Sanctuary Study Notes
Audio files of the Sanctuary Study (starts at 03-03-18)
(Join us LIVE each Sabbath)
Below is a raw 265 page DOCX file that I converted to HTML without formatting between 03-03-2018 to 03-07-2020.
ďThat I may dwell among themĒ
Exodus 25:8-9, "And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. 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."
Why was this sanctuary so important to the Lord? Why was it so important that He gave Moses specific instructions on how to build it? Absolutely every board, nail, cup, types of metal, wood, fabric and even the use of specific colors were all laid out before Moses in a perfect pattern by the Lord that Moses was instructed to follow to the letter. And it was so important to do exactly as the Lord said that any sidestepping at all meant certain death.
When we look forward to our day and see how mankind has fallen so far on this sin sick world, we can see that we have been separated from our heavenly Father who wants nothing but the best for us. He truly is a God of the most pure love ever displayed in all the Universe. But His plans for us and His instructions on how to live our lives have been clouded by the enemy of souls who tempts us to walk away from the only true and perfect love mankind has ever known.
Genesis 1:27-28, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."
Literally all of Heaven took an intense interest in creation and especially that of the creation of mankind in that we are plainly made in the image of the very God those angels worship. And no, please donít misunderstand my words here. Those angels do donít worship us; but they do know how special we are and how much love has been shown towards us by the very God they do worship.
Let me ask you a question. Have you ever punished your child for a wrongful act they did one day? And when you sent that precious child of yours to their room to be alone, did it not cut at your heart deeply at times during the day that you could actually weep? Didnít you want to be with your child even though you knew they were in the wrong and had to be taught a lesson between right and wrong? Well, our heavenly Father loves us even more than we can contemplate, and even though we have sinned against him, as your child did against you, He too wants to be with us to let us know everything will be ok while we suffer on this sin sick world. That is what the sanctuary is all about. This is why He said ďlet them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among themĒ that day. And better yet, not only does He dwell among us; He shows us how to find our way back to His loving arms through that same sanctuary.
The basic definition of a sanctuary is a place that is set apart for holy use. It is also defined in just about every dictionary on earth to be a place of refuge or even asylum for those in grave danger to life and limb. It can even be defined as a way of being comforted and even protected from something that is harmful to our own existence. This is why they use the same term when they speak of sanctuary cities in America. Although they use it merely as a political term, they claim itís to protect the people they so desperately want in the nation.
And just so you know, some of us even have places we call sanctuaries in our own homes. A place we can get away from the distractions we often encounter day by day. It could be a back room wherein we can go to be alone in Christ, a walk in the garden or even a special place in the woods near our home that we go to whenever we need to be at peace in the Lord.
Truth is however, and I hope to illustrate this in detail in this study series, even though many may not know this; all of us as babes in Christ stepped into the sanctuary the very day we met and accepted Jesus Christ as our eternal Lord and Saviour. Just as the sanctuary that was brought to light at Sinai marking a new era in Israelís relationship with the Lord, so was it when each of us walked into a new era in our own lives when we began to walk with Jesus Christ. In fact it says in Ezekiel 11:16, "Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come."
After all, is it not written in 2 Corinthians 6:16, that ".. 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."
This is also why Jesus said what He said when in prayer the very night he was arrested to be taken off to be ridiculed, unjustly tried and then taken to the very cross where He was to die for each of us. He said in John 17:21-23, "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." And Hebrews 2:11 says, "For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,"
We all need to learn to walk with Him in this very small number in these last days, and we do so with a sanctified purpose and therefore desire to be with Him where He is and where He leads us for it is also written in Hebrews 11:16, "But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."
And that city is New Jerusalem that the apostle John spoke of in Revelation 21:2-4 when he stated, "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 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. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
Salvation is a wonderful thing as every new and old Christian can attest to. Seeing how our God is one that is perfect in every way, and His love cannot be explained by even an angel, a love that proceeds and quite frankly originates from Him so as to declare salvation is the exact opposite of damnation; and itís not just a life or death thing either; brothers and sisters. Everything Satan offers in the way of sin, from the most vulgar to the most addictive and miserable cannot hold even a small flickering candle to that which our Lord has prepared for every true Christian. For ďas it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." -1 Corinthians 2:9.
But, just as obedience to Satan brings on every putrid and self-destructive vice that leads to despair, disease and finally death; obedience to our Lord brings on every blessing he has outlined in His Word. In other Words, when we as Christians say He is Lord of our lives, we better mean it! If not, we will be only fooling ourselves into thinking we are Heaven bound. Obedience means to walk with Him in purity. And there are not to be found any gray areas in that truth because even though you can lie to yourself, you cannot lie to the ever living God that reads the heart of the repentant souls striving unto perfection just as easily as He does the reprobate seeking to become forever destroyed.
As was prophesied long ago about the remnant of her seed; this is what we strive unto; the perfection that is the righteousness of Christ. This is why we keep His Sabbath, refuse to lie, or even steal from others just to name a few. Sure, at times it seems we do this on our own; but thatís only because of the love we have within for Him, and that same love compels us to run after His heart as did David of old. Deep truly calleth unto deep and so as we walk day by day we are moved to emulate the footsteps of perfecting in Christ and the best way to discover His will for us is to walk into that Sanctuary that is still standing in New Jerusalem as we speak.
Still, as He promised so He does. He actually helps us to love Him and He even helps us to keep His law. Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 3:2-4, "Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:" And as David said long ago, we echo today. Psalms 40:8 says, "I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart."
That all being said; were you aware that devotion to the Lord thy God as well as a desire to deny the flesh was a prerequisite in preparing the tabernacle of the Lord that we the obedient bride of Christ thousands of years later are actually studying each Sabbath day? It says in Exodus 25:1-2, "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering."
And then it goes on from there to list all that was needed to build the perfect house of the Lord as per the pattern given unto Moses on the mountain. And there was a lot of different items in that list just as there are a lot of different things we need to do to perfect our walks right now. Are we not declared to be that same tabernacle today? Do we not need to prepare for the coming of the Lord just as much as any soul that has walked this earth even from back in the days of Adam? And so just as they readied themselves for the day of atonement each year, we ready ourselves for the coming of the Lord.
In this Sanctuary study series that we will begin in 2 weeks I hope to go through all that the Word of God speaks on concerning the tabernacle of the Lord so as to help all of us, myself included; discover where it is we lack in the perfection we strive unto because all of us want to not only make our Father smile, most if not all of us want to partake in that latter rain and I see no better way to prepare for it than to see exactly what the Sanctuary means to the people of God today.
I also solicit your prayers as I study and pray each time I go into this very intense study waiting on the Lord to give me the understanding and utterance necessary to explain what His Word says on all this. Because some of this truth is very deep and I cannot help but to see the urgency of the days we live in and unless we look into the greatest prophetic utterance ever spoken by our God in Heaven that not only speaks of His Son as our Saviour but also speaks of how His people will be in New Jerusalem, all of us will fall far short of the perfection we strive unto. And so it is my hope that we study the Sanctuary in the way our Father in Heaven would have us study it so as to be prepared to not only stand in New Jerusalem, but to do so as His Sonís perfect undefiled bride that is soon to go forth to glorify Him like no other people on earth has ever done or will ever do.
The key in all this has to be the fact that we must be 100% willing to do whatever it takes to not only perfect our walks, but to gain the wisdom, faith, courage and discernment that will help us to teach others that the Lord sends our way so they too can do the same. But we must obey Him in every statement of His Word if we are to gain the fruits needed to go forth.
If we refuse or forget as they did at the base of mount Sinai long ago, we may learn the truths His Sanctuary speaks of just as anyone else with the ability to learn the basics can do; but without a contrite heart that desires to really obey Him, we will never be able to apply any of this truth to our lives so as to see Him glorified and find our way home to His loving arms in the promised land.
No unwilling offering was ever received in the building of the temple back then, and it must be the exact same way with His obedient bride today. It must be a gift of pure love, and this doesnít just mean giving of self in the service of the Lord as is the great commission of every soul saved by Christ; it also has to do with tithing and love offerings because without them the temple never would have been built.
And no, itís not about the amount either. It doesnít matter if youíre rich or poor. All you need to be is obedient. After all, He is the one that declared this truth, not mankind. When He said 10% He meant 10%. And as for the love offerings; that was to be given in any way you can. And again, itís not about the amount. He knows all about what we can and cannot afford on an individual basis.
Do you remember what Jesus shared in Mark 12:42-44, 2000 years ago? He stated ďthere came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living."
She gave her all and that is what we must do. She loved the Lord so much she trusted Him to provide for her needs on a day by day basis and this is what we need to do. After all, when it comes time to where we cannot buy and sell, how easy will it be for us to trust Him then if we donít learn to trust Him now?
I must say when I read about her faith back then and how the Jews gave so much in the building of the temple when Moses asked them to help perform that work of glorifying the Lord, I was blessed deep within when I saw how Moses actually had to ask the people of God to stop donating when that which they sent was enough to build the Sanctuary. Check it outÖ
Exodus 36:5-7 says, "And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much."
And by the way; the Lord was the one that provided all the riches in the first place to each and every individual that participated in that building because as we all know; the Jews spoiled Egypt when they left to worship the Lord in the desert. Since the Lord never changes, He is the one that provides what we have on a daily basis as well. And so He will most assuredly help us do the work that needs to be done today as well; no matter what the task is before us, it will be done. But only by His obedient children; and it will only be as far as it is needed.
Can you imagine the money hungry church leaders of today doing it the way it was done back then? The preachers of filthy lucre in these last days would never ask the people to stop sending in the money even after they receive one hundred times more than they need for whatever project they are planning. The fact these so called pastors have mansions, a fleet of cars and private jets proves that hands down because they donít need those mansions, jets and fleets to do the work.
Still, there are honest people out there even today that I am sure would do it the proper way if given the opportunity to do so for their Lord. After all, our Father in Heaven has always had a people on this earth that loved Him in every generation. And I must say being a part of this church family makes it easy to see how this is true throughout every generation including our own.
And did you notice, the Lord really does provide as promised because when the Jews gave unto the Lord to build the temple back then; they gave from what He previously gave them when they left Egypt in the same way He gives everyone of us what we need to live each and every time we receive a paycheck. Contrary to popular belief via those wolves who keep declaring the New Testament states the tithe ended, we know better as we read the Word with the Holy Spirit within guiding us into all truth.
But it never ends there with the Father. Itís one thing to give unto to the Lord that which He has given us. All of His people that tithe with an obedient heart know all about this. In fact, this is one area wherein He allows us to test Him. It says this in Malachi 3:8-11, "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts."
Absolutely every Christian I know, myself included, have all experienced the same thing. What I mean is, when we finally discovered the promise of our Lord in the tithe, all of us have seen His hand move just as He said it would move. Sure, it may be hard to see at first, but if you watch closely you will see His promise come to light.
For example, when I first discovered I must tithe from what the Lord already gave me just as the Jews did after He gave them the spoils of Egypt, I noticed something right off. First I noticed how the wolves on all the pulpits that I used to listen to over the years made it very difficult for the flock to see the promise fulfilled. What I mean is, the preachers of filthy lucre kept reciting the passages in Malachi over and over again and as they got richer and richer but it was also obvious that the people giving the tithe didnít seem to get raises in their paychecks, find money in the street, or even blessed with an unexpected inheritance. And so they would often quit tithing thinking itís all a farce. But notice this. The Lord said through Malachi that day that He would ďrebuke the devourer for your sakes.Ē So itís not always about a windfall of cash when you tithe.
I saw something happen after I tithed the very first time. Even though I tithed I didnít see any money fall from the sky like the prosperity preachers would always claim. Still, the Lordís will was clear to me when He spoke from His Word regarding the tithe and so I decided to tithe the 10% He revealed and as much as I was able with the love offering which wasnít very much at all. But as I saw with the widow with the two mites, itís not about the amount. Itís about the obedient act of the child of God.
Within 30 days I noticed something very amazing. No, I didnít get a raise, I didnít find a wad of money in the street, and no one died leaving me an inheritance. But I did notice the old riding lawn mower we had been given as a gift didnít break down that month. I also noticed that the usual unexpected expenses from everything to a kid needing stitches, the refrigerator going on the fritz, to a motherboard or some other peripheral frying in my computer didnít happen. At the end of the month I actually had money left over, even though I didnít get a raise! I still had the same sized paycheck, I still had all the children living at home, the lawn still needed to be cut, but I wasnít late with any of the bills and we had a few dollars left over to boot. I realized that before being obedient to His will regarding the tithe I was unable to keep my bills paid on time, but after tithing, which means I now only had 90% of my paycheck to work with each month, I wasnít late on any bills and we always had extra money left over!
My point in all this is, he will provide for us just as He had promised to do for all those obedient to Him over the last 6000 years! He will prevent the devourer from taking our money from us with a flurry of unexpected expenses each month. And with all that in mind, after the Jews were done giving all they did to build the temple, the Lord gave to them again. How so you ask?
Exodus 31:1-6, "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee;"
So get this.. the Lord calls Moses to the mountain. He dictates His desires for a temple that His people must build for Him. But long before they were to build it, He gives them the means by which to do so by moving the Egyptians to give them all their gold, silver, brass as well as other necessities for the temple. But it didnít end there, the Lord them grants those that are ďwise heartedĒ or obedient as we would call them today, He granted them the wisdom on how to shape metal, cut timber, carve stones or even work in tapestry.
We saw the Lord doing as He promised to the point His people are blessed in many ways so as to do His will in perfection. And so I have to ask how is it the churches of the world today never seem to gain such blessings?
Sure, they may have the riches, the large buildings, TV air time and all sorts of other worldly things. But nary a one of them has the wise heart the Lord requires to grant them the real blessings He intends to give His people. Such blessings can only come when the child of God is obedient to His written will. And when we are obedient, He gives us all we need to build the perfect temple for Him to dwell in. "Öfor 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. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
Think on this as well. When you pray donít always concentrate on what you want in life. Would it not be better to just ask the Lord to grant us the courage, faith and wisdom to live each day in accordance with His will whether itís part of our plans or not? Should that not be first and foremost in our hearts and minds every moment? We are His little sanctuaries are we not? We declare in prayer that we believe in what He is doing in our lives and since we believe in Him to finish the work He has promised to do. Is it not written in Philippians 1:6 that we can be ďconfident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:"
As His Sonís bride we should be more concerned in helping Him build what He is wanting to build in us. And so when things donít go your way, donít get upset, just be happy that He has revealed to you His will. Because if it doesnít work as you planned that day, then you have the proof you need to know that it wasnít His will in the first place. In other words, if it doesnít go your way itís because it wasnít His way. This can help us all to learn by our mistakes so as to become the people He prophesied we will be.
And as we all know, obedience is key to building the temple. Be it the one built with stone in ancient days, to the one built in the heart of His obedient bride today wherein the living God of all creation can gain eternal entry. He is our God and we are His people. And so allow Him to use you; and all that He has given you to build that temple that will not only see Him glorified, you will discover it also reveals Him as God to those seeking the peace we have in Jesus.
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The Sanctuary ďEntering the CourtĒ
As I go through this study series I plan to share two views to the Sanctuary, its furnishings and the services. One view would be that of Jesus walking into the Sanctuary and doing all that was prophesied about Him doing and the other view will illustrate how it is when the Christian walks into the Sanctuary and does as prophecy says they will do.
And so, as we move into the Sanctuary courtyard, you will see that it represents the earth and the prophesied work of Christ Jesus when He came to walk on earth 2000 years ago.
If we look at the Sanctuary from above we will see a large courtyard surrounding the Tabernacle that we will get into later. That courtyard houses the holy and most holy place which we also discuss in more detail later.
The courtyard itself was one hundred cubits long and fifty cubits wide. Curtains of fine twined linen hung from pillars of brass all around closing in the courtyard in a rectangular shape. The gate of the courtyard was twenty cubits wide and was in the center of the east end of the courtyard so that everyone walking into the court would be putting their backs to the rising Sun in the east; of which Satan obviously moved the Pagans to worship and thanks to the all the Pagan holidays that surround the movements of the Sun we see he still does so to this day; hence the reason for the Sunday Sabbath of the long prophesied Babylonian Vatican of Rome. The curtains that formed the door of the court were of ďblue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen wrought with needleworkĒ as Exodus 27:9 -18 describes, but we will look into the reasons and biblical definitions for the colors later on in the series.
For now letís look at when rebuking Satan after he moved Adam and Eve to sin, it says in Genesis 3:14-15 that ďthe LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." In other words, a Saviour was promised unto mankind so as to overcome the sin brought on by the serpent.
As all of us know, mankind has always found out by experience the result of refusing to walk in the path of obedience as it is outlined in the Word of God. Jesus said in John 14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." So just as there is only one Tabernacle there is only one path to Paradise restored and that is the path of obedience. And it is also declared in Psalms 77:13, "Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?"
Thatís right, if you look at the Sanctuary it was actually the Gospel message way back then.
This amazing covenant of grace was first made with man in Eden when directly after our first parents fell into sin. The Lord declared a divine promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head as we just saw in Genesis 3:15. To all of us on earth this covenant of the Lord granted us the free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. This covenant also promised eternal life on the condition of obedience to God's law, and so even though they sinned a grievous sin, they still had hope. And yes, Adam and Eve knew all about the law of God for it also states in Psalms 103:20 that ďhis angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word."
After all, how could Satan be cast from Heaven to end up in that tree to tempt Eve had he not transgressed the law of God long before ending up in that tree? So the basic reality here is, if the angels understood the law of God before mankind was in the garden, so did Adam and Eve. Basic reality is, if there was no law, then why were they cast from the garden? And being cast out they obviously needed a Way by which to return to that garden. And as we know, Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, because no man cometh unto the Father, but by Jesus Christ the Son of God.
And so Christ must come as Saviour to all of mankind and that means He must be become a man as the prophecy of His birth to a virgin fulfills so as to stand on the earth. Hence the reason for the courtyard in the Sanctuary that depicts Christ entering the court or as the prophetic symbolism defines; Christ entered earth to be that promised Saviour that will crush Satan once and for all.
And so, Jesus came to earth, but not before being prophesied many times to actually come here. The first of which was when he put the serpent in his place and declared his just deserts for what he did in that tree. But if you look into the Word you see over 450 prophecies about Jesus not only coming to earth, but they outline many things He will do once He gets here. And the Sanctuary itself is one huge prophetic utterance and this is why I believe the Lord moved me to do this study. As close as we are to the end now, we as the bride of Christ need to be very clear about all that was prophesied so as to better combat all the false prophecies flying around out there.
Adam lived nearly a thousand years, and we know he offered sacrifice on a regular basis with the hope of a coming Redeemer because his sonís followed his lead in how they offered sacrifice. Yes, Caine did so in an evil manner, but thatís a whole nother sermon and so I wonít get into that here. My point is that Adam, Abel, Seth, Methuselah as well as Noah and his sons offered sacrifice but they too never saw the Lord returning before their deaths. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob also offered sacrifice and they too died before Jesus came as the perfect sacrifice for their sins. But that doesnít mean He was never to come.
Just to mention a few of the hundreds of prophecies, we read in Numbers 24:17, "I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth."
As for that Sceptre, it says in Micah 5:2, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."
This is how the Wise Men knew to come to Bethlehem and they made the connection to the Star as well for it was penned in Matthew 2:2 that the wise men asked, ďWhere is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him."
But before all that occurred 2000 years ago the prophets spoke of Messiah, and all went to their graves without seeing Him. Daniel declared Him ďMessiah the PrinceĒ and Jeremiah even spoke of the mothers who ďrefused to be comfortedĒ when Herod went on a rampage seeking to kill Jesus as a child. And so, day after day and century after century the sacrifices of the patriarchs, prophets and high priests were offered up with the hope of the coming Messiah. All of that was allowed so as to ready the people for the coming Messiah, but the people of God grew weary instead. So much so that by the time Jesus actually did step into the courtyard itself, they didnít recognize Him. And yes, that too was prophesied.
Isaiah 60:1-2 says, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee." But again, they grew weary and as Ezekiel 12:22 prophesied, "ÖThe days are prolonged, and every vision faileth?"
And John 1:10-11 confirmed that "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not."
Still, the fullness of time had come. Paul declared in Galatians 4:4-5, "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."
Jesus had entered into the courtyard just as prophesied and exactly on time as the prophet Daniel declared and so all is as it should be, even to this day. And so now that He has done as He promised up to this point; how does His walking into the courtyard compare with our personal walks into that very same courtyard?
As we know, Jesus has always declared and reiterated as such in John 14:6 when "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." And since we have seen how He walked into the courtyard by being born of a virgin and then going forth to proclaim His Fatherís love. As Christians we must do the same.
After all, is it not written in John 16:13-14, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." And it has been recorded even before the apostles were given utterance regarding the way our God guides us as David His king echoed the Word of the Lord in Psalms 32:8 by saying, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye."
As we learned last Sabbath, the courtyard had a gate on the east so as to cause the people of God to enter in under obedience in a way that declares they deny the god of this world. Walking into the courtyard meant you had to place your back to the Sun that rises in the East of which the Pagans of old and most Christians today still embrace as a god thanks to how Rome has infiltrated all the churches. Do they not worship on the Pagan day of the Sun each week? And have we not seen the pictures of the SDA General Conference Letterhead wherein they have people worshipping the Sun?
Notice the picture I just posted in the room.
Now notice a historic artistís rendition of Ball worship in
the next picture.
They look identical do they not? And so this is one reason weíre studying the Sanctuary as it confirms just by the eastern gate how the Lord commands His people to put their back to the rising Sun. Since most people in the government approved churches donít study the Sanctuary, none know how this is part of how the obedient people of God obey their Lord.
And so like the ancient and obedient people of God who made an open and public statement to all looking on, we the remnant of her seed today also make an open and public statement by worshipping our God on the seventh day Sabbath, and in so doing we turn our backs to the day of the Sun as it is embraced by all churches today. And so the act of walking into the Sanctuary as Christians locks down both the command and the obedient act in the symbol of the eastern gate.
But notice this as well about that gate. Exodus 27:16, "And for the gate of the court shall be an hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework: and their pillars shall be four, and their sockets four."
Since we know our God never does anything without a specific purpose, what is the reason for all these colors? The plan of salvation, which the Sanctuary prophesies in every nook and cranny is far too important not to look into every aspect of it. After all, is it not written in Psalms 12:6 that "The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." And since he tries every word that means ever spoken word in symbol and reality are perfectly placed in His Word for a reason and so we must hang on every Word he shared.
That being said, that means every nail, type of metal, fabric, stone and even the colors used will have a purposeful meaning in the building of this sanctuary. Keep in mind, we worship a God that makes the trillions of cells in our body interact with each other for a reason and so He would have no problem doing the same in His Word. And just so you know, the linen used was white. It says this in Revelation 19:8, "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."
So right off we see the white used in the gate is a symbol of purity and righteousness. The color blue as most of us already know means obedience in prophecy and this is why the Lord used blue sapphire stone to carve the ten commandments in long ago. Exodus 24:9-10 says, "Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness."
I in my heart do believe even though I cannot find a Bible verse to back it up, that this is also why our sky is blue. It helps us to always remember the Law of our God by simply looking up towards His throne as we pray. In fact, it says in Numbers 15:38-39, "Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:"
Next we see the color purple, which is actually the color of royalty as well as the color that signifies someone being obedient even unto death. Remember when they mocked the Lord Jesus right before they crucified Him? John 19:2-3 says, "the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands."
But how does purple represent obedient unto death? In prophecy the color red or ďscarletĒ as it is called here represents sacrifice as well as other symbols of prophecy. When speaking of our Lordís sacrifice it says in Revelation 19:13 that ďhe was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God." That being said, what happens when you mix red and blue together? You get the color purple! And so the blue represents obedience and the color red represents the death and as we all know and declare openly that Jesus died for our sins in that He was perfectly obedient unto death, it was proper that those evil Roman soldiers placed that purple robe upon Him that day.
Now that we know what the colors mean, why are there four pillars in this gate? Hebrews 10:20 says, "By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;"
That veil was held up by four pillars just as His Gospel message was declared by four apostles, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Yes, I know some of you just smiled because you just saw the connection here. It is an amazing thing to see, and so I repeat, this God that controls and designed each of the trillions of cells in our body that work together to keep up alive is very capable of designing a Bible that intertwines and works together in perfection so as to not only discover His will for us, but once found it helps to keep us alive for all eternity.
Moving on I feel the need to mention that as the number seven indicates completeness in the Word, hence the Sabbath was on day seven directly after the Lord completed His work of creation, the number four holds significance as well. If we study further into this we find the number four is repeated often in the Sanctuary. There are four ingredients in the shewbread, four corners to the earth as the Word calls it or North, South, East and West as we call it today, four ingredients in the incense as well as the oil in the Sanctuary services, and of course the fourth commandment. As we continue in this series we will see many instances wherein the number four plays a part. But for now, let us look a tad deeper into the gate, which as we know has always been a position of authority in all ancient cities.
Deuteronomy 16:18 says that, "Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment."
If you were ever asked to appear at the gate of a city you knew something was up. It could be good news or bad depending upon the judgment put forth at the gate. That being the case, would it not be wise to have this same type of gate in the courtyard of the Sanctuary? Upon entering in, you the Christian commit an obedient act of putting your back to the world so as to face the throne of God in the Most Holy place of that same Sanctuary. And keeping His law is a big part of this obedience as we know. So much so, some of the ancient palaces would actually inscribe the Law on those gates so as to better illustrate the importance of it. To this day some Jews actually place the Law of God upon their own doorposts. When speaking of the Law, Deuteronomy 6:8-9 says, "And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates."
When I was first married I got a job putting windows in a highrise of Chicago that was being converted to condos. Most of the residents in that highrise were Jewish, and I noticed they all had a silver wheat leaf hanging on their doorposts. So I inspected one of them closely and found out it had a secret compartment in it. When I opened it I found a very long scroll in extremely small lettering in Hebrew that seem to go on forever. I learned later that it was the Ten Commandments as well as all of the ordinances of Moses. Thatís how important the gate is. And I believe they would have the meetings at the gate so that it would make it far easier to cast someone out of the city who was in sin by simply closing the gate on them.
Now notice this about that gate. The Lord had them set up the cities in a way wherein they could be a place of refuge when things happened in an innocent manner that caused deaths. Joshua 20:2-4 says, "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses: That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood. And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them."
Could you imagine them doing that today wherein everyone is guilty until proven innocent? Or in this society wherein people are sue happy to the point accidents cause people to go to jail?
This gate was to represent the gate of Heaven in the same way Jacob saw it when he was fleeing from Esau. If you recall, Jacob saw the ladder in his dream that went from earth all the way to Heaven. A gate in a city was like that in a way wherein you can stand outside the city while still in the gate and the elders could discuss whether or not you could enter into the city. The gate in the city is like the ladder in how it connected the city of Heaven to the world with the fleeing child of God who sought refuge sitting in the gate hoping to gain entry. In fact, after Jacob had the dream of the ladder that connected the earth to New Jerusalem, he said in Genesis 28:17 that ďhe was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."
Notice this as well in how this ladder is described in both the Old and New Testament. First, this is how Jacob described what he saw in his dream. Genesis 28:12, "And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it." Now notice what Jesus says in John 1:51, "..Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man." And remember what Jesus also said in John 10:7, "Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep." And common sense tells us that a door is the same thing as a gate.
So as is obvious, Jesus is the gate that the Christian comes to when they first seek refuge from their sins. In fact it says this in Psalms 118:19-20, "Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD: This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter."
So as the gate was the only way to gain entry in to the sanctuary court, so is Jesus Christ the only way to gain entry into heaven or even into the righteousness of Christ; which is the perfection we all strive unto. Again, Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me." For a very valid reason. In fact Jesus also said in Matthew 7:13-14, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
As we know Jesus said he would be with us all the way till the end, we can have perfect faith that as we walk with Him those angels Jacob saw running up and down the ladder are doing the same for us day by day.
But, none of this is possible without first entering into the gate. This is why Jesus constantly pleads with us to "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) or, ď..Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19:14)
We have all done many evil acts in the world and we must seek refuge in Jesus Christ and so everyone of us must enter into the gate so as to escape eternal damnation and gain salvation. And once we enter we must do as the keeper of the gate commands else we will not be allowed to stay in the city any more than a criminal can enter in or stay in any civilized society once he is caught in a criminal act. We will end up back in the bondage of sin just like the criminal in the physical prison. Isaiah 30:21 says, "..This is the way, walk ye in it.Ē
We need to remember that while we are inside the gate of the sanctuary, or claiming to be followers of Jesus Christ, we are on holy ground. And so it is important that we learn how "..to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." -1 Timothy 3:15.
The house of our God on earth is ordained and sanctified as the gate of heaven and so we must continue in our walk as citizens of heaven merely visiting this planet until our work on earth is done. This is also why we ask all those attending our online church gatherings that when we meet together in Christ we do not chit chat during church services. The same sacredness which was attached to the earthly sanctuary is the same sacredness our loving Father applies to our gatherings. For did not our Lord, King and Saviour declare in Matthew 18:20, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
Look around, we know His prophetic Word is true, right? The signs of the times confirm it. And since we know He means what He says when He says it; that means all His doctrines are truth as well. And since we also know all that is true, His Law is forever binding as well. The fact we have such fruits dictates to the seeker that we have met the keeper of the gate and we have the Holy Spirit within who then helps us keep that law and so with all that said we are citizens of New Jerusalem even as we stand on this sin sick world. And since the Holy Spirit really is with us as we gather in His name each Sabbath or when we gather for study during the week, we must act accordingly while in His presence. But, that doesnít mean we can go back into our sinful ways the minute we leave church because we have entered into the gate of the Lord Jesus Christ and so we are always to represent Him as Lord before all we come into contact with as this is our duty as Christians. They need to know who Jesus is and so if we are to be used of the Lord to bring souls into the truth we need to walk in the Lord even when we are alone and not with like-minded brethren.
Many years ago, and this was before cell phones and caller ID, I got a phone call from a brother in the faith. He had a very distinct voice and so I knew him right off when he called me on the phone. But because my phone number was only a digit or two different from the local pizza place he thought he dialed them instead and when I said hello, he knew he got a wrong number because I didnít say the name of the pizza parlor first along with the normal greeting of ďhow may I help you.Ē And so he quickly said, is this the pizza place, and when I said no to his question, before I could say his name and let him know I knew it was him, he cursed and hung up the phone.
The reason I said that was to illustrate how some people leave their Christianity at the gate and live the way they want in the world. I knew this brother well and we talked often on the phone. But every time I saw him at church, or on the phone he displayed a very Christlike persona. But sadly, when he thought no one from his church family were watching, his worldiness was allowed to come forth without an bridle to hold it back.
James 1:26 says, "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain."
There are many ways to look at this passage to see the truth in it. But for this context it is obvious. He thought his religion was solid within his heart and displayed it as such when Christians were around him, but when he believed he was on his own, his true colors came forth proving his religion was based on his vanity. He only wanted to be seen as a Christian to hide his shame as so many do today.
Hopefully, the sermon I shared not long after that cut his heart because I recall that experience with him on the phone that day moved me to preach a sermon regarding how even if we were in a different State, country or even on the moon for that matter; we must walk as a Christian no matter who we think is watching because our God who sees us standing at the gate is watching every move we make each and every day of the year.
..reminds me of a man I saw doing very evil acts in another State I was visiting. He had no idea I was there that day. As I slowly drove by he did something before the eyes of everyone towards a young girl thinking no one from his church saw him do. But the Lord purposely had me drive by that day to not only see it but to also learn by it that He truly is watching us everywhere we go. If I, a mere man can see someone openly sin like that by chance, how easy is it for our God to see it happen even when it is behind closed door.
We have a duty to go forth in the Lord in perfect obedience so that when He calls upon us to do a work for Him He can trust we will do it just as He needs us to do it. And even if are nowhere near like-minded believers, we must go forth in Christ to help others see Christ Jesus in us. In fact, right before Jesus ascended back into the city of New Jerusalem He said in Matthew 28:19-20 that we all must, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
If one minute we declare Him Lord and the next minute we curse, look upon a woman in lust or act unchristian in any way shape or form, how can we be used of Him that stated plainly that He is with us always, even unto the end of the world?
In this study I would like to speak on the courtyard itself as well as all that is within it. First and foremost, the courtyard was an open air area that surrounded the holy and most holy place. It was one hundred cubits long and fifty cubits wide. In todayís measurements that would be around seventy-five by one hundred fifty feet.
Exodus 27:11-13, "And likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings of an hundred cubits long, and his twenty pillars and their twenty sockets of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver. And for the breadth of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits: their pillars ten, and their sockets ten. And the breadth of the court on the east side eastward shall be fifty cubits."
If you were looking from above you would see that the entrance to the courtyard was on the east end. If you divided the courtyard in two, one half for the open air furnishings and the other half for the tabernacle you would see on the east end an altar for the burnt offerings first and as you travel west towards the tabernacle you will see the laver. And then of course you would come to the tabernacle that was in two parts, the first being the holy place and the second the most holy place.
So what does all this mean? If we were to generalize, the entire sanctuary appeared as two large squares that end to end formed a rectangle. The first half had the altar and the laver and the second had the tabernacle. The first section or square represented the Lordís work on earth for our salvation and the second, where the tabernacle was represents His work for us in New Jerusalem. We will get into the furnishings of the courtyard later on, but for now what is the wall of the courtyard made of and why?
According to the Word of God the court was enclosed with what appeared like a fence of hanging fabric all around in the form of a large rectangle. Exodus 38:16 says that "All the hangings of the court round about were of fine twined linen." The Word defines the reason for this white linen by stating this about the bride of Christ in Revelation 19:8, "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."
The reason it is white is obvious as this represents purity. But were you also aware that it says this in Revelation 7:13-15, "And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them."
Amazing isnít it? Obedient Christians are being represented here in those pure white linen hangings that encompass the entire courtyard. As obedient Christians we are there before the throne of our God and he dwells among us in perfect love and we do this work on earth for Him so as to bring souls into His love.
And think on this as well. Remember how we discussed how the Lord always provides for us and how the people of God spoiled Egypt when the Lord moved the Egyptians to give them everything they needed to build the sanctuary? Our salvation is also a gift that He provides. Isaiah 55:1 said long ago, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."
Now let us turn our attention to the court pillars. The linen wall surrounding the courtyard was held up by brass pillars of the same height as the linen which was five cubits and they were spread all along the wall five cubits apart.
Exodus 27:10; 35:1 & 38:17,18 says, "And the twenty pillars thereof and their twenty sockets shall be of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver. The pins of the tabernacle, and the pins of the court, and their cords, And the sockets for the pillars were of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver; and the overlaying of their chapiters of silver; and all the pillars of the court were filleted with silver. And the hanging for the gate of the court was needlework, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: and twenty cubits was the length, and the height in the breadth was five cubits, answerable to the hangings of the court."
So as we see, each pillar was set in a socket of brass and its top was what they called a 'chapiterí which today would be called a capital. Kind of like the fancy tops we see on fence posts today, only a bit more eloquent. Just below each chapiter was a "fillet," or a silver connecting band which had hooks also made of silver. The linen wall was suspended by these hooks. And from the top of each pillar was a cord that was anchored in the ground with brass pins or stakes as we call them today to keep it all steady in the wind.
In other words, the linen that represents the righteousness of the obedient Christian is also steady because as it is written of the elect of God not even ďevery wind of doctrineĒ can move the obedient child of God off the path as they are well grounded, or staked as this linen wall was, and so are we staked into His Word. For it is plainly written in Ephesians 4:14, "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;" And so if we stand firm in Christ, we too will remain steady while in this world no matter how hard the wind of false doctrine blows.
Looking a little closer at the pillars and you will see in Exodus 24:4 that ďMoses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel."
If you read into that chapter you will see Moses then gathered the elders along with Aaron and his sons and ratified the covenant by building an altar and twelve pillars, "according to the twelve tribes of Israel." This illustrates how the pillars do represent God's obedient children. In fact it says in Revelation 3:10-12, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name."
And so we see pillars do in fact represent the obedient people of God in both the prophetic structure of the Sanctuary just as much as they do in the prophetic utterance of Revelation. How fitting it all is, seeing how the linen those pillars hold up and keep steady in the wind are in fact representative of the righteousness of the obedient saints of the Lord.
As for the total number of the pillars of the Sanctuary, which was 60, Solomon stated that the pillars represent valiant men who stand guard around the Sanctuary in Song of Solomon 3:7-8, "Behold his bed, which is Solomon's; threescore valiant men are about it, of the valiant of Israel. They all hold swords, being expert in war: every man hath his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night."
This is that courage we strive to perfect along with our faith, wisdom and love of the Lord. Once there we can stand firm no matter what so that the Lord will have a people just as He prophesied He would. All obedient Christians will stand, but some will stand as warriors in the Lord.
In other words, we know the linen represents the righteousness of all the saints; but the pillars are valiant soldiers of the Lord who wield the Sword of the Lord to fight the evils of the night. And just so you know, 60 is a multiple of 144,000. A number that can only represent the most blessed overcomers of all time in the very last days when the fear of the night is all around them. And does it not also say in Revelation 7:4, "And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel."
So again, it has to do with the obedient people of God all throughout time. But in the case of the 144,000, they stand as pillars in the church right alongside the believers. Hence the reason for the pillars that surround the Tabernacle of the Lord. The 144,000 or Gideon band as I like to refer to them as, these men and women will be exceptionally blessed in that they live only to glorify the Lord in word and in deed. They know exactly what it means to do as 1 Corinthians 10:31 commands which is, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
Getting back, originally, the Levites were told to camp all around the sanctuary; and as we know they were appointed by God Himself to have charge of the tabernacle, It says in 1 Chronicles 23:24, 32 that "These were the sons of Levi after the house of their fathers; even the chief of the fathers, as they were counted by number of names by their polls, that did the work for the service of the house of the LORD, from the age of twenty years and upward. And that they should keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the holy place, and the charge of the sons of Aaron their brethren, in the service of the house of the LORD."
And so looking forward to the end of all things we see in Revelation 7, after mentioning all the tribes that are to be numbered in the 144,000 it says they do the same duty as the Levites of old did in the Sanctuary on earth. When speaking of the 144,000 it says this in Revelation 7:15, "Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them."
Now as for the brass that is on each pillar in the form of a socket, as well as the additional five sockets for the Sanctuary door, we also see the brazen altar, its vessels and the laver were all made of brass. In fact, 9000 pounds worth of brass was used if you do the math found in Exodus 38. And so why was all this brass used?
Looking into the prophetic Word we see that brass represents great strength.
∑ Deuteronomy 33:25, "Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be."
∑ Job 6:12, "Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass?"
∑ Job 40:18, "His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron."
So, brass signifies strength and victory through suffering as the sockets were actually holding up all that linen as well as the pillars themselves.
Now notice this, Jesus Christ Himself, which as we know is the righteousness of the saints in the first place, He is depicted as the BRANCH that comes forth by four chariots between two mountains of brass. It says this in Zechariah 6:1 & 12, "And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:"
I found an ancient concordance online by a man named Alexander Cruden in pdf format that is extremely difficult to work with. But it does state this about the mountains of brass. It says they are "the immovable decrees of God; the steady execution of His counsels; the inseparable restraints on all empires which God keeps within the barriers of such impregnable mountains that not one can start till He opens the way."
And just so you know, many of the SDA pioneers used Crudenís concordance as it was found to be very reliable. Problem is today; I have yet to find a digital version I can work with. But Amazon does sell a hard cover version and so I may pick one up to add to my library one day, if in fact it can be found to be unedited by those that have been busy stabbing holes in the truth the last few centuries.
The next item we can discuss that is found in the sanctuary is the use of silver. And so why was it used? In prophecy, silver represents atonement, pure and tried words as well as redemption. So of course it would be used in the sanctuary as itís all about our redemption.
When speaking of atonement it says this in Exodus 30:15-16, "The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls. And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls."
And yes, a shekel is considered a certain weight of silver in Old Testament times for it is written in Numbers 7:13, "And his offering was one silver charger, the weight thereof was an hundred and thirty shekels, one silver bowl of seventy shekelsÖĒ
A few verses prior to this passage in Exodus it states every man 20 years old and up needed to give this shekel as a ransom for his soul unto the Lord so that no plague may come upon them. And no, this doesnít mean the women and children were not worthy of atonement, itís just that this is how the families were represented back then. The man of the house presented the silver shekel for his entire family. This is why we saw thousands of years later when Jesus visited us that when He fed the 5000 only the men were counted in the number. Itís not that they were chauvinistic against women; itís that it was how they counted families back then. The passage stated in Matthew 14:21, "And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children." And so like in the sanctuary service, the men represented their families when Christ fed the 5000.
Silver not only represents atonement, it also represents the purity of the Word of God and since the sanctuary can also be seen as Jesus Christ and His work of redemption and atonement for us, it is fitting that silver is used as we know that John 1:14 says; "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."
And so the purity of silver was used in the sanctuary to represent the purity of His Word. In fact it says in Psalms 12:6, "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."
This is why Christianity is so amazing and so powerful. Unlike the corrupted religions of the world wherein their Pagan dogma and traditions of men are based in lies, the truth that has been tried time and again still stands forever pure. As I have said so many times before. If you were to pick up a Bible at age 20, read it and then put it down to revel in sin for 20 years, you would find when you picked it up at age 40 that the purity of the Word was still intact. The same truth you saw 20 years prior never changed, not because you still had the same Bible, but because the truth as it enters the heart still holds true no matter what the soul experiences in life the previous 20 years. The truth that moved the soul 20 years ago will still move them in the same way 20 years later as long as they are honest and faithful when reading it.
But the false religions of the world constantly change their so called holy books to keep up with the changes in society and this is why we see so many strange religions today. Some Catholics even go so far as to claim that is why their church is best because they claim it never changed. But not only does historic records from that church itself proves they change more than any other religion, the Bible also calls the Roman Catholic church the mother of harlots. And so when they claim all those Protestant churches are in sin, theyíre correct, but only because their foundations are built upon mother Rome and this is why all of them have gone back into the Catholic church as a one world church as of June 26, 2000. And sadly yes, the SDA church is listed as a contributing member of that Vatican ruled church.
And so getting back, we see by the use of silver in the sanctuary which represents purity in truth, and seeing how redemption is the key to gift of God offered to every man who comes to the age of accountability that makes the wise decision to accept Jesus as Lord in His truth then it is fitting that silver would be the choice of our God to represent purity as it does. And as the patriarch Job stated so long ago in Job 22:25, "Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver."
And by the way, for those that may think as did Simon Magus who thought he could purchase the Holy Spirit, we know this is not the theology behind the requirement of the shekel. Salvation is a free gift. For it is written in Isaiah 55:1, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." The silver represents purity and not payment for salvation.
If you recall, all the silver, gold, gems and other precious items used in the sanctuary were from the spoils of Egypt. God provided all of this freely unto His obedient people including the salvation represented by the sanctuary itself. The shekel was merely an obedient act. Itís no different than the rich man or poor man answering the call of the Lord to accept Jesus as Saviour. The Lord doesnít require us to bring anything but ourselves to Him in repentance. Had it had anything to do with the stature of the man and his abilities in life so as to pay this or that for redemption then why is it stated in Exodus 30 that the rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel? I guess one can see it as an ancient altar call of sorts.
And by the way, the silver shekel was also needed for the service of the tabernacle. Numbers 7:5 says to, "Take it of them, that they may be to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; and thou shalt give them unto the Levites, to every man according to his service." And so like the tithe, the half shekel was nothing more than a test of obedience upon those claiming the Lord as their God. None of us gain Heaven simply because we tithe. Obedience isnít just about repenting of sins. Itís also about obeying Him in the present after we embrace Him as Saviour each and every day we are allowed to trek this world. Tests like this come in many different ways from the Lord.
The half shekel was a test of obedience. At the same time it wasnít considered voluntary offering as were other love offerings are. The half shekel was a command of God. In fact a refusal to pay the half shekel showed the person was willfully disobedient in the same way those that refuse to tithe are willfully disobedient and therefore had to be excluded from the privileges of the sanctuary, which then placed them in direct judgment.
Now do you see why to this day when people claiming Christ Lord that donít pay the commanded tithe how they have no real prayer life and constant financial issues as well as other burdens in life? And this includes the rich who donít think they have financial issues. Ask them about their constant fear of losing money, and anger problems when loved ones ask for financial help from them. The promised peace is not upon the disobedient. Truth is, even Jesus Christ Himself paid the "tribute moneyĒ when He told Peter to go fishing for it.
This entire shekel, or drachma coin as it was called in Christís day of visitation, was the atonement money required in the Temple. And no, Jesus didnít need atonement or even baptism as we know. He never sinned. Jesus was obedient even here because as He told Peter that day, ďit becometh us to fulfill all righteousness." -Matthew. 3:15.
Each and every time the people of Israel were numbered they were required to pay the atonement money so as to remind them of the salvation offered in the Lord. Did we not just read in Exodus 30:16 that ďthou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls."
Now notice thisÖ Numbers 1:46 says that ďthey that were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty." Thatís 603,550 men. If you add up all the shekels needed to make the chapiters and sockets for each pillar it would come to a rather nice sum of silver. It says this in Exodus 38:26-28, "A bekah for every man, that is, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for every one that went to be numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty men. And of the hundred talents of silver were cast the sockets of the sanctuary, and the sockets of the vail; an hundred sockets of the hundred talents, a talent for a socket. And of the thousand seven hundred seventy and five shekels he made hooks for the pillars, and overlaid their chapiters, and filleted them."
If you look into what this would cost in todayís silver prices it would not be that much. In fact at the start of the end of days in the mid 1800ís silver was comparatively low. I looked online and found it to be Around $10 to $11.00 for an ounce of silver at the start of the 20th century. Or the year 1900. But a shekel comes to almost exactly 1/3 of an ounce and so it would be about $3.00 for a shekel in 1900AD.
Each pillar was about 29.5 shekels in weight. That would be $88.50 for each pillar, or $5310.00 for all 60 pillars at the silver prices of the year 1900. And I just checked the market for silver today and itís going for $16.65 an ounce, so as we see itís still no massive sum but it is far greater than what was given for our Lordís betrayal.
Each pillar was about $29.5 shekels in silver and Jesus was sold for 30 pieces of silver by Judas. A supposed leader in the church. I find it amazing that each pillar was crowned with almost the exact same sum of silver that Judas was paid to betray our Lord. But then if you think about it; that fits perfectly with the fact that all of us have betrayed our Lord by sinning against Him and so we too partook in that betrayal. Yet, because of the righteousness of Christ and His perfect love and forgiveness we are still represented in the sanctuary by the linen that is held up by those pillars.
And notice this as well. It says this in Zechariah 11:13, "And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD."
It was prophesied that Jesus would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. But notice how low Judas thought of our Lord when he received such a paltry sum. What I mean is, when speaking of the payment deserved for the life of a slave that was killed by an ox, it states this in Exodus 21:32, "If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned."
So it is obvious Judas thought very little of his offered gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. But as we see by the prophecy of Zechariah and the weight of each chapiter upon the pillars of the sanctuary courtyard, it is exactly what was prophesied to happen.
Let us go into detail this Sabbath day about the altar of burnt offering. As we learned earlier, when you walk into the courtyard of the sanctuary itself the brazen altar or altar of burnt offering as some call it, is the first thing you see. And itís fitting that itís the first thing because, have you ever heard of the term altar call? Yes, most Christians have. And since we have already heard the calling from the Lord to come to Him, we entered into the courtyard through the eastern gate to accept the sacrifice He did for us 2000 years ago. And so why is there an altar here; and what do all the items on the altar mean to us as a Christian and at the same time what do these items mean to Jesus our Saviour?
Do you remember what John the Baptist said in John 1:29? It says that "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Do you remember what happened in the Garden of Eden when our first parents sinned against the Lord by disobeying His command regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Because they sinned they were banished from the garden that very day. But, we have a loving and tender Heavenly Father who does not growl at us at every chance He gets when we fall off the path of obedience as Satan has most of the churches claiming. No, He is a loving and forgiving Father. But just as He was pretty clear about His command regarding that tree in the garden 6000 years ago, He is just as clear about how we gain access to salvation after committing all the sins we committed. But before going there, how did the Father decide to allow us to gain salvation?
When speaking of the Lamb of God that John says will take away our sins so that we can gain salvation, it also says in Revelation 13:8 that this ďLamb (was) slain from the foundation of the world."
This brazen altar that is first seen by walking into the Courtyard as a show of surrender to the Lord has a fire in it; hence the name altar of burnt offering. This fire is of the Lordís own kindling. Which means prophetically speaking that He made the decision to ignite that fire in the altar at the foundation of the world. What I mean is, when Adam and Eve sinned, we see this recorded in Genesis 3:21, "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them."
That my brothers and sisters is the first mention of death in the Holy Scripture; and even though the Word never says it cover to cover, I have to believe the Lord killed a perfect little lamb that day. The reason I believe this is because John called Him the Lamb of God when He saw Him approach for baptism the very day the prophet Daniel predicted, the Jews sacrificed the lamb as an offering for sin throughout their history, and Revelation 13:8 clearly says that Jesus is ďthe Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
And when I think of what Abel did that pleased the Lord but angered Cain, it further convinces me the decision to die for our sins as the Lamb of God was represented in Eden by an innocent little lamb the Lord killed to gather the skin necessary to make coats for Adam and Eve. It says in Genesis 4:2 that "Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground." And then later we see in Genesis 4:4 that ďAbel Öbrought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:"
And the fat thereof as itís called here is that same as the fatted calf in the parable of the prodigal son. In other words, itís not an overweight lamb. It was especially healthy and pure as well as without spot or wrinkle.
I canít help to wonder how many times Adam told Abel all about the perfect offering for his sin in the Saviour our Lord as well as the promise Jesus spoke of wherein He was going to come as the ďLamb of GodĒ who would be the perfect sacrifice for sin thousands of years later. And so I must declare I do believe the clothing Adam and Eve were given from the Lord were made of lamb skin. After all, the man made fig-leaf apron they tried on their own to cover up their spiritual and physical nakedness that we now see in the many paintings throughout history can never cover the nakedness of our sin.
One can also see how the artists that paint such paintings with fig leaves show that like Cain they were not able to discern the Lordís truth in the matter. They prefer to paint the fig leaf showing a man made fix for their sin rather than the pure and spotless remedy for sin in Jesus Christ which was represented by the Lamb of God who promised to take away our sins. Had they known it they would not have used fig leaves any more than Cain would have brought what he tilled form the ground had he known. They would have painted lamb skins on Adam and Eve.
Strange thing is, the Bible clearly says it is lamb skins that God granted them in that garden, and nowhere do you see the mention of God making aprons out of leaves, yet most of the paintings of old as well as today show the figs leaves proving two things. #1, Satan via his bride in Rome tested the lie by having church members painting and even carving the fig leaves in statues and #2, those that donít read Bibles never noticed the lie and therefore proved to Satan they would follow his lie before the truth of the Lord.
Basic reality it, the only spiritual garment that can cover our shame is the perfection in the righteousness of Jesus Christ our Lord and so again, seeing how John declared Jesus was the Lamb of God and Abel offered up a lamb for his sin, it doesnít take a theologian to see why the lamb is used in the sanctuary service upon that brazen altar.
And the fact Abel offered up firstlings of his flock shows he understood the importance of the lamb sacrifice as well. He didnít offer up the weak, old or sickly sheep. No, he offered up the firstlings. After all, is it not written in Exodus 12:5 that when bringing an offering for sin "Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:"
So as we walk towards the brazen altar we see that it is a lamb "without blemish, a male of the first year" that is being offered on the altar for our sins. It must be a perfect offering that has no blemish because nothing else will do. This is why fig leaves fashioned into aprons made by man can in no way cover the sins of Adam and Eve. No sacrifice was present in that offering any more than was there any sacrifice offered when Cain offered up the fruit of his garden. In other words, how can what you pluck from a tree which never causes it to die when you pluck it, how can that be an offering for sin when the Bible clearly says in Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." I mean you could literally pluck more than half the leaves off a tree without killing it as far as I know.
Another thing I noticed by contemplating this last Sabbath was how itís amazing to me how the children of Adam and Eve reverberated a before and after version of themselves on this one, but then thatís how parents effect children. You can never really know with certainty how a child will grow up and so as parents we must always be extra careful in how we raise them. I know I didnít do too good of a job in my early years as a dad and so I am determined to do my best now for them by praying multiple times a day for my children as well as be there for them when they need me and my wife and I make sure that the parents in our precious church family who may need to learn from our mistakes can learn not to repeat them by our testimony to them.
Donít get me wrong, I want my children to be home with me in Heaven just as much as the next man does. And so I donít look at them as sacrifices unto yours or anyone elseís children. But mine are all grown up now and past the age of accountability and they have minds of their own wherein I can only suggest things unto them. They have to make their own decisions good and bad now. But when it comes to our grandchildren and the young ones in this church family, my wife and I will do all we can to help their parents have a better chance at raising them right and much better than we did in the years we failed.
Adam and Even thought to cover the nakedness of their sin by using a bloodless offering, and in this case fig leaves; and so Cain did the same this as well. But then the Lord revealed to Adam and Eve the better offering of the blood sacrifice and so Abel followed the better path in his offering.
And being the firstling of the flock and without blemish as Jesus who is and always will be the ďfirstborn among many brethrenĒ (Romans 8:29) the offering made by Abel and every obedient believer from that day forward that came into the sanctuary to offer up a lamb as an offering for sin was accepted of the Lord as an obedient child of God worthy of all the blessings that come being as such. Because seriously, as the fig leaves proved, there is nothing mankind can do on his own that will remedy the death that comes forth due to sin. And so itís a brazen altar and not a pot filled with black dirt, peat moss, fertilizer and some fruits and vegetables that we see when we walk into the Courtyard of the Sanctuary. Itís a brazen altar filled with fire.
As we know, that lamb without blemish represents Jesus Christ who was without sin. It declares Jesus Christ who from His first year, and even before His birth and from the foundations of the world was dedicated by our Heavenly Father to be the Saviour of the world even before Adam and Eve sinned. And just as the lamb sacrifice on the altar was to be completely consumed, and this is a fire which came out "from before the Lord," as per Leviticus 9:24, which is of our Lordís own kindling, which then confirms our tender and loving Father not only accepts the sacrifice, He literally shares in the sacrifice because that Lamb is also His only begotten Son. He is just as much involved in this as is His Son due to the promise made, and so are we involved due to our breaking the covenant made with Him which is our sins.
And just so you know, and as it was to be in the sanctuary, that promise of salvation is never removed and so that fire "shall never go out," in that altar. In fact, it say in Leviticus 6:13 that "The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out." And so it will burn day and night, representing continual atonement, continual mercy, and continual acceptance for the repentant sinner. After all, did not Jesus say as He was ascending right before the eyes of the apostles 2000 years ago, ďlo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.Ē - Matthew 28:20
This means every morning and every evening, day after day, year after year, at the declared hour for worship, the priest in the sanctuary places the lamb on the altar and all of Israel bows in prayer with their faces toward Jerusalem accepting the sacrifice as the offering for their sins. In fact, even though they mostly forgot this 2000 years ago when the true Lamb of God arrived; and they were unable to do any of this the 400 years they were slaves in Egypt, when they did this day after day they were unknowingly accepting Jesus Christ as their sacrifice which then meant they were dedicating their lives to live for Him and serve Him.
And again this was done daily for it was written in Exodus 29:38-39 that ďthis is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually. The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even:"
Picking up from last Sabbath, we need to now ask why does the altar have to burn whatever is offered up on it? The burning not only declares we surrender all because once burned nothing is left but ash; but when someone becomes a follower of Jesus Christ they are declaring their faith in the fact that He really is the Lamb of God and all their confessed sins are now considered forever gone.
But hereís where the faith hits the heart with the big question. Are we willing to give Him all our sins which include the sinful things we cherish to be burned on that altar? And keep in mind that He purchased those sins at a very high cost. His blood was spilled and He literally died for those sins we committed so that we donít have to die in the fires of hell. And so ask yourself the question, or as I like to remind us all from time to time, when was the last time you took stock in yourself? What do you still have on the shelves of your soul that you think are well hidden from prying eyes of your brethren that you love to keep in your life so that whenever you get a craving you can just open that closet and yank a bone or two off that skeleton on the shelf?
What I mean is, are all your bad habits still cherished in some way? Do you still have some old DVDís you like to watch when no one is home? Do you have a hidden stash of tobacco, drugs or alcohol hidden somewhere that if needed you can delve into when the craving hits you? If you do, then you have not given your all to Christ by allowing it all to burn on the altar which then means Satan still has 100% permission to be in your life in any way he can. He may back off at times to make you think youíre doing better and so give you a false sense of spiritual security, but the fact of the matter is, if you havenít allowed all the burn to ash on that altar, then you along with Satan will burn to ash in the executive judgment known as hellfire.
Jesus gave His ALL, He gave His entire life for you. If there was anyone on earth that most people would agree would be better to stay alive so as to heal people and spread love in His words it would be Jesus. But He chose to die for you as the perfect Lamb of God so that you can make it to His kingdom. Heís not asking you to be shredded to pieces by a Roman cat-o-nine tails filled with bones, sharp metal and pieces of broken glass. Heís not asking you to have them nail you to a cross and let you suffocate for hours until you die. He did all that for you. All Heís asking is that you give up those things you know for a fact His Bible declares to be sinful. Because unless those sins are burned up in that brazen altar then you never really confessed them so that Jesus can take them away in the first place and youíre only fooling yourself now because the God of all creation reads your heart and knows if you are serious or not. No getting around that. You can lie to yourself, but there is no way possible to lie to your God. Even Satan, who at one time was the most glorious and powerful angel found out the hard way that once he started to sin and refused to repent, no matter how crafty he was even the superintelligence of an angel could escape the prying eyes of the living God.
Just so you know how this all works. Before the lamb was offered in the sanctuary as a sin offering to be burned upon the brazen altar, the people of that day would place their hands upon the cute little lamb and confess all their known sins into the lambís precious little body so that once it was killed, the sin they cherished then dies with the lamb. But if you refused to honestly repent and confess those sins into the lamb back then, or in todayís world confess them to the true Lamb of God in real repentant manner with a contrite heart, then Jesus actually never died for those sins because you never asked Him to. They were never really placed on the altar because deep inside you had no intention of giving them up 100%. They are still on the shelf in your soul. And so when it comes time for your judgment to be decided, you are the one that will have to die for them because Jesus was never asked by you to be the one to die in your place. This is why He is called Saviour. He literally saved you from eternal damnation and death, but He can only do that if you accept the gift of salvation He offers and the only way to pick up that gift is to put down your sin. Jesus plainly said in Matthew 6:24, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
You may think you can hold sin and blessings in the same hand, but according to the Bible that speaks of the will of the very God you seek to please, no man can serve two masters. And if you think you can, then you declare God to be a liar and Satan to be the one with truth.
Now yes, you may confess to Him and you may even decide never to do it again. But if the DVD, drugs, magazine, tobacco, alcohol, or even your mistressí phone number is still tucked away somewhere just in case Christianity isnít working out for you, then those sins are still in your life and then you must die for them just as Annaias and his wife Sapphira died when they held back a few items they claimed were given unto the Lord.
Romans 6:16 is clear. It says, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" And we also know Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
The altar of burnt offering not only represents the Lord Jesus Christ giving His all when He came as the Lamb of God who took away all our sins, that brazen altar is there to depict the obedient child of God that accepts Him as our Saviour when we confess all our sins to Him so as to destroy them for all eternity. And the only way for it to work in the same perfection it was offered wherein Jesus gave His all, we too must accept that gift of salvation by giving our all to Him.
Still, this offering means a lot more than just giving up our sins to be burned on the altar. Romans 12:1-2 says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
This means as obedient Christians we must surrender all on the altar. And by all, that means all our time, all our talents, all our physical powers, all our income, all our affections and the list goes on. Yes, some will see that as a bit odd and even fanatical; but as a fulltime minister I see it as the norm. And even before I went fulltime I could see it as an easy task working a 9 to 5 job. As the sanctuary denotes and as Christ proved when He gave His all for us, all must be laid on the altar for the Lord to do as He sees fit. And giving your all doesnít mean quit your job to be a minister of the Word. It can for some, yes. But you can still give your all on the job when you stand obedient where the Lord placed you in life.
How many Testimony Sabbaths have we heard where brethren testify of how the Lordís hand moved when they stood obedient to His will while on the job. You donít have to preach or teach at work, and itís not advisable you do so if you want to keep your job. You werenít hired to preach and youíre not being paid to preach. Do the job you were hired for, but at the same time do so in a way they see Christ in you. Just being an obedient Christian can move others to Christ. How often have some been affected by us when they see a smile when expecting a frown?
When we truly love the Lord with all our heart, and all our soul, mind and strength it most assuredly affects people around us. Is that not the ďfirst and great commandmentĒ as Jesus described in Mark 12:29 & 30?
Basic reality is, anyone can walk into the courtyard of the sanctuary and claim Jesus Christ is Lord. In fact, billions have done that in our generation alone Iím sure. Problem is, most stop when they get to the altar of burnt offering because they realize what it means to surrender all and like Annanias and Sapphira they just arenít ready to do that. Yes, they are all too happy to accept the price Jesus paid for their sins. Who wouldnít be? But most are unable to give up even the slightest sins when they get to that altar because to place them there means to really allow them to burn to ash and that means 100% surrender and sadly, most cannot do that because they still love their sin which at the same time means they really arenít Christians deep in their hearts. Jesus stated in the sermon on the mount that we all need to "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." - Matthew 7:13-14.
So again, anyone can walk into that courtyard as Isaiah 4:1 depicts most do, but that alter is actually the real first test and step in obedience towards real and absolute salvation. It is hear the Lord watches us very carefully to see just how serious we are. Nothing but complete dedication can be acceptable to a God who gave up His only begotten Son who in complete dedication gave His all for us. Why is it that no one seems to realize how Jesus gave up everything for them, but at the same time they cannot do the same for Him? And Heís not even asking most of us to die a torturous death for Him. All Heís asking is obedience, and most who have done that over the centuries have gone to good Christian graves. And yes, as some will see in our day, some will also die as martyrs. In either event, itís a blessed life to walk in obedience as well as a good death to be obedient even unto death because both cases the child of God will find eternal life.
Jesus stated clearly in Matthew 10:38, "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me." Jesus also said in Luke 14:26, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."
And no, the hate He speaks of here is not hatred towards our loved ones as some who twist the Wor din their minds so as to lend credence to their self-deceived decision to ignore it. Because He also echoed a statement He gave to one of His prophets by the name of Micah when He said this in Matthew 10:35-38, "For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me."
So itís not that He teaches we must hate our families. He means when those closest to us stand against His written Word and demand we do so as well, we must hate their stance by taking our position with Him. You can still love someone with a pure heart while at the same time hate the way they live. And being in the last days as we are, most of us here know exactly what it means to have loved ones come against us for our faith; myself included. And so I still love my loved ones just as much as the next guy. But I abhor the strange lies they proclaim as the Gospel and the sin they proclaim as a normal Christian walk.
And so as the prophet Micah said under inspiration of the Lord thy God in Micah 7:5-6, "Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house."
Last Sabbath we discussed the altar of burnt offering in some detail. That altar as we know represents the lamb sacrifice wherein Jesus was prophesied to give His all, and so it is on this same altar we are to allow our all to burn to ash. Just as that altar took all the sins we had that were confessed into the little lamb that was offered on that alter 2000 years ago to take away the sins of the people, we must also place all our sinful desires on that same alter to allow Jesus the Lamb of God to taketh away the sins of the world. That is the only way we can be reconciled to God by the death of His Son. We literally acknowledge His death as the means by which our sins were taken away; "For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 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. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." - Romans 5:7-11.
When we place our all on that altar of burnt offering we become one with Christ. Hence the term atonement; which we will discuss later in this study series as it is the main reason for the sanctuary itself. But just so you know, James 4:4 asks, "Öknow ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." And Colossians 1:21-22 says that ďyou, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:"
That is what accepting Christ as Lord and Saviour does. We truly can be cleansed from all unrighteouness but we need to do our part. And so not only do we walk into the Sanctuary declaring we have made the decision to follow Christ Jesus as Lord, when we came to that altar of burnt offering we need to do exactly as the altar symbolizes. The Lord never makes a promise He canít keep and so we must keep our promises as well to burn up all that is ungodly in our lives. And when we do we can take Him at His Word and know we are saved, and since His promises are more solid than any promise made by man, we can trust Him to do exactly as He declared He will do for His obedient bride. But, we need to do exactly as He commands to receive the blessing else nary a promise is ours for the taking.
Ok, now that we know all about the reason for the altar of burnt offering and why it was placed first in the courtyard as you enter into the Sanctuary, or accept Jesus as Lord as the walking into the courtyard depicts; letís take a closer look at the altar and the items used during the offering placed upon it.
Exodus 27:1-8, "And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits. And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass. And thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basons, and his fleshhooks, and his firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass. And thou shalt make for it a grate of network of brass; and upon the net shalt thou make four brasen rings in the four corners thereof. And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the net may be even to the midst of the altar. And thou shalt make staves for the altar, staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with brass. And the staves shall be put into the rings, and the staves shall be upon the two sides of the altar, to bear it. Hollow with boards shalt thou make it: as it was shewed thee in the mount, so shall they make it."
A cubit was about the length of a manís forearm back then. They measured it from the middle fingertip to the elbow. That would be about 18 inches in todayís world. And yes, this measurement would be far different before the flood of Noah when men were much larger, but thatís a whole nother study.
So, 18 inches multiplied by 5 gives us 90 inches. Or seven and a half feet square. To get a picture in mind as to that size, a sheet of plywood at any lumber yard is 4 feet by 8 feet. So, double up two sheets and subtract 6 inches all around and you have a rather large square box. Not only was the length and width of the altar 7.5 feet, it was also 7.5 high. That means a ramp was most assuredly part of the construction so as to allow the priests access to the altarís interior so as to not only place firewood in it, but to both stoke the fire as well as place the sacrifice for sin upon the altar itself.
As it also stated, the box was constructed as a hollow box lined with boards made of shittim wood overlaid with brass. That of course made a 7.5 foot pit for the fire wood and the brass prevented the wooded boards from burning. On the four corners of this huge box were also four horns made of brass.
In the middle of the height of the altar was the grating of brass for where the firewood would sit. That way the ashes could fall below as they burned. On the four corners of the grating were brass rings so as to place the staves in them when carrying the altar from place to place because keep in mind, this sanctuary was to be portable as they wandered the desert for 40 years.
Just above the grating was the compass of the altar. The Word of God doesnít say what this compass was for, and no itís not a NSEW type of compass we use today. It could probably be better said that it encompassed the altar half way up like the grating but on the outside of the boards. I believe this was there to allow the priest a place to walk around the altar so as to place the wood as well as the sacrifice within the altar. Kind of like the wrap around porches you see on some homes in the country now-a-days. But I am sure it was only wide enough for two men to walk it side by side.
When you look at the feet of the priests walking this compass one can actually see the correlation between the feet of Jesus Christ as He is depicted in Revelation 1:15, which says "his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace;" And so the prophetic referencing is clear in that the priestís feet were on that brass compass that was connected to the grating that held the wood that burned as a furnace when consuming the sacrifice inside the altar.
As is obvious here, all the vessels for the altar of burnt offering were to be made of brass. Some of the vessels were used for washing the sacrifices; others were used to receive the blood that was to be ministered in the sanctuary as well. The brass shovels were of course used to remove the ashes from the altar that fell from the wood under the grate. The brass flesh-hooks made it much easier to handle the lamb sacrifice, which was often cut up in large pieces. The firepans were used to hold the sacred fire because again, the altar, like everything else in the sanctuary was portable as so the firepans were needed to carry the fire from place to place as they traveled those 40 years. Keep in mind they didnít have matches or lighters back then and so it was important to carry fire with you.
Now notice this about brass. Because as is apparent, there was a lot of it used here. As a prophetic symbol, brass represents great strength. As it is stated in Job 6:12 & 40:18 it says, "Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass? His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron."
The strength of faith that was needed for Christ to do what He did for us was amazing and so brass is a fitting symbol to be used in this altar of sacrifice. But brass is also used as a symbol to represent something that came from the earth, for it is written in Leviticus 26:19, "And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:"
As I stated in my Revelation Bible study on the site, iron comes from earth, but brass comes from the rock of earth by mixing two or more metals found in the rock. As Christians we know that Jesus is the "Rock" that came from Heaven. And we also know He mixes the divine with human as the perfect Saviour. And then Job 28:2 says, "Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is molten out of the stone."
One last thing needs to be noted here. Making brass is a very painstaking process. I had no idea how difficult it was until I looked it up online. Not only do you have to literally melt rock and mix the molten rock with other metals, which means youíre now making an alloy which in and of itself is also a very difficult process. And itís very difficult because some metals are very hard to mix together and they can cause strange problems when mixing. And so you need more heat than normal to even get them to even begin to mix as well as some items from the earth to get them to mix. Worse yet, if it is not done properly and to the exact temperature and certain steps arenít taken to get the crucible where the mixing is done ready for the task, the crucible can actually crack and the entire vat of molten metals and rock would spill out and be lost. And so again, brass is not an easy alloy to make.
I went online to see how they do this and there is no way I can explain all the different steps it takes to make a single alloy. Suffice it to say it is a painstaking process to do this. What a fitting symbol of the suffering of Christ who when He chose to die for us knew that every aspect of His life, His message and even His time on the cross had to all be done absolutely perfect for this all to work out for each of us. If Jesus didnít do this all in perfection, Satan would have cracked the crucible or vessel of salvation had he the chance to do so. That is why the enemy of souls did everything he could to make what Jesus was doing for us very difficult to say the least. Right down to the Pharisees that Jesus longed to save that were wagging their heads mocking Him and tempting Him to come off the cross to prove He was truly their King and Saviour. Of course they would never succeed in getting Him off that cross, His love for them and not those nails is what kept Him on the cross. But the fact they couldnít see it and hated Him so much tore at His heart very deeply. In fact Spirit of Prophecy does declare He died of a broken heart.
Now letís take a look at the boards of the altar.
As we know the altar was made "hollow with boards." In other words it was a hollow box made out of boards standing on end. Looking into prophecy we see this about the wood used in the altar. Jeremiah 5:14, "Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them." And in 1 Corinthians 3:9-15 it says, "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."
Now, if we do a good work in life, we can see it as gold, silver or precious stones, But we can also do a work of wood, hay and stubble which we all know can be burned up easily by any fire. When we do a good work in Christ it will stand firm and even follow us for eternity as we see by the way the works of patriarchs and prophets of old stand firm to this day. In fact, if it wasnít for them we wouldnít be having this study right now. Their works were like gold, silver and precious stones placed upon the foundation of Christ and when the fire gets near to such things they cannot be easily burned up as wood, hay and stubble can.
Still, our work is often of wood, hay and stubble because we all make many mistakes as even some patriarchs and prophets of old have done and so only the good works that glorified Christ are going to be protected. Still, some of their wood, hay and stubble was also shared in the Word by the Lord so as to teach us the things to do and not to do and so this is why we see the brass wrapped around the wooden boards that surround the altar of burnt offering wherein the flames of trial and sacrifice are so close by. Sure, we may make mistakes in life and as we go through life itís as if we walk in a furnace of affliction; but that brass is always there or as Jesus stated long ago in Matthew 28:20, "Ölo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
And by the way, when we look at how the grating in the altar of burnt offering wherein the sacrifice is placed so as to be consumed by the flames is the exact same height as the mercy seat in the most holy place, which we will discuss much later in this study series, we see how the Lordís judgment and mercy are equal in perfection; which is very much unlike mankind who has a tendency to favor or disfavor people from all walks of life.
It stated in verse 1 of Exodus 27 as we just read at the start of the study that the altarís height was 3 cubits. Then it said in verse 5 that the grating will be in the ďmidstĒ of the altar so as to both hold the wood and the sacrifice as well as leave space underneath to catch the ashes. Since the altar is 3 cubits in height, that means the midst of that altar would be 1.5 cubit.
Now notice this quickly, and like I said we will discuss the mercy seat in more detail much later on, it says this in Exodus 25:10, "And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof."
So now we know the ark of the covenant is 1.5 cubits in height. Now notice this, Exodus 25:21 says, "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."
So, if the ark that holds the Law of God, the budded staff of Aaron and the pot of manna is an open box of 1.5 cubits, and then the lid which is called the mercy seat is placed upon it, then the mercy seat is the exact same height as the grating that holds the sacrifice upon the altar of burnt offering. This clearly means our Godís mercy is as high as His justice and so as David stated long ago in Psalms 85:10, "Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other."
This is also why Isaiah 16:5 says, "And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.Ē
Isaiah 30:18 also says, "And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him."
And since we know Christ is our perfect example, we can now understand why it says this in Zechariah 7:9, "Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:"
After all, since the Lord has long suffering towards you when you fall, why shouldnít we as His children display that same mercy? Remember what Jesus said to the Pharisees that day? He said this in Matthew 23:23, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." And James 2:13 says, "For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment."
It states clearly in Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
That verse alone shows the perfection of judgment and mercy meeting or ďkissingĒ each other in a way only a God can do it. This is what the children of God know and this is what the lost need to hear. So many think Godís mercy far supersedes His judgment. In other words, many people claim that everyone goes to Heaven because our God is a God of love and being as such he would never throw anyone into hellfire. In fact I just did a video the other day wherein the Pope literally got a bunch of little boys and girls to comfort a crying boy who was concerned for his dead Atheist father. The fake love of Rome made that little boy believe his dad was in heaven by claiming the loving God of Heaven would never damn his loving dad. But the Word of God is perfect and so is His judgment. No getting around that. His Word speaks of hellfire and so right off the bat the lost deny His written Word for the excuse they make up in their own minds that they will gain Heaven because God loves them. But sin cannot be allowed in a perfect kingdom because if it was, Heaven would be no different than this sin sick world we now reside in and so His judgment has to be just as high as His mercy being that, itís just as easy to burn in hellfire as it is to escape it. We can all make the decision on our own to either follow Satan or follow Christ. Satan offers the free gift of eternal death and Jesus offers the free gift of eternal life.
Psalms 89:14, "Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face."
Just because people donít want to believe His written Word, doesnít mean the basic reality of salvation can be changed to coincide with their own faulty opinion. But because most refuse to read their own Bibles and prefer instead to learn of God from the streets wherein every false theist walks in pride spewing all sorts of lies for Satan; they have no clue that the fabricated description regarding Godís mercy were purposely designed to cause them to gain hellfire instead of Heaven. And to think most would have easily escaped damnation had they just opened His Bible wherein mercy and grace abound in ways no man can contemplate. And so I echo Hebrews 4:16 which says, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
And just so you know, the only way to come boldly unto that Throne of grace is to open the Book penned by He that sits on that Throne of grace.
Ok, so now letís take a look at the four horns that are on the four corners of the altar of burnt offering.
But keep in mind as we look at this, horns are in fact the main weapons used by the animals that have them and some even use them as ornaments of some sort. In both the physical world as well as prophetic symbolism, horns represent salvation, kingly power, God's power, exaltation and even political strength. Just to share a few of more than a dozen or so Bible verses that define them as such, we haveÖ
2 Samuel 22:3, "The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence."
Daniel 8:20-21, "The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king."
Habakkuk 3:3-4, "God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power."
Psalms 75:10, "All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted."
1 Samuel 2:1, "And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation."
But of course the main reason for the horns is to represent the salvation of Jesus Christ as it is offered unto all on earth. When the long prophesied sacrifice of Jesus was declared in the Word to be the inevitable and heavenly divined remedy for our salvation, we see the night He was arrested that it was stated in John 18:12 that "the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him," It also stated later in Mark 15:1, "And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate." And so this is why the Lamb sacrifice is always bound before being offered up, which we will get into later of course but notice what it said about Jesus in the prophetic Words of Psalms 118:27, "God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar."
The invitation is perfect and the binding of Christ confirms He will not withdraw His promise. Those horns on each corner of the altar which point to the North, South East and West declare the same invitation of the gate with its four pillars that offered the gracious invitation to ďcome unto meĒ to all peoples around the world.
We can also see that we too must bind up our sacrifice to the horns of the altar and if we do so in faith and obedience, the power of Christ will make them acceptable unto our God and then very effectual towards our promised salvation on that very day He splits the eastern sky far and wide.
As we already learned, the brass used in the altar is a symbol of strength and endurance, and just so you know, it also symbolizes condemnation and judgment. Leviticus 26:18-20 says, "And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits."
We can even see this type of judgment upon man in modern times as well. Even the last 2000 years in fact wherein many droughts were recorded in history. Deuteronomy 28:23 says, "And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron." When the rain stops, the earth becomes incapable of producing any increase at all. What a fitting symbol for those refusing to bind their sacrifice to the horns of the altar so as to give up their sinful ways and gain the blessing of salvation. And look around, many who actually claim to be Christians all over the world also refuse to stop their sinful ways, and most of them are exposed by just seeing how they keep Sunday holy instead of His holy day of the true Sabbath and so, as 1 Corinthians 13:1, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."
And so they can preach the love filled oracles of God all they like, but if they have not the love of God in them, which means they obey Him and His Word all the way up to the binding of their sacrifice to that altar, their sermons become nothing more than sounding brass. Have you ever heard a brass gong struck? Thatís not a pleasant sound is it?