Gospel in the Old Testament

Did God create every thing good?

Genesis 1:27,31 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good

Note: God spoke directly to man and everything that God made was perfect and good. The absence of sin - this is what enabled man to live in the presence of God.

What separated man from God? What is sin?

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you.

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

After the fall of man, what did God give them as a symbol of salvation?

Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

Note: Skins come from animals and one or two animals had to die in order for them to have these coats. An animal sacrifice was required to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve. This was the first symbol of salvation that Jesus' life was to cover the sin of man. Adam and Eve were in the Most holy place and they were driven out of the presence of God (Gen 3:24), but God would have them come back and this process is seen in the sanctuary. The detailed plan was revealed to Moses. Salvation is to restore humanity to God once more.

What did God instruct Moses to build?

Exodus 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them

How is God going to save us? Where is this way of salvation revealed to us?

Psalms 77:13 Thy way, Oh God, is in the sanctuary

Note: God’s way [of salvation] is in the sanctuary. What God was revealing through the sanctuary was the plan of redemption that would bring the sin-separated man “at-one-ment” or united with God. The Sanctuary service provided an illustration of the way the sinner was to repent and atone for his sins.

Was there a courtyard in earthly sanctuary?

Ex 27:9 And you must make the courtyard of the tabernacle

What furniture was in the courtyard?

Exodus 29:18 And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the Lord.

Exodus 30:18 Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, ... and thou shalt put water therein.

NOTE: The altar of burnt offerings (Exodus 27:1-8) is where animals were sacrificed. It was located in the courtyard just outside the entrance of the sanctuary. The laver (Exodus 30:17-21; 38:8) was a large wash basin of brass located between the entrance of the sanctuary and the altar of burnt offerings. There priests washed their hands and feet before entering the sanctuary or offering a sacrifice. The water represented baptism, cleansing from sin, and the new birth.

How many apartments are there in the sanctuary?

"And the veil shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy." Ex. 26:33.

What three items of furniture were in the holy place - the first apartment?

Numbers 4:7 And upon the table of shewbread they shall spread a cloth of blue, ... and the continual bread shall be thereon.

Numbers 8:2 When thou lightest the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light over against the candlestick.

Exodus 30:1 And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it.


1) The table of shewbread (Exodus 25:23-30).
2) The seven-branch candlestick (Exodus 25:31-40).
3) The altar of incense (Exodus 30:1-8).

What special article was in the most holy place? What was inside the ark?

Exodus 26:34 And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.

Deuteronomy 10:4, 5 And he [God] wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the Ten Commandments. ... And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the Lord commanded me.

Note: The Second Apartment, or Most Holy Place (Exodus 26:33) contained the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 26:17-22). Between two Cherubim was the glory of the Shekinah the Presence of God (Exodus 26: 22; 40:34). Beneath it was the Mercy Seat, a solid gold slab that covered the top of the Ark, wherein lay the foundation of God's government: the Moral law of Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17) which was written by the finger of God on stone (Exodus 24:12) and then placed in the Ark (Exodus 40:20). All of mankind is to be governed by those holy precepts, even down to the end of time (Revelation 12:17; 14:12) and beyond (Revelation 22:14; Isaiah 66:22). [ See Santuary Layout chart at the end of this study.]

What happened if a person (broke the law of God) sinned and he is convicted of his sin by the Holy Spirit?

Lev. 4:28 If his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering.

Where should the offering be brought to?

Lev. 4:4 And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD

Note: Door of the tabernacle or the courtyard of the sanctuary.

What symbolized the confession or transfer of sin from the sinner to the sin offering?
Lev 16: 21 ...shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities.

Lev. 4:5 And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing

Lev. 4:29 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering..

What happened after sin was confessed over the offering?

Lev. 4:29 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering.

Why did the sin offering have to die?

Rom. 6:23 The wages of sin is death
Note: The sin offering became the substitute bearing the confessed sins of the people. The sinner is released from the penalty of death, but the substitute will die in the place of the sinner.

What happened to people’s sin that was transferred to the sin offering?

Lev 4:5 And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock’s blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation

Note: People's sin was transferred to the sanctuary. The blood taken into the sanctuary represented the transfer of sin into the sanctuary. During the daily ministration of sin offerings (Leviticus 4:7) the blood was "put" upon the horns of the altar. The Hebrew word for put "nathan" means to apply, assign or ascribe. The same word is used in Job 36:3, and Psalm 68:34 translated as "ascribe". It is translated as "charged" in Job 1:22. Something was being charged, assigned or ascribed to the sanctuary!

What are the two ways sin was transferred into the sanctuary from the sinner?

Leviticus 4:17 The priest shall dip his finger in some of the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before the Lord, even before the vail.

Leviticus 6:26 The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it; in the holy place shall it be eaten

Note: The blood taken into the sanctuary and sprinkled before the vail represented the transfer of confessed sins into the sanctuary. Sometimes the priests ate the flesh, thus transferring the sins to the priest who carried them into the sanctuary.

Who daily officiated in the first apartment? Does the priest play a significant role in the atonement process mediating on sinners' behalf?

Hebrew 9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God

Note: The priest daily went to the first apartment (Holy Place). The priest’s played a significant role in mediating on sinners behalf.

What makes atonement for the soul? Is it the offering or the blood?
Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

What happened when the priest made an atonement for the sinner?

Lev 4:20 and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them.

Lev 4:26 and the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him.

Note: You will find that atonements like these were performed on a daily basis as part of the evening and morning sacrifice. An atonement was made whenever a person brought his offering for his sins, and this you will note was so that he may be “forgiven.” It was blood that made the forgiving atonement.

What happens to your sins when you are forgiven?
Psalms 32:1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Psalms 85:2Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin.

Roman 4:7 Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

Note: Sin is covered when the sinner is forgiven. Thus, the sinner was released from the penalty of sin (death), because his confessed sins were covered by the blood. But his sins symbolically remained in the holy place of the sanctuary as a sin record. But not forever!

Does the bible make a distinction between forgiveness (covering sins) and cleansing (blotting out sins)?

Jermiah 18: 23 Yet, LORD, thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me: forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from thy sight

Psalms 51:9 Hide [cover] thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

What is similar to blotting out?

Psalms 51:1,2 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

A "daily atonement" (covering of sins) was made for the forgiveness of sins in the Holy place. Was there a "final atonement" for the year to (cleanse or) blot out sins of the people and the sin record in the sanctuary?

Leviticus 16:29,30 This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you. "For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.

Note: For "on that day" the priest shall make atonement specifically to cleanse from all sin. This is called the Day of atonement. The day of atonement was a special time. The purpose of the Day of Atonement was to cleanse both sinner and sanctuary. The cleansing of the sanctuary was achieved through the work of the most holy place. There is something about sin that once forgiven, it is not blotted out. Blotting out or cleansing was to take at a special time (day of atonement).

Who only was allowed in the second apartment? How often? And for what purpose?
Hebrews 9:7 But into the secondpart the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people's sins committed in ignorance

How many goats were chosen on the Day of Atonement?

Leviticus 16:5 And he shall take from the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats as a sin offering, and one ram as a burnt offering

NOTE: One goat was chosen to be offered to the Lord, the other was to be a scapegoat (Leviticus 16:8), it was for "Azazel." Azazel was another name for Satan. Thus, on this particular day two goats were chosen, one for the Lord and one to represent Satan.

What happened to the Lord’s goat?

Leviticus 16:9 “And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the LORD'S lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering.”

NOTE: The Lord's goat was sacrificed on the altar of burnt offerings.

Where did the priest sprinkle the blood of the Lord’s goat?

Leviticus 16:15 Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat

NOTE: The mercy seat was located in the most holy place upon the ark of the covenant. Rather than sprinkle this blood upon the altar of incense, this blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat.

The sprinkling of the blood of the Lord’s goat on the mercy seat was to make a [cleansing] atonement for what part of the sanctuary?

Leviticus 16:16 So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place

NOTE: Note again that the high priest is in the most holy place, but he is making an atonement for the holy place.

Why does the holy place need to be cleansed?

Lev. 16:16 “…because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness.

NOTE: The reason the high priest went into the most holy place was to cleanse the holy place because of all the sins of the children of Israel that had been transferred there all year long through the work of the holy place. It is the blood that makes the forgiving (covering) atonement. It is also the blood that makes the cleansing (blotting out) atonement.

The Day of Atonement was to cleanse both sinner and sanctuary. But was forgiveness available even on the Day of Atonement?

Num. 29:7-11 And ye shall have on the tenth day of this seventh month an holy convocation; and ye shall afflict your souls.....one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the sin offering of atonement, and the continual burnt.offering

Note: For while the services of the day of atonement were going forward, if one remembered unconfessed sins, he could still bring his sin-offering and be forgiven.

While the high priest was involved cleansing the sanctuary, what were the people to be doing?
Leviticus 16:29 You shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you

Note: The day of atonement was a solemn day of judgment. Every sin had to be confessed and forsaken. He had to make sure every sin had been taken into the sanctuary and seperated from him. Those who refused were on that very day cut off forever from the camp of Israel (Lev. 23:29). Remember, sin separates the sinner from God. The Day of Atonement means “At/one/ment!” That is to “cleanse,” “forgive,” “pardon,” “purge” or “reconcile.” In other words the goal is to restore the sinner totally and completely to His creator! “Afflict your souls” means more than just fasting. It included soul searching, a review of one’s progress in holy living, a seeking of God, Confession of sin, making amends for neglected duties, in short it is making things right with God and man.

What happened to the live goat when the work of cleansing the sanctuary was complete?
Leviticus 16:20, 21 And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man.”

NOTE: Please note that the live goat is never slain. The scapegoat had no part in reconciling the people to God. The sanctuary was cleansed, and sins removed by the blood of the Lord's goat, at the end of the year's service. The live goat only enters the picture when the work of the sanctuary is complete. Thus it is shown to Israel that Satan is finally responsible for sin. This removal of sin from the sanctuary is the final act of the sanctuary service. Now it is shown that Satan is the responsible agent in sin. Notice that Satan's goat is never slain. Only Christ bears the penalty for sin. This service simply shows that Satan is the final responsible agent in sin, he is charged with the sins that he lead the redeemed to commit.

Is there a difference between the way the blood was applied in the Holy Place, daily and the Most Holy place, yearly?

Yes, there is a difference of application of the blood. During the daily ministration of sin offerings (Leviticus 4:7) the blood was "put" upon the horns of the altar. The Hebrew word for put "nathan" means to apply, assign or ascribe. The same word is used in Job 36:3, and Psalm 68:34 translated as "ascribe". It is translated as "charged" in Job 1:22. Something was being charged, assigned or ascribed to the sanctuary! However on the day of atonement, we find the blood being applied in a significantly different way. The blood was sprinkled (Lev.16:16-19) upon the altar "to cleanse it". The sprinkling indicated cleansing, while the "putting" indicating "charging" or "ascribing".
Since the priests alone could enter and mediate in the two apartments of the Sanctuary, how did the sinner participate in the atonement process?

James 2:18 I will shew thee my faith by my works

Hebrew 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice

Hebrew 11:28 Through faith he [Moses] kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood

To whom did the sanctuary services point to?

John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life

Psalms 77:13 Thy way, Oh God, is in the sanctuary

Hebrews 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them

Note: Everything about the sanctuary pointed to Christ and salvation through Him.


Courtyard - (Confession)

-Sinner is convicted of his sin by the Holy Spirit
-Sinner brings a sin offering acknowledging he has sinned
-Sinner confesses his sins by laying his hands upon the sin offering
-His sins are symbolically transferred to the sin offering
-Sinner is released and the sin offering (substitute) now bears the sin
-Sin offering is sacrificed on behalf of the sinner
-The priest captures the blood of the sacrifice

Holy Place – (Forgiveness - Daily atonement)-Priest takes the blood into the sanctuary to make atonement
-Blood taken to the sanctuary symbolizes transfer of sin into the sanctuary
-The blood is ministered in the Holy place before the vail
-The blood makes [a forgiving] atonement
-Sinner is forgiven of his sins
-Blood makes the atonement by covering his sins

Most Holy place – (Forgiveness) and (cleansing - Final atonement)-Person who realizes he has sinned on the Day of Atonement still can atone for his sins
-It will be a forgiving (covering) atonement
-Two goats are selected
-One is the Lord's goat which is sacrificed
-The blood of the Lord's goat will make a cleansing atonement
-Blood is ministered in the Most Holy place before the Mercy seat
-Cleansing atonement is made for the sinner and the sin record in the Holy place
-Blood of the Lord's goat makes atonement by cleansing (removing those covered) sins
-Once the Holy place is cleansed, the High Priest symbolically bears all the sins
-Finally the sins paid for by the Lord’s Goat are transferred to Satan – the scape goat.
-Live goat (Satan) does not make atonement [forgiveness and cleansing] for the sins
-The live goat is send to a land not inhabited, never to be seen again


While the work in the courtyard and the holy place was performed every day, the work of the most holy place was performed only once a year. Day by day the repentant sinner brought his offering to the door of the sanctuary when he was convicted of his sin and placing his hand upon the victim’s head, confessed his sins, thus in symbol transferred them from himself to the innocent sacrifice. Such was the work that went on each day, throughout the year. The sins of Israel were thus transferred to the sanctuary, and a special work became necessary for their removal. Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest entered the most holy place for the cleansing of the sanctuary. (Note: Certain sections in this study has been sourced from the file titled The day of atonement)

Earthly Sanctuary Layout


Source: Jesuschristinhissanctuary.net

Our next lesson will discover how Christ is ministering in the heavenly sanctuary on our behalf as our High Priest. See: Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary

Recommended books:

- Sanctuary Service by M.L Andreason