Old Covenant

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There came a time when the world needed to see a more comprehensive plan of salvation. As the world's population grew in size, people began to forget the plan and lost sight of the simplicity of salvation. They began to substitute their own acts of worship (paganism) to replace the true. God needed to set up a complete picture so the whole world could see what God was doing to bring salvation to each individual human being.

Almost 2,500 years after sin entered the world, God chose a people, the descendants of Abraham, to be His representatives to the world. They were to be His ambassadors to the nations, revealing His salvation to all the earth. In a most dramatic way He let the world know that He was setting aside the Israelites to be His nation and the depositories of His plan of salvation for the world. Ezekiel 5:5.

Once He removed His people from the things and influences of Egypt and the world, He got their attention and then put them to work for Him. He instituted a "Broadway play" to be enacted day after day. Each day the world could watch the plan of salvation played out. The play would not bring salvation, but simply reveal it - typify it - symbolizing what was going on in heaven. "Then have them make Me a sanctuary for Me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you." Exodus 25:8, 9

"Set up the tabernacle according to the plan shown you on the mountain." Exodus 26:30. This plan was a copy, shadow, of the temple in heaven. The priests of Israel were to "serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. Hebrews 8:5.  Let's take a closer look at this symbolic sanctuary and see what valuable, salvation producing information it gives.

The temple was laid out so that the entrance faced east, toward the rising of the sun. (So their backs would be toward the sun. So their faces, when entering, would be away from the sun. No "sun-day" worship here.) Exodus 27:13.   As the sun rose, the day began at the temple. Priests and Levites prepared for the symbolic, operatic play that would unfold that day. There was the cleansing of the sanctuary, the tending of the lamps and the cleaning of the water and utensils.

They also had to prepare the altars of incense and sacrifices for the day's use. Exodus 40:17-33; Leviticus 24:4-8; Numbers 18:1-7; 28:1-8.

The furniture of the temple was sparse and simple. (How different from our churches of today.)  In the outer court, as you came through the entrance was the Altar of Sacrifice which represented our death to self. Next was the Basin of Water which was used by the priests to clean their hands and feet before entering the Holy Place. This symbolized our need to cleanse our lives and hearts before entering the presence of God.

As one entered the Holy Place,  he would notice on his right the Table of Shewbread. On it were laid 12 pancake type pieces of bread, stacked in two columns of six each. Directly in front was the Altar of Incense that was used for burning incense. To the left was the seven stick Candelabra which gave light to the temple.

Behind the curtain was the Most Holy Place in which the Ark of the Covenant resided. Above the Ark was the Mercy Seat (Seat of Grace) where the Divine Presence of God dwelt. Exodus 37:1-9; 40:34, 35.

 

Related Texts

Exodus 25:8, 9
"Then have them make Me a sanctuary for Me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you."
Exodus 26:30
"Set up the tabernacle according to the plan shown you on the mountain."
Luke 5:27
"Follow Me." 
John 14:31
"But the world must learn that I love the Father and do exactly what My Father has commanded Me."
13. Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance, 14 and did not inquire of the LORD. So the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.
Ezekiel 18:23, 31, 32
"Do I take pleasure in the death of the wicked? Declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live." "Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD.  Repent and live."