In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue, and while he thought he was finding a short cut to India what he found was a whole “new world.” Now granted, the millions of people already living there already knew about it, and there is evidence of visitors well before Columbus. Still that does not change the point of this story. The fact is that while Columbus’ calculations were off, and his trip a “disappointment” as far as finding a new way to India, he still discovered for himself a whole new world!
In 1844 a group of Bible students also had some miscalculations, but even though they had a disappointment they still discovered something very new to them.
So I went to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll. “Yes, take it and eat it,” he said. “It will be sweet as honey in your mouth, but it will turn sour in your stomach!” So I took the small scroll from the hand of the angel, and I ate it! It was sweet in my mouth, but when I swallowed it, it turned sour in my stomach.Revelation 10:9-10
Seventh-day Adventists understand this passage to be referring to the great disappointment in 1844, when the Millerites expected Jesus to come. The scroll is the book of Daniel which contains the 2300 day prophecy, and the sweetness was the expectation of his coming in 1844 and the bitterness is the disappointment.
Some believe that the seven thunders (see Revelation 10:4) actually told John about the great disappointment, but when he went to write it he was told not to. If you go with this theory, then you understand that some things must be learned through experience. Sometimes that is the best way to learn, and it is not that God had not already told us that we do not know the day, or the hour of the second coming. There was enough Biblical evidence already in the Scriptures to prevent the great disappointment from happening. Sometimes we have to take our lumps for not appreciating what Biblical evidence is already there, and learn from experience.
Remembering that there were no chapter divisions in the original Scriptures, the first two verses of Revelation 11 give us a strong clue as to what actually happened in 1844.
Then I was given a measuring stick, and I was told, “Go and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count the number of worshipers. But do not measure the outer courtyard, for it has been turned over to the nations. Revelation 11:1-2 NLT
What these Bible students discovered after their great disappointment was the wonderful truth about the investigative judgment and cleansing of the sanctuary!
Still, that did not take away the sting of the great disappointment.
Here is the account of one of the Millerites, Hiram Edson of that great disappointment when Jesus did not return in October 22, 1844:
“Our fondest hopes and expectations were blasted, and such a spirit of weeping came over us as I never experienced before. It seemed that the loss of all earthly friends could have been no comparison. We wept, and wept, till the day dawn.” -Christ and His sanctuary, Page 4.
Many people mocked Hiram and his friends while they were already grieving. Does that make any sense to you? Making fun of hurting people, just because they made an honest mistake in misunderstanding the Bible?
1844 was not the first time such a thing happened. After the crucifixion, God’s true followers, the disciples, were severely disappointed. Of course their disappointment came from their misunderstanding of Jesus’ clear words. Still pain is pain, and there was no reason to make fun of them while they were hurting. And their mistake in misunderstanding and not comprehending the Scriptures regarding the cross, did not stop them from still being true disciples of Jesus! They were still God’s people even though they still had a lot to learn, some of which they would have to learn by going through bitter disappointments, and even what they (both the disciples in A.D. 31 and A.D. 1844) perceived as public embarrassment, in addition to grief.
I want to make two points here.
- We should never make fun or mock people who misunderstand the Scriptures. Since 1844 other people have set dates for the second coming and been sorely disappointed, and I hear Adventists joking, poking fun at them for not realizing that Jesus says nobody knows the day of the hour of His return. So they should have known better, so should William Miller and the Bible students of his day. Still, why are some Christians, more eager to mock people’s pain rather than sympathize with them! Telling someone “You should have known better” does not ease the pain. It only makes it worse. When the shepherd finds the lost sheep, and binds up his wounds, I don’t recall the shepherd ever telling the sheep “Hey you made a mistake! This is your own fault!” Such words would bring no healing for the wounds. We are told to cry with those who cry, instead of making fun of them.
- Hiram and his friends were heartbroken when Jesus did not return. He wrote, “our fondest hopes were blasted.”Is Jesus coming soon your fondest hope? Would you rather be with Jesus than with all your friends on earth? Dare, I ask, are some of us even relieved that Jesus has not come yet? Do some of us find a delay, whether real or apparent, as no disappointment whatsoever? Is the second coming of Jesus your fondest hope, or are you relieved instead of disappointed that He has not come yet?
On the cross, there was a thief who was mocking Jesus and making fun of all of His claims. This thief was belligerent and would have just as easily mocked Jesus’ followers. But somewhere in the midst of that dark afternoon, this thief stopped mocking Jesus and started looking at his own heart. When he did, an amazing revival took place. Maybe it would be a good idea for us, instead of mocking the claims and theology of others, to take a good look at our own hearts, and our own attitudes about meeting Jesus one day soon.
You may explore this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.
Since 1981, when I began preaching in high school, I have preached in many churches from Chiclayo, Peru, to Torrington, Connecticut. I have spoken to large and small congregations with various needs. I have illustrated to some conservative churches the need to be a little more liberal, and to liberal churches, how to be a little more conservative, as we all seek a Christ-like balance.
One Sabbath several years ago, I was preaching in one of the most conservative churches I have been in. No, “conservative” is not the word for it. Right-out legalistic is more like it! You’ll see why I say so in a moment.
I was preaching about how we are saved by grace – fairly fundamental Adventist Bible belief, so I thought. After the sermon I barely made it off the platform before I was greeted by a woman who had appointed herself to be the theology police for the church. She had a copy of The Great Controversy in her hand. Condescendingly she asked me if I had ever read The Great Controversy. I told her I had. She retorted, “How dare you then tell these people we are saved by grace when The Great Controversy clearly says we are saved by works! Your sermon today almost deceived even me. And if it almost deceived me I know you deceived everybody else!” (Did this woman maybe have a pride issue?)
Now let me stop before I go any further. If you have never read The Great Controversy, let me assure you that it does not say we are saved by our works. I have read the book several times cover to cover, and the theme I find over and over is that we are saved by grace and not by works, and that we should worship God according to our conscience and not according to man-made traditions and regulations. One of the star characters in the book is Martin Luther, who is applauded by the author for presenting salvation by grace and not works!
So, where was this lady coming from? Sure she was way off, but she had to get her idea from somewhere. She told me where it was. She told me to read the chapter, Facing Life’s Record, and I read:
The books of record in heaven, in which the names and the deeds of men are registered, are to determine the decisions of the judgment. –Ellen White, The Great Controversy, Page 480
True. Deeds are mentioned here, but if I remember correctly from diagramming sentences in my third grade English class, which I thoroughly hated doing by the way, “books” is the subject of the sentence, and the books determine the decisions, not the deeds.
However the Apostle John mentions deeds or “works” as well:
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. Revelation 20:12
So do we have a conflict here? Not at all. In any investigative judgment you need evidence to determine your verdict. Our works provide evidence of salvation, but grace is the source of our salvation.
Speaking of Abraham, Genesis 15:6 says:
And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
Abraham’s belief or faith was counted as righteousness. God said it is enough that Abraham believes in my saving grace.
But when Abraham’s name comes up in the judgment what evidence will there be that he believed? Especially since he lied about his relationship with Sarah in order to save him from Egypt’s ruler. He trusted a lie to save him instead of trusting God to save him. No evidence of faith there.
However if we go to Genesis 22:1-24, we will see the evidence of Abraham’s faith, when he obeyed God and offered up his son on the altar. Now we have evidence that Abraham believed in God’s grace! Abraham will not be saved by his works, but his obedience of God’s soul-shattering command later in life – his “works” – demonstrates his faith in God. And God could count his faith as righteousness.
Just like smoke is evidence of fire, works are evidence of God’s grace at work in the life. Where there is smoke there is fire, and where there is grace there are good works. Let’s do a little detective work ourselves here, and investigate three passages.
Let’s begin with Romans 1:5.
By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name.
Hhhmm … Seems to me here that Paul is telling the Romans that the grace they received was to lead to their obedience. Hence their works of obedience are evidence of grace at work.
Our next clue is found in Ephesians 2:8-10
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Sure enough the passage tells us that we are saved by grace and not by works, but still we find God creating good works in us at the scene of grace. Let’s move on. We need more evidence.
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2:11-14
Just as you see smoke where there has been a fire, so we again see good works where there is grace. Just like smoke is evidence there has been a fire, likewise living soberly, righteously, godly lives zealous of good works, is evidence that grace has been here.
If we trust God we will obey Him. Our works of obedience are presented as evidence in the judgment that we trust God’s amazing grace.
Satan may still point at Abraham’s lie in Egypt, but,
The character is revealed, not by occasional good deeds and occasional misdeeds, but by the tendency of the habitual words and acts. –Ellen White, Steps to Christ, p. 57.
When your name comes up in the judgment, will there be evidence that God’s grace was allowed to penetrate your heart?
Now there is also such a thing as false evidence. Legalistic works done for the glory of self would be false evidence that the Judge can see right through.
Yet a faith that works by love (See Galatians 5:6) is the exact evidence that will convince the Judge that we have received His amazing grace. I hope the lady who confronted me that day, with the Great Controversy, understands that doing works in order to be saved is just conjuring up false evidence. The faith that saves us is the faith that is motivated by love and grace and not a hope of reward and self-glory.
It’s just like the little girl standing by the side of the pool. She can’t swim, but her father promised to catch her if she jumps in. If she jumps we know she believes in her daddy. If she refuses to jump it is clearly evident she does not believe in her daddy.
Abraham showed a lack of faith in God’s love when he trusted a lie instead of God to protect him in Egypt. Yet when Abraham placed his son on the altar the whole universe saw the evidence that God’s grace was now in Abraham’s heart.
The Bible is clear. We are saved by grace and not by works. The Bible is also clear that where there is grace, there are good works.
A smoking gun is evidence that it has been put into action. Good works are evidence of grace put into action. Where you find smoke you find fire. Where you find grace you find good works.
Good works, done out of love, are evidence that we have been saved by amazing grace.
You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson on the sanctuary here.
As we continue studying this quarter’s Sabbath School lessons, on the sanctuary, people are telling me that there is so much they don’t understand or even know yet about the sanctuary. I say, do not be discouraged. Remember the sanctuary is a model of the plan of salvation. This is something we will be studying and looking into for all eternity.
You may study that love for ages; yet you can never fully comprehend the length and the breadth, the depth and the height, of the love of God in giving His Son to die for the world. Eternity itself can never fully reveal it. Yet as we study the Bible and meditate upon the life of Christ and the plan of redemption, these great themes will open to our understanding more and more. -Ellen White, The Faith I Live By, Page 43.
I have to admit, I grew up Adventist never really understanding a lot of the themes of the sanctuary or cleansing of the sanctuary. Instead of my teachers teaching it to me, they just told me I knew it. Interesting teaching method there! So, in my early twenties I still had lots of questions but did not dare ask because I was already suppose to know it all. Well I realized I was not going to learn any younger so I started asking questions anyways and reading and studying the sanctuary and the plan of redemption. I would like to share some books that have really helped me. Just click on the title for a PDF format of the book online, or info on how to purchase the book.
In his book 1844 Made Simple, Clifford Goldstein does a remarkable job of making the judgement and cleansing of the sanctuary so….well…simple! He also makes it very clear how Biblical this teaching is, though it is unique to Seventh-day Adventists.
Stephen N. Haskell brings alive all of the imagery of the sanctuary and brings understanding to their applications. The feast days are also clearly explained. While some wonder why many Seventh-day Adventists do not celebrate the feast days, Elder Haskell helps us see that we are observing the literal feast days. For example, ever since 1844 we have been in the literal day of atonement.
In M.L. Andreason’s book, The Sanctuary Service, he illustrates how the sanctuary service illuminates Christ as our High Priest, Sacrifice and Intercessor.
When I was in my early 20’s and began studying the sanctuary this book, by Donald Short, brought many things to life for me! it also helped me understand the work our High Priest is doing in the sanctuary of my heart.
In Numbers 21:1-9 God has Moses set a brass serpent on a pole so that if anybody was bitten by a serpent, they could look at this serpent on a pole and be healed. Now as real and literal as this serpent was it was only symbolic. There was no magic in the brass or the pole. This brass serpent was to point forward to Jesus dying for us on the cross and curing us form the snake bites of that old serpent the devil. Still some people started worshiping the brass serpent because they could not see past the pole and get the big picture. 2 Kings 18:4 tells us, finally Hezekiah destroyed the brass serpent because people were worshiping it instead of God. The problem was they saw the brass serpent as the end of their theology instead of looking beyond the pole to what it represented.
Today some say there is no literal sanctuary in heaven, while the Seventh-day Adventist Church continues to teach what I understand to be true, that there is a literal sanctuary in heaven. See Hebrews 8:-12. However, if your theology stops at either the literal sanctuary on earth or the literal sanctuary in heaven your theology still falls short. Just like the brass serpent was real and literally existed, those who could not see beyond the brass serpent still fell short in their theology. Yes there is a real sanctuary in heaven but even the real and literal sanctuary in heaven is not the end of our theology.
When Jesus came to this earth He referred to His body as a temple. See John 2:19. A temple is a dwelling place. Today we dwell in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. See Ephesians 2:6. Jesus was the most the Holy Place and his humanity was the veil shielding us from the glory so as not to destroy us. As real as both the earthly sanctuary is, and as real and literal as the heavenly sanctuary is, neither sanctuary is the goal of our theology. Jesus is the goal of our theology! For years while I have been writing and preaching about the sanctuary and making Jesus the center of my preaching and writing, I have had people call upon me and remind me that there is a real sanctuary in heaven. That is nothing that I have ever refuted. I teach there is a real sanctuary in heaven. I just don’t make the real sanctuary building in heaven the goal. I make Christ the goal. Still people want to remind me that there is a real sanctuary in heaven. That makes about as much sense as someone reminding me about the brass serpent when I teach about the cross! Yes, I know there was a real brass serpent but that real brass serpent was not the goal. The cross of Christ is the goal. In the sanctuary message Christ is again the goal.
Everything in the sanctuary points to the goal and end of our theology, which is Christ.
Christ is the Lamb of God that took away the sins of the world.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29 NLT
Christ is the light of the world that lightens every man.
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12 NLT
Christ is the living bread who came down from heaven to give us eternal life
Yes, I am the bread of life! Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.”John 6:48-51 NLT
Christ is the mercy seat (propitiation), through whose redemption we have salvation full and complete
Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past. Romans 3:24-25 NLT
Christ is our intercessor against the accusations of Satan
My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.1 John 2:1 NLT
By the way, when we join Satan in making accusations, we fire Jesus as our advocate and hire Stan to replace him! Jesus can plead your case without making accusations against other people. Accusing others is Satan’s game plan.
Christ is the curtain that bore our sins in His flesh
And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death,Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. Hebrews 10:19-20 NLT
The Sanctuary Revealed the Fall and Restoration of Man. In Adam, humanity sinned, was defiled, and condemned to death. In Christ, the same humanity was reconciled to God, cleansed from all defilement, and justified to life.
Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Romans 5:18 NLT
Through faith in Christ, sinners experience salvation. This is the good news of the gospel and the truth of righteousness by faith. All this was revealed in the Sanctuary model given to Moses:
The Sanctuary was where God met sinners
I will meet with you there and talk to you from above the atonement cover between the gold cherubim that hover over the Ark of the Covenant. From there I will give you my commands for the people of Israel. Exodus 25:22 NLT
Today He meets us in Christ
For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:19 NLT
The Sanctuary was where God revealed Himself to sinners
and they will know that I am the Lord their God. I am the one who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could live among them. I am the Lord their God. Exodus 29:46 NLT
Today He reveals Himself to us in Christ
Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! John 14:9 NLT
The Sanctuary was where God accepted sinners
Lay your hand on the animal’s head, and the Lord will accept its death in your place to purify you, making you right with him.Leviticus 1:4 NLT
Today He accepts us in Christ
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Ephesians 1:6 KJV
Whenever I am preaching, giving a personal Bible study or writing for SSNET.org, I always have this quote from the book Evangelism in mind:
The sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for sin is the great truth around which all other truths cluster. In order to be rightly understood and appreciated, every truth in the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, must be studied in the light that streams from the cross of Calvary. I present before you the great, grand monument of mercy and regeneration, salvation and redemption–the Son of God uplifted on the cross. This is to be the foundation of every discourse given by our ministers.—Ellen White, Gospel Workers, p. 315.
Friends, the foundation for the discourse on the sanctuary message is not the literal temple on earth or in heaven. Yes, there is a real sanctuary up in heaven, I know. However, according to our prophet, in Gospel Workers page 315, the foundation of the sanctuary message is the sacrifice of Christ Himself. Just like the brass serpent on a pole pointed us to Christ, likewise the literal heavenly sanctuary points us to Christ.
You may study this week’s SS lesson on the sanctuary here.
Where is the most holy place? Is it a building on earth or in heaven? Or is it somewhere else?
While I was a child living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a tornado hit the surrounding area where I lived. Among the destruction was a Methodist church. That night on the news, I remember the Methodist pastor, saying in an interview, “The building has been destroyed but the church is just fine.” The pastor realized the church is not the building. The church is the people. As we study the sanctuary this quarter, that is a very important point to keep in mind. For example the climax of Christ’s ministry as our High Priest is not when the heavenly sanctuary building is cleansed, but when our hearts are cleansed!
In John 14 there is a wonderful promise that contains more than what appears on the surface.
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”John 14:1-3 NLT
The rooms Jesus is talking about are called “dwelling places” or “living rooms.”
In Exodus 25:8 God says,
“Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them.”
The whole purpose of a sanctuary is so that God can live right with us. Now if Jesus were speaking of literal rooms in John 14, the question would be what is taking Him so long? He created the world in six days. Surely it does not take Him two thousand years to build literal living rooms. However, if He is preparing a place where He can live right with us, then He is not only preparing a place made of rocks and mortar. Yes, there are literal mansions prepared for us in heaven, but that is not what is taking Jesus two thousand years. What is taking so long is that He is working with hearts of stone, preparing those stony hearts to become a temple, a sanctuary where He can live right inside of us. So that we can always live and be right where Jesus is!
Seventh-day Adventists understand there is a literal sanctuary in heaven.Hebrews 8:1-2. We tell people that the earthly sanctuary was just symbolic of the heavenly sanctuary. True, but here is the catch. While both the earthly and heavenly sanctuaries are literal sanctuaries, they are both symbolic. The earthly sanctuary points to the work Jesus is doing in the heavenly sanctuary, while the heavenly sanctuary points to the work that Jesus is doing, not in a building, but in our hearts! Remember the wise Methodist preacher making a distinction between the building and the church? The church is not a building, it is a people. Likewise we must make the distinction between the building and the sanctuary. We are the sanctuary Jesus is ministering in and wants to cleanse for His eternal living area.
From eternal ages it was God’s purpose that every created being, from the bright and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of the Creator. Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory of the Divine One. But by the incarnation of the Son of God, the purpose of Heaven is fulfilled. God dwells in humanity, and through saving grace the heart of man becomes again His temple……
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17. No man can of himself cast out the evil throng that have taken possession of the heart. Only Christ can cleanse the soul temple. –Ellen White, Desire of Ages, Page 161
All that Jesus is accomplishing in the heavenly sanctuary He wants to accomplish in our hearts.
In the courtyard is where the altar was for the sacrifice. This is where the act of justification took place. This is also to take place in our hearts.
Justification takes place when I live a perfect life in Jesus. Jesus counts Hisperfect life as my perfect life, thus saving me from the penalty of sin which is death. Justification is my title to heaven. See Romans 5:10 andEphesians 2:8-9.
Now while the altar in the courtyard is symbolic of the cross, many people say everything was accomplished and completed at the cross. Whoa! While the provision of a sacrifice was completed at the cross, the sanctuary does not end with the courtyard, where the sacrifice was provided. There are more exciting things to come.
When the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with the sword, out flowed blood and water. The blood was for our justification which took place inside the courtyard. The water was for our cleansing and sanctification.
The laver or wash basin in the earthly sanctuary was between the altar of sacrifice and the entrance to the holy place. So sanctification comes after the cleansing of justification. Jesus wants our hearts to be sanctified.
Revelation 10:7 NLT refers to the cleansing of the sanctuary and tells us God’s mysterious plan will be revealed. Iniquity is a mystery in how it developed inside a perfect angelic heart like Lucifer’s. This quarter we will be studying how the sanctuary reveals God’s mysterious plan of removing sin from human hearts.
Sanctification takes place as Jesus lives His victorious life in us. Thus we are being saved from sin by the power of God as He Himself writes His law of love in our hearts. By living in us, God is transforming us and preparing us for heaven. See Ephesians 3:19 and Colossians 1:27.
Just to make sure we understand; justification is me in Jesus. Sanctification is Jesus in me. This is what Jesus was talking about when He said, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you.” John 15:4 NLT Remaining in Christ is our justification. Christ remaining in us is our sanctification. Justification is our title to heaven and the salvation from the penalty of sin. Sanctification is our fitness for heaven and the salvation from the power of sin.
Now we enter the final compartment, which is the most holy place. This room is filled with the glory of God. Jesus represented the sanctuary where the Father dwelt in Him. Jesus’ humanity was the veil that kept us from being destroyed by His glory. Jesus wants us to share in His glory instead of being destroyed by it.
And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.Romans 8:30 NLT
Glorification is when Jesus saves us from the presence of sin. Those who love God and life will live in paradise, never again seeing the results or consequences of sin. See Revelation 21:1-4.
Jesus does not want to justify a courtyard; He wants to justify our hearts. Jesus does not want to cleanse the holy place of a building. He wants to cleanse our hearts. He does not want to live in the last compartment of the sanctuary building. He wants our hearts to be the most holy place so He can live right with us for all eternity!
Once Christ’s ministry as our High Priest has been completed, the sanctuary on earth and tabernacle in heaven will no longer be the most holy place. The most holy place will be right inside the hearts of the redeemed!
The mystery of iniquity is how did Lucifer’s heart, which was so perfect become so polluted with sin? God’s mysterious plan is to make our sinful hearts holy. And by the gospel presented in the sanctuary, not only do our sin polluted hearts become purified and become a holy place. They become the most holy place.
You may study this quarter’s SS lesson on the sanctuary here.