Earth:Theatre of God's Universe - Section 8
GOD ILLUSTRATES HOW WE ARE SAVED
God has many ways to teach people the truths about how man is saved. Perhaps the most beautiful example is the story of the earthly sanctuary (or temple). The first sanctuary was built out in the wilderness using God’s exact plans. Moses was told that the Israelites were to make a copy in the desert of a similar temple in Heaven. The system of sacrifices done in the earthly temple is a symbol of the real work being done by Jesus and the Father in Heaven. [Hebrews 8:1-3]
The earthly temple had an outer yard with a large altar and a "laver" ( large bowl) for washing. The altar for burning sacrifices represented Jesus who would come and die for man's sins. The washing bowl represented how God washes or takes away people's sins. [Today’s symbol is baptism.] These symbols all show how God takes away sin, and counts man holy in his sight.[We are justified–or counted as made right with God!]
The inside of the sanctuary was divided into two parts:
A. The "Holy Place": Priests went into the Holy place each day. There were three articles of furniture in the Holy Place: a candlestick, an altar of incense and a table with twelve cakes of bread.
This area of the sanctuary symbolized how God changes us and makes us (in our characters) like Him. The golden candlestick (that burned all the time) showed how the Holy Spirit is to come and live in us and give us power over sin and to make us lights for Him. The "altar of incense" (that burned all day) showed how Jesus intercedes (prays for us) every day in Heaven as we pray for ourselves. The special table with twelve cakes of bread (made without yeast), symbolized the life that Jesus lived for us. We can have that life in us as we "eat" His words through studying the Bible. Slowly, the Holy Spirit re-programs our minds (our mental computer program) and we become more and more filled with Jesus love. We live more and more like Jesus.
B. The "Most Holy Place" contained the "Ark of the Covenant". Here only the High Priest went one time each year on the "Day of Atonement". This was a very special day. The "two goats" and the special services on that day represented the time just before Jesus returns. Then God, as Judge and Saviour, judges the world. This is when the Heavenly Court looks at the books to see who is ready for Heaven. The two big questions are:
- Who is safe to save, and take out of this world of sin?
- Who loves and trusts God enough to love and obey Him for all time?
Before Jesus comes, the Universe must be able to see that God is fair in only saving the people who chose to love and serve Him.
This sanctuary or temple was made of cloth and animal skins that could be carried with Israel as they moved from place to place. Later, in the time of King David and King Solomon, a large new temple was built that was made of stone.
God helped Israel prepare a special place to worship him. [Exodus 25:8] God gave Israel many symbols and sacrifices to help in understanding the plan of salvation. But, Israel kept on forgetting to obey and worship God. Israel liked to "do their own thing!"
Go to the Next Section: God's People Compromise With The World.
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