The Ultimate Sanctuary

Date: 04/04/2021 
The Ultimate Sanctuary
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Preacher: Well, I was looking at the different topics that the speakers dealt with as we went through and we've covered a lot of things. I was trying to find a passage of scripture that kind of pulls it all together and highlights something that we can take home, something that'll sort of summarize everything that we looked up. I found a passage of scripture and it's found in one of my favorite books, Hebrews chapter eight. That is going to be our study this morning. We're going to be looking from verse 1 through to verse 13, and you'll find that this chapter seems to be written just for this event and pulls in all of the different things that we've been talking about. So I'm going to get right into it and we'll try to get as much time to get through the chapter. It begins with these words.

It says, "Now this is the main point of the things that we are saying." Again, just context. Paul writing Hebrews, he's talking about the sanctuary. He's talking about the priestly ministry of Christ. He says this is the main point. If you look up the Greek word there translated main point. It can also be the sum total or the central theme. So what is the central theme of the sanctuary? What is the main focus? What he tells us, he says, "We have such a high priest." Of course, the focus point of the sanctuary is Jesus, our high priest who is able to save to the uttermost, those who come to God through him. The central theme of the sanctuary is Jesus. The central theme of Jesus as our high priest is that he can save to the uttermost. The sanctuary message is good news. It's God's way of saving us.

Then it goes on and it says, "Speaking of Jesus, who he seated at the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens." Here, Jesus, our high priest, is described as being seated by the throne of God the Father. Now to sit at the right hand of the throne of God testifies to the honor, the glory, and the power that belongs to Christ. In Exodus 25:9, "According to all that I've shown you, that is the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it. So as the children of Israel came up out of Egypt, God called Moses to come up onto Mount Sinai. He was there for 40 days. He received not only the ceremonial law, but he received the plans for the building of the Tabernacle or the sanctuary.

God said to Moses, you need to build that according to the patent that I have shown you. In other words, the earthly sanctuary is but a miniature of the heavenly sanctuary. Now, we just read in Hebrews that after Jesus died for our sins, he rose from the dead. He ascended up to heaven. It says, says, "He was seated at the right hand of the Father." And if the earthly sanctuary is a pattern of the heavenly sanctuary, we would then conclude that when Jesus ascended up to heaven, he was seated at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly sanctuary. Now, some people think, well, how could that be? Because they immediately think that God, the Father's throne, is in the most holy place of the sanctuary, right? And yes, God's throne is in the most holy place. However, God the Father is not limited just to the holy or the most holy place. We also find him in the holy place.

When it says Jesus ascended up to heaven and was seated at the right hand of the Father, that doesn't mean that Jesus went into the most holy place immediately and was seated beside his Father, but rather that the Father was in the first compartment of the sanctuary and Jesus was seated at the right hand of the Father in the first compartment. Then later on, God, the Father moves into the most holy place and then we find Jesus following the Father in there. So here are a few verses that make that clear. Of course, when you look at the earthly tabernacle, a pattern of the heavenly, you've got the three components. You have the courtyard, you have the holy, you have the most holy place. Everything that happened in the courtyard, you have the altar of burnt sacrifice, the basin with water. That represents the ministry of Jesus on the earth.

If you're looking for a theological term for the courtyard, you can come up with the word justification. That's where we are saved. We receive Jesus as our personal savior. But when Christ ascended up to heaven, he entered into the first compartment, and the theological term there could be sanctification. How are we to be sanctified? It's through the word, it's through the spirit, it's through our witness, it's through prayer. So all of the components of the first compartment have to do with sanctification. And then when Jesus comes again, we are finally glorified for this mortal must put on immortality. So when Jesus ascended to heaven, he was seated at the right hand of the Father, but the Father was in this first compartment of the heavenly sanctuary. Let me give you a few verses on that. Revelation chapter one, you have a description of Jesus.

Revelation was written by the apostle John somewhere around 90 AD. So this is many years after the resurrection and the ascension essential of Jesus. In vision John sees Jesus. Verse 12, "Then I took to see the voice which spoke with me. And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands." Now in sanctuary imagery, where would you find seven golden lampstands? It would be in the holy place, right? Here we have an example of that on the stage. So John in vision doesn't see Jesus in the courtyard because that represents the earth rather in vision, he sees Jesus not in the most holy place. In Revelation chapter one, he sees Jesus in the first compartment of the sanctuary. And Jesus is standing by the seven-branched candlestick. He's walking amongst them. Alright? The candlesticks represent the church. So the imagery here is of the first compartment.

Now, verse 13, "And in the midst of the seven lamps, one like unto a son of man clothed with the garment down to his feet, good about the chest with the golden band." Jesus is pictured wearing the clothes of a priest. So Jesus is functioning as our priest in the heavenly sanctuary. Now we jump to Revelation chapter four. Revelation chapters four and five is the description of the throne room in heaven. It says, "Immediately I was in the spirit and behold a throne was set in heaven and one sat on the throne." Now, the one that is referring to here in verse two is not Jesus seated on his throne, but it is God the Father seated on his throne because it's not until chapter five that we find Jesus appearing in this heavenly throne room and he appears as a lamb, as it had been slain.

So Jesus, after his death and resurrection, rose, he ascended to heaven, he comes in before the Father, but here we have the Father seated upon his throne. Then verse five says, "And from the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices." Notice this seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. Now, the imagery that we have here is of the heavenly sanctuary. Notice it says that there are seven burning lamps of fire. And where are they situated? It says before the throne. So if you think of the heavenly sanctuary and you think of the first compartment of the heavenly sanctuary, we have three articles of furniture. You have the seven-branch candlestick, you have the ultra incense that is up against the veil. What is directly across from the seven-branch candlestick? The table of showbread.

You see, the table of showbread in the first compartment of the heavenly sanctuary represents God's throne in the holy place. The Ark of the covenant represents God's throne in the most holy place. So when Jesus ascended up to heaven, he was seated at the right hand of the Father in the first compartment of the heavenly sanctuary symbolized by the table of showbread. So also interesting that the table of showbread consists of two stacks of bread side by side. So the table of showbread represents God's throne, but there is movement. As you study through the book of Revelation, you notice these different articles of furniture. Of course, the table of showbread represents God's throne. As you go through the book of Revelation coming to chapter six, what's brought into view is the ultra-Vincennes[?]. We still in the first compartment of the sanctuary, "When he had opened up the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held."

So we are moving from Jesus was in the courtyard on the earth, he ascends to heaven, he ministers in the first compartment. But as you go through the book of Revelation, notice, we're in the fifth seal, we're getting closer and closer into the most holy place. And here we see the ultra Vincennes[?] right up against the veil. And then when we get to Revelation chapter 11, and we have the sounding of the seventh trumpet, it says, "Then the seventh angel sounded, and there were voices in heaven saying, the kingdoms of our world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever." Verse 19, "Then the temple of God was opening heaven and the ark of his covenant was seen in his temple." Notice that revelation does not begin immediately in the most holy place.

Revelation begins in the first compartment, and Jesus then makes his way into the most holy place. So when Christ ascended to heaven, the Father was in the first compartment of the sanctuary, Jesus was seated at his right hand to do his work of administration as our priest, and then at a certain point in time, Jesus enters into the most holy place. The Father goes first and then Jesus follows the Father. Notice this statement from early writings. She says, "I saw the Father rise from the throne." Now what throne is she referring to? Not the throne in the most holy, it must be the throne in the first compartment, but the holy because she says, "I saw the Father rise from the throne and in a flaming chariot go into the holy of holies within the veil and sit down." Can you get the picture?

God, the Father goes from here into the most holy place and he's seated. Then she goes on. Then Jesus rose up from the throne. Which throne? This one right here, table of showbread, and Jesus follows the Father. Look, it says, "Then Jesus rose up from the throne. Then a cloudy chariot with wheels like a flaming fire surrounded by angels came where Jesus was. He stepped into the chariot and was born to the holiest where the Father sat. There are behold, Jesus, our great high priests standing before the Father." So do you get the picture? So Revelation is a description of the ministry of Jesus as a high priest in the heavenly sanctuary. The event that she's describing here is 1844, the end of the 2300 days, the beginning of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary. God, the Father, goes into the most holy Jesus then follows behind. Verse two, "Speaking of Christ, a minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord erected, not man."

The true tabernacle is the heavenly sanctuary of which the earthly sanctuary was, but a shadow or a type. We read in Psalm 77:13. Now look at this verse. We know this verse. It says, "Your way. Oh, God is in the sanctuary who is so great a God as our God." Now, when we read that verse, we think, alright, the way we come to God is through the sanctuary. And that is a correct understanding of this verse. The way we come to your way to get to you, God is through the sanctuary, but there is a second understanding of the verse. Not only is our way to get to God through the sanctuary but God's way of saving us is revealed in the sanctuary. Do you see that in the verse? Your way. oh, God is in the sanctuary. So when we look at the sanctuary, we can see God's plan of salvation or redemption.

Again, you've got the three parts, justification, sanctification, and glorification. And there are certain time periods, and we've already addressed this in our seminar together, you got 31 A. D[?]. That's the ascension of Christ. And Jesus begins his work in the first compartment. At the end of the 2300 days, Jesus enters into the most holy place. 1844, he does a special work of cleansing. That is where Jesus is right now. That is the work that's happening right now in heaven for us. At some point that work of cleansing will be finished. Jesus will say, "He that is holy let him be holy still, he that is filthy let him be filthy still." Probation will then close. Jesus will remove his priestly robe. He'll put on his kingly robe, and he will leave the sanctuary and he'll come forth as king of kings and Lord of lords. We are living on the brink of eternity.

Soon and very soon, Jesus will finish his work as our high priest and he'll come as our king to take us home. You see, the work of Jesus here in the courtyard was the work of a sacrifice. The work of Jesus here in the first compartment and then in the most holy after 1844 is the work of a high priest and the third and final phase is king of kings and Lord of lords when Jesus comes to claim his bride, his church, his kingdom, and Jesus comes the second time. Verse three, now focusing in on Jesus, it says, "For every high priest was appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices." In order for a person to be a high priest back in Bible times, there were certain requirements or qualifications. Number one, in order to be a high priest, you had to come from the people.

You couldn't be a high priest if you're not an Israelite. And more specifically, you had to come from the tribe of Levi. So the priest had to be taken from the people. The reason why he had to be taken from the people is so that he would have compassion on the people that he is ministering for. Okay? He's come from them. He understands their trials, their difficulties, he knows their weaknesses, and he's able to minister on their behalf. What was the high priest to do? Well, he was subject to the same weaknesses from which he came, yet he was without sin when speaking of Jesus, but his work was to minister for the people in offering gifts and sacrifices. Thus, in order for Jesus to be our high priest, he had to take upon himself humanity, for the word became flesh and dwelled among us.

Paul goes on in Hebrews and says, "Jesus is able to save to the outermost. He was tempted in all points like we are yet without sin. And he's able to save." He understands. He knows. Why? Because Jesus was taken from the people. He was taken from the people. He understands. So you can go to Jesus and say, "Lord, I'm struggling with the flesh. I'm struggling Lord." And Jesus says, "I understand. I know what temptation can be like and I have the power to help you to give you victory." We have a compassionate savior and that's good news. Then he goes on, he says, "Therefore it was necessary that this one also has something to offer." The Old Testament priest offered animal sacrifices. What does Jesus offer? The high priest was required to offer sacrifices for the people. If Jesus then is to function as our high priest, he must also have something to offer.

What is it that Jesus offers? "For this is my blood of the new covenant," Jesus said, "which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Of course, the animal sacrifice in the Old Testament all pointed to Jesus, the lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. That is, the central theme of the sanctuary and atonement was made. The applications of that atonement Christ is giving to us even now. Sanctification, justification, ultimately glorification. Verse four, "For if he, Jesus was on the earth, he would not be a priest." Remember when Christ was on the earth, he didn't work as a priest. He came to be a sacrifice. He only began his priestly work when he ascended to heaven. Only the tribe of Levi was eligible to be priests. Those from the tribe in Christ belonged to the tribe of Judah. Incidentally, Judah was the tribe from which the kings came.

His is an independent heavenly priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. Now, this is just an amazing theological argument that Paul gives. Remember, Hebrews is primarily to the Jews. To the Hebrews, they believed the Old Testament, they were zealous for the ceremonial law, they understood that the priests were to come from the tribe of Levi. In order for Paul to say, Jesus is our great high priest here to show the Israelites that there was a priesthood even greater than the Levitical priesthood. He argues that with this guy by the name of Melchizedek. Now, this is an interesting Bible character. We don't know too much about him, but we do have some verses. Genesis 14:18 says, "Then Melchizedek, king of Salem..." Salem eventually became known as Jerusalem. This is during the time of Abraham, so many years later became Jerusalem. "...brought bread and wine."

He was a priest of God most high. So this is after a battle that took place. Abraham is coming back and he meets Melchizedek as he's passing what we know now as Jerusalem. Melchizedek is the priest of God most high, and he brings out bread and wine. Of course, bread represents the body of Christ. Wine represents his atoning sacrifice. Wine, also a symbol of Christ's blood justification. The bread, a symbol of Christ's word, sanctification. And then he goes on and he blesses Abraham. Then Paul goes on to say that the greater blesses the lesser. So if Melchizedek blessed Abraham and the Levites came through Abraham, that would then mean that Melchizedek and the Melchizedek priesthood must be greater than the priesthood that came through Levi. Do you follow me? That's Paul's argument. He's setting a stage for the priesthood of Christ. Of course, Psalms bring this to light.

Psalms 110:4, "The Lord has sworn and will not relent. You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." Speaking about the Messiah. So Paul saying there is a priesthood superior to that of the Levitical priesthood. It is the Melchizedek priesthood, Melchizedek, a type of Christ. Jesus is a priest according to that priesthood. We find this state in the review in Harold, it says, "It was Christ that spoke through Melchizedek, the priest of the most high." Melchizedek was not Christ, but he was the voice of God in the world. So here we have this Melchizedek priest, and then he goes on. Since they are also priests offered gifts, according to the law, the rules of the Levitical priesthood were strictly enforced. If Christ were on the earth, he would not qualify to be a priest according to those ceremonial laws. Verse five, "Who serve as a copy and a shadow of the heavenly things as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle."

So the Levitical priesthood and the sanctuary are but a reflection of the heavenly sanctuary and the Levitical priesthood was a reflection of the mal priesthood. Now, in Exodus 25:8, what is the reason why God told Moses to build a sanctuary? Very clear, "And let them make me a sanctuary that I might dwell among them." The purpose of the sanctuary is to restore communion with God. Why does God need a sanctuary? In order to dwell amongst us because of the sin problem. So the sanctuary takes care of the sin problem so that we can dwell in the presence of God. That's why you have justification, sanctification, and that leads to glorification. Glorification is being in the presence of God. So the sanctuary is God's way of saving us. We want to cooperate with them in that process of justification, sanctification. Ultimately, when Jesus comes, we have glorification.

Now, how many sanctuaries do we read about in the Bible? Okay, well let's start with the obvious one. We have the earthly sanctuary, right? That's the one that God told Moses to build. Now, there are different tabernacles that we read about in the Bible. The one that Moses built. That one was eventually replaced by the one that Solomon built. That temple was destroyed during the Babylonian captivity or the destruction of Jerusalem. It was rebuilt after the 70 years of captivity. And that was the temple that Jesus came to when he was on the earth. Then that temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD and it's never been built again. But when we talk about the earthly tabernacle, we're referring to all of those, alright? The one in the wilderness, the one that was built by Solomon, the one that was rebuilt after the captivity, that's the earthly sanctuary.

So that's one. We know the earthly sanctuary is a copy of what? The heavenly sanctuary. So it's obvious that there must be a sanctuary in heaven. Of course, Revelation talks about the heavenly sanctuary. Hebrews talks about the heavenly sanctuaries. So that's two sanctuaries. But are there any other sanctuaries spoken of in the Bible? Yes, they are. Remember the story, you probably read it, where Jesus is talking to the religious leaders and they're asking for some sign. They want him to do something to prove that he's the Messiah. And Jesus said, "Destroy this temple and in three days I'll raise it up again." And they began to laugh at Jesus and said, "It took us 40-plus years to build this temple. You're going to, you're going to build it up in three days." And then the disciple under divine inspiration comments on that and says, but he spoke of his body.

So you've got the heavenly sanctuary, you've got the earthly sanctuary. The third one would be Christ. And then there is a fourth sanctuary. And the Bible says, no you're not that. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, right? So we're considered individually a temple if the Holy Spirit is dwelling within us. The final temple that we read about in the Bible is the church. Paul says we are all living stones put together on a secure cornerstone which is Christ and together we form the temple of God. So five temples or sanctuaries that we read about in the Bible. Now, all five sanctuaries have the same purpose. It's so that God can dwell amongst these people. That's why we have a heavenly sanctuary taking care of the sin problem in the universe so that we can dwell amongst God. We had the earthly as a type pointing people to heaven.

Jesus came and gave his life as an atoning sacrifice so that we could dwell in the presence of God. The Holy Spirit dwells within our hearts and does a work of sanctification so that we can, by God's grace one day stand in his presence. The church is here on the earth as Carlos brought it out to proclaim the everlasting gospel to help prepare people to stand in the presence of God. So the purpose of the sanctuary is to be in the glorious presence of God, to stand in that Shekinah glory that in the earthly sanctuary, nobody but the high priest once a year could enter into that glory. God wants us to enter into that glory. Not a shadow of that glory on the earth. He wants us to enter into his glory in heaven and see him face to face. One of the most glorious promises that you find anywhere in the book of Revelation is that they shall see my face. What will it be like to stand in the presence of God and look upon the face of the creator? The sanctuary wants us to bring us back into that communion, that fellowship in the very throne room of the universe.

Jesus says, not only will you get to see my father's face, but I'm seated on my father's throne and I'm going to move over a little bit and you're going to come sit right next to me.

Congregation: Amen.

Preacher: Not only do we get to see the face of God the Father, but Jesus says they shall sit on my throne even as I am seated on my father's throne, all because of the sanctuary, the work that Jesus is doing for us in the sanctuary to renew that in perfect communion. That's why we are here on this earth. That's why God gave us life, so that we can be reunited in communion. Oh, what a thought. The last part of verse five, said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you in the mountain." Moses was given the plans of the sanctuary during the 40 days that he spent on Mount Sinai. How many Bible characters fasted for 40 days? Jesus fasted for 40 days. But there are two other Bible characters that fasted for 40 days, but they were initially given supernatural food that enabled them to fast for 40 days. The one is Moses and who's the other?

Congregation: Elijah.

Preacher: Elijah Moses represents the law. Elijah represents the prophets. Who appeared to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration? Moses and Elijah and Jesus, all three of them had faceted for 40 days. Moses represents those who will be resurrected when Jesus comes again and Elijah represents those who will be translated when Jesus comes again. They have this special bond. They have this special experience with Jesus. Notice, Jesus was not supernaturally sustained during his 40 days of fasting, but Elijah and Moses were. The good news is that God sustains us as he brings us into communion with him. It's through what Jesus did that we can be united.

Alright, 40 days on the mountain, receive the plans of the sanctuary. Verse six. "But now he has ordained or obtained a more excellent ministry." Speaking of Christ. With this verse, Paul begins to discuss a discussion of Christ as the mediator of a better covenant, established on better promises. Christ is a mediator between God and man. 1st Timothy says, "For there is one God and mediator between God and man, the man, Jesus Christ who gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time will be revealed in times." So Jesus is the mediator between God and man. But in order for him to be a mediator, he had to be brought from the people just like the high priest. He provided a sacrifice which was himself. Now he mediates on our behalf and soon that mediatory work will be finished. Jesus then becomes our king, and he comes as king of kings and Lord of lords to take us home.

It talks about a better covenant. This is a better covenant because it produces holiness of heart and a transformation of character, not merely the observance of external rights and ceremonies. The children of Israel got comfortable with their external rights and ceremonies and they never allowed the teaching of the sanctuary to go any deeper. They eventually rejected Jesus because Jesus wanted a change of heart. The promise of the first covenant pertained primarily to physical blessings. The new covenant promises pertain primarily to spiritual things. We find two covenants spoken of in the Bible. The one is what we call the everlasting covenant. It was first made with man in Genesis 3:15, right after the fall. Notice the other covenant was temporary and transitional. We call that the old covenant. So the everlasting covenant was first made in Eden and consisted of God putting amity, that is mutual hatred between the serpent symbol of Satan, and the woman as a symbol of the church.

Because of this covenant, there were to be three results. A change of standing. That is freedom from the penalty of sin. Justification, a change of heart, sanctification. The new birth experience, a change of behavior which leads to obedience to God's law. So the purpose of the everlasting covenant later called the new covenant is to change three. Things outstanding, our heart and our behavior. That's the goal. Alright, verse seven, "For if the first covenant had been faultless..." The first covenant included not only the promises, but also the ceremonial system, Levitical priesthood, and all of that came to an end when Jesus became high priest, according to the order of Melchizedek, "...that no place would've been sought for a second." That is the new covenant which consists of better promises, sacrifice, and a better priestly ministry. So the everlasting of the new covenant was ratified at the death of Jesus.

Prior to Christ, it was based upon the promise of a coming redeemer. After Christ, it was based upon the reality that Jesus did come. So those living before the cross had to exercise faith in the promise of the coming of a savior. Those living after the cross need to exercise faith in the reality that Jesus did come. But both groups are saved by faith. Do you see that? The one was just looking forward by faith. The other group is looking back by faith. We're trusting in Christ in the promises of God's word for salvation. It says, "When ratified by Christ, that is called new in that it was now based upon historical evidence instead of a future promise. But its purpose remained the same." You have forgiveness, you have restoration, and you have obedience. Justification, sanctification, finding glorification. Verse eight, "Because finding fault with them," them here refers to Israel, "the weakness of the first covenant was not in the covenant itself, nor did the fault lie with God. But it was found that the people were lacking."

Now here's an interesting verse that you find in Deuteronomy. Let me give you the context. In Deuteronomy, Moses is talking to the children of Israel and he's recounting the blessings and how God had led. He is reminding them that God had given the 10 commandments. He's also telling them that you told me everything that God has said we will do, but don't let God talk to us because he scares us. But you, Moses, you go talk to God and then you come tell us and whatever God says, we will do. Now Moses is reminding the children of Israel of this, and he's telling them that story. In Deuteronomy, Deuteronomy 5:29, we find this verse. Moses goes and he says to God, "The children of Israel have said everything you've told them to do, they will do." And then God says, "Oh, that they had a heart in them, that they would fear me always and keep all my commandments, that I might be well with them and with their children forever."

What was the promise of the first covenant? It lacked a heart commitment. They were content with an external form of righteousness. They were comfortable with a checklist. Do this and yes, you're assured of salvation. How easy it is for us today to fall into that old covenant mindset where we want a checklist, something we can go through and say, yes, I did that. Okay, I'm saved. God wants a change of heart, and the children of Israel were comfortable with external righteousness, but they didn't want a change of heart. Ever since Sinai, God has been trying to lead the people to a higher spiritual experience, but they were content with their rituals, their ceremonies they were unwilling to make that change.

It says, "I will make with a new covenant with the house of Israel, with the house of Judah." When the Jews turned down their religious privileges, the kingdom of God was taken from them and given to another. The Christian Church is the inheritor of the spiritual blessings and responsibilities that once belonged to literal Israel and to them, the covenant promises have been given. That's why Paul says, "If you are Christ, then you are Abraham's seed heirs according to the promise." So no longer is it exclusive to Israel, but it's to spiritual Israel now. God wants to work this work of transformation in the hearts and lives of individuals. Verse nine, "Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt." Though the Israelites had promised to do all that God had said because their hearts were not right, they broke the covenant.

Then it says, "Because they did not continue in my covenant, I disregarded them," says the Lord. This is a summary of the history of the Israelites as recorded in the Old Testament. Continued rebellion against God because they didn't experience a change of heart. Jesus said in Matthew 21"43, "Therefore I say unto you, the kingdom of God," these are sad words, "will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it." That is Bspiritual Israel. That's you and I. Then 1st Peter, he says, "but you are a chosen generation," speaking of the believers, the church. "A royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people that you might proclaim the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous life, who once were not the people, but are now the people of God who had not obtained mercy but now you have obtained mercy." We're talking about spiritual Israel.

Verse 10, "For this is the covenant that I'll make with the house of Israel after those days," sayeth the Lord. "I will put my laws upon their heart, their minds, write them in their hearts. I will be their God, they shall be my people." Notice only God can put his law in the heart. The Bible tells us. Romans 13:10, "Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law." The 10 Commandments are written on how many tables of stone? Two. How many commandments on the first table? Four. What does the number four represent in Bible prophecy? It represents the four points of the compass, north, south, east, and west. It represents the world as a whole. Because God made all of us, all of us owe our allegiance and our worship to God.

How many commandments on the last table? Six. What is the number six representing Bible prophecy? It's a man's number. The last 6 of the 10 commandments tell us how we ought to love our fellow man. The first four tell us how to love God. The last six tell us how we ought to love one another. Love is the fulfilling of the law. Somebody came to Jesus and said, "What's the greatest commandment in the law?" And Jesus said, well, actually, there's two. The first is to love the Lord thy God with all your heart, soul, and mind. And the second is what? To love your neighbor as yourself. Upon these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets, right? The first four and the last six, God wanted a change of heart in his people so that they could indeed keep his commandments. Now notice this quote from Steps to Christ, the little classic book.

If you haven't read it lately, I just encourage you to do that. I like to read this at least twice a year. Read through the book. It doesn't take long but read it again and again. It's got so many wonderful gems of truth. Notice this, you cannot change your heart. You cannot of yourself give to God. Its affections, but you can choose to serve him. You can give him your will. He will then work in you to will and to do according to his good pleasure. Thus, your whole nature will be brought under the control of the spirit of Christ. Your affections will be centered upon him. Your thoughts will be in harmony with him every day. We need to choose and say, "Lord, today I choose you. We need to say, "Lord, I know I can't change my heart, but with God all things are possible. You can change my heart. I surrender myself. Do a work of cleansing in me, a work that I cannot do for myself." And just as surely as we do that faithfully every day, humble our hearts, ask God to do our work within us, he who has promised will be faithful to fulfill it. Amen?

Congregation: Amen.

Preacher: He will complete the work that he has started. Verse 11 "None of them shall teach his neighbor, none his brother saying, know the Lord, for all shall know me from the least to the greatest of them. It's talking about the new covenant promise. Work that God will do in us. Ephesians 3:20. I love this verse. "Now to him, who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think." Notice the last part. According to the what? The power. What power. That's the Holy Spirit. According to the power that works in us, to him be glory in the church. As God does work in the hearts and the lives of the individuals within the church, the church as a whole begins to reveal or manifest the character of God. Revelation chapter 18 talks about the earth being filled with the glory, with the light of who God is. The light of God shining through his church. Those have experienced the new covenant promise. Oh, the classic book, desire of ages. All true obedience comes from the heart. It was hard work with Christ. If we consent, he will so identify himself with our thoughts and names. So blend our hearts and our minds into conformity to his will that when obeying him, we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. Amen?

Congregation: Amen.

Preacher: Now, if I was Carlos, I would probably hop about this high on the stage because that's a pretty exciting statement right there. That God will so identify himself with us, that when carrying out our own impulses, we are fulfilling the will of God.

Congregation: Amen.

Preacher: Now, that's a promise. We can take that to the bank. God will finish the work. He's looking for humble hearts to reveal his glory. Verse 12, almost there. "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and their lawless deeds, I will remember no more." The Christian is promised forgiveness, full and free through the blood of Jesus. God will no longer hold their sins against them, but he'll cast them behind his back and into the depths of the sea. He will again have compassion upon us. He will subdue our iniquities. He will cast all of our sins into the depths of the sea. That's good news. Verse 13, he says, "A new covenant, he has made the first obsolete." Now that which is becoming obsolete is growing old. It is ready to vanish away. The ceremonial system was fulfilled in Jesus when he died on the cross, yet it took time for the New Testament believers, especially the Jews, to transition from the old covenant symbols and types to a full realization of the new covenant promises.

Ephesians 2:15, it says, "Having abolished in his flesh, the enmity, that is the law of commandments containing the ordinances. So was the crate in himself, a new man from the two, thus making peace." Through Christ we are united. We become citizens of spiritual Israel heirs according to the promise. So if we quickly look at the earthly sanctuary and the heavenly sanctuary, we can see some similarities and some of what they might represent. In the old covenant, we had Levitical priests and in the new covenant, we have the Melchizedek priesthood, of which Jesus is the high priest. In the old covenant, there were animal sacrifices. In the new covenant, it's the precious blood of Jesus, a lamb without spot. In the old covenant, we had an earthly sanctuary. Our focus in the new covenant is in the heavenly sanctuary where Jesus ministers for us. The old covenant failed because it was based upon man's promises. But the new covenant succeeds because it's based upon God's promises. I will put a new spirit within you. I will write my law in your heart. The old covenant was for literal Israel. The new covenant is for spiritual Israel. If we are Christ's, then we Abraham seed heirs according to the promise.

In conclusion then after this whole weekend of studying the sanctuary, what can we take home and do tomorrow to apply these principles? I have just a few steps. Number one, ask the Lord to awaken you in the morning. You can do that. When you go to bed tonight, say, "Lord, I'm going to try something. You wake me up tomorrow morning," and God will wake you up in the morning. The reason you want to do this is because guess what? When you pray that just before you go to sleep and God wakes you up in the morning, the first thought in your mind is, God woke me up. God woke me up. He wants me to do something. It's that simple. Just say, "Lord, please wake me up." It might be five minutes before your alarm. It might be five seconds before your alarm, but God will wake you up. God wakes you up because this is important to God. He will wake you up and then you say, I will surrender. I will surrender my will to you, oh God. Do that. In prayer, say, "Lord, today I surrender my will to you."

The Bible says It is God that works in you both to will and to do according to his good pleasure. And then you need to surrender your mind to God because the Bible tells us, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." So we say, "Lord, today, today I want the mind of Christ. I want to think the thoughts that Jesus would have me think." But then you got to surrender your heart. Proverbs 23: 26, "My Son, give me your heart and let your eyes observe my ways." Before we can observe God's ways, we need to give him our hearts. God won't force it. We have to give it. God respects freedom of choice and we can choose. Number five, surrender your body. Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it to the glory of God. That sometimes can be a challenge. That involves sometimes surrendering our dinner plate to God. Lord, what do you want me to do? What changes do you want to me to make?

Surrender your plans. In all your ways, acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. Lord, what is it that you want me to do today? And just as surely as you do this, I can guarantee you God will do a work within you. Oh, it might not happen immediately. Don't get discouraged if you still face temptation or if you stumble or fall. Don't give up. Just do the same thing the next morning. As you continually surrender to God, a miracle begins to take place. There is a change that happens in your heart and you stand in awe saying, "This is God doing something because it's not me. I know the way I am. I would say that, but suddenly I said this." There is a God in heaven, and he can work miracles. Just as surely as we do this, God will fulfill his word. Consecration is a very simple thing. When brought daily into the individual life in practice, we shall know far more by consecration than by trusting to an experience. Each day, each hour, let your heart go out after God and simply say, "Lord, here I am, thy property, take me, use me today. I lay all my plans at your feet. I'll have no of my own way in the matter. My time is thine. My whole life is thine." Let the heart be constantly going forth to God for strength, for grace, every moment, and you will be able to live a victorious Christian life.

You see, when we finally get to heaven, nobody's going to say, whew, that was hard work, but I made it. We're going to take our crowns and lay them at the feet of Jesus and say we are here because of the blood of the lamb. The sanctuary tells us that God wants to do more than we can even hope or dream in those that come to him. Jesus says, "Come unto me. Oh, you're that labor and are heavy-laden." Oh, it can be a struggle trying to save yourself, trying to change your heart. You're doing something impossible. Jesus says, 'You come to me. You trust in me. You surrender yourself to me every day, and I will give you rest." Amen? That's the kind of rest that we want. That's the promise that Jesus wants to give through the sanctuary most holy place experience. Amen? Is that your desire? Is that your experience? All friends, if you got anything from this weekend, spend some time with Jesus. Talk to Jesus as you would to a friend and say, "Lord, here I am. All that I am is yours." Allow him to do a work that only he can do.


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