The Theology of the Tabernacle Part 3 -- By: John Vernon McGee

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 094:376 (Oct 1937)
Article: The Theology of the Tabernacle Part 3
Author: John Vernon McGee


The Theology of the Tabernacle
Part 3

John Vernon McGee

(Continued from the July-September Number, 1937)

Chapter III
The Laver of Brass:
The Doctrine of Sanctification

The all-inclusive teaching here includes the ministries of Christ in His resurrection.

The instructions for the construction of the laver are found in Exodus 30:17–21: “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein. For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat: When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the Lord; So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.”

The laver was the other article of furniture that stood in the outer court with the brazen altar, and was constructed of the same substance as the altar, brass. It was filled with water. Quite evidently it had a top part for the washing of the hands, and a lower part, called its foot, for the washing

of the feet. All service in the tabernacle, whether in the Holy Place, Holy of Holies, or at the brazen altar required the one serving to wash at the laver. It was probably used more frequently than any other article of furniture of the Tabernacle.

The primary and evident meaning of the laver is that of cleansing. This cleansing applies primarily to the child of God, for only priests served at the laver. Beyond the brazen altar the application of the teaching of the tabernacle is directly to the sons of God. There is a twofold application of the meaning of the laver in the ministry of cleansing, this being an earthly and a heavenly application. It applies first of all to Christ’s present resurrection ministry. He continues cleansing His own until He presents them faultless [blameless] before His throne with exceeding joy. This is the heavenly ministry of Christ in cleansing. Secondly, it applies to one phase of the work of the Holy Spirit in His present ministry on the earth. The Written Word, the audible voice of the Spirit, reveals the pathway of light for God’s children that will keep them from defilement along the way, and reveals new avenues of service. The indwelling Holy Spirit confirms and makes real in the life the ministry of the Written Word. These are not separate operat...

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