Bible Study – Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary

January 23 – 29, 2022

Key Text

“We have such an high priest … a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Hebrews 8:1, 2

Study Help: The Great Controversy, 409–422; Early Writings, 250–253


“The holy places of the sanctuary in heaven are represented by the two apartments in the sanctuary on earth.” The Great Controversy, 414



1.a. When Moses spent forty days with the Lord on Mount Sinai, what specific instructions did he receive? Exodus 25:8, 9, 40

 Note: “The sanctuary in heaven, in which Jesus ministers in our behalf, is the great original, of which the sanctuary built by Moses was a copy. God placed His Spirit upon the builders of the earthly sanctuary.” The Great Controversy, 414

1.b. With what was the earthly tabernacle constructed? Exodus 25:1–7. How was it divided?

 Note: “For the building of the sanctuary, great and extensive preparations were necessary; a large amount of the most precious and costly material was required, but the Lord accepted only freewill offerings.” Prophets and Kings, 61

“The tabernacle itself consisted of two apartments called the holy and the most holy place, separated by a rich and beautiful curtain, or veil.” The Great Controversy, 412



2.a. What provision was made for those who ignorantly transgressed God’s law? Leviticus 4:27–31; Acts 17:30

 Note: “The most important part of the daily ministration was the service performed in behalf of individuals. The repentant sinner brought his offering to the door of the tabernacle, and placing his hand upon the victim’s head, confessed his sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the innocent sacrifice. By his own hand the animal was then slain, and the blood was carried by the priest into the holy place and sprinkled before the veil, behind which was the ark containing the law that the sinner had transgressed. By this ceremony the sin was, through the blood, transferred in figure to the sanctuary.” The Faith I Live By, 198

“Such was the work that went on, day by day, throughout the year. The sins of Israel were thus transferred to the sanctuary, and a special work became necessary for their removal.” The Great Controversy, 418

2.b. What was the daily duty of the common priest in the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary? Hebrews 9:6, 9, 10

 Note: “The daily service consisted of the morning and evening burnt offering, the offering of sweet incense on the golden altar, and the special offerings for individual sins. …

“Every morning and evening a lamb of a year old was burned upon the altar, with its appropriate meat offering, thus symbolizing the daily consecration of the nation to Jehovah, and their constant dependence upon the atoning blood of Christ. God expressly directed that every offering presented for the service of the sanctuary should be ‘without blemish.’ Exodus 12:5. The priests were to examine all animals brought as a sacrifice, and were to reject every one in which a defect was discovered. Only an offering ‘without blemish’ could be a symbol of His perfect purity who was to offer Himself as ‘a lamb without blemish and without spot.’ 1 Peter 1:19.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 352



3.a. How was the high priest attired? Exodus 29:4–7. What was the difference between the garments of the common priests and those of the high priest?

 Note: “In accordance with their office, a special dress was appointed for the priests. ‘Thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, for glory and for beauty,’ was the divine direction to Moses. The robe of the common priest was of white linen, and woven in one piece. It extended nearly to the feet and was confined about the waist by a white linen girdle embroidered in blue, purple, and red. A linen turban, or miter, completed his outer costume. …

“The garments of the high priest were of costly material and beautiful workmanship, befitting his exalted station. In addition to the linen dress of the common priest, he wore a robe of blue, also woven in one piece. Around the skirt it was ornamented with golden bells, and pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet. Outside of this was the ephod, a shorter garment of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and white. It was confined by a girdle of the same colors, beautifully wrought. The ephod was sleeveless, and on its gold-embroidered shoulder pieces were set two onyx stones, bearing the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 350, 351

3.b. What event took place on the tenth day of the seventh month in Israel? Leviticus 23:27–32. What solemn ceremony was performed by the high priest? Hebrews 9:3, 7

Note: “Once a year, on the great Day of Atonement, the priest entered the most holy place for the cleansing of the sanctuary. The work there performed completed the yearly round of ministration.” The Great Controversy, 419

“No mortal eye but that of the high priest was to look upon the inner apartment of the sanctuary. Only once a year could the priest enter there, and that after the most careful and solemn preparation. With trembling he went in before God, and the people in reverent silence awaited his return, their hearts uplifted in earnest prayer for the divine blessing.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 352



4.a. How is Christ described in John’s first vision, and what was John’s reaction upon seeing his Lord? What words of encouragement were given to him? Revelation 1:14–19

 Note: “John, who has so loved his Lord, and who has steadfastly adhered to the truth in the face of imprisonment, stripes, and threatened death, cannot endure the excellent glory of Christ’s presence, and falls to the earth as one stricken dead. Jesus then lays His hand upon the prostrate form of His servant, saying, ‘Fear not; … I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore.’ Revelation 1:17, 18. John was strengthened to live in the presence of his glorified Lord, and then were presented before him in holy vision the purposes of God for future ages. The glorious attractions of the heavenly home were made known to him. He was permitted to look upon the throne of God.” The Sanctified Life, 78

4.b. What details about the description in Revelation 1 show that Christ was in the first compartment of the heavenly sanctuary? Revelation 1:10, 12, 13. Describe the scene which Sister White was also shown.

 Note: “I was then bidden to take notice of the two apartments of the heavenly sanctuary. The curtain, or door, was opened, and I was permitted to enter. In the first apartment I saw the candlestick with seven lamps, the table of shewbread, the altar of incense, and the censer.” Early Writings, 251, 252

“The ministration of the priest throughout the year in the first apartment of the sanctuary, ‘within the veil’ which formed the door and separated the holy place from the outer court, represents the work of ministration upon which Christ entered at His ascension. It was the work of the priest in the daily ministration to present before God the blood of the sin offering, also the incense which ascended with the prayers of Israel. So did Christ plead His blood before the Father in behalf of sinners, and present before Him also, with the precious fragrance of His own righteousness, the prayers of penitent believers. Such was the work of ministration in the first apartment of the sanctuary in heaven.” The Great Controversy, 420, 421



5.a. What work was Jesus to perform in the heavenly sanctuary after His ascension? Hebrews 8:3–6

 Note: “For eighteen centuries this work of ministration continued in the first apartment of the sanctuary. The blood of Christ, pleaded in behalf of penitent believers, secured their pardon and acceptance with the Father, yet their sins still remained upon the books of record.” The Great Controversy, 421

5.b. What work did Jesus undertake in 1844? Daniel 8:14; Hebrews 9:11–15. Why should we be aware of this final mediation?

 Note: “As in the typical service there was a work of atonement at the close of the year, so before Christ’s work for the redemption of men is completed there is a work of atonement for the removal of sin from the sanctuary. This is the service which began when the 2300 days ended. …

“As anciently the sins of the people were by faith placed upon the sin offering and through its blood transferred, in figure, to the earthly sanctuary, so in the new covenant the sins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ and transferred, in fact, to the heavenly sanctuary. And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded.” The Great Controversy, 421, 422



1    What gifts are acceptable to God?

2    What daily service was performed in the sanctuary?

3    Why was the yearly work of the high priest so solemn?

4    What do we learn about Christ from John’s first vision?

5    What began in the sanctuary in 1844?

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