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Seeing Shadows Pt 10: The Pieces of the Tabernacle

Seeing Shadows: A Study of the Tabernacle  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We are now at our finally study in this section of our series on the Tabernacle. We are at the finally piece of furniture which is the mercy seat.
so lets pickup in Exodus and read about this all important item
Exodus 25:17–22 KJV 1900
17 And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. 18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 19 And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. 21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. 22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
ex
so this is our last piece of furniture and we have separated it out from the ark of the covenant, which we looked at last week. The reason we have separated it out is because it has a very specific purpose and presents a very specific picture for us.
So although this piece of furniture is the last we will look at , and indeed probably the smallest item of all those we have looked at, its size and stature are not reflective of its importance, for it is of the upmost importance, and as we study the mercy seat out we will find out why that is so.
Firstly then, as we have done for all the other items we will look at its Structure

A. The Structure of the Mercy Seat

The first thing we notice from the heavenly pattern of the mercy seat is..
Exodus 25:17 KJV 1900
17 And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.
It is made of pure Gold, Gold was representative of Deity/God. All the items of furniture in the Holy Place and the Holy of Hollies were Golden in appearance but not all were pure gold.
Question - Can you remember the other item that was pure Gold (Furniture)
Question - what were the other items made up of? and what did that wood represent?
now the mercy seat as we have read is made of pure gold only, and that is significant and we will deal with why when we look at the symbolism of the mercy seat a little later
what else are we told about the structure of the mercy seat, well we have the measurements
Exodus 25:17 KJV 1900
17 And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.
2.5 cubits long and 1.5 cubits wide
remember the Hebrew mind would see those numbers as half of the whole
2.5 =5 with 5 the number of Grace
5 the number of Grace
1.5=3 with 3 being the number of manifestation or Gods presence, the trinitarian number
and we have touched on those numbers and meaning throughout our studies, and indeed it should come as no surprise that the dimensions found here are the same as those on the ark of the covenant as the mercy seat was also a lid for that box, so it fitted perfectly on top of the ark.
moving on we are introduced to something new as far as the decoration of the items of furniture go.
Exodus 25:18 KJV 1900
18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.
two cherubims - here we are introduced to members of the angelic order, Cherubims is plural for Cherub
Question - now when i say the word cherub, what do you picture in your mind?
I would say most people would be thinking of this image.
But this folks is not a Cherub from the Bible, as with most things this is a Western Christian tradition, and cherubim have become associated with theGreco-Roman deity Cupid/Eros, resulting in depictions of cherubim as small, plump, winged boys.
In Western Christian tradition, cherubim have become associated with the putto and the Greco-Roman deity Cupid/Eros, resulting in depictions of cherubim as small, plump, winged boys.
This is a result of roman of the roman religion being married with Christianity by Constantine. There some much imagery today that is so far from the accurate biblical account. I mean Jesus is the prime example, he has been turned into a European blue eyed, brown haired, white skinned hippy- Jesus was a jew folks!!!
There is so much misinformation out there brought about because of Rome and others false teaching systems, in fact in putting this together and looking at Angels, I have been prompted to look at go a bible study series on Angels and Demons, just to correct a lot of false views that may have been built from TV, boos or the internet.
So that all said, what about Cherubs from the biblical viewpoint?
Well Cherubim are typically represented with wings, feet, and hands but are also described in different forms as having two faces
Ezekiel 41:18 KJV 1900
18 And it was made with cherubims and palm trees, so that a palm tree was between a cherub and a cherub; and every cherub had two faces;
Cherubim are typically represented with wings, feet, and hands but are also described in different forms as having two faces () and even four faces ().  Cherubim were considered to be angels that guarded sacred things.  In they guarded the tree of life.  They were over the Ark of the Covenant on the Mercy Seat ().  See also ; .  Figures of Cherubs were embroidered on the temple veil (; ) and lavished Solomon's temple ().  "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." ().  See also ; .
and even four faces
Ezekiel 10:21 KJV 1900
21 Every one had four faces apiece, and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings.
If we stay in Ezekiel we will find another Cherub one who we will be most familiar with
Genesis 3:24 KJV 1900
24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
The cherubim had a judicial role as part of their service to God. Within the bible, cherub is referenced 21 times and cherubims 57 times.
Exodus 26:31 KJV 1900
31 And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made:
2 Chronicles 3:7 KJV 1900
7 He overlaid also the house, the beams, the posts, and the walls thereof, and the doors thereof, with gold; and graved cherubims on the walls.
; ) and lavished Solomon's temple ().  "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." ().  See also ; .
and lavished Solomon's temple
1 Kings 6:26ff KJV 1900
26 The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub. 27 And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house. 28 And he overlaid the cherubims with gold. 29 And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without. 30 And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without. 31 And for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree: the lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall. 32 The two doors also were of olive tree; and he carved upon them carvings of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold, and spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees. 33 So also made he for the door of the temple posts of olive tree, a fourth part of the wall. 34 And the two doors were of fir tree: the two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding. 35 And he carved thereon cherubims and palm trees and open flowers: and covered them with gold fitted upon the carved work. 36 And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams. 37 In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the Lord laid, in the month Zif: 38 And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it.
Second in rank, we find the cherub angels. With this word’s origin we find that from the late Latin word cherub, the Greek word cheroub, and the Hebrew word kerubh, meant ‘winged angel.’
Within the bible, cherub is referenced 21 times and cherubims 57 times.
Quote from Dionysius:
Hebrews 9:5 KJV 1900
5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
The name Cherubim denotes their power of knowing and beholding God, their receptivity to the highest Gift of Light, their contemplation of the Beauty of the Godhead in Its First Manifestation, and that they are filled by participation in Divine Wisdom, and bounteously outpour to those below them from their own fount of wisdom. [p. 167]
If we turn to Ezekeil again we will find another Cherub one who we will be most familair with
If we turn to Ezekeil again we will find another Cherub one who we will be most familair with
Ezekiel 28:11–16 KJV 1900
11 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
The scripture is dealing with the judgement of Tyre a wicked place, with a wicked ruler,
Exodus 28:11–16 KJV 1900
11 With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold. 12 And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the Lord upon his two shoulders for a memorial. 13 And thou shalt make ouches of gold; 14 And two chains of pure gold at the ends; of wreathen work shalt thou make them, and fasten the wreathen chains to the ouches. 15 And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it. 16 Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof.
ez 28:11-16
as a side note in ezekiel there is found a wonderful prophecy that has been fufilled about Tyre
and indeed chapter 28 begins by dealing with that wicked ruler, refered to as the prince of Tyrus, but in verse 11 there is a specific word for the King of Tyre, and this is directed at the real power behind all this, and we find that this is indeed Satan, or Lucifer
Notice the language, verse 13 “thou hast been in Eden”
verse 14 in particular
Ezekiel 28:14 KJV 1900
14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Notice that word covereth, it means to protect
Lucifer was created perfect in all his ways, full of wisdom, full of beauty, but we know that his pride led to his downfall
Isaiah 14:12–15 KJV 1900
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
isai
Lucifer was indeed a Cherub, the covering Cherub, and we see elsewhere the thought that Cherubim were considered to be angels that guarded sacred things. 
In they guarded the tree of life. 
1 Samuel 4:4 KJV 1900
4 So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
Genesis 3:24 KJV 1900
24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
).  See also
Psalm 80:1 KJV 1900
1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, Thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; Thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.
The cherubim had a judicial role as part of their service to God.
;
Quote from Dionysius:
99:1
The name Cherubim denotes their power of knowing and beholding God, their receptivity to the highest Gift of Light, their contemplation of the Beauty of the Godhead in Its First Manifestation, and that they are filled by participation in Divine Wisdom, and bounteously outpour to those below them from their own fount of wisdom. [p. 167]
There are then Cherubim on the Mercy Seat made of pure Gold, and further we are told that how they are placed
Exodus 25:19–20 KJV 1900
19 And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.
Exodus 25:18–20 KJV 1900
18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 19 And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be.
they are placed on each side looking towards each other wings outstretched on high, covering the mercy seat with there wings.
ex 25:
Then we are told in
Exodus 25:21 KJV 1900
21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
that the mercy seat was to be placed upon the ark and in the ark the tables of stone representing the Law, The Testimony, are to be placed. Again no other Old Testament reference regarding anything other than the tablets of stone being in the ark itself.
Okay so we now have the structure, but what about the symbolism?

B. The Symbolism of the Ark

before we get into this to much, let us look at our last remaining verse of our opening passage of scripture from exodus
Exodus 25:22 KJV 1900
22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
Here the Lord says that the Lord will meet, or manifest his presence, he will commune with them from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims.
This is the Shekinah Glory of God
The word shekinah does not appear in the Bible, but the concept clearly does.
The Jewish rabbis coined this extra-biblical expression, a form of a Hebrew word that literally means “he caused to dwell,” signifying that it was a divine visitation of the presence or dwelling of the Lord God on this earth.
Therefore, it was used by rabbis in reference to the Lord's presence among his people (; ; ; ).
The rabbis used the term in reference to the glory of God filling the temple
2 Chronicles 7:1 KJV 1900
1 Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house.
Another way of describing it would be to use the term "glory of God" since the phrase is used to describe his presence (; ; ; ).
What an item of furniture this was, for it was the place were the Glory of God resided!
Now we have the picture, the ark below containing the Law, the Presence of God above and the mercy seat in between.
Now the Law was a ministration of Death, it reveals our sinfulness, indeed the strength of sin is the Law, if offers no life, just death, it offers no grace just condemnation.
Remember the cherubim are guardians, representing some judicial capacity, guard Gods glory, looking down upon the Law, to confirm our condemnation and prevent access to God.
However there is a lid, which covers the law up, this lid this mercy seat represents atonement and specifically represent Christs atonement for sin.
"The Hebrew word for which 'mercy seat' is the translation is technically best rendered as 'propitiatory,' a term denoting the removal of wrath by the offering of a gift."
Therefore, the mercy seat pointed ahead to Jesus who is the true propitiatory sacrifice.
turn with me to
turn with me to
Romans 3:24–25 KJV 1900
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Do you see that word “propitiation”?
The Greek word for "propitiation" ἱλασμός (hilasmos) which is found in and also in is the same Greek word used in the Septuagint to translate the word for "Mercy Seat."
The Greek word for "propitiation" ἱλασμός (hilasmos) which is found in and also in is the same Greek word used in the Septuagint to translate the word for "Mercy Seat." , "and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail."
The Greek word for "propitiation" ἱλασμός (hilasmos) which is found in and also in is the same Greek word used in the Septuagint to translate the word for "Mercy Seat."
Hebrews 9:5 KJV 1900
5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
So now we have the picture of the mercy seat representing the atonement of the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus. at it is by that atonement and that atonement alone that we come into a relationship with God, it is by his work alone that we can be saved from the judgement of sin.
It is the Greek word, “hilasterion” and it literally means, “mercy seat.”
1 John 4:10 KJV 1900
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
It is by the blood of Christ that we are redeemed, but lets take it back to the time of the tabernacle and to the day of atonement, the only day that the High priest could go into the holy of holies
Leviticus 16:1–15 MEV
1 The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they drew near to the Lord and died. 2 The Lord said to Moses: Speak to Aaron your brother so that he does not come at any time into the Holy Place within the veil before the mercy seat, which is on the ark, so that he will not die, for I will appear in the cloud on the mercy seat. 3 Thus Aaron shall come into the Holy Place with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. 4 He shall put on the holy linen tunic, and he shall have the linen undergarment on his body, and shall be girded with a linen sash, and shall be wearing the linen turban. These are holy garments. Therefore he shall wash his body in water and then put them on. 5 He shall take from the congregation of the children of Israel two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering. 6 Aaron shall offer his bull for the sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house. 7 Then he shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 8 Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9 Aaron shall bring the goat on which the lot of the Lord falls and offer him for a sin offering. 10 But the goat on which the lot falls to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord to make atonement with it, that it may be sent away as a scapegoat into the wilderness. 11 Aaron shall bring the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bull of the sin offering for himself. 12 And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar before the Lord, and two handfuls of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil. 13 And he shall put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is over the testimony, so that he does not die. 14 And he shall take of the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the eastern side, and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle from the blood with his finger seven times. 15 Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, and bring its blood within the veil, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it over and in front of the mercy seat.
our focus is upon verses 7 and the process of the two goats, lots were cast and one goat was offered up as sacrifice, the other, the scapegoat was to be sent outside the camp after the High priest had put his hand upon the head of the goat transferring or imputing the sins of the nation to the scapegaot
scapegoat is azazel in Hebrew, meaning removal, the sins were removed from Israel, but not destroyed once and for all, for the process was annual.
you see the other goat was offered up as a sin offering and it was the blood of this animal that was sprinkled over the mercy seat for atonement for the nations sin
Leviticus 16:15 KJV 1900
15 Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat:
lev 16:
This was the system in place under the law
Hebrews 10:4 KJV 1900
4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Sin was not taken away fully once for all, the animal sacrifice was to be repeated until Christ came
2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV 1900
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
1 Peter 2:24 KJV 1900
24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
1 pet 2:
the writer of hebrews tells us further
Hebrews 9:4 KJV 1900
4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
Hebrews 9:12 KJV 1900
12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
You see the old system require repetition, repeated sacrifice for the covering of sin, but Christ is the mediator of a better covenant, and his blood was only required once!!
Hebrews 9:25–26 KJV 1900
25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
underline that word once, then compare the priests ministry to Christs
Hebrews 10:11–12 KJV 1900
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
Heb 10:
you see the difference, the priests stood daily, remember there were no seats for the priests in the tabernacle, because there word was never done, but Jesus cry from the cross was “it is finished”
Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God, the hand of power and authority.
Now, we mentioned at the start about the mercy seat being made of pure gold, no acacia wood in sight., and we said we would come back to that.
Now we come back to that understanding that the mercy seat represents propitiation
The word propitiation carries the basic idea of appeasement or satisfaction, specifically toward God. Propitiation is a two-part act that involves appeasing the wrath of an offended person and being reconciled to him.
we also know what Gold represents and what acacia wood represents
with those thoughts in view, why do you think the mercy seat is made of gold only?
So there is no human element to it – what this item represents is all of God.
Gold is the symbol of deity, and so the mercy seat is speaking to us of something divine, something in which humanity has no part.
What we see here is that salvation is all of God, there is nothing that can be done to save ourselves, we have to cry out to God and accept what he did for us
Ephesians 2:8–9 KJV 1900
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Conclusion
We will end our study here, keeping the thought of the precious atonement that was achieved on Calvary’s cross, when the perfect lamb of God laid done his life for us, understanding through all we have seen in our studies so far of the tabernacle, that the only way to the presence of God is the work and person of the Lord Jesus, and once we come his way, we have eternal access an access which will never be lost by our own efforts, because it was never secured by us in the first place, its all of him!
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