us to our very first big question: Why are we not in heaven today?
Why has Jesus not returned as He promised? Could it be a problem
of distance? I think not, for Christ has often come to this earth.
You will recall that He spent seven days here during the creation
week, and He often came and visited with Adam and Eve in the Garden
of Eden. Actually, He used to take walks with Enoch! And, He visited
old Abraham and ate with him in his tent. He talked with Moses on
Mount Sinai. And for years He abode in the cloud above the sanctuary
in the desert. We read of Jesus coming to this earth as a babe in
Bethlehem, and He lived with man for thirty-three years. So, it
is very clear from the scriptures that Christ has been here many
times. Distance is no barrier with Christ!
Let's look at
it another way. Could it be a problem of time? Maybe it's not yet
time for Christ to return. However, nearly every sign Christ predicted
for the end-time events has already taken place, or is presently
taking shape before our very eyes. Skeptics, atheists, and politicians
all agree that something great is about to happen! What then is
the problem? Why hasn't Christ come?
I believe I
can state the reason in these few simple words: God has a big problem!
How can He save the sinner without saving the sin? How can He destroy
sin without destroying the sinner? Putting it very bluntly, how
can God get rid of sin without getting rid of you and me? How can
He take us to heaven without taking the infectious sin with us.
That would spread death throughout the universe. Let me tell you;
God has a big, big problem!
Now some theologians
claim that they have the answer to God's problem. Like indulgent
parents, who believe that their children will outgrow their evil
ways when they become adults, they teach that they need only be
shown enough love. But, experience reveals that they are dead wrong!
In the same manner, there are some indulgent theologians who are
teaching that if we just preach enough love, the people will believe
God and receive salvation. After all, God is so full of mercy, grace
and forgiveness, that He does not demand total obedience.
that Christ gave all men unconditional salvation at the cross, and
all man has to do is to "believe". The sinner need not
be concerned if he continues to sin. After all, he was born to sin
and it is impossible in this life to stop sinning. Some even teach
that when Jesus comes the second time He will give every sinner
a new heart (mind) instantly, so that they will never sin again.
Thus the sin problem will be solved! - Don't you believe it! This
is a teaching that is a concoction of the devil himself.
of the Lord has written:
goody-goody religion that makes light of sin and that is forever
dwelling upon the love of God to the sinner, encourages the sinner
to believe that God will save him while he continues in sin and
he knows it to be sin. This is the way that many are doing who profess
to believe present truth. The truth is kept apart from their life,
and this is the reason it has no more power to convict and convert
the soul." 3 Selected Messages, p. 155.
Think it through,
if Christ were to perform such a miracle as the instant transformation
of mind and character, from sin to righteousness, when He comes,
then the atheists would be right in blaming God for all the evils
that are in this earth. Could not God have made His followers, even
from the days of Adam, instantly sinless whenever they claimed to
believe in Him? Don't be misled by these false new theology teachings.
God does have a way to solve the sin problem. A way to save His
people from their sins, not in their sins. God's way is
clearly taught to us in the sanctuary services, as the blood of
the Lamb is administered therein.
You will remember
that Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life."
John 14:6. And if we follow Him into the sanctuary
where He is ministering today, we will understand His way. This
is indeed good news, for Jesus Christ can solve the sin problem,
making eternal life possible for every sinner who will accept Christ's
sacrifice and follow His way of separating our sins from us. Praise
God! He tells us, "Thy way, Oh God, is in the sanctuary."
Now let's take
a look at the scriptures, for they reveal that there is, today,
a sanctuary in heaven and that in Old Testament times there was
a sanctuary on this earth. First, let us read from Hebrews 8:1,
2. You will notice that this verse is referring to the sanctuary
in heaven. "We have such an high priest, who is on the
right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister
of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched,
and not man." Turning to the ninth chapter of Hebrews,
we read about the earthly sanctuary in verse 12, "the first
covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
For there was a tabernacle made."
Now, since we
have found that the New Testament declares that there is a sanctuary
in heaven, and that there was a sanctuary on this earth, let's turn
to the Old Testament and read about the sanctuary that was here
on this earth. In Exodus 25:8, God said, "Let them make
me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them."
on earth teaches us, through symbols, how God solves the sin problem
from His sanctuary above. We are enabled to understand how He can
separate sin from the sinner as it is done in the sanctuary services.
In fact, there were three parts to the earthly sanctuary: the outer
court, the holy place, and the most holy place. (See Figure #2).
In each of these locations a separate service was performed: one
in the outer court, one in the holy place, and one within the most
holy place. We shall study these three separate services so we can
learn how to co-operate with Christ as He solves our sin problem.
When Christ has finally separated sin from us, we will eventually
be able to join our Savior in heaven and live with Him where there
will be no more sin!
I know that
all of us are longing to be with our Savior in heaven. But what
will make this possible? The final act of the disposition of sin
from the sinner did not take place at the cross, as so many teach
and believe. Rather, the final act of making an atonement for sin
takes place within the most holy place of the sanctuary in heaven.
This is why we read in The Great Controversy, pg. 489,
intercession of Christ in man's behalf in the sanctuary above is
as essential to the plan of salvation as was his death upon the
cross , for by His death He began that work which after
His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven."
be stated more clearly. There is a work, now going on in the heavenly
sanctuary, that is essential for the final atonement of our sins.
The sacrifice on the cross did not separate sin from the individual
sinner, but made a "provision", whereby Christ paid the
penalty for the sins of those who would avail themselves of the
Thus, the final,
or eternal, disposition of sin that takes place in the second apartment
of the sanctuary can never be accomplished until the work in the
first apartment is completed. Likewise, the work in the first apartment
cannot take place until the sacrifice has been made in the outer
court on the altar. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to remember
that these three separate steps are necessary to eternally separate
sin from the sinner.
When God instructed
Moses to build this earthly sanctuary, He commanded, "Make
it after the pattern." (See Figure #1). However, there was
one exception. When it came to writing the law of Jehovah, God said,
"Moses, I'll do this." Notice His words, Exodus 31:18,
"And he gave unto Moses, two tables of testimony, tables
of stone, written with the finger of God."
within the earthly sanctuary was made by men except the Ten Commandments.
#2-8). These were written in stone by the immortal finger of God
Almighty. The importance of this act was emphasized when Moses broke
the tables of stone to show his displeasure of Israel's idolatry.
God did not say, "Moses, make another copy and put it in the
ark." Oh no! God said, "Hew thee two tables of stone
like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make
thee an ark of wood. And I will write on the tables the words that
were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put
them in the ark."
10:1, 2. It was God who wrote the law the second time with
His divine finger. Thus, the Ten Commandments are lifted up above
the rest of the entire Bible, for God Himself wrote the Ten Commandments.
books which compose God's Word were written by men under the inspiration
of the Holy Spirit, but the Ten Commandments were written by God
Himself! Why? Because God wanted no human element to deface His
divine law. The Ten Commandments are a copy of the law in heaven
which expresses God's holy character. So when we read them, we are
dealing with the great original, the law of God that is safely secured
within the heavenly sanctuary above.
You will recall
that some sixty years after Christ was crucified, had risen, and
had returned to heaven, God opened the heavenly sanctuary to John
in vision. And what did he see? He writes, "And the temple
was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of
his testament." Revelation 11:19. After the cross,
all eyes are to focus on the heavenly sanctuary in which can be
seen the law of God. And why was this? Because God wants those of
us who are living in these last days, to know that there is a right
and a wrong way to live. We are told, ". . .for by the
law is the knowledge of' sin." Romans 3:20. In
Phillip's translation it reads like this, "It is the straight
edge of the law that shows how crooked we are. The law is actually
the transcript of the character of God. In the book, The Story
of Redemption, pg. 19, we read that God, speaking of His Ten
Commandments, has exalted them to be equal to Himself. And then
in The Desire of Ages, pg. 308, speaking of this law of
God, it tells us:
. . the precepts of' the Decalogue are as immutable as the throne
They are a transcript
of His character. And so, when you consider and study the law of
God, you are studying the very character of God Himself.
Now, in the
most holy apartment of the sanctuary, we are brought face to face
with God's law. For there it is, in the ark, representing His character,
the divine rule of life. In Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14, we have been
commanded, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty
of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every
secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil." The
apostle James makes it very clear in James 2:10-12, "For
whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point,
he is guilty of all."
For He that
said, "Do not commit adultery", said also, "Do
not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou
art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as
they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." Yes,
there is a penalty for breaking God's law, and that penalty is death!
For God states, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."
Ezekiel 18:4. As you read the scriptures you will
find that this truth is emphasized in many other verses, such as:
"The wages of sin is death." Romans 6:23;
and "All have sinned." Romans 3:23.
So we all stand as sinners before God's law!
Now this brings
us back to the sin problem, doesn't it? Since we have all sinned,
how is it possible for God to separate our sins from us so we can
be taken to heaven and live with Jesus, instead of dying for our
sins as the law demands?
For this answer
let's go back to the sanctuary and discover the first step in this
process of separating sin from the sinner. This act was performed
in the court of the sanctuary. God describes what actually takes
place there. "If anyone of the common people sin through
ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments
of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and be
guilty; or if his sin which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge:
Then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without
blemish, for his sin which he hast sinned." Leviticus
4:27. Then what did the sinner do?. (See Figure #9). "And
he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay
the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering. And the priest
shall take of the blood thereof with his finger, and put it upon
the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all
the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar, and the priest shall
make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven." But
how could this be accomplished? As you read verses five and six
of the same chapter, it says, "The priest that is anointed
shall take of the bullock's blood, and bring it the tabernacle of
the congregation." So the priest brings this blood inside
the sanctuary. "And the priest shall dip his finger in
the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the Lord,
before the veil of the sanctuary."
Again we find
the three requirements that must be followed. This man has sinned,
he has broken the law. He deserves to die for his sin. But God doesn't
want him to die, so the Holy Spirit convicts the man of his sin;
he repents and seeks forgiveness of the Lord; he wants to live and
not die. He believes in, and accepts Christ as his Savior. God in
His great love has provided a way for the sinner to become guiltless
before God, even as though he had never sinned.
But the sinner
must faithfully follow the divine plan if he is to be granted such
forgiveness and is to be separated from his sin. First,
a lamb must be brought to the court of the sanctuary as a sacrifice.
Next, he must place his hands on the head of the Iamb and confess
his sin over its head. In doing this, he will transfer his sin to
the Iamb, which becomes his substitute. He then takes this lamb,
places it on the altar, and with his own hand takes a knife and
cuts the throat of the innocent victim. Thus, taking the victim's
life for his sin, rather than dying for his own sin. Next, the blood
is caught in a bowl, the priest takes the blood into the sanctuary's
holy place and it is sprinkled before the law.
Now you ask,
why must the blood be taken into the sanctuary? Because the blood
represents the life of the victim. In Leviticus 17:11 it plainly
states, "The life of the flesh is in the blood." And
the life of the innocent victim must be presented before the Lord;
before His law, to fulfill its requirement. Now, since the guilty
man has transferred his sin to the Iamb, the substitute now bears
the guilt and must die for the sin which was transferred to it.
any other way that God can separate sin from us? The answer is:
Absolutely not! For God states: "Without the shedding of
blood (there) is no remission." Hebrews 9:22. Are
you thinking this through very carefully? You see, the substitute
must die. And who must slay the substitute? The sinner! Because,
it is his sin that made the death necessary!
Let's look at
the reality of this plan of salvation. Whom does the lamb represent?
John the Baptist explained this in unmistakable words as Jesus came
to him to be baptized. John said, speaking of Jesus, "Behold
the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." And
this is why Jesus came to this world. He came to save us; to die
for us! Now you understand that since sin causes death, either I
must die, or a substitute must die by my own hand. This, then, is
the basic lesson we learn in our study of God's way to separate
sin from us.
me enact once more this word-picture, as the sinner takes a knife,
and slays the innocent victim. Watch with me as the Iamb experiences
the death throbs and dies. The guiltless, dying for the sinner;
dying because of another's sin. And now quickly, look in faith to
the Lamb of God, and behold Jesus Christ the Lamb, dying on Calvary
for our sins. Remember, Peter wrote, "Who his own self
bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to
sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."
I Peter 2:24. What happened to that Iamb on the altar?
The Iamb died! What did our sins do to Christ on Calvary? They took
His life--it was we who took Christ's life!
acquainted with the historical fact of Calvary. They like to go
to the "holy land" and visit the very spot where Jesus
died. But, so very few of them ever realize that it was their sin
that crucified the Lamb of God. They have never understood what
Zechariah wrote in Chapter 12, verse 10, "They shall look
upon me whom they have pierced." Have you gone in faith
to Calvary and there, discovered Christ dying on the cross in your
place, realizing that it was your sins that took His life? Tell
me, honestly, have you felt guilty for the death of Christ? Have
you envisioned the Lord Jesus as your substitute, dying in your
One of the saddest
funerals that I have ever conducted will help us to understand the
results of Christ's death on the cross. In the casket lay the body
of a very small boy, the only son of the grieving parents. This
tiny tot had died by an accident which was caused by his father,
for he did not know that his small son had followed him to the garage.
When the father backed the car out of the garage, he killed the
child instantly. Although this was an accident, I cannot describe
the grief that I beheld in the father's face. When your mind contemplates
Calvary, you behold Christ the Lamb dying your death. You know His
death was not an accident because His death was caused by our devilish
sins. Christ dying on the cross as our substitute, bearing our sins,
helps us to realize the meaning of Calvary. We cannot help but cry
out, "Oh God, is this what I have done to your dear Son? Is
this the price of my salvation?"
Tell me, if
that father who by accident killed his little precious son, should
someday have another son, do you think that he would be more careful
in the future as he backs his car out of the garage? You can be
sure he will never want to repeat that tragedy again.
when we go to Calvary, and see Jesus dying in our place, crucified
for our sins, our heart breaks. For we know it was our sin that
put Him there, and we never want to repeat that sin again. Instead,
we cry out, "Oh God, take this sin away from me, and let Calvary
give me such a hatred of sin that I will never, never commit such
a sin again.
Christ is the
only way in which sin can be separated from the sinner. "God
will provide Himself a lamb." Genesis 22:8.
Two - Christ The Lamb
A pastor was
deeply troubled about his own personal battle with sin. Somehow,
he seemed to lack the moral courage to gain a victory. The struggle
became so severe that when he went to sleep one night, he had a
nightmare in which he saw a man whipping Christ in Pilate's judgment
hall. Watching the lash as it buried itself in Christ's bleeding
back, he could not stand to think of anyone wounding the Lord Jesus.
In his dream, he rushed forward, seized the man and began to struggle
with him. Suddenly, this brute of a man turned his face and the
pastor screamed in terror and awoke. For the face of the man whipping
Jesus was none other than his own face. You see, in allowing sin
to gain the mastery of his life, he was wounding the Lord Jesus
Christ. It was an experience he would never forget.
This true story
illustrates the following scripture: "They shall look upon
me whom they have pierced." Zechariah 12:10. How
little do we realize the pain that we cause the Lord Jesus when
we continue in our same sins. How little do we realize the disappointment
that we heap upon our Lord when we do not gain a victory. How unworthy
we are of His great love.
expressed how our sinful ways cause our Lord to suffer. "He
(Jesus) is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted
with grief and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised,
and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried
our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and
afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised
for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone
astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath
laid on him: the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was
afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb
to the slaughter." Isaiah 53:3-7.
What a description!
Did you notice these words--rejected, despised, stricken, smitten,
afflicted, wounded, bruised, oppressed, and then the statement--"The
Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. For he is brought
as a lamb to the slaughter."
As the apostle
Paul meditated upon the tremendous sacrifice of Christ, he marveled
in amazement. And if we would look at the cross, we, too, would
join Paul in these words, "I am persuaded, that neither
death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor
things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any
other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Roman 8:38.
Now when the
Lord Jesus was baptized, John the Baptist declared, "Behold
the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John
1:29. From that very moment, the eyes of men began to focus
on Christ. Every word, every act performed in his three and one-half
years of ministry leading Him to the cross, reveals Him to be the
Lamb of God. But in one sense, the sacrifice of Jesus did not commence
at Calvary. For in the book of Revelation, we read that Christ was
"the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation
13:8. God in His great love knowing the future, before
there was sin, provided a plan of salvation before the world was
The moment that
sin entered the Garden of Eden, all heaven was filled with sorrow,
for apparently the inhabitants of this world were doomed to death.
But God's plan was ready to redeem man. The moment the divine law
had been broken by man, Christ was ready to make an atonement for
man's transgression. He would take upon Himself man's sin, and redeem
this mystery of redemption was unfolded.
then made known to the angelic host that a way of escape had been
made for lost man. He told them that He had been pleading with His
Father, and had offered to give His life a ransom. To take the sentence
of death upon Himself that through Him man might find pardon, that
through time merits of His blood, and obedience to the law of God,
they could have the favor of God, and be brought into the beautiful
garden and eat of the fruit of the tree of life." The
Story of Redemption, pg. 42.
Such a plan
of love is almost impossible to fully explain; no wonder the redeemed
in heaven will ever search to comprehend the mystery of such love.
So, in this short study, we can only begin to understand the depth
of this wonderful love, and to see why God has chosen the sanctuary
system as a kindergarten display to help us in our learning process.
Let's put on
our "thinking caps" now. Why did Christ come to this earth
to die? In the description of the heavenly sanctuary, which you
find in the New Testament, there is no mention of an outer court.
Only in the Old Testament do you find the outer court connected
with the sanctuary. It was only in the earthly sanctuary that the
outer court existed. There was a reason for this. The sacrifice
of Christ was not to take place in heaven, for there can be no death
in heaven. Therefore, Christ must come to the court of the earthly
sanctuary, to be the lamb, to die for sin. Paul describes the experience
of Christ in these words, "Who being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of
no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was
made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man,
he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death
of the cross." Philippians 2:6-8.
Can you grasp
it? Imagine! Christ, who was equal with God, descended from heaven's
purity, lowered Himself below the level of an angel, became a man
of our flesh and was born a helpless babe in a manger. Not to be
a man like Adam was when he was formed in perfection. Oh, no! But
a man after the consequences of four thousand years of sin. Born
into a world filled with sorrow, misery, disease, death and every
conceivable temptation. Then, when Christ's mission was to come
to an end, He would be subjected to every insult and torture that
Satan could conceive of. For He must die as a guilty sinner. His
last hour would be so terrible, that even the angels must veil their
faces rather than look upon Him. And finally, because He bore our
sins He must endure the anguish of the lost. He is separated from
His Father's love because the guilt of the entire world rests upon
paints a touching picture of what took place. Listen:
spotless son of God hung upon the cross. His flesh, lacerated
with stripes. Those hands, so often reached out in blessing, nailed
to wooden bars. Those fret, so tireless on ministries of love,
spiked to a tree. That royal head, pierced by the crown of thorns.
Those quivering lips, shaped in a cry of woe. And all that He
endured; the blood drops that flowed from His head, His hands,
His feet. The agony that wracked his frame, and the unutterable
anguish that filled His soul at the hiding of His Father's face
speaks to each child of humanity, declaring, "it is for thee
that the son of God consents to bear this burden of guilt. For
thee, He spoils the domain of death and opens the gate of paradise.
He, who stilled the angry waves and walked the foam-capped billows,
who made devils tremble and disease to flee. Who opened blind
eyes, and called forth the dead to life offers himself upon the
cross as a sacrifice. And this, from love, to thee. He, the bearer,
endures the wrath of divine justice, and for thy sake, becomes
sin itself." The
Desire of Ages, pg. 755.
If only we could fully comprehend.
Now the question:
How is the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb, applied to you, and
to me individually? Let us turn to Leviticus, the fourth chapter,
beginning with verse twenty-seven. For only the sanctuary explains
in detail how the blood of Christ can be applied to us as individuals.
"If any one of the common people sin through ignorance,
while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the Lord
concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty; he
shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish,
for his sin which he hath sinned." Leviticus 4:28.
Now, in bringing the sacrifice, whether it was a kid of the
goats, or of a lamb, or of any other animal, remember this, the
sacrifice represented the Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, the sinner
must transfer his sin to the sacrifice. Verse twenty-nine, "He
shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering. . ."
You see, in his act of laying his hands on the head is implied the
confession and transfer of the sin to the sinner's substitute.
Then comes step
number three: After the sin has been transferred to the sacrifice,
the victim must be slain. Why? Because the wages of sin is death.
The broken law of God demands the penalty of death. "He
shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering." And
then the scripture adds, "and slay the sin offering. .
." Leviticus 4:29. (See Figure #10). It was by
this method that God taught men that there was a way of escape from
sin. That a substitute, the Lamb of God,
could die for
our sins. But, remember, it was the sinner's hand that was always
to slay the sacrifice. Every sinner must comprehend this great truth
before he is ready to overcome sin in his life. Sin must be paid
for in death! Since Christ is our substitute, we must understand
that our sins took the life of Christ. When we realize the enormity
of the cost of sin, we will determine to overcome sin with a hatred
that is akin to God's hatred of sin. And then, and only then, are
we ready to live in a land where there will be no more sin! What
a tragedy that so few of us seem to grasp this lesson.
So, the sacrificial
offerings were ordained by God to teach each sinner, who earnestly
desires forgiveness, that he must acknowledge his sin, repent of
his sin, bring his sin to Christ, and ask Christ to take his sin.
He must acknowledge his part in the crucifixion of Christ, and he
must realize that sin causes death. He must accept Christ by faith
and take hold of His divine power that will give him a hatred for
sin and enable him to stop sinning; then he can rejoice in his redemption.
plan has a much broader and deeper purpose than the salvation of
mankind. For Christ came to this earth to die, not only to save
man and to ransom the world, but He came to vindicate the character
of God before the universe. Why? Because the great conflict between
good and evil began when God's law was challenged in heaven and
caused war in heaven. "And the great dragon was cast out,
that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the
whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were
cast out with him." Revelation 12:7, 8.
throughout the entire universe of God, was interested in the outcome
of Christ's sacrifice. For this would determine whether God or Satan
would be victorious. This is why the Savior looked forward to His
crucifixion when He said, "Now is the judgment of this
world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I if
I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
John 12:31. Thus it was, that Christ's death on Calvary
would not only make it possible for man to be forgiven and heaven
to be accessible to him, but it would also justify God before the
entire unfallen universe. It would establish the law of God forever,
and testify to the fact that sin is death.
When Adam and
Eve accepted Satan's proposition, Satan declared this world to be
his, because they had chosen him as their ruler. Satan did not believe
that it was possible for God to forgive man. But God's love had
already provided a plan by giving His only begotten Son to pay the
death penalty for our sins. Thus the Lamb of God became the way
of escape for mankind.
This very earth
which was claimed by Satan, became the theater in which God has
chosen to redeem man, and to justify Himself before the whole universe.
This is the meaning of Christ's last words on the cross. "It
is finished." John 19:30. At the moment Christ
died, there was a mighty shout of triumph that rang throughout every
world in the universe. The contest had been decided, Jesus had gained
the victory. Satan had revealed himself as a liar, and a murderer.
Christ, in human flesh proved that man can keep the law of God.
Little wonder that the greatest excitement the universe has ever
known was the moment that Jesus Christ triumphed over Satan, when
He died on Calvary's cross. And someday, someday very soon, Jesus
is coming back to this earth again, and the final act in this controversy
between Christ and Satan will be over.
Are you ready
for the greatest adventure of your life? Are you ready to live with
Christ in heaven, where there will be no more sin; no more death,
where every moment will be filled with joy, peace, and happiness?
Are you ready to experience a sinless life for eternity? If so,
you must overcome sin here and now, as taught in the sanctuary system
instituted by God Himself.
Some time ago,
the newspapers told a story of a little girl who had been playing
in the garage where she found a pop bottle. It looked just like
the one that contained the kind of drink that her mother occasionally
gave her from the refrigerator. She took the bottle, and drained
the fluid to the last drop. It didn't taste quite like what she
had expected, but in her childish thinking, she thought it was some
new kind of drink. But soon she began to experience terrible pain
in her stomach.. .She ran to mother and complained. Her mother rushed
her to the hospital, but help was too late. The little girl paid
with her life, for the substance in the bottle was not soda pop,
it was deadly weed poison! Sin is just like a weed killer. It seems
that many of us do not realize that we are already poisoned with
sin, and that we will die from its deadly poison, but God has the
antidote. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for
there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we
must be saved." Acts 4:12.
God has provided a way of escape. And that way, friend, is through
Jesus Christ the Lamb. He is ready to help you this very moment.
Jesus tells us, "I stand at the door, and knock, lf any
man hear my voice and open the door I will come in to him, amid
will sup with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20.
Christ, the Lamb, is knocking at your heart's door. He wants
to come in. Will you let Him be your Lamb who is able to take all
sin out of your life?
Three - Christ The Priest
theme of the Bible is Jesus, and His divine plan whereby sinners
can be separated from sin and given eternal life. What a wonderful
Savior! What marvelous love! How thrilling is salvation's story
as unfolded in the sanctuary.
In this chapter,
we shall discover that Christ is our High Priest who shed His precious
blood on Calvary, as the Lamb of God. "Without blemish
and without spot." I Peter 1:19. Symbolically,
Christ takes His very own blood into the heavenly sanctuary making
it possible for Him, as High Priest, to separate us from our sins
and then present us before God, the Father, as though we had never
Let us begin
by reading from the New Testament. "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;
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." Hebrews 9:11, 12. (See Figure #11). Could anything
possibly be more thrilling and wonderful? This means that heaven
can be ours. Praise God! We don't have to die the second death,
but we can live forever in peace and security with Jesus. How can
we comprehend such wondrous redemption?
to know that at this very moment, Jesus Christ is within the heavenly
sanctuary where He is appearing before God in our behalf Ellen White
wrote of this in The Great Controversy, pg. 489.
intercession of Christ in man's behalf in the sanctuary above is
as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the
Praise God for
the cross! We could not have been saved without it. We should also
praise God for the truth that is taught only within the Seventh-day
Adventist message, which reveals how the merits of the cross can
be applied to the individual sinner. A work that is as necessary
as the cross to our salvation.
"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." Hebrews 4:14. When we hear the
strange "new theology" of Babylon being preached in some
pulpits, that salvation full and complete was made at Calvary's
cross, and that there is no such thing as a heavenly sanctuary,
don't ever listen to this doctrine of Satan! Never let such evil
thoughts enter your mind.
Now let us explore
the need for a high priest in God's plan to save us. Why do we need
a high priest? The Bible gives us the answer. "Every high
priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is
of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer." Hebrews
8:3. Notice the two reasons for our needing a high priest.
First, he was to offer gifts. And secondly, he was to offer sacrifices.
Now we know all about gifts, for we have both given and received
gifts. But what about a sacrifice? What is a sacrifice for? Again,
the Bible explains, Every high priest taken from among men is
ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer
both gifts and sacrifices for sins. Hebrews 5:1. Now
we have found what we were searching for. The sacrifice is for sin!
under the sanctuary system of the Old Testament I have sinned, and
I brought an offering for my sacrifice. I cannot take it into the
sanctuary, for only the priest can enter this place. Why is this?
Because God dwells there. A sinner would be instantly destroyed,
should he appear before God. So, a way must be found for my gift
and my sacrifice to be carried into the sanctuary before the very
presence of God that I may be accepted. Therefore, I need a priest
to do this for me. These facts are very important because,
correct understanding of the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary
is the foundation of our faith." Evangelism, pg. 221.
Let us review
how an individual is to secure eternal forgiveness for his sins.
Man was to bring a lamb as a sacrifice for his sin. He was then
to place his hands on the lamb's head and confess his sin over the
substitute. In this way his sin was transferred to the sacrifice.
And then the man is to slay the sacrifice by his own hand. Now,
there is nothing more that he could do, but his sacrifice is incomplete.
This is why he needs a priest. Notice what the priest can do for
him. The priest takes the shed blood and carries it within the sanctuary;
for this is absolutely necessary to bring justification to the sinner.
If we are to be forgiven, justified, and redeemed, we should understand
what the priest is doing with the blood. "We have such
an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the
Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the
true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. For every
high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore
it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer"
In the previous
chapter, we discovered that Christ represented the Iamb, which man
must have for a sacrifice. The scriptures also teach that it is
equally important that the priest have something to present before
God. The fact is--Christ is the priest and He is also the sacrifice!
Now to help us understand this great truth, Paul further explains,
"For if he (Christ) was on earth, he should not
be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according
to the law." Hebrews 8:4. These words were written
while the Jewish temple was still in existence in Jerusalem, and
the priests were daily carrying out their duties. But, Paul is explaining
that since Jesus is in heaven, He is now the priest in the heavenly
sanctuary. Listen as he continues, "Who serve unto (as)
the example and shadow of heavenly things." Hebrews 8:5.
It is so clear! The word "shadow" means that the
work of the priest on earth was a shadowy outline of the movements
of our great high priest in the heavenly sanctuary.
Let me illustrate.
I was once a counselor in a summer youth camp, in which there was
a problem child under my care. Now during the rest period, every
child was expected to lie on his cot and sleep. But this child decided
to slip out of his cot and get into some mischief He made sure to
stay behind the building so I could not see him. But, he forgot
about his shadow. I was able to observe everything that he was doing
by watching his shadow, and just so, as we study what went on in
the earthly sanctuary, we can understand the importance of what
Christ is now doing for us in the heavenly sanctuary.
with me as I review once more for clarity. In Leviticus 4 verses
32 and 33, we find the sinner bringing his sacrificial Iamb to the
tabernacle for his sins. The next thing he does is lay his hands
on its head, and confess his sin over the head of the Iamb, thereby
transferring his sin to the lamb. He then took the life of the victim.
Now, the sinner has done everything that he can do. At this point,
the priest takes over in the man's behalf. What does the priest
do? The blood of the substitute was brought into the sanctuary in
one of two ways. Either the priest ate a designated portion of the
sin offering and thus carried it in his person into the sanctuary,
or he carried it into the sanctuary as described by the blood of
the bullock: "And the priest that is anointed shall take
of the bullock's blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation."
Now, what does
the priest do with this blood which he takes into the sanctuary?
"The priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle
of the blood seven times before the Lord, before the veil of the
sanctuary. And the priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns
of the altar of sweet incense before the Lord, which is in the tabernacle."
Leviticus 4:6, 7. God instructed just what the priest
was to do. Only the priest could do this, and only Jesus Christ,
our High Priest who is presently in the heavenly sanctuary, can
perform this work for us now.
But the Israelites
had a part to act in cooperation with their high priest. They were
not only to repent but to make amends as recorded in Leviticus 6:1-7.
"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, "If a soul sin,
and commit a trespass against the Lord, and lie unto his neighbor
in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in
a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbor; or
have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth
falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein:
Then it shall he, because lie hath sinned, and is guilty, that lie
shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which
he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep,
or the lost thing which he found, or all that about which he hath
sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall
add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it
appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering. And he shall
bring his trespass offering unto the Lord, a ram without blemish
out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering,
unto the priest: And the priest shall make an atonement for him
before the Lord: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all
that he hath done in trespassing therein.
The same principle
applies today: First we go to our heavenly High Priest. He,
. . sends the Holy Spirit to bring us to repentance." I Selected
Messages, pg. 393.
We must make
amends to those whom we have wronged, thus showing, not only our
desire to be forgiven, but also to forsake our sins. In other words,
we are to give to Jesus, our Substitute, all of our sins. Listen
to the words of Christ in Matthew 5:23, 24: "Therefore
if thou bring thy gift to the altar; and there rememberest
that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before
the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and
then come and offer thy gift." Once the sinner has done
his part as required, then the blood can be applied in his behalf
by the priest for his atonement.
Here comes a
question, What does blood represent? Listen carefully, meditate
upon it, memorize it, and never, never forget it. The inspired word
of God tells us, "The life of the flesh is in
the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an
atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement
for the soul." Leviticus 17:11. This is so important,
"The life of the flesh is in the blood." What
a gem of truth. The blood represents the life. Therefore, Christ's
blood represents His life.
Now, pause and
do some reasoning. Isn't your very life in your blood? For example,
if you happen to cut your jugular vein and don't do anything about
it, you will quickly bleed to death. And this is why, when we encounter
a serious accident, in which we are losing a tremendous amount of
blood, for example, from a lacerated limb, quickly we apply a tourniquet
to stop the flow. Why? So we will not die. The very life of Jesus
was poured out on Calvary in His shed blood. Of this the prophet
wrote, "Thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin."
Isaiah 53:10. Christ poured out His soul unto death,
and He was numbered with the transgressors, because He bore the
sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressor.
Now let's go
back to verse six of Leviticus 4. "The priest shall dip
his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before
the Lord, before the veil of the sanctuary." Did you notice
that the blood was placed on the horns of the altar, before the
veil? What did this mean? Well, step with me into the sanctuary
and you will notice that a veil is hanging just before the ark containing
the law of God, the Ten Commandments, which were written by the
finger of God on two tables of stone. And just above the law is
the mercy seat, which represents the very throne of God, where we
can obtain mercy through the sacrifice and the ministry of Christ
our High Priest.
Think this through
carefully. Every individual is to be measured by the character standard
of the law. All of us have transgressed that law through sin, so
we are doomed to die. For we read, "As by one man sin entered
the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for
that all have sinned." Romans 5:12. But wait!
I don't have to die. And you don't have to die. The great truth
is that God doesn't want any of us to die. So how can we be saved?
Someone had to die for us, and that someone was the Son of God.
This is why
Jesus came to this world, to live under the law of God, in our flesh,
without committing one sin. So that when He went to the cross, He
could give a perfect life as a substitute for you and me. This is
what makes it possible for Christ, Who is now in the heavenly sanctuary,
to present His blood in our behalf. "But Christ being come
an high priest, . . .by His blood entered into the holy place, having
obtained eternal redemption for all of us." Hebrews 9:11,
12. Yes, the law said I must die; but Jesus, our great
High Priest, with His own blood, stands before that very law, the
throne of God, to represent you and me, who are sinners. He paid
the supreme price on Calvary by His perfect life which He now presents
before the Father in our behalf. And He will do this for you and
me this very moment, if we but ask Him.
I like the way
that Charles Wesley contemplated the sacrifice of Jesus as he wrote
of how our High Priest presents His blood in our behalf before God.
"Arise, my soul, arise, shake off thy guilty fears. The bleeding
Savior, in my behalf, appears. Before the throne, my assuredness
stands, My name is written on his hands. He ever lives above for
me to intercede; His all redeeming love, His precious blood to plead.
His blood was shed for all our race, and sprinkled now, the throne
of grace. Five bleeding wounds He bares, received on Calvary, they
pour effectual prayers. They strongly speak for me, Forgive
him! Oh, forgive! they cry, Nor let the contrite sinner die."
How we should praise God for the provision in which Jesus Christ
is interceding before God as our High Priest for you and me.
May I ask you
a personal question? Have you ever trembled in fear at the thought
that someday you must approach God's throne and stand in judgment?
Just listen to this:
man's work passes in review before God and is registered for faithfulness
or unfaithfulness. Opposite each name in the book of heaven is entered
with terrible exactness every work, every selfish act, every unfulfilled
duty, every secret sin, with every artful, dissembling. Heaven sent
warnings of reproof neglected, wasted moments, unimproved opportunities,
the influence exerted for good or for evil, with its far reaching
results. All are chronicled by the recording angel, for the law
of God is the standard by which the character and lives of men will
be tested in the judgment, says the wise man. "Fear God, and
keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God
shall bring every work unto judgment." Ecclesiastes 12:13,
14. The Great Controversy, pg. 482.
I ask again,
have you ever been troubled in fear at the thought that someday
you must approach God's throne and stand in judgment? If you are
right with God you need not be fearful. For your High Priest, Jesus
Christ, will be your Advocate. He will go in before the Father to
represent you. Wonder of wonders! Who is in a better position to
present your case before God than Jesus Christ for He is the Son
of God? He knows the Father.
Let me ask you
another question, have you made it possible for Jesus, your High
Priest, to appear before the Father for you? You know you are a
sinner because the Bible says so. And you are in desperate need
of help. Let me suggest what you should do. In your mind you should
go to Calvary and watch Jesus die for you. Then follow Him by faith
as He rises from the dead and returns to heaven. Follow Him by faith
as He enters the heavenly sanctuary, into the very presence of God.
There, He will offer His blood for you. Listen in faith as Christ
presents your name before God the Father. If you will do this, it
will fill your heart with assurance. If you are right with God you
need never, never, fear the coming judgment. Christ "is
able also to save them to the "uttermost" that come unto
God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."
Hebrews 7:25. Now you can understand how Jesus Christ
is able to present you faultless before the throne.
May I ask another
question, what kind of blood is it that is sprinkled in the sanctuary
before God? The answer is the blood of the divine sin-bearer. This
is very important, we must fully understand this, since the life
is in the blood. Would you permit me to make this personal? If I
have repented of all known sin my sins have been transferred to
Christ, the Substitute. So, as Christ goes in before the Father's
throne, bearing my sins in His blood they are then transferred to
the altar by figuratively sprinkling His blood. Now you are ready
for an astounding truth! There is now no more known sin in me. My
sins have been transferred into the sanctuary. My sins have been
separated from me. What a wonderful thought! What a wonderful truth!
Have you transferred
your sin to the Lamb of God, thus permitting Him to transfer them
to the sanctuary in heaven? So very few true Christians seem to
actually understand that their sins have been separated from them
through Christ's work in the sanctuary service. We have the promise
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive
us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." John
1:9. And friend, to be cleansed is to be separated from
your sins. "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
(and) whose sin is covered." Psalm 32:1. Thank
God, Jesus can cover our sins with His precious blood within the
you cannot transfer your sins and still keep them. Now think it
through; if you should have a piece of property, and you decide
to transfer that property to somebody else; you sign a deed, you
have it witnessed, and recorded--do you still own that property?
Absolutely not! It now belongs to another. There is no way that
you can transfer your sins to the Lord Jesus Christ and still keep
them. So many professed Christians, somehow, never rest in the total
forgiveness, that Jesus Christ has separated them from their sins.
They have missed the point completely. The sinner must come to the
place in this life, that he not only asks Jesus to take his sins,
but believes that he has done so. He must also believe that even
the record of his sins will someday be separated from him forever--blotted
out in the final atonement (See Acts 3:19). PRAISE GOD!
Four - Christ The Mathematician
features Christ as the Mathematician, and will present even more
evidence of the perfect wisdom and knowledge of our God, and His
love and care for each of us.
the most exact science known to man, is the tool we will use as
we explore one of the most profound prophecies found in all of the
Bible. We shall establish by mathematical proof that Jesus was the
Messiah, the Anointed and Holy One of Israel, the Savior of the
world. This proof has its foundation in Bible prophecy and events
relating to the sanctuary service.
Would you dare
to predict precisely what will happen a year from now, or a week,
or even tomorrow, concerning the events to take place in this world?
Yet, God's Book boldly predicted, nearly five hundred years in advance,
the exact year when Jesus Christ would begin to cleanse the sanctuary
in heaven before He returns to take His people home.
We will begin
with the eighth chapter of Daniel. In this chapter God gave a vision
of what was to take place at a later date. We will read from Daniel's
own account of how the angel was commissioned to explain every detail
of this vision to him, so that he might thoroughly understand it.
Here is a portion of this amazing prediction in Daniel 8:14, 'And
he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then
shall the sanctuary be cleansed." You will notice that
God commanded Gabriel, the highest angel of heaven, to instruct
Daniel. Notice carefully Daniel 8:16, "Make this man to
understand this vision." Now as Gabriel began to open
up the mind of Daniel to the great events that were to transpire
in the future, Daniel was so overwhelmed that he fainted. So the
angel left him until he recovered.
recuperated, he prayed for his instructor to return, and to finish
the job of interpretation. Daniel states: "Yea, whiles
I was speaking in prayer, . . . Gabriel . . . touched me . . . and
said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding."
Daniel 9:21, 22. So the angel Gabriel returned to
finish the explanation that was interrupted when Daniel fainted.
Then the angel begins to explain the meaning of the 2300 days of
prophecy. He begins in verse twenty-four of Daniel, chapter 9:
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy
holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins,
and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting
righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint
the most Holy."
Notice the first
two words, seventy weeks. This is a measure of time. Gabriel
begins by stating, "seventy weeks are determined upon thy
people." When this prophecy was given, the Jewish people
were God's chosen people. So this first part deals especially with
the Jewish nation, for he said, "determined upon thy people,
and upon thy holy city," which refers to Jerusalem.
Now the word
determined, in the original Hebrew, means to "cut off'. In
other words, the seventy weeks are a segment, or a part of the 2300
days, which Gabriel said were allotted to the Jews.
Now we are ready
for our first arithmetic problem. We have 2300 days, and from this
number we must subtract 70 weeks. . . but wait! We can't subtract
weeks from days without first changing the weeks into days. Remember,
there are seven days in a week; so, as you consider problem #1,
we take the number of weeks, (70), and multiply this number by 7,
which equals 490 days - (70 x 7 = 490). Then we subtract the 490
days from the 2300 days, and this leaves 1810 days.
x 7 days
in a week
you can see that the 2300 days were divided into two sections: The
first section of 490 days were allotted to the Jews. The second
section of 1810 days were allotted to the Gentiles. This will enable
us to discover the date when the heavenly sanctuary is to be cleansed.
further in our calculations, we must remember that in prophetic
time, a day stands for a year. Ezekiel 4:6, "I have appointed
thee each day for a year." According to this rule, 2300
days is equal to 2300 literal years; so this first section of 490
years is for the Jews, and the remaining 1810 years for the Gentiles.
The close of this prophetic time period brings us to the actual
year when the Lord will cleanse the sanctuary in heaven.
In order to
go ahead with our project of measuring time, we need a starting
date. The 2300 years do not mean much to us unless we know what
year the time prophecy was to begin. For example, I could tell you
that Martin Luther, the great Protestant reformer, lived for sixty-three
years, and this is a fact of history; however, if I tell you that
Luther was born in 1683 and he lived for sixty-three years, you
would know the year he died. You would know this by adding sixty-three
years to the date of his birth. Simple enough? Yes, it is simple
The Lord knew
that we would need this additional fact, so He gave us the starting
date of this 2300 year prophecy. But, where can we find it? We read
that the angel instructed Daniel that the 70 weeks, or the 490 year
period, was to begin at the time the decree was given to restore
and to rebuild Jerusalem. You remember that Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed
Jerusalem, but God had said the time would come when it was to be
rebuilt. We learn about this decree in Ezra 6:14. Talking about
the temple, it says, "And they builded, and finished it,
according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according
to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes the king
of Persia." This tells us that there were three kings
involved in issuing this decree, and Ezra received the final authority
to restore the temple in the year 457 B.C., from Artaxerxes, who
was the king of Persia. Where is the proof of this? We find it in
a letter from Artaxerxes to Ezra, confirming this authority. Read
it in Ezra 7:12-28.
This gives us
the starting point. The date of this decree was 457 B.C. You will
find that date in the margin of some editions of the King James
version of the Bible; also, history has verified this event, and
it has also been established by concurrent eclipses. There is positively
no question concerning this date. God tells us we are to count the
first 490 years of this prophecy from the date when the command
was given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, which was issued in
the fall of 457 B.C. -- 457 years before Christ.
Now get ready
for something startling--a real thriller! This prophecy, given to
Daniel some five hundred years before Christ was born, actually
foretold when the Messiah was to begin His ministry. Look closely
at these words in Daniel 9:25, "Know therefore and understand,
that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build
Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and
threescore and two weeks."
Now we're ready
to do some more arithmetic.
7 days in a week
483 days, or
-457 (date of
1 (plus 8-9 months since decree was issued in the fall of
27 A.D. --
date Christ began His earthly ministry.
Let's add together
these 7 weeks, threescore weeks (20 + 20 + 20), and two weeks. The
total is 69 weeks. And remember, a day in prophecy stands for a
year; so 69 weeks must be multiplied by 7, (the number of days in
a week), which total 483 days, or years. This leads us to the very
date that the Messiah was to begin His mission. Now in order to
keep our arithmetic simple, we will subtract 457, (the date of the
decree), from 483, (the number of years involved), which gives a
total of 26 years. But since there is not a 0-1 year starting point,
and the decree was issued in the last part of the year, a full year
must be added which takes us to AD. 27, the exact date when Christ
was to begin His earthly ministry. Isn't this marvelous?
a few more things in this amazing prophecy. What special event happened
in A.D. 27? The Scripture records, a crowd gathered on the banks
of the Jordan River. As John is baptizing, Jesus comes and asks
to be baptized. When John looks at Jesus, he recognizes that he
is in the presence of a Holy Life; and he shrinks from granting
His request, saying, "I have need to be baptized of
you." But Jesus looks at John and says: "Suffer it
to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness."
Matthew 3:15. And so John, under the inspiration of
God, announces to all those gathered on the banks of the Jordan,
that Jesus is the Savior of the world, by pointing to Jesus, and
saying, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the
sin of the world." John 1:29. Then John leads
Jesus down into the river, buries Him under the water, and brings
him up out of the water. Immediately the heavens are opened; the
Holy Spirit comes down in the likeness of a dove, and the Father
declares from heaven that Jesus is His very own Son. 'And the
Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and
a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved son; in
thee I am well pleased." Luke 3:22.
After this anointing
and the forty days of temptation, Jesus began His work, in the fall
of 27 AD--exactly at the precise time that had been prophesied.
Jesus Himself recognized this time prophecy, for He began to preach
by saying, "The time is fulfilled." Mark 1:15.
What time? The 483 year time prophecy of Daniel 9:25. The words,
"the time is fulfilled" tell us that Jesus knew
all about the prophecy of Daniel. And why not? For it was He Himself,
through the angel Gabriel, who had instructed Daniel. He had prophesied
that "69 weeks" after the decree went forth, the Messiah
would be here on this earth to commence His work. And when the 69
weeks ended, the Messiah, Jesus, did appear on time. Immediately
He began to preach, "The time is fulfilled."
Tell me, friend,
is there anyone in this wide world who can tell what is going to
happen a year from now? I couldn't even tell you what's going to
happen tomorrow. But there is a Book, the Word of God, that revealed
exactly what would happen hundreds of years later. The Bible is
truly a divine book; for it told exactly the very year when Christ
would appear--A.D. 27.
This date of
27 A.D. brings us close to the end of the 69 weeks. How many weeks
are left? (Remember Daniel 9:24--"Seventy weeks are determined
upon thy people.") Yes, there is just one week left. And
what a week it was! Read verse 27, 'And he shall confirm the
covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he
shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." If
you cut a week in half, how many days are there to the mid point?
One-half of seven days is 3-½ days. According to prophetic
time, you remember, 3-½ days equals 3-½ years. Here
the Bible is stating that in the midst of the last week of the 70
the Messiah would be cut off. Notice Daniel 9:26, ('And he shall)
be cut off but not for himself" Can you fathom the great
love of God speaking in these words? Certainly the Son of God did
not deserve to die--just as the lamb in the sacrificial offering
did not deserve to die. Christ was not guilty of any sin. Even the
Roman governor who sentenced Christ to die said, "I find no
fault in him." Nevertheless, He was cut off, sacrificed--but
not for Himself. He was cut off, friend, for you and for me. "He
was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes
we are healed." Isaiah 53:5.
Daniel, ". . . in the midst of the week he shall cause
the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." Daniel 9:27.
How? By offering Himself as the supreme Sacrifice on the cross,
the sacrificial system of the sanctuary was no longer necessary;
because Jesus, the great Lamb of God, became the offering, and died
the sinner's death as his substitute.
a little more arithmetic for us to do. We have established the year
of 27 A.D.; but prophecy adds 3-½ more years to this date,
so we now have 30-½ years, which brings us to the exact date
when the Son of God was to be sacrificed. Isn't this amazing? Yes,
it was in 31 A.D. as Jesus hung on the cross, that He uttered those
unforgettable words: "It is finished."
1 week = 7 days
divided by 2 = 3-½ days, prophetic Years!
27 A.D. (In
A.D. -- since the prophecy brings us to the fall -- by adding ½
year it gives us 31 A.D. in the spring.
in the earthly sanctuary on the date 31 A.D.? The veil that divided
the holy from the most holy in the temple, was ripped from the top
to the bottom by an unseen hand, signifying that the earthly sacrifices
no longer held any meaning. The sacrifice of the Lamb of God was
complete. "And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave
up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from
the top to the bottom." Mark 15:37, 38.
For some fifteen
hundred years the Jews had been offering a Iamb during the feast
of the Passover. If the Jews had only studied the wonderful 2300-day
prophecy, in the light of the typical service of the sanctuary,
they could have known when Messiah would appear, and--the year,
the month, the day, and the hour when Christ would be sacrificed,
for the exact time when the Passover lamb was to be killed was at
3:00 p.m. according to Jewish law.
Just think of
it, more than five hundred years before it took place, His death
had been prophesied in specific detail. This amazing historical
fact maintains the certainty of God's word, in that it is established
by mathematical calculation that Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God
and the Savior of the world. Now, look at Fig. #4. You will note
the date of 31 A.D. (Spring), taken from figure number 3. Now add
the remaining 3-½ years and you will see that the total is
31 A.D. -- spring
34 A.D. -- fall
at this specific time, A.D. 34? This was the time when Stephen,
the first Christian martyr, was stoned to death by the Jews during
the persecution of the followers of Christ. It was then that the
newly-formed Christian church went out from Jerusalem to spread
the gospel to the Gentiles--to every nation on this earth.
Thus far, in
this study we have covered the first 490 years of the 2300 year
prophecy, including the year when the gospel would go to the Gentiles.
Now we move into the second segment of the time prophecy--the period
of 1,810 days or years. What was to happen at the end of the second
segment of the 2300 year prophecy? "Unto two thousand and
three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."
Daniel 8:14. Now look at figure #5. Adding 1,810 years
to 34 AD., brings us forward in time to the year 1844. At this date,
according to the prophecy, the cleansing of the sanctuary in heaven
was to begin.
Fig. #5 34 A.D.
(See figure #1)
1844 A.D. --
Now we are ready
to consider what is to take place within the heavenly sanctuary
in the fall of the year 1844. We shall discover in the next chapter
that in the process of cleansing the sanctuary, each of us must
give an account (in the investigative judgment) showing that the
blood of Christ has covered every sin. This will determine our future.
has revealed that Christ was truly the Lamb; slain as prophesied
on the day when the Passover lamb was killed. The Passover sacrifice
and ritual was a reminder of Israel's deliverance from Egyptian
bondage, but it also pointed forward to the greater deliverance
from sin, as revealed in the wonderful sacrifice of Jesus on the
cross. The apostle Paul speaks of Him as Christ our Passover, sacrificed
the story of how the destroying angel passed through the land of
Egypt to kill the firstborn of man and beast. Every house of Israel
was spared because the head of every dwelling had killed a lamb
and placed some of its blood on the doorpost of the home; but, there
was death in every Egyptian household. Friend, soon the destroying
angel of God will once again carry out His orders to destroy all
sinners in this world. Only those who have accepted the blood of
Christ in their behalf will escape the wrath of God. Now is the
time for us to make sure that the Lamb of God has covered us with
His blood. Remember the promise of Exodus 12:13, "When
I see the blood, I will pass over you.
And so, by the
process of mathematics, we have established without question that
Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God. But, we have also learned something
of even greater significance; that in the fall of 1844 Jesus Christ,
our great High Priest, entered the most holy place of the heavenly
sanctuary to do His work of judging each individual case and to
cleanse the sanctuary. The cleansing work is done by Christ, Who,
with His own blood, blots out the forgiven sins of His redeemed--the
sins which were recorded in the books of Heaven.
If through Christ's
righteousness our lives have been prepared through repentance, confession
and surrender so that we are declared right with God at the judgment,
this final atonement will be made for you and for me.
Five - Christ
Let us mention
again that one of the most fundamental factors of the Christian
life is conversion. Every professed Christian needs to experience
the peace of mind that conversion brings. This is indeed the longing
of the heart. Repentance and conversion is urged by Peter as a prerequisite
to the blotting out of sins. The blotting out of sins is another
very important factor in the plan of salvation.
The basis of
this study is found in Acts 3:19, "Repent ye therefore,
and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out"--when?
"When the times of refreshing shall come from the presence
of the Lord." We realize that man can never be fully satisfied
and have unquestioned peace of mind until he knows that every known
sin has been confessed, forsaken, and forgiven. Then he can look
forward to that day when the record of his sins will be permanently
blotted out by the finger of God. When is that time? "When
the times of refreshing shall come."
This time has
been defined by inspiration as the time of the judgment, the latter
rain, and the sealing. The refreshing is poured out from the sanctuary
above. This is why we must carefully study what takes place within
the sanctuary, concerning the sins which have been brought in by
virtue of Christ's blood and His work of substitution. Hebrews 9:6,
7 tells us, "Now when these things were thus ordained,
the priests went always in to the first tabernacle, accomplishing
the service of God. 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."
in the first apartment? The priest. How often? Every day. Who went
into the most holy place? Only the High Priest. How often? Only
once a year. And what did he take with him? He took blood--the atoning
blood. You see, the path into the sanctuary is a blood-stained path,
and inside there is more blood--on the horns of the brazen altar,
on the golden altar, and there is blood on the Mercy Seat. The blood
always represents the sacrifice of Christ. This is beautifully brought
out in The Great Controversy, page 416,
(Christ's) intercession is that of a pierced side, the marred feet
plead for fallen man, whose redemption was purchased at such infinite
sanctuary had to be purified, or cleansed by the blood of animals.
But what about the heavenly sanctuary? The book of Hebrews states
that the heavenly things must be purified with a "better sacrifice".
This refers, of course, to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and the
shedding of His blood. Again in The Great Controversy, pages
cleansing, both in the typical and in real service, must be accomplished
with blood: In the former, with the blood of animals;
in the later, with the blood of Christ. Paul states, as the reason
why this cleansing must be performed with blood, is that without
shedding of blood is no remission.
What is remission?
Ellen White continues,
or putting away of sin, is the work to be accomplished."
We read in Hebrews
9:23, 24, "It was therefore necessary that the patterns
of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the
heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For
Christ is not entered into the holy place made with hands, which
are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself now to appear
in the presence of God for us.
beautiful words--to appear in the presence of God for us--are
wonderful. This Scripture is telling us that Jesus was not
just loaned to us for a few years some two thousand years ago. Jesus
was given to us as a gift--even forever! When He returned to heaven,
He did so as our elder brother, to personally represent us to His
Father. As Christ entered heaven, He carried the sins of the world
by the virtue of His blood into the first apartment of the heavenly
For 1,810 years
the Lord represented His people there in the first apartment, as
the typical priest in the sanctuary of old went into the sanctuary
every day. But now note a change. Once a year the high priest went
into the second apartment. Just so, Christ entered into the second
apartment once in the year 1844. Now I hope you are following carefully.
I'm asking a question--how often did the high priest go into the
second apartment? Only once a year. Will Jesus Christ do this every
year? No, absolutely not! Why not? Because He does this only once,
in the times of the end. And He will continue to minister in this
apartment until His work is completed. Notice the words in Hebrews
9:26, "But now once in the end of the world hath he appeared
to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." You know
that expression, "the end of the world", refers
to the very last days before Christ comes a second time. And so
the question--what is His purpose in entering the most holy apartment
at the time of the end? The Scriptures says, "to put away
sin by the sacrifice of himself" Now that's a very strong
term, to put away. This term is used in the Bible to describe
a man who divorces his wife. Such a man is said "to put away"
his wife. So you see, Jesus is in the business of divorcing sin
from His people in this end-time; in fact, there is no other solution
for this troubled world. No peace conferences will ever permanently
succeed, and no new world order of the United Nations will be able
to get rid of the sin problem. This problem will ever remain until
it is finally solved in the sanctuary by the eradication of the
sin that is now taking place in the end time.
what has been happening in the second apartment within the heavenly
sanctuary? Our great High Priest has been performing the
work of the investigative judgment, making an atonement for all
who are shown to be entitled to its benefits.
In the Great
Controversy, page 422, we read:
the termination of the 2300 days in 1844, Christ then entered the
most holy place to perform the closing work of atonement preparatory
to His coming.
is the service which began when the 2300 days ended. At that time,
as foretold by Daniel the prophet, our High Priest entered the most
holy, to perform the last division of His solemn work-to cleanse
the sanctuary." (ibid.) page 421).
Also in Testimonies,
Vol. 5, page 520, are these challenging words,
sacred work of Christ for the people of God that is going on at
the present time in the heavenly sanctuary should be our constant
From these references
we can see there was a big difference between what went on in the
two apartments. In the first apartment the sins of the penitent
were transferred into the sanctuary by the substitute. But in the
second apartment, the blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat, in
order to erase or blot out the sin. This is what took place during
the annual Day of Atonement. Turn to Leviticus 16:5. There we will
discover what the ancient priest did in the most holy place on this
Day of Atonement. 'And he shall take of the congregation of
the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering"
Now notice, two goats were brought to the priest, and lots
were cast to see which one would represent the Lord's goat, and
which one would represent the scapegoat. "And Aaron shall
cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other
lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which
the Lord's lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering."
Leviticus 16:8, 9. (See Figure #12).
You will notice
that the Lord's goat was killed for a sin offering, and verse fifteen
tells us what was done with the blood of that offering. It says,
"Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that
is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil", you
will see he is carrying it into the most holy place. And what is
the priest to do with it? "And sprinkle it upon the mercy
seat, and before the mercy seat". So, the blood of the
Lord's goat was taken into the sanctuary, into the most holy, and
sprinkled upon the mercy seat in the second apartment. This now
provided full and final atonement. But that's not all that happened.
Verses twenty and twenty-one, 'And when he hath made an end
of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation,
and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: And Aaron shall lay
both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over
him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their
transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of
the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into
I like the way
Ellen White writes about this in the book, Patriarchs and Prophets,
the Day of Atonement, the high priest, having taken an
offering for the congregation, went into the most holy place with
the blood and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat, above the tables
of the law. Thus the claims of the law, which demanded the life
of the sinner, were satisfied. Then, in his character of mediator,
the priest took the sins upon himself and, leaving the sanctuary,
he bore with him the burden of Israel's guilt. At the door of the
tabernacle, he laid his hands upon the head of the scapegoat . .
. And as the goat bearing these sins was sent away, they were with
him, regarded as forever separated from the people. Such was the
service performed "unto the example and shadow of heavenly
things." Hebrews 8:5. (See Figure #13).
represents Satan, so, in the final act taking place on the Day of
Atonement, the scapegoat, or Satan, is led into the desert--led
there to die.
After the 1,000
years, in the fires of the second death, Satan will receive punishment.
He will suffer not only for his own sins, but also for the sins
of all the redeemed saints that were placed upon his head in the
closing act of the final atonement. We are told that he will suffer
longer than any other created being.
May I picture
this for you? We are watching a man, leading a scapegoat away from
the sanctuary. Why is he leading him away? Because the scapegoat
has upon it the confessed and forsaken sins of God's people. Who
placed them on the scapegoat? The high priest. Where did the priest
get these sins? It is interesting to note that he carried a portion
of the sins in his own body; because, according to the instructions,
sometimes he was to eat part of the burnt sacrificial offering.
The other sins he carried from the holy place of the sanctuary.
Do you remember how the sins came to be in there? Yes, they were
put there by means of the blood that was carried into the sanctuary
by the priest. These were the sins that the sinner had confessed
over the head of the substitute. Thus, transferring his sins to
the substitute, and the lamb or animal was slain by the sinner.
So now we can see that there are two steps that must be taken in
separating sin from the sinner. First, the sin must be transferred
from the sinner into the first apartment of the sanctuary, and in
the second step there is a work to be done in getting those sins
out of the sanctuary.
Here is a very
simple illustration of the separation process. Every city has a
laundry and on Monday, you will usually find people bringing their
dirty clothes to the laundry. For what purpose? To get their clothes
cleaned. This is what a laundry is for, isn't that right? The clothes
go in soiled, and they come out clean. Paul uses this same figure
of speech in Ephesians 5, beginning with verse twenty-five. He says,
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the
church, and gave himself for it; Why? That he might sanctify
and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might
present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle,
or any such thing; but that it should he holy and without blemish."
furnishes us a complete laundry service for the church, enabling
the people of God to be cleansed so they can welcome the return
of the Lord without fear. The church members are
to be waiting
for His return--fully washed and clean. But God can only wash and
cleanse us from the sins that we have turned over to Him. It must
be our first business to be sure that our sin-soiled garments get
into the hands of our great High Priest to be cleansed in the sanctuary,
so that they are not left in our mind's dirty laundry hamper.
How do we give
our sin-soiled garments to Christ to be cleansed? Verily, it is
by repenting, giving up our sins, and by asking our merciful High
Priest to take them all away. We must go in faith to Calvary and
behold Jesus, shedding His blood for us. Then, by faith, we must
follow our resurrected Savior as He transfers our sins through the
efficacy of His blood to the heavenly sanctuary. Yet, there is more!
On the final Day of Atonement, Christ will, as He "sprinkles"
His blood on the mercy seat, blot out every trace of even the record
of our sins! In this last act He will carry them from the sanctuary,
and place them upon the scapegoat--Satan.
Here comes a
big question. Why is it that when we confess our sins, they are
not blotted out immediately? Let me picture it in this way: Pretend
I am holding a chalkboard, and on this chalkboard I write the word
SIN. Can you see it in your mind? This word represents the sin of
a man who has come to the Lord Jesus to be forgiven. What does Jesus
Christ do? The Lord wants the man never to see the sin again, so
He takes the sin into the sanctuary and sprinkles His blood over
it. If you could look into the record of heaven now, you would find
that this sin is indeed covered with the precious blood of Jesus.
The man is forgiven, and is pardoned. To illustrate this, suppose
I take a handkerchief and hold it over the word SIN. Now you can't
see the word. Why? Because it is covered with the handkerchief,
SIN is still there. So, there is something further that must be
done; the word SIN must be erased or blotted out. Now imagine that
I take the same handkerchief and erase SIN from the blackboard.
You can't see it anymore. In Psalm 32:1 notice two words which have
a distinct connection, "Blessed is he whose transgression
is forgiven, whose sin is covered." Friend,
when our sins are forgiven, they are covered. But, remember Acts
3:19, 20, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that
your sins may be blotted out", When? "when the
times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And
he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you."
This tells us that before Jesus comes again, He is going to
"blot out" the sins that have been covered--provided,
of course, that you and I have met the conditions.
of Jacob illustrates for us the necessity of meeting the conditions
of salvation. Patriarchs and Prophets, page 202,
not Jacob previously repented of his sin in obtaining the birthright
by fraud, God could not have heard his prayer and mercifully preserved
The next words
are for us:
in the time of trouble, lf the people of God had unconfessed sins
to appear before them while tortured with fear and anguish, they
would be overwhelmed; despair would cut off their faith, and they
could not have confidence to plead with God for deliverance. But
while they have a deep sense of' their unworthiness, they will
have no concealed wrongs to reveal. (Why?) Their sins
will have been blotted out by the atoning blood of Christ, and
they cannot bring them into remembrance."
This makes me
feel like shouting--Praise God!
We need to be
aware of the enemy's tactics,
leads many to believe that God will overlook their unfaithfulness
in the minor affairs of life; but the Lord shows in His dealing
with Jacob that He can in no wise sanction or tolerate evil. All
who endeavor to excuse or conceal their sins, and permit them to
remain on the books of heaven, unconfessed and unforgiven, will
be overcome by Satan." (Ibid)
Again we ask
why are sins not blotted out immediately when confessed? Again,
I must illustrate.
Some years ago,
the Adventist message came to the hearts of a father and mother.
Being impressed by the Holy Spirit that it was the truth, they accepted
the message. But this father had been a heavy user of tobacco. He
had chewed tobacco since he was a little boy; in fact, when he was
only nine years old, he used to take it out of his daddy's pocket;
so the habit had a powerful hold upon him. However, when he accepted
the gospel, he put away his tobacco. But, again and again, the pull
of that old habit would come upon him. His wife used to tell how
he would take the plug of tobacco out of his pocket and throw it
into the cornfield--just as far as he could--and with renewed determination,
start the day aright. Nevertheless, sometimes right after dinner,
his wife would look out of the window and see him in the cornfield,
walking up and down the rows. Now what do you think he was looking
for? You guessed it; he was looking for that plug of tobacco. But
thank God, the day finally came when he threw the tobacco away forever,
and for the next sixty years the man had complete victory over that
habit, Thank God, dear friend--there is power in the blood of the
me of one of those old hymns we used to sing--I'm glad it has reappeared
in our Church Hymnal--"Would you be free from your burden of
sin? There's power in the blood, power in the blood; Would you o'er
evil a victory win? There's wonderful power in the blood."
You see, God didn't hide that plug of tobacco, although He could
have done it. No--the man had to make his own decision and gain
the victory through the power of God.
We can see from
the references we have read, that God does not blot out our sins
forever--the moment we ask forgiveness; for He knows the struggles
of man, and the power of sin. He respects your power of choice,
which means that if sometime later on you might want the sin back,
God will not interfere. This is explained in, Patriarchs amid
Prophets, page 357,
blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner
from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it
would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement;
so in the type the blood of' the sin offering removed the sin
from the penitent, but it rested in the sanctuary until the Day
of Atonement. In the great day of final award, the dead are to
be "judged out of those things which were written in the
books, according to their work. Revelation 20:12. Then
by virtue of the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, the sins of all
the truely penitent will be blotted from the books of heaven.
Thus the sanctuary will be freed or cleansed from the records
Don't you just
want to praise God for what is happening in heaven's sanctuary today
and for the time of final atonement?
Not long ago
a mother came to a minister with tears in her eyes, asking him to
pray for her son. Between her broken sobs, she told of how her boy
had lived a life of sin, and eventually, was put in the penitentiary
as a criminal. Let me ask you, whom do you think suffered the most,
the boy in the prison cell, or the mother, alone in her home? In
her heartbreak, she cried out to the minister, "Oh pastor,
pray for my boy." She couldn't think about anything else, her
boy was all that she was living for.
I must tell
you that Jesus Christ is now in the heavenly sanctuary for the purpose
of taking sin out of your life. Why? Because He bore our sins in
His body on the cross, and continues to bear our sins until the
completion of the final atonement when He places them upon Satan.
It is thus that Christ will continue to experience pain until our
sins are eradicated, forever separated from us for an eternity.
When we really comprehend how the Lord suffers for our sins, surely,
we will want to do something about it. Was there a way to heal that
mother's hurt as she wept for her son who was in the penitentiary?
Of course, there is a way.. Suppose her son would sit down in his
cell and write a letter to his mother and say, "I've seen the
terrible things that I have done; I have not only broken the law,
but I have broken your heart. I have asked God to forgive me, and
now my dear mother, I am asking you to forgive me. By the grace
of God, I am going to walk straight from now on." What do you
suppose would happen to that mother? Would the pain in the heart
stop? You better believe it would. Her tears of sorrow would be
changed to tears of boundless joy.
it is written that there is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents.
Just now, as you behold your great High Priest standing at the mercy
seat in the sanctuary above, holding up His wounded hands before
the Father pleading for you; remember, there is pain deep in His
heart because of your sins; but by accepting Jesus as your personal
Savior, you may bring joy to your Lord. He will not only cover your
sins, but in these last hours just before probation closes, He will
blot them all out. It is only through Christ that the bands of sin
can be broken. It is only through Christ's work in the sanctuary
above, with our cooperation, that sin can be separated from the
sinner for an eternity.
Six - Christ The Advocate
chapter four as we studied Daniel 8:14, we discovered some amazing
facts concerning a prophecy that covered some 2,300 years of this
world's history: "Unto two thousand and three hundred days,
then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." This great time
prophecy was divided into two sections. The first section covered
490 years; the second a remaining 1,810 years of this prophecy,
which brings us to the fall of 1844 A.D. Now, the prophet wrote
of this exact date, read it again in Daniel 8:14: "And
the angel said unto me, unto two thousand and three hundred days;
then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."
Before we can
understand what is meant by the words, "then shall the
sanctuary be cleansed," we must understand which sanctuary
is being referred to, for you will recall that there are two sanctuaries
mentioned in the Bible; one during the time of Moses which continued
until Christ, and the other that was, and is, in heaven. The author
of the book of Hebrews wrote in Hebrews 9:1: "Then verily
the first covenant had also ordinances of divine services, and a
worldly sanctuary." The time period covered by this first
covenant extended from Moses to the cross. Paul is telling us of
the sanctuary that was here on this earth. He describes it in the
next four verses: "For there was a tabernacle made: the
first, wherein is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil,
the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all (Holy): 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; And over
it the Cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy seat," Now,
no one can mistake what Paul is talking about: He is describing
the earthly sanctuary, (or tabernacle that was erected in the wilderness),
and referring to such articles that were found therein, such as
the golden pot containing manna, and Aaron's rod that budded.
tabernacle services were performed until the day when Solomon's
temple was built; then continued in the temple until the building
was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. Later, in the days of Zechariah
the prophet, the temple was rebuilt. This was the sanctuary of the
first covenant that was standing in the days when Christ was here
Now you recall
that the priest went into the first apartment of the sanctuary every
day of the year to perform the work of separating sin from the sinners.
There was only one day of the year in which the high priest could
go beyond the veil that separated the first and the second apartments
and enter the holy of holies. This was on the Day of Atonement when
he entered into the second apartment for the purpose of cleansing
it. The sanctuary pointed to the Lord Jesus Christ as our redeemer.
The entire sanctuary service was symbolic of Christ's priestly ministry,
and Christ was represented in every sacrifice.
that every article connected with the sanctuary pointed to the Lord
Jesus Christ as our redeemer: The golden candlestick was symbolic
of Jesus--the light of the world, as He said, "I am the
light of the world." John 8:12. The shewbread
represented Jesus Christ, who said, "I am the bread of
life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger." He was
the true bread that came down from heaven, on Whom we can feed and
live forever. The altar of incense revealed Christ as our Intercessor
and Redeemer, pleading our case before God. The mercy seat, symbolizing
God's throne, depicts our atonement, He who gives us pardon through
the merits of His blood. The altar of burnt offering or sacrifice,
served to present Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, Who offered Himself
to die for us. And there was the layer, which pointed to Christ
as the One Who cleanses us and makes us acceptable before the very
presence of our great God.
It is a marvelous
revelation that the entire sanctuary service was symbolic of Christ's
priestly ministry. He was represented in every sacrifice, and fulfilled
both phases of the priesthood--the first by dying for fallen man,
and the second by pleading before the Father for every repentant
sinner. But all of these things--the articles and furnishings of
the earthly sanctuary, as well as the system of animal sacrifices
and all of the offerings and services performed by the priests--came
to an end when Christ, the Lamb of God, hung on the cross, dying,--when
He cried, "It is finished!"; and the inner veil of the
temple was ripped from the top to the bottom. This represented Christ's
body being torn in death.
ascended to heaven, He entered not "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:" So,
the earthly sanctuary came to an end. Remember, it was destroyed
in A.D. 70 by the Roman army.
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; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the
true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man." Hebrews
8:1, 2. This sanctuary that is to be cleansed, is the sanctuary
that is in heaven, where Jesus is now mediating. The worldly sanctuary
was for the first covenant. The heavenly sanctuary is concerned
with the new, or everlasting covenant. In other words, the new covenant
took the place of the old covenant, when it was established by the
blood of Christ on Calvary's cross. This heavenly sanctuary, then,
took the place of the earthly sanctuary. The earthly priest had
ministered in the earthly sanctuary until Christ was crucified but,
when the Lamb of God offered His life once and for all, Jesus entered
into heaven to administer His blood for us in the heavenly sanctuary
as our High Priest.
under the old covenant, performed their ministry in relationship
to the Ten Commandments. So, Jesus Christ our high priest, now in
heaven, under the new covenant performs His ministry in relation
to these same Ten Commandments; the original law of God. We read
in Hebrews 8:8-10: "Behold the days come, saith the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with
the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with
their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them
out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant,
and I regarded them not, saith the Lord." Now notice this--
"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house
of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into
their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them
a God, and they shall be to me a people." What is God
saying? He says that under the new covenant, He is going to take
away sin out of our hearts, and He says, "I will give you
a new heart, and write my law in your heart." You notice
God did not say, "I will abolish my covenant, and give you
a new law." and neither did He say, "I will give grace
to supersede the Ten Commandments." What God is really trying
to tell us is that because of His grace, He will write His law in
our hearts, and bring our lives into conformity to His precepts.
Isn't that simple? Perhaps I should say isn't that beautiful? To
think that God would do this for us?
Now you can
easily see that during a year's time, there would be a multitude
of sins that had gathered in the earthly sanctuary. This is what
made it necessary to cleanse the sanctuary, or blot out the record
of those sins, and take them out of the sanctuary as described in
Leviticus 16. And so it was, that there was a day known as "The
Day of Atonement", in which the sanctuary was cleansed. Two
goats of the same age were brought before the high priest. He would
cast lots; one was chosen to be sacrificed and would be killed,
and its blood would be taken within the sanctuary and sprinkled
on the mercy seat to satisfy the claims of the law. In order to
do this, the priest must go within the veil, into the most holy
place, which could only be done once a year. In performing this
act he would, figuratively, gather up all the sins that had been
forgiven and take them with him out of the sanctuary and place his
hands upon the scapegoat, transferring all of these sins to the
scapegoat (Satan), which would then be taken out into the wilderness
to die. In this manner, all sins were removed from the sanctuary,
thus it could be said, the sanctuary was now cleansed.
All that transpired
in the earthly sanctuary was a type, a pattern, or a shadow of the
work that Christ is now performing in the heavenly sanctuary. So
Christ, with his own blood, pleads for us before the Father in heaven.
I John 2:1, "My little children, these things write I unto
you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with
the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."
What we need
to fully understand is the work that Jesus our personal advocate
is now doing in the heavenly sanctuary during the final atonement.
So few Christians have any concept of the sanctuary, in which the
Lord is not only our intercessor, and our mediator, but our advocate.
Think of it. If we will accept Christ and fully surrender our hearts
to Him, He will personally plead His blood for us. It's almost too
good to be true! Our Elder Brother in heaven pleading before God
for you and for me. This is what happens when we confess our sins
to the Lord. He rises up before the Father in heaven, holding up
those nail-pierced hands, saying, "Father, My blood, My blood,
I have shed My blood for these dear ones. By the merits of My sacrifice
on Calvary, I now plead that you accept My sinless life for these
I think a poet
has given this picture in beautiful words: "Father, I bring
this repentant child to Thee, to claim Thy pardon yet once again.
Receive him at My hands, for he is Mine. Look not on him. He cannot
bear Thy glance. Look thou on Me; his vileness, I will hide. I am
his Advocate. By that unchanged, unchanging oath of Mine, by each
pure drop of blood I lost for him, by all the sorrows graven on
My soul, by every wound I bear, I claim it due. Father, Father divine,
I cannot have him lost. He is a precious soul, for whom I died.
Sin hath nearly destroyed him, but sin hath died in Me. Death hath
pursued him, but I have conquered death. Satan hath bound him, but
Satan is My slave. Father, hear not him, not him, but Me. I would
not have him lost for all the world. Thou for My glory hath ordained
and made." What a beautiful picture the poet has described.
How thankful we should be for such an advocate as we have in Jesus
Christ, who is before the throne of God now, pleading our case.
This is why it tells us in Hebrews 7:25, "Wherefore he
(Christ) is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God
by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."
From 34 A.D.
until 1844 Christ ministered within the first apartment of the sanctuary,
according to the terms of the new covenant. But, in 1844, Christ
entered within the veil, just as the priest in the earthly sanctuary
did on the Day of Atonement to cleanse the sanctuary. This is what
we read in Daniel 8:14, "Unto two thousand three hundred
days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." So Christ
our high priest left the first apartment, of the heavenly sanctuary
in 1844 and entered the second apartment to finish His mediatorial
work, to become our Advocate.
Soon, very soon,
Jesus is going to finish the cleansing work. And He will throw down
His censer as the great High Priest, and He will say as we read
in Revelation 22:11, "He That is unjust, let him be unjust
still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that
is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let
him be holy still." After that decree is issued, there
will be no more appeal by our Advocate. For Christ has now been
in the second apartment of the sanctuary since 1844. For over 150
years Christ has been officiating in the cleansing of the heavenly
sanctuary. First, for the righteous dead and He will end with the
judgment of the living. Soon, oh so soon, He is going to return,
as it says in the scripture, "without sin unto salvation."
("Without sin" means that He is dealing, not with
the sin problem but to take His people home to heaven.)
me to illustrate the importance of having an advocate. There was
an accountant employed in the capital city of Russia many years
ago. He knew that the auditors were coming, and that they would
discover that he was bankrupt. He had embezzled the money for his
own purpose. This could mean only one thing; his life would be taken.
As he brooded over his fatal mistake, he drew up a list of all the
debts that he owed, and he wrote at the bottom of that list the
question: Who is going to pay for all of these debts? In the turmoil
of his mind, he fell asleep at his desk.
Now it so happened
that Alexander I, the Czar of Russia, was making a tour of that
very building in which this man slept at his desk. As he entered
this accountant's office, he saw that the man was sleeping. He went
over to the desk and saw the paper lying on the desk. He picked
it up and read the list of this man's debts. And when he read the
question, "Who is going to pay all of this debt? He was suddenly
seized with a good impulse. He took out his golden pen, and he wrote
these words, "I Alexander." Can you imagine the thrill
of this man when he awoke? He knew his master's signature and knew
that his master would pay. He had been saved from death!
This is exactly
what Christ is doing for us today. What a terrible list of sins
are on the record books of heaven. If you and I were to look at
our own sins on our records, we would feel hopeless. But, thank
God, Jesus Christ will say to all who have confessed and repented,
"I will blot out your sins." Thank God, our Advocate is
sufficient. Just now, He stands ready to wash away your sins, and
when the times of refreshing shall come, to blot them out forever.
We dare not
presume on Christ's mercies. Sinners who have not repented of their
sins, will not have the privilege of having Christ as their Advocate.
Verily, Christ will say to them, "Depart from Me, ye that work
iniquity;" these will bear their own guilt and punishment,
and after the 1,000 years will suffer in the lake of fire.
Friend, we need
to put ourselves in the hands of Jesus Christ this very moment;
in the hands of our great Advocate, for He alone can save us.
Seven - Christ The Answer
As we have pointed
out in our study, once a year, the earthly sanctuary was to be cleansed.
The day on which this event took place was called the Day of Atonement.
It was a great and solemn day for the children of Israel. It was
particularly holy also, for no one was permitted to do any work
on this day. It was the keystone of the sacrificial system. Any
man, woman, or child who did not make the needed preparation in
afflicting his soul, making sure that his every sin had been taken
into the sanctuary and separated from him, was to be cut off from
the people of Israel. We read of this in Leviticus 23:29, "For
whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day,
he shall be cut off from among his people." And so the
Day of Atonement was a solemn occasion, for everyone had to examine
himself to make sure that every sin in his life had been carried
within the sanctuary.
In a short review,
let us quickly enumerate once more the steps by which sin was separated
from the sinner, and carried into the sanctuary. You remember, first
the sinner must experience true contrition and repentance, represented
by bringing a specified animal for sacrifice to the door of the
tabernacle. There, he placed his hands upon its head, and confessed
his sin, thus transferring his sin to the lamb. Then, with his own
hand, he had to take a knife and slay the victim, for the innocent
victim must die for his sins. Next, the priest would bring a bowl
and take of the blood from the Iamb, which now in type carried the
sin, which he then brought within the sanctuary, and sprinkled it
upon the veil. In this way, the man's sin was forgiven, and transferred
into the sanctuary. You can readily see that during the year, with
a great number of people, that there was an enormous accumulation
of sin within the tabernacle. But once a year, God purposed that
these sins would be removed from the sanctuary by a cleansing process.
In our last study, we learned that the priest would take the blood
of the sin offering, and enter within the most holy, and there sprinkle
the blood upon the mercy seat. Thus signifying that the terms of
the broken law had been satisfied. Then, symbolically, he would
gather the sins and take them out of the sanctuary, and place them
all upon the head of the scapegoat, which would be led away from
the camp of Israel into the wilderness to die. In this manner, the
sanctuary was cleansed on the great Day of Atonement.
We have discovered
that the Lord Jesus Christ entered the heavenly sanctuary's most
holy place within the veil in October 1844, to conduct a final atonement
process in the heavenly sanctuary since that date. This has been
taking place for over 150 years now, and this work, I believe, will
soon be finished. Any individual who has not made sure that every
sin is confessed and forgiven will be separated forever from God
when the final act of atonement is made; for Jesus will stand up
and declare, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still:
and He that is filthy, let him be filthy still, and he that is righteous,
let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy
still" Revelation 22:11. Our only hope is in
Jesus Christ's power to enable a sinner to overcome sin. Thus Christ
is the only answer to the sin problem.
But, today Satan
is spreading abroad a new philosophy which is completely contrary
to the sanctuary services and its teaching. He is leading men to
think that their sin will be winked at by God, or will not be discovered
before Jesus comes. ln Numbers 32:23, we are admonished with words
that would be well to ponder, "Behold, ye have sinned against
the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out."
Some years ago,
a traveling newspaper correspondent observed a man carrying an old
cane with some peculiar carvings on it. He thought very little of
it, until two months later he was in the same vicinity and learned
that an elderly man and his wife had been beaten to death. No one
seemed to know why the murders had been committed, for the elderly
couple had been loved by all. This man and his wife had been beaten
to death with some kind of a stick. The correspondent went to the
authorities, and gave them a description of the man he had seen
with a strange looking cane. Six months later, the police found
the man and brought him to justice. The judge was seated, the jury
chosen, but the man had an alibi for every indictment. It seemed
that the court couldn't prove a thing against him. The judge was
actually beginning to believe that maybe they had the wrong man,
and the jury felt likewise. Until, the door of the courtroom opened
and the newspaper correspondent walked down the aisle, in his hand
he carried the blood-stained cane that he had found in the woods
near the victim's home. When the man who was accused of this brutal
slaying saw the cane, his face suddenly turned white, and he began
to tremble. Then everyone in the courtroom knew that he was guilty
. . . be sure your sin will find you out!
There are many
today who think that they can give a reasonable answer as to why
they don't surrender their sins to Jesus, and ask Him to plead their
case before God. These individuals are also able to convince their
pastors that they are pretty good and they are headed for the kingdom.
But, God knows! And there are wives who deceive their husbands,
leading them to think that they have been true to their marriage
vows; but God knows! And there are some sons and daughters who convince
their parents that they are just about perfect; but God knows! Some
even have the ability to convince themselves that they are quite
religious, and somehow will be saved when Jesus comes; but God knows!
The Lord declares, "Shall not God search this out? For
he knoweth the secrets of the heart." Psalm 44:21.
this closer home to us as individuals. Imagine with me that there
is a certain young man who has a wife and two children. This young
man--we'll call him Jim--is a good looking fellow; he has an excellent
job and is a fine citizen. He pays his taxes, is well thought of
in the community, he may even go to church. But, all the time he
is under the conviction that he should come to Jesus and confess
his sins, so he can be cleansed with His blood. However, Jim never
gets around to doing what he knows he ought to do. Why? Well, maybe
it is the Sabbath. He knows that the Bible teaches that the seventh
day is the Sabbath of the Lord his God. He knows that it's a part
of the divine law and he should keep it. But, there is a problem,
maybe it just isn't convenient to honor God's day. Maybe he is having
a struggle over returning tithe to God. He knows that ten percent
of his income belongs to the Lord. Jim has so many blessings, a
beautiful wife and two little girls, a car, a lovely home, but he
also wants many other things. He feels he just can't afford to pay
tithe; or so he thinks. Maybe he has a problem with some secret
bad habit, like smoking, or having an occasional drink with the
boys after work. He doesn't think anybody knows about this, but
you see, God knows! Or it could be the love of some pleasure that
in his heart he knows is contrary to God, but he just can't seem
to give it up. Perhaps the real issue in his mind is that he has
never been baptized. He knows what God's word says in John 3:5,
"Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot
enter into the kingdom of God." But he has continued to
put it off. The issue here is--a young man with sin in his life.
Now, let us
suppose that one day something happens that Jim didn't plan on.
He might have been thinking deeply about his work, and without looking,
he starts across the street. Suddenly he is hit by a car, and his
life is instantly snuffed out! The funeral is held in the church
which is filled to capacity with many of his friends. The pastor,
thinking that Jim was ready for the kingdom, presents a wonderful
eulogy; but what do you think? Can God accept this young man? Can
Jim, now dead, do anything to correct his faulty, sinful record
left on the books of heaven? What does God say about our condition
when we are dead? For "the living know that they shall
die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more
a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love,
and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have
they anymore a portion for ever in any thing that is done under
the sun. . . . Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it
with thy might; for there is no work nor device, nor knowledge,
nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." Ecclesiastes
9:5, 6, 10.
The word of
God has made it very clear that since Jim is dead he cannot do anything
to correct his past mistakes. He's dead, he's buried; but is this
the end? Oh, no! We read in God's word that this man must now be
judged. In the book of Hebrews 9:27, are these words: "It
is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."
Now we have
arrived at the crucial issue having to do with the judgment and
the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary.
In the autumn
of 1844, when Jesus Christ stepped in before the throne of God within
the most holy place the judgment proceedings began. There are no
words in the Bible that are more striking than those describing
this judgment scene. "I beheld till the thrones were cast
down (placed) 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 flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
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." Daniel
happened when this great court of God convened in heaven in the
year 1844. The first case would be that of Abel, who had been murdered
by his brother Cain, for he was the first man to die in this world.
Abel was a sinner, for--"all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God." Romans 3:23. Yet, he believed
in the Savior, and did as God had required. He took a Iamb and confessed
his sins over it transferring them to the Iamb, and then with his
own hand, he slew the sacrifice. When the books were opened, in
which were recorded the sins of Abel, Jesus Christ was standing
before God, pleading for Abel. "I have covered his sins with
my blood. I want him to live in heaven with us." God looks
at Jesus, and then speaks those wonderful words: "Retain his
name in the Book of Life."
Next case, .
. .we don't know whose name came up next, but eventually Cain died
and let us suppose that his name came up next. Was Cain a religious
man? You would hardly think so, since the Bible says he murdered
his brother. But, look a little closer. You will find that indeed
he was quite a religious man. Cain thought himself righteous and
came to God with a thank offering. Only he made no confession of
sin. Instead of bringing a lamb for a sacrifice for his sins, he
decided that he would go out to his garden and dig up some vegetables
for his sacrifice. He built an altar, and placed the fruit of his
labor upon the altar as an offering. Then he knelt down and prayed,
asking God to accept his offering. But, God would not accept this
substitute for sin. No one can ever earn salvation by his self righteousness.
Remember the words of Hebrews 9:22, "Without the shedding
of blood is no remission." Cain presumed upon God's mercy
and grace. He did not bring a sacrificial lamb, representing Christ.
And God will never accept a counterfeit. Since God would not accept
his counterfeit sacrifice Cain became so angry that he killed his
brother, Abel. All this is recorded in the books of heaven. As the
books were opened and the record was revealed, could Jesus stand
up as Cain's advocate? As far as we know, He could not. There is
nothing in the Bible to indicate that Cain ever accepted Jesus.
He did not obey the requirements of Christ as outlined in the sacrificial
system of the sanctuary. Can you imagine the sorrow of Jesus as
God says, "Put Cain's name in the book of death."
And so, the
judgment goes on for all people who ever lived on this earth. Everyone
is judged according to the records in the books of heaven. Each
individual is accepted or rejected as determined by the answer to
one question: Has the blood of Christ covered his/her sins?
Now let's go
back to the funeral of this young man, Jim, who was killed by an
automobile. A person may live a fairly good life, but not obey God
in his daily living. What happens to him in the judgment? Did Christ
do everything for Jim that he might be saved? Watch Jesus as He
points to the nail prints in His hands, and to the wound in His
side, and then says, 'Father, I gave my life for that young man.
Father, I died on Calvary, what more could I have done for him?
But, he would not obey; he would not accept my sacrifice as provided.
Therefore, I cannot cover his sins with my blood." Slowly,
but surely God says, "Put his name in the book of death."
Am I making
this too real? The sanctuary services are simple to understand.
Friend, this is exactly what is going on in the heavenly sanctuary
today. The cleansing of the sanctuary in heaven is real!
none know how soon, the judgment will pass to the living."
Great Controversy, 1888 Edition, pg. 490.
lt makes us
think seriously, doesn't it? Are we ready for our names to come
up before God?
There is more
to the story of Jim's experience even though his name was blotted
out of the book of life. This is not the end for Jim as we shall
When Jesus comes
the second time a resurrection will take place. "The Lord
himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of
the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ
shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught
up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:
and so shall we ever be with the Lord." I Thessalonians
4:16, 17. In this first resurrection, when Jesus returns
to this earth, Jim will not come forth from his grave. Only those
whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life will be raised
in the first resurrection.
Now, what about
Jim's family? Let's say that as time went on, his wife and daughters
lived faithfully; keeping the commandments of God, making sure every
sin was confessed and covered by the blood of Jesus until the day
they, too, went into the grave. When Jesus comes in the clouds with
ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands of angels,
He looks upon the graves of His sleeping saints and calls for the
righteous to come forth. This mother and daughters will come out
of their graves clothed in immortality. No doubt, Jim's wife will
look around for her husband, and the girls will be looking for dad.
When they see that his grave beside theirs has not been opened,
tears fill their eyes, but God says that He shall wipe away all
tears. Then with overwhelming joy they are lifted up by the angels
to meet the Lord in the air and taken to heaven where they will
spend the next one thousand years. "Blessed and holy is
he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second
death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ,
and shall reign with him a thousand years." Revelation
But, what about
Jim--where is he--what will happen to him? Regarding the second
resurrection, Revelation 20:5 says, "But the rest of the
dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished."
At the end of the thousand years, Jesus is going to come back
to this earth the third time with all His living saints, and He
will also bring with him that great city, the New Jerusalem. As
Jesus descends to the earth, the second resurrection of the dead
takes place. It is the resurrection of the wicked. The Bible speaks
of them as the sands of the seashore, or humanly speaking, they
are without number! These still have the same spirit of rebellion
and resistance to God's requirements as they had while living on
me, Jim, as he comes forth in this final resurrection. He looks
around, and sees the city of God, the New Jerusalem. He is troubled,
and says, "That's strange, this isn't like what I used to read
in my Bible." and then, he sees the wicked of all ages milling
around, what a sight! Something is wrong. Then he remembers that
he did not obey God, and follow Christ in the way of salvation as
taught in the sanctuary service. He did not repent and confess his
sins. He did not transfer his sins to Jesus and accept His death
for his sins. He did not allow Christ to take his sins into the
sanctuary, and separate those sins from his sinful heart.
was unable to be his advocate before God. Christ would have gladly
covered his sins with His blood and blotted them out. So the scripture
is finally fulfilled, "Be sure your sins will find you
out," as fire comes down from God out of heaven, and devours
Jim with his unforgiven sins.
But this need
never happen to you or me--not when Christ has provided such a wonderful
way of escape. Remember, there is no one in this world who has gone
too far in the depths of sin but Jesus can forgive and save. Isaiah
tell us, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the
Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as snow; though
they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Isaiah
1:18. There is hope for every one of us. "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."
Yes! Jesus is
the answer. He alone can save us. In His righteousness He can present
your case before the Father, and He can pronounce you as one who
has never sinned. This may sound too good to be real, but it is
true. Do not hesitate--come boldly to Jesus. The Savior will make
an atonement for you and be your personal Advocate. Remember, Christ
is the answer to all your sins and to all your needs.