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Revelation's Sanctuary Pattern

Stephen Bohr

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Stephen Bohr

President/Speaker of Secrets Unsealed

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Conference

Recorded

  • September 1, 2007
    7:00 AM
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Well, good morning. Wow what a blessing to see so many young people out at this hour in the morning. Is this great? Praise the Lord, almost totally full of unbelievable. Good to see all of you. Did you sleep well last night? Yeah? A little warm? That's okay, though. I had a problem. As long as we have this Christian Fellowship and warmth you know we can learn up with a few inconveniences here, can't we? In compared to what's coming these inconveniences are nothing. Before we enter our study this morning we want to ask for the Lord 's presence and His blessings, so I invite you to bow you heads with me as we pray.

Father in heaven we thank you so much for the privilege of being in this beautiful place in the mountains. Thank you Father for fresh air and thank your for sunshine. We thank you for Christian Fellowship, but above all we thank you for your holy word. Father how terrible it would be to be in this world without any guidance, correct guidance from you and we thank you that you have given us a compass in your word. And as we opene that word this morning, we aske for the presence of your spirit for we are fully aware that Holy Spirit gave the Bible and without the aid of the Holy Spirit we could never understand what he gave. So be with us and instruct us and guide us and we thank you Father for hearing and answering our prayer for we ask it in Jesus name.Amen.

There are two things that go together like a hand and a glove, and that is the Hebrew Sanctuary and the Book of Revelation. The reason why the STA church ~ and I don’t say this arrogantly, but I do say this truthfully ~ the reason why the STA church is the only church in the world that understands the Book of Revelation is because it’s the only church in the world that understands the Hebrew Sanctuary. 

You see, the Book of Revelation follows the exact sequence of the Hebrew Sanctuary from beginning to end. And in our Devotional period this morning I would like to go into the Book of Revelation and follow the sequence of the Book of Revelation, and share with you how Revelation follows the exact sequence of ministration and of places of the Hebrew Sanctuary.

Now, I would like to review just a little bit the geography of the Hebrew Sanctuary for those who are not real well-versed in the Hebrew Sanctuary. I would like to just give a description and also the description of the daily and the yearly service. So most of this will be review for a lot of you, but I feel that it is important to do this.

The Hebrew Sanctuary had 4 key places. We usually think of 3, but it had 4. 

The first was the Hebrew encampment, where the Israelites lived. You see, they were part of the Sanctuary. “They will build Me a Sanctuary and I will dwell among them”, without them the Sanctuary would be useless, because really, they were the ones who needed the services of the Sanctuary. So the first place, the key place of the Sanctuary was the encampment. 

The second key place of the Sanctuary was the Court. And the center piece of the furniture of the Court was of course the altar of sacrifices where they sacrificed the animals, and they were placed upon the altar.

And then of course you went into the tent proper and the first appartment was called The Holy Place. And in the Holy Place, as you went in from the eastern sides, you looked to your left, that was to the south, you saw the 7-branch candlestick which were burning, the lights were burning all day 24/7 all day and all night. Then as you looked to your right you saw the table of the show bread, and there were 12 breads, or I would say loaves, but  they were 12 cakes of bread, and they were distributed into 2 piles, 6 and 6, and I believe there is a special purpose for that. And then as you looked straight forward, still in the Holy Place, you saw the altar of incense where morning and evening continually the incense, the smoke of the incense was ascending and going over the curtain and going into the Most Holy Place.

Then of course the 4th key place of the Sanctuary was the Most Holy Place. And in the Most Holy Place you had the Ark of the Covenant, and inside the Ark of Covenant were actually 3 things: you had Aaron’s rod that budded, and you had the pot of manna, but in the center location were what I want to especially dwell upon, were the 10 Commandments, the Law of God were contained there. Of course above the Ark was what was known as the Mercy Seat and that was where the glory of God, the Shekinah came down to dwell in the Hebrew Sanctuary.

Now, also the Sanctuary, besides the geography of it, had a daily and a yearly service. The daily service had to do with the Court and with the Holy Place of the Sanctuary. You see, the sacrifices were offered morning and evening besides other sacrifices, but there was a morning and evening sacrifice, which means that upon the altar the sacrifice was burning continually.

In the Holy Place, the bread was to be there continually, the incense was to be going up continually, the seven lamps of the candlesticks were supposed to be lighted continually. In other words, what took place in the Court and in the Holy Place was a continual thing, it was daily, it was a daily service of the Sanctuary.

The services of the Most Holy Place were yearly. In other words, once a year at the end of the year you had the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Trumpet, which announced the Day of Atonement. And of course the Day of Atonement was the great day of judgment when the Israelites were judged and they needed to afflict their souls during the time that the High Priest was in the Most Holy Place of the Sanctuary. And so at the end of the year, once a year, you had the services of the Most Holy Place of the Sanctuary.

Now, what I want to share this morning is that the Book of Revelation follows the exact order of the Hebrew Sanctuary, and reveals to us the different steps that Jesus takes as He does His utmost to save us.

Now, if you ask most Christians why Jesus came to this earth, they’ll say, “Oh, He came to save me,” or “He came to die on the cross.”  And that’s true. Jesus came to save us and Jesus came to die on the cross. But the Hebrew Sanctuary is much more involved than just the sacrifice in the Court. You have the services in the Holy Place and you have the services of the Most Holy Place of the Sanctuary, representing different aspects of the work of Christ.

Now, as we begin, I would just like to say that the different part of the Hebrew Sanctuary depict different functions of Jesus Christ in the plan of salvation. 

       His work in the Court represents primarily Jesus as Sacrifice. 

       His work in the Holy Place represents Jesus primarily as Intercessor. 

       His work in the Most Holy Place represents primarily His work as Judge. 

       And there is one further function.  Once the Hebrew Sanctuary closes, the function of Jesus that it depicted is Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

So the Hebrew Sanctuary depicts 4 functions of Jesus: Jesus as Sacrifice, Jesus as Intercessor, Jesus as Judge and Jesus as King. And I believe that the Book of Revelation reveals all of these functions  in the exact order of the Hebrew Sanctuary.

Now, I am only going to share with you this morning the high points of the Book of Revelation. I wished we had the time to study the nitty gritty, the little details in between each of these high points but obviously we don’t have the time, and I trust that many of you are taking notes or you are going to get the CD or DVD, and there is one, and you are going to take it home and you are going to check this out. “I am going to check Pastor Bohr out,”  and you’ll study everything in between the high points that we are going to take a look at in our study this morning....

Basically I would like to begin with Revelation 1 verse 3, eh, Revelation chapters 1 through 3 rather. Let’s begin with Revelation chapter 1 verses 5-6 and then we’ll jump to ~ I’ll speak about the first 3 chapters generally.

Revelation 1 and let’s read verses 5-6. It says here “and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead [that’s His resurrection, right?], and the ruler over the kings of the earth...”  Now, notice this, “From Him who loved us,” ~ what tense was that verb? It’s Past. And how did He show His love? “... and washed us..” what tense was that verb? Past. “... and washed us from our sins in His own blood.” What piece of furniture in the Sanctuary is this work referring to? It’s referring to His what? To His sacrifice. So where are we in Revelation 1:5? It’s reminiscing upon His work at the altar of sacrifice, on the cross He died He shed His blood to save His people from their sins.

But now we go to the rest of Revelation 1 to  chapter 3. And you have there Jesus walking among the 7 candlesticks. If you go with me to Revelation 1:13, actually let’s read verse 12 for the context, “Then I turn to see  the voice that spoke with me, and having turned I saw 7 golden lampstands”  now where would those be? In The Holy Place, obviously. “And in the midst of the 7 lampstands...”, this is the same One who loved us [Past tense] and washed us in His blood  “... one like the Son of Man clothed in a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden ban.” So where is Jesus in the series of the churches? He’s walking among the 7 what? The 7 candlesticks. Now, the 7 candlesticks represent the 7 churches and the 7 churches ~ the reason why the number 7 is used is because they  represent the history of the church from apostolic times till the end of the age. The totality or the completeness of the history of the church. And the picture that is being given is that Jesus in the history of the Christian church is walking among the 7 candlesticks, and what is He doing? If you read 3.Mose 24:1-4, we are told that the High Priest had to do 2 things with regard to the candlesticks:

First of all he had to trim the lamps, to make sure that they kept burning and he had to make sure that the lamps continually had  enough oil to continue burning. Now what is Jesus  the High Priest doing among the 7 candlesticks or in the history of the Christian church? Remember the number 7 represents the totality of the Christian church. Jesus is making sure that the light of the church does not – what?  That the light of the church does not go out. That there is an abundance of the Holy Spirit being poured out upon the church so that the church will continue to give its light.  Let me ask you, were there some periods when the light flickered and looked like it was going to go out? Absolutely, we know about the Dark Ages. Why do you suppose they are called the Dark Ages? Because the candlestick was dim. And yet the comforting aspect is that the light never went out because God was never left without witness. He had the Waldensees and He had the Albigensees and He had all these individuals who under very difficult circumstances shared the light of Jesus Christ.

And so we find, after we were told that Jesus loved us and washed us in His blood ~ that’s the work on the altar of sacrifice ~ then we see Jesus walking among the 7 candlesticks, He is pouring out His Spirit so that His church can give light.

And then we move to the series of the seals. Now I believe on the basis of what I have studied, that the seals actually are taking place at the table of the showbread. And let me explain some of the reasons why.

Number 1, we are told about the throne in the series of the seals,  in front of the throne are the 7 candlesticks. Now, if you look at the geography of the Hebrew Sanctuary, you will notice that that which was directly before the 7 candlesticks was what? It was the table of showbread, because the table of showbread was in the north, and the 7 candlesticks were in the south. In Revelation 4-5 which was the introductory vision to the seals locates the throne and says that the throne was in front of the 7 candlesticks.

Furthermore, it’s interesting that the table of the showbread was the only piece of furniture in the Sanctuary that had two crowns around it. Now who use crowns? Kings use crowns. Furthermore on the table of showbread there were 12 cakes of bread, but they were distributed into 2 stacks. Now, that’s interesting. You know if you’ve been to the Middle East you can stack up 12 cakes of bread one on top of another but, purposely they were placed 6 and 6. You say, “what is the reason?” Well, let’s read Revelation 3:21 to notice where Jesus went when He ascended to Heaven.

Revelation 3:21: “To him who overcomes, I will grant  to sit with Me on My throne as I also overcame, and...” what?  “... and sat with My Father on His throne.” So how many were sitting on the throne when Jesus ascended to Heaven? Two. Did Jesus go as King of the kings of grace? Most certainly, yes. Are both the Father and Son a source of bread for God’s people? Absolutely. You’ll notice for example in John chapter 6, Jesus says “My Father sent the bread from Heaven”, and the He said, “I am that Bread.” So notice, the Father and Son are both instrumental in feeding the people of God. 

And what does the bread represent? The bread represents the Word of God. “Men shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

Furthermore, and this is very interesting,  under the 3rd seal, you have a tremendous scarcity of wheat and barley. Now what was wheat and barley used for? It was used to make bread, that’s right. And wheat and barley under the period of the 3rd seal which we believe is the time of Constantine when erroneous doctrines entered the church, the Bread of God or the Word of God was what? It was scarce. And that’s the reason why under the 3rd seal you have wheat and barley being very expensive because there is a scarcity of that which is necessary to make the Word of God, in other words to make the Bread of God. 

And so in the series of the seals, Jesus is located at the table of the showbread and is feeding His people. Now, questions: were there a period during the history of the Christian church where the bread was very, very scarce? Absolutely. Where the people of God were practically at the point of starvation? Absolutely! During the same period we know as the Dark Ages. What was done with the Bible? It was kept in Latin, it was forbidden for people to read the Bible, therefore the Bread of God was scarce. You know, under another symbol in Revelation 11, you have the two witnesses and those represent the Old and New Testaments and they are witnessing in sackcloth, thus they can’t give their full light because of this terrible period of apostasy.

And so in the series of the seals, the emphasis is upon Jesus giving bread to His people. Sometimes the bread is scarce but never is the bread  totally missing. Just like we had a dark period in the Christian church but never did the light totally and completely disappear. So Jesus is feeding His church and Jesus is giving the Holy Spirit so His church can give light.

Then we come to the series of the trumpets.  Go with me to Revelation chapter 8 and let’s see where Jesus is during the trumpets. Revelation 8 and notice verse 3. It says here “Then another angel having  a golden censer came and stood at the altar...” which altar is this? There is the altar of sacrifice. Is this the  altar of sacrifice in the Court? No. It says “He was given much incense, that He should offer it with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne.”  The smoke of the incense with the prayer of the saints ascended before God from the angel’s hands. So where was Jesus at the beginning of the series of the trumpets? Jesus is found at the altar of incense at the golden altar.

So what has happened in the first half of Revelation? Jesus has moved from the Court where He loved us and washed us in His blood to walk among the 7 candlesticks to make sure that the church receives a supply of the Holy Spirit, then He has moved in the series of the seals to the table of the showbread to make sure that there is bread to feed His people from the Father and from the Son and then He has moved to the altar of incense to receive the prayers of His saints. 

By the way the Holy Place has what I call the triangle of sanctification. You want to live a sanctified life, the secret is found in the Holy Place of the Sanctuary. You say, “What do you mean?” Well, just think about it:

The candlesticks receives oil and imparts light. That represents the church giving witness to Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. In other words, it represents witnessing, imparting the light of Jesus. You see, Jesus is the sun, and we are the moons. Sometimes we think we are suns, but we are only moons. You know when we go out at night and we see the moon, beautiful full moon, and we say, “Oh, the moon is so beautiful tonight.” Listen, the moon would be nothing if it did not receive  light from the sun. So we would be nothing if we did not receive  light from Jesus. So  Jesus imparts the Holy Spirit to the church so that the church can witness and give light and testimony to Him.

Now, what about the Bread? Well, the Bread represents the Word of God. It represents the fact that we should be feeding upon the Word of God, so that we can grow spiritually.

What does the altar of incense represent? It represents prayers, because Jesus mixes  or blends His merits with the prayers and they go before the Father and they are acceptable before God.

And so you have, witnessing, bible study and prayer, as the 3 secrets to a sanctified life. And by the way, they have to be practised in a balanced manner. Ellen White says, “He who does nothing but pray will eventually cease to pray.” Did you know that? You know, some people emphasize one point, and other people emphasize another point. The fact is we have to balance all three of these to have a balanced sanctified life.

Now, we’ve gone from the Court to the Holy Place and we want to notice where Revelation sends us next. Go with me to Revelation 11:19. It says there “Then the temple of God…” ~ by the way this word temple   ναός   [nah-os']  refers to a specific portion of the Hebrew  Sanctuary, it refers to the Most Holy Place. It says “Then the temple of God was opened in Heaven…”  and what was seen?  “...and the Ark of the Covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, and earthquakes and great hails.”  So where is Jesus in Revelation 11:19? He’s in the Most Holy Place because the Ark of the Covenant was found where? In the Most Holy Place. And this is happening in Heaven.

Let me ask you, what good would it be for Jesus to go into the Most Holy Place to begin the work of judgment if nobody on earth knew about it? It would kind of defeat the purpose wouldn’t it? And so I want you to notice in Revelation 14 that there is an earthly announcement of this heavenly event. Revelation 14 and notice verse 6  “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment will come.” Oh, good, good, you’re sharp, you’re sharp, it’s early, but you’re sharp. It says, “the hour of His judgment…”  what? “…is come” or “has come”. 

Is this an earthly announcement of heavenly event? Most certainly. And then it continues saying in verse 7 “.. and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” Do you know, it’s very frequently in the bible, creation is connected with judgment. And you know the reason why? The reason why is because we are all creatures and we are all accountable to the Creator. So Judgment and Creation are very frequently linked, that’s the reason why you have Creation here, so just worship your Creator because now we are in the hour of Judgment.

So Revelation 11:19, the Most Holy Place opens, the Ark of the Covenant is seen and now God’s people are going to be judged by the perfect Law of Liberty. And that is going to be announced on earth and by the way it is being announced since 1844  that we are now in the hour of the what? Of the Judgment, beginning with the dead and then eventually ending with the living, which we’ll talk I’m sure a lot about during the course of this week end.

Now, what  happens after the work in the Most Holy Place is concluded, the work in the Most Holy place is finished? The fact is that the Sanctuary or the Temple closes and nobody can go in anymore.

Now, go with me to Revelation 15:5. You see how this is following the order of the Hebrew Sanctuary? You know the reason why most churches cannot understand the message of Revelation is because they don’t have the foggiest idea that the Book of Revelation is simply following Jesus, you know. And if you are in the wrong apartment, you’re deceived.

The fact is that Present Truth is preaching the message of where Jesus is now. So people say, “Preach the cross!” Yes, preach the cross within the context of what Jesus is doing now. Don’t just preach the cross. Don’t go back to the Court.

In fact Ellen White had a vision and it is found in Early Writings pgs 54-56 where she says that when Jesus entered into the Most Holy Place, there was a group that entered with Jesus into the Most Holy Place, but she says that many of those who were in the  Holy Place lost sight of Jesus and they stayed kneeling before the throne in the Holy Place. Notice that she says there was a throne in the Holy Place. And she says that Satan seemed to take the place of Jesus next to the throne, and those Christians that were praying “Give us Your Spirit” and Satan would blow upon them an evil influence and had this great revival, counterfeit revival with signs and miracles and wonders. And they thought it was the power of God, well it was the power of another spirit. 

That’s what happened since 1844 with the churches, and that’s what’s been happening within the STA church today, because many don’t want to go into the Most Holy Place. In fact they criticized the Most Holy Place message, they criticized the messengers of the  Lord, they don’t want to believe that we are in the Judgment days, they  want to believe that Jesus went directly into the Most Holy Place when He went to Heaven, and therefore they are not preaching Present Truth, and it’s Present Truth, according to Ellen White, is what the church needs today. The devil knows the time is coming when we won’t be able to enter into the Most Holy Place.

By the way, now is not the time to celebrate. Now is the time to afflict the soul. Because on the Day of Atonement, people  weren’t  outside  having an upbeat worship service, people were afflicting their souls. While Jesus was cleansing the Sanctuary inside they were cleansing their lives outside, because Jesus is not going to clean anything in there that had not been cleaned here.

Now, let’s go to Revelation 15:5 “After these things I looked and behold the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.” You know what it says? What is the temple of the tabernacle? The tabernacle is the tent, the temple of the tabernacle, the ναός   [nah-os'] of the tabernacle is the Most Holy Place. So it says, “the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. And out of the temple came the 7 angels having the 7 plagues clothed in pure and bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bans.” Notice once again the Most Holy place is open, but this time it’s open not so that people can go in, but so that the 7 angels with the 7 plagues can come out. And nobody can go in anymore. Notice, verse 6, actually verse 7 “Then one of the 4 living creatures gave to the 7 angels 7 golden  bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. The temple was filled…”  with what? “…with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the 7 plagues of the 7 angels were completed.”

There is a time coming when the Most Holy place is going to be closed and we are going to be without an intercessor. Have you read in the writings of Ellen White where she says that God’s people will have to live without a mediator, and we use that to scare people into obeying the Lord?  “Hey, you are going to have to live there during that period all alone by yourselves without a mediator!” Listen, we will live without a mediator, but we will not live without a protector. He will be with us. You know Jesus says, “Lo, I will be with you even until the close of probation”, heheheh. It’s not what He says. He says “I am with you even until the end of the world or until the end of the age.” Jesus is with His people all through the time of trouble. But we cannot take our sins into the Most Holy place because the Most Holy place has been cleansed, and hopefully our lives have been cleansed as well. Doing a parallel work to the work that Jesus has done in the Most Holy place.

So Revelation 15:5-8 speaks about Jesus finishing His work in the Most Holy place. No one can enter there by faith anymore to sympathize or participate in the work the Jesus is performing there. 

And then in Revelation 16-18 you have the outpuring of the 7 plagues.

By the way do you know why the 7 plagues are poured out?  Where does that idea come from, that from the Ark comes plagues? Yea, that there is a story in the old testament. You remember the story of the Philistines? You know uncircumcised hands took the Ark and to every city where  they took it, what happened? The bible says they got haemorrhoids. In other words what did the Ark do? The Ark poured out upon them what? Plagues! To the point that nobody wanted it anymore. They kept on passing it, “No, no, it’s your turn now”. The kept on passing it from city to city. Then finally they said to the Israelites, “Come get this thing. All it does is send plagues.”  Because it has been handled by uncircumcised hands.

In Revelation 16-18 you have the 7 plagues and then I want you to notice that in Revelation 19 you have the coming of Jesus. Revelation 19:11 I want you to know how He is coming. Has He already taken His kingdom as He comes in Revelation 19? Has He taken His kingdom? Oh, most certainly yes. Notice Revelation 19:11 “Now I saw Heaven opened and behold a white horse and He who sat on it was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like the flames of fire and on His head were many crowns. He had a name that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed in a robe dipped in blood…” that is not His own blood. Now this is an amazing portrayal of Jesus coming to trample the winepress of the oppressors of God’s people. “…And His name is called the Word of God. And the armies in Heaven clothed in white and fine linen followed Him on white horses.”

Wow! Now, let’s go down to verse 16. “And He has on his robe and on His thigh a name written,” what? “King of kings and Lord of lords.” Is He coming now after He has finished His work in the Most Holy Place when the plagues have been poured out... is He coming now in His functions as King of kings and Lord of lords? Has  He established what His kingdom is in the Judgment? Absolutely so. He comes as King of kings and Lord of lords.

But there is a little ceremony in the Sanctuary, actually it’s a big ceremony in the Sanctuary that took place at the very end of the Day of Atonement. Do you know what ceremony that was? It was called the scapegoat ceremony.

By the way I don’t have time to show you this, but Revelation 19 is really in reverse order. Verses 1-10 actually take places after verses 11-21. And Revelation does this all the time, it reverses the order, you know Revelation 14 does the same thing. Revelation 7 does the same thing. So Revelation 19 is not in chronological order. Basically what Revelation 19 does, in verses 1-10 it shows you God’s people victorious in Heaven, they are clothed in white robes, they are coming to the wedding supper of the Lamb and then 

John is going to say, “How in the world did they get there, to Heaven?” So he says, “Okay, I am going to go back and tell you how they got there. Jesus came as King of kings and Lord of lords and picked  them up.” Are you with me? So there’s another mistake that the churches made – the churches out there. They tried to study Revelation in chronological order. If you don’t know the structure of Revelation you  are never going to make sense out of the message of Revelation. It is going to be a great big hodgepodge. I am serious. 

We really need to sit down and we need to study Revelation. I am not talking about reading Revelation. We need to sit down and we need to be giants in the Word of God.  You young people, you have all your mental energies there. Some of us – you know, we still have some of our mental energies, but not as much as you do. You know you  catch on to things just like that so quickly. The devil wants to take your energies from you. He wants you to use your energies in bad things. Why do you want to give him what he wants? Why not sit down and instead of watching te3.Moseision instead of spending time listening to worldly music that doesn’t help us at all, be involved in worldly entertainment, why not take that time and edify our character upon the Word of God? And do an intense profound study of the Word of God.

Now, the scapegoat ceremony, interesting. The last thing that was done in the Hebrew Sanctuary. Where in Revelation do you find the scapegoat ceremony? Revelation 20:1.  By the way do you know where the sins were placed on the head of the scapegoat? They were placed at the entrance to the tent in the Court. Now the High Priest came out to the Court  the door that led into the tent, there he placed the sins on the head of the scapegoat. Let me ask you, where is the devil going to be there in the millenium when God’s people are in Heaven? He’s going to be on earth. In 3.Mose 16 it says that there are 2 characteristics about the place where the scapegoat went:

1.   It was the dessert

2.   It was an uninhabited land. 

It says that specifically.

Let me ask you this. Is the devil going to be sent out to a dessert in the wilderness? He most certainly is. Jeremiah says, “I looked upon the earth and it was without form and void, and I looked at the heavens and it had no light”. That is the condition of the earth before God proceeded to create in the 7 days of creation. So this world is going to be a desolate wilderness. Is it going to be without inhabitants? Yes! Because all of the wicked will be what? They’ll all be dead. And the devil and his angels will be the only ones left on earth.

Now, notice this ceremony in Revelation 20:1 “Then I saw an angel coming down from Heaven having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He lay hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the devil or  Satan  and bound him for 1000 years.” Is this  scapegoat ceremony? It most certainly is. This is happening on earth.

By the way, when it says here “the bottomless pit” that’s the Greek word   ἄβυσσος  [ab'-us-sos]  which  really “bottomless pit”  is not the best translation, it’s the “abyss”, it’s the same word in Greek that is used in Genesis when it speaks about the deep, before God ordered this world and filled this world. It uses the word “deep”.  For those of you who  know a little bit about bible version the Septuagint version which is the translation of  the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek. Whenever the word  תּהם    תּהום  [teh-home', teh-home']  which is the word “the deep” in Genesis is used, it translates it ἄβυσσος  [ab'-us-sos]. So we know  there is a direct relation between the word   תּהם    תּהום    [teh-home', teh-home']  and the word  ἄβυσσος  [ab'-us-sos]  they mean basically the same thing.

Verse 3: “And he cast him into the bottomless pit [that is into the abussos=  the world without form and void] and shut him up, and set a seal on him so that he shall deceive the nations no more until the thousand years are finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.” 

And then of course  Revelation speaks eventually  about the destruction of Satan and then the creation of new heavens and new earth where  righteousness dwells and God’s people will dwell with the Lord forever.

So, does Revelation have all the steps of the Hebrew Sanctuary one by one in their proper order? Absolutely. They reveal the steps that Jesus takes to save us.

Now   I would like to bring this to an end by going to Revelation, eh, not Revelation, John chapter 14. And I want to reflect a few minutes upon verses 1-3. John 14:1-3  Here the beloved disciple says, “Let not your heart be troubled”  - why would he say that? Because in the previous chapter Jesus has told the disciples “I’m leaving” and Peter says, “We want to go too.” Jesus says, “Where I’m going you can’t follow Me but you are going to follow Me later.” And Peter says, “I don’t want to go later, I want to go now.”  Jesus knew that after He said that the disciples were deeply troubled. We speak about troubled waters, by the way it was the very word that was used about the pool of BetheSTA, when the angel supposedly came and move the waters and the first person who jumped in got healed. That was the supposed idea. When we speak about the angel coming and moving the waters, that is the same word as here “troubled”. So their hearts are troubled. And Jesus said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me.” 

Now I want you to notice this next part, it says that: “in my Father’s house there will be many mansions”  Now we have this idea that Jesus went to Heaven to build mansions, He’s being doing heavenly contracting for 2000 years. Believe me, young people, Jesus does not need 2000 years to build mansions for us. Now, does He have mansions for us? Yes. No doubt whatsoever. They are beautiful mansions, but when Jesus spoke they were already there. Because He said “In My Father’s house ARE many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you.” Now, notice this: “I go to prepare a place for you”  I’m going to dwell on that for a few moments.

I’m going to dwell on that for a few moments. 

Jesus went to Heaven to do what?  To prepare a place for us. So what has he been doing for the last 2000 years? Is the emphasis that He has been building houses, He’s been planting vinyards, He’s been fixing up the place for us? Absolutely not. How does Jesus prepare a place for us in Heaven? Hebrews and Revelation explain that He prepares a place for us by the work that He performs in the Sanctuary. And that the preparation of the place was His work in the Holy Place and in the Most Holy Place  and when He comes out of the Most Holy Place to bless the people. So He says, “I go to prepare a place for you.” And now notice verse 3: “And if I go and prepare a place for you...” what will He do when He’s prepared the place? “I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

Is there a work that Jesus has to perform before He can come back again? Absolutely, it says  “I go to...” what?  “I go to prepare a place for you.” That’s what Jesus is doing now. His work in the Sanctuary is the work of preparation, read Hebrews. Study the passages that we have noticed in the Book of Revelation. You’ll find that it describes in minute detail the work  that Jesus is performing to prepare the place up there. 

Now, here is the amazing thing. While Jesus is preparing the place up there, His people should be preparing down here. But for that we have to follow Jesus in each step of  His ministration to understand what He’s doing and what we need to do in parallel  fashion to what He is doing there.

Now, here’s the  amazing thing. I want to give you some homework. Last night your homework was to study the Great Controversy, and to assimilate and allow the message of the Great Controversy to transform  and to change your lives.  I have now another bit of homework for you. Do you know, in Revelation we speak about what Jesus does in Heaven, Hebrews speaks about the work that Jesus does in Heaven, but do you know where the Bible speaks about the parallel work we are supposed to be doing here on earth? John 14, 15, 16, and 17. Those chapters describe how the Holy Spirit on earth works with the people and prepares the people while Jesus is in Heaven preparing the place. In other words, while Jesus is in heaven preparing the place, His people on earth are preparing for the place. And John 14, 15, 16 and 17 describe in minute detail what God’s people are supposed to be doing. 

I’ll specify a little bit better the homework that you need to do. Try and find there in John 14-17 the simple themes in the  work of Jesus  in  the Holy and the Most Holy Places. You’ll be amazed at the number of times during those chapters that speaks about the need to study the Word of God, the need to pray, the need to witness even in the most difficult times, and the number of times that Jesus speaks about the fact that there is going to be a Judgment. But the perspective in Revelation and in Hebrews is upon the work  that Jesus performs in Heaven. The emphasis of John 14-17 is on what God’s people should be doing on earth as Jesus is preparing the place in Heaven. You see, there is a special preparation that needs to take place.

Let me put it this way. If Jesus came today and took us to Heaven, many of us would be miserable because the music would not fit our tastes. And don’t you think that Jesus is going to change your tastes on the way to Heaven. We would be miserable with the food that He has there: almonds and pomegranates, and grapes, probably some mangoes I hope, and papayas, some of that good tropical fruit.  There’s not going to be any Delis   and  no Mc Donalds.  No. None of that food with preservatives and with artificial colorings and all that stuff, none of that there. So if we don’t get used to God’s diet here, we would be miserable up there  and God is not going to take us if we are miserable. No more theatres majoring in illicit sex and violence and lying and cheating,  stealing, none of that. Just the simple pleasures of life. So where do we learn to live that way? We learn to live that way here, and the fact is  that John 14-17 explains how we learn to live here in preparation for up there. So while Jesus is preparing a place in Heaven for us, we should be on earth preparing for that place. We should be following Jesus by faith from the Court to the Holy Place, to the Most Holy Place.

Listen, folks, one of the mistakes we commit when we work with other Christians is we want to take them to the Most Holy Place. Don’t make that mistake to take them to the Most Holy Place first. The first angel’s message begins with the Everlasting Gospel, and then it goes into some of the heavier things, “Fear God, give glory to Him, the hour of the Judgment is come”. See? 

When we deal with other people we have to take them through the whole processing.  “Yeah, Jesus died on the cross for you, but then what did the Priest do? He took the blood into the next apartment. Jesus wants to feed His people with His Word, He wants the church to impart His light, He wants to intercede for their sins, if we sin we have an Advocate with the Father.”  And then we need to take him to the additional step you know, the Bible says that there is going to be a Judgment. And in the day of Judgment, the Israels afflicted their souls, they were supposed to gain victory over sins in their lives through the grace of Christ so that their sins could be blotted out. Repent and be converted, so that your sins may be what? May be blotted out. And then they’ll have the Most Holy Place experience with Jesus, which is where Jesus is now, that is Present Truth now.

So  if we are in the Court or we are in the Holy Place  preaching that message today, we are only preaching part of the Gospel, we are not preaching Present Truth. It might be truth  ~ Ellen White says that there are many precious truths in the Bible. She says but it is   Present Truth which God’s people need at this particular time. And the Present Truth is the message that we find enshrined in the Most Holy Place of the Sanctuary.

And so I challange us this morning to get spiritually into Jesus. You know it does not take place overnight, we have to learn to like good things and we have to learn to despise bad things. You know, when I was in Wisconsin Academy many, many years ago, Tarzans novels were the “in” thing. Now that was a long time ago, you see, that was the age of dinosaures. But everybody read Tarzans novels, it was so exciting you know, swinging through the trees, or fighting with lions and crocodiles and so on, you know.  And my parents had  taught  me to read the Bible, they taught me to pray, for a while I had a detour from the Lord because my mind was so enfeverished with all these exciting stuff. When I went to read the Bible “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth” how boring. I would several times start reading the Bible and  I  just couldn’t.  You know,  I would  read a few chapters  maybe and  just quit. 

But it came to the point one day when I said, you know  I’ve really gone astray from the Lord, I  need to get back to the roots and I’m going to start reading the Bible and I am going to start reading it till I like it. So I prayed to the Lord and I said, “Lord, help me in this.” 

I started studying the Bible and I can tell you it was a struggle, but I hung in there.  Till finally, “hei, this is pretty good stuff.” I starting loving the Bible. I never thought about being a preacher until after I got out of High School. I was going to be a physical education teacher. But as a result of this experience, I decided to accept the call that God had given me, you know, become a minister. 

And now I just cannot figure out how people can sit down and watch those superficial movies and all this junk. You know, I can sit down and I can study Revelation and I can be 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning studying ~ I know I am not supposed to do that but ~  studying and saying “Wow, this is exciting!” Sit down and start watching something on television and  5 minutes later I am asleep. If you don’t believe me, ask my wife or my kids, and they’ll tell you the truth.

It’s all a matter how we educate our minds, what we focus on, what we spend our time on. And Jesus wants us  to prepare young people for heavenly society by loving godly things. And when we love godly things, the ungodly things, they will be insipid, they will  not awaken any interest in us. You know, some people say, “You are so heavenly minded you are no earthly good” and I say to them, “you are so earthly minded you are no heavenly good.”  Because the opposite side of the coin is true too.

Now, our minds need to be in Heaven like Enoch, so that Jesus can say, “Listen, Enoch, you have no reason to be on earth anymore, what are doing down there, come up here and we’ll continue walking on the street of gold.” I pray to God that that will be your experience. Do you want God to give you that experience? You want to stand this morning if you want that experience in your life? Folks, if  we have that experience in our lives, let met tell you, we will have power to shake the world, the power of God. And that’s what God wants from the youth today, to use their energies. The devil diverts it, but God wants us to use our energies for the finishing of God’s work. And I  see exciting things happening in the Adventist Church, and I’m glad that the Lord has given me life this period of history. People are asking me, “If you have one period of history in which to live, which will it be?”  “Now!” I say. “This is the time.” Let’s bow our heads.

Father in heaven we thank you for a marvelous message that you us as the Seventh-day Adventist church. Father at the same time realize that many times we have taken a detour from the message that you have given us to present to the world and you wanted us to come back to the straight and narrow to the plug-in spiritually again. Lord, we just kind of lethargicly not live but exist. Father I thank you for this wonderful group of young adults, young people. Father I just ask that you will pour out your spirit upon this meeting this weekend, that when we leave this place we will be so inspired that no one will be able to detain us from opening our mouths and sharing the wonderful message about what Jesus is doing, that Jesus is coming soon. Father give us victory over every sin and on every visit beset. Lord, we want to be pure and clean without spot or wrinkle or any such thing when Jesus comes in the clouds. We thank you Father for having been with us and thank you for hearing and answering our prayer, for we ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

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