Advindication Part 5: Justifying the Judgment

Scripture: Ephesians 2:19-22, Psalm 77:13, Daniel 8:11
Date: 01/09/1999 
This is the fifth in a series on dealing with objections people have toward certain teachings of the Seventh-day Adventists. This sermon discusses the Bible's teaching about the sanctuary. It begins with the tabernacle by Moses in the wilderness. It is an illustration of the plan of salvation and the great controversy between Christ and Satan.
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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

We’re continuing a series that we’ve been doing called Advindication. This is part five. Now sometimes someone will ask you about your religion and you might say, “Well, I’m a Seventh Day Adventist Christian.” And I’ve had a few people say, “What’s that?” “Well, we’re Bible Christians.” “Well, how are you different from other Christians? Is there a difference?” Have you ever had this exchange with somebody? They’re not exactly sure what makes you who you are. Some people are interested. What are the differences? And you know sometimes I’ll say something like, “We’re fundamental Bible Christians. We go to church on the Seventh day of the week whereas most go on the first and I give a few scriptures for that. And some churches believe that once you die you go right to Heaven or Hell whereas we believe that you sleep until the Judgement Day and the resurrection takes place when Christ comes and then He gives out rewards. And you know I highlight some of the differences from other the majority of other Christians but you know Seventh Day Adventists do not have a monopoly on the Sabbath.

Of course the Jews have had it a long time before we did and it goes all the way back to Adam and there are other protestant denominations that are seventh day Sabbath keeping churches. We don’t have a monopoly on a clear understanding of death and hell. We don’t have a monopoly on the health message. Matter of fact there’s a lot of people in the world that are more conscious about health and good eating than people in the church. But if there is any teaching that is pretty much unique or exclusive with the Seventh Day Adventists that is largely ignored by main line denominations it would be the teaching of the sanctuary. And again I’m not claiming we have a monopoly on that also, but I think that there is a special understanding that has been given to us that many others have lost. Now let me give you a little background before I launch into some things that will be deep. There’ll be something in the message today for everybody so don’t get discouraged when I say deep. Some of you interpret deep to mean it’s time to take a nap. God communicates with us different ways.

One of the most vivid ways that God speaks to His people is through symbols. When the Children of Israel came out of Egypt and He began to lead them to the Promised Land it’s interesting before He could take them to the Promised Land they went south instead of north to Mt. Sinai. Not only did they get the Ten Commandments both spoken and written but at that time God said, “build this edifice. I’m giving Moses the blueprints.” The same way He gave Noah the plans for the Ark. “And I want you to build this edifice. In this sanctuary, the tabernacle, I will dwell among you in this edifice. It is going to be a microcosm that will help you understand the Plan of Salvation and who I Am.” And so they were instructed to build this device that revolved around sacrifice. The tabernacle, the sanctuary, it was composed of three parts. When you first went in the door there was one door in. How many ways to eternal life? One. Jesus said, “I am the door.” One way in. First thing you saw was there was an altar. First step in being saved is the cross. And you know I heard a rabbi said that not only there was an altar but they had a stake with a little T on it where they used to rope the lamb when they did the sacrifice. They didn’t sacrifice it on the altar. It was sacrificed at this little cross stake and then placed on the altar because they would catch the blood when they sacrificed it. Then you had a laver. Symbol of baptism. The altar is a symbol of the cross, accepting Jesus, death. That’s the courtyard.

Then in the Holy Place there were three articles of furniture. You had the table of shewbread with twelve loaves one for each of the twelve tribes. You had candlestick with seven lamps on it. You had an altar of incense. The Bible tells us that the lamp is like a symbol of the Spirit. It was kept alive by this precious oil. The bread was a symbol for the Word of God that nourishes us. The altar of incense was a symbol for prayer. The incense would waft over the curtain into the presence of God. There was a veil that separated the Holy Place from the very nucleus of this whole thing. It was called the Holy of Holies. It represented the dwelling place of God. The Ark of the Covenant, the Mercy Seat, Martin Luther said was a type of the throne of God in Heaven. Inside were the Ten Commandments and originally they also had a little pot of manna to remind them of God’s provision and Aaron’s rod that budded, a symbol of God’s authority and discipline. And this was in the Holy of Holies. Now all through the year… Oh, incidentally, three places; courtyard, Holy Place, Most Holy Place. There are three phases to Salvation; justification, sanctification, glorification. Children of Israel had three places in their deliverance; Egypt, wilderness, Promised Land. The courtyard is like Egypt. It’s where they offered the Passover lamb. It represents justification. The Holy Place is where we get into sanctification. And it’s a symbol for when the Children of Israel went through the wilderness and they learned how to be saints.

That’s what sanctification means. The Holy of Holies is when you enter into the presence of God it’s when you and I go to Heaven it represented getting into the Promised Land. It’s glorification when you and I are in glory. Those three stages. So it’s the whole picture of salvation is mapped out here in the sanctuary. And I could go on and on. Not only is that sanctuary got three parts some people think that it’s like the symbol of the wheel within a wheel Ezekiel talks about. It’s a symbol for a cell of life that has those same three parts. Someone said not only is your body the temple of the Holy Spirit, that temple is kind of like a human body. It’s got an altar that consumes. You know you’re burning energy in your bodies. It had a cleansing system, the laver with the water, you’ve got a circulatory system, the fluids and most of you are, most of us I should say are what 80 or 90% water. Is that right, Doctor? About 90%? Just dehydrate yourself and figure out what it is. Weigh yourself after you do that and we’ll figure out what it is. But in any event then you go into the Holy Place and you’ve got the light. The Bible says, “the light of the body is the eyes illuminated by the oil of the spirit.” You’ve got the bread. There was storage of food and we store food. You all know that. Some of us store more than we want to, but we all store food. And then you go in, you’ve got the altar, the spirit of man. And then the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant and that would be the mind. “Thy word I have hid in my heart that I might not sin.” And so that tabernacle was even sort of an outline of the human body and it’s so deep. You know King David said in Psalms, Psalm 77:13, “Thy way, Oh God, is in the Sanctuary.” Thy way, Oh, God.

The will of God, the way that God saves us is demonstrated through this edifice. It’s very important. Now I want you to go with me to Daniel chapter 8 and we’re going to take a little peek. Oh, it’s going to be a big peek. Daniel chapter 8 and maybe we should start with verse 11. This prophecy is speaking about the beast power, the antichrist that would persecute God’s people. “He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the hosts; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices…” Now don’t miss this, “and he cast the truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.” He practiced and he prospered. “Then I heard one holy one speaking to another holy one and he said to that certain one who was speaking, ‘How long will be the vision concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?’ And he said unto me, ‘For unto two thousand three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’” Now some of you have Bibles that say two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings. Is that right? That doesn’t worry me. I’ll explain that in just a minute. Your having that Bible might worry me but being rendered that way doesn’t worry me, ok? This is the longest time prophecy in the Bible. Talks about the sanctuary being cleansed. In Daniel chapter 8 at the end of the vision Daniel faints, verse 27. He never gets the whole vision. It’s too much for him. God’s people being annihilated and blasphemy against God and the Plan of Salvation being distorted the truth being cast to the ground.

He’s seeing these things in three-dimensional vision. It was overwhelming for this old prophet. He faints. He never gets to the starting point to the prophecy until chapter 9. The angel comes back and he tells him in chapter 9, “From the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem.” That’s verse 25 of Daniel chapter 9. “Until the Messiah the prince,” tells when the Messiah would begin His ministry, which was AD27. In the midst of after three and a half years of ministry He could cause the sacrifice to cease. When He died on the cross in AD31 and that God would continue to confirm the covenant with the Jewish people for another three and a half years “through those that heard Him,” Hebrews tells us. And that was 34AD. Stephen was stoned after he made his final presentation to the Jewish Supreme Court. They plugged their ears. Great persecution arose. Gospel went to the Gentiles. Paul is converted becomes an apostle to the Gentiles. That’s all in chapter 8 of Acts. It all happened right in order. That was the first four hundred and ninety years of this prophecy. But if you start at 457BC and you add up all the days. You realize in prophecy a day equals a year. How many of you know that? It says, “I’ve appointed thee a day for a year.” You know one of the best examples in the Bible that a day equals a year in prophecy I never hear people use. It’s in the New Testament in the words of Jesus. When the adversaries of Christ came to Him and said, “Herod is going to get you! He killed John! You better run!” I’m paraphrasing. Jesus said, “Go tell that fox that I do cures and perform miracles and heal today, and tomorrow and the third day I will be perfected” or completed. Now did Jesus preach three more days?

John was killed six months into Christ’s ministry. Jesus preached three and a half years. He didn’t preach three more days. He preached three more what? Years! And this was a prophecy that He made that His work would be completed in three days. He said it’s three years. So in prophecy a day is a year. Now if you go Daniel said that the sanctuary would be cleansed two thousand three hundred days, if you go two thousand three hundred days from 457BC it comes to 1844. I don’t ever know whether to tell people this or not. How many of you are aquatinted with the Bahai religion? The Bahai religion. Now I got their book one time because I was trying to study with the Bahai to better understand them and as I was reading through the book I was flabbergasted to find out they use this prophecy in Daniel chapter 8 and 9 to try and support one of their prophets. Now the interesting thing about it is they come up with the same starting date 457BC and they come to 1844 completely independent on their own. This is one of the most firmly understood times in the Bible. You can find the starting point given right in the book of Ezra the final command to restore and build Jerusalem. Ezra chapter 7. It’s 457BC the decree of Artaxerxes. “Two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary will be cleansed.” Now here is where it gets interesting. Some people say the Seventh Day Adventist Church grew out of a false interpretation for Jesus coming. They were predicting Christ’s coming. Well, that’s a partial truth. There was no Seventh Day Adventist Church in 1844 or in the early 1800’s and we were not organized as a church until 1863. There was a movement around the globe called the great advent movement that began in the early 1800’s. Different people of God around the world began to study Daniel chapter 8 and they understood to the point of 1844. They were almost at 1844 “the sanctuary would be cleansed”. They figured the earth was going to be cleansed with fire.

Jesus is coming to cleanse the earth with fire, Peter says. That means Jesus is coming in 1844. There was a Jewish Christian named Joseph Wolfe, a really incredible story. He was sharing this in Europe and the Middle East. And there was a Catholic priest who discovered these things in South America that was telling people Jesus is coming in 1844 in South America. And in North America there was a Baptist minister named William Miller who realized these things and he was under tremendous conviction to tell the world that Jesus was coming. The Holy Spirit was pushing him against his own desires. It caused a great revival. It was called the great advent movement. Now the word advent means people who believe in the coming of Jesus. They get the word adventure from the coming of a new venture. Advent means the coming of Jesus. Most Christians are adventists. We sometimes use the word like that’s us. But we are Seventh Day Adventists. They were not organized until many years after this event, but it is true we have our roots in that movement. They believed Jesus was coming in 1844. Some of you may not know this but He didn’t come. And they call that the “great disappointment”. Now several things happened. Some people when… I mean some of them sold their farms and they really believed He was coming and they were very close to God because if you thought the Lord was coming, if you really believed, right or wrong, the Lord was coming in a month how would you live for the next thirty days? Man, you’d be on your knees. You’d be evaluating every aspect of your life. You’d be telling all your friends and neighbors to get right with God. And this is what they were doing. It was a tremendously spiritually charged time. A great revival swept across America. The “Great Advent Movement”, but when He didn’t come the scoffers had a lot of fun. Some people continued setting dates. The Jehovah Witnesses grew out of that. They kept setting dates and the final date I think was 1917 and when He didn’t come then they said, “Well, He did come but it was a spiritual coming.” It was a very interesting catalyst that “Great Advent Movement” for several things that happened.

Among those things there was a group of believers from different denominations. There was Ellen Harmon who was a Methodist and there was Joseph Bates who had Presbyterian roots and a variety of different people from Baptist backgrounds and they came together and they said, “Let’s look at the scriptures. Maybe we misunderstood something. Jesus didn’t come. Were the dates wrong?” And they looked at the dates again and again and again and it pointed to 1844, the fall of 1844. At one point they thought He was coming in the spring of 1844. He didn’t come. They kept studying. They realized it was really the fall, but He still didn’t come. They call that the “Great Disappointment”. They said, “Let’s lay aside our differences and let’s begin to study.” Now Seventh Day Adventists believe that in 1844 we found out that nowhere in the Bible does it say God was going to cleanse the earth with fire. Nowhere in the Bible is the earth called the sanctuary. What is the sanctuary? Well, God had two sanctuaries in the Old Testament. He had one on earth and one in heaven. Are you aware that there is a sanctuary in Heaven? You know in Hebrews it says that “he built it after the pattern that was given to him in the mount.” The Bible says “the temple of God was open in heaven”, Revelation chapter 11. There is abundant scripture that God has a temple in Heaven a sanctuary a tabernacle a dwelling place. Ok? The one in earth is obviously a flawed model because God does not dwell in temples made with man’s hands. It was for us to relate to Him. The cleansing of the sanctuary was something that took place once a year. Now all during the year the priest used to go into the Holy Place on a regular basis and they’d offer sacrifices they’d sprinkle blood to cleanse the people from their sins and the sins were symbolically stored in the sanctuary. Now you realize the blood of lambs cannot take away sin and goats. It was a symbol. All the sacrificial system was a symbol. There was no virtue in lambs cleansing us from sin. That was all a symbol of Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, right? And so as they continued to point to these things on a daily basis through the regular sacrifices the sins are being stored. At the end of a year, you read this in Leviticus 16. This is the kind of tape you want to get and you want to play it back because I’m sharing a lot very quickly.

Some of you are still thinking about my opening comments, right? When you get to Leviticus 16 it outlines the year end service. It was a Day of Atonement. It was the high sacrifice. They’d blow the trumpets ten days in advance the people would evaluate themselves. They’d pray, they’d ask God to purge them from their sins. Their High Priests then once a year, and only the High Priest, would go through that veil that separated the Holy from the Holiest Place. And he would make atonement for the people. And they would cleanse the sanctuary from the sins of the people that had been stored there that the priests had been bearing in their behalf. Now who is our High Priest? He has been making intercession for us. He has borne our sins and carried our sorrows. But you know what they would do at the end of the year is they would get two goats and they’d have the Lord’s goat and that one would be sacrificed and its blood was sprinkled. Then they had what was called the scapegoat. That lamb, that goat was not sacrificed. They would place all the sins on that goat and it was lead away and it perished in the wilderness. They released it and sometimes they pushed it off a cliff to make sure it didn’t come back. And this was a symbol of separating God’s people and God’s priesthood from the sins because the priesthood don’t forever have sins. Now Seventh Day Adventists have been accused of making up this whole doctrine of the sanctuary to cover an embarrassment that Jesus didn’t come in 1844, but you read from cover to cover in the Bible the Sanctuary is everywhere. Where does Isaiah have his conversion experience? He was in the vision, Isaiah chapter 6, in the sanctuary. Where does Ezekiel have his vision? It’s in the sanctuary. You look in Revelation, the whole thing transpires in the sanctuary. Jesus is seen in the beginning among the seven candlesticks. And later on you see Him it says “the temple of God is open in heaven” and it talks specifically about the temple. The sanctuary is all the way through the Bible. Jesus did a lot of preaching in the sanctuary. But the purpose of the earthly sanctuary ceased at the cross, the physical, earthly sanctuary. Now I asked you a minute ago how many sanctuaries in the Old Testament? Two. One on earth and one in heaven. How many sanctuaries during the time of Christ? For the first part of His ministry two; one on earth, one in Heaven.

You remember when Jesus first came to preach? He cast everything out of the temple. He said, “You’ve made my Father’s house a den of thieves. Take these things hence.” He said, “My Father’s house.” Do you realize at the end of Christ’s ministry he walked out of the temple and he said, “Behold your house is left unto you desolate. There will not be left one stone upon one another.” The purpose of that earthly temple was fulfilled and done away with. Christ said, and I want to give you some scriptures here. You read in the gospel of John 2:18, “So the Jews answered and said to him and said, ‘What sign do You show us, since You do these things?’ Jesus answered and said, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I’ll raise it up.’ And the Jews said, ‘It’s taken forty-six years to build this temple, and You’re going to raise it up in three days?’ but He was speaking of the temple of His body.” Now what is the church called? The body of Christ. Peter says, First Peter 2:5, “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” You and I are a temple of God. A spiritual God. You and I are the body of Christ now. Ephesians 2, this was our memory verse that Dennis read, verse 19, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” You and I are a temple of God. You remember when Christ was being crucified, when he was being tried for his crucifixion? They couldn’t find two witnesses to agree. The only two witnesses they got to pretty much agree quoted something that Jesus said and you know I think they’re pretty much right. Mark 14:58, “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another one made without hands.’” Now they misquoted him.

Jesus didn’t say, “I will destroy this temple” but He did say, “I will raise up another one made without hands.” What was He talking about? The church. When He left the temple at the end of His ministry He said, “Your house is left unto you desolate.” Now I ask the question, today in 1999 how many temples are there? Two. One on earth and one in heaven. You are the temple of God. Now let’s go back to Daniel chapter 8, “Two thousand three hundred days; and then the sanctuary will be cleansed.” Which sanctuary, Doug? The one on earth or the one in heaven? Both. They both need cleansing. Follow me. First of all, in the Old Testament times there wasn’t much happening in the heavenly sanctuary. You know why? Without the shedding of blood the priest has nothing to offer. Until Jesus died on the cross he wasn’t pleading his blood in the heavenly temple, was he? He hadn’t shed it yet. You remember when Christ rose from the dead and Mary grabbed him to worship him he said, “Do not detain me.” King James says, “Do not touch me.” That’s one place I don’t like the translation. It makes it sound like, “You’ve got a bad reputation. Don’t touch me.” Jesus never let that bother him before. Why would he say that? It says originally in the Greek, “Do not detain me.” She was clinging to his feet. Or “Do not cling to me” because I’ve got to go. “I’ve not yet ascended to my Father.” Now when Christ rose from the dead. You’ve got to listen carefully, people watching this tape because some folks are going to choke right now.

Christ ascended into the very presence of God in the Holy of Holies. Don’t leave yet! Hang on! And activated the heavenly sanctuary. Now Seventh Day Adventists got into a lot of trouble with some views because there are so many scriptures that make this clear. He then continued for the last 1900 years with his ministry as the priest on the daily offerings until 1844, but he activated the heavenly temple he went into the presence of God and you cannot escape it. Turn in your Bibles to Hebrews. Hebrews 6:18, “That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope that is set before us.” Let me stop and just fill you in here. How many of you remember in the Bible when someone wanted mercy and they were under judgement they might flee to the sanctuary and take hold of the horns of the altar? When Adonijah tried to make himself king and it backfired he went and he laid hold on the horns of the altar and Solomon said, “I forgive you” until he sinned again later and then he killed him. Joab who was guilty of murder, he went and laid hold on the horns of the altar hoping for mercy and Solomon told Ben Ananias, he said, “Kill him there.” So it wasn’t a special charm like home base where you couldn’t get killed as long as you were clinging to the horns of the altar but there were cases where people would lay hold of the horns of the altar and they’re asking for mercy and they received it. And so when he says, “We have fled to lay hold on this hope,” Paul is obviously looking back to that, the hope that is set before us. “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast which enters the presence behind the veil where the forerunner has entered for us even Jesus becoming a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchesadec.” Now why was there a veil in the earthly temple? Because the shekinah glory streamed up from the Ark of the Covenant and it was blinding.

It was the presence of God and you and I cannot enter into the presence of God in our sinful condition. It was veiled. The High Priest, matter of fact, it’s not in the Bible but one tradition tells us that when the High Priest on the Day of Atonement went into the Holy of Holies in the veil they put a blue rope around his leg and if they heard him collapse in there and he didn’t come out for a while they’d drag him out because nobody could go in and get him. It’s like when Moses drank and ran around naked his sons not wanting to disrespect their father Ham came out and laughed about it. The other two brothers walked in backwards and covered their father. They didn’t even want to look on their father’s nakedness. There used to be that kind of reverence back in Bible times for sacred things. But does Jesus need a veil to separate him from the Father? Keep something in mind, friends. We’ve gotten in trouble as a people because we try and bring God down to our level. The temple of God on earth had wallpaper that was angels, golden angels on the Ark. Do you think that He’s got golden wallpaper up there or do you think there are living angels? Do you think that it’s you know fifteen feet across or is it like five light years across? Think big. This is God.

Are they golden angelettes on the Ark or are they the covering cherubs the real angels? One position used to be held by Lucifer which he lost. These are guardian angels on the sides that flank God. And so things in Heaven, don’t try and get too close to the picture of the earthly sanctuary, that was just there, like I said, as a microcosm to help us visualize these elements. But Christ he entered into the presence of God and activated the Heavenly Temple. I want to give you another scripture on that. You remember when Moses built the sanctuary on earth and it was first completed… Hebrews 9:19. After the sanctuary on earth was built before the first Day of Atonement ever came around Moses entered into the Holy of Holies and he sprinkled all the furniture and sanctified it so it could be used. “For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law he took the blood of calves and goats with water and scarlet wool and hyssop and he sprinkled both the bilk and all the people saying, ‘this is the blood of the testament which God has enjoined unto you’.

Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry.” He went through and they activated and he sanctified everything with sacrifice. So Christ did the same thing with his own blood when he first ascended to Heaven. He activated the heavenly temple because basically he wasn’t pleading his blood until he died and shed his blood. See what I’m saying? But then he began his work as our High Priest doing what the priests on earth did and this is again this is a comparison with the daily sacrifice. In 1844 Christ entered the final phase of his ministry as our High Priest. Turn in your Bibles to the book of Revelation, chapter 14, verse 6. Some of you know this. Revelation 14:6, “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth-- to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people-- saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgement is come; and worship Him who made Heaven and earth, and the sea and springs or fountains of water.’” Now if you read the rest of Revelation 14 it says in verse 14, “I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud One sat like the Son of Man,” coming with a sickle. He’s coming to harvest the earth. Just before Jesus comes to harvest this angel’s message goes to the world. What is that message? “The hour of His judgement is come.” Now I want you to catch this. When is the big judgement day? Depends on what you’re thinking.

There is a judgement that takes place before Jesus comes. How do you know that? First of all, it says, “He comes and His reward is with Him.” So if the Lord is dishing out rewards when he gets here some judgement takes place before he gets here. Do you agree with that? Is that just clear logic? If that’s not enough for you have you read Ezekiel chapter 9 where he talks about a judgement that takes place? These angels go around putting marks on the foreheads of people who are grieving over sin. Those with those marks are spared. You know the Bible says everybody in the last days is marked. You’ve either got the seal of God in your forehead or the mark of the beast. When you talk about a mark in the forehead among most Christians they think that’s bad. Depends on what mark it is. Amen? The people with this mark were good and those who have the seal of God are good. Ok? The ones that have the mark of the beast are bad. Very simple. And these angels go and they destroy everyone who does not have the mark. Notice what it says in verse 6, “utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark and begin at my sanctuary so they began with the elders who were before the temple.” The judgement starts at the temple, the house of God.

Could be what Peter is talking about when he says, “For the time is come. The judgement must begin at the house of God,” I Peter 4:17, “And if the judgement begins at us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel?” There are several phases of judgement and what is the first judgement dealing with? Those who claim Christ’s name. They have claimed to be cleansed by the blood, but are we saved based on a claim or are we judged by our works? You know why I did that? Because don’t get mad at me you gotta get mad at the Bible. Jesus said, “Every man will be judged and rewarded according to their works.” It is all through the Bible but your works are evidence of a change of heart. See? We’re not saved by our works. We’re saved by faith through grace, but Jesus tells us if we’ve got faith and we’ve got love we’ll prove it by a different life. You know we’ll be holy. Won’t be saying, “Lord, Lord!” and living for the devil. And so there’s a judgement that takes place, an evaluation to… Now, keep this in mind is, the judgement so God can find out who is saved and who’s lost or does he already know everything? None of this judgement is for him. You read in Daniel chapter 7, it says, “These thrones are set and ten thousand times ten thousand are observing these proceedings and the Son of Man comes before the Ancient of Days” that’s Jesus coming before the Eternal Father and he’s pleading as our High Priest. He lives to make intercession for us and the angels are watching and the books are open.

We’re not there. We’re here. And they go through the names of those who have claimed to be Christ’s followers to see if they were genuinely converted and the evidence of their conversion is a changed life. That’s what the Bible says. And so this judgement began in 1844. Those of you who study Revelation how many phases of the church’s history are there? Seven churches, Revelation chapter 2 and 3. What’s the last age of the church called? Leodicea? What does the word Leodacea mean? A judging of the people. That’s what that word means. We’re living in the last days. It’s called sometimes the Investigative Judgement. It’s called the pre-advent judgement. It’s the judgement that begins with the house of God. Now you might be saying why not judge the wicked then? Jesus said they’re already condemned. The judgement that takes place for the wicked at the end they’re sinners they’re already condemned. Jesus said, “I didn’t come to condemn you. You’re condemned already. I came to save you.” So that judgement is not where they decide whether they are guilty or innocent.

They’re going to confess that Jesus is righteous and they’re guilty. The last judgement for the wicked is the executive judgement where it’s the sentencing process. The judgement that takes place now is the one for those who claim to have availed themselves of Christ’s sacrifice whether they’re genuine. And let’s face it Christ spent a lot of time talking about hypocrisy, people who claim to know him that are liars. So there is a judgement that takes place before Jesus comes. Now Seventh Day Adventists have been very frustrated because when you study this process with people we say that in 1844 we realize Jesus didn’t come. It’s not because he wasn’t coming to earth he was going into the Holy of Holies to plead in God’s presence and to enter into the final phase. It’s the heavenly Day of Atonement so to speak and that’s accurate. Prove what’s happening in Heaven. Got a video anyone? It’s pretty hard to prove a theory about what’s happening in Heaven when you can’t see Heaven. We don’t have any first hand witness other than the record here in the scripture, but how many temples are there today? Did the Lord only begin cleansing the sanctuary in Heaven in1844? Or did something start happening here on earth? Now let me give you the facts that you can observe. What was it that Daniel said? Go back to Daniel 8:14. Let’s read it with a new perspective in mind. It says this beast power would cast the truth to the ground. The truth will be cast to the ground. God’s church would be defiled, desolated.

Now God’s Heaven, the beast can’t reach that one. How many agree the beast can’t reach God’s temple in Heaven? Ok, it’s out of reach. Can he reach the temple on earth? Incidentally, how many of you have heard stories about the antichrist rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem? You know where they get that? A lot of Christians misunderstand that you and I are the church of God. You and I are the temple of God. You are living stones in God’s temple. And when it said, “That wicked one will sit in the temple of God showing himself that he is god” it’s talking about this beast power sitting over God’s church showing himself he is god not a physical temple. You and I are the temple of God now. Amen? And so what happened on earth? The temple was defiled. The truth was cast to the ground and obscured and distorted and diluted. God was going to restore the faith that was once delivered to the saints. He was going to cleanse the church on earth from the false doctrines. Truth is the big thing that Jesus was all about. It was his word. In 1844 when these people got together who said, “Let’s stick with God. We don’t know why he didn’t come but let’s find out what does the Bible really teach.” And they laid aside their denominational barriers and they said, “Let’s just ask for God’s Spirit to guide us in the word.” That year that group small group from all different churches came together they rediscovered the Sabbath truth. It was introduced by Rachel Preston, Joseph Bates.

They rediscovered the truth about their bodies being the temple of the Holy Spirit. They understood baptism by immersion. They understood that the dead are sleeping. All these elements were in that group and they began to come together over the next few years and gel but God brought them all together and the truths that had been embraced and championed by different reformations movements were all under one roof. God brought his people together like a melting pot from every stripe and type of humanity and said, “I’m going to cleanse my church.” And one of them was given the gift of prophecy who predicted that this movement would go around the world and it’s happened, friends. Well, I can’t prove what’s happening in Heaven, friends, but I can prove God started cleansing his sanctuary on earth in 1844 and it’s something you can’t deny. Now there’s some other elements about this that have been misunderstood about the judgement. The idea that “once you’re saved you can’t be lost” because you know as soon as you tell people that the church is being judged they say, “Wait!

The church is saved! We not being judged.” Well Jesus said people can have their names in the book of life and they can be removed. Now that’s a little disconcerting, isn’t it? How many of you would like to believe once your name is written there you don’t have to worry about it ever being moved? Well, you know, even in this country a person can become a citizen and if they don’t obey the laws it doesn’t mean once you’re a citizen that you can do anything you want. You still have accountability. Exodus 32:33, “And the Lord said to Moses…” You know Moses said, “Take my name out of your book. Just what about your people?” God said to Moses, “That’s not how it works. Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot him out of my book.” These are people who were chosen by God. They’re in his book but they sinned against him. Their names are removed. Revelation 3:5, “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments and I will not blot his name from the Book of Life but I will confess his name before my Father and His angels.” Now when is Christ confessing our names before the Father and the angels? When you read in Daniel chapter 7, “Ten thousand times ten thousand angels are there.” Why would angels be interested in the judgement? Well, let’s just think about this for a minute.

Angels watch us all the time. You and I put on our PR image when we come to church. You know, tuck your Bible under your arm. “How ya doing?” “Fine! Under control! Everything’s okay.” You know and you get home and you go to pieces. And some of us don’t act like angels at home. We act like the other team. Now God says to these angels, “I’ve got their names here in my Book of Life and I’d like to introduce them into Heaven.” And the angels say, “We’ve been watching! We’re watching when they don’t know we’re watching.” And so these books are there and it demonstrates to the angels and other unfallen beings that we will be safe to introduce into a pure universe by virtue of our sins being washed in the blood of the Lamb and our hearts being transformed. Salvation is not just a big cover up. It’s a transformation. It’s where you become a new creature. All things are made new. Amen? And so this is demonstrating it and Christ is going to hold out his nail scarred hands and confess our name before the angels and before the Father. That’s a wonderful thing to consider.

You know Jesus said, “Whoever is ashamed of me in this evil and adulterous generation I will be ashamed of him but whoever confesses me in this evil and adulterous generation I will confess his name before my Father in Heaven.” Can you think of a story in the Bible where that happens? What about where the Lord said to the devil, “Have you considered my servant Job?” There they are in Heaven talking about people on earth who are righteous. Wouldn’t you like the Lord to talk about you and me the way he talked about Job? What did he say about Job? “Job’s part of my big cover-up! It’s my witness protection plan. I just move them around, give him a new identity.” Is that what he said about Job? No! He said, “He is a perfect and upright man. He fears God and he hates sin! Hates evil!” And that’s what he wants from you and me to love him and hate sin because sin is what killed him. Amen? And so there’s something that’s happening in Heaven. This planet is the theater of the Universe. You and I are the temple of God.

Revelation 13:8, “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him,” speaking of the beast power. “All who dwell upon the earth shall worship him whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” You can go to the end of Revelation. Revelation 20:12, “And I saw the dead small and great stand before God and the books (plural) were opened and another Book was opened which was the Book of Life.” So you’ve got different books. You’ve got the record and I don’t necessarily think that God’s books in Heaven are paper and ground up wood pulp. Just God has a way of keeping records and he’s using terms you and I can relate to. I don’t know if they have floppy disks or what they use up there but they’ve got a record somehow that’s going to be I think it’s, personally, 3D video. I think it’s going to be like a vision panorama like he gives prophets and he’ll reveal these things in Technicolor. So he opens these other books. The Bible says people are judged out of the deeds written in the books.

That’s separate from the Book of Life. “And every man was judged out of those things that were written in the books according to their works.” That’s scares me but I’ve got good news for you. You know Jesus said, Matthew chapter 12, “Don’t you know that you’ll give an account in the judgement for every idle word that you speak?” Does that make you tremble? Does me because I talk more than most people. He says, “For by your words you’ll be justified and by your words you’ll be condemned.” Why by the words? Because it tells what’s in the heart. It’s really you’re being judged by your heart. The Bible says, “Out of the abundance of heart the mouth speaks.” When I catch myself speaking evil of another person I say, “What’s wrong with my heart? I’ve got a heart problem.” And so it’s not just the profession. It represents a transformation, a new heart. Now when you ask God to forgive your sins and to place your name in the Book of Life and you say, “Lord, I’m weak. I can’t make it without your help.” He goes to work.

He rolls up his sleeves and he moves into your heart and he starts to change you. And you can know you are written in the Book of Life and he is the author and finisher of your faith. He’ll finish what he started, right? God doesn’t quit. So you don’t need to go through life wondering. The Bible says, “You can know that you have everlasting life.” Matter of fact that’s righteousness by faith, knowing you’re forgiven, knowing he lives to make intercession for you, knowing you that are a temple and he is dwelling in you. You don’t have to guess about those things. And God will cleanse your sanctuary just like he did the one on earth. Some of us who do not allow Christ inside, he’ll walk away and say, “Your house is left unto you desolate.” I want him inside. How about you? Someday the judgement is going to end. Someday soon. Life on earth will continue for a short time after the judgement ends and it will not be a very comfortable environment. The plagues of Revelation and the great Time of Trouble begin after the judgement ends.

Daniel 12:1 and 2 says, “At that time Michael shall stand up the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people.” You know Michael is another term for Christ and when he stands up it represents he’s not listening to evidence anymore. The cases are closed. “And there will be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation.” He’s preparing to come. “Even to that time and at that time your people will be delivered.” Who is delivered? “Everyone who is found written in the book.” What book is that? The Book of Life. “And many who sleep in the dust of the earth shall wake” it’s a resurrection “some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Was there a brief period of time after Noah and his family were sealed in the Ark where life went on outside the ark? But a storm came, right? And so there’s going to be a period of time when after probation closes life goes on the plagues fall there’s a time of trouble but the judgement is over. Revelation 15:8 it says, “The temple,” speaking of this time, “was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven last plagues of the seven angels were completed.” Thank God you and I can go by faith into that temple now.

The Bible says that you and I by faith through Christ go boldly before the throne of God and he is our advocate. He intercedes for us. But if that scenario was not there and the doors of mercy closed then where are you and I going for cleansing? There’s nowhere else to go. That’s why Hebrews said, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” Now is the time to go before God and ask for power and cleansing and mercy and grace and it’s there. But someday that door is going to close, friends, and it’s not far away and then when that happens Jesus will say, verse 11, Revelation 22, “He who is unjust let him be unjust still. He who is filthy let him be filthy still.” You know I can stand being dirty for a little while if I know I can get cleaned up later. You know what I mean? Getting ready to go to India. Incidentally, we didn’t tell you that Doug Hill our producer and my son Micah are already there. They went to get the TV programs ready to get things all set up and Doug called and he said, “Bring some bacterial soap.”

He called back and he told his wife, “Bring some masks. Bring some cough drops.” He said, “The air is so foul in the middle of this bustling city.” They don’t have catalytic converters you know on their rickshaws and so there’s a lot of pollution and I think, Boy! You know you can ask Karen, I’m a clean freak. I knew she’d give me an endorsement on that. And I’m not looking forward to breathing the miasma of the environment there but you know what? I can take anything for a little while if I know I can get cleaned up eventually. But the idea for me of being dirty and never being able to stay clean is a horrifying thought. And for Christ to declare, “He that is filthy let him be filthy still.” Oh! But the good news is he goes on. There’s a time when the righteous don’t ever have to worry about being dirty again. “He who is righteous let him be righteous still and he who is holy let him be holy still.” And God wants you to be holy. It’s a very plain scripture. When you invite him into your heart and your mind you become a living sanctuary. He dwells in your temple and he will cleanse you the same way he cleansed that temple on earth. He’ll cast out all the moneychangers and all the beasts and all the things that were defiling the temple and he’ll purge you and when he comes he can say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Paul makes an appeal in Romans 12:1,2, “I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present yourself a living sacrifice,” that you allow God to posses you.

If I ask you if you want to be possessed you wouldn’t know how to answer that, would you? Because we automatically assume we’re talking about the devil, but how many would like to be possessed by Jesus’ Spirit. You’ve got to present yourself a living sacrifice and say, “Lord, I’m helpless. You’ve got permission to move into my heart and mind and to change me and make me into what you want me to be. You know we’re going to do something a little different. Our closing song is really a chorus and it’s found in the back of your bulletin. You’ll find the words there. “Make Me a Sanctuary”. I’d like to invite you to stand and to sing this with us. Judy, you know this don’t you? Why don’t you join Jolene up here? It’s nice to see you singing up here again. Prepare me to be a sanctuary. How many of you want to be a temple for God? Is that your desire? Then let’s sing this together.

I believe Jesus is coming very soon. I say that and I wish I could find new creative ways to say it that I could impress that truth on your mind. Sooner than most of us believe and there may be some of you who have been hesitating to give Jesus all the keys to the rooms of your heart. This is a good time for you to surrender completely to present yourself as a living sacrifice. There may be some here who have not yet made a decision to say “Jesus I want you to be my Lord my Lamb my High Priest.” If you want to do that today I’d like to invite you to come to the front here. We would like to pray for you. Don’t be ashamed of him. He’s confessing your name before the angels in heaven. And as we sing the second chorus some of you may need to rededicate your lives as we’re on the verge of this new year. Some of you maybe would like to have that assurance that Christ is in you transforming you. Whatever the need might be. If you’d like to come for special prayer to present yourself for the first time come now as we sing the second chorus.

Father in Heaven, Lord, we are inviting you in a special way to fill this sanctuary. We’re not talking about the building with the two by fours. We’re talking about the people here, this living sanctuary, these living stones. Lord, we want to be part of your building. We want to be part of your body, that temple. And we know, Lord, that you’re using materials that have been carefully selected based on their surrender. I ask, Lord, that each of us can by faith trust in your grace, that we can make room for the working of your Spirit in our hearts. I pray, Lord, that it will be the sincere prayer of every person here to say, “not my will but thy will be done” in every area of our lives and every corner of our hearts. Lord, help us please to make a complete sacrifice that you can take complete possession of our minds. Not only that we might have our names written in that Book with the blood from the Lamb but, Lord, in a special way we want to go from this place to be witnesses for you. You’ve called us not only to be stones in your temple you’ve called us to be a Royal Priesthood. And, Lord, I pray that we can make atonement for a lost world and introduce people to Jesus. Bless us with these high purposes, Lord, and help us to keep our focus on Christ and His Kingdom is our prayer in His blessed name. Amen.

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