The Heavenly Sanctuary

The Heavenly Sanctuary

Scripture: 1 Kings 8:49, Jeremiah 23:23-24, Hebrews 8:1-2
Date: 10/05/2013  Lesson: 1
"Scripture is clear: the heavenly sanctuary is a real place, and from it we can learn truths about the character and work of our God."

A Heavenly Model by Doug Batchelor

A Heavenly Model by Doug Batchelor
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church. It is by no accident that you have tuned in to join us to study God's Word together. Welcome. A very special welcome to you that are joining us right here in our sanctuary. A special welcome to you that are joining us as you do every week from across the country and around the world.

Welcome and let's sing together. Hymn #600 we're going to start with this morning - 'hold fast till I come' - and this comes as a request from mavis in china, camilo in columbia, ana in costa rica, robin in Israel, jerlyn in saudi arabia, vina in south korea plus more people from around the planet than we can put on the air. So hymn #600 - we're going to sing all three verses - 'hold fast till I come'. That is our hope as we study together, that each one of you - that you're just holding fast to Jesus and holding fast to His Word because he is coming soon to take us home and I can hardly wait and I hope that that is what is in your heart also. If you have a special request - if you have a favorite hymn that you'd like to sing with us on a coming study, it's very simple.

Just go to our website at 'saccentral.org', click on the 'contact us' link, and there you can request any hymn in our hymnal and we would love to sing that with you on a coming study. As you know, we have been going through our hymnal and learning new ones. We are in a section now on the trinity - hymn #71 - 'come thou almighty king'. This comes as a request from Karen in florida, from joyce in kenya, alicia in trinidad and tobago, mary jane in Virginia and again, from many, many more around the planet. Hymn #71 - 'come thou almighty king' - we'll sing the first, the second and the last verses.

Let's pray. Our Father in Heaven, what a blessing it is to be able to come before you, to worship you in song, to worship you in study and prayer together. We are humbled this morning that you gave up all of heaven to come and save us and we are just so grateful, Lord. And as we learn more about you today in our study, please help us to take these words to the people that we come in contact with every day - that they can see you living in us and that they will be drawn to you with what they see in us. Forgive us when we fail you, Lord, just fill us with your spirit and your power as you have promised and we hang our promises - our hopes and our dreams on your promises that you are coming soon Lord Jesus.

Come quickly, we pray. I pray these things in your name, Jesus. Amen. Our study today will be brough to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor, senior pastor here at Sacramento central. Thank you very much jolyne, our singers, and our musicians.

I enjoyed singing some of those new songs and that song that we just did would have been really good for our study last week when we were talking about the trinity, but it's good to also sing a new song to the Lord. I want to welcome our friends who are studying around the world. We have both visitors - both here at central church - welcome. We're glad you're here in our class today. We have visitors who are part of our studio - I don't mean studio - our satellite audience are watching on the internet around the world.

We want to welcome you. A lot of people who are watching out there are some of the online members of central church. A number of years ago we started a program here at Sacramento central to minister to people who believe the fundamentals of the seventh day adventist message and - but they don't have a local church they can attend. Some are missionaries who are out there in the outback of the mission field in different parts of the world. But they've got an internet connection through satellite or some other means and this provides a way for them to be part of a group.

I spoke this week with someone who is a truck driver and they said, 'you know, I lost my home but I do have a sleeper in my truck and sometimes I'll stop on Sabbath, I'll worship with a church. Sometimes I unload and I stop and I have nobody but I've got satellite tv' - in his truck - some of these trucks are pretty sophisticated - and he said this is his church. And so that's why we do this. And maybe you're in that category - you worship with us each week but you're not connected with a local church. If you'd like to know more how you could be part of the Sacramento central internet church family or online family or satellite church membership, then just go to our website, it's 'saccentral.

org' - 'saccentral.org' - and pastor harold sort of manages the online membership and we'll tell you how to do that. We want you to stay connected and there's a number of things and resources that we can provide for you to keep studying and do everything we can do to give you fellowship as much as possible. Also, we have a free offer that goes along with our study. We're beginning a new quarterly I'll talk about in a minute and the lesson is 'is heaven for real?' Or 'heaven is it for real?' By Joe Crews. It's a fantastic booklet.

People wonder, 'is there a specific place for heaven?' 'Will we have real bodies in heaven?' You know, 'is it just a myth?' 'What will it be like?' And it tells us everything that we can learn from the Bible. Of course, there's some things about heaven we don't know because it said, 'the eyes has not seen, the ear has not heard, neither has it entered into the heart the things that God has prepared for those that love him. But if you'd like to know some of the things, send for this book. By the way, it's offer #189. Call 866-study-more - -788-3966.

We'll send it to your for free. Now that's for those in north America. If you're overseas you can read it online. How's that sound? For free. Just go to the Amazing Facts website and where it has our free study materials you'll see this book.

You can read it there. But if you want a hard copy, we'll send it to you. You've got to promise to read it and share it with someone else. You know, I'm excited. Let me catch my breath I'm so excited - I could hyperventillate and pass out in front of everybody.

We're entering into a new quarter right now that is on a great theme of Bible study. It's one of the, oh - not forgotten truths or - neglected truths in the Word of God among many Christians. You know there are a lot of Christians that understand some of the same things that seventh day adventists believe. You know, if someone was to say, 'what is a seventh day adventist?' I'd say, 'well, we're Bible Christians.' 'Well, but you've got a different name. What makes you different?' 'Well, we believe the ten commandments still exist.

We don't keep them to be saved but, because we love the Lord we believe we should obey. One of those is the seventh day Sabbath so we keep the seventh day Sabbath.' Well, there are a lot of other churches besides adventists that know that truth. There are seventh day baptists, seventh day pentecostal, world-wide church of God - there's a number of churches - church of God seventh day - a lot of churches understand the Sabbath truth so we don't have a copyright on that. Of course, it's in the Bible. Well, what else is different? Well, seventh day adventists believe that when you die your next conscious thought is the resurrection but you don't directly go to heaven or your punishment in hades, if you're lost, because you sleep until the judgment day - you sleep until the resurrection and the second coming.

The Bible is very clear about that. For those who die, it's their next conscious thought to be with the Lord, but for us who live in time it hasn't happened yet and so - but we're not the only church that believes that - there are other churches that know the truth about that. And you might say, 'well, we believe in baptism by immersion.' Well, baptists believe that. We're not the only church that believes that. And I can go down through some of our basic doctrines, but I'll tell you there's one thing that very few churches understand and it's the subject of the sanctuary.

Now I had an interesting experience a number of years ago after - shortly after becoming a seventh day adventist - and I studied deeply the Bible and the message and was very excited about it and when I learned the truth about the sanctuary I thought, 'how come I never saw that before?' Because I used to go to church on Sunday before I became a seventh day adventist and they never talked about that. But I realized it was from cover to cover in the Bible. And then I was in Texas helping family finish a house that they were building and I began - and there was no seventh day adventist church - and I would drive on Sabbath with the family to lubbock, Texas and worship there, but everyone else that we were working with and meeting all went to church on Sunday. And there are three churches in Texas - you've got your baptist church - there's more than three, but three main churches. Every town had these three churches - church of Christ, methodist.

And you drive through any town they had their church of Christ, their baptist church and their methodist church. A couple of - sometimes different varieites of the baptist church. Well, all the friends and family that we were getting to know there all went to one of these three churches and they were inviting us to go to their churches. So we went to the baptist church and they'd invite us to preach there. We made some friends from the church of Christ - and this was very rare, but - the one pastor got sick - they don't allow women to preach - so they said, 'Pastor Doug, will you come preach for us?' So I was invited to preach in the church of Christ and that was very unusual because it's a very strict church.

They don't use any musical instruments and a number of very fundamental doctrines. They had communion every week. How many of you know what I'm talking about? The old church of Christ? Yeah. And if someone said they accepted the Lord they baptized them that day - the same day that you accepted the Lord. And then I went to visit the - our landLord because we stayed there for months and we rented a house - mrs.

Comby - she went to the methodist church. She invited us so we went. Sunday school - the methodist quarterly - they use a quarterly just like we do. They divide up their Sunday school lesson for thirteen sections - four quarters - and it was on the sanctuary. And she was the Sunday school teacher and she started to kind of stumble through and try and teach the sanctuary and I could tell she was struggling so a couple times I raised my hand and I made a comment and pretty soon she said, 'brother doug, could you please teach this class for me? You know much more about it than we do.

' And so I started teaching Sunday school in the methodist church and it was on the sanctuary. And, you know, they were just going, 'wow! How come we've never heard this before?' And so, it just helped me realize - and I worshiped - I've been in a lot of different churches, but you very rarely hear a sermon on the sanctuary. Now we're going to do it for a whole quarter. So we've got our black belt in this subject, right? So today's lesson is lesson number one and hopefully - the last couple of weeks I think we've been handing them out - we have a couple on the corners, I see. Well, we've got just a few that are left.

If you don't have one, you might - ethan might hold one up for you - if you don't have a quarterly - see him right here? Keep - walk towards me. Right here. There you go. Hold your hands up and he'll get you one for your study today. You're going to have to swing around - they'll see your hand.

The study is on the heavenly sanctuary today. We have a memory verse. The memory verse comes to us from 1 Kings 8:49. This is the dedication prayer of Solomon. If you've got your Bibles I'd appreciate it if you said this out loud with me.

Are you ready? Kings 8:49, "then hear in heaven your dwelling place their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause." So when they built a sanctuary on earth, did they believe that God really lived in that building? I remember, with my Jewish grandmother, driving by a synagogue and it was a southern California synagogue - a temple - and it was a unique design in the stained glass with a Jewish star - I don't remember what made me ask the questions, but I must have been four or five years old and I said, 'grandma, what's that building?' She said, 'that's the house of God.' I thought, 'woah. God lives there.' I thought, 'I'm never going there.' Because I got in a lot of trouble. My grandma - whenever I'd, you know, hit my head or something she'd say, 'God's punishing you for running too fast.' I thought, you know, God was a policman who was going to punish us. If I'd go to God's house, I'd be in trouble all the time. And so, that scared me.

The idea that there's a building that he lived in and - when Solomon built the first temple, does the Bible teach they understood that God did not dwell in a man-made structure physically? Well, let's find out. We've got a lot to study on this subject. God is described as being omnipotent. What does that mean? All powerful. And God is described as being omniscient - all knowing - omniscience - and he's described as being omnipresent - that's what you were thinking dina - that means that he could be everywhere at one time.

It's like - it says - I think it's 1:37, 'where shall I flee from your presence? If I go to the bottom of the ocean like Jonah you're there. If I dig a hole and go into the caves you're there. If I climb a mountain you're there.' You can't flee from God's presence because he's omnipresent. That's why Jesus, when he ascended to heaven he said, 'I am with you wherever you go.' God is omnipresent. So how could God, if he's omnipresent, have an address? Is there a specific place where he dwells? If you had a cosmic gps - you know, gpss are great because they take these satellites that are in different places and because they get your location with these frequencies and they triangulate - they actually don't do it - triangulate is three points - good satellite reception you've got seven or nine points.

When I'm flying in my plane I've got a gps and it picks up these satellites - it'll not only tell me where I am on the map, it tells me my altitude - and right now these satellites are precise within like six feet - when these planes are landing. A lot of the newer planes, they can land themselves, right now. Remember recently we had a plane crash in san francisco? It basically came in too - too low and too slow so it stalled on approach. I knew right away what had happened because I've flown into san francisco many times and there's usually a strong headwind and it was a calm day and I think he was expecting that it'd be the same wind speed - slow you down - he came in, hit his gear, some people died, but he was making a manual approach. It was a beautiful day.

Those planes are able to make a gps approach because they can fix the location of that plane just to within a few feet off the ground and bring it in. If you had a cosmic gps and you punched it God's address, where would it take you? Is there a place out there somewhere where God has an address. I mean, in relationship to the other stars and galaxies, is he closer or further? If you were to take off and start flying through space and you could have an angel say, 'you're getting warm. You're getting warm. Nope.

You're getting cold, cold, cold. Turn left. Warm, warm, warm.' Could he navigate you in to where God's office is? What do you think? There is a place, I believe the Bible teaches there is a place where God dwells. Now we're going to study the dwelling place of God called the sanctuary. It is synonymous with the throne of God and we're going to be talking about that.

When we study the subject of the sanctuary, there are three or four words that are used. It's sometimes called 'the tabernacle'. Typically, the tabernacle is - we think of the portable sanctuary that was built in the wilderness. And sometimes we talk about the sanctuary - we use it - and that means 'holy place'. It sometimes is called 'the holy place' or sometimes it's called 'the temple'.

And so, those words are used interchangeably. Now I've got a few slides I'm going to have sherle pop up on the screen for us and I think it's going to start with the tabernacle in the wilderness. The first sanctuary that was built was built to be a teaching - a three-dimensional teaching structure to tell them about the Gospel, to tell them about God and how he saves us. And so, it was a very simple structure. There have been three temples on earth in the Bible.

The one in the wilderness. You've got the temple that was built by Solomon - David really amassed the material for it, but Solomon built it. That was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. And later, when Ezra, Nehemiah, and the captives came back from Babylon, they rebuilt the third one that was then greatly refurbished by herod the great. And Jesus taught in that temple.

That was destroyed in 70 ad. There has been no earthly temple built - or Jewish temple - since then. Some have speculated that that temple is going to be rebuilt. They all had basically three things in common. Go to the next picture please, sherle.

This is a simple design and we'll use the one in the wilderness. They had what they called the courtyard. Then there was - in the middle - the part that was covered was the holy place and as you passed through the holy place you came into this cubicle that held the ark of the covenant called the holy of holies. And it was called the holy of holies because it represented the dwelling place of God - the shekinah glory of God. When Moses spoke with the Lord it was in there.

Once a year the high priest could go in there. Any other priest went in there - any other person went in there - he'd be struck dead. It was called - it represented the presence of God. It was a symbol of the dwelling place of God in heaven. Now in the earthly sanctuary they had golden wallpaper in the holy place - angels were engraved.

In heaven, is God surrounded by golden wallpaper or a living wall of angels? Alright, so right away we see that on earth it is a figure of the real. If you go into the most holy place, there was the ark of the covenant and there were angels on top. Is God surrounded by two golden angels or real angels? Have you read in Isaiah chapter where it said, 'in the year that king azziah died I saw the Lord high and lifted up and his voice made the temple shake and he was flanked on the right and the left with seraphim - two angels - six wings and they're praying, constantly saying, 'holy, holy, holy.' And so here Isaiah has this vision of God on his throne in heaven but they're real angels, they're not golden ones. So everything you see in the earthly sanctuary is sort of a miniature to help us understand. By the way, the temple of Solomon, the temple built during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, all had courtyard, holy place, most holy place.

They all had the same basic furniture. The first thing you saw when you went into the courtyard was the altar and that's because the first thing was a sacrifice. By the way, there was one door. Jesus said, 'I'm the door.' One door in - altar, symbol of the cross - the place to sacrifice and that was kind of a symbol of justification, you might say. And then there was a bronze laver filled with water and - you can go to the altar real quick, sherle, and show that next picture.

The altar was the place where they would burn the sacrifice and this represents the cross of Christ. And after the sacrifice, the priests would also have a place of washing - it was a laver. This is just one artist's conception of that. I think this is a digital representation. They had a place for washing hands and feet.

So there was a lower place - you notice how the lower part is filled with water and the upper part. Because when they went into the holy place, they had to have - you know, foot washing was common in the Bible. They washed their hands - they'd wash their feet - they're going into the presence of God. And then when you went into the holy place - and that's the next picture - actually, this is I think a photograph - there's, oh, two or three ministries in North America that I know of, that have sanctuaries they've rebuilt and they put them in semis and they take them around the country and they minister to churches. I think one's called 'Messiah's mansion'.

And this, I think, is a photograph someone snapped of one of those where they've rebuilt some of the furniture. On the right, when you go in, there was a table called the table of showbread. I called it the table of shewbread for years because it was written that way in the King James version, but it's pronounced showbread and it just means 'bread on display' and this had twelve loaves representing the twelve tribes - Jesus is the bread - that was on your right. On the left was a candle with seven lamps and they're - different artists sometimes had a long pole for that rather than the pedestal and you'll see different artists conceptions of that. And then you had the altar of incense.

This represents the three disciplines in the Christian life. You need the Bible - bread of life - on the right. Man doesn't live by bread alone but by every word. It's a symbol for the word of God daily. Jesus said, 'I am that bread that came down from heaven.

' On the left the light - that means letting your light shine. Jesus is the light of the world. We're to be witnesses for the Lord and that was kept burning with the oil - a symbol for the Holy Spirit that was in there. And the altar of incense - they'd take this pure incense and they'd put it on these coals and the coals would come from the altar out in the courtyard and that altar in the courtyard had been ignited by God - fire of God came down and started it and they were to keep that holy fire going forever. Never let that fire of God go out.

And that happened when Solomon's temple was built - fire came down and ignited the sacrifice and that was God's fire - keep it going - it happened for Moses. So they used this incense - they put it on that fire then the prayers - it symbolized the prayers of the saints we're to send into the holy place before God. And so the three disciplines of the Christian life - you want to be healthy? Pray, read your Bible, let your light shine. It's just real simple. You share your faith, live the life - you're supposed to have a prayer life - be in communion with God and feeding your soul.

So that's what's happening in the holy place and that represents sanctification taking place there. And then you'd move into the holy of holies. Go to the next - that's another artist's conception here - yeah, I like that one. You see the candlestick, you can see the shewbread, you can see the priest is offering the prayers of the people, he's making atonement, he's interceding, and then you've got the ark of the covenant and inside - what was in the ark? Ten Commandments. You can go to the next picture.

The priest himself was a type of Christ. Christ is our high priest, is that right? And everything about the priest's clothes and we'll get - I don't want to give you everything in one bale of hay today but I'm trying to give you some stuff. Everything about the priest's clothes taught us something about the plan of salvation. Then you have the next implement and that was the ark - the golden box that everybody would like to find. ;It's still hidden, probably somewhere not far from Jerusalem or under Jerusalem in a cave.

It's been there since before Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple and, as far as we know, it's never been found. Inside are still those two stone tablets that were so important that God said, 'here's part of my word I am not going to commit to holy men or women to write, I'm going to write it myself. I'm going to speak it with my voice.' And so the golden box was really a container. The important thing - the treasure - was not the golden box, though we'd probably all like to find the golden box. The important thing was the words inside and when you think about it, you really have that in your Bible.

What's in that golden box is in your Bible: it's the Ten Commandments. It's the words of God. And so - is that my last picture? No, I think the last picture was - and then once a year, on the day of atonement, the high priest would go into the holy of holies and there was a special yom kippur ceremony - we're living right now, as I record this program, it's yom kippur, isn't it? And so they would have that special time of making atonement for God - God's people. And it was the end of the Jewish religious year - not their civil year. So that's just a quick overview of the sanctuary.

Now we're going to get into the lesson for today. I wanted to introduce it some here - some of you probably knew these things. Some of you thought, 'well, I never heard this before.' And you see the sanctuary theme all through the Bible. I'll get to that in just a minute. Alright, 'God's residence' - someone look up for me Isaiah 66, verses 1 and 2.

Now we've given out some verses - mike, let's get you a microphone. Thank you. Hold your hand up so that he can see you. And I'll start out with a verse that you find in 1 Kings 8:27. During the dedication prayer, Solomon, he says, "but will God indeed dwell on the earth?" - This is when Solomon's dedication prayer of the greatest temple that's ever been built on earth and Solomon, himself says, "will God indeed dwell on earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain you.

How much less this temple which I have built!" - He understood God wasn't in there. And then he said in verse 49 - 1 Kings 8:49, "then hear in heaven your dwelling place" - alright, so where did Solomon recognize the dwelling place of God was? "Hear in heaven your dwelling" - I'm building a temple here on earth but it is a symbol of your dwelling place. I know that you're not going to live here. You're not going to wake up and cook your breakfast and hang out here all day. This is not your dwelling place.

' The sanctuary on earth, was it built to scale of God's temple in heaven? I don't think so. Well, I think that proportionally it tells us something about it, but I believe that the real temple of God in heaven - those little golden angels on top of the ark, do you think real angels are that size? Or are they much bigger? Those hundred or thousand angels they engraved on the walls in the temple, do you think that represents all the angels of God? The dimensions of the temple on earth - picture, for a minute, how big space is - I mean, when you look at just like the orion nebula or the milky way galaxy where we live - it's, you know, thousands or hundreds of thousands of light years across - just the little star that we live in called the milky way galaxy is actually a galaxy. Now you think about the dwelling place of God - he'd want to have a representative-size structure. He's got a living wall of ten thousand times ten thousands of thousands of angels - shimmering angels - that surround his dwelling place. He doesn't have wallpaper.

It's all real. It's much bigger. Picture something that is, you know, a hundred light years across - I mean, I'm making it up - I don't know - but it's going to be much bigger. It's going to be majestic. So when you think about the temple of God in heaven, don't let the one on earth give you a puny concept of how big and awesome and majestic his real dwelling place is going to be in heaven.

It's like the difference between a matchbox porsche and a real porsche. No - it's the difference between a little matchbox ford pick-up and a monster truck. That's still not big enough a contrast, but I just want you to keep in mind, think big about the real thing. Solomon knew that. Alright, mike are you ready? Isaiah 66.

Isaiah 66, verses 1 and 2, "thus says the Lord, the heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you will build me? And where is the place of my rest? For all those things my hand has made, and all those things exist, says the Lord: but on this one will I look, on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my word." Amen. 'Heaven is my throne. The earth is my' - you've seen a throne before, with a little footstool for resting your feet on. Our planet is just a footstool and heaven is his throne. You see what I mean about the concept? So we've got to think a lot bigger.

Don't try to reduce God to fitting in a temple that is made with man's hands. Who has psalm 102:19? We gave that out. Right over here. We'll get you a microphone. Psalm 102, verse 19.

And in the meantime I'm going to read acts 17, verse 24 - acts :24, "God who made the world and everything in it, since he is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands." Now your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Do you want God to dwell in your heart? Does he physically try to inhabit your body? Does he squeeze in there like, you know, some amoeba that's infested you? No, God can't get in you that way, he's too big. You'd explode. You can't handle God. His spirit wants to abide in you, but the heavens cannot contain him.

Alright, go ahead, read for us psalm 102, verse 19. "For he looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven the Lord viewed the earth." Alright, are we beginning to get a pretty clear picture, from plain Bible language, that God lives up there somewhere in space and he looks down upon the earth? That there is a dwelling place from which he looks down? There is a place where God exists. And then you can read in - oh, where did I have that? - Jeremiah 23:23 and 24 - God says, "'am I a God near at hand,' says the Lord, 'and not a God afar off?...do I not fill heaven and earth?'" So while God has a specific place where he dwells, he inhabits heaven and earth everywhere. There's no one place that he - or rather, there's no place that he cannot be through his omnipresence, but there is a specifical place - specifical? That was a good word. We ought to write that down.

Yeah, let's use that again. Sometimes we make up words - everyone knows what I mean and - yeah, specific place that he dwells. Look with me in Revelation chapter 21, verse 22. What does it mean when it says in heaven, "but I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God almighty and the lamb are its temple"? Is there a temple in heaven? Well, God has a temple in the universe right now, but when it comes down to earth - this kind of confuses people. Will there be a specific temple on earth? I'm going to make you jump to a couple of verses here.

This is an interesting study. Ezekiel 47:12 - go to Ezekiel 47:12 for just a second. I'm going to make you think. In the new heaven will God have a dwelling place? Let's look at Ezekiel 47:12. Do a little detective work here.

"Along the bank of the river," - he's speaking of heaven - "on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not whither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary." - Where's the water come from? - "From the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing" - or for medicine. Does that sound familiar? Now I'm going to jump to Revelation 22 - remember, most of Revelation is drawn from these old testament prophecies. "And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne" - now this is going to come up in just a minute - the other one said proceeding from the sanctuary - Ezekiel said - now John says, 'proceeding from the throne.

Where is the throne of God? Isn't the throne of God in the sanctuary? I think so. Matter of fact, what did they call the ark of the covenant? The lid is called the mercy seat. It represents the presence of God or the throne of God. - "Proceeding from the throne of God and of the lamb." - God and the lamb - "in the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the Tree of Life, which bore twelve fruits," - we just read where it said it had fruit monthly - "each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him." So, it says there's no temple in it. Go to Revelation chapter 21, verse 3, "and I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'behold, the tabernacle" - by the way, it's the second to the last chapter of the Bible - "the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people. God himself will be with them and be their God." Is God literally going to move his dwelling place from wherever it is out there now to this planet when he makes a new heaven and a new earth? It seems like he will. Why does it say there's no temple in it? Because will there be blood being offered? Will there be a place of sacrifice? See, in the temple of heaven, Jesus is pleading his blood. There is atonement going on where there's his sacrifice being pled.

The dwelling place of God will be in the new earth because he's going to dwell with us. His throne will be in the new earth. But will there be the atonement going on where blood is being pled and that kind of intercession for sin? No. So in that sense there is not a temple in the new - what was the first thing you saw when you went into the earthly temple? A place of sacrifice. Will that be in heaven? No.

And will we need cleansing? No. You're going to have a water - you notice just before the holy place there was water? Now, before the throne in heaven water proceeds - a river flows out. And so Jesus is that river of life also. Alright now - I'm all over the place a little bit - I hope it's making sense. Go with me to 2 Samuel chapter , verse 5.

I want someone to look up for me psalm 103:19. Who did we give that to? Over here? We'll get you a microphone. Psalm 103:19 - just wait for me and I'll get your Scripture in just a minute. 2 Samuel 7 - Samuel 7, verses 5 to 7. You remember David wanted to build a temple for the Lord because the temple that Moses built was in pretty bad condition at that point.

The age of Judges had gone by and it had been worn down. "Go and tell my servant David, 'thus says the Lord: 'would you build a house for me to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle. Wherever I have moved about with all the children of Israel, have I ever spoken a word to anyone from the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, 'why have you not built me a house of cedar?'''" - You know, God is saying, 'everything that's made I made.' It's not like he's going to get wet if we don't build him a house, right? So the purpose of the temple is really to teach about salvation. It's not to give God shelter. Do we all agree with that? He doesn't need protection from the elements, so to speak.

Now, going to the next section, 'the throneroom' - psalm 93, verse 2 - does God have a place where he sits? It doesn't mean he sits all day long. Does the King have a place where he sits for times of judgment? Yeah. It's a place where - the center of his reign. The queen of england - is there a throneroom? There is. Kings and queens.

Now some people are saying, 'well' - let me read my verse for you first. Psalm 93, verse 2, "your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting." So God has a throne - pretty clear? Some people have said, 'well, we get this idea that God has a throne that's drawn from our earthly thrones.' I think we might look at it differently. I think that going back into antiquity, the antidiluvians and the great patriarchs, they understood that God was the King of the universe and he had a place where he reigned and he sat as judge. We've heard of the great white throne judgment. And so earthly monarchs have borrowed the idea of the throne from God's dwelling place where he reigns.

You see what I'm saying? Sometimes we think that we've invented things and we create our God based on our customs. You know, I think some of our customs have come from the eternal truths and I think there is an eternal truth that God does reign and there is a center of the universe where he dwells. 'But Pastor Doug, Jesus said God is a spirit. How can he inhabit a specific place?' That's a common mistake people make. Because God is a spirit doesn't mean that he doesn't have a form.

Because God is a spirit doesn't mean that he doesn't have a spiritual body that inhabits a place. People believe in ghosts that haunt houses all the time. Why do we have a problem with the idea that God is a spirit and yet he can't be in a place. You know what I'm saying? When we get to heaven will we have physical bodies or spiritual bodies? Flesh and blood cannot inhabit the Kingdom of God but at the same time we have spiritual bodies. They are physical and spiritual together.

Are there angels around us now? We can't see them because we just have physical bodies. But when we have our glorified bodies will we be able to see angels just like I'm looking at you? Yeah. But will we still eat and build houses and inhabit them? We'll plant vineyards, we'll build houses, we'll inhabit them, we'll eat, we'll drink, we'll do real things like adam and eve were planned to do real things. God is both. God has a real essence and yet he is a spirit.

When Jesus said God is a spirit he was letting us know that when we worship him, we must worship him in spirit and in truth. That's what he told the woman and the well. Daniel 7, verse 9 - I actually read this to you last week in a different message. Daniel 7, verse 9, "I watched till thrones were put in place, and the ancient of days was seated;" - now is that God The Son or God The Father? It's got to be God The Father because you keep reading and it says, 'one like The Son of man came before the ancient of days.' So you've got two individuals. Is there a place where God is seated? Does he have a throne? Does it mean - you know what I like about this? It tells us that God doesn't sit all the time.

What did the Lord do with adam and eve in the garden? He came to walk with them. There was a time - appointment - when he would come meet with them and commune - he walks with me and he talks with me. Of course that's in The Song, 'I come to the garden alone' - it's not in the Bible. But I think it's true. I think God goes about his creation.

I don't think God just sits day after day like a long airplane ride. All the time he's sitting down. The very facts here - it says 'the ancient of days was seated.' That means before he was seated he wasn't seated. You with me? That means he was doing something else. That's good to know - that God doesn't just sit all the time.

We always think of him that he's got a full-time job sitting on his throne. But is there a place where he has a throne? Yeah. "And the hair of his head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire;" you're saying, 'Pastor Doug, that sounds like the description of Jesus in the new testament.' Yeah, well, Jesus said, 'if you've seen me you've seen the father.' They probably are like each other. Alright Isaiah - we already read that - he saw the Lord on his throne.

Psalm 89:14 - it says, "righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; mercy and truth go before your face." So the throne of God, from which he Judges, with what characteristics does he judge? Righteousness and justice are the foundation. What else? Mercy and truth. What does the Lord love? Righteousness, justice, mercy and truth because they are the embodiment of who he is. And so, when he sits on his throne it's telling us this is who his character is. Now if you want to find the word 'throne' a lot, I don't think there's a chapter in the Bible that talks more about the throne than Revelation chapter 4.

I did a rough count and I think it's ten or eleven times - you'll have to do it on your own - but I'm just going to read for you verse 4 - no, I'm sorry, chapter 4, verses 2 to 6 - Revelation chapter 4, verses 2 to 6. Let me read that, "immediately I was in the Spirit and behold a throne set in heaven." So where's the throne? "And one sat on the throne. And he who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices.

" - These things also happened on Mount Sinai during the ten commandments delivery - "seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne," - where else do we see seven lamps? In the sanctuary? - "Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back." It goes on. It describes this - by the way, does it talk about creatures around the throne of God in Ezekiel? Does it talk about wheels within wheels in Ezekiel? A lot of the things you're going to see in Revelation describing heaven were seen by that prophet priest in the old testament. And so, it's just got a great picture.

Now, one of the things I want to say - I'm looking at the clock and I'm talking fast because there's so much I want to try and get into this lesson. This is just really an introduction to the sanctuary. We need to understand the subject of the sanctuary for a number of reasons. For one, Jesus said, 'you'll know the truth, the truth will set you free. The truth of God is known through the sanctuary.

It says, 'thy ways, o God, are in the sanctuary.' In Psalms - is that 77? 'Thy way, o God, is in the sanctuary.' The way that he saves us is demonstrated through the sanctuary. We are not saved unless we know the Lord. He is revealed through the sanctuary. Jesus said, 'destroy this temple made with hands, in three days I'll make one without hands.' What? A temple - a sanctuary - and that's his body. What's his body? The church.

And so understanding the church, understanding Christ, understanding the body of Christ - you can learn all those things from this interesting piece of architecture. It teaches us so much - and the services that took place in there tell us about God. Revelation - you want to understand the prophecies for the last days - Revelation 1, verse 12, "then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands," - do you see that - are there lampstands in the earthly temple? Go to Revelation 8, verse 3, "then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints" - do we have an altar in the earthly temple? Revelation 5:6, "and I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

" Was there a lamb slain in the earthly temple? Go to Revelation 11:19, "then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of his covenant" - there's the holiest thing of all - "the ark of his covenant was seen in his temple." So the whole book of Revelation transpires in the context of the heavenly temple - as does Ezekiel - not all of Ezekiel, but much of Ezekiel talks about the temple - as does Isaiah - references the temple in his visions - as does Daniel - reference the temple in his visions. And, not to mention, the goal of David's life was to build a temple. Beginning of Solomon's life is building a temple and you could talk about hezekiah and all the Kings and so many of these things transpired around the temple. A lot of Jesus' teaching - John chapter 8 - he entered and taught early in the morning. 'Was I not daily with you teaching in the temple?' And so - and in the last days it says, 'that wicked one, the devil, will sit in the temple of God showing himself that he is God.

' Do we need to understand this subject? If it goes all the way from Genesis to Revelation then maybe we could learn something about the plan of salvation. Maybe we could learn something about the Lord by studying what happened in this building. It even teaches us something about the human body. I don't want to rush ahead but, I may get to this later, your body is the temple of the holy spirit. There was an altar in the temple where fire was burning.

Your body is constantly consuming energy. If for a moment you should not - if that fire goes out - you die. There was a cleansing - there was liquid in the sanctuary for cleansing - you've got a circulatory system - you're mostly water. The Bible says that the Spirit is like - the eye of the body is the lamp. And it talks about the holy of holies would be like the mind, 'as a man thinks in his heart' - it was the heart of the sanctuary.

'Thy word I have hid in my heart.' The law was in there, right? They were consuming sacrifices - they had storage in the sanctuary - food was stored there. Your body stores food. Some of us store more than others. But all these things that you see - and the prayer - the altar of incense - so you can even learn about your body by studying the subject of the sanctuary. And I'm just touching on these things - myself and the other teachers will go into these things in more depth.

In the sanctuary it was a place of worship. What is the plan of salvation all about? Isn't it a battle over worship? You can read in job, 'there was a day when The Sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord. Satan came also among them. God said to satan, 'where'd you come from?' 'I came from the earth.'' There is a place where God meets with his other leaders of other worlds in heaven and satan came from the earth - so there is a dwelling place of God out there. It tells us there - this is also a courtroom - there's a great judgment day.

'the Lord is in his holy temple. the Lord's throne is in heaven. He beholds the eyelids of men. He tests The Sons of men.' We read about the great judgment day in heaven. Now someone's got habukkuk chapter 2, verse 20 - who has that? Right here.

We're going to have you read - this is our last verse and I'm afraid we're going to be out of time before we can do any more. Deuteronomy 25 - it says, 'if there's a dispute between men and they come to court, that the Judges might judge them that they might justify the righteous and condemn the wicked. There was a place of judgment. God's dwelling place is also a place of judgment and there's a judgment that goes on just before Jesus comes back, isn't there? So sanctuary teaches us about that and that's very important for another lesson. Alright, go ahead, read for us please in habukkuk 2:20.

"But the Lord is in his holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before him." Is there a difference when we come to worship before the Lord and when you come into a court and there's judgment? Have you ever seen a judge put his gavel down and say, 'quiet in the court'? And so it's especially awesome and there's a silence and a reverence especially during the time of judgment because sentence is being issued that will have eternal destinies. And then, is it different when you are before the throne of God and the angels are singing - like you see in Isaiah? And so, different things are happening. We're going to study all this. We have run out of time.

I want to remind our friends we have a special offer that goes along with our subject, 'heaven, is it for real?' We'll send it to you. It's an inspiring book. It tells you about the characteristics of heaven. Offer #189 - call - and this, of course, is for North America and we'll send you a copy or you can read it online at the amazing facts website. Call the number on your screen we'll send you one.

866-788-3966 And I'm excited. I'm looking forward to getting into some of the other studies on God's sanctuary. If you're joining us and you've not done this with us before, friends, you'd like to be part of this study - we're just on lesson #1. Contact your neighborhood seventh day adventist church and they'll get you one of these quarterlies so you can study with them. You can even find them online by just going to - type in 'Sabbathschool.

net' and you'll see the study guides are online as well. God bless you 'til we study God's Word together next week. In six days God created the heavens and the earth. For thousands of years man has worshiped God on the seventh day of the week. Now, each week, millions of people worship on the first day.

What happened? Why did God create a day of rest? Does it really matter what day we worship? Who was behind this great shift? Discover the truth behind God's law and how it was changed. Visit Sabbathtruth.com.

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