Spring 2011: When Can the Sanctuary Close?
Publish date:

The great message of Hebrews 10 is that Jesus, in the sanctuary of the new covenant, accomplishes that which the typical services could never do through the offering of bulls and goats.

For the law [that is, the Levitical law of the tabernacle] having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect (Hebrews 10:1).

What would have happened in the ancient service if those sacrifices had made “the comers thereunto perfect?”

“Then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins” (verse 2). If the animal sacrifices had accomplished the work of thoroughly purging the worshippers from all iniquity, the sanctuary service would have ceased.

I recently had a conversation with some people that went something like this:

“You have a big hospital here. How often is it open?”

“All the time. Day and night.”“Why?”

“Well, people get sick at all hours. And accidents happen all the time. We have to keep the hospital open twenty-four hours a day.”

Now suppose it were possible to teach people how to drive so that they wouldn’t have accidents and how to live so that they wouldn’t get sick. What would they do with that hospital? They would close it.

Why? Lack of business! Well, I bring you good news. The sanctuary in heaven will soon close for lack of business! And if you say this is impossible, remember that “the things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27).

The weakness of the ancient service was that “it...[was] not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). If sin is such a trivial thing that the blood of an animal could take it away, then the Son of God need never have left His throne and come to Bethlehem, to Nazareth, and to the cross.

But He had to come! He solved the problem of sin by dying on Calvary and then, still bearing our humanity, by ascending to the sanctuary above to plead His blood for the forgiveness of sins in the holy place. Finally at the end of the prophetic days we see Him go within the second veil to sprinkle His blood on the mercy seat in full and final atonement so that He may blot out sins forever. And when that work is finished, Jesus will come to take His people home.

God did not desire the continuance of sacrificial offerings. Instead He desired obedience to His law, and Jesus came to demonstrate this in human flesh. He said, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8). He could truly testify, “I have kept my Father’s commandments” (John 15:10).

Now the question is, can the life that Jesus lived in human flesh two thousand years ago be demonstrated in the lives of Christians today?

Yes. What animal sacrifices could not do, Christ’s death and ministration will accomplish. “By one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14).

To support this assurance, Hebrews 10:16-17 quotes the new covenant promise,“I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” The logical conclusion follows, “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin” (Hebrews 10:18).

When in the temple above the sins of God’s children have been blotted out forever, no more to be remembered or come into mind, then the sanctuary can close. Its work will have been accomplished.

What does it mean to have the law written in the mind and heart? Perhaps we can think of the law written in the mind as knowing God’s will. Let me illustrate.

There’s a man who all his life has ignorantly transgressed the Fourth Commandment, observing a day that the Lord never sanctified. Through God’s evangelistic sermon, through a tract or a truth-filled book, over the radio waves, or through a TV program, he comes face-to-face with the binding obligation of the Sabbath.

As he studies his Bible the conviction deepens. What is happening in his mind?

The law of God is being written there.

The same hand that inscribed upon the tables of stone the precepts of the Decalogue traces the will of the Eternal in our minds.

But this is only one of the Ten Commandments.

God intends that as we continue to behold His revelation of truth we shall become better and better acquainted with the details of His will. We should make the psalmist’s prayer our own, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Psalm 119:18).

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). When He measures our lives in the most holy place, the measuring line is the Ten Commandment law (see James 2:10-12).

God inspired the entire Bible to magnify the law and bring out its full meaning. Just as some of us need glasses in order to read common print, so in both the Old and New Testaments we have a pair of lenses designed to magnify the law that we may discover everything in our lives displeasing to God. Then we can bring those sins to the sanctuary so that God can cover them by the blood and finally blot them out.

“By the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20), and Paul says, “I had not known sin, but by the law” (Romans 7:7). If I want to discover hidden sins in my life so that I can ask Jesus to take them away, what should I study? The law. And the Bible, as a pair of glasses, helps us see wondrous things out of the law. Let us consider a few examples.

measuring tape on white

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus commented on some of the commandments. He quoted the Sixth precept, “Thou shalt not kill,” and then put the magnifying glass on it. He showed that the man who gets angry with his brother is a murderer. Notice that Jesus does not merely say that hate leads to murder. Instead He insists that whoever hates his brother is a murderer.

Now you and I might not know that unless we read it in the Bible, but inspiration says it is all in the law. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus also quoted the Seventh Commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Then He focused the magnifying glass. “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Now we see that the law goes beyond the outward action and reaches to the inner thoughts.

Today filthy literature and impure pictures abound, but God will have a remnant who, like Enoch, walk with him. “They are without fault before the throne of God” (Revelation 14:5). The Christian will exemplify the Seventh Commandment as magnified by Jesus.

Now I ask an important question. If God brings into judgment the man who looks on a woman with lustful interest, what will He do with the woman who follows the fashions designed with the express purpose of provoking lust? God will provide forgiveness if we come to the sanctuary and with weeping confess our transgressions of the Seventh Commandment.

We have seen how the Bible magnifies the Sixth and Seventh Commandments. We should fall to our knees and in humility bring the magnifying glass of the Inspired Word to each precept of the Decalogue. Such study will bring rich rewards and will reveal privileges and duties we have never thought of.

Shall we come to the sanctuary and by faith look in through the open door? Shall we behold the holy law shining with God’s glory? The Saviour waits to fulfill His new covenant promise. He will write His law into our minds.

Science Deceptions
Media Deceptions
Spiritual Deceptions
A Basis for Conflict
Is there evidence for Creation science? How does it compare to evolution? The following articles give insight in to these questions and more.
Conforming Under Pressure Evolution Is Not Science—It's Religion How Can We See Stars That Are Billions Of Light Years Away? Creation and Evolution: Is Compromise Possible? Understanding the Creation Week Geocentricity: It's Time to Face the Facts The Rise of Evolutionary Thinking Earth's History: Conflicting Paradigms Lamarck Proposes Natural Selection Where did the Universe Come From? Evidence for a Young Universe Age Of The Earth Is Carbon-Dating Accurate? Flood Chronology
Evidence in Stone
Can we understand the age of the earth by the rocks? What theory does the evidence support?
Soft Rock Evidence for Rapid Washout
The Fossil Record
What does the fossil record show us? Is it all random or a defined science that we can understand? Where does evolution fit? Uncover mysteries in the history of the Earth.
Evolutionary Sequences Order in the Fossil Record Evolution of the Horse Explosive Evolution Fossils prove a Flood Fossil Footprints Dinosaurs and the Flood Petrified Trees The Biblical Flood Reasons For Extinction Fossil Reefs The Post-Flood World Human Evolution
Genes of Genesis
As we study the genome, the molecule, and the atom, we see a vast network of intricate systems beyond our understanding. Were these systems really formed by chance?
Why So Many Species - Glossary Is the Gastraea Hypothesis Viable? Mechanisms For Variation Built-in Variation in the Gene Pool Answering Questions "Species" versus "Kind" Molecules That Began Life Creating Life in a Test Tube? Post-Flood Distribution Natural Selection Reproductive Exchange Natural Selection as a Creative Force Transposable Elements Recombination of Chromosomes The Evidence of Things Not Seen Ernst Haeckel's Theories Dinosaur Extinction and Global Catastrophe Jesus Christ—All Things Become New Variation and Classification Evolution: Miracle of Miracles Why So Many Species? Is The Grand Canyon Proof of Noah's Flood? Spiders and the Creative Genius of God Things That Negate Evolution: Snake Legs Wrong Assumptions in C-14 Dating Methods Rapid Cave Formation The Australian Problem Synesthesia: Mystery of God’s Creation
Creation to Restoration
How did this world change from the perfection depicted in Genesis to a world full of thorns, thistles, parasites, and death? If God made everything perfect, how could it have all been so changed?
A Good World Gone Bad An Imperfect Planet Evidence For Design Evidence For Transformation Rapid Transformation Clean and Unclean: The History of the Human Diet The Dawn Chorus and Life Forces
Archaeology and the Bible
Archaeology and prophecy have proven the Bible to be true. But what's so special about the Bible that makes it a point of so much controversy?
Archaeology Confirms the Bible Tyre and the Bible Petra and the Bible Egypt and the Bible Babylon and the Bible The Lost Books of the Bible
Crossing Musical Boundaries
Music is a powerful emotional motivator that crosses cultural and language barriers. Its message can be understood by every culture and people across the planet.
The Philosophers Talk Music Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Christianity The Pursuit of Pleasure Music and Worship The Beat Whose Music? The Rave Can You Feel the Music? The Bible and Rock Music: Are they Compatible? The Last Great Contest – Worship The Ear Classical Music Therapy Music and the Frontal Lobe From the Horse's Mouth: The Rock Industry Condemns Itself
Hollywood and the Movies
What is the system of worship found most often in our society? Does it glorify God?
Hollywood's History Gnostic Themes in the Movies Hollywood and Gnosticism
Brain Closed—Please Come Again
Research has shown that our sensitivity to stimuli reduces itself yearly by about 1%. Is your brain hibernating?
The Dangers of Television
Beware of the television's abilities to hypnotize, alter moods, and even cause depression.
Violence and Video Games
Like music and movies, video games are addictive and can cause behavioral problems.
The Origins of Halloween
What is the origin behind this popular festival celebrated every October 31?
Introduction to the Reformation
What started the Protestant Reformation? Was the Reformation a success? Does it still matter today?
The Pope Claims to be God on Earth
Read proof that throughout the Roman Church's history, the Papacy has often claimed that the Pope is divine.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - A Timeline
The oppression of Protestants is widespread and consistent throughout history.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - Quotes
It was once written in America's oldest Catholic newspaper, the Boston Pilot, that "No good government can exist without religion, and there can be no religion without an Inquisition, which is wisely designed for the promotion and protection of the true faith.”

Read several authors' thoughts on papal Rome's history.
Catholic Councils
What happened at the Council of Trent? The First Vatican Council The Second Vatican Council
The Jesuits
Learn what people throughout history have had to say on the reputation, history, and political nature of the Jesuit Order.
An Introduction to the Jesuits Jesuits and the Hippie Movement Ignatius of Loyola and Martin Luther "Caring" and a New Morality Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises Ignatius Loyola and Spiritual Formation Protestantism Destroyed The Jesuit Superior General
Cross and Crown
This book "Cross and Crown" is a powerful and thrilling recital of the most romantic and dramatic incidents in history to be found on record, told in the simplest, most graphic, and entertaining form.
The Aggressive Intentions of the Papacy
The historian Ranke says this about Protestant-Catholic relations: "In the year 1617, everything betokened a decisive conflict between them. The Catholic party appears to have felt itself the superior. At all events it was the first to take up arms."

This article highlights quotes from historical and Catholic sources proving the Papacy's aggressive nature.
Christianity and Violence
Would the world be a safer place without Christian fundamentalism?
Stories of the Reformation
Dive into history to uncover the remarkable stories of faith and passion in early Protestantism.
An Italian mystic. A minister to a British king. An Augustine monk. A Swiss farmer's boy. What do these men have in common? They were used by God in powerful ways to bring about the Protestant Reformation. Enter into the lives of these ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
Inspiration for these articles comes from Gideon and Hilda Hagstoz' Heroes of the Reformation
Philipp Melanchthon John Laski Jerome of Prague John Wycliffe Louis De Berquin Gaspard De Coligny
Religious Doublespeak
Language can be used to communicate both truth and lies. Learn about the religious doublespeak being used to pull the wool over the eyes of the world.
Hegelian Thinking and World Politics
Hegelian dialectic thinking is applied in many situations in world politics. Often the ordinary people are used as pawns in the game of Hegelian psychology played by those who pull the strings of world control.
The Great Controversy
Read this classic work by Ellen G. White.
The Destruction of Jerusalem Persecution in the First Centuries An Era of Spiritual Darkness The Waldenses John Wycliffe Huss and Jerome Luther's Separation From Rome Luther Before the Diet The Swiss Reformer Progress of Reform in Germany Protest of the Princes The French Reformation The Netherlands and Scandinavia Later English Reformers The Bible and the French Revolution The Pilgrim Fathers Heralds of the Morning An American Reformer Light Through Darkness A Great Religious Awakening A Warning Rejected Prophecies Fulfilled What is the Sanctuary? In the Holy of Holies God's Law Immutable A Work of Reform Modern Revivals Facing Life's Record The Origin of Evil Enmity Between Man and Satan Agency of Evil Spirits Snares of Satan The First Great Deception Can Our Dead Speak to Us? Liberty of Conscience Threatened The Impending Conflict The Scriptures a Safeguard The Final Warning The Time of Trouble God's People Delivered Desolation of the Earth The Controversy Ended
Who is Jesus?
Is Jesus really who He says He is?
Did Jesus Ever Exist? Was Jesus the Messiah? Is What Christianity Teaches True? The Godhead and the One True God Movement Is Jesus God? Jesus: The Mercy Seat Why Did Jesus Have To Die? Six Purposes for Christ's Life and Death on Earth What Day Did Jesus Die? The 70-Week Prophecy Jesus, the Recycled Redeemer Names of Christ in Revelation
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
The First Beast—Comparing Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 Revelation Identifies End-Time Babylon The Second Beast of Revelation 13 Identifying the Antichrist The Final Confederacy Walking Through Daniel The Seven Plagues Walking through Revelation
Religious Trends
What are the trends in the religious world today? Sun Worship, The UN and the One World Religion, Eastern Mysticism and Spiritism... Just what do all these things mean in light of Bible prophecy?
Babylonian Religion Sun Worship The Charismatic Movement Politics and the Papacy Paganism and Mary Wealth Redistribution Spiritism throughout Religions Catholic Pentecostalism Unity at All Cost? Sustainability Pentecostalism The Charismatic Movement and Spiritual Gifts Paganism and Christmas Manifesting the Charismatic Spirit The New Age Movement Paganism in our Culture The United Nations' Global Government The History of Tongues Secret Societies Revival and the "Power of God" Signs and Wonders What’s So Bad about Spiritual Formation? Zionism
Most people can understand the reasoning behind nine of the Ten Commandments—don't kill, don't lie, don't steal. But what about the Sabbath Commandment? Why would God give such a law? Why should we follow it?
What is the Seventh-Day Sabbath? Creation and the Sabbath The Weekly Cycle Why Sunday? Sabbath FAQ
The Second Coming of Christ
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
Signs of The Second Coming of Christ The Second Coming of Christ Viewpoints How Christ will Return What will Happen to God's People? What will Happen to the Rejecters of God? Will there be a Secret Rapture? The Millennium of Peace
The Bible
Can the Bible be trusted to provide answers to our questions? Does it contain truth? Learn about the evidence that proves the Bible's authenticity.
Archaeology Confirms the Bible Choosing the Books of the Bible Studying Scripture Scripture is Inspired by God Testing the Gospel of Thomas Testing the Gospel of Judas The Spirit in Scripture The Lost Books of the Bible The Gospel Story Spiritual Gifts
Christian Living: Sin and Salvation
Consider the crucial points of the Christian life.
Christian Living Good God, Bad World. Why? God's Plan to Eradicate Sin Salvation By Faith The Ceremonial Feasts Pointed to Christ
Is there more to death than the fact that it is the opposite of life? What are the false doctrines involving the immortality of the soul?
Death: Understanding the Terminology A Biblical Understanding of Death The Resurrection of Lazarus Spiritism Hell and Purgatory An Immediate Afterlife? The Parable of Lazarus