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Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE- Part XXXIV

The Third Angel Points to the Sanctuary Above Where Christ Is

Five years ago, April 15 was also a Friday. Today’s focus for your Berean-like verification (Acts 17:11) is mostly a rerun of the 2011 FMM with a title relevant to this current series. It is an urgent reminder and a refresher.  The remnant church of prophecy is also the people of the sanctuary.

Every member and all truth-seekers should become conversant with the enlightening and edifying sanctuary doctrine for a) it explains the Great Disappointment of 1844, disabusing it of the many patently false accusations against it and its proponents, b) is one of the giant pillars of present truth c) a diagnostic tool to detect and expose popular Antichristian doctrines. It explains the divine plan of redemption devised by the Godhead before the foundations of the earth were laid.

God told Moses, “Let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.” David wrote: “Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary, and “Thy way, O Lord, is in the sanctuary.” Exo. 25: 8; Psalm 99:6; 77:13, K.J.V. Dwell also means abide and reside.

   “In the building of the sanctuary as a dwelling place for God, Moses was directed to make all things according to the pattern of things in the heavens. God called him into the mount, and revealed to him the heavenly things, and in their similitude the tabernacle, with all that pertained to it, was fashioned. So Israel, whom He desired to make His dwelling place, He revealed His glorious ideal of character.

The pattern was shown them in the mount when the law was given from Sinai. But this ideal they were, in themselves, powerless to attain. The revelation at Sinai could only impress them with their need and helplessness. Another lesson the tabernacle, through its service of sacrifice, was to teach—the lesson of pardon of sin [justification], and power through the Savior for obedience unto life [sanctification].

     “Through Christ was to be fulfilled the purpose of which the tabernacle was a symbol—that glorious building, its walls of glistening gold reflecting in rainbow hues the curtains inwrought with cherubim, the fragrance of ever-burning incense pervading all, the priests robed in spotless white, and in the deep mystery of the inner place above the mercy seat, between the figures of the bowed, worshipping angels, the glory of the Holiest.

In all, God desired His people to read His purpose for the human soul. It was the same purpose long afterward set forth by Apostle Paul: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” 1 Corinthians 3: 16, 17, N.K.J.V.”- E. G. White, Education, pp. 35, 36.

Gen. 6:1-13; Matt. 24:37-51. “The restraining Spirit of God is even now being withdrawn from the world in rebellion to God’s law. Hurricanes, storms, tempests, disasters by sea and by land, follow another in quick succession. The signs thickening around us, telling of the near approach of the Son of God, are attributed to any other than the true cause. The time is right upon us when there will be sorrow in the world that no human balm can heal.”- Ibid, Maranatha, p. 175.

Thus these times of relative peace and religious liberty God has mercifully extended that all  may obtain a deeper understanding of Christ’s closing work in the heavenly sanctuary; it reveals God’s own glorious ideal of character upon which He will put His seal of approval on all who acquire it by faith in His appointed way. That character is called “the fine linen, clean and white.” Revelation 19:8. Few have a real understanding of this (7BC 932). “The third angel’s message was [is] to be given, the minds of the believers were [are] to be directed to the heavenly sanctuary, where Christ had entered to make atonement for His people.” – Ibid, Vol. 1, Selected Messages, p. 67.

     “From the creation and fall of man to the present time, there has been a continual unfolding of the plan of God for the redemption, through Christ, of the fallen race. The tabernacle and temple of God on earth were patterned after the original in heaven. Around the sanctuary and its solemn services mystically gathered the grand truths which were to be developed through the succeeding generations.”- Ibid, Faith I Live By, p. 194.

Thus where the gospel dispensation, or Christian Era  is concerned, earth’s final generation emerged when Christ entered into the most holy in the heavenly sanctuary after His resurrection and ascension to perform His closing work of atonement.  It ends when probation closes and the Holy Spirit is fully withdrawn and there is “no more Intercessor” between the righteous God and sinful man. Isaiah 59:16.

      “The sanctuary in heaven is the very center of Christ’s work in behalf of men. It concerns every living soul upon the earth. See Hebrews 9: 24.  “Those who would share the benefits of the Savior’s mediation should permit nothing to interfere with their duty to perfect holiness in the fear of God. 1 Cor. 7:1. . . . . The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. All need knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest.

Otherwise it will be impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time or to occupy the position which God designs them to fill. Every individual has a soul to save or to lose. Each has a case pending before the bar of God. Each must meet the great Judge face to face. How important, then, that every mind contemplate often the solemn scene when the judgment shall sit and books shall be opened, when, with Daniel, every individual must stand in his lot, at the end of the days” [Dan. 7: 9, 10, 13; 8:14].”- Ibid, Great Controversy, p. 488.

John 2: 12-22; Mark 11: 15-18. “In the cleansing of the temple, Jesus was announcing His mission as the Messiah, and entering upon His work. That temple, erected for the abode of the Divine Presence, was designed to be an object lesson for Israel and the whole world. From eternal ages it was God’s purpose that every created being, from the bright and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of the Creator.

Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory of the Divine One. But by the incarnation of the Son of God, the purpose of Heaven is fulfilled. God dwells in humanity, and through saving grace the heart of man becomes again His temple. God designed that the temple at Jerusalem should be a continual witness to the high destiny open to every soul. But the Jews had not understood the significance of the building they regarded with so much pride.

They did not yield themselves as holy temples for the Divine Spirit. The courts of the temple at Jerusalem, filled with the tumult of unholy traffic, represented all too truly the temple of the heart, defiled by the presence of sensual passion and unholy thoughts. In cleansing the temple from the world’s buyers and sellers, Jesus announced His mission to cleanse the heart from the defilement of sin,—from the earthly desires, the selfish lusts, and the evil habits, that corrupt the soul.”- Ibid, Desire of Ages, p. 161.

No one in his own strength can cast out the defiling sins that have taken possession of the heart. Only Christ can cleanse the soul temple; but He will never force an entrance. He will not come into our hearts now as He did in the temple of old for; He says, ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock. If any one hears My voice, and opens the door, I will come into him.’ Rev. 3:20.  There are “besetting sins” (Heb. 12: 1) among Christians that prevent the door of their hearts from swinging freely on its hinges and give entrance to the Holy Spirit. What are they? “Envy, malice, evil thinking, evil-speaking, covetousness—these are the weights that the Christian must lay aside if he would run successfully the race for immortality. Every habit or practice that leads into sin and brings dishonor upon Christ, must be put away, whatever the sacrifice. The blessing of heaven cannot attend any man in violating the eternal principles of right.” (Ibid, God’s Amazing Grace, p. 273).

Did the atonement end at Calvary as most Christians are taught to believe? O.R.L. Crosier wrote in the Advent Review, Vol. 1 No. 4, 1850, Auburn, NY, p. 60:

     “But again, they say the atonement was made and finished at Calvary, when the Lamb of God expired. So men have taught us, and so the churches and the world believe; but it is none the more true or sacred on that account, if unsupported by Divine authority. Perhaps few or none ever tested the foundation on which it rests.

    1. The atonement was made at Calvary, by whom was it made? The making of the atonement was the work of a Priest. But who officiated at Calvary? Roman soldiers and wicked Jews.

    2. The slaying of the victim was not making the atonement: the sinner slew the victim. Lev. 4: 1-4, 13-15, etc. After that the priest took the blood and made the atonement. Lev. 4: 5-12, 16-21.

    3. Christ was the appointed High Priest to make the atonement, and He certainly could not have acted in that capacity till after His resurrection, and we have no record of His doing any thing on earth after His resurrection, which could be called the atonement.

    4. The atonement was made in the Sanctuary, but Calvary was not such a place.

    5. He could not, according to Hebrews 8: 4, make the atonement while on earth. “If He were on earth, He should not be a Priest.” The Levitical was the earthly priesthood, the Divine, the heavenly.

    6. Therefore, He did not begin His work of making the atonement, whatever nature of that work may be, till after His ascension, when by His own blood He entered His heavenly sanctuary for us

     “Let us now examine a few texts that appear to speak the atonement as past. [Rom. 5:11 quoted]. This passage clearly shows a present possession of the atonement at the time the apostle wrote; but it by no means proves that the entire atonement was then in the past.  When the Savior was about to be taken up from His apostles, He ‘commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which came on the day of Pentecost when they were all ‘baptized of the Holy Spirit.’ Acts 1: 4, 5.

Christ had entered His Father’s house, the Sanctuary, as High Priest, and began His intercession for His people by ‘praying the Father for ‘another Comforter’ John 14: 15, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit,’ Acts 2: 33, He shed it down upon His waiting apostles. Then, in compliance with their commission, Peter, at the third hour of the day began to preach, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of the Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins.’ Acts 2: 38. This word, remission, signifies forgiveness, pardon, or more literally, sending away of sins.

     “Now put by the side of this text another on this point from his discourse on the 9th hour of the same day, Acts 3: 19: ‘Repent ye therefore: and be converted that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.’ Here he exhorts to repentance and conversion; for what purpose? ‘That your sins may be (future) blotted out.’ Every one can see that the blotting out of sins does not take place at repentance and conversion; but follows, and must of necessity be preceded by them.

Repentance, conversion, and baptism had then become imperative duties in the present tense; and when performed, those doing them ‘washed away’ (Acts 22: 16), remitted or sent away from them their sins (Acts 2: 28); and are of course forgiven and have ‘received the atonement;’ but they had not received it entire at that time, because their sins were not yet blotted out.

     “How far then had they advanced in the reconciling process? Just so far as the individual under the [ceremonial] law had when he had confessed his sin, brought his victim to the door of the tabernacle, laid his hand upon it and slain it, and the priest had with its blood entered the holy place and sprinkled it before the veil and upon the altar, and thus made an atonement for him, and he was forgiven. Only that was the type, and this the reality.

     “That prepared for the cleansing of the great day of atonement, this for the blotting out of sins “when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, and He shall send Jesus.” Hence, ‘by whom we have now received the atonement’ [the blood sacrifice] is the same as “by whom we have received the forgiveness of sin.’

The Lamb of Calvary’s cross is our Victim slain; ‘Jesus the Mediator of the new Covenant ‘in the heavens’ is our interceding High Priest, making atonement with His own blood, by and with which He entered there. The essence of the process is the same as in the ‘shadow’ or type. First, convinced of sin; second, divine sacrifice and bleeding. This done in faith and sincerity we can do no more, no more is required.

    “ Then in the heavenly Sanctuary our High Priest with His own blood makes the atonement and we are forgiven. 1 Pet. 2: 24: ‘Who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree.’ See also Matt. 8:17; Isa. 53: 4-12. His body is the ‘one sacrifice’ for repenting mortals, to which their sins are imputed, and through whose blood, in the hands of the living active Priest, Christ Jesus, they are conveyed to the heavenly Sanctuary. That was ‘offered once for all [Heb. 9:28; 1 Pet. 3:18] ‘on the tree’ [Gal. 3:13; Acts 5:30; 10:39; 1 Pet. 2: 24]; and all who would avail themselves of its merits through faith, there receive it as theirs, bleeding at the hands of sinful mortals like themselves.

After thus obtaining the atonement of forgiveness we must ‘maintain good works’ [Titus 3:13], not the ‘deeds of the law’ [Rom. 3: 28]; but ‘being dead to sin should live unto righteousness’ [Rom. 2: 2; 6: 2-23]. This work we all understand to be peculiar to the Gospel Dispensation.” (Continued next week)