Sunday: The First Sanctuary on Earth
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Bible students have noted that many features of the Garden of Eden correspond to the later sanctuaries in Israel, indicating that Eden was the first symbolic “temple” on earth. Some parallels between Eden and the sanctuary include:

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

1. At the end of the Creation account and the report describing the construction of the wilderness tabernacle, the same three elements—approval, completion, and blessing—are expressed with the same key words (compare “all,” “finish,” and “bless” in Gen. 1:31–2:3 with Exod. 39:32, 43; 40:33).

2. Just as God was “walking in the Garden” (Gen. 3:8, NASB), so He was in the midst of His people in the sanctuary (2 Sam. 7:6=7).

3. Adam was to “tend” and “keep” the Garden (Gen. 2:15, NKJV). The same two verbs are used for the service of the Levites in the tabernacle (Num. 3:7-8).

4. Garden-like imagery appears all throughout the sanctuary (Exod. 25:31–36, 1 Kings 6:18).

5. Cherubim guarded the Garden (Gen. 3:24); two cherubim were stationed in the most holy place (Exod. 25:18–22).

6. Just as Creation took six days, each day being introduced by “God said” and all followed by the Sabbath, so there are six “the Lord spoke to Moses” sections concerning the tabernacle (Exod. 25:1; 30:11, 17, 22, 34; 31:1) followed by a seventh section about the Sabbath (Exod. 31:12-17).

7. The sanctuary was finished on the first day of the first month (Exod. 40:17), the Hebrew New Year’s Day, which recalls the completion of the world at Creation.

Genesis 2 did not need to be explicit about these parallels; the ancients understood them. For example, a Jewish writing of the second century B.C. claims that “the garden of Eden was the holy of holies and the dwelling of the Lord.”

The Garden of Eden is called the “garden of God” (Isa. 51:3, Ezek. 28:13, 31:9). It was God’s dwelling on earth, the place where our first parents were intended to worship and commune with Him. Therefore, the greatest loss of the Fall was not the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden but their loss of being in the immediate presence of God.

Dwell on the concept of the word sanctuary itself. What comes to your mind? What things form a “sanctuary” for you now? How does your understanding of these sanctuaries on earth help you to understand better what God’s sanctuary in heaven provides for us?

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Sunday: The First Sanctuary on Earth — 35 Comments

  1. The last weeks lesson said, that the tabernacle of heaven was there since the creation of the paradise. And here says this comparison, that paradise itself was the "tabernacle". Isn't the tabernacle on earth a 1:1 copy of the one at heaven? But at the time of Adam, before sin happened, there was no place for any sacrifice. Could paradise really be related to the "tabernacle"?

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    • I do not think that the tabernacle is necessarily a 1:1 copy of the heavenly one. We then face the issue of which one; the "temporary" tent one built in the wilderness, or the "permanent" one built by Solomon. The issue is that the earthly tabernacles represented (as a teaching tool) the function of the heavenly sanctuary. In the heavenly sanctuary the sacrifice was Jesus - slain from the foundation of the world.

      We should understand the relationship between the symbolism of the earthly tabernacles and the function of the heavenly - then it makes a lot of sense.

      Like(9)
  2. This comparison really shows that the garden of Eden could have been the first sanctuary on Earth.For once I realize that Adam and Eve lost more than a Garden .The presence of God was no longer in their midst .This certainly reminds me that God wants to live in 'my temple' -my body but if SIN continues to abound I'll lose out of his presence

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  3. The garden of Eden was the earth's first sanctuary. so why was it that the earth needed a sanctuary before human sinned?

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    • [Moderators Note: Please use your full name.]

      Because really the Sanctuary was where God met with his people, like the garden of Eden was where God met with Adam and Eve. <--- You know this what the plan of salvation is all about.. God meeting and reaching out to people who were separated from Him by sin.

      Like(5)
  4. It seems to me that calling Eden "the first sanctuary" dilutes the significance of the sanctuary both in earth and in heaven, since both are focused on the work of redemption. God walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden before they sinned. Thus Eden represents the ideal from which we have fallen - the ideal to which the work of redemption will restore us.

    I see no real biblical basis for calling Eden "the first sanctuary" even though there are some parallels, the chief being that God communicated with mankind in Eden.

    5. Cherubim guarded the Garden (Gen. 3:24); two cherubim were stationed in the most holy place (Exod. 25:18–22).

    This statement completely misses the fact that there was no reason to guard the Garden before sin. In fact, the cherubim were placed at the entrance to the Garden to prevent sinners from having access to the Tree of Life and thus perpetuating sin for eternity.

    When the work of redemption is complete, the Garden will be restored with no angels to bar the way. The sanctuary typifies Christ's work in our behalf to bring about this restoration.

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    • I have revised my thinking on this, as I've learned from others who commented on the lesson. Thank you!

      I see now that understanding the sanctuary as only a model of the plan of salvation is too narrow a view. It was/is primarily the dwelling place of God. On earth, a sanctuary is a place where God meets man in a special way.

      In that sense, Eden was truly the first sanctuary on earth - a place where God walked with Adam and Eve and spoke with them face to face.

      The entrance of sin broke off this open, face-to-face communion, and man drifted farther and farther away from God.

      When God asked Moses to build a sanctuary, He said it was so that He (God) could live among the people (Ex 25:8). And the sanctuary services were meant to draw the people back to Himself and to restore them back to the state from which man had fallen.

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    • The garden of Eden was a place on earth where God's presence existed and in fellowship with Adam and Eve. It was also the testing ground of Adam and Eve's loyalty to God. Adam and Eve's Immortality was subject to their passing of this test. God also allowed Satan into the garden of Eden to intensify this test. The Cherubims were stationed there to guard the TREE OF LIFE from Satan and His angels and immediately after the fall of Adam and Eve, there was an Angel with a firey sword at the TREE OF LIFE to keep not just Satan and His angels but also Adam and Eve from gaining access to the TREE OF LIFE. The sacrifices of those animals that provided the leather coverings for Adam and Eve happened after they were cast out of the Garden. This have some significance of the courtyard in the sanctuary with Moses and the Israelites.

      I can't be 100% agree with the Garden of Eden as the first representation of the sanctuary here on earth, though there are some significant similarities there. I am so blessed beyond my finite mind to know that the God that we serve is true to all His promises and He will never force His will on us and do away with the Power Of Choice He gave us. When i comprehend the Foreknowledge of God, He knew from the foundation of the world that Adam & Eve will disobeyed His Commands, but Adam & Eve could have avoided all this if with the Power Of Choice given to them stayed loyal to God's Commands, would've sealed their Eternal life with IMMORTALITY and Satan and all his angels will be destroyed right there and then. I am taken away to the response of Jesus to His disciples about His 2nd coming and the end of the ages when Jesus likened this time to the days of Noah.
      The latest statistical record i received on the earths population at the time of Noah was in the billions. Compare this to the number of people that were saved really concerns me and also in Revelation is talking about a Remnant that will be saved from the church, another very small amount. I guess what inspired me here is the very important fact to be seriously considered. We must be attained to that high standard what God expect of us and be genuinely peculiar people in carrying forth His banner of loyalty in these last days. May we continue and advance in doing right and continue entertaining the fellowship of the Holy Spirit in our lives for this is our only source of strength to endure and to gain the righteousness of Jesus for this is our only ticket into the Kingdom. Cheers my friends!!!

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  5. I don’t think the lesson author is really saying that Eden was the first sanctuary in the sense we tend to think of it. What I think he is suggesting is that it was a precursor to the sanctuary that Moses built in much the same way that the patriarchal system with it altars and sacrifices were a precursor to it. There are a lot of parallels that can be drawn between Eden and the earthly sanctuary and I believe we shouldn’t miss them.

    The single main idea connecting both seems to that of “God with us” (Mat 1:23; see also Ex 25:8).

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  6. So this lesson study today has me more confused then clear about the sanctuary. How can the Sanctuary be in the garden of eden when in the sanctuary you have the story of redemption and there was no need for that story when there was no sin. The biblical references make no sense????

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    • My take on that is that God and humanity were able to freely interact in the Garden of Eden before sin. The tabernacle was a way for God to dwell with man inspite of his sinfulness (God "tabernacled with man"), and was instituted to fully restore the Eden relationship between God and humanity. This restoration has been happening in stages throughout history after sin. When the complete plan that the sanctuary forshadowed is fulfilled, then humanity and God's relationship will be fully restored, in the heavenly "second Eden".

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        • Thanks Inge. I really liked yours below on "God with us". I had heard once that the atonement means "at one ment" (I don't know if this is how the word is actually derived, but this description fits well I believe). I haven't yet made it past Monday, but so far I am thoroughly enjoying this quarterly's lesson. To me it shows the love of God more clearly, and that is awesome. I believe that the more we see the love of God in any SDA doctrine, the more truly we really understand that doctrine. I had never thought of a parallel between Eden and the Sanctuary before this lesson.

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  7. 7. The sanctuary was finished on the first day of the first
    month (Exod. 40:17), the Hebrew New Year’s Day, which
    recalls the completion of the world at Creation.

    Hebrew New Year´s Day is not the first day of the first month but it is celebrated in the first day of the seventh month (month of Tishrei)in a special day called Rosh Hashanah. That is considered by the Jews the completion of the world at Creation.

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    • Thanks, Hudson, for this contribution.

      It seems to me that some of the parallels mentioned by the author are a bit tenuous.

      And I appreciate Sheryce's observation that there was no need for a sanctuary like that built by Moses in the perfection of Eden. God walked and talked with Adam and Eve face to face, not from behind a veil!

      References to Eden remind us that

      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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  8. Interesting discussion going on here- but I too am confused!
    Was there a sanctuary in heaven before sin, and if so, why?
    Surely the need for a sacrifice was only required after sin???

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    • Jane, to me the simple answer is no. The technical answer is it depends on whether you are talking about the original rebellion in heaven (Rev 12:7) or what happened on earth in the Garden of Eden. I think at very least, it is extremely clear from scripture that the heavenly sanctuary in Heaven preceded the one on earth.

      To me the real question has to do with when the heavenly sanctuary was build; after rebellion happened in Heaven or after it happened on earth? The answer to that question depends largely on its purpose.

      To me if its purpose was for atonement then that narrows it down to after the fall in Eden unless one wishes to believe that heavenly creatures need salvation also. If not, then one of the most profound questions has to do with why there was a heavenly sanctuary to begin with? Simple, not really! What use would there be for the sanctuary before the fall if heavenly creatures don’t need the atoning blood of Jesus? I do believe that Jesus died for heavenly creatures also but not for the purpose of atonement and reconciliation. To them it was for the purpose of resolving the issues of the controversy.

      For me, I have settled the question in my own mind by considering the sanctuary to have been built for the purpose of teaching whether here on earth or in Heaven. To me it tells everyone how God is working the plan of salvation, first to the angels then to us. With that in mind I think what we need to understand is that what happened in Heaven with Satan happened before the incident in the Garden of Eden. Satan coming to earth was a consequence of his rebellion in heaven (Rev 12:7-9). If the heavenly sanctuary was build shortly after Satan’s rebellion in Heaven for the purpose of teaching then that would explain, at least in part, why the Garden of Eden was a precursor to the sanctuary on earth and why it had many theological similarities to the sanctuary that Moses built.

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      • It was not necessary for Adam and Eve to have a sanctuary in the garden of Eden because they had the privillege to talk to God face to face. That was before man fell into SIN

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    • Hi Jane
      Some meanings for Sanctuary are (A refuge, A sacred place, Church where the alter is)

      Was there a Sanctuary in heaven? Yes I believe, in the form of my loving Saviour Jesus Christ. 1Peter:18-20 "For as much as he know...Who verily was foreordained from the foundation of the world, but was manifested in these last times for you."

      Why? Because our Almighty Father God knew human would sin. He also made provision for sinner like me (that the love of God Jane simple as that) 2Tim 1:9 "Who has saved us...which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.

      Surely the need for a sacrifice was only required after sin? I humbly beg to disagree Jane, if I knew I was going to physically die tomorrow. I will surely make funeral preparation beforehand. This is why the sacrifice in the form of the "Lamb of God" was there from the foundation of the world. Rev. 13:8 "And they that dwell upon the earth....Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

      And thus He Jesus was foreordained to be slain from the foundation. Makes me want to sing and share" Oh how I love Jesus, because He first love me." I trust this was helpful Jane. A childlike mind does help sometimes and simple Faith. Eph1:3-7 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ..."

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    • Jane: to me based on Psalm 102: 19, there was a sanctuary before sin. Remember Exo 25:8 said make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among you. This imply the sanctuary is where God dwells with men (a meeting point). But in it other activities can take place like the court room, salvation, God residence, were the angel worship. Also, the 24 elder are not omnipotent and omnipresent as God, hence, the need to meet with God in a specific place since they cant be in two places at the same time as God can. Hence, need a sanctuary.

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  9. Thanks to Sheri Oster and Inge Anderson for their comments. I teach Sabbath School at my church and this subject matter is the most difficult to teach for several reasons. One being that some people in our congregation are not Adventist and this is the first time they are introduced to the sanctuary as a whole. Second the Adventists that are there see no need in understanding the sanctuary because they don't see it's practical application to their lives. How do I explain what the purpose of the Sanctuary is and why is it beneficial to continue to study it? This quarter's lesson to me has not brought it home but has given a lot of theologian jargon.

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    • Sheryce,

      After reviewing the lesson again, I see that the theme is essentially one of "God With Us!" And it is a great lesson to teach when those not of our faith are in the class.

      The outline would go like this:
      1) God with us in Eden: God met with Adam and Eve and spoke with them face to face. It is to that original condition that He would like to restore us. (Education, p. 15) Dwell on the wonderful privilege of being in such close communion with God.

      2) God with Israel through the sanctuary He asked them to build: He said specifically that the purpose of the sanctuary was for God to "dwell among them." (Ex 25:8) Even after we sin, God wants to live with us! All the furniture of the sanctuary, the rites of the sanctuary, and the yearly festivals teach the steps through which God seeks to restore us back to the perfect relationship of Eden.

      3) Jesus as Immanuel, God With Us: Christ on earth was the embodiment of all that the Hebrew sanctuary was meant to teach. His life demonstrated what the Law of God looks like when it is lived out in the life. (Psalm 40 is s recognized as a Messianic prophecy, and Ps 40:8 says that the Messiah would "delight" to do the will of God.) His life demonstrated that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven. (Please read Desire of Ages, p. 19. Better yet, read the whole chapter.)

      4) God With Us in the church: He is so closely identified with His church that Paul calls the church the "body of Christ." (See Col. 1:24; 1 Cor. 12:27; Eph. 3:6; Eph. 4:12; Eph. 4:15;) He wants to live in the church and through the church! The church, as the body of Christ, is to represent Christ to the world, as the context of the texts will tell you. (In other words, our job description is to represent Christ to the world.)

      5) God With Us through eternity: The New Jerusalem is represented as the headquarters of God's government, just as the Jerusalem of this earth was the headquarter of the government of Israel in ancient times. And God is represented as being with His people in the city. And the city itself is the temple of God because God lives there.

      Friday's lesson contains appropriate cautions about spiritualizing away the future inheritance on one hand and the point that human language is inadequate to describe the things of heaven.

      I think this is a great lesson for both Adventists and their friends and neighbors. :)

      William brings out some good points we should always keep in mind as we study this subject.

      William Earhardt brings out some good points in "It's All About Jesus" to keep in mind as we study this subject. I also recommend Lilliane Lopez's article, "God's Hands."

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      • Inge,
        Our Divine Father brought us into the world, as in holy matrimony earthly father and mother choose to bring forth a baby, ever bonded by the stamp of the DNA, physical and spiritual. He said: "I chose you, not you choose me." Throughout Scripture God is our dwelling place, where we live; and as Jesus stated and prayed (John 15-17), God lives in his children, "the Temple of the Holy Ghost" (1 Cor 6:19).
        "I in you, and you in Me".
        Geographical pictures are superseded by relational internal bonding in God's concept of "Sanctuary".

        But human sin eternally separated God from man, both losing the blessings of internal and geographical sanctuary.

        To restore "sanctuary", our Father designed a Divine redemptive plan in which He took all the initiative to bring us back from death to life. This Divine plan, requiring a radical commitment on the part of God, and a free will reciprocal commitment on the part of man to accept His plan, God typified in a geographical, tangible, visible structure He called "Sanctuary". Not that He could sanctuary with sinners yet, or that sinners could sanctuary with Him, but by faith the process He called "Sanctuary" would us back into full restored eternal relationship/sanctuary with Him. In short, the "Sanctuary" given to Moses is a tangible object that maps a Divine process of restoration from lost sanctuary: Holy Spirit draws sinner. Holy Spirit convicts of sin. Sinner repents. Blood of the Lamb washes away Sinner's sin. Sinner is restored by faith (not yet reality). High Priest must enter through the Veil, into the Holiest. Blood is presented to the Father on the Mercy Seat, bearing the names of the repentant/forgiven. Father accepts the Blood of the Lamb and brings His Children home into eternal Sanctuary.

        Our difficulty is complicating the linguistic use of "sanctuary", representing relationship, with the unique "technical" redemptive use of "sanctuary" as a faith process, typified in a tangible visible structure. One day the original plan of linguistic sanctuary will again become reality, with mutual reciprocal commitment -- the redemptive "sanctuary" of the Son of God making it possible for God and His children to forever tabernacle together.

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  10. God is an awesome God. He knew from the foundation of the world that His creatures will need a meeting place, weather sinners or not sinners, He peppered a place you and me to be with Him. The sanctuary was there for purposes to commune with Him. After sin a plan of redemption was added to it to bring that commune as it was in the garden. Our God will do every thing to get our attention. We will have to choose not to listen.

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  11. Its real dat garden of eaden is the first sanctuary on earth,because our first parents were intended to worship and commune with GOD.

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  12. It seems to me, the more we study this awesome subject of the Sanctuary, the more confused we leave our students and readers.
    But it need not be so.
    Firstly, we cannot use earthly dictionaries to define the Heavenly Sanctuary, or 'Sanctuary' for that matter. The Bible must be used to define this reality.
    Secondly, when we understand what the Sanctuary is-based on Biblical definitions-we will know 1. When it originated. 2. its functions. 3. how long will it be around. and 4. Where in our Bible and our religious experience do we see 'glimpses' of the sanctuary teachings.
    I learnt in the first lesson, that there are at least 5 functions of the Heavenly Sanctuary:
    1. It is where God 'chooses' to dwell. His base, so to speak.(notwithstanding, he is present everywhere-Omnipresent)
    2. It is from here He 'chooses' to govern His Universe. (His throne is there)
    3. It is a place where angels congregate to worship their Creator and Provider. (Rev.4&5)
    4. It is the place of Intercession (by Jesus) on behalf of Sinners.
    5. It is the courtroom of the universe (Daniel 7:13-14, 26-27)

    We have for too long focussed on last two functions, at the expense of the first 3.And in doing this, we have come to believe that the HEavenly Sanctuary is concerned only with sin, sinners, intercession, and judgement. but if the HEavenly Sanctuary is God's headquarters for governing His Creation, then to my mind, it was there as long as God was there. We know for sure it was there that Satan first carried out His heavenly duties. Remember, he was once a covering cherub, next to the throne. So, long before war broke out in Heaven, there was the Sanctuary-God's Headquarters.
    Of course, a part of governing will include any emergency that arises-Sin for instance-and surely, the Heavenly Sanctuary was equipped and ready to deal with this deadly emergency-'the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world'-who also resided in the Heavenly Sanctuary before He took the form of man for the salvation of man.
    It is from the Heavenly Sanctuary that the plan of Salvation came...a plan created long before it was needed.
    It is in the HEavenly Sanctuary that the court sits (Daniel 7). From here judgement will be given, from here, sins will be blotted out, the 'books' with the evidence used in the courtroom are kept here. And all the while, the Court is in Session, God the Father is still taking care of His Universe, and Jesus still intercedes, thousands upon thousands of angels still worship, along with the 24 elders and 4 beasts!
    You might say this Heavenly Sanctuary is quite a busy place! Yes it is!
    So what relation exists between the Garden of Eden, the Earthly Sanctuary, Jesus ministry on Earth, and His Church?
    In all these, we get 'glimpses' of (1) God's desire to be close to us. (2) the deadly and costly nature of sin (3) God's plan to save us. (4)How He will rid the Universe of Sin and Satan and return His creation to stability and peace, (4) How He will finally clear His Holy name of all charges brought against Him by Satan and even man.
    So to the questions raised:
    What about The Garden of Eden, the Earthly Sanctuary, the Ministry of Jesus, The Church of God on earth? What relation do these bear to the Heavenly Sanctuary? Simply put-Teaching tools to help us understand our Heavenly Father's plans for His creation.
    So what should we be concerned with this week? Let us examine the visual aids in this week's lesson, to get a better understanding of God's work on our behalf in the Heavenly Sanctuary.
    This is my understanding of the Heavenly Sanctuary. Maybe I don't have it all right, but that is what this forum is for, we learn from one another...for "in the multitude of counselors there is safety." What a Great God we serve, to go to such lengths to help mortal men and women understand spiritual realities, and save us eternally. AN AWESOME GOD!!!

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    • Norma, I believe you did a wonderful job in identifying that "Sanctuary" is a unique linguistic in Scripture, and not a general understanding of God's relationship with His Universe.
      Elohim (Trinity God) dwells in Heaven, where Elohim sits on the throne of the Universe, governing all of the Universe. Apart from earth, Elohim's Universe does not need the restoration provided by the Sanctuary that was given to Moses. That Sanctuary given to Moses skillfully maps the Divine/Elohim plan for the restoration of sinful man:
      Elohim One/Father remains on the throne, separated from man.
      Elohim One/Becomes Son of God/Son of Man/Lamb dying in man's place.
      Elohim One/Holy Spirit -"another" Counselor/Comforter/Advocate/Transformer.
      From the throne room of the Universe, Elohim ministers the plan of salvation for earth man: The birth and slaying of the Lamb; the blood sprinkled on the Veil of separation; the blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat, Elohim's throne.
      The Human who is "crucified with Christ", by faith, dies with Christ.
      The Human who is resurrected with Christ the Life, lives by faith.
      The Human who overcomes through His Blood, will visit Elohim's Throne Room.
      The "Sanctuary" given to Moses is a God's map of a process of Restoration.
      God bless. Keep up the good work.

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    • Thank you Norma and Hurford for your extensive contributions to the discussion but I think we all have a long way to go yet before we get to the point of even understanding the basics on this subject which will be studied throughout all of eternity. So far we have confined our discussion to physical dimensions and considered the topic from a spatial point of view.

      We can easily extend this whole thing to a boundless concept because Jesus is the sanctuary (Jn 2:19; Rev 21:22) and so is the church (1 Pet 2:5; 1 Cor 3:16,17) as it also is with each one of us (1 Cor 6:19). If God is the temple (sanctuary) then it existed before He created any life including the angels, therefore, that existence is from eternity past to eternity future. If the church is the temple then Adam and Eve were the first sanctuary on earth and everywhere there is a group of intelligent creatures conceptually there is a sanctuary and that concept extends down to the individual.

      So, to me sanctuary is not only something physical but is also a philosophical concept that involves everything the physical one symbolizes.

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    • There was a time after the fall when Satan was still allowed to go up to heaven. "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, AND SATAN ALSO CAME AMONG THEM." Job 1:6,7. Lucifer was already Satan then but he had still access to heaven and can even talk to God face to face (and this scene happened already during the time of Job). If he can access heaven during the time of Job, much more the Garden of Eden before the time of Job.

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      • [Please be sure to use your full name as stated in the SSNET Comment Guidelines when commenting on this site. Thank you.]

        All points are correct except I don't believe the fact that lucifer saw God face to face. Even the angels cannot see God face to face, they cover their face with veils becasue of d glory of the lord. Lucifer cannot see God face to face. Not even now that he is the devil.

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        • Inge, you are correct in stating that differentiating meanings in the Lesson is difficult. After reading the fist two sections of the fist lesson, my wife said: "this is confusing". The writer of the lesson is himself wrestling with messages from God for which we offer multiple definitions and derive multiple extractions during our history, and he's making an effort to integrate them. There is considerable room for us to seek diligently for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in dealing with a topic that is incredibly important for our times, as we anticipate the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Much prayer, my Sister.

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    • T.muljono, in thinking things over once again, I think that calling Eden the "first sanctuary" and comparing it with the Hebrew sanctuary is probably not accurate.

      There are parallels, as the lesson author points out, and the most important one is that God spoke with Adam and Even in the garden. But God made the garden as a home for Adam and Eve, not as a sanctuary for Himself. Apparently God was not especially present (as He was in the Shekinah in the Hebrew temple) when the two ate the forbidden fruit. He came to talk with them later.

      It seems that Satan had access to the pair only at that one tree. He was not allowed to follow them around. There is no parallel in any version of the sanctuary to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil but it was a very important part of Eden, because it was there that the loyalty of the first pair was tested. So Eden was intended as a safe place (which is another meaning for the word "sanctuary") for Adam and Eve, but it was not built as a sanctuary for God, as was the Hebrew temple.

      In English, the word sanctuary has a number of different meanings, as it does in the Bible. I think it's too bad that these meanings are not clearly differentiated in this quarter's Sabbath School lessons. Mixing them up makes the lessons confusing for many people.

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      • Inge, I am glad to see you wrestle with this topic, and especially demonstrating to all of us the courage to adjust our thinking, without resistance, as we receive the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Even here, we experience the weight of influence on the thinking of one another. We are all in the process of learning and growing.
        Our topic of the Sanctuary is still a continuing debate in our church, with a variety of angles, especially relating to the Sanctuary in Heaven and the Investigative Judgment.
        In searching EGWhite's writings on the Sanctuary, I read the chapter in Great Controversy entitled "The Sanctuary" to determine exactly what she identifies as the Sanctuary in Heaven. One single sentence jumps out with incredible revelation: The Day of Atonement represents the events surrounding the Second Advent of Jesus Christ (paraphrase). I will rather allow each to earnestly seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help us discover the meaning of that statement, than my offering what I perceive as a phenomenal profound statement of revelation.
        As you alluded, the scholar or homiletic/preacher who studies the original language of Scripture most often gets absorbed with the definition or meaning of the language, and thus forget that the meaning of words is always multiple and varied based on culture, experience and intent in communication. In our own American society, for some "bad" means ugly, and for others "bad" means superb, representing the varied sub-cultures in America. Multiply this by meanings in all human cultures.
        "Sanctuary" as given to Moses was a specific structural representative design, with specific representations in every detail of its contents and functions. Nothing was left to human opinion, especially the issue of purpose. The Sanctuary given to Moses is the plan of salvation, painted in an art form that will most effectively communicate the message of God's redemptive plan:

        GRIEF PRELUDE:Eden and relationship with Him is lost.
        Man is dead in sin.
        Satan has become the prince of the world.
        BLOOD THEME: God's love and value placed on His children is perfect.
        God will provide a substitute in death, and a guarantor for life.
        He will accept all those who come unto Him through Christ Jesus.
        LAMB CELEBRATION: The Anointed One, Lamb of God, is the Only One Who can open the Book of Life; for He is the Only One through whose Blood my name is written there. (ISA 53)
        There is no room for doubt here. This is the Sanctuary given to Moses. Bread of Life. Light of the world. Prayers and Praise = The art of building relationships that give power to Access in through the VEIL, in the footprints of His blood. The Sanctuary is a Blood Track to glory.

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