The Sanctuary

Revealed Truths

The earthly sanctuary was a model of the heavenly sanctuary.

The purpose of the sanctuary was for God to dwell with His people.

The sanctuary depicts the complete plan of salvation.

Every believer is an extension of God's temple.

Every believer is a priest.

Jesus is our High Priest.

In Heaven, God Himself will be our Temple.

Some key verses:

Heb 8:2,5, Ex 25:8, Jn 16:8, 1Co 3:16,17, 1Pe 2:5, Heb 4:14, Rev 21:22

Exposed Falsehoods

It is false to think that only certain individuals are priests.

It is false to think that there is any High Priest except Jesus.

It is false to think that we can be saved without Jesus.

It is false to think that we can be righteous without Jesus.

It is false to think that judgment will not occur.

Some key verses:

Rev 1:6, 1Ti 2:5, Mt 26:28, 1Pe 1:18,19, Jn 8:12, Jn 6:48, Ro 5:10, Heb 9:27

The Earthly Sanctuary


The sacrificial system existed before the tabernacle (Ge 4:3-7, Ge 8:20, Ge 22:10-14, Ex 3:18, Heb 11:4, Rev 13:8)

Tabernacle in the wilderness (Tent of Meeting) (Ex 25-30, Ex 36-40, Lev 1-9, Lev 16)

Designed for portability, linen walls, tent covering

Temple of Solomon (first temple, Jerusalem, Mount Moriah) (1Ki 6:1, 2Ch 3:1, 2Ch 7:11,12,16,19-22)

Mount Moriah was the scene of the offering of Isaac. (Ge 22:2)

Pillaged by Nebuchadnezzar's army in 606 BC (Da 1:1,2))

Pillaged again and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar's army in 586 BC (2Ki 25:8-15)

Visionary temple of Ezekiel (Eze 40-43)

Never existed in reality, plan was never realized because of disobedience of God's people

Temple of Zerubbabel (second temple, Jerusalem) (Ezr 3:8, Ezr 6:14,15, Zec 4:8,9)

Rebuilding their temple was the Jew's first task after release from Babylonian captivity.

Three decrees influenced the rebuilding and furnishing of the temple. (Ezr 6:14)

Great opposition was encountered during the rebuilding. (Ezr 4:4,5,21-24)

The Most Holy Place was empty (contents disappeared when first temple destroyed in 586 BC).

Antiochus IV Epiphanes desecrated the temple in 168 BC, sacrificed swine to Jupiter Olympus

Temple of Herod (same site as second temple, still referred to by Jews as second temple)

Gradual replacement of second temple by completely new complex

The Most Holy Place is still empty.

Jesus entered this temple in person. (Mt 21:12,23, Lk 20:1)

Destroyed during the siege of Titus in 70 AD (Mt 24:1,2, Lk 21:20-24)

Another Jewish temple has never been rebuilt.

The temple site is now occupied by the Moslem Dome of the Rock.


For God to dwell with His people (Ex 25:8, Ex 29:44-46)

For God's people to better understand the total ministry of Jesus

The earthly sanctuary is a copy/shadow of the heavenly one. (Ex 25:8,9,40, Heb 8:2,5, Heb 9:19-24)  The Sanctuary

Events were reminders that repeated in an annual cyle (Heb 9:7,25, Heb 10:1,3)

There were daily and annual reminders.

Daily [Heb. tamiyd (taw-meed' )] - "continual, daily, ever, perpetual" (Strong's Dictionary)

Jesus is the High Priest of the heavenly sanctuary. (Heb 8:1,2)


Sons of Aaron (Lev 21:1, Nu 3:10, Nu 18:1,7)

Washed with water (Ex 29:4, Lev 8:6)

Clothed with priestly garments (Ex 29:5,6,8,9, Lev 8:7-9,13)

Ordained with the blood of a ram (Ex 29:19-21, Lev 8:22-24,30)

Assisted by the tribe of Levi (Nu 3:5-9, Nu 18:6)

Note that Aaron and his brother Moses were Levites. (1Ch 6:1-3)

Holy (Lev 21:1,6)

The High Priest

Aaron was the first high priest of the earthly sanctuary. (Ex 29:5-7, Lev 21:10)

Called by God (Heb 5:1,4)

Anointed with oil (Ex 29:7, Lev 8:12, Lev 21:10, Nu 35:25)

A symbol of the true Mediator (Lev 16:32,33, Heb 9:14,15,28, Heb 10:4,8-12)

The Courtyard

Altar of burnt offering (Ex 27:1-8)

Sin offerings - to make atonement (Lev 1-7)

Sins against God and sins against others (Mt 22:36-40)

Individual sin (Lev 4:27) and corporate sin (Lev 4:13)

Intentional sin (Lev 6:2,3) and unintentional sin (Lev 4:27, Lev 5:17)

Sacrificial animals

Without defect (Lev 1:10)

Lambs (young sheep), rams (male sheep), goats, oxen, bulls, pigeons, turtledoves

Sinner lays hands on head of animal - symbolically transferring sin to innocent substitute (Lev 1:4, Lev 3:2)

Sinner slays the animal - sinner is the cause of the death (Lev 1:4,5,10,11, Lev 3:2)

Priests apply blood or eat portions - symbolically transferring sin to sanctuary (Lev 10:17, Jer 17:1)

Blood applied at base and on horns of altar of burnt offering (Lev 1:11, Lev 4:25,30)

When blood is not applied, the priest eats the sacrifice. (Lev 6:25,26,30)

Portions that are not transferred are burned.

Fat burned on altar of burnt offering (Lev 4:8-10,26,31)

Non fat portions burned outside the camp (Lev 4:11,12)

Daily (continual) reminders (Ex 29:38-42, Nu 28:3-8)

Sacrifice one lamb in morning, one lamb in evening, continually

The atonement for sin was always by a prescribed sacrifice, never by works.

Confession is expected (Lev 5:5,6)

Restitution is expected (Lev 6:4,5)

No provision for defiant, blasphemous sin (Nu 15:30,31)

Repentance from sin is required for forgiveness.

Sacrifices not to be abused as a means of living in sin. (1Sa 15:22, Ps 51:16,17, Isa 1:11-17, Isa 66:3,4, Jer 7:22-24, Hos 6:6 (Mt 9:13, Mt 12:7), Am 5:21-24, Mic 6:6-8)

Note: "contrite" - grieving and penitent for sin or shortcoming

Besides sin offerings, there were also free-will offerings for worship, thanksgiving, and vows. (Lev 7:11-13, Lev 7:16, 1Ch 16:28,29)

The laver (basin for washing) (Ex 30:18-21)

The Holy Place

Lampstand with 7 lamps (Ex 25:31-40)

Note that six branches came from a seventh, central shaft.

Ever present bread (Ex 25:23-30)

Twelve cakes were used and were eaten every Sabbath by the priests. (Lev 24:5-9)

Altar of incense - functionally considered part of the Most Holy Place (1Ki 6:19-22, Heb 9:3,4)

The smoke ascended over the top of the veil into the Most Holy Place, into the Presence of God.

Priests apply blood - symbolically transferring sin to the sanctuary

Blood applied before the veil (sprinkled 7 times) (Lev 4:5,6,17)

Blood applied on the horns of the altar of incense (Lev 4:7,18)

Daily (continual) reminders

Lamps burned continually (Lev 24:2)

Fresh bread replaced every Sabbath, continually (Lev 24:5,8)

Incense burned in the morning and the evening, continually (Ex 30:6-8)

The Most Holy Place

The ark of the Testimony (ark of the Lord, ark of the covenant) (Ex 25:10-22, Jos 4:9-11, Heb 9:3-5)

Ten commandments (1Ki 8:9, 2Ch 5:10)

Gold jar of manna (Ex 16:32-34)

Aaron's staff that budded (Nu 17:8-10)

Mercy seat (Ex 25:17)

Two cherubim, outstretched wings, faces turned down toward cover (Ex 25:20)

Glory of God - presence of God (Ex 25:22, 2Ch 5:13,14)

Entered only by the high priest - once a year on the Day of Atonement (Lev 16, Lev 16:2,29,30)

High priest applies blood to the mercy seat (Lev 16:15)

The Heavenly Sanctuary

The Heavenly Sanctuary is all about Jesus

The earthly sanctuary prefigured the heavenly ministries of Jesus. (Heb 9:8-12, Heb 12:18-25)

The shadow services of the earthly sanctuary ended with the cross of Christ. (Mt 27:50,51, Col 2:14-17, Heb 10:19-22)


Sons of God

Every believer is a priest (Rev 1:6, Rev 5:10, Rev 20:6)

Every believer is a son of God (Ro 8:14-16, Ro 9:26)

Baptized with water (Mk 16:16, Jn 3:5)

Clothed with the righteousness of Christ (2Co 5:21, Gal 3:27, Rev 7:14)

Ordained through the blood of Jesus (Mt 26:28, 1Pe 1:18,19)

Assisted by the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:15-17)

Holy (1Pe 1:15,16, 1Pe 2:4,5,9)

The High Priest (Jesus)

Jesus is the High Priest of the heavenly sanctuary. (Heb 4:14, Heb 8:1,2, Heb 9:24)

Called by God (Heb 5:4-6,8-10)

Anointed with the Holy Spirit (Mt 3:16, Lk 4:18, Ac 10:38)

The Courtyard (Sacrificial Ministry of Jesus)

The blood of animals cannot take away sin. (Heb 10:1-4,11)

Jesus is our sacrificial Lamb (Isa 53:5-8 (also 1Pe 2:24), Mt 26:28, Jn 1:29, 1Co 5:7, Eph 5:2, Heb 9:22-28, Heb 10:5-10, 1Pe 1:18,19, 1Pe 3:18, 1Jn 1:7, Rev 5:6-9, Rev 13:8)

Jesus is our Saviour

Salvation by grace through faith (Eph 2:8,9)

Justification - God credits His Son's sacrificial payment to our record of sin.

Grace is not to be abused as a means of continuing in sin. (Ro 3:31, Ro 6:1,2,14,15, Heb 6:4-8, 1Jn 3:4-6, Jude 1:4)

Laver - baptism (symbolic of cleansing from sin and beginning a new life) (Mk 16:16, Ac 2:38, Ac 22:16, Ro 6:3,4)

The Holy Place (Intercessory Ministry of Jesus)

Lampstand with 7 lamps

Six branches come from a seventh, central shaft, which is Jesus. (compare Jn 15:5, Ro 11:18-24)

Jesus is light of the world (Jn 1:4,5,9, Jn 8:12)

Darkness represents sin. (Jn 3:19-21)

Jesus shines like the sun through His church. (Mal 4:2, Rev 1:12,13,20)

The church is to shine the Light. (Mt 5:14-16)

The light of God continually burns within our hearts through the ministry of Christ our High Priest. (compare Lev 24:2-4)

Ever present bread

Jesus is the bread of life (Jn 6:32,33,35,48,51)

We do not live on bread alone, but on the word of God. (Mt 4:4)

Jesus is the living Word. (Jn 1:1,14)

Give us today our daily Bread. (Mt 6:11)

The word of God continually transforms our character through the ministry of Christ our High Priest. (compare Lev 24:5-8)

Cloud of incense

The perfect, righteous life of Jesus (2Co 2:14,15, Eph 5:2)

Mixed with the presence of the righteousness of Christ, our prayers are made acceptable to God (Ps 141:2, Rev 5:8, Rev 8:3,4)

Second veil (Heb 9:3)

The crucified body of Jesus (Heb 10:20)

Opened now to the presence of God through His sacrificial death and priestly intercession (Lk 23:45, Heb 10:19-22)

Applied blood

Jesus' blood, shed for our redemption (Heb 6:19,20, Heb 9:11,12,25,26)

Indirectly, the record of forgiven sin (Jer 17:1), books (Da 7:10, Rev 20:12)

Jesus is the only mediator between God and man. (Ac 4:12, 1Ti 2:5, Heb 8:6, Heb 9:15)

Jesus continually intercedes for us. (Heb 2:18, Heb 4:15,16, Heb 7:25, Heb 9:24)

Jesus is our Lord.

We should cooperate with our transformation. (Col 3:5-11, Ro 12:2, 1Jn 2:6)

Sanctification - Jesus imparts His perfect life to ours, He empowers us to do His works. (Eph 2:10)

The perfect death and perfect life of Christ come together for our complete salvation. (Ro 5:10)

The Most Holy Place (Judgment/Mercy Ministry of Jesus)

The ark of the Testimony

The Ten Commandments - God's law is a testimony of His loving character. (Mt 22:36-40, Ro 13:8-10, 1Jn 4:8, Rev 11:19, Rev 15:5)

Gold jar of manna - Jesus (the bread of life from heaven) (Jn 6:56-58)

Aaron's staff that budded - warning about the final judgment (Nu 17:6-10, Jude 1:11,14,15)

Korah's rebellion (Nu 16:1-5,8-10,31-33,41,44,45,49) (compare Isa 14:12-15)

The mercy seat

Love, mercy, forgiveness, and cleansing through the blood of Jesus (Lev 16:15, Jn 15:13, 1Jn 1:7)

Two cherubim

Angels' reverence for the sufferings of Christ and interest in the salvation of souls. (1Pe 1:10-12 compare Lk 15:10)

Day of Atonement

Final judgment and cleansing (Lev 16:29-31, Lev 23:26-29, Heb 9:27, Rev 3:5)

Removal of the record of sin (Isa 43:25)

Conducted by Jesus our Advocate (Da 7:9,10,13,14, Jn 5:22,23, 2Co 5:10) (1Jn 2:1,2)

Every Believer is an Extension of God's Temple.

We are the temple of God. (1Co 3:16,17, Eph 2:19-21, 1Pe 2:5)

The purpose of God's temple is for God to dwell with His people (Ex 25:8, Ex 29:44-46)

God lives in us. (1Jn 4:13-15)

The Holy Spirit lives in us. (Jn 14:15-17)

Jesus lives in us. (Jn 17:22,23, Ro 8:9-11, Col 1:27, Col 3:9-11)

God's law is in our mind and heart. (Heb 8:10 compare 2Co 3:3)

In Heaven, God Himself will be our Temple

In Heaven, God Himself will be our Temple. (Rev 21:22)

The Sanctuary Messages Summarized

The Holy Spirit reproves the world of sin, righteous, and judgment. (Jn 16:8)

sin (Courtyard)

Only through Jesus can our sins be forgiven, according to our faith in Him.

righteousness (Holy Place)

Only through Jesus can we live in righteousness, according to His character in us.

judgment (Most Holy Place)

Only through Jesus are we judged/shown mercy, according to our life's response to Him.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. (Jn 14:6 compare Ps 77:13)

the way (Courtyard)

Only through Jesus is there a way to save us from the penalty of our sins.

the truth (Holy Place)

Only through Jesus can we know the true/right way to live in the power of His holiness.

the life (Most Holy Place)

Only through Jesus are we granted/given eternal life in the judgment.

We are to abide in faith, hope, and love. (1Co 13:13)

faith (Courtyard)

Only through faith in Jesus can we be saved.

hope (Holy Place)

Only through Jesus can we hope to become more and more spiritual/holy/perfect.

love (Most Holy Place)

Only through Jesus is God's love revealed such that His justice and mercy both triumph.

The sanctuary depicts the complete plan of salvation: justification, sanctificaton, and glorification.

justification (Courtyard)

Only through Jesus' sacrificial death can we be justified.

sanctificaton (Holy Place)

Only through Jesus' perfect life can we be sanctified.

glorification (Most Holy Place)

Only through Jesus' glorification will we receive glorification. (Ro 8:16-18, 1Co 15:49-53)

The sanctuary depicts Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.

Jesus' death (Courtyard)

Only through Jesus' death can we be rescued by the love of God.

Jesus' life (Holy Place)

Only through Jesus' life can we navigate our own life.

Jesus' resurrection (Most Holy Place)

Only through Jesus' resurrection can we confidently face death. (1Co 15:55-57)