A World Without Sacrifice?

I am writing today from the beautiful Sandusky area on Lake Erie.

I am writing today from the beautiful Sandusky area on Lake Erie.

Has modern technology removed the need for sacrifice? Now everyone can have their own way. When I was growing up back in the  20th century, my family had one black and white TV. On Monday nights, at our house we had to make compromises.

My dad and me missed the first hour of Monday Night Football so that my mom and sister could watch Little House on the Prairie. Now everyone can record their favorite show while watching another one, or just go watch the TV in their bedroom, so that there is no need for compromise, much less actual sacrifice.

When we went out to eat, someone had to choose where to go. Sometimes we wanted pizza, sometimes Mexican. Well, I always wanted Mexican, but that did not mean I always got it. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t. That is until food courts arrived at the malls. Now everyone can eat at the same food court but still choose their own genre of food, while their friends choose theirs. No one has to compromise or sacrifice. Oh, and I almost forgot about waiting for my sister to get off the phone so I could call my friends! We only had, <gasp!> one phone line. We also had one bathroom for the whole family! Even so, in the thirteen years we lived in that house, I only remember twice having to run to the McDonald’s restroom four blocks away.  One of those times was a Thanksgiving with the house filled with guests.

Today we have our own cell phones. No one has to share. We have multiple bathrooms in our homes so no one has to wait. We have multiple restaurants to choose from at the food court so that everyone gets their own way. We have several TV’s in the home with recording devices so that no one has to compromise, and so that there will never again be an adolescent boy who has never seen a kickoff on Monday night.

So does this make the world a better place? A world without sacrifice? A world where your friends get what they want, but you always get what you want too? It may sound like Utopia. But wait a minute – we are talking about a world without love. That’s right. Love is the principal of putting others first. The law of love tells us in the first four commandments how to put God first. The last six tell us how to put others first. This is what love is, and if we don’t have to put anyone else first, then that means we don’t have to love. What kind of a world is that?

Think about this: Jesus in Gethsemane asks His Father if there was another way to save the world besides the awful sacrifice He was facing.

He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”Matthew 26:39 NLT

Now you would think, if mankind has come up with enough technology so that we don’t have to compromise, share or put others first, much less have to sacrifice, that heaven could have come up with a better solution, than for God Himself to have to make a sacrifice! Yet heaven, with all of its infinite wisdom and resources only found one way to save the world. Sacrifice. Even the sacrifice of God’s own son!

Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Romans 8:32 NLT

While we dream of a world without sacrifice, we had better remember that a world without sacrifice would be a world without love. Heaven was filled with love, and heaven itself could provide no other solution for mankind other than sacrifice. Heaven is a place where people have to share, compromise, put others first and at times sacrifice. That is what makes it heaven! That is what makes it a world of love!

For our world to be a world of love, it must include sacrifices. It must include putting others first instead of making sure everyone gets exactly what they want when they want it. God has given us the Sabbath as a systematic way to put God and others first with our time. God has also given us the tithe and offering system so that we can systematically put God and others first with our possessions. Without a systematic way to always put others first, our world would have no way of exercising love.

Even in today’s hi-tech society, the need for sacrifice has not been totally removed. A few years ago, a friend of mine received a kidney from his wife so that he could live. Now here is a way technology has created a way that we can sacrifice to save others! What a beautiful love story: Is there a more beautiful way to say you love someone than to give an organ that you may need later to save your own life? My friend Plessie, gave her kidney and maybe even later her own life to save her husband Jim.

I love the world I live in, not because it is filled with cell phones, DVR’s and a multiple selection of restaurants. Having more than one phone in the house or multiple restrooms in the house does not make this world paradise to me. It’s people like Plessie who make this world worth living in! It’s people like Plessie, who are not afraid of the word “sacrifice,” that make my world paradise on earth!

All the modern technology can’t make this world a paradise or heaven on earth. It can only make us self-centered, which is what caused Lucifer to fall from paradise. I can still remember seeing Jim and Plessie lying in their hospital beds after the transplant. I see the smile on Plessie’s face, satisfied that her sacrifice has saved her husband’s life, and that is when I see heaven on earth.

Jim and his wife Plessie, who knew you can’t have paradise without sacrifice.

You may study this week’s SS Lesson here.

Where is the Most Holy Place?

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

 

Where is the most holy place? Is it a building on earth or in heaven? Or is it somewhere else?

While I was a child living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a tornado hit the surrounding area where I lived. Among the destruction was a Methodist church. That night on the news, I remember the Methodist pastor, saying in an interview, “The building has been destroyed but the church is just fine.” The pastor realized the church is not the building. The church is the people. As we study the sanctuary this quarter, that is a very important point to keep in mind. For example the climax of Christ’s ministry as our High Priest is not when the heavenly sanctuary building is cleansed, but when our hearts are cleansed!

In John 14 there is a wonderful promise that contains more than what appears on the surface.

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.  There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”John 14:1-3 NLT

The rooms Jesus is talking about are called “dwelling places” or “living rooms.”

In Exodus 25:8 God says,

“Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them.”

The whole purpose of a sanctuary is so that God can live right with us. Now if Jesus were speaking of literal rooms in John 14, the question would be what is taking Him so long? He created the world in six days. Surely it does not take Him two thousand years to build literal living rooms. However, if He is preparing a place where He can live right with us, then He is not only preparing a place made of rocks and mortar. Yes, there are literal mansions prepared for us in heaven, but that is not what is taking Jesus two thousand years. What is taking so long is that He is working with hearts of stone, preparing those stony hearts to become a temple, a sanctuary where He can live right inside of us. So that we can always live and be right where Jesus is!

Seventh-day Adventists understand there is a literal sanctuary in heaven.Hebrews 8:1-2. We tell people that the earthly sanctuary was just symbolic of the heavenly sanctuary. True, but here is the catch. While both the earthly and heavenly sanctuaries are literal sanctuaries, they are both symbolic. The earthly sanctuary points to the work Jesus is doing in the heavenly sanctuary, while the heavenly sanctuary points to the work that Jesus is doing, not in a building, but in our hearts! Remember the wise Methodist preacher making a distinction between the building and the church? The church is not a building, it is a people. Likewise we must make the distinction between the building and the sanctuary. We are the sanctuary Jesus is ministering in and wants to cleanse for His eternal living area.

From eternal ages it was God’s purpose that every created being, from the bright and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of the Creator. Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory of the Divine One. But by the incarnation of the Son of God, the purpose of Heaven is fulfilled. God dwells in humanity, and through saving grace the heart of man becomes again His temple……

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 1 Corinthians 3:1617. No man can of himself cast out the evil throng that have taken possession of the heart. Only Christ can cleanse the soul temple.  –Ellen White, Desire of Ages, Page 161  

All that Jesus is accomplishing in the heavenly sanctuary He wants to accomplish in our hearts.

In the courtyard is where the altar was for the sacrifice. This is where the act of justification took place. This is also to take place in our hearts.

Justification takes place when I live a perfect life in Jesus. Jesus counts Hisperfect life as my perfect life, thus saving me from the penalty of sin which is death. Justification is my title to heaven. See Romans 5:10 andEphesians 2:8-9.

Now while the altar in the courtyard is symbolic of the cross, many people say everything was accomplished and completed at the cross. Whoa! While the provision of a sacrifice was completed at the cross, the sanctuary does not end with the courtyard, where the sacrifice was provided. There are more exciting things to come.

When the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with the sword, out flowed blood and water. The blood was for our justification which took place inside the courtyard. The water was for our cleansing and sanctification.

The laver or wash basin in the earthly sanctuary was between the altar of sacrifice and the entrance to the holy place. So sanctification comes after the cleansing of justification. Jesus wants our hearts to be sanctified.

Revelation 10:7 NLT refers to the cleansing of the sanctuary and tells us God’s mysterious plan will be revealed. Iniquity is a mystery in how it developed inside a perfect angelic heart like Lucifer’s. This quarter we will be studying how the sanctuary reveals God’s mysterious plan of removing sin from human hearts.

Sanctification takes place as Jesus lives His victorious life in us. Thus we are being saved from sin by the power of God as He Himself writes His law of love in our hearts. By living in us, God is transforming us and preparing us for heaven. See Ephesians 3:19 and Colossians 1:27.

Just to make sure we understand; justification is me in Jesus. Sanctification is Jesus in me. This is what Jesus was talking about when He said, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you.” John 15:4 NLT Remaining in Christ is our justification. Christ remaining in us is our sanctification. Justification is our title to heaven and the salvation from the penalty of sin. Sanctification is our fitness for heaven and the salvation from the power of sin.

Now we enter the final compartment, which is the most holy place. This room is filled with the glory of God. Jesus represented the sanctuary where the Father dwelt in Him. Jesus’ humanity was the veil that kept us from being destroyed by His glory. Jesus wants us to share in His glory instead of being destroyed by it.

And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.Romans 8:30 NLT

Glorification is when Jesus saves us from the presence of sin. Those who love God and life will live in paradise, never again seeing the results or consequences of sin. See Revelation 21:1-4.

Jesus does not want to justify a courtyard; He wants to justify our hearts. Jesus does not want to cleanse the holy place of a building. He wants to cleanse our hearts. He does not want to live in the last compartment of the sanctuary building. He wants our hearts to be the most holy place so He can live right with us for all eternity!

Once Christ’s ministry as our High Priest has been completed, the sanctuary on earth and tabernacle in heaven will no longer be the most holy place. The most holy place will be right inside the hearts of the redeemed!

The mystery of iniquity is how did Lucifer’s heart, which was so perfect become so polluted with sin? God’s mysterious plan is to make our sinful hearts holy. And by the gospel presented in the sanctuary, not only do our sin polluted hearts become purified and become a holy place. They become the most holy place.

You may study this quarter’s SS lesson on the sanctuary here.

The Scapegoat in The Sanctuary

Christmas Tree Cerca Pier

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

There is a song I remember singing a hundred years ago, when I was a teenager. It went something like this, “I owed a debt I could not pay. He paid a debt He did not owe.” Beautiful song, but not exactly theologically correct if you want to get technical. And no, I do not like to get technical and I guess it may be theologically correct in one way, but in another way, it’s not. You see, fact is, I can pay the debt that I owe myself. Romans 6:23 tells us the wages of sin is death. I can pay for and atone for my sins all by myself with no help from Jesus, by dying. I am eternally grateful though, that Jesus did paid that debt for me! Because fact is, I could not pay the debt and live.

Satan, on the other hand, will have to pay the debt and atone for his sins himself.

“But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, [and] to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.” Leviticus 16:10

The scapegoat is cast into the wilderness to atone for sin. The scapegoat represents Satan who, after the cleansing of the sanctuary and investigative judgment, has now been blamed for the sin problem. The guilt and responsibility for sin is placed upon the scapegoat who goes off to the wilderness. This represents Satan, after the literal investigative judgment, spending a thousand years after the Second Coming here on earth, as it lies wasted and barren. After a thousand years of considering his great idea to rebel against God’s government and start his own, he will then realize it was not such a great idea after all.

Still, many have trouble with the scapegoat representing Satan. The Seventh-day Adventist church is unique in believing Satan is the scapegoat. Other denominations ask how can Satan bear our sin? Good question! Fact is, he does not bear our sin, he bears his own sin. He shares our guilt when he tempts us to sin. While Jesus died for our guilt, He did not die for Satan’s guilt, so it is still placed upon Satan. Others point out that the word “atonement” is used. How can Satan atone for our sins? Again, he does not atone for our sins, he atones for his own sin by dying an eternal death. You see, often it is said Jesus died for our sins because we could not atone for our own sins, but this is not true. We can atone for our own sins by dying an eternal death. The wages of sin is death and we can pay those wages in full if we so choose. We can atone for our own sin if we want. Satan atones for his own sin and shared guilt in our sins by being the scapegoat sent off to die an eternal death (Revelation 20). The universe will no longer blame God for the sin problem. Ironically, when the sin problem has been done away with, the only trace of sin will be the nail scars in Jesus’ hands. Thus, the only Person who will bear eternally the result of sin will be the only Person who was totally innocent.

The perfect Lamb of God is my Savior for all eternity! Hebrews 7:25 says, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” My Savior does not live so that He can force angels and humanity to worship Him and sing His praises. He does not live so that He can be a tyrant and boss everybody around. Once the sanctuary is cleansed, and guilt is put in its proper place, it will be seen that the Son of God lives to make intercession for sinners. We will be able to look as far in the past as eternity goes and as far into the future as eternity goes, and see that Jesus lives for one reason; to be our Savior!

You can study this week’s SS lesson here. You can download the SS lessons to your phone here.

Worship: Rejoicing Before The Lord: The Sanctuary and Worship

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

While studying this week’s SS lesson, I ran across some interesting articles from the Spirit of Prophecy.

Keep Silence Before Him

  The Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. Habakkuk 2:20

From the sacredness which was attached to the earthly sanctuary, Christians may learn how they should regard the place where the Lord meets with His people. There has been a great change, not for the better, but for the worse, in the habits and customs of the people in reference to religious worship. The precious, the sacred, things which connect us with God are fast losing their hold upon our minds and hearts, and are being brought down to the level of common things. The reverence which the people had anciently for the sanctuary where they met with God in sacred service has largely passed away. Nevertheless, God Himself gave the order of His service, exalting it high above everything of a temporal nature.  {FLB 189.2} 

     The house is the sanctuary for the family, and the closet or the grove the most retired place for individual worship; but the church is the sanctuary for the congregation.  {FLB 189.3} 

     In the name of Jesus we may come before Him with confidence, but we must not approach Him with the boldness of presumption, as though He were on a level with ourselves. There are those who address the great and all-powerful and holy God, who dwelleth in light unapproachable, as they would address an equal, or even an inferior. There are those who conduct themselves in His house as they would not presume to do in the audience-chamber of an earthly ruler. These should remember that they are in His sight whom seraphim adore.  {FLB 189.4} 

     Those who assemble to worship Him should put away every evil thing. Unless they worship Him in spirit and truth and in the beauty of holiness, their coming together will be of no avail.  {FLB 189.5} 

     It is your privilege, dear young friends, to glorify God upon the earth. In order to do this, you must direct your minds away from things that are superficial, frivolous, and unimportant, to those that are of eternal worth. {FLB.189.6} 

  Reverence for the House of God

  Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:30 

God is high and holy; and to the humble, believing soul, His house on earth, the place where His people meet for worship, is as the gate of heaven. The song of praise, the words spoken by Christ’s ministers, are God’s appointed agencies to prepare a people for the church above, for that loftier worship.  {ML 286.2} 

     When the worshipers enter the place of meeting, they should do so with decorum, passing quietly to their seats. . . . Common talking, whispering, and laughing should not be permitted in the house of worship, either before or after the service. Ardent, active piety should characterize the worshipers.  {ML 286.3} 

     If some have to wait a few minutes before the meeting begins, let them maintain a true spirit of devotion by silent meditation, keeping the heart uplifted to God in prayer that the service may be of special benefit to their own hearts and lead to the conviction and conversion of other souls. They should remember that heavenly messengers are in the house. We all lose much sweet communion with God by our restlessness, by not encouraging moments of reflection and prayer. . . .  {ML 286.4} 

     Elevate the standard of Christianity in the minds of your children; help them to weave Jesus into their experience; teach them to have the highest reverence for the house of God and to understand that when they enter the Lord’s house it should be with hearts that are softened and subdued by such thoughts as these: “God is here; this is His house. I must have pure thoughts and holiest motives. . . . This is the place where God meets with and blesses His people.” . . .  {ML 286.5} 

     Parents should not only teach, but command, their children to enter the sanctuary with sobriety and reverence.  {ML 286.6} 

     Practice reverence until it becomes a part of yourself. {ML 286.7}

In Light of the Cross Bible Study Guides

You can download a printable copy of the complete set of In Light of the Cross Bible Study Guides for free here. You can purchase a copy for your Kindle here

Newly Revised In Light of the Cross Bible Study Guides

Prepared by William Earnhardt, 2005, Revised 2009

The sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for sin is the great truth around which all other truths cluster. In order to be rightly understood and appreciated, every truth in the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, must be studied in the light that streams from the cross of Calvary. I present before you the great, grand monument of mercy and regeneration, salvation and redemption–the Son of God uplifted on the cross. This is to be the foundation of every discourse given by our ministers.–Gospel Workers, p. 315. 

Introduction

Why “In Light of the Cross” Bible study guides? Our salvation is found in the love of God alone (Ephesians 2:1-9). Since Satan realizes this fact, he only has one purpose in spreading lies and false doctrine-to make us misunderstand God’s love so that we do not appreciate or accept God’s love that brings salvation. Every false doctrine is more than just an attack on truth. It is an attack on the very character of God. False doctrines skew and misrepresent the character of God. Jesus tells us in John Chapter 8 that He more than just has the truth, He is the truth. If truth equals Jesus and Jesus equals God and God equals love then truth must equal love. The purpose of these study guides is to help us find God’s love in His truth. Doctrine is only helpful as it aids us in understanding the love of God which saves us. We are not saved by doctrine. We are saved by God’s love. Hence, the In Light of The Cross Study Guides which are prayerfully designed to help us understand and appreciate the love of God which saves us.

How to use the In Light of the Cross Study Guides

These study guides are designed as supplements with references following for deeper study. You may use the supplied references for your study or just use the supplements with your own favorite study guides. Power Point presentations are also available.

Table of Contents 

Salvation  

Scriptures

Death  

Punishment of the Wicked 

Health and Temperance 

The Sabbath 

Stewardship 

The Sanctuary

The Gift of Prophecy 

The Second Coming 

Christian Living 

Baptism 

Click here to find simple solutions for hard to understand Bible texts.

Click here to find more studies and devotionals on my website “In Light of The Cross”.

The Sanctuary in Light of the Cross

Tulsa SDA

You can download a printable copy of the complete set of In Light of the Cross Bible Study Guides for free here. You can purchase a copy for your Kindle here

The Sanctuary 

There are a lot of Biblical references in this study. If you like, You can look them up here.

Brief overview:  There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and began His intercessory ministry at the time of His ascension. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry. It is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who among the living are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent. (Heb. 8:1-5; 4:14-16; 9:11-28; 10:19-22; 1:3; 2:16, 17; Dan. 7:9-27; 8:13, 14; 9:24-27; Num. 14:34; Eze. 4:6; Lev. 16; Rev. 14:6, 7; 20:12; 14:12; 22:12.)

Why it is important to understand the truth about the sanctuary: 

The Sanctuary gives us a model of the complete plan of salvation and redemption. The Sanctuary helps us see how the cross Justifies, sanctifies and glorifies us.

Justification took place when I lived a perfect life in Jesus. Jesus counts His perfect life as my prefect life, thus saving me from the penalty of sin which is death and not eternal torment in hell. Justification is my title to heaven. We do no work on the Sabbath as a sign that we are justified by the faith of Jesus and not by our works. John 3:16, Romans 6:23 Galatians 2:16-20 Hebrews 4:1-9

Sanctification takes place as Jesus lives His victorious life in us. Thus we are being saved by the power of sin as God Himself writes His law of love in our hearts. By living in us, God is transforming us and preparing us for heaven. We rest on the Sabbath as a sign that it is God who sanctifies us and not our works. Exodus 31:13 Hebrews 8:10

Glorification is when Jesus returns and saves us from the presence of sin. Those who love God and life will live in paradise never again seeing the results or consequences of sin, while those who love sin and death will be forever put out of their misery and will be no more. We will continue celebrating the Sabbath in heaven as a sign that it is God who justified, sanctified and glorified us and not our works. Proverbs 8:36, Revelation 20&21, Psalms 100:3, Isaiah 66:23

Why it is important to understand the sanctuary in light of the cross:

Everything in the Sanctuary Pointed to Christ

  • Christ is the Lamb of God that took away the sins of the world [John 1:29].
  • Christ is the light of the world that lightens every man [John 1:9-12; 8:12].
  • Christ is the living bread who came down from heaven to give us eternal life [John 6:32-51].
  • Christ is the mercy seat (propitiation), through whose redemption we have salvation full and complete [Romans 3:24, 25].
  • Christ is our intercessor against the accusations of Satan [Hebrews 7:25].
  • Christ is the veil that bore our sins in His flesh [Hebrews 10:19,20].

The Sanctuary Revealed the Fall and Restoration of Man

  • In Adam, humanity sinned, was defiled, and condemned to death.
  • In Christ, the same humanity was reconciled to God, cleansed from all defilement, and justified to life [read Romans 5:18].
  • Through faith in Christ, sinners experience salvation.

This is the good news of the gospel and the truth of righteousness by faith. All this was revealed in the Sanctuary model given to Moses:

  • The Sanctuary was where God met sinners [read Ex. 25:22; 29:42, 43].
    Today He meets us in Christ [read 2 Cor. 5:19].
  • The Sanctuary was where God revealed Himself to sinners [read Ex. 29:46].
    Today He reveals Himself to us in Christ [read John 14:7-9].
  • The Sanctuary was where God dwelt with sinners [read Ex. 25:8; 29:45, 46].
    Today He dwells with us in Christ [read Matthew 1:23; John 14:23].
  • The Sanctuary was where God spoke to sinners [read Ex. 29:42; Lev. 1:1].
    Today He speaks to us in Christ [read Hebrews 1:2; John 8:43, 47].
  • The Sanctuary was where God accepted sinners [read Lev. 1:4].
    Today He accepts us in Christ [read Ephesians 1:6].
  • The Sanctuary was where God forgave sinners [read Lev. 4:20, 26, 31, 35].Today He forgives us in Christ [read Ephesians 1:7].

Bible Study on the Cleansing of the Sanctuary

Daniel 8:14 ——– What was to happen at the end of the 2300 days?

NOTE: The Bible only refers to two sanctuaries, one on earth and the

other in heaven.

Exodus 25:8, 9 ———— After what, was he to build the sanctuary?

Hebrews 8:1, 2, 5 —————- Where is the location of the original?

Exodus 26:33 ———————– How many apartments did it have?

Hebrews 9:6 ————– How frequent was the ministry in the first?

Hebrews 9:7 ———- How frequent was it in the second apartment?

Leviticus 16:29 ———————– When did the high priest do this?

Leviticus 16:30 —————————————- What was he doing?

Leviticus 16:7-9 —————————————– How did he do it?

Leviticus 16:15, 16 ———————- What did he do with the blood?

Leviticus 16:20-22 ———————— What did he do with the sins?

Leviticus 23:27, 28 —————– What were the people to be doing?

Leviticus 23:29, 30 ————- What happened to those living in sin?

NOTE: Jesus has begun the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary or the

blotting out of the record of confessed sins there, as well as from our

lives here.

Revelation 22:11, 12——- What pronouncement will He soon make?

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 ———— What happens to those still sinning?

1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 ————– What happens to the righteous?

Matthew 7:21-27 ——————– Which group will you be found in?

Revelation 14:7 – What should we be doing in this time of judgment?

Hebrews 4:14-16 ————————— What assurance do we have?

The Two Mysteries of the Sanctuary Revealed

 

I am writing to you today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

 

Friday’s section of this week’s SS lesson says, “Think about the fact that Lucifer was a “perfect” being and yet iniquity was found in him.” This is a mind boggling thought. How could someone so perfect become so sinful? This is the mystery of iniquity, and here is what Ellen White has to say in the book Great Controversy p. 493, “Sin is an intruder, for whose presence no reason can be given. It is mysterious, unaccountable; to excuse it, is to defend it. Could excuse for it be found, or cause be shown for its existence, it would cease to be sin.”

 

This brings up the two mysteries in the Great Controversy between God and Satan. The first is the mystery of iniquity. How could someone so perfect become so sinful? Is it God’s fault for making us with a free will or is Lucifer to blame?

 

The question is answered and the controversy is settled with another mystery. The cleansing of the sanctuary will place the blame for sin upon Satan and will also present a mystery of its own. Speaking of the sanctuary service in Revelation 10, verse seven tells us “the mystery of God should be finished” The mystery of God is the exact opposite of the mystery of iniquity. First lets see what the mystery of God is. Colossians 1:27-28 reads, “To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” So while the mystery of iniquity asks, how could someone so perfect become so sinful, the mystery of Godliness will counteract that by taking a sinful people and making them perfect in Christ. Revelation 7 tells us about people from every tribe and walk of life, who will be sealed with the Character of God before Christ returns. Sound impossible? Remember that sin seemed as impossible in heaven as perfection seems here on earth. Both are mysteries.

 

As we continue to explore the atonement this quarter the sanctuary will reveal to us the true character of God and the true character of Satan. The lies will all be washed away. Satan’s only power over Eve was his power to lie. Without lies Satan is totally powerless. He has no power. All he has are lies. The cleansing of the sanctuary will wash away all of Satan’s lies leaving him powerless. With a lie Satan gained control of Eve and the human race. The truth found in the sanctuary will free us from those lies and from Satan’s control and thus will begin the mystery of Godliness, and a race of people from all different backgrounds being sealed with God’s character. All the blame for sin, suffering, and rebellion will be placed on Satan; the scapegoat. No one will blame God for the sin problem anymore and we will be reconciled to Him. Thus the mystery of godliness will overtake the mystery of iniquity.

 

Someone asked me just this week, “If Satan who was so perfect became so sinful, how do I know I will not sin in heaven?” The answer has nothing to do with our natures. Satan sinned with a perfect nature. Jesus perfectly obeyed in a human nature. Jesus obeyed because He knew something we did not, the truth about Satan’s lies. The cleansing of the sanctuary washes away Satan’s lies thus cleansing us from all unrighteousness both now and forever!

 

check out the Bible Studies at In Light of the Cross.