The Court and Its Antitype. We now enter directly upon the study of the sanctuary, which consisted of three parts" the court, the holy place, and the most holy place. The court is the first section of our Journey along The Path to the Throne of God. Christ leads the way, explaining by symbols in His object lesson of redemption how we, His followers, can travel the path successfully. As we enter the courts let us be true disciples - real learners in the school of Christ. In this journey we have nothing to fear for Christ gives us many assuring promises:
"I will teach thee and guide thee with Mine eye" Ps. 32:8. I will guide thee "in judgment" Ps. 25:9.
I will guide thee "into all truth" John 16:13.
He will "guide our feet into the way of peace" Luke 1:79.
"All the time I will be with you, to the very end of the world" Matt. 28:20, Moffatt. And so we walk together, my Lord and I.
The court, as well as the sanctuary proper, was a type illustrating in part the redemptive work of Christ. Uriah smith makes it plain that this earth is the antitype of the court. He says, "The court is the place where the victims were slain whose blood was to be ministered in the sanctuary. The antitypical Victim must die in the antitypical court, and He (Jesus) died on Calvary in Judea." DR 432.
The Court Gate. The entrance to the court of the sanctuary occupied twenty cubits (at least 30 feet) in the middle of the eastern court wall, and on each side of this entrance were fifteen cubits of wall. It was five cubits high, the same as the all, and was called the gate. Num. 4:26. It was a hanging of royal colors, "blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine-twined linen, wrought with needlework." Ex. 27:16. This needlework, or embroidery, was done under the direction and instruction of Aholiab, who as we have learned was cunning, or skillful, in this art. It was "wrought" with thread of pure gold, which made it not only brilliant but very costly. To secure the thread, "they did beat the gold into thin plates, and cut it into wires to work it in the blue, and in the purple, and in the scarlet, and in the fine linen, with cunning work." Ex. 39:3. When completed it was a gorgeous piece of exquisite and durable tapestry reflecting the rainbow colors and, especially in the sunshine, brilliantly illuminated with the inwrought gold.
We are not told what design was worked out in this gold needlework, but since the gate, the entrance to the court; the door, the entrance to the holy place; and the veil, the entrance to the most holy place, all represent Christ in the three divisions of His work for our salvation, it would seem quite probable that the design on all three was similar - cherubim in some form. This is definitely so stated of the veil and the door which was â€œa Similar veil .â€ Both veils were embroidered with cherubim "like the inner covering that formed the ceiling." Ex. 26:31; PP 347.
Significance of Its Colors. Let us look a little closer that we may think God's thoughts after Him. Did God require these particular colors without a purpose? Did He repeatedly insist upon strict obedience to the he pattern without a reason? most assuredly not. The plan of salvation and the work of Christ which the sanctuary typified mean too much to God as well as to His children for Him to talk at random, or without serious meaning. Let us ever remember that "The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." Ps. 12:6. These royal colors must have some definite spiritual meaning in this divine object lesson. What is it? White is a symbol of purity and righteousness. Rev. 19:8, Scarlet represents sacrifice. Rev. 19:13. Purple signifies royalty. John 19:2,3. Blue indicates obedience to the eternal truth of heaven, as shown by God's direction that a ribbon of blue should border the uniform to be worn by the children of Israel. Num. 15:7-40. This blue ribbon, from which has come the expression "true blue," was to be a reminder that God's children are to obey all His commandments; they are to be
â€œtrue blueâ€ As blue mixed with scarlet produces purple, so obedience to God's eternal truth added to sacrifice makes royalty. These significant symbols apply both to Christ and to His followers. The fine white linen represents His righteousness, the blue, the scarlet, and the purple - all royal colors - represent His eternal truth, His sacrifice, His kingship.
The Four Pillars. The gate of the sanctuary court was hung on four pillars, Ex. 27:16, - only four, no more, no less, with the command, "See that thou make it after the pattern," lest thou mar God's great plan. Why four? For the same reason that the veil, which represented His flesh, Heb. 10:20, was hung on four pillars, and for the same reason that when He tabernacles on earth, inspiration gave us His life in four gospels. As seven in the Bible indicates completeness and perfection, so the number four in the sanctuary, dictated by God, must have some divine significance. This number occurs in the four coverings, the four ingredients of the she whread, the incense, the anointing oil, also in the fourth commandment and in other places, where it always points to Christ. As the number four points to Christ, so the multiples of four, 12, 24, 48, 60, 12,000, 144,000 are used to indicate special groups of His true followers. Continuing our study, we shall notice that this number, the number four, recurs frequently, and to the spiritual minded the promise is, "The Spirit of truth will guide you into all truth." John 16:13.
The Gate a Position of Authority. In ancient times, the gate of a city was the place where just judgment was dispensed. Deut. 16:18. In summoning one to the gate, no preliminaries were necessary, no writings, no delay. In a short conversation any matter could be stated. Ruth 4:1. The position at the gate was one of prestige, honor, and authority. Among the special purposes for which it was used may be mentioned a place of audience for kings and rulers or ambassadors. How fitting that the gate of the sanctuary, the way to the throne of God, should represent King Jesus, Heaven's Ambassador to me and to you here and now in this earth, He who is "the way, the truth, and the life!" John 14:6.
The gateways of royal palaces were often richly ornamented. Sometimes sentences from the law were inscribed on and above the gates. Deut. 6:9.
Christ Our Gate of Refuge. At the gate of a city of refuge anyone fleeing thither could declare his cause, be admitted into the city, and be given a place to dwell there in safety. Josh. 20:2-4. To such a refugee the gate was as the gate of heaven. When Jacob was fleeing from Esau, the ladder that he saw in his dream reached from earth to heaven, and the Lord stood above it." When he awoke, he exclaimed, "This is none other but the gate of heaven." Gen. 28:13,17. This ladder represented Christ, Gen. 28:12; John 1:51; PP 184, who is our gate to the heavenly city of refuge. Like Jacob's ladder, the gate of the court also represented Christ, the entrance to The Path to the Throne of God.
Christ the Way. As the gate was the way, and the only way to the sanctuary court, so Christ is the only way to heaven. In answer to the question of doubting Thomas, "Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way?" Jesus answered, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me." John 14:5,6. In the sanctuary we shall find not only "the way" to Christ, but "the truth,â€ and at the end of the way "the life" - eternal life. David answered this question when he said, "Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary." Ps. 77:13. "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life,â€¦ few there be that find it." But is it not better to travel with the "few" than to be among the "many" who enter the wide gate, and travel the broad way that leads to destruction? Matt. 7:13,14. Although "strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, it is a glorious way - a way consecrated by the footprints of Christ who has promised, "Lo, I am with you alway, (all the way and all the time) even unto the end of the world, Amen." Matt. 28:20. So, with Christ as companion and guide, and angels speeding back and forth between heaven and earth ministering to our infirmities, why should we lose our way?
So long as we remain outside the gate, we are "without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world." Eph. 2:12. What a pitiful condition! But God, "who remembered us in our low estate: for His mercy endureth forever? Ps. 136:23, leaves us not alone with our enemy outside the gate. If we will enter, He will listen to our plea for pardon and protection, and will dispense mercy and judgment.
"Come Unto Me." By faith we see Jesus, whom the gate represents, standing at the entrance to the sanctuary court beckoning to all who, like Thomas, know not the way, and calling out "softly and tenderly" in tones that reach to "the ends of the earth" Isa. 45:22: "This is the way, walk ye in it.â€ Isa. 30:21.
"Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden." Matt. 11:28.
Come, "kings of the earth, and all people; Princes and all judges of the earth: Both young men and maidens; Old men and children." Ps. 148:11,12.
Let the children come, for "of such is the kingdom of heaven..' Matt. 19:14. "Whosoever will, let him come." Rev. 22:17.
"Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing, Passing from you and from me; . . . Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon, Pardon for you and for me.
Come home, come home; Ye who are weary, come home!"
- W. L. Thompson. And so I come to the gate, the Lord from heaven -
"Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bidst me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come."
Our Behavior Within the Gate. Within the gate of the sanctuary, we are on holy ground. It is important that we "know how . . . to behave . . . in the house of God on earth which is the church of the living God." 1 Tim. 3:15. With humility and becoming deco Rom we should enter the gate of the court, for in that place of honor, Jesus stands to welcome us to His house. Even at the gate of the house of God on earth we are on holy ground. "There are those who conduct themselves in His house as they would not presume to do in the audience chamber of an earthly ruler, These should remember that they are in His sight whom seraphim adore, before whom angels veil their faces." PP 252.
"To the humble, believing soul, the house of God on earth is the gate of heaven. The song of praise, the prayer, the words spoken by Christ's representatives, are God's appointed agencies to prepare a people for the church above. From the sacredness which was attached to the earthly sanctuary, Christians may learn how they should regard the place where the Lord meets with His people . . . . Happy are those who have a sanctuary, he it high or low, in the city or among the rugged mountain caves, in the lowly cabin or in the wilderness. If it is the best they can secure for the Master, He will hallow the place with His presence, and it will be holy unto the Lord of hosts." 5T 491, 492,