Light From the Sanctuary

Lesson 8, 2nd Quarter May 18-24, 2024.

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Sabbath Afternoon, May 18

Memory Text:

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” KJV — Romans 8:1, 2

“The passing of the time in 1844 was followed by a period of great trial to those who still held the advent faith. Their only relief, so far as ascertaining their true position was concerned, was the light which directed their minds to the sanctuary above. Some renounced their faith in their former reckoning of the prophetic periods and ascribed to human or satanic agencies the powerful influence of the Holy Spirit which had attended the advent movement. Another class firmly held that the Lord had led them in their past experience; and as they waited and watched and prayed to know the will of God they saw that their great High Priest had entered upon another work of ministration, and, following Him by faith, they were led to see also the closing work of the church. They had a clearer understanding of the first and second angels’ messages, and were prepared to receive and give to the world the solemn warning of the third angel of Revelation 14.” GC 431.3

Sunday, May 19

The Heavenly Sanctuary

Read Exodus 25:8, 9, 40 and Hebrews 8:1-6. What two sanctuaries are outlined in these verses?

“The sanctuary to which Paul here refers was the tabernacle built by Moses at the command of God as the earthly dwelling place of the Most High. “Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8), was the direction given to Moses while in the mount with God. The Israelites were journeying through the wilderness, and the tabernacle was so constructed that it could be removed from place to place; yet it was a structure of great magnificence. Its walls consisted of upright boards heavily plated with gold and set in sockets of silver, while the roof was formed of a series of curtains, or coverings, the outer of skins, the innermost of fine linen beautifully wrought with figures of cherubim. Besides the outer court, which contained the altar of burnt offering, the tabernacle itself consisted of two apartments called the holy and the most holy place, separated by a rich and beautiful curtain, or veil; a similar veil closed the entrance to the first apartment.” GC 411.2

“Further, the tabernacle built by Moses was made after a pattern. The Lord directed him: “According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.” And again the charge was given, “Look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount.” Exodus 25:9, 40. And Paul says that the first tabernacle “was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices;” that its holy places were “patterns of things in the heavens;” that the priests who offered gifts according to the law served “unto the example and shadow of heavenly things,” and that “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.” Hebrews 9:9, 23; 8:5; 9:24. GC 413.3

“The sanctuary in heaven, in which Jesus ministers in our behalf, is the great original, of which the sanctuary built by Moses was a copy…” GC 414.1

“But the most important question remains to be answered: What is the cleansing of the sanctuary? That there was such a service in connection with the earthly sanctuary is stated in the Old Testament Scriptures. But can there be anything in heaven to be cleansed? In Hebrews 9 the cleansing of both the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary is plainly taught. “Almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these [the blood of animals]; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these” (Hebrews 9:22, 23), even the precious blood of Christ.” GC 417.2

Monday, May 20

In the Holy of Holies

Read Leviticus 16:21, 29-34; Leviticus 23:16-32; and Hebrews 9:23-28. Why was the Day of Atonement so important in ancient Israel?

“Such was the work that went on, day by day, throughout the year. The sins of Israel were thus transferred to the sanctuary, and a special work became necessary for their removal. God commanded that an atonement be made for each of the sacred apartments. “He shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.” An atonement was also to be made for the altar, to “cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.” Leviticus 16:16, 19. GC 418.2

“Once a year, on the great Day of Atonement, the priest entered the most holy place for the cleansing of the sanctuary. The work there performed completed the yearly round of ministration. On the Day of Atonement two kids of the goats were brought to the door of the tabernacle, and lots were cast upon them, “one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scapegoat.” Verse 8. The goat upon which fell the lot for the Lord was to be slain as a sin offering for the people. And the priest was to bring his blood within the veil and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. The blood was also to be sprinkled upon the altar of incense that was before the veil. GC 419.1

“‘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 the wilderness: and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited.’ Verses 21, 22. The scapegoat came no more into the camp of Israel, and the man who led him away was required to wash himself and his clothing with water before returning to the camp. GC 419.2

“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. GC 419.3

“Important truths concerning the atonement are taught by the typical service. A substitute was accepted in the sinner's stead; but the sin was not canceled by the blood of the victim. A means was thus provided by which it was transferred to the sanctuary. By the offering of blood the sinner acknowledged the authority of the law, confessed his guilt in transgression, and expressed his desire for pardon through faith in a Redeemer to come; but he was not yet entirely released from the condemnation of the law. On the Day of Atonement the high priest, having taken an offering from the congregation, went into the most holy place with the blood of this offering, and sprinkled it upon the mercy seat, directly over the law, to make satisfaction for its claims. Then, in his character of mediator, he took the sins upon himself and bore them from the sanctuary. Placing his hands upon the head of the scapegoat, he confessed over him all these sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the goat. The goat then bore them away, and they were regarded as forever separated from the people.” GC 420.1

Tuesday, May 21

The Judgment Has Come

Compare Daniel 7:9, 10 with Revelation 14:6, 7. What is the similarity between these two passages?

As previously pointed out, to John the time of the commencement of the Judgment was loosely stated to be “hereafter” from his time, but to Daniel it was definitely shown to convene sometime after the beast’s “little horn” arose, and before the saints possess the Kingdom (Dan. 7:8-11). The exact date, though, is determined by Daniel 8:14 – “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed,” the tares shall be taken out of it. At that time, while the cleansing is in progress, the church proclaims: “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come.” Rev. 14:7…

Read Revelation 22:10-12. When Jesus returns, what is the fate of all humanity? What clear declaration is made to John?

When the time of the “tares” “the children of the wicked one” (Matt. 13:18), is come to its full, then will commence “the harvest,” and it will bring “the end of this world.” Matt. 13:30, 40. Taking place in the end of the world, it perforce is the gathering of the people by Elijah’s message, the last Heaven-sent proclamation of the gospel, which is preached first to the church just before the great and dreadful day of the Lord (Mal. 4:5), and then to all the world during that long-expected day.

When both Jew and Gentile who have responded to the call have been gathered from the four corners of the earth, then will the harvest end: then will the last lingering moment of probationary time have fled away forever: then will the end have come, and from the “great white throne” will have gone forth the immutable fiat: “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.” Rev. 22:11. 

Read Matthew 25:1-13. Why does Jesus relate so differently to these two groups of believers?

In this parable it is seen that the church is likened to ten virgins, five of whom do not avail themselves of extra oil – special Truth for this time, that is, these five do not give heed to the truth of the Judgment of the living, the separation or purification of the church. When the cry is made, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him,” all ten virgins see that the light of their lamps is going out; they see that the message of the Judgment of the dead is passing. Quickly then, the five wise virgins refill their lamps with the extra oil which they have stored in their vessels, and go on to meet the Bridegroom. But the five foolish virgins, those who thought there was no need for extra oil, no need for an extra message, the message of the Judgment of the living, find themselves in gross darkness. Yes, they find themselves without the light which the message of the Judgment of the living unfolds. Upon discovering their foolish neglect, they rush to obtain oil, light on the subject, but in the meantime the door has been shut (probationary time for the virgins, the church, has closed). When they call for admission they are politely told by the Lord Himself, “I know you not.”

The sign of the coming Kingdom which this parable brings forth, is obviously the special message (the extra oil) which announces the Judgment of the living, the message which awakens the open-hearted Truth seekers, and which dooms its opposers, the hypocrites and lukewarm in the church – those who are satisfied and think themselves rich and increased with goods, in need of nothing (in need of no timely Truth), those who never awake to the fact that they are absolutely destitute. Mind you, these are not my words, read what the Lord says to Laodicea.

Wednesday, May 22

The Good News of the Most Holy Place

Read Hebrews 4:14-16 and Hebrews 10:19-22. What assurance and divine invitation do these verses give to each one of us?

“As used in the Bible, the expression “kingdom of God” is employed to designate both the kingdom of grace and the kingdom of glory. The kingdom of grace is brought to view by Paul in the Epistle to the Hebrews. After pointing to Christ, the compassionate intercessor who is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities,” the apostle says: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace.” Hebrews 4:15, 16. The throne of grace represents the kingdom of grace; for the existence of a throne implies the existence of a kingdom. In many of His parables Christ uses the expression “the kingdom of heaven” to designate the work of divine grace upon the hearts of men.” GC 346.4

Read Revelation 11:19. In the context of the great controversy, why is this vision significant? How does it show the inseparable link between the law and the gospel?

The earthly temple’s being patterned after the heavenly, shows that the heavenly temple is divided into two apartments – the holy and the Most holy. On the day of the atonement (judgment) in the earthly temple, the door to the Most holy was opened and the door to the holy was closed. This service typified the commencement of the antitypical atonement (judgment), when the door to the Most holy in the heavenly temple was opened and the entrance to the holy was closed. In other words, when the inner door was opened, the outer door was closed, thus making the two apartments as one. (See Leviticus 16:2, 17; Revelation 4:1; 15:5; Early Writings, p. 42.) So the temple’s being closed while the judgment is in session, makes it impossible for one on the outside to see “the ark of His testament,” until after the judgment is completed, when the door which was closed will again, according to Revelation 15:1, 5-8, be opened.

Consequently, the fulfillment of the prophetic statement, “the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament” (Rev. 11:19), will, just as it was in the beginning of the Judgment, be realized after the judgment is finished; that is, after the close of probation, when the door of the temple is opened. And after the judicial tribunal leaves the temple, “one of the four beasts” will give “unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God” (Rev. 15:7), and the temple will be “filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no man” will be “able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels” are “fulfilled.” Rev. 15:8…

“The law of God in the sanctuary in heaven is the great original, of which the precepts inscribed upon the tables of stone and recorded by Moses in the Pentateuch were an unerring transcript. Those who arrived at an understanding of this important point were thus led to see the sacred, unchanging character of the divine law. They saw, as never before, the force of the Saviour's words: “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law.” Matthew 5:18. The law of God, being a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, must forever endure, “as a faithful witness in heaven.” Not one command has been annulled; not a jot or tittle has been changed. Says the psalmist: “Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven.” “All His commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever.” Psalm 119:89; 111:7, 8.” GC 434.1

Thursday, May 23

Jesus, Our Advocate in the Judgment

Read Hebrews 10:9-14. What difference does this passage reveal between the priest’s ministry in the earthly sanctuary and Jesus’ ministry in the heavenly sanctuary?

“How vastly different was the true High Priest from the false and corrupted Caiaphas. In comparison with Caiaphas, Christ stands out pure and undefiled, without a taint of sin. “By one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” [Hebrews 10:14]. This enabled Him to proclaim on the cross with a clear and triumphant voice, “It is finished.” [Hebrews 9:24-26; 10:12, quoted.] Christ entered in once into the holy place, “having obtained eternal redemption for us” [Hebrews 9:12]. “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” [Hebrews 7:25]. 12MR 392.3

“Christ glorified not Himself in being made High Priest. God gave Him His appointment to the priesthood. He was to be an example to all the human family. He qualified Himself to be, not only the representative of the race, but their Advocate, so that every soul if he will may say, I have a Friend at court. He is a High Priest that can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities.” 12MR 393.1

Read Hebrews 6:19, 20. Why does He invite us to follow Him and what do we discover as we follow?

“Hope has been set before us, even the hope of eternal life. Nothing short of this blessing for us will satisfy our Redeemer, but it is our part to lay hold upon this hope by faith in Him who has promised. We may expect to suffer, for it is those who are partakers with Him in His sufferings who shall be partakers with Him in His glory. He has purchased forgiveness and immortality for the sinful, perishing souls of men, but it is our part to receive these gifts by faith. Believing in Him, we have this hope as an anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast. We are to understand that we may confidently expect God's favor not only in this world but in the heavenly world, since He paid such a price for our salvation. Faith in the atonement and intercession of Christ will keep us steadfast and immovable amid the temptations that press upon us in the church militant. Let us contemplate the glorious hope that is set before us, and by faith lay hold upon it....” TMK 79.2

“In Christ our hope of eternal life is centered.... Our hope is an anchor to the soul both sure and steadfast when it entereth into that within the vail, for the tempest-tossed soul becomes a partaker of the divine nature. He is anchored in Christ. Amid the raging elements of temptation he will not be driven upon the rocks or drawn into the whirlpool. His ship will outride the storm.”19 TMK 79.5

Friday, May 24

Further Thought

“But the people were not yet ready to meet their Lord. There was still a work of preparation to be accomplished for them. Light was to be given, directing their minds to the temple of God in heaven; and as they should by faith follow their High Priest in His ministration there, new duties would be revealed. Another message of warning and instruction was to be given to the church. GC 424.4

“Says the prophet: “Who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers’ soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Malachi 3:2, 3. Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. 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. This work is more clearly presented in the messages of Revelation 14. GC 425.1

“When this work shall have been accomplished, the followers of Christ will be ready for His appearing. “Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.” Malachi 3:4. Then the church which our Lord at His coming is to receive to Himself will be a “glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” Ephesians 5:27. Then she will look “forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” Song of Solomon 6:10.” GC 425.2