Introduction to the Book Sanctuary Pure and Simple Index
  • As Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation, made his way into the land of Canaan, he erected an altar at Shechem, at Bethel, and at Hebron. He understood that sacrifices offered upon these altars were a type of the Redeemer who would one day die for his sins. However, it was not until the Lord told him to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice on mount Moriah that Abraham realized the significance of the sacrifices being offered. Christ, the true sacrifice, spoke of this experience as follows: "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad" (John 8:56). This was something Abraham shared with Isaac, and which was subsequently passed on to Jacob through Isaac. However, it would take more than word of mouth to communicate this great truth to the more than one million people coming out of slavery in Egypt. (9)
  • To serve as an object lesson to the children of Israel, God told Moses to build a Sanctuary that would teach them the great plan of salvation. When using the word 'Sanctuary," I am referring to the entire structure, including the court and the tabernacle. The sanctuary was a portable structure attended to by the Levites, and carried by them when Israel traveled from place to place (Numbers 1:50). Everything in the life of ancient Israel revolved around the Sanctuary and the services conducted in it. It was the center of the Jewish economy and the hub of activities during their forty years of wandering in the wilderness. Fittingly, the Sanctuary was erected in the center of Israel's encampment. Three of Israel's twelve tribes camped on each of its four sides and the Levites camped immediately around it (Numbers 1:52; Numbers 1:53). This provided it tremendous protection. (9-10)
  • The primary purpose of the earthly Sanctuary was to provide a place for God to dwell among His people. As God told Moses on Mount Sinai, "And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them (Exodus 25:8). 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 25:9). The earthly Sanctuary was of divine origin, for it was carefully patterned after God's true Sanctuary in Heaven. (Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 8:2). Although the earthy Sanctuary was made by the hand of man, God provided Moses with a very detailed blueprint for its construction, and the construction of everything associated with it. Every component of the Sanctuary had a specific function, and was to be made exactly according to God's pattern of the heavenly Sanctuary. No guesswork or supposition was left to the mind of man, not even in the minutest detail. Every element of the Sanctuary had its place and its purpose, and nothing was to be misplaced or overlooked. This would ensure that the symbolism of the Sanctuary, which was to serve as an object lesson for the people, would typify the truths being represented. Just as God told Moses, " let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them" (Exodus 25:8) 1500 years later, the Son of God would once again dwell with mankind: "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). In the Sanctuary, Israel was to learn of the sacrifice the Messiah would make for their salvation. Through the Sanctuary services, they were to see the love, mercy, and character of God. (10)