God’s Lesson Plan – Part 2

TimeWatch Editorial
May 31, 2017

In our last Editorial, we looked at the writings of one of our pioneer workers. As we said, Sarah Elizabeth Peck (1868-1968) was an educator, writer and missionary. A native of Wisconsin, she received her education at Battle Creek College and was one of the church’s first women missionaries to Africa where she opened up the educational work for children.  She worked for a period with Ellen White in Australia and in America in the preparation of manuscripts. In 1906 she became educational secretary for the West Coast. One of the books written by Sarah Peck is titled “The Path to the Throne of God.” Her treatment of the subject is comprehensive and indeed well done. In that book she mentioned the fact that there are in actuality three books. The Book of Nature, the book of the Sanctuary and the Bible.

“Like the book of nature, the book of the sanctuary is for all ages and for people in all walks of life. By means of this divinely planned object lesson, that which otherwise would be a complicated study suited only to the learned, is made plain and simple even to a child. To the mature Christian student a knowledge of the sanctuary is of inestimable value, because it makes the entire plan of salvation visible in one magnificent view. Through this study he is able to organize and classify his Bible knowledge so that he can see its parts in their proper order and perspective. Indeed, the sanctuary may be compared to a mammoth and limitless filing case, where every essential Bible doctrine has its own place into which it fits perfectly in God's great plan.” Sarah Peck, “The Path to the Throne of God,” page 3.

Ms. Peck makes the sort of connection between the Sanctuary and the Bible that has very rarely been observed by others. What we quite often do not realize is that God is totally consistent in everything that he has given to us. So that a careful comparison of everything presented in the Sanctuary structure and service, lines up beautifully with the Word of God.

“When viewed in the light of the sanctuary, the Bible thus becomes a great system of truth, not a scrapbook of disconnected and unrelated fragments. When considered in its fullness, the sanctuary is like a wonderful mosaic of divine revelation; one truth omitted spoils its symmetry; one error introduced mars its perfection. Thus the sanctuary not only illuminates truth, but it reveals error. For this reason the importance of understanding the lessons portrayed in the sanctuary can hardly be overestimated. A spiritual study of the sanctuary is sure to awaken in the Christian student an insatiable longing to delve more deeply into the inexhaustible mine of Bible truth. It will inspire him with a profound love of the truth for these last days. How quickly and how vividly, and how truly will a study of this book of God - the sanctuary - reveal the importance and the eternal perpetuity of the Creator's divine law-the Ten Commandments! Such a study will give the student an experience that will be his anchor through earth's final crisis.” Sarah Peck, “The Path to the Throne of God,” page 4

It is extremely important that we understand that there is a continuing connection between the three books mentioned by Ms. Peck. As we have said before, God is consistent beginning in the Garden of Eden, the message has always been the same.

“For about fifteen hundred years the sanctuary was the main book through which God taught His people of His character and the plan of salvation. Not until after the sacrificial lamb met its antitype in the death of the Lamb of God was God's third book, the Bible, completed. Even then it was another fifteen hundred years before the printing press came into use, and the Bible began to be printed in the language of the people, and thus made available to the world. As in the book of nature and of the sanctuary, so the "grand central theme" of the Bible is Christ and redemption. The Bible is a divine commentary which throws the searchlight of Heaven on the other two books, giving a brilliant illumination to their theme - redemption. While the Bible illuminates the truths worked out in God's wondrous object lesson, the sanctuary, on the other hand the sanctuary is the substructure of the entire Bible. It is not merely a golden thread running throughout the Bible, but it is a complete golden network of truth entering into and binding together into one harmonious whole all parts of the Sacred Volume - history and prophecy, poetry and song, law and gospel. It is a visible illumination of all its essential doctrines, giving to each a new and deep significance.” Sarah Peck, “The Path to the Throne of God,” page 4

This is why the Sanctuary remains as important as it is. It contains the message that God desires to place in our hearts. We can only be grateful that in spite of the strenuous efforts made by many today to undermine its significance, the Sanctuary Service remains significant.

Cameron A. Bowen

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