Sabbath, July 16, 2016
“All who have received the light upon these subjects are to bear testimony of the great truths which God has committed to them. The sanctuary in heaven is the very center of Christ’s work in behalf of men. It concerns every soul living upon the earth. It opens to view the plan of redemption, bringing us down to the very close of time and revealing the triumphant issue of the contest between righteousness and sin. It is of the utmost importance that all should thoroughly investigate these subjects and be able to give an answer to everyone that asketh them a reason of the hope that is in them.” –The Great Controversy, p. 488.
The sanctuary and the judgment
1. What place does the truth about the sanctuary occupy in the faith of God’s people?
Daniel 8:14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.
“The correct understanding of the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary is the foundation of our faith.” –(Letter 208, 1906) Evangelism, p. 221.
“The subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlocked the mystery of the disappointment of 1844. It opened to view a complete system of truth, connected and harmonious, showing that God’s hand had directed the great advent movement and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of His people.” –The Great Controversy, p. 423.
2. Why is it so important to know what is going on today in the heavenly sanctuary?
Hebrews 8:1, 2; 9:27 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: 2We 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…. 9:27And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.
“The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. All need a knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest. Otherwise, it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time, or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill. Every individual has a soul to save or to lose. Each has a case pending at the bar of God. Each must meet the great Judge face to face. How important, then, that every mind contemplate often the solemn scene when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, when, with Daniel, every individual must stand in his lot, at the end of the days.” –Evangelism, p. 221.
3. What ministry is Jesus performing for man in the heavenly sanctuary today? While He is pleading in heaven for every repentant sinner, what should we do?
1 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.
Hebrews 7:25 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.
“… Jesus entered the most holy of the heavenly, at the end of the 2300 days of Daniel 8, in 1844, to make a final atonement for all who could be benefited by His mediation, and thus to cleanse the sanctuary.” –Early Writings, p. 253.
“In the most holy place is His law, the great rule of right by which all mankind are tested. The ark that enshrines the tables of the law is covered with the mercy seat, before which Christ pleads His blood in the sinner’s behalf.” –The Great Controversy, p. 415.
“While Christ is cleansing the sanctuary, the worshipers on earth should carefully review their life, and compare their character with the standard of righteousness.” –(Review and Herald, April 8, 1890) Evangelism, p. 224.
4. How is this work being done? What will thus be removed forever?
Job 31:14, Basic English Bible What then will I do when God comes as my judge? and what answer may I give to his questions?
Isaiah 43:25; 44:22 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins…. 44:22I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.
“And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded. But before this can be accomplished, there must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigation–a work of judgment. This work must be performed prior to the coming of Christ to redeem His people; for when He comes, His reward is with Him to give to every man according to his works. Revelation 22:12.” –The Great Controversy, p. 421.
Humbling oneself and turning away from sin
5. What was important for God’s people during the typical day of atonement and still is today, as the close of probation nears and Jesus completes the investigative judgment?
1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
“The whole ceremony was designed to impress the Israelites with the holiness of God and His abhorrence of sin; and, further, to show them that they could not come in contact with sin without becoming polluted. Every man was required to afflict his soul while this work of atonement was going forward. All business was to be laid aside, and the whole congregation of Israel were to spend the day in solemn humiliation before God, with prayer, fasting, and deep searching of heart….
“While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth.” –The Great Controversy, pp. 419, 425.
6. What should be the special concern of those whose names were written in the book of life at their baptism?
Revelation 3:5; 21:26, 27 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels…. 21:26And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
“Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected. When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God’s remembrance….
“All who have truly repented of sin, and by faith claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice, have had pardon entered against their names in the books of heaven; as they have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law of God, their sins will be blotted out, and they themselves will be accounted worthy of eternal life.” –The Great Controversy, p. 483.
The adversary’s erroneous theories
7. What warning is given as Satan tries to unsettle the faith of God’s people in the sanctuary message? How will the faithful ones fight for the crown of life?
Colossians 2:8, 9, 6, 7 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily…. 6As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
“Satan is striving continually to bring in fanciful suppositions in regard to the sanctuary, degrading the wonderful representations of God and the ministry of Christ for our salvation into something that suits the carnal mind. He removes its presiding power from the hearts of believers, and supplies its place with fantastic theories invented to make void the truths of the atonement, and destroy our confidence in the doctrines which we have held sacred since the third angel’s message was first given. Thus he would rob us of our faith in the very message that has made us a separate people, and has given character and power to our work.” –(Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 7, p. 17
“You are fighting for the crown of life…. Live to please Him who thought you of such value that He gave Jesus, His only begotten Son, to save you from your sins…. Ever keep before you the thought that what is worth doing at all, is worth doing well. Depend upon God for wisdom, that you may not discourage one soul in right doing. Work with Christ in drawing souls to Him…. Do your very best in everything you undertake. Jesus is your Saviour, and rely upon Him to help you day by day, that you may not sow tares, but the good seed of the kingdom….” –Sons and Daughters of God, p. 283.
For personal study
The Great Controversy, chapters 23, 24, 28.
Selected Messages, book 1, p. 344.
Evangelism, pp. 222, 223.