The Gospel in Figure
Lesson 15

When the Lord appeared to Moses in the burning bush, He told him, “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5. When God came down on Mount Sinai to speak the law, the mountain was made holy by His presence, so that no unconsecrated person could touch it and live. Every place God’s presence is manifested is sacred.

1. When Israel was called from Egypt, what was Judah to become?

Psalm 114:1–2
Psalm 114:1–2

Note: The word “sanctuary” signifies “holy place,” and indicates the dwelling place of God. In calling Israel out of Egypt, it was God’s purpose that He might dwell among them, sanctifying them by His presence.

2. What does Paul tell us is God’s ideal for us?

2 Corinthians 6:16
2 Corinthians 6:16

3. With what kind of people only, is God able to dwell in this way?

Isaiah 57:15
Isaiah 57:15

4. While camped before Sinai, what did God instruct Moses to build?

Exodus 25:8
Exodus 25:8

Note: It was God’s purpose in calling Israel out of Egypt that they should be to Him a holy nation. See Exodus 19: 3–6. How strange that the Most High God, who dwelleth not in temples made with hands, should ask weak mortals to build Him a house that He might dwell among them! Why was this?—By their continued rebellion they disqualified themselves to fulfill their high and holy calling. That He might show them in type what He desired each of them to be, God gave them instructions for the erection of a building in which He could dwell in their midst. It should be remembered, however, that it was not God’s original purpose to dwell in a building made with hands, but in the hearts of His people.

The sanctuary built under Moses’ direction was made so as to be easily moved from place to place. The later temples, that built under Solomon, and that built by the exiles returned from Babylon, were permanent buildings, but built after the same pattern as the earlier sanctuary. We will consider the one built by Moses.

Surrounding the sanctuary was a courtyard that measured about 75’ by 150’. This courtyard was surrounded by a linen curtain forming a wall. In addition to the sanctuary structure, there was the altar of burnt offerings, and the laver, at which the priests washed, just before the door of the sanctuary.

5. What were the two apartments of the sanctuary called?

Exodus 26:33
Exodus 26:33

6. What three pieces of furniture were placed in the holy place, or first apartment?

Exodus 40:22–26
Exodus 40:22–26

7. What was contained in the Most Holy Place, or second apartment?

Exodus 26:33–34
Exodus 26:33–34

All forgiveness for sin was obtained through the sanctuary service. At the entrance of the courtyard there was a door formed by curtains, through which all must pass as they entered the courtyard.

8. Who was represented by the door?

John 10:9
John 10:9

Note: Jesus is the only avenue through which salvation may be obtained. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” John 14:6

At the entrance of the courtyard was the altar of brass, upon which all the sacrifices made within the camp were to be burned. While there were sacrifices for individuals, and these sacrifices varied, depending upon the social status and material possessions of the person, basic to the system was the lamb. Every morning and evening a lamb was to be offered.

9. Who was represented by the sacrificial lamb?

John 1:29, 36
John 1:29, 36

10. Of what was the lamp within the first apartment a type?

John 9:5
John 9:5

11. What did the bread on the table represent?

John 6:48–51
John 6:48–51

12. How did Jesus clarify what was meant by eating His flesh?

John 6:63
John 6:63

13. What was represented by the ascending incense?

Revelation 5:8
Revelation 5:8

Note: The King James Bible uses the word “odours”; but, as other translations confirm, this is another word for incense. Compare this also with Revelation 8:3–4.

More than just the prayers, the incense represented the intercession of Christ that must be added to our prayers to make them efficacious. See also Romans 8:26–27.

Beyond the veil that separated the holy from the Most Holy Place, was the ark of the covenant. Within that sacred chest was the law of God, and above it was the Shekinah glory, the visible presence of God.

14. Through all His dealings with Israel, what was God seeking to teach them?

Hebrews 4:2
Hebrews 4:2

Israel’s great mistake was in failing to read God’s purpose in the sanctuary and its services for them individually. As a result, once they had passed into Canaan, they put their dependence on the Lord, only as He dwelt in the tabernacle; they did not allow that tabernacle and its ministry to become the means of His dwelling in themselves through faith. God therefore allowed the ark of God to be taken by the heathen for a time. See 1 Samuel 4:10–22.

After a period of time the ark was returned, but it was not until many years later that the tabernacle with its services was fully restored. But again its true purpose was gradually lost sight of and formalism increased.

15. When the temple and its services became an end in itself, how did God view the people’s sacrifices?

Amos 5:21–24
Amos 5:21–24

16. What was more important to God than their sacrifices?

1 Samuel 15:22
1 Samuel 15:22

17. What was necessary before the people’s sacrifices would be acceptable to God?

Isaiah 1:11, 16
Isaiah 1:11, 16

18. In what had the people come to trust?

Jeremiah 7:8
Jeremiah 7:8

Note: Verse 4 tells us what those lying words were: “Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these.” In other words, the people had come to trust in the temple (see verses 14–15), rather than in their relationship with God; they had a form of religion, but they had never experienced its power in their lives.

19. What is one of the signs of the last days?

2 Timothy 3:1–5
2 Timothy 3:1–5

Note: Israel was not alone in failing to correctly perceive God’s purpose for them. Though the enumerated sins in the last days are many, those which constitute a sign of the last days are not those committed by an irreligious people, but by those professing religion while they know nothing of its practical application in their lives.

Instead of allowing God’s great purpose of the temple and its services to be in men themselves, the people utterly perverted that purpose. Instead of allowing God to dwell in their hearts, making their lives holy, they sanctioned grossest evil under the cloak of religion. For such a system there was no remedy but destruction. Accordingly, the city was besieged by the heathen and the temple destroyed. For seventy years the people experienced captivity in Babylon.

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