Sabbath, April 26, 2008
“Jesus stands in the holy of holies, now to appear in the presence of God for us. There He ceases not to present His people moment by moment, complete in Himself. But because we are thus represented before the Father, we are not to imagine that we are to presume upon His mercy, and become careless, indifferent, and self- indulgent. Christ is not the minister of sin. We are complete in Him, accepted in the Beloved, only as we abide in Him by faith” – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 933.
1. In which sanctuary is Christ officiating as the high priest?
Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building.
2. With what blood did Christ enter the most holy place? H
Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
“The sacrificial service that had pointed to Christ passed away; but the eyes of men were turned to the true sacrifice for the sins of the world. The earthly priesthood ceased; but we look to Jesus, the minister of the new covenant, and ‘to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.’ ‘The way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: . . . but Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, . . . by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.’ Heb. 12:24; 9:8-12.” – Desire of Ages, p. 166.
“Christ’s priestly intercession is now going on in the sanctuary above in our behalf. But how few have a real understanding that our great High Priest presents before the Father His own blood, claiming for the sinner who receives Him as his personal Saviour all the graces which His covenant embraces as the reward of His sacrifice. This sacrifice made Him abundantly able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him, seeing He liveth to make intercession for them (MS 92, 1899).” – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 932.
3. What is the difference between the cleansing of sins with the blood of animals presented in the earthly sanctuary and the presentation of the blood of Christ in the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary?
Hebrews 9:13, 14 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
“My much-respected brethren, you have not that earnest and unselfish devotion to the work of God that He requires of you. You have given your attention to temporal matters. You have trained your minds for business in order to thereby benefit yourselves. But God calls for you to come into closer union with Him, that He may mold and train you for His work. A solemn statement was made to ancient Israel that the man who should remain unclean and refuse to purify himself should be cut off from among the congregation. This has a special meaning for us. If it was necessary in ancient times for the unclean to be purified by the blood of sprinkling, how essential for those living in the perils of the last days, and exposed to the temptations of Satan, to have the blood of Christ applied to their hearts daily. ‘For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?’
“You should both do much more than you have done toward bearing the burdens of the work of the Lord. I adjure you to arouse from your lethargy, leave the vain idolatry of worldly things, and be in earnest to secure a title to your immortal inheritance. Work while it is day. Do not imperil your souls by forfeiting present opportunities. Do not make your eternal interests of secondary importance. Do not put the world before religion, and toil day after day to acquire its riches, while the peril of eternal bankruptcy threatens you. Every day is bringing you nearer to the final reckoning. Be ready to yield up the talents lent you, with the increase gained by their wise use.
“You cannot afford to sacrifice heaven or to jeopardize your safety. Do not let the deceitfulness of riches lead you to neglect the immortal treasure. Satan is a wily foe, and he is ever on your track, striving to ensnare you and compass your ruin. We are in the waiting time; let your loins be girded about and your lights shining, that you may wait for the Lord when He returns from the wedding, that when He comes and knocks you may open unto Him immediately.” – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 4, pp. 123, 124.
“Christ was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. To many it has been a mystery why so many sacrificial offerings were required in the old dispensation, why so many bleeding victims were led to the altar. But the great truth that was to be kept before men, and imprinted upon mind and heart, was this, ‘Without shedding of blood is no remission.’ In every bleeding sacrifice was typified ‘the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’” – Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 7, p. 932.
4. What did Christ accomplish for sinners in the heavenly sanctuary with His death?
Hebrews 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
5. What is a person who makes a testament called? Only when does a testament become valid?
Hebrews 9:16, 17 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
6. Only how could the first covenant be ratified?
Hebrews 9:18-22 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
“Then followed the ratification of the covenant. An altar was built at the foot of the mountain, and beside it twelve pillars were set up, ‘according to the twelve tribes of Israel,’ as a testimony to their acceptance of the covenant. Sacrifices were then presented by young men chosen for the service.” – Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 312.
7. How was the confirmation of the new testament made?
Hebrews 9:23-28 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 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: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
“It was Christ that spoke to His people through the prophets. The apostle Peter, writing to the Christian church, says that the prophets ‘prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow.’ 1 Peter 1:10, 11. It is the voice of Christ that speaks to us through the Old Testament. ‘The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’ Revelation 19:10.
“In His teachings while personally among men Jesus directed the minds of the people to the Old Testament. He said to the Jews, ‘Ye search the Scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of Me.’ John 5:39, R.V. At this time the books of the Old Testament were the only part of the Bible in existence. Again the Son of God declared, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And He added, ‘If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.’ Luke 16:29, 31.
“The ceremonial law was given by Christ. Even after it was no longer to be observed, Paul presented it before the Jews in its true position and value, showing its place in the plan of redemption and its relation to the work of Christ; and the great apostle pronounces this law glorious, worthy of its divine Originator. The solemn service of the sanctuary typified the grand truths that were to be revealed through successive generations. The cloud of incense ascending with the prayers of Israel represents His righteousness that alone can make the sinner’s prayer acceptable to God; the bleeding victim on the altar of sacrifice testified of a Redeemer to come; and from the holy of holies the visible token of the divine Presence shone forth. Thus through age after age of darkness and apostasy faith was kept alive in the hearts of men until the time came for the advent of the promised Messiah.
“Jesus was the light of His people–the Light of the world–before He came to earth in the form of humanity. The first gleam of light that pierced the gloom in which sin had wrapped the world, came from Christ. And from Him has come every ray of heaven’s brightness that has fallen upon the inhabitants of the earth. In the plan of redemption Christ is the Alpha and the Omega–the First and the Last.
“Since the Saviour shed His blood for the remission of sins, and ascended to heaven ‘to appear in the presence of God for us’ (Hebrews 9:24), light has been streaming from the cross of Calvary and from the holy places of the sanctuary above. But the clearer light granted us should not cause us to despise that which in earlier times was received through the types pointing to the coming Saviour. The gospel of Christ sheds light upon the Jewish economy and gives significance to the ceremonial law. As new truths are revealed, and that which has been known from the beginning is brought into clearer light, the character and purposes of God are made manifest in His dealings with His chosen people. Every additional ray of light that we receive gives us a clearer understanding of the plan of redemption, which is the working out of the divine will in the salvation of man. We see new beauty and force in the inspired word, and we study its pages with a deeper and more absorbing interest.” – Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 366-368.