As we continue studying this quarter’s Sabbath School lessons, on the sanctuary, people are telling me that there is so much they don’t understand or even know yet about the sanctuary. I say, do not be discouraged. Remember the sanctuary is a model of the plan of salvation. This is something we will be studying and looking into for all eternity.
You may study that love for ages; yet you can never fully comprehend the length and the breadth, the depth and the height, of the love of God in giving His Son to die for the world. Eternity itself can never fully reveal it. Yet as we study the Bible and meditate upon the life of Christ and the plan of redemption, these great themes will open to our understanding more and more. -Ellen White, The Faith I Live By, Page 43.
I have to admit, I grew up Adventistand never really understanding a lot of the themes of the sanctuary or cleansing of the sanctuary. Instead of my teachers teaching it to me, they just told me I knew it. Interesting teaching method there! So, in my early twenties I still had lots of questions but did not dare ask because I was already supposed to know it all. Well, I realized I was not going to learn any younger, so I started asking questions anyway and reading and studying the sanctuary and the plan of redemption. I would like to share some books that have really helped me. Just click on the title for a PDF format of the book online, or info on how to purchase the book.
In his book 1844 Made Simple, Clifford Goldstein, a converted Jew and current editor of the Adult Bible Study Guide, does a remarkable job of making the judgement and cleansing of the sanctuary so….well…simple! He also makes it very clear how biblical this teaching is, though it is unique to Seventh-day Adventists.
Stephen N. Haskell, an early Seventh-day Adventist pioneer and a contemporary of Ellen White, brings alive all of the imagery of the sanctuary and brings understanding to their applications. His approach is devotional.
He clearly explains the feast days as well. While some wonder why many Seventh-day Adventists do not celebrate the feast days, Elder Haskell helps us see that we are observing the literal feast days. For example, ever since 1844 we have been in the literal day of atonement.
In this book, M.L. Andreasen, who was a young man in Ellen White’s old age, illustrates how the sanctuary service illuminates Christ as our High Priest, Sacrifice and Intercessor.
This is probably the best source for a detailed summary of all the sanctuary offerings and various services.
When I was in my early 20′s and began studying the sanctuary, this book, by Donald Short, brought many things to life for me. It also helped me understand the work our High Priest is doing in the sanctuary of my heart.