The Work in the First Apartment
by Stephen Haskell


THE work in the first apartment consisted principally of the morning and evening daily services, the individual sin-offerings, and services on feast days and on special occasions. God's visible presence was manifested in the first apartment, or tabernacle of the congregation. There at the first veil, or door, of the tabernacle of the congregation, (Ex. 29:42,43;30:36 Num. 17:4) where the people presented their sin-offerings, God met and communed with the children of Israel. Sometimes the cloud of glory, representing the visible presence of the Most Holy, filled the first apartment so that no one was able to enter. (Ex. 40:34,35; 1 Kings 8:10,11: 2 Chron. 5:13,14: 7:2)

God's presence manifested in the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary was a shadow of the glorious presence and throne of the Father in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, where, after enduring "the cross, despising the shame," the Saviour sat down "at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb. 12:2)

The service each morning and evening was very important. Within the first apartment the high priest offered incense upon the golden altar, and trimmed and lighted the lamps. (Ex. 30:6-8)
The high priest performed this sacred work, which typified the adding of the fragrant incense of Christ's righteousness to the prayers of God's people, to render them acceptable before God. (Rev. 8:3,4) He also trimmed and lighted those lamps that were a shadow of the Holy Spirit emanating fro m God, which at some time in life shines into the heart of every one, (John 1:9) inviting him to accept the Lord and His service, and which shines continually in the life of the individual who walks in the light, and is faithful to God.

While the high priest within the sanctuary was performing the daily service morning and evening at the golden altar, the priests in the court were burning the whole burnt-offering, the meat-offering, and the drink-offering, upon the brazen altar, and the people were gathered without, praying. (Luke 1:10)

When the children of Israel were carried into captivity, the faithful ones prayed, like Daniel, with their windows open toward Jerusalem. (Dan. 6:10)
They turned toward the temple, where, from the altar of continual intercession, the incense was ascending. This type represented those who may be held captive in cruel bondage by Satan, the prince of this world. It matters not where they may be nor how strong the bands that hold them, if they will resolutely turn their faces from their surroundings toward the heavenly sanctuary, where Christ pleads His blood and presents His righteousness in the sinner's behalf, the prayer of faith will bring peace and joy to the soul, and will break asunder the bands with which Satan has bound them. Christ sets before such an "open door, and no man can shut it." (Rev. 3:8)
It makes no difference what the surroundings may be, the soul can be free in God, and no human being, not even the devil, can prevent it. "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." (1 John 5:4)

Day by day, as sinners presented their sin-offerings at the door of the first apartment, confessing their sins, either by the blood sprinkled before the Lord or a portion of the flesh eaten in the first apartment, the confessed sins were transferred in type to the first apartment of the sanctuary. The priest met the sinner at the first veil of the sanctuary, and carried within the veil either the blood or the flesh. The sinner could not look within the sanctuary, but by faith he knew that the priest was faithful to present his sin-offering before the Lord, and he left the sanctuary rejoicing in sins forgiven.

In the antitype of that service we confess our sins, and although we can not see the work in the heavenly sanctuary, we know that Christ pleads His blood and marred flesh, (Is. 49:45-46)–the prints of the nails,–before the Father in our behalf, and we rejoice in the forgiveness of sins. The sins are covered, hid from view, "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered." (Ps. 32:1)

As day by day the sins of the people were thus in figure transferred to the sanctuary, the place became defiled, and must be purified or cleansed. Sins are forgiven and covered when confessed, and will never be uncovered if the one who confesses them re- mains faithful; but if he forsakes the Lord and turns back into the world, that part of his past life which, while he was faithful, was covered with Christ's righteousness, appears open and uncovered on the books of heaven; for he himself has withdrawn from Christ, and must meet the record of his entire life in the judgment.

This is very forcefully taught in the parable of the unmerciful servant, who, after he had been forgiven his entire debt, dealt harshly with his debtors, and the Lord then required him to pay all that had been once forgiven him. (Matt. 18:23-35)

The time will come when the sins of the righteous will not only be forgiven and covered by the blood of Christ, but all trace of them will be forever removed from the books of heaven, and even the Lord will never remember them again. This work was symbolized by the work in the second apartment on the day of atonement.


Ex. 29:42, 43. The visible presence of God was manifested in the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary.

Ex. 30:7, 8. The high priest trimmed and lighted the lamps.

Ex. 40:24, 25. The lamps in the earthly sanctuary were burning before the Lord.

Heb. 9:6. "The priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God."

Lev. 4:7; 10:16-18. By the blood and the flesh the sins were transferred to the earthly sanctuary.

Lev. 4:7. The marks of sin touched the horns of the altar.

Num. 18:7. None but the priests could look within the veil. All that remained of the sin-offering without the veil was burned. All trace of the sin-offering was covered from sight.


Rev. 4:2-5. The seven lamps were seen in heaven before the throne.

Rev. 1:13. Christ was seen among the golden candle-sticks, in the heavenly sanctuary.

Rev. 4:2, 5. The seven lamps of fire were seen burning before the throne of God in heaven.

Heb. 7:25. Christ ever liveth to make intercession for us.

1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 1:7. By the merits of the sacrifice of the body and blood of Christ, our sins are forgiven.

Jer. 2:22. The actual sin is marked before the Lord in heaven.

Ps. 32:1. When we confess our sins, they are transferred to the heavenly sanctuary and covered, nevermore to appear, if we are faithful.

"The Cross and Its Shadow" Chapter 29, pp. 209-218
Stephen Haskell was first introduced to Sabbath keeping Adventist in 1853 at the age of 22. He served as an Adventist evangelist, church administrator, missionary, writer, and Bible teacher over the next 67 years.

Table of Contents for Haskell's book "The Cross and It's Shadow

Stephen Haskell--The outer Court and it's services

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