1. THE COURTYARD
a. What was set up round about the tent? Exodus 40:8, 33.
“The entrance to [the court’s open space] was at the eastern end. It was closed by curtains of costly material and beautiful workmanship.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 347.
b. How many doors did the court have? Leviticus 8:3, 4. Through how many doors do we have access to God the Father? John 10:9; 14:6.
“Every provision has been made to meet the needs of our spiritual and our moral nature. . . . Jesus has said that He has set before us an open door, and no man can shut it. The open door is before us, and through the grace of Christ, beams of merciful light stream forth.”—Sons and Daughters of God, p. 19.
c. Who has always been the only door to the fold of God? John 10:1–8.
“Christ is the door to the fold of God. Through this door all His children, from the earliest times, have found entrance. . . . Many have come presenting other objects for the faith of the world; ceremonies and systems have been devised by which men hope to receive justification and peace with God, and thus find entrance to His fold. But the only door is Christ.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 477.
2. THE WAY IS OPEN
a. What fact indicates that, in relation to the heavenly sanctuary, the earth is the outer court where “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) was sacrificed? Hebrews 13:12, 13.
“Our great High Priest completed the sacrificial offering of Himself when He suffered without the gate. Then a perfect atonement was made for the sins of the people. Jesus is our Advocate, our High Priest, our Intercessor. Our present position therefore is like that of the Israelites, standing in the outer court, waiting and looking for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. . . . Type met antitype in the death of Christ, the Lamb slain for the sins of the world. The great High Priest has made the only sacrifice that will be of any value.”—That I May Know Him p. 73.
b. How was the way to the heavenly sanctuary opened for us? Hebrews 9:8; 10:16–22. What should be our response to God’s merciful provision?
“At the moment when Christ breathed His last, there were witnesses in the temple who beheld the strong, heavy material rent by unseen hands from top to bottom. This act signified to the heavenly universe, and to a world corrupted by sin, that a new and living way had been opened to the fallen race.”—The Faith I live By, p. 201.
“Without the cross, man could have no connection with the Father. On it hangs our every hope. In view of it the Christian may advance with the steps of a conqueror; for from it streams the light of the Saviour’s love. When the sinner reaches the cross and looks up to the One who died to save him, he may rejoice with fullness of joy; for his sins are pardoned. Kneeling at the cross, he has reached the highest place to which man can attain. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God is revealed in the face of Jesus Christ; and the words of pardon are spoken: Live, O ye guilty sinners live. Your repentance is accepted; for I have found a ransom. . . .
“It is our privilege also to glory in the cross of Calvary, our privilege to give ourselves wholly to Him who gave Himself for us. Then with the light of love that shines from His face on ours, we shall go forth to reflect it to those in darkness.”—The Review and Herald, April 29, 1902.
3. THE BRAZEN ALTAR
a. What stood in the courtyard close to the entrance? Exodus 40:29.
“In the court, and nearest the entrance, stood the brazen altar of burnt offering. Upon this altar were consumed all the sacrifices made by fire unto the Lord, and its horns were sprinkled with the atoning blood.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 347.
b. What was suggested by the fact that the altar of sacrifice had no steps? Exodus 20:26. In the spiritual sense, how can we apply this to ourselves personally? Revelation 3:17.
“You need, oh, so much you need at this time, to buy the gold of love and faith, that you may be rich, to buy the white robe of Christ’s righteousness that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not appear at the tribunal of God.”—Manuscript Releases, vol. 20, p. 98.
c. Explain the way we come before God—is it directly “without steps” or is it through intermediaries, such as priests and saints? John 6:37; 1 Timothy 2:5.
“Hold fast to your only hope—the precious privilege of access to God through Christ. Hang your helpless soul upon your Mediator. In and through Him, and Him alone, you can come to God. There is no atoning efficacy apart from the provision made. Human rites and methods are of no avail. Anything but Christ alone is nothingness.
“The Holy Spirit is your hope. As you lift the cross of Calvary, it lifts you. Bearing the cross after Jesus, following in His consecrated, self-denying footsteps—only thus can you find salvation. The Word of the living God is your guide and counsellor. Jesus Christ is the way into the holy of holies—the way without a screen. The sinner is humbled; the Saviour is exalted as all and in all. This is your refuge.”—Ibid., vol. 2, pp. 24, 25.
“If we are doers of the Word, we can come to God with full assurance of faith, saying, ‘Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope’ (Psalm 119:49). . . .
“The call is not to a few, but to all.”—The Review and Herald, December 6, 1898.
4. THE LAVER
a. What was between the altar and the door of the tabernacle? Exodus 38:8.
“Between the altar and the door of the tabernacle was the laver, which was also of brass, made from the mirrors that had been the freewill offering of the women of Israel. At the laver the priests were to wash their hands and their feet whenever they went into the sacred apartments, or approached the altar to offer a burnt offering unto the Lord.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 347, 348.
b. What various lessons should we learn from the brazen laver which was made from the mirrors the women had surrendered to God? 2 Corinthians 13:5, 6; James 1:21–25.
“Pride and vanity are manifested everywhere; but those who are inclined to look into the mirror to admire themselves, have little inclination to look into the law of God, the great moral mirror. . . . Idolatry of dress destroys all that is humble, meek, and lovely in the character. It consumes the precious hours that should be devoted to meditation, to searching the heart, to the prayerful study of God’s word.”—Messages to Young People, pp. 359, 360.
“The law of God is the standard of righteousness. It is the mirror into which we are to look to discern the defects in our character. When we look into a mirror, it reveals the defects of our dress or person; but it does not remove a single imperfection. These we must remedy ourselves.”—The Signs of the Times, May 5, 1887.
“What if we were to go out into the streets and soil our clothes with mud, and then come into the house and, beholding our filthy garments as we stand before the glass, we should say to the mirror, ‘Cleanse me from my filth,’ would it cleanse us from our filth? That is not the office of the looking glass [mirror]. All that it can do is to reveal that our garments are defiled; it cannot take the defilement away.
“So it is with the law of God. It points out the defects of character. It condemns us as sinners, but it offers no pardon to the transgressor. It cannot save him from his sins. But God has made a provision. Says John, ‘If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous’ (1 John 2:1). So we come to Him and there we find the character of Jesus, and the righteousness of His character saves the transgressor—if we have done on our part all that we could.” —Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, p. 15.
5. SPECIAL MANIFESTATION OF GOD’S APPROVAL
a. What happened when the building of the tabernacle with its court was completed? Exodus 40:34, 35.
“With eager interest the multitudes of Israel crowded around to look upon the sacred structure. While they were contemplating the scene with reverent satisfaction, the pillar of cloud floated over the sanctuary and, descending, enveloped it. . . . There was a revealing of the divine majesty, and for a time even Moses could not enter. With deep emotion the people beheld the token that the work of their hands was accepted. There were no loud demonstrations of rejoicing. A solemn awe rested upon all. But the gladness of their hearts welled up in tears of joy, and they murmured low, earnest words of gratitude that God had condescended to abide with them.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 349, 350.
b. What assurance should fill our heart with joy and gladness? Romans 8:31; Hebrews 13:6.
“He who was the support of His servant then has been the dependence of His people in every age. In every crisis His people may confidently declare, ‘If God be for us, who can be against us?’ (Romans 8:31). However craftily the plots of Satan and his agents may be laid, God can detect them, and bring to nought all their counsels. The response of faith today will be the response made by Nehemiah, ‘Our God shall fight for us’ (Nehemiah 4:20); for God is in the work, and no man can prevent its ultimate success.”—Prophets and Kings, p. 645.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Whom did the door of the court symbolize?
2. How was the door to the heavenly sanctuary opened before us?
3. What was suggested by the fact that the brazen altar of sacrifice was in the court, nearest the entrance?
4. What can we learn from considering the laver made from mirrors?
5. What assurance should fill our heart with joy?