Love Under Fire


Holy and Most Holy Places

In the Holy Place was the lampstand on the south with its seven lamps giving light both day and night. On the north side stood the table of showbread. In front of the veil separating the Holy from the Most Holy was the golden altar of incense, from which the cloud of fragrance, with the prayers of Israel, ascended daily before God. LF 170.1

In the Most Holy Place stood the ark, a chest overlaid with gold, which held the Ten Commandments. Above the ark was the mercy seat holding two angels made of solid gold. In this apartment the divine presence appeared in the cloud of glory between the cherubim. LF 170.2

After the Hebrews settled in Canaan, the tabernacle was replaced by the temple of Solomon. Though it was a permanent structure and built on a larger scale, it had the same proportions and was furnished in the same way. The sanctuary existed in this form—except while it lay in ruins in Daniel's time—until the Romans destroyed it in A.D. 70. This is the only sanctuary on earth about which the Bible gives any information, the sanctuary of the first covenant. But does the new covenant have no sanctuary? LF 170.3

Turning again to the book of Hebrews, the seekers for truth found that a second or new covenant sanctuary was implied in the words already quoted: “Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary.” Turning back to the beginning of the previous chapter, they read: “Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man” (Hebrews 8:1, 2). LF 170.4

Here the Bible reveals the sanctuary of the new covenant. Moses made the sanctuary of the first covenant; this one is made by the Lord. In that sanctuary earthly priests performed their service; in this, Christ, our great High Priest, ministers at God's right hand. One sanctuary was on earth, the other is in heaven. LF 170.5

The tabernacle Moses built was made according to a pattern. The Lord directed, “According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.” “And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.” The first tabernacle “was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are [were] offered,” its Holy Places “copies of the things in the heavens.” The priests served “the copy and shadow of the heavenly things.” “Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” (Exodus 25:9, 40; Hebrews 9:9, 23; 8:5; 9:24.) LF 170.6

The sanctuary in heaven is the great original. The sanctuary that Moses built was a copy of it. The splendor of the earthly tabernacle reflected the glories of that heavenly temple where Christ ministers for us before the throne of God. The earthly sanctuary and its services taught important truths about the heavenly sanctuary and our redemption. LF 170.7