The Sanctuary – The Gospel in The Old Testament
We learned from our first study together that from the creation of the world to the present time, the one outstanding purpose of Heaven has been to make known to man the character and work of our Creator and Redeemer. To accomplish this, God gave to the human family three books; the first, the book of creation, His word in nature; second, the sanctuary, His Word visualized in an object lesson; third, the Bible, the Witten Word. The grand central theme of each of these books is the plan of salvation. To study any one of them with any object in view, other than to understand God’s character and his plan for us, is to miss His purpose entirely.
We also discovered that God is the Creator of this world; this is why nature is the perfect way for God to express his unlimited love to His earth children. After sin; nature, although marred by sin, still showed Gods infinite wisdom and love. Next, God chose to show the world himself, and his mission, through an object lesson; this being the Sanctuary and its related services. Each object, each service, each sacrifice pointed to Christ; through this wonderful object lesson, the specially chosen people were to become the His instruments for bringing this Gospel message to the world.
- Who is the creator of this world? Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:2; Hebrews 11:3; Colossians 1:16
________ Jesus ____________________________________________________
Centuries before the Bible was written, the Israelites had the Gospel preached to them. Hebrews 3:16; Hebrews 4:2, 6. It was preached to them through the incredible object lesson of the Sanctuary.
2. So, who preached this Gospel to the Israelite people? Christ himself gives us this answer in Luke 24:27_____ beginning with Moses and then all the prophets ____
NOTE: How did he preach the Gospel? By means of the sanctuary and its services; a complete system of truth given by God Himself to Israel at Sinai. The sanctuary was for the sole purpose of revealing Christ, not only to the Hebrew nation but to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people to the very end of time; at which time it reaches its climax and reveals the everlasting gospel in its fullness and beauty.
3. Read I Corinthians 10:11. Do the principles taught in this great object lesson of the Sanctuary and its service still hold meaning for us today?
_____yes, for our admonition (caution, warning) until the ends of the ages ________
NOTE: Christ uttered His last words “It is finished” bowed his head and breathed his last at the time of the evening sacrifice. At the same moment that Christ died upon the cross, the vale in the temple, that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place, was torn from top to bottom. However, even with His words that bore finality, the great principles taught since Moses remain for us to draw an understanding of Christ’s great love and sacrifice for us. Let us always remember that while the sanctuary was given to ancient Israel; God’s truth, there revealed, was written for Modern Israel (Spiritual Israel), especially for us; upon we whom the end of the world is come.
The Sanctuary and its service, is a Prophecy of Christ, which was given to Israel through Moses and is made plain by Christ himself. After His Resurrection He walked with two disciples that lived in Emmaus a little town about 10 miles from Jerusalem. They had trouble understanding all the events that had just taken place. How did Jesus teach them? Luke 24:27, 44 makes it clear that beginning at Moses . . . He expounded unto them . . . the things concerning Himself. Later when meeting with the remaining 11 disciples He said, “All things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses concerning Me.”
The Gospel revealed in the sanctuary was a prophecy concerning Christ; a prophecy that was illustrated in the sacrifices and services associated with the sanctuary and then fulfilled in the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Christ was to be fulfilled, the purpose of which the tabernacle was a symbol. The New Testament is an inspired commentary on the sanctuary of the Old Testament; and a spiritual understanding of the sanctuary is essential to a spiritual understanding of the New Testament.
Some have thought that just the services associated with the sanctuary symbolized Christ; let this be far from our thoughts. F. C. Gilbert, an authority on the Jewish economy says: “Every part of the sanctuary building had a special function, and in every way it must be made according to the pattern. Nothing was left for conjecture or supposition; not even the smallest minutia was passed by unheeded.” (practical Lesson from the Experience of Israel, 172)
The Sanctuary is a compacted prophecy of the gospel; illustrated through the sanctuary and its services is a complete revelation of the gospel of salvation through Christ Jesus. Christ was the foundation of the Jewish economy. The whole system of types and symbols was a compacted prophecy of the Gospel, a presentation in which were bound up the promises of redemption. In every sacrifice, Christ’s death was shown. In every cloud of incense, His righteousness ascends. By every jubilee trumpet, His name was sounded. In the awful mystery of the Holy of Holies, His glory dwelt. Truly, the sanctuary is not only a prophecy of the gospel, but it is a compacted prophecy that is literally packed with the truths of the Gospel.
In types and shadows; each article of furniture, each hanging, every detail of fixture, typified the atonement; nothing was without spiritual significance.
Economy: According to Webster’s dictionary “Economy” means A system of rules, regulations, rites and ceremonies as took place in the Jewish system of worship, festivals and feasts. Or system of management, general regulation and disposition of the affairs of a state or nation, or of any department of government
4. What is meant by the above statement “types and shadows”?
As we continue our study, this truth will become more and more apparent. We shall find that the boards, the bars, the pillars, the coverings, the embroidery, and the materials used – the fine linen, the blue and purple and scarlet, the wood, the brass, the silver, the gold, the precious stones – all either directly or indirectly represent Christ in some phase of his work for fallen man; all combine to make the plan of salvation clear, beautiful and wonderful.
5. What does David have to say about the Sanctuary? Psalm 29:9
__________________ Every Whit of it uttereth His glory _____________________
The Sanctuary, then the temple in Jerusalem, was to serve as an example and shadow of heavenly things. He designed that the temple at Jerusalem should be a continual witness to the high destiny open to every soul; through Christ, the purpose fulfilled, for which the tabernacle and temple were a symbol.
But the Jews did not understand the significance of the building they regarded with so much pride. We all should beware, unless we like the Jews do not understand, the significance of the sanctuary building. In fact, a spiritual understanding of the Sanctuary building, as described in the book of Exodus, is the true foundation of all sanctuary study. Without this foundation; we cannot appreciate the significance of the offerings, as recorded in the book of Leviticus; nor can we understand the merit of the many allusions to the sanctuary which encompass the entire Bible.
The individual Christian experience is taught in the Sanctuary. Not only was Christ symbolized in all parts of the sanctuary, but in it God desired his people to understand His purpose for the human soul in it. The sanctuary is a dramatized parable of God’s dealings with men; it illustrates the complete experience of every true Christian through the process of reconciliation and justification by faith. This, symbolized in the court, with its imputed righteousness; his sanctification by faith, in the Most Holy Place, with its eternal righteousness. The Sanctuary, in its fullness, is a complete revelation of the gospel of Christ which is symbolized for the entire human family. The more fully we understand its details; the easier and more completely we will comprehend the important closing events, now in progress, in the heavenly sanctuary. Events that most deeply concern out own personal salvation.
- Was the Holy Spirit involved in the construction of the Sanctuary? Exodus 31:1-3
_________ Yes ____________________________________________________
Verses 4-6 describe the type of work he was to do; it wasn’t just one man alone. Several men, gifted by the Holy Spirit, performed the exact work of fabricating and building the Sanctuary. Because the workers were inspired by the Holy Spirit, we can find inspired truth; not only in the sanctuary as a whole, but in all its parts.
Men called by God, were filled with the spirit of God, to do this work. So it is, anytime the gospel message is illustrated, in spoken word that the actions of Christ follow. Men and women called of God, are filled with the Spirit of God, to fulfill God’s purpose in reaching sinners.
No man, not even the most intelligent of all mankind, can look unto Jesus and properly understand His position and work. Man must first view it, in the light of the tabernacle of God, which was built by Moses in the wilderness. It was a shadow, cast upon earth, to show us heavenly things. The sanctuary and its service is the great central object lesson of the plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. There is no one object; connected with the plan of salvation, in which we see the different subjects of revelation, blended together in such a harmonious way.
It is the Sanctuary and its service that links the Israelites of old to spiritual Israel of today; showing us the relationship to each other. It shows, like no other, the high honor of explaining the position and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. The books of Moses illuminate by way of a brilliant lamp and become linked with the animated life; radiant with consistency and beauty. Everything connected with the Hebrew worship was suggestive of Christ the Messiah.
The whole purpose of the Sanctuary was to enable us all to view the Word, as a whole; seeing the relationship of its various parts. More than any other subject, it enables us to comprehend its grand and central theme. God’s original purpose for the world, the rise of the great controversy; more importantly the work of redemption.
All the doctrines of salvation through Christ are symbolized in the sanctuary – the gift of God’s only begotten Son to the world, His crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension; His work as High Priest, as Judge, and as King Eternal; the work of the angels and of the Holy Spirit.
There is no other subject which so fully unites all parts of the Sacred Volume into one harmonious whole as this subject of the sanctuary. Every gospel truth centers in the sanctuary service and radiates from it like the rays of the sun.
The Sanctuary truth permeates all Scripture. For the Israelite of old and to every true Israelite in the Christian dispensation, the sanctuary was and is the great central object in the plan of salvation. In it, like the spokes of a wheel, all truth of revelation center in Christ as the hub, thus making a complete circuit of gospel truth.
7. Who made the first garments out of skin? Genesis 3:21
____________ Jesus _________________________________________________
From Genesis to Revelation the Sanctuary unites and permeates all parts of the scriptures. In the Garden of Eden God himself offered the first sacrifice; pointing forward to His own precious Son on cruel Calvary, and in the skins of which He wrapped his guilty children to protect them from the chilled air of transgression. (Genesis 3:21)
8. In Revelation 11:19 what did John see?
The temple was opened in heaven and the Ark of His covenant was seen in his temple.
The ark is where God’s law is kept that shows how mankind has violated the law; yet above the law is the Mercy Seat. God’s Mercy is above the law, which does not mean we are exempt from keeping the law but that God’s redemptive service gives us the victory which we cannot on our own achieve.
9. Song of Solomon 3:6-11 describes the Sanctuary as a palanquin, or sedan, what was Solomon trying to say.
_______ That the Sanctuary and its service is the vehicle for us to understand the plan of redemption ______________________________________________________
The science of redemption so marvelously symbolized in God’s great object lesson, the sanctuary, is the “key that will unlock the whole treasure house of God’s work.” He who grasp this thought has before him an infinite field for study . . . the study of God’s redeemed throughout endless ages.
A full and spiritual understanding of the Sanctuary is the basis of a fundamental and comprehensive knowledge of the bible, without which we grasp only dimly its great theme which is salvation. Is not such a subject worthy of our best mental and spiritual effort?
The new testament boasts of its four gospels with the Pauline letters backing up or bringing additional enlightenment to the gospel message. Most of us usually think of the New Testament when it comes to the gospel and its message; let’s quickly review these four gospels and the major theme of each gospel.
Christ as King – Which is the Gospel according to Matthew
Christ as Servant – Which is the Gospel according to Mark
The humanity of Christ – Which is the Gospel according to Luke
The divinity of Christ – which is the Gospel according to John.
As we can see, the gospel is clearly revealed in the New Testament; yet we should not lose sight of the fact that it is also revealed with equal clarity in the Old Testament. With the book of Genesis as a background and introduction; the next four books written by Moses present, in type, the work of salvation through Christ.; the Gospel message, according to Moses, is also found in these four books:
Christ our Sanctuary – The Book of Exodus
Christ our Sacrifice – The Book of Leviticus
Christ our Guide – The Book of Numbers
Christ our Reward – The Book of Deuteronomy
In Exodus, the gospel is illustrated in the Sanctuary itself, its arrangement, its furniture, and all its parts. In Leviticus, (the gospel) is illustrated in all the services of the sanctuary. In Numbers the gospel is revealed, during the wanderings of Israel, as Christ in the Pillar of fire, and in the cloud that guided them through the wilderness to the promised land. In Deuteronomy, which in Smith’s bible dictionary article “Pentateuch,” is called “the spiritual interpretation and application of the law;” is given, as its name indicates, a “repetition of the law” for special emphasis. This final pronouncement of the teachings of the Gospel, according to Moses, was given to prepare Israel to enter the earthly Canaan; it is typical of the final “repetition” and “special emphasis” now given to God’s law, as a preparation for the Remnant church, to leave earth’s wilderness and enter the heavenly Canaan.
Through the sanctuary of the Old Testament, the gospel is presented in type; the New Testament presents its antitype. The New Testament has its roots deep down in the Old Testament, from which it draws it nourishment and out of which it grows. To belittle or neglect the Old, is to cut the New from its root system, and thus deprive the New of its source of life and power.
10. In Revelation 11:3, 5 the Old and New Testament are called by what name?
_____ Two Witnesses ________________________________________________
Deuteronomy 17:6; See also Zechariah 4:2-6; Hebrews 4:12
“The law (the Old Testament) is the gospel embodied, and the gospel (the New Testament) is the law unfolded. The law is the root, the gospel is the fragrant blossoms and fruit which it bears.” Without the Old Testament it is impossible to gain a full and correct understanding of the New Testament, – its gospels, the teachings of Paul and the other apostles, or the prophecies of John the Revelator, for all these abound in allusions and references to the Sanctuary of the Old Testament. Let us therefore, beware how we treat this life-giving relationship, for the Old and the New Testaments Are God’s “Two Witnesses,” which on severe penalty, we are warned not to hurt.
Many think the books of Moses are uninteresting and monotonous, intended only for ancient Israel, and of no particular value to Christians. Why is this? It is because they have discerned the life and teachings of Christ in these books that God inspired Moses to write.
11. As Jesus walked with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus he explained prophecies concerning Himself by starting where? Luke 24:27
___________ Beginning with Moses and then all the prophets __________________
As we more closely study this Gospel according to Moses, as we advance upon this Path to the Throne of God, we shall see that Moses preached the gospel that John also preached: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). This is the everlasting gospel, the theme of all Scripture, the gospel of salvation for all people in all ages.