May 22, 2004 – May 28, 2004
“Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I [am] the Lord.” Leviticus 26:2.
Suggested Reading: Testimonies, vol. 5, 491–500.
“When the worshipers enter the place of meeting, they should do so with decorum, passing quietly to their seats. . . . Common talking, whispering, and laughing should not be permitted in the house of worship, either before or after the service. Ardent, active piety should characterize the worshipers.
“If some have to wait a few minutes before the meeting begins, let them maintain a true spirit of devotion by silent meditation, keeping the heart uplifted to God in prayer that the service may be of special benefit to their own hearts and lead to the conviction and conversion of other souls. They should remember that heavenly messengers are in the house. We all lose much sweet communion with God by our restlessness, by not encouraging moments of reflection and prayer. . . .
“Elevate the standard of Christianity in the minds of your children; help them to weave Jesus into their experience; teach them to have the highest reverence for the house of God and to understand that when they enter the Lord’s house it should be with hearts that are softened and subdued by such thoughts as these: ‘God is here; this is His house. I must have pure thoughts and holiest motives. . . . This is the place where God meets with and blesses His people.’ . . .
“Parents should not only teach, but command, their children to enter the sanctuary with sobriety and reverence.
“Practice reverence until it becomes a part of yourself.” My Life Today, 286.
1 What were God’s people anciently taught concerning the sacredness of the sanctuary? Leviticus 26:2.
note: “God is high and holy; and to the humble, believing soul, His house on earth, the place where His people meet for worship, is as the gate of heaven.” My Life Today, 286.
2 When God’s people meet to worship Him, Who is in their midst, though unseen? Matthew 18:20.
note: “Wherever there are as many as two or three believers, let them meet together on the Sabbath to claim the Lord’s promise.
“The little companies assembled to worship God on His holy day have a right to claim the rich blessing of Jehovah. They should believe that the Lord Jesus is an honored guest in their assemblies.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 360, 361.
3 How is the Unseen One to be regarded? Revelation 4:8–11.
note: “The duty to worship God is based upon the fact that He is the Creator and that to Him all other beings owe their existence. And wherever, in the Bible, His claim to reverence and worship, above the gods of the heathen, is presented, there is cited the evidence of His creative power. [Psalm 96:5; Isaiah 40:25, 26; 45:18; Psalms 100:3; 95:6 quoted.] And the holy beings who worship God in heaven state, as the reason why their homage is due to Him: ‘Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou hast created all things.’ Revelation 4:11.” The Great Controversy, 436, 437.
4 What does the presence of God do for His sanctuary? Exodus 3:1–6; Joshua 5:14, 15.
note: “As Joshua withdrew from the armies of Israel, to meditate and pray for God’s special presence to attend him, he saw a man of lofty stature, clad in warlike garments, with his sword drawn in his hand. Joshua did not recognize him as one of the armies of Israel, and yet he had no appearance of being an enemy. In his zeal he accosted him, and said, [Joshua 5:13–15 quoted.]
“This was no common angel. It was the Lord Jesus Christ, He who had conducted the Hebrews through the wilderness, enshrouded in the pillar of fire by night and the pillar of cloud by day. The place was made sacred by His presence; therefore Joshua was commanded to put off his shoes.” The Story of Redemption, 178.
“Well would it be for young and old to study and ponder and often repeat those words of Holy Writ that show how the place marked by God’s special presence should be regarded.” Education, 243.
5 How was God’s presence manifested in the sanctuary in the wilderness? Exodus 40:33–35.
note: “A period of about half a year was occupied in the building of the tabernacle. When it was completed, Moses examined all the work of the builders, comparing it with the pattern shown him in the mount and the directions he had received from God. . . . With eager interest the multitudes of Israel crowded around to look upon the sacred structure. While they were contemplating the scene with reverent satisfaction, the pillar of cloud floated over the sanctuary and, descending, enveloped it. ‘And the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.’ [Exodus 40:35.]” Patriarchs and Prophets, 349.
6 How was the Lord’s presence revealed when Solomon’s temple was dedicated? 11 Chronicles 5:13, 14.
note: “A most splendid sanctuary had been made, according to the pattern showed to Moses in the mount, and afterward presented by the Lord to David. In addition to the cherubim on the top of the ark, Solomon made two other angels of larger size, standing at each end of the ark, representing the heavenly angels guarding the law of God. It is impossible to describe the beauty and splendor of this sanctuary. Into this place the sacred ark was borne with solemn reverence by the priests, and set in its place beneath the wings of the two stately cherubim that stood upon the floor.
“The sacred choir lifted their voices in praise to God, and the melody of their voices was accompanied by all kinds of musical instruments. And while the courts of the temple resounded with praise, the cloud of God’s glory took possession of the house, as it had formerly filled the wilderness tabernacle.” Review and Herald, November 9, 1905.
7 What title is applied to the One Who meets with His people in His earthly sanctuary? Revelation 19:16; 17:14.
note: “The kingdom of God’s grace is now being established, as day by day hearts that have been full of sin and rebellion yield to the sovereignty of His love. But the full establishment of the kingdom of His glory will not take place until the second coming of Christ to this world. . . .
“The heavenly gates are again to be lifted up, and with ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of holy ones, our Saviour will come forth as King of kings and Lord of lords. Jehovah Immanuel ‘shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one.’ ‘The tabernacle of God’ shall be with men, ‘and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.’ Zechariah 14:9; Revelation 21:3.” Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 108.
8 When Jesus was entering Jerusalem, how was He received? Luke 19:35–38.
note: “Jesus now accepted the homage which He had never before permitted. . . . All were happy and excited; the people vied with one another in paying Him homage. They could not display outward pomp and splendor, but they gave Him the worship of happy hearts. They were unable to present Him with costly gifts, but they spread their outer garments as a carpet in His path, and they also strewed the leafy branches of the olive and the palm in the way. They could lead the triumphal procession with no royal standards, but they cut down the spreading palm boughs, Nature’s emblem of victory, and waved them aloft with loud acclamations and hosannas.” The Desire of Ages, 570.
9 How reverently do the heavenly beings worship? Isaiah 6:1–4.
note: “When God was about to send Isaiah with a message to His people, He first permitted the prophet to look in vision into the holy of holies within the sanctuary. Suddenly the gate and the inner veil of the temple seemed to be uplifted or withdrawn, and he was permitted to gaze within, upon the holy of holies, where even the prophet’s feet might not enter. There rose before him a vision of Jehovah sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, while the train of His glory filled the temple. Around the throne were seraphim, as guards about the great King, and they reflected the glory that surrounded them. As their songs of praise resounded in deep notes of adoration, the pillars of the gate trembled, as if shaken by an earthquake. With lips unpolluted by sin, these angels poured forth the praises of God. ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts,’ they cried: ‘the whole earth is full of his glory’ (Isaiah 6:3).
“The seraphim around the throne are so filled with reverential awe as they behold the glory of God, that they do not for an instant look upon themselves with admiration. Their praise is for the Lord of hosts. As they look into the future, when the whole earth shall be filled with His glory, the triumphant song is echoed from one to another in melodious chant, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts.’ They are fully satisfied to glorify God; abiding in His presence, beneath His smile of approbation, they wish for nothing more.” God’s Amazing Grace, 72.
“These holy beings sang forth the praise and glory of God with lips unpolluted with sin. The contrast between the feeble praise which he [Isaiah] had been accustomed to bestow upon the Creator and the fervid praises of the seraphim, astonished and humiliated the prophet. . . .” Conflict and Courage,