The Sanctuary: The Plan of Redemption Physical, Spiritual & Cleansed: The Earthly Sanctuary

The Sanctuary

The Earthly Sanctuary was a shadow (Colossians 2:17, Hebrews 8:5) of things to come, which was Jesus coming to save His people FROM their sins (Matthew 1:21). Sin has separated us from God (Isaiah 59:2). God spent one on one time with Adam and Eve before they sinned (Genesis 3:8). They could see God face to face and commune with Him before they sinned, after they sinned the connection was broken and they lost that face to face connection. 

The Plan of Redemption went into effect when Adam and Eve sinned. God put within us an enmity for sin (Genesis 3:14-15: Revelation 12:9). 

Adam and Eve were told of the coming Messiah.
But man was not abandoned to the results of the evil he had chosen. In the sentence pronounced upon Satan was given an intimation of redemption. "I will put enmity between thee and the woman," God said, "and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15. This sentence, spoken in the hearing of our first parents, was to them a promise. Before they heard of the thorn and the thistle, of the toil and sorrow that must be their portion, or of the dust to which they must return, they listened to words that could not fail of giving them hope. All that had been lost by yielding to Satan could be regained through Christ. {Ed 27.1} 

This intimation also nature repeats to us. Though marred by sin, it speaks not only of creation but of redemption. Though the earth bears testimony to the curse in the evident signs of decay, it is still rich and beautiful in the tokens of life-giving power. The trees cast off their leaves, only to be robed with fresher verdure; the flowers die, to spring forth in new beauty; and in every manifestation of creative power is held out the assurance that we may be created anew in "righteousness and holiness of truth." Ephesians 4:24, margin. Thus the very objects and operations of nature that bring so vividly to mind our great loss become to us the messengers of hope. {Ed 27.2} 

As far as evil extends, the voice of our Father is heard, bidding His children see in its results the nature of sin, warning them to forsake the evil, and inviting them to receive the good. {Ed 27.3} 

God being who He is, made a WAY for that connection to be mended temporarily and He found a way to redeem us. This plan was set up before the earth was made. 

1 Peter 1:10-12

10 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 

11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 

12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

1 Peter 1:18-21

18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 

19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 

20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 

21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

What a loving God we serve, He missed that connection with us and found a way to reconnect with us. Who is like unto thee? Exodus 15:11,13 

God commanded Moses for Israel, "Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them" (Exodus 25:8), and He abode in the sanctuary, in the midst of His people. Through all their weary wandering in the desert, the symbol of His presence was with them. So Christ set up His tabernacle in the midst of our human encampment. He pitched His tent by the side of the tents of men, that He might dwell among us, and make us familiar with His divine character and life

The Hebrew meaning for dwell is to abide, reside. God could no longer physical abide and reside with us because of sin (Isaiah 59:2), but He could spiritually abide and reside with us. This was and still is done through the Sanctuary. 

In John 14:6 Jesus tells us He is the Way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father, but by Him. Psalm 77:13 tells us Thy Way oh God is in the Sanctuary. 

The Sanctuary message is very important and Satan doesn't want us to see the Plan of Redemption in full view, he has many thinking, the Plan of Redemption ended at the cross and all we have to do is wait on Jesus to come back. While we're waiting on Christ we can do whatever we want to do, because Jesus' shed blood has covered our sins and it doesn't matter if we continue in sin. This is far from the truth. We will find out in the bible study that is a false doctrine and in fact we are in the last phase of the Plan of Redemption.

The Sanctuary: The Plan of Redemption 
Physical, Spiritual & Cleansed: The Altar of Burnt Offerings & The Daily Sacrifice Part 1

The Daily Sacrifice
Leviticus 4:29-33

And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering. 
4:30 And the priest shall take of the blood thereof with his finger, and put [it] upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar. 
4:31 And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn [it] upon the altar for a sweet savour unto the LORD; and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him. 
4:32 And if he bring a lamb for a sin offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish. 
4:33 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering. 

The most important part of the daily ministration was the service performed in behalf of individuals. The repentant sinner brought his offering to the door of the tabernacle, and, placing his hand upon the victim's head, confessed his sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the innocent sacrifice. By his own hand the animal was then slain, and the blood was carried by the priest into the holy place and sprinkled before the veil, behind which was the ark containing the law that the sinner had transgressed. By this ceremony the sin was, through the blood, transferred in figure to the sanctuary.

Q. Why did animals have to die?
A. Romans 6:23-The wages of sin is death. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sin. Because of God’s mercy we don’t die when we sin. When Adam and Eve sinned and an animal had to die (Genesis 3:21).

The Daily Sacrifice represented the sacrifice of Jesus 
John 19:17-30

17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: 

18 Where they crucified him, and two others with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. 

19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. 

20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. 

21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. 

22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written. 

23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. 

24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did. 

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 

26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 

27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. 

28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 

29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 

30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

The blood of animals symbolized the blood of Christ, which He literally shed on the cross at Calvary.
Many people today think because of the sacrifice of Jesus they don’t have to sacrifice anything, come as you are and stay as you are is what people today think is the way to salvation, but the bible tells a different story 
Galatians 2:20-I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 
Luke 9:23-24-And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

We have to die daily (1 Corinthians 15:31). Putting our sins on the altar of sacrifice like the children of Israel had to do and just like that knife hurt the animals that were killed and it hurt the people to kill those beloved animals, it hurts to give up our sins. Jesus has already died for every sin we will ever commit. 

Although we give or let Jesus take our sins, we go and take them back from Him. God has given us free choice so He will let us take those sins we want back. It takes everything in us to sacrifice our will for the will of God. Giving up the world (1 John 2:15-17) and having the fruit of the spirit of God (Galatians 5:22-25) is hard because we love that which God hates and that is sin (Proverbs 8:13). First we have to put ourselves on the altar, become a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), dying to self and letting the Holy Spirit abide in us and taking on the character of Christ. Jesus gave us everything, He wants us to do the same. We have to become co-laborers with God.

The Sanctuary: The Plan of Redemption 
Physical, Spiritual & Cleansed: The Altar of Burnt Offerings & The Daily Sacrifice Part 2 

The Daily Sacrifice 2
Typology is seen all through the Sanctuary. TYPE-The mark of something; an emblem; that which represents something else. A sign; a symbol; a figure of something to come; as, Abraham's sacrifice and the paschal lamb, were types of Christ. To this word is opposed anti-type. Christ, in this case, is the anti-type. A model or To prefigure; to represent by a model or symbol beforehand. 

ANTI-TYPE-A figure corresponding to another figure; that of which the type is the pattern or representation. Thus the paschal lamb, in scripture, is the type of which Christ is the anti-type. An anti-type then, is something which is formed according to a model or pattern, and bearing strong features of resemblance to it. In the Greek liturgy, the sacramental bread and wine are called antitypes, that is, figures, similitudes; and the Greek fathers used the word in a like sense.
ANTITYPICAL-Pertaining to an antitype; explaining the type.

The first phase of the Plan of Redemption shows us we have to surrender to Jesus, symbolically die on the cross with Jesus (Galatians 2:20). We have to take up our own cross and follow Jesus (Luke 9:23-24). Jesus gave us everything He could give us. He gave us himself, there is nothing more Jesus could give us to save us. Jesus requires ultimate sacrifice of us too. Jesus has to present us to the Father without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27), just like the animals had to be spotless in the sacrifices given in the Hebrew Tabernacle in Leviticus. Only through a total surrender to Jesus can we live eternally with Jesus. 

Adam had dominion over the earth and everything in it (Genesis 1:26), but when Adam sinned he gave dominion to Satan (Genesis 3:14, John 12:31, 2 Corinthians 4:4). Jesus came as the second Adam after the fall of man (1 Corinthians 15:45). Jesus did a number of things when He died on the cross. He redeemed us (Galatians 3:13), bought us with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), vindicated the character of God, started the first phase of the Plan of Redemption (Salvation) took the earth back, Satan no longer has dominion of the earth (Revelation 12:10,12 {Christ died 31 A.D. 3:00pm}).

The Sanctuary: The Plan of Redemption, 
Physical, Spiritual & Cleansed Part 3: The Laver of Brass 

The Laver of BrassThe cleansing process starts when we become a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). To become a living sacrifice we have to submit to God (James 4:7), we have to give Jesus the permission to take control of our lives. When we submit to God, He has to shape and mold us (Isaiah 64:8), we have to be cleansed (Psalm 51:10). So often we skip over the Altar of Sacrifice and go straight to the Laver of Brass, thinking baptism is more important than the sacrifice. Every piece of furniture in the Sanctuary is important, but there is an order to things, just like God is a God of order (1 Corinthians 14:33, 40). 

Jesus was baptized, not because He needed to be baptized, but His baptism was an example for us. The cleansing process doesn’t start when you get baptized, it starts at the Altar of Sacrifice. We must die to self and it takes Jesus to change us, this is the beginning process, baptism represents an outward public commitment to God.

Those who are baptized in the threefold name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, at the very entrance of their Christian life declare publicly that they have accepted the invitation, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." {6BC 1075.3} 

Let those who received the imprint of God by baptism heed these words, remembering that upon them the Lord has placed His signature, declaring them to be His sons and daughters. {6BC 1075.4} 

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, powers infinite and omniscient, receive those who truly enter into covenant relation with God. They are present at every baptism, to receive the candidates who have renounced the world and have received Christ into the soul temple. These candidates have entered into the family of God, and their names are inscribed in the Lamb's book of life (MS 27 1/2, 1900). {6BC 1075.5} 

A Door of Communication With Heaven.--At our baptism we pledged ourselves to break all connection with Satan and his agencies, and to put heart and mind and soul into the work of extending the kingdom of God. All heaven is working for this object. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are pledged to cooperate with sanctified human instrumentalities. If we are true to our vow, there is opened to us a door of communication with heaven--a door that no human hand or satanic agency can close (RH May 17, 1906). {6BC 1075.6} 

Many Buried Alive.--The new birth is a rare experience in this age of the world. This is the reason why there are so many perplexities in the churches. Many, so many, who assume the name of Christ are unsanctified and unholy. They have been baptized, but they were buried alive. Self did not die, and therefore they did not rise to newness of life in Christ (MS 148, 1897). {6BC 1075.7}

(2 Corinthians 6:17.) Baptism Not Graduation.--Every opportunity, every advantage, every privilege, has been given to us to gain a rich Christian experience; but we do not learn everything all at once. There must be a growth. Many, having learned a little in school, think they are ready to graduate. They think they know about all that is worth knowing. We are not to think that as soon as we are baptized we are ready to graduate from the school of Christ. When we have accepted Christ, and in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit have pledged ourselves to serve God, the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit--the three dignitaries and powers of heaven--pledge themselves that every facility shall be given to us if we carry out our baptismal vows to "come out from among them, and be . . . separate, . . . and touch not the unclean thing." When we are true to our vows, He says, "I will receive you" (MS 85, 1901).

Man is more concerned with an outward appearance, while God is concerned with the heart. Before we make that public commitment, we need to make a personal commitment with God; to serve and obey Him.

Some may ask, my grandmother or grandfather didn’t get baptized, but gave their lives to Jesus. Others may ask what about the people before Jesus came to earth, who were faithful to Him. Jesus’ death and baptism covers every person, born before and after His first coming. Jesus told the thief on the cross, he shall be in paradise with Him (Luke 23:42-43), meaning He will be saved in the kingdom of God when Jesus returns for the second coming. Jesus’ baptism fulfilled all righteousness, so those who followed Him in the Old Testament and before His first coming are covered (Matthew 3:15).

Some among the redeemed will have laid hold of Christ in the last hours of life, and in heaven instruction will be given to those who, when they died, did not understand perfectly the plan of salvation. Christ will lead the redeemed ones beside the river of life, and will open to them that which while on this earth they could not understand {1SM 262.2}

The Sanctuary: The Plan of Redemption, Physical, Spiritual & Cleansed Part 4 “Table of Shewbread”

The Table of Shewbread
The Shewbread or Showbread represents the Word of God, the bible. On the table there were two rows of 6 pieces of bread (Leviticus 24:6). There are 6 6 books of the bible. They were in two rows, there is an Old and a New Testament, that contains the 66 books of the bible.

The table of showbread stood on the north. With its ornamental crown, it was overlaid with pure gold. On this table the priests were each Sabbath to place twelve cakes, arranged in two piles, and sprinkled with frankincense. The loaves that were removed, being accounted holy, were to be eaten by the priests. {PP 348.1}

The Table of Shewbread represented the temporal and spiritual needs of God’s people. Manna was their source of physical food and they were to spiritually feed on the Word of God. God has given us Health Laws to abide by in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. God has also given us instructions in His Word for us to live spiritual lives. The Word of God is our spiritual food. We shall partake of it daily. We can never overeat or grow hungry feeding on the Word of God. 

We invite people over for dinner or lunch and we give them food that satisfies their temporal needs. God wants us to also share His Word with others; on the job, in the store, at the gas station, wherever and whenever you have an opportunity to share His Word with others. Do this so others may be spiritually fed. 

Jesus gave a great example of temporal and spiritual needs. In Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4 Jesus is tempted by the great deceiver Satan. He tells Satan, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that precedeth out of the mouth of God. We have to eat, but we have to live spiritually by the Word of God. It’s the only way to resist the devil (James 4:7)

Leviticus 24:5-9
The showbread was kept ever before the Lord as a perpetual offering. Thus it was a part of the daily sacrifice. It was called showbread, or "bread of the presence," because it was ever before the face of the Lord. It was an acknowledgment of man's dependence upon God for both temporal and spiritual food, and that it is received only through the mediation of Christ. God had fed Israel in the wilderness with bread from heaven, and they were still dependent upon His bounty, both for temporal food and spiritual blessings. Both the manna and the showbread pointed to Christ, the living Bread, who is ever in the presence of God for us. He Himself said, "I am the living Bread which came down from heaven." John 6:48-51. Frankincense was placed upon the loaves. When the bread was removed every Sabbath, to be replaced by fresh loaves, the frankincense was burned upon the altar as a memorial before God. {PP 354.1} 

John 6:51
The Holy Spirit comes to the soul as a Comforter. By the transforming agency of His grace, the image of God is reproduced in the disciple; he becomes a new creature. Love takes the place of hatred, and the heart receives the divine similitude. This is what it means to live "by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." This is eating the Bread that comes down from heaven. {DA 391.1} 

John 6:51-58
What food is to the body, Christ must be to the soul. Food cannot benefit us unless we eat it, unless it becomes a part of our being. So Christ is of no value to us if we do not know Him as a personal Saviour. A theoretical knowledge will do us no good. We must feed upon Him, receive Him into the heart, so that His life becomes our life. His love, His grace, must be assimilated. {DA 389.3}

But even these figures fail to present the privilege of the believer's relation to Christ. Jesus said, "As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me." As the Son of God lived by faith in the Father, so are we to live by faith in Christ. So fully was Jesus surrendered to the will of God that the Father alone appeared in His life. Although tempted in all points like as we are, He stood before the world untainted by the evil that surrounded Him. Thus we also are to overcome as Christ overcame. {DA 389.4} 

Are you a follower of Christ? Then all that is written concerning the spiritual life is written for you, and may be attained through uniting yourself to Jesus.

The Sanctuary: The Plan of Redemption, Physical, Spiritual & Cleansed Part 5 "Altar of Incense"

The Altar of Incense"Prayer is the breath of the soul. It is the secret of spiritual power. No other means of grace can be substituted and the health of the soul be preserved." Prayer, p. 12
Morning, noon and evening we should pray-Psalm 55:17
Daniel prayed three times a day-Daniel 6:10
The effectual prayer of the righteous availeth much-James 5:16
Pray without ceasing- 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Jesus prays for three hours before He is betrayed and crucified-Matthew 26:36-46
If ever there was a time when every house should be a house of prayer, it is now. Fathers and mothers should often lift up their hearts to God in humble supplication for themselves and their children. Let the father, as priest of the household, lay upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice, while the wife and children unite in prayer and praise. In such a household Jesus will love to tarry. {PP 144}

In the offering of incense the priest was brought more directly into the presence of God than in any other act of the daily ministration. As the inner veil of the sanctuary did not extend to the top of the building, the glory of God, which was manifested above the mercy seat, was partially visible from the first apartment. When the priest offered incense before the Lord, he looked toward the ark; and as the cloud of incense arose, the divine glory descended upon the mercy seat and filled the most holy place, and often so filled both apartments that the priest was obliged to retire to the door of the tabernacle. As in that typical service the priest looked by faith to the mercy seat which he could not see, so the people of God are now to direct their prayers to Christ, their great High Priest, who, unseen by human vision, is pleading in their behalf in the sanctuary above. {PP 353.1}

The incense, ascending with the prayers of Israel, represents the merits and intercession of Christ, His perfect righteousness, which through faith is imputed to His people, and which can alone make the worship of sinful beings acceptable to God. Before the veil of the most holy place was an altar of perpetual intercession, before the holy, an altar of continual atonement. By blood and by incense God was to be approached--symbols pointing to the great Mediator, through whom sinners may approach Jehovah, and through whom alone mercy and salvation can be granted to the repentant, believing soul. {PP 353.2}

As the priests morning and evening entered the holy place at the time of incense, the daily sacrifice was ready to be offered upon the altar in the court without. This was a time of intense interest to the worshipers who assembled at the tabernacle. Before entering into the presence of God through the ministration of the priest, they were to engage in earnest searching of heart and confession of sin. They united in silent prayer, with their faces toward the holy place. Thus their petitions ascended with the cloud of incense, while faith laid hold upon the merits of the promised Saviour prefigured by the atoning sacrifice. The hours appointed for the morning and the evening sacrifice were regarded as sacred, and they came to be observed as the set time for worship throughout the Jewish nation.
And when in later times the Jews were scattered as captives in distant lands, they still at the appointed hour turned their faces toward Jerusalem and offered up their petitions to the God of Israel. In this custom Christians have an example for morning and evening prayer. While God condemns a mere round of ceremonies, without the spirit of worship, He looks with great pleasure upon those who love Him, bowing morning and evening to seek pardon for sins committed and to present their requests for needed blessings. {PP 353.3}

The Sanctuary: The Plan of Redemption, Physical, Spiritual & Cleansed Part 6 “The 7 Branch Candlestick”

7 Branch Candlestick

The 7 Branch Candlestick represents character. God wants us to have the character of Jesus.

Philippians 2:5-11 tells us “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”.
The character of Christ is the Fruit of His Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law”. Without the Fruit of Jesus we’re lost, the devil can have his way with us. We must daily strive to obtain the fruit of the Spirit.

The 7 Branch Candlestick represents the Holy Spirit too. Without the Holy Spirit we will never have the Fruit of the Spirit. A lot of us don’t understand the importance of having Christ abide (John 15:7) in us and His character shining out of us. The Holy Spirit was sent to give us understanding (1 Cor. 2:13; John 14:26). God tells us we are destroyed for a lack of knowledge (understanding), (Hosea 4:6).
God is a Spirit and we must worship Him in spirit and in truth. We can only truly worship God when we have his character, which is the fruit of His spirit and without Jesus abiding in us we can’t worship God in truth. John 14:6 tells us Jesus is the truth, and His Word is truth (John 17:17).

True character is not shaped from without, and put on; it radiates from within. If we wish to direct others in the path of righteousness, the principles of righteousness must be enshrined in our own hearts. Our profession of faith may proclaim the theory of religion, but it is our practical piety that holds forth the word of truth. The consistent life, the holy conversation, the unswerving integrity, the active, benevolent spirit, the godly example,--these are the mediums through which light is conveyed to the world.  {DA 307.1}

The oil in the lamp represents the Holy Spirit. The lamp represents Christ and the light it illuminates. Jesus has called us to be lights to the world, when they see us they see Him. Darkness is the absence of light and God wants us to be lights that shine through a cold dark world.
God is light; and in the words, "I am the light of the world," Christ declared His oneness with God, and His relation to the whole human family. It was He who at the beginning had caused "the light to shine out of darkness." 2 Corinthians 4:6. He is the light of sun and moon and star. He was the spiritual light that in symbol and type and prophecy had shone upon Israel. But not to the Jewish nation alone was the light given. As the sunbeams penetrate to the remotest corners of the earth, so does the light of the Sun of Righteousness shine upon every soul.  {DA 464.3}
     "That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." The world has had its great teachers, men of giant intellect and wonderful research, men whose utterances have stimulated thought, and opened to view vast fields of knowledge; and these men have been honored as guides and benefactors of their race. But there is One who stands higher than they. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God." "No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him." John 1:12, 18. We can trace the line of the world's great teachers as far back as human records extend; but the Light was before them. As the moon and the stars of the solar system shine by the reflected light of the sun, so, as far as their teaching is true, do the world's great thinkers reflect the rays of the Sun of Righteousness. Every gem of thought, every flash of the intellect, is from the Light of the world. In these days we hear much about "higher education." The true "higher education" is that imparted by Him "in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." "In Him was life; and the life was the light of men." Colossians 2:3; John 1:4. "He that followeth Me," said Jesus, "shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."  {DA 464.4} 

     In the words, "I am the light of the world," Jesus declared Himself the Messiah. The aged Simeon, in the temple where Christ was now teaching, had spoken of Him as "a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel." Luke 2:32. In these words he was applying to Him a prophecy familiar to all Israel. By the prophet Isaiah, the Holy Spirit had declared, "It is too light a thing that Thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give Thee for a light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth." Isaiah 49:6, R. V.{DA 465.1}

Christ, in explaining to John the meaning of what he had seen, said, "The seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches" (Revelation 1:12-20). The number seven in the Bible denotes a complete number. The candlestick of beaten gold with its seven bowls for the lamps was an "example and shadow of heavenly things" (Hebrews 8:5). Its seven branches, each holding aloft a lamp, represented the church of God.

The individual that forms a part of the "church of the firstborn, which are enrolled in heaven" (Hebrews 12:23) will often feel the workman's hammer; "for we are His (God's) workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works" (Ephesians 2:10). Then, "beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you" (1 Peter 4:12). It is only the Master-workman fashioning you to become a part of the great church enrolled in heaven.
The candlestick in the type held seven lamps. The beloved disciple also had a view of the heavenly lamps, of which the earthly ones were models. Before the throne of God in heaven he saw the seven lamps of fire, "which are the seven Spirits of God" (Revelation 4:2,5). The church of Christ is the candlestick to hold up the light in the midst of moral darkness.

The Saviour says, "Ye are the light of the world." The Spirit of the Lord is said to be the eyes of the Lord which "run to and fro throughout the whole earth, strongly to hold with them whose heart is perfect toward Him" (2 Chronicles 16:9). {Amazing Discoveries http://amazingdiscoveries.org/the-golden-candlestick}

The Sanctuary: The Plan of Redemption, Physical, Spiritual & Cleansed Part 7 "The Ark of the Covenant"
Ark of the Covenant
The Sanctuary: The Plan of Redemption, Physical, Spiritual & Cleansed Part 7 “The Ark of the Covenant”

The law of God in the sanctuary in heaven is the great original, of which the precepts inscribed upon the tables of stone and recorded by Moses in the Pentateuch were an unerring transcript. Those who arrived at an understanding of this important point were thus led to see the sacred, unchanging character of the divine law. They saw, as never before, the force of the Saviour's words: "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law." Matthew 5:18. The law of God, being a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, must forever endure, "as a faithful witness in heaven." Not one command has been annulled; not a jot or tittle has been changed. Says the psalmist: "Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven." "All His commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever." Psalm 119:89; 111:7, 8.  {GC 434.1}

In the most holy place of the sanctuary there were two pieces of furniture – the ark of the covenant and the mercy seat. Once made the mercy seat was placed on top of the ark of the covenant for a lid. Except for a couple of exceptional circumstances this lid was never to be removed, so they are usually spoken of a one item namely the ark of the covenant. As we are discussing how each of the pieces of furniture were made and what they represent, we will separate these two pieces of furniture.

The ark was an oblong chest without a lid. It was made of shittim wood and measured two and a half cubits long, half a cubit wide, and one and a half cubits high. This was overlaid with gold so that it appeared to be solid gold. It had a crown of gold around the top which probably helped to hold the mercy seat lid in place. Two sets of two rings on each side where the staves of shittim wood covered with gold were placed so it could be carried. Once placed in the rings these staves were never to be removed (Ex. 25:10-15).

As with the other like made pieces of furniture which were in the first apartment, the wood represents Christ’s humanity, and the gold His perfect life. The crown around the top represents the royalty of Christ when He shall be crowned King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, and the crown of life all overcomers will receive when Christ returns to take them home (Rev. 19:16; 2:10; James 1:12).

This piece of furniture received its name because it was to be an ark or chest to hold God’s covenant or commandments that were written on tables of stone and given to Moses while he was on Mount Sinai (Ex. 25:16). These commandments were written by the finger of God and were upon both sides of both tables of stone (Ex. 31:18; 32:15, 16). It was God’s law alone that gave the ark of the covenant its sacredness (SDA Bible Commentary Ellen White Comments Vol 2, page 1011). Later on two additional items were placed in the ark – Aaron’s rod that budded and a put of manna (Num. 17:10; Ex. 16:33, Heb 9:4).

God’s commandments or law being placed in the ark represents God’s laws being hid in our hearts. Psalms 119:10, 11 says, With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Hebrews 8:10 tells us, … I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

The pot of manner represents the bread of life which came down from heaven to feed us, and today we feed upon Him by reading, studying and meditating upon His Word (John 6:33, 35, 63). Aaron’s rod that budded represents those who God has placed in positions of authority to guide and protect us who are the true ministers of the gospel (Heb 13:7, 17).

The ark which contained God’s laws was the central feature of the whole sanctuary. The whole reason for God giving all of the sacrificial services from Eden down to Moses, was because God’s holy law was broken. In eating the forbidden fruit Adam and Eve put their own selfish desires above loving the Lord God with all their heart and obey His commands. We are told in Scripture that sin is transgression of the law, that the wages of sin is death, and that without the shedding of blood there can be no remission or forgiveness of sins (1 John 3:4; Rom 6:23; Heb. 9:22). From this we can understand why God gave these instruction which all pointed forward to the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

Jesus Christ kept the law of God by manifesting the love of God toward others. Not only was He our example in this, but He taught others to do the same – Matthew 22:37-40; John 13:34, 35; 14:15; 15:12; Romans 13:8. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 1 John 2:4.

Today some people say that we don’t need to keep the law because we are under grace, that the law was for the Jews, and that it was done away with or nailed to the cross of Calvary. But listen to what Paul says in Romans 6:1 & 2, What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Also if the law is not for everyone or was done away with then how do we identify sin which is supposed to be transgression of the law (1 John 3:4)? It would mean that Christians would be free to do anything and everything they liked regardless of what it was.

Scripture does clearly state that something was nailed to the cross, but what was it? It was the handwriting of ordinances which included meat and drink offerings, holy days, new moons and Sabbath days (Col. 2:14-16). These were a shadow or type of what was to come – namely Jesus Christ (Col 2:17). There were many holy days and Sabbaths in the ceremonies given to Moses that he wrote down and placed in a pouch on the side of the ark (Deut. 31:26 ). These Scriptures also say that they were a shadow of or pointed forward to something to come. Let us take a look at the Sabbath commandment in Exodus 20:8-11, Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. What is this a shadow of or what does it point forward to? Nothing! If anything the weekly Sabbath points us back to Creation when the Sabbath was instituted on earth.

Other people say that Christ replaced the Ten Commandments with just two – love the Lord your God with all your heart, and soul, and mind and strength, and your neighbour as yourself (Mark 12:30 & 31). But is we read Matthew 22:40 Christ went on to say, On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Not only this but there are a couple of Scriptures that make this discussion very interesting. And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deut. 6:5. …but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. Lev. 19:18. Christ in fact was quoting Old Testament Scriptures when He gave these new commandments.

In Revelation we find that the remnant saints keep the commandments of God, and that by so doing they have the right to the tree of life and can enter through the gates into the city (Rev. 14:12; 22:14). Solomon sums up this discussion very well, Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. Eccl. 12:13.

The ark of the covenant was to be carried upon the shoulders of the sons of Kohath (Num. 4:15) after Aaron and his sons had covered it. Although we don’t know how much this would have weighed, it would have been quite heavy with the wood, gold overlay, the solid gold mercy seat on top, and all the coverings. Yet Hophni and Phinehas, Eli’s two sons, bore the ark into a war camp expecting a speedy victory over the Philistines (Signs of the Times article by Ellen White, December 22, 1881 par. 7). God could not give this victory because of the sins of Eli’s sons, and Israel in general. Instead the Philistines captured the ark of the covenant and took it to their own land (1 Sam. 4:11). After many calamities the Philistines returned the ark to Israel for fear of what might happen next (1 Sam 5 & 6). This story shows us how sacred and powerful mankind regarded the ark, but there is another story which tells us how much God considers the ark sacred.

This incident happened sometime after the ark was returned to Israel. David had made a temporary home for the ark in Jerusalem and wanted it moved there. With much devotion and display the ark was placed upon a cart pulled by two oxen towards Jerusalem. At one stage the ark tilted violently as the oxen tripped and looked as if it was going to fall off the cart. Uzzah who had exercised supervisory care of the ark while it was in his home and who was one of the people given responsibility for transferring it to Jerusalem, put his hand out to stabilise the ark and God immediately struck him dead. Two fundamental mistakes lead to Uzzah’s death. The first was that the ark was to be born on the shoulders of priests, not placed on a cart pulled by animals. Secondly Uzzah was not a priest nor of the family permitted to touch the ark. This clearly shows us how sacred God considers the ark and should be a fearful warning to all men. (2 Sam 6:1-10.)

Just before Jerusalem fell into the hands of the Babylonians, some righteous men secreted the ark into a cave to be hidden and never restored to Israel and Judah (PK 453.2). Yet, there are many people today who claim to have found this very precious and sacred item. I believe the following two quotes give enough evidence to prove that all these claims are false:

The cover of this sacred chest was the mercy seat, made of solid gold. On each end of the mercy seat was fixed a cherub of pure, solid gold. . . . The ark of the earthly sanctuary was the pattern of the true ark in heaven. There, beside the heavenly ark, stand living angels, at either end of the ark, each with one wing overshadowing the mercy seat, and stretching forth on high, while the other wings are folded over their forms in token of reverence and humility. The Story of Redemption 153.3

He quickly carried me from the earth to the Holy City. In the city I saw a temple, . . . In the holiest I saw an ark; on the top and sides of it was purest gold. On each end of the ark was a lovely cherub, with its wings spread out over it. . . . In the ark was the golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of stone which folded together like a book. Jesus opened them, and I saw the ten commandments written on them with the finger of God. . . . the Sabbath commandment, written on the tables of stone, which are now in the ark in the most holy place of the temple in heaven… EW 32-33.

The heavenly ark has living angels standing beside it at either end, while the earthly ark has them on each end of the mercy seat which is the lid placed within the crown of the ark. I believe that the earthly ark of the covenant is now in heaven because Ellen White saw it there.

Christ tells us, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. Luke 16:31. This is all too true especially for people in these last days of earth’s history. Yet, God will bring His commandments before mankind just before His return.

That voice shakes the heavens and the earth. There is a mighty earthquake, . . . Graves are opened, and ‘many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth. . . awake’ . . . Through a rift in the clouds there beams a star whose brilliancy is increased fourfold in contrast with the darkness. It speaks hope and joy to the faithful, but severity and wrath to the transgressors of God’s law. . . . Then there appears against the sky a hand holding two tables of stone folded together. . . . That holy law, God’s righteousness, that amid thunder and flame was proclaimed from Sinai as the guide of life, is now revealed to men as the rule of judgment. The hand opens the tables, and there are seen the precepts of the Decalogue, traced as with a pen of fire. . . . The enemies of God’s law, from the ministers down to the least among them, have a new conception of truth and duty. Too late they see that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is the seal of the living God. Too late they see the true nature of their spurious sabbath and the sandy foundation upon which they have been building. GC 636-640.

And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. Revelation 11:19.  {http://vineyardlabourer.info/17_sanctuary.html}