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There are many mysteries in the Tabernacle of Moses. A mystery is not something that cannot be known but something that is not generally known. It is something that is not openly evident and apparent to everybody. A mystery is something that must be searched out and solved. The table of shewbread, the bread, it's dishes, it's pans, jars and bowls presents such a mystery. The shewbread is only mentioned twice in the New Testament in Hebrews 9:2, and in Mat 12:4 where it is called "The Consecrated Bread". In Hebrews 8 & 9 the Tabernacle is described as a picture of heaven. As a copy and shadow of heavenly things. The Tabernacle is called a symbol for the Old Testament times. It is called a COPY of things in the heavens. It also says the Tabernacle is a copy of the true tabernacle that is in heaven. HEB 9:11 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; HEB 9:12 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. There is a Holy Place in the earthly sanctuary, there is also a Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary. The first covenant had an earthly sanctuary and the new covenant has a heavenly sanctuary. The earthly sanctuary is a picture, a type, a shadow and a copy of the heavenly sanctuary. The blood of bulls and goats was sufficient to cleanse the earthly sanctuary but it required the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ to cleanse the heavenly sanctuary. The book of Hebrews is a continual comparison between the old under Moses and the new under the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a series of warnings against going back to the former things and mixing the old with the new. The argument of the writer is the new is far superior to the old and Christ is far superior to everything that preceded Him. What then is the purpose of studying the old if it has been done away with and everything in the new is so far superior. The answer is that the old is a graphic example for us so we can see in picture form the copy of the new. 1COR 10 is a clear example of the picture of Israel coming out of Egypt and is an example for us on whom the end of the ages have come. ROM 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 1CO 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. There are hundreds of scriptures and examples given from the Old Testament to provide explanations for the new testament. Any one who has studied the New Testament knows that without the old the new would be just a shell and much would be incomprehensible. Just take one example of faith. Just try to give a comprehensive definition of faith without the old testament. The Red Sea crossing is a picture of baptism. Noah and the ark is a picture for us of baptism. The slaying of the sacrifices and the applications of blood is a picture of Calvary. The anointing of the priests is a picture of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The laver is a picture of water baptism and the washing with the water of the word. The old covenant written on stone and scrolls is a picture of the new covenant written on the fleshly tablets of human hearts. The physical battles in the old are a picture of the spiritual battles we face. And on and on it goes. The lampstand in the tabernacle is a picture of the functioning church in this age. REV 1:20 "As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. The incense in the old is a picture of the prayers of the saints in the new. REV 5:8 And when He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. The ark of the covenant is a picture of the THRONE OF GOD. More and more evidence can be given but this is enough to show the validity of this study. MAT 12:3 But He said to them, "Have you not read what David did, when he became hungry, he and his companions; MAT 12:4 how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? Jesus was asking the religious leaders about David eating the shewbread and how that could be. This presented a tremendous problem because only the consecrated priests could eat that bread. But David ate and also gave to his men to eat and yet they were not struck down. Each time this bread is mentioned, the mystery is unveiled. Now the shewbread was in the Holy Place along with the lampstand and the altar of incense. Only certain priests who were of the family of Aaron and his sons who were consecrated could enter into the Holy Place. None of the other priests who were Levites could enter there. Each priest who could enter and serve in the Holy Place had to be circumcised. had their sins handled by the blood, removed their old garments, been washed in the laver, clothed with new garments, anointed with oil and fully consecrated. These all speak of the basic foundations and the first principles of our experience with Christ. HEB 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, HEB 6:2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. HEB 6:3 And God permitting, we will do so. If these foundations are not in our life God cannot permit us to go on to maturity. The city of God is a city with foundations. The question then is this: If we do have all these foundations experientially in our lives what is the next step? Some of these foundations are ambiguous. However when we see the preparation of the priests, we understand why and we see the picture clearer. The second veil, which is called the door of the sanctuary, is covered in another study so we will proceed to the ministry of the Holy Place. This ministry revolves around three specific shadows which are types for us to understand God's purpose for us. The pure gold lampstand which sat on the left side of the Holy Place. The gold table of shewbread which was on the right side, and the gold altar of incense that sat straight ahead just before the third veil that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. This was the veil that was torn from top to bottom when Jesus was crucified. This study is about the table of shewbread. EXO 25:8 "And let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them. EXO 25:9 "According to all that I am going to show you, {as} the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct {it.} This is the first mention of the tabernacle in scripture and here God tells us the reason for it. It was so He could dwell among His people. At Mt.Sinai, God wanted His people to consecrate themselves and come up to dwell in God's presence. Israel was afraid because of the great fire and refused to go up. Therefore God needed a sanctified and consecrated place in which to dwell among His people. That is the meaning of " sanctuary". Since this sanctuary was to be just a shadow of the heavenly sanctuary it had to be built exactly according to the pattern God showed Moses on the mountain. The rest of chapter 25 shows the exact way the sanctuary was to be arranged. This did not include the outer court. Just the furniture for the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place. Chapter 26 just deals with the structure itself. Chapter 27 deals with the outer court and it's utilities. Chapters 28 & 29 deals with the consecration and ordination of the priests, Aaron and his sons, and their garments. Chapter 30 begins with the details of the altar of incense. The priests duties were to keep the lamps for the lampstand trimmed and filled with oil so it burned continually. It's purpose was to illuminate the Holy Place and light everything in front of it. They were to keep the consecrated bread set out continually and to eat the Holy bread when fresh bread was set out. Then they were to burn incense before God morning and evening when they trimmed the lamps. 2CH 29:11 "My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before Him, to minister to Him, and to be His ministers and burn incense." Included in that call was to burn incense. The table of shewbread was in two parts. (1) The table (2) The shewbread. The table was the place the shewbread was set out. In this study we will study the bread. First we must see if there is a new testament revelation and explanation of bread. JOH 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." JOH 6:48 I am the bread of life. Since we have a fixed revelation, we can't deviate from it. When we are speaking about the bread of God, we are speaking about the Lord Jesus Christ. The priests had to eat the shewbread. In this same way, Jesus said My flesh is true food. Unless you eat my flesh there is no life in you. The whole issue of eating Christ is a matter of LIFE. TO ASCRIBE THIS TO COMMUNION IS TOO SHALLOW. What the priests ate was the shewbread. In the incarnation, it was the WORD that became flesh. It is a mistake to separate the Eternal Word Of God from the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the WORD MADE FLESH. Then it stands to reason that His flesh must have something to do with the WORD OF GOD. Many who take the Lord's table are not even born again and are scripturally illiterate. To say all those who take the communion elements have His life is foolish. He, Himself, is life. To have life we must eat Him, Himself. Because we relate eating to our mouth, chewing, swallowing and digestion, this seems to be confused. However if we relate eating to ingesting the WORD OF GOD, it makes sense. This puts much more emphasis on the Word Of God than many people are comfortable with. Most want to be comforted with " just believe", nothing is required of you. Because of this error, much of the church remains ignorant and are looking for someone else to feed them. THIS IS NOT THE REVELATION OF THE SHEWBREAD. Even the manna, which was Israel's first taste of the heavenly bread, was a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. JOH 6:57 "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me. JOH 6:58 "This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate, and died, he who eats this bread shall live forever." JOH 6:48 "I am the bread of life. JOH 6:50 "This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. JOH 6:51 "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh." When we speak about the bread of God we are speaking about the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God. He is the bread that came down out of heaven from God to give life to the world. We must begin with the understanding that the shewbread is a picture of the Word of God. If we stopped here we would have a basic understanding of shewbread. If we study the types from the old testament we will have a fuller understanding of How we may eat and What we may eat. Who may eat and Who may not eat. What precedes eating. Who may set out and offer the bread of God. From this study we may learn why so many in the church never participate in the shewbread. Once we fix the reality of the type, which is the revelation of the bread from the New Testament, the Old Testament will provide many details not given in the New Testament. Many wonder how we get accurate information from the types. Some think we must just make up the explanations as we go along. In this study I want to show some details of how to search the scriptures. We will walk through this study detail by detail. First we should read carefully every scripture that speaks about this bread. We could use our Crudens concordance to research the word "bread" and separate the scriptures that specify "the shewbread", rather than just plain bread. Soon we discover this particular bread is called by several different names. It is called "the bread of the face", " the bread of the presence" ," the continual bread ", " the bread of ordering ", " the consecrated bread "," the Holy bread ". References are found in EXO 25:23-30, EXO 35:13, NUM 4:7, 1CHR 9:32, 1SAM 21:3-6, LEV 24:1;9, Mat 12:3-4, Heb 9:2. ( called, the sacred bread ). From Strongs dictionary we find there are three different words that refer to this bread in Hebrew. Each word is given a number. Number 3899 is the word LECHEM. This word means to eat bread. It comes from a root word that means TO CONSUME OR TO FEED UPON. Number 6440 is the word Paniym. it means THE FACE, THE COUNTENANCE . But also means TO ENQUIRE FROM. The Hebrew uses "idioms" in it's speech. That means an expression to convey a thought. Paniym means TO MEET AT THE MOUTH. Instead of saying "we will meet at Bro. Joe's place to see what he will say to us", the Hebrew idiom is " We will meet at Bro. Joe's mouth ". The word also means THE PRESENCE. Number 4635 is the word MA'AREKETH. This means to arrange in a row, or set in a pile, to stack up. In the New Testament there are two words used. Number 739 which is ARTIOS and means FRESH, COMPLETE, as in a BREAD OR LOAF. The other word is Number 4286 which is PROTHESIS. This word means A SETTING FORTH. Pro means before and thesis means to set . The greek word theo has reference to God. Strongs says "TO SET BEFORE GOD." From this short word study it is clear why the translators have difficulty in choosing one word to say all this. Since the translators can't use a long phrase to convey the meaning they chose SHEWBREAD. This means TO SHOW THE BREAD. This is as good as any other possibility. Still it doesn't give us much insight into what that bread means to us. From our word study we can combine the various word meanings to form a phrase that will contain a composite of all the meanings. We can now say: We must appear before His presence with great reverence, to inquire of Him personally, and to meet at His mouth to see what He will say to us, to meet with Him face to face to hear His voice and receive our food and feed on Him. This holds to the New Testament revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, who is the bread of life. It also combines the old Testament facts concerning the shewbread. Together this phrase adds details that are much clearer than the term "shewbread". It is now clear that the " shewbread" speaks to us of a personal encounter with the LIVING WORD OF GOD. That as we meet at His mouth we will hear His voice. In His presence we may eat of Him, receive our food and eternal life. It is at the shewbread that we hear the RHEMA of God. The now word, the living word and the voice of God. It requires a personal encounter with God, in the person of Jesus Christ, the Word Of God, Himself, to secure your own food directly from the source of eternal life. Too many are satisfied to just be fed by someone else. Many are satisfied with just milk and not solid food. Many stop in their walk before they can participate in the Holy Place life and ministry and are satisfied functioning in the outer court ministries. Everything in the Holy Place is made of GOLD. Most do not want to experience the fire that purifies the gold. The outer court furnishings are made of bronze. Bronze speaks of judgement while gold speaks of God's character, God's sovereignty and God's eternal purpose. The gold of the lampstand is the revelation of God's character. The gold of the table of shewbread is a revelation of God's eternal purpose and the gold of the incense altar is a revelation of God's sovereignty. Man begins to function within the authority of God as he steps into the circle of God's sovereignty at the incense altar. The shewbread reveals the purpose of God so we can burn incense and co-operate with God to release God's power upon the earth and establish His Kingdom. The Devil fears a lampstand church that is burning to illuminate the shewbread that is giving the revelations to properly burn incense. When this happens Satan's kingdom will be in jeopardy. The study is not complete until we see who can eat of the bread of God and who cannot eat. We also need to see who is approved of God to set out and offer the bread of God. LEV 21:17 "Speak to Aaron, saying, 'No man of your offspring throughout their generations who has a defect shall approach to offer the bread of his God. LEV 21:18 'For no one who has a defect shall approach: a blind man, or a lame man, or he who has a disfigured {face}, or any deformed {limb}, LEV 21:19 or a man who has a broken foot or broken hand, LEV 21:20 or a hunchback or a dwarf, or {one who has} a defect in his eye or eczema or scabs or crushed testicles. LEV 21:21 'No man among the descendants of Aaron the priest, who has a defect, is to come near to offer the Lord's offerings by fire; { since} he has a defect, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. LEV 21:22 'He may eat the bread of his God, {both} of the most holy and of the holy, LEV 21:23 only he shall not go in to the veil or come near the altar because he has a defect, that he may not profane My sanctuaries. For I am the Lord who sanctifies them. ' When we speak about the shewbread we must see the ministry of the priesthood. God appointed the priesthood to minister in the Holy Place. Certain aspects of the priesthood touch upon the revelation of the shewbread. God set certain standards for those priests who were to set out and offer the Holy Bread. The bread is mentioned in two dimensions. Both the Holy and the most Holy. There was the bread of the wave offering, called "the bread of the first fruits", and "the shewbread". Now the bread refers to Jesus Christ, the word of God. Certain defects will not keep you from eating the Holy or the most holy bread. God's requirement dealt with those who OFFERED the bread of God. Once a priest who had no defect offered the bread then others who did have a defect could eat of that bread. Now we must be careful how we interpret "the priest without defect". HEB 9:14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Every sacrifice must have a priest who ministered at the altar during the sacrifice. This was the law of Moses. Jesus must fulfil all the law. Then who was the priest that officiated at the altar of Calvary? It was the Holy Spirit who ministered as THE PRIEST at the altar of Calvary. The revelation of this is found in the priesthood of Melchizedec. Jesus offered Himself as the sacrifice to God THROUGH the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is also a priest after the order of Melchizedec and holds His priesthood forever. Jesus Christ has no defect, the perfect lamb of God and the perfect priest of God. It was the Holy Spirit that offered up the BREAD OF GOD. Now there are OTHER PRIESTS who do have defects. None of us would dare say we have no defects. Yet God has made provision for us to eat of the bread of God. Both the Holy and the Most Holy. Now this may lead some to think we have no responsibility concerning OUR DEFECTS. As long as we are permitted to eat why be concerned about defects? The reason, of course, is because God has ascribed to us a place in the body of the high priest. Now this puts a whole new perspective upon the members of the body of Christ. It should be clear that His body has members that approximate the defects of the priest. There are twelve defects listed here. (1) blind (2) lame (3) disfigured face (4) deformed limb (5) broken foot (6) broken hand (7) hunchback (8) dwarf (9) cloudy eye (10) eczema (11) scabs (12) crushed testicles. If we give these spiritual interpretations, we will see many of our own spiritual defects. However God's high priest must not have any of these defects in His body. Now the popular interpretation is that the blood covers all defects. No! God didn't have any priests who had not come to the shedding of blood at the altar for forgiveness of sins. He didn't have any priests who had not had the sprinkled blood applied. Every priest who ministered in the holy Place had to have the blood applied to the right ear, the right thumb, and the big toe of the right foot. It is clear that defects are not covered by blood. Defects have to do with deficiencies and not being able to function in certain areas. All men born into this world have many defects. Even after we are born again, we still have defects. The encouragement is that Jesus healed all who came to him. MAT 15:30 And great multitudes came to Him, bringing with them {those who were} lame, crippled, blind, dumb, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them, MAT 15:31 so that the multitude marveled as they saw the dumb speaking, the crippled restored, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel. While each of us have defects, we can't heal ourselves. But God has demonstrated to us that through Jesus Christ we each can be healed. First we must recognize our defects and then seek God for healing. Jesus just healed those that came to Him. While physical defects are temporary, spiritual defects effect us eternally. If you are a dwarf you can grow. If you have cloudy eyes you can buy eye salve. REV 3:16 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. REV 3:17 'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, REV 3:18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and { that} the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. Certain things in God's grace are free. Others need to be bought. We have accepted the gospel of the free but reject the gospel of the bought. He is not speaking here of sins but of defects. REV 3:21 'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. What they needed to overcome were defects. The promise then is to sit on His throne. Others would be vomited out of His mouth. Out of His body. Why? His body can't have these things. The message to this LAMPSTAND CHURCH begins with a revelation of Christ. REV 3:14 "And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: Why does He say " The beginning of the creation of God"? Then He says the overcomers will sit on the throne of God. From the very beginning, God's purpose was to have a people who would rule over all the works of God's hands. Now we see this is reserved for the overcomer, not all men or all believers. All the promises are given to the lampstand churches that overcome. These may be the only messages given in the New Testament that are dictated word for word. Therefore we should be careful to heed what is said. Either overcome or be vomited out of His mouth. There is no third choice. Defects will not keep us from eating the Bread of God ( THE WORD OF GOD ). But defects will keep us from the original purpose of God, to rule with Him. We should make a distinction between those who have defects and those who are unclean. Those who are unclean cannot even eat the bread of God. Those with defects can eat the Bread of God but cannot offer the bread of God. Those who have a defect cannot go beyond the third veil, or come near the incense altar. Therefore it is clear that defects will keep us from the Holy Place life and ministry. The encouragement is this: Jesus healed all who came to Him, that had defects. Uncleanness is handled by confession, repentance and forgiveness.