We have discussed in detail the role of the camp of Judah as forerunners and fire-starters in leading the people of God forward. Today, I want to look at the very detailed preparations for the packing up and the moving of the tabernacle in the wilderness. We find all God’s instructions for this process in Numbers chapter 4. When the cloud moved ahead, the silver trumpets were blown and the camp of Judah set out first. While they were pulling up tent pegs and stepping out in the direction in which the cloud was leading, something else was happening right in the center of the encampment of God’s people. The priests and various groups of the tribe of Levi were very busy carrying out God’s exact instructions for the dismantling and packing of the tabernacle. It was quite a process and so they would have had to begin as soon as the sound released by the silver trumpets permeated the camp.
I want you to notice a number of details in the account because, in the New Testament dispensation, we as His Body are the temple of the Lord, the tabernacle in which His presence dwells. The hearing of the sound released over the whole camp of God’s people triggered an immediate response not only on the east side where Judah, Zebulun and Issachar resided, but also right at the heart of the matter, in the core or center, where God’s presence dwelt within the ark of the covenant. Let’s look at the whole instruction and then break it down in sections, so we can see the prophetic types portrayed.
Num 4:5 When the camp prepares to set forward, Aaron and his sons shall take down the veil [screening the Holy of Holies] and cover the ark of the Testimony with it, Num 4:6 And shall put on it the covering of dolphin or porpoise skin, and shall spread over that a cloth wholly of blue, and shall put in place the poles of the ark. Num 4:7 And upon the table of showbread they shall spread a cloth of blue and put on it the plates, the dishes for incense, the bowls, the flagons for the drink offering, and also the continual showbread. Num 4:8 And they shall spread over them a cloth of scarlet, and put over that a covering of dolphin or porpoise skin, and put in place the poles [for carrying]. Num 4:9 And they shall take a cloth of blue and cover the lampstand for the light and its lamps, its snuffers, its ashtrays, and all the oil vessels from which it is supplied. Num 4:10 And they shall put the lampstand and all its utensils within a covering of dolphin or porpoise skin and shall put it upon the frame [for carrying]. Num 4:11 And upon the golden [incense] altar they shall spread a cloth of blue, and cover it with a covering of dolphin or porpoise skin, and shall put in place its poles [for carrying]. Num 4:12 And they shall take all the utensils of the service with which they minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a cloth of blue, and cover them with a covering of dolphin or porpoise skin, and shall put them on the frame [for carrying].
There is so much truth hidden in this passage that it may take a number of articles to ‘unwrap’ it but what I want to draw attention to first is that all the furniture of the Holy Place was wrapped in specific ways unique to each item’s function. The word for furniture in Hebrew is ‘keliy’ and it also means ‘something prepared, an implement, vessel, weapon, jewel or utensil’. In a sense, the furniture of the Holy Place can also be seen as a prophetic type of the different roles or functions of the remnant who are His Holy Place. No-one but the priests were allowed in this section of the tabernacle. It was a place where the Bread of His presence was laid out and where the sevenfold light of the menorah beamed forth. The different pieces of furniture served different vital functions which ministered both to the priests serving God (providing light and sustenance) and to the Lord Himself (incense burning) and all of them were fashioned with a high percentage of pure beaten gold. The altar of incense, the table of showbread and the menorah all depict the vessels of gold amongst His remnant, each daily fulfilling their appointed functions. Then there were the vessels and utensils used to perform the tasks prescribed for the Holy Place. They were not for common use and had functions specific to the area of the Holy Place they were used in. These items also depict set-apart saints, holy to the Lord and useful in His Kingdom. Even though their functions seem less grand than the larger pieces of furniture, each part had need of the other in order for all to function according to God’s design.
All of these items fall under the Hebrew term ‘keliy’ and the important thing I want you to notice first is that the very first thing that happened when those silver trumpets were blown was that all the keliy of the tabernacle received coverings to prepare them for being ‘CARRIED’ to the next appointed place of functioning in their callings. Coverings are a type of clothing or garment, a mantle. Now, usually, the table of showbread had a blue tablecloth on it, with the bread laid out on top. The blue depicts the foundation of revelation that undergirds the bread of His presence that is served on top. The high priest and those priests on duty during that period each received their allotted portion of the bread of His presence and were nourished by it.
However, when it was time to move to a new place in the wilderness journey, the Ark of the Covenant, the candlestick, the incense altar and the utensils ALL were wrapped in a blue covering. In other words, there is a portion of revelation appointed to be released for the transition to a new place in the Spirit. It is not released when there is a pause in the journey, but only comes into sight when the silver trumpets have sounded. This blue cloth in which the furniture of the Tabernacle is wrapped speaks of being wrapped in the revelation necessary to cover, protect and transport you to your new location in the Spirit. It is the revelation of transition.
Each piece of furniture has their own piece of blue cloth wrapping. It was the right size to completely surround and wrap each item. The revelation released for transition is specific to your function and part in the tabernacle of the Lord. It will cover you completely, protect you from harm during the journey and cushion you from any jarring events on the way. You will be hidden within the wrapping of this revelation sound, invisible to the eyes of the demonic watchers and set apart for holy use even in your journeying to the new position.
Those blue cloths were not visible to the eye during the normal daily round of tabernacle functioning. They were only brought out when the transition began to happen. Beloved, perhaps you know in your heart that a move in the natural or spiritual is up ahead. Perhaps it is both, but you have no clue what it entails and have been crying out to the Lord to show you what to do and where to go. You are afraid that you will be left behind because you have not been able to discern what is required of you and this is causing you great distress. Look again at this picture of all the furniture being wrapped in blue and be comforted. When the cloud moves, your individual wrapping of revelation will be brought out of hiding and you will be surrounded by its sound, wrapped securely and hidden in its folds and, most important of all, you will be carried within it to your new location. During the transition, there will be no opportunity for usual functioning but the time will come where you will be set in place in a brand new spiritual (or even geographical) location and you will take up where you left off as part of the portable tabernacle of His presence. The time of wrapping and being carried will be a time of consolidating the work within you, of hiding you from any evil force which desires to prevent you making progress in the Spirit.
Of great significance is the production of this blue cloth used for transportation. It was dyed using pigment from a certain mollusk shell. The word for ‘blue’ in Hebrew comes from a root word ‘shekeleth’ which means ‘to peel off by a concussion of sound’. In other words, this sound released is removing layers in the spiritual realm. Shekeleth, in turn, comes from another root word ‘shachal’ which means ‘to roar’. Beloved the blue wrap of revelation released is the sound which comes from the roar of the Lion of Judah over you. He releases sound waves which are removing outer layers off you as you transition. You are wrapped in the melody of the roar and moved to a new location to be set in place for functioning.
This wrapping and moving happened many times in the wilderness but the most important one was when the people of God prepared to cross over into the Promised Land. On this occasion, the Ark of the Covenant was not wrapped but openly displayed on the shoulders of the priests as they stood in the Jordan. But all the furniture of the Holy Place was carried hidden within their blue wrappings into the Promised Land of their inheritance. I believe we are at that juncture in Heaven’s calendar. The roar of transition revelation is even now being released to envelop those who form His Holy Place as we begin the transition from the church age to the kingdom age.
And on top of that blue sound wrap, a badger skin was placed as the final layer; a humble, durable, waterproof outer covering to protect from the elements and to obscure the layer of blue. The roar of revelation is for your eyes only; the impartation is for you, not for common gaze. Outwardly during the move, you may appear to be no-one of great importance or skill, but within where the eyes of God can see, you are one of His keliy, His jewel, His weapon and will be openly displayed in due time.
As the roar of revelation begins to envelop you, know that great change is at hand but you are being wrapped and endued in all the revelation truth and understanding you need to make it safely to your next station in the Spirit. And you do not have to set yourself in place. Transition happens from a place of rest. Others have been appointed to assist with those details. Just be at peace and allow the roar to penetrate to the depths of your being as you are carried in the center of His will. It is your measured portion of transition sound, released to move you to a new place. The sound waves of that Royal roar will transform you from glory to glory as He moves you in step with His Spirit to His appointed place for you.
(part 2 to follow)