Last Things: Jesus and the Saved

Last Things: Jesus and the Saved

Scripture: Acts 3:19-21
Date: 12/22/2012  Lesson: 12
"The Bible's teaching on Christ's ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, His second coming, and the resurrection of the dead stand together as a message of hope for those who have placed their trust in Him."

Steps to Christ (Jesus) by Ellen White

Steps to Christ (Jesus) by Ellen White
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... Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church. We are coming to you ready to sing - we've been warming up our voices here in the sanctuary and we're so glad that you're tuning in with us - whether you're listening in on the radio, watching live on our website at 'saccentral.org', or on the various television networks. Join with us as we continue singing our favorite Christmas songs. I know they're your favorites because you keep sending them in and today is no exception.

We are going to sing another one. Pull out your hymnals and join with us - #130 - 'it came upon the midnight clear'. We're going to sing all three stanzas. This is from jizell in antigua and barbuda, howard and sharon in ArKansas, kenyon and felicia in australia, patrice in the british virgin islands, bianca, andrea, elina, and dimitar in bulgaria, leon in California, ken and anja in germany, linda, Karen, diand, damar, wilfred, and the neckles family in grenada, suvarna in india, julian, tamara, andjani, julianna, dave, stephanie and darriell in jamaica, selina and jonathan in the netherlands, sandie, vern, jamie, jenny and jared in North Carolina, ernestine in Pennsylvania, andy and josie in saudi arabia, - that's exciting when we get requests from the middle east - charlene in Texas, vikki and veronica in trindad and tobago, Christa and robert in Virginia, donald in Washington, and jody in Wyoming. We want to hear your voices, wherever you are, joining with us.

#130 - All three stanzas. Aren't you looking forward to that day when you hear the angels sing? It is nothing that we've ever heard but it's going to be amazing. I think if you just heard the angels sing a couple notes it would inspire you to be in heaven and that - that's just part of the experience of being in heaven is the music. And one of our jobs, you can call it, while we're down here on this earth is to get ready for heaven. There's different ways you can do that, obviously, but one of them - start listening to music that you would actually listen to in heaven.

Get used to it, because it is - oh, it's going to be fabulous. If you have a favorite song that you would like to sing with us on an upcoming program, it's very simple. Just go to our website 'saccentral.org' and click on the 'contact us' link and you can join us from wherever you are singing your favorite songs. Our next one is #139 - 'while shepherds watched their flocks'. We are going on a musical journey this morning with this song, we're going to do four key changes.

So if you're reading the notes, our last stanza will be as written in the hymnal so we're going to start lower - so if you're sight reading - like, 'whoa, what's up with that?' Four key changes and we'll get there at the end. So, #139 - just follow along. Thank you so much for sending in your requests and I forgot to tell you who requested this as their favorite: henry and betty in ArKansas, edna in the bahamas, patrice in the british virgin islands, dustin in honduras, corrine, cheryl, and lalitha in india, julian, tamara, adjani, julianna, dave, stephane and darriell in jamaica, selina and jonathan in the netherlands, - and this is jonathan's first Christmas so happy Christmas jonathan - sandie, vern, jamie, jenny and jared in North Carolina, chiemela in saudi arabia, jenny in South Dakota, Christa in Virginia, and lulius, patrica, brian, debbie, bubb, jean and judith somewhere on the planet - they didn't tell me where they lived but that's their favorite song. So thank you so much for sending in your requests. Let's bow our heads for prayer.

Father in Heaven, we are here right now in your special house to worship you. Thank you for bringing us together, for keeping us safe this week. I know that there are those who have had tragedy happen this week. It's inevitable in a horrible, dark world, but I know that you are with each person, no matter what they're going through. Thank you so much for blessing us.

You give us so much more than any of us deserve. Thank you so much for giving us the Sabbath as a reminder of your love, which we constantly need. And I pray that you would just come and fill our hearts. Help us to be vessels that you can use to reach this world before it is too late. Thank you so much for pastor doug and his ministry here at central church and, of course, he touches many lives around the world and I just pray that you will continue to bless him with health and strength and the courage to stand up for you.

In Jesus' name, amen. At this time our lesson study will be brought to us by our senior pastor here at Sacramento central, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Glad to see each of you here and welcome to any who may be visitors. Welcome to our friends who are visiting from weimar and to our friends who are studying with us via the internet, streaming, satellite, radio - however you happen to be joining us - glad to have you with us. I want to welcome also those who are the online members of central.

We have a couple hundred people who are scattered around the world that don't have a local church they can attend and we've adopted them and so we're glad that you're studying with us and tuning in right now. In a minute we'll get to our lesson - I just want to let you know today we're doing lesson #12 in our study of 'growing in Christ' but as a little preview - a couple of weeks - next week's our last lesson on this quarterly. We're going to be going into our new quarterly study on 'origins'. And of course this will, for those who view, it'll really begin with the new year, but because we tape three weeks in advance I'd just thought I'd give you a little announcement about that. Looks like it's going to be very edifying and productive - interesting lesson talking about, biblically and scientifically, where did things come from? And so I'm looking forward to that, aren't you? It's going to be good.

Our lesson today is dealing with the subject of - lesson #12 - and it's 'last things: Jesus and the saved' - lesson #12 - 'last things: Jesus and the saved'. Part of the lesson is talking about the sanctuary so we thought it would be good to share with you this free gift book dealing with 'blood behind the veil' by joe crews. It talks about the sanctuary, its service, the atonement of Christ - and if you'd like a free copy of that all you have to do is call the number - if you're watching tv you'll see it on the screen - it's -study-more - that's -788-3966 - ask for offer #130 - we'll send it to you just for asking on the condition you read it and you'll be blessed as you do. We have a memory verse in our lesson and the memory verse is from acts chapter 3, verses 19 to 21. It's in the King James - I'm sorry, new king James version - acts chapter 3, verses 19 to 21.

It's a little longer than normal so I invite you to say it with me. Are you ready? "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." the Lord has received Jesus until the time of restitution that he might send that refreshing to us. Part of our lesson today is dealing with the subject of 'what is Jesus doing now?' And, more specifically with the heavenly sanctuary. So if you have your lesson - I know I'm not going to have enough time to talk about all that I want to share with you on this. Let's go right to section one and it begins with a passage from Hebrews chapter 8, verse - I'll be reading verses 1 through 5.

And let me just set it up this way: Jesus died for our sins just about 2,000 years ago, right? Matter of fact, we're living right now between the time of his birth and the time of his death - if you go 2,000 years. And did Jesus accomplish complete victory over sin at the cross? Did Jesus thoroughly defeat the devil through his sacrifice? Is the plan of salvation complete? Why isn't he back yet? What are we waiting for? If it's all over with what's going on? How come he didn't just go up, be declared the winner like at the end of a boxing round - the angels and The Father hold up his hands and say, 'here's your winner!' - Everyone applauds and he comes back and gets us? ,000 Years. What's going on? While the payment for our sins was complete and totally effective, the whole plan of salvation is not over yet. Now, keep in mind, one of the reasons that there is sin and suffering in this world is because the Lord needed to allow the devil to demonstrate to the unfallen angels and world what would be the outcome of his government. Now, people could clearly see at the cross what the devil was really made of, but now also, Christ's truth is going to be vindicated in his people.

The church has a long way to go because Jesus sent us to the world - he said 'all men will know you're my disciples by your love for one another.' We're to demonstrate to the world what can happen when God thoroughly possesses people with his spirit. The world - believe it or not - as powerful as the church was in the first centuries, you haven't seen anything yet. You might find that hard to believe right now because what the church looks like now is sort of what the children of Israel looked like before Christ. We've got the message, we've got the Bible, and the Lord's with his people, but there's a whole lot of backsliding going on. But the Lord is going to do something that is going to shake up and wake up his people before he comes and you're going to see the Holy Spirit fall upon the church in latter rain pentecostal power and you're going to see the church in the world really doing what Jesus called them to do.

We've not seen that yet. We've got a long way to go. We're waiting for that demonstration of Christ seen fully in his people on a global scale. Jesus said he can't come back until the gospel's preached to the whole world. Didn't he say that? 'And the gospel of this kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then the end will come.

It hasn't come yet because we haven't done that. It doesn't say all the world would believe but it would be preached to them for a witness. But what is Jesus doing in the meantime? When he ascended to heaven - is he just sitting up there looking at a big clock on the wall or is he actively involved in something? Hebrews chapter 8, I'm going to read verses 1 through 5. This is in your lesson - and, by the way, I'm going to have you read some verses - somebody - Hebrews says a lot about this aspect the sanctuary - someone go to Hebrews 9:22. We gave that to somebody, who got that? We've got some microphones, right back there.

We'll go to you in just a moment and that'll be Hebrews 9:22. I'm reading Hebrews 8:1 through , "now this is the main point of the things we are saying:" - you've got to kind of sit up and pay attention when Paul says, 'this is the main point'. - We have such a high priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens, a minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle" - as opposed to the model or small one - "which the lord erected, and not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this one also have something to offer.

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 shown you on the mountain.'" So, to kind of simplify what we just read, the tabernacle and the sanctuaries - because there's at least three of them in the Bible that were on earth - were models of something very real in heaven. On earth they would sacrifice lambs. What did that represent? Who is the lamb? John the baptist doesn't leave us guessing, he points to Jesus and said, 'behold the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.' In the earthly tabernacle, the high priest would go in to the holy of holies and there was this ark with two angels above it. What does that represent? It's called 'the mercy seat' and that's the throne of God and under that was the law, meaning the law is the foundation of God's government.

Those golden angels are just small little model miniatures of very - any of you boys play with the plastic green soldiers when you were kids? You know, just little models. You play with matchbox cars? They're made to scale but they're just little models. And the Lord has a very real dwelling place in heaven with very real angels. Matter of fact, understanding the sanctuary truth is important to understanding the Bible because you find elements of the sanctuary all the way from Genesis to Revelation. The vision of Isaiah in chapter where he sees the Lord and he's flanked.

There - it says 'the pillars of the house shook and the voice of him - of the angels when they cried out.' What pillars? You read about the pillars there in the temple of Solomon - except the pillars in God's temple in heaven are much bigger. And you've got those two cherubim that are saying, 'holy, holy, holy' - those are like the angels on top of the ark in the presence of God. And in the earthly temple, the wall was engraved with angels all about and the holy place. Is that because God has angelic golden wall paper in heaven? Or are they real angels - living, moving, shining walls of angels - ministering spirits - billions of them around God in heaven? So all that we see on earth it's a miniature model of the real in heaven. But we can learn something from the layout of God's temple in heaven.

Let's go ahead and read Hebrews - are we ready? Yep. Hebrews 9, verse - what did I say? 22? And according to the law almost all things are purged with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission." Alright, now in the earthly temple, what did the priest do as soon as he began to walk into the sanctuary? He didn't even walk in until there was a sacrifice - yeah, there was washing but there was a sacrifice that took place and he came in to present blood. Matter of fact, the whole sanctuary service revolved around atonement and intercession because of the sacrifice. The priest would offer blood. The lamb would shed his blood.

They would put blood on the altar. They would sprinkle blood on the altar inside, the altar of incense, plus the altar outside and on the day of atonement they'd bring blood and they'd put it on the horns of the ark of the covenant and so, blood was at every point of the way. Was it the blood of lambs or is that a type of the - the blood of Christ? You know, to understand the sanctuary, I've asked our studio if they could just put up - it's just a primitive chart - I made this years ago in power point, I think. There it is on the screen and hopefully those that are watching on tv can see it as well. One thing you'll notice is that the whole sanctuary represents a straight line.

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The other thing you notice when you look at this is there is one way in. There on the left you'll see there's a door - an entrance. Jesus says 'i am the...' What? 'I am the door' - doesn't he say that also? He is the only way. The other thing you notice is the very middle of this is the most holy place because that represents the presence of God.

God would meet with Moses there or aaron above the shekinah glory - would meet there in the holy of holies. Man is on the outside - we are separated from God. The sanctuary really provided a way to go back to God. Everything in this sanctuary - and, by the way, like I said, the visions in Daniel you find the sanctuary, you find the sanctuary in Revelation. Jesus stands amongst the seven candlesticks in Revelation.

In the holy place you've got a candlestick with seven branches on it and you just - in - like I said, Zechariah and Ezekiel - you find elements of the sanctuary all through the Bible. So understanding this is foundational to understanding a lot about the atonement and the sacrifice of Christ and what Jesus is doing now. Jesus is our high priest who's in heaven now. We'll get to those verses in a minute. But let's just walk through this.

First of all, there are three places in the sanctuary. You've got the courtyard, the holy place, the most holy place. There are three phases to salvation - it's known as justification, sanctification, glorification. There were three places in the redemption of Israel: they were justified by the lamb in Egypt, they were sanctified through their experience in the wilderness, they were glorified when they entered the promise of the promised land. There are three areas where adam and eve fell into sin: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

There are three areas where Jesus was tempted - the same three areas he gained the victory. And so, the sanctuary has these three great compartments. The first thing you see when you go in is an altar because it begins with sacrifice. The children of Israel's journey began with the sacrifice of a lamb. We call it the passover lamb, right? And that's where their journey towards God began.

So first thing is, without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. First what made it possible for us to approach God and to be reunited with God is the blood of the lamb. Now you'll see a little cross down there on the bottom - that's not in the Bible, but there is one - I think it's a talmudic tradition that they had a stake in there where they would tie off the lamb. Remember when Jesus made a whip out of cords when he chased them out of the temple? They had cords where they would tie off the lambs because they'd tie them off before they would cut their throat - they would catch the blood - they actually had a stake where they would do that. And someone made a big thing where 'that's the cross!' And so that's okay, I put it in there, but I wouldn't make a big deal out of it.

It doesn't mention that in the Bible. But you have the - so there's a sacrifice - they didn't sacrifice them right on the altar so they'd sacrifice them somewhere else and then they'd bring them and after they were filleted they would take the appropriate parts and they'd make a burnt offering of them. That represents the sufferings of Christ - the trials - the fiery trials that he went through in offering himself as a sacrifice. Then there was a laver just before you entered the holy place where there was washing. They had a place to wash the feet and the higher part for washing the hands.

The priests always washed before they went in to minister. Now, you've got water and you've got fire outside there. That's very interesting - it even comes up in the sermon today. I talk about a boy that the devil tried to destroy by throwing him in the water and throwing him in the fire. You know, elijah was a prophet - he prayed and one time fire came down.

He prayed another time and water came down. And when the children of Israel came out of Egypt, they were not only baptized in the red sea, they were also baptized first in a pillar of fire. They were born of the fire and born of the water. Jesus said, 'unless you're born of the water and born of the spirit' - John the baptist actually said this - 'unless you're born of the water and born of the Spirit you can't enter the Kingdom of heaven.' In the sanctuary you go by the fire - you go by the Spirit before you go into the holy place. We need both births, right? So that's there in the courtyard.

Then when you move into the holy place - and hopefully you can see this - there on your left you would see the candlestick, which is light. There directly before you there was an altar of incense and that altar of incense - some people have been confused because they say Paul talks about that altar as being within the veil of the holy place and other places it looks like the altar of incense is in the holy place and Paul makes it sound like it's in the holy of holies. Why is that? Well, because on the day of atonement they would actually carry it off into the holy of holies and at some point it did appear in there. But usually it was in the holy place and then you've got the show bread. Those three things that are in there - the light, the altar of incense and the table of shew bread really represent the experience of the children of Israel in the wilderness and our experience.

Did God give them bread from heaven when they went through the wilderness? Did he illuminate their camp with light at night - with that pillar of fire? And was the shekinah glory going up - was there this pillar that was going up from the temple representing the presence of God? And this represents the intercession. So that altar of incense represents the prayers. Those three things in the holy place are the three primary secret weapons if you want to be saved. They are the three disciplines of the Christian life. Bread represents what? Man doesn't live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds - Jesus said, 'i am the bread that came down from heaven.

' He is the word, right? So that bread represents the word. Light - that represent your witnessing. You are to let your light shine - you are to share your faith. If you just keep it to yourself you will lose it. You've got to let the light shine.

And then you've got prayer - that altar of incense. You need to read your Bible - make it real simple - you need to pray. You need to share your faith. Those are the three crucial disciplines of the Christian life. If you are involved in doing those three things then you are going to grow.

If you are not doing those three things you are going to inevitably backslide. You show me a backslidden Christian, I will show you that they are neglecting one or all of those things. And so, those are crucial to the Christian life. That represents the wilderness. Remember the courtyard? Kind of like when they were slaves in Egypt - sacrificed a lamb, then they went to be sanctified - after you go through the laver - the red sea - then you go into the wilderness experience, which is sanctification - is happening in the holy place.

Ultimately, when you get into the presence of God and you're in the promised land - someday we'll see him in the promised land face to face, right? That's when you cross over and you're in the presence. That's when we go through that veil of death. And, typically, people that are going to be in heaven have to die first. There are going to be some who are alive and remain when the lord comes. Now, when we're thinking about the sanctuary - and I'm not - I'm not done talking about this, but everything there tells us about, not only the plan of salvation - and that's why it's important to understand this - it tells you about the plan of salvation in an edifice.

It really also tells you about Jesus. Think about it. There's a door. Who is the door, biblically? Jesus is the door. There is the altar - the place of sacrifice.

Did Jesus go to the cross? 'Except I be lifted up.' He laid down his life. There's a laver with water. Who is the living water? Who offered the sacrifice in the temple? The priest. Who is our priest? Jesus is the lamb and he is the priest in the temple. Then you go into the holy place - there's a light.

Who is the light of the world? Of course, you're also supposed to be the light of the world, but he's the light we reflect so he's the ultimate light of the world. Who is the bread of life? He said, I am the bread of life. And who is the one who intercedes and in whose name do we pray? It's in Jesus' name. And then, in the holy of holies, what's in there? One principle piece of furniture. You've the holy place - the ark of the covenant - and what's inside this golden box? The Ten Commandments - the Word of God.

Now, when you think about it, and you've heard me say this before but not all of you so I'll say it again, when you think of our planet right now there's a piece of geography that's always hotly contested and it's in the news probably today - Israel. We call it the holy land, right? And in the holy land they've got a special city that was called the holy city - what's that? Jerusalem. And why did they call Jerusalem the holy city? When they first went into the promised land they had lots of cities. They had several cities of refuge. In the first six cities of refuge - Jerusalem wasn't even one of them.

But God said, 'i will choose a place where I will put my name and they were to build the main temple there. That ended up being Jerusalem. God showed David where it was when he numbered Israel and that angel was about to destroy all the people. They intercede on the threshing floor of ornan and they said, this is the place. This is the place where Abraham offered Isaac.

This is the place where you're going to build my temple. And so, that became the holy city and on the holy city there was mount zion - the holy mountain. On mount zion they built the holy temple and in the holy temple you've got the courtyard and then you've got the holy place and then within the holy place you've got the holy of holies and in the holy of holies you've got the holy ark and in the holy ark you've got the holy law. Now think about this for a second. If you were to like draw a bulls eye on the planet and say, 'show me the holiest spot.

' You've got this country and then you've got this city and then you've got this mountain and then you've got this temple and then you've got - you zero in and just tighten in with your microscope and pretty soon you're looking at the law of God. The important thing about the holy place was not a golden box. Everyone thought, 'oh, if we could find that ancient artifact' - you know, they've got movies about it - the ark of the covenant - find the golden ark. Everyone thinks about this golden treasure. That was just the box.

The important thing about the ark was not the golden box, it was the rocks in the box because they had been written by the finger of God. I mean, that's really something when you think about it. The Word of God - the will of God for the human race in those ten simple commandments - and in the law of God you find the word holy one time - that's in the Sabbath commandment. Did you know that? And so, it's all about this holy time. It's all about this holy place of His Word.

Now, what does rock represent in the Bible? Is Jesus the rock? And he said, 'he that hears these words of mine and does them he is like a wise man that builds his house on a rock.' So that law written with the law of God, the Word of God - what is it that brings down Goliath? Isn't it a rock? What is it that brings down that golden idol in Daniel chapter two - or that many metals, not just gold? Isn't it a stone? And so this is the rock of ages that we sing about. Alright, so let me think - what did I leave out? Probably a lot of things. Some people have said your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Do we have a circulatory system? Like water. Are we burning energy in our bodies? You do - you've got a little fire going on inside you - matter of fact, you've got electricity snapping in your minds all the time - like little spark plugs.

And there was storage of food in the sanctuary - do we store food in our bodies? Some store more than others. The Bible says the light of the eye - the eye is like the light of the candle of the body. Was there a place that was illuminated there? And then there was the altar of incense - that's like the Spirit of man. And then it says there was this law hidden inside in this holy place and that's your mind. 'Thy word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin.

' And so this is like the holy of holies in your mind. And so, you even see the body temple - and I just made it really simple - there's so much more to it - in the sanctuary. So there's just so much there. Anyway, I haven't gotten through part 1 of the sanctuary. Let's look at - well, let me give you another verse.

Someone look up for me Isaiah , verse 6. Who has that. We've got a hand right here. Let's get you a microphone. Hold your hand up so they can get that to you.

In the meantime, I'm going to read psalm 11:4, "the Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven; his eyes behold, his eyelids test the sons of men." When they built the temple on earth, was it the main thing or did Solomon say, when he had the dedication prayer, 'there's no temple on earth where you could dwell. This is just a model of your real dwelling. The earth is your footstool.' You can't build a house for God. And so, it's really saying - they even knew back then the lord is in his holy temple above. Timothy 2:5 - now it's talking in the sanctuary about the work of atonement that happened there.

Atonement is really made up of the words 'at one ment'. We have been separated from God. Atonement is to make it one - to reconcile. And the purpose of the priesthood and the sanctuary was to reconcile us to God. We've been separated from God because of our sins.

Timothy 2:5, "for there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." And so, Jesus is the high priest. He is the mediator. He is the go between. You know, on your old stoves you used to have a knob and the knob usually used to have three settings - now they're a little more complex, but I remember when it was real simple. It was low, medium, and high.

What does medium mean? In between. It means the go between. And Jesus is a mediator. Christ talked about 'hereafter you will see angels of God ascending and descending on the son of man.' Man is separated from God - Christ is the mediator between the two. You know, often if there's a strike, there'll be a strike mediator.

Or if there's some dispute, the court will appoint a mediator. And it's somebody who's supposed to try and bring reconciliation to this dispute. Well, we're at odds with God because of our sin. We're under judgement and Christ is the great mediator the Bible says. Read please Isaiah 53, verse 6.

"All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned everyone to his own way. And the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Now that's a very unusual mediator because he said, 'not only will I appeal for you and I'll plead on your behalf, I will pay the difference in order to obtain reconciliation.' God, The Father, laid on him, Jesus, God The Son, the iniquity of us all when you think about that - he took the sins of the whole world. Corinthians 5:21, "for he made him who knew no sin" - the only reason he can take our sins is because he knew no sin - "to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him." I wondered if I'd hear an 'amen' after that because it really is an 'amen' verse. But maybe you didn't catch it.

"He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in him." He traded places with us. He said, 'i will become sin. I will take all the wickedness - I'll take all the punishment of sin in order that you might have my righteousness - the righteousness of God.' Christ was God The Son. The righteousness of God was in him. He said, 'I'm going to give you that.

I will trade places with you.' And that's a wonderful verse of his mediation. I'll give you another one. Romans 3, verses 24 and 25, "being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by his blood, through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed." So when we come to Christ, it doesn't matter how vile or awful your past record of sins might be, the Bible says he has passed over the sins that were previously committed. I think Paul is also doing a word - a play on words - 'passover' there. Because of Jesus, who is the lamb - he's looking past what we have done and that means he looks upon us as though we were sinless.

Christ is interceding before the father as the high priest for his people now in heaven. Now, matter of fact, I've got another picture here if we could put it up on the screen. It's just a picture of Jesus - well of the high priest, really - in the sanctuary and this is a painting by joe maniscalco. Once a year the high priest would go into the holy place and he would intercede on the day of atonement. And in the same way that Christ is our heavenly priest, he began his regular work of intercession for his people but I think he has entered his final work of intercession - like the day of atonement work, it's a work that happens just before the end of the Jewish religious year.

Let me explain it another way. Is there a judgment that takes place before Jesus comes back? Is Jesus giving rewards back when he comes? Is he going to come, 'behold my reward is with me to give to every man according as he deserves'? Does he know who's saved and who's lost when he comes? So does it makes sense to you that some investigation happens before he comes? Who is being investigated before he comes? 'Judgment must begin at the house of God. And if judgment begin at us what will be the end of them that obey not the gospel.' That's Peter. If you go to the old testament it's Ezekiel 9 is judgment. 'Put a Mark upon those who sigh and cry for all the abominations that are done in the land.

' That Mark is a Mark of salvation. It's like the seal of God and it says, 'begin at my sanctuary.' There's a judgment that takes place before Christ comes. Jesus is our high priest in heaven. He, I believe, has entered into the last phase of that mediatorial work and, during that time, God's people, especially, were praying and separating themselves from sin. There was to be a revival - a restoration of the people during that time.

And so Jesus, I think, has entered that. Now - oh, I'm looking at the clock. I don't know if I have time to say this but I'm going to say it anyway. A lot of people get confused because there's no question that when Jesus ascended to heaven he went in before The Father. He went and he was seated at the right hand of The Father.

And people say, 'well, the heavenly sanctuary, if the topography - if the blueprint of the heavenly temple is the same as the earthly temple - here it says he went right into the holy of holies and he sat down - how can that be? The high priest only went in once a year and then you say he's entered into his last mediatorial work?' Well, it's not actually true that only the high priest went in once a year. There was one exception when someone went into the holy of holies and it's in the Bible. Do you know when that was? When they got done building the sanctuary. When they activated - the first time. They built everything, they put it in its place and they activated it.

Moses made a sacrifice. He went in and he sprinkled blood and he - lack of another word - he Christened it to get it going - so to speak. What blood was being offered in heaven before Jesus died? Were they offering lamb's blood in heaven before Jesus died? No. There was no blood until he died. When did the heavenly temple get activated? After the death of Jesus when he went before The Father.

Remember when mary grabbed him by the feet and he said, 'do not cling to me, I've not yet ascended to my father.' But that night when he appeared in the upper room to the disciples he said, 'all hail' - meaning worship - they grabbed him and they worshiped him. Why? Because he had ascended and his sacrifice was declared successful, victorious, he was enthroned. The whole purpose of the heavenly temple was now mobilized and Christ's intercession for his people - until he comes again - until he sends Jesus - like our memory verse. So yes, he did go in and activate things. He came back down.

When he ascended after - just before pentecost when he ascended he commenced his work as our high priest. Now when it talks about him being at the right hand of the father, that just means a position of favor. You know, benjamin was called 'The Son of my right hand.' It meant 'The Son of my strength. The Son of my favor.' And so, just wanted to say a word about that. Alright, Hebrews 9 - let me give you another verse on this - Hebrews 9:24, "for Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that he should offer himself often, as the high priest enters the most holy place every year with blood of another.

He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, he has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for him he will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation." When Jesus comes back is he still pleading his blood and bearing our sins? Or is he coming back without sin? In that final day of atonement service that the children of Israel celebrated, was there a final act to separate God's people from their sins? Is Jesus forever going to be bearing the sins of his people? Or will sin finally be dealt with? In the date of atonement service they had two goats they'd pick - one was called the Lord's goat, the other was called the scapegoat. the Lord's goat was sacrificed as a type of Christ. The scapegoat ultimately had the sins of the people laid upon it - it was carried off into the wilderness and rumor is they kicked it off a cliff somewhere to make sure it wouldn't come back.

If it came back that was a bad omen. But a fit man would take it off in the wilderness and let it go and it was separated from the people. And there's been a lot of discussion about, 'now does that goat represent Jesus?' And they say, 'any goat that bears sin must represent the Lord.' Or does it represent the devil who is going to pay the penalty for all the sins he has instigated? Not as an atonement but simply as a judgment. I mean, whose sins does the devil pay for? He's not bearing our sins, but there's a responsibility that he's punished for, isn't that right? And ultimately satan is cast into that lake of fire and he does not come back. 'Never shall thou be anymore.

' And so, this whole service talked about Christ coming without sin when he comes back. All sin has been dealt with when Jesus comes back, amen. There's no more atonement for sin when Jesus comes back. There's not another seven years where you can repent during the tribulation. When he comes again, it's over.

Alright, acts chapter 3, verse 9 - no, I'm sorry, acts chapter 3:19. Here Peter says, "repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the lord, and that he may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before." That's probably a good segue to our next point. We're going to talk about 'awaiting the advent.' Thessalonians 4:16, how is this going to happen? We're talking about the second coming of Christ. It says, "for the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

" Someone look up for me Revelation 1:7 - who has that? We've got a hand right here. We'll get you a microphone. "The dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

Therefore comfort one another with these words." When do the dead in Christ rise? As soon as they die? Or when Jesus comes? You know, it's also clear from Corinthians chapter 15 - it says, 'each one in his own order. Christ the first fruits, afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.' The other dead rise at his coming. People don't die and go right to heaven, it says, they are raised in the resurrection. The dead in Christ rise first. What good is a resurrection if spirits float off to heaven as soon as you die? Then someone'll say, 'well, that's because he's coming back for their bodies.

Really? Is he coming back for our old bodies or are we getting new bodies? If we're getting new bodies, why doesn't he give those to us right when we're raised? Why do you have to float around as a disembodied spirit for thousands of years first? That's not in the Bible. That's sort of trying to comingle medieval theology with what the Bible really teaches. Alright, you are going to read for us - what is it? Revelation 1:7. "Behold, he is coming with clouds, and every eye will see him, even they who pierced him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of him.

Even so, amen." You know, not only does it say that in Revelation 1, that he's coming, at the end of Revelation 'even so come, lord Jesus.' The coming of Christ is the climax of the whole plan of salvation and it also - the Great Controversy with the devil - it puts his accusations to rest. Jesus said in Matthew 24, verse , "immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken." Now these things have happened - most of them - have happened historically - I think they will also, according to Revelation, happen again in quick succession when Jesus comes. "Then the sign of The Son of man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn," - speaking principally of the lost - "and they will see The Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." You know, there's some churches that teach that Jesus already came? Yeah, they said it was a spiritual coming back in 1914. And you show them this verse and say that every eye will see him like lightning shining from the east to the west and they say, 'well, those are spiritual eyes. We'll see spiritual light.

' You really read it in the Bible it's pretty clear, you know, the islands are melting away, there's a great earthquake, the heavens are on fire and there's a great roar and the dead are rising - there's nothing elusive or ethereal or spiritual about it. It is a very real dramatic event. Jesus used very real language. He said, 'this same Jesus that ascended into heaven' - this is acts chapter 1 - 'you will see the same Jesus come back. As you've seen him go you'll see him come back.

Left in the clouds. He's coming in the clouds.' And he will send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his elect" - remember it says the lord will descend from heaven with a trump - 'and they will gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Those four winds just representing north, south, east, west - it's universal. Now how do you 'await the advent'? What are we supposed to do while we're waiting? We're seventh day adventists - most of us - we've got a lot of visitors watching. The name adventist means that we still believe in the very literal imminent return of Jesus - that he's coming back - that we are to be ready and get others ready for that eternal day when we're going to enter eternity. What do you do in the meantime? There's a number of parables where Jesus talked about his return and he said 'we are to be faithful stewards of our time and means.

' Luke 19, verse 11. Somebody look up for me Matthew , verses 12 through 14. We've got a hand right here. Microphone this side - yeah, please. Hold your hand up.

And I'll be reading Luke 11:9 - I'm sorry, Luke 19:11. That's what happens when you're dyslexic. I do that often. You know I've got to look at a - I think I've told you that - I've got to look at a phone number three times before I dial it. Luke 19:11, "now as they heard these things, he spoke another parable, because he was near Jerusalem and because they thought the Kingdom of God would appear immediately.

" Did the disciples think that things were going to happen quicker than they did? Do we sometimes wonder, 'lord, what's taking so long?' Were the jews wondering why it took 2,000 years from the promise of Abraham until Jesus finally came? Should we be surprised it's been ,000 years from his promised return until today? I think he's right on schedule. They thought it would happen immediately. "Therefore he said: 'a certain nobleman went into a far country'" - it takes awhile to get to a far country - "'to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.' So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas," - kind of like the ten talents parable - "and said to them, 'do business till I come.'" King James says, 'occupy' stay busy, be productive - do the work of the Lord until I come back. What does he want us to do while we're awaiting his return? His work. He's given us talents - he says, 'I've distributed something to everybody and I want you to be faithful with whatever talents you've got to work for me and serve me until I come back.

I think we ought to plan every day like we could be here a thousand years. And I think we ought to live every day where we could die tomorrow. You ought to have a relationship with God where you could die any day and you're not worried about it, but in our business and in our planning we ought to plan ahead as though we're going to be here awhile, right? Go ahead, read for us Matthew 24:12. "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." So we have our work cut out for us don't we? He said, there might be lawlessness and cold hearts in the world but in the meantime you're to preach the gospel of the Kingdom into all the world. When you're done doing your job, then the end will come. When everyone's had a chance - see the Lord is interceding in heaven right now because he's not willing that any should perish but he's longsuffering to usward - he's wanting as many as possible to be saved. 'God, who would have all men to be saved' the Bible says. He doesn't want anyone to be lost.

So not everyone will listen, but as a witness for them, he wants the gospel to go everywhere. And then Jesus tells us what we should be doing in the meantime. Matthew 24:45, "who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'my master is delaying his coming,' and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites.

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." So we're to be faithful to be giving our fellow servants their meat in due season. Final point - and I'll read one more verse because we'll be out of time - John 5 - talking about the resurrection - John 5:28 and , Jesus said, "do not marvel at this for the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves will hear his voice and come forth." Is coming - still future - resurrection hasn't happened yet. "Those that have done good the resurrection of life" - that's the first resurrection - "and those that have done evil the resurrection of condemnation." - Or damnation. In Daniel chapter 12 it says, 'there'll be a time of trouble such as there never was since there was a nation even unto that time. And at that time many that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

' So you've got these two resurrections in the Bible and I don't know if the last lesson touches on it but, of course, you find that in Revelation 20. Those two resurrections are separated by the 1,000 years - better known as the millennium. 'Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection.' Then it says, 'the rest of the dead do not live again till the thousand years are finished.' That, obviously is the second resurrection that happens after the new Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven. And we're out of time. I want to remind you one more time about our free offer.

Some of you join us before you hear the opening announcement - or you missed it - it's 'blood behind the veil' - it tells a lot about the subject of the sanctuary and its services. We'll be happy to send that to you. Call the number on the screen and ask for offer #130. God bless you, friends. Until we have a chance to study together again and may the Lord be with you.

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