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Summary: The Book of Hebrews reveals three patterns for developing a biblical model for counseling based on the tabernacle.

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Tabernacle Imagery Builds Psychological Model for Christian Counseling

Secular psychology attempts to understand human behavior largely by observation. Psychologists assume they can change the behavior if they understand it, but the success of that attempt has been limited.

Biblical Counseling and Christian Psychology are two separate, but related fields. They have tried to overcome the limitations of secular counseling by counseling from Scripture. However, these emerging endeavors have not yet established a scriptural foundation for understanding human behavior, and how to change it.

This paper has chosen not to address human behavior, but will assume the broad biblical understanding that all are sinners. Both, Biblical Counseling and Christian Psychology, agree to this nature of human behavior. The question now becomes how to restore a relationship with God and change simple human behavior to Christ-likeness?

This leads to viewing the tabernacle as a model for understanding how to restore the human relationship with God and change simple human behavior to Christ-likeness. This study finds in the symbolic concepts of the tabernacle a pattern for understanding that relationship, and how to change human behavior. It further concludes that the Book of Hebrews deals in significant detail with the tabernacle and its symbolic nature.

Therefore, this study has chosen to examine the symbolic nature of the tabernacle in the Book of Hebrews, looking at its close association to the Hebrew Scriptures, as a possible model for which meaningful biblical counseling can proceed.

We will address three propositions in the Book of Hebrews regarding this model for biblical counseling:

1. Our relationship with God has changed because of Christ.

2. The pattern in the tabernacle will demonstrate how to come into a right relationship with God.

3. And three, explain four biblical patterns in Hebrews that emerge from the teachings in the tabernacle that will change human behavior.


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