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The Church and Her Mission

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Lesson 13 Sabbath, June 25, 2016

The Priesthood of Christ

“Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man” (Hebrews 8:1, 2).

“The intercession of Christ in man’s behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross.”—The Great Controversy, p. 489.

Suggested Reading:   The Great Controversy, pp. 409-432

Sunday June 19

1. A PRIEST AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC

a. Under what order of priesthood was Christ inaugurated as priest and king? Hebrews 6:20. What is written about Melchisedec? Hebrews 7:1–4; Genesis 14:18–20.

“It was Christ that spoke through Melchizedek, the priest of the most high God. Melchizedek was not Christ, but he was the voice of God in the world, the representative of the Father.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 409.

b. After Christ was inducted as a priest after the order of Melchisedec, which sanctuary did He enter to minister? Hebrews 8:1, 2. What had happened to the earthly sanctuary and its services? Matthew 27:50, 51.

“The rending of the veil of the temple showed that the Jewish sacrifices and ordinances would no longer be received. The great Sacrifice had been offered and had been accepted, and the Holy Spirit which descended on the day of Pentecost carried the minds of the disciples from the earthly sanctuary to the heavenly, where Jesus had entered by His own blood, to shed upon His disciples the benefits of His atonement. . . . The heavenly sanctuary had taken the place of the earthly.”—Early Writings, pp. 259, 260.


Monday June 20

2. IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD

a. As our high priest, what is one of Christ’s offices? 1 Timothy 2:5. To perform His mediatorial work, where must Jesus be? Hebrews 8:1; Colossians 3:1.

b. Where was the throne of God located when in vision John saw Christ ministering to His people soon after His ascension? Revelation 4:2, 5; 8:3, 4.

“The holy places of the sanctuary in heaven are represented by the two apartments in the sanctuary on earth. As in vision the apostle John was granted a view of the temple of God in heaven, he beheld there ‘seven lamps of fire burning before the throne’ (Revelation 4:5). He saw an angel ‘having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne’ (Revelation 8:3). Here the prophet was permitted to behold the first apartment of the sanctuary in heaven; and he saw there the ‘seven lamps of fire’ and ‘the golden altar,’ represented by the golden candlestick and the altar of incense in the sanctuary on earth.”—The Great Controversy, pp. 414, 415.

c. How did Paul corroborate John’s witness that Jesus entered with His own blood into the first apartment called the holy place of the heavenly sanctuary? Hebrews 9:8, 11, 12.

d. How do we know that the chariot throne of God is not permanently attached to the Ark of the Covenant in the most holy place but rather can be move from one place to another? Ezekiel 1:15–17, 24–26.

“I saw the Father rise from the throne, and in a flaming chariot go into the holy of holies within the veil, and sit down. Then Jesus rose up from the throne, and the most of those who were bowed down arose with Him.”—Early Writings, p. 55.


Tuesday June 21

3. “WITHIN THE VEIL”

a. What other terms does Scripture use to refer to the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary where Christ entered at His ascension? Hebrews 6:18–20; Numbers 4:25, 26.

“The ministration of the priest throughout the year in the first apartment of the sanctuary, ‘within the veil’ which formed the door and separated the holy place from the outer court, represents the work of ministration upon which Christ entered at His ascension. . . .

So did Christ plead His blood before the Father in behalf of sinners, and present before Him also, with the precious fragrance of His own righteousness, the prayers of penitent believers. Such was the work of ministration in the first apartment of the sanctuary in heaven.”—The Great Controversy, pp. 420, 421.

b. If the priest coming from the holy place would enter “within the veil” where the ark was, which veil is meant, and to which apartment would the expression “within the veil” refer? Hebrews 9:3; Exodus 26:31–33; Leviticus 16:2, 15.

“Once a year, on the great Day of Atonement . . . two kids of the goats were brought to the door of the tabernacle, and lots were cast upon them, . . . (Leviticus 16:8). The goat upon which fell the lot for the Lord was to be slain as a sin offering for the people. And the priest was to bring his blood within the veil and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat.”—Ibid., p.419.

c. How does inspiration also use “within the veil” to refer to the whole sanctuary without referring specifically to either the first or second apartment? Numbers 18:5, 7. [Note: altar and sanctuary (v. 5) parallels with “altar” and “within the veil” (v. 7).]

“Those who will put on the whole armor of God and devote some time every day to meditation and prayer and to the study of the Scriptures will be connected with heaven and will have a saving, transforming influence upon those around them. . . . Their earnest prayers will enter into that within the veil.”—Testimonies, vol. 5, pp. 112, 113.


Wednesday June 22

4. WRITING THE LAW IN THE HEART

a. As a minister of the heavenly sanctuary, under which covenant is Christ working as our mediator? Hebrews 8:6; 9:11.

“[Hebrews 8:1, 2 quoted.] Here is revealed the sanctuary of the new covenant. The sanctuary of the first covenant was pitched by man, built by Moses; this is pitched by the Lord, not by man. In that sanctuary the earthly priests performed their service; in this, Christ, our great High Priest, ministers at God’s right hand. One sanctuary was on earth, the other is in heaven.”—The Great Controversy, p. 413.

b. What divine purpose must Christ’s ministry accomplish in the heart of those who come under the new covenant? Hebrews 8:8–11. What does it mean to have the law written in the heart? Romans 2:14, 15; Titus 2:14.

“He who has God’s law written in the heart will obey God rather than men, and will sooner disobey all men than deviate in the least from the commandment of God.”—Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 361.

“When the law of God is written in the heart it will be exhibited in a pure and holy life. . . . All who love Jesus and keep the commandments will seek to avoid the very appearance of evil. . . . They will not feel self-sufficient, but their trust will be in God, who alone is able to keep them from sin and impurity.”—The Review and Herald, May 17, 1887.

c. Into what condition must Christ bring the church if the great controversy between Him and Satan is to end in His favor? Ephesians 4:11–14; 5:25–27.

“Not even by a thought could our Saviour be brought to yield to the power of temptation. . . . Satan could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. He had kept His Father’s commandments, and there was no sin in Him that Satan could use to his advantage. This is the condition in which those must be found who shall stand in the time of trouble.”—The Great Controversy, p. 623.


Thursday June 23

5. MINISTERING FORGIVENESS TO HIS PEOPLE

a. Who is pleading with God for us, and what argument is He using to secure pardon for our sins? Hebrews 9:11–15, 22; 7:25.

“We have a risen Lord, ascended on high, who ever liveth to make intercession for us . . . in the presence of the Father, pleading His blood for the forgiveness of our sins.”—The Review and Herald, September 21, 1886.

b. What encouragement is given to those who are discouraged because of their sins and imperfection of character? 1 John 1:9; 2:1, 2; Hebrews 12:2, 3.

“Believe Jesus loves you, and in your efforts to obey the truth, if you err, don’t feel that you must worry and worry, give up your confidence in God, think that God is your enemy. . . .You cannot cleanse yourself from impurities. Carry all your burdens to Jesus. He will help you. He wants you to not wait and expect through your good deeds to make atonement for sin or to make yourself righteous. Trust in the merits of the blood of a crucified, risen Saviour.”—The Upward Look, p. 376.

“We shall often have to bow down and weep at the feet of Jesus because of our shortcomings and mistakes, but we are not to be discouraged. Even if we are overcome by the enemy, we are not cast off, not forsaken and rejected of God. No; Christ is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”—Reflecting Christ, p. 123.


Friday June 24

PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS

1. What was the meaning of the rending of the veil of the temple at the death of Jesus on the cross?

2. How do we know that the two apartments of the heavenly sanctuary correspond to those in the earthly tabernacle?

3. What are the three meanings of “within the veil” as used by Inspiration?

4. What does it mean to have God’s law written in the heart?

5. What encouragement is given to the erring members of Christ’s church?

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