(Chapter 2)

"But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet." (Matt 11:9)

"But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet." (Luke 7:26)


The materials for the construction of the tabernacle of Moses are set forth in Exodus 25 and 35.

*And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying, Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a WILLING HEART, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass, And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood, And oil for the light, and spices for anointing oil, and for the sweet incense, And onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod, and for the breastplate. And every WISE-HEARTED among you shall come, and make all the LORD hath commanded. (Ex 35:4-10)

The words our Lord uses in Exodus 35 concerning our offering for the construction of the tabernacle, the body of Christ are self-explanatory: "willing heart, wise-hearted, whose heart stirred him up, who his spirit made willing, willing-hearted, wise-hearted [repeated], whose heart stirred them up in wisdom, a willing offering, whose heart made them willing." Tell me about tithes and offerings! How did the children of Israel, at that time, respond? There is a tremendous lesson to be received in this.

*Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and EVERY WISE hearted man in whom, the LORD put WISDOM and UNDERSTANDING to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD hath commanded. And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and EVERY WISE hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put WISDOM, even EVERY one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it. And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him FREE OFFERINGS EVERY MORNING. And all the WISE men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came EVERY man from his work which they made; And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring MUCH MORE THAN ENOUGH for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were RESTRAINED FROM BRINGING. For the stuff they had was SUFFICIENT for all the work to make it, AND TOO MUCH. (Ex 36:1-7)

Did you note that "more than" (Matt 11:9; Luke 7:26) prefaced by "much" (Luke 7:26)? Are we doing the work of the tabernacle; are we building up the body of Christ? Willingly? When did you last hear of something like this happening in a congregation, or a denomination, of this kind of sacrifice? These people were whole in spirit, soul and body toward the single purpose of building up the tabernacle, and they did it willingly "as one man" (Jud 6:16).

*I beseech you therefore, BRETHREN, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies A LIVING SACRIFICE, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Rom 12:1)

*And this they did, not as we hoped, but FIRST GAVE THEIR OWNSELVES to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. (II Cor 8:5)

*For if there be first a WILLING MIND, it is accepted [by God] according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. (II Cor 8:12)

God had "more than enough" to accomplish the work set forth. He still has. Even in these last days of apostasy, our Lord God has "more than" enough who are willing.


Shittim wood is from a tree of the Acacia species. Shittim trees thrive in dry areas and were then found abundantly in Egypt, the Sinai peninsula, and the wilderness country east of the Jordan river. Shittim translates into "thorny; scourging thorns" in Hebrew. It is very hard; a  densely-grained tree, large, and with thorny rough gnarled bark. It was the wood used in the construction of the tabernacle of Moses. The ark of covenant, table of shewbread, 48 boards, staves, bars, nine pillars, brasen altar, and altar of incense were all partially constructed of shittim wood.

This may come as a shocking surprise to some of you, but we are trees. Throughout the Bible men are likened unto trees. Jesus frequently referred to men and the fruit thereof as trees. Isaiah 55:12 relates that "all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." As Jesus was being led to the cross he said to the people thronging about him: "For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" (Luke 23:31). This was a warning. Jesus was that "green tree" and those about him "the dry." The green tree has leaves, bears fruit, and has the sap of life within. The dry tree has no leaves, bears no fruit, has no sap within, and is dead. The green tree bends with the wind, and cannot be burned for the water within. The dry tree cracks in the wind, and is burned.

The Word of God describes men as being stiff-necked, and with hearts hardened. Trees are stiff, unyielding, and have a hard heart. The heart of the densely-grained shittim tree is especially hard. Trees have limbs, a trunk, and skin that we call bark. These particular shittim trees thrive in "dry" places. That is, places where there is no water of the Word, the Holy Spirit. Unclean spirits inhabit dry places. Dry places are the environment of choice for demonic spirits. "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he [the unclean spirit] walketh through dry places, seeking rest." (Luke 11:24). Shittim trees also have thorns. Thorns pierce! Unclean, demonic spirits enter into us in two ways. Either we foolishly invite them in, or they "pierce" us.

*In that day [of Atonement] the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan [Satan] THE PIERCING SERPENT, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea [of humanity]. (Isa 27:1)

All spirits including the Holy Spirit can enter into bodies, human and animal as witnessed by Legion entering into the swine. The difference between the Holy Spirit and demonic spirits is that we invite the Holy Spirit into our bodies to dwell in us. Whereas, in most cases, demonic spirits gain entry into our bodies by piercing (deceiving) us. The symbol of the Holy Spirit is water that we voluntarily take into our bodies. We speak now of the indwelling Holy Spirit. In fact, comparatively speaking, a greatly diminished quantity of water can gain egress into our bodies by absorption through osmosis. This latter is manifested as conviction by the outdwelling Holy Spirit. We are involuntarily entered into by demonic spirits as they pierce us. The third level or type of soil in the Sower Soweth the Word parable exemplifies the demonic spirits of this world as being thorns:

*And these are they which are sown among THORNS; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things ENTERING IN, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. (Mark 4:18,19)

"Entering in" to what? To us. These are the same three demonic spirits of this world that entered into Eve in Genesis 3:6. These are the same three demonic spirits that contended with, but could not enter into Jesus in the wilderness after his baptism in the river Jordan. These are the same three demonic spirits that the Holy Spirit within us continues to contend with to this day:

*For all that is in the world, the LUST OF THE FLESH, and the LUST OF THE EYES, and the PRIDE OF LIFE, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (I John 2:16)


We are every one of us, thorny shittim trees in a parched and dry land. What was the occupation of Jesus? He was a carpenter, a worker in wood. Was that a co-incidence, accidental, a chance occurrence? Well? Either it was or it wasn't. What do you think? There are no arbitrary happenstances with God (Rom 8:28). John the Baptist prophesied of the coming of the Christ:

*And now also the AX is laid unto the ROOT of the TREES: therefore every TREE which bringeth forth not good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the FIRE. (Matt 3:10)

Jesus Christ is that "ax." It is he who separates the tree from its root in this world. He is that borrowed ax head that fell down into the water in II Kings 6:5, and he is that same ax head that rose up from the depths and did "swim" to the stick of the cross in v.6. He is our Saviour and Lord. And, he is a carpenter, a former of wood.


The Lord our God will use and has used every single person to His own good purpose. We are all trees. We are cut asunder, separated from the root of this natural world (Heb 4:12). We are spirit. The good, the redeemed, God severs from this world, de-thorns, and forms and shapes into usable wood for his tabernacle: the ark of covenant, table of shewbread, 48 boards, staves, bars, nine pillars, brasen altar, and the golden altar of incense. These were all partially formed of shittim wood. The "bad" he also uses in the sacrificial fire of the brasen altar, the cross. The fuel for the sacrificial fire of the brasen altar was wood. Those who have been fuel for the sacrificial fire are "ensamples" to us, written "for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." (I Cor 10:11). Those who will be fuel for the sacrificial fire are the living epistles of Satan, for our God is a consuming fire.

*For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the BRIARS and THORNS, and shall kindle in the thickets of the FOREST, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke. Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, AND THE PEOPLE SHALL BE AS THE FUEL OF THE FIRE: no man shall spare his brother. (Isa 9:18,19)

*Thou shalt be for FUEL TO THE FIRE; thy blood shall be in the midst of the land; thou shalt be no more remembered: for I the LORD have spoken it. (Ezek 21:32)


How can that be, that even ungodly men are used to affect God's purpose? Have you ever heard a preacher preach the Word of God and thought to yourself that the preacher wasn't saved? We have in pulpits across this nation countless pastors, teachers, and evangelists who do not in their hearts have a redeeming belief in our Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. Yet, these people teach and preach the Word of God, and that preached Word produces the fruits of salvation and edification. The question becomes: can the unsaved save the unsaved? Is it possible wherein a man who does not have the Lord Jesus in his heart as personal Saviour can be used to affect the salvation of another? Yes. Sure is. Happens every day, praise God. How? Well, it is not the man, saved or unsaved, who affects the salvation. It is the Word of God! The man is merely the agent, the mailman.


God gives the mailman (the preacher) a letter (His Word) addressed to Stanley. The mailman delivers the letter to Stanley. Stanley opens the mail from God and receives the message. Stanley gets saved. Who did the saving? God's Word did the saving. Did the mailman have to be saved to deliver the letter? No. His salvation status was irrelevant. The mailman was just the delivery boy. The mailman does not have to be a banker to deliver the bank statement. The mailman does not have to understand the message, he just delivers it. The mailman was used by God to affect the work of the cross. However, the mailman must look to his own heart for his personal salvation regardless of how many thousands or millions of messages he has delivered which have borne the fruit of salvation. Jesus spoke in this regard:

*Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall ENTER INTO the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not PROPHESIED [preached] in thy name? and in thy name have CAST OUT DEVILS [saved]? and in thy name done many wonderful works [ministered]? And then will I PROFESS unto them, I never KNEW you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matt 7:21-23)

We know that the will of the Father is that all men be saved (I Tim 2:4), including the mailman. We learn that these woeful unsaved souls have even "prophesied," or preached and spoken in the name of Jesus. But it was the Word, in the name of Jesus (John 14:13) that produced any edification received and not the preachers themselves. They also will cry that they have "cast out devils" for justification of their entrance into heaven. But again it was the Word of God in the name of Jesus that actually did the casting out, and not the protesters. They plead of the "many wonderful works" done once again in the name of Jesus, but the Word and the Name are the power thereof, and not the protesters themselves. The mailman has to get saved too. Jesus says "I never knew you." This "knew" is an intimate loving knowing, a personal relationship that they lacked for they had never received Him into their heart. Of themselves, they were workers of iniquity because they had never received the sin covering of the blood of Jesus Christ, thus, they will stand before the Father naked.


The Holy Spirit has done another remarkable work in Matthew 7:21-23 that we shall not neglect. One of our favorite Bible verses is in Romans:

*That if thou shalt CONFESS with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Rom 10:9)

The Greek word for "confess" is #3670 meaning "to assent, i.e. covenant, acknowledge:-- con-(pro-)fess, confession is made, give thanks, promise." The dictionary agrees that "confess" is to "acknowledge, avow, plead guilty." All that is moderately interesting, however, #3670 is also used by Jesus in Matt 7:23 but in this instance the Holy Spirit has chosen to translate it into the English: "profess." While the Greek meaning in both instances remains the same, for it is the same exact Greek word. The dictionary provides some additional insight into "profess." It means to "lay claim to, often insincerely; pretend to." When Jesus said in Matt 7:23 "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you," the Holy Spirit was telling us something. These people were professing believers. Jesus was returning "measure for measure." They were professing to know him, and they did not. By selecting the English "profess" rather than "confess" the Holy Spirit labeled these insincere pretenders, forever.


Gold is the symbol of God. The word means "to shimmer" in Hebrew. That brings Shekinah to my mind. Gold is a soft, bright yellow metal. It can be found and used in its pure state, without smelting. Gold never tarnishes. It is extremely malleable which means that it can easily be formed into thin strips, delicate objects, and coverings. Please note that gold is too soft to be used for tools or weapons.

The 48 boards of the tabernacle who are the Levitical priesthood are covered with gold. These have been separated from the world by the ax, and shaped into usable vessels of the Lord. They were then completely overlaid with gold which is the covering of the glory of God. The ark of covenant was constructed of shittim wood and then completely overlaid inside and outside with gold. The table of shewbread, altar of incense, and nine pillars of the tabernacle were of shittim wood completely overlaid with gold. In each of these we see man covered by the glory of God. The mercy seat in the Most Holy Place and the candlestick in the Holy Place were wholly of pure gold, as were the vessels and instruments of the tabernacle. In the mercy seat we see God. In the candlestick we see the Holy Spirit. These are pure.


Silver means "pale" in Hebrew. It was valued next to gold in ancient times. It is silver-white in color and capable of a high polish. Silver never tarnishes, unless sulphur is present. (Isn't that interesting?) Silver is found in its native state, but usually it is smelted from lead ore. Silver was harder than gold but not as hard as copper (brasen). Please note that silver is too soft to be used for tools or weapons.

Silver is the metal of redemption. It is the price our Lord paid for our sin. It is the atoning blood of Jesus. In Numbers chapter 3, the firstborn of Israel numbering 22,273 were redeemed from God in exchange for 22,000 Levites. The additional 273 firstborn of Israel over the equal trade of 22,000 Levites were redeemed with silver shekels of the sanctuary. The sockets upon which the boards of the tabernacle stood were silver. The boards were separated from this world and redeemed by the silver sockets, by the blood of Jesus. Each board had two extensions or "tenons" at its base rather like an electrical plug. Each prong of the plug fit snugly into its own silver socket. The two tenons at the foot of each board fit into two silver sockets, a socket for each tenon. There were 96 silver sockets for 48 boards. They were shoes. What do you think?

Strong's #3027 is the Hebrew word for "tenons." Were we to research Strong's #3063 to its derivative, we would find #3034. If that also were researched back to its derivative, we would arrive at our #3027 "tenons" as the base root. So what you ask? Glad you asked my friend. The Hebrew word for #3063 which is rooted in "tenons" is Judah!


Brasen is a biblical word used interchangeably with copper, brass or bronze. Strong's tells us that brasen is: copper; hence, something made of that metal, i.e. coin, a fetter; fig. base (as compared with gold or silver):--brasen, brass, chain, copper, fetter (of brass), filthiness, steel.

Copper is harder than gold or silver. When alloyed with zinc it becomes brass. When alloyed with tin it becomes bronze. We note that it is figuratively "base" as compared with gold or silver. It also has the additional connotation of "filthiness." Brasen was used to fashion, among other things, tools and weapons. Brasen is a symbol for judgment. The altar of sacrifice was made of shittim wood overlaid with brasen, called the brasen altar. The washbowl where the priests washed both hands and feet before ministering was an entirely brasen bowl containing water, called the brasen laver. The sixty pillars of the court that support the fine linen (white) enclosure/fence stand in brass sockets. The five pillars of the door of the Holy Place, the only entry into the tabernacle, stand in sockets of brass. Brasen is only found in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation.


Before Calvary and through John the Baptist the children of God, with notable exceptions, received only water baptism. They confessed their sins (Matt 3:6), repented of their ways and received the sealing of water baptism. They did not receive the indwelling Holy Spirit. The convicting work of the then outdwelling Holy Spirit washed and sealed them in their repentant state. John the Baptist relates for us:

*I indeed baptize you WITH WATER UNTO REPENTANCE: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the HOLY GHOST, and WITH FIRE: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly PURGE his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with UNQUENCHABLE FIRE. (Matt 3:11,12)

John's baptism with water was a primary baptism but there were yet two more primary baptisms to come: "the Holy Ghost," and "fire." Jesus, himself, did not water baptize but his disciples did (John 4:2). The blood had not yet been shed. After Calvary the indwelling Holy Ghost baptism into the body of Christ was made possible by the covering blood of Jesus Christ. The shed blood atones for our sin and covers the sin in us inside and outside. We are now come boldly (Heb 10:19) into the presence of God. That is our new and present position exactly as the ark of covenant in the Most Holy Place. The shittim wood of the ark of covenant was overlaid with pure gold inside and outside. We have been made positionally a pure vessel in God's presence because we are covered by the blood inside and outside. We have been positionally purified and made white by the blood of the Lamb. We are being experientially purified and made white by the transforming work (Rom 12:2) of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Phil 1:6). When the process of our experiential purification and transformation from shittim wood into pure gold attains to our already accomplished positional purification, we shall have been fully transformed. We shall then dwell eternally Holy in the Holy presence of our Holy God.

Gideon provides an excellent example of precisely what we are discussing. Early on in Judges chapter 6, as this young oppressed farmer is furtively threshing "wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites," he has an encounter with the angel of the Lord.

*And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, THOU MIGHTY MAN OF VALOUR. (Jud 6:12)

How could that be? How could this obviously timid, frightened and altogether reluctant farm boy be a mighty man of valour? Simple. He was at that particular instant and forever thereafter a mighty man of valour with the Lord. We will not deny our Lord's Word. He was positionally a mighty man of valour with the Lord. He became experientially that same mighty man of valour through the process of purification and transformation, as Judges chapters 6-8 confirms. The Word given by the angel of the Lord was both natural and spiritual, both literal and spatial, both linear and multi-dimensional. It was prophetic. Gideon was first linear. He became multi-dimensional. First the natural, then the spiritual. Thank you Lord.


The Trinity is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. There are three primary cleansings, each one effected by a member of the Trinity through the Holy Spirit: water, blood, fire. These are the three primary baptisms. There are three primary feasts: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. In Noah's day the Holy Spirit covered the earth with water and purged the sin. This was the first purging and a primary baptism. At Calvary the Holy Spirit covered the earth with the blood of Jesus Christ and purged the sin; that is why we now stand on Holy ground. This was the second purging and a primary baptism. On the Day of Atonement God will cover the earth with fire and purge the sin. This will be the third purging and primary baptism. The final and full purging.

Let us put forth the meaning into different words: the water of the Holy Spirit covered the earth; the blood of Jesus Christ covered the earth; the fire of God will cover the earth. We note that each of these is a covering, and a purging. Now let us launch out into the deep. With Noah, the water baptism of the Holy Spirit covered the outside of the wooden vessel (ark). With Jesus Christ, the blood baptism covered the outside and inside of the wooden vessel (ark of covenant). With God, the fire baptism will thoroughly devour all the wood of the vessel (ark of the body) with unquenchable fire (Matt 3:12). All that will remain is pure gold, a pure golden vessel, and precious stones! Hallelujah!!

*For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation GOLD, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the DAY [of Atonement] shall declare it, because it shall be REVEALED BY FIRE; and THE FIRE SHALL TRY every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be BURNED, he shall suffer loss: but he himself SHALL BE SAVED; yet so as BY FIRE. (I Cor 3:11-15)

*And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, PREPARED as a bride adorned for her husband. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was PURE GOLD, like unto clear glass. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was PURE GOLD, as it were transparent glass. (Rev 21:2,18,21)


We understand the water baptism for repentance up to Calvary, and the baptism into the body of Christ after Calvary. But the third primary baptism, that of fire as exemplified in Acts chapter 2 is not as clearly understood. It is not clear to us now because it is emphatically prophetic.

*And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of FIRE, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all FILLED with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:3,4)

Much has been said in regard to this experience. The prophetic nature of Acts 2 can lend itself to broad interpretations and may easily become a snare much as the book of Revelation. Please note that this company were each and all "filled" with the Holy Ghost at that time. They were not always thereafter filled, but at that particular time they were filled. Had they been filled forever, they would never have died. They would have gone about eternally in that same peaked condition, speaking in "tongues," and manifesting miraculous works, some of which they did do. However, the power of the fullness gradually diminished with passing time in each individual. Through the years and days as it was passed on and on by the "laying on of hands," the residue remaining became less and less. The fullness experience was temporary. It was prophetic and not for all men at that time," God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect." (Heb 11:40)


God frequently uses physical and geographical codes to indicate spiritual things. The farming season in Israel is one of those physical code "messages." Annually, after the rain (former rain) of the Feast of Pentecost in the late spring, the land of Israel goes into gradual drought which lasts over a period of about four months until the rainy season (latter rain) of the Feast of Tabernacles. Drought and dry mean little to no Holy Spirit. Read Joel 1:8-20 looking for "dryness." Then read chapters 2 and 3, and hang on! We, as the "generation" of Christ (Matt 1:17; Psalm 22:30) gradually entered into this manifested Holy Ghost "drought" after Pentecost and just short of 2000 years ago. The good news is that we are coming out of "the dry" and are entering farther into the rainy season which ushers in the Feast of Tabernacles. At the end of Tabernacles the angels will reap and gather in the full harvest (Matt 13:47-50). Remember though, that we first must celebrate the Feast of Atonement. Drought is preparation for the fire. Praise God! Praise God!! Let me hear some shouting out there!!


We learn that all now receive "the earnest" of the Holy Spirit sealed in our hearts (II Cor 1:22; 5:5; Eph 1:14). That is "all now" rather than "some now." This earnest is translated in Strong's #728: a pledge, i.e. part of the purchase-money or property given in advance as security for the rest. This earnest is a deposit, a part-payment, a pledge, and therefore a part-filling. The filling in Acts 2 was a temporary condition that some, not all, received which subsided with time into a permanent part-filling (Heb 11:40). It was prophetic.


I relate the latter explanation that we may discuss the manifestation of cloven tongues as of fire: the fullness of the Spirit which we all shall soon receive. The balance of our inheritance: "It sat upon each of them." It covered them on the outside exactly as it charged them on the inside: temporarily. Like a high-powered battery boost, He pumped them immediately but temporarily, full of Him. Note if you will what these disciples were doing when filled with the Spirit. They were singlemindedly speaking and listening as the Spirit led and gave them utterance, to the absolute exclusion of anything else of this world. What does that suggest?? They were getting a taste of the third and final primary baptism, the Baptism of Fire. God's Holiness is fire. This is the greatest and most awesome fire of purification that we shall ever experience. The coming Day of Atonement, the sixth feast stands at the door. The disciples were temporarily purged from all sinful thoughts, words, and deeds by the Holy Fire of God. They were raptured! Well Praise God!

*Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is FULNESS OF JOY; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

Did you know that "joy" is a synonym for "rapture?" Do you know what the dictionary definition of "rapture" is? It is: ecstatic joy or delight; joyful ecstasy. Isn't that wonderful? Substitute that definition in place of "joy" and read that verse again. I can hear you shouting now! Hallelujah! What do you think those disciples were experiencing when those cloven tongues of fire settled down upon and in them?? They were experiencing the fullness of Joy!!!

Thank You Lord.