Christ's Ministry In The Heavenly Sanctuary


In another forum topic a point of discussion came about that I thought would be well worth considering at length, and in detail. The topic was comparing the Catholic and the Adventist views on Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary.

Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Find enclosed below an exerpt from that discussion (by adventistnomore) which entails the main points to be discussed:

Adventists stress the Priesthood of Christ. In particular, they emphasize that the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross does not complete the plan of redemption. The blood of Christ must also be applied to believers on earth and to the Heavenly Sanctuary. (They also add that Christ began cleansing the Most Holy Place of the Hevaenly Sanctuary in 1844). An understanding of the work of Christ in the Heavenly Sactuary, presenting His body and blood before the Father to cleanse the universe of sin prior to His Second Coming is a unique insight of Adventism. In Adventism, it is hailed as a central doctrinal truth and its discovery led to the formation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Interestingly enough, this belief brings them much criticism from other Protestants (and some who have left the Church) who believe the doctrine denies the efficacy of Chist’s once-for-all Sacrifice, and yet, this doctrine places them closer than any other Protestant group to understanding the Sacrifice of the Mass:

We as Catholics also affirm that the Sacrifice of the Cross paved the way for Christ, as Priest, to continually apply the benefits of His once-for-all Sacrifice to believers and eternally present His body and blood before the Father. However, we add that in the Eucharist, Christ’s body and blood is also made present in the Church, and the priest, acting in the person (and priesthood) of Christ, presents that body and blood of Christ to God together with the local church assembled in the echaristic sacrifice. Thus, what Adventists rightly envision occuring in the Heavenly Sanctuary (that is, Christ eterally presenting His once-for-all Sacrifice before the Father) is made mystically present in Catholic & Orthodox churches during every liturgy or mass. We join our Great High Priest, and the Church, in the universal liturgy centered around the throne of God the Father. (One of the reasons Catholics sing the Sanctus is because we are mystically united to all the angels in Heaven when we prepare to offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice sigging the song of Heaven: Holy, Holy, Holy.)

It is my understanding that the Catholic “Eucharist” service is what is being referred to in the above quote for the Catholic side of this equation. If that is not correct, then please correct me. The Adventist side of the equation, while stated accurately for the most part, does not in fact depict this topic exactly as we see it; however, there is plenty for us to start on for this interesting line of study. As we progress; I will detail some of the ways that we see this topic, which are not listed above. I realize that neither the paragraph on Catholics or Adventists above is intended to be exhaustive, so with that in mind, we can likely begin.

I would like to propose that we try this a bit of a different way. If I am correct, Catholics use a passage in John, chapter six to explain their views on The Eucharist, and on Christ’s continuing ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. Therefore, I would really like to do a chapter study on John, chapter six. If we study this entire chapter, a few verses at a time, I think it will bring out a lot of really interesting points - common ground, and uncommon ground. This kind of idea appeals to me because then it is not just “us versus them” involved. A little common ground won’t hurt, and the back ground information in the rest of the chapter will enhance the information gleaned on the part that Catholics interpret as “Eucharistic.”

The first few verses read like this:

Joh 6:1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.
Joh 6:2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.
Joh 6:3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.
Joh 6:4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.

I would like to hear comments on how forum members see this passage. There are two time periods mentioned here. One in vs.1, and another in vs 4. What is meant by “after these things?” What is the significance **in this text **of “the Passover?”


The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth by Scott Hahn (Hardcover - Nov 9, 1999)


This is an excellent book. I highly recommend it for those Catholics and non-Catholics who would like to better understand Mass and the Eucharist.




I need to ask a “stupid” question. I thought the Mass and the Eucharist were one and the same thing? What is the difference?

Is there anywhere online where one would find similar info as this book has, without buying the book?


**MASS. **The Sacrifice of the Eucharist as the central act of worship of the Catholic Church. The “Mass” is a late form of missio (sending), from which the faithful are sent to put into practice what they have learned and use the graces they have received in the Eucharistic liturgy.
See more:

**EUCHARIST. **The true Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, who is really and substantially present under the appearances of bread and wine, in order to offer himself in the sacrifice of the Mass and to be received as spiritual food in Holy Communion. It is called Eucharist, or “thanksgiving,” because at its institution at the Last Supper Christ “gave thanks,” and by this fact it is the supreme object and act of Christian gratitude to God.
See more:

Is there anywhere online where one would find similar info as this book has, without buying the book?

The author of “The Lamb’s Supper,” Dr. Scott Hahn, has a website which has a 6 part Bible study on this, found here:

For other questions about the Mass, Eucharist, Holy Communion, etc, go here:

Everything you need to know. :slight_smile:


Thanks for the useful info Fidelis. I didn`t know Dr. Hahn had an online Bible study. I will check it out.

His book should be available at your local library Protestant 101. It is definitely worth reading.




Thankyou Maria. I will check into the above references to see what is available here.

I was wondering if anyone has any comments on the verses I referenced in post #1.


From one of the links you supplied:

The mode of Christ’s presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as “the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all sacraments tend.” In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist “the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.” “This presence is called ‘real’ - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be ‘real’ too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present.”

  • The Catechism of the Catholic Church: paragraph 1374

Christ’s Sacrifice on Calvary only needs to be done once:

1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
(see also Heb.7:27, 9:28)

The purpose of “communion” or the “eucharist” is not, or, should not be to “apply” the blood of Christ.

Jesus said after the cup of wine:

Mat 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

Are you saying that Jesus will drink His own “blood” in the kingdom of heaven? Does Jesus need His own Sacrifice to be applied to Himself? Will anyone need this Sacrifice in heaven? The whole “Eucharist” thing makes little sense to me.

Jesus Himself called it “fruit of the vine” as well as “His blood,” showing that the Catechism is wrong in applying Jesus’ words in the strict literal sense that it does.


Couple of points:

  1. Yes, Christ only suffered once and died once for our sins. The sacrifice of the Mass is an acknowledgment and a re-representation of that sacrifice, which transcends time and space. Christ does not suffer and die over and over again with each Mass presented.

  2. The cup in Heaven that Christ is referring to during the Last Supper is part of the Heavenly Feast he will partake with us once we are united with Him in Heaven. There are two understandings to this passage - yes, he drank the earthly cup with His disciples, which He now commands mankind to drink as His Blood. There will be no need to drink His blood in Heaven, for you will be united fully with Christ, not like you are here on Earth. That’s why the Eucharist.


What do you mean by: “as His blood?”


Matt 26:27-28 Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.

Luke 22:20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.”

Mark 14:24 He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.

Maybe these will give you a clue. God Bless!


I would like to hear your thoughts on the following quote from the Catechism:

**#1414 **- “As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead; and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God.”

There are quite a few things I would like to discuss about this quote; but lets try just one thing at a time?

1/ What are these “spiritual or temporal benefits?” Can you supply official information (Catholic) that would explain this in detail?

**2/ **What does Christ mediate in the heavenly sanctuary; if all the “mediation” is already done by the Priest at Eucharist?

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