The Sanctuary in Peter's Writings PAGE TWO


Peter's Sermon in Acts and the Investigative Judgment
Peter Gives More Details on the Judgment in His Epistles
The Judgment Gives Strength to the Persecuted
Judgment and False Prophets and Teachers
The Executive Judgment and Final Cleansing


Acts chapter three tells the story of the healing of the lame man at the gate Beautiful. As he went, leaping and walking and praising God, the people were amazed, wondering how Peter and John had accomplished such a feat, and all ran together to the porch where Peter and John stood.

When Peter saw it, he responded to the people: Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently as though by our own power or godliness we made this man walk? ...God glorified His Servant Jesus, ...Whom you denied and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead...through faith in His name has this man been given perfect soundness. . . Acts 3:12-16

Perfect soundness came through faith in the Prince of Life. Perfect soundness resulted in visible evidence in the life of the one who was made sound. What would the people have thought if the lame man claimed to be given perfect soundness by faith, yet refused to walk?
Christ, the Prince of Life, became the Lamb, killed, yet raised and glorified by God. He alone can restore those who have true faith in Him. Spiritual restoration to perfect soundness will also have clear visible evidence in the life of the person restored. Peter, in his sermon, wastes no time in moving from physical healing to spiritual restoration.

He says:
(Verse 18) Those things, which God foretold by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he has so fulfilled.

What part of His work had Christ fulfilled in A.D. 31? The work of suffering and dying for a lost humanity. But this is only the beginning of Christ's ministry in the sanctuary journey.

Peter continues:

(3.19-21) 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; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
Whom heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

There is a great deal of information in these verses!

1. Evidently the sins are not automatically blotted out by just believing Christ died. Repentance (being genuinely sorry for our sins and turning from them) is necessary. Also we must be converted, (transformed, made new, changed from the old way of life into a new way, given a new heart and thoughts.) Then our sins will be blotted out.

2. The work of the investigative judgment with the blotting out of sins is to be accomplished before the second advent of the Lord. Times of refreshing usually mean outpourings of the Holy Spirit. The context here indicates that the blotting out of sins accompanies the latter rain which is poured out just before Christ comes. Compare this with James 5.7
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. See the husbandman who waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. When the investigative judgment closes, Christ will come, and His reward will be with Him to give to every man as his work shall be.

3. Obviously all the prophecies of the Old Testament were not fulfilled at the cross. For here it says Christ must be received in heaven until restitution of all things is made. This reminds us again of Revelation 5 where we see that the heavenly sanctuary stands open but no one is found worthy to administer the work that must be done. No one was worthy until Christ, as the lamb that was slain, was received and declared worthy!

In his epistle, Peter tells us:
1 Peter 4:5,6 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, for they were judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

Since the dead are to be judged out of the things written in the books, it is impossible that the sins of men should be blotted out immediately as they are confessed. No, they are not blotted out until the judgment, at which their cases are to be investigated. As Peter has told us, "they will be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ."

The theme of God's investigative judgment reversing the judgment of earthly courts is prominent in the Bible. In the above verse we see Christians judged by the pagans (men in the flesh) and put to death, but in God's investigative judgment they will be assured eternal life. We will explore this concept in another section, for now, notice that God's judgment doesn't happen automatically when a person dies. A time will come when God judges the living and the dead.

Whose sins will be blotted out of the books? Earlier Peter wrote:
" baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins. Acts 2:38 The word for remission is "aphesis" and means "sending away". Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus for the sending away of your sins. Where are the sins sent, too? When we understand the sanctuary doctrine we know they are sent to the sanctuary.

Later Peter tells his listeners to repent so there sins can be blotted out. (Acts 3:19) Sins that are confessed, repented of, forsaken are sent to the sanctuary where they are covered. These sins will be blotted out in the investigative judgment, they will not come up for review before the vast throngs of heavenly beings for "pardoned" is written over then. They will then simply be erased forever. However, if the individual has confessed, but then decided he/she wanted them back; that he/she wanted to continue in the sin or sins, Peter has words on this as well:

If, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment. 2 Peter 2:20-21

As we turn to other books of the Bible we realize that if the sins are not covered and blotted out, the names will be blotted out of the book of life.

Exodus 32.33 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever has sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.
All who endeavor to excuse or conceal their sins, and permit them to remain upon the books of heaven, unconfessed and unforgiven, will be overcome by Satan. Yet we have the promise in

Revelation 3:5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

Peter ends his sermon in Acts three with these words:
God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.


1. The investigative judgment is fair and just!
1 Peter 1:17 The, who without partiality judges according to each one's work.
1 Peter 2:23 Commit to Him who judges righteously.
1 Peter 4:19 Commit your soul to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

2. The judgment begins with those who claim or profess to be Christians. As we saw earlier, Jesus said, not all who say "Lord, Lord" will be saved. Even though it looks like they are active, involved Christians. But they have not submitted themselves to God's authority. Jesus say to them "Depart from me you who practice lawlessness." "He who does the will of My Father shall enter the kingdom of heaven." (See Matt. 7:21) Therefore the investigative judgment begins with those who have made profession to being Christians, for this is where the greatest questions arise.

1 Peter 4:17 For the time for judgment begins at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?

3. We are called to humble ourselves before God, submit to Him and resist the evil one.

1 Peter 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares upon Him. Be sober, be vigilant...resist the devil, be steadfast in the faith.
1 Peter 2:25 You were sheep going astray, return to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
2 Peter 3:14,17-18 Be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless...beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in grace...

4. It is only through Christ that we will be able to stand.
1 Peter 5:10 God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you.
1 Peter 1:5 Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope...for you who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation.
2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations.


The people Peter was writing to were suffering persecution. Some of them must have been wondering if it was worth it. Those around them were speaking evil against them (1 Peter 2:11) some were beaten for their faith (2:20) they being threatened and harassed (3:14) and some even gave their lives (4:6). How does the judgment message strengthen and encourage people in these situations?

The interesting discovery as we study the investigative judgment is to notice how often it is presented in the context of persecution. The investigative judgment is very much part of the solution to the great war or controversy between good and evil, between Christ and Satan. Satan and his followers call good, evil and evil, good. They judge Christ's true followers as evil, and the lawless ones as good. The courts of earth often judge falsely. Therefore knowing there is a higher court gives great assurance, hope and strength. Knowing that God is the ultimate judge lifts the thoughts above the false accusations and harassments to compromise our faith and conform with a society in opposition to God's laws, and helps the individual stand firm for God.

We see this concept in Revelation 6:9-11 as the martyrs in the fifth seal cry out, "How long? How long until judgment?" Obviously the investigative judgment had not yet taken place. They had been judged by corrupt earthly courts which condemned them to death-- often claiming to condemn them to eternal death. But then we see that the martyrs who were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held, are vindicated by God's judgment. White robes are given them. Yet they must sleep in death a little longer until the number of the ones who will be martyred in the final great trouble will be completed.

The great judgment scene in Daniel 7 is set in the context of the little horn who was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was made in favor of the saints and the beast with it's little horn was slain and destroyed.

The two scenes go hand in hand. The great persecutions of the middle ages (1260 years) ended just before the investigative judgment began, yet those vindicated from that era, sleep a little longer, for the beast and his image will have one last gigantic show of strength just before the final end. Will we then have the assurance of the investigative judgment to strengthen and uphold us?

Peter carries this theme throughout his epistle.

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you. . .if you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you. . .If anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time for judgment begins at the house of God.... therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to the faithful Creator. 1 Peter 4:12,17

In regard to those that think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is prepared to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are now dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. 1 Peter 4:4-6

Was it worth it for those who were put to death after they had the gospel preached to them? Peter says they were judged by men in the flesh and put to death, but according to God's judgment they will have life! YES! It is worth it. For God will judge. He will investigate. The whole world may judge you as evil when you cling to God's commands, but God will judge righteously.

So do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. 1 Peter 3:14,15
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. 1 Peter 3:12

For Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ...when He suffered, he did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously. 1 Peter 2:21,23

Judgment and False Prophets and Teachers

This section of Peter's epistle is extremely forceful and to the point and it behooves us to take note. THOSE WHO PREACH THERE IS NO JUDGMENT AND NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR SIN are reserved for the blackness of darkness forever!

The people here referred to are not those who openly claim to have no faith in Christ. These are people who profess to believe the truth, they are part of the Christian congregation. But they "secretly bring in damnable heresies," they exploit true believers with deceptive words," "For they speak great swelling words of emptiness to allure," "the way of truth will be blasphemed" "they have forsaken the right way" "and many will follow their pernicious ways; and cause the way of truth to be evil spoken of." Yet in all this they "feast with" God's true people.

The leaven of false doctrine will infiltrate and be accepted in preference to the truth, right in the church!

Peter likens these false teachers to Balaam. What did Balaam do?

Balaam was known to be a prophet of God! Yet when he was promised a large reward to curse Israel, he tried to twist God's arm into allowing him to do so. We all know that God interposed and Balaam ended up blessing Israel. BUT that is not the end of the story. Balaam wanted his monetary reward and he secretly devised a plan whereby he would bring the wrath of God upon Israel. Balaam had already yielded to temptation, now he became fully the agent of Satan. He suggested enticing the Isrealites into sin! Beautiful Moabitish women were to infiltrate the camp and lead the Israelites to transgress God's law. Thus iniquity would be found in them, and God's blessing would not rest upon them.

Balaam's stategy had devastating success. Like wildfire the poison of this sensual based religion, which these women were promoting, spread throughout the Israelite camp. The rulers and the leading men were among the first to transgress, and so many of the people were guilty that the apostasy became national. "Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor." The infiltration was done quietly, in a friendly manner. When Moses was aroused to perceive the evil, the plots of their enemies had been so successful that not only were the Israelites participating in the licentious worship at Mount Peor, but the heathen rites were coming to be observed in the camp of Israel. (See Numbers 25:1-4; 31:16) Many Israelites died as a result. The power of the prophet (turned into an agent of Satan) nearly worked their ruin, it was only deep repentance and total turning from sin that reversed the plunge into ruin. The false prophet traded his heavenly reward for earthly riches and ended up losing both. (See Numbers 31:8)

These false prophets which Peter warns against have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor who loved the wages of unrighteousness. 2 Peter 2:15

The speak "great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh. 2 Peter 2:18

Many are speaking great swelling words of vanity, saying, "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing." They are obeying the spirit of sensuality rather than the Spirit of God. They bring into the churches all manner of things that entertain the people. The right hand of fellowship is given to the very ones who bring in false theories and sentiments. In this way people become confused as to what is right and true. They become deadened as to what constitutes right principles. Conscience becomes insensible to warnings and reproofs. The call to repentance, and forsaking of sin has been shut out.

They deny the Lord that bought them and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 Peter 2:1
Earlier Peter mentioned we were ransomed, not with gold or silver but with the precious blood of Jesus. We were slaves to sin, but Christ bought us out of slavery. To then go back and continue to be slaves to sin is denying that Christ bought us — that now we belong to Him and serve Him-- it is despising the blood of Christ.

But there is an accounting, Peter makes this perfectly clear! He sites as proof the flood in Noah's day and the fire of Sodom and Gomorrah. Condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly.

Yes, God will judge! The false Christians will be judged guilty, but God's people will be saved, for God did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, a preacher of righteousness.

Noah, is contrasted with the false prophets. Noah was a preacher of righteousness!
Lot was also spared, for he tormented his soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds.

For the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment, for the day of judgment. 2 Peter 2:9

Notice here again, God will judge! During the investigative judgment those fighting against God's will are slated for punishment and reserved to the day of executive judgment to receive their punishment. False teachers will increase in numbers. Satan is seeking to lead men and women captive through deceptive reasoning, wresting the scriptures to their own damnation.

"They allure the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption. If, after havine escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior, we are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse than the beginning. It would have been better to have never known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment.

Never were those who have heard the truth more in danger than at the present time. We must pray and watch unto prayer, making the word of God our counsel. As we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. We must walk the sanctuary journey with Christ, or we will be swept away by these false theories and come to the investigative judgment unprepared. To come face to face with God's glory without walking with Christ through the sanctuary, means destruction. God is a holy God, and only people who have been made holy will be able to stand in His presence.

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