When the priest entered the Holy Place, on his right, on the North side, was a table with bread on it. This bread was called the Bread of the Presence. Symbolically cleansed from sin the priest and sinner now entered the presence of God. He had an obligation to study the words of God for truth to keep him from future sins. “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11. “His Divine Power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him.” 2 Peter 1:3. The table with the Bread of the Presence represented the knowledge of God. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life... I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” John 6:48, 51.
By constantly eating of and obeying the Bread of Life, the Word of God - we maintain a sinless, spiritual relationship with Christ. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up and burned.” John 15:5-7.
The Word of God, the Ten Commandments, came down and walked among us in the flesh. This was done through Jesus so we could see how the Ten Commandments were to be lived. He who gave them and commanded them to be upon the heart, took humanity, human flesh, and lived them as an example for humanity to follow. “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory.” John 1:14. “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” John 6:63.
On the other side, across from the table of the bread, on the South side, stood the seven candlesticks. These candlesticks gave light to the temple. As we study, learn and be obedient to the ways we are to walk and live, our lives become more like Jesus. “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.” 1 Peter 2:21, 22.
Studying to be like Jesus develops the divine nature within us. “So that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” 2 Peter 1:4.
Now your character begins to shine with the glory of God. The words of God obeyed in you, like the candlesticks, by the Holy Spirit, give light to your body temples. Then it will shine out to all around you. “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds (works) and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16.
“I am the light of the world.” John 8:12. His light wraps around us and enfolds us, exploding in us and radiating to the entire world. Just as the sun is exploding its light to the heavens and the earth to warm them and give us life, we are to “shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.” Philippians 2:15, 16.
The sinner has now come back into atonement (at-one-ment) with God. He is now sinless in the eyes of God. Past sins have been atoned for: Justification. He now lives without sin at the present time: Sanctification. By keeping his eyes on Jesus and His Ten Commandments, talking “about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up,” he lives the perfect life of Christ. Deuteronomy 6:7.
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:24, 25.
The last article of furniture in the temple’s Holy Place, in front of the Most Holy Place, was the altar of incense. The priest would fill the censor and burn it to God. While it burned, he would offer up prayers to God on behalf of the Israelites. The priest symbolized Jesus Christ who stands in the presence of the Ancient of Days and offers up prayers on our behalf.
As a human, on earth, He offered up prayers for us. He leaves us an example to follow. We need to learn to pray for each other. Pray often, pray fervently, pray specifically. Jesus’ life was a life of prayer. Miracles happen when we pray and live obediently.
At this point we need to bring back the point of what the writer of Hebrews says about the temple services and sacrifices. “This is an illustration for the present times, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings – external regulations applying until the time of the new order.” Hebrews 9:9, 10. That “new order” was the “New Testament”.
Jesus Christ has been our High Priest since Adam and Eve sinned. It has been Jesus who has forgiven our sins ever since the first prayer of confession and repentance was offered. “I have forgiven them.” “The Lord has taken away your sin.” “You shall acknowledge no God but Me, no Savior except Me.” Numbers 14:20; 2 Samuel 12:13; Hosea 13:4. In both the Old and New Testaments, Jesus Christ has been our only High Priest, our only Savior, our only Forgiver of sins. Look to Jesus and Jesus only.