What Is The Sanctuary Index
Lesson 13 examined the longest time prophecy in the Bible, stretching from 457 B.C. to A.D. 1844. In this prophecy Daniel viewed the various empires arising: Medo-Persia, Greece, pagan Rome, and the papal apostasy. He was asked ho long it would take for this entire vision to be fulfilled. He was told 2300 years would pass before the sanctuary would be cleansed, or restored, again. We discovered there is an intimate connection between Daniel 8 and Daniel 9. Daniel 9 gives us the intricate details that enable us to interpret the 2300 days. As part of this prophecy, God foretold the exact year of the baptism and crucifixion of Christ. Since these events which were foretold in Scripture were fulfilled exactly on time, we have every confidence that the final event of the 2300 days, the cleansing of the sanctuary, would also come at the predicted time in 1844. In order to understand what happened in 1844, however, one needs to understand the sanctuary.
The Old Testament Sanctuary and its Services
1. What is to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days? Daniel 8:14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.  
2. What was the purpose of the ancient Jewish sanctuary? Exodus 25:8 And let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. In interpreting the sanctuary of Daniel 8:14 we must clearly understand what Daniel understood by the term "sanctuary."
3. What was the sanctuary called in the Old Testament? Exodus 26:1 Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them.

Since the Israelites were nomads in the Sinai desert at the time God gave the tabernacle to them, He designed a sanctuary for them that was portable, made of cloth like a tent. The making of this sanctuary is described in intricate detail in Exodus 25 through Exodus 40. The old Testament sanctuary consisted to three sections:

  1. The Courtyard
  2. The Holy Place
  3. The Most Holy Place

In the Courtyard was the altar of burnt offering and the laver. In the Holy Place was the table of shewbread, the seven-branched candlestick, and the altar of incense. In the Most Holy Place was the ark of the covenant, containing the Ten Commandments. Above the ark was the cover, which was called the mercy seat, that indicated that justice and mercy were blended together. Overlooking the mercy seat were two cherubim, and between the cherubim was the Shekinah glory, the literal presence of God on earth.

4. When a person sinned in ancient Israel, what was he to bring to the sanctuary? Leviticus 5:6 and he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.

When an individual in ancient Israel sinned, he brought a lamb to the sanctuary. The sanctuary was the place where forgiveness of sins was obtained for people. The sinner confessed his sin over the lamb. Then the lamb as slain on the altar of burnt offerings. The priest took the blood of the lamb and sprinkled it before the veil by the altar of incense, symbolically transferring the sin from the sinner to the lamb to the sanctuary.

One point must be made very clear: the sanctuary is the place where the sinner found forgiveness of sin in the Old Testament. The work of the sanctuary dealt with the removal of sin. This work of sacrifice was performed for the sinner every day; thus it was know as the "daily."

The Fulfillment of the Sanctuary
5. How did Moses design the tabernacle?

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

Exodus 25:40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.

Moses did not originate the Old Testament sanctuary; he made it according to the pattern shown him by God while he was on Mount Sinai.
6. Of what was the Mosaic sanctuary a pattern? Hebrews 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle for, See, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. Moses was to make his sanctuary according to the pattern of the heavenly sanctuary.
7. How many sanctuaries are there in Scripture?

Hebrews 8:1-2 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who set on 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 pitched, and not man.

Hebrews 8:3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.

Hebrews 8:4-5 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle for, See, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

Hebrews clearly indicates that there are two sanctuaries: an earthly and a heavenly. The earthly sanctuary was made after the pattern of the heavenly sanctuary. One sanctuary was pitched by the Lord (the heavenly), the other by Moses (the earthly).
8. Who is the high priest of the heavenly sanctuary? Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. The earthly sanctuary had earthly priests who ministered according to the Old Testament ceremonial system. But in the heavenly sanctuary there is only one priest, and He is Jesus Christ. He is our great high priest.
9. How many mediators are there between God and people in New Testament times? 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; In New Testament times there is no need for an earthly priestly system. After Jesus died on the cross, the high priestly ministry of Jesus was inaugurated. There is therefore no other mediator between people and God except Jesus Christ.
Jesus Fulfills the Sanctuary Service

The ministry of Jesus Christ fulfills this ancient Jewish sanctuary service. When the Old Testament sinner came to the sanctuary to receive forgiveness for his sins, he stood in front of the altar of burnt offering and confessed his sins over the Lamb. In the most holy place in front of him were the Ten Commandments. Sin is the transgression of the law. The sinner had broken that law. He confessed his sin over the lamb. the lamb was slain and its blood spilled before the veil behind the altar of incense, symbolically transferring the sin from the sinner to the lamb to the sanctuary.

Two altars stood in direct line between the sinner and the broken law: the altar of burnt offering and the altar of incense. The priest must perform a work at both of these altars of cleanse the sinner of his sins. Thereby the sinner was cleansed, forgiven, and restored. The only way the sinner could be forgiven was for the priest to perform the work at the altar of sacrifice and the altar stood in direct line between the sinner and the broken law.

The three parts of the sanctuary - the courtyard, the holy place, and the most holy place - indicate three phases in the ministry of Jesus Christ. In other words, one phase of His ministry is symbolized by the courtyard, a second phase is symbolized by the holy place, and a third phase of His ministry is symbolized by the most holy place.

10. What phase of Christ's ministry is symbolized by the work of the courtyard with its altar or burnt offering? Hebrews 9:26 For them must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Jesus, by His death upon Calvary's cross, fulfilled the old Testament sanctuary's courtyard. He became the sinner's sacrifice. He became the Lamb of God. No longer do people need to offer a lamb to God when they sin. Jesus, the Lamb of God, has died for our sins. The courtyard symbolizes Christ's work of sacrifice, and the altar of sacrifice symbolizes the death of Jesus Christ. The sanctuary was God's pictorial presentation of the plan of salvation for Israel.
11. How does Jesus fulfill the ministry of the holy place? Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Upon His ascension, Jesus Christ entered into the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, where He intercedes for us. Hebrews 9:24 says He appears in the presence of God for us. The work of the holy place symbolizes Christ's work of perfect intercession. The altar of incense in the holy place represents Christ's life of perfect righteousness. His perfect life is added as precious incense to the prayers of the saints as they ascend to heaven (Revelation 8:3,4). Now look at the diagram below
The courtyard represents Christ's work of sacrifice, the holy place His work of intercession. The altar of sacrifice represents the death of Christ; the altar of incense, the life of Christ. Again, notice that the two altars stood in direct line between the sinner and the broken law. What we actually see is that Jesus Christ stands between the sinner and the broken law. The sinner is reconciled to God through the death of Christ and saved by His life.
12. How does the apostle indicate that individuals are restored to a right relationship with God? Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies. we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. These two aspects of the ministry of Christ as foretold in the sanctuary have been fulfilled by Jesus. He is the only one who can fully restore a person to a right relationship with God.
The Day of Atonement
While the work in the courtyard and the holy place was performed every day, the work of the most holy place was performed only one a year. thus, while the former was known as the "daily," the latter was known as the "yearly." The work of the Day of Atonement in the most holy place symbolizes the third and final phase of the ministry of Jesus Christ. Let us examine the events of this, the most solemn day in the life of ancient Israel.
13. What happened at the sanctuary on the Day of Atonement? Leviticus 16:29, 30 And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: for on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. The purpose of the Day of Atonement was to cleanse both sinner and sanctuary. The cleansing of the sanctuary was achieved through the work of the most holy place.
14. How many goats were chosen on the Day of Atonement? Leviticus 16:5 And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.  
15. Who were the two goats for? Leviticus 16:8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. One goat was chosen to be offered to the Lord, the other was to be a scapegoat, or as the margin reads, it was for "Azazel." Azazel was another name for Satan. thus, on this particular day two goats were chosen, one for the Lord and one to represent Satan.
16. What happened to the Lord's goat? Leviticus 16:9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD'S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. The Lord's goat was sacrificed on the altar of burnt offerings.
17. Where did the priest sprinkle the blood of the Lord's goat? Leviticus 16:15 Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, 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: The mercy seat was located in the most holy place. (Please notice that this is the one time each year when the high priest went into the holy of holies.) Rather than sprinkle this blood upon the altar of incense, this blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat.
18. The sprinkling of the blood of the Lord's goat on the mercy seat was to make atonement for what part of the sanctuary? Leviticus 16:16 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. Note again that the high priest is in the most holy place, but he is making an atonement for the holy place.
19. Why does the holy place need to be cleansed? Leviticus 16:16 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. The reason the high priest went into the most holy place was to cleanse the holy place because of all the sins of the children of Israel that had been transferred there all year long through the work of the holy place.
20. What happened to the live goat when the work of cleansing the sanctuary was complete? Leviticus 16:20, 21 And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness.

Please note that the live goat is never slain. The live goat only enters the picture when the work of the sanctuary is complete. Thus it is shown to Israel that Satan is finally responsible for sin. This removal of sin from the sanctuary is the final act of the sanctuary service. Now it is shown that Satan is the responsible agent in sin. Notice that Satan's goat is never slain. Only Christ bears the penalty for sin. In order for Christ to remove sin from the sanctuary, a work of judgment was needed. That is why this service in ancient Israel was know as the day of judgment. It was the most solemn day in the history of Israel, because the Israelites knew that their sins were being removed from the sanctuary.

The sanctuary has symbolized for us three phases in the ministry of Christ:

  1. His work of sacrifice completed on the cross.
  2. His work of intercession begun when He ascended into heaven and sat down on the right had of God and continuing until He comes the second time.
  3. His work of final judgment, dealing with the removal of sin. This is symbolized by the work of the most holy place, the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary. Thus the cleansing of the sanctuary refers to Christ's final work of judgment in the heavenly sanctuary.
21. When does Christ perform this final phase of His ministry, the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary? Daniel 8:14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

At the end of the 2300 days, or in 1844, Christ began that final phase of His ministry, the judgment. This judgment must occur before the second coming of Christ for three reasons:

  1. It is only logical that judgment occur before Christ comes, because when He comes He divides the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:31-34). How could Christ perform judgment after He had already come and taken people to heaven?
  2. In the Day of Atonement service in the ancient Jewish sanctuary, if someone happened to remember some sin that he had not confessed, he could still bring that sin to the sanctuary on the Day of Atonement, and it could be sent into the sanctuary and removed that very day (Leviticus 16:4, 23-25). This indicates that grace was to still be available to the sinner while Christ's final phase of ministry was going on.
  3. At the end of the work of the Day of Atonement, the live goat was sent into the wilderness. Later we will study in Revelations 20, where we discover that Satan is sent into the wilderness for 1,000 years following the second coming of Christ. The pre-advent judgment is all over when Satan is sent into the wilderness. Lesson 15 will give you grater details of this pre-advent judgment that began in 1844.

Thus, since 1844 Christ has been conducting the final phase of His ministry as taught in the ancient Jewish sanctuary - His work of final judgment. While Christ conducts the judgment, He still intercedes for us; He still continues the work of the Holy Place even while He conducts the final judgment. Praise God, our High Priest is not only our judge, but also our Intercessor - He stands for us (1 John 2:1).

22. Are you happy that God has provided the wonderful plan of salvation pictured for us in the ancient sanctuary service?