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Wally

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Lesson 4 October 19–25




Lessons From the Sanctuary



SABBATH AFTERNOON

Read for This Week’s Study: Exod. 40:9-10; Lev. 19:2; 1 Pet. 1:14–16; Exod. 31:2–11; Rom. 3:25–28 1 Kings 8:31–53; Ps. 73:1–17.

Memory Text: “ ‘Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them’ ” (Exodus 25:8, NASB).

The sanctuary is one of God’s major devices to teach us the meaning of the gospel. As we study the sanctuary this week, the drawing below will be helpful:

[Translators: Please include here a drawing of the tabernacle sanctuary.]

This week’s lesson focuses on some of the major insights provided by the earthly sanctuary. We will study the sacrificial system later.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, October 26.

Sunday October 20

Place of the Presence

According to Exodus 25:8, what was the purpose of the earthly sanctuary in the wilderness? What amazing truth does this teach us about God’s love for us?

In the Garden of Eden, sin had broken the face-to-face relationship between God and humanity. Sin forfeited our first parents’ unhindered communion with God. However, the Creator still desired to draw us to Himself and to enjoy a deep covenant relationship with fallen humanity, and He began this process right there in Eden. Centuries later, in saving Israel out of Egypt and establishing the sanctuary and the sacrificial system, God again took the initiative in bringing humanity back into His presence.

The sanctuary thus testifies of God’s unceasing desire to dwell among His people. This is God’s idea (Ps. 132:13-14). His ultimate goal is relationship, and the sanctuary was His chosen means to do it. The sanctuary is the tangible evidence of God’s presence with His people on earth.

From the description in Numbers 2, it is evident that the tabernacle was located in the center of the square encampment where, ordinarily in the ancient Near East, the king would place his tent. So, the tabernacle symbolizes that God is the King over Israel.

The Levites, meanwhile, placed their tents around the tabernacle (Num. 1:53), and the other tribes put theirs further around at a “distance” in groups of three (Num. 2:2). This illustrates in a tangible way both the nearness and the distance of God.

Another purpose of the sanctuary was to provide a location for a centralized, divinely ordained system of worship. Because God’s presence in the midst of the people was jeopardized by their impurities and moral failings, He provided a system of sacrifices and offerings through which unholy people could live and remain in the presence of a holy God.

So, in this context, the sanctuary revealed details regarding the plan of redemption, which included not only the sacrifices but the ministry of the priesthood, an integral part of the plan of redemption, as well.

With the sanctuary, the Creator of the universe, the One who made all that was made (see John 1:1–3), lowered Himself to dwell among homeless wanderers in the desert. How should this fact alone help us avoid harboring ethnic, class, or cultural prejudices against anyone?

Monday October 21

“Be Ye Holy”

“And thou shalt take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle, and all that is therein, and shalt hallow it, and all the vessels thereof: and it shall be holy.

And thou shalt anoint the altar of the burnt offering, and all his vessels, and sanctify the altar: and it shall be an altar most holy” (Exod. 40:9-10).

Exodus 40:9-10 shows us that the sanctuary was to be regarded as “holy.” The basic idea of holiness is separateness and uniqueness, in combination with belonging to God.

“The typical service was the connecting link between God and Israel. The sacrificial offerings were designed to prefigure the sacrifice of Christ, and thus to preserve in the hearts of the people an unwavering faith in the Redeemer to come. Hence, in order that the Lord might accept their sacrifices, and continue His presence with them, and, on the other hand, that the people might have a correct knowledge of the plan of salvation, and a right understanding of their duty, it was of the utmost importance that holiness of heart and purity of life, reverence for God, and strict obedience to His requirements, should be maintained by all connected with the sanctuary.”—Ellen G. White, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 2, p. 1,010.

Read Leviticus 19:2 and 1 Peter 1:14–16. What is the primary reason for the people to be holy?

God’s holiness transforms us and sets us apart. His holiness is the ultimate motivation for the ethical conduct of His people in all spheres of life (see Leviticus 19), whether that be observing the dietary laws (Lev. 11:44-45), respecting the priest (Lev. 21:8 ), or not conforming to former lusts (1 Pet. 1:14). Obviously, God wants us to grow in holiness as we get closer to Him. This change can come about only through a self-surrender of our sinful natures and through a willingness to do what is right, regardless of the consequences.

Think about yourself, your habits, your tastes, your activities, et cetera. How much of what you are, and what you do, would be considered “holy”? It is kind of a tough question to face, isn’t it?
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Wally

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2013, 02:54:46 PM »
Tuesday October 22

Instruments of the Sanctuary

Read Exodus 31:2–11. What do these verses teach us about the making of the objects in the earthly sanctuary? What link is there with Genesis 1:2? (See also Exod. 25:9.)

Of all the objects in the sanctuary, the ark of the testimony was the supreme symbol of God’s presence and holiness. The name derives from the two stone tablets of the law, called the “testimony” (Exod. 32:15-16), that were placed inside the ark (Exod. 25:16, 21).

On top of the ark was placed the “mercy seat,” with two cherubim overshadowing the cover with their wings (Exod. 25:17–21). It is appropriately called the “atonement cover” (NIV), for it conveys the idea that our compassionate and gracious God has reconciled the people with Himself and made every provision for them to maintain a covenant relationship with Him.

This is the place where, once a year, on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur in the Hebrew), atonement for the people and the sanctuary took place (Lev. 16:14–16). In Romans 3:25, Paul refers to Jesus as “atonement cover” (usually translated as “propitiation” or “sacrifice of atonement”), for Jesus Himself is the place of redemption, the One through whom God has made atonement for our sins.

In the Holy Place, the first compartment, the lampstand continually provided light (Lev. 24:1–4), and the altar of incense produced the protective smoke that concealed the presence of God from the priest (Lev. 16:12-13). On the table for the bread of the presence were placed twelve loaves of bread, representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Dishes, pans, jars, and bowls (Exod. 25:29-30) also were placed on the table. Although little information is given about the significance of these items, it seems that they represented the elements of a covenant meal (recalling Exod. 24:11) and served as a constant reminder of God’s covenant with the people.

Read Romans 3:25–28. What great hope can we take from the promise of salvation “by faith apart from the deeds of the law” (NKJV)?

Wednesday October 23

Center of Divine and Communal Activity

Read 1 Kings 8:31–53. What more does this text teach us about the function of the sanctuary?

At the dedication ceremony of the newly built temple, King Solomon offered seven cases of specific prayers that could be offered at the temple. The seven functions exemplify the extensive role of the temple in the lives of the Israelites. The temple was a place for seeking forgiveness (vs. 30); for oath swearing (vss. 31, 32); for supplication when defeated (vss. 33, 34); for petition when faced with drought (vss. 35, 36) or other disasters (vss. 37-40). It was also a place for the alien to pray (vss. 41-43), as well as a place to petition for victory (vss. 44, 45).

That the temple was intended to be a “ ‘house of prayer for all the peoples’ ” (Isa. 56:7, NASB) becomes evident from the fact that Solomon envisioned the individual Israelite, the foreigner, and the entire people as petitioners.

The sanctuary was the ideological center of basically all activity in Israel. Religion was not part of the believer’s life, not even a major one; it was life. What does this tell us about the role that our faith should play in our own lives, as well?

When the people wanted to receive advice or judgment, or if they repented of their sins, they went to the sanctuary. The sanctuary was also the hub of life during the desert years of Israel. When God desired to communicate to His people, He did so from the sanctuary (Exod. 25:22). Therefore it is appropriately called the “tent of meeting” (for example, Lev. 1:1, NASB).

Think about your prayer life. How deep, how rich, how faith-affirming and life changing is it? Perhaps the first question you need to ask yourself is: how much time do I spend in prayer?
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Wally

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
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Thursday October 24

“Until I Went Into the Sanctuary of God”

Time and again the Psalms show that the sanctuary plays a significant part in the relationship between believers and God. Well known is the firm conviction David expressed at the end of Psalm 23 that he “will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (vs. 6, NKJV). David’s foremost wish in Psalm 27 was to be in the presence of Yahweh, a presence which was best experienced in the sanctuary. In order to show how much he cherished the sanctuary, David used the full range of expressions to refer to it, calling it the house of the Lord, temple, tabernacle, and tent. It is there that one can meditate and “behold the beauty of the Lord” (Ps. 27:4, NKJV).

The activities of God in the sanctuary illustrate some crucial points: He keeps the worshiper safe and hides him in His sanctuary, even in tough times (Ps. 27:5). God provides secure refuge and assures peace of mind for all who come into His presence. These expressions connect the beauty of God to what He does for His people. In addition, the sanctuary service with its symbolic significance shows the goodness and justice of God.

The ultimate object of David’s deepest desire was not only simply to be in the sanctuary, but for Yahweh to be present with him. That is why David resolves to “seek” God (Ps. 27:4, 8 ).

Read Psalm 73:1–17. Which insights did Asaph get after entering the sanctuary?

In Psalm 73, Asaph addressed the problem of suffering. He could not understand the apparent success of the wicked (vss. 4-12) while the faithful were afflicted. He himself almost slipped (vss. 1-3), but going into the sanctuary made the difference for him (vss. 13-17). There Asaph could see the same power and glory of God that David mentions in Psalm 63:2 and recognize that the present conditions will one day change and justice will be done. He could reflect anew on the truth and receive reaffirmation that in the end the wicked are on slippery ground (Ps. 73:18–20) and the faithful are secure (vss. 21-28). For those who seek God, the sanctuary becomes a place of confidence, a stronghold of life, where God will set them “high upon a rock” (Ps. 27:5, NKJV). From the truth that the sanctuary service teaches, we can indeed learn to trust in the goodness and the justice of God.

Friday October 25

Further Study: Ellen G. White, “The Tabernacle and Its Services,” pp. 343–358, in Patriarchs and Prophets.

“For the building of the sanctuary great and expensive preparations were necessary; a large amount of the most precious and costly material was required; yet the Lord accepted only freewill offerings. ‘Of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take My offering’ was the divine command repeated by Moses to the congregation. Devotion to God and a spirit of sacrifice were the first requisites in preparing a dwelling place for the Most High.”—Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 343.
Discussion Questions:

    Dwell more on the question of God’s justice. We see so little justice in this world now. Why, then, without the ultimate hope of God’s justice, would there be no hope of justice at all?

    Someone wrote: “The tabernacle is a piece of holy ground amid a world that has lost its way.” What does that mean to you?

    Read 1 Peter 1:14–16. In what way do you understand God’s holiness? For you, what does it mean to be holy yourself? How can we become holy?

    The sons of Eli are an example of people who were “close” to God but who lost their appreciation of His holiness (1 Sam. 2:12–17). How can you avoid losing a sense of God’s holiness? Why are prayer, study, and obedience crucial in helping us to preserve the awareness of His holiness?

    “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.”—Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 354. How does this quote help us to understand the ways in which “salvation by faith” was revealed in the sanctuary service?

So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2013, 09:31:35 PM »

SABBATH AFTERNOON


Read for This Week’s Study: Exod. 40:9-10; Lev. 19:2; 1 Pet. 1:14–16; Exod. 31:2–11; Rom. 3:25–28 1 Kings 8:31–53; Ps. 73:1–17.

Memory Text: "And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them." Exodus 25:8

The sanctuary is one of God’s major devices to teach us the meaning of the gospel. As we study the sanctuary this week, the drawing below will be helpful:






This week’s lesson focuses on some of the major insights provided by the earthly sanctuary. We will study the sacrificial system later.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2013, 10:00:27 PM »
Sunday October 20

Place of the Presence


According to Exodus 25:8, what was the purpose of the earthly sanctuary in the wilderness? What amazing truth does this teach us about God’s love for us?

25:8   And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.

In the Garden of Eden, sin had broken the face-to-face relationship between God and humanity. Sin forfeited our first parents’ unhindered communion with God. However, the Creator still desired to draw us to Himself and to enjoy a deep covenant relationship with fallen humanity, and He began this process right there in Eden. Centuries later, in saving Israel out of Egypt and establishing the sanctuary and the sacrificial system, God again took the initiative in bringing humanity back into His presence.

The sanctuary thus testifies of God’s unceasing desire to dwell among His people. This is God’s idea. "For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it."  Ps. 132:13-14. His ultimate goal is relationship, and the sanctuary was His chosen means to do it. The sanctuary is the tangible evidence of God’s presence with His people on earth.

From the description in Numbers 2, it is evident that the tabernacle was located in the center of the square encampment where, ordinarily in the ancient Near East, the king would place his tent. So, the tabernacle symbolizes that God is the King over Israel.

The Levites, meanwhile, placed their tents around the tabernacle. "But the Levites shall pitch round about the tabernacle of testimony, that there be no wrath upon the congregation of the children of Israel: and the Levites shall keep the charge of the tabernacle of testimony." Num. 1:53. The other tribes put theirs further around at a “distance” in groups of three. "Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's house: far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch." Num. 2:2. This illustrates in a tangible way both the nearness and the distance of God.

What does it mean "both the nearness and the distance of God"? Is God with us or not? Is there more to it than this? Why did the Shekinah leave the temple? Where is God if He is not in your heart? Does God ever leave someone? Why? Does Jesus stay where He is not wanted? These questions need to be clearly understood so the deceptions can be removed.


Another purpose of the sanctuary was to provide a location for a centralized, divinely ordained system of worship. Because God’s presence in the midst of the people was jeopardized by their impurities and moral failings, He provided a system of sacrifices and offerings through which unholy people could live and remain in the presence of a holy God.

And what would happen if a disobedient priest went into the Holy Place drunk? And what would happen if a king went into the Holy Place to minister? And what would happen to an ordinary priest who went into the Most Holy Place, in the presence of God? We need to define our words very precisely so we are not under a misconception of what it means to be in God's presence.


So, in this context, the sanctuary revealed details regarding the plan of redemption, which included not only the sacrifices but the ministry of the priesthood, an integral part of the plan of redemption, as well.

With the sanctuary, the Creator of the universe, the One who made all that was made, lowered Himself to dwell among homeless wanderers in the desert. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." John 1:1-3.  How should this fact alone help us avoid harboring ethnic, class, or cultural prejudices against anyone?

Again, we need to be very careful with our use of words. Race is one thing, culture is another. There are many cultures in the world where religion is woven into their culture. All cultures are not equal. Those cultures where human sacrifices were made are not on the same footing as a culture that has a Protestant heritage and whose laws are patterned after Protestant principles. In some cultures religion and state are one and the same. Those cultures which are so practiced are not to be accepted as something good. There is to be no wall of separation between Christians and those of other cultures. Christ came to save all, including the sick. We are not to let a person's sins or culture keep us from ministering to them. But, there is a very wrong attitude by some that exalts diversity of cultures no matter how wrong they may be. It is a cleverly designed plan to attack those who cling to the culture of heaven. The Bible is to be our rule, not the culture we were born into. America has a Protestant heritage, but it is now far from a Protestant nation. The culture of America has become more and more like the principles put forth by the Obama administration. The cultures of this world are like the culture of those living just prior to the great flood. Immoral. One's culture is not to be made an excuse for sin.

Christ did not lower Himself to live among slaves, hardly more than brute beasts, no, He came to dwell among sinners who are evil by nature. We are all fallen and are at enmity with God and His law. Jesus came to die for us while we were yet sinners. Cultures are different and it is true that there are some who are fallen more than others, but all have come short of the glory of God and in need of a radical change before the presence of God will not destroy them. How far removed we are from Adam in his holy flesh. But, we do not have to stay that way. God has provided a remedy in His Son that we might be made partakers of His divine nature and escape the corruption that is this world.  Amen!!

Are there examples of cultural practices that you have seen that offend God greatly? Cultural practices that we ought not exalt? Is is possible to be a Christian and not appreciate all cultures in the world? Can we separate the culture from the person? That is can we love the person, yet not condone the culture? 

For what purpose did Jesus come to this earth to dwell among us? Does that have any commonality with the Hebrew sanctuary being placed on this earth? What is the common thread you see in both?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2013, 11:58:04 PM »
Monday October 21

“Be Ye Holy”


“And thou shalt take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle, and all that is therein, and shalt hallow it, and all the vessels thereof: and it shall be holy.

And thou shalt anoint the altar of the burnt offering, and all his vessels, and sanctify the altar: and it shall be an altar most holy” Exodus 40:9-10


Exodus 40:9-10 shows us that the sanctuary was to be regarded as “holy.” The basic idea of holiness is separateness and uniqueness, in combination with belonging to God.

“The typical service was the connecting link between God and Israel. The sacrificial offerings were designed to prefigure the sacrifice of Christ, and thus to preserve in the hearts of the people an unwavering faith in the Redeemer to come. Hence, in order that the Lord might accept their sacrifices, and continue His presence with them, and, on the other hand, that the people might have a correct knowledge of the plan of salvation, and a right understanding of their duty, it was of the utmost importance that holiness of heart and purity of life, reverence for God, and strict obedience to His requirements, should be maintained by all connected with the sanctuary.”—Ellen G. White, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 2, p. 1,010.

The Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy are truth. It is a narrow and steep road to heaven, few enter therein. But, Jesus says "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30.

God tells us to be holy. Is that possible? What does it mean to be holy? How can one who lives in fallen flesh be holy?  Look again at the statement just quoted by the author, "holiness of heart and purity of life, reverence for God, and strict obedience to His requirements."  We may have these attributes if we will allow the Spirit of God to indwell our hearts. When we allow Christ to take control, we then are converted and become partakers of God's divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Does the sanctuary and its services teach that we may become holy? Did it lead Israelites to holiness?


Read Leviticus 19:2 and 1 Peter 1:14–16.

  19:2   Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God [am] holy.
  1:14   As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 
  1:15   But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 
  1:16   Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 


What is the primary reason for the people to be holy?

God’s holiness transforms us and sets us apart. His holiness is the ultimate motivation for the ethical conduct of His people in all spheres of life (see Leviticus 19), whether that be observing the dietary laws (Lev. 11:44-45), respecting the priest (Lev. 21:8 ), or not conforming to former lusts (1 Pet. 1:14).

  11:44   For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 
  11:45   For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. 

  21:8   Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy unto thee: for I the LORD, which sanctify you, am holy. 

  1:14   As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
 

Obviously, God wants us to grow in holiness as we get closer to Him. This change can come about only through a self-surrender of our sinful natures and through a willingness to do what is right, regardless of the consequences.

Amen! Conversion, a radical change in character, only can happen when a sinner dies to self and lives unto Christ. We retain our sinful nature, but it is kept under by the power of the Spirit of God. When converted, we have dual natures. We retain our fallen flesh, but the heart and mind are purified by the Spirit. As Paul said "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." 1 Corinthians 9:27. Holiness does not apply to the flesh, but to the heart and mind. Remember the first Spirit of Prophecy quote we read. Through Christ we have "holiness of heart and purity of life, reverence for God, and strict obedience to His requirements" while still living in sinful flesh. We are wholly dependent upon Christ for any good thing. In and of ourselves we are evil.

Think about yourself, your habits, your tastes, your activities, et cetera. How much of what you are, and what you do, would be considered “holy”? It is kind of a tough question to face, isn’t it?

Yes, it is a tough question to face because unless Jesus is in us, we have no good thing in us. We need Jesus! The fruit of conversion is the fruit of His Spirit. All of the fruits of His Spirit come with Jesus at the moment of conversion. Purity of heart comes at conversion. The "baby" Christian who is truly converted has purity of heart as long as Jesus indwells the heart.

Jesus has promised that He will not allow you "to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Cor. 10:13. Why then are you tempted beyond what you can bear? One cannot be holy and sin.


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2013, 12:50:14 PM »
Tuesday October 22

Instruments of the Sanctuary


Read Exodus 31:2–11.
 
  32:2   And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring [them] unto me. 
  32:3   And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 
  32:4   And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 
  32:5   And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow [is] a feast to the LORD. 
  32:6   And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. 
  32:7   And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted [themselves]: 
  32:8   They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 
  32:9   And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it [is] a stiffnecked people: 
  32:10   Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. 
  32:11   And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?

What do these verses teach us about the making of the objects in the earthly sanctuary? What link is there with Genesis 1:2? (See also Exod. 25:9.)

1:2   And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

 25:9   According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it. 


Of all the objects in the sanctuary, the ark of the testimony was the supreme symbol of God’s presence and holiness. The name derives from the two stone tablets of the law, called the “testimony” (Exod. 32:15-16), that were placed inside the ark (Exod. 25:16, 21).

On top of the ark was placed the “mercy seat,” with two cherubim overshadowing the cover with their wings. 

25:17   And thou shalt make a mercy seat [of] pure gold: two cubits and a half [shall be] the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. 
  25:18   And thou shalt make two cherubims [of] gold, [of] beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 
  25:19   And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: [even] of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 
  25:20   And the cherubims shall stretch forth [their] wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces [shall look] one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. 
  25:21   And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. 
  25:22   And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which [are] upon the ark of the testimony, of all [things] which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel."   Exod. 25:17–22.


It is appropriately called the “mercy seat”, for it conveys the idea that our compassionate and gracious God has reconciled the people with Himself and made every provision for them to maintain a covenant relationship with Him.

The ark contained the ten commandments which are a transcript of God's character and are the basis upon which all who profess to love and serve God will be judged. Sin is the transgression of the law and the wages of sin is death. Those who have allowed Christ to empower them to obey the law of God will manifest the character of God as they have the faith of Jesus and keep the commandments of God.


Ark of the Testament



Because the wages of one sin is death, God made provision that we could be forgiven our past sins. Jesus paid the price for our sins, so if we accept Him as Savior and ruler, then our sins will be forgiven. Thus, while God demands strict obedience, He is also able to forgive past sins of all who are truly converted. This is symbolized by placing the law in the ark and placing the "mercy seat" directly above the law. Justice and mercy are the attributes of our God's character. Neither could be sacrificed to save guilty man. "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." Psalms 85:10.

Jesus loves us.
He came to reveal to the heavenly universe, to the worlds unfallen, and to sinful men, that every provision has been made by God in behalf of humanity, and that through the imputed righteousness of Christ, all who receive Him by faith can show their loyalty by keeping the law. As the repenting sinner lays hold of Christ as His personal Saviour, he is made a partaker of the divine nature. 

We may all rest in the assurance that whatever the love of God has devised in man's behalf will be executed. Justice and judgment are the habitation of His throne; mercy and truth go before His face. In the cross of Christ mercy and truth met together; righteousness and peace kissed each other. 

But it is not by abolishing one jot or tittle of the law of God that salvation is brought to the fallen race. If God were a changeable being, no confidence could be placed in His government. If He retracted what He said, we could not then take His Word as the foundation of our faith. Had He changed His law to meet fallen men, Satan's claim that man could not keep the law would have been proved true. But God did not alter His law. The death of Christ testifies to the heavenly universe, to the worlds unfallen, and to all the sons and daughters of Adam, that the law of God is immutable, and that in the judgment it will condemn every one who has persisted in transgression. The God who rules the world in love and wisdom testifies in the death of His Son to His changeless character. He could not change His character as expressed in His law, but He could give His Son, one with Himself, possessing His attributes, to a fallen world. By so doing, He magnified His name and glory as a God above all gods. 

Christ has declared, "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." The truth of God's Word alone is permanent and abiding. The loyal subjects of God's kingdom will not be found trampling upon His law, pronounced by Inspiration to be "holy, and just, and good." Every false religion is of Satan's originating, and the warning must be given to the world. Why do men continue so blindly in unbelief when the Word of God is so plain and unmistakable? When the judgment shall sit, and the books are opened, what excuse will they give for taking sides with the first great rebel, thus making the Word of God of none effect in their lives? God's wisdom and truthfulness are changeless, and in that great day when sentence is executed against the despisers of His law, the cross of Christ will show that He is a God of love in thus executing judgment. Those who refuse to obey His law during probationary time could not with safety be received into His kingdom; for they would labor as earnestly and zealously against the law of His government as did the first apostate. There would be a second rebellion in heaven. 

God is true. He reigns, and will reign, notwithstanding that the church and the world have entered into a confederacy to abolish His law. Age after age Satan has been blinding men by his wiles. He has co-operated with human agencies in an effort to make falsehood truth. He has worked with intensity to defy the God of heaven by making His law of none effect. But he has not done this; for in the ark of God in heaven are the tables of stone upon which are written the precepts that are the foundation of His government. And the Sabbath, which God declares to be the sign of the loyalty of His people, is placed in the bosom of the Decalogue. Its sanctity reaches into eternity; for God declares that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, His subjects shall come up to worship before Him in the earth made new." Signs of the Times,  April 7, 1898


This is the place where, once a year, on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur in the Hebrew), atonement for the people and the sanctuary took place. "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 veil, 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." Lev. 16:14–16. In Romans 3:25, Paul refers to Jesus as “a propitiation” (usually translated as “propitiation” or “sacrifice of atonement”), for Jesus Himself is the place of redemption, the One through whom God has made atonement for our sins.

Here we read of the Day of Atonement. The day in which we live (the anti-typical Day of Atonement to which the shadow pointed). On October 22, 1844 the "hour of His judgment" began, a time in which the heavenly sanctuary would be cleansed of the record of sin. The books were opened (Daniel 7:10) and every professor of religion will have his record examined to see if his profession was in fact real, or if he was merely an actor. The law of God is the standard by which all will be judged. The blood of Jesus which cleansed the hearts of the saved is now expunging their record of sin. Do you ever think of the date on which this began? It was October 22 which begins at sundown today unless you are in Australia. In which case it is already October 22.


In the Holy Place, the first compartment, the lampstand continually provided light (Lev. 24:1–4).

  24:1   And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 
  24:2   Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually. 
  24:3   Without the veil of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from the evening unto the morning before the LORD continually: it shall be a statute for ever in your generations. 
  24:4   He shall order the lamps upon the pure candlestick before the LORD continually. 


It is indeed true that the candlestick provided light, but it was to teach spiritual lessons. What lessons have you learned from the candlestick? Share with us why it is in the Holy Place. Does this verse teach us anything about the candlestick and the plan of salvation? "For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life." Proverbs 6:23.

The altar of incense produced the protective smoke that concealed the presence of God from the priest.  "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 veil: 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." Lev. 16:12-13.

Here we read of the High Priest going into the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement. He takes a censer with him and when he enters into the Most Holy Place he then sprinkles the incense into his censor. The fragrance of the incense rises from the censor as a symbol (a type or shadow of the real). What does the rising incense teach about the plan of salvation? What is the anti-type of the incense?


On the table for the bread of the presence were placed twelve loaves of bread, representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Dishes, pans, jars, and bowls (Exod. 25:29-30) also were placed on the table. Although little information is given about the significance of these items, it seems that they represented the elements of a covenant meal (recalling Exod. 24:11) and served as a constant reminder of God’s covenant with the people.

The sanctuary and its services were to teach about the plan of salvation. The lessons are not to be learned from human wisdom, but from inspired wisdom. We go to Scripture to learn the lessons. The bread did not represent the 12 tribes of Israel. What does bread represent in Scripture? Why were their 12 loaves?


Read Romans 3:25–28.

  3:25   Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 
  3:26   To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 
  3:27   Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 
  3:28   Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. 


What great hope can we take from the promise of salvation “by faith without the deeds of the law"?

None. Paul was not teaching that man is set free from obedience to the law. Anyone who believes they have the assurance of salvation without rendering obedience to the law is hoping in a lie. Then what does Paul mean when he states that "a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law"?

Which is easier, to render an outward obedience or an inward and outward obedience to the law? Which is the result of having salvation?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2013, 01:26:52 PM »
In the Holy Place, the first compartment, the lampstand continually provided light (Lev. 24:1–4).

  24:1   And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
  24:2   Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually.
  24:3   Without the veil of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from the evening unto the morning before the LORD continually: it shall be a statute for ever in your generations.
  24:4   He shall order the lamps upon the pure candlestick before the LORD continually.


It is indeed true that the candlestick provided light, but it was to teach spiritual lessons. What lessons have you learned from the candlestick? Share with us why it is in the Holy Place. Does this verse teach us anything about the candlestick and the plan of salvation? "For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life." Proverbs 6:23.

John 8:12  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
John 9:5  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.


Quote
The altar of incense produced the protective smoke that concealed the presence of God from the priest.  "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 veil: 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." Lev. 16:12-13.

Here we read of the High Priest going into the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement. He takes a censer with him and when he enters into the Most Holy Place he then sprinkles the incense into his censor. The fragrance of the incense rises from the censor as a symbol (a type or shadow of the real). What does the rising incense teach about the plan of salvation? What is the anti-type of the incense?

        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} 


Quote
On the table for the bread of the presence were placed twelve loaves of bread, representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Dishes, pans, jars, and bowls (Exod. 25:29-30) also were placed on the table. Although little information is given about the significance of these items, it seems that they represented the elements of a covenant meal (recalling Exod. 24:11) and served as a constant reminder of God’s covenant with the people.

The sanctuary and its services were to teach about the plan of salvation. The lessons are not to be learned from human wisdom, but from inspired wisdom. We go to Scripture to learn the lessons. The bread did not represent the 12 tribes of Israel. What does bread represent in Scripture?

John 6:35  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
John 6:48  I am that bread of life.

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.

Joh 6:48  I am that bread of life.
Joh 6:49  Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
Joh 6:50  This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
Joh 6:51  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.


And this, representing the bread and wine at communion service which was also present in the earthly sanctuary:

Joh_6:53  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
Joh_6:55  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
1Co_11:25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.


  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2013, 06:48:09 PM »
Amen, Mimi! Not one bit of human devising in presenting the true meaning of these symbols in the Hebrew sanctuary and its services. They all point to Jesus as our Sacrifice, our Righteousness, and our Savior. There are many winds blowing in the church. We need to do just as Mimi has done, study to show ourselves approved of God. Cease making the arm of flesh our strength and turn to Jesus with the whole heart. "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Babylon has fallen because she has substituted the wisdom of man for the wisdom of God. Let us not be guilty of the same. Be as the faithful Bereans and compare what godly teachers are presenting to see if it so. God's faithful are pointing us to Jesus and His Word.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2013, 08:15:13 PM »
The bread did not represent the 12 tribes of Israel.

No, it didn't - as I showed above, it represented Jesus. And fresh bread every Sabbath! Jesus, the Bread of Life, The Word, fresh, every Sabbath. Stale bread will not do. Only fresh Bread on Sabbath.

Quote
Why were their 12 loaves?

Because there were 12 tribes of Israel who were to learn who the Bread of Life "was to come" - Jesus. It was "Bread" for them so they could, in turn, give that same bread to others.

  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Mimi

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2013, 08:20:53 PM »


Read Romans 3:25–28.

  3:25   Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 
  3:26   To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 
  3:27   Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 
  3:28   Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. 


What great hope can we take from the promise of salvation “by faith without the deeds of the law"?

None. Paul was not teaching that man is set free from obedience to the law. Anyone who believes they have the assurance of salvation without rendering obedience to the law is hoping in a lie. Then what does Paul mean when he states that "a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law"?

Which is easier, to render an outward obedience or an inward and outward obedience to the law? Which is the result of having salvation?


What is the author suggesting? This is awkward.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Al

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2013, 06:41:33 AM »
Sunday - Place of Presence - October 20

Exodus 25:8 "And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them."

When I first read scripture I thought of Matthew 1:23  "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." 

Quote
The sanctuary thus testifies of God’s unceasing desire to dwell among His people. This is God’s idea (Ps. 132:13-14). His ultimate goal is relationship, and the sanctuary was His chosen means to do it. The sanctuary is the tangible evidence of God’s presence with His people on earth.

Both scriptures show the willingness on the part of God to be with man. Last week's lesson we were told that Adam and Eve ran and hid from God. And how God went in search of wayward man. Again God appeared to Moses in a burning bush seeking to bring his people out of Egypt so that he could again dwell with them.

Richards comments on Sunday
Quote
With the sanctuary, the Creator of the universe, the One who made all that was made, lowered Himself to dwell among homeless wanderers in the desert. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." John 1:1-3.  How should this fact alone help us avoid harboring ethnic, class, or cultural prejudices against anyone?

What amazing love for the creator God to come to this world to dwell with fallen man. Out of all the expanse of His creation God comes to live on earth.  We think of "God with us" of Christ being born in manger but we find "God with us" trading heaven for a tent in the wilderness. And in the final end it will be "God with us" "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." Revelation 21:1 "Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD." Zec. 2:10 What does this tells us about God?

The word "dwell" used in Exodus 25:8 is "shakan" in the Hebrew which give the idea of "rest or to lodge"   F. C. Gilbert's in his book (Messiah in His Sanctuary) he states "Dwell" means to neighbor. To this day among the Jewish people a shaken (neighbor) is a desirable person to have in the community." page 12

The apostle Paul also talks of Gods' desire to dwell with man "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." 2 Corinthians 6:16 

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." Ephesians 3:17



Jesus looked upon the distressed and heart burdened, those whose hopes were blighted, and who with earthly joys were seeking to quiet the longing of the soul, and He invited all to find rest in Him.  {DA 328.3}

Mimi

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2013, 08:36:04 AM »
It is beyond all human comprehension, isn't it, Al? That He would love us so to even want to dwell among us reprobates stuns the mind. Yet, He does. Your Scriptural quote says we can comprehend it as we are rooted and grounded in love.

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." Ephesians 3:17


And why do I love Him so? Because He first loved me. I cry at the thought!
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2013, 11:39:55 AM »
Amen! We are beginning to touch on the subject. Yes, Christ came to dwell among us, but that is not the amazing thing. We need to go deeper. The Bible verses being shared indicate there was something much more important than God dwelling among us. He is indeed our Friend, but let's get to that which is much more amazing! In order to prove His great love to the us and the unfallen worlds above, Christ humbled Himself, not to just live among man, but to become one of us. He is not only our Savior, but He is our Brother.

The sanctuary and its services were to reveal God to humanity that they might know Him. As we have seen from Al and Mimi, to know God is to love God. Love begets love. The sacrificial system was to reveal that love for us while we were yet sinners. But, to dwell among us, was not enough. Christ must dwell in us. In order that we and the unfallen worlds would know of God's character of self-sacrificing love, not only did God allow Jesus to come to this world to suffer and die, but He allowed Him to come to this world a helpless baby born of woman. He came in the likeness of sinful flesh to fight the battle of life as we must fight it at the risk of failure and eternal loss! It is much more than living among us, He became one of us....and at great risk.

Satan has misrepresented the character of our God. It was necessary that Jesus correct this lie. By the incarnation of Christ, He was able to reveal  the difference between Satan and God. Jesus was able to live a life in humanity that revealed God's character of love. It is the understanding of that love that changes the heart. To fulfill the promise of Genesis 3:15 and Ezekiel 36:26, it was necessary for Christ to come to this world as a human baby, to become our Brother. We can look back at the life, suffering, and death of Christ. We can read the Words of Jesus. We can see His character. But, the Hebrews could not. How is it that they would know of this great self-sacrificing love? It was through the sacrifices revealed in the sanctuary that they were to learn of Christ and the great sacrifice to come. The suffering and death of Christ was shadowed forth in types and symbols. He came to live among us that we would learn of His character. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14.

But, again, that He lived among us is not the great evidence of His love. No, He became one of us! "For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.  Mark this, "He gave His only begotten Son" to us!! "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6. Amen!! What an amazing thing!! That God is the Son of man!!  Jesus is one of us, He is not ashamed to call us brethren (Hebrews 2:11)!!

Christ glorified is our brother. Heaven is enshrined in humanity, and humanity is enfolded in the bosom of Infinite Love.

Of His people God says, "They shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon His land. For how great is His goodness, and how great is His beauty!" Zechariah 9:16, 17. The exaltation of the redeemed will be an eternal testimony to God's mercy. "In the ages to come," He will "show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." "To the intent that . . . unto the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places might be made known . . . the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Ephesians 2:7; 3:10, 11, R. V. 

Through Christ's redeeming work the government of God stands justified. The Omnipotent One is made known as the God of love. Satan's charges are refuted, and his character unveiled. Rebellion can never again arise. Sin can never again enter the universe. Through eternal ages all are secure from apostasy. By love's self-sacrifice, the inhabitants of earth and heaven are bound to their Creator in bonds of indissoluble union. The Desire of Ages pg. 26.


What love! What a God!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 06:50:22 AM »
Wednesday October 23

Center of Divine and Communal Activity


Read 1 Kings 8:31–53.

  8:31   If any man trespass against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house: 
  8:32   Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness. 
  8:33   When thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee, and shall turn again to thee, and confess thy name, and pray, and make supplication unto thee in this house: 
  8:34   Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest unto their fathers. 
  8:35   When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them: 
  8:36   Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance. 
  8:37   If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, blasting, mildew, locust, [or] if there be caterpillar; if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness [there be]; 
  8:38   What prayer and supplication soever be [made] by any man, [or] by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house: 
  8:39   Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, [even] thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;) 
  8:40   That they may fear thee all the days that they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers. 
  8:41   Moreover concerning a stranger, that [is] not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for thy name's sake; 
  8:42   (For they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm;) when he shall come and pray toward this house; 
  8:43   Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for: that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as [do] thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name. 
  8:44   If thy people go out to battle against their enemy, whithersoever thou shalt send them, and shall pray unto the LORD toward the city which thou hast chosen, and [toward] the house that I have built for thy name: 
  8:45   Then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. 
  8:46   If they sin against thee, (for [there is] no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near; 
  8:47   [Yet] if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness; 
  8:48   And [so] return unto thee with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which led them away captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name: 
  8:49   Then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause, 
  8:50   And forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, and give them compassion before them who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them: 
  8:51   For they [be] thy people, and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron: 
  8:52   That thine eyes may be open unto the supplication of thy servant, and unto the supplication of thy people Israel, to hearken unto them in all that they call for unto thee. 
  8:53   For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, [to be] thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord GOD. 


What more does this text teach us about the function of the sanctuary?

At the dedication ceremony of the newly built temple, King Solomon offered seven cases of specific prayers that could be offered at the temple. The seven functions exemplify the extensive role of the temple in the lives of the Israelites. The temple was a place for seeking forgiveness (vs. 30); for oath swearing (vss. 31, 32); for supplication when defeated (vss. 33, 34); for petition when faced with drought (vss. 35, 36) or other disasters (vss. 37-40). It was also a place for the alien to pray (vss. 41-43), as well as a place to petition for victory (vss. 44, 45).

That the temple was intended to be a “a house of prayer for all people.” (Isa. 56:7) becomes evident from the fact that Solomon envisioned the individual Israelite, the foreigner, and the entire people as petitioners.

The sanctuary was the ideological center of basically all activity in Israel. Religion was not part of the believer’s life, not even a major one; it was life. What does this tell us about the role that our faith should play in our own lives, as well?

There is a danger presented here. The temple was indeed a major part of the thinking in the minds of the Israelites.  But, look at what Israel was. It put to death the Son of God. How could that happen when the temple was the central feature of their society? Because it was the focus instead of Christ. The "shadow" was made the reality and religion became a cold round of ceremonies rather than the worship of our loving God. Their leaders misinterpreted the Scriptures and perverted the meaning of the sanctuary and its services. It became so bad that the Jews actually thought there was merit in making sacrifice. They worshiped the temple rather than the maker of the temple. It was a tradition to esteem the temple more than God and to support the temple at the expense of their their parents. Jesus said "Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honor thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: but ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do aught for his father or his mother." They set aside the fifth commandment as of no consequence, but were very exact in carrying out the traditions of the elders. They taught the people that the devotion of their property to the temple was a duty more sacred than even the support of their parents; and that, however great the necessity, it was sacrilege to impart to father or mother any part of what had been thus consecrated. An undutiful child had only to pronounce the word "Corban" over his property, thus devoting it to God, and he could retain it for his own use during his lifetime, and after his death it was to be appropriated to the temple service. Thus he was at liberty, both in life and in death, to dishonor and defraud his parents, under cover of a pretended devotion to God.   

How is it with us? Do we turn religion into a cultural exercise? Do we follow a round of ceremonies instead of giving the whole heart to Jesus? Are we as a people in the same Laodicean condition as was Israel? Are we as actors in a play? How can we tell? What did Jesus say to Nicodemus, a proud Laodicean? "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.....Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." John 3:3,5,6,7.

Are we born of His Spirit? If so, every one of the fruits of His Spirit will be seen in the life, not one will be missing. We can know if we are born again because we love the brethren. "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." 1 John 3:14. The message is very clear, is it not? It is either or, life or death, not a part of both.   Listen to the rest of the message in context. "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another." 1 John 3:4-11.  Are we worshiping God or religion? Is it a tradition with you, or do you love God supremely and keep His commandments?


When the people wanted to receive advice or judgment, or if they repented of their sins, they went to the sanctuary. The sanctuary was also the hub of life during the desert years of Israel. When God desired to communicate to His people, He did so from the sanctuary (Exod. 25:22). Therefore it is appropriately called the “tabernacle of the congregation” (for example, Lev. 1:1).

Think about your prayer life. How deep, how rich, how faith-affirming and life changing is it? Perhaps the first question you need to ask yourself is: how much time do I spend in prayer?

Very good question. How much time do we spend in prayer, real prayer? Does our prayer life lead to a change in life? And if that change has taken place, is it maintained? Do we "die daily" to self? Or is church a tradition as the temple was to the Jews? They lost sight of the meaning of the sanctuary and its services. They did not know the lamb was only a shadow, a type, a symbol of their Savior who would would come to dwell among them that He might reveal the character of God. Instead of loving Him, they spit upon Him and crucified their Messiah. How is it with us? Do we crucify our lord afresh? If so, hear the Word of God as spoken by His servant Solomon. "Forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee." This is our prayer. God will bring revival and reformation to His people.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2013, 07:09:40 AM »
As I was contemplating the lesson we are to learn from Israel's rejection of their Messiah, I recalled that most sorrowful passage in The Desire of Ages that reveals to us God's great love for Israel. Jesus is entering Jerusalem to be crowned king. He is overlooking the city and sees its beautiful temple we are studying today.

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass." 

When the procession reached the brow of the hill, and was about to descend into the city, Jesus halted, and all the multitude with Him. Before them lay Jerusalem in its glory, now bathed in the light of the declining sun. The temple attracted all eyes. In stately grandeur it towered above all else, seeming to point toward heaven as if directing the people to the only true and living God. The temple had long been the pride and glory of the Jewish nation. The Romans also prided themselves in its magnificence. A king appointed by the Romans had united with the Jews to rebuild and embellish it, and the emperor of Rome had enriched it with his gifts. Its strength, richness, and magnificence had made it one of the wonders of the world.

While the westering sun was tinting and gilding the heavens, its resplendent glory lighted up the pure white marble of the temple walls, and sparkled on its gold-capped pillars. From the crest of the hill where Jesus and His followers stood, it had the appearance of a massive structure of snow, set with golden pinnacles. At the entrance to the temple was a vine of gold and silver, with green leaves and massive clusters of grapes executed by the most skillful artists. This design represented Israel as a prosperous vine. The gold, silver, and living green were combined with rare taste and exquisite workmanship; as it twined gracefully about the white and glistening pillars, clinging with shining tendrils to their golden ornaments, it caught the splendor of the setting sun, shining as if with a glory borrowed from heaven. 

Jesus gazes upon the scene, and the vast multitude hush their shouts, spellbound by the sudden vision of beauty. All eyes turn upon the Saviour, expecting to see in His countenance the admiration they themselves feel. But instead of this they behold a cloud of sorrow. They are surprised and disappointed to see His eyes fill with tears, and His body rock to and fro like a tree before the tempest, while a wail of anguish bursts from His quivering lips, as if from the depths of a broken heart. What a sight was this for angels to behold! their loved Commander in an agony of tears! What a sight was this for the glad throng that with shouts of triumph and the waving of palm branches were escorting Him to the glorious city, where they fondly hoped He was about to reign! Jesus had wept at the grave of Lazarus, but it was in a godlike grief in sympathy with human woe. But this sudden sorrow was like a note of wailing in a grand triumphal chorus. In the midst of a scene of rejoicing, where all were paying Him homage, Israel's King was in tears; not silent tears of gladness, but tears and groans of insuppressible agony. The multitude were struck with a sudden gloom. Their acclamations were silenced. Many wept in sympathy with a grief they could not comprehend. 

The tears of Jesus were not in anticipation of His own suffering. Just before Him was Gethsemane, where soon the horror of a great darkness would overshadow Him. The sheepgate also was in sight, through which for centuries the beasts for sacrificial offerings had been led. This gate was soon to open for Him, the great Antitype, toward whose sacrifice for the sins of the world all these offerings had pointed. Near by was Calvary, the scene of His approaching agony. Yet it was not because of these reminders of His cruel death that the Redeemer wept and groaned in anguish of spirit. His was no selfish sorrow. The thought of His own agony did not intimidate that noble, self-sacrificing soul. It was the sight of Jerusalem that pierced the heart of Jesus--Jerusalem that had rejected the Son of God and scorned His love, that refused to be convinced by His mighty miracles, and was about to take His life. He saw what she was in her guilt of rejecting her Redeemer, and what she might have been had she accepted Him who alone could heal her wound. He had come to save her; how could He give her up? 
 
Israel had been a favored people; God had made their temple His habitation; it was "beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth." Psalm 48:2. The record of more than a thousand years of Christ's guardian care and tender love, such as a father bears his only child, was there. In that temple the prophets had uttered their solemn warnings. There had the burning censers waved, while incense, mingled with the prayers of the worshipers, had ascended to God. There the blood of beasts had flowed, typical of the blood of Christ. There Jehovah had manifested His glory above the mercy seat. There the priests had officiated, and the pomp of symbol and ceremony had gone on for ages. But all this must have an end.

Jesus raised His hand,--that had so often blessed the sick and suffering,--and waving it toward the doomed city, in broken utterances of grief exclaimed: "If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace!--" Here the Saviour paused, and left unsaid what might have been the condition of Jerusalem had she accepted the help that God desired to give her,--the gift of His beloved Son. If Jerusalem had known what it was her privilege to know, and had heeded the light which Heaven had sent her, she might have stood forth in the pride of prosperity, the queen of kingdoms, free in the strength of her God-given power. There would have been no armed soldiers standing at her gates, no Roman banners waving from her walls. The glorious destiny that might have blessed Jerusalem had she accepted her Redeemer rose before the Son of God. He saw that she might through Him have been healed of her grievous malady, liberated from bondage, and established as the mighty metropolis of the earth. From her walls the dove of peace would have gone forth to all nations. She would have been the world's diadem of glory.

But the bright picture of what Jerusalem might have been fades from the Saviour's sight. He realizes what she now is under the Roman yoke, bearing the frown of God, doomed to His retributive judgment. He takes up the broken thread of His lamentation: "But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation."  The Desire of Ages, pg 577 
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2013, 08:35:04 AM »
Thursday October 24

“Until I Went Into the Sanctuary of God”


In today's lesson the author is teaching that by entering the sanctuary, men have been drawn closer to God. Before I go through today's lesson, what is there about the sanctuary that would draw anyone closer to God? Why would the Hebrew sanctuary cause anyone to have greater faith in the promises of God? Does this apply to us today?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2013, 11:38:52 AM »
Thursday October 24

“Until I Went Into the Sanctuary of God”

Time and again the Psalms show that the sanctuary plays a significant part in the relationship between believers and God. Well known is the firm conviction David expressed at the end of Psalm 23 that he “will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (vs. 6). David’s foremost wish in Psalm 27 was to be in the presence of Yahweh, a presence which was best experienced in the sanctuary. In order to show how much he cherished the sanctuary, David used the full range of expressions to refer to it, calling it the house of the Lord, temple, tabernacle, and tent. It is there that one can meditate and “behold the beauty of the Lord.” Ps. 27:4.

David loved God and he knew he needed Him continually to do any good thing. At that time, God manifested Himself in the sanctuary. We remember that David wanted to build a permanent home for Him, but was not allowed to. David was not allowed in the holy places of the sanctuary, only the priests could enter therein. He with the rest of the congregation entered into the courtyard where the sacrifices were offered. It was only the high priest who could enter the Most Holy Place once a year on the Day of Atonement. Not even King David could enter into the presence of God in that most sacred chamber.  David understood the symbolism and desired to have God with him, even in his heart. With all of the light so brightly shining, we too, must move from the earthly to the heavenly. We do not have to wait upon the high priest to enter into the Most Holy Place once a year. We may go directly to God through Jesus our High Priest.  “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:19-25. Notice the sanctuary language being used in the New Testament. We cannot understand these verses without an understanding of the sanctuary and its services.


The activities of God in the sanctuary illustrate some crucial points: He keeps the worshiper safe and hides him in His sanctuary, even in tough times (Ps. 27:5). God provides secure refuge and assures peace of mind for all who come into His presence. These expressions connect the beauty of God to what He does for His people. In addition, the sanctuary service with its symbolic significance shows the goodness and justice of God.

The ultimate object of David’s deepest desire was not only simply to be in the sanctuary, but for Yahweh to be present with him. That is why David resolves to “seek” God (Ps. 27:4, 8 ).

Read Psalm 73:1–17.

  73:1   A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God [is] good to Israel, [even] to such as are of a clean heart. 
  73:2   But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. 
  73:3   For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 
  73:4   For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. 
  73:5   They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. 
  73:6   Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. 
  73:7   Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. 
  73:8   They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. 
  73:9   They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. 
  73:10   Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them. 
  73:11   And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? 
  73:12   Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. 
  73:13   Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. 
  73:14   For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. 
  73:15   If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. 
  73:16   When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; 
  73:17   Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. 


Which insights did Asaph get after entering the sanctuary?

In Psalm 73, Asaph addressed the problem of suffering. He could not understand the apparent success of the wicked (vss. 4-12) while the faithful were afflicted. He himself almost slipped (vss. 1-3), but going into the sanctuary made the difference for him (vss. 13-17). There Asaph could see the same power and glory of God that David mentions in Psalm 63:2 and recognize that the present conditions will one day change and justice will be done. He could reflect anew on the truth and receive reaffirmation that in the end the wicked are on slippery ground (Ps. 73:18–20) and the faithful are secure (vss. 21-28). For those who seek God, the sanctuary becomes a place of confidence, a stronghold of life, where God will set them “upon a rock” (Ps. 27:5). From the truth that the sanctuary service teaches, we can indeed learn to trust in the goodness and the justice of God.

What made the difference for Asaph? What did he see in the sanctuary service that caused him to understand the truth as to why good people suffer and bad people are prospered? Since many in the world and even in the church do not understand, maybe it would be good to study the sanctuary message as did Asaph?  Let us hear from some of our Bible students, what did Asaph find in the sanctuary?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2013, 11:36:17 PM »
Friday October 25

Further Study: Ellen G. White, “The Tabernacle and Its Services,” pp. 343–358, in Patriarchs and Prophets.

“For the building of the sanctuary great and expensive preparations were necessary; a large amount of the most precious and costly material was required; yet the Lord accepted only freewill offerings. ‘Of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take My offering’ was the divine command repeated by Moses to the congregation. Devotion to God and a spirit of sacrifice were the first requisites in preparing a dwelling place for the Most High.”—Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 343.

Amen. And that was not there at first. While Moses was on the mount receiving the ten commandments, the people were sinning.  The "presence of God" was removed while the church was in apostasy. From the pages in our "further study".
"By their apostasy the Israelites forfeited the blessing of the divine Presence, and for the time rendered impossible the erection of a sanctuary for God among them. But after they were again taken into favor with Heaven, the great leader proceeded to execute the divine command." 

Discussion Questions:

    Dwell more on the question of God’s justice. We see so little justice in this world now. Why, then, without the ultimate hope of God’s justice, would there be no hope of justice at all?

That is an interesting question. We know why if God were not merciful there would be no hope for the sinner. We know that justice is jut as much a part of His government as is mercy, but why would there be no justice if it were not for God's justice?


    Someone wrote: “The tabernacle is a piece of holy ground amid a world that has lost its way.” What does that mean to you?

I don't think I have ever read that.



    Read 1 Peter 1:14–16.

  1:14   As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 
  1:15   But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 
  1:16   Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 


In what way do you understand God’s holiness? For you, what does it mean to be holy yourself? How can we become holy?

The answer is always the same. We need Jesus. By nature we are sinful, evil. There is no good thing in fallen humanity until we have Jesus sitting on the throne of the heart. Listen to a man who discovered this truth as he struggled to keep the law of God without knowing Jesus. "And the commandment, which [was ordained] to life, I found [to be] unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew [me].  Wherefore the law [is] holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.  Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.  For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that [it is] good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me." Romans 7:10-21.  We do not believe in "holy flesh", so unless we allow Jesus to abide in us and we in Him, then we cannot be holy. We are only sanctified when we are filled with His Spirit and dead to self. We must die daily, then it is Christ, not I.


    The sons of Eli are an example of people who were “close” to God but who lost their appreciation of His holiness. "Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD. And the priests' custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand; And he struck [it] into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh, unto all the Israelites that came thither.  Also before they burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw. And [if] any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and [then] take [as much] as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, [Nay]; but thou shalt give [it me] now: and if not, I will take [it] by force.  Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD."1 Sam. 2:12–17. How can you avoid losing a sense of God’s holiness? Why are prayer, study, and obedience crucial in helping us to preserve the awareness of His holiness?

Prayer:  "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41. Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend. Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him. The darkness of the evil one encloses those who neglect to pray. The whispered temptations of the enemy entice them to sin; and it is all because they do not make use of the privileges that God has given them in the divine appointment of prayer. Why should the sons and daughters of God be reluctant to pray, when prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence? Without unceasing prayer and diligent watching we are in danger of growing careless and of deviating from the right path. There are conditions upon which we may expect that God will hear and answer our prayers. One of the first of these is that we feel our need of help from Him. The heart must be open to the Spirit’s influence, or God’s blessing cannot be received

Study: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." When Adam sinned, he was ignorant about the character of God. There was much he did not know. When Satan sinned, he did so having lived in the light of the knowledge of God. There was nothing more God could do to save him. But, with man who had been deceived, he might be brought back into relationship with God through a knowledge of His character. The Word was made flesh. If we will study the Word, we will learn of our God. By beholding Him we shall become like Him in character. "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."  2 Timothy 2:15, Daniel 12:3.  If we refuse to study to know God, we shall end up dying the second death.  "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." Hosea 4:6.

Obedience: God has given us the rule of conduct which every one of His servants must follow. It is obedience to His law, not merely a legal obedience, but an obedience which enters into the life, and is exemplified in the character. God has set His own standard of character for all who would become subjects of His kingdom. Only those who will become co-workers with Christ, only those who will say, Lord, all I have and all I am is Thine, will be acknowledged as sons and daughters of God. All should consider what it means to desire heaven, and yet to turn away because of the conditions laid down. Think of what it means to say "No" to Christ. The ruler said, No, I cannot give You all. Do we say the same? The Saviour offers to share with us the work God has given us to do. He offers to use the means God has given us, to carry forward His work in the world. Only in this way can He save us.


    “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.”—Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 354. How does this quote help us to understand the ways in which “salvation by faith” was revealed in the sanctuary service?

"By his own hand the animal was then slain." Imagine what you would think as you killed the lamb that represented God's Son. By faith we are to believe that because of Christ's death, we shall be forgiven if we will make a full surrender of our will to His will. Not all will be saved, only those who by faith accept the sacrifice and become changed into His image from glory unto glory, by His Spirit.    "When Christ comes, the balances of heaven will weigh the character, and decide whether it is pure, sanctified, and holy....Happiness is the result of holiness, and conformity to the will of God. Those who would be saints in heaven, must first be saints upon the earth; for when we leave this earth, we shall take our character with us, and this will be simply taking with us some of the elements of heaven imparted to us through the righteousness of Christ. . .The experience that follows complete surrender to God, is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." The Review and Herald, Aug. 19, 1890.

Christ died to prove His love and to prove that it is possible for us to be changed in character that we might spend eternity with our God. Do you have faith to believe it? If not, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Learn of His love.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Fourth Quarter--2013--SDA SS LESSON 4--Lessons From the Sanctuary
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2013, 03:46:16 AM »
Many have failed to understand the sanctuary and its services were to reveal God to fallen humanity and the unfallen worlds. The character of our God has been maligned by Satan and there is need to portray Him as He really is. The Hebrew sanctuary was to reveal Christ. The law, the types and shadows, and the prophecies were committed to Israel that they might be a light in the world. The sanctuary was not just for Israel, but for the world and the universe "for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people." Isaiah 56:7.  Israel failed in her responsibilities. They fixed their hopes upon worldly greatness. From the time of their entrance to the land of Canaan, they departed from the commandments of God, and followed the ways of the heathen. It was in vain that God sent them warning by His prophets. In vain they suffered the chastisement of heathen oppression. Every reformation was followed by deeper apostasy.

"As they departed from God, the Jews in a great degree lost sight of the teaching of the ritual service. That service had been instituted by Christ Himself. In every part it was a symbol of Him; and it had been full of vitality and spiritual beauty. But the Jews lost the spiritual life from their ceremonies, and clung to the dead forms. They trusted to the sacrifices and ordinances themselves, instead of resting upon Him to whom they pointed. In order to supply the place of that which they had lost, the priests and rabbis multiplied requirements of their own; and the more rigid they grew, the less of the love of God was manifested. They measured their holiness by the multitude of their ceremonies, while their hearts were filled with pride and hypocrisy." The Desire of Ages, pg 29.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.