There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and began His intercessory ministry at the time of His ascension. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry. It is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who among the living are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent. (Heb. 8:1-5; Heb. 4:14-16; Heb. 9:11-28; Heb. 10:19-22; Heb. 1:3; Heb. 2:16,17; Dan. 7:9-27; Dan. 8:13,14; Dan. 9:24-27; Num. 14:34; Eze. 4:6; Lev. 16:1-34; Rev. 14:6,7; Rev. 20:12; Rev. 14:12; Rev. 22:12.)
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See also these Bible lessons from previous years:
(Brief excerpts given. See the URLs for much more.)
- Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary, The Meaning of the Sanctuary Sacrifices and Further Study on Christ’s Ministry of Forgiveness “It cannot be proved from Hebrews 9 that Christ entered only one apartment of the heavenly sanctuary at His ascension, nor can it be proved that His antitypical Day of Atonement ministry began at that time.”
- Sanctuary Themes: The Book of Hebrews, particularly Jesus, Our High Priest, Jesus and the Sanctuary and Jesus’ Ministry and the Sanctuary. “Although Jesus’ priesthood is different from the Levitical priesthood, Aaron, the Levitical high priest, is compared with Jesus. Despite the clear differences between them, the similarities warrant study.”
“What is typology? How do the earthly and heavenly sanctuaries correspond? Does the book of Hebrews teach that Christ entered “the Most Holy Place” after His ascension? Is the emphasis in Hebrews on which apartment Jesus entered or upon the fact that He is in the heavenly sanctuary ministering in our behalf?”
- The Eschatological Day of Atonement. “The Bible stresses two main aspects of Christ’s ministry in our behalf: His work as a substitutionary Sacrifice for our sins and His work at the right hand of God in the heavenly sanctuary as our High Priest.”
- Last Things: Jesus and the Saved “Key Thought: The Bible’s teaching on Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, His second coming, and the resurrection of the dead stand together as a message of hope for those who have placed their trust in Him.”
- Benefits of Christ’s Atoning Sacrifice. “The finality of the Cross is not threatened by the indispensable work of mediation of Christ for us in the heavenly temple.”
- The Pre-Advent Judgment “Thus, the question is, What is this cleansing of the sanctuary that was of such importance that it would be linked with the great empires that Scripture uses to depict the history of the world?”
- 1844 Made Simple “What’s so crucial, too, about the 2,300-day prophecy is that, being undeniably linked to the 70-week prophecy, it is inseparably tied in with Jesus. Again, one can’t tamper with those dates in any substantial way without tampering with the dates of Jesus. Jesus Himself is the Surety of this prophecy.”
- The Gospel, 1844, and the Judgment (2006c) Series of 13 lessons on related topics.
Lessons on the earthly sanctuary:
- Christ’s Ministry of Forgiveness A week’s lessons on the earthly sanctuary as well as Christ’s heavenly ministry from July, 1996.