11. The Presiding Influence of the Sanctuary Doctrine

John Thiel, The Sanctuary Series, study 11, mp3

The Hebrew sanctuary was a symbol of the heavenly sanctuary, the services were prophetic symbolism of the realities of the plan of salvation. In our last studies, we came up to the subjects, not only of the work of Jesus as He gave His life at the cross, but that He also worked then as a priest, for a period of time in the holy place, and then He moved into the most holy place. We saw that the message for these last days since 1844 is the time of judgment, the Day of Atonement, in which Jesus our High Priest is doing a different kind of work than He did before, and we are called upon to purify our lives. And in such a serious time in which we are living, we have the comfort of the High Priest, that was our last study, the comfort we find in the High Priest.

Our Personal Salvation

Having covered that material, the basics of the sanctuary, seeing its impact that Jesus is also the sanctuary, His body, and also our body sanctuary – the Hebrew, the body sanctuary, the heavenly sanctuary, there are many different sanctuary object lessons there – we’ve come to the realization then that this subject is quite an important subject, and it has to do with the saving activity of our soul, of our personal salvation. This truth, the sanctuary truth, has an impact for all time, even for the Hebrews, it was a salvation story for them. Then as we come to the New Testament the salvation story is all portrayed therein. It was to appreciate as the apostles did that they needed in their time to be in tune with this message, just as we need in our time to be in tune with this message. There is an all-time relevance to that subject.

Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

The apostle brings the attention of the Christian church way back in his time, as well as our attention, to the fact that we are to understand what Jesus is doing next to the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which [voice] they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: 20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 21 And so terrible was the sight, [that] Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) 22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than [that of] Abel. 25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more [shall not] we [escape], if we turn away from him that [speaketh] from heaven:

The work of the heavenly sanctuary, Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, is a relevant and important subject for all Christendom in reference to their salvation.

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:

Once more we see that the apostle brings the attention of Christians to the work that is going on in the heavenly places, and we are to be there by faith. This has been the message for all Christians at all times. We remember how God said to Moses that he should make all things according to the pattern shown him of the sanctuary. Even in the Old Testament they were to know that they were following the pattern of the original in heaven. Now that’s all very fine, that was for all times. But as we have studied, the specific understanding of this message of the sanctuary was imperative for people living since 1844. Because there was something in 1844 for which the people living from that time onwards were to have a deeper knowledge of the sanctuary than ever before.

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

Here is this time prophecy that takes us from 457 B.C. right through to 1844 in which the sanctuary that is in heaven is cleansed. That was a specific knowledge that needed to be understood for the people living from that date onwards. The whole subject of the sanctuary was to be clearly taught to these people from that time onwards because it was so important for them living during that time from 1844, when Jesus went from the holy place to the most holy place. Here is this important material of the sanctuary laid out before the mind:

The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844. It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, showing that God’s hand had directed the great advent movement and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of His people. {GC 423.1}

There was a present truth that was imperative for the people to understand, not only to explain their disappointment, but to open up before them their present duty, their position and work as His people. It was imperative for them to understand the subject of the sanctuary which unlocked all this to them. It opened up to view a complete system of truth. These are the important terminologies that we need to take hold of in reference to understanding the sanctuary

As the disciples of Jesus after the terrible night of their anguish and disappointment were “glad when they saw the Lord,” so did those now rejoice who had looked in faith for His second coming. They had expected Him to appear in glory to give reward to His servants. As their hopes were disappointed, they had lost sight of Jesus, and with Mary at the sepulcher they cried: “They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him.” Now in the holy of holies they again beheld Him, their compassionate High Priest, soon to appear as their king and deliverer. Light from the sanctuary illumined the past, the present, and the future. {GC 423.1}

This is the subject which, ever since that time, it is imperative that we understand so that that whole system of truth that was passed to these people after 1844 is clear in our own mind. It is this system of truth, this present duty, to see Jesus in the most holy place as my High Priest, pleading my case, purifying my life, because there is not to be any sin left in my life in the judgment. This is such an important subject. Back there, in 1844, it says:

But the people were not yet ready to meet their Lord. There was still a work of preparation to be accomplished for them. Light was to be given, directing their minds to the temple of God in heaven; and as they should by faith follow their High Priest in His ministration there, new duties would be revealed. Another message of warning and instruction was to be given to the church.  {GC 424.4}

This quote in its application is for us, and we are to be very much part of that scene of those who had first discovered it, because there lies the connected truth and the duties that had to be embraced willingly so that they could be ready for Jesus to come, because at that time Jesus could not yet come to take them. As we look upon the work of the High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, we should follow Him there as He is working so that new duties would be revealed to us and “another message of warning and instruction was to be given to the church,” which was the grand finale. We are to be consciously in the temple, participating in the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary because while we live Jesus will finish His work in the sanctuary and then come with vengeance to destroy this world. We must understand this message so that when He comes we will be protected. If we are not in this message of the sanctuary, Isaiah 26:20-21 means very little. But through understanding the work that Jesus is doing in the sanctuary above, we would find Him there and we would be working with Him there.

Hide Yourself in the Sanctuary

As we have read in Hebrews 12, we have come unto the heavenly Jerusalem, unto Jesus the Mediator, so that we are actually there. You will also recall in Revelation 11:1, it says to measure the temple and those that worship therein. The people who are aware of the work of Jesus in the most holy place and worship therein are the people who can understand this great connected work of the truth, and great system of truth, connected and harmonious. The people can then start to discover how all the different Bible texts come into focus.

Isaiah 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. 21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

When Jesus comes out of His place, when He comes out of the sanctuary, there is a warning that God’s people must shut their doors about them and be protected. If we don’t know what He is doing there now for us to be protected, when He comes, we will have missed out on this protection. This is the point when it says, Shut your doors about you, hide yourself, until the indignation be overpast. Where do we hide? What does this message have to do with us intelligently co-operating with that? Now this scripture becomes truly meaningful in the light of the sanctuary:

Psalm 27:4 One [thing] have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. 5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me


Psalm 27:5 … in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

There the whole thing becomes meaningful. If we do not know the work of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary we cannot understand what this really means. Many people have poetic fancy about that. Become people think, Oh, it’s nice to go to house of the Lord, to worship at church. But that is not what this is talking about. This is talking about seeing His beauty in the heavenly sanctuary, being there as we study it carefully in the beautiful truths that have been laid out in the studies of the sanctuary, because in the time of trouble, where will He hide me? In that sanctuary. And If I am not there, in that sanctuary and have been thrown out because my sins were not all confessed, then I am not protected. When it says, Come and hide yourself, He means, Come and understand the protection that is for you in the heavenly sanctuary. If we are there in that protection, shutting our doors about us, the angels will protect us here on earth because we are safe and secure there.

The intelligent participation in the heavenly activities of Jesus our High Priest must be something that we are constantly occupied with, so that we will be protected. The messages that we have been reading tell us that the connecting truths that have been gained from the study of the sanctuary and the present duties that are ours, these things that we have read, we must not just say, Oh that is nice, and get on with what we usually do on this planet. But we must let this become a presiding influence in our life.

God’s people from 1844 were being measured (Rev 11:1) by the light of the sanctuary they were given of which the three angels’ messages were an integral part. Because the first angel said, The hour of God’s judgment is come, give Him the glory. The second angel identifies the earthly Babylon that they should be aware of. And then comes the third angel that seals them in their forehead. That whole truth connected and harmonious was actually there in the study of the three angels that the people at that time were beginning to launch out in. They saw as they went into the most holy place, in the heavenly sanctuary, the reality of the Ten Commandments and the ark. They saw the pot of manna, they saw Aaron’s rod that budded. They saw all that as being so meaningful for their time. This complete system of truth needed to be thoroughly explored and lived in and conveyed to others. They observed that in God’s way with His people, He was bringing them point by point in the discovery of that truth, and everyone since that time needed to become part of that system, that sanctuary doctrine that established these people there. Those people that had now passed away are replaced by people like us so that we understand what is actually involved here.

The Testimony of Christ

What we are here studying, both from the Bible and the Spirit of prophecy, is important material because of the following scripture:

1 Corinthians 1:3 Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and [from] the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and [in] all knowledge; 6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, [that ye may be] blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What has been given us that we might be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ?  The thing that has been given us in such an important time where the truth in its connectivity and the new duties that were to be given to God’s people might be confirmed among us, it was the testimony of Christ, so that you might come behind in no gift waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The testimony of Christ, what is that?  The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy. That is the reason why I am reading from the Spirit of prophecy as we seek to gain the gravity of the subjects of the sanctuary. As we read in Great Controversy, a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, was laid out there through the sanctuary, and we read here precisely how God had done that with the people before us:

A transforming power attended the proclamation of the first and second angels’ messages, as it attends the message of the third angel. Lasting convictions were made upon human minds. The power of the Holy Spirit was manifested. There was diligent study of the Scriptures, point by point. Almost entire nights were devoted to earnest searching of the Word. We searched for the truth as for hidden treasures. The Lord revealed Himself to us. Light was shed on the prophecies, and we knew that we received divine instruction. . . .  {2SM 109.3}

After the great disappointment there were few who set themselves to seek the Word with all their heart. But some souls would not settle down in discouragement and deny that the Lord had led them. To these the truth was opened point by point, and entwined with their most hallowed recollections and sympathies. The searchers after truth felt that the identification of Christ with their nature and interest was complete. Truth was made to shine forth, beautiful in its simplicity, dignified with a power and invested with an assurance unknown before the disappointment. We could then proclaim the message in unity.  {2SM 109.4}

That truth of the sanctuary that unlocked the disappointment launched them out in a study to gain all the connective truths point by point as they earnestly prayed for the Lord to guide them. This was not just some sort of happy bible study time, it was a serious application, a diligent application to get to know what the Lord had to give them and the new duties that would fall upon them. As they were doing that, the searchers after truth felt that the identification of Christ with their nature and interest was complete. It was a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them. The development of understanding of the truth that was important under the three angels’ messages they had carefully sought out point by point.

We here read exactly how important that study time actually was, the development of that system of truth that came:

No line of truth that has made the Seventh-day Adventist people what they are, is to be weakened. We have the old landmarks of truth, experience, and duty, and we are to stand firmly in defense of our principles, in full view of the world.–Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 17.  {CW 52.3}

Messages of every order and kind have been urged upon Seventh-day Adventists, to take the place of the truth which, point by point, has been sought out by prayerful study, and testified to by the miracle-working power of the Lord. But the waymarks which have made us what we are, are to be preserved, and they will be preserved, as God has signified through His word and the testimony of His Spirit. He calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority.–Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, p. 59. (1904.)  {CW 52.1}

This is what has actually captivated me because I love this particular recording, so that I have determined to establish my own foundation upon the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority, where you take God’s word, as we’ve found throughout these past studies, and see exactly how precisely the word of God unravels the subjects of the sanctuary to us. That is what the pioneers did and it was the Holy Spirit that led them along to come to all those clear scriptures. It is unquestionable authority, and there is a connective truth running right through. As it says here, He calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to this. We are to embrace the presiding influence of this sanctuary message and doctrine. As we try to understand it, you notice that we’ve had a lot of studies. We have had the studies of the three angels, which were 50 studies, we’ve had now 10 studies on the sanctuary. It’s taking us time to get all the system of truth clear. How long did it take for these people to get it all clear? She says it started after the disappointment:

Where shall we find safety unless it be in the truths that the Lord has been giving for the last fifty years?– Review and Herald, May 25, 1905.  {CW 53.2}

She wrote that statement in 1905. There is how long this point by point system of truth was laid out before the people. By 1905 she reinforces the fact that, He calls upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to this; and this is where will be our safety, in the truths that have been given in those last fifty years. It took fifty years to establish this. We today can go over this material and, point by point, begin to appreciate this connected and harmonious system of truth and understand the duties and the position and work of this people. As you study that you realize, Oh this is not just a subject that you go over in church and come along worship every Sabbath, but it is a system of truth that we are to actually engage in. We need a firm hold of these things.

As a people we are to stand firm on the platform of eternal truth that has withstood test and trial. We are to hold to the sure pillars of our faith. The principles of truth that God has revealed to us are our only true foundation. They have made us what we are. The lapse of time had not lessened their value.– Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, p. 51. (1904.)  {CW 52.2}

She wrote that in 1904.

No line of truth that has made the Seventh-day Adventist people what they are, is to be weakened. We have the old landmarks of truth, experience, and duty, and we are to stand firmly in defense of our principles, in full view of the world.–Testimonies, Vol. 6, p. 17.  {CW 52.3}

The sanctuary message, which was the key that opened up this whole system, we are to understand as they were shown back there. Notice now the kind of warning that is expressed here as we now live so many years after:

In the future, deception of every kind is to arise, and we want solid ground for our feet. We want solid pillars for the building. Not one pin is to be removed from that which the Lord has established. The enemy will bring in false theories, such as the doctrine that there is no sanctuary. {CW 53.2}

As we look back at the history from our time, this is precisely what has happened.

This is one of the points on which there will be a departing from the faith.  {Ibid.}

It is just one of the points. There are many other undermining aspects of that beautiful system of truth that had been established, and the position and work of God’s people has become undermined, so that what Adventists over those fifty years had established is now dismantled. That is why one of the old Adventists has written the book “Dismantling of Adventism”, that is exactly what has happened. It has been systematically done on the subject of the sanctuary. What we have shared in the previous ten studies is now seriously being questioned by many people who were once faithful Adventists. The newer generation doesn’t even know that anymore. That is why as we study these subjects, they go, I’ve never heard this, and yet they call themselves Seventh-day Adventists, when this is so important.

Satan is striving continually to bring in fanciful suppositions  {CW 53.3}

Something to fancy the mind, you know, something new, instead of concentrating on the realities that are written.

Satan is striving continually to bring in fanciful suppositions in regard to the sanctuary, degrading the wonderful representations of God and the ministry of Christ for our salvation into something that suits the carnal mind. He removes its presiding power from the hearts of believers, and supplies its place with fantastic theories invented to make void the truths of the atonement, and destroy our confidence in the doctrines which we have held sacred since the third angel’s message was first given. Thus he would rob us of our faith in the very message that has made us a separate people, and has given character and power to our work.–Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, p. 17. (1905.)  {Ibid.}

I know that the sanctuary question stands in righteousness and truth, just as we have held it for so many years. It is the enemy that leads minds off on sidetracks. He is pleased when those who know the truth become engrossed in collecting scriptures to pile around erroneous theories, which have no foundation in truth. The scriptures thus used are misapplied; they were not given to substantiate error, but to strengthen truth.–Gospel Workers, p. 303. (1915.)  {CW 54.1}

The Presiding Power of the Sanctuary

This is the very key of the rest of our studies. We must hold the presiding power of the sanctuary message. It must be a presiding power. Satan is trying to take that presiding power away. As you carefully study the sanctuary in all its connectivity, you discover that it is so important that it controls me. It has to be a presiding power.

What does the word “presiding” mean? The word presiding is placed upon a person who presides over a meeting, for instance, a chair person. In parliament, Mr. Speaker is the most powerful person in parliament. He holds government over the Parliamentarians and they have to respect what comes from the chair. He presides. In a business meeting there is a president. In all of doctrine, the sanctuary is a presiding power that has to govern the whole understanding of every other doctrine and teaching. If anything comes up that is not subject to the presiding power, it is not to be made a big issue of, because in this presiding power lies all the truths that are to govern our life.

This particular study will launch us out to understand the presiding influence that the sanctuary message and doctrine must have upon our life.

The shadow that Satan has caused to intervene between our souls and God Christ seeks to roll back, that the view of God and eternity may become clear. While He does not despise this world, He places it in its proper position of subordination. And then He places the things of eternity in their relative importance before us, that we may fix the eye of faith upon the unseen. The things of temporal interest have power to engross the thoughts and affections, and it is important that we should be constantly educating and training our minds to dwell upon things of eternal interest.  {HP 307.3}

I see this happening. The scripture says, and Jesus Himself made it quite plain that the perplexities of this world, the cares of life are there that would take us away from His powerful word. God is at work to place the things of eternity in their relative importance before us and to assist us not to permit the temporal interests to have power, to engross the thoughts and affections. What is to preside, what is to engross? The sanctuary is to preside, the sanctuary and its power. Its presiding power is to affect our thoughts and affections.  There are a hundred and one different things, these perplexities and also the fascinations around us. For instance, Grown-up boys with cars, you can get so fascinated with certain things. When I was a child I loved certain cars, and then I see them today and I think, Why was I so engrossed with that? That is a shocking piece of tin. I see older men of today, of my age, that are still fascinated with those old cars, absolutely fascinated with it. That is just one little thing. How many people are fascinated with so many different things? They preside in their life. What is to be our presiding influence and power? It is to be this beautiful subject that we have studied over the ten past studies. If we will not permit these things of temporal interests to take us off course and concentrate on this,

Will this make us unhappy? Will it cause us to have a hard time here? No, indeed. . . . The more of the Spirit of God, the more of His grace, is brought into our daily experience, the less friction there will be, the more happiness we shall have, and the more we shall impart to others.  {HP 307.3}

God does not design that eternity shall overwhelm us and unfit us for the duties of this life, and it will never do this if we accustom our minds to dwell upon the themes of eternity and mingle them with our life duties. {HP 307.4}

It will never do this if we accustom our minds to dwell upon the themes of eternity and mingle them with our life duties. The things that we meditate of in heaven we must be able to mingle them in our life duties. Remember that this is what we read before, as they studied in great detail the sanctuary, it opened to them a view of a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, and it also revealed to them present duty as it brought to light the position and work of God’s people; they were not yet ready for Jesus to come, and new duties would be revealed.

As they studied the sanctuary, the subject of the heavenly sanctuary was to preside and mingle with their duties on earth.

The contemplation of eternal realities will not disqualify us for the duties of this life. All the useful pursuits and activities of life are to stand revealed to us as encircled with the hallowed rainbow of promise.  {Ibid.}

Where is the rainbow? Around the throne, in the sanctuary. This is to affect every pursuit and activity of life. We are going to do just that. For the rest of our studies on the sanctuary, we are going to study precisely what this means. We are to mingle this doctrine with our daily duties. One of the duties that we have is what to eat, and the sanctuary doctrine mingles with that. The way we dress, the Sabbath keeping and the way that church government and all kinds of government are to be enacted, it’s all there in the sanctuary. It will go right through God’s ways for us in our duties, in the sanctuary.

The reason why I share this study now is that it must be a presiding influence so we can see indeed how important every aspect of the sanctuary is as it presides upon our life duties every day. It presides, it tells us how we must govern ourselves mingling in the duties of my life.

May God help us to stay in tune with that line-up of mingling the sanctuary presiding influence in our daily duties.


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Posted on 18/09/2009, in The Sanctuary (Series) and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Monwabisi manto

    Oh realy needed this,and we gona do the study of sancuary this cumin sabbath,keep it cuming,plz

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