Sanctuary and the Remnant: Two Women and One Church. Lesson 7

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1 Lesson 7 Sanctuary and the Remnant: Two Women and One Church

2 Two pleading women stood before King Solomon. Both claimed to be the mother of the same baby. The two shared a home and, during the night, one discovered she had accidentally rolled over and smothered her child. So she quietly got up and switched her baby with the other infant. In the morning, the mother with the dead child in her bed knew it was not her baby and immediately went to the king. Solomon, in a dramatic attempt to resolve the case, asked a soldier to take a sword, cut the living child in two, and give one half to each parent. One mother fell to her knees and begged Solomon to stop and simply give the baby to the other mother. However, the other mother seemed indifferent to the life of the child and said, Let him be neither mine nor yours, but divide him (1 Kings 3:26). The wise king immediately discerned who the real parent was. Jesus once separated right from wrong in the temple courts. When He entered the sanctuary and saw the sellers and money changers distorting the very purpose of the temple, His voice of truth cut the hearts of many, who then fled the building. The Bible says Christ knew what was in man (John 2:25). Jesus can still discern who real worshippers are. 2

3 As we near the close of earth s history, the Bible predicts that there will be a mingling of good and evil. Many will claim the name of Jesus, but He will say to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness! (Matthew 7:23). Like two mothers claiming one baby, it will take divine discernment to determine truth. The Bible s sanctuary and true church both proclaim God s way of salvation. The earthly temple was a pattern after the heavenly temple, where Christ now ministers on behalf of humanity. It is also a metaphor for the church today, leading people to Christ and the light of truth. The Bible explains that this heavenly temple will be cleansed and God s true church, made up of His remnant people, will be identified as genuine worshippers in the last days. God instructed Moses to build an earthly sanctuary patterned after the heavenly sanctuary. [The earthly sanctuary is] the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain (Hebrews 8:5). When the children of Israel left Egypt, God told Moses, Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them (Exodus 25:8). Sin separated humanity from God, and the sanctuary was the means by which God and people could stay connected. The earthly sanctuary was a model of the one in heaven. Salvation did not originate on earth, but in heaven, from the very throne room of the universe. 3 amazingfacts.org

4 The sanctuary and its services depict God s plan of salvation for lost humanity. Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary; who is so great a God as our God? (Psalm 77:13). The Bible shows that the message of salvation was given not only to those in New Testament times and beyond but was presented through the sanctuary to those in the Old Testament period as well. Indeed, The gospel was preached to us as well as to them (Hebrews 4:2). The sanctuary illustrated Christ s substitutionary sacrifice, His priestly mediation, and the final judgment. The sanctuary service typifies the life and service of Christ in saving sinful people. Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29). Every sacrificial offering in the earthly sanctuary pointed to the death of Jesus. The sacrifice of Christ on Calvary brought about forgiveness of sin, for without shedding of blood there is no remission (Hebrews 9:22). The sanctuary proclaims God s judgment on sin as well as Christ s willingness to pay the penalty for transgression. The temple sacrifices took place year after year, but we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (Hebrews 10:10). 4

5 The Day of Atonement in the earthly sanctuary typified the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary. For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed (Daniel 8:14). The annual Day of Atonement was a solemn day of judgment that took place in Israel once a year (Leviticus 23:27). It illustrated the three parts of the final judgment: (1) an investigative judgment before the millennium, (2) a judgment during the millennium, and (3) a final executive judgment at the end of the millennium. The service symbolically cleansed the earthly sanctuary, pointing to the final cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary and the universe from all sin. The church is compared to a sanctuary or temple. You are members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord (Ephesians 2:19 21). The apostle Paul described the church as God s building, whose foundation is Jesus Christ, and we as members make up that structure. Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:9, 11, 16). Peter described believers as living stones in this building (1 Peter 2:4 6). Just as Christ cleansed the earthly sanctuary, He wants to cleanse our hearts, that together we may grow into a holy temple in the Lord. The Bible predicts a great apostasy taking place in the church. From among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves (Acts 20:30). 5 amazingfacts.org

6 The apostle Paul explicitly wrote of this falling away. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4). This false church (called Babylon in a spiritual sense) would persecute true believers for 1,260 years. (See Daniel 7:25; Revelation 12:6, 14; 13:5 7.) A reformation of the church began in the sixteenth century, has not yet ended, and will advance until the close of time. If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3). The Protestant Reformation made great advances in restoring lost truths. But there is still more work to do. You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach (Isaiah 58:12). God did not forsake His people but continued to reveal truth. The path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day (Proverbs 4:18). The Reformers recovered much light but not all during the apostasy. After a period of tribulation, there would be a remnant that would remain faithful to the apostolic church. The dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:17). Satan failed to destroy God s church during the 1,260 years of oppression. There remained a small group who, despite persecutions, stayed loyal to God. These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins [faithful to God]. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb (Revelation 14:4). They are identified as those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. 6

7 The mission of the remnant church is to proclaim the three angels messages to prepare the world for Christ s return. I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come (Revelation 14:6, 7). In the face of strong satanic deceptions at the end of time, God s church will preach three messages that appeal to the world to turn away from the false teachings of the apostate church. The remnant will bring a full restoration of truth by proclaiming the everlasting gospel (and the true worship of God as Creator), by warning against humanly originated forms of worship, and by also warning against worshipping the beast power or his image. Someday the entire universe will honor God and His final judgment against evil. Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! (Revelation 15:3). When Solomon wisely discerned the true mother of the living infant, the Bible says, All Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice (1 Kings 3:28). In the same way, when the Lord separates the righteous from the wicked and cleanses the records of heaven, all will agree with the final verdict. The apostle Paul said that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10, 11). I choose to be part of God s remnant body and turn away from all human teachings and forms of worship. 7 amazingfacts.org

8 Reformer Highlight John Huss (Jan Hus) ( ) was a priest, philosopher, dean and rector at Charles University in Prague, church reformer, and a central figure in the Bohemian Reformation. He is considered one of the first reformers and lived before Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli. Huss was burned at the stake for teaching heresy against the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. What I taught with my lips, I now seal with my blood. amazingfacts.org

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