Heaven On Earth

Scripture: Hebrews 8:5, Exodus 39:32-43, Revelation 21:1-22
Date: 10/12/2013 
Lesson: 2
"Though the sanctuary in heaven is the original, the one where God Himself is ministsering 'for us,' the Lord has revealed truths about this sanctuary in different ways to us here on earth. God created the Garden of Eden as a symbol of the sanctuary."
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church. Welcome and Happy Sabbath. We're so happy you're joining us this morning. If you're behind a tv screen or behind a computer screen, we'd like you to know that we have a special place here for you in the sanctuary - we actually have seats. So if you ever decide to come visit us locally, I'll be saving a seat for you.

This morning we have all the hymns that you've requested every week and by the grace of God we're here to sing them with you. So if you have your hymnals, let's pull them out. And our first song this morning is hymn #569 - 'pass me not o gentle Savior'. This comes as a request from jonatas in brazil, tamara in the cayman islands, martine in France, gladwin in india, freddy in the Solomon islands, erica in taiwan, and leonard in the united arab emirates. Now this is a request from all over so know that we've got you - all over the planet.

We'll sing the first, second and fourth stanzas of hymn #569. Amen. 'Whom have I on earth beside thee? Whom in heaven but thee?' Isn't that awesome? I love that we were able to sing this song with a bit of oomph because we're saying, 'God, hey, we want to get your attention. Don't pass me by. Hear my humble cry.

I'm excited and I want you to save me.' What an awesome request. If you have a request, visit us at 'www.saccentral.org'. If you click on the 'contact us' link requesting any hymn - old or new, fast or slow - within our hymnal, we'll be happy to hear from you. Our next song this morning - moving through our hymnal is hymn #73 - 'holy, holy, holy' - we will sing the first, second and third stanzas. Amen.

'Holy, holy, holy' - three times for God The Father, God The Son, and the Holy Spirit. Let's pray. Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for your holiness. We thank you that you've given us this image - this character of how holy you are that we might reflect it here on earth. We ask that by the help of Jesus Christ that every day we walk and talk and think like you.

This morning, as we worship and study we ask that you have your Holy Spirit come and engulf us. Help pastor white as he brings our message today and help us. Let us hear and let us have it in our hearts not only after today, but well into the week. We thank you for loving us and we thank you for keeping us. In Jesus' Name we pray, amen.

Our lesson study this morning will be brought to us by pastor harold white, our administrative pastor at Sacramento central. Alright, good morning. Thank you. Happy Sabbath to you. Beautiful day here in Sacramento.

Glad all of you joined us and everyone joining us live streaming or if you're joining us this morning on your computer, radio - we are happy that you are with us today, too. We have a free offer in keeping with the subject of our quarterly - the sanctuary - and it's entitled 'a heavenly model' and all you have to do is ask for offer #802 - 'a heavenly model' - and this particular lesson will answer a lot of questions. 'Why did God ask Moses to build a tabernacle?' For example and 'what did God expect his people to learn from the sanctuary?' 'Why did animals need to be sacrificed in the old testament sanctuary services?' And 'did the day of atonement foreshadow a cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary?' Those are very important issues and all you have to do to get this offer #802 is to dial -study-more or 866-788-3966. Now this morning our subject title is 'heaven on earth'. The concept that heaven or eternal life - when we think of heaven we think of eternal life.

That concept, to me, as a boy was really - I had no idea there was going to be an earth made new. I never had heard such a thought - and that we'd be back here with God with us for eternity. That was a Revelational thought to me. I had such a vague idea of heaven that it wasn't too far removed that someday I would be out there on a cloud playing a harp. That's about all I had ever heard about heaven.

But when you really study the word it - wow - it takes on so much more meaning, especially this subject, the sanctuary. So if you would please join me this morning to read our memory text taken from Hebrews chapter and verse 5 in the new king James version. If you'd read along with me now, okay? "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 that's where we are in our quarterly this week. Heaven on earth takes on amazing concepts.

The sanctuary in heaven is a real place. Evidently we find out from the word that the sanctuary in heaven is a real place with real objects - real things there - and because we have been told that the earthly sanctuary was modeled after the heavenly sanctuary. God gave Moses instruction to build the first sanctuary and there were some staggering truths that were to be taught because of this sanctuary and the services. It was all wrapped up in Jesus Christ, the coming Messiah. It was all about him.

Everything pointed towards him and it's - there's so many things we can learn this quarter for sure. As we move to Sunday's lesson entitled, 'the first sanctuary on earth' - this was a new thought to a lot of people. In fact, a gentleman a few minutes ago told me 'there are some new thoughts in this lesson this week' and this is one of them - that we think of the first sanctuary as the one that God gave Moses instructions to build, but the lesson brings out that the first sanctuary on earth being that in the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden was considered a sanctuary or 'holy of holies' as one writing points out. Did God dwell in the garden? His presence was there.

He talked to adam and eve. He communicated with them so his presence was there. It wasn't confined to the garden, of course, you can't confine God to any place or anything. But he was there. He was with them.

And his presence was there. He communicated openly with them and some parallels are given between the Garden of Eden and the sanctuary built later and we will touch on those as we go through the lesson this morning. He came to earth even though his home had been in heaven. Now this was his intention all along - to dwell with man. That was his intention - to build - to create the earth - inhabit it.

And he was going to come and dwell with those who he created and that was his intention until sin came into the picture, right? Sin ruined everything. Sin didn't just drive adam and eve out of the garden, but God's special presence, evidently, because after awhile the garden was removed - no more garden of eden. God always wanted to dwell with his creation. And how sad this 6,000-year interruption between God dwelling with his people in a personal dynamic way and when he can - when he's able to do it again at the end of the thousand years after Jesus comes. So a long interruption in his original plan.

Will he revive his plan? He will revive his plan in a new creation of a new earth and a new heaven - a new heaven and a new earth. And that's the ultimate of the good news. That's the ultimate of the Gospel is that he will come and dwell with us again in a perfect environment - a perfectly made remade earth. I was reading recently we shouldn't worship the Gospel. The Gospel is the great news - the good news - but we shouldn't worship it.

We should worship the one who made the good news possible. So while we may look forward to many things on the earth made new - no more sickness, no more pain, no more sorrow, no more death - all these wonderful things - a perfect environment - perfect weather - perfect everything. That's all glorious and fun to think about, but don't worship it. Worship the one who is going to make it all possible. That's the intention that God would have for each one of us.

Now, the concept was one of the parallels between the garden and the first earthly sanctuary that was built. God did dwell in the holy of holies. His special shekinah glory was in the earthly sanctuary. Now, many times, this special presence of God in the earthly sanctuary was manifested at certain times when his people would stray and they needed to be brought back or something - some special demonstration would be shown and they would know that God's special presence was there. So God did dwell in the earthly sanctuary.

He can't be confined to it, of course, but he certainly was there - his presence. Now, some people question 'why doesn't God do that today? Why doesn't he give us a special place - a sanctuary - one special place like he had for the children of Israel that we could sense, we could feel, we could see his presence - his glory - his shekinah?' Why doesn't he do that? Well, there's a good question and I believe it has some good answers. One, we must realize that the earthly sanctuary pointed towards Christ, the coming Messiah. Everything in the sanctuary and all of the services pointed to Jesus. Jesus came and fulfilled all that the sanctuary revealed down to the - down to the minutest degree.

And so we have this example ever before us. We don't have to have a special place. We have the example of Jesus coming and fulfilling everything that was - possibly could be fulfilled in the sanctuary and its services. And secondly, in the word, we have a special Revelation of Christ. The book of Revelation is a Revelation of Jesus.

If you want a special demonstration go to the word and find Jesus. Jesus is the word. We don't need a special building, we have the word. We have the word better than anybody has ever had the word on the face of the earth at any time. We have - you probably have ten Bibles in your home - some of you - I know I do.

We have the word. This is Jesus the word. Jesus is the word. We have it right before us. We don't need a special building.

So he's made his demonstration to us for all time. We should never complain that we don't have any special demonstrations of God's presence. Patriarchs and Prophets would have given their eye tooth to live right now where you and I are living and to know the things that we know. They even wrote things that they didn't understand but we do. That's amazing.

We're so fortunate. Well, back to the lesson. The comparison is given of how adam was to tend and keep the garden. The same two verbs are used for the service of the levites in the tabernacle - to tend and keep the tabernacle. Of the two, I would certainly have enjoyed the first tend and keep better than the second tend and keep.

Tend and keep the garden would have been a glorious experience. A perfect environment with perfect and endless vitality. Wouldn't that have been a joy? Just in itself - to be perfectly full of vigor and vitality and to tend a garden that was just perfect. I would have lot rather done that than to tend and keep the tabernacle. Why? Well that was a bit tedious to be a levite.

I mean, just the sacrificial part of the sanctuary services was more than tedious, it was hard work. Before I was a Christian, my early adult life, I was a butcher's helper. I worked in an butcher shop in a pretty large grocery store. And I know how much - how hard of work it is just to cut one side of beef - they call it a side - a half of a cow - basically half - no head, no hooves - but - no innards - but a half of a cow. It's called a side.

And it took a pretty strong man to carry one half of a cow and plop it onto a block and start cutting it all up. A lot of work and very messy. To tend and keep the garden wasn't anything like that. To tend and keep the tabernacle was a lot different. So I would have definitely preferred the first to be sure.

Now we often say that we are homesick for heaven. Well, we - that's a good thing to say, I guess. We're homesick for heaven. But we've never been in a heavenly environment. Adam and eve had.

Think how badly they were homesick for heaven. They must have - thousands and thousands and thousands of times longed to be home in their heavenly atmosphere experience. The Garden of Eden was a heavenly atmosphere, right? It was just a marvelous place. And they lost it. How often they would have longed to be back there, but because of sin, of course, they couldn't.

From tend and keep - to slay and butcher. That's a drastic change for adam and eve because they had to begin slaying and butchering animals sacrificially. Another parallel was given of the cherubims. Angels were in the garden. Angels were in the sanctuary.

Angels will come back with Jesus when Jesus reappears. Thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand angels will come with Jesus. I was reading recently also that - about angels - we don't think enough about our angels and how they are always ministering to us. We just don't even talk about it near enough. We don't think enough about it near enough.

Angels that are in this place this morning - praise God. It's nice to think about a guardian angel. Each one of us has angels watching over us. Think about an angel. An angel is in heaven with God.

That's - we don't have any idea how far out that is - I mean, our telescopes have gone how many light years away and we haven't exactly seen heaven yet - in the telescope - so it's way out there - heaven. But an angel is in front of God and God says, 'I need you to go down and help out so and so. He or she is going to have a problem and you need to go right away.' Snap - bingo! That angel that was there is now right by your side in a split - less than a second. Whew! It says in the Bible that we are made a little lower than angels. I can hardly wait until I'm actually at least equal to an angel.

Wow, that kind of travel is out of our mind - we just can't think about it. But let us move on to Monday's lesson entitled 'a copy of the pattern'. We are referred to Exodus 25:9 and verse 40 which says this - verse 9, "according to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it." Verse 40, "and look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount." Then we need to compare that with Hebrews 8:5 and Hebrews 9:23 and 24. :5 Says - Hebrews 8:5, "who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, see, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount." Then chapter 9, verses 23 and , "it was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.

" So we ask the big question to begin with, 'what was one of the big reasons that God had this sanctuary built?' Did he come to dwell in this sanctuary? Yes. Was he confined to it? No. Pastor Batchelor talked about that somewhat last week. You can't confine God to any tabernacle or any place, but certainly his presence was there. He came down from heaven to earth as has always been his desire.

He did inhabit the sanctuary. There was a shekinah glory. Exodus 25:8 says, "and let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them." And 'Patriarchs and Prophets' page 372 says, "above the mercy seat was the shekinah. The manifestation of the divine presence and from between the cherubim God made known his will." And then again it says, "beyond the second veil, the sacred ark with its mystic cherubim and above it the holy shekinah - the visible manifestation of jehovah's presence. All but a dim reflection" - get that - "all but a dim reflection of the glories of the temple of God in heaven.

The great center of the work for man's redemptions. Truly God did come from heaven to dwell with man in a tabernacle but it is a dim reflection of the glories that exist in the heavenly sanctuary." Can God do that? Of course he can. God can do anything. I hope that you can exercise your pure minds for just a few moments now. Think back to when the command was given to Moses to build the earthly sanctuary and the view of God was not nearly as comprehensive as we can have a view of God today in the sense that back then the world was not nearly as big as we know it to be today - the universe.

They looked out and I think I read one place that they even had the number of stars counted. There were only so many thousands. Well, we know now that there's trillions and trillions and trillions of stars and some of those stars that we see are not just stars but they're whole galaxies full of stars. It's incredible. Our concept of God is even so much bigger than the concept that these people could have had of God back then.

We know so much more. So to say that we are going to confine God to an earthly building, that would be an interesting concept. But yes, his special presence did dwell in the sanctuary. Heaven was come down to earth in this special way. Now consider this: before God created the earth and its inhabitants, a plan was put in place, was it not, that if man fell there would be a way to save man.

Are we understanding that to be true? Let me share a text with you. Hebrews 4:3 - one of many that talks about this - "for we which have believed to enter into rest, as he said, as I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world." The plan of salvation was laid from the foundations of the world. That's an amazing thing to ponder for us also. So Jesus confided with the father. In fact, we're told that he confided with The Father more than once - I think up to three times at least - about his willingness to come and be the Savior to a lost mankind if indeed man did fall into sin.

Can you imagine that? Can you imagine the conversation between The Father and The Son? 'Please let me go. I want to go.' The Father reluctant, in one sense, to let his son go but wanting to because of his love for us - amazing love. It's hard to comprehend all that it's just so amazing. Think of the emotions and the intense discussion that took place between The Father and the son. So the plan was laid from the foundation of the world.

Before creation ever took place this plan was in place. Creation takes place and the clock begins ticking. Prophecies were given to prophets - time prophecies - to when the Savior would come and be born and be baptized and all that. So the clock ticks, ticks, ticks down to the time when Jesus comes to his father - I'm sure the Holy Spirit was there - and Jesus says to The Father and the Holy Spirit, 'the time is here.' The Holy Spirit and The Father probably do not need to say a word. They know what time he's talking about.

He's talking about the time that was for him to leave the equality that he had with his Father in Heaven and come and become a human being upon this earth. Think about that moment. Think about the emotions of that moment and the Holy Spirit leaves and where does he go? He visits a young lady - a young virgin named mary - and in an instant - in a single moment - Jesus Christ, who is God - God of this entire universe - emptied himself of the equality that he had with his father and he becomes a speck so small it takes a microscope to see. What an amazing condescension from God to a speck. We can't comprehend it.

We can't begin to imagine. We can't begin to comprehend it at all. Jesus making such - what happened to Jesus? From the God of the vast universe - more vast than we could have ever imagined - becomes a speck as heaven comes to earth. Did Jesus confine himself to this speck? Well, we can't answer questions like that - not yet - but we can understand that he did empty himself of the equality that he had with his father. He didn't become a man, he immediately became a speck in a virgin's womb.

And then, in nine months or so, he actually was born and grew up, eventually, to be a man. Father and son perfectly unified - perfectly loving - for an eternity of time now - pop - there's a separation there that's hard to explain. Why? Because heaven wants to come down to earth as - our lesson is all about heaven comes down to earth. Jesus is the best heaven has to offer and he comes down to earth for us. It's mind-boggling.

And the sanctuary was all a forerunner to this event. God had come down to dwell with him in the sanctuary built with hands and everything in that sanctuary pointed to the Savior that one day would come down to earth from heaven to begin dwelling in the sanctuary of a young woman for approximately nine months and then he would be born. And as he began his ministry, it was all about trying to help the world to see that just as he came down to earth to dwell in the sanctuary and in a sense he came down to begin his earthly sojourn in this young virgin, he alone should dwell in the sanctuary of each one of our hearts. Amazing stuff. Now back to Monday a bit more, 'a copy of the pattern'.

It is important to understand that the earthly sanctuary was constructed after the pattern. Where was the pattern? The pattern is in heaven - the heavenly sanctuary. I think that's important to know because it helps us to connect with heaven. Just as children look like their parents and act a lot like their parents, it helps that connection. Just like when we move.

Moving is one of the biggest stressors on earth. It causes so much stress to people when they have to move. Take up roots and move to another state maybe - even another country. It's a very stressful thing. And when you get settled and you have your furniture - furniture that you're used to - in place - ahhh, that's such a stabilizing influence on us.

You see the things you're used to and it's - well, that's what it is with the heavenly sanctuary and the earthly sanctuary. We are connected to heaven because of the earthly sanctuary. And the more we study the earthly sanctuary, the better it will be for us in regards to this connection. Something else I think is important here on Monday is something was very confusing to me, at first, when I became a Christian. I couldn't keep it all separated.

I used to scratch my head a little bit. I'd think 'what does this mean? What does it mean?' A good explanation is given in the lesson. The bottom of the page there, on Monday, the relationship between the two is called 'typology'. 'Typology is a divinely designed prophetic configuration that involves two corresponding historical realities called 'type' - or the original - and the antitype - the copy.' You ever struggle with that? Which is which? Type - antitype - type met antitype - well, it's all in that definition there. It goes on to say, 'because the corresponding rungs from the type - or original - to the antitype - copy - we can see in Hebrews that the heavenly model that Moses had seen is referred to as type or 'pattern' and the earthly sanctuary is the antitype or 'the copy'.

Okay? And then it points out that we, as seventh day adventists, are on solid ground when we emphasize the physical reality of the heavenly sanctuary and that is important in the sense that so many other denominations don't even discuss the sanctuary concept whatsoever. The sanctuary and the truth surrounding the sanctuary, basically are just seventh day adventists are the ones that understand it and explain it and teach it. And it's - it's very - it's very enlightening to me. As a young Christian I had come to believe the Sabbath is the seventh day. I had come to believe the truth about what happens to you when you die.

I was learning a lot about the health messages and all the wonderful different teachings, but as I learned some of these things I found another church teaching even - a little church - some other churches - teaching that you should worship on Sabbath and I found some churches that believe - very few - that believe the truth about the state of the dead. But I didn't find anybody teaching anything about the sanctuary. When I studied the sanctuary message and all of its ramifications and all the pieces fitting together like a big, giant, wonderful jigsaw - it was just a wonderful Revelation of God's Word being what it is and how we, as God's remnant people, can be encouraged. We don't have to - we don't have to be apologetic at all about teaching this subject. It is a very, very important subject.

It helps us to understand who we are. We are God's remnant people with a very special remnant message, are we not? And we must not be apologetic about it. I mean, think about it, all other religions - well, Jesus Christ is known around the world. Maybe people aren't Christians but they've heard of Jesus Christ. Probably hardly anyone in America has not heard about Jesus Christ and know some things about him.

Other religions - and I'm not knocking any other religion - but it's different. How many people know anything about mohammed other than the people that follow that persuasion? Or buddha? Probably not one in a hundred thousand know two facts about buddha if they're not part of that persuasion. But the sanctuary and its services, from the very beginning, all focused around Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the center of everything. Everybody knows something about Jesus.

Nothing else on earth is so comprehensive as the sanctuary is about Jesus. It all points - pointed toward Jesus. This is a fantastic subject and I hope by the end of this quarter all of us understand how fantastic this subject really is, especially to us as seventh day adventists and how we need to get it out to the world around us. And, of course, that is why it has been the object of attack through the years. There have been people who rise up within our own denomination and attack the sanctuary message.

You probably are aware of that. And it happens every so often. Somebody gets a following because they come up with some new ideas or different thoughts about the sanctuary and it's been very interesting to follow those individuals throughout the years. They all get a little following - they all make a big commotion and then, eventually, every one of them go off into, kind of, obscurity. Oh, they still have a little following sometimes but they are really accomplishing nothing - nothing for the saving of souls.

They just have this little bitty following they were - they just fade off into oblivion, basically - most of them - almost all of them. So yes, the sanctuary message has been attacked but the sanctuary message is like a bob. It bobs up because it's always going to be perfectly - it's a perfect message. It's a wonderful message and you can't do away with it. Well, the lesson shifts emphasis quite a few times this week.

Tuesday is entitled 'Jesus as the sanctuary' and we are taken to the Gospel of John chapter :19 through 21, "Jesus answered and said unto them, 'destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' Then said the jews, 'forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?' But he spake of the temple of the body." You know, as you put yourself in the sandals of the Jewish people, if they didn't really have a connection with Jesus like they should have, they would have - they would have had a hard time with some of the things he was saying. This is one of them. 'I am the bread of life. I am the light of the world.' Well, if you didn't understand who he was and have that connection with him, you would say, 'what? Who does this guy think he is?' 'Unless you eat my body and drink my blood' - 'what? Don't say those kind of things. That's blasphemy.

You're talking nonsense. You're a crazy man.' You'd think that if you didn't know who Jesus was or what he was all about and if you didn't have that connection with him. The same things applies to us today. Sometimes if people get these crazy ideas and think, 'oh, that's crazy' or 'that teaching doesn't make any sense' - it won't make any sense unless you're connected to the person who gives the teaching, Jesus Christ. So we have the same thing to contend with.

Now the thing here with Jesus referring to him as being the temple or the sanctuary, the Jewish leaders should have caught on quickly. And perhaps some of them did and that's why they got so upset with him. For the whole sanctuary thing was all about him and all the formalities and all the services and all the furniture and everything was all about him and, as you know as well as I do, they lost sight of all that and it all became just a matter of form - formality to them and so they didn't understand what he was trying to say and if they did, I say it would have just made them angry. So for one reason or another they rejected him. Either way, it was something that Jesus had to say so that when the sacrifice was complete, people could make - those who were sincere in heart - could put all the pieces together and make the connections to the truth as it was.

By thus making the statement, we are reminded also that Jesus walked every day of his ministry - actually every day of his life since about the age of twelve - knowing who he was - the lamb of God. What a Revelation that was. At twelve years of age to be taken to the temple and seeing these animals taken to be sacrificed and saying - realizing - 'that's me. That's what I have come for. I am the lamb that will be sacrificed.

' What a Revelation to live with for the rest of his life, knowing each day that he was going to be that sacrifice. Now we all live with the concept that one day we will die, right? You can be sure of two things: taxes and death. But we don't have to live with the Revelation - the idea that we will suffer the second death that Jesus took upon him. We will not have to go through what he went through if we accept him as our Savior and Lord. That's the really greatest news.

We don't have to live with that - he did. And he never once flinched, because he loves you. He never once flinched, because he loves me. Thank God. What a Savior he is.

Amazing. He lived with that every day. Well, we know what happened also in the sanctuary at the very moment that he died. Matthew 27, verses 50 and 51 says, "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;" now, again, there's something very profound to consider at this point in time.

The prophecies of Daniel had predicted the very time when Jesus would come and be baptized and the very time of his death and Jesus knew that time better than anybody. He would often say, 'it is not yet my time.' He would escape - they tried to stone him - he got away from them. But when it came time for this very special weekend, he says, 'now is the time.' And his disciples were saying, 'don't go to Jerusalem, they'll kill you.' 'No, I must go, for the time is at hand.' He knew the time. He knew the time better than anybody so he freely went to Jerusalem knowing the exact weekend and I believe he knew the exact moment. At the very moment when the evening sacrifice - the priest raised his hand to slay that animal - the lamb of God gave up the breath and died.

Jesus fulfilled the prophecy down to a moment - down to a second. I believe that's an amazing thing. Is God particular? Some people say, 'God's not that particular.' Yes, God is very particular. He fulfills prophecy perfectly. Jesus knew the time prophecy.

He knew this was a special weekend. He knew it was the time for the evening sacrifice. He allowed himself to be nailed to that cross and at the moment of death was the very moment he was supposed to die. Amazing, amazing, amazing. Another profound thing took place that very moment and had been such a part of who the jews were - because the curtain was torn from the top to the bottom, that exposed the whole sanctuary services as irrelevant anymore - they didn't need to do that anymore for the lamb of God.

It was like doing away with who they were. Now the only thing we could possibly relate to that is if God told us right now today that you can't do any of the things you're used to doing, religiously speaking. You can't come to this church on Sabbath morning, you can't do anything - any of things you're used to doing, religiously, together as God's people. You've go to do away with all that. Well, that was a pretty hard thing for the Jewish nation to accept.

They should have accepted it because they knew - they should have known that God was going to replace it with something better. Now if God came and took all that away from us - what we have going today - what we do, we would then have to know that God has something better for us and so - but just think what a challenge it must have been for those people at that time. Then the church - it talks about the church now becomes the sanctuary as the lesson title for Wednesday points out. In other words, we are the church. We are the people.

We are the temple of the holy spirit to live in and it would do us well to keep in mind, during this whole quarter, about how everything about the sanctuary was holy. Everything was holy. Holy, holy, holy. Holy - and then there was the holy of holies and all the utensils were holy. The bread was holy.

The incense was holy. Everything - the garments that the priest wore were holy and it's all about the fact that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. How holy does God want us to be? He wants us to be holy, doesn't he? Everything - we keep that in mind, especially this quarter as we're going through it. God wants us to be holy. Not only that, he will help us to be holy.

Without him we couldn't do it, of course. So it would be a little bit discouraging if we had to try to attack - do it ourselves - but that's not what he asks of us. We move to Thursday as we take another giant leap into the future - as we talk about the new creation. The lesson takes us directly to Revelation, the seventh chapter. Revelation 7:15 through 17 says, "therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

They shall hunger no more; neither thirst no more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Well, Revelation 21 repeats some of that same material and even adds to it. I won't take time to read it but if you turn back into the old testament - Isaiah 65, verses 17 through 25 tells us some of the very same things - what it's going to be like in the earth made new - very fascinating and wonderful. And then this lesson brings out that - how the new Jerusalem will have a lot in common with the sanctuary, which was some new thinking for many of us, I'm sure. One thing that I found fascinating about this lesson this week was thinking about the sanctuary from the garden of eden clear until the new Jerusalem comes down out of the sky.

I never had quite that comprehensive view of the sanctuary before, in my mind. It's pretty interesting to do that. But it does make sense. It all starts in heaven with God and it's all going to end with God on an earth made new. God wants to dwell with man.

Now the will of God will be fulfilled when he will come to earth and live in a perfect marvelous - perfect place of peace. The earthly sanctuary didn't accomplish all that it was supposed to for a lot of people. For some people it did. They will be saved in his kingdom. They understood the teachings of the sanctuary and it was all about salvation.

They accepted those teachings. One person that it did accomplish all that it was meant to and that was for Jesus. The sanctuary, we think, is all about us and how we should learn all there is about the plan of salvation for us but the sanctuary meant a lot to Jesus. It helped him know who he was and what his mission was so he came to understand that through the study of His Word. And, as I said, at twelve years old he put all those pieces together.

Now we may shrink back from duty and responsibility that may be pointed out in the truths taught by the sanctuary, but imagine what message it gave to Christ and he didn't flinch from it for a moment. He did question his father, 'father, if there be any other way, but nevertheless, not my will but thy will be done.' And that's how we should approach everything too. We can ask some sincere questions. You can ask God anything you want to, just be willing to add that on to the end of your question, 'not my will but your will be done, father.' And as we still consider this concept of God's desire to dwell with man - that's been his ultimate desire from the very beginning clear until the end. It's his desire for us right now.

He wants to dwell in us through the Holy Spirit. We are the temple of the holy spirit. Now, it's a wonderful thing to think about God dwelling in us, but it can be a little bit awkward at times to think about God dwelling in us if you have this strong desire to go on an extravagant spending spree, for example. It may be a little bit awkward, having God dwell in you, if you're wanting to turn to a questionable site on your computer - things that, probably, God is not going to enjoy looking at. So it's a little bit awkward having God there with you when you have something in mind that isn't perfectly aligned with God's will.

It's alright to have God close by so that when you have some problems you can cry out to God and say, 'help me Lord, I need your help.' But to have him actually dwelling within us - that's his desire. That's what he wants more than anything. Dwelling with his people. So is it awkward to have Jesus dwelling with you - inside of you? Are you happy to have him dwelling inside of you? Sometimes we're like - sometimes we're like the dazed bird - maybe you heard about this - the bird that flew into the window one time and it dazed him - hit the window and fell. A gentleman was watching and saw this bird fly into his window and the bird wasn't flying - just kind of walking around in a daze and he saw the neighbor's cat approaching ready to pounce and so he goes outside and he grabs the bird just in time before the cat pounces on him.

So the bird is safe in the hollow of the man's hand. What is that bird thinking? 'Oh, thank you mister. I'm so happy you saved me.' No, that little bird brain is thinking, 'let me go! I want to be free! I want to do my own thing! I want to be free!' And that's how we are. We're dazed by sin and we want to do our own thing. God don't - are we comfortable with living in the hollow of God's pierced hands? His nail-pierced loving, caring hands? There's not a more comfortable place on earth to be than in the hollow of God's hands.

How peaceful are you with the concept that God wants to dwell with you today? He wants to dwell in you - not just with you - in you. Those are amazing things to think about, I tell you. We should consider these things very carefully. Now this morning I need to retell you about the free offer and it's this storacle that is called 'a heavenly model' and it's offer #802 and all you have to do to get this offer #802 is to dial 866-study-more or -788-3966 - 866-788-3966. You think we're going to have a good time in this quarterly - this lesson quarterly - the sanctuary? You know, I - when I first came to understand these things -some years ago - like I said, there were so many things that I had learned when I went through the lessons, it was just incredible.

And yet I remember almost the very night that the pastor - we had a different pastor studied with us and then we were baptized and as soon as we got baptized, this pastor was moved on and another pastor came in and he was a very wonderful fellow. He's in southern California now, I think, and probably mostly retired. But he's - I remember him asking me some questions about the sanctuary message and I had never studied that before. Maybe I'd gone through a lesson but none of it stuck. And he started to explain it to me and it was just overwhelming.

'Wow, this is exciting.' So I couldn't hardly wait to get home and start digging through some material and find out more information and the more I studied, the more I understood how important this subject is to the world and to seventh day adventists and to Christians. We should know about it. We should make sure that everybody in the world knows about it. It's marvelous. It's great.

It's fantastic. And I'll never forget that experience. And so I hope that's the same kind of feeling we all have by the time this quarter's over - that this subject is a subject to be praising God for that he has allowed us to understand it. So may God bless you as you come to that conclusion, I pray. Now, we need to close this morning, but thank you again for everybody who joined us online, on the satellite, or by radio.

Thanks and come back again next week. I grew up in a church-going family. I mean, we were at every meeting. I sang in four of the choirs there. I directed three - very involved - very active.

It almost seemed like busy work sometimes, you know? I went to Sunday school. I knew about God. I knew about Jesus but I didn't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. My senior year in high school I got the news that my father had been murdered. I played it off well.

No one really saw that I was struggling with it. It just really felt like there was a hole that needed to be filled and I tried to fill it with drugs, with alcohol, with partying. After college I just stopped going to church altogether. One day, on a Sunday, because I didn't feel like going to church with my mom, I thought, you know, I should get a little bit of word. She had the satellite system hooked up and I'm flipping through channels and then the logo pops across - Amazing Facts presents.

I've listened to a lot of different ministers but here - this was the first time that he was actually saying something where I had to grab my Bible and actually pick it up and 'I've never heard this before. Let me look through and find this.' I went through all the storacles. I went through all the study guides and I just couldn't get enough. And then the Sabbath came up and he's going through the appeal and I'm just going, 'Lord, I hear you. I have to go to church.

' So I show up - it was funny, I didn't feel like I was going to be judged - anything judgmental - anything. And I walked in the door and I just felt at home. But there's still a problem. I was still partying. I was still going out to the bars.

At this time, I was selling cocaine to pay my rent. Sixteen days later I find myself in a life or death situation. I had just came back from a liquor store and I grabbed a bottle of vodka and there I am high off cocaine, with my Bible in hand, trying to do a Bible study. And I heard an audible voice, 'just look at yourself.' And I did and I was like, 'what am I doing?' And I got on my knees. I said, 'Lord, if you do not take this away from me now I'm going to kill myself.

' I was going to continue this lifestyle and I was going to end up overdosing, having a heart attack, whatever it was. 'You have to take this away. All of it.' And that day he lifted all of it away from me. It was all gone. When God does something in your life he does it complete.

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