Sabbath, April 19, 2008
“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” Exodus 25:8.
1. The first covenant had its ordinances of divine service and its sanctuary, but how was the sanctuary described?
Hebrews 9:1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
2. What objects were located in the Most Holy Place?
Hebrews 9:3-5 (first part) And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy seat…
Exodus 40:1-3 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation. And thou shalt put therein the ark of the testimony, and cover the ark with the vail.
“This altar was the most important object in the holy place. It seems unlikely that the author would omit mentioning it, especially since he is enumerating the articles which each apartment contains.
“However, the translation ‘altar of incense’ introduces a problem, since this altar seems here to be represented as situated in the most holy place, whereas in the ancient tabernacle it stood in the first apartment (Ex. 30:6). It is to be noted that the author does not state that the altar of incense stood in the second apartment; but only that the most holy ‘had’ the altar. The word translated ‘had’ may be rendered ‘contain,’ but this is not its only or necessary meaning.
“The connection between the altar and the most holy place here indicated may be that its function was closely connected with the most holy place. The incense offered daily on this altar was directed to the mercy seat in the most holy. There God manifested His presence between the cherubim, and as the incense ascended with the prayers of the worshipers, it filled the most holy place as well as the holy. The veil that separated the two apartments did not extend to the ceiling but reached only part way. Thus incense could be offered in the holy place–the only place where ordinary priests might enter–and yet reach the second apartment, the place to which it was directed. In 1 Kings 6:22 the altar of incense of Solomon’s Temple is described as being ‘by the oracle,’ that is, related to the most holy place, or belonging to the most holy place.”— Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 449.
3. What pieces of furniture were located in the first part, called the sanctuary?
Hebrews 9:2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
Exodus 40:4-5 And thou shalt bring in the table, and set in order the things that are to be set in order upon it; and thou shalt bring in the candlestick, and light the lamps thereof. And thou shalt set the altar of gold for the incense before the ark of the testimony, and put the hanging of the door to the tabernacle.
4. What did the apostle Paul note after mentioning the cherubim of God’s glory?
Hebrews 9:5 (second part) And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
SACRIFICES OF THE OLD COVENANT
5. Who were serving daily in the first part of the sanctuary?
Hebrews 9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
6. How many times a year did the high priest enter into the most holy place? For whose sins did he there offer the blood?
Hebrews 9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people.
Leviticus 16:11-17 And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself: And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail: And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not: And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness. And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel.
7. When did the Holy Spirit indicate the way into the Most Holy would be revealed?
Hebrews 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.
“Christ was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. To many it has been a mystery why so many sacrificial offerings were required in the old dispensation, why so many bleeding victims were led to the altar. But the great truth that was to be kept before men, and imprinted upon mind and heart, was this, ‘Without shedding of blood is no remission.’ In every bleeding sacrifice was typified ‘the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’
“Christ Himself was the originator of the Jewish system of worship, in which, by types and symbols, were shadowed forth spiritual and heavenly things. Many forgot the true significance of these offerings; and the great truth that through Christ alone there is forgiveness of sin, was lost to them. The multiplying of sacrificial offerings, the blood of bulls and goats, could not take away sin.” – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, pp. 932, 933.
8. What offerings and sacrifices were presented in the earthly sanctuary which was the symbol of the sanctuary in heaven?
Hebrews 9:9, 10 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience. Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
“A lesson was embodied in every sacrifice, impressed in every ceremony, solemnly preached by the priest in his holy office, and inculcated by God Himself –that through the blood of Christ alone is there forgiveness of sins. How little we as a people feel the force of this great truth! How seldom, by living, acting faith, do we bring into our lives this great truth, that there is forgiveness for the least sin, forgiveness for the greatest sin (RH Sept. 21, 1886)!
“Christ was without sin, else His life in human flesh and His death on the cross would have been of no more value in procuring grace for the sinner than the death of any other man. While He took upon Him humanity, it was a life taken into union with Deity. He could lay down His life as priest and also victim. He possessed in Himself power to lay it down and take it up again. He offered Himself without spot to God.
“The atonement of Christ sealed forever the everlasting covenant of grace. It was the fulfilling of every condition upon which God suspended the free communication of grace to the human family. Every barrier was then broken down which intercepted the freest exercise of grace, mercy, peace, and love to the most guilty of Adam’s race (MS 92, 1899).” – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 933.
9. When did this reformation take place?
Matthew 27:50, 51 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.
“After Christ died on the cross as a sin offering the ceremonial law could have no force. Yet it was connected with the moral law, and was glorious. The whole bore the stamp of divinity, and expressed the holiness, justice, and righteousness of God. And if the ministration of the dispensation to be done away was glorious, how much more must the reality be glorious, when Christ was revealed, giving His lifegiving, sanctifying, Spirit to all who believe (RH April 22, 1902)?” – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 6, p. 1095.