(Part 21 of the Cleansing of the Sanctuary Series)
We are nearing the end of our study on the cleansing of the sanctuary and I thought it would be good to look at the benefits of this process both to us and others. Seeing the benefits will hopefully encourage us to take this process seriously. Then there will be one more very interesting part. For now, let’s look at the benefits of cleansing the sanctuary:
- for us
- for those around us
- for the universe
- for God
Benefits of Cleansing for Us
First, what is it about the cleansing of the sanctuary process that will benefit us? What happens in the sanctuary of our heart/mind? – The tendency to sin is lessened and finally completely controlled. The flip side is that the law of God and a desire to keep it is written there – and will be kept.
“The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.” (Psa 37:31)
“I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” (Psa 40:8)
“Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.” (Psa 119:34)
What are specific benefits to us resulting from that? What have you felt or imagined that could be felt as the process progresses? Here are some possibilities:
- Closer fellowship with God
- No guilt
- Better self-worth
- Greater Confidence
- Peace of mind – better sleep, gratitude
- A sense of purpose
- No fear
We recognize that cleansing is an ongoing process and so the benefits should increase over time. Let’s briefly look at each of these.
Closer Fellowship with God
“And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.” (Acts 5:32)
So when we are obedient, we have a sense of the presence of the Father and His Son, not physically but by Their omnipresent Spirit.
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3)
That fellowship and resulting familiarity leads to trust and His constant direction:
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Pro 3:5-6)
No Guilt – Understanding God’s freely-offered, ever-available, no-strings-attached forgiveness, His non-condemnation and desire only to heal and restore can remove feelings of guilt and fill us with gratitude. When if we do slip up we can take comfort in this:
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:” (1 John 2:1)
All the other four uses of the original word for “advocate” are translated as “comforter.” Jesus, the Comforter, wants to comfort us when we sin, not to excuse our sins but to heal, restore and strengthen us.
Better Self-worth – Even though we are sinners and may often fail, we can know that the God of the universe accepts and loves us in spite of our faults. We are of great value to Him or He would not have gone to such great lengths to save us.
“But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7)
That self-worth should not lead to pride but just give us assurance that we have Someone Who has our back.
Greater Confidence – There is great confidence that comes from doing the right thing and from knowing you are right with God. Not so much self-confidence but confidence in Him. That comes mostly from experience so the sooner we can start making significant progress in the cleansing process, the sooner the relationship can grow and the sooner we can build that sense of confidence.
Peace of Mind – Many people struggle with what is often called the monkey mind; a mind that is unsettled, restless, confused, indecisive and uncontrollable. That can come from uncertainty, guilt and regrets from the past and fears for the future. Knowing you are right with the God of the universe can greatly contribute to genuine peace of mind. And that can lead to a sense of gratitude and physical benefits such as better sleep and better health in general.
Hope – When one knows and accepts the truth about what God is truly like it gives great hope that the future will be better.
“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” (Rom 8:24)
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Col 1:27)
A Sense of Purpose – An appreciation for the truth of God’s character stirs within a person a desire to share it with others and, knowing the difference it can make, a sense of urgency to engage in this great work.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt 5:16)
The light we are shedding is to illuminate Him; to point others to His wonderful character that others may be attracted.
No Fear – Our health is related to our environment right? Here is something interesting. Every cell in our body has an environment it lives in. There is the immediate environment around it, the intercellular space, and the larger environment that we walk around in. Each cell is ultimately affected by both. Cells in your body cannot perceive the outer environment directly (like a person in an interior cabin on a cruise ship can’t see the weather) but they get information via an indirect source which is your nervous system.
For example, if the conscious mind perceives danger, the amygdala (the brain’s alarm center) fires and the subconscious mind takes over to signal physical changes via adrenaline and other stress chemicals that are released which affect cells elsewhere in our bodies. The point is that our brain interprets the environment for the rest of our body. The danger could be physical or emotional as either will cause similar reactions that we call stress resulting in some degree of fear.
When our mind/sanctuary perceives that all is not right because we have underlying issues of guilt, shame, etc there is a level of stress that affects every cell in our body. That can affect inflammation levels, digestion, sleep, muscle tension and other factors that can lessen our function and shorten our lives. Ultimately, that can affect our ability to understand spiritual truths and threaten our salvation.
Fear of God can be understood as either reverence for God or fear as in to be afraid of. See the detailed glossary definition of fear.
Benefits of Cleansing for Those Around Us
The Blessing of Others
“And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3 And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. 4 And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. 5 And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.” (Gen 39:2-5)
“And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:” (Gen 12:2)
“[Christ] Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:14).
“Ye are the salt of the earth …” (Matt 5:13)
The Protection of Others
Anyone and everyone is in danger from the attacks of Satan:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1 Peter 5:8)
Protection is available from those attacks as suggested by these verses:
“Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.” (Job 1:10)
“And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:” (Isa 5:5)
It can be illustrated like this:
When people refuse God’s protection directly or through their disobedience of God’s law that protection is removed in honor of the free will choices of man.
Notice we do it to ourselves; God does not willingly remove that protection:
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
When the hedge is removed people are vulnerable to Satan’s attacks:
A whole city, because of the sins of the people there can forfeit their protection and come under attack:
“And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;” (Gen 18:20)
The hedge of protection is then lost but, for the sake of a few righteous people, it can be maintained or restored:
“And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” (Eze 22:30)
Notice the situation in the case of Sodom where there were not enough righteous people present to prevent the looming destruction.
“And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.” (Gen 18:32)
The city of Sodom would not have been destroyed if there were even a few righteous people found there. Trust in the Lord can bring His protection:
“Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” (Psa 91:9-11)
The Conversion of Others
Cleansing our sanctuary/heart can even contribute to the conversion of others:
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” (Psa 51:10-13)
Of course, having a right spirit and the joy of salvation in our hearts will prompt us to share that good news with others.
Benefits of Cleansing for the Universe
We know from scripture that one third of the angels sided with Satan (Rev 12:4, 7-9) in his rebellion against God. No doubt there were many questions even in angelic minds as they discussed the issues. Even though sides were taken, questions likely lingered. In this verse, note that the word “men” is supplied; it is not in the original:
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32)
The effect of the cross was to draw all intelligent beings to a greater understanding of the self-sacrificing love of God. The whole history (His-story) of the conflict on Earth between good and evil was to show to the universe the characters of those involved.
“For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.” (1 Cor 4:9)
“Spectacle” is from the Greek word “theatron.” We looked at the many parallels between the symbolic earthly sanctuary and theater in part 3.
Part of that spectacle of course is God’s servants showing the effect of having His character in their hearts or minds. Fully accepting God’s way in their hearts (sanctuaries) is represented by this verse:
“Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” (Rev 7:3)
Benefits of Cleansing for God
“God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” (Rom 3:4)
What does it mean for God to have a sanctuary as in a safe place? Is God ever in danger? – can He be in danger of being hurt?
What is it about Him that can be hurt?
- His reputation – which then hurts others as they act in ungodly ways
- His emotions – He feels more for us and our hurt than for His own
“In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” (Isa 63:9)
- Omnipresent – His presence is everywhere
- Omnipotent – He has infinite power
- Omniscient – He knows all things
- Omnipassionate – He can feel all emotions at once
He feels emotions and feels them strongly.
“And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matt 26:39)
“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isa 53:10-11)
In what sense did it please “the LORD “to bruise him”? What pleased the Father was not that His Son was hurting but the result of the suffering – that many would be saved. Likewise, the Son, even in His terrible suffering, felt joy that you would be saved. He must love you very, very much.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb 12:2)
Wanting to benefit God, could mean that we finally quit misrepresenting Him, allowing Him to have His way in us by reflecting His way of treating people instead of taking things into our own hands and doing things our typical way.
We need to be thinking more of Him and His good than our own.
This is Part 21 of the Cleansing of the Sanctuary Series
Return to Daniel 8:14 (the master page of the series) to continue