Sanctuary Lesson 20 - The Heavenly Sanctuary and the Investigative Judgment

We have spent many lessons learning about the sanctuary.  The Jewish economy was built around the sanctuary.  We may even have a better appreciation for the sanctuary now than the Israelites did in the time of Moses.  Yet, is there anything else we can learn from the sanctuary?

Let's turn to Hebrews 8:5 9:23-25.

- According to these verses what is the sanctuary?

  • Answer (highlight to read): It is a copy and a shadow of a heavenly sanctuary.

The earthly sanctuary built by Moses and the Israelites was not merely based on an arbitrary design by God.  The earthly sanctuary was a symbol fo something greater - a heavenly sanctuary.

Let's turn to Malachi 3:1; Hebrews 9:11-15; 23-28,

- According to these verses, why does Jesus enter the Most Holy Place only once?

  • Answer: Jesus' blood was enough to make atonement for sin once and for all.

At the exact moment when Jesus cried out, "It is finished!" (Matthew 27:50; John 19:30),  the inner veil separating the Most Holy Place from the Holy Place was supernaturally torn from the top to the bottom (Matthew 27:51), allowing all to peer inside the Most Holy Place.  The Great Sacrifice was made and sinners longer had to await the coming of the high priest.  A new way has made through the precious blood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:7-12).

Let's turn to Daniel 8:14 and Daniel 9:27

- According to this verse, when will the heavenly sanctuary begin to be cleansed?

  • Answer: After 2300 days

Hmmm, 2300 days? Let's just keep this in mind for now, as the next lesson will focus on this time period.

Let's turn to Luke 22:1-14 and Revelation 7:14

- According to these verses, what are we supposed to do while the sanctuary is being cleansed?

  • Answer: We are to wait for the Lord and follow Him by faith where ever He goes.

Let's turn to Jeremiah 17:1.

- According to this verse, what is the sin of Judah written with?

  • Answer: It is written with a pen of iron and a point of a pen.

Let's take a look at the Day of Atonement from a broader heavenly perspective.  All our sins are recorded in heaven.  The Day of Atonement was a symbol of Jesus Christ blotting out our confessed sins.  When the heaven sanctuary is cleansed, the investigative judgement will begin.

If you remember from our lesson the Day of Atonement, the scapegoat and the Lord's goat were determined by lots and separated.  This separation points to the division of the righteous and wicked.  Those who had not confessed their sins would be cut off, much like the scapegoat.  On the other hand, those who confessed their sins had their sins blotted out.

Let's turn to Daniel 7:9-10.

- According to these verses, what is happening?

  • Answer: The books are opened for the court.

Let's turn to Revelation 22:12.

- According to this verse, what is Jesus bringing with Him?

  • Answer: He is bringing His reward to everyone according to his work.

The judgment of the righteous must come before the second coming.  Without the cases settled first, how else do you know who gets saved and who does not get saved?

Let's turn to Revelation 14:6-7.

- According to these verses, to whom is the everlasting Gospel being preached to?

  • Answer: Everyone on earth

- According to these verses, why should we fear God and give glory to Him?

  • Answer: For the hour of His judgment has come

What is written in the these books? 

Let's turn to Ecclesiastes 12:14 and 2 Corinthians 5:10

- According to these verses, what will God bring into judgment

  • Answer: Every work and every secret thing, whether good or evil

Let's turn to Matthew 12:37 and Romans 14:10-12

- According to these verses, what will we be judged by?

  • Answer: Our own words

Let's turn to James 2:12.

- According to this verse, what is the standard of judgment?

  • The law of liberty (also known as the Ten Commandments)

Let's turn to Acts 17:31.

- According to this verse, why should we repent?

  • Answer: There will be a day of judgment.

Let's turn to Hebrews 10:30.

- According to this verse, who will God judge?

  • Answer: He will judge His people.

Let`s turn to Revelation 20:12-15; 21:27; Psalms 56:8; Malachi 3:16; Philippians 4:3

- According to these verses, what is being examined?

  • Answer: Books

- According to these verses, which book do we want our names written in?

  • Answer: The Book of Life

Let's turn to Revelation 12:10; Daniel 7:25; Job 1:8-11; Zechariah 3:1-4.

- According to these verses, who is being accused by Satan?

  • Answer: God's people

Why are the books being opened?  They are being opened because of Satan's accusations.  The investigative judgment is not for God, because He already knows who His people are.  Rather, God is inviting to the universe to look at the books for themselves and evaluate Satan's accusations that God's followers as not really genuine.

If salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ, then why is the final judgment according to works?  The answer is simple - the final judgment is still ultimately about faith in Jesus Christ.  The final judgment reveals if the professed faith is indeed genuine.  If the faith was genuine, then there will be works as evidence of that faith (James 2:18; Matthew 7:22-23).

The final judgment is not about our merits, but an examination of the fruits of righteousness that come through Jesus Christ.  These fruits are a proof of a living active faith (Romans 5:4; 2 Corinthians 9:13) that is alive and working through love (Galatians 5:6).

Friend, the judgment is actually good news!  Let's turn to John 5:22.

- According to this verse, who is the judge?

  • Answer: Jesus

Let's turn to 1 John 2:1; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24.

- According to these verses, who is our defense attorney?

  • Answer: Jesus

Let's turn to Daniel 7:22; Romans 3:23-26; Romans 8:1; John 3:16-17; 5:24.

- According to these verses, what is the verdict?

  • Answer: The judgment will go in favor of those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Friend, the final judgment is about those who have professed their belief in God - and God will defend His friends.  Sin is being removed from the saints and the heavenly sanctuary and given back to the scapegoat - Satan, the originator of sin.

Friend, will you let Jesus be your advocate in the judgment?

Happy Sabbath!

A Short Prayer