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#20. The Sanctuary
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After the death of the apostles, the leadership of the church fell into the hands of Gentile believers, commonly referred to as the Church Fathers. These men saw very little value in the sanctuary doctrine. To them this was something that belonged to Judaism and had no relevance to New Testament Christianity. Consequently, the sanctuary truth became somewhat obsolete, until the mid-Nineteenth Century when it was resurrected to life. Today there is renewed interest in the sanctuary message.

When we examine the teachings of the New Testament, we find that much of the truth it presents is expressed in sanctuary language. The simple reason for this is because the sanctuary was given by God as a visual aid of the whole plan of redemption. It is His master model plan of salvation. Through it, God reveals to mankind the various stages of our redemption in Christ — His earthly mission as well as His heavenly ministry. The sanctuary, therefore, is God’s “Show and Tell” (see diagram at end).

God’s primary purpose in giving the sanctuary was to reveal through symbols, Jesus Christ and His saving grace. Everything about the sanctuary, it’s buildings, it’s furniture, as well as it’s rituals, all point to Christ as the Saviour of mankind. Since the sanctuary reveals the full plan of salvation from beginning to end, its study becomes very meaningful to us as Christians. Through the sanctuary message, we get a bird’s eye view of the whole plan of salvation. This, in turn, will strengthen our faith in the eternal hope we have in Christ. This is the purpose in studying the sanctuary.
1. Why did God instruct Moses to build a sanctuary?

Exodus 25:8 __________________________________________________

Note: Sin had separated a holy God from sinful man (see Isaiah 59:2). What God was revealing through the sanctuary was the plan of redemption that would bridge that gulf so that God and mankind may once again be “at-one-ment.”

2. In whom was this plan of redemption fulfilled?

John 1:14 __________________________________________________

Note: Christ is the reality of the Sanctuary message. Everything about the sanctuary pointed to Christ and salvation through Him. That is why David declared, “Thy way [of salvation] O God, is in the sanctuary.”

3. To what was Jesus referring when He made this statement?

John 2:19-21 __________________________________________________

Note: This is where the ancient Jews went wrong. They put the emphasis of the sanctuary on their temple building and its rituals, rather than on what it pointed to — salvation through Jesus Christ.

4. When did the disciples of Jesus discover the true meaning of the temple?

John 2:22 __________________________________________________

Note: The disciples were also victims of Judaism and it was not until the resurrection that they realized the whole of the sanctuary message of the Old Testament. The sanctuary was given to point them to Christ, the promised Messiah.

5. What did God prepare for Christ instead of the sacrificial system of the sanctuary?

Hebrews 10:5 __________________________________________________

Note: The whole purpose of the sacrificial system was to point to Christ and Him crucified. The only value the sacrifice of animals had in the Old Testament was to point God’s people to the coming Messiah. In and of themselves, the sacrifice of animals had no merits and that is why God had no pleasure in them.

6. Why did God prepare a body for Christ?

Hebrews 10:7 __________________________________________________

Note: It was through the human body of Christ that the world was redeemed. This was the will of God (see John 3:17). That is why the humanity of Christ is everything to us. In it God has obtained salvation full and complete for the entire human race.

7. What did the coming of Christ replace?

Hebrews 10:9 __________________________________________________

Note: The coming of Christ replaced the type with reality. This is the difference between the Old and the New Covenants. The Old Covenant was never given by God as a means of salvation but pointed to Christ, the promised Saviour. The New Covenant is the fulfillment of that promise. However, since we have not experienced the full reality of salvation, the sanctuary message continues to point us to the consummation, the ultimate end of God’s plan of salvation in Christ.

8. Why did the gospel preached to the Jews of the Exodus fail to profit them?

Hebrews 4:2 __________________________________________________

Note: The pronoun “them” refers to the Jews of the Exodus. God gave them the gospel through the sanctuary, the gospel in type. Unfortunately, they missed the whole point of the sanctuary message, which is one of the main reasons why the nation of Israel rejected Christ as the promised Messiah.

9. What did the sacrificed lamb of the sanctuary ritual point to?

John 1:29 __________________________________________________

10. The candle lamps in the sanctuary pointed to Christ as what?

John 8:12 __________________________________________________

11. How did Christ describe Himself in this passage?

John 6:51 __________________________________________________

Note: In the Holy Place of the earthly sanctuary, the two main pieces of furniture were the seven-branch candlestick and the table of shew bread. The candlestick pointed to Christ as the light of the world, while the table of shew bread pointed to Christ as the living bread of life.

12. What has God made Christ to be for us through faith in His blood?

Romans 3:25 __________________________________________________

Note: The word “propitiation” (KJV) or the phrase “sacrifice of atonement” (NIV) is translated from the same word used in the Greek Old Testament (the LXX) for the mercy seat that rested on the top of the Ark of the Covenant in the Most Holy Place of the sanctuary. This mercy seat covered the law of God that condemns us sinners.

13. What did Christ obtain for mankind in His earthly mission?

Hebrews 9:12 __________________________________________________

14. What is Christ the end of, to all who believe in Him?

Romans 10:4 __________________________________________________

Note: In His earthly mission, Christ satisfied the full demands of the law on behalf of fallen humanity. All who have accepted Him as their personal Saviour are looked upon by God as meeting all the requirements of the law for righteousness. This is the good news of the gospel!

15. Having redeemed humanity, what is Christ now doing in the heavenly sanctuary?

Romans 8:34 __________________________________________________

16. To what extent can Christ save those who put their full trust in Him?

Hebrews 7:25 __________________________________________________

Note: In His earthly mission, represented by the eastern square of the sanctuary courtyard, Christ obtained salvation full and complete for the entire human race. The western square reveals Christ’s priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. Thus, through the sanctuary and its services God has revealed the whole plan of redemption from the beginning to the end. The diagram below illustrates the two-fold work of Christ as our Saviour and Priest. The next two lessons will cover some important sanctuary truths regarding Christ’s priestly ministry on the believer’s behalf.

Note: In His earthly mission, represented by the eastern square of the sanctuary courtyard, Christ obtained salvation full and complete for the entire human race. The western square reveals Christ’s priestly ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. Thus, through the sanctuary and its services God has revealed the whole plan of redemption from the beginning to the end. The diagram below illustrates the two-fold work of Christ as our Saviour and Priest. The next two lessons will cover some important sanctuary truths regarding Christ’s priestly ministry on the believer’s behalf.

THE SANCTUARY – GOD’S MODEL PLAN OF SALVATION
Christ is the Reality of the Sanctuary

EX. 25:8 (JH. 1:14); PS. 77:13 (HEB. 10:5-10); JN. 2:19-22

CHRIST’S HEAVENLY MINISTRY CHRIST’S EARTHLY MINISTRY
PRIESTHOOD
(31 A.D. – New Earth; Heb. 10:12,13)
GOSPEL
(4 B.C.? – 31 A.D.; Heb. 9:12)
1. DAILY – Intercession
(31 A.D. - Probation Closes)
1. SPOTLESS LAMB – Doing
(Birth - Temptation in the Wilderness)
2. YEARLY – Cleansing
(1844 - New Earth)
2. SACRIFICE – Dying
(Baptism - Cross)