HomeSSLessons2013d The Sanctuary2013d DailyMonday: Copy of the Pattern    


Monday: Copy of the Pattern — 29 Comments

  1. The lesson says that

    The Hebrew word for “pattern” (tabnit) expresses the idea of a model or copy; thus, we can conclude that Moses saw some kind of miniature model that represented the heavenly sanctuary and that this model served as the pattern for the earthly.

    Therefore, the heavenly temple is the original, the model for the Israelite sanctuaries

    It seems to me that the last sentence above does not necessarily follow. If Moses saw a model, he did not see the real heavenly temple. He saw a model in heaven - a model of something else, not necessarily a literal building. The text does not allow us to say anything about a literal building in heaven one way or the other with complete assurance.

    I have always pictured the Most Holy Place as the throne room of God in heaven, with the cherubim representing the two angels closest to the throne, and the angels woven into the curtains representing the myriads of the hosts of heavenly angels. It is the command center of the universe - a very busy place with angels continually hurrying to earth doing errands for God Almighty, many of them being in response to the prayers of His people.

    But I don't visualize God seated on a literal chest with literal stone tablets in it. Instead, the mercy seat represents an elevated throne of some sort (cf Eze 1:26-28; Eze 10:1-2)and the tables of the Law represent the fact that the Law of God is the foundation of God's government.

    To me, the Holy Place on earth particularly represents the engagement of Christ and heavenly beings in the salvation of man. The seven-branched candlestick representing both Christ Himself as Light of the World and Christ, through the Holy Spirit, within His body on earth giving light to the world. The altar of incense represents Christs ministry of intercession in our behalf -- i.e. His real intercession, not a literal altar with literal burning incense in heaven. The table of show bread to me represents Christ as the Bread of life - His literal body broken for us, His written Word testifying of Him, as given to us, and the body of believers who are to share the bread of life (Christ) with the world. And, again, the angels embroidered into the veil/curtain in threads of gold represent myriads of angels engaged in the work of saving mankind.

    In other words, I see the earthly sanctuary as representing a literal work going on in heaven, not a literal building with literal lamps, a literal table and a literal altar of incense. To me, it is this work in behalf of man that makes up the sanctuary, not walls and objects.

    We can see a parallel in a local church on this planet. What makes up the church - is it the walls and furnishings or is it the body of believers? A wise pastor when queried about his church when the building burned down said, "The building is destroyed, but the church is alive and well."

    I don't think the biblical text can be used to prove anything one way or the other regarding a literal building, and it is not helpful to argue about it.

    It seems to me that is most important is that we understand that, whether or not there is a literal building in heaven, what the earthly sanctuary typified was the real work of Christ in behalf of our salvation.

    • I think we should have a humble heart and sincere faith to accept that what is written is what our Lord reveled to His prophets and writers. It is a risk to let our imagination to create thoughts that are not written, because our Lord reveled what it is, if we start to image we can fall into doubts not only for this revelation, but also for other ones.

      • Esther, i am in total agreement with you and i believe it is the will of God. I am reminded of this Scripture in Deuteronomy 29: 29. "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." There are many significant similarities between the garden of Eden, the earthly Sanctuary and the heavenly Sanctuary. But there are also insignificant similarities and contradicting evidents as well. So it is important to draw our conclusions base on the evidents that are clearly revealed in the Holy Word and not to entertain what seems to make sense to us which is not clearly revealed in the Holy Word. We can be easily seduced into attractive and cunning erroneous beliefs once we conclude on our own aside from the Word. What is clear about the Sanctuary message is God's Loving Plan Of Salvation for us and that should be our main focus in our study of the Sanctuary. May we all come to full knowledge of God's Plan Of Salvation and respond in obedience to all His commandments for this is pleasing to God. Again thank you Esther for shareing and important point. Cheers my friends!!!

  2. As long as the Israelites built this tarbanacle exactly which is in heaven,the services that were being done there,were also the same in heaven.This means that Jesus told Moses to build the tarbanacle copying from heaven that He should bring Himself symbolicaly among the Israelites showing them that He is fully willing to cleanse the worlds sins by His blood and fully willing to be with them.

    • We are not to forget that John saw the throne room and the furniture with the literal meaning of them at the same time; with Christ among the candle stick we can conclude that wheather there is a literal candlestick, it does not matter as long as Jesus is the light of the world; for indeed this is what the cndle stick represnets. Today there is no need for the candlestick in the sanctuary, but in Heaven Jesus shines as the light of the world

  3. The lesson is in error when it states:

    Typology is a divinely designed, prophetic prefiguration that involves two corresponding historical realities, called type (original) and antitype (copy). Because the correspondence runs from the type (original) to the antitype (copy), we can see in Hebrews that the heavenly model that Moses had seen is referred to as “type” or “pattern” (Heb. 8:5) and the earthly sanctuary as “antitype” or “copy” (Heb. 9:24)

    The terms are exactly reversed: The offerings, the furniture and the sanctuary itself were types of Christ and His work. Christ was the great Antitype to whom these types pointed. (See, for instance, Desire of Ages, p. 709)

    It seems to me that Moses saw a model that represented the work of the sanctuary, while the reality was and is in heaven itself.

    Perhaps this is a good time to remind ourselves that we need to do our own studying and not rely on someone else's study. Even a good dictionary helps to look up the meaning of type and antitype. And the Holy Spirit is quite willing to instruct us as we prayerfully study the word of God for ourselves.

    • I concur with you on the error in the lesson as it states the typology in reverse: the type (copy) is the service on Earth and the antitype (original)is that which is in Heaven. What may have confused the editor is the use of the prefix ANTI. Some will not atribute the word ANTI with Christ. The Webster's dictionary shows that TYPE is a representation of something real (copy) that IS TO COME - as in our understanding of the sanctuary here on earth, viz-a-viz the one in Heaven.

    • Knowing the scripture for ourselves is vital, even more so as the end of the world is at hand. We must be diligent and study so as not to get caught up by the great deceiver. More than anything I want to spend eternity studying and praising God.

    • Dahlia, Please read Ellen's account in context. (For convenience, I have linked your reference to the Ellen White site.)

      She sees a vision of the Most Holy Place, and she sees the tables of the Ten Commandments within the ark, with a halo around the fourth commandment. (In the earthly sanctuary, no one could ever look inside the ark and live!) Then she goes on to explain the meaning of what she saw:

      And I saw that if God had changed the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day, He would have changed the writing of the Sabbath commandment, written on the tables of stone, which are now in the ark in the most holy place of the temple in heaven; and it would read thus: The first day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. But I saw that it read the same as when written on the tables of stone by the finger of God, and delivered to Moses on Sinai. “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.” I saw that the holy Sabbath is, and will be, the separating wall between the true Israel of God and unbelievers; and that the Sabbath is the great question to unite the hearts of God’s dear, waiting saints. (Early Writings, p. 32 )

      It seems to me that the point of her vision was not to indicate that there is a physical sanctuary in heaven precisely like the one on earth in every detail. It is the meaning of the symbols we should seek to understand.

      And please consider the context. Just before this she saw the people of God traveling to heaven on a narrow path. Is this literal or symbolic?

      In the vision just following this one, she sees the wicked raising "swords" against God's people in the time of trouble. Now, if that is literal, we have nothing to worry about. There are not enough swords in existence to cause too much trouble! So it seems to me that the swords are symbolic.

      Do you see what I'm getting at? The earthly sanctuary was symbolic of the work of Christ. Ellen saw something like this (but not exactly like it) in heaven - using the same symbols -- and she told us the meaning of what she saw.

      I think there's a fair bit of symbolism in her visions of heaven, and for good reason. While heaven is very real, the Apostle Paul told us that "“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) In other words, heavenly things cannot be captured in human language.

      Yet heaven is real enough - just better than we can possibly imagine. And the reality of what was symbolized in the earthly sanctuary is in heaven -- the ministry of Christ, the legions of angels (symbolized by embroidered angels on the veils), the throne of God, based on His holy Law.

    • Dahlia, as far as I can see no one is saying that there isn’t a literal heavenly sanctuary. Making such a statement would not be in harmony with scripture. The point is the focus of these lessons is not so much on the heavenly sanctuary as a building as it is on being a teaching tool, an object lesson, for us to understand how God is dealing with the sin problem. As has been pointed out it is nearly impossible to draw exact equivalences between the earthly sanctuary and the heavenly sanctuary for a lot of reasons so it makes little sense to attempt to do so.

      I think there is a lot of wisdom coming from Godfrey in a comment below as scripture says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor 2:9 NKJV). We can understand some things but there will always be things that are a mystery to us and for those things we should be satisfied with what has been clearly revealed to us and realize that anything more is speculation. As someone said long ago, “there are two things I know for sure, there is a God and I am not him.”

    • Dahlia you are right there is a literal Hevenly Sancturary right down to the candlesticks and shewbread table. Now just as a lot of stories in the Old Testement point to the plan of salvation, so does each point of interest in the Sancturary point to the plan of salvation. Look at the Sancturary as a tour through the plan of salvation. Start with the gate on the eastern side of the court, read John 10:9. Then go on to the burnt offering sacrifice, read 1John 4:10. Now move onto the water basin, read John 3:5. I hope this gets you started on our journey through the sanctuary. If you don't' learn anything other than our tour through the Sancturary as it pretains to the plan of salvation. You will have something to tell others of what Christ has done for you.

  4. I don't understand Inge Anderson comment. I mean I didn't observe the difference between Her comment and What was written. please explain it to me. God bless you

    • Michael, I mean that the "antitype" is the real thing towards which the type points, not the other way around (as the lesson puts it).

      Christ is the Antitype to which the types in the sanctuary pointed.

    • Michael - you will appreciate that the prefix 'anti- refers to 'be against' as in Anti-Christ - against Christ.

      Type is symbol, picture or shadow i.e not the true one.

      Therefore anti-type is actually against the picture, shadow or symbol. It surely has to be the True one. Hope this clarifies.

  5. If there is any subject that proves that as human beings we are limited in terms of our capacity to understand heavenly things and that our language is insufficient to define heaven, it is this one. I think it is enough to say that the earthly sanctuary was a representation of a heavenly sanctuary. But the exactly nature of the heavenly sanctuary cannot be properly visualised and described using the finite human mind. Probably the Holy Spirit will further open us up at the right time.

    • I beg to differ with your comment Godfrey, I hope in the nicest way. . The earthly sanctuary teaches us clearly what we need to understand about the nature of sin and the cost of our salvation. It was a teaching tool and told us what we needed to know. I grew up on a farm where we had about 200 sheep and I have a pretty fair understanding what it would mean to sacrifice a lamb. It pointed in a small but poignant way at the sacrifice of Jesus.

      I agree with you that we will probably never understand it all, but we know enough to accept and appreciate it. That is sufficient for now.

  6. So the book hebrews teach as dat heavenly sanctuary is there be4 God ask moses to built earthly sanctuary. Help me what is going on the heavenly sanctuary at dat time?

    • Philip,

      In the Bible, the "sanctuary" is always seen as the place where God dwells in a special sense. And God asked Moses to build a sanctuary so He might live ("dwell") with His people.

      As to what was going on in the heavenly sanctuary at the time - all activity was focused on rescuing mankind from the Deceiver who wanted and still wants to destroy them. And the activity in the sanctuary is still focused on saving us!

      The furniture in the sanctuary and the rites of the sanctuary were types to help us understand what God is doing to save us.

      The altar and its sacrifices told sinners that sin kills! It was/is only because Christ takes our place that we live, even though we have sinned.

      Different offerings actually had different meanings. There were offerings of thanks which were shared with friends and families - a good reminder that gratitude should cause us to share. The "burnt offerings," by contrast, were wholly burned on the altar, with nothing held back. They symbolized total dedication of the person to the service of God. (We cannot serve God while holding back anything.)

      And there is so much more symbolized in the sanctuary services.

      But as the basis for all this, I recommend reading the chapter, "The Plan of Redemption" in Patriarchs and Prophets. You can read it online on your phone by clicking on the link. 🙂

  7. Is there some overarching lesson we can learn about these temples?
    God wants to live with us. His house is designed with us in mind. He had us create a place for Him to live wiht us. He came to earth in human form to live with us. God's desire to be you and me gives me comfort and courage in a world full of challenges.

    • Rexley, yes I am sure that there is an overarching lesson but I think it concerns the great controversy. In our very egocentric way of thinking we tend to think that everything that is done is done just for us because we are the only intelligent creatures in the entire universe (I am not kidding you about that thought, I often see it on the internet on Christian sites concerning creationism). Likewise, we tend to limit our entire understanding of the sanctuary to Jesus only. While that should be our primary focus, certainly that is not the only thing we can learn from that very detailed structure that God had Moses build.

  8. This is from the reference given by Dahlia. Early Writings p.32. Mrs. White writes, "The Lord gave me the following view in 1847...I saw an angel flying swiftly to me. He quickly carried me from the earth to the Holy City. In the city I saw a temple, which I entered. I passed through a door before I came to the first veil. This veil was raised, and I passed into the holy place. Here I saw the altar of incense, the candlestick with seven lamps, and the table on which was the shewbread. After viewing the glory of the holy, Jesus raised the second veil and I passed into the holy of holies.
    In the holiest, I saw an ark; on the top and sides of it was pure gold. On each end of the ark was a lovely cherub, with its wings spread out over it. Their faces were turned toward each other, and they looked downward. Between the angels was a golden censer. Above the ark, where the angels stood, was an exceeding bright glory, that appeared like a throne where God dwelt..."
    Is this not a literal sanctuary in heaven that Mrs. White saw? Is there really no physical sanctuary in heaven? Can you provide us an answer with text/reference if possible? Thanks. I'm learning from your comments.

    • Merwin, we could ask whether Ellen White physically went to heaven or was shown it in a vision. My point is the physical and real are not necessarily the same thing. It does not worry me whether folk believe in a physical heavenly sanctuary or not; that is unimportant. The reality is that there is a sanctuary in heaven with Jesus being both the sacrifice and the high priest - he both died for us and ministers on our behalf.

      We often let the argument over "form" get in the way of our acceptance and understanding of "function" and that is to our loss. Building or no building the work of Christ remains of the utmost importance.

    • We must be careful that we do not "spiritualize" everything away. If we think that what Ellen saw in vision was only symbolic, then we could go a step further and say that heaven itself is only symbolic and not reality.
      Paul describes an experience he had in these words from 2 Corinthians 12:
      "It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5 Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. 6 For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me."
      Paul says he was caught up to Paradise (is Paradise real?) and heard inexpressible words (did he really hear these words?)

      Inge quotes from Early Writings. These words are contained in her quote. "I saw that if God had changed the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day, He would have changed the writing of the Sabbath commandment, written on the tables of stone, which are now in the ark in the most holy place of the temple in heaven." If I understand this correctly, she is saying that the same tables of stone that were in the Most Holy Place on earth are now located in heaven. If they are real, then why wouldn't the sanctuary be real?

      • Yes, Larry I think you are right; Heaven is real and far better than we can imagine. Ellen White also had the same concerns that you express in your comment as we can see in the quote on Friday's lesson.

        While I agree with you on that I disagree with you concerning visions. Generally Seventh-day Adventists realize that Revelation is a book of symbolism. Whether the sanctuary furniture is exactly how John saw it or not is really beside the point. It is the message that is conveyed that is important and since John, as a Jew, was very familiar with the sanctuary of his time and with what is described in the Old Testament the things he saw had meaning to him on a theological level.

  9. Philip I think your question is, What was the purpose and function of the Heavenly sanctuary when the "instructions" were given to Moses? That is a question ask by many, and I would ask the same. My thought would be, that as far as I am aware, we have not been given, in the Bible, a text that tells when the heavenly Sanctuary was created. Our human reasoning would deem it sometime after Christ's crusifixtion and before His accention. The reason that I call the pattern in Ex 25:9 instructions, is that there are a very large number of details in connection with tapestries, designs, materials and priestly attire that would not normally be seen in a model as we know it. Now having said that, I know that God can do anything and everything. He could have given Moses a memory like our computers. One other interesting obsrvation is that the word Sanctuary is only found in four texts in the new testament Heb 8 & 9.

  10. The correction of the general usage of type and antitype is acceptable. However, what needs to be in clear is that the latter part of the author's comment on Heb. 8:5 and Heb.9:24 is in keeping with the original Greek text. Heb. 8: 5 used the word for pattern of the original as "tupos" or copy and in Heb. 9: 24 "antitupos", antitype as referring to the earthly sanctuary which is the copy. So antitype and type are used in the reverse in the these texts and not in the normal way.This must be brought out to our users of the Bible Study Guide.

    • Interesting observation, Patrick.

      I'm thinking it might be best to allow the Greek text to inform our interpretation, rather than to let our interpretation determine the meaning of the Greek text - especially since the Greek is not limited to the Bible, but can be verified from secular texts.

      In Heb 8:5, the Greek typos is translated as "pattern" as in making things "according to the pattern."

      In Heb 9:24, the Greek antitypos is translated in the NKJV as "copies" as in "copies of the true." In this case, the KJV is probably better in interpreting it as "figures of the true." That interpretation would allow for the usual meaning of antitype as being a realization of the type or pattern given to Moses. Otherwise, antitype as a "copy" does not make sense, with the meaning being contrary to the usual construction of Greek words. (There may be a bit of translator bias evident here.)

      It becomes more interesting when we recognize that the Greek type and antitype mean about the same as in English, namely:
      typos = (in the doctrinal sense) 1. of a type i.e. a person or thing prefiguring a future (Messianic) person or thing.

      antitypos = 1. a thing formed after some pattern
      2. a thing resembling another, its counterpart

      That could would appear to mean that what Moses saw was a "pattern," like an architectural plan, and so the earthly sanctuary was an implementation of the pattern, thus becoming the "real" or "antitype," which isn't quite in line with what the lesson says. But then, I'm not a Greek scholar, but neither am I convinced that the lesson got it just right. 😉 (Lesson authors and editors are human too. And thus their work is not necessarily perfect.)

      In fact, the text does not indicate that Moses saw the original heavenly sanctuary. Rather what he saw was a "pattern" after which he was to build an earthly sanctuary, which was to be a "type" of the plan of salvation being implemented from the glorious true heavenly sanctuary which would have been far more than Moses could grasp and certainly more than he could implement on this earth.

      If anyone can demonstrate that the heavenly sanctuary is the antitype of the earthly sanctuary, I'd be interested in seeing the documentation. I have not found such evidence. I do, however, see evidence, that Christ Himself is the antitype of all the offerings, the sanctuary and the sanctuary services.


Please leave a comment long enough to say something significant and considerably shorter than the original post. First and last name required.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Please leave a comment long enough to say something significant and preferably significantly shorter than the post on which you are commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.