In this section of the paper, I will briefly describe the three symbols that I will use. The first symbol is the Sabbath. This is a symbol that reminds humanity to look back at creation. Thus, the Sabbath is a symbol of the commemoration of divine creation. Because God called what God created ?very good? (Gen 1:31), I will call original creation God?s original intention for humanity. Creation is a work solely of God. Humanity did not participate in it, but humanity participates in its celebration. Contemplating and understanding God?s world as originally given will cause one to contemplate God?s desires of wholeness, equality, perfection, and justice.
Second Advent of Jesus Christ
The Second Advent of Jesus Christ is another symbol that is important to my own theological reflections. Here there is a breaking in of divine into the human realm. I wish to describe this as the institution of God?s ultimate intention in the world. God?s original intention at creation has gone through some change as a result of human failings, but God still has a plan. Humanity had no part in creation that we symbolize in the Sabbath. Humanity also will not have any part in the Second Advent per-se? beside just watching and celebrating. This might give one the impression that there is nothing for humanity to do. However, the Heavenly Temple ministry of Jesus Christ is a symbol where we can see humanities role in the realization of the ultimate intention of God in history. The Heavenly Temple ministry of Jesus Christ is also a historical bridge between the creation symbolized in the Sabbath and the Second Advent. This is God?s current intention for the world.
The Heavenly Temple Ministry
The Heavenly Temple ministry is a time when Jesus is guiding history towards God?s intention.One can see glimpses of this ministry by looking at how Hebrews speaks of Christ as High Priest in the heavenlies (Hebrews 7-9) and the picture of Christ as priest in Revelation (see Revelation 1:9-17). While Jesus Christ is performing this work in heaven that he became qualified for because of his humanity (see Hebrews 2), the Holy Spirit is performing a role on the earth as comforter (John 14:6). So the Holy Spirit performs a work on earth while Jesus Christ is performing a work in heaven. Seventh-day Adventists believe that this work is the same work observed from different angles. Jesus Christ in heaven is performing a work for us while the Holy Spirit on earth is performing a work in us. Both work together to bring history to the climax that will end at the Second Advent of Jesus the Christ. For my purposes, I will not differentiate between the work of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. In this paper I will only speak of the Holy Spirit?s work in humanity on the earth rather than talk about Jesus Christ?s work in heaven.