14. The Sanctuary

By John Thiel, Audio:  The Sanctuary

In seeking to comprehend the first angel’s message we have been searching deep into the everlasting gospel to see what the first angel is preaching. We discovered previously that the first angel is actually the proclamation of our Lord Jesus Christ through the everlasting gospel.  In this study we explore the work of Jesus as the anointed one- the messiah through the sanctuary prophesies. Christ’s messiahship as the anointed one involved Jesus coming to this earth and carrying our His anointed work in atoning for the estranged sinful human race. This was revealed by God aforetime that we might have a sure hope in the prophecies of the everlasting gospel. 

Isaiah 61:1 The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.

2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all that mourn.

Jesus was anointed to preach good tidings, the everlasting gospel. We found that not only did the Bible give us a description of Christ’s ministry and messiahship as a report in hindsight, but the picture was given even more clearly in foresight. The prophecies we studied in the last study – ‘Messianic Prophecies’ went right down into the fine detail of not only the external events Jesus would go through but also the unspoken thoughts that He had in His mind in connection with those events. As we studied the work of the messiah we saw that there were three different aspects of His messiahship. 

The Death of Jesus

Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled we shall be saved by his life.

Many people think that it is the death of Jesus that saves us but this is not what the Bible says. The Bible says that Jesus reconciled us by His death and having been reconciled by His death we shall be saved by His life. Yes, there was the death aspect of the Messiahship but there was also the life aspect. The scripture intimates that we need to follow Christ’s life here on this earth and to live life as He lived it in order to become saved. We need to understand the life and activity that Jesus became engaged in.

The Life of Jesus

Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Here is the work that Jesus is now engaged in as our high priest. Jesus was made like unto us so that He could experience a life here on this earth and learn to be obedient in his life. He even practiced obedience in yielding Himself up to death. Having been on this earth and having become one with us, Jesus is now able to perform the third aspect of His messiahship which is the aspect of being our High Priest to succour us.

The High Priestly Ministration of Jesus

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

V16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Jesus can succour us which is a wonderful word for help. Jesus has the ability to help us because He is a high priest who can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities and was tempted in all points like as we are. It is this criterion that fits Him to be our merciful High Priest. Therefore if we will come boldly to the throne of grace in our afflictions He promises to help us in time of need. 

Another Aspect of Christ’s High Priestly Work

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

The ransom comes back to memory again. There is one God and one mediator between God and men – the Man Christ Jesus. All the facilities that the second person of the Godhead pledged to us in our previous study entitled ‘Jesus the Man,’ are again highlighted here in His priestly work. The messianic prophesies of the sanctuary foretold in detail the threefold labour of Christ for our purification. When Jesus communed with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus He directed their minds back to these prophesies to open up their understanding of what He was meant to be doing. 

Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.

26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

Jesus points to all the prophets that had spoken of him. But where did he begin?

Moses

Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.

Oh how much we all need to understand the old prophesy scriptures which point to Jesus. In the very same manner that Jesus began opening up the scriptures to the disciples we are going to commence at the Law of Moses. When Jesus referred to Moses or the Law of Moses what was at the center of it? 

Exodus 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.

9 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

At the centre of the Moses Law was a sanctuary. The Children of Israel were commissioned by God to build a sanctuary so that God may dwell among them. All the services and involvements with the sanctuary were recorded in the Law of Moses.  Jesus is the one by whom we find our way to become sons of God. This representation is again expressed when Jesus says “I am the way” by which you can become sons of God. 

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

4 And whether I go ye know, and the way ye know.

5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest, and how can we know the way?

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

The words of Jesus here are resplendent with the work He has gone into heaven to do. Jesus has gone into heaven to prepare a place for us but it is not a mansion that He has gone to prepare because in verse two it says that the mansions are already there. Where is this place Jesus has gone to prepare for us? Jesus expected the disciples to know the answer to this question because He said “whither I go you know, and the way you know”. But the disciples didn’t know where Jesus was going because they failed to comprehend the messianic prophesies in the Law of Moses. Jesus tried to explain to them that the Law of Moses illuminated ‘the way’ but they still didn’t understand, so Jesus then said to Thomas “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

Jesus the Way

Observe ‘the way’ that Jesus is to discover how He went to heaven to prepare a place for us by that way.

Psalm 77:13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our Father.

Hence Jesus is saying to the disciples you know where I am going, according to the Law of Moses after the priest took the blood of the sacrifice He went into the sanctuary. If His disciples had been astute they would have understood this but Jesus had to explain to them that He was going to the heavenly sanctuary. Jesus was going to return there because the way to the Father for every sinner is through the sanctuary activity which Jesus was and is. Jesus is the way and that way of Jesus is found in the sanctuary.

The Sanctuary of the Law of Moses

Hebrews 9 has a simplified outline of the sanctuary. 

Hebrews 9:1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.

2 For there was a tabernacle made, the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread; which is called the sanctuary.

3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all.

4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant.

5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.

As we explore this prophesy of the sanctuary and its services we find that the activities of the messiah are revealed in them. Jesus says, “I am the way to the Father and the way is in the sanctuary.” Where Jesus went was not an earthly sanctuary but the sanctuary as described in Exodus 25:9. This is a very important point that many scholars skip over and as they do this they actually miss the lead of where Jesus went just like the disciples did. Many Christians today don’t know where Jesus really went. They claim that they know He went to heaven but they don’t know where He is in heaven or what He is doing.  

Exodus 25:9 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

The earthy tabernacle or sanctuary of Moses was to be made after the pattern of the tabernacle. This is the language that pre-empts the concept that the earthly sanctuary was to be made as a copy of the heavenly tabernacle.

 Exodus 25:40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.

Moses was shown the pattern of the true tabernacle which is in heaven. In Hebrews chapter 8 we see that this Old Testament scripture is hinting very powerfully that Moses did not just get a plan for the earthly temple as a piece of paper or as a document but that he actually saw the true tabernacle in heaven.

Hebrews 8:4 For if he (Christ) were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law.

5 Who serve unto the example, and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

This scripture expresses clearly that the earthly temple was a copy of ‘the tabernacle’ which is the real one in heaven. Let’s now explore Jesus in the sanctuary of heaven as the prophecies of the Law of Moses depict.

Hebrews 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.

Jesus is a minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man. 

The Sin Offering

Leviticus 6:25 Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy.

26 The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation.

The sin offering was to be slain in the court of the sanctuary. We see the sin offering as it really is in the heavenly activity. 

Hebrews 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.

28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

In the Law of Moses the sin offering was a shadow of Jesus the one who offered himself up for our sins. After the sin offering was offered, the high priest would eat it. This is one aspect of the priestly ministration. More detail is given about what happens to the sin offering after it has been sacrificed. What was the next activity of this Law of the sin offering?

Leviticus 4:1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which out not to be done, and shall do against any of them:

3 If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering. 

The Shadow – The Earthly Sanctuary

Leviticus 4:4 And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD; and shall lay his hand upon the bullocks head, and kill the bullock before the LORD.

5 And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock’s blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation:

6 And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD, before the vail of the sanctuary.

After the sin offering was slain the officiating priest was to catch the blood and take it into the sanctuary and sprinkle it before God in the sanctuary. 

The Work of the Priest

 In Hebrews chapter 8 we read about the shadow of heavenly things and see Jesus identified in the actual sanctuary.

Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens:

2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched and not man.

Who is the priest of the real sanctuary? Jesus. As we study the messianic prophesies of the sanctuary, everything about Jesus is opened up to us. This is what Jesus was trying to convey to the disciples when He said “Oh you who are slow of heart to believe what the prophets said” and he commenced by opening up the Law of Moses to their understanding. Jesus told them very clearly that His work as a sin offering was what He came here to do and that He had to die in that way. After His death He was to rise again and become our High Priest. Hebrews chapter 9 now speaks of His priestly ministration.

Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.

Jesus ministers for us in the true tabernacle in heaven in the presence of God.

Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without Spot to God, purge your conscience form dead works to serve the living God.

Jesus went to the heavenly sanctuary to do the work of our high priest. The earthly sanctuary and its symbolisms were of no value in themselves. It was the real work that Jesus went to do in the sanctuary of heaven that is really important.  Christ atones with His own blood in the real heavenly sanctuary.

Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.

20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

21 And having an high priest over the house of God;

22 let us draw near with a pure heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

In the real sanctuary service we may come by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way right before the veil.  In the earthly sanctuary service the sins were laid upon the sin offering. The priest would then kill the animal and eat of it or take the animals blood in a vessel into the sanctuary. In the living way Jesus took upon Himself the sins of humanity in His flesh and in His blood. His blood carries the pollutants of our sin but His blood never became contaminated by the pollutants of our sin which dwell in the body of His flesh.  The blood of Jesus was the means by which the sins of humanity were transferred in the living way from earth to the heavenly sanctuary just as the animal blood was the means by which the priest transferred the sins of the people from the court to the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary. Then just as the high priest in the earthly sanctuary officiated by sprinkling the blood of the animal sacrifice before the veil to atone for sin; in the living way Jesus as our high priest pleads His own uncontaminated blood within the body of His flesh to purge our consciences from dead works and to atone for the sins of humanity. The flesh or body of Jesus is the living veil between man and God. In the earthly sanctuary, the veil was the medium through which the sins of the people were transported from the first apartment into the second apartment and in the heavenly sanctuary the sins of the people are transported through Jesus as He leaves the first apartment to enter into the second apartment. This is a powerful meditation; the new and living way that we are to enter into has been consecrated for us through our high priest undertaking this living activity in the heavenly sanctuary. All that Jesus did on the earth He took with Him and applied it to the heavenly sanctuary as we go there by faith.  This is the living activity of the sanctuary in heaven which was and is the work of the messiah as our high priest. All the detail of his death as a sin offering and then of his work as our High Priest is delineated in this messianic prophesy of the Law of Moses. 

Our Living High Priest

Observe Jesus in his work as our living high priest as it is recorded in the New Testament. According to this scripture in Revelation where is Jesus standing in the heavenly sanctuary.

Revelation 1:10 I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.

11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last,: and, What thou seest, write it in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia, unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. 

Jesus recounts all the churches that this is to be written to.

Revelation 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

Several years after Jesus ascended up to heaven John was on Patmos and he was shown in vision Jesus standing among the seven golden candlesticks in the heavenly sanctuary. We know in the earthly sanctuary that the seven golden candlesticks were always located in the first apartment. Therefore the vision identifies to us that Jesus is standing in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary at this time.

Hebrew 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.

20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Here is the concept once again of entering in by faith through the veil. Jesus as our forerunner is entered into the heavenly sanctuary within the veil. This is a very powerful message of Jesus ministering in the first apartment. Jesus is our ever living high priest for ever.  The summary of the atonement is expressed in Leviticus which details the prophecy in the work of the messiah as our high priest. The high priest had to actually eat part of the sin offering that was slain and upon which the sins of the people were laid before the blood was taken to the sanctuary.

Leviticus 6:26 The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation.

For the priest to do his work in the sanctuary of transferring the sins of the sinner to the sanctuary, he was first to eat the animal sacrifice in the court so that the sins of the people transported in symbol to the animal were now actually taken upon him and in him and then the priest went into the sanctuary. This was the prophecy of the messiah. Jesus became a sin offering and when Jesus rose again His blood was not merely applied to the sins of the world but the sins were imputed to him and became applied to him in order to transfer the sins to the heavenly sanctuary. Observe the atonement as it continues in the work of the heavenly sanctuary. 

Hebrews 9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.

7 But into the second, went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people.

Jesus officiated in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary for the removal of sins but now there is another point mentioned here which explains that once a year the high priest would go into the most holy place the second apartment of the sanctuary to atone for the sins of the people. Leviticus contains the detail of the messianic prophecy of the atonement. We are moving on from the first apartment work of the priest to the second apartment work of the priest in this law of Moses prophecy. Jesus said “all things must be fulfilled concerning Him.” We have studied the fulfillment of the sin offering, the fulfillment of the officiating work of the priest in the first apartment and now we are going to read about the fulfillment of the high priest’s work in the second apartment in the Day of Atonement.

The Day of Atonement

 Leviticus 16:31 It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.

32 And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest’s office in his father’s stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments.

33And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priest, and for all the people of the congregation.

34 And this shall be an everlasting statue unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.

The Day of Atonement came once a year as read in Hebrews. Here is a description of the activity of the people and of the priest on this day.  

Leviticus 23:27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

Does Jesus do exactly the same now? As He was officiating in the first apartment does there come a time when He moves from the first apartment into the second apartment as depicted in the Day of Atonement prophecy?  We need to study the prophecy of the earthly messianic tabernacle as a prophecy for the heavenly. We are delineating every activity right through to the Day of Atonement to see whether this is the reality of Christ’s work and we are also looking to see if it is revealed in the New Testament. 

Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth and no man openeth;

8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Here is a prophecy in Revelation of the church period of Philadelphia where Jesus reveals to John in vision “I have the key of David which openeth and no man shutteth and shutteth and no man openeth.” He says “behold I set before you an open door.” In other words, Jesus our high priest is revealing himself in the activity of the heavenly sanctuary as opening and shutting something.  In the earthly sanctuary, when the high priest wanted to go from the first apartment of the sanctuary (the holy place) into the second apartment of the sanctuary (the most holy place), he had to pull the curtain apart, open it and go into the second apartment. The curtain would then close again behind him. When the priest was in the second apartment he had finished the work of the first apartment. Here is the language of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary, “he openeth and no man shutteth and shutteth and no man openeth”. 

The Temple of God

 Revelation 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

In Revelation 3 it says that, “he openeth,” and as John the Revelator is shown in vision inside the heavenly temple in Revelation chapter 11 it says, “behold the temple of God was opened”. What does John see in there? He sees the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary because the ark His testament is in there. The scripture reveals to us that the temple of heaven was opened by Jesus just as the earthly temple was opened by the high priest. 

Revelation 15:5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. 

The ark of the testimony contains the Ten Commandments and in this scripture it says that the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary containing the Ark of the Covenant was opened. Jesus opens and no man shuts and shuts and no man opens. This activity is of the priest passing into the most holy place is not only prophesied in the Law of Moses in the earthly sanctuary but it is also prophesied in the book Daniel. 

Daniel 7:8 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flames, and his wheels as burning fire.

10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

The heavenly sanctuary is so vast and complex that Jesus is actually transported to the next apartment rather than walking there. In the sanctuary there is room enough for thousands upon thousands to stand before Him. In this huge place where Jesus ministers, (the mercy seat which covers the ark where the presence of God rested in the earthly sanctuary), God is sitting in the judgment. This is all evident in the following two verses.

Daniel 7:13 I saw in the night vision and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 

Jesus was moved by the clouds of heaven from the first apartment into the second apartment.

Daniel 7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, would serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

We have the prophecy of Daniel which depicts the messianic prophesy of the high priest going into the most Holy Place. This happened in living reality in the heavenly sanctuary.

The Cleansing of the Sanctuary

Daniel 8:14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

Just as the earthly sanctuary was a shadow and example or prophecy of heavenly things to come, this scripture now reveals to us that there is a prophetic time period in which the first apartment of the sanctuary is to be cleansed.  At the end of this time period Jesus transfers the sins of the first apartment to the second apartment just as the high priest did once a year on the Day of Atonement in the earthly sanctuary. The question that many people ask is “does the heavenly sanctuary actually need cleansing as did the earthly”? In answer to this question the earthly sanctuary had all the sins of the people taken into it on a daily basis for the duration of a year and this was a prophecy that all the sins of the people would be transferred by Jesus and recorded in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. We actually have such a record of the distasteful practices of the believers and it is all stored up before God.

Deuteronomy 32:32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter.

33 Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.

34 Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures?

The records of these poisonous activities, the sins of Israel are likened to the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah and “laid up in store with God.” This is a declaration that all the sins of God’s Israel are laid up before Him among his treasures in the heavenly sanctuary.

Isaiah 65:6 Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom.

What is written before God? All the terrible things God’s people did. God talks about these sins that are written before him.

Isaiah 65:3 A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;

4 Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;

5 Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

6 Behold it is written before me:

All the sins of the people are written before God in his heavenly sanctuary and all the ugly scenes of the sinner in the heavenly sanctuary pollute that beautiful clean place.  

As the artist transfers to the canvas the features of the face, so the features of each individual character are transferred to the books of heaven. God has a perfect photograph of every man’s character, and this photograph He compares with His law. He reveals to man the defects that mar his life, and calls upon him to repent and turn from sin. (ST July 31, 1901). {5BC 1085.4}

Here we have a description of how our sins are recorded in the heavenly sanctuary.  Not only are the sins of the people written there, but Jesus actually has a living photograph of everyone’s character. All the detestable things of their life are recorded there in living pictures. 

As anciently the sins of the people were by faith placed upon the sin offering and through its blood transferred, in figure, to the earthly sanctuary, so in the new covenant the sins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ and transferred, in fact, to the heavenly sanctuary. And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded. But before this can be accomplished, there must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigation–a work of judgment. This work must be performed prior to the coming of Christ to redeem His people; for when He comes, His reward is with Him to give to every man according to his works. Revelation 22:12. {GC 421.3}

 The recordings of the detestable things of sin need to be blotted out in the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary and that this final cleansing has everything to do with the cleansing of character. This is the very activity of the messiah in dealing with our sins here in our bodies.

Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building.

12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

The heavenly sanctuary must have all the sins purged from it. Our mind, our conscience must be completely purged of sin. 

Hebrews 9:23 it was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the havens should be purified with these (animal blood); but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these (the blood of Jesus).

The application of Christ’s blood upon the minds of the people will have the effect of purging and cleansing them. As this happens their sins will be blotted out of the heavenly sanctuary because the record of their character is changed.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

This work of the sanctuary is a wonderful revelation of Jesus working for us as our high priest. We are to actively engage in the work now of cleansing our lives now as Jesus is blotting out our sins in the heavens. As we purge ourselves now by the application of the sacrifice of Jesus we know that when He appears we shall be like Him.

2 Peter 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

We are to be without spot and blameless. Our sins need to be washed clean through the application of the sacrifice of Jesus and the work of our high priest in applying his sacrifice to our conscience as recorded in Hebrews. Our conscience will become purged as He cleanses and purges the heavenly sanctuary. With this meditation our study on the Messianic prophesies of the sanctuary is now complete. Our next study moves onto the subject of the marriage supper which connects with the judgment as we have just touched on it now.

Amen.

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In seeking to comprehend the first angel’s message we have been searching deep into the everlasting gospel to see what the first angel is preaching. We discovered previously that the first angel is actually the proclamation of our Lord Jesus Christ through the everlasting gospel.

In this study we explore the work of Jesus as the anointed one- the messiah through the sanctuary prophesies. Christ’s messiahship as the anointed one involved Jesus coming to this earth and carrying our His anointed work in atoning for the estranged sinful human race. This was revealed by God aforetime that we might have a sure hope in the prophecies of the everlasting gospel.

Isaiah 61:1 The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.

2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all that mourn.

Jesus was anointed to preach good tidings, the everlasting gospel. We found that not only did the Bible give us a description of Christ’s ministry and messiahship as a report in hindsight, but the picture was given even more clearly in foresight. The prophecies we studied in the last study – ‘Messianic Prophecies’ went right down into the fine detail of not only the external events Jesus would go through but also the unspoken thoughts that He had in His mind in connection with those events. As we studied the work of the messiah we saw that there were three different aspects of His messiahship.

The Death of Jesus

Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled we shall be saved by his life.

Many people think that it is the death of Jesus that saves us but this is not what the Bible says. The Bible says that Jesus reconciled us by His death and having been reconciled by His death we shall be saved by His life. Yes, there was the death aspect of the Messiahship but there was also the life aspect. The scripture intimates that we need to follow Christ’s life here on this earth and to live life as He lived it in order to become saved.

We need to understand the life and activity that Jesus became engaged in as described;

The Life of Jesus

Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Here is the work that Jesus is now engaged in as our high priest. Jesus was made like unto us so that He could experience a life here on this earth and learn to be obedient in his life. He even practiced obedience in yielding Himself up to death. Having been on this earth and having become one with us, Jesus is now able to perform the third aspect of His messiahship which is the aspect of being our High Priest to succour us.

The High Priestly Ministration of Jesus

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

V16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Jesus can succour us which is a wonderful word for help. Jesus has the ability to help us because He is a high priest who can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities and was tempted in all points like as we are. It is this criterion that fits Him to be our merciful High Priest. Therefore if we will come boldly to the throne of grace in our afflictions He promises to help us in time of need.

Another Aspect of Christ’s High Priestly Work

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

The ransom comes back to memory again. There is one God and one mediator between God and men – the Man Christ Jesus. All the facilities that the second person of the Godhead pledged to us in our previous study entitled ‘Jesus the Man,’ are again highlighted here in His priestly work. The messianic prophesies of the sanctuary foretold in detail the threefold labour of Christ for our purification. When Jesus communed with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus He directed their minds back to these prophesies to open up their understanding of what He was meant to be doing.

Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.

26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

Jesus points to all the prophets that had spoken of him. But where did he begin?

Moses

Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures.

Oh how much we all need to understand the old prophesy scriptures which point to Jesus. In the very same manner that Jesus began opening up the scriptures to the disciples we are going to commence at the Law of Moses. When Jesus referred to Moses or the Law of Moses what was at the center of it?

Exodus 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.

9 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

At the centre of the Moses Law was a sanctuary. The Children of Israel were commissioned by God to build a sanctuary so that God may dwell among them. All the services and involvements with the sanctuary were recorded in the Law of Moses.

Jesus is the one by whom we find our way to become sons of God. This representation is again expressed when Jesus says “I am the way” by which you can become sons of God.

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

4 And whether I go ye know, and the way ye know.

5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest, and how can we know the way?

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.

The words of Jesus here are resplendent with the work He has gone into heaven to do. Jesus has gone into heaven to prepare a place for us but it is not a mansion that He has gone to prepare because in verse two it says that the mansions are already there. Where is this place Jesus has gone to prepare for us?

Jesus expected the disciples to know the answer to this question because He said “whither I go you know, and the way you know”. But the disciples didn’t know where Jesus was going because they failed to comprehend the messianic prophesies in the Law of Moses. Jesus tried to explain to them that the Law of Moses illuminated ‘the way’ but they still didn’t understand, so Jesus then said to Thomas “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

Jesus the Way

Observe ‘the way’ that Jesus is to discover how He went to heaven to prepare a place for us by that way.

Psalm 77:13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our Father.

Hence Jesus is saying to the disciples you know where I am going, according to the Law of Moses after the priest took the blood of the sacrifice He went into the sanctuary. If His disciples had been astute they would have understood this but Jesus had to explain to them that He was going to the heavenly sanctuary. Jesus was going to return there because the way to the Father for every sinner is through the sanctuary activity which Jesus was and is. Jesus is the way and that way of Jesus is found in the sanctuary.

The Sanctuary of the Law of Moses

Hebrews 9 has a simplified outline of the sanctuary;

Hebrews 9:1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.

2 For there was a tabernacle made, the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the showbread; which is called the sanctuary.

3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all.

4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant.

5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.

As we explore this prophesy of the sanctuary and its services we find that the activities of the messiah are revealed in them. Jesus says, “I am the way to the Father and the way is in the sanctuary.”

Where Jesus went was not an earthly sanctuary but the sanctuary as described in Exodus 25:9. This is a very important point that many scholars skip over and as they do this they actually miss the lead of where Jesus went just like the disciples did. Many Christians today don’t know where Jesus really went. They claim that they know He went to heaven but they don’t know where He is in heaven or what He is doing.

Exodus 25:9 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.

The earthy tabernacle or sanctuary of Moses was to be made after the pattern of the tabernacle. This is the language that pre-empts the concept that the earthly sanctuary was to be made as a copy of the heavenly tabernacle.

Exodus 25:40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.

Moses was shown the pattern of the true tabernacle which is in heaven. In Hebrews chapter 8 we see that this Old Testament scripture is hinting very powerfully that Moses did not just get a plan for the earthly temple as a piece of paper or as a document but that he actually saw the true tabernacle in heaven.

Hebrews 8:4 For if he (Christ) were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law.

5 Who serve unto the example, and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

This scripture expresses clearly that the earthly temple was a copy of ‘the tabernacle’ which is the real one in heaven. Let’s now explore Jesus in the sanctuary of heaven as the prophecies of the Law of Moses depict;

Hebrews 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.

Jesus is a minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man.

The Sin Offering

Leviticus 6:25 Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy.

26 The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation.

The sin offering was to be slain in the court of the sanctuary. We see the sin offering as it really is in the heavenly activity;

Hebrews 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.

28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

In the Law of Moses the sin offering was a shadow of Jesus the one who offered himself up for our sins. After the sin offering was offered, the high priest would eat it. This is one aspect of the priestly ministration. More detail is given about what happens to the sin offering after it has been sacrificed.

What was the next activity of this Law of the sin offering?

Leviticus 4:1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which out not to be done, and shall do against any of them:

3 If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering.

The Shadow – The Earthly Sanctuary

Leviticus 4:4 And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD; and shall lay his hand upon the bullocks head, and kill the bullock before the LORD.

5 And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock’s blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation:

6 And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD, before the vail of the sanctuary.

After the sin offering was slain the officiating priest was to catch the blood and take it into the sanctuary and sprinkle it before God in the sanctuary.

The Work of the Priest

In Hebrews chapter 8 we read about the shadow of heavenly things and see Jesus identified in the actual sanctuary.

Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens:

2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched and not man.

Who is the priest of the real sanctuary? Jesus. As we study the messianic prophesies of the sanctuary, everything about Jesus is opened up to us. This is what Jesus was trying to convey to the disciples when He said “Oh you who are slow of heart to believe what the prophets said” and he commenced by opening up the Law of Moses to their understanding. Jesus told them very clearly that His work as a sin offering was what He came here to do and that He had to die in that way. After His death He was to rise again and become our High Priest. Hebrews chapter 9 now speaks of His priestly ministration.

Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.

Jesus ministers for us in the true tabernacle in heaven in the presence of God.

Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without Spot to God, purge your conscience form dead works to serve the living God.

Jesus went to the heavenly sanctuary to do the work of our high priest. The earthly sanctuary and its symbolisms were of no value in themselves. It was the real work that Jesus went to do in the sanctuary of heaven that is really important.  Christ atones with His own blood in the real heavenly sanctuary.

Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.

20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

21 And having an high priest over the house of God;

22 let us draw near with a pure heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

In the real sanctuary service we may come by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way right before the veil.  In the earthly sanctuary service the sins were laid upon the sin offering. The priest would then kill the animal and eat of it or take the animals blood in a vessel into the sanctuary. In the living way Jesus took upon Himself the sins of humanity in His flesh and in His blood. His blood carries the pollutants of our sin but His blood never became contaminated by the pollutants of our sin which dwell in the body of His flesh.

The blood of Jesus was the means by which the sins of humanity were transferred in the living way from earth to the heavenly sanctuary just as the animal blood was the means by which the priest transferred the sins of the people from the court to the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary.

Then just as the high priest in the earthly sanctuary officiated by sprinkling the blood of the animal sacrifice before the veil to atone for sin; in the living way Jesus as our high priest pleads His own uncontaminated blood within the body of His flesh to purge our consciences from dead works and to atone for the sins of humanity. The flesh or body of Jesus is the living veil between man and God.

In the earthly sanctuary, the veil was the medium through which the sins of the people were transported from the first apartment into the second apartment and in the heavenly sanctuary the sins of the people are transported through Jesus as He leaves the first apartment to enter into the second apartment

This is a powerful meditation; the new and living way that we are to enter into has been consecrated for us through our high priest undertaking this living activity in the heavenly sanctuary. All that Jesus did on the earth He took with Him and applied it to the heavenly sanctuary as we go there by faith.

This is the living activity of the sanctuary in heaven which was and is the work of the messiah as our high priest. All the detail of his death as a sin offering and then of his work as our High Priest is delineated in this messianic prophesy of the Law of Moses.

Our Living High Priest

Observe Jesus in his work as our living high priest as it is recorded in the New Testament. According to this scripture in Revelation where is Jesus standing in the heavenly sanctuary;

Revelation 1:10 I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.

11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last,: and, What thou seest, write it in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia, unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

Jesus recounts all the churches that this is to be written to.

Revelation 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

Several years after Jesus ascended up to heaven John was on Patmos and he was shown in vision Jesus standing among the seven golden candlesticks in the heavenly sanctuary. We know in the earthly sanctuary that the seven golden candlesticks were always located in the first apartment. Therefore the vision identifies to us that Jesus is standing in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary at this time.

Hebrew 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.

20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Here is the concept once again of entering in by faith through the veil. Jesus as our forerunner is entered into the heavenly sanctuary within the veil. This is a very powerful message of Jesus ministering in the first apartment. Jesus is our ever living high priest for ever.

The summary of the atonement is expressed in Leviticus which details the prophecy in the work of the messiah as our high priest. The high priest had to actually eat part of the sin offering that was slain and upon which the sins of the people were laid before the blood was taken to the sanctuary.

Leviticus 6:26 The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation.

For the priest to do his work in the sanctuary of transferring the sins of the sinner to the sanctuary, he was first to eat the animal sacrifice in the court so that the sins of the people transported in symbol to the animal were now actually taken upon him and in him and then the priest went into the sanctuary. This was the prophecy of the messiah. Jesus became a sin offering and when Jesus rose again His blood was not merely applied to the sins of the world but the sins were imputed to him and became applied to him in order to transfer the sins to the heavenly sanctuary.

Observe the atonement as it continues in the work of the heavenly sanctuary;

Hebrews 9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.

7 But into the second, went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people.

Jesus officiated in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary for the removal of sins but now there is another point mentioned here which explains that once a year the high priest would go into the most holy place the second apartment of the sanctuary to atone for the sins of the people.

Leviticus contains the detail of the messianic prophecy of the atonement. We are moving on from the first apartment work of the priest to the second apartment work of the priest in this law of Moses prophecy. Jesus said “all things must be fulfilled concerning Him.” We have studied the fulfillment of the sin offering, the fulfillment of the officiating work of the priest in the first apartment and now we are going to read about the fulfillment of the high priest’s work in the second apartment in the Day of Atonement.

The Day of Atonement

Leviticus 16:31 It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.

32 And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest’s office in his father’s stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, even the holy garments.

33And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priest, and for all the people of the congregation.

34 And this shall be an everlasting statue unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.

The Day of Atonement came once a year as read in Hebrews. Here is a description of the activity of the people and of the priest on this day;

Leviticus 23:27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

Does Jesus do exactly the same now? As He was officiating in the first apartment does there come a time when He moves from the first apartment into the second apartment as depicted in the Day of Atonement prophecy?

We need to study the prophecy of the earthly messianic tabernacle as a prophecy for the heavenly. We are delineating every activity right through to the Day of Atonement to see whether this is the reality of Christ’s work and we are also looking to see if it is revealed in the New Testament.

Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth and no man openeth;

8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Here is a prophecy in Revelation of the church period of Philadelphia where Jesus reveals to John in vision “I have the key of David which openeth and no man shutteth and shutteth and no man openeth.” He says “behold I set before you an open door.” In other words, Jesus our high priest is revealing himself in the activity of the heavenly sanctuary as opening and shutting something.

In the earthly sanctuary, when the high priest wanted to go from the first apartment of the sanctuary (the holy place) into the second apartment of the sanctuary (the most holy place), he had to pull the curtain apart, open it and go into the second apartment. The curtain would then close again behind him. When the priest was in the second apartment he had finished the work of the first apartment.

Here is the language of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary, “he openeth and no man shutteth and shutteth and no man openeth”.

The Temple of God

Revelation 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

In Revelation 3 it says that, “he openeth,” and as John the Revelator is shown in vision inside the heavenly temple in Revelation chapter 11 it says, “behold the temple of God was opened”. What does John see in there? He sees the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary because the ark His testament is in there. The scripture reveals to us that the temple of heaven was opened by Jesus just as the earthly temple was opened by the high priest.

Revelation 15:5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.

The ark of the testimony contains the Ten Commandments and in this scripture it says that the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary containing the Ark of the Covenant was opened. Jesus opens and no man shuts and shuts and no man opens. This activity is of the priest passing into the most holy place is not only prophesied in the Law of Moses in the earthly sanctuary but it is also prophesied in the book Daniel.

Daniel 7:8 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flames, and his wheels as burning fire.

10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

The heavenly sanctuary is so vast and complex that Jesus is actually transported to the next apartment rather than walking there. In the sanctuary there is room enough for thousands upon thousands to stand before Him. In this huge place where Jesus ministers, (the mercy seat which covers the ark where the presence of God rested in the earthly sanctuary), God is sitting in the judgment. This is all evident in the following two verses;

Daniel 7:13 I saw in the night vision and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

Jesus was moved by the clouds of heaven from the first apartment into the second apartment.

Daniel 7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, would serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

We have the prophecy of Daniel which depicts the messianic prophesy of the high priest going into the most Holy Place. This happened in living reality in the heavenly sanctuary.

The Cleansing of the Sanctuary

Daniel 8:14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

Just as the earthly sanctuary was a shadow and example or prophecy of heavenly things to come, this scripture now reveals to us that there is a prophetic time period in which the first apartment of the sanctuary is to be cleansed.

At the end of this time period Jesus transfers the sins of the first apartment to the second apartment just as the high priest did once a year on the Day of Atonement in the earthly sanctuary. The question that many people ask is “does the heavenly sanctuary actually need cleansing as did the earthly”?

In answer to this question the earthly sanctuary had all the sins of the people taken into it on a daily basis for the duration of a year and this was a prophecy that all the sins of the people would be transferred by Jesus and recorded in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary. We actually have such a record of the distasteful practices of the believers and it is all stored up before God;

Deuteronomy 32:32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter.

33 Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.

34 Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures?

The records of these poisonous activities, the sins of Israel are likened to the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah and “laid up in store with God.” This is a declaration that all the sins of God’s Israel are laid up before Him among his treasures in the heavenly sanctuary.

Isaiah 65:6 Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom.

What is written before God? All the terrible things God’s people did. God talks about these sins that are written before him.

Isaiah 65:3 A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;

4 Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;

5 Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

6 Behold it is written before me:

All the sins of the people are written before God in his heavenly sanctuary and all the ugly scenes of the sinner in the heavenly sanctuary pollute that beautiful clean place.

As the artist transfers to the canvas the features of the face, so the features of each individual character are transferred to the books of heaven. God has a perfect photograph of every man’s character, and this photograph He compares with His law. He reveals to man the defects that mar his life, and calls upon him to repent and turn from sin. (ST July 31, 1901). {5BC 1085.4}

Here we have a description of how our sins are recorded in the heavenly sanctuary.  Not only are the sins of the people written there, but Jesus actually has a living photograph of everyone’s character. All the detestable things of their life are recorded there in living pictures.

As anciently the sins of the people were by faith placed upon the sin offering and through its blood transferred, in figure, to the earthly sanctuary, so in the new covenant the sins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ and transferred, in fact, to the heavenly sanctuary. And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded. But before this can be accomplished, there must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigation–a work of judgment. This work must be performed prior to the coming of Christ to redeem His people; for when He comes, His reward is with Him to give to every man according to his works. Revelation 22:12. {GC 421.3}

The recordings of the detestable things of sin need to be blotted out in the second apartment of the heavenly sanctuary and that this final cleansing has everything to do with the cleansing of character. This is the very activity of the messiah in dealing with our sins here in our bodies.

Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building.

12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

The heavenly sanctuary must have all the sins purged from it. Our mind, our conscience must be completely purged of sin.

Hebrews 9:23 it was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the havens should be purified with these (animal blood); but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these (the blood of Jesus).

The application of Christ’s blood upon the minds of the people will have the effect of purging and cleansing them. As this happens their sins will be blotted out of the heavenly sanctuary because the record of their character is changed.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

This work of the sanctuary is a wonderful revelation of Jesus working for us as our high priest. We are to actively engage in the work now of cleansing our lives now as Jesus is blotting out our sins in the heavens. As we purge ourselves now by the application of the sacrifice of Jesus we know that when He appears we shall be like Him.

2 Peter 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

We are to be without spot and blameless. Our sins need to be washed clean through the application of the sacrifice of Jesus and the work of our high priest in applying his sacrifice to our conscience as recorded in Hebrews. Our conscience will become purged as He cleanses and purges the heavenly sanctuary.

With this meditation our study on the Messianic prophesies of the sanctuary is now complete. Our next study moves onto the subject of the marriage supper which connects with the judgment as we have just touched on it now.

Amen.

Posted on August 6, 2009, in 1st Angels Message and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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