March 11, 2007 – March 17, 2007
“I, [even] I, [am] he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” Isaiah 43:25.
Study Help: The Great Controversy, 479–491; Testimonies, vol. 4, 384–387.
“The blood of Christ, while it was to release the repentant sinner from the condemnation of the law, was not to cancel the sin; it would stand on record in the sanctuary until the final atonement.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 357.
1 Of what was the earthly sanctuary a type or pattern? Hebrews 8:5. Why are God’s people to look no longer to that earthly sanctuary? Hebrews 9:24; 8:1, 2.
note: “That sanctuary, in which Jesus ministers in our behalf, is the great original, of which the sanctuary built by Moses was a copy.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 357.
“When Jesus at His ascension entered by His own blood into the heavenly sanctuary to shed upon His disciples the blessings of His mediation, the Jews were left in total darkness to continue their useless sacrifices and offerings. The ministration of types and shadows had ceased.” The Great Controversy, 430.
2 As the earthly sanctuary was cleansed and the sins were removed, what must also be done in the heavenly sanctuary, and when? Daniel 8:14; Hebrews 9:23.
note: “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. But before this can be accomplished, there must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigation—a work of judgment. This work must be performed prior to the coming of Christ to redeem His people; for when He comes, His reward is with Him to give to every man according to his works. Revelation 22:12.” The Great Controversy, 421, 422.
3 Even after we have been forgiven and accepted by God, why must we continue to be watchful? Ezekiel 33:13.
note: “Those who profess to believe the third angel’s message often wound the cause of God by lightness, joking, and trifling. I [Ellen White] was shown that this evil was all through our ranks. There should be a humbling before the Lord; the Israel of God should rend the heart, and not the garment. Childlike simplicity is rarely seen; the approbation of man is more thought of than the displeasure of God. Said the angel: ‘Set your heart in order, lest He visit you in judgment, and the brittle thread of life be cut, and ye lie down in the grave unsheltered, unprepared for the judgment. Or if ye do make your bed in the grave, unless ye soon make your peace with God, and tear yourselves from the world, your hearts will grow harder, and ye will lean upon a false prop, a supposed preparation, and find out your mistake too late to secure a well-grounded hope.’ ” Testimonies, vol. 1, 133, 134.
4 How can we as repentant sinners remain forgiven to the very end? Matthew 24:13; Revelation 3:5.
note: “All whose names shall at last be found written in the Lamb’s book of life will fight manfully the battles of the Lord. They will labor most earnestly to discern and put away temptations and every evil thing. They will feel that the eye of God is upon them and that the strictest fidelity is required. As faithful sentinels they will keep the passage barred, that Satan may not pass them disguised as an angel of light to work his work of death in their midst. . . .
“The white-robed ones who surround the throne of God are not composed of that company who were lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, and who choose to drift with the current rather than to breast the waves of opposition. All who remain pure and uncorrupted from the spirit and influence prevailing at this time will have stern conflicts. They will come through great tribulation; they will wash their robes of character and make them white in the blood of the Lamb.” My Life Today, 321.
5 To which apartment of the sanctuary did Christ ascend? Compare Hebrews 9:1, 2; Revelation 4:5; 8:3, 4.
note: “[Revelation 4:5; 8:3 quoted.] Here the prophet [John] was permitted to behold the first apartment of the sanctuary in heaven; and he saw there the ‘seven lamps of fire’ and ‘the golden altar,’ represented by the golden candlestick and the altar of incense in the sanctuary on earth.” The Great Controversy, 414, 415.
“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.” Ibid., 421.
6 Which apartment was opened in 1844 for the cleansing work of the atonement? Revelation 11:19. Compare Hebrews 9:3, 4. How is this work related to the judgment?
note: “The announcement that the temple of God was opened in heaven and the ark of His testament was seen points to the opening of the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary in 1844 as Christ entered there to perform the closing work of the atonement.” The Great Controversy, 433.
“The work of judgment which began in 1844 must continue until the cases of all are decided, both of the living and the dead; hence it will extend to the close of human probation.” Ibid., 436.
7 What assurance is given those who are faithful till the end of Christ’s intercession? Isaiah 43:25.
note: “By virtue of the atoning blood of Christ, the sins of all the truly penitent will be blotted from the books of heaven. Thus the sanctuary will be freed, or cleansed, from the record of sin.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 357, 358.
8 What must we do before our sins can be blotted out? What will follow the blotting out of sins? Acts 3:19–21.
note: “Those who are living upon the earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort they must be conquerors in the battle with evil. While the investigative judgment is going forward in heaven, while the sins of penitent believers are being removed from the sanctuary, there is to be a special work of purification, of putting away of sin, among God’s people upon earth.” The Great Controversy, 425.
“Unless we enter the sanctuary above, and unite with Christ in working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, we shall be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, and shall be pronounced wanting.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 933, 934.
9 In what sense are we who profess the present truth—and identify ourselves with the work of Revelation 14—now being measured? Revelation 11:1.
note: “Every case is coming in review before God; He is measuring the temple and the worshipers therein.” Testimonies, vol. 7, 219.
“The grand judgment is taking place, and has been going on for some time. Now the Lord says, Measure the temple and the worshipers thereof. Remember when you are walking the streets about your business, God is measuring you; when you are attending your household duties, when you engage in conversation, God is measuring you. Remember that your words and actions are being daguerreotyped [photographed] in the books of heaven, as the face is reproduced by the artist on the polished plate.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 972.
10 What is our great privilege today, while the door of probation remains open? Hebrews 10:19–23; 4:16.
note: “The glory that rested upon Christ is a pledge of the love of God for us. It tells of the power of prayer,—how the human voice may reach the ear of God, and our petitions find acceptance in the courts of heaven.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1079.
“The Spirit of the Lord rested upon me [Ellen White], and I beheld scenes in the coming judgment. Language fails me in which to give an adequate description of the things which passed before me and of the effect they had upon my mind.
“The great day of the execution of God’s judgment seemed to have come. Ten thousand times ten thousand were assembled before a large throne, upon which was seated a person of majestic appearance. Several books were before Him, and upon the covers of each was written in letters of gold, which seemed like a burning flame of fire: ‘Ledger of Heaven.’ One of these books, containing the names of those who claim to believe the truth, was then opened. Immediately I lost sight of the countless millions about the throne, and only those who were professedly children of the light and of the truth engaged my attention. As these persons were named, one by one, and their good deeds mentioned, their countenances would light up with a holy joy that was reflected in every direction. . . .
“Another book was opened, wherein were recorded the sins of those who profess the truth. Under the general heading of selfishness came every other sin. There were also headings over every column, and underneath these, opposite each name, were recorded, in their respective columns, the lesser sins.
“Under covetousness came falsehood, theft, robbery, fraud, and avarice; under ambition came pride and extravagance; jealousy stood at the head of malice, envy, and hatred; and intemperance headed a long list of fearful crimes, such as lasciviousness, adultery, indulgence of animal passions, etc. As I beheld I was filled with inexpressible anguish and exclaimed: ‘Who can be saved? who will stand justified before God? whose robes are spotless? who are faultless in the sight of a pure and holy God?’
“As the Holy One upon the throne slowly turned the leaves of the ledger, and His eyes rested for a moment upon individuals, His glance seemed to burn into their very souls, and at the same moment every word and action of their lives passed before their minds as clearly as though traced before their vision in letters of fire. Trembling seized them, and their faces turned pale. Their first appearance when around the throne was that of careless indifference. But how changed their appearance now! The feeling of security is gone, and in its place is a nameless terror. A dread is upon every soul, lest he shall be found among those who are wanting. Every eye is riveted upon the face of the One upon the throne; and as His solemn, searching eye sweeps over that company, there is a quaking of heart; for they are self-condemned without one word being uttered. In anguish of soul each declares his own guilt and with terrible vividness sees that by sinning he has thrown away the precious boon of eternal life.
“One class were registered as cumberers of the ground. As the piercing eye of the Judge rested upon these, their sins of neglect were distinctly revealed. With pale, quivering lips they acknowledged that they had been traitors to their holy trust. They had had warnings and privileges, but they had not heeded nor improved them. They could now see that they had presumed too much upon the mercy of God. True, they had not such confessions to make as had the vile and basely corrupt; but, like the fig tree, they were cursed because they bore no fruit, because they had not put to use the talents entrusted to them.
“This class had made self supreme, laboring only for selfish interests. They were not rich toward God, not having responded to His claims upon them. Although professing to be servants of Christ, they brought no souls to Him. Had the cause of God been dependent on their efforts, it would have languished; for they not only withheld the means lent them of God, but they withheld themselves. But these could now see and feel that in occupying an irresponsible position in reference to the work and cause of God they had placed themselves on the left hand. They had had opportunity, but would not do the work that they could and should have done.
“The names of all who profess the truth were mentioned. Some were reproved for their unbelief, others for having been slothful servants. They had allowed others to do the work in the Master’s vineyard, and to bear the heaviest responsibilities, while they were selfishly serving their own temporal interests. . . . The curse of God rested upon them for what they had not done. They had loved that work which would bring the greatest profit in this life; and opposite their names in the ledger devoted to good works there was a mournful blank.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 384–386. [Author’s emphasis.]
Reprinted with permission, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke Virginia, 2003.