Jesus’ Movement through the Sanctuary
The Plan of Redemption is unfolding on time according to key prophecies. Jesus’ movement through the sanctuary marks the big phases of God’s Plan of Redemption.
Today’s program is Part 2 of Messiah’s Calendar, a study of the “mystery of God” contained in the ancient Hebrew Sanctuary and the Jewish religious calendar. Today we’ll be looking at three important aspects of the Sanctuary: 1) We’ll address the question of whether we still need to keep the Sabbath. In our last program 039 – Messiah’s Calendar Part 1 we said that we don’t need to keep the feasts, but do we need to keep the Sabbath? We’re going to tackle that question first. 2) We’re going to consider the importance of time in the unfolding of the Plan of Redemption. I’ll be providing the biblical evidence for the calendar aspects of the Plan of Redemption to demonstrate that God always moves on time. God’s plan is unfolding according to the prophecies given in Genesis 3:15 and Daniel 8:13-14. His plan culminates with the total destruction of sin and the creation of a new heaven and a new earth as described in the Book of Revelation. 3) Finally we’re going to study the movement of Jesus through the Sanctuary as He moves from one location to another. What does this progression mean as He moves from the camp into the outer court then into the Holy Place and finally into the Most Holy Plac
To keep or not to keep the Sabbath?
When we inquire diligently about the Sabbath question we find that the Bible makes a clear distinction between two types of Sabbaths: the ceremonial Sabbaths and the weekly Sabbath. Let me give you the facts about each of the two types of Sabbaths and the differences between them.
The Ceremonial Sabbaths:
- The Jewish feasts are yearly holidays that originated at Mount Sinai. They were given to the Jews as a people. The first feast, the Passover, was to remind the children of Israel of their miraculous deliverance. Other feasts also commemorated events in Israel’s history such as the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Sukkot which is the Feast of Tabernacles or celebrated moments in their yearly agricultural cycle such as First Fruits.
- In Leviticus 23 where the feasts are described, the Lord always makes a distinction between the feasts and the 7th. Day Sabbath. Let’s read Leviticus 23:1-4: “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings. These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons”. This is what I call the sandwich technique: first the Lord introduces the feasts, in the middle He talks about the weekly Sabbath, and then He resumes with the feasts.
- Again in that same passage in Leviticus 23 the Lord makes a distinction between the ceremonial feasts and the 7th. Day Sabbath, which He calls “the Sabbaths of the Lord.” “These are the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: Beside the Sabbaths of the Lord, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the Lord” (Leviticus 23:37-38).
- What may create some confusion is the fact that because the feasts are yearly occurrences, they typically fell on different days every year. Think of your birthday or your wedding anniversary. Certain feasts were holy convocations where no servile work was to be done. There’s a nuance with the word “servile” that we don’t have time here to fully explore, let’s just say for now that when the Lord refers to the ceremonial Sabbaths He says “you are to do no servile work”. When He refers to the weekly Sabbaths He calls it “a day of rest” or “a Sabbath of rest”. The only feast day that the Lord calls “a day of rest” like the weekly Sabbath is the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur. The key point is that those feasts could fall on any day. For example the Feast of Unleavened Bread that lasted seven days started with a day of holy convocation and ended with a day of holy convocation. Unleavened Bread could start on a Tuesday and end on a Tuesday – those days were not Saturdays but in other scriptures are referred to as Sabbaths because of the injunction against doing servile work. Sometimes a feast day that was a holy convocation would fall on a 7th. Day Sabbath. In that case it was called a high-day or a high-feast because it cumulated the solemnity of the 7th. Day Sabbath on top of the significance of the feast day.
- The apostle Paul clearly refers to these types and shadows of things to come as being abolished. “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ” (Colossians 2:16-17). This does not include the 7th. Day Sabbath because as we’ll see in a moment, the 7th. Day Sabbath is not a shadow of things to come but a memorial of creation. And by the way although diet is not our topic today let me just point out that the meat and drink Paul refers to here is the meat and drink associated with the feast days and the ceremonial rituals.
Let’s now compare and contrast the feast Sabbaths or ceremonial Sabbaths with the weekly Sabbath or the 7th. Day Sabbath.
The Weekly Sabbath or the 7th. Day Sabbath:
1) The weekly Sabbath is God’s holy fourth commandment which we read in Exodus 20:10-11: “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it”. Because the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments it’s obvious that we should still keep it.
2) The commandment Sabbath meaning the weekly Sabbath or the 7th. day Sabbath was already in existence well before the Lord wrote it on the tables of the law that He gave to Moses on Mount Sinai which is described in Exodus 20. In Exodus 16 the children of Israel were murmuring against Moses and the Lord because they missed the fleshpots of Israel. The Lord told them He would give them quail flesh to eat in the evening and manna to eat in the morning. So every day they gathered manna, but on the 6th. Day which is Friday the Lord gave them a double portion so that they wouldn’t have to collect manna on the Sabbath Day. That special manna, unlike the daily manna, didn’t rot overnight. In Part 2 of this study we’re going to study this passage in Exodus 16 in more detail because we’ll be making an important symbolic connection to the Messiah.
In reality the Sabbath rest had been instituted over 2000 years earlier, at creation. The holy Sabbath day of rest was established by God at creation in memorial of creation, so that on that day all of His creatures would stop their labor and come together into His presence to worship Him. The 7th. Day Sabbath was not and is not a type or shadow pointing to a future fulfillment or prefiguring some future event, it’s a memorial that points back to the origin of all creation.
3) The Sabbath was an institution created in the Garden of Eden before sin. It is perpetually binding. It is true that in Deuteronomy 5:12-15 when the Sabbath commandment is repeated, the Lord adds in verse 15: “And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day”. So after sin the Sabbath Day took on an additional layer of meaning for the Jewish people, pointing back to their redemption from slavery. But for the rest of humanity the Sabbath Day commemorates the creation of a perfect, sinless world by a holy God.
4) The 7th. Day Sabbath established at creation was not only for the Jews. At the time there were no Jews. It was established for all mankind. That’s why the New Testament says in Mark 2:27-28: “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath: therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath”.
5) In that verse “the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath” Jesus the creator affirmed His lordship over the Sabbath. He never declared that over any of the feast days or ceremonial Sabbaths.
6) The weekly cycle is independent of all calendars. Whether it’s the Chinese, Indian or Gregorian calendar, the weekly cycle is totally independent of the date. The weekly cycle is independent of either solar or lunar calendars. When there are small adjustments like leap years or even when there are significant calendar changes the weekly cycle remains unchanged. For example, when Western Civilization changed from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in 1582, most European countries switched right away, and they lost 10 days. For instance, Thursday, October 4, 1582, was followed by Friday, October 15, 1582—not October 5. (The United States switched in 1752, making 11 days disappear!). Yet no matter how many days a country lost by switching to the Gregorian calendar, the weekly cycle was not affected at all. Friday still followed Thursday, and Saturday still followed Friday. The days remained in their proper sequence. The weekly cycle has never been interrupted since creation week. Let me say it again: the weekly cycle is independent of all calendars including the Jewish religious calendar. This means that the weekly Sabbath is independent of the feasts. As we said earlier it happened certain years that a day of holy convocation would fall on a Sabbath, but it was that holiday that was moving around, not the Sabbath. The weekly Sabbath follows an uninterrupted, predictable cycle.
7) We’ll be keeping the weekly Sabbath throughout eternity: “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 66:22-23). The weekly cycle will be observed throughout eternity. There will be no end forever, it will be a continuity of one day succeeding another from one month to the next, from one Sabbath to the next, through time everlasting.
The Calendar of Redemption
In the same way that God established the weekly cycle God established the Plan of Redemption with 7 key milestones – or key events – that needed to be fulfilled at very specific points in time. God’s Plan of Salvation for Jews and Gentiles is a beautifully orchestrated sequence of time/space events that takes us from the camp of the Israelis to the heavenly marriage supper with the Lamb.
The Hebrew feasts that we studied in Part 1 of Messiah’s Calendar are the type and shadow of the Plan of Redemption. The Jewish feasts are a compressed unfolding of the Plan of Redemption. In one year of the Jewish religious calendar God symbolized the calendar of Jesus’ 2000-year ministry. This is why we need to study the feasts – not keep them, but study them, because they reveal wonderful mysteries of God and help us to understand larger truths. In fact, we can say that the Sanctuary and its associated feasts are a complete system of truth because they contain the keys to the Plan of Redemption as well as the underlying calendar of Redemption. In Part 3 of this study we’re going to study the calendar of Redemption from the perspective of the Jewish feasts, as we connect them to the main events of Jesus’ ministry. But right now we’re going to take a look at other biblical measures of time that shed light on the timing of the Plan of Redemption.
One of the first cycles God established, in addition to the 24-hour cycle of one day, was the 7-day cycle of the week. We just talked about that at length as we discussed the Sabbath. That first week of creation set the pattern for every other week that was to follow: God worked for 6 days and rested on the 7th day. Man was to work for 6 days and to rest on the 7th. day.
Let’s take a second look at that weekly cycle with some interesting light given in 2 Peter Chapter 3. In this chapter the apostle Peter is warning the young Christian church that in the last days there would be mockers and scoffers, who would say that the Lord has delayed His coming. So the context of this verse is exactly what we’re interested in because we’re the last generation, and that is the end of the world. I’m going to read from 2 Peter 3:3-9:
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”.
Peter is giving us a very important clue here regarding biblical time reckoning: “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day”. After His work of creation, the most important work the Lord has to do is the work of salvation of our fallen race. Is it possible that He would apply the same pattern of creation week? Is it just possible that the Lord would set the calendar of Redemption to last 6 days, that is to say, 6000 years? Yes it isn’t just possible, that’s exactly how the Lord designed it. He has 6000 years to finish the work here on earth. The last 1000 years corresponding to the 7th day are the millennium, when the earth will get rest and the saints will be in heaven with the Lord. At the end of the 7000 years God will start a new cycle of creation. He will create a new heaven and a new earth. So for the Lord who is from everlasting to everlasting, the work of Redemption is like a week…
Let me give you some additional evidence of this as we consider the history of mankind from a Biblical perspective. We’ll see that every 2000 years something extremely significant happens.
- We start at Creation. God created the world and mankind. Then Adam and Eve sinned and the Plan of Redemption is put into motion. The first animal sacrifice is made that points forward to Messiah and God covers Adam and Eve with those animal skins.
2000 year later:
- Big event: The Flood. God destroyed the world because it repented Him that He had made men. Why? Because their thoughts were on evil continually.
2000 years later:
- Big event: Jesus dies on the cross
2000 years later:
- Big event: This is the event we’re waiting for. Jesus returns to take His people home. The dead in Christ are resurrected and the living saints are transformed and given glorious bodies. Jesus destroys the wicked that have survived all of the earthly cataclysms that have taken place and binds up the devil for 1000 years. Jesus takes His people back with Him to heaven.
At the end of those 1000 years will be the second resurrection, which is the resurrection of the wicked here on earth. They’ll be raised up to stand judged before God and will be convicted because they didn’t repent of their sins. In fact when they’re resurrected they continue to be led by Satan to do wickedness. The Lord will rain down fire and brimstone from heaven and the earth, the wicked, as well as Satan and his wicked angels, will all burn in the lake of fire until they’re consumed. This is described in Revelation Chapter 20. Then God creates a new heaven and a new earth.
“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Revelation 21:3). This was the purpose of the ancient Hebrew tabernacle – which is another word for Sanctuary – and is the ultimate purpose of the Plan of Redemption: for God to be reunited with His people who are freed of sin and can dwell forever in the presence of a holy God without being consumed by His holy fire.
Okay, let’s get back to the calendar of Redemption that as we have seen stretches across 7000 years. We saw that every 2000 years something significant happens. When we reach the 6000-year mark, that’s the limit. That’s when the iniquity of mankind will be full. Then Jesus will come to destroy the wicked and to place all of the sins of humanity on the head of Satan, the anti-type of the Day of Atonement goat called Azazel who bore the sins of the congregation and was loosed in the wilderness. Azazel is a type and shadow of Satan. Satan and his fallen angels will be left to roam on a desolate planet, having no one to tempt.
To recap: the calendar of Redemption started at the moment when Adam and Eve sinned. The next significant milestone will be the 6000-year mark when mankind will have reached the fullness of our iniquity. At that point Jesus comes to deliver the righteous and to destroy the wicked. The Plan of Redemption will be completely finished 7000 years later with the complete eradication of sin from the universe – all the wicked will burn and the earth also will be destroyed. Then God will create a new heaven and a new earth and He will dwell on earth with His people throughout all eternity. The wretched, sinful, renegade planet earth when recreated becomes the capital of the universe. Eden lost becomes Eden restored. Hallelujah!
This is the vision we need to hold on to. “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it” (Habakkuk 2:2). Without a vision the people perish. With a vision the people live.
The Plan of Redemption is based on two very key scriptures, two of the most important prophecies given in the Old Testament.
The first prophecy is Genesis 3:15. Let’s read from Genesis 3:14 to get the full context. Adam and Eve have just sinned and the Lord speaks to the serpent: “And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel”. So the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent. The Hebrew word translated as bruise is ‘shoof’, which means to gape, to snap. To gape really means to break open. So the NIV is actually a better translation, it says to crush or to strike, which better captures the meaning of the original Hebrew word.
Throughout Bible history we read of the constant warfare between the serpent and the woman (which in Bible prophecy always represents the church). There’s also constant warfare between the remnant of her seed, Jesus, and the remnant of the seed of the serpent, Cain and his descendants, who Satan used to try to destroy the holy seed. Remember how Esau was coming after Jacob but Jacob prevailed with God and the Lord granted him protection by changing Esau’s heart. Think about how Pharaoh ordered all children two years old or younger to be killed, and the Lord had to save baby Moses. Think about how in the Book of Esther there was a death decree against the Jewish people, because Satan wanted to exterminate them because they carried the holy seed. Then when Jesus is born there’s another death decree against boys 2 and younger and Joseph and Mary flee to Egypt. And today, we read in Revelation 12:17: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman (meaning the church), and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ”.
The Plan of Redemption isn’t finished until Jesus crushes the head of Satan. Most Christians think this was finished at the cross. It wasn’t. That work of crushing the serpent’s head started at the cross – that’s why Jesus was crucified in Golgotha, which means “place of a skull”. When Jesus said “It is finished” He meant that Part 1, the part of the plan which unfolded on earth, was finished. But that work still needs to be completed in heaven, and that will be the culmination of the Day of Atonement. The unfolding of Genesis 3:15 happens throughout human history from Adam and Eve down through time and it ends in the Book of Revelation with the final crushing of Satan’s head. So this is the longest prophecy in the Bible: it will take 7000 years of warfare to unfold and for the prophecy to be completely fulfilled.
The second and very key Old Testament prophecy that we’ll examine now is Daniel 8:14: “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the Sanctuary be cleansed”. This prophecy is the longest prophecy with a date given. We’ll parse it out briefly – we can only touch the surface of this big prophecy. But first I need to remind you of one of the principles of prophetic interpretation called the day/year principle. This means that in Bible prophecy a day equals a year (see Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:5-6). Therefore the 2300-day prophecy of Daniel 8 actually represents 2300 years.
Now, it doesn’t do us any good to know how long the prophecy lasts unless we know when it starts, right? Unless we know when it starts we don’t know when it’s fulfilled. So the archangel Gabriel comes back in Daniel 9 to explain to the prophet that the prophecy would contain a smaller prophecy within it called the 70-week prophecy.
All Bible scholars agree that the 70-week prophecy of Daniel 9:24 also uses the day/year principle so it actually signifies 70 weeks x 7 days each = 490 days or 490 years. So it’s also known as the 490-year prophecy. This prophecy contains the date for the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry (27 AD), the date of His death on the cross (31 AD), and the date of the close of probation for the Jewish people (34 AD).
The 490-year prophecy only referred to the Jewish people and it started at the same time as the 2300-year prophecy because it’s a segment of the 2300-year prophecy – imagine that 490 years were broken off from the 2300-year prophecy – but both start at the same date. That date is the year 457 B.C., when King Artaxerxes issued a decree authorizing the Jewish people to rebuild Jerusalem and restore her government. (We read about this in the Book of Ezra chapter 7). If we count 2300 years from 457 B.C. we land on the year 1844 when the Sanctuary would be cleansed.
OK, so much for the time aspect of the prophecy. But what does it mean for the Sanctuary to be cleansed? We need to refer back to what we learned in Part 1 of this study. The cleansing of the earthly Sanctuary happened every year of the Jewish religious calendar during the Feast of the Day of Atonement on the 10th. day of Tishrei. We learned that it was the most solemn day of the Jewish year. It was announced by the Feast of Trumpets 10 days before, on the 1st. day of Tishrei.
On the Day of Atonement the high priest performed the cleansing of the Sanctuary to remove the record of sins deposited there throughout the year from all of the sins of the congregation. He sprinkled the Most Holy Place with blood and then placed the sins of the congregation upon the head of the scapegoat Azazel.
When the archangel Gabriel gave Daniel the prophecy, there was no Sanctuary on earth. The Hebrew people were in exile in Babylon and afterwards in Medo-Persia when the Medo-Persians conquered Babylon. At the time of the fulfillment of the prophecy, 1844, there was still no Sanctuary on earth. Therefore the cleansing of the Sanctuary announced by this prophecy could only refer to the Sanctuary in heaven. What day of the year 1844 would the Sanctuary be cleansed? On the Day of Atonement of course. The Day of Atonement of the year 1844 was October 22nd. How did we know that the Sanctuary in heaven would be cleansed on the Day of Atonement of the year 1844? We figured that out by studying the system of types and shadows, the Jewish religious feasts, so that they could teach us about the anti-type or the reality that’s taking place in heaven. This is why we need to study the feasts: for what they can teach us about the anti-typical Plan of Redemption.
The last thing we need to stress about this prophecy in Daniel 8:14 is that it’s the longest Bible prophecy given with a date. After the prophecy of 1844 is fulfilled there are no more prophecies with a date.
Jesus’ Movement through the Sanctuary
OK, we’ve laid all this foundation so that now we can better analyze Jesus’ movement through the different compartments of the Sanctuary.
We said that the ancient Hebrew Sanctuary is a microcosm of God’s Plan of Redemption for mankind. The type and shadow of better things to come, that portable tabernacle built after a heavenly pattern contained every milestone of Messiah’s ministry on earth and in heaven. The Sanctuary system was actually a compacted prophecy of the gospel of salvation. Now we’re going to analyze how Jesus in His 2000-year ministration progresses through the different apartments of the Sanctuary with their different functions and articles of furniture.
In the type or shadow, the Camp is where the children of Israel lived, all sinners. In the anti-type, the Camp is the whole earth. Before Jesus could be the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, He had to live a perfect life. The lamb had to be in the prime of life and without defect. Jesus had to live in the camp where the sinners live and be subject to all of the same temptations that we’re subject to, if not worse. Yet His trajectory was blameless. This is confirmed in Romans 5, where Paul is comparing the two Adams: “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:17-19). Jesus was victorious where Adam had failed.
The Outer Court:
The Outer Court was the first section of the Sanctuary. It was enclosed by curtains held by pillars. There were two main articles of furniture there, both made of bronze: the altar of sacrifice and the laver. The altar of sacrifice was where the sacrifices and offerings were burned. After offering a sacrifice the high priest would wash the blood off of himself at the laver before going into the Holy Place to make intercession for the sinner who brought a sacrifice. Jesus entered the outer court at his death on the cross. He was offered on the altar of sacrifice as the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. His resurrection then took Him to the laver, where the defilement of death was washed off of Him. In the Books of Leviticus and Numbers the Bible explains that death defiles. Why did death defile Him? Because death is associated with sin. The only reason there’s death is because there’s sin. Therefore the Spirit of God washed off of Jesus the defilement of death and all our sins that He didn’t commit but were imputed to Him. Titus 3:5 talks about “the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost”. Jesus entered the court in the year 31 A.D.
The Holy Place:
There were four golden pillars at the entrance and in the back of the room was the holy veil behind which was the Ark of the Covenant. Inside the room every piece of furniture was golden. The golden lamp stand on the left, the table of showbread on the right, and the golden altar of incense in the back right before the veil. The Holy Place is where the high priest interceded on behalf of the people, at the altar of incense. He made the lamps to burn continuously and burned incense morning and evening. At His Ascension, 40 days after His resurrection, Jesus entered the Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary as our High Priest. He officiated there as our High Priest and intercessor until the year 1844.
The Most Holy Place:
The Most Holy Place, also called the Holy of Holies, was the innermost chamber or apartment of the Sanctuary. The curtains around it that made up its walls were covered with cherubim. So also was the blue, red and purple veil that separated it from the Holy Place. The only piece of furniture in the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant, which had on top of it the Mercy Seat. The Mercy Seat had two covering cherubim facing each other. The Ark of the Covenant contained the two tables of the law, Aaron’s rod and manna. As we discussed earlier the Most Holy Place is the apartment where atonement was made for the sins of the congregation that had accumulated throughout the year in the Holy Place. The Most Holy Place is where the record of sins was blotted out every year on the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur. Here Jesus the Lamb of God is revealed to us as our judge and advocate in the heavenly courtroom, where the court is still seated and the books were opened. Jesus entered the Most Holy Place on October 22, 1844, to begin the work of judging God’s people. “Judgment begins at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17).
Back to the Court:
Once the judgment in the Most Holy Place in heaven is concluded Jesus has established before the citizens of heaven who of the professed Christians are worthy of being brought into heaven. The High Priest is now ready to leave heaven to return to earth and place on Satan’s head the sins of His people, all the sins that have been confessed and taken away. Jesus needs to have all of our sins so that He has enough to crush the head of Satan. We need to give Jesus our sins so that they can be forgiven and the record of sin blotted out. This is a win-win! We don’t want to hang onto any sin – we want to leave them all with Jesus. So Jesus returns to the anti-typical outer court, which is the earth, with all the sins of the faithful church and lays them on the head of Satan. Satan is to remain in the earth – which has been lain waste by all kinds of devastations – for 1000 years to contemplate all the evil he has done. The angels gather up from the four corners God’s elect that Jesus takes home with Him, His people that He ransomed with His life.
The Purpose of the Plan of Redemption
The Plan of Redemption is this great work that must be finished in a little time. For us, it means that we are brought back to obedience. It wasn’t enough that Jesus bought us by paying the price with His death. He has to bring us back to obedience. Obedience to what? Obedience to the law. This is why the Plan of Redemption requires that we go into the Most Holy Place where Jesus is right now. The Most Holy Place is where we can obtain the seal of God. Why can we only obtain the seal of God in the Most Holy Place? Because that’s where God’s law is, the ark of the covenant. The final spiritual battle on earth will be over God’s law, between those who trample on it and those who obey it. Only those who are sealed will get the victory over the beast and make it to heaven. God will give us power to overcome and restore us to His image and likeness.
Once more we see the perfect symmetry of the Plan of Redemption: the world started with an obedience test, and will end with an obedience test. But this time, where Adam and Eve fell, the remnant of the sealed servants of God will triumph. God will give them the victory.
For God, the completion of the Plan of Redemption means the total eradication of sin from the universe. It means that His character is vindicated before the watching universe. The Lord chose not to zap Satan when He rebelled. Patiently and with long-suffering God allowed Satan’s plan to play out so that all could see the result of Satan’s mode of government. The universe will gasp at the horrors of the endtime battle and how the earth will be totally devastated. At the end, Satan is exposed for what he is: “by their fruits you shall know them”.
The Plan of Redemption brings about the eternal reunion between God and His faithful creatures, that where He is we may be also. It all ends with God’s kingdom being established on earth as it is in heaven.
In Exodus 25:8, the Lord told Moses: “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them”. That tabernacle was to be a temporary dwelling. But now we’re looking forward to dwelling permanently in the presence of the Lord. I love how the Bible sums it up in the Book of Revelation, because after all, this was the whole point of the Sanctuary system: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:1-5).