Just here the conscientious, thoughtful reader who trembles at the Word of God and still is anxious to be loyal to his former teaching will ask:
Was not the earthly sanctuary a type of the heavenly? Yes, certainly.
Did not the earthly sanctuary have two apartments and was there not a ministry in both? Most certainly.
Then ought there not be a ministry in both apartments of the heavenly sanctuary? Yes.
But if Christ entered into the second apartment at his ascension, when is the ministry conducted in the first apartment?
Answer: From the fall of man to the death of Christ.
Then you place the first apartment ministry of the heavenly sanctuary, or the ministry "before the veil," from creation to the cross?
Yes, a hundred times, Yes! and here is where a flood of light from the sanctuary falls on the path of the searching, praying pilgrim.
But was not the earthly sanctuary and its services a shadow of things to come?
Yes, some of the things were yet to come, hut not all. The true sanctuary was not yet to come, for it had existed long before the shadow was built. Heb. 8:5, and Ex. 25 :40. And God was enthroned above the mercy seat in the heavenly sanctuary when the earthly was built.
"The Lord is in his holy temple.
The Lord's throne is in heaven." Ps. 11:4.
"He sitteth between the cherubim." Ps. 99:1.
"For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; From heaven did the Lord behold the earth." Ps. 102:19.
Not only was God seated upon the throne in the heavenly sanctuary when the earthly sanctuary was built, but services were in progress there while the services were going on in the earthly sanctuary. This is shown first by the prayer of Solomon on the day of the dedication of the temple; and by the promise of the Lord which followed that prayer.
AS SEEN BY SOLOMON.
"But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven, and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded." I Kings 8:27.
Solomon well knew that the temple which he had built was but a kindergarten toy faintly representing the dwelling place of God in heaven. And he also knew that the real sanctuary service on behalf of sinning men was at that very time going on in heaven. For in continuing his prayer he says:
"And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou IN HEAVEN THY DWELLING PLACE; AND WHEN THOU HEAREST FORGIVE." I Kings 8:30.
"If my people . . . shall humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear FROM HEAVEN, and will forgive their sin." II Chron. 7:14.
Had Solomon shared the views of those brethren who believe that the heavenly sanctuary was closed until after Christ's death and that, therefore, no pardon was ministered from the sanctuary during that time, he would not have prayed as he did and the Lord would not have promised to minister pardon from the heavenly sanctuary.
Eight times is this truth repeated in the prayer of Solomon. And as this prayer is repeated in 2 Chron. 6, this all important truth is told sixteen times in the two chapters.
Why did the Lord indict this prayer at the dedication of the temple? Why did the Lord lead Solomon eight times to call Israel's attention to the heavenly sanctuary and to the fact that it was from that sanctuary that he would hear their prayers and forgive their sins and not from the temple made with hands? For the solemn reason that he wanted the people to know that the earthly sanctuary was only a shadow of the heavenly, and that the service before the veil in that earthly sanctuary was only an index finger pointing to the heavenly sanctuary, where God, enthroned, "within the veil," between the cherubim, was then and there pardoning the sins of the people.
The Lord well knew that the devil would try to hide the heavenly sanctuary from their view by putting the earthly in the place of the heavenly; and so to persuade them that the only services carried on at that time were the earthly services and that their pardon was coming from the earthly instead of the heavenly.
AS SEEN BY THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL
Besides this prayer, we have the prayer which the Lord directed each man in Israel to make on the presentation of the first fruits, by which every soul in Israel would have his attention called to the heavenly sanctuary and to the fact that all real blessings came therefrom. This is a part of that prayer:
"Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel." Deut. 26:15.
Notwithstanding these precautions the devil did succeed in persuading the people to believe that the only services conducted on behalf of sin anywhere in all God's universe were those conducted in their sanctuary; and that all the pardon granted from any mercy seat was the pardon granted from their mercy seat. In fact, the devil persuaded them to believe that God's salvation for the whole human race centered in their twenty by sixty sanctuary.
AS SEEN BY ISAIAH.
The Lord, through the prophets, tried to direct their minds back to the heavenly sanctuary in the following words, but failed:
"Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: Where is the house ye will build unto me? And where is the place of my rest? For all those things have may hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord; but to this man will I look even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." Isa. 66:1,2.
Another solemn effort of the Lord to show that pardon was ministered from the heavenly sanctuary before the cross is found in the vision which Isaiah saw of the heavenly sanctuary as recorded in Isa. 6:1-7:
"In the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
"Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
"And one cried unto another, and said Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
"And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
"Then said I, Woe is me, for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
"Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
"And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this that touched thy lips; and thy iniquity is taken away and thy sin is purged."
The scripture proves that the heavenly sanctuary was open in Isaiah's time and that the altar of incense was burning with live coals not cold and dead, and that the ministering angels were present to minister pardon from the sanctuary to the sinner.
Notwithstanding all this testimony the Jews lost sight of the heavenly sanctuary and worshipped the creature instead of the Creator and were ready to cast out any one from the synagogue who tried to call their attention back to the true tabernacle.
AS SEEN BY THE MARTYR STEPHEN
For his effort to show that the earthly sanctuary was only a "fashion" of the heavenly, the martyr Stephen was stoned to death. Their charge was that:
"This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law." From Stephen's defense, which follows, we can see that it was for teaching the same truth taught in the prayer of Solomon, and by Isaiah that he was stoned.
"Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen."
"But Solomon built him an house. Howbeit the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, HEAVEN IS MY THRONE and earth is my footstool: What house will ye build me? saith the Lord: Or what is the place of my rest?" Acts 7:47-49.
For telling the truth about the typical sanctuary and calling attention to the real sanctuary where God's throne was always to be found, the first Christian martyr lost his life. And it is for telling this same truth that Solomon prayed, and Stephen preached, and Isaiah prophesied, that the writer has been cast out as unclean from among his people. I have taught that the Mosaic sanctuary was only a shadow, and that the real sanctuary, and the real mercy seat with God enthroned thereon, were in heaven at the time that the earthly was made. I have taught that at the time of the earthly ministry the real ministers carried the prayers to the real mercy seat in the real sanctuary in heaven, from whence pardon was ministered in harmony with the prayer of Solomon. And I appeal from the sentence pronounced upon me by my brethren, to the sanctuary which Solomon saw, and to the Father whom the martyr beheld enthroned in that sanctuary, and I make my appeal through my great High Priest whom the same martyr saw "standing on the right hand of God."