It is this story of the Great Controversy, with all its details, that God had to make clear to the humans. Everything in the Holy Bible has something to do with it, but the best visual illustration the Lord used to teach it to His people was the Tabernacle with its services. There, every aspect of the mission of Messiah was told, explained, and illustrated. Christ was to be both the High Priest and the sacrificial Lamb. The three physical parts of the Tabernacle with its three main distinctive activities were all pointing to three distinctive physical and activity phases in the work of Christ.
- The court yard of the Tabernacle, with the altar of sacrifices and the laver, represented the earthly ministry of Christ the Savior who came to live a clean life and sacrifice Himself. Micah foretold the place of Christ’s birth: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrata, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come forth one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (Micah 5:2).Isaiah announced the purpose of God’s Anointed death: “Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows… But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him….. the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Is.53:4-5). The date of this event was clearly foretold by Daniel: “From the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince comes, there will be seven seventh… 62 seventh… and one seventh… In the middle of the seven he will put an end to sacrifice.” (Dan.9:25-27)
- The Holy Place in the Tabernacle, with its menorah (candlestick), showbread, and the altar of incense represented Christ’s intercession on behalf of man after His ascension to heaven. “We have such a High Priest who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle, set up by the Lord, not by man.” (Heb.8:1.2)
- The Most Holy Place, where the High Priest entered only once a year in the Day of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), the most important of all the tabernacle services, represents the last phase of Christ’s ministry. He enters the Most Holy Place in the heavenly Sanctuary and begins an investigative judgment, removing the sins of His people for ever, and making His return possible. In the old days this was announced ten days in advance with the blowing of the shophars (horns). It is this phase of Christ’s ministry, the one that in the Bible is presented as the most important, that has completely escaped the attention of the believers today, but not to God. The date of the beginning of this last phase of the ministry of Messiah is announced by these words: “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings (years), then the sanctuary will be cleansed.” (Dan.8:14). Setting everything in the historical context of events, John sees God sending His special messengers to announce the beginning of the judgment, cleansing, announced by Daniel: “And I saw an angel flying in the midair, and had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth – to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice: ‘Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship Him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of the waters. A second angel followed and said, ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great….’ A third angel followed them and said: ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he too will drink from the wine of God’s wreath.’” (Rev.14:6-10).
The flag, through its logo and design, tries to cover all these aspects, but focuses mostly on the final phase of God’s redemptive work – the final eradication of sin from the Universe and the return of His Son to take people back to their Heavenly Father, just as the Sanctuary services did.
Shiloh, the name by which Jacob called Messiah when he predicted that He will come through the tribe of Judah, and also the name of the place where the Tabernacle sat for hundreds of years, combines and connects the symbolism and reality of Messiah.