Lesson 26 | Sabbath, 24 December 2022
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1.
“As anciently the sins of the people were by faith placed upon the sin offering and through its blood transferred, in figure, to the earthly sanctuary, so in the new covenant the sins of the repentant are by faith placed upon Christ and transferred, in fact, to the heavenly sanctuary. And as the typical cleansing of the earthly was accomplished by the removal of the sins by which it had been polluted, so the actual cleansing of the heavenly is to be accomplished by the removal, or blotting out, of the sins which are there recorded. But before this can be accomplished, there must be an examination of the books of record to determine who, through repentance of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement. The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigation–a work of judgment. This work must be performed prior to the coming of Christ to redeem His people; for when He comes, His reward is with Him to give to every man according to his works. Revelation 22:12.” –The Great Controversy, pp. 421, 422.
- In the earthly sanctuary, what happened on the day of atonement to those who humbled themselves and repented of their sins? What could those who did not repent of their sins expect?
Leviticus 16:29, last part, 30; 23:29 … And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict yoursouls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: 30For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord…. 23:29For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people.
Psalm 69:28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.
Exodus 32:32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.
“Evil surmising and evil speaking will be put away. You will talk and we will not be thinking of ourselves and what others are doing, but what God and Jesus are doing…. What are they doing? They are cleansing the sanctuary…. We should be with Him in this work and be cleansing the sanctuary of our souls of all unrighteousness, that our names may be written in the Lamb’s book of life, that our sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. It is the most solemn work that was ever given to mortals.” –Lift Him Up, p. 216.
Blotting out sins
- Instead of a human minister, who is by our side to defend and assist us when we confess and forsake our sins? Who will be declared righteous in the judgment?
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Psalm 51:1, 2, 9 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin…. 9Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Daniel 12:1, last part … And at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
Philippians 4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabour- ers, whose names are in the book of life.
“He has placed at His altar an Advocate clothed in His nature. As our intercessor, Christ’s office work is to introduce us to God as His sons and daughters. He intercedes in behalf of those who receive Him. With His own blood He has paid their ransom. By virtue of His own merits He gives them power to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. And the Father demonstrates His infinite love for Christ by receiving and welcoming Christ’s friends as His friends. He is satisfied with the atonement made. He is glorified by the incarnation, the life, death, and mediation, of His Son.” –Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 14.
- What will happen in the investigative judgment with those who have not confessed and turned away from their sins?
Exodus 32:33, last part ... Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.
Deuteronomy 29:20 The Lord will not spare him, but then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven.
“The cleansing of the sanctuary therefore involves a work of investigation–a work of judgment. This work must be performed prior to the coming of Christ to redeem His people; for when He comes, His reward is with Him to give to every man according to his works. Revelation 22:12.” –The Great Controversy, p. 421.
“As the books of record are opened in the judgment, the lives of all who have believed on Jesus come in review before God. Beginning with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate presents the cases of each successive generation, and closes with the living. Every name is mentioned, every case closely investigated. Names are accepted, names rejected. When any have sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God’s remembrance. The Lord declared to Moses: ‘Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book.’ Exodus 32:33. And says the prophet Ezekiel: ‘When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity,… all his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned.’ Ezekiel 18:24.” –The Great Controversy, p. 483.
When change will no longer be possible
- Will it be possible to change the verdict after it is pronounced?
Revelation 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
Matthew 25:10-13 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Hebrews 12:16, 17 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
“When the third angel’s message closes, mercy no longer pleads for the guilty inhabitants of the earth. The people of God have accomplished their work. They have received ‘the latter rain,’ ‘the refreshing from the presence of the Lord,’ and they are prepared for the trying hour before them. Angels are hastening to and fro in heaven. An angel returning from the earth announces that his work is done; the final test has been brought upon the world, and all who have proved themselves loyal to the divine precepts have received ‘the seal of the living God.’ Then Jesus ceases His intercession in the sanctuary above. He lifts His hands and with a loud voice says, ‘It is done;’ and all the angelic host lay off their crowns as He makes the solemn announcement: ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.’ Revelation 22:11. Every case has been decided for life or death. Christ has made the atonement for His people and blotted out their sins. The number of His subjects is made up; ‘the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven,’ is about to be given to the heirs of salvation, and Jesus is to reign as King of kings and Lord of Lords.” –The Great Controversy, pp. 613, 614.
- Whose names will be called in the heavenly judgment? Who will escape from that day?
Romans 14:10, last part For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
1 Peter 4:5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
“Let everyone who professes the name of Christ consider the fact that he must meet every act of injustice, give an account for every harsh word, at the judgment seat of Christ. It will not be pleasant to review the words that have been spoken that have wounded and bruised souls, to review the decisions that have worked against souls for whom Christ died. Every action will come into judgment, and the spirit that prompted it will be made manifest. The fruit of every selfish, arbitrary exaction will be made plain, and men will see the results of their doings even as God sees them. They will see that they have turned precious souls out of the right path by dealing with them in an un-Christlike manner. We are living in the great Day of Atonement, and it is now time that everyone should repent before God, confess his sins, and by living faith rest upon the merit of a crucified and living Saviour.” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, pp. 224, 225.
What to do while there is time
- Considering the solemn reality of the investigative judgment, what must be done now?
Luke 16:2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
Mark 13:35-37 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 36Lestcoming suddenly he find you sleeping. 37And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
“In 1844 our great High Priest entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, to begin the work of the investigative judgment. The cases of the righteous dead have been passing in review before God. When that work shall be completed, judgment is to be pronounced upon the living. How precious, how important are these solemn moments! Each of us has a case pending in the court of heaven. We are individually to be judged according to the deeds done in the body. In the typical service, when the work of atonement was performed by the high priest in the most holy place of the earthly sanctuary, the people were required to afflict their souls before God, and confess their sins, that they might be atoned for and blotted out.Will any less be required of us in this antitypical day of atonement, when Christ in the sanctuary above is pleading in behalf of His people, and the final, irrevocable decision is to be pronounced upon every case?” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 125.
- What will the Lord do for all who listen to His voice and open their hearts’ doors? What supreme desire of the Saviour will be fulfilled?
Hebrews 3:7, 8 Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness.
Exodus 29:45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. Revelation 3:20-22 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21To 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. 22He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
“The Saviour says, ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he withMe.’ Revelation 3:20. He is not repulsed by scorn or turned aside by threatening, but continually seeks the lost ones, saying, ‘How shall I give thee up?’ Hosea 11:8. Although His love is driven back by the stubborn heart, He returns to plead with greater force, ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.’ The winning power of His love compels souls to come in. And to Christ they say, ‘Thy gentleness hath made me great.’ Psalm 18:35.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 235.
“Today, in the spirit and power of Elias and of John the Baptist, messengers of God’s appointment are calling the attention of a judgment-bound world to the solemn events soon to take place in connection with the closing hours of probation and the appearance of Christ Jesus as King of kings and Lord of Lords. Soon every man is to be judged for the deeds done in the body. The hour of God’s judgment has come, and upon the members of His church on earth rests the solemn responsibility of giving warning to those who are standing as it were on the very brink of eternal ruin. To every human being in the wide world who will give heed must be made plain the principles at stake in the great controversy being waged, principles upon which hang the destinies of all mankind.” –Prophets and Kings, p. 716.
To which group will we belong?
“We must no longer remain upon the enchanted ground. We are fast approaching the close of our probation. Let every soul inquire, How do I stand before God? We know not how soon our names may be taken into the lips of Christ, and our cases be finally decided. What, oh, what will these decisions be! Shall we be counted with the righteous, or shall we be numbered with the wicked?” –Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 125, 126.