The Sanctuary

     The Sanctuary was the heart of the typical system. There the Lord placed His name, manifested His glory, and held converse with the High Priest relative to the welfare of Israel. While we inquire from the Scriptures what the Sanctuary is, let all educational prejudice be dismissed from the mind. For the Bible clearly defines, what the Sanctuary is, and answers every reasonable question you may ask concerning it.    

     The name, Sanctuary, is applied to several different things in the Old Testament, neither did the Wonderful Numberer, tell Daniel what Sanctuary was to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days, but called it the Sanctuary, as though Daniel well understood it, and that he did is evident from the fact that he did not ask what it was. But as it has now become a matter of dispute as to what the Sanctuary is, our only safety lies in seeking from the New Testament, the Divine comment upon it. Its decision should place the matter beyond all controversy with Christians.     

    Paul freely discusses this subject in the Epistle to the Hebrews, to whom the typical covenant pertained. "Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. (Hebrews 13:11, see Hebrews 9:1-5.)   

     "For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called (Hagia) Holy. "And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the (Hagia Hagion) Holy of Holies; "Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; "And over it the cherubims of glory overshadowing the mercy-seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly."  

     A particular description is found in the last four books of the Pentateuch. "Sanctuary" was the first name the Lord gave it; Exodus 25:8 which name covers not only the tabernacle with its two apartments, but also the court and all the vessels of the ministry. This Paul calls the Sanctuary of the first covenant, "which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices;" Hebrews 9:9.,   

     "But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands;" verse 11. The priests entered the "figures" or "patterns of the true", which true are the "heavenly places themselves", into which Christ entered when He entered "heaven itself"; verses 23, 24. When He ascended to the right hand of the Father, "in the heavens", He became "A Minister of the Sanctuary (or Hagion, Holies) and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched and not man;" Hebrews 8:1,2. That is the Sanctuary of the "better (the new) covenant;" verse 6.     

     The Sanctuary to be cleansed at the end of 2300 days is also the Sanctuary of the new covenant, for the vision of the treading down and cleansing, is after the crucifixion. We see that the Sanctuary of the new covenant is not on earth, but in heaven. The true tabernacle which forms a part of the new covenant Sanctuary, was made and pitched by the Lord, in contradistinction to that of the first covenant which was made and pitched by man, in obedience to the command of God; Exodus 25:8.     

     Now what does the same apostle say the Lord has pitched? "A city which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God;" Hebrews 11:10. What is its name? "The heavenly Jerusalem;" Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 21. "A building of God, an house not made with hands eternal in the heavens;" 2 Corinthians 5:1. "My Father's house of many mansions;" John 14:2. When our Savior was at Jerusalem, and had pronounced its house desolate, the disciples came to Him to show Him the buildings of the temple. Then He said: "There shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down:" Matthew 24:1,2. That temple was their Sanctuary; 1 Chronicles 22:17-19; 28:9-13; 2 Chronicles 29:5,21; 36:14,17. Such an announcement would tend to fill them with sadness and fear, as foretelling the derangement, if not the total prostration of their entire religious system. But to comfort and teach them, He says, "In My Father's house are MANY MANSIONS;" John 14:1-3.     

     Standing, as He was, on the dividing line between the typical covenant and the anti-typical, and having just declared the house of the former no longer valid, and foretold its destruction; how natural that He should point His disciples to the Sanctuary of the latter, about which their affections and interests were to cluster as they had about that of the former. The Sanctuary of the new covenant is connected with New Jerusalem, like the Sanctuary of the first covenant was with Old Jerusalem. As that was the place where the priests of that covenant ministered, so this is in heaven, the place where the Priest of the new covenant ministers. To these places, and these only, the New Testament applies the name "Sanctuary", and it does appear that this should forever set the question at rest.     

     But as we have been so long and industriously taught to look to the earth for the Sanctuary, it may be proper to inquire, by what Scriptural authority have we been thus taught? I can find none. If others can, let them produce it. Let it be remembered that the definition of Sanctuary is "a holy or sacred place". Is the earth, is Palestine such a place? Their entire contents answer, No! Was Daniel so taught? Look at his vision. "And the place of His Sanctuary was cast down;" Daniel 8:11. This casting down was in the days and by the means of the Roman power; therefore, the Sanctuary of this text was not the Earth, nor Palestine, because the former was cast down at the fall, more than 4,000 years, and the latter at the captivity, more than 700 years previous to the event of this passage, and neither by Roman agency.     

     The Sanctuary cast down is His against whom Rome magnified himself, which was the Prince of the host, Jesus Christ; and Paul teaches that His Sanctuary is in heaven. Again, Daniel 11:30,31, "For the ships of Chittim shall come against him; therefore, shall he be grieved and return, and have indignation (the staff to chastise) against the holy covenant (Christianity), so shall he do; he shall even return and have intelligence with them (priests and bishops) that forsake the holy covenant. "And arms (civil and religious) shall stand on his part, and they (Rome and those that forsake the holy covenant) shall pollute the Sanctuary of strength." What was this that Rome and the apostles of Christianity should joint pollute? This combination was formed against the "holy covenant", and it was the Sanctuary of that covenant they polluted; which they could do as well as to pollute the name of God; Jeremiah 34:16; Ezekiel 20; Malachi 1:7. This was the same as profaning or blaspheming His name. In this sense this "politico-religious" beast polluted the Sanctuary, (Revelation 13:6), and cast it down from its place in heaven, (Psalm 102:19; Jeremiah 17:12; Hebrews 8:1,2) when they called Rome the holy city, (Revelation 21:2) and installed the Pope there with the titles, "Lord God the Pope", "Holy Father", "Head of the Church", etc., and there, in the counterfeit, "temple of God", he professes to do what Jesus actually does in His Sanctuary; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8. The Sanctuary has been trodden under foot (Daniel 8:13), the same as the Son of God has. 

(Hebrews 10:29.)   

     Daniel prayed "Cause Thy face to shine upon Thy Sanctuary that is desolate;" Daniel 9:17. This was the typical Sanctuary built by Solomon. "Thou hast commanded me to build a temple upon Thy Holy Mount, and an altar in the city wherein Thou dwellest, a resemblance of Thy Holy tabernacle, which Thou hast prepared from the beginning;" Wisdom of Solomon 9:8; 1 Chronicles 28:10-13. It has shared in the seventy years desolation of Jerusalem; Daniel 9:2; 2 Chronicles 36:14-21. It was rebuilt after the captivity; Nehemiah 10:39. Moses received the patterns of the Sanctuary, built at Sinai when he was with the Lord forty days in the cloud on the Mount; and David received the patterns of that built by Solomon, which superseded Moses' with its chambers, porches, courts, the courses of the priests and Levites, and all the vessels of service, etc., "by the Spirit;" 1 Chronicles 28:10-13.     

     It is manifest that both Moses and David had prophetic visions of the New Jerusalem with its Sanctuary and Christ, the officiating Priest. When that built by Moses was superseded by Solomon's, the Ark was borne from the former to the latter; 2 Chronicles 5:2-8. The Sanctuary comprehended not only the Tabernacle, but also all the vessels of the ministry, enclosed by the court in which the tabernacle stood; Numbers 3:29-31; 10:17,21. So the court in which the Temple stood was properly called the Sanctuary - Prideaux. We learn the same from 2 Chronicles 29:18,21. "We have cleansed all the house of the Lord, and the altar of burnt-offering, with all the vessels thereof, and the shew-bread table with all the vessels thereof."  

     The altar of burnt-offering with its vessels stood before the Temple in the inner court, the whole of which are in verse 21 called the Sanctuary. Well, says one, is not Palestine called the Sanctuary? I think not. Exodus 15:17 - "Thou shalt bring them in and plant them in the mountain of Thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which Thou hast made for Thee to dwell in; in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which Thy hands have established."    

     What is it which the Lord "has made to dwell in", which His "hands have established"? Paul says it is "A city;" Hebrews 11:10; a "Tabernacle", Hebrews 8:2; "A building in the heavens," 2 Corinthians 5:1. And the Lord has chosen Mount Zion in Palestine for the place of its final location; Psalm 132:13,14. "For the Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation. "This is My rest forever; here will I dwell; for I have desired it."     

     "He brought them to the border of the Sanctuary, even to this mountain;" Psalm 78:54; which was its chosen border or place; but not the Sanctuary itself, any more than Mount Moriah, on which the Temple was built, was the Temple itself. Did they regard that land as the Sanctuary? If they did not, we should not. A view of the text in which the word occurs will show: "Let them make Me a Sanctuary;" Exodus 25:8. "The shekel of the Sanctuary," Exodus 30:13 and above twenty others like it. "Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise-hearted man, in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the Sanctuary," Exodus 26:1-6, see Exodus 36:1. "Before the veil of the Sanctuary," Leviticus 4:6. "Carry your brethren from before the Sanctuary," Leviticus 10:4. "Nor come into the Sanctuary;" Leviticus 12:4. "He shall make atonement for the tabernacle;" Leviticus 16:33. "Reverence My Sanctuary;" Leviticus 19:30; 26:2. "Nor profane the Sanctuary of his God;" Leviticus 21:12. "Vessels of the Sanctuary;" Numbers 3:31. "Charge of the Sanctuary;" Numbers 3:32,38. "They minister in the Sanctuary;" Numbers 4:12. "In the Sanctuary, and the vessels thereof." Verse 16. "And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the Sanctuary and all the vessels of the Sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it;" Numbers 4:15; 7:9; 10:21. "That there be no plague among the children of Israel when the children of Israel come nigh unto the Sanctuary;" Numbers 8:19. "Thou and thy sons and thy Father's house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the Sanctuary;" Numbers 18:1. "He hath defiled the Sanctuary of his God;" Numbers 19:20. Joshua "took a great stone and set it up there under an oak that was by the Sanctuary of the Lord." Joshua 24:26. "All the instruments of the Sanctuary." 1 Chronicles 9:29. "Build ye the Sanctuary;" 1 Chronicles 22:19. "Governors of the Sanctuary;" 1 Chronicles 24:5. "The Lord hath chosen thee to build an house for the Sanctuary;" 1 Chronicles 28:10; 2 Chronicles 20:8. "Go out of the Sanctuary;" 2 Chronicles 26:18; 29:21; 30:8. "Purification of the Sanctuary;" 2 Chronicles 30:19; 36:17.     

     I have given nearly every text, and, I believe, every different form of expression in which the word occurs till we come to the Psalms; so that every one can see what they understood the Sanctuary to be. And of the fifty texts quoted, not one applies it to the land of Palestine, nor any land. That Sanctuary, though enclosed with curtains, was called "the house of the Lord," (Judges 18:31; 1 Samuel 1:7-24) and was pitched at the city of Shiloah at the time of dividing the land; Judges 18:1,10, hence it was called the "Tabernacle of Shiloah," (safety and happiness) Psalms 78:60. The Lord forsook it when the Philistines took the ark (1 Samuel 4:3-11) and delivered His strength into captivity, and His glory into the enemy's hand; verse 21.   

     It was brought back to Kirjath-jearim (1 Samuel 7:1,2), thence to the house of Obed-edom, thence to the city of David which is Zion, (2 Samuel 6:1-19; 5:9) and thence, at the direction of Solomon, the Ark was conveyed into the Holy of Holies of the temple (1 Kings 8:1-6), which was built in Mount Moriah near Mount Zion; 2 Chronicles 3:1. The Lord has chosen Zion to dwell in rest forever; (Psalms 132:13,14) but as yet He had dwelt there but a short time, and then in curtains made with hands; but when He shall appear in His glory He will have "mercy on Zion" and build it up; then Jerusalem upon it, shall be "a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down;" (Psalm 102; Isaiah 33:20). And then "the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem;" verses 18,19. The Song of Moses, (Exodus 15) is evidently prophetic, and contemplates the happy scenes of the Eden Zion. And so Ezekiel has it. The Lord will bring the whole house of Israel up out of their graves into the land of Israel; and then set His Sanctuary and tabernacle in the midst of them for evermore. The Sanctuary is not "the land of Israel" nor the people; for it is set in their midst, and is built and forms a part of the city whose name is, "The Lord is there."  


1846 ORLC, LOM 39