Quotations From Ellen G. White on the Sanctuary Service
Found in The Sanctuary Service, pp. 358-393
by M. L. Andreasen
The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. [the Jews considered the Day of Atonement as a day of judgment]. All need a knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest. Otherwise, it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time, or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill. . . . The Great Controversy, p. 488.
Quotations From Ellen G. White
(The student of the Old Testament sanctuary service will derive much help from the writings of Ellen G. White. The following quotations from her pen represent only a fraction of the available material on the subject).
Study of the Sanctuary Service
Concerns Every Living Soul
The sanctuary in heaven is the very center of Christ’s work in behalf of men. It concerns every soul living upon the earth. It opens to view the plan of redemption, bringing us down to the very close of time, and revealing the triumphant issue of the contest between righteousness and sin. It is of the utmost importance that all should thoroughly investigate these subject, and be able to give to everyone that asketh them a reason for the hope that is in them.—Review and Herald, Nov. 9, 1905.
Should Receive Close Examination
The great plan of redemption, as revealed in the closing work for these last days, should receive close examination. The scenes connected with the sanctuary above should make such an impression upon the minds and hearts of all that they may be able to impress others. All need to become more intelligent in regard to the work of the atonement, which is going on in the sanctuary above. When this grand truth is seen and understood, those who hold it will work in harmony with Christ to prepare a people to stand in the great day of God, and their efforts will be successful. By study, contemplation, and prayer, God’s people will be elevated above common, earthly thought and feelings, and will be brought into harmony with Christ and His great work of cleansing the sanctuary above from the sins of the people. Their faith will go with Him into the sanctuary, and the worshipers on earth will be carefully reviewing their lives and comparing their characters with the great standard of righteousness. They will see their own defects; they will also see that they must have the aid of the Spirit of God if they would become qualified for the great and solemn work for this time which is laid upon God’[s ambassadors—Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 575.
Truths Vast and Profound
The significance of the Jewish economy [the Sanctuary and its Service] is not yet fully comprehended. Truths vast and profound are shadowed forth in its rites and symbols. The gospel is the key that unlocks its mysteries. Through a knowledge of the plan of redemption, its truths are opened to the understanding. Far more than we do, it is our privilege to understand these wonderful themes. We are to comprehend the deep things of God. Angels desire to look into the truths that are revealed to the people who with contrite hears are searching the word of God, and praying for greater lengths and breadths and depths and heights of the knowledge which He alone can give.—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 133.
Not One Pin to Be Removed
In the future, deception of every kind is to arise, and we want solid ground for our feet. We want solid pillars for the building. Not one pin is to be removed from that which the Lord has established. The enemy will bring in false theories, such as the doctrine that there is no sanctuary. This is one of the points on which there will be a departing from the faith. Where shall we find safety unless it be in the truths that the Lord has been giving for the last fifty years?—Review and Herald, May 25, 1905.
One of the Principal Subjects
Such subjects as the sanctuary, in connection with the 2300 days, the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, are perfectly calculated to explain the past Advent movement and show what our present position is, establish the faith of the doubting, and give certainty to the glorious future. These, I have frequently seen, were the principal subjects on which the messengers should dwell.—Early Writings, p. 63.
Should be Understood by All
The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. [the Jews considered the Day of Atonement as a day of judgment]. All need a knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest. Otherwise, it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time, or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill. . . .
The sanctuary in heaven is the very center of Christ’s work in behalf of men. It concerns every soul living upon the earth. It opens to view the plan of redemption, bringing us down to the very close of time, and revealing the triumphant issue of the contest between righteousness and sin. It is of the utmost importance that all should thoroughly investigate these subjects, and be able to give an answer to every one that asketh them a reason of the hope that is in them.—The Great Controversy, p. 488.
Sanctuary Question Stands in Truth
I know that the sanctuary question stands in righteousness and truth, just as we have held it for so many years. It is the enemy that leads minds off on the sidetracks. He is pleased when those who know the truth become engrossed in collecting scriptures to pile around erroneous theories, which have no foundation of truth. The scriptures thus used are misapplied; they were not given to substantiate error, but to strengthen truth.—Gospel Workers, p. 303.
Must Answer Severest Criticism
It does not seem possible to us now that any should have to stand alone; but if God has ever spoken by me, the time will come when we shall be brought before councils and before thousands for his name’s sake, and each one will have to give the reason of his faith. Then will come the severest criticism upon every position that has been taken for the truth. We need, then, to study the word of God, that we may know why we believe the doctrines we advocate.”--Review and Herald, Dec. 18, 1888.
God Will Permit Heresies to Stir His People
God will arouse his people; if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat. The Lord calls upon all who believe his word to awake out of sleep. Precious light has come, appropriate for this time. It is Bible truth, showing the perils that are right upon us. This light should lead us to a diligent study of the Scriptures, and a most critical examination of the positions which we hold. God would have all the bearings and positions of truth thoroughly and perseveringly searched, with prayer and fasting. Believers are not to rest in suppositions and ill-defined ideas of what constitutes truth. Their faith must be firmly founded upon the word of God, so that when the testing time shall come, and they are brought before councils to answer for their faith, they may be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them, with meekness and fear.
Agitate, agitate, agitate. The subjects which we present to the world must be to us a living reality. It is important that in defending the doctrines which we consider fundamental articles of faith, we should never allow ourselves to employ arguments that are not wholly sound. These may avail to silence an opposer, but they do not honor the truth. We should present sound arguments, that will not only silence our opponents but will bear the closest and most searching scrutiny.—Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 707.
Plan of Salvation Symbolized by the Sanctuary
The Plan of Salvation
The fall of man filled all heaven with sorrow. The world that God had made was blighted with the curse of sin, and inhabited by beings doomed to misery and death. There appeared no escape for those who had transgressed the law. . . .The Son of God, heaven’s glorious Commander, was touched with pity for the fallen race. His heart was moved with infinite compassion as the woes of the lost world rose up before Him. But divine love had conceived a plan whereby man might be redeemed. The broken law of God demanded the life of the sinner. In all the universe there was but one who could, in behalf of man, satisfy its claims. Since the divine law is as sacred as God Himself, only one equal with God could make atonement for its transgression. None but Christ could redeem fallen man from the curse of the law, and bring him again into harmony with Heaven. Christ would take upon Himself the guilt and shame of sin,--
sin so offensive to a holy God that it must separate the Father and His Son. Christ would reach to the depths of misery to rescue the ruined race.
Before the Father He pleaded in the sinner’s behalf, while the host of heaven awaited the result with an intensity of interest that words cannot express. Long continued was that mysterious communing,--“the
counsel of peace” for the fallen sons of men. The plan of salvation had been laid before the creation of the earth; for Christ is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world;” yet it was a struggle, even with the King of the universe, to yield up His Son to die for the guilty race. But “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”. . .
Christ assured the angels that by His death He would ransom many, and would destroy him who had the power of death. He would recover the kingdom which man had lost by transgression, and the redeemed were to inherit it with Him, and dwell therein forever. Sin and sinners would be blotted out, nevermore to disturb the peace of heaven or earth.—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 63-65.
Sacrificial Offerings Pointed to Christ
In patriarchal times the sacrificial offerings connected with divine worship constituted a perpetual reminder of the coming of a Saviour; and thus it was with the entire ritual of the sanctuary services throughout Israel’s history. In the ministration of the tabernacle, and of the temple that afterward took its place, the people were taught each day, by means of types and shadows, the great truths relative to the advent of Christ as Redeemer, Priest, and King; and once each year [Day of Atonement] their minds were carried forward to the closing events of the great controversy between Christ and Satan, and the final purification of the universe from sin and sinners. The sacrifices and offerings of the Mosaic ritual were ever pointing toward a better service, even a heavenly. The earthly sanctuary was “a figure for the time then present,” in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices; its two holy places were “patterns of things in the heavens;” for Christ, our great High Priest, is today “a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.”
From the day the Lord declared to the serpent in Eden, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed,” Satan has known that he can never hold absolute sway over the inhabitants of this world. When Adam and his sons began to offer the ceremonial sacrifices ordained by God as a type of the coming Redeemer, Satan discerned in these a symbol of communion between earth and heaven. During the long centuries that have followed, it has been his constant effort to intercept this communion. Untiringly has he sought to misrepresent God, and to misinterpret the rites pointing to the Saviour; and with a great majority of the members of the human family he has been successful.
While God has desired to teach men that from His own love comes the Gift which reconciles them to Himself, the archenemy of mankind has endeavoured to represent God as one who delights in their destruction. Thus the sacrifices and the ordinances designed of Heaven to reveal divine love, have been perverted to serve as means whereby sinners have vainly hoped to propitiate, with gifts and good works, the wrath of an offended God. At the same time, Satan has sought to arouse and strengthen the evil passions of men, in order that through repeated transgression multitudes might be led on and on, far from God, and hopelessly bound with the fetters of sin. . . . Through the posterity of faithful Abraham, of the line of Shem, a knowledge of Jehovah’s beneficent designs was to be preserved for the benefit of future generations. From time to time divinely appointed messengers of truth were to be raised up to call attention to the meaning of the sacrificial ceremonies, and especially to the promises of Jehovah concerning the advent of the One toward whom all the ordinances of the sacrificial system pointed. Thus the world was to be kept from universal apostasy.—Prophets and Kings, pp. 684-687.
A Provision for Salvation
The whole worship of ancient Israel was a promise, in figures and symbols, of Christ; and it was not merely a promise, but an actual provision, designed by God to aid millions of people by lifting their thoughts to Him who was to manifest Himself to our world.—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 123.
The Gospel in Figure
The system of Jewish economy was the gospel in figure, a presentation of Christianity which was to be developed as fast as the minds of the people could comprehend spiritual light. Satan ever seeks to make obscure the truths that are plain, and Christ ever seeks to open the mind to comprehend every essential truth concerning the salvation of fallen man. To this day there are still aspects of truth which are dimly seen, connections that are not understood, and far-reaching depths in the law of God that are uncomprehended. There is immeasurable breadth, dignity, and glory in the law of God; and yet the religious world has set aside this law, as did the Jews, to exalt the traditions and commandments of men.—Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 238.
Heathen Systems a Perversion of the True
The heathen systems of sacrifice were a perversion of the system that God had appointed; and many a sincere observer of heathen rites learned from the Hebrews the meaning of the service divinely ordained, and in faith grasped the promise of the Redeemer.—The Desire of Ages, p. 28.
Building the Sanctuary—A Miniature Representation
The command was communicated to Moses while in the mount with God, “Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them;” and full directions were given for the construction of the tabernacle. By their apostasy, the Israelites forfeited the blessing of the divine presence, and for the time rendered impossible the erection of a sanctuary for God among them. But after they were again taken into favor with Heaven, the great leader proceeded to execute the divine command.
Chosen men were especially endowed by God with skill and wisdom for the construction of the sacred building. God Himself gave to Moses the plan of that structure, with particular directions as to its size and form, the materials to be employed, and every article of furniture which it was to contain. The holy places made with hands were to be “figures of the true,” “patterns of things in the heavens,”—a miniature representation of the heavenly temple where Christ, our great high priest, after offering His life as a sacrifice, was to minister in the sinner’s behalf. God presented before Moses in the mount a view of the heavenly sanctuary, and commanded him to make all things according to the pattern shown him. All these directions were carefully recorded by Moses, who communicated them to the leaders of the people.—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 343.
According to the Commandment of God
The tabernacle was made according to the commandment of God. The Lord raised up men, and qualified them with more than natural abilities to perform the most ingenious work. Neither those workmen nor Moses were left to plan the form, and workmanship of the building. God Himself devised the plan, and gave it to Moses, with particular directions as to its size and form, and the materials to be used, and specified every article of furniture which was to be in it. He presented before Moses a miniature model of the heavenly sanctuary, and commanded him to make all things according to the pattern showed him in the mount. Moses wrote all the directions in a book, and read them to the most influential of the people.—Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4, Facts of Faith, p. 5.
Temple Might Have Stood Forever
Had Israel remained true to God, this glorious building [Solomon’s temple] would have stood forever, a perpetual sign of God’s especial favor to His chosen people.—Prophets and Kings, p. 46.
Symbolic Application of the Sanctuary
Sanctuary in Heaven the Great Original
The earthly sanctuary was built by Moses according to the pattern shown him in the mount. It was “a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices;” its two holy places were “patterns of things in the heavens;” Christ, our great high priest, is “a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” As in vision the apostle John was granted a view of the temple of God in heaven, he beheld there “seven lamps of fire burning before the throne.” He saw an angel “having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.” Here the prophet was permitted to behold the first apartment of the sanctuary in heaven; and he saw there the “seven lamps of fire” and the “golden altar” represented by the golden candlestick and the altar of incense in the sanctuary on earth. Again, “the temple of God was opened,” and he looked within the inner vail, upon the holy of holies. Here he beheld “the ark of His testament,” represented by the sacred chest constructed by Moses to contain the law of God.
Moses made the earthly sanctuary, “according to the fashion that he had seen.” Paul declares that “the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry,” when completed, were “the patterns of things in the heavens,” And John says that he saw the sanctuary in heaven. That sanctuary, in which Jesus ministers in our behalf, is the great original of which the sanctuary built by Moses was a copy.
The heavenly temple, the abiding-place of the King of kings, where “thousand thousands minister unto Him, and then thousand times ten thousand stand before Him,” that temple filled with the glory of the eternal throne, where seraphim, its shining guardians, vail their faces in adoration,--no earthly structure could represent its vastness and its glory. Yet important truths concerning the heavenly sanctuary and the great work there carried forward for mean’s redemption were to be taught by the earthly sanctuary and its services.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 356, 357.
Only a Dim Reflection of Heavenly Glory
No language can describe the glory of the scene presented within the sanctuary,--the gold-plated walls reflecting the light from the golden candlestick, the brilliant hues of the richly embroidered curtains with their shining angels, the table, and the altar of incense, glittering with gold; beyond the second vail the sacred ark, with its mystic cherubim, and above it the holy Shekinah, the visible manifestation of Jehovah’s presence; all but a dim reflection of the glories of the temple of God in heaven, the great center of the work for man’s redemption.—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 349.
A Type of the Christian Church
The Jewish tabernacle was a type of the Christian church. It was a wonderful structure, made in two parts, the outer and inner, one open to the ministration of all the priests, the other to the high priest alone, who represented Christ.
The church on earth, composed of those who are faithful and loyal to God, is the “true tabernacle,” whereof the Redeemer is the minister. God, and not man, pitched this tabernacle on a high, elevated platform. This tabernacle is Christ’s body, and from north, south, east, and west, He gathers those who shall help to compose it.—Signs, Feb. 14, 1900.
A Fit Emblem of the Church
Of surpassing beauty and unrivalled splendour was the palatial building which Solomon and his associates erected for God and His worship. Garnished with precious stones, surrounded by spacious courts with magnificent approaches, and lined with carved cedar and burnished gold, the temple structure, with its broidered hangings and rich furnishings, was a fit emblem of the living church of God on earth, which through the ages has been building in accordance with the divine pattern, with materials that have been likened to “gold, silver, precious stones,” “polished after the similitude of a palace.” Of this spiritual temple Christ is “the chief corner-stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto an holy temple in the Lord.”—Prophets and Kings, p. 36.
The Church to Be a Temple
His church is to be a temple built after the divine similitude, and the angelic architect has brought His golden measuring rod from heaven, that every stone may be hewed and squared by the divine measurement, and polished to shine as an emblem of heaven, radiating in all directions the bright, clear beams of the Sun of Righteousness.—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 17.
Every Created Being to Be a Temple
In the cleansing of the temple, Jesus was announcing His mission as the Messiah, and entering upon His work. That temple, erected for the abode of the divine presence, was designed to be an object-lesson for Israel and for the world. From eternal ages it was God’s purpose that every created being, from the bright and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of the Creator. Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory of the divine One. But by the incarnation of the Son of God, the purpose of Heaven is fulfilled. God dwells in humanity, and through saving grace the heart of man becomes again His temple. God designed that the temple at Jerusalem should be a continual witness to the high destiny open to every soul. But the Jews had not understood the significance of the building they regarded with so much pride. They did not yield themselves as holy temples for the divine Spirit. The courts of the temple at Jerusalem, filled with the tumult of the unholy traffic, represented all too truly the temple of the heart, defiled by the presence of sensual passion and unholy thoughts. In cleansing the temple from the world’s buyers and sellers, Jesus announced His mission to cleanse the heart from the defilement of sin,--from the earthly desires, the selfish lusts, the evil habits, that corrupt the soul—The Desire of Ages, p. 161.
God’s Purpose for the Human Soul
The revelation at Sinai could only impress them with their need and helplessness. Another lesson the tabernacle, through its service of sacrifice, was to teach,--the lesson of pardon of sin, and power through the Saviour for obedience unto life.
Through Christ was to be fulfilled the purpose of which the tabernacle was a symbol,--that glorious building, its walls of glistening gold reflecting in rainbow hues the curtains inwrought with cherubim, the fragrance of ever-burning incense pervading all, the priests robed in spotless white, and in the deep mystery of the inner place, above the mercy-seat, between the figures of the bowed, worshiping angels, the glory of the Holiest. In all, God desired His people to read His purpose for the human soul. It was the same purpose long afterward set forth by the apostle Paul, speaking by the Holy Spirit: --
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”—Education, p. 36.
As Christ Cleanses the Sanctuary in Heaven
Christ is in the heavenly sanctuary, and He is there to make an atonement for the people. He is there to present His wounded side and pierced hands to His
Father. He is cleansing the sanctuary from the sins of the people. What is our work?—It is our work to be in harmony with the work of Christ. By faith we are to work with Him, to be in union with Him.—Review and Herald, Jan. 28, 1890.
Cleanse the Soul Temple
The latter rain is to fall upon the people of God. A mighty angel is to come down from heaven, and the whole earth is to be lighted with His glory. Are we ready to take part in the glorious work of the third angel? Are our vessels ready to receive the heavenly dew? Have we defilement and sin in the heart? If so, let us cleanse the soul temple, and prepare for the showers of the latter rain. The refreshing from the presence of the Lord will never come to hearts filled with impurity. May God help us to die to self, that Christ, the hope of glory, may be formed within! I must have the spirit of God in my heart. I can never go forward to do the great work of God, unless the Holy Spirit rests upon my soul. “As the hart [Spelling according to Ps. 42:1] panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” The day of judgment is upon us. O that we may wash our robes of character, and make them white in the blood of the Lamb?—Review and Herald, April 21, 1891.
Carefully Review the Life
They do not seek to place themselves in harmony with the work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, where He is making an atonement for His people. While Christ is cleansing the sanctuary, the worshipers on earth should carefully review their life, and compare their character with the standard of righteousness. As they see their defects, they should seek the aid of the Spirit of God to enable them to have moral strength to resist the temptation of Satan, and to reach the perfection of the standard. They may be victors over the very temptations which seemed too strong for humanity to bear; for the divine power will be combined with their human effort, and Satan cannot overcome them.—Review and Herald, April 8, 1890.
A Special Work of Purification
Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent efforts, they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of the penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away sin, among God’s people on earth.—Review and Herald, Jan. 17, 1907, p. 8.
Christ Set Up His Tabernacle in Our Midst
God commanded Moses for Israel, “Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them,” and He abode in the sanctuary, in the midst of His people. Through all their weary wandering in the desert, the symbol of His presence was with them. So Christ set up His tabernacle in the midst of our human encampment. He pitched His tent by the side of the tents of men, that He might dwell among us, and make us familiar with His divine character and life. “The Word became flesh, and tabernacle among us (and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father) full of grace and truth.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 23.
The High Priest a Type of Christ
Of Aaron, the high priest of Israel, it is written, He “shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually.” What a beautiful and expressive figure this is of the unchanging love of Christ for His church! Our great High Priest, of whom Aaron was a type, bears His people upon His heart. And should not His earthly ministers share His love and sympathy and solicitude?—Gospel Workers, p. 34.
The Holy Garments
To Moses He gave special instruction regarding everything connected with the tabernacle service, and He specified the dress that those would wear who were to minister before Him. “Thou shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty” (Ex. 28:2), was the direction given to Moses. Everything connected with the apparel and deportment of the priests was to be such as to impress the beholder with the sense of the holiness of God, the sacredness of His worship, and the purity required of those who came into His presence.—Gospel Workers, p. 173.
A Type of Christ’s Righteousness
Everything worn by the priest was to be whole and without blemish. By those beautiful official garments was represented the character of the great antitype, Jesus Christ. Nothing but perfection, in dress and attitude, in word and spirit, could be acceptable to God. He is holy, and His glory and perfection must be represented by the earthly service. Nothing but perfection could properly represent the sacredness of the heavenly service. Finite man might rend his own heart by showing a contrite and humble spirit. This God would discern. But no rent must be made in the priestly robes, for this would mar the representation of heavenly things. The high priest who dared to appear in holy office, and engage in the service of the sanctuary, with a rent robe, was looked upon as having severed himself from God. By rending his garment he cut himself off from being a representative character. He was no longer accepted by God as an officiating priest. This course of action, as exhibited by Caiaphas, showed human passion, human imperfection. . . .
When Caiaphas rent his garment, his act was significant of the place that the Jewish nation as a nation would thereafter occupy toward God. The once favoured people of God were separating themselves from Him, and were fast becoming a people disowned by Jehovah. When Christ upon the cross cried out, “It is finished,” and the veil of the temple was rent in twain, the Holy Watcher declared that the Jewish people had rejected Him who was the antitype of all their types, the substance of all their shadows. Israel was divorced from God. Well might Caiaphas then rend his official robes, which signified that he claimed to be a representative of the great High Priest; for no longer had they any meaning for him or for the people. Well might the high priest rend his robes in horror for himself and for the nation.—The Desire of Ages, p. 709.
Garments on the Day of Atonement
In stooping to take upon Himself humanity, Christ revealed a character the opposite of the character of Satan. But He stepped still lower in the path of humiliation, “Being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8). As the high priest laid aside his gorgeous pontifical robes, and officiated in the white linen dress of the common priest, so Christ took the form of a servant, and offered sacrifice, Himself the priest, Himself the victim. “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him” (Isaiah 53:5).—The Desire of Ages, p. 25.
Christ Garbed With Humanity
As in the typical service the high priest laid aside his pontifical robes, and officiated in the white linen dress of an ordinary priest; so Christ laid aside his royal robes and garbed Himself with humanity, and offered sacrifice, Himself the priest, Himself the victim. As the high priest, after performing his service in the holy of the holies, came forth to the waiting congregation in his pontifical robes; so Christ will come the second time, clothed in garments of whitest white, “so as no fuller on earth can white them.” He will come in His own glory, and in the glory of His Father, and all the angelic host will escort Him on His way.—Acts of the Apostles, p. 33.
Christ Wears the Colorful Robes on Antitypical Day of Atonement
As Jesus ended His ministration in the holy place, and closed the door of that apartment, a great darkness settled upon those who had heard and rejected the message of His coming, and they lost sight of Him. Jesus then clothed Himself with precious garments. . . . A breastplate of curious work was suspended from His shoulders. As He moved, this glittered like diamonds, magnifying letters which looked like names written or engraved upon the breastplate. Upon His head was something which had the appearance of a crown. When fully attired, He was surrounded by angels, and in a flaming chariot He passed within the second vail.—Early Writings, p. 251.
Christ Changes to Kingly Robes
As Jesus moved out of the Most Holy place, I heard the tinkling of the bells upon His garment, and as He left, a cloud of darkness covered the inhabitants of the earth. There was then no mediator between guilty man, and an offended God. While Jesus had been standing between God and guilty man, a restraint was upon the people; but when Jesus stepped out from between man and the Father, the restraint was removed, and Satan had the control of man. It was impossible for the plagues to be poured out while Jesus officiated in the Sanctuary; but as His work there is finished, as His intercession closes, there is nothing to stay the wrath of God, and it breaks with fury upon the shelterless head of the guilty sinner, who has slighted salvation and hated reproof. The saints in that fearful time, after the close of Jesus’ mediation, were living in the sight of a holy God, without an intercessor. Every case was decided, every jewel numbered. . . . Then I saw Jesus lay off His priestly attire, and clothe Himself with His most kingly robes—and surrounded by the angelic host, He left heaven.—Spiritual Gifts, vol. 1, pp. 198, 199.
Filthy Garments Symbolize Man’s Sins
In vision the prophet beholds “Joshua the high priest,” “clothed with filthy garments,” standing before the Angel of the Lord, entreating God’s mercy in behalf of his afflicted people. As he pleads for the fulfillment of God’s promises, Satan stands up boldly to resist him. He points to the transgressions of Israel as a reason why they should not be restored to the favor of God. He claims them as his prey, and demands that they be given into his hands.
The high priest cannot defend himself or his people from Satan’s accusations. He does not claim that Israel is free from fault. In filthy garments, symbolizing the sins of the people, which he bears as their representative, he stands before the Angel, confessing their guilt, yet pointing to their repentance and humiliation, and relying upon the mercy of a sin-pardoning Redeemer. In faith he claims the promises of God.
Then the Angel, who is Christ Himself, the Saviour of sinners, puts to silence the accuser of His people, declaring, “The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?” Long had Israel remained in the furnace of affliction. Because of their sins, they had been well-nigh consumed in the flame kindled by Satan and his agents for their destruction; but God had now set His hand to bring them forth.—Patriarchs and Kings, pp. 583, 584.
The Service of the Sanctuary
A Daily and a Yearly Service
Not only the sanctuary itself, but the ministration of the priests, was to “serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.” Thus it was of great importance; and the Lord, through Moses, gave the most definite and explicit instruction concerning every point of this typical service.
The ministration of the sanctuary consisted of two divisions, a daily and a yearly service. The daily service was performed at the altar of burnt-offering in the court of the tabernacle, and in the holy place; while the yearly service was in the most holy.—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 351, 352.
Two Divisions in Christ’s Work
After His ascension, our Saviour was to begin His work as our high priest. Says Paul, “Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” As Christ’s ministration was to consist of two great divisions, each occupying a period of time and having a distinctive place in the heavenly sanctuary, so the typical ministration consisted of two divisions, the daily and the yearly service, and to each a department of the tabernacle was devoted.—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 357.
Daily Burnt Offering
The daily service consisted of the morning and evening burnt-offering, the offering of sweet incense on the golden altar, and the special offerings for individual sins. And there were also offerings for sabbaths, new moons, and special feasts.
Every morning and evening a lamb of a year old was burned upon the altar, with its appropriate meat-offering, thus symbolizing the daily consecration of the nation to Jehovah, and their constant dependence upon the atoning blood of Christ. God expressly directed that every offering presented for the service of the sanctuary should be “without blemish.” The priests were to examine all animals brought as a sacrifice, and were to reject every one in which a defect was discovered. Only an offering “without blemish” could be a symbol of His perfect purity who was to offer Himself as “a lamb without blemish and without spot.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 352.
Pointed to the Lamb of God
In the temple the morning and the evening sacrifices daily pointed to the Lamb of God.—The Desire of Ages, p. 44.
An Offering of Gratitude
In the old dispensation, an offering of gratitude was kept continually burning upon the altar, thus showing man’s endless obligation to God.—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 477.
Incense With Prayers
In the offering of incense the priest was brought more directly into the presence of God than in any other act of the daily ministration. As the inner vail of the sanctuary did not extend to the top of the building, the glory of God, which was manifested above the mercy-seat, was partially visible from the first apartment. When the priest offered incense before the Lord, he looked toward the ark; and as the cloud of incense arose, the divine glory descended upon the mercy-seat and filled the most holy place, and often so filled both apartments that the priest was obliged to retire to the door of the tabernacle. As in that typical service the priest looked by faith to the mercy-seat which he could not see, so the people of God are now to direct their prayers to Christ, their great high priest, who, unseen by human vision, is pleading in their behalf in the sanctuary above.
The incense, ascending with the prayers of Israel, represents the merits and intercession of Christ, His perfect righteousness, which through faith is imputed to His people, and which can alone make the worship of sinful beings acceptable to God. Before the vail of the most holy place, was an altar of perpetual intercession; before the holy, an altar of continual atonement. By blood and by incense, God was to be approached,--symbols pointing to the great Mediator, through whom sinners may approach Jehovah, and through whom alone mercy and salvation can be granted to the repentant, believing soul.
As the priest’s morning and evening entered the holy place at the time of incense, the daily sacrifice was ready to be offered upon the altar in the court without. This was a time of intense interest to the worshipers who assembled at the tabernacle. Before entering into the presence of God through the ministration of the priest, they were to engage in earnest searching of heart and confession of sin. They untied in silent prayer, with their faces toward the holy place. Thus their petitions ascended with the cloud of incense, while faith laid hold upon the merits of the promised Saviour prefigured by the atoning sacrifice.—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 353.
Symbol of Christ’s Perfection and Merits
Every sincere prayer is heard in heaven. It may not be fluently expressed; but if the heart is in it, it will ascend to the sanctuary where Jesus ministers, and He will present it to the father without one awkward, stammering word, beautiful and fragrant with the incense of His own perfection.—The Desire of Ages, p. 667.
Transfer of sin
The sins of the people were transferred in figure to the officiating priest, who was a mediator for the people. The priest could not himself become an offering for sin, and make an atonement with his life, for he was also a sinner. Therefore, instead of suffering death himself, he killed a lamb without blemish; the penalty of sin was transferred to the innocent beast, which thus became his immediate substitute, and typified the perfect offering of Jesus Christ. Through the blood of this victim, man looked forward by faith to the blood of Christ which would atone for the sins of the world.—Signs of the Times, Mar. 14, 1878, p. 81.
Daily Sin Offerings and the Day of Atonement
Important truths concerning the atonement were taught the people by this yearly service. In the sin-offerings presented during the year, a substitute had been accepted in the sinner’s stead; but the blood of the victim had not made full atonement for the sin. It had only provided a means by which the sin was transferred to the sanctuary. By the offering of blood, the sinner acknowledged the authority of the law, confessed the guilt of his transgression, and expressed his faith in Him who was to take away the sin of the world; but he was not entirely released from the condemnation of the law.
On the day of atonement the high priest, having taken an offering for the congregation, when into the most holy place with the blood, and sprinkled it upon the mercy-seat, above the tables of the law. Thus the claims of the law, which demanded the life of the sinner, were satisfied. Then in his character of mediator the priest took the sins upon himself, and leaving the sanctuary, he bore with him the burden of Israel’s guilt. At the door of the tabernacle he laid his hands upon the head of the scape-goat, and confessed over him “all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat.” And as the goat bearing these sins was sent away, they were with him regarded as forever separated from the people. Such was the service performed “unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 355, 356.
The Investigative Judgment and the Blotting Out of Sins
The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement; so in the type the blood of the sin-offering removed the sin from the penitent, but it rested in the sanctuary until the day of atonement.
In the great day of final award, the dead are to be “judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Then by virtue of the atoning blood of Christ, the sins of all the truly penitent will be blotted from the books of heaven. Thus the sanctuary will be freed, or cleansed, from the record of sin. In the type, this great work of atonement, or blotting out of sins, was represented by the services of the day of atonement,--the cleansing of the earthly sanctuary, which was accomplished by the removal, by virtue of the blood of the sin-offering, of the sins by which it had been polluted.
As in the final atonement the sins of the truly penitent are to be blotted from the records of heaven, no more to be remembered or come into mind, so in the type they were borne away into the wilderness, forever separated from the congregation.—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 357, 358.
Sins Placed Upon Satan, Typified by the Scapegoat
Since Satan is the originator of sin, the direct instigator of all the sins that caused the death of the Son of God, justice demands that Satan shall suffer the final punishment. Christ’s work for the redemption of men and the purification of the universe from sin, will be closed by the removal of sin from the heavenly and the placing of these sins upon Satan, who will bear the final penalty. So in the typical service, the yearly round of ministration closed with the purification of the sanctuary, and the confessing of the sins on the head of the scape-goat.—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 358.
Now the event takes place, foreshadowed in the last solemn service of the day of atonement. When the ministration in the holy of holies had been completed, and the sins of Israel had been removed from the sanctuary by virtue of the blood of the sin-offering, then the scapegoat was presented alive before the Lord; and in the presence of the congregation the high priest confessed over him “all the iniquities of the children of Israel; and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat.” In like manner, when the work of atonement in the heavenly sanctuary has been completed, then in the presence of God and heavenly angels, and the host of the redeemed, the sins of God’s people will be placed upon Satan; he will be declared guilty of all the evil which he has caused them to commit. And as the scapegoat was sent away into a land not inhabited, so Satan will be banished to the desolate earth, an uninhabited and dreary wilderness—The Great Controversy, p. 658.
The sins of those who are redeemed by the blood of Christ will at last be rolled back upon the originator of sin, and he must bear their punishment, while those who do not accept salvation through Jesus, will suffer the penalty of their own sins.—Early Writings, p. 178.
Jesus tarried a moment in the outer apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, and the sins which had been confessed while He was in the most holy place, were placed upon Satan, the originator of sin, who must suffer their punishment.—Early Writings, pp. 280, 281.
Satan Bears Punishment for Sins
Satan and his angels suffered long. Satan bore not only the weight and punishment of his own sins, but also of the sins of the redeemed host, which had been placed upon him; and he must also suffer for the ruin of souls which he had caused. Then I saw that Satan and all the wicked host were consumed, and the justice of God was satisfied; and all the angelic host, and all the redeemed saints, with a loud voice said, “Amen!”—Early Writings, pp. 294, 295.
Symbolism of the Sanctuary
The ark of the earthly sanctuary was the pattern of the true ark in heaven.---Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4, Facts of Faith, p. 8.
Four Angels Always Accompanied
Four heavenly angels always accompanied the ark of God in all its journeyings, to guard it from danger, and to fulfil any mission required of them in connection with the ark—Spiritual Gifts, vol. 4, Facts of Faith, p. 102.
Symbolical of Jehovah
The sacred ark, covered by the mercy-seat and containing the holy law of God, was symbolical of Jehovah himself. It was the power of the Israelites to conquer in battle. Before it idols were thrown down, and for rashly looking into it thousands perished. Never in our world has the Lord given such open manifestati0ons of his supremacy as when he alone was the acknowledged king of Israel.—Present Truth, April 1, 1886.
Among the righteous still in Jerusalem, to whom had been made plain the divine purpose, were some who determined to place beyond the reach of ruthless hands the sacred ark containing the tables of stone on which had been traced the precepts of the Decalogue. This they did. With mourning and sadness they secreted the ark in a cave, where it was to be hidden from the people of Israel and Judah because of their sins, and was to be no more restored to them. That sacred ark is yet hidden. It has never been disturbed since it was secreted.—Prophets and Kings, p. 453.
Cherubim on the Ark
The position of the cherubim, with their faces turned toward each other, and looking reverently downward toward the ark, represented the reverence with which the heavenly host regard the law of God, and their interest in the plan of redemption.—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 348-349.
Law Within the Ark
The law of God, enshrined within the ark, was the great rule of righteousness and judgment. That law pronounced death upon the transgressor; but above the law was the mercy-seat, upon which the presence of God was revealed, and from which, by virtue of the atonement, pardon was granted to the repentant sinner. Thus in the work of Christ for our redemption, symbolized by the sanctuary service, “mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 349.
Veil Renewed Yearly
The darkness was again lifted from Calvary, and hung like a pal over Jerusalem. At the moment in which Christ died, there were priests ministering in the temple before the vail which separated the holy from the most holy place. Suddenly the felt the earth tremble beneath them, and the vail of the temple, a strong, rich drapery that had been renewed yearly, was rent in twain from top to bottom by the same bloodless hand that wrote the words of doom upon the walls of Belshazzar’s palace. The most holy place, that had been sacredly entered by human feet only once a year, was revealed to the common gaze. God had ever before protected His temple in a wonderful manner; but now its sacred mysteries were exposed to curious eyes. No longer would the presence of God overshadow the earthly mercy-seat. No longer would the light of His glory flash forth upon, nor the cloud of His disapproval shadow, the precious stones in the breastplate of the high priest.—Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, pp. 166, 167.
Offerings Without Blemish
The offerings presented to the Lord were to be without blemish. These offerings represented Christ, and from this it is evident that Jesus Himself was free from physical deformity. He was the “lamb without blemish and without spot.” His physical structure was not marred by any defect; His body was strong and healthy. And throughout His lifetime He lived in conformity to nature’s laws. Physically as well as spiritually, He was an example of what God designed all humanity to be through obedience to His laws.—The Desire of Ages, p. 50.
Dedication of the First-born
The dedication of the first-born had its origin in the earliest times. God had promised to give the First-born of heaven to save the sinner. This gift was to be acknowledged in every household by the consecration of the first-born son. He was to be devoted to the priesthood, as a representative of Christ among men.
In the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, the dedication of the first-born was again commanded. While the children of Israel were in bondage to the Egyptians, the Lord directed Moses to go to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and say, “Thus saith the Lord, Israel is My son, even My first-born;” . . .After the tabernacle service was established, the Lord chose the tribe of Levi in the place of the first-born of all Israel to minister in the sanctuary. But the first-born were still to be regarded as the Lord’s, and were to be bought back by a ransom.
Thus the law for the presentation of the first-born was made particularly significant. While it was a memorial it prefigured as greater deliverance, to be wrought out by the only begotten Son of God. As the blood sprinkled on the door posts had saved the first-born of Israel, so the blood of Christ has power to save the world. . . . The priest went through the ceremony of his official work. He took the child in his arms, and held it up before the altar. After handing it back to its mother, he inscribed the name “Jesus” on the roll of the first-born. Little did he think, as a babe lay in his arms, that it was the Majesty of Heaven, the King of Glory. The priest did not think that this babe was the One of whom Moses had written, “ A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you.” He did not think that this babe was He whose glory Moses had asked to see. But One greater than Moses lay in the priest’s arms; and when he enrolled the child’s name, he was enrolling the name of One who was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy. That name was to be its death warrant; for the system of sacrifices and offerings was waxing old; the type had almost reached its antitype, the shadow its substance.—The Desire of Ages, pp. 51, 52.
Salt Symbolized Christ’s Righteousness
In the ritual service, salt was added to every sacrifice. This, like the offering of incense, signified that only the righteousness of Christ could make the service acceptable to God. Referring to this practise, Jesus said, “Every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.” “Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.” All who would present themselves “a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,” must receive the saving salt, the righteousness of our Saviour.—The Desire of Ages, p. 439.
Showbread an Acknowledgment of Man’s Dependence
The showbread was kept ever before the Lord as a perpetual offering. Thus it was a part of the daily sacrifice. It was called showbread, or “bread of the presence,” because it was ever before the face of the Lord. It was an acknowledgement of man’s dependence upon God for both temporal and spiritual food, and that it is received only through the mediation of Christ. God had fed Israel in the wilderness with bread from heaven, and they were still dependent upon His bounty for both temporal food and spiritual blessings. Both the manna and the showbread pointed to Christ, the living bread, who is ever in the presence of God for us. He Himself said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven.” Frankincense was placed upon the loaves. When the bread was removed every Sabbath, to be replaced by the fresh loaves, the frankincense was burned upon the altar as a memorial before God.—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 354.
“Then said Jesus unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven.” The giver of the manna was standing among them. It was Christ Himself who had led the Hebrews through the wilderness, and had daily fed them with the bread from heaven. That food was a type of the real bread from heaven. The life-giving Spirit, flowing from the infinite fullness of God, is the true manna. Jesus said, “The bread of God is that which cometh down out of heaven, and giveth life unto the world.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 386.
The True Bread From Heaven
The manna, falling from heaven for the sustenance of Israel, was a type of Him who came from God to give life to the world. Said Jesus, “I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven. . . . If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” And among the promises of blessing to God’s people in the future life it is written, “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 297.
Christ the First Fruits
Christ arose from the dead as the first-fruits of those that slept. He was the antitype of the wave-sheaf, and His resurrection took place on the very day when the wave-sheaf was to be presented before the Lord. For more than a thousand years this symbolic ceremony had been performed. From the harvest fields the first heads of ripened grain were gathered and when the people went up to Jerusalem to the Passover, the sheaf of first-fruits was waved as a thank-offering before the Lord. Not until this was presented, could the sickle be put to the grain, and it be gathered into sheaves. The sheaf dedicated to God represented the harvest. So Christ the first-fruits represented the great spiritual harvest to be gathered for the kingdom of God. His resurrection is the type and pledge of the resurrection of all the righteous dead. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.”
As Christ arose, He brought from the grave a multitude of captives. The earthquake at His death had rent open their graves, and when He arose, they came forth with Him. . . . He had raised the son of the widow of Nain, and the ruler’s daughter and Lazarus. But these were not clothed with immortality. After they were raised, they were still subject to death. But those who came for the from the grave at Christ’s resurrection, were raised to everlasting life. They ascended with Him as trophies of His victory over death and the grave. These, said Christ, are no longer the captives of Satan, I have redeemed them. I have brought them from the grave as the first-fruits of My power, to be with Me where I am, never more to see death or experience sorrow.—The Desire of Ages, pp. 785, 786.
Washing With Water
Moses at the burning bush was directed to put off his sandals, for the ground whereon he stood was holy. So the priests were not to enter the sanctuary with shoes upon their feet. Particles of dust cleaving to them would desecrate the holy place. They were to leave their shoes in the court before entering the sanctuary, and also to wash both their hands and their feet before ministering in the tabernacle or at the altar of burnt-offering. Thus was constantly taught the lesson that all defilement must be put away from those who approach into the presence of God.—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 350.
Water of Separation (the Red Heifer)
The children of Israel wee anciently commanded to make an offering for the entire congregation, to purify them for [from] ceremonial defilement. This sacrifice was a red heifer, and represented the more perfect offering that should redeem from the pollution of sin. This was an occasional sacrifice for the purification of all those who had necessarily or accidentally touched the dead. All who came in contact with death in any way were considered ceremonially unclean. This was to forcibly impress the minds of the Hebrews with the fact that death came in consequence of sin, and therefore is a representative of sin. The one heifer, the one ark, the one brazen serpent, impressively point to the one great offering, the sacrifice of Christ.
This heifer was to be red, which was a symbol of blood. It must be without spot or blemish, and one that had never borne a yoke. Here again, Christ was typified. The Son of God came voluntarily to accomplish the work of atonement. There was no obligatory yoke upon Him; for He was independent and above all law. The angels as God’s intelligent messengers, were under the yoke of obligation; no personal sacrifice of theirs could atone for the guilt if fallen man. Christ alone was free from the claims of the law to undertake the redemption of the sinful race. He had power to lay down His life and to take it up again. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”
Yet this glorious being loved the poor sinner, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, that He might suffer and die in man’s behalf. Jesus might have remained at His Father’s right hand, wearing His kingly crown and royal robes. But He chose to exchange all the riches, honor, and glory of Heaven for the poverty of humanity, and His station of high command for the horrors of Gethsemane and the humiliation and agony of Calvary. He because a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, that by His baptism of suffering and blood he might purify and redeem a guilty world. “Lo, I come,” was the joyful assent, “to do Ty will O God!”
The sacrificial heifer was conducted without the camp, and slain in the most imposing manner. Thus Christ suffered without the gates of Jerusalem, for Calvary was outside the city walls. This was to show that Christ did not die for the Hebrews alone, but for all mankind. He proclaims to a fallen world that He has come to be their Redeemer, and urges them to accept the salvation He offers them. The heifer having been slain in a most solemn manner, the priest, clothed in pure white garments, took the blood in his hands as it issued from the body of the victim, and cat it toward the temple seven times. “And having a high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
The body of the heifer was burned to ashes, which signified a whole and ample sacrifice. The ashes were then gathered up by a person uncontaminated by contact with the dead, and placed in a vessel containing water from a running stream. This clean and pure person then took a cedar stick with scarlet cloth and a bunch of hyssop, and sprinkled the contents of the vessel upon the tent and the people assembled. This ceremony was repeated several times in order to be thorough, and was done as a purification from sin.
Thus Christ, in His own spotless righteousness, after shedding His precious blood, enters into the holy place to cleanse the sanctuary And there the crimson current is brought into the service of reconciling God to man. Some may look upon the service of reconciling God to man. Some may look upon this slaying of the heifer as a meaningless ceremony; but it was done by the command of God, and bears a deep significance that has not lost its application to the present time.
The priest used cedar and hyssop, dipping them into the cleansing water and sprinkling the unclean. This symbolized the blood of Christ spilled to cleanse us from moral impurities. The repeated sprinklings illustrate the thoroughness of the work that must be accomplished for the repenting sinner. All that he has must be consecrated. Not only should his own soul be washed clean and pure, but he should strive to have his family, his domestic arrangements, his property and his entire belongings consecrated to God.
After the tent had been sprinkled with hyssop, over the door of those cleansed was written, I am not my own; Lord, I am Thine. Thus should it be with those who profess to be cleansed by the blood of Christ. God is no less exacting now than He was in olden times. The psalmist, in his prayer, refers to this symbolic ceremony when he says, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” “Restore unto me the join of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit.”
The blood of Christ is efficacious, but it needs to be applied continually. God not only wants His servants to use the means He had entrusted to them for His glory, but He desire them to make a consecration of themselves to His cause. If you, my brethren, have become selfish and are withholding from the Lord that which you should cheerfully give to His service, then you need the blood of sprinkling thoroughly applied, consecrating you and all your possessions to God. . . . A solemn statement was made to ancient Israel that the man who should remain unclean and refuse to purify himself, should be cut off from among the congregation. This has a special meaning for us. If it was necessary in ancient times for the unclean to be purified by the blood of sprinkling, how essential for those living in the perils of the last days, and exposed to the temptations of Satan to have the blood of Christ applied to their hearts daily.—Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 120-123.
The one heifer, the one ark, the one brazen serpent, impressively point to the one great offering, the sacrifice of Christ.
This heifer was to be red without spot, which was a symbol of blood. It must be without blemish, and one that had never borne a yoke. Here again Christ was typified. The Son of God came voluntarily to accomplish the work of atonement. There was no obligatory yoke upon him, for he was independent and above all law. The angels, as God’s intelligent messengers, were under the yoke of obligation; no personal sacrifice of theirs could atone for the guilt of fallen man. Christ alone was free from the claims of the law to undertake the redemption of the sinful race. He had power to lay down his life and to take it up again. “Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal to God.”—Review and Herald, Jan. 9, 1883.
The Lamb Pointed to Christ
The Passover was followed by the seven days’ feast of unleavened bread. On the second day of the feast, the first fruits of the year’s harvest, a sheaf of barley, was presented before the Lord. All the ceremonies of the feast were types of the work of Christ. The deliverance of Israel from Egypt was an object-lesson of redemption, which the Passover was intended to keep in memory. The slain lamb, the unleavened bread, the sheaf of first fruits, represented the Saviour—The Desire of Ages, p. 77.
Fulfilment of the Types
The slaying of the Passover lamb was a shadow of the death of Christ. Says Paul, “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” The sheaf of first fruits, which at the time of the Passover was waved before the Lord, was typical of the resurrection of Christ. Paul says, in speaking of the resurrection of the Lord, and of all His people, “Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.” Like the wave-sheaf, which was the first ripe grain gathered before the harvest, Christ is the first-fruits of that immortal harvest of redeemed ones that at the future resurrection shall be gathered into the garner of God.
These types were fulfilled, not only as to the event, but as to the time. On the fourteenth day of the first Jewish month, the very day and month on which, for fifteen long centuries, the Passover lamb had been slain, Christ, having eaten the Passover with His disciples, instituted that feast which was to commemorate His own death as “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” That same night He was taken by wicked hands, to be crucified and slain. And as the antitype of the wave-sheaf, our Lord was raised from the dead on the third day, “the first-fruits of them that slept,” a sample of all the resurrected just, whose “vile body” shall be changed, and “fashioned like unto His glorious body.”—The Great Controversy, p. 399.
Law of God
Existed Before Creation of Man
The law of God existed before the creation of man or else Adam could not have sinned. After the transgression of Adam the principles of the law were not changed, but were definitely arranged and expressed to meet man in his fallen condition. Christ, in counsel with His Father, instituted the system of sacrificial offerings; that death, instead of being immediately visited upon the transgressor, should be transferred to a victim which should prefigure the great and perfect offering of the son of God.—Signs, March 14, 1878.
Copy of God’s Mind
God’s law is a copy of His mind and will. The sins forbidden there could never find a place in heaven. It was love that prompted God to express His will in the ten precepts of the Decalogue. Afterward He showed His love for man by sending prophets and teachers to explain and illustrate His holy law.—Bible Echo, April 16, 1894.
Enshrined in the Ark
In the inner apartment was the ark, which was the most sacred object connected with that system of worship. It was a chest of precious wood, overlaid within and without with pure gold, and having a crown of gold about the top. In the ark were placed the tables of stone upon which God had engraved with His own finger the Ten Commandments. It was made expressly for this purpose, and hence was called the ark of the covenant, and the ark of the testament, since the Ten Commandments were God’s covenant, and the basis of the covenant made between God and Israel—Signs, March 4, 1903.
Suffer Penalty of Law in Christ
All who, before the universe of heaven, are adjudged to have, in Christ, endured the penalty of the law, and in Him fulfilled its righteousness, will have eternal life. They will be one in character with Christ.—Special Instruction to Review and Herald, p. 29.
Judgments and Laws to Draw Men to Decalogue
He then came still closer to His people, who were so readily led astray, and would not leave them with merely the ten precepts of the Decalogue. He commanded Moses to write, as He should bid him, judgments and laws, giving minute directions in regard to what He required them to perform, and thereby guarded the ten precepts which He had engraved upon the tables of stone. These specific directions and requirements were given to draw erring man to the obedience of the moral law, which he is so prone to transgress.
If man had kept the law of God, as given to Adam after his fall, preserved in the ark by Noah, and observed by Abraham, there would have been no necessity for the ordinance of circumcision. And if the descendants of Abraham had kept the covenant, of which circumcision was a token or pledge, they would never have gone into idolatry, nor been suffered to go down into Egypt; and there would have been no necessity of God’s proclaiming his law from Sinai, and engraving it upon tables of stone, and guarding it by definite directions in the judgments and statues given to Moses. Moses wrote these judgments and statues from the mouth of God while he was with Him in the mount. If the people of God had obeyed the principles of the ten commandments, there would have been no need of the specific directions given to Moses, which he wrote in a book, relative to their duty to God and to one another. The definite directions which the Lord gave to Moses in regard to the duty of His people to one another, and to the stranger, are the principles of the ten commandments simplified and given in a definite manner, that they need not err.—Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, pp. 264, 265.
Ceremonies of Jewish Law Prophetic
The gospel of Christ reflects glory upon the Jewish age. It sheds light upon the whole Jewish economy, and gives significance to the ceremonial law. The tabernacle, or temple, of God on earth was a pattern of the original in Heaven. All the ceremonies of the Jewish law were prophetic, typical of mysteries in the plan of redemption. The rites and ceremonies of the law were given by Christ Himself, who, enshrouded in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, was the leader of the host of Israel; and this law should be treated with great respect, for it is sacred. Even after it was no longer to be observed, Paul presented it before the Jews in its true position and value, showing its place in the plan of redemption and its relation to the work of Christ; and the great apostle pronounces this law glorious, worthy of its divine Originator.—Signs, July 29, 1886.
Christians Can Appreciate Jewish Ordinances
Christians who profess to be Bible students can appreciate more fully than ancient Israel did the full signification of the ceremonial ordinances that they were required to observe. If they are indeed Christians, they are prepared to acknowledge the sacredness and importance of the shadowy types, as they see the accomplishment of the events which they represent. The death of Christ gives the Christian a correct knowledge of the system of ceremonies and explains prophecies which still remain obscure to the Jews. Moses of himself framed no law. Christ, the angel whom God had appointed to go before His chosen people, gave to Moses statues and requirements necessary to a living religion and to govern the people of God. Christians commit a terrible mistake in calling this law severe and arbitrary, and then contrasting it with the gospel and mission of Christ in His ministry on earth, as though He were in opposition to just precepts which they call the law of Moses.—Review and Herald, May 5, 1875.