Monday: The Heavenly Sanctuary: Part 2

The earthly sanctuary service revealed three phases of salvation:

Image © Phil McKay from

Image © Phil McKay from

substitutionary sacrifice, priestly mediation, and judgment. The Bible teaches that all three phases of salvation are embodied in the ministry of Christ on behalf of sinners.

Read Isaiah 53:6Romans 3:24-252 Corinthians 5:21. How does Christ’s death on the cross satisfy the substitutionary aspect of salvation?

What do these texts say about both Christ and mediation on behalf of sinners? 1 Tim. 2:5Heb. 7:25.

Just as animal sacrifices pointed to the death of Christ, the priestly ministry foreshadowed the true ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary. In particular, the continual, or daily, ministry of priests in the Holy Place symbolized the access the sinner has to God through Christ’s ministry as Intercessor and Mediator in the heavenly sanctuary (Heb. 4:14-16).

Study Hebrews 9:23. How does the cleansing of things in the heavens relate to the priestly work in the earthly sanctuary on the Day of Atonement?

With the earthly sanctuary services in the background, Hebrews 9:23 points clearly to a cleansing ministry of Christ in heaven. This is a text that has baffled scholars for centuries, because it clearly teaches that something in heaven has been defiled and needs to be purified. For Seventh-day Adventists, with our understanding of the two phases of Christ’s heavenly work in our behalf, this cleansing is the antitype – the yearly cleansing of the earthly sanctuary on the Day of Atonement.

Think about atonement – what it means, how it is accomplished, and who alone can make atonement for us. Why, then, should the news that we are living in the ‘Day of Atonement’ be something positive and hopeful?



Monday: The Heavenly Sanctuary: Part 2 — 4 Comments

    • Daniel seven takes us through earth’s history from Babylon through to Rome and on through the 1260 years of the little horn’s primacy. Then something takes place in heaven. Thrones are set up, the Ancient of Days enters on a throne with fiery wheels. The heavenly host gathers, and the books are opened. The court is seated. (Daniel 7:9-10)

      Interestingly enough, the one brought before the court is none other than Christ, who is repeatedly called the “Son of man” in the gospels. (Daniel 7:13)

      The very first action of the court is a declaration about Jesus Christ.

      “There was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him” (Daniel 7:14)

      Christ, as the Son of God created all things, why would the court need to make a declaration such as the one above? We need to remember this is part of the plan of salvation and Christ the prophecy shows that Jesus appears before the Father as the “Son of man” in His humanity, to regain the inheritance of mankind that Adam lost.

      In the earthly sanctuary, on the Day of Atonement, the people did not present themselves in the Most Holy Place before the ark. Only the High Priest entered the temple. The priest represented them before mercy seat in the Most Holy Place; he stood in their place seeking acceptance for the people before God. It was recognized as a “day of judgment”, for those who refused to forsake their sins were “cut off” from the community of the faithful.

      Thus too, Christ, our High Priest, has taken Adam’s place at the head of the human race, representing the humanity before the Father – He is brought before the Father, and He is declared the rightful ruler of all the earth. Remember that the “books were opened” and now Christ presents before the court who will make up the citizen’s of His everlasting kingdom? All who’s sins are covered by the blood of Christ, forgiven, with pardon written over them, have nothing to fear.

      Revelation 2:4-5 tells us what Christ does in that heavenly court.
      Jesus says: "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.... and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy."

      And Daniel seven concludes with:

      "And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him." (Daniel 7:27)

  1. Its great the Lord Jesus is making atonement for us as we speak... He is the one and only mediator let us pour our hearts to Him while He is still in the Most Holy Place.

  2. The events on the Day of Atonement illustrate the 3 phases of Gods final judgement. They are:
    (i)the investigative judgement
    (ii)the millennial judgement
    (iii)the executive judgement


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