THE LAVER OF BRASS: The Doctrine of Sanctification (Exodus 30:17-21)
LOCATION OF THE LAVER:
The laver of brass stood in the outer court with the brazen altar. Made of brass, as was the altar, and filled with water; top part for washing of the hands and lower part; called the “foot”, for washing of the feet. The LAVER was used more frequently that any other article of furniture in the Tabernacle. All service in the Tabernacle, whether in the Holy Place, Holy of Holies, or the brazen altar required the one serving to wash in the LAVER OF BRASS.
PRIMARY AND EVIDENT APPLICATION OF THE LAVER:
Cleansing applies primarily to the child of God; only the priests served at the laver. Beyond the brazen altar, application of the tending of the Tabernacle were directly to the sons of God.
I found in my investigation a twofold application of the meaning of the LAVER in the ministry of cleansing–EARTHLY and HEAVENLY:
FIRST to Christ’s present resurrection ministry where He continues cleansing His own until He presents the “faultless [blameless]”:
“Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight]” (Jude 24–Amplified Bible).
This is the heavenly ministry of Christ in cleansing.
SECONDLY, applies to one phrase of the work of Holy Spirit in His present ministry on earth. The written Word, the audible voice of the Spirit, reveals the path of light to god’s children. Keeping them away from sin and giving new ways of service.
The indwelling Holy Spirit confirms and makes real the life and ministry of the written Word. Not separate operations BUT one; the Spirit doesn’t direct apart from or contrary to the Word of God (the Bible). This is the meaning of the LAVER.
The earthly meaning grows out of and is derived from the heavenly meaning. Christ sent the Holy spirit to include ministry of His mission during this age of mankind. The LAVER was made of brass which speaks of judgement of sin.
The LAVER was made of a particular selection of brass; the brazen mirrors of the women (Exodus 38:8). The Spirit of God has used the mirror metaphorically as the Word of God:
“For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror; For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like” (James 1:23, 24).
It’s no accident that the LAVER was made of the mirrors of the women. A mirror is that to which the Word of God is likened; a figure of the Word of God as being a cleansing agency. Further expanded on, the Holy spirit is speaking of the cleansing power of the Word.
“HUSBANDS, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, So that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word” (Ephesians 5:25, 26).
The Word is likened to the LAVER itself and the water contained in the LAVER:
1. The Primary purpose of the LAVER was for cleansing–God’s Word is for cleansing; Jesus said, “You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you” (John 15:3).
2. The Word washes–reveals as the mirrors were “revealers” used in cleansing and beautifying.
THE WORK OF CLEANSING
Confined to the believers; the Word corrects their lives. The LAVER stood between the altar (cross) and the Holy Place (service). Cleansing by the Word of God is for the sinner coming to the cross and then desires to serve. An added corollary is, that between the LAVER and the Holy spirit is the cross of Jesus; where the sin of the sinner is settled. The Word is the means by which a child of God learns to walk. As the priests spent more time at the LAVER than any other article of furniture, the child of God should spend more time in the Word of God. “A daily bath in the Word is of inestimable value.”
THE MEASUREMENTS OF THE LAVER WERE…?
There were NO measurements given for the LAVER in the blueprints of the Tabernacle [trick question]. The missing measurements only confirms that the LAVER is a figure of Holy Spirit, the author of the Word. Deity cannot be measured. The Word cannot be severed from the divine author and the Illuminator of it.
THE WATER OF THE LAVER
WATER is used throughout Scripture as a symbol of the true baptism; the holy Spirit:
“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slave or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13– NAS Bible).
One phase of Holy Spirit’s work as depicted by the LAVER of brass was used for cleansing of the priests; those belonging to God and His service. The ordination of Aaron and his sons occured at the LAVER where they were washed with the water (Leviticus 8:6). That washing was for all time and never repeated. In another phase,there was also a continual and daily cleansing at the LAVER.
The blood of Jesus Christ; [Christ was not Jesus’ last name; Christ means in the Greek, christos the annointed; in the Sept., the word “Messiah” is used]. His blood cleanses the believing sinners from all sin. BUT, in his daily walk and service, being impure from sinning in a particular area of life, needs cleansing (Romans 8:2-4).
THE HEAVENLY ASPECT OF THE LAVER’S MEANING
QUESTION: What then is the remedy for a saved person who commits sin? Jesus ascended into the heavens and took His place at the right hand of the majesty of God:
“For Christ (the Messiah) has not entered into a sanctuary made with [human] hands, only a copy and pattern and type of the true one, but [He has entered] into heaven itself, now to appear in the [very] presence of God on our behalf. Nor did He [enter into the heavenly sanctuary to] offer Himself regularly again and again, as the high priests enters the [Holy of] Holies every year with blood not his own” (Hebrews 9:24, 25 –Amplified Bible).
Part of His ministry in heaven is the daily cleansing of His own coming to Him confessing sin (1 John 1:9). the atoning blood of Christ cleanses us from sin~ALL sin. the sin of the saved is fully dealt with at the cross.
Sin in the believer’s life breaks the communion with God and on the basis of the death of Jesus on the cross, He can cleanse the child who comes to Him in confession. What a gracious thought to know that the Lord girded with a towel and the basin of water keeps us clean if we place our feet in His hand confessing our sins.
The LAVER stood between the altar and the Holy place. The cleansing of believers in Jesus by confession and repentance stands between the cross and the communion of the children of God.
–The altar was for a sinner; the LAVER was for a sin.
–The altar was where the sinner needed punishment; the LAVER was where the child needed cleansing.
–The altar spoke of the blood; the LAVER spoke of water.
The altar suggest this verse of Scripture:
“[In fact] under the Law almost everything is purified by means of blood, and without the shedding of blood there is neither release from sin and its guilt nor remission of the due and merited punishment for sins” (Hebrews 9:22).
THE LAVER POINTS TO THIS: “Without holiness no man shall see God”.