Kingdom of God (THRONE) is ultimately the Father's (1 Cor 15:28).
Examine the LIGHT symbol. The burnt-offering altar was constructed of two main parts: the altar itself, and the ascent ramp. Both parts are triangular in shape! (see link1 & link2) Moreover there were THREE FIRE arrangements atop the altar arranged in a triangular shape! (see link3) The flame of each fire is triangular in shape!
All the LIGHT symbols in the table below display TRIANGULAR motif. It is intriuging the Lampstand according to Maimonides is TRIANGULAR in structure! Although the Lampstand with rounded branches is the most widely accepted design, the triangular version is also acceptable for use and legally binding in terms of Jewish law. (see link)
Holy of Holies
Burnt-offering Altar Lampstand Shekinah Glory Aaron's rod
CIRCLES can be found in all the WATER symbols. Manna is described as "a small ROUND thing" in Ex 16:14. The Shewbread is also CIRCULAR in shape. (see link) As for the laver it is generally represented as ROUND. The Skekinah Cloud is made up of water droplets that are ROUND. Furthermore it also manifests as the rainbow that ENCIRCLES the throne in Heaven (Rev 4:3). Although full CIRCLE rainbows are rare, they may still be seen on earth from airplane or high altitudes.
Our God is full of surprises. Will we be able to exhaust His ceaseless wonders? The Psalmist declares in Ps 119:96, "I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad."
Last updated March 30, 2006