24. Christ's Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary

24. Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary

There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle that the Lord set up

and not humans. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to

believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the

cross. At His ascension, He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and,

began His intercessory ministry, which was typified by the work of the

high priest in the holy place of the earthly sanctuary. In 1844, at the end of

the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of

His atoning ministry, which was typified by the work of the high priest in

the most holy place of the earthly sanctuary. It is a work of investigative

judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the

cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In

that typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal

sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of

the blood of Jesus. The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly

intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in

Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection. It also makes

manifest who among the living are abiding in Christ, keeping the

commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are

ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment

vindicates the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It

declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the

kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of

human probation before the Second Advent. (Lev 16; Num 14:34; Ezek

4:6; Dan 7:9-27; 8:13, 14; 9:24-27; Heb 1:3; 2:16, 17; 4:14-16; 8:1-5;

9:11-28; 10:19-22; Rev 8:3-5; 11:19; 14:6, 7, 12; 20:12; 22:11, 12.)