The Sanctuary-Discussion Notes

Young Adult Sabbath School Lesson
The Sanctuary
Discussion for October 12, 2013
Time: ~ 25 minutes


Tell us your name, and answer the question: If you could remodel your home, what would you update or change?


Last week we studied about Heaven, God’s dwelling place. We talked about our different views/pictures of heaven based on what the Bible tells us and also based on folklore and art.  We discussed why knowing that there is a Heaven is important to us as Christians.

Now we move towards one of the important components of Heaven. The concept of Sanctuary, and how it brings heaven to earth.

Note: For clarification, we might use the words “Sanctuary” “Tabernacle” or “Temple” interchangeably during the study—we’ll be referring to the same thing.


A. What is the Sanctuary:

What does SANCTUARY mean to you? How could you define SANCTUARY?


  1. A consecrated place. The most sacred part of a religious building where the altar is placed. A place for worship.
  2. A place of refuge and protection. NOTE: Immunity from law (anyone who sought refuge in a religious sanctuary was safe from arrest by the civil authorities)

[Some answers] Consecrated place (or God’s Dwelling place), Place of worship, The place where God abides, Place of salvation – Jesus ministers in the heavenly Sanctuary

B. Examples of Sanctuary

To help us answer our question, we’ll be looking at some Biblical examples of a sanctuary. Consider the following question as we go through these verses:

  1. What temple is being referred to here
  2. What are some main characteristics that would make it a sanctuary

[on the white board after person reads, write 1: the temple referred 2: Characteristic. If necessary explore the idea]

EDEN – Genesis 1:31-2:3, 2:8, 15

31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.2 So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. 2 On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested[a] from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.

 8 Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made.

15 The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.

2: Direct fellowship with God. Adam tended it. Was a place set apart from all the other places on Earth. Had several parallelisms to the Wilderness Tabernacle that the Jewish people clearly understood: Approval, Completion, Blessing.


8 “Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them. 9 You must build this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you. 40 “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.

2: (25:8) “so I can live among them”

JESUS – John 2:18-21

18 But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.” 19 “All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”20 “What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” 21 But when Jesus said “this temple,” he meant his own body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said.

2: Jesus was the temple. He is God. Temple is wherever God dwells

Does this mean a second copy of the temple was now on earth? Were there two, the physical building and Jesus?

How can we consider both the building and Jesus as “copies” of the temple in heaven? (The sanctuary in heaven is where God dwells. God told Moses (Exodus 25:8) to make a sanctuary on earth “and I will dwell among them.” Jesus is God. In all three, the temple in heaven, the temple in Jerusalem, and Jesus, we have the presence of God.)

CHURCH AS A BODY OF BELIEVERS – 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 & 1 Peter 2:5, 9

16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in[a] you? 17 God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple.  What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God.  …for you are a chosen people.  You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.  As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

* Putting them all together *

What do they all have in common? They are very different types of Sanctuaries, but what is the characteristic that unites them?

-Dwelling of God

-All these Earthly Sanctuaries are a copy of the Heavenly Sanctuary, of the place where God dwells.

Type = original

Antitype = copy of the original

“That is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals.  But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals.  For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven.  He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf.”  Hebrews 9:23-24

C. Lessons of the Sanctuary

1. US AS INDIVIDUALS Are a temple– 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

Our bodies are a temple of God, we miss out on the spiritual blessings b/c we want to do what we want to do with God’s dwelling place. There ought not to be a sense of ownership with what we do with God’s house because it’s not our house but Gods.

5They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.

Hebrews 8:5 places all the copies/representations on earth as shadows of the original.

What information about a person can you get from their shadow?

Shadow has very little of the glory of original, but it is still a representation of it. But it still is a sketch or a glimpse of what heaven is.

2. God includes us in the work of reconciling earth with heaven.

If we are temples, copies of God’s dwelling place in heaven, then we are called on to be a bit of Heaven on earth.

With this knowledge, how do you think we are made to view the way we live our lives? How do you think people at your job or school could respond to having a dwelling of God among them? How does this concept translate to the way we treat people?

– we are representatives of God’s presence in places. We should be showing the love, grace, mercy and kindness of God.

“Truth that is not lived, that is not imparted, loses its life-giving power, its healing virtue. Its blessings can be retained only as it is shared.” Ministry of Healing p. 149.

 The sanctuary in heaven and the copies on earth show that God desires to be with us. He desires to live in us. Ultimately, He desires to have us live with Him when Heaven really does come down to earth in the New Earth. Do you want that? Why not, right now, ask Jesus to live in you, to make you a temple on earth?

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