The Tabernacle of His Testimony by Pastor Tom Hughes
The Tabernacle of His Testimony
Pastor Tom Hughes, December 1, 2007
Today we are going to continue our study of the Sanctuary in Heaven. We are going to study what the bible means when it refers to the “Tabernacle of the Testimony”. What is the testimony? What is the tabernacle? What is the Tabernacle of the Testimony? And what does it mean when God uses this expression? What does it mean when John the Revelator uses this expression? What is the significance of this term today for Seventh-day Adventists?
Let’s begin by studying the fifteen verses where this expression is used.
In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which [is] before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD: [it shall be] a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel .
Exod. 30:26 And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony,
1. What is “The Testimony” referred to in these verses, and what is the Ark of the Testimony?
Open your bible to:
And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon Mount Sinai , two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony [were] in his hand: the tables [were] written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other [were] they written.
And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.
Exod. 40:20 And he took and put the testimony into the ark, and set the staves on the ark, and put the mercy seat above upon the ark:
So we see from these verses that “The Testimony” is the term the Bible uses to describe the Two Tables of Stone Moses brought down from the Mountain where he communed with God Himself. It is the Ten Commandment law that God wrote with his own finger, on both sides of the stone tablets.
Let me say it as plainly as I can; The Testimony is the Law of God contained in Ten Commandments and God calls it “HIS TESTIMONY”.
The Ark of the Testimony is the name the Bible uses to describe the gold plated box that the Ten Commandments were put into by Moses, and then covered with a lid called “The Mercy Seat”.
This gold lid was the place where the blood of the sacrificial lamb was sprinkled, making atonement for the sinners breaking of the Ten Commandment law contained in the Ark of His Testimony.
2. What is the Tabernacle? And what is the Tabernacle of Testimony?
Let’s examine the Biblical evidence; open your Bible to:
Exod. 30:36 And thou shalt beat [some] of it very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy.
Exod. 31:7 The tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that [is] thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle,
So the Tabernacle of the congregation is the Earthly Sanctuary that Moses made from the pattern God showed him on the Mountain of the Heavenly Sanctuary. We know that is was symbolic of the Heavenly by our next verse:
Hebrews 8: 5;
“Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, [that] thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
So Moses made ALL THINGS according to the PATTERN God showed him of His Throne Room. We will see that this is true later when we get to the book of Revelation. Just note that the Tabernacle is this symbolic model of Heaven.
Now let’s examine the other verses describing the Tabernacle of the Testimony.
This is the sum of the tabernacle, [even] of the tabernacle of testimony, as it was counted, according to the commandment of Moses, [for] the service of the Levites, by the hand of Ithamar, son to Aaron the priest.
And thou shalt set the altar of gold for the incense before the ark of the testimony, and put the hanging of the door to the tabernacle.
And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, and set up the vail of the covering, and covered the ark of the testimony; as the LORD commanded Moses.
Without the vail of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from the evening unto the morning before the LORD continually: [it shall be] a statute for ever in your generations.
But thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and over all the vessels thereof, and over all things that [belong] to it: they shall bear the tabernacle, and all the vessels thereof; and they shall minister unto it, and shall encamp round about the tabernacle.
But the Levites shall pitch round about the tabernacle of testimony, that there be no wrath upon the congregation of the children of Israel : and the Levites shall keep the charge of the tabernacle of testimony.
And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that [was] upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and he spake unto him.
And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, [namely], the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning.
Num 10:11 And it came to pass on the twentieth [day] of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony.
Num 17:4 And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you.
From these verses we see that the Term Tabernacle of the Congregation, and Tabernacle of the Testimony are used to describe this symbolic Earthly Sanctuary that Moses built. It is called the Tabernacle of the Testimony because it contained the Ark of the Testimony, The sacred Ten Commandments of the Lord God.
3. The Tabernacle of the Testimony today is in the Heavenly Sanctuary, and God’s Ten Commandments are in the Ark of the Covenant there as an everlasting Covenant!
Rev 15:5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:
The fact that this verse describes the Tabernacle of the Testimony in Heaven just as the Seven Last Plagues are about to be poured out upon a rebellious world proves that God’s Ten Commandment Law is still the basis of his righteous judgments and that no one can do away with nor alter his Holy Law. The same law he gave to Moses is still in heaven, in the very throne of God, and cannot be reached by sinful, fallen man.
All Ten Commandments are still binding upon rebellious sinners, including God’s fourth commandment to keep holy the Seventh day of the week because it was set aside and made holy by God himself, and written with his own finger. Notice what the Bible teaches us in Revelation 11: 19:
“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”
So there we see those words again, “The Ark of His Testament” and “The Tabernacle of His Testimony”!
Notice how God calls it the Ark of HIS Testament! God is saying, the Tablets of Stone, written on both sides by my finger, belong to me! They are in heaven, where you cannot change or alter them!
4. God calls his very THRONE ROOM; “The Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony in Heaven”!
He is saying to the whole universe, “My very throne room, the most holy place where I meet with my Son to decide the fate of all mankind is the Temple of the Tabernacle of MY LAW! MY MERCY SEAT! MY ARK OF THE EVERLASTING COVENANT”!
How dare any man say God’s Law has been done away with? How dare any man say God’s Ten Commandments have been made void or altered? How dare any man try to take his chisel out and hammer on the Sabbath Commandment, and try to deface and alter God’s stone tablets! Back I say! Away I say! You cannot enter God’s throne room to do your lawless deeds! You can gain no admittance there!
Open your bible with me to the Book of Isaiah Chapter twenty four and verses five and six:
(5) “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
(6)Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.”
And In the book of Ephesians Chapter 5 and verse 6:
“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”
The Bible has taught us today that the Ten Commandments of God are still in Heaven, in the heart of his Throne Room, in the Temple of God , inside the Ark of His Testimony in the Tabernacle of His Testimony. God has placed them in the context of the Seven Last Plagues poured out upon the world because they have transgressed his Law and broken the everlasting Covenant, inside the Ark of the Covenant. God’s wrath will be poured out because they are the “Children of disobedience”.
Paul says to “Let no man deceive you”! Sin is still the transgression of God’s Law. Repent of your sins! Ask God to sprinkle the blood of Jesus upon the Mercy Seat for you! Let Jesus give you HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS as a free gift! Then if you love Jesus, “Keep his commandments”. Do your best to walk in the Fruit of the Spirit and not in the lawbreaker’s works of the flesh!
Do your best to be an obedient child of God, honoring God’s Commandments including the Sabbath that the world has trampled upon. Not in your own works, but as a sign that he is the God that “Makes you Holy”. Exod. 31: 13.
We walk by faith, saved by Grace, transformed by the Spirit, and adopted as the undeserving Son of the King, joint heirs with Christ!
May you be among those who have the faith of Jesus and who keep the commandments of God (Rev. 14: 12) is my prayer in Jesus name,
Amen and Amen!