Summary: The tabernacle/temple is God’s model for developing an understanding of the Christian.
The conceptual value of the tabernacle for psychology or counseling is evident when one views the history of secular and Christian psychology and their achievements. The modern world of secular psychology has had one hundred and fifty years and millions of government dollars to do psychological research in developing an understanding of the individual. As of today, they have not settled on a model of ontology of being and the personality of being.
This is due in part to their denial of God and the human soul. About 1980 a group within the community of psychologists finally decided to study the individual, instead of concentrating on the animal kingdom. A new body of psychological knowledge soon developed called Cognitive Psychology. In the past twenty-seven years they have not developed the models of ontology that are needed in order to develop the much needed body of knowledge for counseling, teaching, and daily living.
About the same time another group of psychologists, professional Christian psychologists, decided the time had come to develop a biblically based psychology. They too have not delivered that body of knowledge.
The thesis of this paper is that God, who is the designer and creator of man, has given to humanity in His written word patterns and a model of Himself and the individual from which this knowledge can be developed.
This paper proposes that the pattern of an individual ontology is found in the creation account and the tabernacle and its accessories are the physical models which God has given in order that this body of knowledge can be developed under His teaching and leadership.
When God molded or shaped man from the dust of the ground in Genesis 2:7, nothing was said about the many and various systems that operate within the physical body. Yet, modern man has been able to build a medical profession of specialized doctors on each system. They have shown the detailed and precise order of these systems. They are able to localize many of the physical problems of the individual due to having mapped out these systems. No where in the Bible are these systems mapped out or referred too.
That might be due to man having the physical capabilities to work out this body of knowledge himself. He has done so. A part of the Garden of Eden was man’s physical body. It came from the very same ground which he was commissioned to care for. In order to care for it he had to know it and understand it. The physical world comes with this knowledge and it comes without recognizing the God who created it and dwells in it.
When God created the soul on the sixth day of creation, He also did not spell out the systems which the inner person operates upon. However, in the revelation of Himself and mankind, He has given detailed and precise information of these psychological systems. There are two major systems, the one constituting the trichotomous system of being (soul, body, spirit), and the other the system of the personality of that being (mind, conscience, heart, will). Both systems are established upon the being and personality of being of the divine. God made man in His image according to His likeness.
The secret of the mystery of this ontology lies with God who was in Christ Jesus revealing Himself to the world. That same secret and mystery now lives in the heart of the believer and the Apostle Paul states it in his letters as “Christ in you the hope of glory” and “you are in Christ Jesus.”
Man cannot operate properly within these psychological systems without proper recognition of God, which takes us into the Lordship of Jesus Christ in His role as High Priest, for the individual was created to be the dwelling place (tabernacle, temple, house) upon the earth.
These biblical patterns and models lay the foundation for psychological studies, counseling, teaching, and daily living.