Salvation in the Sanctuary

Date: 04/02/2021 
Salvation in the Sanctuary
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Pastor: What a privilege it is to be here for this sanctuary weekend and to see and understand the sanctuary and the importance of the sanctuary. We just talk about the worldview of the sanctuary and I think that for us as Seventh-day Adventists, the sanctuary is a worldview because the sanctuary is all about Christ. The sanctuary is all about the plan of salvation and so it's not really about a building. It's about salvation and that's our second message tonight. It's salvation in the sanctuary. Salvation in the sanctuary. You know we think about the sanctuary you're thinking about many people might think about a building. They might think about furniture. They might think about you know the different pieces of tapestry that were in there. The priest and of course all of the cloth and the veil. But when we think about the sanctuary we think about it as symbolic. We think about the symbols and what they mean. What those symbols represent and so the sanctuary to us is not a building. The sanctuary to us is a revelation of Jesus. It's a revelation of the plan of salvation. That's what we're going to be looking at tonight.

We're going to park in Exodus chapters 25 to 30 because really if you want to understand where the sanctuary began I shouldn't say where it began but as a building where it began because it goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden to the after the fall but at least the sacrificial part but the building itself begins is introduced to us in Exodus chapters 25 to 30 and you can read those chapters and you can get a picture of the way God lays it out for us. He begins in Exodus chapter 25 and invites us to make a sanctuary for him because he wants to dwell with us. Let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them and this is really interesting because in the context of this God tells us later on in the Psalms he says his way is in the sanctuary. "Your way, oh God, is in the sanctuary." Who is so great a God as our God? God has laid out in the sanctuary the way of salvation. He has laid out in the sanctuary the plan of salvation if you will and the sanctuary is kind of a unique teaching to us as Seventh-day Adventists but it is really not unique in the sense that it illustrates the way of salvation. It illustrates God's purpose in saving us. Exodus chapters 25 to 30 is where we're going to park tonight and this is going to be a simple step-by-step looking at the furniture and understanding how God laid out the plan of salvation in the furnishings of the sanctuary.

We've covered a little bit of this tonight in the previous meeting with Pastor Bohr and that was a I listened to the whole meeting. I was trying to prepare and just go over my notes but I made the mistake of sitting in front of the monitor and I just got captivated and started listening to every word, so I know you've been blessed already this evening. God begins in the context of this by saying, "And they shall make an ark." Now, we're going to the Most Holy Place. We're starting there and we're going to move out of the Most Holy Place to the Holy Place. I know Pastor Bohr started out in the camp and he went into the Most Holy Place. We're starting the Most Holy Place. Why? Well because that's where Exodus starts. Exodus 25 starts there and so we're going to start where God starts. Let them make an ark and thou shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. Now, what is the testimony that was put in the ark?

Woman 1: [inaudible]

Pastor: It was the [inaudible] since it was the law of God and the law of God we're told in many places in the Old and New Testament and you can do various studies on this, the law of God isn't some cold outline of do's and don'ts. This code that's etched in stone that the standard, thou shalt not. This law is actually a transcript of God's character. It is a revelation of who God is. It shows us what God is like. Now, we can interpret it as some kind of cult standard some kind of you know do's and don'ts rules, and regulations thing and if we do that the law will be meaningless to us but when we recognize the law as a transcript of God's character, it comes alive. We see in the law characteristics of a loving father who is also just and fair because God is love and Jesus tells us in Matthew chapter 22 verses 36 through 40 that the whole law is summarized in loving God with all our hearts minds and souls and loving our neighbor as ourselves. These are the two great commandments upon which the whole law hangs. The whole law hangs on love and God is love and that love is revealed in his mercy and in his justice which is intentioned together in his character and so we see God saying you will make an ark and put this testimony that I'm going to give you in the ark because this ark was the place where he was going to dwell. It was the place where his glory his shekinah glory was going to settle and the shekinah glory of course was the revelation of God's character who he was. He was going to settle there above the ark and so the ark represents the law of God and mercy of God.

Now, the mercy seat sat above the law not that it's more important than the law but in reality, the law God's justice, and God's mercy are the two aspects of his character of love. God is love and love is manifested in mercy and love is manifested in justice and both of them have that tension together. When you look at the cross of Calvary when you look at Jesus Christ hanging on the cross dying for our sins what do you see there? Do you see mercy or do you see justice? You see both. You see Jesus Christ dying in mercy for our sins but the reason why he's dying is because the justice of God the revelation of the punishment for our sins is being placed on Jesus Christ. Pastor Bohr shared a powerful verse with us earlier 2nd Corinthians chapter 5 verse 21. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in him. He who knew no sin became sin for us. Jesus didn't deserve what he received on the cross. He had no sin and the wages of sin the death that Christ experienced the cutting of the sundering that he experienced before his father was undeserved because he never sinned and sin is it brings the wages of death but he never sinned so he was undeserving of receiving what he did so that we might have his righteousness which we don't deserve. There was no sin in Jesus Christ that made him deserving of death and there is no righteousness in us that makes us deserving of the gift of life, just as there was no sin in him that made him worthy of death, just so there is no righteousness in us that makes us deserving of everlasting life. That is a gift that God gives to us because God loves us.

He initiates that love toward us. He initiates that gift toward us. He makes his reign to shine on the just and on the unjust and living here in California, I have a little different twist on that than I did when I lived in Oregon. In Oregon, I was like, "Yeah, God sends sunshine on the good and on the bad." Sunshine. We need sunshine. In California, like, "God sends his rain on the just and on the unjust." Rain. We need rain. Whatever it is we need, whether it's sunshine and whether it's rain, God is giving it to us and he gives that to us. He initiates that love toward us. He pours out his love upon us in order to lead us to repentance. It's the goodness of God, Romans 2:4 says that leads us to repentance and so he has to initiate that and he does and the sanctuary service tells us about this initiation. The sanctuary service is so beautiful. In Exodus chapter 25 and verse 20 it says, "And the cherubim shall stretch forth their wings on high. They'll be covering the mercy seat with their wings and their faces shall look one to another toward the mercy seat shall their faces shall the faces of the cherubim be." You've got these angels looking down on the mercy seat under which is the law of God. The Shekinah glory the character of God is there and they're looking down, God says in verse 22 of Exodus 25, "And I'm going to meet with you there and I'm going to commune with you." You've got these angels looking down on the law looking down on the mercy seat. This represents the unfallen universe looking on to God's glory looking on to the revelation of his character and his mercy in relationship to all of us and then God says. "I'm going to commune with you there." See, that's what God wants. God wants communication with us and the sanctuary talks about teaches this communication. One of the commandments in this law of God is the fourth commandment the seventh day Sabbath. The seventh day Sabbath is so unique to us not just because we keep a certain day holy. The seventh day Sabbath of the Lord thy God. Not Sunday but Saturday but that's not the complete uniqueness of that commandment. It's unique to us because we keep the whole day holy.

We don't just go to church and then go on about our business. Head to the mall afterward and go out and eat. We actually lay aside the entire day and gift it back to God. He gave it to us we give it back to him. Why do we do that? Because God wants to commune with us. He wants to hang out with us. He wants to spend time with us. He wants to connect with us and you know when you fall in love with Jesus you can't wait to connect with him. There are times through the week when I'm busy doing X, Y, & Z and there are thoughts and ideas and and things in the Bible I want to study. If you don't write them down at my age, you're going to forget. I have this little thing where I pull out my phone and I run to my notes and I just jot down or dictate a little note. Maybe I'm driving. No, I won't do it when I'm driving, right? Okay, whatever I'm doing. I'm dictating a little note. Study, look at verse, look up the word, connect with and when Sabbath comes I get to catch up with all that. When Sabbath comes I get to spend time with God all day long. Now, not because I naturally tend to do that. I don't naturally tend to do that. I naturally tend to want to keep doing what I've been doing all week long. That's what I naturally tend to do. I naturally tend to just want to keep my foot, my thoughts, whatever it is in the world and just keep doing those things but as God commands his command becomes a promise, and as I accept that command, that promise, the very words of his Bible, the very words of truth come into my life and they actually transform me and I become now a Sabbath keeper. Not because I'm a Sabbath keeper naturally but because the Word of God has the power to make me a Sabbath keeper and I say, "I want to stop thinking about those things and dwelling on those things and focusing on those things because this is the Sabbath of the Lord my God and his word is actually empowering me to stop."

You know how people's words are. We say sticks and stones may break my bones but your words will never hurt me but they do. Words have power. Words have influence and the Word of God has power and influence. If we will accept that word, if we'll receive that word, if we will let God commune with us and then it says in Exodus chapter 25 verse 23, "Thou shalt also make a table of Shittim wood." This table of Shittim wood is illustrated right here. It was the table of showbread and it's really powerful because when you look at the table of showbread you see there were six loaves on one side and six loaves on the other side and they were to be fresh every day. Six and six. Sixty-six. How many books of the Bible are there? Sixty-six. Guess what the table of showbread represents? The Word of God, the bread of life. Do you remember when Jesus was tempted by the devil? The devil came to him in the wilderness of temptation. He said, "If you're the Son of God, turn those stones into bread." When was the last time you attempted to turn stones into bread? Never. I've never been tempted to turn stones into bread. I can't turn stones into bread. Could Jesus have turned stones into bread? Was this a real temptation for him? Absolutely. Do you think he was tempted to do it? Was Jesus hungry? He was hungry. He had been fasting for 40 days. Hunger was upon him and the devil knew it and he came to him after Jesus had become communion with the Father for 40 days. He came to him in the wilderness. He came to him as an angel of light. He came to him and he tempted him. We know he was an angel of light because it says in 2 Corinthians chapter 11:13 to 15 that he comes as an angel of light to deceive with another gospel, another spirit, even another Jesus. He came to him and he said, "If you're the Son of God, turn those stones into bread." Of course, Jesus could have tapped into his divine power. Not God's divine power, but his divine power. He could have turned those stones into bread and he was tempted to do it and he was hungry. But he couldn't. He couldn't do it because he had to resist the devil the same way we have to resist the devil. He came as a man to fight man's battles, to fight our battles as a human being. He couldn't tap into himself because if you tap into yourself, we're lost because all we have to tap into itself and we need to be able, we need to learn how to tap into him, into God, into His Word. Jesus said, "I'm going to show you how to do that. Let me tell you what, Satan. Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." That's what he said. For us, he did that. He got that victory for us. He showed us how we can get the victory. Satan wants to separate us from the word. I do love the idea of media. We've got all our slides up here and there they are. We can just read them. The only negative thing about it is, right, we don't even need these anymore. You can go to church without them. You can actually...right? That's the only downside.

This is a King James Version, a wide-margin edition 1972 Nelson Bible. I bought a Bible like this in 1984. I marked it up. It's about twice as heavy as this one because it's got all the ink pen writings in it and all the stuff. I had a friend of mine who took mercy on me and he said, "I'm going to find you a replacement Bible." I said, "It's got to be exactly the same Bible." They've been out of print for years. It's got to be exactly the same Bible because I know where stuff is. I know what page it's on. I know it's on the right side. I may not know the verse, but I can go through Matthew and I can say, "I know it's on the left over here." He said, "I'll get you the same Bible." He got me the same Bible. This thing is absolutely spotless. Look at that. There's not a mark in this Bible, but it's the same Bible. I'm so excited. Even if I don't preach from it tonight, I'm going to bring it out. I'm going to have it just in case. Because you never know when the Holy Spirit is going to lead you. Take your Bibles with you wherever you go. Yeah, sometimes you can have them on your phone. Whatever it is, just make sure you have a Bible with you because you never know when God is going to impress you. I don't know if your brains are where mine are, but I need something to go to. I can look up a word sometimes and I can find the text. Sometimes I can find the text, but there are other times, I've got to look up a word. Get that strong concordance. You got them on the... okay, you're with me on that. Thou shalt set up the table with showbread before me always. Now, that word always is an interesting word. You take that word through the Old Testament and you find it all over the place. It is [inaudible], it is the daily, it is the continual, it is the regular, it is what the whole great controversy and Adventism is about in Daniel chapter 8, and the taking away of the daily. Is it paganism or is it the ministry of Christ? Of course, Satan loves to get us divided on all these kinds of things, but let me just share with you how the Bible uses this word continually, regularly, and always. That bread was to be on the table, the offerings were to be made, the priest was to be interceding, and the candlestick was to be burning, continually, always, regularly. Everything in the sanctuary symbolizes Christ, it symbolizes the plan of salvation, it symbolizes his work for us, and he is always, ever, regularly, continually, to be in our hearts and in our minds, to be the person that we turn to, that we depend on, that we look to, that we trust in, always, ever. Of course, the little horn is trying to take that away and trying to replace it with men, with man's laws, with man's intercession, with man's traditions.

Any time you place man in the place of God, you're taking away this continual, the continual showbread, the continual light, the continual offering, the continual intercession, the continual sacrifice, and you're placing in its place the abomination that makes desolate. Man's intercession, man's laws, man's authority, putting man in the place of God. That's the message of the Bible, that's the warning of Daniel, that's the focus of the sanctuary. Stay focused on Jesus and everything he is and everything he's done for us, always, ever. A whole bunch of verses on that in the Bible. Isaiah 58 is a really good one, but I don't want to get distracted on that right now because we want to focus on the basics of the sanctuary service. Tomorrow evening, we're going to talk about the sanctuary symbolism in the book of Revelation. Do you know that the sanctuary is all through the book of Revelation? You know that, don't you? As you study the book of Revelation, you find these symbols in the sanctuary, they actually become waymarks for us. They tell us where we are in history. We'll touch on that a little bit before we close this evening. Thou shalt make a candlestick. The candlestick was the light, the light that was to lighten this earth in Jesus Christ. We are, of course, to be the light of the world. The candlestick represented witnessing. You know, when you look in the ministry of the sanctuary, you see in the most holy place and then in the holy place, this outline of our relationship with God. Part of that relationship is to witness. Sometimes witnessing is a scary thing, isn't it? You know, talking to our neighbors and talking to our friends and they ask you to like the other day when we were looking at some property, you know, secrets unsealed is going to do a little bit of what your amazing facts have done. We're going to move out of the city and get into the country a little bit more. We're looking for some property and you can say amen if you want. That's the counsel we've been given. Get out of the cities.

Man: Amen.

Pastor: We were looking at this property and this lady was telling us, she was a Christian, she was saying, "I'd always wish this property could be for a ministry of some kind. Look at this and look at this and look at this." Well, I said, "Well we are a ministry." "What church are you?" By the way, we're Seventh-day Adventists." "Oh." I really believe this because I was raised Catholic and I went to Calvary Chapel, and I was going to Pentecostal Church before I became an Adventist and I was trying to get my sister out of the Adventist Church. That's how I got into the Adventist Church. I was trying to get her out because I thought it was a cult. I really believe we've got a bum rap. This church, God has gifted it with some beautiful insight but so often like with the sanctuary message, we'll take this beautiful truth and we will share it disconnected from Jesus. If you were like, "Well, Seventh-day Adventists, yeah, you guys are the ones that believe in the Seventh-day Sabbath, right? When you die you go to sleep, right? You don't eat meat, you don't drink co---, isn't that what you guys do?" I want to say, "No. We're the church that believes in Jesus. That's who we are. We believe in Jesus." "Well, aren't you guys into that sanctuary thing?" "Yes, because the sanctuary is all about Jesus." He's all through the sanctuary and the only thing we believe in is Jesus because Jesus is the Word and we follow the Word. I'm really excited about doing a new series of meetings on the 28 fundamental beliefs because I really believe the 28 fundamental beliefs. Do you know what our first fundamental belief is at Seventh-day Adventists? Number one fundamental belief?

Woman 1: [inaudible].

Pastor: The Word of God is our number one belief. [inaudible], do you believe that the Seventh-day Sabbath is your big thing? No. The number one thing for us is the Word of God. That's the number one thing for us. Do you know what? Because we can say, "Well, we're kind of unique with the Sabbath, kind of a little different, we're kind of unique with the sanctuary. I mean we've got a health message and the state of dead's kind of we're not sure about." Do you know that the most unique belief that we have from every other denomination is the Word of God?

Woman 1: Amen.

Pastor: Seriously. I mean just think about it. Most Christians believe in the New Testament, but not in the Old Testament, right? Jews believe in the Old Testament, but not in the New Testament. A lot of Christians believe Axon up. The Catholic Church takes the Bible, but they've got tradition. Of course, Mormons have the Book of Mormon, and Jehovah's Witnesses have their own Bible. Are you following what I'm saying? It's really interesting when you think about it because we believe in the Word of God, we have unique understandings and truths because they're based on the Word of God. That's where they come from, the Word of God. They're there. We believe the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and that's the foundation. "Well, don't you have that prophet, you know, don't you have that?" Yes, but that's the lesser light leading to the greater light. We as Adventists, hopefully, can share our message from the greater light, from the Word of God. The Bible and the Bible only need to be the foundation of this message, of this truth. "Thou shall make an altar of shittim wood." Now, this altar, Exodus 27 verse 1, this altar was not referring to the one in the Holy Place. This is the one in the courtyard. This altar was the place of sacrifice.

Jesus Christ is typified here in the context of the plan of salvation because he was the ultimate sacrifice. All of those lambs, all of those burnt offerings, all of them pointed to Jesus, who was going to give his life on this altar. Then thou shall make an altar to burn incense. Now, Exodus 30 verse 1, this was the one that was before the veil in the Holy Place. This altar of incense represents prayer. In the Holy Place, you have the showbread representing the Word of God, you have the candlestick representing witnessing, and then you have the altar of incense which represents prayer. You have this very practical outline that God is giving us of how we can commune with him, and stay connected with him continually. Sometimes, when people send me a text or an email or even give me a call, or leave a message. The other night from our office, we got a message from someone in Cuba who's really was going through a medical crisis and they couldn't get him to a hospital. They didn't have any transportation and we need to pray for him. I said, "Let's pray right now." Sometimes, "I'll pray for you. I'll [inaudible." Well, let's pray right now. Every time someone is calling for a need is our call to pray, to pray for them. We don't pray nearly as much as we ought to. God's call to prayer is also a call to enter into that chamber with him, to commune with him. Some of you could be praying right now, praying for every person who's listening to these presentations, to the sanctuary message, to those who are out there, and to those who are among us who need to hear and understand and connect with God in a personal way.

The sanctuary was laid out in a way to illustrate the plan of salvation, which is not just about saving us from sins, not just about forgiving us, not even just about sanctifying us, but actually it's about restoring us to communion with God, getting us reconnected with our Savior. Every single piece of furniture, every article of furniture directs us to this experience that we were to have with God. The last piece of furniture was this laver of brass. Now, this laver of brass, as was shared earlier, was between the altar and the holy place. I have a little extra insight on this, other than what was already shared, and that is the laver of brass not only represents regeneration, and washing, and cleansing, but it represents how that is done. The way that that is done is through baptism, initially. We are baptized for the remission of sins, for the cleansing of sins. We accept Christ as our Savior at the altar, at the cross, and then we step into those waters of cleansing, and we're cleansed from all of our past sins, and then we move into that holy place experience, and we study, and we pray, and we witness, and of course, we enter the most holy place experience where we see we are connected with the glory of God. If you've ever seen the glory of God, and you have, as you've opened the word, as you've looked at these pages, as you read, you've seen more and more of the glory of the character of God day by day, year by year, as you've grown in Christ. There are words, there are verses, there are Bible stories that you've read once or twice, or three, or four, or ten times, and you read them again, and all of a sudden some beautiful revelation of God's glory jumps out at you that you've never seen before, and you say, "God is so good, look at this, this is amazing, I can't believe it." and he's speaking to you right now. It's something that you never could have understood quite that way two years ago, or two months ago, because you were in a different place then than you are right now, and it may be that you're going through a tremendous trial.

Last year, 2020 was one of the most challenging years of my Christian experience for both myself and my wife, but the Word of God was more precious than it had been for many years. It's always precious, but it was even more precious, because as you're going through these trials, you draw close to God, you draw close to him in his word, and his word nurtures you, and heals you, and speaks to you. It feeds you, it holds you up, it gives you hope. It's all we have in this world, and as we hold on to it like that, as this world falls apart, as it is falling apart, and we just don't realize how much this world is falling apart. It is falling apart, literally falling apart. As it falls apart, we have a foundation that is otherworldliness. It's not of this world, it's of another world, and we stand strong on that foundation, which is the Word of God. The Sanctuary Service, therefore, is a through accepting his sacrifice, being baptized, and engaging with him, the Word of God, prayer, witnessing for him, communing with him, we're restored to our relationship with him. He dwells in us, knowing that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not yourselves, so you are bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are his. He dwells in this temple, in this body, and he communes with us, and he connects with us, and there's nothing like that in the world. There's a lot of counterfeits, a lot of euphoria, a lot of feeling and emotion that's out there, but there's nothing like connecting with God personally, individually, communing with him. In John chapter 14 verse 6, now, we're going to the New Testament, just to make some correlations, Jesus says unto him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes unto the Father but by me." Now, correlate this with what we read in Psalm 77 verse 13. "Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary." Okay? God's way is in the sanctuary. Jesus says, "I'm the way." Is there a contradiction there?

Woman 2: [inaudible].

Pastor: See, Jesus, J, equals or is equal to the way. That's what is says right here. Jesus is the way. But then Psalm 77:13 says, the sanctuary, S, is equal to the way. J equals W and S equals W. Do you know what that means, don't you? J equals S. If J equals W and S equals W, J equals S. When you talk about the sanctuary, you've got to talk about Jesus.

Woman 2: Amen.

Pastor: That's the point. Jesus and the sanctuary are one and the same. You can't separate Jesus from the sanctuary, otherwise it's meaningless. It's just a bunch of furniture, just a bunch of curtains. If there's no Christ, it's just curtains. Okay, if there's no Christ, it's curtains, right? It's curtains without Christ. That's what had happened with the earthly sanctuary. It was Christless and that curtain was ripped in two from top to bottom. It was done. The reality had come and Jesus was that reality. God wanted to dwell with us in the sanctuary and Jesus was that sanctuary, that dwelling place. John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God." "The word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth: John 1 and verse 14. Now, that word dwelt means to tent, to encamp, to occupy, to reside as God did in the Tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion. I love this. What is our picture of the sanctuary of old? Because Jesus has come to dwell with us in the flesh. Why has he come to dwell with us? Well, for the same reason that God dwelt with us in the tent of old. Well, why did God dwell with us in the tent of old? Was he there as a presence to remind us of how wicked and terrible we were and what terrible sins? No, he was there to protect and to commune with us. There was a cleansing that was necessary in order to commune with God because if you went into his presence without cleansing, without blood, you would be overwhelmed and that's why we have Jesus. We feel completely unworthy. Look at Isaiah chapter 6, look at Daniel chapter 10, and John in Revelation chapter 1. Daniel, this man without sin, John, this prophet of the Lord, Isaiah, a faithful prophet of the Lord, they come in contact with the glory of God and they're like, "I'm dead. I'm done. I have nothing good in me. I'm overwhelmed. I'm a man of unclean lips. " Jesus comes and touches them. In Daniel 10, Jesus touches Daniel again and again and he speaks words of comfort to him and he says, "You're greatly beloved and I love you." Daniel doesn't feel like he's greatly beloved and if you look at his record, I mean this guy lines up with fourth-generation Adventists. I mean he's got all his ducks in a row. I mean he was born in Loma Linda, California. You're definitely an Adventist if you were born in Loma Linda. My wife was born in Loma Linda, California. She's an Adventist through and through. But when Daniel sees Jesus, all of that pedigree is gone. It's a Philippians 3 experience. Remember Paul? I was blameless, circumcised on the eighth day according to the law. I mean I was... and then he sees Jesus and he's completely undone. Don't be surprised and don't be overwhelmed if you feel undone in your experience with the Lord. Even if you've been a Christian for decades, like Daniel was in Daniel chapter 10, don't feel overwhelmed by the fact that you're undone. That's a reality of our fallenness. When we come in contact with glory, that's what the sanctuary teaches. You can't come in contact with my Shekinah glory unless you have the blood unless you have the lamb unless you have the cleansing. But if you have that cleansing, come on in, come boldly to the throne of grace where you can find help and grace in time of need. Because you have Jesus. Jesus brings us into communion and protection. That's what he came for. He came to bring us into communion and protection with the Father. We see a basic outline of the plan of salvation. The altar represents Christ's death. The laver, Christ's baptism. Because he was baptized, first and foremost, in order to fulfill all righteousness. We'll talk about that in just a minute. The light, Christ is the light of life. The bread, Christ is the word of God, the bread of life. John 6 says that. In John chapter 1, verse 9, it says "Christ is the light that lights every man that comes into the world." In Ephesians 5:2, that incense represents Christ's sacrifice for us. I know incense also represents the prayers of the saints, but we see Christ in this first. Because our prayers mean nothing unless they're mingled with the incense of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. I mean, have you ever prayed a cold, lifeless, listless, let's get this over with so we can get on with other things type of prayer? Yes. We need Christ's righteousness to cover our prayers because our best prayers have wrong motives. "Yeah, I want to get out of the city and into the country because I want to be saved. I want to have food for the end of time so that when I can't buy and sell, I'm going to have something to eat." Our best obedience is tainted with wrong motives, selfish motives, and Christ cleanses that so that when we're in the country in our little fortified log cabin with all our food and our neighbors come knocking on the door, we invite them into a feast rather than shooing them away at gunpoint. We have a Bible study with them and we tell them all about the 28 fundamentals in like two to three hours. Because these neighbors of ours have been developing Christian character all their lives. They're good people. They just don't know intellectually what we know. They're going to learn that in weeks and months. People are going to learn in weeks and months what has taken us a lifetime to learn. How are they going to learn that?

Because we're going to open our doors and our hearts at the end of time. Who cares? Who cares if we can't buy and sell? When the Sunday law comes, who cares if you lose your job? Who cares? Jesus is coming. Jesus is coming. We're turning the last corner. There's the finish line down there. Let all that stuff go. Don't be afraid of the Sunday law, embrace it. Because that is going to be God's way of disconnecting us completely from the world. We're done. All we want now is to tell people all of these truths. Not just with our words but with our actions in the way we live our lives. We want to tell them all about the plan of salvation. We want to tell them that in the courtyard you can find justification. In the holy place, you can find sanctification. In the most holy place, you can find glorification. You can see Christ's character, his justice, and his mercy there revealed to us. When you see all of this you will be completely overwhelmed. You'll fall flat on your face like Daniel did, like John did, as Isaiah did. At that point, Jesus Christ will come and he will place upon you his righteousness, his cleansing, his merit. As you fall before him, as you come to him he will not cast you out. That's what he's here for. That's the whole point. It was the man who went to the temple and said, God be merciful unto me, a sinner who went home justified. Not the guy that said, "I'm so glad. I'm a fourth-generation Adventist. I pay tithes for all that I possess." Right? I don't want to discount the fruits that come out of our salvation. There is fruit. We keep God's commandments. But that is not meritorious. That doesn't make us better than the guy over there or the girl over there. We have no right to go to the temple and point at somebody else because we think we're more obedient than they are. That is a revelation that we have no justification by faith. We have righteousness by works as the foundation of our experience. How we relate to other people is an indicator of whether we're trusting in Christ or whether we're trusting in ourselves. That's the story. Jesus tells us in Matthew chapter 18, that I believe it is. Let me see if I can look it up real quick in my new Bible. It's not Matthew 18. It's Luke. Luke chapter 18. The brain's kicking in right here. Luke chapter 18. Are you there already? These new Bibles are hard. The pages are hard to turn. Come on. I don't want to lick my fingers because I don't want to put anything. I want this to be just crystal clear. Luke 18. Here it is. It's in the same place as my original Bible, verse 8. God, he asked the question, will he find faith on the earth? I'm just quoting the last part of that verse. Then he says in verse nine, and he spake this parable under certain who trusted themselves that they were righteous. Stop right there. There were people who trusted themselves that they were righteous. He's telling a parable under them. The ones who are trusting themselves that they are righteous. How do we know if we're trusting in God and his righteousness or trusting in ourselves that we're righteous because of all the things that we do because we know the truth and because of course God has been working in our lives? Don't discount that. How do we know? Let's finish the verse. He spake this parable under certain which trusted themselves that they were righteous and despised others. That's how you know. That's how you know. How you think about other people is an indicator of whether you trust in yourself or you trust in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Now, it's time for the test. President Biden. Donald Trump. What do you think? It's between you and the Lord. What do you think?

Woman 1: [inaudible]

Man: [inaudible]

Pastor: We need the cleansing, don't we? We need the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Because we know what we think. I know what I think. I know what my natural tendency is. I'm not going to deny it. I struggle with it as much as anyone does. Because we're human. We have these feelings and these emotions. We're impacted by life. God wants to lift us above all of that. He wants to take us to a completely different place. To the place where Jesus was on the cross in Luke chapter 23 and verse 34, where he said, "Father forgive them, those Pharisees that are crucifying me, those Romans that are...forgive them for they know not what they're doing." They knew what they were doing. But Jesus wants to fill us with that spirit, with that attitude, with that power, with that influence. He will fill us with that influence. As we move through this process, of accepting Christ, we accept Christ in dying to ourselves. Being baptized, not just baptized in water, but baptized with the Holy Spirit each and every day. Filled with the Holy Spirit overflowing. Then get into our prayer time, our Bible study, and our witnessing. Because I'll tell you, when you get into the word of God, and when you spend time in prayer with God, you will witness. Jesus Christ did not say, "Make your light shine." He said, "Let it shine and it will shine." People will see it. Then we see the ultimate goal. Christ in us. Christ is revealed through us. Not just in rules and regulations, but that love, that spirit of love in our hearts. This is what God is calling us to do. It's a process that he's been going through. We are living in the last part of the sanctuary truth. The outer court, Christ's day. It's the fall of AD 31. The holy place, AD 31 to 1844. Finally, the most holy place from 1844 to the second coming of Jesus Christ.

That's where we are right now. We're closing this up. The ultimate goal is the glory of Christ, the character of Christ. I know the challenges that we face. Because I'm human just like you. I know sometimes people think pastors are not human, but we are. We're just the same as you are. We struggle with the same things. But my appeal tonight, my hope tonight, is that we would see in Christ something far better than this world has to offer. A security, a communion, a protection, a hope. We would take hold of that by faith. We'd allow him to transform us because we can't do it. We fail every time. That we wouldn't be overwhelmed or discouraged by our failures, but we would go back to the Lord, continually going back to the Lord and giving it to him. All of our frustrations, all of our struggles, all of our trials, all of our difficulties, and praising him. Because he's promised. I'm going to dwell with you. I'm going to commune with you. I'm going to be with you. I'm going to take care of you. Keep walking. Keep walking through this valley of the shadow of death. Can you say yes to that this evening? Amen? Amen.


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