Hello everyone. 🙂
I thought I would complete this blog post on Sunday, but I was able to complete it tonight. God is good. 🙂
Towards the end of my last blog post on Bible prophecy, I said that I would write about the earthly sanctuary, and then about the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary mentioned in Daniel 8:14 in my next blog post in this series. I came to realize that going over the Old Testament Sanctuary is a blog post in and of itself, so I will cover the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary in my next blog post on Bible Prophecy which will come approximately in a couple of weeks.
“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.” Exodus 25:8-9 (KJV)
While the Jews were in the wilderness after having left Egypt where they had been slaves, God instituted an earthly sanctuary service that would direct their minds to His plans for saving humanity. At this time, I want to invite you all to watch this video of a tour of a model of the ancient sanctuary.
As you can see, sin is no funny business. Sin is deadly. Sin destroys. But, while God hates sin, He LOVES us. His plan, which He first illustrated to humanity through the earthly sanctuary, is to eradicate sin and to save everyone who is willing to be saved from it.
I will now take some time to go over the symbolism of each object in the earthly sanctuary.
I could go into a great deal and talk about the colors of the curtains, but I will just talk about the furniture in the earthly sanctuary. The first article of furniture that we meet in the courtyard of the early sanctuary is the altar of sacrifice. This is the place where people brought lambs to be sacrificed. The action of confessing one’s sins with one hand on the head of a lamb represented confessing our sins to Jesus, “the lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” John 1:29 (KJV)
The next article that we meet in the courtyard of the earthly sanctuary is the laver: a giant bowl filled with water. It was at the laver that the priests washed before entering the sanctuary. This washing symbolizes baptism. The ceremony of baptism signifies leaving behind a life of sin and committing one’s self to live a pure and holy life through the power of God.
The first article of furniture that is met in the Holy Place (the first room in the sanctuary) is the altar of incense. At this altar, priests would sprinkle the blood from the sacrifices of lambs and they would pray for their people. This altar represents prayer: an essential part of the Christian walk. Prayer is the way that we talk to God.
Also in the Holy Place. we find the table of shewbread. This bread represents Jesus, who called Himself “the living bread“. When we fellowship with Jesus through prayer and Bible study, our souls are nourished by Him and we grow spiritually.
Lastly, in the Holy Place, we also find the seven-branched candlestick. This candlestick also represents Jesus, who called Himself the “light of the world“. When we allow Jesus’ light to flood our hearts, we shine for Him to everyone we meet, and then we also become lights for Him.
Behind the veil which separates the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place, we find the Most Holy Place. In the Most Holy Place we only encounter one, most sacred and magnificent piece of furniture: the Ark of the Covenant.
This piece of furniture was the holiest piece of furniture in the whole sanctuary. On the top of the Ark of the Covenant was a lid called the “Mercy Seat”. On top of the Mercy Seat were two cherubim (“cherubim” are a kind of angel). Inside of the Ark of the Covenant were the two tables of stone on which God had written the Ten Commandments, some manna (the food that God made for the Israelites while they were journeying through the wilderness), and Aaron’s rod which budded. Now, here is what made the Ark of the Covenant so holy: God’s glory shown above it. God’s glory is holy, awe-inspiring, and extremely sacred.
And to think of it…where did God’s glory reside? Above the Mercy Seat, the Mercy Seat. What an awesome thought to consider! God’s glory is intimately connected with His mercy. How amazing God is!
When Moses asked God to show him His glory, God put Moses in the cleft of a rock and passed before Him, proclaiming His Name.
“And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth…” Exodus 34:5-6 (KJV)
I invite you to let the beautiful truth that God’s glory is closely connected with His mercy sink into your hearts as I begin to end this blog post with two Bible verses that highlight the greatness of God’s mercy.
“For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.” Psalm 103:11 (KJV)
“I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.” Micah 7:9 (KJV)
I hope that this blog post has blessed you all. I invite you all to stay tuned for my next blog post, which won’t be on Bible prophecy, and then for the following blog post which will be on the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary as talked about in the 2300 Days Prophecy.
Blessings and courage. 🙂