Introduction

THERE is no literary production in all history comparable to the Sacred Scripture. Translated into almost a thousand languages, in part or as a whole, it is still in greater demand than any other literature.

The themes recorded in the Bible deal with the past, with the present, and with the future. They clarify creation, redemption, the restoration of this world, and the future of the human race. The Bible foretells the tomorrow of the nations, ages, and generations. It deals with events taking place in heaven, and it also describes existing conditions on earth.

In this Holy Book the Creator has revealed His plans in regard to the reward of the righteous and the final disposition of evildoers. The divine Lord is not responsible for unhallowed practices. Sin was not included in Godís program for this earth. This world was made to be inhabited by righteous, not by wicked, men. Satan, the originator of lawlessness, is an innovator. He has no right to inject into this earth disobedience to Godís commands. If misery and death were to be perpetuated eternally, there might be ground for believing that God is responsible for the existence of evil. But the Most High has assured us in His word that the root and branches of sin shall be consumed into smoke and into ashes. Evil shall not rise the second time.

Through the ages, as noted in sacred history, the Lord has repeatedly revealed by seer and by messenger, in type and in object lesson, the means He will use through the mighty power of the divine Saviour to bring to an end this reign of wrong and death. These types and object lessons are found in the services and ceremonies of the ancient sanctuary. The fullness of light of this heavenly teaching has been committed to the present generation.

Nearly twenty-five centuries ago, through the prophet Daniel, Ďthe angel Gabriel foretold the time when Christ would transfer His ministry from the holy place to the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, preparatory to the time when the divine intercession for manís salvation would be finished. To this prophet, by this same heavenly messenger, was revealed the sequence of events leading to the time when sin and sinners shall cease.

The subject of the heavenly sanctuary and its ministry, illustrated by the tabernacle in the wilderness, and later by the temple in Jerusalem, with the priesthood, sacrifices, and other ritual services, was to diffuse bright beams of heavenly light upon all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples at the close of the longest prophetic period mentioned in the Bible, namely, the two thousand three hundred days of Daniel 8:14. In "the time of the end," when this twenty-three-century prophecy would meet its fulfillment, the sealed book of Daniel would be unlocked, and the wise would understand.

The first mention of the sanctuary is found in the second book of the Bible; the last time the temple ministry is spoken of is in the closing book of the Scriptures. Between these two books of the Sacred Volume is revealed one of the most fascinating and inspiring themes that can occupy the human mind. The sanctuary and its cleansing may properly engage the heartiest interest of the one who desires to understand the purposes of the Creator in the salvation of the righteous and the final disposition of evil.

The sanctuary and its ministry are considered and explained in this series of Bible studies. Each study contains a series of questions. At the close of each question, Bible texts are cited and notes or quotations presented which deal with the question. Every Bible lesson, with its explanations, is complete in itself. In this way the reader has before him all necessary information on each study. The four final studies are devoted to a consideration of the atonement.

The author commits these studies to the reader with the hope and prayer that they may render helpful service to those who accept Godís message for these last days. May these lessons afford confirmation and stabilization of Godís precious truth to those who have accepted the faith once delivered to the saints.

Read Lesson 1

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