Sanctuary Alive

Understanding the Sanctuary of the Heart (sermon) John Thiel


In the first few studies of this series of Christ in the Sanctuary we saw that Christ is found in three sanctuaries;
·        The Hebrew sanctuary
·        The sanctuary of his body
·        The heavenly sanctuary
We also observed;
·        The detail of what Christ was according to the Hebrew sanctuary
·        The furniture and the structure of the Hebrew sanctuary identifying each item which points to Jesus
·        The sacrifice services that the lamb being Jesus and his blood being the avenue of transference of sins and the priest being active in that
·        How Jesus was both sacrifice and priest
The Hebrew sanctuary was only a symbol, a shadow of the reality. This was also the activity of the Old Testament where the old covenant was being enacted among the people. We want to summarise Hebrews 8 to conclude the appreciation of this and lead into our study.

Hebrews 8:4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:


8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, [that] thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.


8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.


8:7 For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.


8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:


8:9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.


8:10 For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

Jesus was not a Levite. He was a Jew from the tribe of Judah. On earth he could not have been a priest according to the Hebrew sanctuary. The scripture is now turning our attention to Jesus who is a priest of the heavenly sanctuary which is the mediator of a better covenant. Here is the topic of the Hebrew sanctuary in which the Levites were active in doing all the things we have been studying pointing to Jesus. In Hebrews Paul points to Jesus work in reality and puts it in the frame work of a new covenant. The sanctuary in the Old Testament was the sanctuary that had to do with both. Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant which was the reality of what this was pointing to. Notice what is referred to with the Ten Commandments.

Hebrews 8:10 For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

According to the symbol, where was the law written? It was there in the Ark of the Covenant, the ark of the testament. The Ten Commandments on tables of stone were placed under the mercy seat. They were written by the finger of God on tables of stone. That was the old covenant. Now it is talking about the new covenant on which the law was written was to be on their hearts, their mind. If the Ten Commandments in the symbol were under the mercy seat or Gods throne that he sat upon, does this suggest something in reference to the study of the sanctuary of the heart? Is it possible that the Ten Commandments in the heart is where Gods throne is? Is it possible that before the ark in the heart there may also be the candlestick, shewbread and altar of incense and the working of the priest? Is this a possibility as is being suggested by the apostle of the writing of the law in the heart? We are being introduced to the heart of the body sanctuary where the law is.

The Sanctuary of the Heart

A hint is found in Hebrews. The law of the Ark of the Covenant is found in our heart. Is the Hebrew sanctuary an unmistakable symbolism of the human body? We had a suggestion of that when we were looking at Christ in the sanctuary that his body was referred to as the sanctuary. Recall the statement of Exodus 25:8 Let them make me a sanctuary. Let the scriptures unfold to us the reality that God wants to dwell indeed in this body temple.

Leviticus 26:11 And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.


26:12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.

The law would be written in their hearts. Here is another kindred text that he will walk among us and be our God. Observe how the apostle connected this scripture to us as human beings.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?


6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

God has not just said he would be among them but in them now. He draws the attention of the bible student that is indeed the quote of Leviticus 26 - I will walk among you. In the sanctuary he walked among the Hebrews and in these representations he walks not only among but in you.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?


3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are.

The scripture says unmistakably that the Hebrew sanctuary was a symbol of the sanctuary of our body.

John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.


2:20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?


2:21 But he spake of the temple of his body.

8:21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.

Jesus said he would destroy his body and raise it in three days. His body was a temple. The human body is a temple in which God will dwell. When Jesus was cleansing the Hebrew temple chasing out the money changers and cleansing the temple from all these corruptions it was a symbol of the cleansing of our body temple.

In the cleansing of the temple, Jesus was announcing His mission as the Messiah, and entering upon His work. That temple, erected for the abode of the divine Presence, was designed to be an object lesson for Israel and for the world. From eternal ages it was God's purpose that every created being, from the bright and holy seraph to man, should be a temple for the indwelling of the Creator. Because of sin, humanity ceased to be a temple for God. Darkened and defiled by evil, the heart of man no longer revealed the glory of the Divine One. {DA 161.1}

The Shekinah glory glowed through the Hebrew sanctuary. It reflected against the golden walls. In man who was created in Gods own image this temple ceased to shine because of sin.

But by the incarnation of the Son of God, the purpose of Heaven is fulfilled. God dwells in humanity, and through saving grace the heart of man becomes again His temple. God designed that the temple at Jerusalem should be a continual witness to the high destiny open to every soul. But the Jews had not understood the significance of the building they regarded with so much pride. {DA 161.1}

The temple was meant to be something for their appreciation that God wanted to dwell in them. That was the lesson of it. By beholding the temple procedures they were meant to appreciate the cleansing. When Jesus cleansed the temple with all the merchants, it was a loud message for him.

They did not yield themselves as holy temples for the Divine Spirit. The courts of the temple at Jerusalem, filled with the tumult of unholy traffic, represented all too truly the temple of the heart, defiled by the presence of sensual passion and unholy thoughts. In cleansing the temple from the world's buyers and sellers, Jesus announced His mission to cleanse the heart from the defilement of sin,--from the earthly desires, the selfish lusts, the evil habits, that corrupt the soul. {DA 161.1}

This is an amplification of what our study is about. We are going to deal with the detail of God’s work wanting to cleanse our body temple for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit upon the throne of the heart. That is the genetics of the detail we will look at.

That service had been instituted by Christ Himself. In every part it was a symbol of Him; and it had been full of vitality and spiritual beauty. But the Jews lost the spiritual life from their ceremonies, and clung to the dead forms. {DA 29.2}

We will now draw all comparisons of the sanctuary to our human heart and in the next study we will go to the physiologically realities of that. In this study we are looking specifically at the comparisons of the Hebrew sanctuary to our body sanctuary to demonstrate that our body is equated in every symbol. Look at the comparisons of the temple to our body. The sanctuary has different courts. The outer court, the holy place and the most holy place. Those courts are also in our soul.

The Soul Temple

Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [how] to perform that which is good I find not.

Hebrews 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

The temple through sin has become polluted and Apostle Paul says in my flesh there is no good thing but in his experience something else has been affected. He says in his inward part there is a delight of the law. There is a strong suggestion that there are compartments within him. There are parts within that are foreign and other parts where the law is.

Ephesians 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Did you notice there are two kinds of desires according to that? The desires of the flesh and the desires of the mind. Through Jesus Christ something was going to change. The inward self-had been changed that he delighted in the law but before that there were the desires of the flesh and mind that were not pure. Through sin the whole sanctuary had become so polluted that God was not sitting there anymore. Here we see two apartments within the soul, the flesh and the inward heart.

The temple courts of the human soul have been turned into places of unholy traffic. Selfishness, envy, pride, malice--all are cherished. {RH, November 20, 1913 par. 6}

Jesus has to cleanse the temple. In our soul there are temple courts like there were in the Hebrew sanctuary and that was the purpose of these references. Observe how there are two apartments in our mind and the outer court.

If the truth is first planted deep in their own souls, then they will seek to plant it in the hearts of others. The truth is kept altogether too much in the outer court. Bring it into the inner temple of the soul, enthrone it in the heart, and let it control the life. The word of God should be studied and obeyed, then the heart will find rest and peace and joy, and the aspirations will tend heavenward; but when truth is kept apart from the life, in the outer court, the heart is not warmed with the glowing fire of God's goodness. {5T 547.1}

This is referring to truth that comes into your intellect but doesn’t go into the inner court. In the brain there are two apartments as this suggests. We will look at the five different points in the sanctuary of the Hebrews and identify in the two apartments of our mind exactly how real the symbols are of the Hebrew sanctuary as they point to what goes on in our brain. As in the Hebrew temple the sins of Israel defiled its apartments.


Leviticus 4:15 And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock before the LORD: and the bullock shall be killed before the LORD.


4:16 And the priest that is anointed shall bring of the bullock's blood to the tabernacle of the congregation:


4:17 And the priest shall dip his finger [in some] of the blood, and sprinkle [it] seven times before the LORD, [even] before the veil.


4:18 And he shall put [some] of the blood upon the horns of the altar which [is] before the LORD, that [is] in the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall pour out all the blood at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which [is at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

The blood of the animal was taken by the priest and sprinkled in front of the veil. He dipped his finger in it and dabbed it on the four horns of the altar of incense and then poured the rest of it at the altar of sacrifice. Let us see the internal comparison to that. The sins were transferred by the blood and sprinkled in front of the veil.

Point 1

Jeremiah 17:1 The sin of Judah [is] written with a pen of iron, [and] with the point of a diamond: [it is] graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars;

What is this? In the human heart there are horns of their altars. We have a representation of the brain where the nervous system is. The spinal cord starts from the brain and goes down. It is part of the brain. The spinal cord is shaped with extensions at the back and front. They are called the posterior and anterior horn. There are horns in your nervous system and in your brain. The altar is in the first apartment. There are also horns on the Ark of the Covenant. It is graven in the tables of your heart and also the horns of your altars. In bible prophesy horns represent power. This is what your spinal cord and your brain is to the rest of your body. It is the governing power. The posterior and anterior horn is the place where you touch and feel something. It sends the message into the posterior horn and goes in up to the brain and it sends back a motor message through the other horn. The posterior horn receives it and the anterior horn sends it out to act. The reception and action of the message goes through those horns. The Hebrew sanctuary when it has affected your life is to do with the horns on the brain.

Point 2

As the first apartment of the sanctuary is lit up by the candle stick to light up the first apartment, so our hearts that are dark with sin are in need of the golden candlestick.

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Christ was the light of the sanctuary. Sr White says the first apartment is in the intellect and there the knowledge of Jesus Christ illuminates the mind.

It was the golden oil emptied by the heavenly messengers into the golden tubes, to be conducted from the golden bowl into the lamps of the sanctuary, that produced a continuous bright and shining light. It is the love of God continually transferred to man that enables him to impart light. Into the hearts of all who are united to God by faith the golden oil of love flows freely, to shine out again in good works, in real, heartfelt service for God. {COL 418.5}

Inside of this human mind love is the oil that illuminates. The love of God and the knowledge of Jesus Christ shines in the heart and in the mind in that apartment. It comes through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. As in the temple court in the first apartment, as the candlestick shined so it does in our human mind.

Point 3

The first apartment had the table of shewbread. The table of shewbread had twelve loaves of bread. Where else was food? The pot of manna in the ark.

John 6:48 I am that bread of life.

6:49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

What is he speaking about? The bread of life, the manna or verse 63 of John 6.

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life.

In the intellectual apartment of our brain we are to eat the word of God and have it sitting there in the heart. The two apartments of the brain are the posterior area which is the intellectual part and the frontal lobe is the spiritual part. These are the two courts. These are where all the messages come and are discerned intellectually. The part of your brain deals with the spiritual part is in the frontal lobe. Here in the brain and the intellect has the bread of life through the word and also in the frontal lobe, the pot of manna. It is to be situated in the frontal lobe and in the intellectual part.

We must eat the flesh and drink the blood of the son of God. This is in doing his word, in weaving into our lives and characters the spirit and works of Christ. Then we are one with Christ as Christ was one with the Father. Then we are partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. {1888 45.3}

The divine ingredient of Jesus in the heart is to be in the first and second apartment of the brain.

Point 4

As the Ten Commandments are in the most holy place or the Ark of the Covenant the inner temple, so the heart is to have the Ten Commandments written in them. It is not to be written in tables of stone but written in our hearts.

1 Corinthians 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

3:3 [Forasmuch as ye are] manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart.

The seal of God is to be placed in their forehead the frontal lobe, the most holy place.

Point 5

Just as the sanctuary on earth and the sanctuary in heaven receive priestly ministration, the priest works in those two apartments. Jesus is the priest of the heavenly sanctuary and there is to be a priest also in our earthly body.

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.


8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God.

Is there a high priest inside of us?

When Jesus is comprehended by faith, and brought into the inner sanctuary of the soul, the Holy Spirit will mold and fashion the character after the likeness of Christ. Lessons will then be daily learned in the school of Christ. {SD 83.3}

As the work of the high priest is in the sanctuary of the heart, so also the Holy Spirit is a priest inside of our hearts praying within us with groaning that we can’t put into words. He is doing his work in there. The symbolic aspects of the Hebrew sanctuary involved the realities of the sanctuary of our heart. It is important we expand this whole understanding thoroughly so that we might be able to cooperate in this body sanctuary with the one who wants to dwell there in. I will not abhor them. I will do my work within the sin polluted temple. I will come into them. That is a literal physiological activity. In our next study we will reiterate not with symbols but go through the physiology of the body of how literally if we will permit God to cleanse our temple the body of our makeup and what transpires.

The Priesthood of the Three Sanctuaries

The heavenly, earthly and the body temple. It is Gods real practical saving grace. It is not something that just happened two thousand years ago. All that happened then was Jesus the lamb being crucified but from that time onwards the work of cleansing our body temples was done in the activity of the gospel, the work of Jesus since that time.