Exodus 27-28

Sunday Evening Bible Study

 May 11, 1997


Moses has been up on the mountain alone with God, receiving more details on God's laws, as well as a blueprint for the tabernacle.

We've seen how the tabernacle was built to be a model of heaven.

We've already seen -

The ark of the covenant, with the mercy seat on top, being a picture of God's throne.

The table of showbread, a place of communion with God, the intimacy of sitting down to a meal with God.

The golden candlestick, a picture of us in God's presence, lights shining in a dark world.

The tabernacle, or tent itself, being built in layers, with the inner layer filled with the colors of blue, purple, scarlet, with golden angels woven into it.

The gold covered boards that formed the solid structure to the tabernacle, which by the way, in heaven, the streets themselves are paved with gold.

The two veils, serving as doorways into the holy place and the holy of holies.

We now move into the items in the courtyard.

Exodus 27

:1-8 The bronze altar

:1 thou shalt make an altar

There were two altars in the tabernacle, a golden one inside for the offering up of incense, and a bronze one outside, for the animal sacrifices.

This bronze altar was made of wood, and covered in bronze so it would be fire proof. Everything in the outer court was made of bronze, just as everything inside the tent was made of gold.

It had rings and staves like the other heavy pieces of furniture, so it could be carried.

It also had four "horns", one on each corner, and these horns were possibly used to bind the sacrifices to the altar.

(Psa 118:27 KJV) God is the LORD, which hath showed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.

The position of the altar, right in the middle of the courtyard, between the doorway of the courtyard and the tabernacle, showed that the only way to get to God was by sacrifice.


There is no more blood sacrifice

We no longer have to bring an animal sacrifice, it's all been paid:

(Heb 9:11-12 NASB) But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; {12} and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

When you feel like you owe God something for your sin, you're wrong, it's all been paid for.

You can't "give up" something to pay for your sins, the price has been paid.

You don't need to beat yourself up.


Offer proper sacrifices

(Heb 13:15-16 KJV) By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. {16} But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

We do this with our worship.

The words off of our lips are to be offerings rising to God.

(Rom 12:1-2 KJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. {2} And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Tie yourself to the altar and give yourself to God.

The problem with a living sacrifice, is that it keeps getting up off the altar.

:9-19 The outer court

:9 the court of the tabernacle:

Surrounding the tabernacle was a kind of linen "fence" to keep all non-worshippers out and to keep them from seeing in without coming in themselves.

It was 100 cubits long, and 50 cubits wide.

The "fence" was held up with pillars, bases, and sockets of brass.


Worship involves coming away from the world.

The purpose of the courtyard was to make a kind of barrier, a kind of separation from the place of worship and the rest of the "world".

Those on the outside don't see or understand what goes on in the inside.

Those on the inside have a barrier that keeps them from seeing the world outside.

It's kind of like when we come to church, and take a step away from the world, a step toward the Lord.

I think we need to make a mental effort sometimes to put away the thoughts, images, cares, and concerns of the world as we come to worship the Lord.

:20-21 Oil for the lamp

:20 bring thee pure oil

The people were to supply oil for the lamp that burned inside the tabernacle.

Note that the lamp was only lit from evening until morning.

The priests were to keep the light burning through the long dark night.

We've seen a picture of this in Revelation:

(Rev 1:12-15 KJV) And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; {13} And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. {14} His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; {15} And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

I believe the picture that John is seeing is that of Jesus clothed as a priest, moving among the candlesticks, keeping the lights burning bright.

In fact, we're told later that the candlesticks are indeed the churches, and the seven letters that Jesus dictates to John are Jesus' way of trimming, cleaning, and refilling the lamps.


Let Jesus keep you burning bright.

Don't shy away from any kind of "cleaning" He may want to do in your life.

Don't shy away if He wants to trim your wick.

Don't be reluctant if He wants to refill you with the oil of the Holy Spirit.

Exodus 28 - the priests' garments

:1-5 The garments

:2 holy garments

It was very important to the Lord that the priests be dressed properly when they came to Him.

(Psa 29:2 KJV) Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

This "beauty of holiness" is actually the "holy clothing" -

Ps 29:2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in holy array. (NAS)

The New Testament talks about us being priests (Rev. 1:6), but also about wearing the proper clothes:

Col 3:12-14 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye. 14 And above all these things [put on] charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

I wonder if it's these kinds of things that God wants us clothed in.

Note: These garments were for "glory and beauty".

:5 gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen

Do these colors sound at all familiar?

They're the colors of the inner tent of the tabernacle.

They were "color-coordinated" with the tabernacle.

If the tabernacle is to be a model of heaven, then there's a little bit of heaven in the priests' clothing.

God wants you to be representatives of heaven.

:6-14 the ephod

:6 ephod

a vest-like garment, like a shirt, worn by the priests.

:12 bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders

These two black stones had the names of the tribes of Israel, the people that the priests ministered to.

They were to have their names on their shoulders as they came into God's presence.

This is a great picture of intercessory prayer -

(Gal 6:2 KJV) Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

In prayer, we are to carry each others' burdens into God's presence.

:15-29 The breastplate of judgment

:15 breastplate of judgment

The Breastpiece was a pouch-like garment, which attached to the Ephod.

It hung over the priests' heart as he stood before God.

:17 settings of stones

If you look carefully at the twelve stones that were put on the breastplate, you will discover that they're the same stones that make up the foundation of the New Jerusalem.

REV 21:19-20 The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; 20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst.

Again, wearing around a little of heaven.


God's people are precious.

Don't forget that these stones were again another representation of the tribes of Israel before the Lord.

Each tribe represented by a precious stone.

What do you think of God's people? Are they garbage? Or precious stones? It all depends on your heart, not their actions.

:29 bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart,

Not only does the priest bear the burden of the people, upon his shoulders, but he bears them on his heart.


Prayer ought to be a labor of love.

If you aren't falling in love with people the more you pray for them, then perhaps something's wrong.

I find that when my heart is right, and my praying is correct, I fall more in love with God's people as I pray for them.

:30 Urim and the Thummim

meaning "lights" and "perfections"

Joseph Smith thought these were magical glasses.

Truthfully, we really don't know what they are.

It is thought that this was used in seeking God's answer to a particular question a person might ask. In conjunction was the Urim and Thummin, thought to be a black and a white stone, which were placed in the pouch. The priest would ask God a "yes or no" question, and then reach into the pouch. If the white stone was pulled out, the answer was "yes", if the black stone was pulled out, the answer was "no". These are just possibilities though, it's not known for sure.

:34 golden bell

In Lev.10, Nadab & Abihu, were toasted by the Lord for lack of holiness and fear.

Later a rope was tied to the ankle of the high priest in case he died in God's presence, they could drag him out without having to go in after him.

These bells would let the people know that the priest had made it into the Holy Place, and was alive to minister to the Lord on their behalf.


Fear the Lord.

We talk freely about God's mercy and grace, and about His being our "friend".

But I think there ought to always be a sense where we realize the He is God, and our lives are in His hands, and we ought to maybe tremble just a little as we come into His presence.

:36 plate of pure gold

"Holy to the Lord" - Set apart for God's use, and God's use alone.

I wonder if any of us would live our lives any differently than we do if we had a gold plate stuck on our foreheads that read, "For God's Exclusive Use".

:39-40 Coats and such

In addition, the priests had coats and pants that they wore are they ministered.