This website has been created to demonstrate that the Tabernacle from the Old Testament is a representation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is my desire that everyone who reads contents of this website will be spiritually nourished, that their faith will increase, that they will gain increased confidence to meet life’s challenges, that they will be motivated to forsake sin and come unto Jesus Christ, to call on His name, obey His commandments, and to abide in His love. This is exactly what has happened to me as I have studied this sacred structure in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ.
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The covenant people of the Lord are promised great blessings if they live by every word which proceeds forth out of his mouth. The scriptures provide a standard, a rod of iron, a firm foundation, and were once literally contained within Ark of the Covenant, or the throne from which the God of Abraham ruled over his people (see 1 Kings 8:9). The words of God and the prophets are the only source of spiritual nourishment which the world so desperately needs. It is the desire of the Lord to bless his people with comfort, guidance, revelation, divine protection, and liberty. He has therefore commanded us to continually feast upon his words and ponder their meaning. Liberty from coercive powers is the divine blessing of an individual or group of individuals who have liberated themselves from the natural man, by submitting themselves to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
What does it mean to live by every word of God?
The first time this commandment appears in the scriptural record is in the eighth chapter of Deuteronomy. Before the children of Israel entered the Promised Land, Moses recited their traveling in the wilderness over the previous forty years, and the reasons the Lord made them wander. Moses reminded them that immediately after their exodus from bondage in Egypt on dry ground through the Red Sea, many began to murmur for want of food in the desert. Some even desired bondage and the security of a free meal over their newfound liberty (see Ex. 16:3). The Lord gave them manna from heaven to satisfy their hunger, and that they might learn the following lesson:
“And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments or no. And he humbled thee, an suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did they fathers know; that he might make the know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth forth out of the Lord doth man live.” (Deut. 8:2-3 emphasis added)
Human beings are comprised of two entities, a physical body which houses a spiritual body. Both of these entities need constant nourishment in order to function properly. Before the children of Israel could properly govern themselves, the Lord had to make it clear that this could not be accomplished through exclusively temporal means (i.e. by bread alone). The ability to create a lasting, prosperous, self-sustaining, and free civilization requires spiritual nourishment (i.e. the Bread of Life) in addition to temporal nourishment.
You are what you eat.
If it is true that you are what you eat, then it is also true that, ‘you are spiritually, what you eat spiritually’. A person who consumes unhealthy foods as part of their main diet increases the chance of sickness, infirmity, and potentially life-threatening diseases to their physical body. An individual, who does not consume the words of God, or the Bread of Life as their main spiritual diet, causes their spiritual health to decay in like manner.
The scriptures admonish us to make searching, pondering, and praying over the words of God as our main spiritual nourishment. There have been periods in my life where I have studied the philosophies of men at greater length, than the words of God. As I look back at those periods now, I see that my spiritual health was stagnant and not as prosperous as the times where the Bread of Life was my main course. We are admonished to obtain a “knowledge of history, and of countries, and of kingdoms” (D&C 93:53), but that portion must not make us so ‘full’ that we don’t have room for the Word of God. I testify of the truthfulness of the words of the Lord Jesus Christ: “Blessed are they which to hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matt. 5:6)
If you feast upon the scriptures, and make the word of God your primary spiritual meal, you will be filled in a way that you did not think possible. The transition may not be easy, it is difficult to switch to a diet of good, wholesome and healthy food, but the benefits are eternally rewarding. Our Lord calls to each member of the covenant to ‘feed [his] sheep’ (see John 21:15-17). President Gordon B. Hinckley wrote: “There is a great hunger in the land, and genuine thirst – a great hunger for the word of the Lord and an unsatisfied thirst for things of the Spirit…. The world is starved for spiritual food. Ours is the obligation and opportunity to nourish the soul.” Let us feast upon the word of God, so that we might better persuade at testify to the world of the liberty that is found therein.
Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
The Garden of Eden provides a model applicable to nearly every scenario of transgression, and how not living by every word of God leads to spiritual death. While Adam and Eve were in the garden, the law was simple and clear:
“Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it… for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen. 2:16-17)
In other words, if they did not eat the forbidden fruit, they would live forever in God’s presence. Living by every word of God in this scenario literally allowed infinite life. The example of Eve being deceived by Satan in this discussion is an example for how all sin is committed and has nothing to do with her gender. This example is a model for how transgression occurs, and the consequences of choosing to live by words that are not God’s.
God warned that “in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Then came Satan stating the following to the contrary, “thou shalt not surely die, for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:4-5). Satan also persuaded Eve that the fruit had even more desirable benefits; that it was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and could make one wise (see Gen. 3:6).
Satan was persuading Eve to live by his words, and not by God’s. He deceived her into thinking she could obtain knowledge, good food, or desired ends, by doing something contrary to what God had said. Her desire was good, but her means of obtaining it were incorrect. She sought to become as God, or to obtain food, or wisdom by doing something contrary to God, by living according to the word of the Adversary.
She already had power similar to God, an infinite life span, unlimited food, and direct access to God, His teachings, wisdom and learning. By not living according to the word of God, she was cut off from his presence, his wisdom, her infinite life, and her unlimited supply of food. Satan had nothing to offer her after this as his sole purpose was to make her as miserable as he it. The only way she could regain these lost blessings was through Jesus Christ, and by making covenants with Him. In return, God provided her and Adam with clothing, greater knowledge, ordinances to make covenants, and the gift of the Holy Ghost.
The forbidden fruit represents the boundary between good and evil. It represents God’s will verses the will of the natural man. When we choose a course of action that we know is not sanctioned by the Lord, we challenge his sovereignty and his word. When we choose to live by words other than God’s, we walk away from his divine mercy, and into justice and judgment.
“Ye call upon my name for revelations, and I give them unto you, and inasmuch as ye keep not my sayings, which I give unto you, ye become transgressors; and justice and judgment are the penalty which is affixed unto my law.” (D&C 82:4)
In order to obey God’s law, we must first know what it is. The scriptures are the standard by which we should judge all actions, and this is part of righteous judgment. Familiarity with the scriptures will allow us to compare the teachings of the world with the teachings of the spirit in order to choose the right. When we are more familiar with the philosophies of men over the realities of God, we place ourselves in great danger of being deceived.
The Bread of Life
When Jesus was near the Sea of Galilee, during the first year of his ministry, he was followed by a large group of people near the base of a mountain. When he saw the multitude that followed him was hungry, he made arrangements to have them fed. Miraculously, he provided more than enough food for five thousand people. Because of this temporal blessing of food which they received, many sought to force Jesus to be their temporal king. But he desired no part in their plans and quietly departed alone into a mountain (see John 6:15).
Jesus later met his disciples by walking upon the water to them while in a boat upon the Sea of Galilee. The next morning, when those who sought to make Jesus a temporal king could not find him, they quickly traveled to the other side of the Sea. Upon finding Jesus, they asked him why he had left to which Jesus responded:
“Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” (John 6:26)
The crowd then asserted that Moses had given their fathers manna in the desert to eat, and had filled them; implying that their request of temporal bread from Jesus was no different. Our Lord however taught them the true purpose of manna in the wilderness, it being a symbol of his mission and purpose.
“…I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst… Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die… As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. That is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.” (John 6:35, 49, 57-58)
Before closing on this point, recall the story of Josiah, a king in Israel. Prior to his reign, the scriptures and the law appeared to have been lost for some time. This no doubt was a major cause for the wickedness, evil, and corruption that was found in Israel. Upon finding the scriptures in the temple, Josiah had them read to him to which he reacted by rending his clothes in profound sorrow. He realized the true extent to which Israel had departed from the Lord (see 2 Kings 22-23).
In his zeal, he used his power as king, to destroy all the idols and shrines dedicated to false gods. He destroyed the unlawful offensive weaponry that was prohibited by the Lord. He even slew the false priests of the high places and burned their bones upon their own false altars. In short, he used his government authority to enforce righteousness among the people. These actions were sanctioned by the Lord, and Josiah is regarded as one of the most righteous of kings in all of Israel.
There are many today that would advocate such a use of government force to restore the nation to righteousness. Despite Josiah’s zeal and attempts to turn people to the Lord, he had only established an outward form of righteousness in Israel, and this was not enough. The following biblical commentary from Kiel and Delitzch is instructive:
“It is true that Josiah had exterminated outward and gross idolatry throughout the land by his sincere conversion to the Lord, and by his zeal for the restoration of the lawful worship of Jehovah, and had persuaded the people to enter into covenant with God once more; but a thorough conversion of the people to the Lord, he had not been able to effect. For, as Clericus has correctly observed, ‘although the king was more religious, and the people obeyed him through fear, yet for all that the mind of the people was not changed…”
Coercive force could not change the hearts and minds of the people of Israel. Within twenty years after the death of Josiah, Israel was carried away captive into Babylon and their temple was destroyed.
The Lord Jesus Christ refused to be made a temporal king of the people, despite his obvious power, authority, and right to do so. The people who wanted to make him king did not seek him for the right reasons. They sought for their political and temporal salvation with no thought of their spiritual salvation. People cannot live in peace, liberty, and justice with one another unless they voluntarily choose to live by every word that proceeds forth out of the mouth of the Living God. Any attempt to build a civilization upon any other foundation is nothing more than a Utopian dream that will always fail. May we turn people to the word of God so that they might learn to render to God the things that are God’s. Then there will be nothing left for Caesar.
I write these things in the name of Jesus Christ.
Last night my two year old son was up with an upset stomach. My wife lovingly took him into her arms despite the mess he had made by ‘rejecting’ his dinner. I cleaned up the bed and put spoiled linen into the wash and came into our room. My wife lay next to him the entire night on the floor as he continued to have stomach trouble. My wife has done this time and time again for each of our children, and she does it without complaint. The love of a mother demonstrated in the middle of the night with a sick child is truly one of the greatest acts of service done repeatedly on this earth. Yet this goes unrecognized. My two year is grateful she is there, but her love is so constant, it is simply normal for her to be there for him. He will not remember the incident, and I do not remember the countless times my mother watched over me as I was sick. This is one reason why the Lord has commanded his children to “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee” (Ex. 20:12).
When a mother renders such service to her child, she is in reality serving the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ taught:
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:31-40, emphasis added).
I believe that when a mother ministers unto her sick child as my wife did last night, that the Lord considers such action as having been done unto him. I am thankful for my wife. I am thankful for my mother, and the times for which she ministered unto me, which I cannot remember. If anyone has rendered such service unto you from the days of your own infancy, to the present day, communicate with them right now, and let them know how grateful you are. Be the voice of the Lord to such a person in expressing your gratitude.
Such acts of service and expressions of gratitude for service rendered invite the spirit of the Lord into ones life. When you invite the spirit of the Lord into your life through these acts of kindness, you draw closer to the Lord, and you will walk in holy places. I testify that you will feel the spirit of the Lord encompass you, that his light will guide you, and that you will be filled with spiritual nourishment.
I write these things in the name of Jesus Christ.
The House of the Lord is a house of order and sacredness. Outside of the temple, “only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness” [source]. The temple was, and is a place of refuge from the world. A sacred place where principles of righteousness abound and the love of the Savior shines like the sun at noon.
Elder Quentin L. Cook, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ recently taught about the ever increasing need of religious observance in the home:
“Parents, the days are long past when regular, active participation in Church meetings and programs, though essential, can fulfill your sacred responsibility to teach your children to live moral, righteous lives and walk uprightly before the Lord.
“With President Monson’s announcement this morning, it is essential that this be faithfully accomplished in homes which are places of refuge where kindness, forgiveness, truth, and righteousness prevail. Parents must have the courage to filter or monitor Internet access, television, movies, and music. Parents must have the courage to say no, defend truth, and bear powerful testimony.
“Your children need to know that you have faith in the Savior, love your Heavenly Father, and sustain the leaders of the Church. Spiritual maturity must flourish in our homes. My hope is that no one will leave this conference without understanding that the moral issues of our day must be addressed in the family” [source]
Model your home after the temple.
Model your home after the Holy Place of the tabernacle. The Holy Place was a room separated from the world where the presence of God could be felt. It was a place where the only source of light was Jesus Christ as symbolized by the Golden Candlestick. Turn off the light of the television and the programming which detracts from the spirit. Turn on media which invites the spirit of Christ into your home. Testify to your children of the love of God, and the great things he has in store for those who are faithful.
The Holy Place contained the holy food which sat upon the table of shewbread. Feed your family from the Bread of Life, and the Living Waters. Make your home a place where your children can learn to feast upon the words of Christ.
The Holy Place contained the altar of incense which is a symbol of prayer. Live your life according to the prayers that are offered up. Do what you can to bring to pass that which you pray for. Let your heart be drawn out in prayer as the continually burning incense ascended up to heaven. Pray continually for the welfare of your children, then ponder and act according to the direction you receive from the Holy Ghost.
If you are doing these things, then help motivate others to do likewise.
I write these things in the name of Jesus Christ.
The tabernacle was built from materials that were donated from the children of Israel. After requesting donations, so much was freely given that a commandment was given for them to stop (see Exodus 36:5-7). More than enough was received so as to build the structure according to the commandment of the Lord. The foundation of the tabernacle was made of 100 talents of silver which equals approximately 7,545 lbs. Of all the metal used in the tabernacle, silver accounted for 50%, gold 15%, and bronze 35%. All but 45 lbs of the silver was used to build the foundation.
Silver is a precious metal which has many uses, and it is symbolic that such a valuable offering was used the foundation. Just as Israel gave of their precious goods, the Father gave His most precious ‘good’, in the form of His Son Jesus Christ. The Father gave the Son to serve as the foundation of the Gospel. The Lord is the foundation of justice, and mercy. He is the foundation of that which separates the light from the darkness, the good from the evil, the holy from the unholy. The Lord is the foundation of the way back to the presence of the Father, and the means whereby all people can over come spiritual and physical death. The Lord is the foundation of the means to eternal happiness and everlasting increase.
The scriptures admonish us to build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. If we desire to be his disciple, then we must follow in his footsteps, seek to act as he would act, seek to speak as he would speak, see to love as he would love. As we do this, we will build upon a foundation which cannot fail.
“…Remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation: that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, ye, his shafts in the whirlwind, ye, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.” ~ Helaman 5:12
I write these things in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The veil of the tabernacle divided the Most Holy Place from the Holy Place. Woven within the veil were cherubic emblems symbolizing the guardians of the way of the way of the tree of life. The veil is a symbol of physical death, one of the obstacles which prevents us having direct access to the Father.
Jesus Christ was the first individual to overcome physical death through his atoning sacrifice. In fact, the scriptures associate the rending of the veil of the temple with the physical death of the Lord.
“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came of of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” ~ Matt. 27:50-53
It is incorrect to assume that the rending of the veil of this temple means that a temple is no longer necessary, or a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For the door of the temple was still intact. The only way an individual can enter through the door of the tabernacle (spiritually speaking) is to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, offer a broken heart and a contrite spirit, submit to the will of the Father by being baptized by one of his authorized agents, and living your life so as to receive the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Then you will have access to the grace of God to redeem you from spiritual death.
Jesus Christ was the first individual to pass through the veil of death through his resurrection, and return to the Father. Now that he has vanquished death, everyone will return to his presence to be judged. When physical death comes upon us, those who are in the Holy Place (spiritually speaking) will be prepared, while those who are elsewhere will not. If we desire eternal life, the most important focus of our life should be to enter into the Holy Place (spiritually speaking).
I write these things in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The table of shewbread, the golden candlestick, and the altar of incense were the only three vessels inside the holy place. The table of shewbread was a future symbol of the ordinance of the sacrament, and the continual need of spiritual nourishment. Partaking of the bread and water is designed to help us remember the salvation from physical death, and the opportunity of liberation from spiritual death through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Previously, wine was used in the sacramental ordinance. Modern revelation specifies that wine is not necessarily required. The humble attention and devotion of the individual towards the Father is what makes the ordinance effective. Through the prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord has revealed the following:
“…I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory – remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of sins.” ~ D&C 27:2
The Lord Jesus Christ gave his physical body so that we might all be resurrected and saved from physical death. This is what we are to remember as we partake of the bread. The blood of Jesus Christ was shed so that we might receive a remission of our sins by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel, this is salvation from spiritual death. This is what we are to remember as we drink the water. Through this ordinance, we can receive the continual companionship of the Holy Ghost. I testify that this power is real, and that the Lord’s promise of having the spiritual to be continually with you is real. I consider the companionship of the Holy Ghost to be perhaps the greatest blessing I enjoy in my mortal existence, for through it, all other considerations of eternal significance have lasting meaning.
I write these things in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The sideboards of the tabernacle formed a division between the outer courtyard and the two rooms of the inner sanctuary the holy place, and the most holy place. In order to enter into the holy place, spiritually speaking, one of the things we must do is hearken unto the word of God. To hearken means to both listen and obey. Nephi, an ancient prophet from the Book of Mormon explained to his older brothers, the spiritual significance of a dream his father Lehi had previously received.
In the dream, a rod of iron led the way to the tree of life. As Nephi explained, the rod of iron was the scriptures, which teach mankind how to obtain the fruit of the tree of life, or the love of God.
“And I said unto them that [the rod of iron] was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.” 1 Nephi 15:24
Those who held onto the rod of iron were led in safety to the tree of life. Those who did not wandered in darkness, and some fell into a river of water which flowed near the tree. Nephi’s brothers again asked him what the river of water meant. To which he responded:
“…the water which my father saw was filthiness… and I said unto them that it was an awful gulf, which separated the wicked from the tree of life, and also from the saints of God.” 1 Nephi 15:27-28
Those who held fast to the scriptures received of the love of God, and were made clean through the blood of the lamb. Those who departed from the scriptures fell outside the claim of mercy and were subject to the full implications of justice. Those who hearken (listen to and obey the word of God) were made clean, while those who did not remained filthy. The sideboards of the tabernacle separate the clean and holy from the filthy and unholy. Every aspect of the tabernacle testifies of the Lord Jesus Christ.