Sunday: Revolt in the Heavenly Sanctuary
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Read Ezekiel 28:12–17 and Isaiah 14:12–15. What do these verses teach about Lucifer’s fall?

GoodSalt.com-pppas0457At first glance, Ezekiel 28:12 seems to be talking about only an earthly monarch. Several aspects, however, suggest that this is really referring to Satan.

For starters, this being is referred to as the anointed cherub “who covers” (Ezek. 28:14, NKJV), which recalls the Most Holy Place of the earthly sanctuary, where two cherubim covered the ark and the presence of the Lord (Exod. 37:7–9). This celestial being also walked in the midst of the fiery stones; that is, on the “holy mountain of God” (Ezek. 28:14) and in the center of “Eden, the garden of God” (Ezek. 28:13, NKJV)—both being expressions of sanctuary imagery. The covering of precious stones described in verse 13 contains nine stones that are also found in the high priestly breast garment (Exod. 39:10–13); thus even here we have more references to the sanctuary.

After having described the surpassing splendor of the cherub, the text moves to his moral fall. His glory went to his head. His beauty made his heart haughty, his splendor corrupted his wisdom, and his “trading”—which probably refers to his slandering of the character of God and stirring up rebellion—made him violent.

Also, arrogant earthly powers seek to move from earth toward heaven. In Isaiah 14:12–15, the “son of the morning” (Latin lucifere, from which comes the name Lucifer) goes in a different direction: he falls from heaven to earth, indicating his supernatural rather than earthly, origin. Other phrases like “throne above the stars of God,” “mount of the congregation” in the far north, and “Most High” reinforce the impression that this is a celestial being. While verses 12 and 13 are in past tense, verse 15 suddenly changes to the future. This change in time signals that there was first a fall from heaven to earth (Isa. 14:12) and that there will be a second fall, from earth to Sheol (the grave), sometime in the future (Isa. 14:15). This does not refer to any Babylonian king; it is, instead, a clear reference to Lucifer.

A perfect being created by a perfect God falls into sin? What does this tell us about the reality of moral freedom in God’s universe? And what does such freedom reveal to us about God’s character?

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Sunday: Revolt in the Heavenly Sanctuary — 49 Comments

  1. I thank to my God for have made His creation free and depend on us to choice to continue to follow Him or not, for this reason Satan made a wrong decision and fall. The result of making wrong decisions take us far from God . The fullness of God is love and freedom to His creatures. Therefore depend on us to choice what to follow, the decision making is our responsibility . May our Lord give us His willing and His encourage for making good decisions.
    I think moral freedom means to obey for love to our Lord and King. He takes care of us and protect us only because He loves us as His love is spontaneous to us ,so ours must be the same to Him, that is the example that He gives us.

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  2. Who are the kings that judge Satan?
    Revelation 1:5-6 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

    6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
    We will gaze at Satan.
    God is just and good.
    Proverbs 31:4-5 says that we are not to drink so that we do not forget Gods law and pervert the justice of all the afflicted.

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  3. Our God is just, He give us freedom of choice. If we decide to obey Him we will be brought closer to Him, if we decide to go against His laws we will be seperated and fall away from God. I thank God because of his wonderful love, after we have sinned He died for us to bring us back to Him.

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  4. Some people like to ask, "Why did God create Satan?"

    But when we read the history, we realize that God did not create Satan. He created Lucifer, the light bearer, one of the angels that stood closest to the throne of God.

    Because God wanted a love relationship with the creatures he created, He created them with free choice. And genuinely free choice always offers the opportunity to rebel. And this rebellion against the authority of God is what "created" Satan.

    I appreciate this succinct study on the biblical teaching of the arch rebel.

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  5. Anybody who can elaborate more on freedom. We are given freedom of choice but Lucifer did not appreciate it. What he wanted is literally freedom; a law-free universe, thus the attack on God's character, the law.

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    • We are free to choose our master. It is our master who rules over us, thus we are never totally free. If we choose Satan as our master, we become slaves to sin. If we choose Christ as our Lord and Master, we become servants to righteousness. (See Romans 6)
      Lucifer spurned the opportunity to choose Christ as His Master, he chose to be his own master. What Lucifer wanted was independence. God does not offer independence as an option for His children.

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  6. The fact that we are adventist does not make us free from falling. The critical lesson here is that at all time we should not allow what we are or had get into our head lest we fall. Pride always lead to fall, our freedom is knowing what is right and do it.

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    • Ariyo,
      I agree with your last statement. Our goal should be to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do and not for fear of punishment or the excitement of gain.

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    • True freedom comes from the realization of just how wonderful, gracious, forgiving and loving our Savior Jesus is and that by His Spirit He will live out His life from within us. Our task--as you imply--is not to focus on ourselves; the real freedom comes when we focus on Jesus Our Saviour, Redeemer and Friend. O what a Savior!

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  7. GOD is love and only loving service is acceptable to him.if he enforces us to love and serve him our heats will not be changed.yes we shall serve in fear but we will still hate him.for this reason and that of sr.inge anderson,God offer moral freedom to all.

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  8. Why is the lesson stating that sin began in the heavenly sanctuary? Why would the sanctuary exist before sin when it will not remain after the conclusion of the investigative (pre-advent) judgement? The sanctuary exists only to deal with sin.

    Paul states that the way into the heavenly sanctuary was not manifest while the earthly was standing. As in the type, the heavenly could not "function" until the death of the sacrifice which would anoint the sanctuary for service.

    God did not reveal the plan to redeem sinners until after man sinned. There on earth, the first sacrificial victims were slain, their skins providing garments for the naked sinners, being a type of the Redeemer who would come as promised.

    So why the suggestion that the sanctuary, as we understand it to be presently, existed before sin? I can't find support for this. What am I missing?

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    • Robert, your concern is interesting. Perhaps everything hinges on our understanding the Heavenly Sanctuary and its function.

      I believe your statement. "Paul states that the way into the heavenly sanctuary was not manifest while the earthly was standing" is taken from Heb 9:8. That verse has been interpreted in various ways and is somewhat controversial. To me the context leading up to the text is about the two compartments of the sanctuary. There is a lot of argumentation that can be brought to bear on the idea of two parts of one sanctuary. That being the case I don't know if I would have used that verse in your argument. To me you make a strong enough case without the inclusion of paragraph.

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      • Yes Tyler, it's possible I misunderstand the text in Hebrews, but this has been my understanding from the KJV. Even without it there seems to be too many reasons to prevent acceptance of a sanctuary being in existence before sin came to life. What would be it's purpose? (I don't want this to become a big issue, but I want to know if I have been mistaken if in fact I am)

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        • Robert, you are not the only one that interprets that text the way you do. In most cases that interpretation has to do with other things concerning our understanding of the sanctuary.

          To me the sanctuary can be viewed in many different ways, kind of like being one of the ten blind men each feeling a different part of the elephant. Because each one is only sampling a very small part of the whole his interpretation is incomplete but concerning the sample it is still correct.

          I can think of three major ways of considering the sanctuary: as a building, as ministry, as God’s kingdom. It can further be thought of as symbolizing Christ or the church, or both. It can also be viewed from a spatial perspective or a time related one. Therefore, the sanctuary seems to be one of those things that have an immense amount of complexity packed within its simplicity. It is similar to the way we normally think of the cross forensically while actually Jesus was dealing with many different issues in dying on it. It is also like the commandment not to kill, how many ways can a person be killed? Physically, mentally, spiritually. Socially, etc., they all apply.

          Because of this I prefer not to argue too much over when the sanctuary came into being or whether it is literal or not. It could well have many different functions depending on our view. For us, in the state we are in I think the most meaningful concept is that of sanctuary, a place of refuge and protection. Through it we are justified and vindicated because God is with us as our protector and advocate, our mediator in the universe.

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    • Hi Robert. Don't know if I can help much, but something perhaps we can take note of; those things which pertained directly to the sin problem were actually outside the sanctuary, being the altar of sacrifice and the laver. Now admittedly, those items of furniture inside representing Christ as Mediator indirectly affect our salvation, but would not Jesus be in the sanctuary anyway?

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      • Brendan, we must remember that there was no "Jesus" until the babe in Bethlehem. There was God, Michael and Lucifer, and Lucifer stood next to both. He had no one lying to him or tempting him. He saw constantly things we can't even imagine in our wildest speculations concerning the truth about God. Lucifer deliberately lied, and was not deceived, except by himself once he passed the point of repentance willfully.

        Until the sacrifices in Eden to clothe Adam and Eve, there was no hint of death or penalty except for God's warning of the price of disobeying His simple command. This was the first death in all creation, and it was an innocent substitute, which allowed the guilty a probationary life.

        We have the insight of non-scriptural inspiration that says when announcing that He would die in the place of the fallen race on earth, many angels offered their lives in place of their commander's sacrifice for man. They were startled at God's response to the outbreak of rebellion on earth and it seemed too great to their minds that He would do this Himself. Such holy, noble, but still finite beings could not atone for another creature, only the Creator Himself; the Author of the violated Eternal Law. But this all happened long after Lucifer's fall. There could be no operational sanctuary without the blood of the sacrifice to anoint it for service, as shown in the type. What would be the meaning of the 7 lamps and the altar before God's throne in a sinless universe? I see these things as added because of man's sin, because they will be removed after the final verdict of the present judgment taking place today, as John saw the temple missing in the city of God after probation's close. If not standing after sinners are cleansed, it was not needed when there were no sinners yet existing, of which Lucifer was the very first. That is my reasoning anyway, though perhaps limited still.

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    • Hi Robert, I think you're asking very insightful questions. As Adventists we may need to take a second look at what God is trying to reveal to us in the tabernacle parable. In Exodus 4, God sends Moses to Pharaoh as the agent of freedom for God's enslaved people. Moses hesitates at the task citing his speech impediment. God provides Aaron as his "spokesman to the people. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God". (Ex 4:16). It may not be immediately apparent, but the deliverance of the Hebrew's from Egyptian enslavement is a parable. So by Ex 32, we see Moses in the role of "God", delayed in coming down from Sinai, where he has gone to receive the Commandments and "God's" "spokesman" facilitating the people's desire to return to Pharaoh's oppression by fashioning a golden calf!! We see similar acts of treachery in Eze 16; Mt 21:33-40. Aaron, who would later become the first High Priest, in the Tabernacle/Levitical system intended by God as a model of how He would deal with the human sin problem, actually facilitates the exact opposite (Mt 23: 13-15). The slaughter that follows (Ex 32: 25-27) mirrors the outbreak of war in heaven (Rev 12: 7-8). In Acts 15: 13-18 James endorses Peter's understanding that the "tabernacle of David" is actually people which Paul refers to as "heaven itself" (Heb 9:14, 23-24 see also Eph 2: 22). The cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary is not a work occurring in a physical place up in the heavens, as it is in actuality a spiritual work occurring among persons here on Earth (Eph 3: 10).
      You're right, "The sanctuary exists only to deal with sin.", just like Moses and Aaron were activated in response to God's need to bring release to persons held in captivity. However, God will never permit priests in rebellion to serve, and yet we see God's capacity to forgive (Ex 34:29-31). Can you see the parallel?

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      • Lynrol, you present many different ideas, but the essence is that yes, Israel was a type, though they were also real and could be saved or reject that salvation as most did. The sanctuary reveals God's remedy for sin in demonstrating how He can be merciful and just at the same time. It took an Infinite sacrifice, which reveals the infinite love of God for His creation. While there are many lessons, God's true character is revealed in how He chooses to save those worthy of the second death.

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    • What if the Sanctuary is not an actual building? What if the Sanctuary is made up of beings who are the living stones and Christ being the cornerstone?

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      • Larry, my first question is: What beings? Are we included? How then could we have existed before Lucifer fell? How did Lucifer sin in such a "building"? Perhaps you speak of the living Temple (Church) of which Christ is the living Head and chief corner stone? That did not come to pass until after Jesus' resurrection, and would validate my question. Remember, there was no anointed one until the baptism of Jesus. This was long after Lucifer's fall.

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        • Robert, bear in mind that humanity became unwitting participants in a struggle between good and evil that pre-dated us. So when the Chief Sanctuary (Mt 1: 23; John 1: 14) took on humanity, He became the focus of His arch enemy's severe attention (Mt 4: 1; Rev 12: 4-5) and after the "Child was caught up to God and His throne", "war broke out in heaven" (v. 7) with the "enraged" dragon turning his attention to "the rest of her offspring" v. 17 (the "woman" who gave birth to the "male Child" in vs. 1 & 5). This was prophesied (Zech 13: 7-9) and fulfilled (Mt 26:31) and continued to be fulfilled through a number of individuals (Acts 4: 27). God also through Paul's writings prepares the Sanctuary for the dragon's onslaught (2 Thess 2: 3-4; Acts 20:29) and acknowledges the dragon's works (Eph 6: 12). This might have been what Daniel also saw in vision (Dan 8: 11), and the fact that the dragon appeared to prosper (v. 13) overwhelmed the prophet (v. 27). However the news isn't all bad, because paralleling Ex 32: 25-27, Daniel foresees that "the sanctuary shall be cleansed" (Dan 8: 14; 11: 35). God is apparently declaring that the work of the Sanctuary (provide Him dwelling and remission of peoples sin) would for a while be disrupted by the dragon, in the form of philosophy of individuals (Eph 5:6; Rev 13: 2), but would eventually be restored to full function (Zech 13: 9; 2 Cor 7: 9-12; Col 2: 15). I see parallels in Job's experience as well, even though God gives His "servant" high compliment (Job 1: 8), after his ordeal, he emerges an apparently better "servant" (Job 42: 3-6) and takes on a priestly role in brokering reconciliation between his Master and his friends (Job 42:7-8). We have the distinct blessing of serving on the side of the Author of all things good, whom you appropriately state, reveals the "infinite love of God for His creation."

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        • Lynrol, I don't think I would agree with "unwitting" participants. We make free-will choices constantly as did Eve and then Adam, and every descendant since. God holds individuals accountable from the age of 20, so perhaps a child who is not taught of this conflict might be and unwitting participant, and God understands every circumstance, though even a child can distinguish between right and wrong in relation to their experience.

          As for what the sanctuary actually might be, perhaps we must wait until God reveals all things. I'm not so sure how much of what God describes can be spiritualized to mean something different. I cannot at this time see it as you describe.

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        • William, the age of accountability was defined by God with Israel. None of those below 20 died in the wilderness for the sin of refusing to enter the land of Promise.(Num 14:29) It was the age that young men were able to serve in the military and for numbering of Israel. Every man from the age 20 and upward had to pay an offering of 1/2 shekel for their redemption.(Ex 30:14)

          It seems to be the age that God holds one accountable to Him.

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        • Robert,
          Your original question about the use of "sanctuary" to refer to something pre-fall (before Lucifer fell) is valid? However reflecting on how the author has used the term "sanctuary" since lesson 1 of this quarter's study we find a broad (or loose) application of the term to refer to God's special dwelling place, His throne room or local headquarters in a territory, etc.; such that even Eden was called a sanctuary.

          This is probably fine as long as we are able to make the distinction between the broad application of the term sanctuary, and synonyms like tabernacle, temple, and holy place from the specific ministration concerning sin. There may be a potential for confusion, but hopefully context minimizes this when we use the term.

          After the eradication of sin there will still be a throne, a special holy place one might say. I hear that the Father and Son will take up residence in the New Jerusalem, along with the redeemed (Revelation 21:22). Sounds like headquarters, does it not? What honor!

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      • Larry, your "what if" is the Apostles' teachings, for which Jesus prayed (John 17:20) and Acts records! (Acts 2: 42). I'm encouraging you and Robert to consider closely what James is saying in Acts 15: 13-21. The Sanctuary is God's way of representing individuals who have experienced remission of sin in actuality (Heb 9:14; Col 2: 11) and are then mobilized by Him to participate in that work in others (2 Cor 5: 18-20; Ps 145: 10-13). Even though it is here on Earth, it's Command is resolutely Heavenly (2 Cor 6: 16; Philippians 3: 20-21). The Sanctuary functions as God's dwelling (Ex 25: 8; John 1:14; John 14: 23) and is the only site designated by the Creator to handle sin disposal (Luke 1: 76-77; Mt 26: 28; Luke 24: 44-49). The Sanctuary, as commissioned by its Command, bore awesome responsibility (John 20: 22-23). The authoritative teachings of Scripture led me away from the sanctuary-as-a-structure paradigm to one of the Sanctuary-as-persons.

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    • [Moderator's note: Please use your full name.]

      I tried to explain this point to the sabbath school teacher but he insisted that the sanctuary existed eternally as God exists eternally. I tried to search the Spirit of Prophecy and old quarterlies but I cannot find any statement to show that the sanctuary was set up after sin. Please email me any supporting statements at dontrvcon@hotmail.com. Thank you.

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      • Donna I am sorry that you had the experience in Sabbath School that you did. It is for reasons like this that I said what I said in my comment at http://ssnet.org/blog/sunday-revolt-in-the-heavenly-sanctuary/comment-page-1/#comment-54993.

        The only thing about the time of construction that I am sure of is the fact that the Heavenly Sanctuary had to precede the one on earth because Moses copied from it. It is like discussing how big the sanctuary is – nobody knows for sure. When arguing over things like this the only thing that happens is that people get upset and combative and sadly the whole issue has absolutely no bearing on our salvation no matter which way we believe.

        This quarter’s lessons have been studying the sanctuary from the standpoint of redemption and vindication. So, Robert makes a valid point with respect to that point of view but there are also aspects of the sanctuary that are timeless. God has always been the bread of life to His created beings. There isn’t one creature in the entire universe that lives independently from God; we all derive our life from Him. God has always been the light of the universe. All knowledge ultimately comes from Him. The Holy Spirit has always been available to all of God’s intelligent creatures who helps in many different ways. No creature is absolutely perfect – life throughout the universe is a continual growth into the perfection that is God. Therefore all three pieces of furniture in the Holy Place could have been instructive from the beginning of the creation of intelligent life.

        Beyond that God has always had a throne and since the law is a transcript of His character both have been in existence before time began. Furthermore, neither will vanish once the controversy is over (Rev 22:1,3). The statement in Revelation 21:22 is part of a symbolic description of the fact that God has always been the heart of the temple (Jn 2:19) which we are also part of (Eph 2:19-22). So much of the Holy of Holies is also timeless along with the temple in general.

        Everything depends on how we choose to view the sanctuary and which function of it we study. The point is that neither you nor your teacher will be able to absolutely prove when the Heavenly Sanctuary was constructed, at least I know you can’t through the Bible and I don’t think it can be done through EGW so why argue over such things.

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  9. I am not sure, given God's overwhelming characteristics of love, justice and mercy, that we can with absolute confidence argue as Robert states that "God did not reveal the plan to redeem sinners until after man sinned." This implies God only showed Lucifer justice with no offer of mercy. What the investigative judgement brings out into the open is the basis of God's judgement:what we "do" with Jesus, whether or not we truly accept His offer of atonement. Satan's demise--and those who sided with him--logically need have been no different.

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    • What makes the Law law is because it has a penalty or else it is only a reminder or an announcement with no bearing if you follow or not.

      I believe that the requirement of a death of a God to be a ransom if man sinned is also part of the provisions of the law or else somebody can question it to be unfair if it is provided only after man sinned. The death of Christ became valid to pay for our death because it is what the law requires.

      Therefore I can say that the plan of redemption has been revealed to the universe since its conception.

      For example our former president was sentenced to 40 year imprisonment in a case of plunder. But the following day he was released through a parole given by the current president. It is very unfair right? But because parole is based on the law, the release is called justice. What if the parole is added only to the law immediately after the conviction? Many will surely complain and to me it is not justice.

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    • Ian, there is no reference to God becoming an angel to die for angels. I believe there is a difference that is magnified by the opportunities and the environment in which Lucifer and the angels fell within and the opportunities and environment that man fell in. Lucifer stood beside God. This was his station in life. He had clearer views of God that man never had and won't until God dwells among us and we behold Him face to face. Lucifer had no tempter lying to him, doing everything by his higher power to deceive with the intent to incite rebellion. We can also understand from God's plan to save sinners that every possible means to save Lucifer was employed by God. We live with a great knowledge of God's true character as revealed in Christ who lived as one of us and who's life and death is recorded for all to study. Lucifer had this knowledge before he sinned, and a vastly higher intellect.

      We must conclude that Lucifer refused God's grace, while understanding perfectly the implications. Mysterious is the power of pride, even in the most enlightened of minds. Lucifer pressed forward with the greatest of effort to enlarge himself, while Jesus gave up equality with God to abase Himself for those who were hopeless without His intervention for them.

      While we cannot understand every facet of this mystery, I think most can appreciate the different between the fall of man and the fall of Lucifer, and that God's dealing with each would be also different. His mercy and grace in dealing with us tells us He is just in all things with all His creatures. We have the promise that even Lucifer will acknowledge the justice of God concerning his own case.

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  10. Thank you Robert. It is true that there is a vast difference between Lucifer and ourselves; and the difference between the angels he ultimately attracted to his side of the controversy. But the difference between Adam--who likewise had pretty direct contact with God (the Son) begins to narrow the gap. We know Adam was tempted by Satan, but surely the angels that fell with Satan were also "tempted." It really is very complex isn't it? But God's character must be eternally full of justice and mercy. This is who He is.

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  11. Ian, I believe we have to consider that the angels dwell in the very presence of God, which Adam did not. The angels have been in this presence for longer than we can imagine, and they come and go according to the will and commands of God. (Ps 103:20) Adam's experience was vastly limited compared to theirs and I believe ours as well, since we have the whole record of God's word today and more.

    I don't see it so complex I guess, but rather simple as I consider the evidence. It's clear that God holds the angels to a higher accounting, and yet He is just in doing so, or there would be universal complaint registered. It is similar to the justice that is given to adults vs a child in our courts today. Also, Moses was held to a higher accounting than the people. They all went into the land of promise, though they had provoked Moses to sin, while Moses was kept out due to his closer experience with God. We only know that all will acknowledge God has been perfectly just in every case considered. I am satisfied that all that could have been done to spare Lucifer and his followers was done by God and His Son, who created them. There is more that we don't know than what we do know, and I believe God has proven Himself above all reproach, and that Satan's accusations are false. The rest of creation has been convinced that Satan is a liar and deceiver, and only man needs to see the truth as found in God's word.

    As far as the other angels being tempted, they all were, and those who remained loyal labored with those tempted as did Michael Himself. Eve had no one to encourage her as she had wandered from her only earthly helper, and had only God's commandment, and the overwhelming evidence of His good will toward her in everything she could touch, taste, smell, see and hear. All the other trees were for her and Adam to enjoy including the Tree of Life. What had the serpent done for her except plant doubts about God? There is no record that Eve was unhappy with her life until the doubts were cleverly planted in her mind.

    We don't know all that was done to save the fallen angels, but I believe from what I know of God as revealed in His grace offered to sinners, that such grace was offered to the fallen angels as well.

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    • For the most part the commentaries have not been specifically addressing Robert’s (the Berean) intuitive question. He is asking how could there have been a sanctuary in heaven before sin.... when according to our belief or doctrine the sanctuary exists to deal with sin. That it exists as a storehouse for sin accumulating sins during Jesus’ first phase of ministry until the investigative judgment(1844); then to be dissolved since it is not seen in the new earth and heavens. (But why does the Lord Jesus have to die to provide blood for cleansing a “sanctuary” that is to be dissolved or thrashed?)
      According to the scripture God intends the sanctuary to be his “resting place” forever. Ps.132:7-14; 1Chron.28:2; Isa.66:1,2; Acts 7:49. I daresay that it’s a resting place from the din and chaos of traffic that surrounds. Jesus suggested to his disciples that they should come apart and rest a while for many were coming and going. Mk.6:31. The Branch, Christ, was commissioned to build the Temple and he says in John 14: 23 “If anyone loves Me he will keep my word and my Father will love him and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” The scriptures everywhere seem to indicate that the temple that the Son builds is the “ Heavenly Sanctuary” and is the Body of Christ, the Church.
      There was no need for a sanctuary in heaven before sin(Lucifer); no need of a resting place for God.

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      • "For the most part the commentaries have not been specifically addressing Robert’s (the Berean) intuitive question." Kenny I choose not to argue over this question because to me it has about as much value as arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

        It all depends on function. I have said from the beginning of this quarter's lessons that we should think of the sanctuary more as a teaching aid, an object lesson concerning the plan of salvation rather than a literal building. In saying that I was not ruling out the possibility of a literal sanctuary in Heaven. If we take Heb 8:1-5 at face value then there has to be something in Heaven which is "the true tabernacle which the Lord erected" (Heb. 8:2 NKJV).

        I have also stated before that the angels don't know everything. To me when there is a disruption in Heaven to the point that "war broke out in heaven" (Rev. 12:7 NKJV) then the angels would naturally like to know how God was going to deal with the situation. A sanctuary in Heaven as an object lesson would have given them the beginning of the answer to that question. That doesn't mean that there had to be a physical sanctuary in Heaven prior to the entrance of sin on earth but it certainly could be a logical conclusion.

        The point is that we don't know for sure and I don't see it as having any real bearing on our salvation. What we need to know is what it teaches us about our relationship to the whole problem of sin in our lives.

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        • Tyler, we are not called upon to know everything, only what God has given us in His sacred Word of Truth. I have not desired to give or accept suppositions, but have everything based on this Word of Truth. I believe that we can "know the certainty of the words of truth" as God intends, and I pray every one here will experience that promised blessing. I do not see this subject as trivial as dancing angels(speaking for myself), but the thought introduced in the lesson made me question what I had come to understand from what God has revealed, not an idle speculation or curiosity. I believe our doctrine must be sound, and if raising questions, shouldn't they be answered from God's Word? Truth will hold up under the closest examination.

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        • Tyler
          You have touched on several issues as to the bearing they might have on our salvation. As has been mentioned by others we do not understand or have full knowledge of all that has transpired in Heaven between those that were cast out of Heaven and those that were not.
          I think about what God ask Job concernig his position at the time of creation. If there are questions as to Gods' character, I see them as human curiosty, rather than meaningful positions. My question is more disturbing to many who see the sanctuary as a means to our salvation. If the Heavenly sanctuary were not mentioned in Hebrews, what would our position be? Would there be no plan of salvation that is mentioned in many books of the Bible. Such as the Gospel according to Matt. Mark Luke and John & Isaiah. Heb. 1:3 seems to say where Jesus went after His resurection. The reasons for a Heavenly sanctuary and when it was in place in regard to the first sin, are limited to a liberal amount of speculation and a not a lot of scriptural basis. We see things from a purely human point of reference.

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        • Paul, we have also what Paul had; the Types and shadows that foretold of the earthly and heavenly ministry of Christ. The details are rich in what God has revealed. We have also significant clues in the Psalms as well, and also Daniel and the Revelation. The type was only able to function after the spilling of blood, and thus the type teaches us of the true, given also the clues found in Daniel's prophecy of the 70 weeks. Paul had no more truth that we have available today (perhaps less) with the promise of Jesus that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. It will not be seen by all who claim "remnantship", but those who exercise true faith will know "the certainty of the words of truth".

          If we understand the meaning of the articles found in the sanctuary, we will see they exist only to give sinners access to what the sinless have access to without such means required. We too, once in the presence of God will no longer require them. I do not expect to find such a sanctuary on any other world. Adam and Eve did not need it before sin, but saw God face to face, as we with them will again soon.

          Our position without the book to the Hebrews should be no different that it is with it. The facts remain as given by God to all. It was the misunderstanding of the Jews then that required the extra effort, which we can also learn much from.

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  12. In everyday life our Lord has shown mankind his love and grace in sustaining and provinding His creation. In his dealing with sin He Has proved his real Love towards man. Democracy reigns in him and has given us freedom of choice to choose our destiny.His patience has been demonstrated to sinners for He wants us to come to rependance that we may have eternal life.On the cross He demonstrated his justice to his law and paid all the debt that law demaded.

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    • What can you say about the fact that at the end there will be more who will side Satan than who will side Jesus in spite of the victory gained at the cross. The great controversy is not about numbers but the difference is too big to imagine. In Sodom and Gomorrah there were only 3, in the flood there were only 8, in the second coming there will only be 144000. (But of course excluding the dead)

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      • I am not sure that we can claim that there will only be 144000 living saved at the second coming. My understanding is that the 144000 was a symbolic number. If we take the description to literally they are all descendents of the 12 tribes of Israel too. I have no doubt that there will be a group of people who are saved at the second coming, and it is clear that they will be very special people, but I think that we should allow the book of Revelation to include some symbolism. The Adventist Church (or its antecedents) have made predictions about numbers before (remember the Shut Door idea) so we need to be careful just how we view these numbers.

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    • I agree with your thoughts Robert, but do not see God's government as a democracy where the popular vote decides who leads us. We are given the choice and every incentive to make the right choice; which will bring eternal life, lasting peace and endless joy. We are also clearly shown the result of the wrong choice. God will always reign, and therefore His kingdom cannot be a democracy as I understand it. Besides, the other choice(and most popular in this life) is not very democratic is he?

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  13. As poorly as I have stated things, I find myself loving particularly your last paragraph, Robert{ " ...that such grace was offered to fallen angels as well." It seems to say without complication exactly what I have tried to express. The unmerited favour of God's grace can only be offered at His expense--no one else can pay. Lucifer and the angels can be punished, we can even say they receive the natural consequence of ultimate separation from God--which is death; but they can never pay. Jesus death pays--Creator becoming the creature (that is a huge sacrifice in itself!}

    We also need to apply this thinking to the scape goat. If the sins have a sense of "ending up on his head" that can only be for punishment--Satan can NEVER pay! Jesus paid it ALL.

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  14. Robert, in response to your 6:56 pm post on December 22 I just want to clarify that my use of the word "unwitting" was intended to convey the idea that humanity, represented by Adam and Eve, didn't leave Earth looking for Satan. Post-rebellion Lucifer (Satan) came to them on Earth and induced rebellion in them.

    However, I disagree with your statement, "We make free-will choices constantly as did Eve and then Adam, and every descendant since." The Scripture teaches that Eve was deceived (1 Tim 2: 14), Adam was not and the Scripture places his action in a different category from the rest of humanity (Rom 5:14). Adam had choice, the rest of us, well, Scripture tells of a different reality (Gal 3:22). So, do we have choice or not? With respect to mundane life circumstances, yes. With respect to ONENESS with God, Scripture says an overwhelming NO! (Jer 13:23; Isaiah 61: 1; Isaiah 64: 6; Rom 7: 14-15; Isaiah 55: 8; Eph 4: 17-18 etc). Humans (you and me) are ALL without choice with respect to that for which Christ died to secure. All of us need to hear Scripture on that issue (2 Pt 1: 19), or else our congenitally flawed minds will only continually deceive us (Isaiah 44: 20). May God the Creator be praised among all who understand the ABUNDANCE of His mercy (Isaiah 42: 16)!!

    With respect to your statements, "As for what the sanctuary actually might be, perhaps we must wait until God reveals all things. I’m not so sure how much of what God describes can be spiritualized to mean something different.", I believe God HAS revealed. The problem is that ALL of our minds are out of "atONEment" with our Creator, and our mental concepts obscure His messages. Jesus once leveled a scathing rebuke at one of His most ardent disciples recorded in three Gospels (Mt 16: 21-23). I use to believe at one time that His response was unnecessarily severe, but I've come to realize that Peter was speaking contrary to prophecy ( like Isaiah 53 for example) and effectively AGAINST God's declared will. Whether Peter did it in the "innocence" of common Jewish concepts of Messiah's role, the fact is he made a pronouncement that was Satanic in its origin. Unless we are relieved of this innate propensity, we cannot be acceptable servants. All servants (Sanctuary) must necessarily be cleansed for service (Heb 9: 14, 23; Heb 12: 5-11). I'm not attempting to "spiritualize" away our sanctuary teaching, but rather am a sinner in realization that I have some real issues that creates real problems for me personally as well as for my Creator. I've accepted that I need His real, creative help.

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    • Lynrol, have you considered why Eve was deceived? She clearly understood God's command and reminded the serpent of it, so she was completely aware she was being led against God's specific command. When we place ourselves in opposition to a known duty, we will be deceived or simply choose to disobey knowingly as did Adam. I cannot agree with how you have applied many of the scriptures you have referenced.

      If man is incapable of choosing, how can be be held accountable? Why is the command "choose this day whom you will serve" written for our admonition? Jesus stands at every door and knocks, meaning they must choose to open or not. So He is clearly teaching it is our choice and we must make it. He does not knock in vain.

      While I would agree that our power to choose wisely is often weak, God gives a measure of faith to every man, and Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would convince the world "of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:" This means the world (all who are in it) will know enough concerning their specific situation, to discern what is right, what is wrong, and that they are accountable. God does not hold every soul to the same accountability due to many factors including opportunity, knowledge, experience...etc. He is fair in every case, but in every case it's man's choice in the end, with God giving enough light for their accountability. We either turn to Him or away from Him and the promised help. Paul states that those without knowledge of the law will do the things of the law when they follow that conviction Jesus said would be brought to the world.

      We will believe lies if we turn from what we know to be truth in favor of wrong.(2 Thessalonians 2:10-12) Eve did not turn at the first sign of opposition to God's command, and thus was led to be deceived.

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      • Is it that “our choice” becomes our Savior in the end? It is the Lord Jesus who took on “our flesh and blood...that through death he might destroy(vanquish) him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage”Heb.2:14.
        He “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” 2 Tim.1:10. He says therefore “ all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me . Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them... teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”. Matt.28:18-20. He further says, “all that the Father gives me will come to Me... and will never cast them out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of Him who sent me...that I should lose nothing of all that He has given me, but raise it up on the last day.”
        God says that He “knows those who are His” 2Tim 2:19. “ You do not believe because ye are not of my sheep... my sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto them eternal life... I am the good shepherd and know my sheep.” John10:14-30. God knew Jeremiah before he was conceived; he “set apart” Paul from his mother’s womb and “ called him through His grace”.Gal.1:15. Paul says “if any man love God the same is known of Him.”1Cor.8:3. The Son says “you did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide.” John15:16. God saves and calls us to a holy calling because of His own purpose and grace. 2Tim.1:9. He opens our deaf ears and blind eyes. Praise God that our names are written in the book of life from the foundation of the world.
        The Lord calls all that should be saved. Now many have misapplied the Joshua appeal to choice. Joshua advised them that since they had rejected God they should choose one of the gods either of the Amorites or of the Egyptians.Josh.24:15. Again God has not given every being in the world a measure of faith; that faith is given to the members of his body, the church, for service in the church. Rom.12:3-5; Eph.4:7. Praise God that He has graciously delivered us and seated us with Him on his throne.

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      • Robert, I don't currently have any clear understanding of why Paul, by revelation, made a distinction between the motive that lead to Eve's actions compared to Adam's (1 Tim 2: 14). However, I'm firm on the clarity of Scripture's declaration regarding the condition of Adam's decendants (Rom 5: 12). We're only safe when we trust Scripture (2 Pt 1: 19) over our senses (2 Cor 5: 7), because as I said in my previous post, all of our (Adam's decendants) minds are congenitally flawed. I repeat, our thoughts are out of "atONEment" with our Creator's and that's the DEATH that God warned our ancestors would overtake them if they disobeyed even once(Gen 2: 17). Israel didn't quite understand that truth (Deut 5: 27-29; John 8: 31-36, 44). The Chief Sanctuary demonstrates His superior knowledge of the mind over any and all human profession (Mt 26: 31-35, 70-75). So, can the DEAD (Isaiah 55: 8) restore him/herself back to LIFE? Mercifully, God provides Jesus as the answer to humanity's greatest need (John 10: 10;John 8: 12)!
        Accountability comes only after the DEAD is brought back to LIFE. That process occurs in two steps, symbolized in the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place ministeries. This may be somewhat complex, but as simply as this medium allows 1) He brings us to life, 2) He places His sons under guardians (Gal 4: 1-3; Eph 4: 11-15). During this time of "guardianship" the sons are permitted errors (1 John 2: 1) typified in multiple priests involved in "daily" ministry between the Courtyard and the Holy Place. 3) However, at some Heaven-determined point, the sons move from a "child" under "guardians" to "joint heirs with Christ" (Rom 8: 17), typified by the Most Holy Place ministry. This state of One to one (the High Priest being Christ through the New Covenant) ministry carries weighty responsibility (Heb 6: 1-8). This, I believe, is taught elsewhere in Scripture, for example in Esther through the allegory of her life; A captive under the guardianship of Mordecai/eunuchs (Esther 1: 5-6) is elevated to wife of the king (2:17) to then take on an intercessor's role (Esther 4: 13-16). We see it in the lives of Joseph and Job (see previous post) as well.
        In summary: 1) Adam's decendant are ALL born DEAD (Jer 17: 9).
        2) This DEATH describes a condition of the mind (Rom 8: 6-7).
        3) We are POWERLESS to reverse this DEATH/mind condition (Isaiah 44: 20).
        4) God provides for our resurrection ("atONEment") through faith secured by His Son's life AND death (Philip 2: 5, 13; Rom 5: 18).
        5) From among those who've experienced consumate cleansing (Heb 8: 10)..
        6) He returns individuals to His service, on behalf of others (Mt 10: 8)
        The wilderness Tabernacle, alegorically, tells of two realities, one being the the end of the OT era and the begining of the NT era under Christ's administration. It also tells of the processes of the ongoing daily operations of the NT ministry under Christ's authority.

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  15. Apologies if I duplicate thoughts previously presented. Sometime ago I asked God for an understanding of the matter raised in Mr. Whiteman's original question regarding the heavenly sanctuary. The following thoughts came to mind: Christ is/was the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" Rev. 13:8. Narrowly speaking, if "foundation of the world" references those conferences between God the Father and Jesus regarding creation of our earth, and meetings from which Lucifer was angered at his exclusion, the tangible or conceptualized "heavenly sanctuary" would have predated both Lucifer's and Adam's sin. We do know that it was real for Moses patterned the earthly after the heavenly model. Whatever structures our Lord used, we are thankful for His loving intervention.

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