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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Tabernacle a Shadow of Eternal Realities

Before telling of yet others whom the Lord used to impact my life after we returned to Canada from Dominica in November of 1978, I want to go back to recount how the Lord used another man to make lasting impressions on me while I was still a student at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.
I think it was during my freshman year at Moody (1970-71) that a man I’d never heard of came to a church in Chicago with a model of the Tabernacle which Moses and the children of Israel constructed in the wilderness according to detailed plans given them by God. A fellow student had been to this particular church one Sunday night and came back to the dorm telling me about this man who had a 1/18th scale model of the Tabernacle and would be speaking on it every night for the next two weeks. He invited me to go with him the next night and I have been grateful ever since for that invitation!
Ralph H. Mount was the speaker that night and I was enthralled with his ministry and especially with the model he had constructed. While I had read the Book of Exodus before, I had never been able to picture in my mind just what the Tabernacle would have looked like. So, for the first time in my life, this subject became intensely interesting to me. But more intriguing to me was the realization that this building, which was first erected about 1500 years before Christ came into the world, was in fact a detailed portrait of the Lord Jesus! As I listened to Mr. Mount speak and open the scriptures relative to Christ in the Tabernacle, I began to see more clearly how all the scriptures speak of Christ and that He is the theme of all the scriptures! (Luke 24:27) Now, not only Exodus but the Book of Hebrews seemed to be illuminated much more clearly for me.
I went to those meetings as often as I could for the two weeks that Mr. Mount was speaking and I will never forget the night that he spoke on the garments of the high priest! That night he wore a life-sized set of the high priest’s garments and spent the whole evening demonstrating from scripture how every detail in the design of those clothes provided a portrait of Christ as our High Priest!
I had never before heard any ministry on the Tabernacle but now, having heard Ralph Mount, I began to appreciate how God had placed so much emphasis on this “parable portrait” of Christ in the scriptures! No other parable in all the Bible has nearly as much space devoted to it as the Tabernacle! The latter half of the Book of Exodus and Hebrews chapters 8,9 and 10 are entirely devoted to the subject. I bought Mr. Mount’s book entitled, “The Law Prophesied” and for the next few weeks I read it and the scriptures which dealt with the Tabernacle. This was the beginning of my own study of the Tabernacle and among many other subjects, it has become my favourite! It was not long before I started dreaming and planning for the day when I would build my own Tabernacle model.
About ten years later (after we’d returned to Canada from Dominica) and were meeting with “brethren” assemblies or “Christians gathered to the name of the Lord Jesus” I heard ministry on the Tabernacle again. Brother Edward Doherty spoke on the Tabernacle using a large wall chart. It was a good visual aid but, remembering Ralph Mount’s model and how it had been so helpful to me, I now had a deep desire to actually begin to build a model to make available to anyone who wished to minister on the subject. So with the help of my wife and my mother who did an incredible amount of sewing, I was able to finish my model after spending about two winters on the project.
Since that time, that model has been to New Brunswick, Florida and has been used in numerous places here in Ontario.
But in just the last few years, I have also come to appreciate how the Old Testament Tabernacle is not only a portrait of Christ but also a shadow of the true Tabernacle, the House of God today which is the people of God (those saved by faith in Christ). As I’ve come to appreciate these New Covenant truths relative to our relationship to Christ, I’ve become even more excited about this tremendous subject in the Word of God. I must stop here for today, but in my next post, I’d like to share how this God-given interest in the Tabernacle has brought about circumstances which have shaped and even changed the course of the lives of some of our own children as well!
(If you have an interest in learning more about the Tabernacle, how it pictures Christ and the church, the ekklesia of God’s people today, I’d be glad to send you free of charge and postage paid, a DVD of a presentation on this vital subject. Just send me an email at with your postal address and I’ll be happy to send a copy to you.
Or if you want to give teaching on the Tabernacle and would like the use of a model for that purpose, that is the reason my model was built! By all means get in touch with me! I'd be delighted if it could be used continually in this way.)


Anonymous said...

Hello Mr Woodford. Recently, I have been reading in Ralph Mount's book, The Law Prophesied. In our daily scripture reading, my family is at Exodus, and we are reading about the Tabernacle. We have a model that was made from instructions out of one of Ralph's courses. Ralph went to be with the Lord in 1998. Are you aware of his other books and study courses?

Here is a couple of photos of him taken in 1986:

Nelson Moore,
Cotopaxi CO

Bruce Woodford said...

Dear Nelson,

Thank you so much for the pictures and info about Ralph Mount! Did you know him personally?

besides "The Law Prophesied", I had a couple others of Ralph's books, but can't find them at the moment. Can you tell me what other books he wrote or study courses? Are any of them still in print?

Do you know what happened to his own Tabernacle model?

I didn't have any way to email you so I hope you read this and get back to me!

A brother in Christ,
Bruce Woodford

Jen Lowe said...

I believe the tabernacle is now part of a museum located at 303 Bay Street, Monroe NC 28112. 704-283-4208. Phil Nordan. Ralph made over 1500 hours of cassette tape lessons that are also available, with accompanying books, from Ray Kissel, 491-756-9103.

Hope that helps.

jlowe54 at gmail dot com

Bruce Woodford said...

Thanks so much Jen! Glad you found my blog and passed on this info. I hope it may be helpful to folks in the area of Monroe NC (or passing through!) to see the model which first sparked my interest in the greatest parable/shadow of the Bible!

A brother in Christ,

Rick Swineford said...

I grew up around Ralph Mount. He was my parent's pastor when I was 5. He travelled with his models of the Tabernacle for 12.5 years, then retired in Morriston, Florida. He setup "Mount's Acres" in Morriston, where I moved to in 1978. Ralph never really did retire, he just stopped travelling. He spent his life studying Scripture and teaching. He was a mechanical engineer by training which made him extremely meticulous in his studies. His biggest endeavor began as a Greek/English dictionary which after many years of research evolved into the "Consistent New Testament". I consider it the most accurate translation and most valuable study tool available. If you have trouble getting Ralph's materials from Ray Kissel (mentioned in one of the blogs) please contact me and I will try to provide what you need. We now have Ralph's materials in a rough electronic format (.pdf and mp3).
Rick Swineford