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The House on the Rock- Part 1

Chris Holland
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Chris Holland

Associate Director of HopeLives365 and World Evangelist for Adventist World Radio

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It has stood the test of time with God's Book the Bible. Still relevant in today's complex world. It is with. Messages of. Around the world. You know friends foundations are everything without a foundation buildings will collapse under their own weight in fact Jesus himself told a parable about two builders one who built his house upon the sand the other who built his house up on the rock now when the floods came all the house built upon the solid foundation of the rock survived it is in the same way that each of us as we are building our spiritual house we need to build that house on a solid foundation what is the foundation that we need to build upon how can we build it and what happens if we choose not to build it on a solid foundation now over the course of the next several weeks we will talk about building on solid spiritual foundations so our spiritual house is built to last Now here to help me along in that discussion I have a friend and colleague coral so tall of a CD S. Carl welcome to it is written Canada Well thanks Chris for having me it's good to be back home for me yeah well I that that's what I was going to first ask does a little bit about yourself Carl sure I was born and raised in. Serato Canada the Greater Toronto Area I basically lived here until I was in my early twenty's and then as fate would have it I went to school and have found myself in the States now for a little over twenty five years OK Well well so we want to welcome you back home now you went down to the states and you actually have experience in pastoral ministry you pastor for about eighteen years and then you had a kind of a new calling in life where did life lead and not that you ever stopped pastor and your kind of always a pastor but where did life take you after pastoral ministry yes when I was finishing up like the master's program at Andrews University and I had begun pastoring for a few years I really wanted to study a little bit more in-depth fully into the issues of worship music the sanctuary things like that and so as I began to do that I began to develop some of our materials and that and that kind of took me to various places and I thought to myself Wow I'd really like to do this a little more I'd like to be able to share some of the things that I've been learning and go to different places and I thought you know I want to go back to school and so I did end up going back to school and then I ended up teaching. As I think about my own conversion experience I was converted when I was in my early twenty's on at York University not too far from here and so I really thought to myself you know young people are really where it's at all the energy the enthusiasm the ideas and I thought you know teaching would really be something that I could appreciate and feel like I could make a contribution so after Pastor and it was kind of natural for me then to go into five years of teaching and I've been doing that ever since that is really exciting it and I'll tell you some some probably caught your your story there and they said all he was converted was his conversion story and so to the viewer I'm going to tell them you want to want to hang on you don't want to hang on because we're going to come back to Carl story about the midst of this series and how God worked in a mighty way. But you know Carl European D. candidate you're actually in the homestretch of finishing up and so instead of calling you Pastor Carl we're going to have to call you Dr Carl here very soon but you know Carl I've invited you here because some time back I did a series called the Jerusalem factor now in that series and to our viewers or listeners if you haven't seen the Jerusalem factor or heard it you can go to our youtube channel youtube dot com forward slash I.W. Canada and there you can watch the archives now at Pastor Carl as we were going through that we asked this fundamental question is it possible that people are looking in the wrong direction and here's what I meant by that you know much of the Christian world and even actually a significant portion portion of the secular world have been looking toward the literal Jerusalem for a literal temple to be rebuilt after what would be a massive Middle East war but would call made in this building of a literal temple and we ended that series by saying you know I don't know if a temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt I just don't know we can't predict that however we simply asked the question Is it possible that everybody is looking toward Jerusalem and a literal temple but actually our attention should be focused elsewhere and the text that we look at is that text in the book of Hebrews and so why don't we go to Hebrews Hebrews Chapter eight. And verse one and verse two that says this. Now this is the main point of the things we are saying we have such a high priest who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens a minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord directed and not man. And so. The question I want to ask you as you have been exploring in your Ph D. studies as you have explored through your teaching you said one of your areas and it is an area of expertise and that is the sanctuary so when I ask you a really broad question all right what is the sanctuary. Wow Well you know Chris this subject is so vast that according to some research researchers that if you were to take all the aspects of the Bible and kind of compile them in Chapter form under the heading of the sanctuary you'd probably have about fifty chapters that are devoted to this subject Wow And so this is an incredibly vast topic that we're talking about here and it's very comprehensive and it involves just about everything that sanctuary is connected to just about everything you can imagine the presence of God is really the main component so to speak if you want to refer to God that way. In the sanctuary but you also have got you have Christ who is who's really the main part of the Godhead in the sanctuary you have all these ritual actions that are connected with the sanctuary it's a structure it's a building so it's connected to the things of the material universe. Again it's really the most intricately connected topic that there possibly is but the question you know what what is the sanctuary I mean really plainly speaking it's a structure it is a structure we were just in Hebrews Chapter eight OK we could go over to Hebrews Chapter nine all right and in Hebrews Chapter nine you get kind of a succinct view there that the apostle gives us of the sanctuary in some going to begin right here with verse one it says then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of a divine service and a worldly or an earthly sanctuary for there was a tabernacle made the first were and was the candlestick the table and the show bread which is called the sanctuary and. After the second veil the tabernacle which is the holiest of all now in verse four it says which had the golden censor now in fact the golden censor was part of the holy place but the Apostle here is bringing out the fact that when the priest ministered in the sanctuary and they minister where the golden censor was that offered the incense they were brought almost into the immediate contact of the presence of God And so it was so closely associated with the presence of God in the most holy place that the Apostle here says which had the golden sensor OK then it moves on it says and the Ark of the Covenant overlaid round about with gold were and was the gold of pot that had manna and Aaron's rod that budded and the tables of the Covenant and over it the Cherubim of glory shadowing the mercy seat which we cannot now speak particularly And so then it describes the activities of the High Priest going in there once a year into the into the most holy place so here we have the sanctuary really as a as a structure it was an earthly structure and I think when most people think of the sanctuary they think of that earthly structure that the Jews that the Jews had erected but I think what I what we really need to underscore here is that. The heavenly sanctuary was a reality way before the Jewish structure ever showed up now you took us to Hebrews Chapter eight this is one and two yes and that made it very clear there in verse two that Jesus is a minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man. Another very interesting text in Jeremiah Chapter seventeen Jeremiah Chapter seventeen and verse twelve. The ancient prophet brings this out as well he says a glorious high thrown from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary OK so a glorious high thrown from the big. In is the place of our sanctuary now when I hit the pause button here because we've covered a lot of ground and I want to and there might be somebody sitting there saying whoa whoa whoa this is kind of a lot really fast so let's let's go back to Hebrews eight one and then we're going to come right back here yes here is eight one begins with these words written by the Apostle now in the book of Hebrews was written Undoubtedly it was authored by Paul whether Paul actually wrote it with his hands or dictated it to a scribe no doubt Paul is writing this he's writing to a group of believers and he uses this and he says now this is the main point and the reason I want to come back to this because we're talking about foundations we're talking about the abolition our spiritual house that word their main point it's this Greek word that means the chief capstone the Chief Cornerstone both of them are used to describe this word and of course in ancient buildings the cornerstone was that which kept everything together. And then Paul says and points us to the sanctuary in heaven. Then you quoted from he was nine which talked about a sanctuary on the earth I asked you what is a sanctuary and he said it's a structure and he started naming off all these things. And then we went to Jeremiah where we said this sanctuary has existed from the very beginning of time. So we need to on pack all of that a little bit. Heavenly sanctuary how do we get an earthly sanctuary help us kind of understand and we're going to come back to this because what we're going to see and what we're going to be spending time on over the next several weeks is you said something very important the sanctuary is connected to everything yes. And because it's connected to everything and I don't want to take us too far along before we get there but because it's connected to everything that means the sanctuary is actually connected to me and my grow. As a Christian. We're going to cover because some people are so I have never heard this before we actually spent a lot of time talking about why we don't hear about this anymore but let's talk about this we have a heavenly sanctuary which the book of Jeremiah says his existed since the beginning but then somehow we've got an earthly sanctuary let's unpack that a little bit Karl. How are these things existing And what does that mean for us OK You brought up that they that word this is the main point you know out of all that the Apostle talks about in the book of Hebrews which is an amazing book thirteen chapters in a cover so much there's a contrast between the the first covenant and the second covenant between the Levitical priesthood and then Christ priesthood between an earthly sanctuary and a heavenly sanctuary and here he's saying out of all that I'm saying this is the main point that we actually have that there actually exists a reality up there that is called the heavenly sanctuary. And I think the context here is important the historical context here you know Jesus prophesied in Matthew twenty four that not one stone would be left upon another that shall not be thrown down as the disciples were looking at the temple in them and showing him the buildings of the temple this is what Jesus said yes and so all of their hopes and dreams were connected with the services that were involved in that sanctuary and they couldn't think of life without that and so here the apostle is kind of preparing them as that earthly sanctuary was about to be destroyed and we'll get to how the Earthly is a copy of just a minute but he's preparing them and saying Look Christ is entered into the heavenly sanctuary and we're to base our hopes and our aspirations and our anchor and him up there and so this is so central and as we're going to continue on that even in the Old Testament times as there was an earthly sanctuary it was all everything they did was or. Anted around the heavenly So getting back to the earthly concept how did this how did this originate and I think we need to go back to the Book of Exodus that sounds good for a moment there and one of the things I want to point out is as we're turning to the Book of Exodus Pastor Carl you and I are going to use two words probably interchangeably for the next several weeks that we're together we're going to use the word temple Yes And the word sanctuary and we're going to use those interchangeably correct maybe help us just a little bit as we turn to Exodus help us a little bit and understand why those words are interchangeable words yes very good. It Exodus chapter. Twenty five verses eight and nine this is Moses and it says let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them according to all that I show the after the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all the instruments there are even even so shall you make it and so there was an earthly tent and that sanctuary had existed for several centuries but if you remember David wanted to build a sanctuary for God as well he wanted to actually build a temple and God told him that because he was a man of war that he would not be able to build that temple but his son Solomon would build that to build that temple and then there you have a more permanent structure in the time of Moses it was that earthly tent was built in such a way that the Levites could go ahead and disassemble it and carry it from place to place as they sojourned But then as eventually they began to settle in Jerusalem you have a massive temple then that was that was built and so the temple kind of more reminds us of the temple that Solomon built and then the tent you have the earthly structure that that Moses built OK so let's go in dwell here a moment with Exodus twenty five so. Hebrews eight describes a heavenly reality I'm going to come to this in just a moment because some people say ah this is some balik this is. But it would appear that it is a reality how did we get the earthly you just read Exodus twenty five that says it was a copy what what was it a copy of the only thing that it could be a copy of was the heavenly if you go to verse forty of Exodus Chapter twenty five as well it says and look that make them after their pattern which was showed the in the mount and even Hebrews eight talks about the fact that the heavenly is the true and that the Earthly is a copy of the heavenly And so the original pattern the original structure the original design is something that came to the Bible writers through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit actually I'm thinking about a text here in the first Chronicles just to just to alert us to the fact that the Bible the Bible claims that this was inspired by the Holy Spirit and so this is first Chronicles chapter. Twenty eight and verse twelve. Just a bit of context here this is David assembling all the people of Jerusalem together and giving Solomon a charge and building it and if you look at verse twelve it says and the pattern of all that he had by the spirit of the courts of the Lord and all of the chambers round about the treasures of the house of God and of the treasuries of the dedicated things and so this pattern here was revealed by the Holy Spirit and verse nineteen also of first Chronicles twenty eight it says all this said David the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me even the works of this pattern and so whether it was the earthly whether it was the ten structure rather that God revealed to Moses or the temple. It was it was something that was revealed by God because a reality already preexisted that which is why we went to the Jeremiah text when Jeremiah reminded us that hey from the very beginning there has been a glorious sanctuary where God met that met with his people there and it's interesting in Jeremiah's text it says this is the place of our sanctuary now the earthly temple existed in Jeremiah's day and so I think it's significant that he would say that even as they are assembling around the earthly It's almost like the earthly was a projection of the heavenly and as they were worshipping toward the earthly it was actually a worship toward toward the heavenly as well which we'll get into in just a minute and so the pattern the patterns are definitely there as a matter of fact. Let's look at some of the dynamic interaction that happens OK even in the Old Testament because you know people think well in the Old Testament Yes there was the sanctuary of the temple provided the place where everything were revolved around and that was it and there was kind of no connection between the heavenly and the earthly and so let's go to First Kings Chapter eight and this is referring to the the dedication of the temple and Solomon is about to you and Sullivan is actually praying here and I just want to draw our attention to the fact that when he prays he's actually directing his prayer towards God in heaven and actually asking God to hear from that perspective and so we'll pick it up at. Let's see let's let's pick it up at verse twenty nine if we can all sure verse first Kings Chapter eight verse twenty nine. It states that Dein eyes may be opened toward this house night and day even toward the place of which thou has said my name shall be there and that made us hearken unto the prayer which I serve it shall make towards this place and hearken thout to the supplication of my servant and of my people Israel when they shall pray toward this. Place and here in heaven the WON'T DIE dwelling place and when now here it's for good and so you'll find this pattern in various places throughout this chapter for instance you go to verse thirty three when your people Israel be smitten down before the enemy because they have sinned against the and shall turn again to the and confessed my name and pray and make supplication unto thee in this house then hear that out in heaven and forgive the sin of the people and bring them again unto the land which the gave us their fathers I won't read the rest of the text I'll just mention the references verse thirty six says here though in heaven you know the place verse thirty nine the same thing verse forty three the exact same thing so here we have Solomon they're all gathered around the earthly he is praying but yet he's asking God to hear from his dwelling place from his sanctuary from his temple up in heaven and so there's actually a dynamic interaction now there's a parallel passage to first kings and that Second Chronicles chapter five to seven looking at the end of Solomon's prayer and Second Chronicles Chapter seven vs one to three in order to show God's approval of the way that they had built the sanctuary and everything else well you know he came down in a miraculous way and smoke filled the temple the priest couldn't enter and sure and so you have this dynamic interaction going on between Solomon directing is pretty short heaven and then and then Heaven of course acknowledging that with a mighty outpouring of God's Spirit there so there's this dynamic interaction going on that's really exciting so let's let's just cover a little bit of a ground review what we've talked about. The book of Hebrews makes very clear as well as the Book of Jeremiah that there is a literal sanctuary in heaven that has existed since the very beginning of time. Then in the past during the time of Moses Moses was given instructions Moses built a wilderness sanctuary a a temporary structure that was able to be put up and taken down as the children of Israel moved throughout the regions there later in the time of the kings with David and Solomon they build a more permanent structure which is also a copy of the heavenly this is now why and we want to come back to this issue of foundations This is why the sanctuary so vital because if what you're saying is true and what we are reading is true is this the interaction between the heavenly in the sanctuary demonstrates to us that a god has a plan and be God expects his children his people to follow that plan because we're ship and we're going to spend a whole all whole session talking about worship but our worship is a dynamic interaction with the heavenly sanctuary because the heavenly is because sometimes we just disconnect heaven and earth heavens up there Earth down here and there's no interaction but in reality the two of those actually are interacting in such a way that our worship on this earth is actually worship that is happening in the very heavenly sanctuary and so yeah absolutely and so Carl let's let's talk about this as we have just a few minutes left in this and our time has just flown by but as we talk about this Old Testament dynamic interaction are there a couple of New Testament texts that might talk us about that interaction between the Evidently and the earthly sanctuary Yes yes there are actually let's turn back to Hebrews again he resists just such a pivotal book for our subject matter let's go to Hebrews Chapter twelve OK and we'll pick it up at verse eighteen so we'll be in Hebrews Chapter twelve and we'll pick it up in verse eighteen and roughly two well as we make comments. It actually ends at verse twenty nine it says for ye are not come unto them out that might be touched and that burned with fire nor unto blackness and darkness and Tempest and the sound of the trumpet and the voice of words which voice they that heard intreated that the words should not be spoken to them any more for they could not endure that which was commanded and if so much as a beast touch the mountain it shall be stoned or thrust through with a dart and so terrible was the sight that Moses said I exceedingly fear and Quake I'm going to stop there for a moment what the apostle is saying is that when we come and gather together whether it's for. A session that you and I are doing right now and we're talking about spiritual things or whether it's in a church we're actually orienteering ourselves toward the heavenly but what he first says is that when you're come together you didn't come to that literal mountain back in Exodus Chapter twenty on Mount Sinai it's right so you're not coming there and so in verse twenty two it switches gears he says you're not coming to that literal mountain where I spoke the Ten Commandments and and even Moses said you know I'm really afraid it's is but you are come unto Mount Zion on and on to the city of the living God the heavenly Jerusalem and into two and a numerable company of angels to the general assembly and church of the firstborn which are written in heaven and to God the Judge of all and to the spirits of just men made perfect and to Jesus the mediator of the New Covenant and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel and I'll stop there for a moment so you're not coming to Mount Sinai where the Ten Commandments were proclaimed you're coming to the mountain and haven't the heavenly Jerusalem and this is where the saints of God as we are worshipping all over the planet when we're worshipping here and. Or in the US or in South America or in Asia or in Africa whenever God's people are coming together in a corporate sense although we're all geographically scattered all over the place we're not just orienting ourselves to some earthly location it's saying we're actually orienting ourselves toward that heavenly Jerusalem where the presence of God is that mentions God is the judge there mentions the blood of the Covenant and Christ being there it also mentions the Angelic Host So the Angelic Host and us are all together in this there's a dynamic interaction going on and as as as the Word of God is preached notice the appeal in verse twenty five of Hebrews Chapter twelve it says see that you refuse not him that speak it for if they escaped not who refused him that spoke on earth much more shall we not escape if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven so as God's word is spoken from heaven through the through the living creature on earth we're all gathered together there's a dynamic interaction going on now Pastor Carl this is exciting we're going to come back to this text but we are we're just out of time but here's the powerful thing that we end on today when we worship God We actually come into his very presence that is in the heavenly saints in the let's pray on that as we and today but we'll continue next week Heavenly Father we are so grateful that we are not left alone but we can be with you in the heavenly sanctuary we pray this in Jesus' name amen. Friends today's program was jam packed with information are you interested in building your spiritual foundation on this. Solid Rock Jesus Christ if you are invited to call our toll free number there you can enroll in our correspondents Bible school we also have people standing by who can pray with you for any of your special prayer requests or Carl want to thank you so much for joining us today it's been a purpose to be THANK YOU AND FRIEND I hope you enjoyed today's program I invite you to join us again next week until then remember it is written man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

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