New Covenant Sanctuary

New Covenant Sanctuary

Scripture: Hebrews 9:15
Date: 06/12/2021  Lesson: 11
The old covenant-sacrificial system was replaced by the new; instead of animals being sacrificed by sinful priests in an earthly sanctuary, we now have Jesus, our perfect Sacrifice. He represents us before the Father in the sanctuary in heaven, which forms the basis of the new covenant and its promises.

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Carlos Munoz: Maranatha and Happy Sabbath. Welcome to "Sabbath School Study Hour," here at the Granite Bay Hilltop SDA Church. My name is Carlos Munoz. I am the AFCOE director and associate speaker for Amazing Facts, and we want to welcome everybody that's watching the Sabbath School today, that's sharing this precious time with us today.

I want you to know that we have a free offer for you also, and it's called "The High Cost of the Cross." You can get a copy of this if you call 1-866-788-3966 or 866-Study-More. This would be offer lesson number 156, and this is only mailed in North America and the United States territories. If you would like a digital copy, you can also send a text message to SH080, to number 40544. So there, our free gift, "The High Cost of the Cross." All right, well, welcome everybody.

Today we are studying lesson number 11, and it's titled the "New Covenant Sanctuary," and so here's the memory text for you: "Therefore He is the mediator of a New Covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--" this is in Hebrews chapter 9, verse 15. So, before we get started, let's have a word of prayer.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for this opportunity to come together and spend time studying Your Word. So we just ask, Father, that Your Spirit guide us so that we can have a deeper understanding, a deeper awareness of the message that You have for us through the sanctuary and, more importantly, Father, that we may apply these principles in our daily lives. We thank You, Father, for this opportunity, and we ask and beg these things in Jesus's name, amen.

And so the "New Covenant Sanctuary," lesson number 11, is one of my favorite topics, right? I have a number of favorite words in the Bible, "Gospel," "covenant," and "sanctuary" is one of them. So, actually, in this lesson, we're combining two of my favorite words: The "New Covenant Sanctuary." Now, before we get into and talk about the "New Covenant Sanctuary," we want to then talk a little bit about the aspect or the sanctuary experience.

I think it will be a good introduction that will help us and lead us into understanding exactly how the lesson is being developed and what the lesson is trying to take us to do. And so when you ask yourselves, "When was the first sanctuary of God with humanity?" "When was the first sanctuary of God with humanity?"-- and we find that first sanctuary in the Garden of Eden, right? "Sanctuary," "most holy place," what it meant is represented is that we are in the presence of God. And so we see in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve dwelled in the presence of God. Adam and Eve had face-to-face companionship with God. They dwelt in that sanctuary experience with God.

And so the question is why? How were they able to dwell in that sanctuary experience with God, and how come we are not, right? That's a great question. Why can't we have that same experience? Well, it's very simple because, in Genesis, it says in chapter number 1, it says that, when God created Adam and Eve, He created them in His image, according to His likeness, right?

Now, what does it mean that Adam and Eve were created in the image of God? What does that represent, and how will that help us understand why we are not able to dwell in the presence of God in this current moment? Well, when we read here in the book "Great Controversy," page 466-- 68, I'm sorry--it says, "In the beginning, man was created in the image of God. He was in perfect harmony with the nature and the law of God. The principles of righteousness were written upon the heart." So it says very clearly here that, when Adam and Eve were created in the image of God, what it meant was--is that they had the law of God written in their hearts. In other words, they had the righteousness of God, right? They had the character of God. They had the image or the reflection of the character of God and how God thought, His feelings, His desires, and they were able to develop that character in perfect harmony with God's will or with God's holy law. They already had those principles written in their heart, right?

But something happened. Something broke that relationship, or something impeded that humanity may continue to dwell in the presence of God again, and what was that? Well, the same quote continues to say, "But sin alienated him from his maker. He no longer reflected the divine image." And now why was that? Because "His heart was at war with the--" what? "With the principles of God," and the principles of God are--what? His righteousness that are manifested through His law. And so those principles of righteousness, the image, the character of God that were written in the hearts and the minds of Adam and Eve, because of the transgression, because of their disobedience, because of sin, now they were no longer had a righteous nature, but now they had an unrighteous nature as they had now fallen nature in that context.

And so we see then, that, because of this, because they could not be in harmony any longer with the principles of God's kingdom in harmony with the Word of God, with God's law, then they could not be in the presence of God. Now, why is that? It's very simple: Because God's holiness would consume anything that is unholy or unrighteous. So there cannot be anything unrighteous in the pure sublime presence of God. And so God, out of love--right?--God then takes them out of the most-holy-place experience, sanctuary experience, in the Garden of Eden, for what reason? Well, to protect them so that He doesn't destroy them, but also because they had chosen--they had made the decision to say, "No, you know, we got this, God," right?

They had the principles of the righteousness of God in their heart, but now, all of a sudden, when they disobey God, now they're thinking about themselves, right? And that's what led to sin. That's what led to rebellion, and they're saying, "No, God, we don't need You to tell us what's right or wrong. We can determine this on our own." And so that's how then the human experience becomes contaminated with selfishness, with what we know as sin, but despite God ejecting them from the Garden of Eden, God did not leave it there, right?

We see that God had from that moment in Genesis chapter 3, as soon as Adam and Eve fell, God presented the everlasting Gospel, the everlasting Gospel, the good, great news of--what? Of the plan of salvation, that God was going to save humanity. Now, what is the foundation? What is the pillar? What is the basis of that everlasting Gospel? Well, we sometimes think that the three angels' message is the everlasting Gospel, and while they're definitely connected, the three angels' message did not begin to be preached until the year around the 1840s, 1844. So what we see was, then, that the everlasting Gospel was from all eternity. From even before the Creation, God had already established His plan, His Gospel, His covenant, with the Son, as it says in Galatians chapter 3.

And so the question then is "What is this plan of salvation? What is this Gospel that God is trying to reach the world that He was presenting to Adam and Eve?" And so we find it in Romans chapter 1, verse 16 and 17. It says, "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to--" what? "To salvation for everyone who believes." Now, "The Gospel of Christ is the power of God to do--" what? "To save us." To save us from--what?

To save us from sin, right? But, of course, what does that condition? You have to believe. You have to accept it, right? And so, when we accept God's plan of salvation, when we accept His Gospel, His covenant, then what happens is we are inserted into the covenant through faith in Jesus Christ. And so that power, then, that Gospel saves us, but notice now, what does that power represent? What does this Gospel power--is? Where is the essence of this Gospel power? And so in a fascinating Hebrew parallelism, Paul says in verse number 17, "For in it--" that means "in the Gospel," notice this, "the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, 'The just shall live by faith.'"

So here, again, the principles of righteousness. Notice that humanity has sinned. Humanity has rebelled against God, and so God now, through Christ, the Gospel of Christ, He reveals His power to save everyone who accepts it, everyone who believes, and that power is found--where? Where is the essence of that power? It is found in the righteousness of God. Notice, the righteousness of God, which humanity had, which we lost because of disobedience, because of sin, God, through the Gospel, is offering us to restore that righteousness again, to give us back His righteousness. And it says that, that power, that Gospel, that righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, and so that was perfectly manifested through Jesus Christ.

It doesn't mean that throughout the rest of the Bible, especially in what is known as the Hebrew writings or the Old Testament, God revealed his righteousness, right? His goodness. His character. Adam and Eve fall. Right there, God presents the plan of salvation, and we see throughout all the Scriptures the righteousness of God manifested. The Gospel, the good news--right?--the covenant that God the Father made with the Son to save humanity.

But then we see that, in Jesus Christ, that covenant, that Gospel, that righteousness, is perfectly manifested, perfectly represented in Jesus Christ, right? So that means that the perfect righteousness of God was manifested in the Son. But when you read Romans chapter 1, verse 16 and 17, not only does it say that, that righteousness was going to be revealed in the Son, but it says, in the last part of verse 17, "The just shall live by faith," or in other words, "The righteous shall live by faith."

So what it's saying here is that the Gospel, or the power of God to save everyone, the righteousness of God is manifested in faith. The faith in Jesus Christ will also be manifested in us. In other words, the Gospel is proclaiming that, through the everlasting covenant, God is wanting to restore us back into His presence, to bring us back into harmony with His Word, with His law--how? By writing the principles of righteousness, again, in our hearts and in our mind, and this is the everlasting covenant experience. This is what the plan of salvation is about.

Look at how it talks about it in Job chapter 33, verse 26, "For he shall pray to God, and He will delight in him. He shall see His face with joy, for He restores to man--" what? "His righteousness." I say, "amen," to that. It says very clearly that God wants to restore His righteousness in us to manifest His righteousness in the same way that it was manifested in Jesus Christ. That same power, that same Gospel, that same righteousness, that same faith that was revealed in the life of Jesus Christ, the Father wants to reveal it in us, and that's how we are to be restored back into the presence of God.

And so, when we look at this, then, we see that, in Genesis, God, as soon as Adam and Eve fall, God presents the plan of salvation through that promise that "Through that woman, a seed was going to come," and that seed was going to do--what? That seed was going to give humanity victory, right? It was going to give humanity victory again because that seed would be a descendant of the woman, a human being, which is Christ, as it says in Galatians. And so through that seed, we would also become victorious. We would also be able to have victory over the enemy, over temptation, and over sin, and the question is "How is that going to happen?"

Well, in the same chapter in Genesis chapter 3, verse 21, it says very clearly that--what? That a Lamb was slayed, right? There was a sacrifice in that moment. The blood was shed, and the blood of that Lamb is what gives us the power. It's what gives us back the righteousness of God through faith so that we can live a victorious life. Let's go--let's look at this quickly at Hebrews chapter 19. I want you to see this with me how the blood of the Lamb, the blood of the sacrifice is the instrument, right? It is the power of God to restore us back into his presence. So Hebrews chapter 13, verse 20, it says, "Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep," notice this, "through the blood of the everlasting covenant--" what? "Make you and me complete," or perfect "in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ," amen?

So it is "through the blood," it says here, "of the everlasting covenant of that seed that makes us--" what? "That blood that makes us perfect, complete to do--" what? "In every good work to do His will, working in you what is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ." So notice, again, God is restoring us back into harmony with Him, back into harmony with His law, in harmony with His righteousness, right? With His principles. How? Through the blood that was sacrificed.

And through that, my loved ones, we see then that God is going to do--what? He is going to, once again, restore us back into His presence. That was the promise also in Genesis chapter 3. We see these three main promises from the covenant. The three main promises, God was going to forgive us of our sins, God was going to give us victory over sin, and God was going to eradicate and eliminate sin so that--what? So that we may dwell in His presence again, right? We may have the new heavens and the new earth, eternal life. And, implicitly it doesn't say it, but explicitly it's talking about the Resurrection too.

So all of these promises we find in the New Covenant, and they were all broken down in Genesis chapter 3. Now, what is that sanctuary experience that God is wanting to do? God is wanting to dwell in us, He wants to dwell with us, He wants to dwell in us. Watch this. Go with me to Ezekiel chapter 36. Go with me to Ezekiel chapter 36, and we will see here this New Covenant, this sanctuary experience that God is wanting to have with each and every one of us. Ezekiel chapter 36. Let's go to verse number 25. Watch this. It says, "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean. And I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols."

Notice, this is talking about cleansing us completely from sin, from our unrighteousness, from our filthiness so that we can live according to God's law. Now, how is God going to do this? Look at what he says in verse 26: "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you." So, if He needs to give us a new heart and a new spirit, that means a new attitude. It's because our heart and our attitude is not in the correct place. God has to renew us. He's got to restore us. And notice, "I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."

Why does He have to take the heart of stone out? Because the heart no longer represents the principles or the righteousness of God as we saw from that quote in "Great Controversy," right? The principles of righteousness were written in our heart originally, but what happened is that, because of transgression, because of rebellion, because of sin, those principles are not present there anymore, right? They're not part of our nature. And so here it says God has to give us a new heart. That means a new mind, a new attitude, new thoughts, new feelings. And how is he going to do this? Verse number 27, "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them," amen?

Again, this is following what it says off of Hebrews chapter 13, verse 20 and 21, that it's through the blood of the everlasting covenant, which is this cleansing agent here in verse 25, and it is through that experience, through seeing the sacrifice, through seeing the great gift that God has given us in His Son, Jesus Christ, that our hearts are transformed, right? Jesus says, "When I am lifted up, I shall draw all to Me." When we see that, the human heart is brought into enmity, right? That enmity, which would be reconciliation, if we're at enmity with God, then that means we're being reconciled--I'm sorry--in enmity with the enemy, then we're being reconciled to God.

And how is that entity brought in the human experience? It's through looking at the cross, right? It's through looking at Jesus Christ, the sacrifice. And what happens with that is our heart starts to be renewed. God puts His Spirit in us. Notice, so that we can walk in His statutes and judgments and do them. Again, the obedience to compliance to God's law, to living according to His Word, is the result of the covenant, amen? It's not the condition--right?--as it says in Hebrews 13. Some of us--I mentioned this in a previous lesson--obedience is not the condition or the obligation of the covenant.

Obedience is the promise of the covenant. It is the gift. It is the blessing of the covenant that, through Jesus Christ and the covenant that the Father made, we will be restored into His presence, and we will be able to live according to His Word, and that is the power of the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, changing us, writing His law in our hearts. That is the New Covenant experience, and I say, "Amen."

Now, many believe that this New Covenant experience can only happen in the New Testament after Jesus Christ, but that is not the case because God says He wants to put His Spirit within us.

Notice, we cannot dwell face-to-face right now because of sin, so what God does is He says, "I will cleanse you of your sins, and I will put My Spirit in you." So God is already manifesting that He wants to have this New Covenant experience with us. He wants to dwell in us through His Spirit. He wants to dwell in us and write His law in our minds and in our hearts. From the very beginning it was manifested, nothing has changed. Look at Isaiah chapter 51, verse 6 and 7, "My salvation will be forever, and My righteousness will not be abolished. Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, you people in whose heart is--" what? Is my law."

Notice, God is already mentioning, from the time of Isaiah, that there are many that are living according to the New Covenant experience, to the everlasting covenant experience. It's the same thing. When you talk about the New Covenant, the everlasting covenant, the covenant of Grace, the covenant of redemption, it's talking about the same phrase. It's just manifested in different manners--right?--in that context, but it says very clearly here that God wants--what? He had--His people had His law in their hearts. It also says it in Psalms chapter 37, verse 29 and 31, "The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell in forever. The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice."

Notice, "The law of his God is in his heart. None of his steps shall slide," amen? Why is it that you shall slide?--making a reference to sinning. Because we are living in the New Covenant experience, and that is God wants to manifest. He wants that sanctuary experience, that New Covenant experience, where the Spirit is dwelling inside of us. That was from the very beginning. It never changed.

And so we see that God did that with Adam, He did it with Seth, He did it with the patriarchs. We see then also Abraham showed up, and Abraham, right, Abraham tried to live in the Old Covenant experience. He tried to do things according to his flesh. He tried to fulfill the promise of God, saying, "I'm going to give you a son," and Abraham said, "Oh, God, you need help, right?" After 11 years, it wasn't happening, and so God--Abraham tried to force God's hand and say, "I'm going to help God fulfill His promise.

God doesn't need help fulfilling His promises. When God says something, it's a promise, and when it's a promise, God is putting all of His reputation, all of His power, all of it behind that promise, and it will be fulfilled. But Abraham, of course, learning to live in the New Covenant experience, he went back to the Old Covenant experience, where it's by works, where it's human effort, right? "I have to do X and Y to be able to fulfill God's requirements." We see that that is not possible. We don't have it. That's why, in the New Covenant, in the everlasting covenant, God is giving us, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the ability, the power. He is restoring His righteousness so that we can live according to His words.

And so we see that as the sanctuary experience that God is wanting to have, and Abraham learned. Eventually he learned a lesson, and this happened with not only Abraham, Noah, Isaac, Jacob, Israel, but something happened. Eventually God's people--what? They fell into slavery--right?--the story goes. And when they fall into slavery, then we see that 400 years they were in Egypt then. Most of it was in--and this slavery under bondage, right? But God heard them.

Go with me, please, to Exodus. I want to show you something fascinating. Exodus chapter 2. Watch this. Exodus chapter 2, and let's go to verse number 23. While they were slaves--now, why do you think they became slaves? Let's think about this for a second. Why do you think God's people became slaves? Did God want them to be slaves? Did God free us, create us to be slaves, a bondage on their sin? Of course not.

Notice what it says in this quote in "Patriarchs and Prophets." It said, "If the descendants of Abraham had kept the covenant, they would never have been seduced into idolatry, nor would it have been necessary for them to suffer a life of bondage in Egypt." So why is it that they fell? Because they stopped living the New Covenant experience. They stopped depending on God. They stopped depending on and leaning on God's promises, on His law, right? They started to do things in their own way, on their own costs, and, of course, that led into bondage. That was probably after Joseph died.

And so there's the slavery, but look at what it says in Exodus chapter 2, verse 23 and 25. This is just fascinating what God does here, and it says, "Now it happened in the process of the time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage," or the slavery, "and they cried out, and their cry came up to God because of the bondage." So notice this: "So He heard their groaning, and God remembered His--" what? "His covenant--" now, which covenant do you think God is remembering here? Watch this. "God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob."

Now, what is that covenant? The covenant is that God wants to dwell in us. The covenant that God wants to put His Spirit in us. The covenant is that God wants us to have that intimate relationship with Him. As it's mentioned, God says, "Nobody is going to have to teach you who I am. Nobody is going to have to teach you about Me because I am going to know you personally. That same relationship that I had with Adam, after the fall, with Seth, with all the patriarchs, with Noah, with Abraham, with Isaac, with Jacob, with Joseph."

God is saying, "I am going to have that covenant relationship with you, where My Spirit is dwelling in me, and we know we have a personal relationship," right? But notice what it says here: "And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them," amen? So He remembered that covenant that He had made with Abraham, with all of the previous patriarchs.

Now I have a question for you: What covenant was that? Oh, it says it very clearly in Psalms chapter 105, verses 8 through 10. "He remembers His covenant forever, the word which He commanded a thousand generations--" notice this-- "the covenant which He made with Abraham, His oath to Isaac, and confirmed to Jacob for a statute--" and notice this-- "Israel--" that would be the 12 sons of Jacob-- "as an everlasting covenant." Again, God is trying to carry out--God is trying to tell humans, "I want to have this everlasting covenant, this New Covenant experience," which is--what? God dwelling in humanity, God with us, the same covenant. It says very clearly there that God had always presented God wanted to do with Israel after He frees them.

Now, notice, God didn't tell them anything about this covenant. He just goes, and He saves them through Moses. Says, "God, the God of your fathers, is wanting to save you." And after the miraculous liberation through--from Egypt, with the nine plagues, with the destroying the Egyptian army, crossing through the Red Sea, God takes them to the desert. He gives them water. He gives them manna. He provides everything, and then God says what to them on Mount Sinai? He says, "I'm the God of your Father Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac. I had an everlasting covenant with them. I want to have that covenant with you. I want to dwell in you."

God is telling Israel, "I want to be in your hearts. I want to write My law on your hearts and your minds," and what was their reaction? "Oh, no, no, no, no." It says, "They were terrified," in Exodus chapter 19, and God reveals Himself. Then He speaks the Ten Commandments, right? And what do they say immediately after that? "No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. We're too afraid. We don't want this intimate relationship with You, God. Moses, you be the mediator, Moses, and you intercede on our behalf. We'll stay over here on the sidelines, Moses, and you do that."

They were rejecting God's New Covenant experience. They were rejecting the everlasting covenant, and what happens is they said, "We want to make our own covenant," right? God says, "Here's my covenant. Here's what I want to do with you," and they're like, "No, no, no, no, no, no, no. We'll make our own covenant"-- right? And their own covenant was--what? "We shall obey." That's immediately the problem. God never asked them for obedience. God said to keep, God said to uphold His covenant, right? In Exodus chapter 19, He says, "Cherish it. Hold it dearly to your heart," but they said, "No, we shall obey," and God says, "You can't obey." And so God says, "All right."

So God--how does God react? This is so fascinating how this all happens. How does God react to the covenant rejection, to the everlasting covenant? He says, "Okay, if that's what you want to do, this is what we'll do. We'll go on your terms." And so, instead of God writing His law on their hearts, what happens? He writes it on tablets of stone, not because He wanted to write it on tablets of stone, but because--what? Because they rejected Him. They rejected having the law written in their hearts and in their minds, and God said, "Okay, you don't want to be a sanctuary for Me? You don't want Me to dwell in your through my Spirit?" That's perfect.

Look at how it says it very clearly here in the book "Patriarchs and Prophets": "If the descendants of Abraham had kept the covenant, they would have kept God's law--" where? "In their mind." This is the New Covenant experience. This is the everlasting covenant, God writing His law on our hearts and in our minds-- "and there would have been no necessity for it to be proclaimed from Sinai or engraved upon the tables of stone. And had the people practiced the principles of the Ten Commandments, there would have been no need of the additional directions given to Moses."

Notice that everything that was given, Ten Commandments on tables of stone, and the Mosaic Law, which had to do with the ceremonies, the feasts, the offerings, the sacrifices, the Feast Days, all of those things were not necessary if they would have accepted that God wanted them to be a sanctuary, that God wanted to dwell in him, as it said in Ezekiel chapter 36, that He wants to put His Spirit in us. If they would have accepted that, there would have been no need for all the rest, and they would have continued, God with them, living among them--inside of them--I'm sorry. But they said, "No, Moses, we don't want this. We need a mediator. We need you to do it," and so Moses took on this step.

And so what happens, my loved ones, is--what is it? They wanted the Old Covenant sanctuary experience, right? And so God adapts to their request. God says, "Okay, I'm going to show you that this is not going to work," but the only way sometimes you learn is when you do it on your own, when you realize that you're not capable of doing it. There's a phrase in Spanish that says-- [speaking Spanish] That means that nobody learns through other people's mistakes. We also have to commit our own mistakes. And so God says, "Okay, go ahead. This is what you want to do. I'm going to show you how far you're going to get with this."

And so through this, then, them rejecting the everlasting covenant and not wanting to be a sanctuary, God then says--what? "I'm going to make a covenant"-- I'm sorry-- "I'm going to make a sanctuary," right? "Now, if I can't reveal My glory, if I can't reveal My name, if I can't reveal My character, My righteousness, through each and every one of us," which is what He wanted to do, what does He say? "Then I'll have to do it through some structure. I'll have to do it through an earthly sanctuary," right. And so that's effectively what God does.

God makes the earthly sanctuary as a response. God is adapting to the people not wanting to have that intimate relationship. God makes an earthly sanctuary with the sacrifices, with the feasts, with all of the elements that are explained, making or representing the plan of salvation, right? And this is what it says in Exodus chapter 25, verse 8, and 26:30, "Let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them."

Notice, God wanted to dwell in them, but they said, "No, no, no, no, no," so God says, "All right, so let Me dwell among you. Let Me show you the blessings," right? And God says, "Make Me a sanctuary." And notice it says, "And you shall rise up the tabernacle according to its pattern which was shown on the mountain." So it was a manifestation or a representation of the sanctuary in heaven.

God was trying the body, our temple, to be the sanctuary as a representation of what was happening up in heaven, but because of the rejection, God adapts again, as I mentioned, and he creates the earthly sanctuary.

Now, when we walk through the earthly sanctuary, we see then how every different aspect represents the plan of salvation, right? Remember, the Gospel is the plan of salvation, and the plan of salvation is to reconcile humanity with Divinity, to be at one with God again, the atonement, right? To be able to dwell, to have that intimate relationship. And so it is through the sanctuary that God reveals that process. He reveals and He explains or He details the process through which we are going to be reconciled, and, of course, that reconciliation has to do with the taking away of sins, right? Because it is sin that caused separation, so it must be then through the sanctuary that it's explained how sin is going to be separated from humanity, and we may dwell again in the presence of God.

And so, in the sanctuary, we've studied this many, many times, but it's always good to review in case there's somebody new that is watching. You have the lamb. You would bring in a lamb that must be blameless, that must be a perfect lamb, right? There can be nothing wrong with it. It cannot have one eye. It cannot be a limp. It has to be a perfect, clean lamb. You have then the altar of sacrifice, where the lamb was sacrificed and placed upon the altar. We have the laver, where the priests would wash their hands and their feet before they went inside of the sanctuary because inside of the sanctuary was the presence of God, and so, again, a representation of cleansing before we are able to walk in the presence of God.

We have then the holy place, represented through the showbread, the altar of incense, and the candlesticks. These are all elements that God is representing principles of how God is going to cleanse us so that we can dwell again in His presence, and this all leads into the most holy place experience, which is where God was present and God manifested Himself, and we would dwell with Him, right? But, of course, since Israel had rejected that New Covenant experience, God then created the priesthood, the priesthood, beginning with Moses as the intercessor but then we saw through Aaron, right? And so only the priest, especially the high priest, would be the only one that would be able to be in the presence of God as a representative of humanity in the face of God, right?

And all of this, of course, is a representation of beautiful principles that is being carried out in the heavenly sanctuary, and there's the priesthood--right?--the priesthood represented by Aaron in this context, but we also see that that is the Old Covenant.

Now, again, this is not what God planned, but this is what the people wanted, and so God adapted. And despite when you go through the history of the Bible, after Mount Sinai, when they established their own covenant, which would be the Old Covenant, which would be the covenant where it's human works, where it's our understanding, it's our works--right?--it's we are carrying out God's covenant. God says, "Okay, go ahead and try it. That's not the covenant that I established," as we read in Hebrews 13 and Ezekiel chapter 36. God clearly says that "I am the one that produces in you the good works and the desire to do them," right? God is the one.

Remember, don't forget this, that the obedience, the compliance to God's Word, God's law, is the gift of the covenant through Jesus Christ, right? And when we accept, when we receive it, when we believe it, we are inserted into the covenant through Jesus Christ and God. Through that acceptance through that faith, gives us the power of the Holy Spirit, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are then able to obey in context of compliance with God's Word, with His principles. In this case, it would be His law because the Spirit is writing His law in our hearts and in our minds.

And so this, then leads us to the aspect of the representation or the manifestation of--what? Of these principles, of this New Covenant principles, explained in the Old Covenant, explained in the earthly sanctuary through the services, through the sacrifices, through the offerings, through the priests, through the feast, and through every aspect and everything that was going on.

But then, Christ comes up, right? And when Christ shows up, something very interesting happens. Now we're starting to see God going to say, "Through My Son, I am going to show you what I wanted to do with you from the very beginning--" right?-- "what I wanted to do with you, what I was doing with Adam, what I was doing with Seth, what I was doing with the patriarchs, what I was doing with Abraham, what I was doing with Noah, what I was doing with every single one of them that accepted, and there were many also that did live the New Covenant experience.

Even after Sinai, we have Jacob and Joshua, right? We have many, David, despite the many flaws of all his children, they all had that personal relationship with God, that one-in-one connection with God, but the majority of people were content with the Old Covenant experience. They were content with "No, no, no, no, no, God, you stay over there. We'll stay over here. We still want the blessings. We still want the protections. We still want the benefits from being Your people, but we don't want You to have that Your law written in our hearts. We just want them in tablets of stone," right?

"We want that old covenant experience," which was more comfortable than having to do all of the sacrifices, all of the surrendering, the constant surrendering. They wanted to follow and live in their own ways. And, again, God adapts to that, but when Christ comes along, now, the Father says, "Now I want to show you something. Now I want to show you what it is I wanted to do in you and through you, and I'm going to manifest and show this through--" who? "Through My Son, Jesus Christ."

And so, as Jesus Christ comes on, the first thing that we see, as Jesus Christ appears, is the Lamb, right? That's what it says in John chapter 1, verse 29. It says, "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away--" what? "The sins of the world." So the first thing that John says when he sees Jesus is "This is the Lamb of God."

Again, that's sanctuary language, right? That's sanctuary language, and effectively, Jesus Christ did--what? He died on the cross as the Lamb, but notice that, after Jesus was called the Lamb of God, what is the next thing Jesus does? The next thing He does is He gets baptized, right? That's a representation of--what? Of the laver in this context, right? Jesus goes to the laver, which also represents the Resurrection. Laver represents the water cleansing, and Jesus goes through the laver.

Now, here's where it gets very interesting. Because he's called the "Lamb of God," He gets baptized, and then, when you follow in John chapter 1 and chapter 2, He goes through the ceremony, the wedding ceremony, which is a representation of Jesus saying, "I am making--I am here to restore the New Covenant, the everlasting covenant with my people, which is this marriage ceremony through--what? Through the blood of the Lamb, represented by the wine. Jesus is saying, "I am here to restore the New Covenant, the everlasting covenant, with My people."

And it's--but right after that, Jesus does--what? Jesus goes into the sanctuary, and what does He do in the sanctuary? In the sanctuary, He does--what? He takes the works of the priest. Why? Well, because if you go through the Lamb of God, He goes through the baptism. Then the next step, if you follow the earthly sanctuary, is to go into--what? Into the heavenly sanctuary, right? Or into the holy place if you're talking about the earthly sanctuary.

So Jesus goes into the sanctuary, and He--What? He starts to kick out all of the naysayers, all of the corruption, all of the converting God's house into a money business, right? He starts to cleanse the sanctuary as He would, and He kicks out--who? He kicks out the Pharisees. He kicks them all out. What is he saying? "This priesthood, it does not work. This priesthood is not any good anymore. I am coming to show you what the real purpose of the priest is." That's what He's basically saying. He's saying, "This priesthood, look at what has happened. They have corrupted the sanctuary," or "They have corrupted the plan of salvation." And Jesus says, "I'm going to show you how. What is the real purpose of the priesthood? And the real purpose of the priesthood is to guide God's people to sanctity, to guide God's people in righteousness, to guide God's people, into victory and cleansing from sin."

That's what He's trying to show them, and He's saying, "This is what I'm doing." And this is exactly why, in the book of Hebrews, it talks to Jesus about this high priest, right? Go with me, please, in the book of Hebrews, chapter 8, Hebrews chapter 8, and I want to show you this. This was in the lesson when it talks about Jesus as our high priest, and I think this is very important to understand, and we'll see exactly how this all plays out. Hebrews chapter 8.

Look at what it says in verse number 1: "Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, and Minister of--" what? "Of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man," right? "For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices." This is earthly sanctuary, Old Covenant. "Therefore it is necessary for this One," talking about Jesus, "also having something to offer."

What is He offering? He's offering Himself. He's not offering something else. He's not offering an animal. He's not offering something external to Him. He's giving His own life as an offering for humanity. "For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law, who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, 'See that you make all things according to the pattern that shown you--'" where? "On the mountain." And so Jesus Christ is clearly saying here, "It is the manifestation."

I love it how Paul, in the book of Hebrews, is trying to explain to the Hebrews, to Jews, to Israel, he's trying to explain to them, using the earthly sanctuary, pointing to Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of that sanctuary, right? Because they continued in the Old Covenant experience and the Old Covenant mind-set. Verse 6, "But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises."

Why? Because this is not based on our promises which we cannot fulfill. It is not based on our works. It is based on the promises of God that everything would be fulfilled in Christ and through Christ. That is the promise that Jesus Christ was going to be the one that was going to bring reconciliation between humanity and Divinity, and all we can do in this covenant is accept it by faith to be inserted inside of it. That is the main difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, right?

It's the New Covenant experience of saying, "God, I have nothing to offer to you. I have nothing to bear. I cannot but in faith, holding on to your promises, the promises of--" what? "Of the seed of forgiveness, of victory, of Resurrection, of reconciliation, of atonement, all of those promises, we accept them through Jesus Christ, and we know that is only through Him," and that is living by faith. You accept it by faith, and then you live in those promises.

That is the New Covenant experience. And sadly, today, we have many people that believe--they look at the covenants from a historical perspective, which it can be applied historically, but I prefer to look at the covenants in the essence of an experience, right? Because you can be what is perceived to be now in the New Covenant time where Christ has come, but you can still be living in the Old Covenant because you could still be living according to your own ways, your own works, your own wants, and not living by faith, but living according to your heart, and that's not the New Covenant experience because it says--God-- "I want to circumcise your heart. I want to write My law in your hearts and your minds. I want to make a new creature of you."

So many people, in the same way that there are many people in what is known as the Old Covenant dispensation which, again, is the historical interpretation of the covenants, there were many that were in that Old Covenant timeframe, but they live in the New Covenant promises and in the New Covenant experience. And vice versa, there are many now that are believed or perceived to be living in the New Covenant dispensation which are living in the Old Covenant.

And so, again, that's why I prefer--doesn't mean that it's wrong to look at it from a historical dispensational aspect, but I prefer to study it and grab a greater understanding of the covenants and of the plan of salvation when I look at it through this New Covenant experience. Of course, everybody starts in the Old Covenant experience, trying and trying and trying, and God has to teach us, as He did with Abraham, how to live in the New Covenant, everlasting covenant experience. And so that's why it says very clearly, for example, here in Hebrews chapter 4, I just want to read this one more verse with you as we then close up.

Looking again at the sanctuary, Hebrews chapter 4, look at what it says here. Hebrews chapter 4, and it says in verse number 16--Hebrews chapter 4:14, "Seeing that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet--" what? "Yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace in time of need."

That same grace and that same mercy and that same patience and that same love that God had for Adam, for Eve, for all of the ones previously, it's that same manifestation now through--who? Through Jesus Christ, amen? And He is the one. He can understand our weaknesses, our struggles, our battles. Why? Because it says here, "He can sympathize as us because He was tempted in all ways as we are," yet He never surrendered. He never gave in to temptation or to sin, amen?

Now, as we look at this, I think that Jesus was also trying to show us something else in this when He cleanses the sanctuary. Not also was He trying to say--trying to point to Him as the new Priest, the one that was going to be interceding, the one that was going to be reconciling, making atonement between God and His people, as He's showing the traditional priests, the Old Covenant priesthood. He's kicking them out, and He's saying, "Now the real Priest has come. The real Savior has come." He's pointing to it, but He was also trying to point to a new temple. He was trying to point to something different, not just a sanctuary as a structure--right?--but the sanctuary as us, as the people.

Look at what it says here in the book "Desire of Ages." It says, "The courts of the temple at Jerusalem, filled with the tumult of unholy traffic, represented all too truly the temple of the heart, defiled by the presence of sensual passions and unholy thoughts. In cleansing the temple from the world's buyers and sellers, Jesus announced His mission to cleanse the heart from the defilement of sin, from the earthly desires, the selfish lust, the evil habits that corrupt the soul."

Notice that the sanctuary is pointing to us, right? The sanctuary is pointing to us. Why us? Again, that was the original experience that God was having. After sin came in, God wanted to dwell in us to--what? To cleanse us--right?--to prepare us to be able to dwell in his presence again. Notice how the quote continues: "No man can of himself cast out the evil throng that have taken possession of the heart. Only Christ can cleanse the soul temple. His presence will cleanse and sanctify the soul, so that it may be a holy temple unto the Lord--" and notice this-- "and 'an habitation of God through the Spirit.'" That's Ephesians chapter 2, verse 21 and 22.

In other words, what she's saying is God is wanting, again, to have that everlasting covenant experience, that New Covenant experience of dwelling in us through His Spirit, for what purpose or for what reason? To cleanse us, right? That is what God was showing us. And when you read in there, in John chapter 2, Jesus says very clearly, He says, "The sanctuary shall be lifted up in three days." And they say, "What are you--crazy? It took us 46 years." And Jesus says, "No, three days," right? And what is He pointing to? He's pointing to His body, right?

Yes, you have the heavenly sanctuary where He is ministering as our high priest, but it's pointing to the cleansing of this body also. It's pointing to the cleansing of Jesus Christ wanting to do a renewing of His righteousness, a renewing of His character.

Remember, at the beginning, we looked at that we were created, Adam and Eve, with God's law in our heart, in our mind, right? Those principles were there. We were in harmony with Him, but what happens is that, after we fall, we are no longer in harmony, and there's a separation. So, obviously, the New Covenant, the everlasting covenant, is about reconciling us to God again. How? Because He writes His law in our hearts and in our minds again. And so Jesus is pointing to not just the structure of the sanctuary, but the person, the mind, the character, and wanting to restore all that He is, all that He has.

So, when we look at the sanctuary, we see these principles written in our hearts and in our minds. We see that through Jesus Christ. For example, when we look at the altar of sacrifice, it points to Philippians 2:5 and 8: "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ, who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage, but on the contrary," it says, what is that mind? "He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeliness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on the cross."

So it talks about His humility, His service, His obedience, His surrender to the will of God. That is the mind-set of the Son of God. And as we walk through the sanctuary, we see Jesus Christ in every aspect, showing us how to live in the New Covenant. Every aspect, He's presenting to us how God is wanting to do the same work that He did in Christ, He wants to do in us. He wants to reveal His righteousness through you and me. How? Through the New Covenant experience, Christ ministering in the heavenly sanctuary to--what? To cleanse the earthly sanctuary.

I want to finish with this quote. This is a fascinating quote from the 1888 materials, chapter 12. Look at what it says: "The human race is accepted in the Beloved. His long human arms encircled the race, while with His divine arm, He grasps the throne of the Infinite, and He opens to man all of heaven. The gates are ajar today," amen? "Christ is in the heavenly sanctuary and your prayers can go up to the Father. Christ says, 'If I go away, I will send you the Comforter--'" this is the New Covenant experience-- "and when we have the Holy Spirit we have everything."

And look at how it closes: "Then we must enter by faith into the sanctuary with Him," amen? "We must commence the work in the sanctuary of our souls. We are to cleanse ourselves from all defilement."

Woo-hoo, what a beautiful, beautiful promise. Christ is ministering in the heavenly sanctuary to do--what? To do the cleansing in this sanctuary in our minds and in our thoughts to restore his character, and that's what it says in Job's 33:26, "He shall pray to God, and He will delight in Him. He shall see His face with joy, for he restores to man His righteousness," amen?

My loved ones, this is the New Covenant experience in the New Covenant sanctuary. It's not just looking at the old sanctuary, "Yes, that's done away with." We look at the heavenly sanctuary, and we see the heavenly, and we see the New Covenant Christ ministering as he does through all Book of Revelation, and you say, "Amen," but what I want you to understand and keep the focus is that the purpose of His ministering in the heavenly sanctuary is to minister and to cleanse this sanctuary, to cleanse us from all defilement, all selfishness, all unrighteousness, to write His law in our hearts and in our minds, to prepare us to be a temple to show the world His glory, to show the world His name, to show the world who God is, that God is a wonderful, merciful, loving God and that He deserves--that's what He wants to use us for.

He wants us to be a sanctuary in the same way that the sanctuary was in the desert, to show all of the pagan nations, "Look at how God takes care of His people. Look at how loving, how patient, how merciful He is." That's what God wants you and me to be, a witness to the world of how loving, how patient, how merciful, how great a God we serve, and that can only happen if we surrender completely to God and recognize that we have nothing and say, "God, I want this New Covenant experience. I want you to write Your law in my heart and in my mind, and I want You to reflect Your glory through me.

That's why God has created you. That's why He has created us, not to condemn us, but to reveal His glory to the world, His name, His character, His righteousness. And I don't know about you, but I say I want to be a sanctuary for God. I want to be a New Covenant sanctuary where God's glory can be revealed and manifested through me.

Let's have a word of prayer. Father, we thank You for this opportunity to come together to spend time in Your Word, and we just ask You, Father, that You help us, Father, because sometimes we're in this Old Covenant experience. We're not aware of it. We're trying and trying our best to try to do things so that we can please You, not knowing that there is nothing that we can do, that we are unrighteous. There is nothing righteous in us, that the only way we can live a pleasing life and live in Your holiness is through a complete and total surrender to let Your Spirit do His work in us and through us and write Your law in our hearts and in our minds, those principles of righteous.

Help us, Father, every day, to have that consistent, constant, total surrender so that Your will may be manifested through us and many others may see Your glory through us and come and want to know You too. We thank You, Father for this opportunity, and we asked this in Jesus's name, amen.

Thank you very much. God bless.

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Female: I grew up in a family that was very saturated with God. We had morning worship. We had evening worship. We were taught from young children to have personal devotions each day, but for whatever reason, I seemed to always find myself alone. I never really had a big group of friends, and it always seemed to be like friends were just taken away from me. You know, I prayed for friends, and then I'd meet someone, and then six months later, then they moved to Washington, you know, across the United States. And so, finally, I was just like, "I'm not going to pray for any more friends because it hurts too much to lose them."

But over the next two years, as I got closer to God, I started to be able to be thankful for the alone times because I was forced in that aloneness to seek God. That is probably what has made me who I am and given me the experience with God that I have now. The place where I feel most comfortable is being alone with God.

I know a lot of people have questions about "Where is God when it hurts?" "If God is such a loving God, why is the world so bad?" Embrace the pain, embrace the hard times, and let God reveal Himself through that because He has answers to questions you don't even know how to ask.

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