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The Cross and The Sanctuary- Part 5

David Shin

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David Shin

Pastor, Hillside O'Malley Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Anchorage, AK

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  • November 8, 2014
    11:30 AM
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The Cross and The Sanctuary- Part 5

David Shin 

 

Revelation 12: 7 - 9, here we're given a picture of a conflict that takes place in heaven. Revelation 12: 7 – “And war broke out (where?) in heaven. Michael and HIS angels fought with the dragon and the dragon and his angels fought but they did not prevail nor was a place for them in heaven any longer. So the dragon was cast out, the serpent of old called the Devil and Satan who deceives the whole world. He was cast to the earth and his angels were cast out with him.

 

Now, we can spend the entire message today focusing on this passage; but, a few observations I wanna make. The war started in heaven. It's kind of an interesting thought to think that heaven could be a place where there is war; but the Bible tells us that this great controversy did not start on earth: it started in heaven and was transferred here to Earth. If you read the book of Isaiah, and book of the Bible tells us that Lucifer was the covering cherub there in Eden. And Lucifer wanted to be like GOD. And so he started a rebellion in heaven against the very administration of GOD. And this rebellion was so significant and so insidious that the Bible tells us that this war actually cost a third of the angels in heaven. You can fill it out in your study guide. 

 

Revelation 12:4 – “His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.” This was a rebellion of vast proportions that shook heaven to its very foundations. We don't know how many angels there are but the Bible tells us that there is ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands upon thousands. So you imagine a third of the angels that buy into Lucifer's arguments. 

 

Now, the word ‘war’ that you filled out in the previous part of your study guide is actually the Greek word ‘polemos’ where we get the word polemic. It's an argument. Now, I believe there was a physical battle; but the physical battle had its roots really in ideological battle. There was a philosophical war in heaven between the devil and his angels and MICHAEL and HIS angels. And so there was an argument that was played out and this argument was so compelling to these heavenly beings that one third of them bought into Lucifer's lies. 

 

Now, we have to ask ourselves this question: What were Satan's arguments against GOD? Now, were laying the groundwork for our study here today. We find out that there is a war and heaven and it's a war that's based in ideological difference between Satan and GOD. And his insinuations were so compelling that one third of the angels bought into Satan's plan. 

 

 

Now, some people have asked the question why didn't GOD just zap Satan immediately. Now, if HE did that and I was an angel in heaven and here Lucifer bring some arguments against GOD and suddenly a bolt of thunder comes on the air and Lucifer is pulverized. No. 1, I would probably like, “Well, I’ll never question GOD again.” And no. 2, there would be something in the back of my mind saying, “You know what? Maybe GOD is hiding something. Maybe Lucifer who later became the devil and Satan has some arguments that are valid.” And so GOD is looking at the long run. HE's looking at the big picture and HE wants to place not only planet Earth but the entire universe in a state of security. And so HE allows this great controversy to play out. This is one of the reasons, one of the rationale, and the arguments of Satan we can find the implications of in the Book of Job.

 

So, I want to invite you to turn with me to the Book of Job. Job 1:6 – 10, 575, if you're using the church Bible and this is a fascinating chapter. We're not going to go into all of the nuances of the Book of Job. It's a beautiful poetic book. If you have a Sabbath afternoon in which you're free. I highly encourage you to read this because this questions of theodicy that you can answer from the Book of Job. But in Job 1:6 and onward, we see an interesting scene. There is a time when the curtain is pulled back and we're able to see a dialogue between Satan and GOD; fascinating verse. 

 

Job 1:6 and onward – “Now, there was a day when the sons of GOD came to present themselves before the LORD. And Satan also came among them.” Some Bible scholars believe that this was a time when the representatives from different parts of the universe were coming before GOD. Satan, remember in the temptation, he says, “I'm the Prince of this world.” When Adam fell, Satan assumed the role of the representative of planet Earth. And so here, Satan comes as the representative of planet earth in verse 6. Verse 7 – “And the LORD said to Satan, From where do you come? So Satan answered the LORD and said, From going to and fro on the earth and from walking back and forth on it.” Now notice verse 8, you cannot miss this. “Then the LORD said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is unlike him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears GOD and shuns evil.” 

 

Notice that the first thing that GOD brings up after the initial introduction “Where have you come from?” GOD points out and looks in an individual whose name is Job and says, “Look, Satan, Have you considered my servant Job.” What specifically about HIS servant Job is GOD pointing out? Notice the part here: “MY servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth.” Why? A blameless and upright man, one who fears GOD and shuns evil.” There's something about Job's life that is an argument in GOD's favor. Do you see that yes or no? All right. So here they're having this interesting dialogue and the first thing that GOD brings out: HE said, “Look at Job. He's an upright man who serves GOD.” And Satan responds with an interesting comment - verse 9 – “So Satan answered the LORD and said, Does Job fear GOD for nothing?” In other words, Job has some motivations why Job is following YOU. Have you not made a hedge around him and his household, around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands and the possessions increased in the land; but now stretch out your hand and touch all that he has and he will surely curse you to his face. And the LORD said to Satan, Behold all that he asked is in your power, only do not lay a hand on his person. So Satan went out in the presence of the LORD. This is a fascinating exchange and you see what happens in the following verses. Satan goes out, and he (Job) starts losing everything that he has. And notice this verse in verse 22, near the end of this chapter last verse of this chapter. It says, “In all these, Job did not (what does it say? Job did not) sin nor charge GOD with wrong.” You can see that the great controversy which started in heaven has gone down here to Earth and there is something about Job's life that was an argument in favor that vindicated GOD's name before the universe. Do you see that? And here Satan goes out and he tries to get Job to sin because if Job sins that would validate some of the devil's arguments in the great controversy. 

 

So in this cosmic conflict there is something that is taking place here. And one of my favorite books, the Desire of Ages, 761 actually spells it out and you can find implications of this all throughout Scripture. And if you understand this, you will understand the meta-narrative of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation called the great controversy which started in heaven and now has come down here to Earth. 

 

Desire of Ages 761 – “In the opening of the great controversy, Satan had declared that the law of GOD could not be obeyed. When men broke the law and defied HIS will, Satan exulted. It was proved; he declared that the law could not be obeyed.” So here is the argument in the great controversy that started in heaven. The devil began by saying, “You know what the law of GOD, it can never be kept. GOD is so irrational, unreasonable that he has put up a standard of living that no one can keep.” Now, in the mind of Lucifer, why we attack the law of GOD? Now, for any government, the foundation of the government is the law. That is the foundation of the United States government - to legislate. So here, he attacks the very foundation of the government of GOD saying, “You know what, the law of GOD cannot be kept. The law giver is actually unreasonable.” And so in this great controversy is now come down to planet Earth. And so here GOD says, “Look, here is one person that by MY grace is keeping the law. He is blameless.” And so here, we have a window into this great controversy between CHRIST and Satan. 

 

And now we come to our 3rd question: how does GOD respond to Satan's claim that the law cannot be kept?” And the answer can be found in the sanctuary. 

 

We are in part 5 in our series called The Cross and the Sanctuary. And if you have not followed along to this point, you can get the podcast online at our website yourchurchsda.com or watch videos as well. 

 

We have said that the sanctuary is the lens, is the key, that helps us to understand CHRIST in the plan of salvation. We have said that there are 3 compartments in the sanctuary: the courtyard, the Holy Place and the Most Moly Place.  GOD’s intention is to bring us from the courtyard experience to the Holy Place experience to the Most Holy Place experience. 

 

Adam and Eve back in Edenic perfection, they were right here in the Most Holy Place; face to face, open communion with GOD. Because of sin, there was a separation; we ended up out here. Now, the plan of salvation is illustrated in the sanctuary in a kindergarten type of clarity where GOD brings us back into the courtyard, into the Holy Place into the Most Holy Place. 

 

Now, the different evangelical perspectives in the world have parts of the sanctuary correct. Now, our Evangelical friends, they believe in justification. Matter of fact, they center their beliefs in justification. But this part is not emphasized as much. Our Catholic friends believe in sanctification so much that it places where it's meritorious sanctification. You can work your way to heaven. The 7 sacraments. That is this part. Now, Wesley came along and he said, “Look, we need both.” We need the courtyard, and we need the Holy Place. He believed in justification and sanctification. There was another group of people that came along called Seventh Day Adventists and said, “You know what, we need not only the courtyard, we need the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place. The entire sanctuary must be our framework for doing theology. And you can understand that the sanctuary is not just an Old Testament relic that died at the Cross. 

 

Paul says and Hebrews chapter 8 that CHRIST is our High Priest in heaven, in the heavenly sanctuary which the LORD erected and not man. So the sanctuary is a very interesting complex, I should say not complex but comprehensive perspective on the gospel. If you get stuck in any compartment, you will have an imbalanced perspective about CHRIST is doing, has done and will do.

 

Now, with that in mind, we have said that the sanctuary shows us that there are how many phases in the plan of salvation? That there are 3 phases in the plan of salvation. Not 1, not 2, but 3. The court yard experience – GOD saves us from the penalty of sin - this is justification. The Holy Place experience where GOD saves us from the power of sin, this is sanctification. The Most Holy Place experience where GOD saves us from the presence of sin - this is glorification. 

 

For our message here today - we're going to focus on Phase 3 - the Most Holy Place. Now, inside the Most Holy Place which is the 3rd compartment Phase 3 in the process of salvation, there was one article of furniture called the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the covenant is a fascinating piece of furniture. The point I wanna bring out is that there was something inside the Ark of the Covenant called the Ten Commandments. This was the mercy seat. This was the throne room of GOD. And notice what is underneath the mercy seat, at the foundation of the throne of GOD is the Ten Commandments. Law of GOD is there in the Most Holy Place. The Ark of the Covenant contains GOD's law. 

 

Now, I want to remind you that this is where GOD wants to bring us - to the Most Holy Place. Now, I want you to notice that in our experience with JESUS, that GOD does not just want to draw the law or write the law on tables of stone; but in Proverbs 7: 2 and 3, you can find it find it there in your study guide. It says, “Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers, write them on the tablet of your (what?) of your heart.” Isn’t that fascinating. GOD wrote the Ten Commandments on 2 tablets of stone; but here in Proverbs 7: 2 and 3. It says that God wants to write the law on the tablet of your heart. 

 

The 2nd verse here: Hebrews 10:16, “I will put my laws into their heart, and in their minds I will write them.” So here is the process where GOD brings us through justification in the court, sanctification in the Holy Place, and into the phase of the Most Holy Place experience where the law of GOD is. And here GOD says, “Listen, I want to write the law of GOD, not on 2 tablets of stone; but I want to write it on the tablet of your heart.” 

 

Adam and Eve in Edenic perfection, they did not need the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone. Why was that? Because it was where? It was written in their hearts and we need to recognize, friends, that the plan of salvation is a process of restoration. It is to bring us back to where Adam and Eve where before the fall. 

 

You see, it's one thing to forgive your past; but it's another thing to give you power in the present. Remember, we said that JESUS, our High Priest is interceding on our behalf and we said it's an ellipse of a ministry. Remember that. Not only does HE give us pardon for sin, HE gives us power over sin. And we need to recognize that those 2 points must be kept in balance: pardon and power. HE gives to us as our High Priest. 

 

Now, “And unto HIM that is able to keep us from falling” – power. “If we confess our sins, HE is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” -  pardon. These two, JESUS our High Priest gives to us; but in the process of salvation; HE wants to bring us all the way to the place where GOD’s law is written on the tablet of our hearts. Now, we do not write it there. We allow GOD to write it there. I want to make that very clear. 

 

This is a beautiful quote from the book Desire of Ages - The law requires righteousness, a righteous life, a perfect character, and this, man has not to give. He cannot meet the claims of GOD's holy law; but CHRIST coming to Earth as a man, lived a holy life, and developed a perfect character. These HE offers as a free gift to all who will receive them. HIS life is an important part. HIS life stands for the life of men; thus they have remission of sins that are passed through the forbearance of GOD; more than this, CHRIST imbues men with the attributes of GOD. HE builds up the human character after the similitude of the divine character, a goodly fabric of spiritual strength and beauty. Thus, the very righteousness of the law is fulfilled in the believer in CHRIST.

 

So here we have it. We cannot develop a righteous character and righteous life; but JESUS has lived the perfect live. That life, HE gives to us not only in the covering; but HE makes us righteous by HIS grace, by writing the law of GOD on the tablet of our hearts. 

 

Remember the argument in the great controversy. Satan claims that the law cannot be kept. And here is the final argument in the great controversy. The devil might say, “Look, you had Enoch, you had Daniel, you had Joseph, and come on JESUS CHRIST, HE’s the Son of GOD. He kept the law. What do you expect?” But here in the final argument in the great controversy, if you read the book of Revelation, it says in Revelation Chapter 14 verse 12. “Here are the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of GOD and the testimony of JESUS.” The weakest of the weak, the last generation will have the character of JESUS reproduced in their lives. And in the cosmic conflict between CHRIST and Satan, between the powers of light and darkness, GOD will say, “Here they ar. Here is the argument that a group of people will depend on ME so much that they will become like JESUS in character.” That is the trajectory of the sanctuary. 

 

The sanctuary is GOD’s response to the arguments of the great controversy. Penalty for sin – taken care of; the power of sin - taken care of. The Most Holy Place experience, writing the law of GOD, not on 2 tablets of stone; but upon the tablets of our hearts.

 

There you have it Revelation 14:12, “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of GOD and the faith of JESUS.” The last generation will be a group of people that keep the commandments of GOD by depending upon JESUS CHRIST as the vine is to the branches.

 

Our last question: what does the law of GOD really represent? We live in an age where individuals fear legalism. We did have an aspect of our Adventists history where I believe that the law was preached as one Bible or one inspired writer wrote that it was so dry as the hills of Gilboa; but I will point out that we need to recognize that when we talk about the law of GOD, we need to understand what that really means. 

 

First of all, we cannot keep the law by our own strength. It is only by the grace of JESUS CHRIST and it's because we are saved that we're unable to keep the law. We are not saved by keeping the law, friends. I wanna make that very clear. You are saved by grace through faith in JESUS CHRIST. 

 

Now, this is what the Bible says about the law. Romans 13:10 and this is what I want to understand when it talks about the law of God being written on the tablet of our hearts. Romans 13:10 – “Therefore (what does it say?) therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” You remember that individual that came to JESUS and said, “Which of the commandments is the greatest commandment?” JESUS was not quoting or making up a new statement when HE says, “Thou shall love the LORD your GOD with all your heart and soul and mind and thou shall love your neighbor as yourself.” HE's actually quoting the Old Testament. HE's quoting the book of Deuteronomy. 

 

Now, when you understand that the first 4 of GOD's commandments are love for GOD. If you love GOD, you're not going to take HIS name in vain, you’re not going to have any idols before HIM, you're going to keep the Sabbath. The 1st 4 deal with love for GOD. 

 

The last 6 deal with love for our fellow man. If you love your fellow man, you're not going to kill him, you're not gonna take his wife, you're not gonna lie to him. All of those things grow out of a love for your fellow man. 

 

So when we talk about the law of GOD being love, the entire law can be summarized in one-word – LOVE. And the Bible says, 1st John 4:8 - GOD is (what?) love. So we can safely conclude here friends that when GOD writes HIS law upon our hearts, HE wants to write HIS character upon our heart, which is a character rooted and grounded in love. Meaning that when JESUS comes the second time, HE's coming for a group of people that are just like HIM in character. That's why HE says, “By your love, they shall know that you are MY disciples.” A group of people that have allowed HIM to take HIM them through the process of justification, sanctification, and glorification - a group of people that will be matured as Christians.

 

When JESUS comes the second time, in the Book of Revelation, it says that “HE’s coming on a cloud and in HIS hand is holding a sickle.” Now, when you come, and I don’t know a lot about agriculture, but I do know this: when you plant the seed, you don't pull out your sickle. All right? Neither does when there's a sprout. This is not the time for the harvest. When do you pull out your sickle for the harvest? When there is what? When there's fruit. When the plant has reached a certain state of maturity. And so when JESUS comes the second time, HE's coming for the harvest. HE's coming for a group of people that have matured as Christians and reflect the character of JESUS CHRIST - a group of people that are the weakest of the weak, yet have unprecedented light so that GOD can write HIS law upon their hearts. And this is the final argument in the great controversy against the devil; that if the weakest of the week after thousands of years of sin and degradation, if they can keep the law and allow GOD to write it upon their hearts, that means that every previous generation, if they had the same amount of light and opportunity, they could do it too by HIS grace. That's why in the Book of Revelation, it says, “Here are they that keep the commandments of GOD and have the faith of Jesus.”

 

1 John 3:2 - but we know that when CHRIST appears we shall be what is a we be lying to him for we shall see Him as He is GOD is looking for a group of people that would say, “LORD, use me write your law of love upon the tablet of my heart.”

 

CHRIST Object Lessons page 69. I love this quotation, friends. GOD is not waiting for final events. HE's not waiting for more natural disasters or more tsunamis or more earthquakes or calamities. (This is what GOD is waiting for.) It's the final argument in the cosmic conflict between good and evil. CHRIST Object Lessons page 69. When the character (when the what?) When the character of CHRIST shall be perfectly reproduced in HIS people, then HE will come to claim them as HIS own. GOD is looking for a people that will love others like JESUS loved others. Amen. That will love GOD like JESUS loved GOD. And when GOD has a people that loves the world as CHRIST loves the world, then HIS mission for us will be accomplished. Can you say amen. 

 

I wanna invite you to stand with me as we prepare to close, as we've discussed this topic of the cross in the sanctuary. I want to give us an opportunity to respond; every head bowed and eyes closed. I give this opportunity every single Sabbath. And if there is someone here, and if you were to die tonight and you do not know if you would be saved. If you are to walk out of the sanctuary and get in a car accident and you don't know if the next moment you wake up if you would be saved awaiting the 2nd coming. You can have that assurance today. If you do not 100 percent have that assurance, you can walk out of this sanctuary, the Bible says knowing that you have salvation because of your faith in JESUS CHRIST. I wanna invite you raise your hand and say, “LORD, I want to be sure. I want to be saved.” GOD bless you. Eternal decisions are being made here today friends. Don't walk out of the sanctuary without that assurance. 

 

My 2nd appeal is this: you have not been baptized, and you hear the HOLY SPIRIT speaking to your heart; perhaps it's been months; perhaps but it's been weeks; perhaps it's just this moment; but right now you know that GOD is calling you to make a decision to prepare for baptism. And you want to say, “LORD JESUS, I wanna say yes.” Because of what JESUS did on the cross, I wanna say yes to JESUS and if you wanna prepare for baptism, I want you to raise your hands and say, “I wanna prepare for baptism, by HIS grace. I recognize that baptism is not the end but it's the beginning.” What I want you just... GOD bless you in the back there. Is there someone else? I wanna say, I wanna prepare for baptism, just put your hand up. Between you and the LORD and say, “I wanna prepare for baptism.” God bless you. Is there someone else?

 

My last appeal is this, there is something keeping you from JESUS and you need special prayer. Perhaps you’ve been even baptized; perhaps even a member of this church for years, but there is something keeping you from CHRIST. And you wanna come forward and say, “LORD, I surrender.” I wanna invite you to come forward this morning for a special prayer. Is there something keeping you from JESUS; but you need GOD’s help by HIS grace. I wanna invite you to come forward. We're all sinners in need of grace. All HE needs is our willingness and surrender. GOD bless you. GOD bless you. There's something keeping you from JESUS and you want to lay it on the altar this morning. You are tired of fighting, you're tired of playing games, you want to say, “LORD, nothing in my hand I bring, simply to die cross I cling. I surrender all that's all we can do. Take my heart for I cannot give you. Save me in spite of myself, my weak and un-CHRIST- like self. I come to JESUS just the way that I am for that's the only way that we can come.” God bless you. JESUS saves, friends. JESUS saves. 

 

Let’s bow our heads together as we pray.

 

FATHER in heaven, we thank YOU today for the Cross, that YOU came down from Heaven, became as one of us, and died so that we might live. We thank YOU that YOU are now our High Priest in heaven. As we discussed last week in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary going through the process of cleansing in the heavenly sanctuary. We thank YOU today that you have the power to keep us from falling, also pardon for sin. And LORD today, I pray for those individuals that raise their hands saying, “I want to accept JESUS as my SAVIOUR.” I pray that YOU would seal their decisions. I pray for the individuals that raise their hands for baptism this morning. I pray that nothing would get in the way of their decision to follow YOU into the waters of baptism. LORD, we recognize that baptism is not the end, it's the beginning. It's not a graduation; it is the beginning of a walk with JESUS CHRIST. And I pray that YOU would seal their decisions as well. LORD, I pray for the individual that have come forward surrendering their lives to JESUS CHRIST saying the LORD there is keeping me from and there's something keeping me from an optimum relationship with YOU.” And I pray for every single person that's come forward here today. LORD, YOU know the burden on their hearts. YOU know the cries of their hearts as only YOU can hear them. And I pray that YOU would answer their cries this morning to remove the hindrance, remove the obstacle, whatever it may be that's keeping them from an optimum relationship with YOU. I pray in the name of JESUS that you would revive them here this morning. Let them walk out of this sanctuary free in JESUS CHRIST. May they walk out knowing that JESUS has granted them the victory. LORD, we are all sinners in need of a SAVIOUR and it's only by YOUR grace that YOU take us, recreate in us the image of GOD and place YOUR law upon the tablets of our hearts. YOU want to make us like JESUS. LORD, that's the plea of our hearts here today. Make us like YOU. Help us to love as JESUS love, to see people as JESUS saw people, to have YOUR law written upon our hearts. We recognize that this is something that we cannot attain, it is only a gift that JESUS can grant us when we surrender. And I pray for every person in the sanctuary especially the ones that have come forward that YOU would write YOUR law of love upon the tablets of their hearts. For we ask these things in the precious name of JESUS CHRIST and for HIS sake. Amen. 

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