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Chapter 48

The Atonement in the
New Testament

At the death of Christ, what miracle signified that the priestly work of the earthly sanctuary was finished?
"Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom." Matt. 27:50, 51.
NOTE: That is, the veil that separated between the holy and most holy places, was rent in twain. This showed that the earthly place of atonement was no longer sacred, but a common place, open to the gaze of all.

Where has the work of the sanctuary been conducted since the ascension of Christ?
"Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such a High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens." Heb. 8:1.

Who is this high priest?
"But Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands." Heb. 9:11.

Who erected this heavenly tabernacle, of which Christ is the minister?
"A minister of the sanctuary , and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man." Heb. 8:2.

Could Christ be a priest while He was on earth, and before the old priesthood ceased?
"For if He were on earth, He should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law." Heb 8:4.

What did the service of the earthly priests signify?
"There are priests that offer gifts according to the law: who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things." Heb. 8:4, 5.

What was the earthly sanctuary designed to be?
"The way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: which was a figure for the time then present." Heb. 9:8, 9.
NOTE: From the foregoing scriptures we learn that the earthly sanctuary was a "figure" of another sanctuary in heaven, of which our Lord is the minister, and that the work of the earthly priest was a "shadow" of Christ's work as high priest. If the earthly sanctuary and its work were but a shadow, it is certain that the heavenly sanctuary and its work are just as real as were the earthly.

Are there different apartments of the heavenly sanctuary in which Christ ministers?
"For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true." Heb. 9:24.

Does the heavenly sanctuary contain an ark of the testament (covenant)?
"And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament." Rev. 11:19.
NOTE. - The priestly work in the earthly sanctuary foreshadowed the work in the heavenly sanctuary. In the earthly, the atonement was performed on the last day of the ceremonial year. All who did not then have their sins atoned for, were put to death, and the camp was cleansed from sin. The atonement day of judgment for Israel, as at that time sin and sinners were separated from the camp, and the people whose sins had been atoned for were free from sin, and could enter upon the services of the new year clean in the sight of God. This work was kept up year after year. In the heavenly, the sacrifice is offered but once, and but one atonement can be made, which must take place at the time assigned of God for it to occur. And when the great atonement has been made, God's people will be forever free from sin, and sinners will have been forever banished from the universe. This will be, as in the type, a day of judgment, with this difference: that was a temporal and shadowy judgment, this will be the final and eternal judgment.

The earthly sanctuary was cleansed by a high priest Is it necessary for the heavenly sanctuary also to come to a time of cleansing, or purifying?
"It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these." Heb. 9:23.

From what will it be cleansed, or purified?
"Nor yet that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with the blood of others; for then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." Heb. 9:25, 26. For the counterpart of this, in the type, see Lev.16:30.

When the earthly high priest came out to the people after making the atonement, how did he transfer the sins of the people from himself?
"And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat." Lev. 16:21.

How will it be when Christ has finished the atonement for his people?
"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Heb. 9:28.
NOTE. - That is, to those who stand waiting and watching for His appearance as did the people of Israel for their high priest to appear to them, Christ will appear to His people; and at that time He will have laid upon the head of the great scapegoat (Satan) the sins of His people, which have been atoned for. Then Satan will bear these sins (as did the typical scapegoat) to an uninhabited region, the desolated earth while the saints will be enjoying the glories of heaven during the one thousand years.

When will the sins of the righteous be blotted out?
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." Acts 3:19.

What immediately follows the blotting out of sins?
"And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you, whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things." Acts 3:20, 21.

While Christ as high priest is still before the Father, what is given Him?
"One like the Son of man came... to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him." Dan. 7:13, 14.

And when He comes to earth; what is His purpose?
"For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1 Thess. 4:16, 17.

But before any are thus raised at Christ's coming, what decision must be rendered in their cases?
"But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead." Luke 20:35.
NOTE.-We see that the typical sanctuary service is fully met in the work of Christ. And as the atonement day of the old dispensation was really a day of judgment, so the atonement work of Christ will include an investigation of the cases of His people. All who shall be "accounted worthy" to have a place in His kingdom will be called to dwell with Him when He comes again to earth to gather His people.

Is there a specified time for the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary?
"And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." Dan. 8:14.

How may one know that this does not refer to the earthly sanctuary?
"He said unto me, Understand, a son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision." Dan. 8:17.

Copyright © 1988 Research Institute for Better Reading, Inc., used by permission by Project Restore, Inc. at www.projectrestore.com
Created: 07/15/02 Updated: 01/04/05