In Depth

Sanctuary – Part One

 

By Morris D. Lewis

The Sanctuary, The Jewish Temple and Old Testament and its relationship to Christ as the Gospel in the New Testament I call your attention to this by referring to the book of Exodus 5:8-9 now this is a very very significant Text in relationship to the understanding of the Hebrew Sanctuary or temple of the Old Testament. The model that we have here is a model of the sanctuary that Moses built about 1450BC. Now notice the text concerning the instruction that the Lord spake unto Moses as it says in verse Chapter 25:1 God gives the instruction to Moses and Moses gives it unto the people.  It is very important to note the antecedent to these pronouns.  Let THEM make ME a sanctuary that I may dwell among them. Now it is very important to note that THEM is the children of Israel and ME is God. Now this particular idea referred to in this chapter and in this verse is the main idea of the subject of the sanctuary throughout the entire Bible.  Let the people make me a sanctuary.  Now be sure that you see the significance of these pronouns and their antecedents.  God is saying that the people were to make a sanctuary for God to dwell in. And this is very significant, now you will find in the succeeding verses that the material for the sanctuary, all the material that you see; the Brass the gold and the silver, the metal the cloth and all the materials of the sanctuary were brought by the people and Moses appointed a man by the name of Bezaleel to be the one who would superintend the structure of the building. Now notice the verse in the 26th chapter and verse 30.  Now you will recall that God took Moses up in Mt Sinai and there he showed him the blue print for this particular building. Now I supposed he had it sketched on paper of some kind to give him an idea of the length the size and the material to be used in each apartment.  Then this text says “He showed him a fashion” or as it says in the original language  “A Model” now very obviously God revealed to Moses something of this sort of a model of what the building would look like when it was finished.  And then you recall that God said to Moses “The Lord will raise up a prophet like you and he the people will hear and believe” now I want you to see that God revealed to Moses three things he gave him a Blue Print of this building I suppose to indicate the pillars, the size, the area, the position of each of the pieces of furniture and where they would go and all the details of its structure. That would be necessary for a person to build.  Then he showed him a little model of the sanctuary so that he could see what it would look like when it was all finished.  But of course that was not the real sanctuary, the real sanctuary is the person of the Messiah the Christ and so God said to Moses The Lord will raise up a prophet like you and he will lead the people not only out of Egypt into the promised land but out of this world into the Heavenly Canaan.  All this was to be done by a relationship that God would maintain and establish between the individual believer and the Messiah the Christ.  The key that interprets the entire subject of the sanctuary is the relationship that the individual will be able to maintain with Christ as his personal saviour, as it says, let them build me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them. So this building is an indication of Gods intent to dwell among the people.  Now notice further in the instruction that he was to make the sanctuary according to the pattern and it was for the purpose of God dwelling with the people.  But now keep in mind it is the people that furnish the material, it is the people in the person of Bezaleel and Aholiab who helped him and then he solicited every person from the laity so to speak, the people of Israel to make contributions in spinning for the cloth, and I suppose polishing and various work in the sanctuary so the people had a part in the structure, and the people supplied the material.  Now this is very very important as you know Christ said as recorded in the book of John when Christ came into the world he identified himself with this building as you would naturally expect. In the Gospel of John the second chapter and verse 14 after this building was set up and used in the Old Testament when Christ came he identified himself with this building by saying at the time of the Passover went to Jerusalem and found in the Temple those that sold Oxen and sheep and doves and the changers of money sitting, and when he had made a scourge of small cords he drove them out of the Temple and the sheep and the oxen and he said unto them that sold these things “take these things hence and make not my Father’s house a house of merchandise”, now Christ came to this Temple that is the model that followed this in the time of the New Testament Christ being of the Tribe of Judah was only allowed in this particular section of the Temple, he was in the court, being of the Tribe of Judah and not of the priesthood he could not go into the building but as an ordinary citizen and a teacher he was allowed in the court section of where I am now standing and this text indicated that he went into the court and he saw that they were merchandising here instead of a house of prayer and a house of service to God and he drove out those who were desecrating the Temple.  And then he said as recorded in verse 19 Jesus answered and said unto them “destroy this temple and I will raise it up” The Jews then contested with him forty and six years was this temple in building but the next text says he spake of the temple of his body.  Now I want you to see that this is very significant in the interpretation of the Temple area that Christ spoke of this temple as his body.  Now you recall that I indicated to you that all the material of the sanctuary was supplied by the people God said “let them make me a sanctuary” so the people did build the sanctuary in the Old Testament with their material and with their craftsmanship under the leadership of Bezaleel and Aholiab.  Now Christ said I am that Temple and inasmuch as the people supplied the material for the Temple so did the people supply the flesh and blood and personality of Christ the Saviour.  Now you will find this material listed in the book of Matthew, the first chapter and the first verse says “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the son of Abraham” and then begins to describe and delineate and describe the flesh from the time of Abraham right on down through until the coming of the Christ.  So I want you to see when it said “let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them” that the people of Israel actually supplied flesh and the blood and the personality of Christ through the sacred lineage described in Matthew the first chapter.  So what was true in the material building that they supplied the material and the craftsmanship so in the sense of the coming of the Christ the real Temple the people, the chosen of Israel supplied the flesh and the blood and the personality of the Messiah the Christ.  So what was true in the physical aspect of the sanctuary is also true in the physical aspect of the Christ the Sanctuary of the Gospel and salvation.  Now you understand that when they put the building up and built the different apartments, and I want to go through those quickly to reveal in the Bible the structure of the temple.  Turn with me to the book of Exodus the 38th chapter and note the description concerning the entire structure of the Temple in the 37th chapter of Exodus it says and Bezaleel made the ark of shittim wood, now the ark is mentioned as being made of wood and you will see this in the last apartment of the Sanctuary you will see here the ark of the covenant that is mentioned here in the book of Exodus the 37th chapter Bezaleel made the ark of the covenant, he made it out of shittim wood. Now in the Bible wood is a symbol of the flesh of Christ.  But the structure was gold plate inside and out.  Now gold in the Bible is a symbol of the perfect character of God.  Let me turn to the book of second Chronicles the 4th chapter, I am now reading verse 20, this is concerning the Davidic Temple and the structure of the golden candlestick “moreover the candlesticks with their lamps, that they should burn after the manner before the oracle, of pure gold; and the flowers, and the lamps and the tongs, made he of gold, and that perfect gold;” so the gold metal in this apartment of the sanctuary, the candlesticks, the table of shew bread and the alter of incense and also the ark made of gold inside and out, says it was made of perfect gold. Indicating that gold is a symbol of perfection.  So Bezaleel took the gold from the people and made the ark of wood which represents the physical attributes of Christ that he inherited from the lineage of the people, as it says let them make me a sanctuary, and the people contributed the flesh the blood and the personality of Christ in the human aspect of his person.  That refers to the wood in the ark.  But Christ because of his relationship to God and the Holy Spirit built a perfect character of gold that’s why the ark was made was made gold on the inside and gold on the outside. So that if you looked at it, it would seem to be as to speak made of all gold.  So the inside of his life and his outward exhibition which the people could see was absolutely perfect according to the revelation of God.  So the ark was a type of the perfection of Christ.  Then in this particular section of the sanctuary called the Holy Place as it says in the 37th chapter of the book of Exodus he built the different pieces of furniture and put them in their positions And the 37th chapter of Exodus and verse 6-7 “and he made the mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half was the length thereof, and one cubit and a half the breadth thereof. And he made two cherubim of gold, beaten out of one piece made he them, on the two ends of the mercy seat;” Now the lid of the ark called the Mercy Seat is considered to be a separate piece of furniture. So that in the Most Holy place there are two pieces of furniture, the ark itself containing the Law of God and then the gold lid with the two angels is a separate piece of furniture. So there are two pieces of furniture in that particular area. Now the next he says “And he made the table of shittim wood: two cubits was the length thereof and its give us the specifications, and he covered it with gold and he built a crown around the top of it. Now we will see as we go on with the Sanctuary is very important. So he made this particular piece of furniture with wood, which represents the humanity of Christ, then he gold plated it completely so that it would appear as an entire gold table.  And this is a very very significant piece of furniture, and he put this in the Holy Place. Then the next verse says, verse 17, and he made the golden candlestick of pure gold and  beaten work made he the candlestick.  Now I want you to see that every little aspect of the Sanctuary has very special meaning, it says that the candlestick was made out of one piece of gold, but they had to beat it and beat it and beat it into the shape that you see.  Now this refers to the fact that Christ’s character was beaten, not only in the crucifixion but during his life by his meeting and dealing with the people the abuse he received beat the candlestick into the form that you see here and its beautiful work.  Also the candlestick was made and put in the Holy Place.  And then in verse 25 it says and he made the incense altar of shittim wood the length of it was a cubit, and then he gives the specifications of it, and he overlaid it with pure gold, so here is the piece of furniture he had reference to the altar of incense made it of wood, gold plated it so that it had the absolute appearance of gold.  So now you see in this apartment of the sanctuary called the Holy Place there is the table, the candlestick and the altar of incense, these three pieces of furniture here were made and placed in position. And then it goes on to state in the 38th chapter of Exodus, and he made an alter of burnt offering of shittim wood, 5 cubits was the length of it and 5 cubits the breadth and 3 cubits the height and he made the horns thereof on the four corners of it and they were made and he overlaid it with brass.   Now this particular piece of furniture, was made of brass where the others I have already described were made of Gold.  Now there is a very definite reason why these were gold and these were brass.  In the book of Ezra the 8th chapter verse 27 it says that copper, pure copper is as perfect as gold.  Apparently they were able to purify copper in some particular manner that made it as precious as gold.  Copper as precious as gold.  In the book of Jeremiah the 6th chapter it speaks of the people being as corrupt as tin.   Now you may know that bronze or brass for it was the same word in the Hebrew language is a combination of copper and tin.  Copper and tin makes brass or bronze.  So those two metals make an alloy that we call brass or brass or bronze, now this is very very important as you recall the text “Let them build me a Sanctuary that I may dwell among them” Now the point in the lesson that’s revealed in this altar which we will have more to say about is made of brass, copper and tin; the copper represents the perfection of Christ and the tin refers to the iniquity of the people of Israel.  So it was at this particular piece of furniture as we will see where the people unite with Christ in the first sense of Salvation.  So I want you to see that in the object lesson of the sanctuary that this altar where Christ meets the people in the unification of the one relationship with him of sinner and the perfection of Christ is illustrated in this piece of furniture called the altar of sacrifice.  The copper in it refers to the perfection of Christ and the tin in the alloy refers to the sin in the sinners.  Now the thing that is very very significant in the subject of the court and particular this altar and this is the key of the interpretation of the entire sanctuary is the relationship that the Messiah will maintain with the people.  Now imagine how close the metal of tin which represents the sinner is in relationship to the copper which is a symbol of the perfection of Christ.  Now how close are these metals in the structure of the altar of sacrifice made of brass.  You can see that the atoms of tin and the atoms of copper are amalgamated into one metal.  Now that particular factor is the saving factor of the gospel of salvation.  It is the unity that the believer maintains with Christ as depicted in the subject of the sanctuary.  Now let call your attention to this in the book of Ephesians the third chapter and verse 17. Reads that “Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye being rooted and grounded in love.”  Now the perfection of the brass reveals the love of Christ and the individual maintains a relationship with Christ as close as the molecules of tin and the molecules of copper are united and makes the person one with Christ.  Now you recall the text that I referred to in Exodus 25 verses 8 and 9 “let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them”, now the question is does Christ dwell down the street from us? Does Christ dwell in the apartment above us? Or does Christ dwell in our lives personally? Now the great single lesson of the sanctuary is that God would send a Saviour into the world called the Messiah, the Christ and he would unite himself with the human race as to become actually become their person.  Now you recall this was established by the fact that the people brought the material; the brass, the gold for the pillars, the wood and all the material for the sanctuary, the people brought it.  And I showed you in the book of Matthew that it was the flesh of the lineage of the sacred line through the Jewish people that brought the flesh, the blood, and the personality of Jesus Christ.  Now this sanctuary is showing and teaching in the Old Testament the Gospel that the Messiah would unite himself with the flesh and blood of the people and dwell among them as one of the human race.  Now this particular singular factor is the basic revelation of the Sanctuary and I want to point it out to you in the pieces of furniture as we go through to show how this in a sense is a reality so that you may have the confidence and the assurance that God is dwelling with you in a very very personal manner and bringing the gold or the perfection of Christ into your life by which you shall be saved.  And that is revealed in this building.  Now let me call your attention to the final pieces of furniture as I said they built the altar of sacrifice of brass, the next verses in the 38th chapter of Exodus says that they built the laver and put water in it and it was in the court and these were brass. Now keep in mind this was surrounded by a white wall of linen and in this area where these two pieces of furniture are of brass, the laver and altar of sacrifice relating to the fact that we are united with Christ in these two pieces of furniture in a very very special way.   Now turn with me to the book of Exodus the 40th chapter and note now when they had finished the building and set it up what took place.  I am reading from Exodus the 40th chapter, now notice what it says in this particular verse “And the Lord spake unto Moses, that is verse 1 “on the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the congregation and thou shalt put therein the ark of the testimony and cover the ark with a veil, as you see there the blue, purple and scarlet.  Then the instruction is he went through and put up all the building for the first time, set it all up, put all the furniture in which is declared in this particular chapter.  Now I call your attention to verse 9 which is very important. And though shalt take the anointing oil and anoint the tabernacle and anoint all the furniture therein and hallow it and all the vessels thereof shall be Holy.  Now I suppose Moses under the instruction of the Lord was told to get one of the vessels of the sanctuary, very likely one of the golden bowls and put the special anointing oil in it they were instructed how to make it and no one was to duplicate it.  So having filled this bowl with the anointing oil Moses was told by God to go and anoint the pieces of furniture so he very likely dipped his fingers into the anointing oil and he sprinkled it on the altar of sacrifice he would dip his fingers and sprinkle it on the laver, then he would go into the sanctuary dip his fingers in the holy oil and sprinkle the table, he would sprinkle the altar of incense, he would sprinkle the Golden Candlesticks then he would go into the Most Holy apartment and dip his fingers and sprinkle the ark and the lid, or the Mercy Seat.  Now when he had finished this very special service, notice what it said in the Bible, the pieces of furniture became Holy.  Up to that time they were just the manifestation of the art craft and the workmanship of the men who built them but now placed in the Holy Temple that God had designed and sprinkled with the Holy Anointing oil they become Holy.  Now notice in the following verses in that chapter verses 38 and 39 what took place.  And he reared up the court around about him (Verse 33) and he put up the hangings and so Moses finished the work and he anointed it, then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation and the Glory of the Lord filled the sanctuary.  And when the cloud was taken up they moved, and Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation because of the cloud that abode there on and the Glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.  Now this is a very very significant verse, after they put the building all up; the court, the Holy place, the Most Holy Place, they put the altar of sacrifice, the laver in the court, then they put the three pieces of furniture in the Holy Place, they put the ark and the mercy Seat in the Most Holy place and when they anointed it with the holy anointing oil the glory of God which was the divine power of deity came into the building. I call your attention to the text that I read at the beginning “and let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them” the moment the glory of the Lord came into the building the divine power of God dwelt in that sanctuary and dwelt in the structure that pertained to Christ.  Now let me turn to the New Testament and show you how that was fulfilled in the sense of the Gospel in the life of Christ, which we have already noted that Christ said He was the Temple.  In the book of John 1:32-33 this is the baptism of Jesus and John the Baptist having called to baptize Christ in Jordan it says and John bare record saying “I saw the spirit descending from Heaven like a dove and it abode upon him, and I knew him not but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom though shalt see the spirit descending and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizes with the Holy Ghost.  Now you notice in the same chapter, of John the first chapter it says in verse 14 “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.”  So when Christ was baptized or anointed as the sanctuary was anointed with the Holy oil and the Glory of the Lord came into the building and abode between the two angels on the Mercy Seat a divine presence of the Holy Spirit.  The people could see it on the outside of the building by a pillar of cloud above the Most Holy Place.  So it was visible to the human eye, the Divine presence of God in the building was visible to the human eye.  Now the people could not see into the most Holy Place, but they could see the pillar of cloud on the outside of the building indicating that it was over the Most Holy Place and did come into abide. So when they anointed the building with the oil representing the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit the person of deity came into this building and dwelt with the people.  So Christ is a type of the building as he said “This sanctuary is my body”, when he baptized of John, the Holy Spirit came down from heaven upon him and it says “and the glory of the Lord came into his life.”  Now this is of the utmost importance to us in the revelation and interpretation of the Sanctuary for it means the God has constructed a means, in the revelation of Christ in uniting himself with the flesh and blood of man and then the Holy Spirit came in and abode in his life is an assurance that God will dwell in your life by the Holy Spirit.  Now we find that text in the book of Corinthians the first chapter not only does this building refer to Christ but the building also refers to the person who will accept Christ and permit him to dwell in the individual’s life. Now I am reading from 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you?”  Now let me iterate that again as they set the building up as I read to you in Exodus 40 and they anointed it with the Holy Oil, representing the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit came into the building as the Glory of the Lord that filled the temple, so that when Christ was anointed by baptism the Glory of the Lord came into his person in the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Now this text in 1 Corinthians says know ye not that you are the temple of God, verse 17 “If any man defile the temple of God him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is Holy, which temple ye are.”  And that the Holy Spirit dwells in your life and the presence of God comes into your person.  Now I want you to put these three ideas together. When they built the Sanctuary with all the pieces of furniture that I have described and they anointed it with the Holy Oil, the divine power of the Holy Spirit came down and dwelt in the building.  Let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.  And that was the case.  But this building refers to the Messiah the Christ, as the people brought this material and built this temple, the people also brought the flesh and blood and the personality to build the life of Christ, and when John baptized him in Jordan the Holy Spirit came down and dwelt in his life.   The divine power of deity came into his life and he lived the perfect character of Christ.  Now when you accept him as you personal Saviour then this particular building is a type of your person and as the divine power of the Holy Spirit came down and dwelt in this building and dwelt in the life of Christ it will also dwell in your life.  Let them build me a Sanctuary, now let me refer to the fact that the building now becomes your person, so now the admonition is; let them, that is let you build me a sanctuary, now do you see the word “them”, the had the antecedent to the Jewish people of the Old Testament, now has the antecedent to your person.  Let you build me a sanctuary that I may dwell in your life.  So as it says in Ephesians the 3rd chapter vs 17 “that Jesus may dwell in your life by the power of the Holy Spirit”.  So you see that this building reveals the gospel in the Old Testament, 1,500 years before Christ come in the fact that God would come down and dwell in human flesh and he did it by the person of Christ.  So in as much as humanity contributed to the life of Christ and the Jews fashioned his person, his flesh and his blood and personality with their character and the Holy Spirit came and dwelt in his person.  Now Christ makes himself available to us that when we accept him as our personal saviour he by the power of the Holy Spirit will come and dwell in our life.  And so shall be fulfilled the statement of the book of Exodus the 25th chapter “Let them build me a Sanctuary that I may dwell among them” and so is fulfilled in the revelation of the Old Testament and the New Testament in the person of Christ.  The meaning of this building and its apartments as a revelation that God would come down and dwell in human flesh in the person of Christ and then transfer that relationship of dwelling into your person and the Holy Spirit, the Devine Power of God would come into your life and thus make you a temple for God to dwell in for now and forevermore.  Amen.