The Sanctuary – For Special Study in Our Day
In the 26 books of the New Testament, leaving out (for the moment) the book of Hebrews, we have a connected and relatively complete story of the life and teachings of Jesus. The New Testament tells us about the progress of His work on earth after His departure; it further explains the establishment and growth of the apostolic churches and its great Christian doctrines. The New Testaments final book ends by painting a prophetic picture of the struggle, and eventual victory, of the church in its conflict with evil; in this comprehensive account one important phase is missing. We are told little – almost nothing of Christ after He disappeared from view at His ascension. Nothing of His mediatorial work at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Yet, this is the very subject to which He had referenced, when in perplexity He asked, “None of you ask me, where are You going?”
- Leviticus 17:11 declares that the life of the flesh is in the blood. What was the purpose if this blood?
to make atonement for your souls ___________________________________
On Calvary, Christ died and shed His blood for us; fulfilling the sanctuary type in which a lamb was slain to provide atonement. But the slaying of the lamb did not, in and of itself, affect atonement; “it is the blood that makes atonement,” not the death of the sacrifice. The blood of the Passover lamb had to be put on the lintel and doorposts before it availed for atonement. Must a like ministration of the blood of Christ, the true Lamb of God, also be observed (for atonement)? In the New testament, Hebrews answers this in the affirmative, presenting Christ as high priest of the heavenly sanctuary; Christ ministers His own blood, thereby obtaining eternal redemption for us. “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered once into the holy place, having obtained (or thereby obtaining) eternal redemption for us.” Hebrews 9:12.
The epistle to the Hebrews is the one book which argues the deity of Christ, presenting Him as the expressed image of the Father, the Creator and Upholder of all things, who even the Father addresses as Lord and God. It is the one book that represents Christ as apostle and high priest. It is the one book that shares the astounding information; heavenly things must be cleansed with the blood of Christ. Thus, rightly interpreting the cleansing of the sanctuary; mentioned in Daniel as ‘referring to the heavenly model.’ It is the one book that portrays Christ’s entrance into the Holy Places in heaven, through the greater (more perfect) tabernacle of which He is minister, thereby establishing a parallel between the entrance of the high priest on earth and Christ’s entrance in heaven. It is the one book in the New Testament that consistently uses sanctuary language throughout, such as: the first and second tabernacle; the holy and the most holy; sin offerings, burnt offerings, and sacrifices; sprinkling the altar with blood, and carrying the blood into the sanctuary; the veil; the priest and the high priest accomplishing the service; burning the body of the sin offering outside the camp – all references constituting a parallel between Christ’s work and that of the Levitical priest; showing the connection between the lamb slain on the sanctuary altar and the true lamb of God. Thus significance, even glory, is given to the sacrificial system; instituted by God.
After the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 A.D., along with the death of the apostles, the object lessons of the sanctuary gradually grew dim. In fact, God’s second lesson book was almost entirely neglected.; those that didn’t bother to study it, failed to fully grasp its significance.
Had the sanctuary been understood; when the second coming of Christ, and the cleansing of the sanctuary began to be preached in 1844; God’s people would have been spared the ridicule and humiliation that were cast upon them. This is why, at the close of earth’s history, the subject of sanctuary and its service is so vitally important today. Its study will further save God’s truth, and His people, from further error and disappointment.
In the closing of earth’s history, it is important for God’s people to carefully study: the 2300-day prophecy, the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus; these are the principle subjects on which God’s people should dwell on, day and night. In conjunction with these vitally important subjects are the sanctuary and its service along with the investigative Judgement. All need a knowledge of these, five pillars of our faith, along with an understanding of the work of our great High Priest in heaven.
In early Adventist history such instructions were heeded by notable Bible students; Uriah Smith, S. N. Haskell, F. C. Gilbert, M. L. Andreasen, along with a few others; conveying to the Seventh-day Adventist Church valuable illumination on the sanctuary, unfolding many of its precious truths found in scripture.
2. What does II Timothy 3:16 and 17 state about the scriptures?
a. All scripture is given by inspiration of God and…
b. is profitable for doctrine, for Reproof, For correction and Instruction in Righteousness
3. Why is Scripture inspired? II Timothy 3:17
a. That Men of God may be complete
b. Thoroughly equipped for every good work
At the age of 12 Jesus for the first time looked upon the temple. He saw the white-robed priests performing their solemn ministry. He beheld the bleeding victim upon the altar of sacrifice. With the other worshipers, He bowed in prayer, while the cloud of incense ascended before God. Day by day during that first Passover visit, He saw significance of the sanctuary service more and more clearly; every act seemed to be bound up within His own life. New impulses were awoken with him; silent and absorbed, He seemed to be studying out a great problem. The mystery of His mission was now open to the Savior.
During these closing days of probation, should we contemplate our great problem? Should we consider the mystery of our mission? If so; it may open before us and create new impulses within us. It is not to be expected that a child will grasp the full meaning of the sanctuary, as the consecrated teacher presents the subject in its simplicity; the Holy Spirit will interpret its spiritual truth to the heart, but is often understood by a child even more clearly than in the heart of an adult. Let us therefore not deprive anyone of this vital study, which gains one knowledge of these precious sanctuary truths, according to our own ability to understand, with the aid of the Holy Spirit.
4. What does David say, of the Sanctuary, in Psalms 77:13?
God’s way (his message) is in the Sanctuary ________________________________
Why is the study of the Sanctuary so important to those preparing for the second coming of Christ? Because, here in the Sanctuary with its services in visible and tangible form; makes easy to understand for both young and old; what God was going to do, has already done, and will continue to do, for humankind.
5. Psalms 61:1 & 2 tells us where David sought the Lord. Where was this?
Looked for you in the Sanctuary _________________________________________
Why did David seek God in the Sanctuary? To more clearly see the power and glory of God, and to better understand Him.
6. What do Psalms 134:2; Psalms 135:1-3; and Psalms 150:1 direct us to do, because of our understanding of the Sanctuary and its service?
Praise God and bless God ______________________________________________
When we fail to understand the Sanctuary, and its wonderful service, there is a tendency to take our eyes off Jesus. When this happens, Psalms 73:1-3 states “Truly God is good to Israel, to such as are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped. 3 for I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.”
Asaph, the choir leader for David, felt himself slipping and sliding into a life contrary to God and his teaching. But in verse 17, of that same Psalm, Asaph said “…Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end.”
The Sanctuary and its service not only teaches us of the plan of redemption, but gives us warning of what happens to those that fail to keep their eyes focused on Christ. As with the scape goat, that was led away from the camp of Israel, so will those that fail to keep their eyes focused on Christ and the principles taught in the Sanctuary; find that their name is not written in the lamb’s book of life. If only we, as Christians today, would follow the example of Asaph and King David; there would be fewer backsliders today. You see, the Sanctuary points our way to Christ; without Christ there is no salvation. Hence, we find Christ in the Sanctuary and Christ also fulfills the Sanctuary.
The Sanctuary is Essential to Faith in Christ and without a knowledge of the sanctuary “it will be impossible for them (church members) to exercise faith which is essential at this time, or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill. Every individual has a case pending at the bar of God. Each must meet the great Judge face to face. How important, then, that every mind contemplate often the solemn scene when the Judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, when, with Daniel, every individual must stand in his lot, and at the end of the days!” The same writer, continues: “The sanctuary in heaven is the very center of Christ’s work on behalf of man. It concerns every soul living upon the earth. It opened to view the plan of redemption, bringing us down to the very close of time, and revealing the triumphant issue of the contest between righteousness and sin.” It is of utmost importance that all should thoroughly investigate these subjects. . .The intercession of Christ on man’s behalf, in the sanctuary above, is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross.
7. Hebrews 6:19. 20 tells us what; concerning Christ?
Jesus has become our High Priest _________________________________________
By His death He began that work which, after His Resurrection, He ascended to complete in heaven. We must, by faith, enter within the veil; whither (to which) the Forerunner is for us eternal; there the light from the cross of Calvary is reflected; there we may gain a clearer insight into the mysteries of redemption. “Jesus has opened the way to the Father’s throne, and through His mediation the sincere desire of all who come to Him in faith may be presented before God.” (GC 488, 489)
This “way to the Father’s throne” which Jesus has opened for us – The Path to The Throne of God – is symbolized in His marvelous object lesson of redemption, the sanctuary; each part like an illuminated signboard pointing the way.
Read Hebrews 11:24-27. For Moses, the great leader of Israel, whom God divinely instructed to build the earthly sanctuary, had such a faith in God that he chose to suffer alongside God’s people rather than live in the luxury of sin. What Moses accomplished by his great faith for God; you and I, with faith in Christ, can also accomplish great things for God.
Like Moses, when we refuse to go along with the crowd, when we refuse to be like everyone around us; we become a powerful witness for God. We may not see results today, for our actions yesterday, but God through our faith in him can perform miracles. Why? Because through the spiritual study of the sanctuary, we too may realize faith that will enable us to see “Him who is invisible” for He is revealed in all the sacrifices. “As we continue its study we shall be enabled more and more to understand and properly evaluate the restitution of the reward.” “With such a faith it will not be difficult to refuse the riches, the honors, the fame of the world, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” Without it, it will be impossible to exercise the faith which is essential at this time, or to occupy the position which God designed us to fill.
Referring to the Sanctuary and its services, Andrew Jukes, and old English writer puts it this way concerning in his book, The Law of Offerings. “Often, I have been surprised that the inspired parables of the Old Testament (referring to the Sanctuary) should have been so neglected. The types (of the Sanctuary) are in fact a series of pictures directly from the incomprehensible. . . these vast and infinite object lessons He brings before us . . . with the accuracy of One who views them as they are seen and understood by Himself, and in a way in which they may be seen and understood by us.”
Andrew Jukes continues by saying: “the neglect of a full and earnest study of the sanctuary is due to the fact that this subject “requires more spiritual intelligence than many Christians can bring to it; because we know so little (of the things of God) and, what is worse, we do not know our own ignorance.” Our “infancy in Christ, our lack of growth; hinder our understanding.” We excuse ourselves “under the plea that these things are not important or at least not essential.”
How sad and what in indictment against Christians in general; many who are still in darkness regarding the present position and work of our High Priest in the sanctuary above, but even against many – altogether too many – Christians who profess to be looking for His soon return to this earth, when His work as Intercessor is finished. To such it is not only an indictment but it should be a challenge.
Uriah Smith in his book Looking Unto Jesus pages 57, 58 says this about the Sanctuary. “the Sanctuary is a key to the interpretation of some of the most important prophecies pertaining to the present time. Neglecting to use this, an expositor can hardly come to right conclusions; using it, he can scarcely go astray. It shows our present light, draws out the heart in practical Christianity, points the inquirer the way to Christ, shows on what lines the Judgment proceeds, how and when the work of mercy of this world will close, Christ appear, redemption be completed and the blessing of the everlasting covenant be secured. Strange that a subject occupying so important a position in the divine economy should have been so long overlooked. Strange that so few even now are found to give it in any degree their attention, still less their study.”
The sanctuary illustrates not only the plan of salvation in general, but it points out the great gospel truths that pertain particularly to our own time and on down to the very end of time; it makes clear God’s last message to the world.
8. What is God’s last message to the world? Revelation 14:7
Fear God for the Hour of His judgement is come _____________________________
9. When does the prophet Daniel say the time of the end begins? Daniel 8:14
at the end of 2300 days ________________________________________________
Revelation 14:7 and Daniel 8:14 point out the time and the message. When does the time of the end begin? In October of 1844.
10. What is the message of these people in the closing hours of earth’s history? Revelation 14:6-12
a. Preaching the everlasting Gospel
b. Fear God and Give Glory to Him
11. Why do we preach this gospel and give him glory?
Because He made heaven and earth ______________________________________
12. A second angel followed saying that Babylon has fallen. Who is Babylon?
a. It is a system of false worship that is permeates through Christendom.
b. It is the system of worship that has always sought to persecute or wipe out those that follow God’s true teachings
13. The third angel gives signs of who these true followers of Christ are. What are these signs?
a. Have the Patience of the Saints
b. Keep the Commandments of God
c. And have the Faith of Jesus
Only in this movement – is the proclamation of the third angel’s message made a prominent feature, by only those who accept and proclaim this message. It is regarded as vital to Christian experience and to a full and board comprehension of almost, if not entirely, all Bible truth. As a correct understanding of the Sanctuary opened up God’s last message, and shed a flood of light on all lines of Bible truth due at that time; so at its close, a revival of sanctuary study will vitalize Christian experience and strengthen our faith in the closing work of God.
In the Sanctuary, all the truths that Characterize the Remnant church are revealed. Here are found the permanency of God’s law, eternal character of the Sabbath, the gift of the spirit of prophecy, the Judgment of the human family, and the second coming of Christ to this earth to take His people to their eternal home. “The recovery of the truth concerning the sanctuary and its cleansing has been the most unique and outstanding contribution of the Remnant church, because in it is brought to view the complete system of truth into which every doctrine of the Bible is integrated and made a very present truth to this closing generation of earth’s history. When taught in its relation to the sanctuary service, each doctrine will be seen in the light that steams from Calvary and will contribute to a better understanding of Jesus as the central theme of Scriptures. Indeed, as some have concisely stated, “The Sanctuary is not so much a doctrine as it is a system of standards by which to evaluate the validity of the many accepted beliefs to be found in the Christian Church.”
Satan, the arch deceiver, hates the great truths that bring to view an atoning sacrifice and an all-powerful Mediator; he invents unnumbered schemes to occupy our minds that they may not dwell upon the very work with which we ought to be best acquainted.
In the future, deception of every kind is to arise and we need solid ground for our feet. The enemy will bring in false theories that there is no sanctuary; this being one of the points on which there will be a departure from the faith.
Because the sanctuary so fully reveals the work of Christ in these last days, as J. E. Fulton has well stated in his book, The Sanctuary: “At no point does Satan seek to obscure our vision and confuse our minds more than the sanctuary.” With correct understanding and spiritual appreciation of the sanctuary, in all its many phases; the subtle work of the enemy is completely unmasked, so that not one needs to be deceived. Certainly no hazy knowledge, no indefinite idea of this most important Bible truth is necessary now.