An Invitation to Enter the Heavenly Sanctuary

Samuel Smith



You are welcome to another edition of Insights from God's Word, a Bible study programme that is committed to sharing God's Word by allowing the Bible to speak for itself.

Friends, I want to thank the Lord so much for how far He has brought us. This study will be the last in our series on His Way is in the Sanctuary. It is captioned: An Invitation to Enter the Heavenly Sanctuary. It is my prayer that the Lord will use this study to encourage us on our daily upward journey to the city of God.

From the gospel according to John, we learn that as the time drew near for our Lord to leave this world to the Father, He gave the following precious promise to the disciples: "14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

(John 14:1-3)
From this message of hope above, we learn that there are many mansions in the city of God. However, God's people can only abide in them after Christ had prepared a place for them in heaven. Our previous lesson on "Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary" made it clear that the preparatory work that Christ mentioned in John 14 had to do with His High Priestly ministry on behalf of the penitent in the heavenly sanctuary. You see, when Christ ascended on high, He first entered into the Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary to begin a work of intercession for the people of God. The apostle Paul captures this point in the following passages:

i) "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us" (Hebrews 9:24).

ii) "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us" (Romans 8:34; see also Hebrews 7:22-25).

After Christ had fulfilled the duties of the high priest in the Holy Place of heaven's sanctuary, He entered into the second phase of His work in the Most Holy Place of the same sanctuary. We noted in our previous study that the second phase of Christ's ministry in the heavenly sanctuary began way back in 1844. The prophet Daniel beheld the beginning of this event in the following spectacular manner: "7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."

(Daniel 7:13-14)
Beloved, just as the high priest cleansed the earthly tabernacle on the Day of Atonement, so is our Redeemer now cleansing the heavenly sanctuary of the sins of God's people (compare Leviticus 16 with Daniel 7:13-14; Revelation 11:19; Revelation 14:6-7). This is the important work that Christ must do before His children can have access to the mansions in the heavenly city, even the New Jerusalem (see John 14:1-3; Hebrews 12:22-23; Revelation 21).

Friends, the Scripture makes it clear that very soon this preparatory work of Christ which has to do with the cleansing of the sins of the penitent in the heavenly sanctuary will come to an end. When this day finally comes, the Redeemer will leave the sanctuary, and the destiny of every inhabitant of earth will then be decided either for eternal life or for eternal damnation (see Revelation 22:11; Revelation 22:12).

It is encouraging to note that through the gentle entreaties of the Holy Spirit, Christ now continues to plead with every descendant of Adam to renounce the ways of unrighteousness and come to drink of Himself, even the Fountain of Life, wherein is found eternal life (Revelation 7:17; Jeremiah 2:13). If we drink of Christ today, He will lead us to drink of the water of life that flows from the Most Holy Place of the sanctuary of God in the soon coming future. From the book of Revelation, we obtain this beautiful picture in relation to the water of life that flows from throne of God: "22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever."

(Revelation 22:1-5)
Beloved, we see in this text a glimpse of the precious things that the Lord has prepared for those who love Him. The promise of Christ for His children is not only to drink of the water of life and partake of the fruits on the tree of life. Besides these and other innumerable blessings, the saints will also enjoy a close communion with God as they serve Him in the heavenly sanctuary. From the book of Revelation, we read the following concerning God's end time saints who will go through the final tribulation: "7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

7:15 THEREFORE ARE THEY BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD, AND SERVE HIM DAY AND NIGHT IN HIS TEMPLE: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

7:16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.

7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."

(Revelation 7:13-17; Capital Emphasis Added)
Interestingly, the Saviour also affirms this incredible truth with the following timeless words: "HIM THAT OVERCOMETH WILL I MAKE A PILLAR IN THE TEMPLE OF MY GOD, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name" (Revelation 3:12; Capital Emphasis Added).

Friends, this is incredibly good news. Soon and not too far away, we are going to serve God not in earthly temples but in the real tabernacle that the Lord pitched and not man (see Hebrews 8:2; Revelation 7:15). Oh! The heavenly tabernacle is vast and glorious. We may be tempted to imagine it as a small tabernacle with a Holy Place and a Most Holy Place. But the Scripture makes it clear that the tabernacle that the Lord pitched is heaven itself. In fact, I believe the order of heaven is what creates a distinction between the two phases (that is, the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place) of the heavenly tabernacle (see Hebrews 9:24; Daniel 7:13-14). When we finally enter the city of God, we will have the privilege of entering the Most Holy Place; the very throne room of God where the feet of the four living creatures and the twenty four elders have trod (see Revelation 3:21; Revelation 4-5; Revelation 7:4-12). What a joy that day will bring when we behold the face of the God of the entire universe (see Revelation 22:4).

Beloved, it is a clear fact that this present world has nothing better to offer us; for it is filled with the bitter curse of sin. Our fondest aspirations of the future are always cut short by sickness, sorrow, and death. Maybe you are pondering in your heart, how can I be part of those who will enjoy the bliss of the sanctuary above? My dear friend, heaven's invitation to each one of us is clear: "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely (Revelation 22:17; see also John 3:16).

Beloved, even as you go through this study, Christ is preparing a place for His children in heaven through His work of atonement in the Most Holy Place of the sanctuary above. The Saviour is blotting out the sins of the penitent from the record books of heaven so they can stand before God vindicated at the Second Advent. And the good news is that, Christ can blot away your sins too. You still have the chance of being part of the saints that Christ will redeem to heaven at His second coming. You see, it does not matter what you've done in the past. The Scripture makes it clear that "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). The cleansing blood of Christ is sufficient to purge you from any sin that you have ever committed. And His saving grace is powerful enough to change you from the worst of sinners into a saint (see Isaiah 1:18).

My dear friend, today is the day of salvation; even now is the time of your Divine visitation. The probation of earth’s inhabitants is just about to close (see Revelation 22:10-12). Why don't you accept Jesus Christ as the Lord and Saviour of your life while there is still time to do so? Why don’t you come to Jesus just as you are? If you come to Him with a contrite heart of genuine confession and repentance, He will forgive your sins, blot them out from the sanctuary, and fashion for you a home in the city of God. If this is your wish, why don't you ask God in prayer now to help you to accept Christ into your heart today, so He can mold you through His Spirit to be able to live a life that pleases Him.

Exhortation: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Revelation 3:21).

Stay blessed and keep shining for King Jesus.


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