The SANCTUARY: Center of the Great Controversy

Gili Cârstea

 

The people of God from this present generation exhaust their energies on the outskirts of the plan of redemption, and remain insensitive to the central topic, the core of the great controversy: God’s eternal purpose.

Expressed in a few simple words, His great purpose in the plan of redemption is to regain His Bride.
Before Lucifer’s rebellion, God and all His created beings were together, in an intimate biological unity, hard to be understood even today by our high-tech civilization.

Every created being was a temple of the Creator, and the presence of divine nature dwelling in them linked them to their Creator, the Tree of eternal life. From „the bright and holy seraph to man," every single created being was a unity of two natures, the divine and their own, perfectly united.

But one of the bright and holy cherubs challenged that order, calling it a system of slavery, and started the rebellion which ruined God’s purpose in creation.

Adam and Eve joined themselves in this rebellion against God's eternal purpose, choosing to separate from the spring of life, attracted by an astonishing proposal: the evolution toward godhood. The enemy had told them that the divine nature living in them was the only barrier to their final development, as sons of God.

The Old Testament describes the church, repeatedly, as the adulterous wife, who left Him for worldly lovers. With patience and love, He is waiting for her to understand its desperate condition, because He cannot press her to return. Love cannot be obtained by force or authority. The only arguments He can bring are sacrificial love and the phenomenal force of forgiveness:

„And I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall know that I am the Lord. That you may remember, and be confounded, and never open your mouth any more because of your shame, when I am pacified toward you for all that you have done, saith the Lord God” (Ezekiel 16:62-63).

„Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices” (Ezekiel 36:31).

By symbols and metaphors, by narations and ceremonies, using simple language for very deep concepts, adapted to their understanding, God tried in every generation to open His people’s heart to the Sanctuary’s deep secrets. The return to the lost Eden was dependent on their disposition to understand that the partaking of the divine nature is the only way to eternal life, the only way to reconect created beings to the source of life.

This was the aim of the whole ceremonial system. Built around the tabernacle, the ceremonial system had to be for Israel and for the world a „continual witness to the high destiny open to every soul," placing before each individual the possibility to become a temple of God through the Spirit. This is the mystery of true godliness, „hidden for centuries” by God’s enemy in such a way that God’s people would not benefit from the good news of redemption out of the bondage of sin.

From Genesis to Revelation, since the garment of light was lost and until it will be regained at the Wedding of the Lamb, the great controversy was centered around one single, great purpose: To reveal or to hide the mystery of the true godliness. On one hand, God heavily involved to reveal to the world His eternal purpose in creation; on the other, the devil making every imaginable effort to hide, mystify, twist, postpone or prevent the Wedding of the Lamb, the union of the divine and human nature. The mystery of godliness and the mystery of iniquity are coming to a final deadly conflict. They are mutually exclusive; in this war there is no truce.

This Great Controversy still continues in our days.

What will cause it to come to its end, finally, some day?

What kind of events, phenomena, disasters or cataclysms will bring mankind to the prophetic moments described by John the apostle, to whom was revealed the fulfillment of that glorious event, the Wedding of the Lamb?

What kind of people will then be more able to understand and to accept something that others before them have not seen or experienced?

Is God waiting for a more enlightened church, a more intellectually or spiritually fitted people He did not have in past generations?

The only acceptable answer for a coming out from this deadly Laodicean logjam is a generation of God’s people who will decide to take seriously the great light accumulated through the centuries on the subject of the Sanctuary. These followers of Christ, the weakest of the weak, will receive with joy the new light, placing it onto the old pattern of truth, and by doing so they will fulfill the call and answer the invitation to participate at the wedding of the Lamb. They will be fascinated at the power of the Sanctuary truth, whose rays of light shines out of every book of the Bible, in every generation and every time of history, but in a powerful manner now, as we come closer to that day when the Lord will „heal the stroke of their wounds” (Isaiah 30:26).

Even if God would have limited the rich new light which He sent to His people to only two quotations, that would have been enough to start the process of the showing of the Bride and her preparation for the wedding. I’m referring to those two passages about the Wedding and the purpose of God, which I consider monumental, the most precious jewels for a final generation:

First one:
„The parable of the wedding garment opens before us a lesson of the highest consequence. By the marriage is represented the union of humanity with divinity; the wedding garment represents the character which all must possess who shall be accounted fit guests for the wedding” (Christ Object Lessons, 307).

Second one:
„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. 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. 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.” (The Desire of Ages, 161).

The profound meaning of these concepts as they are expressed, is surpassing any masterpiece that has been produced ever by the human mind. Here is the key that unlocks the mystery of godliness.

The generation that will take seriously the precious information hidden here will be made the Bride of Christ. The wedding will take place, the mystery of god will come to its end, and the great controversy will be completed with a verdict in favor of God.

It will be proven then that God’s purpose to dwell in His created beings is not a system of slavery, but the only way in which the inhabitants of the Universe can live in righteousness, freedom, peace and safety.

The Sanctuary is the center of the great controversy, and soon it will be proven that the finishing of the mystery of God was dependent, and has been determined, by the information provided to His remnant church, hidden in the gospel equation: „Christ came to make us partakers of the divine nature, and His life declares that humanity combined with divinity does not comit sin” (MH 180).