Seventh-Day Adventists/Sanctuary in Heaven



In an answer you stated that the idea of there being a literal sanctuary in heaven is debatable. I don't know how anyone can say that because Moses was told to build one just like the sanctuary God showed him in heaven. "And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shewed thee in the mount" (Ex. 26:30 KJV). And Paul said the earthly sanctuary was a copy of the heavenly one. "For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 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 shewed to thee in the mount" (Heb. 8:4-5 KJV). So it's pretty clear isn't it.


Dear Haddock:

In my answer, "Investigative Judgement" (7/23/14), I did not want to go into the question of whether the sanctuary in heaven is literal or not because that would have made a lengthy answer that much longer. Actually I don't have a conviction either way. I have not done an in depth study of this question. I was merely noting that there exists a debate on this issue. Of course, one could say that when it comes to the Bible there is a debate on every issue! When I say "literal" I don't mean that in heaven there is an animal skin covered tabernacle like the Israelites had in the wilderness nor a stone temple like Solomon built. You quoted two passages in support of a literal sanctuary in heaven. So why do I hesitate to accept this belief? I have some questions to work through before I can reach an informed position on this issue.  

God is spirit not physical (cf. John 4:24). This being so, why have a literal sanctuary/temple in heaven? We know that the tabernacle and the temple taught the Israelites about God. Could God be using the sanctuary/temple references as seen in visions for that purpose also? Since God speaks to His people in terms they can understand, perhaps He is trying to teach spiritual truths with references to an apparently real sanctuary/temple in heaven. Usually associated with this sanctuary is God's throne. Is this throne literal? Does God need to sit? Does He get tired of standing? Perhaps with this "throne" God is teaching His majesty, His sovereign rule not that there is a literal throne in heaven. If the throne in heaven is not literal perhaps neither is the sanctuary/temple in heaven. Does Jesus give evidence that the temple in heaven is not literal? I say this because Jesus apparently speaks of the temple in a figurative sense.  "The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God..." (Revelation 3:12 ESV). Just because something is seen in vision does not mean that it exists in reality. For example the various strange creatures seen by Isaiah, Ezekiel, and John are not necessarily literal creatures. Some SDAs have noted, in defending Soul Sleep, that when Peter sees Moses it was only a vision not literally Moses (see Matthew 17:1-9). These are some of the concerns I have to address before making a decision one way or the other on the sanctuary/temple in heaven issue. I realize that you do believe that there is a literal sanctuary in heaven. I'm not disagreeing with you I'm just saying that I need more time to properly study the issue.   

Thanks for expressing your concern.

Brother Sal

Seventh-Day Adventists

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I am privileged to be able to offer an alternative insight into the complicated world of Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) theology. I will rely heavily on the Bible, but will also consider history and use logic in exposing deficiencies in SDA teachings. I would ask anyone who is considering becoming a SDA or if you are already in the SDA church, but are searching for the truth, to please allow me to offer a different explanation for the claims of the SDA. Remember : "The truth will set you free" (John 8:32). I can answer your questions pertaining to the beliefs and history of the SDA. I am not able to answer questions concerning spirituality or church discipline.


I have extensively studied the theology of the Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) for a number of years. I have many books and tape sets produced by experts in this field of study. I have debated current members of the SDA church. I have a great desire to help these people see the truth.

M.S. degree in Food, Nutrition, and Dietetics

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