The Plan of Redemption

The Plan of Redemption.

“The central theme of the Bible, the theme about which every other in the whole book clusters, is the redemption plan, the restoration in the human soul of the image of God. From the first intimation of hope in the sentence pronounced in Eden to that last glorious promise of the Revelation, “They shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4), the burden of every book and every passage of the Bible is the unfolding of this wondrous theme,–man’s uplifting,–the power of God, “which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Corinthians 15:57. He who grasps this thought has before him an infinite field for study. He has the key that will unlock to him the whole treasure house of God’s word. {Ed 125,126}

When Adam came from the Creator’s hand, he bore, in his physical, mental, and spiritual nature, a likeness to his Maker. “God created man in His own image” (Genesis 1:27), and it was His purpose that the longer man lived the more fully he should reveal this image–the more fully reflect the glory of the Creator. {Ed 15.1}

Today we will look at the plan of redemption, which is the central theme of the bible. Let’s start in the very first book of the bible, the book of Genesis Chapter 1:

26‘ And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.Verse 31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 1:31

So when God created the world he saw that it was good, not just good but it was ‘Very Good’!  So if God created a perfect world then why then today do we live in a world filled with non-stop problems. Let’s consider what happened next in history after the creation had been completed. In Genesis Chapter 3 we see the beginning of the fall of mankind, Eve gets deceived and Adam chooses to disobey God by following Eve, sin now entered the world. This is a problem.

 

The Problem (sin)

Think about this for a second: Humans have problems such as relationship problems, health, finances, and family problems but did you know that God also has a problem?

“Perhaps somebody here didn’t know that God had a problem, but He does.  I will tell you what His is.  There are a lot of folks whom He loves very, very much whom He wants home with Him.  His problem is how to get them there.

Somebody says, “That ought to be simple.  Just come and take us home like He has been talking about doing for a long time.”

But it isn’t quite that simple, brothers and sisters.  The thing that caused the separation was sin.  And if God should take us home to heaven, and take the sin along, He would be right back where He was six thousand years ago, wouldn’t He?  And sin is what is responsible for all these problems we have been talking about.  Crime, war, sickness, death, bereavement, all come as the result of sin.  How to get rid of the sin?” [Extract from a Sanctuary Seminar given by W. D. Frazee]

Sin is the problem that caused the world to be in the condition it is in today. Sin also separates us from God:

But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2.

 

The Plan (The way is in the Sanctuary)

Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; Who is so great a God as our God? Psalms 77:13.

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. {Ed 15.2}

The plan of redemption is to restore the image of God in man.

Remember the story of Adam and Eve? When they had sinned they saw that they were naked so they tried to cover themselves up. And how did they cover themselves? They made Aprons for themselves. From what we learn in the bible God’s way is better than man’s way. So what was God’s idea of covering their nakedness? He made them Coats of skin, this was the proper covering that God had in mind.
Genesis 3:7 – man’s idea of clothing – not fully covered
Genesis 3:21 – Gods idea of clothing – A Coat of skin
What’s the meaning of this? Well In the spiritual sense man’s idea of covering himself represented salvation by works, and Gods covering represented Christ the ultimate sacrifice who died for us, He covers us. Why do we need to be covered?

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)  So we need to be covered because sin causes spiritual nakedness, which leads to eternal death.

So when Adam and Eve sinned they had to be covered with a coat of skin, an animal had to die (to be sacrificed). In the next chapter, Abel (Adam’s son) brought a sacrifice to the lord, and this sacrifice was acceptable before God:

Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering. (Genesis 4:4).

By Faith, Abel brought a more excellent sacrifice, he demonstrated his seed of faith in the saviour who would be the true sacrifice, Jesus Christ, (John 1:29, Heb 11:4). By presenting the fat this also demonstrates a desire to put away sin.

Lambs were continued to be offered as offerings to God but it wasn’t until the time of Moses that the sanctuary system was fully established as an official system.

“By the time the children of Israel had spent 400 years in Egypt serving as slaves to a pagan nation, the Lord saw that His people needed a complete re-educating as to the “big picture” of the plan of redemption-including their role and God’s role in cleansing them from their sins and restoring them to His image. This is why, when the children of Israel finally limped out of Egypt with scars on their backs and visions of the Promised Land dancing in their minds, God didn’t immediately lead them north toward the Promised Land, but south toward Mt. Sinai. He was about to deliver to this infant nation one of the most powerful and enduring object lessons ever recorded. And He would do it almost entirely with symbols.”

The Lord told Moses, “Let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8). (Extract from Secrets of the sanctuary by Steven Winn, David Boatwright & Doug Batchelor)

So Moses was instructed to build a sanctuary, This sanctuary would reveal a complete system of sacrifices, offerings and services which were designed to teach the Israelites more about the plan of redemption:

And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them…According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.  And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain. (Exodus 25:8-9,40 and Exodus 26:30.)

When Moses was in the mount, he was shown a picture, or rather a blueprint of the sanctuary he was supposed to construct. When you study the book of Hebrews 8 and 9 you find out that the picture that Moses was shown in the mount was that of the heavenly sanctuary. So the sanctuary that Moses built was a copy of the sanctuary in heaven. So there is really a sanctuary in heaven? Yes. The earthly sanctuary was a shadow (a type) of the heavenly sanctuary, see also Hebrews 9:11-12.

So what did this sanctuary that Moses made look like?

 

Let’s answer a tough question first

Just before we look into the sanctuary that Moses made there is a question which needs to be addressed.

“Perhaps at this point I might just mention a thought that will help you in helping some of your friends and neighbors, who are a bit troubled about the relationship between what went on in this sanctuary and the gospel dispensation. Do you ever meet the question, “Well, wasn’t that all done away with, at the cross?  Isn’t the law done away?  And the Sabbath done away?”  And so forth?  How many of you ever met that question?  Why, of course.  Now, watch!

Some people say, “Well, the old covenant, that all stopped at the cross, and the sanctuary stopped and the law stopped and all the rest.”

My question is, does the new covenant have a sanctuary?  Oh, yes.  That is what Paul is telling us about in Hebrews 8 and 9:

“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;  A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man” Hebrews 8:1, 2.

And so as he goes on in that chapter, when we come down to the sixth verse, he says that Jesus has obtained a more excellent ministry:

“By how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant” Hebrews 8:6.

That is the new covenant, as he goes on and explains.

Then, in the ninth chapter, he shows us that the old covenant (the first five verses), had this sanctuary which Moses made.  All right, then, here is the sanctuary of the old covenant.  The new covenant, its sanctuary is where?  In heaven.

Was there a candlestick in the sanctuary on earth?  Why?  It was a copy of the one in heaven.  Is that candlestick on earth shining anymore?  No.  Is the one in heaven shining?  Oh, yes.  John saw it on Patmos  – the seven lamps of fire, burning before the throne (Revelation 4:5).

That altar which was in the Mosaic tabernacle and in Solomon’s temple, is the incense ascending from it anymore?  No, no – no incense from that altar in Jerusalem.  That has all stopped.  But the one in heaven, the one that Moses copied after, is it functioning?  Oh, yes.  John saw it (Revelation 8:3).  He saw that golden altar of incense, and he saw the incense placed upon it ascending with our prayers.

What about that ark?  Is that ark that Moses made still in a temple here on earth?  No.  But listen, is the original ark in the temple in heaven?  Yes.  Who saw it?  John saw it (Revelation 11:19).  The temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament.

Now, watch.  It is called the ark of His testament.  Moses put in that ancient ark the ten commandment law, and God called it His covenant, His testament (Deuteronomy 4:13).  When John saw the testament in the ark in the temple in heaven (Revelation 11:19), that was clear down in the gospel dispensation, the Christian dispensation.  He saw in the sanctuary of the new covenant the law, the ten commandment law there, in the ark in heaven.

Listen.  All the rest was made like the copy in heaven.  Do you think God wrote the law in that ark that Moses had?  Do you think He made a good copy of the one in heaven?  Did He?  Oh, yes.  We have, then, in Exodus chapter twenty, God’s own copy of the law which is in the new covenant sanctuary in the temple in heaven.  Do you see?

So when somebody says, “Well, we are through with that,” very well, let them have it that way.  Let’s be through with it.  But oh, let’s get their eyes and our eyes looking up where Jesus has opened the veil, where we can look in and see the ark of God, and Jesus standing before it.  And that law which God wrote on the stone, He promises in the new covenant to write where?  In our hearts.  Oh, let’s let Him do it.  What do you say?

This law tells us what sin is.  It diagnoses the sin problem:

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” 1 John 3:4.

Where is that?  1 John 3:4.  That is right.  And how many have sinned?

 “All have sinned” Romans 3:23.

And:

“The wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23.

Where is that?  Romans 6:23.

All have sinned.  All have broken the law.  And so all deserve what?  Death.    But God doesn’t want us to die.  He wants us to live.  He wants us to live with Him.  So in the sanctuary He shows us His wonderful way to deal with the sin problem, and get this sin out of the way so that He can save us without saving the sin. [Extract from a Sanctuary Study, W. D. Frazee]

 

Let’s now look inside

[Based on Exodus Chapter 25 to 27]

Each item in the sanctuary system had a significant lesson to teach regarding the plan of redemption.

The Sanctuary had three main parts to it, and in each of these parts contain certain items of furniture:

  • The Outer Court
    • Furniture included the Alter of Sacrifice and the Leiver.
  • The Holy Place
    • Contained a Golden Candlestick
    • A Table of Shewbread
    • And an Alter of Incense
  • The Most Holy Place (Or the Holy of Holies)
    • Furniture included the Ark of the covenant

Remember that this earthly sanctuary was a shadow of the heavenly sanctuary. For a more extensive discourse on the meaning of the items in the sanctuary, Click here for a free online book (PDF)..

 

Doctrines of the bible made easy

Did you know that the Sanctuary message is able to explain many of the doctrines of the bible? This message of the sanctuary (The plan of redemption) reveals a new perspective in which you can understand bible doctrine much more clearly. The sanctuary explains the bible in the most simplest of ways through symbols, furniture, and services that were found inside and outside the sanctuary. Consider the discourse below:
Doctrines that the sanctuary clearly reveals:-

  • The problem of sin is revealed (millions of sacrifices were made which truly showed that the wages of sin is death, Romans 6:23)
  • The perfection of the life of Christ is revealed (In the Old Testament the priest could not have any spot or blemish and neither could the lamb (Leviticus 21:17-23). This points to Christ who was perfect. 1 Peter 1:19)
  • Forgiveness is revealed (When the sinner confessed his sins on the animal he had the utmost assurance that he had been forgiven (Lev 4:4, Num 5:7. If we confess our sins God will be faithful and just to forgive us. 1 John 1:9)
  • The importance of the study of scripture is revealed (Through The table of shewbread which was found in the holy place)-
  • Prayer is revealed (The alter of incense)
  • The Importance of the church shedding the light of Christ though the power of the holy spirit (Seven branch candlestick)
  • Baptism (The leiver)
  • Tithing is revealed (The whole sanctuary system was sustained by Tithing and offering)
  • Judgement is revealed (Found in the annual cleansing of the sanctuary, The Day of Atonement. Leviticus 16)
  • The law and the Sabbath is revealed (The Ark contained the 1o commandments, and since there is sanctuary in heaven the is also an ark seen in the heavenly sanctuary. Revelation 11:19)

There are many more precious truths to be found through studying the sanctuary. As mentioned earlier, for a more extensive discourse on the sanctuary, Click here to read a free online book(PDF).

 

Summary

God created a perfect world, Sin is the problem that came into the world. As we have seen in this study God instituted the sanctuary system to teach the Israelites basic important lessons regarding their role and Gods role in this plan of redemption. The plan of redemption is to restore the image of God in man, through obedience:

So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.(1 Samuel 15:22)

Obedience is better than sacrifice, It would have been better for Adam and Eve to obey God than for a lamb to be slain. In this same way it would have been better if mankind obeyed God first time round, than for Christ to come to this earth as a sacrifice, an innocent lamb (see John 1:29).

Adam and Eve, at their creation, had a knowledge of the law of God; they were acquainted with its claims upon them; its precepts were written upon their hearts. When man fell by transgression – the law was not changed, but a remedial system was established to bring him back to obedience. The promise of a Saviour was given, and sacrificial offerings pointing forward to the death of Christ as the great sin offering were established. But had the law of God never been transgressed, there would have been no death, and no need of a Saviour; consequently there would have been no need of sacrifices. {PP 363}

As a people, we should be earnest students of prophecy; we should not rest until we become intelligent in regard to the subject of the sanctuary, which is brought out in the visions of Daniel and John. This subject sheds great light on our present position and work, and gives us unmistakable proof that God has led us in our past experience. It explains our disappointment in 1844(the great disappointment of the advent movement), showing us that the sanctuary to be cleansed was not the earth, as we had supposed, but that Christ then entered into the most holy apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, and is there performing the closing work of His priestly office, in fulfillment of the words of the angel to the prophet Daniel, “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” EV 222.3

 

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