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Why Study the Sanctuary?                  
MARK TRETHEWEY
 
“Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary…” Psalm 77:13
 
   The sanctuary is all about Jesus and His plan of salvation!  Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the Savior of the world, it’s ALL about Jesus!  He is the sacrificial Lamb of God.  Without His sacrifice for us, we would have no hope of ever walking the streets of Heaven.  We would be eternally lost if it were not for His great sacrifice. We study the Sanctuary to discover His truth, “and the truth shall set you free” John 8:32.
  Imagine being in the camp of Israel, lead by Moses in the wilderness.  As the Israelites gathered for their morning and evening worship, did they bring their bibles?  No!  They didn’t have Bibles because the Bible had not been written yet.  God chose this unique way of ceremony and symbolism in the sanctuary to communicate to His people the truths He wanted them to know about what His Son had to do to redeem them. 
  The only entrance into the sanctuary was the gate which represented Jesus.  Compare this to the words of Christ when He said, “I am the door.  If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved…”  John 10:9.  The first piece of furniture behind the gate is the Altar of Sacrifice, where the sacrifices were offered as burnt offerings.  Jesus was the real sacrificial Lamb.  Jesus called Himself the “Bread of Life”.  Through the ministry of the Table of Showbread, the Israelite priests should have well understood that by saying this, He was calling Himself the Messiah.  In John 9:5, Jesus said “I am the light of the world”.  He also said in Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world”.  These statements are tied to the symbolic lessons given in the Golden Candlestick.  Another great truth of Christianity is that Jesus is our only intercessor and through Him, our prayers are acceptable to God.  That’s what the Altar of Incense is all about.  In the Most Holy Place is the Ark containing God’s unchangeable 10 commandments, the golden pot of manna with its lessons on God’s provisions and Sabbath observance, and Aaron’s rod that budded.  It is covered by the Mercy Seat and sprinkled with the atoning blood of Christ, our only way of salvation.  These are the fundamentals of Christianity.
   While studying these things, keep in mind that what Moses made in the wilderness was just a copy of the real sanctuary in Heaven.  The feasts of ancient Israel were prophetic.  One of those feasts pointed to the very time we are living in now--the Day of Atonement.  It was the most solemn day of the year, the most solemn of the feasts.  What should that mean to us as we live during the time it pointed to, the time of the investigative judgment, where every soul that ever lived will pass before God’s discerning eye?  We should know what is going on in the real sanctuary in Heaven, where Christ, our High Priest, is faithfully ministering on our behalf. 

 
“The correct understanding of the ministration in the heavenly
 sanctuary is the foundation of our faith.” –Evangelism, 221

 
  Should we be studying what we claim to believe in?  Absolutely!  Should we be teaching these truths to our children?  We must!  It honors God to spend time in studying and learning about His infinite love and sacrifice for us.  The sanctuary reveals the core truths of Christianity.  It is pure truth in a dark world.  Without these truths, we are like a ship without a rudder, tossed around wherever the ocean of Babylon wants to take it.  Studying the Sanctuary will secure these truths in our hearts and minds, and as Jesus said, “the truth shall set you free” John 8:32.