Exhortations From the Sanctuary

Scripture: Hebrews 10:19-25, Exodus 24:8, James 4:7-8
Date: 12/28/2013 
Lesson: 13
"Throughout the book of Hebrews, passages about Christian faith alternate with passages about Christian living. In other words, theology has practical implications. The 'what' of faith leads to the 'how' of living that faith."
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Good morning. Welcome to Sacramento central seventh day adventist church right here in - today is sunny - in Sacramento, California on the west coast of the United States of America. If you're joining us from anywhere around the planet, we're just so glad that you are tuning in. If you're listening on the radio an extra special welcome and, of course, on our website at 'saccentral.org' live streaming - we are so glad that you are tuning in for 'central study hour'. Today on our program we're doing something a little bit different and I know that you're going to really enjoy it.

We are going to be blessed by two special pieces by pastor ralph henderson. Ralph, welcome to Sacramento central. It's been a long time since you were here. It's been a while, yes, but I'm glad to be here today. It's nice to be visiting with you here.

Tell me a little bit - short - of how did you get here today. Everybody has a story. How I got here today? I came by plane from florida. In life, yes. Oh, in life.

In life, we started a music ministry back in 1994. It was called 'call to praise ministry'. And actually, I kind of feel like Sacramento central is our home because this is one of the first places that we actually began as we started our music ministry. And from there - I did that for about seven years and then began pastoring a small church up in scotts valley, California and then went down to florida and I'm now pastoring the plymouth-sorrento seventh day adventist church and the new beginning mission. Plymouth-sorrento is right outside of apopka and new beginning mission is just outside of Orlando a little bit.

Well ralph and I have been friends - I first met him and his lovely wife joni when I was seventeen and we worked together for a time. And one thing that I always appreciated about ralph is that he liked to get the young people involved in participating in church. You probably don't know this but - he would sign me up to help with Sabbath school and things like that and that meant a lot because we felt, as young people, that we were valuable and we were given a place to help learn to lead song services and things like that. So thank you ralph, from me, for - as - you know, teenagers they need encouragement and they need adults to take them under their wings so ralph and joni were a big part of my life in that. So thank you.

So today ralph is going to sing for us two songs - oh, let me tell you, if you - after you hear him you're going to go 'where can I get his cds?' So I'm going to tell you. You go to 'ct' - you're going to e-mail - this is his e-mail address - 'ctpministry@hotmail.com'. What is ctp? Call to praise. Call to praise - 'ctpministries@hotmail.com'. Today ralph will be singing 'be still and know' and 'I want them to meet Jesus'.

Welcome ralph. Thank you. Be still and know that he is God. Be still and know that he is holy. Be still, o restless soul of mine, bow before the prince of peace, let the noise and clamor cease.

Be still and know that he is God. Be still and know that he is faithful. Consider all that he has done. Stand in awe and be amazed and know that he will never change. Be still.

Be still, and know that he is God. Be still, and know that he is God. Be still, and know that he is God. Be still. Be speechless.

Be still and know that he is God. Be still and know he is our father. Come rest your head upon his breast, listen to the rhythm of his unfailing heart of love beating for his little ones calling each of us to come. Be still, be still. This next song is a song that I wrote many years ago.

When we had our music ministry. We were traveling from California to Colorado and I was driving the big bus up front all alone and the Lord brought this song to me and I want to share it with you this morning. The most important thing in your life is that you come to meet Jesus and know him as your personal friend and Savior. I've traveled all across this land and every where I go people's hearts are filled with fear for a future they don't know. They don't seem to understand there's only one way, to place their lives in Jesus' hands and come to him today.

I want them to meet Jesus. He's a friend above all friends. He'll never forsake them, his love knows no end. No matter what they've come through, no matter where they've been, he came not to condemn the world but to save them from their sin. Are you secure in the life that you live or are you lost and confused? You search and struggle for that peace of mind and you don't know what to do.

Let me introduce you now to a friend of mine and when you give your life to him that peace you'll surely find. I want you to meet Jesus. He's a friend above all friends. He'll never forsake you. His love knows no end.

No matter what you've come through no matter where you've been he came not to condemn your life but to save you from your sin. No greater love has any man than the Savior has for you. He gave his life then rose again that you might have life too. Consider life within his hands, how different it would be. Just take the time to meet my friend and come along with me.

I want you to meet Jesus. He's a friend above all friends. He'll never forsake you, his love knows no end. No matter what you've come through, no matter where you've been, he came not to condemn your life but to save you from your sin. He came not to condemn your life but to save you from your sin.

Thank you so much ralph, those were beautiful. Let's bow our heads for prayer. Father in Heaven, we thank you so much for the gift of music and I pray that the words that ralph just sang will stay with us and that we will realize that no matter what we've gone through, you're always there and we need to share Jesus with those around us. Please be with us as we open up Your Word and we study together today. And I pray that you'll be with pastor chris as he brings us the lesson study.

Be with our extended family around the world - each one. I just pray that we would all sense your spirit moving in our hearts today. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us by pastor chris buttery. Pastor chris is our family life and evangelism pastor here at central church.

Thank you debbie and it's good to see you today. Glad to be in this place with you. It seems like it's just been a little bit too long since I've been here with you. We've been busy doing the 'discover Revelation' seminar and - just nice to be back in this place and a special welcome to those who are viewing online and also, perhaps, watching on tv or wherever you might be - and thinking of you today. We want to make sure that you are aware of our free offer.

It's our special offer and it's a little booklet written by joe crews, 'pending: your case in court' and so if you want to know what Jesus is doing today up there in heaven, and perhaps you have questions about the judgment - you want to call in. The number you want to call in to is 1-866-study-more or -866-788-3966. So please call in. Well, we are going into our final lesson for this quarter so we're in lesson number 13 and the title is 'exhortations from the sanctuary' and we're going to be looking at that in particular here this morning. We're going to look at our memory text and I want to - I'm going to read it from the King James version here this morning so here it is.

It's found in Hebrews chapter , verses 21 and 22 and this is a part of the passage of Scripture that we're going to be looking at this morning. Hebrews chapter 10, verses 21 and 22. It says, "and having a high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water." Just prior to this, from chapter and on, Paul has given a fantastic theological description of Christ's sacrifice and his high priestly ministry. In Hebrews chapter 7, Christ is portrayed as a high priest after the order of melchizedek. Then in Hebrews chapter 8, Christ is presented as the high priest of the heavenly sanctuary and of the new covenant - the better covenant.

Hebrews chapter 9 - the blood of Christ makes the new covenant effective. And then in Hebrews chapter 10, just prior to these verses, Christ's sacrifice is presented as being superior to animal sacrifices. Now, the writer of Hebrews claimed that the earthly sanctuary should no longer claim their loyalty - or claim the loyalty and devotion of the Jewish people because God had set up something far more superior - something far better than the earthly sanctuary. The earthly was simply a shadow of that great sanctuary in heaven that we've been studying about over the last few weeks. The latter - the heavenly sanctuary - is superior with a superior priest - a deathless priest in heaven - a priceless sacrifice that Christ made for us.

A more - as the writer says, 'a more excEllent ministry' while the former - the earthly sanctuary - the type - is inferior. You have priests but they died, you see. You had sacrifices of animals and you had to access God via a human earthly priest. You couldn't go into the most holy place of the heavenly - of the sanctuary, rather, without the work of the priest. The priest - the high priest would go into the most holy place.

But now, Paul, having built his case here, he encourages and he exhorts believers to live according to the implications of these truths - that there is a better sanctuary, a better ministry, a better high priest you understand, better sacrifices. And so let's read the text that we're going to be spending a little time on here, this morning, in our study. Hebrews chapter 10 and we're reading verses 19 and on. It says, "therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which he consecrated for us through the veil, that is, his flesh, and having a high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

" Verse 24, "and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another; and so much the more as you see the day approaching." Now the lesson brings this out and it was quite interesting. There were two facts that were mentioned - two facts, which leads to these three exhortations that we're going to spend time looking at here this morning. The two facts are that we can access the throne - the very throne of God via two things. Did you see what they were? Through two things: the blood of Jesus Christ and his high priestly ministry. We can access the throne of God via the blood of Jesus and his high priestly ministry and this leads to these three exhortations.

'Let us draw near' is the first exhortation - that's there in verse 22 and then verse 23, 'let us hold fast' and then verse 24, 'let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works'. And these three comprise that familiar triad of faith, hope and love. You remember reading about that in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 and verse 13 - that great love chapter. Paul says, 'and now abides' - you remember? - 'Faith, hope, and' - the King James says 'charity' but - 'love' - that's right - 'faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.' And so we'll take a look at these three important elements to Christian living here and we'll review this here in our lesson today. Now, we're onto Sunday's lesson: 'access to the heavenly sanctuary' - access to the heavenly sanctuary.

I don't think anyone here wouldn't consider it, perhaps, a high honor if you received an invitation from the president of the United States or, if you like royalty, the queen of england. You wouldn't consider it - you wouldn't not consider it to be a high honor to receive an invitation - irrespective of your political views it's quite - it'd be quite an honor to receive a personal letter from the president of the united states saying, 'come into my presence'. But an incredibly greater offer has been offered to all those who are willing to respond. We may enter in, the Bible says, through the holiest - through a new and a living way that Jesus has opened for us. In the ancient tabernacle - that ancient sanctuary - no one but a priest could enter the holy place and the most holy place and they could - they're the only ones that could appear in the sanctuary in the presence of God.

But here we're invited to all go in. We're all invited to come in. There's a few verses we're going to look at here and these were in your lesson study so let's look at them. We're in Hebrews chapter 4. By the way, we're going to have someone read Hebrews 10:19 to 22 - who has that one? Hebrews 10:19 to 22 - right here - man, look at that, how convenient.

Wonderful. ExcEllent. Hebrews 10:19 to 22 and manjeet, if you could just read the first - read it, but the first part of verse 22 as well - not the entire verse of 22. So here we are, Hebrews 4, verse - a familiar passage to us. It says, "let us therefore come" - what friends? - "Boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

" Man, isn't that a wonderful thing? Let us - here's the invitation. We can come and we're not just going to come, it says we can come boldly. We'll talk about that in just a few minutes. And why do we come to God's throne of grace? You notice, right now it is the throne of grace. Why is it the throne of grace? It's the throne of grace because - because the door of - the plan of salvation - the door of salvation is still open to all who will come and all who will receive Christ's offer of eternal life, you see.

This is the throne of grace. The Bible says that when Jesus comes back, he'll be sitting on the throne of his - do you remember? - Glory. Probation would have closed. Grace to sinners no longer accessible. Everyone's made their decision one way or another.

But now it's the throne of grace and we can come and obtain two things. We can obtain mercy for the forgiveness of sins and we can also find grace to do what? Help in time of need. Do we have times of need? Yeah, there are plenty of times of need. When temptation comes knocking at your door is that a time of need? So that's the time we can come to the throne of grace and press our petitions. Then Hebrews 6, verses 19 and 20 - it says, "which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of melchizedek.

" And so we can have access. We can come within the veil because the forerunner, Jesus, has made a way for us. We'll talk about how we can access the throne of God here in just a little bit. Hebrews 10:19 through 22. Thanks manjeet.

Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which he consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, his flesh, and having a high priest over the house of God, let us draw near..." Okay. Perfect. Thank you very much. ExcEllent. So here we have - we can have access - we can enter into the holiness by the blood of Jesus and we are invited to draw near.

How can what was possible to only a few individuals those years ago be now accessible to every child of God? How is it possible? According to the verse it says, 'a new and living way has been opened up for us and we can enter in' - by the what, friends? - 'The blood' - the precious blood of Jesus Christ. A wonderful concept and wonderful idea - a wonderful thing that God has done for us. If you go back - and we've studied this this quarter - you go back to the earthly sanctuary and you remember that when the sinner came - and let's just say that he brought or she brought a lamb - they came into the court, they leaned - they weighed upon that particular animal, confessing their sins, the sin - the guilt - was transferred from the sinner to the innocent victim. Now, because they bore the sin, the animal must die. And so the sinner took the life of that particular animal himself/herself, and then the priest did something with the blood.

He took the blood and - do you remember what he did? - He went into the holy place of the heavenly - of the sanctuary - I keep talking about the heavenly sanctuary - we will get there. He went into - the priest - the priest went into the holy place and what did he do with the blood? He sprinkled the blood, right? Where? Right there before the veil - the altar of incense, you see. On the day of atonement the high priest - the only one who could go into the most holy place on the day of atonement - he would go in with the blood of the goat and then he would go in and what would he do with the blood? He would sprinkle the blood where? Before the mercy seat, okay, which was on top of the ark of the covenant. That's right. We have access to the throne of God through the blood of Jesus.

Christ's blood has paved the way for us to have complete and full access to God right there in the heavenly sanctuary. Jesus prepares the way for us at every single step. On that day of atonement, by the way, the priest would come out of the most holy place - high priest would come out of the most holy place and he would touch the horns of the altar of incense with the blood. He'd come out and he'd touch the horns of the altar of burnt offerings out there in the courtyard - blood all the way through. Through Christ's blood we have full and complete access to The Father.

Isn't that wonderful news? This is very good news here this morning. Okay, and so what we find is we have the hope of one day being reunited with God at last. Sin got in the way back there in the Garden of Eden, it messed things up - messed up God's plans and then Jesus has made a way possible whereby we will have a reunion one day with God. We will be in the presence of God and we will see God face to face. Now, the text tells us that we can come in - it says in verse 19, "having, therefore, brethren" - what's that word? - "Boldness.

" Now that's not, of course, the boldness of presumption, but the assurance of faith as we present Christ's blood, you understand, and the incense of his merits. And we'll come back to this idea of boldness in just a moment. And it says there that "having boldness to enter in the holiness by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which he consecrated for us, through the veil." You remember when Jesus died, the veil in the temple what? Rent in twain or tore in two from top to bottom. And they say that that veil was about the thickness of a man's hand. And that symbolized a divine act - being torn from the top to the bottom.

In other words, it signified - Christ's death signified a transition from the earthly sanctuary to the heavenly sanctuary. Also, a veil need no longer stand between God and man. And then it says there in verse , it says, 'through the veil, that is, to say, his flesh.' When Jesus came - he came not just to tell us how to live, Jesus came to show us how to live, didn't he? Jesus came to show us how to live. If we look at Romans chapter 8, verses 3 and 4 - and you can feel free to turn there with me - Romans chapter 8, verses 3 and , we find something interesting here. Romans chapter 8, verses 3 and .

The Bible says, "for what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. And so, what Jesus did he did in human flesh - he kept God's law. What we couldn't do in that we were weak, Jesus came and he did and now he offers to us his spirit who will write that law upon our hearts and in our minds. That's the new covenant promise. That's what God wants to do for each one of us, you see.

When Jesus came he showed us the way. Jesus gained victory by depending upon his father, you understand. Revelation 3, verse 21 - let me just flip over there and if you want to join me you're welcome. Revelation chapter 3, verse 21 - it says, "to him that overcomes" - and this is to the church of laodicea - Revelation 3:21 - "to him who overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my father in his throne." And so here we read that the promise to all those who overcome - we might be able to sit with - what does it say there? We might be able to sit there - sit down with his - with him by his father, you understand. Now I suspect that God has not - or Jesus and God The Father - they're not so much interested in us - our entitlement to royalty, you understand, sitting with them - sitting with them at their throne - but more interested in having us with them, you understand? I mean God wants to place us there.

You know, it's kind of ironic, this whole episode of sinners becoming saints by the grace of God and then being able to sit at the right hand of the throne of God - sit there with Jesus. Isn't that what the devil wants? Isn't that what the devil wants? He said, 'I will be like the most high.' He wanted to take the place of God. He wanted to sit in the throne of God. But in the end, those who have expressed faith in Christ - those who have accepted Christ - his sacrifice - and lean heavily on him as high priest in heaven - man, wonderful thing - we get to sit with him at his throne. It's phenomenal.

It is absolutely phenomenal what God does for human beings. So Jesus, when he came, he overcame. When he was here he overcame by depending on his father. He didn't consult his feelings, he just simply lived by the Word of God. Now we get into trouble when we live by our feelings, don't we? We sometimes parlay and discuss and have committee meetings with our own feelings and we - our feelings deceive us many times.

Jesus didn't consult his feelings, he lived by the word of God and we are encouraged to do the same. He overcame by trusting his father and we can overcome as we trust in Jesus, amen? Sure. Now to enter into the sanctuary then - to enter into the sanctuary - we are invited to enter into the sanctuary then - is to understand - it simply means for us to understand the work that Christ is doing in the heavenly sanctuary. We are to understand what work he was doing in the holy place and to understand what work he's doing now in the most holy place. By faith, you see, we are to understand his work and to follow Jesus by faith there in the most holy place.

Have you ever had one of those instances where people were talking, things were going on around you, but your mind was a million miles away? And men don't say that that happened to you while your wives were talking. Don't be saying that. But stuff is happening all around you and you just - you're not paying any attention - walking down the street, stuff flashing at you from the store window, cars buzzing by, horns honking, and your mind is a million miles away. It can be the same for the believer. We have distractions aplenty here on planet earth.

Issues a lot we must deal and contend with, but our minds can be where? Can be there. Our minds can be in heaven. Our minds can be there where Christ is in the most holy place. Issues can be happening all around us, but we are focused - our minds are imagining what Christ is doing up there. The angels of glory all gathered around the books and his judgment process, the 24 elders, Enoch, and Elijah and Moses.

Our minds can grasp - our imaginations can grasp the scenes up there and understand what's going on. They say that - well, I shouldn't say 'they say' but it's pretty obvious as space shuttles go - fly further away from the earth and get closer to the moon, the moon becomes a lot larger and the earth becomes a lot smaller. The question for us is which direction are we heading? That's the question. Which direction are we tending? Are we tending more towards heaven and things of this earth are growing strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace, or do issues and problems loom large here on planet earth and it's very dim up there in heaven what Jesus is doing. What direction are we going? Where is our focus and what are we looking at? Thank the Lord we can have direct access to God by faith in Jesus Christ, amen? Sure.

Alright, let's go over to Monday's lesson. We're going to talk a little bit here about this admonition - this exhortation - this advice that Paul is urging upon us. Alright, so what are the four conditions for approaching God in the sanctuary? Here are some of the - here's the first part: Hebrews chapter 10 and verse 22 - back there in Hebrews - Hebrews 10, verse 22 - the first thing it says here - well, let's read the whole text. It says, "let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." Did you see the four there? The four are: draw near with a true heart - in full assurance of faith, #2 - having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, #3 - and our bodies washed with water, #4. Let's talk about these for just a few moments.

What does it mean to draw near? What does it mean to draw near? Now you remember on that great day of atonement, as aaron went into the tabernacle and he went into the most holy place on the day of atonement, people would gather around, the Scriptures tell us - people were to draw near because they were interested in what was happening in the tabernacle - in the sanctuary on that particular day. When we watch them - when we look at how they approached and how they drew near and what they did, we can learn ourselves as to how to draw near also. Leviticus chapter 16 and verse gives us a couple of ideas as to what they did on that day of atonement when judgment was taking place. You understand - and we've studied this - this was a great day where sins were to be blotted out and if you hadn't confessed your sins and they weren't in the sanctuary, you'd be cut off - out of Israel, you understand, on that particular day if you had not expressed faith in the coming Messiah by offering up your sacrifices and confessed and forsaken your sin. And so here Leviticus chapter 16 - this was an important day.

And chapter 16 in Leviticus tells you a lot about the day of atonement. Verse 29 - it says, "and this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day" - that's when the day of atonement took place - "ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:" now jump over to chapter 23 of Leviticus - Leviticus chapter 23 and we're looking at verse 27 - Leviticus chapter 23 and verse 27. It's going to give us a little bit more information about how the people - what the people were doing on the day of atonement as they were to draw near to the sanctuary - showing interest in what was happening in there. Leviticus chapter 23 and verse . It says, "also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.

" And so here are some of the things that they did on the day of atonement and we're encouraged to do. First of all, they were to afflict their souls and offer up a sacrifice and that just simply refers to having humiliation over sin and depend - having a great - recognizing our great need and dependence upon the righteousness of Jesus Christ, you understand. That's all it means. It means having humiliation over our sins and sensing our great need while clinging onto the righteousness of Jesus. You know, I don't think there will ever be a time when we walk through this world, where we'll ever feel secure - we should ever feel secure in ourselves.

Big difference between feeling secure in yourself and feeling secure in Jesus Christ, you understand. There will never be a time - we shouldn't ever feel secure in ourselves. There'll never be a time when we say, 'look, I'm done. No more struggling. I'm saved.

There's nothing more to be concerned about.' There will never be a time where we'll say that. We have one business today and that business is to make an end of sin by the grace of God, amen? That's the work that Jesus is doing in the heavenly sanctuary. And then it says they were to do no work. They were to do no work. And someone says, 'well, pastor chris, we're living here in this great antitypical day of atonement and you're telling me that we should just kind of resign - throw in the towel - turn in our hours and that's it? No.

Now God made provision - and this is a wonderful spiritual lesson for us. God made provision on the day of atonement back then for folk to do no work. In other words, there was to be no distractions. There were to be no distractions. The lesson for us is to seek to remove some of those distractions from our lives, by God's grace, that hinder us from spending time looking at what Christ is doing in the heavenly sanctuary - spending time in His Word, you see.

Matthew 6:33 says, "seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Sometimes we get that turned around. I'm going to seek all these things first and then when I have time I'll seek God. If you're living that way - if you plan to work that way - you're just going to be frustrated and upset and things are not going to go really the way you think they ought to go. But if you seek God's will, his plan, his righteousness first then all these things will be added unto you and all those things he refers to in the previous verses is clothing, a roof over your head, and food for your bellies. Everything else is an extra bonus.

And so those things God provides for his people. And so we're to put God first. And the third thing it says is we are to fast. That's what it says - they were to fast that particular day. You know it may actually require some of us a little more self- denial to eat just proper food at the proper times than to fast for a 24-hour period of time.

Yeah, it might just do that. The soul needs to be nourished as well. Perhaps having a fast from tv and certain magazines and different things. More time with them means less time with Jesus and so we have to ask the question: 'how do you find personal time?' Well, when you tithe you don't tithe what's left, right? You get your paycheck - you get your money - and you tithe from what? The top. Do the same thing with God with time - tithe from the top and give him the best and the first, you understand.

Spend time with him in the morning, first thing - time in prayer studying His Word. And so these are some of the things they did - the children of Israel did as aaron went into that - went into the most holy place on the day of atonement. They were to draw near with a true heart or just simply a dedicated heart - a sincere heart - without hypocrisy and without any reservation - a sincere heart. The Bible says in other places - it refers to the heart being perfect - having a perfect heart. That just simply means a heart that is consecrated entirely to God.

It doesn't mean the life may be perfectly flawless - it doesn't mean that. It just means that you're heading in the right direction and you have every intention to do God's will by his grace and through the power of the holy spirit. And then it says that we are, in that verse - let me go back to Hebrews chapter 10, verse 22, "draw near with a true heart" - that's #1. #2 - "In full assurance of faith" - without faith it is impossible to please God - isn't that what the Bible says? It says that right over there in Hebrews chapter 11. We must believe that he is and a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

We must come with full assurance of faith. You know, as parents, if our children ever doubted our word or our promises - you know, as a parent, you kind of know what that feels like when they come to you and say, 'dad, mom, are you sure? You sure that's what we're going to do today?' - Or 'you sure that that's what we're - you sure?' Can you imagine how The Father - the Heavenly Father must feel when we come to him saying, 'you know what? God, I'm not so sure. I mean, you're saying it here but I'm not so sure.' Do you think it might hurt his heart a little bit to realize his earthly children doubt his promises? Doubt his assurances? We're to come with full assurance of faith. And faith is simply just believing what God says. That's all it is.

That's probably one of the easiest definitions out there. Believing what God says. If God says he can cleanse your heart from sin, guess what he can do? He can cleanse your heart from sin. If he says that he can impart grace to you to live above sin, guess what that means. It means he can impart grace so that you can live above sin, you see.

Faith accepts that. Doubt and unbelief just simply rob a person of the capacity to accept what Jesus promises to do for you and me. That's what it does - it just robs us of the capacity to apply Jesus' saving grace. Okay, that's #2. #3 - We're to come with hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.

What is the conscience? The conscience is that quiet voice that speaks to you. No, it's not pinocchio's jiminy the cricket or another you. The conscience is the avenue by which God seeks to speak to you. Now your conscience - what your conscience says depends on who's playing it, you understand - or playing on it. It depends on - if someone has a guitar in their hands, what type of music is played depends on who is playing, correct? - Who's playing that guitar.

What you hear from the guitar depends on who's strumming the chords. If satan is playing on the chords of your conscience he may give you an easy time when you should be, actually, having a hard time. Or he may hound you and worry you when you should just be experiencing happiness and freedom in Jesus Christ. So we want to make sure that we can - our consciences are truly guilt free and that can only be done as they're sprinkled with the blood of Jesus. Nothing else will work.

The blood was sprinkled in the holy place for the forgiveness and the covering of sin and once a year in the most holy place for the blotting out of sin. Now we're going to look at a few verses here: Hebrews 11, verse 28 - just so we can try to understand this a little bit - Hebrews chapter 11, verse 28. Alright, it says, "by faith he" - that is, Moses - "kept the passover and" - what's that phrase? - "The sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them." Do you remember what happened on that particular night? They were told to take the blood of the animal and they were to put it on the lintels - doorposts - of the door - and they were to sprinkle the blood up there. In other words, they were to apply the blood. The sprinkling of the blood of Jesus must be applied or it's of no use whatsoever.

Hebrews chapter 12, verses 22 to - notice this - Hebrews :22-24 - it says, "but you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the judge of all, to the Spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling" - there it is again - "that speaks better things than that of abel." So understand that the writer here is simply writing figuratively of Christians today who are being assembled before the throne of God - and how is it that we can be assembled before the throne of God? How is it possible? I told you that we were going to come to it in just a moment and here we are. How is it possible that we can have access to the throne of God? Of course, yes, through the blood of Jesus. Yes, through his high priestly ministry. But how can we come into the presence of God? Through prayer. That's exactly right and that's what he's referring to here.

We can come into - press into the very throne room of God through prayer. Nothing to hinder us - I mean, you know, when you talk to God in prayer you don't have to - you're not going to be put on hold. There's no one that's going to - you're not going to have some automated message tell you to press 1 or press 2. You're not going to be - no secretary is going to get in the way for you to approach God. You can come into his presence, you see, it says here, 'through prayer before Jesus the mediator of the new covenant and the blood of sprinkling' - now notice - 'the blood of sprinkling speaks better things than the blood of abel.

' Can blood speak? Apparently so. You remember that God said to cain, 'the voice of thy brother's blood cries unto me from the ground.' Abel's blood cried for what? Vengeance. It cried for vengeance. But according to Hebrews, Jesus' blood speaks better things. What do you think Jesus' blood speaks? Mercy.

Jesus' blood speaks mercy. The double - the sprinkling blood has a double message. First, it reveals to us sins are terribleness. When we spend just a - when we spend time looking at the cross, we see our wonderful Savior up there on calvary, the blood dripping from his brow and his hands and his side and his feet. It speaks to us of the horrible consequences of sin.

Secondly, it speaks to us of the wonderful - it speaks to us of the wonderful love of God. When we look at the cross it speaks to us of Jesus' terrific and magnificent love for sinners like you and me. That's the third thing - that's the third condition for coming into the presence of God. #4 - Bodies washed in water - that's baptism. Baptism, of course, simply proclaims to all witnesses the intention of the person to enter into the privileges and to accept the responsibilities of what it means to be a child of God - that's baptism.

Alright, let's go to Tuesday as we try to move along and see if we can't finish here. There are a lot of people who are afraid of approaching God. Some reasons may be that they feel they're too - they've done too many bad things or done too many things that God can't forgive, but that doesn't have to be the way. It doesn't have to be that way. Hebrews chapter 10, verses 19 and 20 tell us that we can come with boldness.

We've been reading these verses - 'having therefore, brethren' - what's that word? 'Boldness to enter into the holiness by the blood of Jesus.' And then in verse 22, "let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. Now boldness is that word from the Greek parrhesia and we can extract several english words from that: outspokenness, frankness, plainness of speech, courage, confidence, and fearlessness. So we are encouraged to come boldly with courage, with confidence, with fearlessness into the presence of God. If a person - I mean, you know - you know - and we're as human as the next person - the person sitting next to us. You do something, you know you've sinned, and you're just so reluctant - will God take you again? The answer is yes he will.

You can come boldly - why? We read in Hebrews chapter 4, verse 16, "let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain" - what? - "Mercy." These texts speak to us about a God who wants us to come to him. A God who desires us to come to him. A God who knows that if we don't come to him we'll be lost. And so he says, 'come, come boldly' you understand. Now the assurance and confidence that we're to have - that is not cockiness - different thing altogether, you understand.

Our confidence is not in ourselves it is in - whom? Jesus Christ. You can have full assurance. You can have confidence because of Jesus. We can't save ourselves. We can't do anything that is good without God's help, but we can have full assurance.

Nothing more, because there's nothing more than full assurance, and nothing less, because that's not our God. How do we gain this assurance? Simply through a thing called faith. And the Bible tells us we can access or have this through a thing called 'faithful service'. We can access it by faith and we can have it because of the faithful service we do for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So we can have confidence today.

Let's go to Wednesday - hope - be steadfast and unswerving. I just read a story the other day about a commuter flight. Captain harry dempsey - this took place in 1987 - he heard a strange - they were flying - taking off - and he heard a strange noise at the back of this little 15-passenger airplane. So when he went back there - left the controls to his co-pilot - he went back there to check out what was happening. The plane hit an air pocket and, of course, it bounced everybody around in there and it through dempsey against the back door and the door actually popped open and that's the noise he heard - the door was loose - it wasn't shut - fully closed there - when the plane took off.

And so dempsey - the door flung open and dempsey got sucked out and they were about 5,000 feet in the air. Well, the co-pilot realized what was happening. He radioed towers around and tried to find a place where he could land the plane and quickly and so when they - the plane landed - they actually found dempsey alive. They found dempsey alive and he was still clinging to the outdoor stair railing. Apparently when the door flung open it dropped the stairs.

He instinctively grabbed the railing and he hung on for dear life for ten minutes in 200 mile an hour winds. And they said they had to take a few minutes to pry - to get his hands loose from - you can imagine! Your life is in the balance - it's hanging by your grip. And that's what we're talking about here on Wednesday - 'hold on'. Hanging on. What do the following texts tell us to hold on to? Someone's got Hebrews 10:23 - okay, Michael's got that.

Very convenient here for you this morning. Hebrews chapter 10, verse 23 - we're looking at Hebrews 3:6 and 14. I'm just going to read these for us relatively quickly. Hebrews 3:6 and 14 says, "but Christ as a son over his own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of hope." Hebrews 4:14 says, "seeing then that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus The Son of God, let us hold fast our profession." Hebrews 6:18, "by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope that is set before us." Hebrews 10:23, Michael, thank you. Hebrews 10:23, "let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

" Amen. So we are to do what? Hold fast and don't let go. It's a matter of life or death. It truly is. It's a matter of life or death.

Do not let go. We can trust that God will fulfill his promises, amen? There's a whole bunch of stories in the old and new testament that tell us we can trust God. We can know that his promises are sure. He told Abraham and Sarah, 'you're going to have a child'. Did they have a child? Yes, they had a child.

The old testament prophesied of the coming of the Messiah. Did the Messiah come the first time? Yes he did. These promises have been fulfilled that lead us to believe that we can trust God's promises for us today. When it says he is coming back can we trust that promise? You'd better believe it. God's Word says it, we can believe it.

Don't let the devil tell you that you're not good. Don't let the devil tell you that your sin is too bad - too big for God to take care of. Where sin abounds, grace did that much more abound. And if it seems as though your grip is slipping, remember that God has a tighter and firmer hold on you and you can trust him to hold you. Alright.

So glad that you joined us here today for this wonderful study as we close our study in the - as we look at the - close our study on the subject of the sanctuary, I want to remind those that are viewing us here today to call in to the number 1-866-study-more or -866-788-3966 for our special offer - our free offer - 'pending: your case in court'. You'll want to call in to receive that. Thank you so much for joining us here today. We're so glad for the fact that you've been here and participated. In 3 - 2 - 1 - action.

This documentary covers a span from the first coming of Jesus and what was going on in the church up until just before the second coming of Jesus. It shows the great apostasy that crept into the church and then, ultimately, the great revival through the great reformation. This is a life and death battle. It's not just something that is happening in hallucinations of a prophet, those things are played out in real history. The scarlet harlot woman in Revelation 17, who represents the church that has fallen into apostasy and we thought, in the context of these two polar opposite visions in Revelation, we could tell the story of what the devil wanted to do to the church - this counterfeit church and this persecuting power and the real purity that God wanted for his people - the pure truth - the pure word - and just see the battle - the conflict between these two and the dragon appears in both stories.

You've got the same dragon - that seven-headed dragon is persecuting this one woman and yet the other woman is riding upon it - they're working in cooperation - they're a team. The context of these two visions creates a very clean way to illustrate the battle between truth and error - true church - false church - good church - bad church - pure church - defiled church - and that's the great controversy going on in the religious world today. We don't want her to go to the point where it looks like 'oh man, she's kind of scary. No, the face is going to be like flawless beauty - just intense eyes. I've got crazy lashes.

I've got like three different options for lashes. Okay. Um...like a really vibrant lip, you know, so just really, really intense in the face and flawless but we can also do, you know, decorative stuff too like we were talking about on the hand. And we're going to add a piece that's a fall and it's going to have braids and it's going to add more hair and more wave and then we're going to add a bunch of jewels and crowns and gems and jewelry. She is going to be highly decorated.

Yeah, decorations. The woman on the dragon also has writing on her forehead: 'mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and the abomination of the earth.' We had nicole, our make-up artist, write all the actual Scripture verse there on her forehead in Hebrew. Alright, take her around. Very nice. Tip the head a little bit.

As an evangelist, we have preached - for years I've talked about Revelation 17 - this infamous woman - and I've never really seen an artist's concept that rightly portrays what I thought in my mind John saw in vision. And it just - something about the vivid bright colors - everybody that walked in and saw that being shot - their mouths fell open. I expect this is going to be a mixture of responses and that's always the case when you share truth with people, but the truth is the truth and so when people see what has happened to the church and the great compromise and the persecution that God's people have gone through - even at the hands of professed Christians, I think some people are going to say, 'wow, how come I never saw this before? I'm going to take a stand for the truth. I believe this is going to affect my life. This is going to liberate me.

This is going to make me a better person. This is a better picture of God. Anything we do to distort the truth or to cover the truth, it hides or veils Jesus in some way. And so this film - we're wanting to tear the veil away and really show who Jesus is through a pure view of the truth and everybody is affected by that.

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