Sabbath: Heaven on Earth
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Read for This Week’s Study: Gen. 1:31–2:3; Exod. 39:32, 43; 25:9; Heb. 8:5; John 2:19–21; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; Rev. 21:1–22.

Memory Text: “Who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, ‘See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain’” (Hebrews 8:5, NKJV).

Though the sanctuary in heaven is the original, the one where God Himself is ministering “for us,” the Lord has revealed truths about this sanctuary in different ways to us here on earth.

God created the Garden of Eden as a symbol of the sanctuary. The heavenly sanctuary and its function in salvation were represented in the earthly tabernacle and the larger structure of the Israelite temples.

In Jesus, of course, the temple was made manifest in a human being. And, finally, the heavenly temple will come down to the new earth.

As we will see, God has used concepts relating to the heavenly sanctuary to reveal truth. This week we will study some of those concepts.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, October 12.

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Sabbath: Heaven on Earth — 16 Comments

    • My wife and I haven't read the lesson yet but we're excited about the subject and it's symbols. I hope I'm not jumping the gun on this but I like what my wife said; she said that God, who is the head of the church walked with man before sin and reminded me the He is the Tabernacle that dwells with us on the new earth. I'm looking forward to this weeks study. Be richly blessed in all your ways this week!

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    • In response to David and Lailani: My guess is that both the Sanctuary and the Garden of Eden were places where God communicated with man, and that has given rise to the notion that Eden was a symbol of the sanctuary. I personally think that "symbol" is the wrong word but I think the idea of them being places of communication is enlightening.

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      • Certainly, the Garden of Eden as a symbol of the sanctuary caught my attention. Yes, God freely interacted with our first prents, especially after the fall, we saw his attempts to restore the breach of relationship. He searched for the LOST couple and he initiated the plan of redemption: And I will put enemity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel ( gen 3: 15). Note also that God made "coats of skins" and cloathed Adam and Eve, implying the idea of BLOOD SACRIFICE ( gen 3:21).

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      • Dawn, it's not in the Bible.

        That "God created the Garden of Eden as a symbol of the sanctuary," is an unfortunate statement.

        It would be more accurate to say that God created Eden as a special place where He would walk and talk with Adam and Eve face to face. As such, it is the goal of salvation to restore sinners to the perfection of Eden.

        And if we focus on the meaning of the "sanctuary" being a place through which God could live (dwell) with His people, then Eden is the state which the work of the sanctuary is intended to restore. In that way, Eden was truly the first "sanctuary" on this planet, not "a symbol of the sanctuary." It was the real thing.

        One of my favorite quotations is this one:

        Through sin the divine likeness was marred, and well-nigh obliterated. Man’s physical powers were weakened, his mental capacity was lessened, his spiritual vision dimmed. He had become subject to death. Yet the race was not left without hope. By infinite love and mercy the plan of salvation had been devised, and a life of probation was granted. To restore in man the image of his Maker, to bring him back to the perfection in which he was created, to promote the development of body, mind, and soul, that the divine purpose in his creation might be realized—this was to be the work of redemption. This is the object of education, the great object of life. (Ellen White, Education, p. 15. )

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        • I like your comment it helps to clarify for those who cannot see Eden as the first symbol of the heavenly sanctuary, being an original on earth, of a place where God wants to be with His people.

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  1. The Garden of Eden was where God came down to be with Adam and Eve and when God gave instructions to build a sanctuary it was so that He "may dwell among them".

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  2. [Moderators note: Please use your full name.]

    The garden of eden demonstrate the sanctuary symbol by christ walking in the garden visiting Adam and Eve every day, as we know the priest ministered in both apartments of the earthly sanctuary and just as christ did to meet with Adam and Eve daily the priest went daily into the first apartment but the priest entered the most holy once a year, so we know at that time no sin had committed, so christ did not need the most holy, then when sin had committed christ became the first sacrifice when an animal had to be killed to cover Adam and Eve sins,just as the earthly sanctuary when the priest had to do the same sacrifice of animals for the sins of the people.

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  3. While I am enjoying the lessons, I find it odd that the lesson states it is God ministering on our behalf in the heavenly sanctuary. Really it is Jesus, ministering on our behalf to the Father. I understand that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are all one but I don't feel it is prudent to confuse their roles. I don't find a bible verse to support God the Father ministering on our behalf, but I find numerous references about Christ doing so which is the basic meaning of the sanctuary example we are studying.

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  4. Why should we be so concern whether the word "symbol" which is an object of ie a sign, an emblem, a type and a figure is used here; Shouldn't we be looking at what it represents. Are we in agreement that the Sanctuary/Temple is a "dwelling place of God". If we accept that the Sanctuary is one of GOD's dwelling, then why is it difficult to accept that the Garden of Eden was a sanctuary, or whether the "figure of speech" used is symbol of the Sancturay ( some meanings of the word Sanctuary, sacred place, church where the alter is placed and a sure refuge). After all HE did dwelled there with Adam and Eve before the fall. Just like HE dwells in our heart 2Cor. 6:18 "And....for ye are the temple of the living GOD; as GOD has said I will dwell in them..." Therefore I believe GODs' dwelling place is where ever HE chooses to dwell. Be it literally or figuratively. For example I image Jesus as GOD and the Son of God. "John 10:30 states " I and my Father are one" Therefore if the Father is a GOD the the son must be too. We accept this in greek metology about zeus and his son, why is is different for an Amighty GOD.1Cor 3:23 Also states "And ye are Christ's; and Christ is GOD's". Please enlighten me if I an wrong in my belief. HELP!

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  5. the bible states that in the beginning was the word and the word was with God
    and the word was God and was made flesh and dwells amongst men .
    so Dawn Schrader, there is nothing wrong with saying,God ministering on behalf of men.if you really understand the omnipresence of Gods personality,thanks and God bless .

    Like(1)
  6. With all the significant evidents of the Garden of Eden and the Sanctuary instructed to Moses in the wilderness, I believe the Garden of Eden represented the Most Holy of Holy and the Throne of God in heaven. The whole earth before sin was the sanctuary but the Garden of Eden was that special place that God come down to dwell walk face to face with Adam and Eve before the Fall of Adam and Eve.

    Likewise the Most Holy of Holy in the Sanctuary with Moses and the Israelites. Only the High Priests is allow to enter that department for it is the earthly dwelling place of the presence of God, for God would only interface with the high priest in and according to His given Divine structure. And i believe this is the only part of the earthly sanctuary that is pattern after the Throne of God in heaven where Jesus is ministering and interceding in our behalf.

    It does not make sense to me to have a court yard or the holy department of the earthly sanctuary in heaven. They were only needed here on earth for our understanding of God's complete plan of man's salvation. So i concluded to myself, that the only sanctuary in heaven will be the Most Holy Of Holy, the pattern of the Throne of God Almighty. I will welcome any thoughts on this important subject, but the most important point here is that God the Father by His Son Jesus and the present ministry of the Holy Spirit was victoriously completed and is all sufficient for our salvation unto Eternal Life.

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  7. Thanks to all the above contributors to this weeks lesson. Very helpful and spiritual filled comments. The Garden of Eden never crossed my mind as a Sanctuary. I believe that God on purpose did not reveal every little thing in absolute wording - eg "the Garden of Eden is my Sanctuary" - if that was the case where would our faith be? I am wondering what if any significance the sending of Adam and Eve for the garden have in terms of Gods' Holy Place and sin? As the lesson brings out I can see in Eden spiritual features being substituted with material things in the Sanctuary built by Moses according to God's instructions. Just a thought that is open to correction and better understanding. Please comment. God's blessings to you. vivian

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  8. I think the major things which the writer considered are God comunicating 2 his people in the plan of salvation, of which both use to happen in the garden as well as the sanctuary.

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