FEAST OF TABERNACLES – The Blueprint that Foreshadows the Temple “Cleansing”

We have learned that on the Day of Atonement, the ceremony of the two goats reveals a blueprint of the purpose of the first and second coming of Christ (Lev. 16,17).  The 1st goat is symbolic of a death work, prophesying of the death work of Christ who became our sacrifice for sin.  The 2nd goat is symbolic of a living work, when Christ comes back, and sin is removed so we can LIVE eternally.  

There is another prophetic blueprint of the “cleansing” purpose of Christ’s first and second coming revealed through the Laws of Leprosy in Leviticus 13 and 14 that are tied to the Feast of Tabernacles.

When Christ overcame death at His first coming, the Lord sent forth a “firstfruits” of cleansing for those who believed that He was the Savior. Believers were given a deposit of the gift of the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of a greater cleansing to come.  

The completion of the cleansing in our bodies from death to eternal life is patterned to occur during the Feast of Tabernacles when Christ returns.  Believers will mimic the blueprint of the seven-day Laws of “purification.”  The Feast of Tabernacles, requiring a drink offering each of day for seven days, foreshadows the seven-day final “cleansing process” (Lev. 23:36-38).  

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “This shall be the law of the leper for the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought to the priest.  And the priest shall go out of the camp, and the priest shall examine him; and indeed, if the leprosy is healed in the leper,  then the priest shall command to take for him who is to be cleansed two living and clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop.  And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water.  As for the living bird, he shall take it, the cedar wood and the scarlet and the hyssop, and dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water.  And he shall sprinkle it seven times on him who is to be cleansed from the leprosy, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose in the open field” (Lev. 14:1-7). 

The Scriptures spell out specific signs that determined if a person had leprosy, as well as the process for the “sanctification” guidelines in Lev. 13.  Simply put, when the priest determined the leper was “clean,” the Law required the priest to perform a sacrifice that was an announcement to all that the leper was “clean” (Lev. 14:10).  

Jesus Himself followed the Laws of Leprosy when he told the man whom he healed to go present himself to the priest.  

And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them” (Matt. 8:2-4).

Once the leper was considered “clean,” the priest would take two living doves (birds) for an atoning offering.  

The first dove was killed in an earthen vessel over running water (symbolic of Christ coming in the form of man in an earthen body and is the ONLY way man can be “clean” before the LORD).  The word for running in Hebrew is “chay” and means “living.”  Jesus is our “living water,” and cleanses our sins, and in Him we triumph over death.   

“For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Rev. 7:17).

The second dove was then dipped in the blood of the first bird that had been killed in “an earthen vessel under running water,” and then sprinkled seven times over the leper in order for him to be declared purified.  Seven is the number for completion, and coincidently, follows the same pattern with the Law of Purification: 

“He who touches the dead body of anyone shall be unclean seven days.  He shall purify himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then he will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not be clean” (Numbers 19:11,12).

The second dove foreshadows the purpose of the second coming of Christ, when believers receive their glorified bodies and enjoy the freedom of eternal life with Christ.  The glorification is a process of purification that coincides with final following steps of the Law of Leprosy and the drink offerings of Tabernacles:  

After the two-dove sacrifice offering, the priest pronounces the leper clean, and then the living bird is let loose into the open field.  The pronounced “clean” person returns back into the camp. However, the “clean” person cannot be loosed into the “open field” for another seven days.  The clean person must stay outside of his tent for seven days.  Even though the priest declared the leper purified with the sprinkling of water, it takes seven days for the Law of Purification to be complete. 

On the seventh day, the “clean” person is completely bathed, shaved, and given new clothes to wear in preparation for the 8th day.  And on the 8th day, the priest presented him to the Lord as “clean” at the door of the Tabernacle of Meeting, making atonement for him before the LORD (Lev. 14:8-20). 

When presented at the door of the Tabernacle of meeting (Throne), the offering for atonement is a lamb, fine flour, oil, and a log of oil:

“And on the eighth day he shall take two male lambs without blemish, one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish, three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering, and one log of oil.  Then the priest who makes him clean shall present the man who is to be made clean, and those things, before the LORD, at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.  And the priest shall take one male lamb and offer it as a trespass offering, and the log of oil, and wave them as a wave offering before the LORD” (Lev. 14:10-12).

Let’s summarize what we learn from the Law of the Leprosy as it pertains to the second coming of Jesus Christ:

When the Lord returns, the Day of Atonement will be the day the High Priest (Jesus Christ) judges who is His remnant (sons of God) and pronounces them “clean.” The purification process of transforming their bodies from the death to eternal life, to be clothed in God’s glory, mimics the purpose of the second dove.  The “sons of God” who have been chosen to reign with Jesus in the Millennium (Firstfruits Remnant), are those who begin the purification process of transforming their incorrupt body into the glorious body the Lord has promised:

“…For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’” (1 Cor. 15:52-55).

Lev. 14 also reveals that the second dove, which is still alive, is released into the open field after it is dipped in blood and sprinkled on the leper. From Matt. 13:38, we learn that “field” is symbolic for the world, so the purpose of releasing the remnant (sons of God) is so they assist King Jesus in establishing His righteousness in the earth (world) the Millennium after they are completely “cleansed.”

“He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God” (Rev. 19:13).

“And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and CLEAN, followed Him on white horses” (Rev. 19:14).

Before the remnant can assist the King of kings in the Millennium, they must first be presented before the throne.  So the final offering, given at the door of the Tabernacle is symbolic in itself as follows:  Jesus, the Passover Lamb, and the “lambs” who know Him (Bride), along with the oil (deposit of God’s glory through the gift of the Holy Spirit), and a log of oil (which the full measure of God’s glory), are presented on the 8th day before the throne (Tabernacle of meeting). The fine flour represents His pure righteousness.  

The following Scriptures in Lev. 14 are a foreshadowing of God’s house (Temple, New Jerusalem, Bride of Christ) that is mentioned in Rev. 22, whom are “living stones” that are cleansed, brought together as ONE, and in whom God’s glory can fully dwell:

But if the priest comes in and examines it, and indeed the plague has not spread in the house after the house was plastered, then the priest shall pronounce the house clean, because the plague is healed.  And he shall take, to cleanse the house, two birds, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop. Then he shall kill one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running water;  and he shall take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times.  And he shall cleanse the house [tabernacle’s] with the blood of the bird and the running water and the living bird, with the cedar wood, the hyssop, and the scarlet.  Then he shall let the living bird loose outside the city in the open field, and make atonement for the house, and it shall be clean” (Lev. 14:48-53).

“Then I, John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:2-4).

Finally, it is not a coincidence that the dove was also used in Noah’s days to signify the time of “new life” after the floodwaters of God’s wrath had dried up, and when they were able to leave the ark (Gen. 8:8-12).  The pattern is similar to the “Laws of Leprosy” in that Noah sent a dove out every 7 days, and when the dove finally didn’t return any longer, it was a sign of new beginnings (a CLEAN start as evil was wiped out with the flood).  Eight in the Bible is the number for new beginnings.

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