Lesson 01 – Overview of the Sanctuary
Why study the sanctuary? Isn't the sanctuary (also known as the tabernacle) a relic from the time of Moses? Is it even relevant in our lives today?
Let's turn to Psalms 77:13.
- According to this verse, what can we learn in the sanctuary?
- Answer (highlight to read): The way of God
Let's turn to Exodus 25:8-9 and Hebrews 8:1-55.
- According to these verses, where did the blueprints of the sanctuary come from?
- Answer: They are patterned after what is in heaven.
What is the purpose of the sanctuary?
Let's turn to Exodus 29:46; Ezekiel 36:25-38; 2 Corinthians 6:16-17; and Galatians 2:20.
- According to these verses (particularly Ezekiel 36:29, 33), what does God want to separate us from?
- Answer: Our uncleanness and iniquities (a.k.a. our sins)
- According to these verses (particularly 2 Corinthians 6:16), what does God want to do?
- Answer: God wants to dwell in us.
As sinners, our sins have separated us from God (Isaiah 59:2). God reveals Himself in the sanctuary. The sanctuary is an illustration of God’s plan of salvation for the sinner. The sanctuary shows how God rids the universe of sin without destroying the sinner. The sanctuary teaches us about a separation experience - a desire to be separated from sin (Isaiah 1:16-18; John 1:29; Matthew 11:28) and a dwelling experience - a desire for God to dwell with us (Isaiah 1:19; John 1:14; Matthew 11:29).
So, how did mankind get separated from God? Let's turn to Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-24.
- According to Genesis 2:16-17, what command did God give to Adam and Eve? Why did He give such a command?
- Answer: God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because they will die if they do eat it.
- According to Genesis 3:1-6, what did the serpent successfully tempt Eve to do?
- Answer: To eat the fruit
- According to verse 6, did Adam eat the fruit?
- Answer: Yes
Satan, a fallen angel and sinner, led mankind to sin against God, dooming us all to death. We all became a casualty in the great controversy between Jesus and Satan.
When God came into the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve hid away from Him. You see, sin does separate us from God. Because Adam and Eve sinned, they could no longer dwell with God and He had no choice but to cast them out of the garden of Eden. Was all hope lost for us?
Let's read Genesis 3:15 together again. If you read it carefully, you will find it is actually the very first prophecy in the Bible. It talks of a Messiah who will come - a descendant of mankind who will ultimately defeat Satan. It is a prophecy of Jesus!
Let's turn to Genesis 3:21.
- According to these verses, what did God make for Adam and Eve?
- Answer: God made tunics of skin for them to clothe them.
How do you make tunics of skin? You have to kill something first. God was teaching Adam and Eve that a sacrifice needed to made in order for them to live. God was sharing with Adam and Eve then, as well as you and me today, the plan of salvation. That plan of salvation is actually revealed through the sanctuary.
Friend, as we study the sanctuary together, you will find that the sanctuary is actually very relevant in our lives today. While knowledge of the sanctuary is not necessary to our salvation, knowledge of the sanctuary will definitely enhance our relationship with God!
Here is a quick overview of the sanctuary. We will go over each part of the sanctuary in detail in the coming weeks.
- The Outer Court – Exodus 26:1-30, Exodus 27:9-16
- The Altar of Burnt Offering – Exodus 27:1-8
- The Laver – Exodus 30:17-21, Exodus 38:8
- The Holy Place
- The Golden Candlestick – Exodus 25:31-40
- The Table of Showbread – Exodus 25:23-30
- The Altar of Incense – Exodus 30:1-10
- Most Holy Place
- The Ark of the Covenant – Exodus 25:10-22, Deuteronomy 10:4-5
- Items inside the Ark – Exodus 40:20, Exodus 16:33-35, Numbers 17:1-11, Hebrews 9:4