Lesson 08 - The Sanctuary
The Goal of these lessons is to present the TRUTH as it is in Jesus. The book of Revelation is the revelation of Jesus. What great themes are hidden in the prophetic language of the Scripture? We hope you learn more about Jesus, His character and His plan for your life.
Lesson 8 - (downloadable pdf file)
The first earthly sanctuary, built under the direction of Moses after being shown and instructed by God at the foot of Mount Sinai, was a tent-like structure suitable for moving from place to place. Later this was replaced by a permanent structure during the reign of Solomon. Despite variation in the size and quality of the two structures, the basic plan of the sanctuary proper remained the same. We will consider the one built by Moses at the Lord’s direction.
1. On which side of the courtyard was the entrance? Exodus 27:13,14
NOTE: The opening to the courtyard was on the east side. This latter detail is significant, as were all the instructions. In Pagan worship, it was customary to face the rising sun. This practice was an abomination to God. See Ezekiel 8:15, 16. God would afford no opportunity for the people to become involved in sun worship and at the same time profess to be worshiping Him. To face the rising sun required the worshiper to turn his back toward the sanctuary and the worship of God.
2. Of what was the wall surrounding the courtyard made? Exodus 27:9
NOTE: As soon as the sinner passed through the door, representing Christ (see John 10:9), he was surrounded by the white linen courtyard, symbol of the righteousness of Christ.
3. What two pieces of furniture were contained within the courtyard? Exodus 30:18
NOTE: The brazen altar, where the sacrifices were made, is described in Exodus 27:1-8.
4. What was symbolized by the animal the worshiper brought? John 1:29
NOTE: Just as all the provisions are available only through Christ, so Christ was represented by the door through which the sinner must first pass. Then, as the repentant sinner is covered by the righteousness of Christ, so the white courtyard surrounding the worshiper, once he passed through the door, represented Christ’s righteousness. Just as the lamb, an innocent victim, died for the sins of the individual, so Christ bore our sins, accepting the death that sin brings (See Romans 6:23) that we might share in His righteousness. (See 2 Corinthians 5:12)
The sanctuary itself was made up of two compartments - the Holy Place, and the Most Holy. Contained within the first compartment of the sanctuary, on the south side, was the candlestick with its seven lamps. This was to burn continually and was the only source of light within the tent. Across from it on the
north wall was the table of showbread. Upon it were placed 12 loaves of bread stacked evenly in two columns which were changed weekly. Just before the vail which separated the two compartments, sat the altar of incense, upon which the priest burned incense morning and evening; it, like the table of showbread, was made of Shittim wood and plated with gold. [Shittah tree (Acacia)]
5. What was represented by the candlesticks? John 12:46
NOTE: Not only was Jesus was the light of the world, but, as we behold Jesus in His word, we are also to become like Him (see 2 Corinthians 3:18), and in our turn become lights, referring others to the Source of light, thus reflecting glory back to Him.
6. What was represented by the bread (shewbread)? John 6:48
NOTE: The bread was a representation of the manna that the Israelites were given in the wilderness. In giving them the manna God had designed that they should understand that for even the temporal blessings of life they were as dependent upon Him as they were for their spiritual life. In feeding the multitude with the few loaves and fishes Christ designed to teach the same lesson. To make this lesson very clear to them, Christ clearly told them that He was the true bread come down from heaven, without which they would perish. See John 6:51, 53. All the blessings of this life and of the life to come are delivered to us stamped with the cross of Calvary.
7. What did the incense represent? Psalm 141:2; Revelation 8: 3, 4
NOTE: The incense, while representing the prayers of the people, also represented the intercession of Christ, in whose name we pray, (see John 14:14), and by virtue of whose mediation we have access to the Father. See 1Timothy 2:5.
8. What was the only article of furniture within the Most Holy Place on the other side of the vail?
9. What was the covering of the ark called? Exodus 25:21; 26:34
NOTE: It was here that the Shekinah glory, the visible presence of God, was seen. Here was represented the throne of God. No human eye but that of the high priest, who was to enter only on the Day of Atonement, ever beheld this scene. At times, the light emanating from this compartment behind the vail would become so bright the priests were unable to enter the sanctuary at all! See Exodus 40:35.
It was never God’s plan that He should simply dwell among His people only in the sanctuary set in the midst of their camp. God designed that the sanctuary should be a continual witness to the high destiny open to every person. The great mistake of Israel was in supposing that having a sanctuary in their midst in which God’s Shekinah glory dwelt was enough. It became an end in itself. The placing of the tabernacle in the midst of the camp of Israel was to be an illustration and object lesson, leading them to the truth that God’s purpose was to dwell within each person. See I Corinthians 6:19.
Shekinah= [Hebrew] Divine presence dwelling within the Tabernacle or Sanctuary in the Most Holy Place above the Ark of the Covenant.
The word Shekinah is not used in the bible