Summary: The Book of Hebrews reveals three patterns based on the tabernacle which can be used in counseling.
III. How does the tabernacle show how to change human behavior?
Finally we ask, “How does the tabernacle show how to change human behavior?” The tabernacle per se is not concerned with changing human behavior. The tabernacle is concerned with standing in the presence of God to hear the voice of Christ. However, when one takes the spiritual walk through the tabernacle to stand in the presence of God, one’s behavior will change. Hebrews addresses this change in behavior by recognizing four biblical concepts. These concepts are: the lordship of Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ as High Priest, the voice of Christ, and the faith of the Christian.
Since Hebrews addresses this change in behavior in this manner, the tabernacle can be used as a model for developing a biblical psychology for counseling. This new approach to changing human behavior is because of the changes made in the old covenant. The verses in Hebrews will not be cited in this reading. The four biblical concepts are:
1. Recognizing the Lordship of Jesus Christ (Heb 1-2). Jesus is Lord due to being the Creator. He has made two creations. The first creation is recorded in Genesis 1-2. The second creation began on the cross and the Day of Pentecost.
To recognize the Lordship of Jesus is to recognize the presence of Christ in one’s life. The presence of Christ in the Christian life is the grace of God (Exo 33:12-23). It is the impact of this grace that changes the behavior of the Christian
How does the tabernacle show the concept of the Lordship of Jesus? There are several ways. One, each piece of furniture addresses Christ and the Christian. Another is the voice of Christ spoken in the holy of holies. And, another is the combination of gold/wood suggesting divinity and humanness.
2. Recognizing Jesus Christ as the mediator in the new covenant in the role of the High Priest (Heb 3:1). As the High Priest, Jesus is waiting to assist the Christian in obeying the words of God (Heb 4:16; 6:19-20; 9:24; 10:19). To recognize Jesus as the High Priest is to recognize how God designed you to care for and maintain a spiritual balance with Him through the living resurrected Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the written word of God.
How does the tabernacle show this concept? Through the role and ministry of the high priest in the tabernacle. The church has not paid much attention to this role, thinking that it is just an Old Testament concept. Yet, this concept opens the door to understanding the union of the divine/human.
3. Recognizing the voice of Christ. In order for Jesus to be Lord and High Priest, He must speak to us. We must learn to recognize His voice. Voice indicates presence, and presence indicates intimacy. One aspect of the voice of the Lord as shown by the author of Hebrews is that the word of God is living, energizing, discerning, and all knowing (Heb 4:12). The living voice of the Lord encourages the Christian to come to Him at the throne of grace to receive help with all questions, situations, desires, and needs (Heb 4:16).
How does the tabernacle show this concept? The voice of the high priest symbolizes the voice of Christ the High Priest. The voice of Christ is the manifestation of Christ’s lordship. The voice is the means whereby Christ the High Priest operates in the heart of the Christian.
The voice of God to Israel at Mt. Sinai was recorded. It was placed in the ark. It is the same written record that the church has today with the exception that the New Testament (new covenant) is included. The voice of Christ now comes to the Christian on a personal basis addressing the issues of that Christian. This message is transmitted to the heart.
4. Obediently responding to the voice of Christ by faith. The author of Hebrews draws from the experience of the prophet Habakkuk to identify this response of faith, “The just shall live by faith” (Hab 2:4; Heb 10:38; Gal 3:11; Rom 1:17). Without faith the Lord cannot bless the Christian. (Heb 11:6).
How does the tabernacle show this concept? The spiritual walk through the tabernacle requires that we trust God to bless us in this walk. When we hear the voice of Christ speaking to us, it requires that we listen and obey Him in faith.
These four biblical concepts show that the relationship and union between the divine/human is built upon the Christian recognizing God’s requirements. When these concepts are acted upon, they change human behavior.
In conclusion, these three biblical patterns in Hebrews point to the tabernacle as being used by the author of Hebrews as a model. With these biblical patterns the author provides us with a biblical model for understanding the spiritual and psychological dynamics of the Christian. These three biblical patterns are: